Thursday, December 31, 2009

Raven Swirl Socks

This pair has enchanted me from the moment I first saw them: from the colourway to the pattern, I really enjoyed them from start to finish.

The colourway is nice and dark -- I have it in some really good lighting to get these shots. It is so saturated, in fact, that I had dye marks on my hands from knitting with it. These socks will be getting a nice long soak before I wear them, I think. This colourway is called Blackbird, so that beautiful song by The Beatles has been in my head for weeks, and it has certainly flavoured the way I look at the socks.

The pattern is by Cookie A, so you knew right away it was going to be spectacular. There is a lovely feather-like lace that swoops around the leg before running down either side of the foot (and back through the heel, though you can't see it in these photos.) My only quibble with the pattern is that the placing of the heel flap is such that I was only able to make a very short swirl along the leg, since my foot was the larger size. I didn't have a lot of yarn left over, though, so I suppose a longer leg wasn't in the cards, anyway.

So there you have it: my last finished object of 2009, but there are plenty more on the way for next year. I hope you have just the sort of celebration you enjoy, tonight. Me? I'll be cozy under a blanket with some varied knitting and a marathon of Guy Ritchie movies. A great start to a new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Socks

I spent a few days with my HLM at my folks' place, this week, celebrating a slew of birthdays and -- oh yeah -- the holidays. Rather than taking along one of the various projects I already have on the go (because they are too complicated or are right on the verge of becoming too complicated) I decided to grab some sock yarn from the stash and make another super-simple brainless pair of toe-up socks (from my standard pattern.)

The working title when I started these was Briar Rose, since the rosy pink and the woodsy brown made me think of rosebushes. As I knit further along, the brown started to look more like dark chocolate, and the pink started to look more like raspberry filling, until they reminded me of raspberry-filled truffles, more than anything. Or maybe I've just been eating too much holiday baking.

As I said, there's nothing new here -- in fact, I did almost this exact same thing once before, but this time I added a slightly longer solid toe before starting the stripes, and made the cuff at the top a little longer. I have the yarn already in my stash to make another pair of these in brown and blue, so don't even think you're done seeing this pattern, though admittedly it won't be right away. So many socks, so little time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spoiler Alert

I have, of course, cast on a new pair of socks. These ones are the final pair from the Blue Moon 2009 Rockin' Sock Club. The colourway is nice and black, with some barely-there colour variegation in purples and greens and yellow. The design has lace and ribbing, although I realize you can't really see it well in that colour.

I realized that last time I flashed you my sweet new stitch markers, I didn't let you know that they are from Sunneshine on etsy -- she does not only great stitch markers, but also row counters, for those of us who do complicated lace and cables and want an easy way to remember what row we're on. I highly recommend them (and her.)

In other news, I have gotten a few lace repeats done on the Honeybee Cardigan, but have only been working on it at the pub (where one patron this week initially suggested we must be knitting because we're trying to get off drugs, and then followed up with "are youse mental?" Fortunately he had a lovely Irish brogue and bought us beers to apologize for his impertinence, which ultimately only led to us being unable to execute our complicated knitting.)

I have also made a bit of progress on the endless body of the black yoke sweater. It is, despite all appearances, coming along.

I've started thinking seriously about finishing the Lizard Ridge blankie, since it's been lingering far too long, and it would be nice to complete it before starting another big project, since Rose-Kim Knits has put the idea in my head of joining Ravelry's 10 shawls in 2010 group... Although I need ten more shawls like I need a hole in the head.

Mostly I'm just happy that I'm not stressing out over finishing a bunch of holiday gift projects, like so many other bloggers out there. So much nicer to put my feet up and relax and work on more projects for selfish little me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bella's Mittens

While I don't watch the Twilight films at all (and in fact am more a member of Team Eric Northman than of Team Edward, if you know what I mean) I couldn't help but hear all the talk throughout the online knitting-movie-nerds community about these mittens, fashioned after the ones that the character Bella apparently wears in the first film. What can I say? They are fantastic looking mittens, soft and snug and extra-long (I actually left two repeats out of the arm length when I knit them, and you can see how long they still are) and a ridiculously fast knit, at a bulky gauge. Perfect for last-minute holiday gifting.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Too Cute

Have you seen the new Knitty is up? There are some really exceptional patterns, including this great cowl. I really must have one.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Yeah, just try to tell me that you don't want want to make a pair of Bella's Mittens, too...

Crabby McHappysocks

If you have been curious about the name of my latest socks, perhaps you have forgotten that one of my purchases at Sock Summit was a skein of Blue Moon Socks that Rock in the colourway Crabby McHappypants. The colours are glorious and the name is hysterical, so obviously I had to buy it. It's been sitting here since then, in a basket hanging above my bed, and recently I decided that it would be a good skein for me to use to learn a new sock architecture with. I chose Cat Bordhi's Simple Coriolis pattern for it, and dug in.

I showed you the moccasin toe, previously, and the rest of the sock was pretty smooth sailing (other than my being distracted by making various other much-needed wooly projects in the meantime.) As you can see, there is a little band that travels across the foot -- it is made by cleverly-placed increases and decreases, which make the foot bigger as it goes from toe to ankle (much like your own foot becomes bigger in that area.)

As I knit the first sock, I became more and more convinced that it would never fit me properly, especially as I tried it on.
I decided I would knit it past the heel and try it one last time, so I could figure out exactly where the problem is and rip it back to reknit it. I have to learn to trust Cat, though, since once I had knit the heel, it magically fit right. That lady knows what she's doing.

I had seen other socks knit in this colourway, and they had lovely fat spiraling stripes, which I love. As you can see, with the structure of this sock, the stripes went from really skinny to nice and fat, then a big pool of colour and slowly skinnier as I made my way to the heel, then nice and broad again on the leg. Somehow they even ended up fairly matchy between the two. Magic.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Plain Mittens

Although my HLM did find his original Koolhaas hat the other day (so now he has a spare), it seems his Sparrow Gloves are now awol, so I decided to upgrade the warmth-factor for him by making him a pair of thicker, woolier mittens. The Sparrow Gloves, while lovely, were from a sport-weight wool, and everyone who lives in this sort of a climate knows that gloves are not as cozy as mittens, anyway.
So I pulled some worsted weight wool from my stash and knit him a quick pair, this week. As with the gloves, I didn't use a pattern, so they ended up a smidgen pointier than I intended. Personally, I like the pointy Norwegian-style mitten, but I knew he'd prefer something more rounded. I kept notes, so that next time I can improve on them.

The real secret to making these mittens warm and cozy is that I'm going to knit a liner for both out of a layer of fingering weight alpaca. A double-layered mitten, with hardy wool on the outside and soft decadent alpaca on the inside? Yes, I spoil him.

Friday, December 4, 2009


One day, a few weeks ago, I had a wet cotton towel in my hand when I reached into the oven to grab the hot handle of a frying pan. That was the day I learned that wet cotton is a really excellent conductor of heat, and burned my hand. (Fortunately I also know that lavender oil is renowned for healing burns, and it wasn't as bad as it could have been.)
When I saw this pattern show up as a free download on Ravelry, not only did I have a good chuckle, but I also saw the inherent value of it. Wool is an excellent insulator, even when wet, and this little guy is made of two layers of bulky weight wool. I used some of the inimitable Cascade 220, which I always have some of in the stash, and doubled it to mimic the bulky weight wool.

A quick and fun project, that made me giggle a lot, and will be useful -- what more could a girl wish for?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Koolhaas Hat

I was informed the other day that my HLM's Koolhaas hat was stolen. I think this is his way of saying he lost it, while letting someone else take the blame. One of my coworkers suggested that maybe it was his way of saying he didn't like it, but since he asked for a new one, I don't think that's the case.

He wanted a black one, but I had a nice deep charcoal skein of Cascade 220 in my stash (left over from my blankie) and it got a nod of approval. Thank goodness I kept good notes for modifications on Ravelry, so I knew just how to modify the original pattern to fit his head. In just a few days, I am done and barely in time for a cold turn in the weather. Unfortunately the dark colour doesn't show off the pattern as well as the lighter grey did, nor is the pattern readily apparent when it's unstretched. You'll have to trust me that it looks as nice as the first one.