Unheard Of I Tell You

As predicted, 45 minutes of knitting brought about the end of the second sock.  That’s two whole socks…all the way down to the toes.  I wouldn’t make such a big deal of this, but these are the, um, second pair of socks I’ve managed to finish this year.  Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t had socks on the mind (I’ve spent lots of quality time thinking about all the socks for KCC2), just that I haven’t had many socks on the needles.  I rather miss them.  Especially when they come out like these!

But, it seems my very next project is going to be some sort of hat.  Some sort of hat for some small people.  We’ve got friends who make excellent small people, and they recently made a new one, and I’m going to shamelessly use them as an excuse to make some really eclectic hats.  And by eclectic I mean the hats I’d wear if I could ever fully get over that caring what other people thing thing.  Should be fun.

Just Right

I’m more or less in love with this hat.  It’s ridiculously simple, unreasonably tall, and quite possibly the warmest hat in the history of yarn.  I can’t decide how I like it best…as shown there (with the top flopped over), with the brim folded up once and only a bit of pouf on the top, or with the brim folded up twice so it sits more firmly against the top of my head.  Then there’s the always amusing option of wearing it inside out.  I may also have made a giant tassel to slip in to the top as the mood strikes.

I think the reason it is so satisfying is that it has just the right amount of ridiculousness.  It is not in any way serious.  It is not delicate or subtle or refined.  It is not sophisticated.  It is not glamorous.  It is not anything other than what it is…a slightly goofy, very warm hat.  Which is good, since the weather seems to have finally gotten the message about that whole ‘winter’ thing and gotten cold.  Some time this weekend I’ll try and get pictures of the various incarnations of the hat on a person (rather than an Alphonse) and see if I can convey the full majesty of this creation.

Rampant

Back in the early part of July, when I was up to my neck in a giant school project and starting to go a bit crazy around the edges, I cast on these socks.  They helped me avoid chewing my fingernails off.  A few days later, the neighbor’s son rang the doorbell and handed us a sick kitten.  The socks kept me from crying at the vet’s office (Douglas is fine, I’m just a total softie about kittens).  Then we went to the woods for a family event and off to Portland for Sock Summit and up to Buffalo for a concert.  The socks came along for all of these and kept my hands occupied on lots of long drives.  Once we were back home, we got to figure out house painters and endure the banging, funny smells, and unexpected repairs that seem to be part of the house painting process.  It seemed only fitting to take pictures of the sock on the about-to-be-painted-aaaaaaaany-day-now back porch.

They were more or less magic…involved enough to hold my attention, but soothing enough to work when I was tired or frazzled.  The long loops were shamefully entertaining (ooooh, which color will the next one be), and the fit is great.

I’ve named them Rampant, and they’re over on ravelry if your own mental health needs a bit of bolstering.

Uncharacteristically Productive

Finished things have just been falling off my needles.  I blame the hats.  They themselves are quick and easy, and they lead to mitts which are also quick and easy.  The basket that usually holds the half dozen or so projects in various stages of completion currently holds a mere two works in progress and a stack of things awaiting a photo day.  (Having a knitting site and selling patterns means that you don’t just have to finish a knitted item before you can use it, you have to finish it and photograph it.  This can be very taxing if you’re a fan of immediate gratification.)

Truckle, the red hat and wrist warmers (henceforth to be called Involute), and the as-of-yet-unnamed-jellyfish-turned-hat are all awaiting photos.  Jellyfish hat now has matching…hmm, what do we call these?  Mitts?  Or do you need a thumb to be a mitt?  Wristlets?  Gauntlets?  Whatever…decorative bits of yarn based fluff intended to adorn and warm your wrists.  Some time real soon now I need to get hands, heads, knitting, daylight, a reasonably picturesque backdrop, and a camera together at the same place at the same time and take some photos done so I can start using all of these goodies.

It’s Quiet…Too Quiet

I finished the Greenhorn socks on Sunday.  This, combined with my continuation of the knitting olympics finish-a-thon, means that I currently have no socks on the needles.  None.  Now sure I have a few single socks lingering in the back of the closet, but I have declared those ‘showpiece socks,’ socks I made to do the pattern rather than to do the socks themselves.  That’s somehow different.  I’m good at justification, just let it go.

So, what do I do in this oddly sockless state?

Obviously, the book is one option.  Much progress has already been made on the book.  However, I sort of need my fancy pants book yarn to arrive before I can do any more on that project.  The second option is to cast on something completely non-book related, something I can talk about and photograph at will, something just for me with no deadlines or expectations.  The third option is to pause, knit nothing for a few days, just abstain from all fiber related activities.

I’m very undecided.

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!

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Olympic Glory?

So I sort of did it, but only sort of.  The official goal was ‘don’t cast on any new projects.’  The unofficial goal (which seemed to follow rather naturally from the official goal) was ‘get lots of stuff done.’  I totally met the first goal.  Despite severe temptation (we went to a fiber festival right at the beginning of the Olympics–this was not a plan designed to foster restraint), I didn’t cast on anything new.

Alas, I also didn’t get quite as much done as I had hoped.  I did make some progress.  I finished a pair of secret socks, and they’ve gone off to a magazine for their photo shoot, which I find both hysterical and deeply awesome.  I finished the adumbrate mitts, wrote the pattern, and started the testing process.  I finished the first of the greenhorn socks and wrote the first draft of the pattern.

The one thing I didn’t finish was The Boy’s xanthophyll socks.  Almost, but not quite.  It turns out these socks have scads more stitches than any of the other socks I’ve made.  They’re just slow.  Pretty, but slow.  Luckily, this weekend we took a trip that provided many many many hours of knitting time, and now they’re done.medal-blog-button

I’m still taking the medal.  I’m using the whole experience as proof that it’s important to define your goals clearly.  My official goal was ‘don’t cast on any new projects,’ and I met that.  I might have had ‘finish every single ongoing project’ in the back of my mind as some sort of mythical extra goal, but that wasn’t ever really going to happen.  I met the official goal, I’m calling it a success.  (This is the likely-unnecessary-but-I-like-to-be-extra-careful disclaimer.  The picture is created by Franklin Habit, provided by Yarn Harlot, and used with permission.  Please do not write and tell me I’m stealing it, mkay?)

Come back later in the week for the finished (and free) pattern for adumbrate!

Deep in the Heart of Texas

scatterling1Well I didn’t get eaten by (or even see) a coyote.  I did, however, see an armadillo (dead), a donkey, a few sheep, horses, cows (all alive), and several goats (quite lively).  No, we didn’t go to a petting zoo, these were just all hanging out by the side of the road as we drove around.  There were also a variety of spiny plants that would have been perfect for hanging socks on.  Alas, my organizational skills were not up to par and I never managed to find picturesque plants when I had completed socks with me.  Instead I found them when I had half an inch of the cuff of a super secret sock with me.  The first half inch of socks is not usually all that interesting, and super secret socks are not yet fair game for photos anyway.

I was correct in my concern that the three to-be-toed socks would not have been enough knitting.  I finished all three the first day.  The first toe was for the pink socks shown in an earlier post.  Those socks are now done, washed, and being blocked.  The pattern is done except for a final photo and should go up early next week.

The other two toes were for members of the secret sock society I’ve been running of late.  They were the toes of my grandfather’s birthday socks.  I didn’t know his shoe size, so I had to bring the socks with me in an almost complete state and then finish them after deploying my spy (sister) to determine his size.  I had taken a picture of the toeless socks before we left, but I wanted to get a picture of the finished socks as well.  The hotel didn’t provide any picturesque backdrops, so I was starting to lose hope.  Then we stopped by the local yarn store (totally accidentally I’m sure) Stonehill Spinning, and  I bought a bit of yarn.  As we left, I realized that both the porch and the parking lot fence were suitably photogenic.  I did a quick sock shuffle and snapped a few pics.  I figure it’s a yarn store, they’ll understand the need to document your knitting, right?

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Bedizen

bedizenBedizen is up!

These are shamelessly frilly, fluffy, girly socks — because sometimes that’s exactly what you need.  It’s hopeless to fight it.  The stitch pattern is unapologetically lacy and swirly.  It looks complicated, but it is actually surprisingly simple.  The pattern repeat is only 4 rows high, and it is very easy to memorize.

The yarn is a delicious 50-50 merino alpaca blend by Dicentra Designs.  The alpaca adds the perfect touch of luxury.  If you’re going to make a confection like these, you really should use a marvelous yarn, shouldn’t you?  And at least one lucky reader can.  Just check out Dicentra Designs’ shop, and leave a comment here with the color you’d use to make these socks.  The winner will get that yarn and a copy of the pattern.  I’ll keep the comments open till Wednesday evening, and announce the winner on Thursday.

Pedigreed

Pedi2You were patient.  You were astonishingly patient, and now your patience has been rewarded. Pedigreed has been tested to within an inch of its life and is now available!

I feel I should warn you that this is not an easy pattern. It’s not hard exactly, but it is certainly not a mindless knit. There are lots of twists and turns and you need to pay attention to both the text and the charts.

Pedi3Speaking of charts, this is a substantial pattern.  It is 13 pages long and has 8 charts, 6 of them full page charts.  There are several pictures of the sock and a close up photo tutorial of how to do the one unusual stitch manipulation called for.  It’s a challenge, but that’s part of the fun.  Are you up for it?