sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Schaefer Anne and Socks That Rock lightweight pics

Has anyone knit womb from knitty yet? I have, it took like-- an hour! Okay, two. I'm shocked, I finished it but its not seamed up yet... I've got to go out and find pipe cleaners. Which in my neighborhood prolly means a stop at the smoke shop, though toting a 2 year old in there is wrong in my mind. So that may have to wait til later. (I'll post pics when its done, its terribly uninteresting now.)

My mailman thinks I'm nuts since I answered the door in my pjs today. He's the one banging on *my* door.

Another order of Anne from Little Knits--

Schaefer Anne, 10pb (pearl buck) colorway.
60% merino superwash, 25% mohair, 15% nylon.
4 oz 560 yd

Schaefer Anne, 17af colorway.
60% merino superwash, 25% mohair, 15% nylon.
4 oz 560 yd

You may remember I ordered the Anne again from Little Knits b/c I was in love with the Pearl Buck colorway-- I still am, but this is a much darker version of it. Its okay actually, I did contemplate the possibility of knitting a shawl from 2 skeins of Anne, but then slapped myself with the reality that I answer the door in my pajamas as I haven't been getting dressed and/or leaving the house lately, and a shawl would just fail on the current ensemble. Also makes me feel better since (ostensibly) I have 2 different colorways and I'm not entirely batty for ordering the same thing twice. Sue did send me a note that she chose the lightest of the skeins she had left in stock, which was nice as I requested a skein that was lighter than the darkest pic on her site. (My pics again of the Anne are not true to color, Sue's are better. The blue is actually tealish.)

The red isn't a duplicate of the earlier order, but more burgundy-ish. (Fascinating, I know.)

And some may say I should have started the post with these pics... :)

Socks That Rock lightweight
100% merino superwash
360 yd/ 5.5oz
Fred Flintstone colorway

Socks That Rock lightweight
100% merino superwash
360 yd/ 5.5oz
Tigers Eye colorway

No, there isn't a duplicate photo of the Tigers Eye from my last post, I actually *do* have a duplicate colorway in my stash now (one mediumweight, one lightweight).

Toni from The Fold emailed me the other day; I'd sent her an email ages ago about stock on several colors (she was out of them all then), but said she'd get back to me. She was cleaning out old requests and found mine... we exchanged emails and she sent me the list of her in stock lightweight skeins and of course I had to pick up another tigers eye, along with the fred flintstone colorway (hello! its orange!... its a sickness, really.)

I actually have admired the Fred Flintstone for a while, having seen it crocheted into a wonderful shawl but knowing what damage I could do with it in socks :) Toni said she didn't expect to be replenished with the lightweight colorways any time in the near future, too (but would have oodles of the medium and heavyweight in stock).

The Fold has some great customer service; shipping on my 2 skeins was only 2.55 USPS first class (?) (where Blue Moon Fiber Arts charges .50/skein + a flat 5.00 for USPS Priority for all orders). She was patient with our back & forth emails and got back to me several times in one day as I got my order together, and held my order for a money order I posted to her. Yay :)

I think I'll have the Shell socks done by tomorrow; almost have to be, as a matter of pride! It'll mean only 2 pair of socks in a month, but admittedly I have been working on other projects on the side. It feels weird, when I am more used to turning out 3-4 pair a month (but no other projects). I don't know if I'll get used to it, but then again I don't see myself knitting much spring/summer wear (like I'm knitting Starsky for cold weather wear), so it may pick up again.

I also have been kicking around a pattern idea for the Socks that Rock yarn; I am so itching to work with the new tigers eye (mediumweight, while the weather's still good for warm socks for me) but I'm forcing myself just to let it sit on my desk til the Shell socks are done. More impetus to get them done :)

Since this post is all over the place... I've seriously been considering skipping the Knit and Crochet Show in April. I don't know, after getting my stash together for Flash Your Stash 2006, and staring at the bin that won't close (I am dreading buying another! it feels wrong somehow...) I can't imagine what else I want. Nuts, eh? I do want to go to see Lisa Souza's new Sock! Merino yarn, but that's about it. Perhaps I'll go just for that. But I've been accumulating at a rate that reflects something else, filling a hole. Don't know... maybe its just the rainy day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blue Moon Fiber Arts rocks...

Not just their socks, you know :)

Remember when I said that Blue Moon Fiber Arts was going to make up for the knots I found in my Socks That Rock Carbon skein (from the Baby Cable Rib socks)?

Oh boy did they.

and because everyone wants a behind the scene shot:

Socks That Rock, Mediumweight
from Blue Moon Fiber Arts
380 yds, 5.5oz
gauge: 8 sts=1" on size 2-3 needles
colorway: Tigers Eye

Yowsa. I love orange (to the point I stalk blogs and offer swaps of non-orange tinted yarn for those with that hue!)... and have admired this colorway for forever. Its not as deep orange as I've seen, but its orange!! :) And I'm in love with the greyish/mauvish color in there too, it was in the carbon skein and I think its very nice as well.

Yay! :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Night and Day Gloves completed

What do you get when you find this in your mailbox...

If you're me, you get these!

I'm a dork, I know.

Night and Day Gloves
insanely simple pattern by me
Started: March 25, 2006
Finished: March 27, 2006
"Night and Day" handspun yarn from Santa Cruz Handspun Yarn (50% domestic wool blend, 8% tencel, 42% merino wool) -- 2 skeins of 1.5oz/113yd each
US 5 dpns (3.75 mm)
5.5-7sts/inch (I settled on 6 sts/inch for my pattern)

I'd been thinking about knitting and reading at the same time, and figured that this would be an awesome project to try with. Not to mention the fact that when I opened the package from Grace, it was all I could to to not wind it and knit with it right away. I already have more yarn from her on the way, its insanely well priced and great to work with. I love handspun but I don't spin and its usually out of my price range (rightfully so for what it is)... so I got to indulge a little and now have some rad gloves to stave off of the cold, rainy weather we've been having lately.

I also figured out I can read and knit at the same time! Not as fast as usual, but its nice. (I've been re-reading Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler... a DA I interned with over a summer turned me on to her, and I absolutely get lost in her writing. I was sad to read she'd recently passed, and wanted to read this again when I'd heard.)

Aside from the Night and Day gloves (which I knit with the Cole Porter tune in my head as well... not as bad as Blame Canada though :)) I managed to get down to the armhole shaping on Starsky... now just the length of the back to go.

I have to pace myself a bit when knitting with the Knit Picks Sierra; its not scratchy per se, but as its tensioned across my digits, it starts to feel uncomfortable and rawish after a long while of knitting-- esp. compared to the luxe sock yarns I've been spoiled with. I also get a bit discouraged since I don't really know how "fast" I should be going (as I've not knit an adult sweater before) and it seems like such little progress from starting on March 16, although in tandem with other projects and my adhd-knitting personality. I wish knitty'd chosen to release this with their winter pattern collection instead of a surprise; its super rad but I'd have knit it earlier and gotten more wear out of it you know, in winter :)

I have a bit more done on my sock... I'm expecting more as my next order from Santa Cruz Handspun will take a few days to get to me ;)

I'm so not impressed with the pics I take of the sock like this-- but when I try them on I love these socks already :) Ever wear the one sock around the house while the second is still on the needles? Yeah... uh. Yeah.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blame Canada...

Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather, Opal

Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather, Gunmetal Blue

Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather, Crocus

Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Heather, Cajun Spice

I've ogled this yarn after seeing Cookie use its handpainted cousin for her Pomatomus socks, and "watched" over it at for the longest time. Its not as squishy soft as the 100% superwash wool... not superwash! Shelridge Farms sells at the same weight (this is a wool/nylon blend), but quite nice and has me happy re: prospect of solid socks...

The Canadian yarn has pushed me to the breaking point... my bin no longer will close. And I have more yarn hurtling towards me via USPS and the Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland is coming up... a new bin? I don't think they make them bigger than the one I have. I know I have a lot of yarn I need to find a new home for, don't really want to ebay or sell it though. We'll see.

Confidential to DN, Canadian: thanks...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cable and Rib Sweater with Hood, finished

Cable and Rib Sweater with Hood, finished
from Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits Book
1 year old width, 2 year old length
Started: February 11, 2006
Finished (knitting): February 26, 2006 (before the flame went out!)
Finished seaming/blocking: March 14, 2006
Knit Picks Merino Style, Dusk -- 7 skeins
Addi US 5 & 6
6 sts= 1" in stst, 7st= 1" in patt (gauge matched for pattern) *blocked* -- the Merino Style visibly changed gauge both in stst and patt once blocked!

Finally! :)

I'm a little ashamed looking at the span of time between the knitting and seaming completion, especially since I love this sweater and he could have been wearing it an extra month :) Oh well. I did have to take apart the seams I did for the arms, they were off (haste in trying to get the finishing done for the KOlympics), but honestly with a steady hand and a long baby nap, the seaming was done in far less time than I thought it would take and I'm thrilled that it was easier the 2nd time around. Makes me feel a bit more ready to seam up Starsky when its finished (no more in progress photos today, doesn't look like much progress!)

The Knit Picks Merino Style knit up at the exact gauge and ended up the same measurements as specified in the pattern (that originally called for Debbie Bliss double knitting cotton). I used 7 skeins-- had a bit left over, but it was definitely 7 skeins. At 2.29/@, thats an $16 sweater. Rad. (And I'm a bit shamefaced that the sweater cost less than many pairs of socks and sock yarn I have stashed...!) The pattern called for 10 skeins for the 1 year and 11 skeins for the 2 year size, I bought 11 so I have an extra 4 skeins leftover... a scarf for next winter? Or maybe a toddler vest.

I will say the Merino Style is noticably pilling, especially in high wear areas (with a toddler though, everything is high wear!)-- under the arms and across the belly (where seatbelts/stroller belts etc. fit). You can see pics above. I'm not upset though, I need to buy a sweater shaver, and like I said-- toddlers are a bit "high wear" and merino being short staple... and it was 2.29/@!! :)

I used the kookaburra woolwash when I blocked the sweater, and I really like the scent. That said, I still haven't gotten around to handwashing any socks... I did have a blue tinted sinkful of water when I was blocking with the kookaburra, but it rinsed clear. Not sure if this would have happened without the kookaburra, but I don't think it'll bleed in the next wash. It did get very soft; blocking is totally necessary for establishing gauge with the Merino Style and to get a nice feel to the fabric.

I knit the 1 year chest width (24.75") and the 2 year old length (14.5")... other than that the pattern is exactly as written. It was a fun knit, something that didn't take a lot of concentration once I was in the zone but looks impressive once done. My little one loves the hood, though its more of an exercise in pulling it down over his head as far as it'll go... its warm and will service us for a few more chilly months :)


I also finished one Shell Sock and started another.

I love the colorway!!

In other knitting stash accumulation news...

Little Knits sent me these beauties...

Schaefer Anne 10pb -- pearl buck

Schaefer Anne 18af -- clara barton

Schaefer Anne... 60% merino superwash, 25% mohair, 15% nylon. 4 oz/560yd. Sue's pics at Little Knits are truer to color than mine are.

I'll tell you a secret-- I usually don't buy more than one colorway of the same yarn, just don't see the point. But when the "pearl buck" arrived yesterday, I ordered another-- along with another skein of Anne. This is beautiful yarn, and the yardage! (I also noted that Lisa Souza's new Sock! Merino is the same size, 560 yd/4 oz-- so I'm definitely going to check her out at the Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland... my Shell Socks above are in her wool/nylon yarn.)

I'm planning the Dalarna stockings from Knitting on the Road for the red, and I'm planning to let the blue/orange/grey live on my desk and write me epic poetry.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Starsky and Shell Socks Started (three times fast!)

A few projects started...

Starsky from Knitty Winter 2005
Started: March 16, 2006
Knit Picks Sierra in Cranberry
Addi 6mm needle (US #10) ... 150cm length(!!)

Started going MUCH more quickly when I picked up a hint from the Starsky KAL to color code the chart... Lights went off, the bells flashed and she was in heaven! :) It feels almost dirty to knit something on these huge needles... esp as I've been alternating btw this and...

Childs First Sock in Shell Pattern
from Knitting Vintage Socks
Started: March 17, 2006
US 2 dpns (2.75mm) -- set of 4
Lisa Souza Sock! yarn, Mahogany colorway

The first pic isn't great but I wanted to show how freakishly long the leg is-- I'm following the pattern exactly and its 7 repeats, about 8" long. I always thought I knit long sock cuffs, but going over my knit socks I realize they hover around 5-6" long before the heel, not too long.

Oh, another superweird thing about this pattern, the heel is 2" long. So a super long leg and a little nothing heel... I dunno. I usually wear my hightop cons with my handknit socks so I don't worry about the shorter shoe wearing the back of the heel (where a "normal" heel would be wearing lowtops), but its just... weird! :)

I try and knit exactly from patterns, so as to learn something new and use it later... but its odd! :) I also think I'm going to shelve my "I've got to knit on 2 circs if I can" thing... I have been flying thru these on dpns and enjoying them. There is also a *lot* of yarn in the hank from Lisa Souza, so I'm not really worried about running out of yarn (here's hoping I didn't just jinx myself...) I've got to check out her new Sock! Merino at the Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland-- it sounds soo fine though! (560 yds-- the Sock! I'm using is 480yds) I have been leaning to solid colors lately, since I have so much in the way of variegated yarn, hopefully she'll have lots of solids on hand for me to check out.

I've also been knitting on the toddler socks (toe up in Interlacements Toasty Toes), but have hit a major snag... lollipop soldier ahs squirreled away my 1st completed sock. So I don't know how long to knit the cuff, and I'm dismayed thinking I've got to knit *3* socks now... I haven't stalled on them, but have kept them aside for knitting in the car and at appointments-- I've never knit in the car but its nice to have a non-taxing project as the miles wear by. Stst toddler socks fit that bill perfectly :)

So, I've altered my knitting habits a bit I suppose. I've always been a one-project kinda girl, socks mainly. But adding a larger project (Starsky) and also a smaller one (toddler socks) seems to my regular one sock project make my knitting even more prolific-- I race thru one, promising I can start the other when I hit a certain amount of completion... and the varying weight and differences in the pattern mean I can help break up the monotony that any one project can have for me.

Anyhow, aside from knitting I went to a semi-local yarn store (Skein Lane in El Cerrito) as they were having a "hot sale for cool nights" sale and I've been trying to get out locally and support the yarn stores in my immediate area. I'm going to shelve my no stash enhancement goal... I don't think I feel strongly enough about it to commit, though I've been looking a lot less lately.

Added these:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Seaside

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Argyle

Austermann Step in whisky (color 09)

I've admired the Argyle colorway since seeing Sockbug's lightning bolt argyle socks, so I think I'll try and recreate the effect with the same pattern (Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks), eventually...

I also picked up the new Austermann Step yarn, the one with jojoba oil & aloe. Squeezing the ball, it doesn't really feel any different... Who knows. I've never knit a pair of socks from printed/self-striping yarn before, not sure what sort of pattern I'll choose (Jaywalkers? I don't think I could stand stst, but maybe I should give it a chance.) I will be trying to match the striping on them, since that's what "this kind" of yarn is for (striping!)

The color's not something I'd pick out for me, but they'll be a gift when knit up and the recipient picked it out and is letting me hold it in the stash til then :)

Also picked up a set of Brittany Birch dpns, 5" in US 0 for more baby socks.

I've read awful things about the sturdiness of these needles, esp. at the superlow sock size, but I've been enjoying the 4" Susanne ebony dpns for toddler socks and the 5 year guarantee sealed the deal (along with the fact I have mini skeins of koigu that will make for adorable toddler socks, and the brittanys would be great for that.)

Perhaps I'll have one weirdo sock done soon :) Starsky will take longer, but I'm pleased with my progress so far-- can't wait to block it and help the pattern really pop (and to help ease some of my wonky stitchery.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Beware the ides of March..." Or, A Finished Sweater and Socks! (Pic heavy)

"He is a dreamer, let us leave him: Pass."*

"Cable and Rib Sweater with Hood" from Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits Book.

I'll have modelled photos and more knitting details tomorrow, still drying :)

(I want my wood medal!)

Baby Cable Rib socks from Sensational Knitted Socks
Started March 2, 2006
Finished: March 15, 2006
Socks That Rock, medium weight -- Carbon colorway
Addi 1.5's (2.5mm) -- 2 socks on 2 circs
136 gm yarn total

Some finished pics...

I'm amazed how "identical" the socks turned out-- I knit from the inside and outside of the skein and assumed the socks' striping/pooling would be reversed, but it wasn't. I didn't intend for them to match, but if I'd chosen to start both socks from a similar colorway break, I'm sure I could have had identical socks. This may be a cool thing for some people who like identical socks... I'm indifferent (I think fraternal is the norm in handpainted yarn, I like the character it gives.) But there you go :)

26 gm leftover from skein. 136 gm total used for the 2 socks... one thing that impressed me when I purchased the "Socks That Rock" was the weight of the mediumweight skeins, plenty for socks. I'm not sure if there's enough here for a pair of toddler socks, but perhaps I'll use it with a solid heel & toe.

Socks on:

I find I liked the pattern more on the needles than off; on the baby rib looks too small to me. Perhaps I just got too used to them on the needles, they were there for so long!

Check out the detail on the 3 st garter edge on the heel flap, I've never done it before (tek from Sensational Knitted Socks, when in Rome etc.) and am not sure how I feel about it. I like the look, but was unhappy with how picking up the garter ridge stitches... I prefer picking up the selvage stitches tbl for the twist, but I think I'll try this "edge" again sometime.

The pattern is nice and "fitting" all around, no bags or looseness. And the socks and the yarn feel great on, I like the mediumweight yarn! :) (Caveat: I haven't tried the lightweight.)

Knots in "Socks that Rock":

**Edit, March 16: I took Jennyraye's suggestion and contacted Blue Moon Fiber Arts about the knots in my skein of "Socks That Rock"-- I received a very (VERY) prompt email stating that the number of knots I found were unacceptable and not their norm. They are going to make it up to me and I'm thrilled; I wasn't going to contact them about it but I'm left super impressed by their customer service and how they stand by their product.**

Detail of knotted, broken 3rd ply in "Socks that Rock"

Detail of 2 knots inside 1st sock.

Inside of 2nd sock, 2 knots in ply. Needle inserted to give an idea of the knot.

Broken ply not knotted.

I will say, as heavy and as pretty and as coveted as the "socks that rock" yarn is, I'm disappointed by the knots I found in the yarn I used. They weren't "true" knots-- they didn't bring together breaks in the entire yarn. Instead, in four seperate spots in the hank, the 3rd ply of the yarn had broken and had been tied back together. I'd also found several "slubs" or loose bits of the 3rd ply of the yarn that wasn't broken enough to be knotted down to itself, but nonetheless left a loose strand from the yarn even though it was caught up in the twist of the yarn somewhat.

I'm bummed; even though I was able to "hide" all 4 knots in the inside of the sock (with a little figeting and varying tension so they'd end up back there), I was disappointed to find them in the first place.

In other knitting news...

I joined the "Diamond Fantasy Shawl" KAL for Sivia Harding's beautiful pattern and was going to use some of the Lisa Souza Sock! yarn for the scarf (it only takes one hank!) but when I pulled it out of the stash bin, I decided I needed some *eye of the tiger* kickarse socks in my life right now, instead. So this (mahogany colorway) will become some rockin socks... I'm thinking "Childs first sock in shell pattern" from Knitting Vintage Socks.

Eye of the tiger was my favorite song when I was like, 6.

I've also decided to frog my "Glad Ragg" socks I started for the Six Sox KAL, and use the Cherry Tree Hill supersock for the shawl, instead. I like the pattern, I love the yarn, but I can't get into them... one finished cuff has been sitting in my inbox, taunting me. This'll be the 1st sock I frog "without reason"... its still waiting to be ripped, don't know if I'll work up the courage today or not.

Thanks for slogging along if you'd gotten this far :)

* Julius Caesar, Act I Scene ii.
Shakespeare is rolling in his grave.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Toe up, short row toddler socks started

I finally am to the point where I can decrease the toe on my Baby Cable Rib socks, but my littlest "helper" handed me my knitting and the ball collapsed in itself (perils of knitting from in and outside the ball, I suppose). Along with somehow untangling the mess, I also have to transfer the sts off the needles and reposition them for the toe decreases... I always leave the sts on the needle as they appear after the gusset decrease instead of keeping all instep/sole seperate or keeping 1/2 & 1/2... it makes to hide any potential laddering at the side of the sock at an unusual place and is just less fussy than moving them around. Since I knit 2 on 2 circulars (meaning if I can knit one on 2 circs, I'll knit 2 on 2 instead), its less easy to reposition and not a big deal to leave them as is-- until I get to this point :)

So instead of fidgeting with them, I decided to start some toddler socks for my toddler :)

I'm using the toe up, short row toe and heel instructions from Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy. I've had this book for awhile now, read it but just kinda scratched my head and had no idea what the author was talking about. I knew I could probably wrap my mind around it if I had needles and yarn in my hands, and after several (4!!) false starts last night, I was able to use her invisible cast on and work the short row toe. I also was able to get the heel down pat after only one mistake (the heel was at a 90 degree angle from the toe!)...

I have to say, this is my favorite time working short rows in socks. Her explanation leaves me wondering why it works, but following line for line (and having to figure a few details on my own along the way), I have a short row heel and toe that have NO gaps or holes, and looks great. I haven't been able to try it on baby yet, partly fear that one of my new dpns will snap as he wrestles out of it, but partly b/c it worked up *so* quickly. I'm also thrilled they're "custom" sized, strictly speaking my own pattern for baby's foot using Ms Gibson-Roberts' directions-- kinda neat.

I CO 32 sts, with 7 sts/inch on US 2.5's (3.0mm), using Interlacements Toasty Toes in "Turkish Carpet"... this little ball was my leftover from my second pair of Jaywalkers, and I'll probably have to dip into the leftover of the 8 oz skein I made when splitting the hank in 2 (my ball winder can't handle more than 4 oz.)... but even I'm surprised at how quickly they're being done! I mean, they are baby socks in dk weight yarn, but still :) Baby may have to keep wearing these thicker socks since they're such a quick knit for me! I do want to knit some finer gauge socks for him though soon... oh! The Juta stocking in Folk Knitting in Estonia yarn info:

Size S: Koigu Merino (100% wool, 176yd/50gm), 1 skein. 18 sts/24rnd=2"/5cm in stst
Size M: Satakieli (100% wool, 357 yd/100gm), 1 skein. 16 sts/24 rnds=2"/5cm in stst
Size L: Satakieli (100% wool, 357 yd/100gm), 1 skein. 16 sts/24 rnds=2"/5cm in stst

Size 1 needles (2.25mm). To fit a 1 year old (5 year old, adult foot): About 5.5" (7, 8)" around and 5.25" (7.25, 9.75)" long

HTH :)

I do prefer going top down with a heel flap still though, I have a weird happiness wash over me in picking up heel flap stitches. But this technique'll work great for some of the underweight skeins in my stash (where I worry if I'll have enough yarn to finish).

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Henry the bear finished, more sock progress

Henry the bear
from "Unusual toys for you to knit and enjoy" by Jess Hutchison
Started: March 10, 2006
Finished: March 12, 2006
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes-- daffodil, maple syrup, blue bonnet (red for embroidery) and unknown sock yarn for face
US 7 Pony Pearl dpns

I'm calling bear "kikiriki" for one of *my* babybear's (numerous) nicknames-- its the equivalent of "cockadoodle-doo" in Puerto Rico :) I am amazed at this bear, the only seaming was adding the legs, arms and ears-- everything is done in the round. It is so cute (if I say so myself)... the duplicate stitch is weird, the seaming of arms and legs is wonky and a little bumpy, but I don't care since *my* baby bear loves him! He couldn't wait til he was finished, so I gave him the "bean" (the head/body) to play with while I finished the arms and legs last night-- I had to sneak it out of bed to finish him up so bear'd have appendages this morning :)

I wanted to knit another right away, but kikiriki sr. loves this one so much, I want to give him a few days with just this bear... so I think I'm going to start a new pair of socks for him... "Juta's stockings" from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia, or maybe something in Interlacements Toasty Toes (its been cold around here lately)... Kiki loves everything I knit, picking out handknit socks to wear under shoes, toddling around with this bear-- just makes my heart sing. :)

I do want to comment about the Wool of the Andes-- the daffodil (yellow) was noticably thinner than the maple syrup and the blue bonnet colorways. I'd read about the Knit Picks Merino Style varying in thickness across the color palette as well. It wasn't a big deal to me as I was "only" knitting a toy, but if I was doing colorwork or something flat where tension and evenness were expected across a yarn line, then I'd have been quite disappointed. Perhaps it was a fluke ball (I only ordered one each of several colors)... but I *don't* think its right to say, "well, its just $1.79, what do you expect?" and blow it off... I base so many purchases (online) on others' opinions so there you go. I'm happy with it though, for my bear! :)

I have a confession. I had to buy new dpns for the bear, my bamboo US 7's had disappeared into the maw of the house (prolly under a crib, in a toy chest somewhere)-- so I traipsed to Article Pract, my local yarn store for a new set. Aside from the Pony Pearls (I chose for their length, but end up liking a lot, surpisingly!) I walked out with...

Koigu premium painters palette merino, P322

Doesn't really need an explanation, does it? Okay, 3 words... Blue, orange, koigu.


Susanne's ebony needles, 3.0mm (US 2.5) -- 10cm/4" glove length

I've been aching over purchasing Holz & Stein needles for a long time now, and had read that these Susanne's were comparable (both are made from recycled ebony musical instruments). I've been knitting with a set of Bryspun Bryflex US 2's in a 5" length and like them a lot (especially for smaller circumferences like baby socks, etc.) and since these were the only size they had, I went ahead and picked them up. I may ask them to special order the 7" length in ebony if I end up liking them... I'd feel better giving my LYS the business if they do compare. They had the Lantern Moons but in rosewood-- I like the look of the ebony more.

I realize that I didn't like metal dpns as much as I thought I did, especially after trying the Bryflexes and the Ponys in the past days. I don't like the grip of bamboo, but like a bit of a solid feel (just not as solid as metal)... we'll see. Kiki senior has already bent one of my Bryspuns to a 45 degree angle (it bent back, and tg for 5 in a pack...), so I don't know if I'll be staying with the bendy plastics or not. It was a bit of an epiphany for me to enjoy knitting with plastic needles though-- they weren't sticky as I thought they'd be, and to be honest the pink pony pearls brought a smile to my face when I was knitting the bear. (The ponys had less "stick" than the bryspuns, imo.) So I think I'll be trying out new needles in the future, instead of keeping just to metal (as far as dpns anyway; prolly won't switch out my addis except when I start the mohair reversible rib shawl-- who knows when).

So I already fell off of the no knitting purchase bandwagon. I've left the koigu on my desk for now to squeeze occasionally make me feel guilty... I did use my TKGA/knit and crochet show market budget for the purchases though, to make me feel a little less caddish.

I've also got quite a bit done on the baby cable rib socks...

Baby cable rib socks in "socks that rock" mediumweight, carbon colorway

I have about an inch then I can start decreasing for the toe (finally!) I actually am excited to finish and have pics done-- the color lined up oddly (in a way I like), and I think they'll look pretty rad when done.

Now, off to work on something else... :)

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