I have an unhealthy relationship with blocking…

More pieces for Curls 3 have started to come in, and I love each and every one.  I cannot wait to get them properly blocked and show off their full glory.  But until then, you’ll have to be content with a little peek at them fresh off the needles.

That’s out of Knit Circus’ Magnificent DK.

And that’s out of Spun Right Round’s Squish DK.

Oh wait, it’s reversible, so let’s see both sides.

Now of course you’ll get to see them as they get blocked.  But sometimes you can just tell ahead of time that things are just going to be marvelous.  And this?  This is one of those times!

More peeks at Curls 3 things over here.  And later this week we’ll start talking all about Silk Road Socks (which yes, is out later this month, yay!).

 

Caterpillar

I have set the facecloth aside.  It’s not that I don’t like it…it’s that if I had to knit one more inch of flat, beige, garter stitch I’d do something injudicious.  I needed some color, and some wool, and something a bit more engaging.

So there was some swatching.

And then casting on (I swear that looks like nothing so much as a caterpillar…back me up on this).

And now there are the beginnings of a hat.  Which has the advantages of being not flat, not beige, and not in garter stitch.  It’s also in a lovely lovely yarn (Kunlun by Miss Babs) that has absolutely no linen to at all (I was apparently missing wool after all that time with linen).  Let’s see if this is the refresher I needed!

Tantamount (plus giveaway)

I hear from you guys over and over that what you’re really looking for in a sock is something that’s mellow enough to be relaxing knitting, but with enough going on to look pretty and hold your attention.  Well if that’s what you’re into, I think Tantamount could be just the thing!

Most of these socks are lovely, mellow, meditative stockinette.  But zipping down the inside and outside of each sock is a nifty little cable that provides just enough of a challenge to keep you focused.  And do me a favor and flip your sock inside out once you’ve knit an inch or so of the cable…you’ll see something nifty on the inside!

And because it’s more fun to have options, the pattern includes instructions for two different versions of the sock.  The blue one (where the cable runs the whole length of the sock) and the purple one (where the cable is interspersed with stretches of ribbing).  And yes…I do know that this ensures that at least two of you are going to knit one of each and send me pictures of yourselves wearing your perfectly mismatched socks…I wholeheartedly support this approach!

And while these are marvelously bright and colorful, I’ve also heard that a few of you are planning to get a pair on the needles in a more staid color for some of the more restrained sock wearers in your world.  I’m pretty sure that purple version would pass muster with even the most subdued sock aficionado.

These are in SpaceCadet’s delightful Oriana 8-ply base, which has just the best stitch definition ever.  It’s absolutely meant for tiny twisty cables like this, it shows off your stitches perfectly (seriously, I am helpless to resist its charms) and is a delight to work with.  There’s a big shop update coming this Friday, so if what you’re dreaming of isn’t in stock now, it probably will be then!

The good folks at SpaceCadet are letting me give away a skein of their beautiful work in the winner’s choice of color.  To enter, check out SpaceCadet’s colors and pick your favorite, then leave a comment on this instagram post telling me what it is (this is a little different than usual, only comments on that instagram post count as entries).

And, for everyone I can’t send yarn to, I’ve got a coupon for Tantamount.  You can use the code EQUIVALENT to get 10% off between now and Friday.  Just put Tantamount in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code EQUIVALENT.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left on the instagram post between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, August 4, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them via DM on instagram to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  If I do message you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.

AlterKnit (review and giveaway)

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to just jump in to new projects without much in the way of advance planning.  I find if I spend too much time researching something ahead of time, I’m apt to convince myself it’s too hard and just not do it.  I like to get just enough of an intro to grasp the basics then dive in and figure the details out as I go (obviously I keep this to low risk pursuits like making marshmallows or sewing curtains…not things like messing about with wiring or getting the perfect dinner reservation for the one night I’m in town…those I pay a bit more attention to).  It means I don’t spend time reading about the nuance of something (and feeling overwhelmed) before I have an understanding of the fundamentals (which is where I think a lot of beginners get tripped up).

And, if you like to work the same way (get the gist, then roll up your sleeves and start doing it), then I think you’ll find AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary a lovely introduction to colorwork.  And if you’re already a colorwork pro, it will make a great addition to your pattern repertoire.

The book starts out with a quick intro to basic colorwork techniques (understanding hue and value, how to hold your yarn, how to manage floats, a bit about color dominance) and then dives right in to the stitch patterns.  And the stitch patterns are a treat.  You know how in most stitch dictionaries it feels like about a third of the patterns are things you’ve seen before?  Yeah that’s not a problem here!  These all feel very new and fresh and somehow more modern than what I’ve seen in most other stitch dictionaries.  The ones you see on the cover give you a good sense of the overall vibe.  And there are a handful of rather amusing options too.

If you flip through the pages you’ll find skulls, mushrooms, aliens, and bats tucked in among the more graphic (sometimes almost op art) motifs.  I confess a fondness for the masked bandit.  And I’m pretty sure these squirrels are cuter than they have any right to be.

All the swatches are shown in two solid colors, but I find myself daydreaming about how some of these patterns would look with a solid background and a variegated or gradient accent yarn. I suspect you may see a few of them on my needles in the next little while.  Which brings me to another lovely point, the author explicitly states in the introduction that it’s fine to use the patterns for your own designs whether private or for sale (something I always love to see in a stitch dictionary).  And speaking of things I love in stitch dictionaries, this one includes a table at the end that ranks the motifs by stitch and row count.  That sounds trivial, but it’s an absolute marvel when you’re looking for the perfect thing to put in that 17-stitch wide space.  I wish all stitch dictionaries did that!

So, if you’re comfortable with colorwork and looking for lots of original motifs, this is a fabulous choice.  And if you’ve fallen in love with the motifs but aren’t already familiar with colorwork, there’s enough of a primer there to get you up and running without making it seem at all scary (if you’re the type who likes to read lots of info before you get started with a new technique, you may want to take a look at something like The Joy of Color to round out your research…but there really is enough here to get stitches on your needle and get you practicing, which is the approach I like best).

The good folks at Interweave were kind enough to send me my copy, and they’ve got one to send to one of you too.  If you think it should be yours, all you have to do is follow the instructions on this instagram post (this is a little different than how we’ve done this before, only comments made on that instagram post count as entries).

Comments left on the instagram post between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Sunday, July 30, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them via DM on instagram to get their addresses, and arrange to send the book their way.  If I do message you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.  The image of the book’s cover at the top of the post belongs to Interweave and is used here with permission.