Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Avert Your Eyes

If you have to have your socks match:

I did try to match the socks. I wound off the entire ball of Trekking after finishing the first sock, but the repeat was just too long. You can see the pattern repeat if you look at the cuff of the bottom sock, then look near the toe at the last pink stripe before the toe. (If you're really obsessive like me, you can click on the picture for a bigger view.) Anyway, so I wound off the rest of the ball and realized there wasn't enough to make the whole second sock match exactly (I could have made them match to about the toe, but I thought that would drive me even more crazy; I also could have ripped the first one out to the toe and done the toe in a solid color, but I thought that would make me seem overly obsessive or something.), so I just used the opposite end of the ball to make them completely unmatch.

The specs:
Yarn: Trekking color 80 (I love this color, even with the long non-matching repeat)
Needles: My usual size 0 dpns
Pattern: My very own Plain Old Stockinette Socks

I just got some more dpns, some of Knitpicks size 0s in both the nickel-plated and their new Harmony line. The Harmony ones are very pretty and seem very much like bamboo needles from the first impressions. I have not used them for socks yet, but I will let you know how I like them. They come in packs of 6 instead of the usual 5, just in case. I might need to get some of the tips for my Options kit eventually, but I'm happy with the nickel ones for now. I also got some of their cotton linen in various colors for a couple of new small projects which I'll reveal in a couple of days, maybe.

Then again, I might be MIA for a week or two. Halo 3 is out today, after all. Anyone else been looking forward to the conclusion? My DH talked me into playing Halo 1 co-op with him a few years ago and I've been hooked ever since.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

WIP Wednesday and Kristi's Color Meme

Ah, fall weather. It's finally sock weather. I wore my wool socks for the first time since it got too darn hot on Monday. I love my wool socks :-)

I've just picked up stitches for the gusset on my sock. Meanwhile, I'm trying to do at least ten rows a day on Hex Coat. It's getting to be the weather that would be perfect for it. But knit 1, purl 1 really grates on the nerves much more than plain old stockinette. And I've still got about 90 rows to the armhole decreases. Here's the back:

I figure just ten rows a day. If I do more, great. If not, at least I'm making progress. Otherwise, I've got to finish something and socks seem about right.

As a designer, Kristi has a few questions about color. So answer her meme and hop on over to her blog and let her know.

1. What is your current favorite color?
Mostly purple, any purple, but I seem to lean toward the really true purples or red-purple/burgundies. And pink-purples. I also have been known to like any of the pinks or cooler reds.
2. Had your favorite color changed over the years?
Definitely. It even changes with the years. Some years I find myself wearing more blues, some pink. Currently, I'm on a purple kick with some pinks and reds thrown in.
3. Is your current favorite color one that is currently trendy? (Do you see it in the fashion rags or on the clothes rack or in the linen aisle right now? How about 5 years ago?)
I have no idea. I really wear the colors I like regardless of trends.
4. What is your favorite color combination?
Purple or pink and black or purple and pink.
5. Is that combination a popular one? (Is it use in prints you see in the stores and catalogs and magazines now? How about 5 years ago?)
Again, no clue.
6. What is your favorite way of using color in your knitting? (Are you a stranded knitter? Do you prefer simple stripes? Do you prefer just accents at the hems/collars?)
I tend to choose a lot of the cooler colors for my shawls (okay, a lot of pink and purple, but also blues and turquoises). I love how colors play together and would like to do some more strandwork and stripes, but in the past, I've chosen mostly solid color shawls, sweaters, and tanks. For socks, I will go much brighter and wilder than I would for a sweater. (I'm wearing my wild Austermann socks right now.) I love self-striping sock yarn. And handpaints. And Trekking sock yarn; I love how the colors are never exactly the same.
7. What colors look good on you?
Blacks, greys, purples, pinks, and some blues.
8. What colors look bad on you?
Orange, most yellows, most warmer greens.
9. Do you wear colors that don’t look good on you just because you like them?
I guess I finally found that I lean toward colors that do look good on me. I denied I liked pink and purple for many years until I realized that my wardrobe was mostly either purple, pink, black or grey.
10. What is your favorite neutral color? black/white/ivory/tan/brown/gray – if brown or gray do you prefer cool or warm versions of those or does it matter? And, how dark?
Black, with grey a close second. Cooler is better for the grey and light or dark both.
11. Is there a sweater pattern that uses more than one color that you’d like to make, but you wish to change the colors from what is published? If yes, which one? What do you not like about the published colors?
I love the Fair Isle Cardigan from Veronik Avery's new book. I think she uses the right mix of colors and the sweater has an overall cooler feel with the colors she's chosen, so I wouldn't change anything in that, but I also want to do the Faeroese Sweater from the same book. I think I would change the colors in that. I'd keep the black and white and sub purple for the blue and a medium to bright pink for the tan. I actually do like the colors in the book, but just like purple better.

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New Sock and a Little New Yarn

I went to a little event in PA this weekend called Knitter's Day Out. It's a smallish event where you can take classes and go to the market. It was my first year there and I went with a friend (who, by the way, has FINALLY posted a couple of her lovely shawls and socks, after much harassment from me:-). I didn't take any classes and she did, but it was nice weather to sit outside and just knit. The problem was I had brought only two projects with me. I'm completely and totally sick of 600 stitches per round on the cap shawl and as much as I'm going to love the completed Hex Coat, 100 more rows of knit 1, purl 1 for the back to the armhole decreases just did not appeal to me at that moment. I needed something that could be completed pretty quickly, a quick fix, something to show I've actually made progress on something. Okay, I got sock yarn Friday night. But I didn't have any sock needles with me. I finally found a set of size 0s (my usual size) in bamboo. Me using bamboo that small. Hmm. I was desperate, so I bought them. You know what. I haven't broken them yet.

Trekking in what I'm assuming is a fairly new colorway since I haven't come across it before. I also got this Trekking which is much prettier in person with pinks, browns, burgundies and just a little grey.

I also got a couple of others:

(See, Chris, I still really like purple. That black and purple tweed, which comes with black reinforcement thread, is Lang Yarns, Jawoll Superwash, in case you're wondering.)

I may have picked up some patterns for this pretty shawl (click on the picture for more detail) and some felted animals. (Scroll down for the sheep and llamas/alpacas. Too cute!) I also found a darning egg which I forgot to take a picture of and I'm too lazy to do it now.

Anyway, I had fun, met a couple of Ravelryers, ran into several guild members and got a good chunk of a sock done.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

More Hex Coat

In my last post, I said that I hoped I took really good notes so I wouldn't spend too much time trying to figure out where I was on the Hex Coat. I probably should have said that I usually do take really good notes, very meticulous, very detailed. My problem actually is that the notes usually get lost. I usually take the notes into a small notebook or piece of paper, etc. and it usually disappears during a project's hibernation. BUT... This time I lucked out. Tucked in between the pages of Knitting Nature I found my piece of paper that had the rows all marked out in preparation for the armhole decreases. So I was able to just start knitting and I finished the front pieces yesterday. So now for the back, sleeves and all the hexagons!


Friday, September 07, 2007

Hex Coat Resurrection

Well, I've dragged the Hex Coat out from its basket:

Now I've got to figure out which row I was on. Here's hoping that I actually took good notes. I hope to get it figured out and start working on it again this weekend. (That's if I can tear myself away from Viva Piñata, a silly little video game along the same idea as Sims except you're attracting piñata animals to your garden. It's really quite addictive.)


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Cap Shawl

I've made a little progress on the Cap Shawl. I am now up to over 600 stitches per round which means that although I have done 136 rows and only have 38 rows left plus the edging, I actually only have about half the shawl done. (Yes, I've been a geek and gone into Excel and actually did all the math. I can't help it; but it's not always a good thing.) Anyway, here's the shawl:

Since this is taking so very long, I'm probably going to be digging out a hibernating project. I started the Hex Coat from Knitting Nature last year, but never finished, but now that there's a chill in the air, it seems appropriate. Besides, I really want to start a Tilted Duster (from the cover of the current IK AND also by Norah Gaughan) and though I usually have several projects going at once, usually it's just two or three shawls, one sweater and one pair of socks. So, I've got a sweater to finish before starting a new one.

And then there's the new Veronik Avery book. Wow. At first glance, I only found a couple of patterns that I really liked, but the more I look through it, the more I really want to do! The woolen cashmere twinset, the Faeroese sweater (in different colors), the graphic hoodie, and most especially the Fair Isle cardigan to name a few new items in the queue.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Vacation Yarn

Well, we just got back from a trip to visit the in-laws a bit off the beaten path in New York. There is really not much in this town. Really. A couple of small corner stores and that's about it. Lots of farms around. Nearest grocery store is still about half an hour away. So I was more than a bit surprised to find something just for me there - a brand new fabric and yarn store, only had been open about a month. I didn't even get a chance to look at the fabric side, but I was really impressed with the yarn selection. It rivals anything I've seen in the DC shops I've been to. If you're ever in the St. Lawrence county, NY area, it really is worth a side trip to Rensselaer Falls. It's in a beautifully restored building and called Fiber Options. If you hit the small town, you really can't miss it. (There was no big sign on the outside of the building; I don't know if there will be or not, but it's right by the post office.) Here's what I came away with (hey, I was supporting a small business!):

Some LOVELY laceweight Fino from Alpaca with a twist:

I went with a mauve color only because I had so very many purple shawls. They had a lovely purple as well.

And just so Chris won't think I've deserted purple, there's this Anne sock yarn:

The picture in no way captures the vibrancy of these purples. It is absolutely gorgeous stuff!

Some Panda Wool to experiment with:

And something just a little different colorwise for me (it actually has a little more blue than the picture suggests):

I got a little bit done on the Cap Shawl. I'm about halfway done with the whole thing now. I'll post a picture of that progress Wednesday. Have a nice holiday to everyone in the US!

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