Never ending swatches

Ok, we did swatches parts one and two already, let’s see if we can’t fit the last three all in at once!

I want all the bonus points for reblocking this swatch so I could take a decent photo of it for you. Yarn is Chickadee by Quince and Co in the color Angelica.

What I probably should have done is shown you blocked and unblocked versions of this swatch.  For you see, this stitch pattern looks…ah…shall we say indistinct in it’s unblocked state? That’s a polite word for it, right?⁠⠀
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But…the good news here is that when you wear socks, your foot/ankle totally puts the fabric under tension for you, so that oh so slightly nebulous pattern you saw when you were knitting absolutely springs into focus. It’s one of knitting’s many tiny magic tricks, and one this stitch shows off to great advantage!⁠

Next up is something a little more straight forward, but no less delightful.  Yarn is Everyday DK by Ontheround in the color Hologram.⁠

And the socks are a pile of ribbing.  Which is both glorious (so comfy, so tidy, so very delightful to wear) and potentially a tiny bit boring to knit.  So I’ve done something delightfully swoopy on the foot of the sock.  Which the swatch admitedly doesn’t show terrrrrrrribly well.  But it helped me work out the math, and you’ll see how cool it is when I start showing off the socks properly here very soon!

And finally…a totally different take on ribbing.  Yarn is Bluestocking by String Theory Handdyed Yarn in the color Bimini.⁠⠀

And I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but this is just so much fun to work.  I’ve never made stitches quite like it, and the result is just so gloriously textured.  Like it feels tidy and orderly and the tiniest bit subversive. Now, you will totally want to swatch it. It’s weird enough that your first one will probably be a whole lot less tidy than your fifth one (I know mine certainly got tidier as I practiced). But you’ll have fun and it’s totally worth it! ⁠

Once again, though I suspect if you’ve made it this far you totally already know, the book is coming soon, and if you want to hear about the preorder festivities, the mailing list is the thing to do.  But you’re totally a cool kid and already knew that!

Sneaky tricks

The slipper has been cast on and shaping up rather nicely.  I do find something about this way of building a slipper rather marvelous!

DSC_1329 copyIf you look very very very closely, you may notice a sneaky little trick.  That bottom needle?  The one holding the stitches that will go under my heel?  It’s different than the other two.

DSC_1341 copyThis yarn (chickadee by Quince) doesn’t have any nylon.  And while it does seem lovely and sturdy, I wanted to do just a tiny bit extra to make the bottom of the slipper (the part that will get the most wear) a bit tougher.  So I’m using one size smaller needles to work those stitches.  You totally don’t have to, but I find it helps.

If you do decide to try it, using two different sorts of needle (in this case a round silver one and a square bronze one) makes it much easier to keep track of which is which and grab the right one when you need it.  Worth a shot if you’ve got a yarn you’re dying to use that could benefit from a little extra protection in heavy wear spots!

More slippers

Yeah, I know I just put a slipper pattern out.  You’d think that would mean my slipper lust was slaked for the time being.  But no…I need more.

I’ve got a very particular cable in mind that will work perfectly for slippers, and I think I have just the yarn for it.  Lovely, isn’t it?

DSC_1274 copyIt’s Quince’s Chickadee in Honey, for anyone wondering, and it’s delightful stuff!

Pelagic (plus giveaway)

You know that skein of beautiful, multi-color sock yarn you just couldn’t resist? And then it turned out you didn’t know quite what to do with it?  I totally figured it out.  Pelagic is what you do with it!

DSC_6626 copyFirst you grab a slightly heavier, solid-color yarn to pair with it.  Then you bring them together in just the right way, the solid-color yarn keeping things orderly while the multi-color gets to be just as wild as it wants!

DSC_6579 copyHere I’ve got Chickadee by Quince & Co playing the role of respectable solid-color yarn (Kumlien’s Gull), and Meridian by Seven Sisters Arts playing the role of wild child (Aphrodite), but this would work beautifully with lots of combinations.  Just keep in mind you do want to use a slightly heavier yarn for the solid color to get the right drape in the hat and flare in the cuff.

DSC_6556 copySegmenting the colorful yarn off into neat sections like that lets it shine without letting it get too out of control.  It works on the hat with nice broad bands of color, and it works on the cuff with more delicate columns.  I really love how it lets me take a yarn I love (but would be just a little scared of) and show it off.

DSC_6545 copyAnd just look what it does at the top of the hat!  I’m not really sure anyone can be expected to resist that for long.

DSC_6571 copyAnd speaking of irresistible, Karen over at Seven Sisters Arts has a treat for one of you.  She’s sending someone a skein of the beautiful Meridian yarn I used here.  All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment telling how you feel about wild colored yarn.  Are you helpless to resist?  Don’t quite get the appeal?  Stash full of the stuff and no idea what to do with it?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know how you guys feel!  Someone will take home a skein of their very own.

And while I can’t quite manage to yarn to everyone, I can give everyone a discount.  You can use the code FLASH to get a dollar the price between now and Friday.  Just put Pelagic in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code FLASH.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

DSC_6534 copyComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, September 9, 2016 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.

Enchase

So you know those itty bitty twisty cables? The ones that are so tidy and perfect and downright methodical that you just sort of turn yourself over to them and go happily along for the ride?  Yeah, that’s what Enchase are all about!

DSC_6299 copyAnd, full disclosure, tiny cables like this can be just a bit fiddly, at least until you get the hang of them.  You’ll probably have to look at the chart from time to time, especially in the beginning.  But oh, oh it’s worth it.  Look how lovely that is.  You really could not ask for anything more.

DSC_6302 copyYou’re going to want a yarn that works with you for this project.  Because you’ve got a purl background, and because purl stitches highlight variegation more than knit stitches (some day I’m going to have to do a post about this so I can just link to it as needed…), you’ll want something that’s solid or awfully close to solid.  And because part of what makes the pattern stand out is the shadows the columns of knit stitches cast, you may want to consider a light color.

DSC_6284 copyI went with Quince & Company’s Tern (yes, again, because I love it dearly) in Dusk, and it was a perfect choice, as it so often is.  This yarn has totally moved to the top of my list for socks!

You can use the code TWISTY to get a dollar off the price between now and Friday.  Just put Enchase in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code TWISTY.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

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Zipping

This really has more or less just fallen off the needles.  It was faster than it has any right to be (even if it is only a tiny bit of knitting).  The first one has now had a proper blocking and had its ends all tidily tucked away.

DSC_6507 copyNumber two is off the needles (and here is shamelessly showing off its insides…which really I think are rather nifty) and waiting for its turn to be blocked.

DSC_6511 copyAnd speaking of blocking, I’ve found the easiest way to do these is actually over the top of a one liter water bottle.  Depending on how tall you make the wrist on yours, you can roll up a stiff piece of paper to make a little cylinder to fill out the top, but for shorties like these it’s not really needed.  The curve of the top part of the bottle is perfect for filling out the knitting.

DSC_6513 copyOh, and for those of you who have been waiting, the nifty little cabled mitts we’ve all been making eyes at are coming out Tuesday.  If you want an email (and a coupon) when they do, be sure you’re on the mailing list!

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That will do nicely

You know that’s teeny tiny, right?

Yes, I do, and I’m also pretty sure it’s the highest joy to stitch count ratio of any project ever.

DSC_6478 copyAnd you know  not everyone is as fascinated with flared cuffs as you are, right?

Nonsense. And even if it were true, the only way to help them learn is through constant exposure.

DSC_6482 copySo it’s probably best to just back away quietly and let you knit the second one isn’t it?

Now you’re learning…

Unabashed

I should have stopped being amused by this combination about half way through the hat.  I did not.  I remain completely and unapologetically amused and delighted.

DSC_6450 copyI’ll let you know if the fascination wanes (or, more likely, if the yarn runs out).  But for now, I’ll be over here doing this.

Hat of Infinite Happiness

Right, so you know how pretty much all knitting is lovely and fun and a good thing? But then there’s some knitting that is just Your Personal Perfect Knitting?  Yeah, so this is mine.

DSC_6417 copyThe top is just the way I like the tops of my hats to be (flat, which leads to a tiny bit of pouf but not unseemly amounts of slouch).

DSC_6421 copyIt fits my (giant melon of a) head just right, with just the right amount of brim but not too much (a tricky dance, and one no store bought hat ever manages).

DSC_6413 copyAnd the colors.  Oh the colors.

So yeah, totally my sort of hat.  There will totally be a pattern (first I suspect I may knit a second variation on the hat or maybe even a cowl or some mitts or something…maybe…it might just be perfect enough to stand on its own).  But for now, I’m just going to sit here and pet it.

A hat in slow motion

If you wandered over from pinterest and are looking for the pattern, it’s called Pelagic and it’s out on ravelry!

First things first, you’ve got to put your time in on the band.  There’s no way around it.

DSC_6234But then you get to play.

DSC_6236I’m pretty sure this is exactly the right thing to do with that yarn you bought in an effort to be more colorful, but then you realized you are secretly a little scared of too much color, and so you tucked it away in the back corner of your stash where it couldn’t give your other yarn any upstart ideas.

DSC_6242 sBecause really, when properly fenced in with a nice respectable gray, the wild yarn is rather marvelous.

DSC_6254 sThe gray is Quince & Company Chickadee in Kumliens Gull, the purple is Seven Sisters Arts Meridian in a one of a kind color.  And the hat?  The hat is mine all mine.