Wednesday, June 22, 2011

quickest second sock EVER!

Well, I've been knitting, despite summer's approach.  I've finished 3/4 of a Goodale, a mystery shawlette that still needs blocking, the Stripe Study shawl I mentioned last time (photo to come), a few inches on a diaphanous Breezy Cardigan, and to the best of my memory, three single socks.  First was the lusciously textured Gridiron sock, knit out of the awesomely named Hazel Knits colorway Chuckanut Drive.  I don't actually remember when I started that one. I think I was on a trip at the time, but where? I'm embarassed to admit I've completely forgotten, and even neglected to create a Ravelry project page for it.

Then I knit a Serab (at the top of the photo) out of STR in one of the newish Fledge colorways.  That went shockingly fast, probably because lace patterns are like bags of potato chips to me - I knit one row and blink and suddenly I've knit another ten without realizing.  I'm a chart-aholic. 

Then I needed something simple to knit on a weekend trip, so I knit a Monkey (bottom of photo) out of some more STR.  I'm hardly the first to say it, but dang! This pattern is so much fun to knit - easily memorized and also quite potato chippy.  Those pattern repeats stack up quickly, and look so good.

So that's three socks done, all solos.  Then this weekend I was in a tidying-up mood (a rare and wondrous thing, in this household) so I was re-winding my leftovers into neat little balls in preparation for starting some second socks.  And as I re-wound the Hazel Knits, I started to get nervous.  It was a really small little ball of yarn.  Clearly not enough to knit another sock out of.  Practically not enough to knit even just the leg of a second sock.  Just as I was making peace with the idea of a very calico sock with a Chuckanut leg and a who-knows-what foot, I glanced at the crevice between the end table and the wall and saw something wondrous: a second Gridiron sock!  I'd apparently knit the second sock, put it in the project bag, forgot all about it, let it fall out of the project bag, and didn't notice until I'd almost cast on for a third one!  Or else the sockmaker elves paid a visit to Somerville one night and made a sock before my cats ate them.  Regardless of how, I went from a single sock to a pair in seconds - and although I had no reason to, I congratulated myself on my speedy knitting.

Project details:
Serab (photo, top) from Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen.  This book is a must-have for sock knitters - every single pattern is beautiful and completely knittable and wearable.
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, colorway Chuckanut Drive. An awesomely sproingy, tight-twist merino/nylon.  A pleasure to knit with, and everyone who saw the colors commented on how beautiful they are.

Monkey (photo, bottom) from Knitty by Cookie A.  The famous, fabulous, fun, free pattern. 
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Grawk Fledge.  Still my favorite sock yarn, STR is a joy to knit, and the colorways make my heart beat faster.  Grawk Fledge is an awesome charcoal grey with undertones of purple and chartreuse.  It left a thin grey line on my fingers where I tension the yarn, which I loved - the mark of the knitter!

Gridiron (the finished pair in the photo!) by Anne Hanson aka Knitspot.  I think this is the second or third Knitspot sock pattern I've knit, and I aim to knit all 51 patterns she's got.  They're perfectly written patterns, impeccably edited and photographed, and each one gorgeous in its own way.  Anne Hanson's blog is one of my favorites - a lovely mix of patterns in progress and other knitterly info and gorgeous photos of her garden and its produce. It's written in such a charmingly conversational tone that I feel like she's my knitting auntie.
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Spacedust.  Not quite as retina-etchingly bright as it looks in the BMFA photo, but still charmingly colorful.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For you, Sarah

I dropped this blog like a hot potato near the end of last year, and I have no idea why.  It might have something to do with the lack of light in Boston's winter, which made taking photos of finished objects nearly impossible, especially because I came home from work every night in the pitch dark.  Or maybe finishing some projects on my New York and South Carolina vacation at the end of the year broke me of the posting habit. Or it might have to do with some disastrous and now-forgotten project that I couldn't bring myself to put on the internet.  I truly don't remember.  But here's a quick post because Sarah said she wanted one. 

Looking at my Ravelry projects, it looks like I've finished a few things, but not tons, which is probably pretty accurate.  There was a modified Reunion Cowl (I made a sort of medium size in fingering weight). A pair of 3x1 rib socks out of STR.  A Calorimetry for my awesome co-teacher Danielle. A Lacy Baktus out of Bugga that I mostly knit while on a life-altering yoga retreat at Kripalu. Most of a pair of fair isle Strawberry Mittens that I inexplicably abandoned with only a thumb left to knit (must get back to those and pack them away for next winter).  A Cream and Sugar cowl also knit out of Bugga (using up the stash, slowly but surely!).  The back and one side of an Aidez, put away because I couldn't find a tape measure, and still not gone back to (shame, shame).  A couple of single socks to be paired later.  And now I'm probably only a good evening's worth of knitting away from finishing a Stripe Study knit out of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  I have exactly zero photos of all of these projects.  I am a very, very bad blogger/Raveller. 

But the knitting love continues.  I have an ever-increasing queue of patterns I hope to knit sooner rather than later, I am already planning what to take to knit on my summer vacations, I am daydreaming (and websurfing) about trips to Iceland and Shetland to do a little knit-tourism. 

Soon, I will be good and post photos and totals.  But not today.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mojo Knittin'

I was never a big Mojo Nixon fan (except for the classic "Elvis is Everywhere," of course) but every time I think about my knitting mojo, my brain does a little trick and his name pops into mind.  That is entirely irrelevant, but true. 

What's also true is that I am back in business as far as finishing projects goes.  First, a couple photos of my Traveling Sweater.  These were taken on Thanksgiving by my mother, and I look completely dorky in them.  I chalk that up to all the cooking and tasting I'd done at that point in the day.  Anyway...

Then there's a super-quick project I knit in about three evenings - a Skeleton Key Tam knit in Malabrigo Twist.  This project reminded me how much I enjoy knitting cables, especially ones that can be done without a cable needle.  They provided just enough spice to keep the knitting challenging without keeping me from watching tv.  We recently got HBO so we could watch season three of In Treatment, and we've now become addicted to Boardwalk Empire and Bored to Death as well, so there's been a lot of HBO OnDemand watching going on around here... 
Anyway, it's a very comfy, warm hat, and although it might slouch in an odd way now and then (like in the picture above), I think it'll see a lot of wear this winter.  And I love the color next to the Point the Way scarf I showed you last time, so those two together might just be my super-cold-day accessory uniform.

Then there are my new mittens. 

Oh, these mittens.  I think they're my new favorite knits.  After taking a Fair Isle Tams class at Stitches last year, and the Bohus Stickning class this year, I finally felt ready to tackle a stranded colorwork project, and I was pleasantly surprised how thoroughly do-able I found it.  The pattern was perfectly written (I've been ogling SpillyJane's patterns for years now and I'm sure this will be the first of many I knit!) and the yarn was absolutely delicious.  It's Quince & Co's lovely Chickadee, which is the perfect mix of hearty wooliness and softness, not to mention being milled in the US from American-grown wool, and sold at a wonderfully reasonable price.  I just loved everything about knitting these mittens, and was able to knit one mitten each of the past two weekends.  I have lots of leftovers of the contrasting colors, and I've ordered another skein of the main color, Chanterelle, to knit a stripy hat to match these, although now that I think of it they also sort of tie together the colors of my Point the Way scarf and the Skeleton Key tam.

And so, the details:

pattern: Skeleton Key Slouchie Tam, by Simone Van Iderstine
yarn: Malabrigo Twist, bought from the Loopy Ewe
colorway: Tuareg
yardage: 190

pattern: Isidora, by SpillyJane Knits
yarn: Chickadee from Quince & Co.
colorways: Chanterelle, Moss, River, Honey, and Pomegranate
yardage: 420

2010 so far:
finished objects: 21
yards knit: 7670

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back on track (FOs #17-19)

I have been knitting.  A lot.  Not a day has gone by since my last FO post without at least a row or two completed on one project or another.  But for various reasons, I just didn't manage to finish anything for a (long) while.  All that has changed, though, and I have three items to show for my recent productivity.

First, last weekend I finally kitchenered the toe on sock #2 of my Mad For Plaid socks.  I'm pretty proud of these socks.  The color combination came to me one night last summer when I was at Ocean City.  I can't remember what exactly inspired them - probably a salt water taffy wrapper or something.  But I clearly remember sitting (okay, huddling) on my bottom bunk and ordering yarn from The Loopy Ewe for these.  I used their new-at-the-time Solid Series, a well-priced line of superwash merino sock yarn available in a kabillion colors.  I did as the pattern suggests and swapped colors between the two, so the big stripes are black on sock #1 and white on sock #2, and I have plenty of yarn left over to eventually make another pair with orange and turquoise big stripes with black and white skinny ones, so I'll have four socks of varying degrees of matchy-ness.  But to be honest, I haven't actually woven in all the ends on these yet, and the thought of another whole pair of ends to weave in will take me a little while to warm up to...

Also last weekend I finished up my new favorite scarf, a Point the Way knit in Malabrigo Chunky bought from Eat Sleep Knit.  This was a super-easy pattern to knit, with just enough going on to keep it interesting, and the yarn is just so delicious it was a treat every time I picked it up.  The color (Frank Ochre) makes me think of a delicious curry, which didn't hurt either!  It also ended up providing a perfect practice piece for a new knitting skill I picked up at Stitches East - knitting in both directions!  I took a class taught by Gwen Bortner (who is just a fantastic teacher, and fun to spend a few hours with if you ever get the chance) and although at first it felt like trying to rub my tummy while patting my head while chewing gum while standing on my hands, I kept practicing away on this scarf, knitting right to left then left to right then back again, and I now think I've really got the hang of left-handed knitting.  And of course, the finished product is so squishy and warm and bright, I just want to wear it all the time.  And as the weather continues to cool, I think I'll be doing just that!

Then this past week I managed to finally assemble and finish my Traveling Sweater.  It took me a long, long time to knit, the finishing was challenging to my not-so-great spacial relations abilities, but oh, the finished product is so, so worth it all.  It's easily my favorite sweater I've ever knit, very comfortable, and so stylish.  What a fun project.  I already have half a mind to order more Woobu and start another, but then I take look at my stash of sweater yarn and decide to hold off just a bit longer...  No photos of this sweater yet, as I can't quite work out how to snap a picture of my entire torso with just me and an iPhone handy.  I'll have to get someone to help me out one of these days and report back with the results...

Now that those are done it's on to the (many) other projects I've already got on the needles.  Getting the most knit-time currently are a Skeleton Key Tam in Malabrigo Twist, a pair of Kalajoki socks knit two-at-once (another new skill I picked up at Stitches) out of STR Heavyweight, and swatching for a scarf requested by the Mr - black with a gold vertical stripe and his initials (also in gold) at one end.  Also planning a pair of mittens combining the leftovers from the Point the Way scarf and the Skeleton Key to tie them together as a set.  Chartreuse and dark aqua - yum!

Mad For Plaid Socks
Pattern: here, free from Knitty
Yarn: The Loopy Ewe Solid Series
Colorways: Caribbean, Orange, Black, and Ivory
Yardage: 400

Curry Scarf
Pattern: Point the Way, by Trina Brielle via Knitpicks
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky
Colorway: Frank Ochre
Yardage: 360

Traveling Sweater
Pattern: here, by A. Karen Alfke via BMFA
Yarn: Woobu
Colorway: Manly Yes, But I Like It Too

Yardage: 2300

2010 so far:
Finished objects: 19
Yards knit: 7060