Snow!

Apparently I’ve sunk to the level of using my blog to record the weather.  This is doubtless shameful.  But I’ve checked, and there are far more shameful things on the internet, so I’m letting it slide.  Because people…it snowed yesterday.  And I almost missed it.  I…erm…like snow. Especially the first snow of the  year.  It gets less charming some time around February, but for now it’s awesome.  This snow came while I was asleep and was almost melted by the time I woke up.  As such, I’ve made the executive decision that it’s not quite the first snow.  It’s more like proto snow.  It doesn’t count until there’s enough to put my hands on it.

And lest you think I’ve abandoned good sense and knitting all together, I’ll show you a sock.  There’s actually a bit more of the sock than is seen in this picture.  Thursday night The Boy and I went to a scotch tasting dinner at a local restaurant, Deagan’s.  I’m trying to learn to like the stuff…so far my efforts consist mostly of attending events like this, making faces at the substances in my glass, and handing said glass to The Boy.  He seems to be enjoying this program of study.  While I liked only one of the drinks, the food was delicious, and I made good progress on the sock during dinner.  It’s now almost to the end of the gusset decreases.  With any luck at all it should be done next week.  The pattern is all written, I just need pictures.  It seems likely I’ll be able to get snowy pictures, which I’m sure The Boy will love modeling for.  But standing about in socks in the snow in the interest of knitting promotion is something of a tradition around here, and it’s important to stick to tradition.

Caprice

caprice_sideCaprice is up!

I know these have been a while in coming.  I finished them way back in December (and have been happily wearing them in the months in between).  I thought that, since there was snow in the pictures, I’d better hurry up and release them before all the snow in my yard finally melted.

These started as an experiment to see what would happen if I switched stitch motifs whenever I got the least bit tired of the last one.  I think it worked quite well, and definitely kept the knitting from getting boring.  You’d think I’d be able to pay attention all the way through a single sock leg, but sometimes that’s just asking too much.

If you want to do your own short attention span knitting, give them a try!

caprice_square

The People Have Spoken!

You want Graupel, Graupel you shall have.  I will release it later this month and then release Caprice in March.  A few people have mentioned that they’d like to have the pattern for some of the various Olympic themed knitting events they’re participating in.  The pattern is done, so I can totally do that.  I’ll plan to put it up Thursday the eleventh.  Of course this does mean I absolutely positively must get pictures taken this weekend.  If you see the sun, send it this way.

For any of you dedicated athletes out there who want to start training (ie swatching) now, I should offer a note about size and gauge.  This sock is stretchy – astonishingly stretchy.  It’s also written in 2 sizes.  There are also a whole lot of sock yarn thicknesses floating around out there.  Stretchy design + 2 sizes + variety of sock yarns means you can likely get these to fit just about anyone.  In general, I suggest that you aim for a gauge of about 8.5 stitches per inch in thin sock yarn and about 7.5 stitches per inch in thick sock yarn.  At those gauges, the small size in a thin sock yarn will fit a small woman’s foot, the small size in a thick sock yarn will fit a medium/large woman’s foot, the large size in a thin sock yarn will fit a large/extra large woman’s or medium man’s foot, and the large size in a thick sock yarn will fit a large/extra large man’s foot.  I’m pretty darn confident you can make this fit.

Now go find a fetching track suit and don’t forget to stretch.

Choose Your Own

I am a child of the 80s.  As such, “Choose Your Own Adventure” books play an alarming role my memories of my distant youth.  The writing was contrived, the illustrations dreadful, and yet they still filled me with an unreasonable fascination.  In honor of their (doubtless unsavory) influence, I’m letting you choose your next knitting adventure.

I have two patterns ready to go, Graupel (on the left) and Caprice (on the right).  Click on either to see gigantic versions if you’re so inclined.  One will be released in February and the other in March.  You pick.  I will take it as a given that they are both lovely and eagerly anticipated.  I promise I won’t feel slighted on behalf of the one that doesn’t win.  Leave a comment saying which you prefer, and the one with the most votes by Friday or so will be the next pattern I release.

graupel_paircaprice


Caprice

As promised, pics of the finished socks!

caprice

Alas, taking pics in the snow is rather challenging.  I thought the snow would provide a lovely atmospheric background and bounce lots of light around and make things all easy and pretty.  Um.  No.  Not so much.  Instead it was cold, kept falling on the socks and the camera, made the colors look funny, and just generally inconvenienced both the photographer (The Boy) and the model (me).

caprice_snowIt did, however, demonstrate the astonishing insulative power of wool (in case there was any doubt).  My feet were not cold at any point during this photo shoot (my legs were another story).  I could even walk in the snow and it wasn’t really any colder than walking in shoes.  However, it turns out snow sticks to wool in a rather astounding way.  Two steps in the snow and I was a white fluffy mess.  Now I take pictures in part to document my knitting and in part because it’s fun to play with the camera.  But let’s be honest, I also take them to try and convince you to buy my patterns and make your own socks.  This picture isn’t likely to convince you to do anything other than move to a warmer climate.  I include it merely to demonstrate the amazingly velcro-like effect of wool on snow.

Done!

The purple socks (they will be called Caprice, which I’ll explain in due course) are done and drying on the blockers.  I’m quite smitten by them.  So smitten, in fact, that I may go ahead and release them earlier than I had originally planned.  I’m starting to think early January might be a more fitting date than mid February.  What do you think?

There is one sad thing about them being done though.  Their completion means that I am not currently using my new Signature needles.  They went into the socks the day I opened them and haven’t been far from my hands since.  I’ve got another pair of socks on the same size needles and I’m considering switching out for the Signatures.  I’ve heard it’s courting disaster to switch needles in the middle of a project, but I think I’ll take my chances.

As I mentioned earlier, the Signatures were a birthday present.  I actually had a very knitterly birthday.  I got the Barbara Walker stitch dictionary I was missing.  I’ve now got the whole set, and they hold pride of place on my knitting shelf.  I also got Lily Chin’s Tips and Tricks book, which is just marvelous.  I took her class earlier this year and was very pleased with it.  The book is even more information packed than the class was.  The final bit of stitchy goodness was finding another stitch dictionary (Harmony Guides Lace & Eyelets) at the used book store on my birthday.  Obviously the knitting Fates were watching out for me.

Pictures of Caprice will be up shortly (lovely though they are they don’t look all that impressive on the blockers).

Abominable Snowman Found

purplesnowDo you see that fluffy white stuff over there?  That’s snow.  Those pink things dangling out in the cold with no protective covering?  Those are my toes.  Yup, I went outside barefoot in the snow to get a sock picture for you.  Well, half barefoot, there seemed no reason for the other foot to suffer too.  And just for the record, the white speckles on the leg of the sock up by the cuff are snowflakes, not lint.  I keep a lint roller by the camera and am fairly good at de-linting before I take photos.  I am, however, not cool enough to pick off individual snowflakes while hopping one-footed in the snow.  The neighbors already have concerns, and I see no need to confirm their suspicions.

If you’re feeling particularly observant, you may have noticed that these socks are on my shiny new Signature double points (size 1, 8″, stiletto points in case you’re keeping track).  They were a birthday present this weekend and were immediately pressed into service.  As soon as I opened them, I started knitting the ribbon the package had been decorated with (you know, just to be sure they worked and all).

I used to think the Signature needles were a ridiculous extravagance.  Who in their right mind would spend that much on five little sticks?  Then I went to Sock Summit and got to see them in person.  I wandered past the booth half a dozen times before I finally sat down and tried them.  I’m fairly convinced they must dust their tester needles with a light sprinkle of crack.  It’s the only way to explain the dazed looks and empty wallets of the people staggering away from the booth.  I happily joined the ranks of the addicted and haven’t looked back.