Monday, June 29, 2009

Teal Stripe Socks

Has it been a week already? The socks are hot off the needles, and the cardigan is following closely behind...

These are pretty basic toe-up socks, using the Universal Toe-Up sock pattern, which I have used many times before. I did the short row toe and heel that is described in the pattern, with a basic stripe in the rest of the sock, using a one-row teal stripe on a three-row grey background. I was trying to find a ratio that would use the two colours equally, when the teal was also used for the toe, heel, and ribbing accents. I came pretty close to evenly using both of them.

Although there are a million sock patterns out there -- lacy or cabley or ribby -- I keep coming back to this very basic pattern in a simple stockingette. It makes a snug and comfortable sock, and is such simple quick knitting. The thin little stripe adds some interest, and also makes it easy to knit them to match, since you can count the repeats on the first sock, to make the second one identical. I've had this yarn for ages, with precisely this design in mind, and chose to do it now as just a fast, easy knit to take a little bite out of my yarn stash -- a good thing, since I am spending the afternoon at a fiber festival tomorrow, and who knows what I may return with from there...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

The weather was beautiful today, warm and breezy, the scent of petrichor is lingering in the night air, and I have some satisfying knitting in my lap.

There is a beauty, isn't there, in the simplicity of a thinly knitted stripe: the dainty little zig zag of a single row of stockingette, tiptoeing across the background.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fraggle Socks

This morning I put the final touches to the Fraggle Squiggle socks. Turns out they took me just two weeks to make, which I think is pretty good, considering I've also been working pretty steadily on both the garter stitch cardigan and my Fresh Squeezed Quilt.

The Handmaiden Casbah was a fantastic yarn to use -- that 9% cashmere makes it decadently soft and the colours are breathtakingly vibrant (much better than I can make them look, here.) Love.

Of course the stitch pattern is almost totally obscured by the colour changes in the yarn, but I don't really mind, since the colours are so gorgeous. Maybe someday I'll take another crack at this pattern, with a yarn that is more solid. That way you'll be able to see the stitch pattern, all the yarnovers and the bubbles and the little squiggly rows of decreases...

So cozy and soft...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


One of my work friends is having a birthday party on the weekend, at a Roller Derby match. It reminded me that I had a metre of super cool Roller Derby girl fabric stored away in the stash bins, so I pulled it out and made a little purse, today. I didn't use a pattern, just made it up as I went. If I redid it, I would change some things, like the angle of the folds in the fabric, and the width and circumference of the top band... but it's still pretty cute as it is.

Sewing was an adventure, by the way. I was cutting and piecing fabric on my coffee table, for pete's sake. And if that isn't bad enough, I had to set up the sewing machine on our little rolling butcher block. I really need to find a studio space somewhere or something.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obligatory Progress Post

I know I have been awfully quiet -- it's not because I have been idle, but because what I have to show isn't that interesting. My garter stitch cardigan has been progressing fairly quickly, but isn't very photogenic, yet:

And my Rockin' Sock Club socks are very Fraggley, but I am at the point where the second one looks much like what I've already shown you of the first:

The only exciting thing is that I finally put up my quilting frame (which takes up merely about half of the remaining floor space in my bedroom) and pulled the Fresh Squeezed Quilt out of oblivion. I had agonized long and hard over how to quilt this one (and am still not one hundred percent decided what I am going to do on some parts of it) but began with some little leaves. How cute are they.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eye Candy

One of the challenges since the move has been finding room for all my crafty stuff.
Whereas I used to store yarn and fabric in little stashes all over (i.e. the bedroom, closet, dining room (aka crafting zone) and living room) now I'm trying to consolidate it all in my bedroom. As I said, a challenge. I decided to try using more wall space for storage, which inspired me to bus my way to Michaels yesterday and pick up some inexpensive little woven birch baskets for the yarn stash that doesn't quite fit in my other storage spaces. Now my bedroom wall looks like a yarn store, and I am blissful. Oh just look at all that Koigu.

In the meantime, I have finished the right half of my garter stitch cardigan, and last night at the pub I started the left half. I also have made some good progress on my Fraggle Socks. When I decided not to use the Socks that Rock colourway that came with the kit, it was because a) I thought it was too busy and obscured the knitting design, and b) because the various shades of purple didn't seem like the truest Fraggle colours.

I remembered a fantastic skein of Handmaiden Casbah that I had in my stash, and immediately knew it was the perfect colour: the pinks, reds, oranges, and purples seemed really Fraggley to me. Well, it turns out that it's just as busy as the original yarn (if not even busier) but I still love the colour and think it's perfect. Plus it's soft as all get out, since it's part cashmere. Yeah, that's right. Yum.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Apple Bag

We go through a lot of apples here at Chez Crafty, and since I am trying to cut down on wasteful plastic bag usage (and also because I am trying to increase my stash yarn usage) I decided to use up a couple of balls of Scheepjes Cotton 8 (left over from a top I knit years ago) to make a little mesh market bag. I checked the various options on Ravelry and found this one, which I liked for many reasons, not least of which was because of the sturdy wide handle on it, which is nice and flat for my shoulder. I took a month to make it, because I was only working on it on pub nights, and even those have been not-quite-weekly lately. The beer also took a toll: I misread the instructions and accidentally made it several mesh repeats longer than it should have been. No worries, it's not unreasonably long, and will certainly hold loads of produce. I didn't have enough apples to fill it for the photo, so it is holding a portion of my sock yarn stash.

Completing a project, even a little teeny one like this bag, felt good. Afterward, I immediately did a gauge swatch and cast on a pair of socks. Back in the saddle.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Those quiet moments that I spoke of in my last post disappeared on me for the last week. I had to pack up most of my crafts for the move to our little house, and those that weren't packed were sorely neglected while I was frustratingly busy with everything else. This morning I finally picked up my garter stitch cardigan, for the first time in a whole week (gasp!) and knit a few rows. It felt good. I am still surrounded by boxes, but things are slowly getting back to normal.