Friday, November 23, 2007

Quick and not so quick

Oy, I'm still recovering from the Thanksgiving gluttony. I don't think we ate that much compared to the average American, but it was certainly orders of magnitude more than we usually eat. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two is really the same amount of work as cooking for six or eight, but at least I'll get to eat pumpkin pie all weekend.

On with the knitting: first, the quick. This is a pair of worsted weight slipper socks I made in practically the blink of an eye. Look, I finally accomplished matching green socks!

ls slipper socks
Pattern: Improvised
Yarn: Lisa Souza Superwash Merino worsted, "Olive Tones," 60 grams (leftover from this scarf)
Needles: US size 4 (3.50 mm)

ls slipper macro
Three years ago I gave my mom two pairs of crocheted slipper socks for Christmas. She liked them so much that she decreed that she would like slipper socks every Christmas in perpetuity. Now, of course, she gets knitted ones. This is pair #1. Pair #2 (in a different color and pattern, natch) is already half finished. I love how quickly these go!

This quick project makes up for one that took me two months to complete: the Chevron Scarf.

chevron done
Pattern: Chevron Scarf, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock mediumweight in "Farmhouse" and "Watermelon Tourmaline"
Needles: US size 4 (3.50 mm)

chevron macro
I love this scarf. Love it! So why did it take me two months to complete it? Because it bored me to tears, that's why. It's a nice, mindless knit, perfect for taking to knit night. The problem was that knit nights were the only times I could bring myself to work on it. This is probably why I've knit so few scarves.

In light of that confession, I hope you can appreciate the irony of the fact that I am knitting another Chevron Scarf. In the same colors. The scarf I just finished is 67 inches long, and I calculate that I can get another 60 inch scarf out of the yarn leftovers. Sixty inches should be long enough for my younger niece, so she'll be getting a scarf too.

Just for giggles I thought I would mix things up and reverse the color sequence. Bad idea. I'm here to tell you that the color sequence matters.

chevron compare
The second scarf looks muddy compared to the first. In fact, I disliked it so much that I have since frogged it and restarted. So this is my public service announcement for the day: Farmhouse should be color A, and Watermelon Tourmaline should be color B.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who sent me such nice birthday wishes. I couldn't have had a better day. It was full of fibery goodness, including some rovings, knitting books, and this.

woolee winder
That would be the WooLee Winder that the Professor gave me. In the weeks before my birthday, I told him several times that my wheel was to be my birthday present. He just nodded vaguely each time. Naturally, I was floored when I opened this. I had once mentioned to him that I would eventually buy one of these (a year or so down the line), and the clever man actually made note of it. Even more amazingly, it arrived in time for my birthday. Since there's a waiting list for these things, that meant he had ordered it more than a month before. How was I ever lucky enough to find this man?

The only bad thing about new spinning toys is that I have all this Christmas knitting to do. As a result, I'm neglecting my spinning somewhat. Still, I'll manage to sneak in some play time here and there.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I'm not normally a believer in fate, destiny, or the like, seeing this has made me think twice.

prize date
Check out the dye date on this skein of prize yarn. It was dyed exactly one year ago! Today is also my birthday, and I'm so happy to be giving a present to someone else.

So without further ado, the winner of the "one year" contest is:


Do click on the link to her blog. I'm completely enamored with the sweet baby hoodie she knit recently.

Many thanks again to all who entered. There certainly will be more contests in the future, so please stay tuned.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I should stop knitting green socks

The modified Cable Rib socks are finished. Overall I'm pleased, but once again I'm plagued with color variations in the green yarn. (Apologies for the low light photos. I also used the wrong setting on my camera and was to lazy to retake the pics.)

cr done

Pattern: Cable Rib Socks by Erica Alexander (from Interweave's Favorite Socks)
Yarn: Regia Silk, Moss 070
Needles: US size 1.5 (2.50 mm) DPNs
Modifications: Used a braid on the leg instead of the specified cable and did not run the cable all the way to the top of the cuff.

cr leg close
So, the yarn. When I started knitting the second sock, I noticed some yellow bits of fiber that I had not noticed in the first skein. I didn't think much of it at the time. Then when I finished the second sock and compared it to the first, I saw the difference. One sock definitely had a more yellow cast than the other.

I had bought the yarn from an extremely reliable online source, and honestly, it never occurred to me to check the lots when the yarn arrived. Sure enough, when I went back and checked the labels, the lots were different. Drat! These socks will be a gift for my dad, and I wanted them to be, well, perfect. It's a good thing he's of a certain age, and his eyesight isn't so, well, perfect.

(For those who are curious, the extremely reliable online source did make things right.)

What a nice surprise Regia Silk is, though! It has a lovely hand, nice stitch definition, and good grief, it's affordable. Since it comes in a nice range of solids, this may become my go-to "man yarn" (except for the Professor, whose taste in socks runs a bit wilder than that of the average man).

cr gusset close
Don't forget to enter the contest! Really, the odds of winning are quite good.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Second skein, first year

Earlier this week I finished my second skein of handspun, but there wasn't enough decent light to take photos of it until today.

ab eg skein
The yarn proved devilishly difficult to photograph. This photo looks a little dark, but it's the closest representation of the yarn's true color—a deep greenish blue. What this shot doesn't capture are the subtle color variations in the yarn. Here's a lighter photo that does show it.

ab eb skein close1
The fiber is Ashland Bay merino top, colorway "English Garden." This skein is 3.25 oz. (92 grams), 2 ply, 16 wpi, 284 yards. It's between fingering and sport weight; that is, some bits are fingering weight, and some bits are sport weight. Yes, I'm still working on my consistency. My second single was quite a bit finer than my first. In fact, it was so much finer that I have an 80 yard mini skein of 2 ply that I made from the leftovers. Still, I'm quite pleased with this yarn! It's so darn pretty.

ab eg skein close2
In non-spinning news, my one year blogiversary came and went on November 7th with very little notice from me. When I started this blog, I mainly intended it as a way to keep a record of my projects. No one could have been more surprised than I when people actually started reading it. I've met so many nice knitters in the past year! As a way of saying "thank you" to all of you who stop by, I'm offering up a little contest.

1 year prize
That's one skein of Lisa Souza Superwash Merino worsted in semi-solid Teal (a huge 8 ounce, 560 yard hank), and one skein of my beloved Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino sock yarn, colorway "Earthenware" (4 ounces, 550 yards). Both of these lovelies can be yours! Just leave a comment on this post by midnight CST on Friday, November 16th. On November 17th I'll select a winner at random. And thanks again to all of you for reading. Mwah!

Monday, November 05, 2007

You can't go home again

It's a fact—vacations get in the way of blogging. Humble apologies for the lack of posting in the past week. My trip to Salt Lake was lovely. Really, how bad could things be when this was the view out my window every day?

window view
As is always the case, I got less knitting done than I intended. I finished exactly 1¼ socks, plus several inches of the chevron scarf. (I categorically refuse to disclose how much knitting I actually took with me.) In my defense, most of my time was devoted to spending time with family in general and admiring my adorable niece and nephew in particular.

Ack, now that daylight savings time has ended, it's even darker when I get home from work. Stay tuned for inferior photos all winter! (I may need to rig up a light tent.)

cable rib progress
These socks are a modified version of the Cable Rib Socks from Favorite Socks. I'm doing a braid on the leg, then transitioning to the pattern's specified cable on the instep. It seems to be working out pretty well.

Other than that, I'm happy to be back home so I can spend some quality time with my spinning wheel. I should have some new yarn to show within the next few days.

I'll leave you with another photo from Salt Lake. This is a view from Silver Lake near Brighton. I love how moody this shot is.

silver lake