My Sockapalooza socks are finished! Unfortunately, they're also somewhat imperfect.Pattern: Thelonious by Cookie A (size small, 64 stitches around)Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, "Cedar," 2 skeinsNeedles: size 1 (2.25 mm) DPNsColorwise, they're fraternal twins! Normally I don't particularly mind when socks don't match perfectly. Being a fraternal twin myself, I have a great appreciation for differences in personality. However, when I'm giving socks away to a perfect stranger—a perfect stranger who knits—I want those socks to be as flawless as possible. The two skeins I used were from the same dye lot, and they looked identical. I didn't notice the color difference until I was several inches into the leg of the second sock. If I were as much of a perfectionist as I think I am, I would have ripped out the first sock and then knit both socks by alternating between the two skeins. Honestly though, I didn't have the heart to frog a perfectly good sock. I hope my sock pal will understand.Yes, I know the socks don't look all that different in the photos. Trust me, though; in real life one sock is noticeably darker than the other. I have read that Lorna's Laces has a bit of a reputation for being inconsistent, even within dye lots, but this is the first time I've experienced it. My remaining skeins of Shepherd Sock have been banished to the stash to think about what they've done. I'm sure I'll forgive them very soon, though.What can I say about the pattern? I still adore it. In the near future I will have a pair of my own. The pattern itself isn't difficult, but it does require one to pay attention to the chart. After several rounds, though, I found that the pattern becomes quite intuitive.I may not be 100% happy with the green socks, but these perfectly plain socks make me perfectly happy.Yarn: Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Sock Yarn, "Brick House," 43 gramsPattern: 64 stitch plain stockinette sock, 1-inch 2x2 ribbed cuff, slip stitch heel flap
Needles: size 0 (2.00 mm) DPNs
It's incredibly satisfying to knit an entire pair of socks (well ok, ankle socks) out of the leftover yarn from another pair of socks. (Note: Your mileage may vary. These two pairs of socks are for people with relatively small feet.) And if I had to choose, I would say that Brick House is still my favorite of Deb's sock colorways.
I apologize for waiting so long to post the final photos. There was a good reason for holding off. But without further ado, I present Print O' The Wave.Pattern: Print O' The Wave by Eunny Jang (PDF)Yarn: Fearless Fibers Laceweight Merino, "Notorious," 3 skeins, approximately 1200 yardsNeedles: Knit Picks size 4 (3.50 mm) circular and size 3 (3.25 mm) DPNsFinished size: 25" by 74"Modifications: Added two pattern repeats to each center panel (19 vs. 17). Picked up 272 stitches along each long edge.First, the pattern. It's lovely, but not without errors and and a little heartache. The errors are well-documented, so I won't dwell on them here, except to add that I think the first stitch of row 1 on Chart B should be slipped purlwise. To be honest, I can't understand why the PDF hasn't been updated. I understand that Eunny has an important new job, but really, it would take all of two minutes to correct the PDF. In any case, I just kept repeating the mantra, "Free pattern. Free pattern. Free pattern."
If I were to knit this again, I would probably leave off the last purl row of each center panel. There's a strip of stockinette down the center of the stole where the panels are grafted. It isn't all that noticeable, but it still bothered me a bit. Of course, another way to get around that is to knit the center panel in one piece. However, I chose to knit two panels because I like the way the pattern is mirrored out from the center.
The picking up of stitches for the inner border was a monumental task, and probably unnecessary when it comes down to it. There's a very similar stole pattern in Victorian Lace Today that has no border stitches to pick up. (For those interested, it's the "large rectangle in leaf and trellis pattern with trellis border" on page 54.) But pick up stitches I did, and although I felt at the time that I did a rather half-arsed job of it, the final result looks just fine.On to pleasanter subjects: the yarn. It's no secret that I'm a huge Fearless Fibers fan, and this laceweight merino did not disappoint. The yarn is so soft, and yet it's still pleasantly woolly (if that makes any sense). And the color—oh, the color! Rather than distracting from lace pattern, the subtle color variations add depth and richness. The photos really don't do it justice. I knit the center panels and the inner border on size 4 needles, but I switched to size 3 DPNs for the border. Why? Well, I didn't have any size 4 DPNs, that's why! I made an effort to knit extra loosely on the size 3s, and it worked out swimmingly. (I swear I could hear EZ in my head telling that needle size really doesn't matter that much.) If I were to knit this pattern again with the same yarn, though, I'd probably go up a needle size or two. This yarn is on the thicker side of laceweight, although it is definitely finer than fingering weight.For Jeri: The center panels of the stole (minus the inner and outer borders) weighs 85 grams. The finished shawl weighs 163 grams. I have only 4 grams of my third skein left over. Final verdict: Love it, love it, love it. (Consequently, I'm almost sad about giving it away.) I've been bitten by the lace bug. Note on the photo shoot: It clouded up and became blustery just as the Professor and I stepped outside for these photos. Let me just say that it's extremely difficult to get good shots of an airy lace stole in the midst of a stiff breeze. I also got five mosquito bites in the 10 minutes it took to do these photos. Who knew modeling was so hazardous?
Return to socks
With the big lace project out of the way, I can turn my attention back to my neglected socks. I now have a pair of socks finished—a mismatched pair, anyway.Since the Sockapalooza deadline is looming, Thelonious is getting most of the knitting time. I love this pattern! All of the ribbing makes for a nice stretchy sock, and the traveling lace pattern adds a lot of interest.
On Thursday evening, the Sisters of the Wool convened a special meeting (we normally meet on Tuesdays) for a very special guest. It's Jo from Celtic Memory Yarns! She came all the way from Ireland to see us (well, to see Angeluna specifically). From Ireland, people! Here she is with my Print O' The Wave. Jo is a delight. She had far too much energy for someone who had just flown over from another continent. I hope she liked Texas enough to come see us again some day.This arrived in my mail box this morning. Apparently, I'm a Muggle.I don't know if I should admit it, but I haven't opened the box yet. And as long as I'm confessing, I may as well also own up to the fact that I have not yet finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (Whew, I feel better.) The reason for this travesty is that the Professor and I have a tradition of reading these books aloud to each other, and well, that takes a long time when two people have busy lives. So please, no spoilers!
It's blocked, it's gorgeous, and I love it. I need the Professor's help to shoot some worthy "finished" photos, so in the meantime, I only have these to offer.Did I mention that I love it? Lace is definitely magical, because I feel like a freaking genius. How can all those little holes make me feel so smart?
Blocking shall now commence
I will finish knitting this today
Edited to add: I did.
Another sock club?
For anyone who hasn't already heard, Deb over at Fearless Fibers is doing a "Seven Deadly Sins" themed sock club. Details are here. Yeah, I already signed up. I'm weak.To be honest, I haven't been really tempted to join a sock club before. I think the reason is that I like to pick my own colors, and I didn't want to pay for yarn that I wouldn't have chosen myself. In this case, however, I know that Deb doesn't produce any colors that I don't like, so I caved. Plus, it's yarn + sin! How could I resist a combination like that?
Anyway, the club is limited to 50 memberships. I see that nearly 20 are already gone, so if you're interested, do hurry.
Crossing the border
Print O' The Wave longs to be freed from the confines of the 40" circular needle! Oh, the indignity.Picking up over 700 stitches for the border was tedious in the extreme. It took me the better part of an afternoon. So far it looks like my math is working out, but I won't really know until I start knitting the main border.There has been a little sock progress in the last week too. Thelonious has a heel, and one ankle sock is finished.I had mentioned that I'm knitting the ankle socks with the leftovers from my Pomatomus. Since I had 50 grams left, I was pretty sure that I could get an entire pair of ankle socks, but I was mentally prepared to break into another skein if needed. Well, my scale tells me that 50 grams is more than enough to finish this pair. That's two pairs of socks from one skein of yarn. How can you beat that?In other news, the Professor just got his new MacBook Pro, and he decided that since he got a new toy, it's only fair that I get a new toy too. So he surprised me with an iPod nano. Here it is posing with its older sibling. So cute! They seem to be great friends already.
Changing my ways?
In the past I have publicly proclaimed that I am a knitting monogamist. So now that I have a stole and two socks on the needles, I feel like a bit of a project whore. (Yes, I can hear some of you sniggering at me for being freaked out over only three projects.)I finally did cast on for Thelonious. Of course I ended up using the yarn I had originally intended for these socks. (Thanks to everyone who affirmed that decision!) To say that I am entranced by this pattern would be an understatement. I must make a pair of these for myself. My sock pal's feet are considerably longer than mine, and it's going to take a lot of willpower to not stop knitting the foot once it's long enough to fit my foot. I'll consider it a test of my moral fortitude.PotW is grafted together, but I have not yet started on the border. That will be my major project for this week. So what is the knitting third project? Well, both Thelonious and PotW require me to pay attention to charts, so neither is really a suitable project for knitting night. I needed to have something relatively mindless to work on, so I asked the Professor to pick out some yarn for another pair of ankle socks.I wasn't at all surprised when he picked his favorite sock yarn—Fearless Fibers superwash merino. This yarn is what was left over from my beloved Pomatomus. Three cheers for 550 yard skeins!