More Swatches

No really…swatches are all I’m knitting these days.

I’ve probably explained this before, but for me a book usually goes 1) have an idea, 2) source yarn, 3) swatch and write patterns, 4) send yarn and patterns off to magical stunt knitters to turn into projects, 5) get the patterns into proper book format and have them edited, 6) get projects back and take photos, 7) more editing, 8) printing.  Now there’s more to it than that (I left out the traditional ‘all my ideas are crap’ crisis that invariably happens somewhere in the middle), and there’s some overlap (for example, a few of the pieces for Curls 3 are actually already finished while the last few patterns haven’t yet been written).  But that’s the general process.  And now? Now I’m in that swatch swatch swatch and write patterns stage.

One of the swatches I’m totally happy with (meaning it’s ready to move onto being knit and formatted and edited and generally made official) is this giant cable in Bijou Basin Ranch’s Tibetan Dream.  I’m a sucker for a big cable, and this one goes together in a sort of unusual way that’s a lot of fun to do.

And I’m also loving this simple little bit of magic in Miss Babs Sojurn. The yarn is so amazing I didn’t want to mess around with it too much…just that simple little braided line is enough (plus you get to feel all clever for making your knitting turn and go sideways…I promise it’s not as tricky as it looks).

They either are or will soon be with knitters, and I’ll be working on cooking up schemes for more of the yarns.  If you want to check them out (or see the earlier swatches), you can find all the Curls 3 posts here.

Cleave (plus giveaway)

There’s something about taking a classic like a ribbed sock (comfy, easy, fits perfectly) and adding just a little bit of a something special that gets me every time.  The special bit could be dropped stitches or lace or even a fancy cuff.  Whatever you pick, it’s always more fun than it has any right to be.  For Cleave, I went with an absolutely delightful cable and a little bit of a twist for the heel.

The construction on these is really fun.  Instead of working flat over half the stitches to make a heel flap, then picking up stitches to make a gusset, you keep working in the round, increasing on each side of the foot to make the heel flap, gusset, and top of your foot all at once.  The fit is similar to a traditional heel flap, there’s just a bit more working in the round (which I generally prefer) and a bit less picking up stitches (which may not be my very favorite knitting task ever).  I think you’ll have fun with it!

Though of course, if you’re really not in the mood for something new, I’ve got you covered.  The pattern includes instructions for how to make them with a traditional heel as well (and I promise I won’t mind…I totally get that sometimes sticking with something familiar is the way to go).

These are made in String Theory’s Caper Sock, which is an absolutely delightful yarn.  I discovered String Theory when I kept seeing gorgeous socks on ravelry, clicking through to investigate the yarn, and finding their name again and again.  When I was planning these socks, I couldn’t decide between two of their colors, and so got both.  I  ended up using the lighter of the two for the pattern (just because it’s a bit easier to photograph light yarn if we’re being honest), and that means I have the other one to send off to one of you.

If you think it should be you, just leave me a comment telling me how you feel about ribbed socks.  Are they your go-to favorite?  Too boring to bear?  Ok so long as there’s something going on to add a little excitement?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know what you like!

And for everyone I can’t send yarn to (I’m just not cool enough to get yarn to everyone, sorry!), I’ve got a coupon for Cleave.  You can use the code RIBBED to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Cleave in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code RIBBED.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Oh, and for anyone paying really shockingly close attention, a version of this pattern first came out in New Directions in Sock Knitting way back in February of last year.  The rights have reverted to me, and I wanted to add in the info about how to work this with a traditional heel, so I thought I’d bring them out as an individual pattern.  But just in case you already have that book, you’ve got a copy in there already!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, June 23, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.


Suitably Matched

Way back when I was a brand new knitter (think ‘had to look up how to purl because it seemed sort of tricky’ level of new), I read a pattern that said something like ‘cast on 24 stitches with appropriate yarn and suitably matched needles.’  And somehow I got it into my head that ‘suitably matched’ meant ‘needles that look pretty with your yarn.’  I’ll just let you imagine how well that worked out.  It’s a wonder I ever got the hang of this.

But that incident has left me with a tendency to grin every time my needles happen to match my knitting!

And someone will ask, so these are the needles.  No they’re nothing fancy.  But I’ve had them for at least a decade, and they’ve held up perfectly (as have all the other needles of that brand I’ve used over the years…).  And the yarn is Silky Victoria from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the color Sugar Plum Fairy Dust.  And the knitting is a swatch for Curls 3 (which should be next year’s book)!

Good Mail (oooooh, aaaaah)

Oh my goodness…my mailbox really is a happy place.

That’s one of Indigo Dragonfly’s Tornadoz sets on Chameleon Sock in the color Cahoots.  It’s an absolutely delightful merino/cashmere/silk blend, and looks absolutely beautiful knit up…wait till you see my swatch!

And this is Seven Sisters Arts newest grand idea, Varigradients.  That’s three skeins of their beautiful variegated yarns in varying intensities, light to dark.  In this case it’s the Water Garden colorway on the Matrika base.  And oh…oh it’s lovely stuff!

If you want to follow along and check out all the yarns for Curls 3 (and some swatches too), you can find them over here.  And wow is this one ever bright and colorful!