Sunday, April 29, 2007

SAM3 - April done!

Ooops, long time no post. Sorry, didn't mean to fall off the face of the earth. Blame it on a combination of busyness at work, a nasty spring-time cold, and new glasses.

Not much knitting got done, but my April socks did get finished.

These are based on the Kansas Harvest pattern from the Townsend Knitting group. The original pattern is written for DK weight yarn, but I re-worked the numbers to use fingering weight and to fit my foot.

The pattern calls for a bunch of 1-over-1 cables. I decided I wanted to use twisted stitches instead of cables for both the grain heads and the stems.

Although the pattern calls for K1-P1 ribbing at the top, the picture shows K2-P2. I decided to use twisted stitches in the ribbing as well. As written this would have resulted in the ribbing not aligning nicely with the pattern. By starting the pattern stitches on Round 11, I was able to have them flow smoothly together.

I decided to use the eye of partridge heel flap instead of heel stitch.

One thing I really liked about the pattern as written was how the rib stitches flowed down from the leg into the instep. Of course, that's the part of the pattern I misread. I should have carried the twisted rib from the previous pattern instead of starting a new one. (sigh) The way I did it, it looks clunky.

But the yarn I used is nice and sproingy ...

... and the ribbing helps the sock conform to the foot.

No, my foot doesn't have that weird hump in it. That's my hand holding it open a bit to show the ribs.

I really like this pattern stitch. It looks great up close and personal, but you do have to get up close and personal to see it properly. In the future, I may try something similar but simplified a bit.

The light today is kind of funny - sometimes bright, sometimes subdued. I'm quite smitten with the effect it is having. Some of my photos came out sharp and warm ...

... and others cool and velvety.

I'm loving the play between the pattern stitches and the plain stitches on the bottom of the foot.

I'm also loving the total randomness of the colours in this yarn.

Oh, did I mention the yarn? Hand-dyed, expertly and exquisitely, by Jessie and available at A Piece of Vermont -- if you can beat me to it.

That's been the sum total of my knitting this month. I've not even started on my scarf for the ISE. Gotta get going on that. Yikes.

Oh, and there's a winner in the contest in my last post, but I haven't yet written them to so advise. The actual answer is that it's a dying blank. You paint on the colours you want, then unravel it and knit it up. What a great way to make stripes or gradual gradations! Which answer entertained me the most? Guess you'll have to wait just a bit longer to find out. :-)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mail & Miscellaneous

My mail box has had another very good week.

Mail No. 1: I recently won a blog contest over at StarzAbove and look what she sent me!

Some wonderful roving! I don't spin, but I've always wanted to try thrumming, and this will be perfect. Some cookies! I love chocolate and mint together and have somehow already managed to scarf down half the box. And ..

Some sock yarn! I'm thinking it's hand-dyed, in a gorgeous slightly variegated mixture of subtle greens and browns. This will make some Very Handsome Socks! :-) The package was a most welcome break in busy week -- thank you so much, Starz!

Miscellaneous No. 1: Several people asked where I got the Apple Pie yarn that I used in my March socks . That, along with this ...

... came from Pick Up Sticks . No affiliation-yada yada-blah blah blah, but I must say that I have made, ummm, several purchases from Connie and have received excellent service every single time. I highly recommend her. On the yarn itself, several people mentioned that they have had a knot problem with it. I didn't have any knots, but just so's you know, m'kay?

Miscellaneous No. 2: Locals might be interested to know that another yarn store in Ottawa finally got some Koigu. I feel safe in sending you to Yarn Forward on Bank Street because ...

... I've already been there.

Miscellaneous No. 3: I finished stringing the beads for my ISE4 scarf.

That is 427 cm., which is 168 inches, which is 14 feet, of beads. There are 10 beads to an inch, so ... 1,680 beads. I now understand why people who work regularly with beads get a bead spinner. Onward!

Mail No. 2: Thanks very much to everyone who offered to trade me for their Monsoon STR yarn. Blogless Elizabeth, with whom I traded my previous club yarns, came through for me!

Me likes it! I likely won't do the Inside-Out pattern, but who knows. I'll let it marinate for a while.

Elizabeth also sent me something else, along with a note that said, "If you don't know what it is or how to use it, LMK!"

I don't really KNOW, but I do have some guesses. It's an open-ended knit tube, with the ends unfinished, 229 cms or 90 inches long, 12.7 cms or 5 inches across, so 25.4 cms or 10 inches around.

I love mysteries, and I love contests, so closing off the circle in this post, a Contest! Email me (address in the sidebar) your best guess -- I said best, which doesn't necessarily mean correct -- as to the use of this object, and in two weeks time I'll pick a winner and send them some sock yarn goodness!