Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alpaca sox

These socks were K's Christmas present. (Worked in total secrecy, even.)

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox (60/20/20 alpaca/merino/nylon) color 1877 "Dress Grey." This yarn was quite nice to work with (not as much memory as straight wool, though). Two caveats: first, although it's fingering-weight, it's on the heavy side. Second, it's really warm. These are not summer socks!

Pattern is Retro Rib Socks from Favorite Socks. Very cute and very simple. I really should have gone one more repeat on the feet for these, but they fit K almost perfectly.

'Shimi was very curious about the whole process of sock photography, and she eventually consented to a modeling session of her own. Next time: an exclusive!

Friday, April 24, 2009


The little silk scarf is done, and what a pretty thing it is.

Yarn: Colinette Tao (100% silk), colorway 155 "Mardi Gras." Pattern: my own, based on the "Lacy Chain" stitch.

It's pretty much the length I was hoping for, about 50". I don't think you could ask for much more from 120 yards.

Now for something more ambitious, methinks.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brioche nom nom nom

Just in time for the April showers, Brioche and matching hat are done. (Yesterday was particularly bad--where is spring?!)

Pattern: Reversible Cabled Brioche Stitch Scarf. Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (50/50 alpaca/silk), colorways Plum (128), Amethyst (129), Wisteria (114), and Blush (133).

I worked the pattern exactly as written. To my great delight the brioche stitch disguised the color changes perfectly. I'll keep this in mind for future multiple-color projects.

If I had it to do all over, I would have gone down a needle size or two to account for the dk weight yarn. After washing, the finished scarf was a bit limper and more airy than I'd thought it would be. It's still very warm, but I think a tighter knit with less drape would have been more aesthetically pleasing. Also, it has a tendency to stretch out--I may reblock it to encourage more width.

Since I had more than enough yarn left, I whipped up a hat to go with. The pattern is on my Ravelry page, but knit at your own risk. It's mainly just instructions to myself and probably doesn't make any sense unless you're me. The hat was a little too small pre-washing, but knowing how the finished piece would react to a soak, I was okay with that. I pinned it out pretty severely.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mindless socks!

Edit, 9/7/09: Pattern is now available as a Ravelry download at this address. It's free!

It started innocently enough. I wanted perfectly mindless socks to knit. I investigated. I experimented. And I ultimately developed mindless socks. Then Aspen requested the pattern. Then she passed it along to her mother . . . and it occurred to me that other people might like it too. So I dressed it up as a PDF--complete with pretty pictures--and now it is available for all and sundry to enjoy! Pictures and more info are also up on Ravelry.

Pattern: Mindless socks

Size: Women's largish, easily adapted.

Suggested yarn: Regia Silk Color or any fingering-weight sock yarn.

Suggested needles: Size 0/2.0mm, set of 5 DPNs.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This and that

After finishing several bigger projects in a row, I've been reluctant to start anything major. Spring fever! I did cast on a new scarf, however.

Over break, Aspen and I bought matching skeins of Colinette Tao (100% silk), colorway "Mardi Gras."

A browse through Ravelry didn't turn up anything suitable for 120 yards of DK weight silk . . . so I wrote my own pattern.

I knew I wanted something geometrical and simple, to suit the bright colors of the silk. And of course it needed to use as little yarn as possible, so I could get a good scarf out of it.

I charted the "Lacy Chain" stitch from the Harmony Lace and Eyelets guide, added some details, and went to town. By the way, again, this book: don't buy it. The written instructions were confusing, and, bitch, please--no charts? It takes all of ten minutes to chart something (I know, because I've done it), and don't most knitters prefer charts?

I'm quite pleased with what I have so far. It'll be plenty wide enough, and just long enough, I think--along the lines of Anne Hanson's Little Nothing series. The pattern is easy and fairly interesting to knit, and it doesn't fight with the colors. And oh my goodness but this yarn is yummy. It does have a tendency to split (tight knitters would want to use metal, I think) and fuzz (so no ripping back), but it's soft and has a lovely drape.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Okay, a few more

The weather was beautiful (and windy) today, so I went outside for some better modeling shots. More Juno!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sed regina tamen, sed opaci maxima mundi*

I finished Juno!

Here are some blocking shots--I used my new wires for the first time. I'm not sure I used them quite properly, but they were definitely easier than a trillion pins.

One shot of the full monty:

And then the finished product:

Pattern: Juno Regina by Miriam Felton.

Yarn: Posh Yarn's Miranda ( 70/20/10 baby alpaca/silk/cashmere).

This pattern was very easy and relatively quick to knit. I'd recommend it for beginning lace knitting, except that it might be kind of big. The middle bit is the same two rows repeated for three and a half feet--not for the faint of heart or needle.

This yarn is really lovely--it's very warm, soft, and light. The whole stole barely weighs anything at all.

All in all, a very enjoyable knit. Now on to something a little smaller, I think . . .

*"But still a queen, great queen of the world of shadows" (Ovid, Metamorphoses 5.507.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Approximate street price of 50 grams of cocaine, circa 2007: $5,500 US.

Approximate street price of 50 grams of silk, circa 2009: $27 US.

Just mention that the next time someone tells you that knitting is too expensive.

In fact, I've made this helpful visual aid, which perhaps could be used as part of an anti-drug curriculum:

(It's way better if you click to see it in full-sized glory.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yarn from China!

So I open this package from my friend Superquail, and inside is YARN. Tons of it, all the way from China. I was completely blown away.

Now for some close-ups! SQ kindly included the yarn info for me (very kind, given that I don't read Chinese). These are 94-5/5-6 wool/acrylic. What do you think? Some scarves and hats? It's hard to see in the sunlight, but the blue is striped like the purple.

This yarn's label claims that it's 100 percent domestic wool . . . and 10 percent acrylic. To quote SQ, "not sure how they managed that." Whatever it is, it sure looks like sock yarn to me.

The stuff on the left is a gorgeous laceweight--50/50 angora/acrylic. I'm thinking shawl, or maybe a stole . . . The stuff on the right is 60/40 Australian wool/acrylic, about a worsted-weight (leaning toward an Aran, I think). The label informs us that it is "Pulim Exquisite knitting wool of woolen pattern."

Oh dang, I didn't get another picture of the last skein. It's the black stuff right in the middle of the first photo, an acrylic bulky-weight. A very chic scarf out of that one, maybe?

This was such a lovely surprise--it brightened my day completely. Thanks, SQ!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Socks abound

I've knit a few pairs of socks for K, and a while back we had a modeling session. Feet are his, photos are mine, special guest star is Sashimi the shiba inu.

These are Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

Yarn: Schaefer Yarn's Anne.

These are a pretty easy pattern--but they took awhile. (Fingering weight on size 0s for a man's feet . . .)

Next time . . . more socks?