Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Startitis

I think spring has finally arrived here in New Mexico, and I have got startitis BAD.  So far I've managed to confine it to one new project:

This is the beginning of a pair of Animal Crackers socks (designed by a nodding acquaintance of mine who is an awesome guy, incidentally).  Very much liking them so far.  To the extent that I am neglecting both my designing and my Moyen Age.  The yarn is not quite so vivid in real life, more of a rich deep raspberry.  Wollmeise Twin, of course.  (I kind of went on a WM binge last year.  I will be knitting from stash for awhile.)

Speaking of my Moyen Age, no appreciable progress since last time, but I did take updated photos.  Actually, I guess I didn't tell you I finished my sleeve.  And the picture does not deceive you: that, on me, is a bracelet length sleeve.  I TOLD you my arms were short.


I also got a decent picture of the sleeve cable:

Have I mentioned that I love this yarn?  I'd link it, but sadly the dyer doesn't seem to have an internet presence at all.  Which is a shame, because it's divine.  (Maple Creek Farm Yarn "Portland" [50/50 silk/merino] in case you come across her at a festival or something.)

I have so far kept the startitis contained by a) leaving the socks upstairs so I am forced to work on the Moyen Age when I'm downstairs and b) planning new projects but not actually casting on for them.

Not sure how long this will work.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Plans and Schemes

Remember this?  (It is still Heather's Favorite Sock and you can still get 20% off purchasing it--or anything else on Heather's favorite website with the code "LANA2014."  In case you forgot.  Her blog is also a good read today.)

It has undergone a state change because I have begun swatching.  No progress photos of THAT to show you, alas; I unraveled my swatch because I am a Bad Knitter.  But there may be more of those in the week to come.

Otherwise I am still plugging away on my Moyen Age--but one sleeve to go!

A note about the pattern, actually, while I'm thinking about it.  I've mostly been knitting it exactly as written with no trouble, but that fell down completely when it came to the sleeves.  I was knitting busily away on the first of them and thinking "hmm, that seems a little big."  Then I tried it on.

ENORMOUS.  Sleeve that could blot out the sun.

What happened was this: I have very, very short arms.  The decreases as written happen very, very slowly.  Therefore, I ended up with a sleeve big enough to fit my upper arm . . . below my elbow.

I must emphasize that this is not the fault of the designer.  My arms are so short that they are genuine sideshow material.  She could not possibly have anticipated this.

I will say, however, that if your arms are similarly constructed, you might want to pause and check your rate of decrease after you finish the sleeve short rows.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sprightly Socks

I was obsessed with the Wollmeise colorway "Iris Sibirica" pretty much from the moment I saw it.  I finally managed to lay hands on a skein last winter and, finally done gloating over it, cast on a sock toe in mid-February.

Then I promptly cast it aside because I have the attention span of a particularly flighty magpie.

You know what happened next--thwarted from making further progress on my Moyen Age, I picked the poor neglected thing up once more, and BAM.  INSTASOCKS.

These are seriously addictive to knit, people.  I'm not sure I should sell them, to be perfectly honest.  The world economy might grind to a halt while the sock knitters neglect their jobs and homes to knit Sprightly Sock after Sprightly Sock.

But I can't keep them to myself--they deserve to be out among their people.

So without further ado, the Sprightly Socks--put a little spring in your step!

Purchase it here (and take 50% off with coupon code "SPROING"!)

These would be a great place to start for someone who knits a lot of socks cuff-down but has never knit toe-up socks before, or someone who has cut their teeth on the Mindless Socks and is looking to something a little more challenging.  The rectangle toe-up cast-on and German short-row heel both have photo tutorials!

(They would also be excellent for those clown-barf multis in your stash that you never quite knew what to do with.  This is how much I care.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

So Excite

Guise.  Guise.  You know what this is?

It is yarn, of course.  But it is SPECIAL yarn.

How special?

 This is yarn hand-dyed by Heather of T&H Fiber Works.  And it is in my hot little hands because soon, very soon, I will be creating something with it!

Heather and I are incredibly excited to bring you this product of our collective genius.  (Well, okay, any genius contributed is strictly Heather's.)

Be sure to hop over to Heather's blog to read about her process and her yarns.

Wanted to make sure all was in readiness before I added this--from now until the end of 2014, if you'd like to purchase any of Heather's yarns, you may use coupon code LANA2014 for 20% off your order.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This Is Not a Pipe

Nor is it a blog, as it has no pictures, which are surely the sine qua non of bloggery, no?  (Note my subtle working of a Latin bon mot into the conversation.  This is why I spent all that money on college.)

But sock the first of the obsessive pair is done, and I am about three inches up the leg of sock the second.  If I knit diligently (and monogamously), I'll have it done by the weekend and the pattern polished enough to release by next week.  But this leaves me with something of a dilemma.

As is usual, I knit this pair of socks to fit myself.  But I don't think my feet and legs will photograph well in the pattern--it needs someone with narrow feet and skinnier calves so the stretch of the fit won't interfere visually.  And I'm not sure I know someone here whom I know well enough to ask to be a sock model.

Imagining the ensuing Craigslist ad has me crossing my eyes.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What else am I up to?

Mostly, I've been devoting myself to Moyen Age, a gorgeous sweater designed by Hanna Maciejewska.  I got to the point where I could really try it on the other day, and it fits like a dream.  I'd show you a picture, but the juxtaposition of blue sweater and polka-dot bra is far too amusing to let loose on the internet.  So here's a progress picture from earlier:

Now I just have to knit the sleeves . . . and the neckline . . .

Maybe I'll work on some socks, instead.

Like these:

A few weeks ago I cast on a sock toe in Wollmeise Twin with the vague intention of doing something with slipped stitches.  Monday night, needing to wind more yarn for Moyen Age, I picked up the toe and started playing around . . . and now I am OBSESSED.  Like, knit an entire sock foot, turn the heel, and make it three inches up the leg in two days obsessed.

I paused at that point to try it on and made three observations:

1) The foot was not long enough.
2) The short-row method I had used for the heel looked gorgeous on the left side and like utter ass on the right side.
3) The leg was tight in a . . .  worrisome fashion.

So, because I am a knitter dedicated to my craft, I ripped that sucker back.  The foot length was easy to fix, of course, but resolving the heel problem took most of my knitting time today.  I did eventually conquer the thing, on the third try (pro tip: do not bother to reinvent the wheel; it works fine), and I've made it an inch and change up the leg.

I intend to set a land-speed record with these.  Just watch me.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

More Manly

I said I'd be back with new patterns, and, lo, I am!

I am pleased to announce the publication of More Manly, an ebook collection containing the popular Manly Scarf and Manly Möbius patterns as well as two brand-new patterns: the Manly Hat and Manly Mitts!

They're all fast and easy knits (well, easy if you know how to cable . . . but cabling is so easy, everyone should try it!)

Right now I am offering the ebook, which normally retails for $15.00, at a 15% discount with the code "madmarchhoar."  (This code will also work toward the Manly Mitts and Manly Hat patterns, but really, if you're going to buy those, you might as well buy the whole thing at a substantial cost savings, right?)

Links!  More Manly:

Manly Hat:

Manly Mitts: