Wednesday WIP Concerto

Before we begin this Wednesday WIP Concerto in the Key of K silent, the WIPs would like you to know that the photos are lousy because I had a very late day at work and arrived home after sunset (yes, it is just a couple days past the summer solstice where I live). The poor quality of the photography in no way reflects upon the nature and quality of the WIPs (who believe they have arisen spontaneously from my knitting baskets, all laws of inertia cast aside) and resides, in fact, in my inability to take good photos with incandescent lighting. I was determined however to show my WIPs this Wednesday following in the splendid examples of Turtlegirl. So as the house lights dim…

I. Allegro, in a simple, yet colorful, manner
Pete's Socks: 1st Cuff
Pete’s Socks: Cuff #1 in Chocolate Cherry from Claudia’s Hand Painted Yarn.

These socks are for Pete, the 80+ year old lady who hosts the book group I belong to. She likes browns and reds. This Chocolate Cherry is making spiral stripes in 2×2 rib, and I think that is just fine.

II. Rondo

75% done

The Fuchsia bag goes round and round and is now 75% done. Mods are a coming. I refuse to buy size 13 dpns to knit 18 million feet of I-cord for a strap. I intend to make strap holder holes with grommets and not haul the bag out of the machine while felting every 5 minutes to stick my fingers through YOs to keep them open. I don’t intend to decorate my bag with needle felted sheep as the pattern indicates. I will decorate the bag, but I intend to use the skills of the first needlecraft I learned from my mother. You’ll have to wait to learn what that craft is, as I like the idea of my mother trying to guess remember what that craft is.

III. Allegro con brio
Clarence Border in Habu Silk
Clarence Border from VLT in Habu tsumugi 100% silk yarn

What’s a concert without a little lace? Victorian Lace updated for today’s styles no less (are readers starting to notice that I can be sarcastic?). I bought this Habu yarn from Pam when she destashed a bit a month or so ago. She mentioned in at least 2 emails that Victorian Lace Today showed one of its wide-bordered scarves in this yarn. I tried that pattern, which is quite pretty (page 88), and even though my faggoting and lace motifs all lined up, I was short 4 stitches about half way through the first repeat. This happened twice. I decided I had always wanted to knit the Clarence Border (page 83) and all is now happiness. Well, except for the fact that the border repeats are non-symmetrical if you do all 3 called for. See along the top of the border the repeating small and big triangles of double YOs? 3 repeats would result in small-big-small-big-small-big and 6 diamond shapes along the bottom. I shall knit 2.5 repeats, removing the last big triangle and making 5 diamond shapes along the bottom. Much better.

Faithful readers can no doubt flip through previous post of mine and find recents WIPs for which there is no FO post. Well, the wimple needs blocking. And I disavow all knowledge of any other WIPs this week. I don’t believe there is anything more to say on the subject.

Fiberlicious Friday: Dinner and Dessert

I liked Megan’s idea for Fiberlicious Fridays (yarn posed as food), that I tried my poor hand at it while M made real dinner. Megan’s even set up a Flickr group. This was a good exercise for me because all of these yarns are from my stash, and I had pretty much forgotten that I had them. M asked me what I was doing when he saw me arranging yarn on various plates. I told him of Megan’s idea, and he looked at me as though both Megan and I had lost our marbles. I explained that Megan was studying for her Ph. D. prelim exams. M nodded in understanding, but then asked, “So what’s your excuse?” Excuse? I have yarn, dishes, and a camera.

Dinner:
Balanced Dinner.JPG
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Cabin Fever, Claudia’s Hand Painted in Eat Your Veggies, and Regia Fadig 4 in a starchy color.

Since it’s summer, and dinner looks like it might be a bit heavy, we have a lovely sorbet for dessert:
Mixed Berry Sorbet.JPG
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd’s Sock in Mixed Berry.

That looks tasty enough to look at from the other side where the blackberries are hiding.
LL Mixed Berry Sorbet.JPG

As I mentioned, I had forgotten these yarns, so they aren’t in my mental sock knitting queue. Therefore, the question becomes, can I get them knit by the end of Summer of Socks 2007?

Right now I’m off to knit some Chocolate Cherry Socks for a very nice lady.

Have a great weekend!

Yarn Therapy

I blog about my knitting because that makes me happy. I read and comment on other knitters’ blogs because that makes me happy too. If I were to go into the reasons why I wasn’t able to finish my wimple or do any sock knitting this week, why I have 100+ unread messages on my Google Reader, I would become unhappy (actually unhappier as I really wanted to finish the wimple). Therefore, we will look at yarn for future socks. Looking at sock yarn makes me happy.

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Claudia’s Hand Paints in Chocolate Cherry and Lorna’s Laces in Mother Lode.

The 80+ year old lady that asked me to knit her a pair of socks said she likes browns with reds. The Chocolate Cherry from Claudia’s Hand Painted looks the perfect choice to me. Since these socks are all about comfort and ease of wear, I intend to do a very simple 2×2 rib for the cuff and a stockinette foot.

My friend Nancy likes the socks I knit her for her birthday last year (her birthday is in July and I finished the socks in October–I’m hoping to improve on that this year). During cold weather, she wears them every week. This information led me to believe she would welcome a second pair this year. Nancy likes jewel tone colors. Lorna’s Laces in Mother Lode has the colors of amethyst, rubelite and citrine–a trifecta of jewels. Now for a pattern–stretchy but no holes (she’s a native Californian and actually gets cold during the “winter” season).

Now let’s look at sock yarn for me!
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Online Tropic Color 928 and Dream in Color Smooshy Happy Forest (#150).

I always have to have a ball of self-striping sock yarn in stash for yarn therapy emergencies. The Regia Surf I am currently knitting was my penultimate self-striping yarn, so I bought the very happy Tropic Color from Online. In August M and I will fly to Wisconsin to visit family, and this may be the yarn for air travel sock knitting.

Finally, when Simply Sock Yarn Company announced they had Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn, I had to check it out. I am a sucker for green, and Happy Forest insisted I buy it. It’s a generous 450 yd skein, so it shall be made into a magical pair of socks. I am contemplating a pattern of my own devising, which I tentatively refer to as “Mullions.” But that’s all I’m going to say about that for now. It is very smooshy yarn. The yarn was right to insist I buy it.

Well, I am feeling a little happier, and I am going to finish my wimple this week come Hell or High Water. I have only half a repeat to go. I hope this post has been therapeutic for you too. Now I shall continue my therapy with an M concocted cocktail. He hasn’t given any hints as to which cocktail he will concoct, but I’m sure it will be tasty.

May we all have a good week!

ETA:  Check out Cocktails with M to see what cocktail M concocted!   I liked it.

Small Projects Abound

I hope everyone has had a good week and weekend. I have been very busy at work in a good way. Evenings were short due to long work hours and I had the choice of blogging or knitting. I chose knitting, which makes me a boring blogger, but at least today I have some progress to show. Right now, everything on my needles is a small project, and there are quite a few of them. Here’s what saw some knitting time this past week.

2 repeats
Two repeats of the Japanese Feather Wimple done. Julia is using this lace pattern for a lovely top she is designing. On her post it is much easier to see what the lace pattern looks like when not smushed up on a 16-inch circular. Two more repeats to go.

Fuschia bag
The bottom and 1/3-of the sides of a tote to be fulled/felted. The yarn is Lambs Pride Bulky in Fuschia. This bag is easy to knit, but the finishing techniques (laddering down 48 rows and then using a crochet hook to work back up 2-stitches together for sharper corners) and the fulling will be new for me. The yarn sticks to the bamboo needles (US 13s), so after a few rounds I want to put it down for a rest.

Pacific Sock the First
One Regia Cotton Surf sock in Pacific is done. The rib pattern is the Oak Rib Sock from Vintage Socks. I finished this Saturday evening and debated casting on the second sock. I have some gift socks to make, and I think I’ll want the needle size I used here, which is of course the only set I have in that size (3 mm). So, after making fun of the single sock revolutionaries, I may become one. But the socks are for a the very nice, 80+ year old lady who hosts the book club I belong to, and she thought it would be the most wonderful thing if I were to knit her a pair of socks. I can eat a lot of humble pie for that.

Finally, what would a post be from Molecular Knitting without a Rib and Cable Sock Variation? Pretty lame. I started Variation 2 in Black Bunny Fibers superwash merino, color Aquamarine. Scrumptious is not too strong a word for this yarn.
6-stitch left crossing uneven cable
That cable is an “Uneven Cable” according to Ms. Walker. She claims this is an archaic or ancient form of the standard rope cable. For this left crossing cable, transfer 4 stitches to a cn and leave at the front of the work, K2, K4 from cn. Why “ancient” knitters didn’t start with even cables, Ms. Walker doesn’t say. The rib on this pair of socks is “beaded” in that the middle of the 3-stitches is garter stitch. A new cable, a new rib, a new variation. All is good in my sock knitting world.

Happy Knitting!

Two of a Kind = One Pair

Thank you to everyone who wished me well during my migraine episode! I really appreciated every single, kind comment. I have been headache free since Friday morning. This means that Sunday I was able to accomplish this:

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Lately, everywhere I look on the knitting blogs it’s single sock, single sock, single sock. I dabble in multiple pairs on the needles at once, but I had to finish this pair. This was the last WIP knit with my old tensioning (yarn across palm, over the top and all the way around my hand back across palm to wrap around my left index finger clockwise, looking down the tip). New tensioning is from back of left hand to palm between ring and pinkie, around pinkie and over back of pinkie and ring, under middle, over index–so coming ccw over index finger. People have asked, so there it is.

Anyway, these socks are the first variation of my planned series of variations of Nancy Bush’s Rib and Cable Sock from IK Fall 05. This is not the rib and cable sock in Favorite Socks. Here I did a 6-stitch braided cable.

Braided Cable Rib and Cable Sock
Stats:
Pattern: just stated above
Yarn: Tofutsies
Needles: Takumi bamboo 2.25 mm (US 1) dpns
Variations: After CO of 66-st with longtail CO holding the yarn doubled, knit with single yarn the following rib pattern for 15 rounds: *K1, P2, K6, P2*
Then started the braided cable over the K6, which has a four row repeat:
Rows 1&3: Rib Pattern above
Row 2: *K1, P2, K2, C4B, P2*
Row 4: *K1, P2, C4F, K2, P2*
Split for the heel flap so instep would be 3 repeats + 1 Knit stitch of 4th repeat (34 stitches), then worked heel flap in rib, but added a seam stitch in the middle of the middle 6-stitch K6 (now K3, P1, K3 on RS), and changed the P2 at each end to garter stitch (33 stitches). After 32 rows (16 garter ridges along the edge) turned a round or French heel from Vintage Socks. Picked up 16 stitches on each side for gussets and decreased every third round to 62 stitches. At the end of gusset decreases I stopped the braided cable on the instep and switched back to the rib. Plain ordinary grafted toe. Tofutsies is splitty and nasty for grafting. That’s the recipe. A lot of you have left comments in previous posts for these socks saying you had to knit the pattern. Well, there isn’t really a pattern. I hope this little travesty of a knitting recipe helps.

My other socks on the needles, are coming along. The pennant stitch socks are for a Christmas gift, and it is JUNE, so the impetus to finish is lacking. The Oak Ribbed Socks with more and more mods with every round I make, is at the gusset decreases for the first sock. I meant to change to smaller needles but forgot, so now it’s decrease every other round? or every third round? I guess this means it’s time to cast-on for the second variation of the cable rib sock extravaganza taking place here at Molecular Knitting! It’s Black Bunny Fibers merino sock yarn and an “archaic” cable from Barbara Walker’s first treasury with a beaded rib.

Finish Christmas gift socks first? You’ve got to be kidding!

Not the Best Week…

I think we can all agree that three migraines in one week requires a mandatory downgrade from good week to “I survived” week. It also wasn’t the best week for knitting. I didn’t knit on a single sock. But I did want to have something to knit that didn’t require a lot of thinking and didn’t use dpns. The Habu silk, which won’t be socks but a scarf from VLT, seemed too much a challenge. But I did have a yen for lace, easy lace. A blog post of Beth’s set me onto the right project for my fragile brain. I don’t remember the post, as her idea wasn’t the main topic, but she mentioned wanting to knit a smokering. I knew I had a pattern for one of those, called a wimple in the pattern I had, that was in the Japanese Feather lace motif from BW#2. I scoured my downloaded knitting patterns file and found it from Caryll Designs: the Wavy Feather Wimple. Perfect. Caryll used 75/25 Quiviut/Merino-Silk from her online shop, which having fondled quiviut, I knew would be divine but I wanted to knit NOW. So I cast-on in Fleece Artist Merino in Ruby.

Japanese Feather Wimple

I used a US 5 needle, whereas the pattern calls for US6 if using fingering weight, but I didn’t have a 16″ size 6 circular needle, so I added an extra repeat. It’s a very easy lace pattern, but it is very pretty, and I think the size will be OK. It looks rather blobby in the photo above, but it’s lace on a circular needle. It’s also a nice size project to knit during warmer weather.

So this project makes me optimistic, although I remain a bit leery concerning the whole headache issue. I get migraines in clusters, and the last on Thursday was a doozy, which often marks the end of a cluster. Keep your needles crossed!

I hope everyone has a good weekend!