As promised, the orange(ish) spiky socks (they look a bit too pink in these shots, which is totally my fault, but it’s snowy out there now and I don’t feel like braving the elements to try again). These have been named Chamfer, and I’m quite taken with them. I’m actually wearing them today as I type this. Life’s a wee bit busy here at the moment, so I’ll have to leave you with just a link to the ravelry page, and a few pictures.
See, I told you it was making progress. I’m rather taken with these. What do you think, do they work for you too? The color here is a tiny bit off, but it’s snowing outside and I don’t feel like either putting on my coat or going outside in my jammies. You’ll have to just imagine it a bit more orange and a bit less pink.
The mate to this one is on the needles now, but is making slow progress. It’s not the pattern’s fault though. Not at all. The pattern is surprisingly close to autopilot knitting (despite what it looks like…it’s kind of magic).
You see, we just got season one of Breaking Bad from the library. Then we fell over gobsmacked with the goodness of it all. Then we went and procured season two…and made plans to procure seasons three and four (and don’t tell me what happens…we’re just on season two and don’t want spoilers). The show is good enough I actually watch it…with my eyes. Normally I listen to tv while watching my knitting. Or I split the watching between the tv and the knitting…it makes watching tv feel more productive. But not for this show. For this show I don’t want to look away, and I can’t quite do these socks without looking. It’s totally slowing me down.
I know there’s a person or two anxious to get these on their needles though, and I don’t want you to despair, they’ll almost certainly be the next thing I write up. Fingers crossed I’ll have it up for testing some time around Monday.
So…you guys like the tiny hats. First, I feel it necessary to tell you that you can totally make these up on your own. Really you can, I have total confidence in you. But lots of folks sent me messages asking how to do it, so I went ahead and wrote up the pattern. Well, first I made three more hats, and then I wrote up the pattern giving instructions for all seven variations. But, I’d feel a little bit shady taking money for something so tiny, so I’ve decided that all the proceeds from the sale of this pattern will go to the Cleveland Food Bank. They could use the help, especially this year, and this seems like a nice way to give back a bit.
The pattern is called Festoon, and it’s over on ravelry right now if you want to whip some up for your own tree (you’ve still got plenty of time, each hat only takes about an hour).
I don’t have a pic of all 7 hats together (I mailed the first batch off before I realized I’d write the pattern, and didn’t want to reknit them all just for a photo). So you’ll have to settle for a group shot of the first 4 and individual shots of the 3 new ones.
Two bits of good news!
First, the nice man from the gas company’s repair service showed up bright and early Monday morning. He looked at our furnace (an admittedly elderly piece of machinery), took a panel off, wiggled a few wires, pushed a button, and boom…heat. I felt rather like an ass for not knowing to do this myself. But I was a warm ass, so I didn’t care for long. And I had remembered that we had the furnace repair program and called them instead of calling the regular repair company (who charge $80 to ring the doorbell and $20 for each 15 minutes thereafter). Given that I was more or less expecting to have to get a new furnace, a free five minute visit was a very happy ending.
Second, progress is continuing on the latest sock. They’re freaky hard to photograph. They’re full of holes, which means they look like a wadded up piece of tissue paper until they’re stretched out. I’ve put Percival’s base to use as a stretcher for the moment, but they’ll look even better when they’re blocked. Add into that the perpetual rain, and I don’t feel I’ve done them justice here. But we’ll pretend it’s enough to give you a sense of the thing and try again later.
This was supposed to happen Tuesday, but it’s ready now and I’m not the patient type, so I’ve jumped the gun and done it today.
Both the weather and The Boy proved exceptionally agreeable, and many photos were taken. While the sorry state of our yard is usually something of a shame to me, this time it turned out to be quite convenient. There were plenty of piles of leaves to serve as handy backdrops. And our decrepit and alarmingly mossy fence cheerfully lent its services as well (I’m really not sure how it’s still standing, but I’m not going to go out of my way to investigate).
All of which means the socks are now available. They’re called Whippersnapper, and you can find them over on ravelry.
They’re available in two sizes (a 56 stitch version and a 64 stitch version) and they’re marvelously unisex. These are simple to make (you’ll have them memorized in no time), but the cabling is enough to keep you from getting bored to death some time around the middle of foot. Even better, they’re mirrored, so your chances of finishing the second one are better than usual. If you know someone who deserves a new pair of socks (or if you deserve a pair yourself), these might be just the thing.
You remember the (ever so slightly crazy making) reign of painterly doom. They did lovely work, but while they were here, I just could not pay attention to one thing for more than an hour or so at a time. It just wasn’t happening.
So in celebration of a short attention span, I made this set of mitts. At least that’s the excuse I’m using for the otherwise pitiful amount of stuff I got done while they were here. The mitts are an excellent consolation though!
Each one takes only minimal mental effort (hey, we all have those days, I don’t judge). Each is made a different way (I wouldn’t want you to get bored). Best of all, they only take a bit of yarn (these are all made with 100 yards or less), come in a wide range of sizes, and work up quickly. So basically they’re perfect for using up leftover sock yarn and ticking names off your Christmas list (it’s 12 weeks away people, you may all commence panicking now).
The red ones at the top there are called Smidgen. They’re the laciest of the bunch and perhaps the most classic. They tuck up under your shirt sleeves and provide just a tiny bit of color and frill to entertain you as you go about your day. The shape leaves your hands free to type or knit.
The yellow ones over there on the right are called Sliver. They’re the most unusual of the three. I’ve never made a mitt in this shape before, but I’m sort of in love, and will be making more in the future. They’re dead simple to make but look marvelously impressive once they’re done. That, and you get to use a button (well, two buttons really). I’m more or less hopelessly smitten with them. I’ve seen a few done in some lovely multi-colored yarn and it seems to stand up to crazy colors just fine.
The blue ones down there on the left are Snippet. These are unabashedly exuberant. They are not serious. They are not classic. They’re just wicked good fun and super cute. Now of course you could make them taller. Making them taller might even be the reasonable thing to do. But I had only a wee bit of yarn and I wanted to do something a bit dramatic. These are the result. They’re almost like bracelets at this length, though somewhat to my surprise, even tiny slips of wool like this do seem to keep me warmer. However tall you make them, they’re sure to delight.
Each of the patterns is available individually for $3.00 (just click on the names), or you can get all three together here for $5.75.
This is the first time I’ve grouped a few patterns together as a collection. I’ve often offered pairs of patterns together as a set (hat and mitts or cowl and mitts). Those have all been things made of the same yarn, using the same or similar stitch patterns, and meant to be worn together. Those felt perfectly natural to offer as a pair. This I’m a little more hesitant about. They all have a common thread, but it’s not like you’ll wear them at the same time. What do you guys thing? Good idea? Unnecessary? Something I’m overlooking?
I’ve got a quick little treat for you. We all know I’m shamefully easily amused. I have a suspicion one or two of you may suffer from this condition too. So I’ve written up some quick instructions for making your own squirm of tentacles. You can use more or less any yarn (each only takes a few yards), and you can bang several of them out in a night. They make excellent desk pets, they are highly entertaining when tucked around your house in unexpected places, and they are fearsome yarn guardians.
I’m suffering from project creep. It started with ‘hey, I bet I can learn this cast on.’ Yesterday’s wee red mitts were the result of that little fit.
That led to ‘oooooh, you know what else would be cool?’ That thought tipped me elbow deep into the short bits bin to dig out that blue yarn you see right there.
Then I had a ‘well, three of something is a collection, right?’ Which sent me scrabbling back into the very same bin for the yellow yarn and the two buttons (buttons!)
What do you think, do those three colors go together fairly well? Not for use in the same project (I don’t DO colorwork folks, I just don’t), but just as three colors that don’t make your eyes bleed if you see them in the same place and that aren’t terribly out of context for some sort of autumnal feel?
So eventually the banging stopped and the painters went home (get your mind out of the gutter). A blessed hush descended, and the idea of doing something that required more than 45 seconds of sustained attention seemed less daunting.
This wee tiny cuff was the result. You’ll have to pardon the poor lighting in the photo. It’s early morning, my office is dark, and the painters are back so I’m not dragging it outside to photograph (yarn and paint don’t mix).
It started because I was fiddling around trying to get the hang of the Italian cast on. That led naturally to some ribbing, which turned into a little mini cuff. I’m rather pleased.
I love this shape. It keeps me warm but doesn’t get in the way of typing or knitting. Gauge isn’t really important, and it takes only a few dozen yards of scrap yarn. I foresee several more of these in my immediate future.
I’m pleased to present Vaunt.
These are the latest in the ongoing attempt to find patterns that are subdued enough to appeal to both guys and girls but still interesting enough to not send the knitter mad with boredom. I think they hit the spot. Well, I think this pattern in this color hits the spot. One of the testers made them in a lovely pale purple that might not work for some guys. But these are safely in the boy color palette.
I’m rather taken with them. They’re easy to memorize, and they work up quickly. I’m especially pleased with the spiffy heel flap and the way the pattern continues all the way down the toe.
They’re over on ravelry if you want to make your own. I’ll get a page up for them here at some point, just not today. Probably not tomorrow either. It’s going to be that sort of a week.