Friday, August 17, 2007

I Got My Socks!

I had a great Sockapalooza pal. She is Amy! I told her that I was going on vacation right after the send-out date, so she didn't need to rush to get my socks done. So what did she do? She sent them out a day early so that they would get here just before I left on vacation. In fact, they arrived on Saturday August 4, a few hours before we left the house. I didn't have time to take pictures before we left, but we're now back so I may be posting again.

She had them packaged nicely, and all wrapped up with a tag, a card, and some extra yarn.

However, I was in such a rush to see the socks that I took it all apart without taking a picture. I especially like the tag with the "pea" yarn.

When I got to the socks, I found that she had picked great yarn in a great color, a great pattern, and had done a great job knitting them. They are Cookie A. 's Twisted Flowers socks made out of Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Mums. It's definitely my kind of color, and they fit perfectly.

What Amy didn't know is that I wear clogs most of the year. So the beautiful patterning on the heel flap will be visible.

I tried to take pictures of these socks on my feet, but my pictures don't do them justice. Here's the best of my attempts:

Thanks Amy! You did a great job!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Husband Sweater Planning

I've started the design process for my husband's sweater. I have the yarn (peer gynt color 2543- light brown) and I have a basic idea of what kind of sweater I'm making (something cabled). But I've been having a really hard time picking cable patterns. I've been looking at just about every sweater I can find (Ravelry has been great for this- it's just as good, and just as much of a time-suck as everyone says it is) and nothing really struck me. Then, today, I was at our local book store. They have a much better knitting book selection than you might expect- better than our LYS. While I was browsing, I saw Viking Patterns For Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold. Wow. I'm not sure why I wasn't interested in this book when it first came out, but it was exactly what I was looking for. It has lots of beautiful cables that will be perfect for this sweater. The Lillbjars border and braided Lillbjars border are very likely to end up in the final sweater.

Both of these cables (like most of the cables in the book) are open/close loop designs. But the way the loops are opened and closed is different from how I've done it in the past. Both Alice Starmore and Girl From Auntie use one method, and this book uses another. What's interesting, is that I think both methods are useful. But they each serve a different purpose. Compare a cable knit using the first method to a cable knit using this new method. The first method produces a much more rounded shape, while the new method produces a more pointed loop.

In some patterns from the Viking Patterns for Knitting book, I really like the pointed loop that is produced by Lavold's increase/decrease method. In others, I think the old method would look better. In some cases, I think a combination of the two methods might look best (open the loops in one way, close them in another). I'm off to knit these cables a couple of different ways to see how I think they'll look best.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sockapalooza DONE!

I've finished my sockapalooza socks, and am now done with deadline knitting! Yes, that means that the baby blanket is done too. But that story will have to wait for another time.

Here are the sockapalooza socks:

That's my hand in the sock, not a deformed foot. My pal's feet are smaller than mine, and I didn't want to risk ruining the socks by putting them on. They aren't as small as they look in the picture, though. The stitch pattern is very stretchy. I hope she likes them!

Here are the details:

Yarn: Trekking Pro Natura, 75% superwash wool, 25% bamboo

Needles: Size 1 Inox double points

Pattern: Basic toe-up gusset socks with a stitch pattern added. I used a mock-cable pattern that I found in Barbara Walker.

These socks are now on their way to their new home, and I'm on to making a sweater for my husband (his first hand-knit sweater). I'll be designing for a while, but I'll be back eventually.