Mine!

Earlier this evening at Chez Molecular Knitting:
M: Did you get the mail?
Me: I’ll just go and get it.
A minute or so later:
M: Was there anything good? (M sees me clutching a small priority mail box to my chest.) What’s that?
Me: It’s for me! It’s for me! It’s for me! It’s the Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn I ordered.
I rip open the box and peek inside.
Me: Why is it pink? I thought the yarn I ordered was mostly blue.
I pull out ziptop bag.
Me: Ah, she wrapped the yarn in pink tissue paper.
Opening the bag and tissue paper:
Me: Ooooo! It’s so pretty! I love the colors! Look at the luster! Blue Faced Leicester sheep rock! And Aimee’s dye job is fabulous!
Poseidon BFL sock yarn
M: I’ll go get a mailer so you can return it.
Me: What???
M: Well, you clearly don’t like it.
Me: You’re not funny. You think you’re funny, but you’re not.
M: Then why are you laughing?
Me: I’m not laughing. This is a grimace of pain because you think you are funny.
M: Is that what that is?
Me: Go away! (talking to the yarn) Come, my pretty! You’ll look stunning posed on the leather chair arm. All must see you and weep that you are mine. Mine! Mine! Mine!
M: I think you need help.
Me: HA! (Never let it be said that I can’t deliver a cutting setdown when required!)
Little Dog Designs BFL Sock Yarn
I have always been smitten with the name “Blue Faced Leicester” and have wanted some BFL yarn. In my woeful ignorance, I hadn’t realized that it makes excellent sock yarn. I have Kristy of Eleven Stitches to thank for pointing that out. She got some from as a gift from her grandmother. I followed her link, but the only BFL sock yarn left was in colors I just don’t use. However, I was determined (I hadn’t bought any yarn since early November) and quite capable of using etsy’s search engine. And at Little Dog Designs, I found the perfect skein for me. Poseidon went into my cart and I placed the order right quick on a Friday evening before a three-day National Holiday weekend (curses!). But first thing Tuesday, Aimee had it shipped out to me, and wonder of wonders, the postal service got it here Thursday afternoon (maybe that three day weekend did them some good–I worked).

The last thing I need is more sock yarn. But this is research! I needed to find out for myself if BFL yarn is as good as merino in my book. I think it might be. It has a lovely sheen and a nice tight twist. The colors are intense yet soft. As soon as Febrach’s socks are done; I’m knitting up the BFL. I’ll take it to work tomorrow for my friend LC to see and pet. I hope she gives it back; she knows and appreciates fine fiber. LC just had her wisdom teeth out and she got two dry sockets, which having had one myself, I know are quite painful. But if she tries to abscond with my yarn, a right hook to the jaw might be forthcoming.

One last look…
close up of Poseidon

Twisted Flower, Hybrid Cables and Febrarch

First and foremost, let me thank everyone for all the kind comments about my Minimalist Cardigan! I really appreciate all your responses, and I read them all. I’ve been very busy, which has limited my blogging, emailing and knitting time rather drastically (sob!), so I had to decide between responding to each of your comments on my sweater or looking to see what you were up to on your blogs. I opted for reading and commenting on your blogs. Although I am still playing blog-reading catch-up, I can say with confidence that everyone is knitting cool stuff!

Myself, I’m knitting a pretty cool sock, and I am very pleased to report that my Twisted Flower sock is looking just like the first sock of the pair, which was knit by Jean of Golden Purl.
My Twisted Flower 021708

I am actually a little farther along than this, but this was the last time the sock, daylight and my camera came together which was on Saturday. I’m still on the leg though. It isn’t hard to follow the directions or the chart, but my wrists don’t like the twisted stitches very much. So, I knit a couple rounds and then take a breather (a tweed breather, but that’s another post).

I’m knitting the 2-stitch twists and cables using a hybrid method that I’m sure others use, but I haven’t seen it. I’d knit the cables without a cable needle except for the fact that these are itty-bitty, teensy-weensy, tight little stitches on a whole mess of dpns (I’m using 5 instead of my usual 4, making the chart repeats easier). So, I’ve been doing the cross before working any stitches, like is done when cabling without a cable needle, but I am using a cable needle to keep from losing the aforementioned rather smallish, tightish stitches during the crossing transfers. Here’s an example:

Actual Right Twist Pattern Instructions: Sl 1 to cn and hold to back, k tbl, p1 from cn
What I do: Sl 1 to cn and hold to back, Sl 1 to right needle, transfer st from cn to left needle, transfer slipped st on right needle to left needle, k tbl, p1 (It’s longer to write but easier than knitting from the cable needle.)

The inability to knit many rounds of an evening is causing me some concern in terms of finishing this sock by the end of February. I may have to make the period after the 31st of January and before the first of April a big month of Febrarch, during which time I finish the Twisted Flower and knit a second pair of socks. I have the yarn for the second pair of socks, and it is very suitable for Project Spectrum 3: Fire. Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino is Raspberry:
Fearless Fibers Raspberry Superwash Sock Yarn
Because I am really liking how the twisted stitches are looking on the Twisted Flower, of course, I want to knit this into a twisted stitch. But that is NOT THE IDEA for Febrarch. I am currently torn, but eying socks all over everyone’s Ravelry pages, so I hope to make a decision soon. In the meantime, I haven’t knit my round allotment on Twisted Flower yet this evening…

Minimalist Cardigan-Maximal Time

Originally, I planned to have the Minimalist Cardigan done in mid-October after starting in early August. But a lot of things got in the way, so it took me until last Wednesday to finally finish the finishing. I was home alone while M and his sister were up skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the peace and quiet were perfect for sweater finishing. It took 4 podcasts to get me through the finishing: 2 Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, 1 Cast-on, and 1 Car Talk. These photos are after two full days of wearing it.
Minimalist Cardigan
I had no idea how to seam invisibly moss stitch, and I had lost 15 pounds since starting this sweater. Therefore, I opted for backstitching to take it in a bit, especially in the shoulders where I knew it would be a little wide–a problem stemming from being pear-shaped. The backstitching appears to have worked fine. There are a couple of things I either don’t like about how this turned out, or I don’t understand why it turned out the way it did.

First, I made the knit even portion of the sleeves 1.5 inches shorter than the pattern called for, and I still ended up with 7/8- and not 3/4-sleeves. Since my row gauge wasn’t off, and I don’t have horribly short arms, I don’t know why this happened. But you can see that these aren’t 3/4-sleeves at all, even if I do have my t-shirt sleeve hanging out on one side. Therefore, without thinking about it, I keep pushing the sleeves up when I wear it, and now the sleeves are getting baggy (or is that because all the sleeve increases were done in one row–the last row of ribbing). I wish I had knit the ribbing on smaller needles even though the pattern didn’t call for doing that. I didn’t pin out the ribbing while blocking, but to me it looks like I did.
Minimalist Cardigan in Cascade 220
I’m wearing jeans that fit when I weighed 40 lbs more than I do now, and I didn’t wash my hair this morning, hence the cropped photo. Also, I could only find the 2 second delay on my camera and not the custom-set delay, so I didn’t have much time to pose. Sigh. But I couldn’t wait to get this post done and to get it marked finished on Ravelry. It just didn’t seem really done until all that was completed.
Minimalist Cardi side view
The body length, although not as cropped as in the magazine photo, is fine with me, as I’m really not cool enough to wear cropped tops. I was aware that the body length wouldn’t be cropped, as I had measured other cardigans of mine, but I did knit the length given in the pattern. I’m 5′ 6″ tall, so I don’t know how tall the magazine model was for the sweater to look as short as it did, but she must be pretty darn tall.

All in all, this was my third sweater and a definite improvement in both knitting quality, finishing and fit than my first two sweaters. So, even though it’s not perfect, I’m pretty pleased. I really enjoyed the moss stitch, and I like how it looks, especially juxtaposed with the stockinette. The bright navy color and the quality of the Cascade 220 are also big pluses in my book. I learned a lot with this sweater, including that cap-sleeves aren’t a big deal to seam properly, and I hope this new knowledge keeps my sweater making skills on the ascent.

January Socks: Finished (in January, really!)

I did finish the Chili Pepper socks in January. 11:25 p.m. on January 31st to be exact. I told M I just couldn’t screw up the Sock Pair a Month in 2008 (started by Kelly of Kelp! Knits) in the first month. So, he left me in peace and I got the socks DONE.
Chili Pepper Socks
You may remember that the first sock had a yellow lightning bolt up the sole. This was not true of the second sock; it has a BIG RED SPOT.
Soles of Chili Pepper Socks
But the BIG RED SPOT (it needs all caps, trust me, I’ve seen it in person) is just fine and adds to the fun, bright nature of these socks. I really liked knitting with the Great Adirondacks Silky Sock yarn. And the socks are very comfortable.

For February, I’ll be knitting a single sock, but what a single!  I’m going to knit the mate to the Twisted Flower sock that Jean knit for me.  February is a short month, and this is an involved sock, so I think it’s a perfectly legit thing to do.  Plus, I want to wear the socks!

I hope you are all having a good week.  I’m off to knit.