Monday, July 18, 2011

Block Party

I didn't get the blog post in last week, but I'm making for it this week! When I'm done with this post it will look like I've been really busy, when really - I've just been lazy, letting FO's pile up and blocking them all at once.

But, in keeping with tradition, WIP's first. I owe some birthday socks that I'm long overdue on, and I finally got them started this week:

These are Serab from Silk Road Socks in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga, colorway Arachne.


I have to say I really appreciate that the directions for this sock told you what to do when your double-increase was the first stitch in the round. I always get so frustrated when those little details are left out of the pattern. It's such a small thing, but it really saves me personally a lot of aggravation. I don't like to guess.

Knitting patterned socks always seems to go much faster than knitting plain socks. I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a chart. It's much less satisfying to knit to a certain measurement, in my opinion. For this sock, you're given the chart and then told to repeat the last row a certain number of times, and if you want to make the sock longer you can simply keep repeating that last row until you're ready to do the heel. I just did the number of repeats indicated, since I've never done this pattern before and I've never used this yarn before, so I didn't want to push my luck too much on yardage. I think I would've been fine to make it a little longer, but I didn't want to take the risk.

One thing I don't really care for in terms of making patterned socks is doing the heel according to the instructions given. Now, I could've just tossed out the heel indicated and done my preferred heel, but I'll try anything once so I did the heel as directed. The flap seems a little long to me, but I checked it against my foot and I don't think it's a problem. It's a teeny bit baggy on me but I have smaller than average feet, so I think it will be fine for the person receiving it. Anyway, for a Saturday afternoon, I feel like that's pretty good progress.

I haven't started a new shawl because the next shawl in Romi's Pins & Lace club is due to show up in mailboxes starting this week, so I thought I would hold off and see what she's cooked up before I pick a new project. Crossing my fingers it's something I can use stash yarn for, but if not, a trip to the LYS may be in my future. I was down at Fibre Space a couple of weeks ago and their lace yarn selection is pretty delicious. I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted, though, so I ended up buying only sock yarn. I got three colors of Capital Luxury Sock from Neighborhood Fiber Company:

Sheridan Circle

Kalorama Circle

I'm thinking the two greens together might be pretty for Muse #1, but we'll see. I want to see what the dyer Romi used has available before I commit.

I'm still working on the endless scarf for CodeNinja. I think I have about six inches to go. It'll just take a few dedicated hours to get through. I'll rent a movie or something, I guess.

My charity knitting group is working on baby hats this summer so I've been working on one of those too. They gave us some patterns for DK weight yarn, but of course I'm a glutton for punishment so I'm working a fingering weight hat from some yarn I had in stash that I decided was probably never going to get used for actual socks. It's Ty-Dy - is that Crystal Palace, I think? Something like that.

Anyway, I've blathered on long enough - time for the FO parade!

Alcyone, the final of the seven sisters from 7 Small Shawls to Knit Year One: The Pleides, done in Ellen Cooper's Yarn Sonnets in colorway Aqua Tide.

Spanish Moss, Romi's Pins & Lace Club January installment, in Yarn Chef Spun Sugar in colorway Wild Sage. I did, in fact, finish this over the 4th of July weekend as I'd intended, but I didn't get it blocked until yesterday. This is the first time I've used this yarn and it was lovely, not quite as tightly twisted and round as Schaefer Andrea nor as loosely plied and flat as either BMFA Silk Thread II or Sundara Silk. I thought it gave a nice balance between the soft hand of the latter and the crisp stitch definition of the former. Would definitely use again! I had only a small ball left over from this, but I haven't weighed it. The colorway was named quite appropriately, and reminded me both of the grey-green color of Spanish Moss in the south and of the wild sage that grows in Yellowstone. The leaf sections are beaded but they don't show well, unfortunately - the beads are transparent white with a pearlized finish and they look exactly like dew drops. I'm so thrilled with them, and they were from stash. I also beaded the points on the edge - in fact, on one side I apear to have placed some extra beads, so I may go back with a pair of pliars and crack off the extra ones. Or I may just leave it. More bling never hurt.

Live Oak shawl, newly released from Romi in the latest issue of Knitscene, in MadTosh sock in "Tart" - I did an extra repeat of Chart A to make it slightly larger and still almost got this done in one skein. I ended up breaking open the second skein for the last row and a half plus the bind off. This was a super quick knit - I think I finished it in less than ten days, if memory serves, and it's beautiful. The lace is done in three sections and each leaf point must be pinned out in three places to get the lovely leafy edging, so blocking this one was a bit of a challenge for me. I'm happy with how it turned out.

By next week, I'll hopefully have a new shawl to show (and, if I'm very lucky, a finished pair of socks).