Easy enough

So I love that you guys are enthusiastic about the idea of listing the sizing information for the sock patterns in the next book in multiple gauges.  That actually makes my life secretly easier, as I may possibly have requested a couple of thicker yarns already.  And if you guys are cool with it, then I don’t have to have the internal debate about ‘do folks know they could totally do this with skinny yarn instead? because they totally could do that.’  Instead I can just say ‘skinny yarn? You’ll get these sizes. Thick yarn? You’ll get these sizes.’ and be done with it.

The yarns I got from Quince are actually a perfect example.  This is their Tern in Beach Glass, and it’s a perfect skinny sock yarn (it’s what I used for Diluvian, and there’s another pair of socks coming this summer that uses it too…when you find a good one, keep using it).

DSC_6161And this is their Chickadee in Caspian.  It’s a sport weight yarn (they suggest 6.5 spi, but I’m going to lean toward 7spi for a sock to make sure it’s sturdy), and will make absolutely delightful thicker socks.

DSC_6156Both are fabulous, and you can happily use either one for socks.  You’re just going to want to make sure you are working at the gauge that suits the yarn.  And I think we can make that happen!

 

Diluvian (plus giveaway)

It’s possible I shouldn’t be this entertained by a sock.  In fact I probably shouldn’t be (or at least I shouldn’t admit in public).  But I can’t help it. Diluvian hit pretty much every one of my sock sweet spots, and I’m delighted to bring them back out.

diluvian 1 sqNow in my heart of hearts, I think it’s hard to beat the fit of a basic ribbed sock.  But I also find basic ribbed socks boring…boring to knit, boring to look at, just totally not worth the trouble.  But give them a bit of a twist?  Sneak in some dropped stitches? Pay a bit of extra attention to the heel and the toe?  All of a sudden you’ve got something that is a lot more fun.  They’re still every bit as comfy as the classic rib, just ever so much more fetching!

diluvian 4 sqOh and if you’re as easily amused as I am, they’re also reversible.  Take a look at the picture below, the sock on the left is right side out, the sock on the right is inside out.  They’re almost the same (and of course just as cute on either side).  It makes them a fantastic choice for those of you who like princess soles.  Just knit them as written and turn them inside out.

diluvian 2 sqAnd of course the yarn is one of my favorites.  It’s Tern by Quince & Co, and it makes glorious socks.  I mean I know I’m biased (my stash is more or less divided into ‘bucket of String Theory and Quince’ and ‘everything else’), but it really is nifty.  It’s 75% wool, 25% silk.  The silk does what nylon normally does in sock yarn (keep it sturdy) while also doing what silk does (give it just a tiny bit of shimmer and depth).  It’s a perfect combo, and I’m a big fan of silk in socks.  And of course Quince’s color are just right for these socks, where a nice solid keeps all the interest on the texture and makes your stitches look marvelously tidy.

diluvian 5 sqQuince has two skeins of Tern for one of you to try it out for yourself.  If you think they might need to come live with you, just leave a comment telling me how you feel about silk in sock yarn.  Madly in love? Total upgrade from nylon? Never tried it? You suddenly need a list of all the silk sock yarns? There’s no wrong answer, I just want to know how you feel!

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

diluvian 3 sqComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, March 18, 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.  Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.

Oh this needs to happen

So it’s about time I show you something I’ve knit.  Except that I don’t actually have anything I’ve knit to show, so I’ll have to do something much much better and show you something Katie (who knits an astonishing number of the knitted things you see in my pattern photos) knit instead.

DSC_3237These are the reincarnation of the gray socks I ripped out back in October.  I wrote up the pattern, paired it up with some yarn (and oh if this isn’t the perfect thing to do with a solid yarn I don’t know what is) and now I have the socks back safe and sound waiting for a picture.

All of which means they will very likely be the next pattern that comes out, almost certainly early in the new year.  I have a feeling it’s going to be hard to wait!

Acquisitions

We’ve been away for a bit.  We were up in Maine.  (Yes, again. No, I’m not at all sorry. Yes, we are actually considering just moving there and saving everyone quite a lot of driving time.)  Rather than bore you with the details (water, oh so many rocks, sea treasures, cocktails, pumpkin fest, beer week), I thought I’d be all noble and restrained and mostly just flash some yarn.  Because no one actually wants to hear about anyone else’s vacation.  It’s almost as boring as hearing about someone else’s dream.  Yarn on the other hand, everyone wants to know about yarn!

maine yarnOur trips to Maine have usually meant I pick up piles and piles of String Theory.  But this year, when I went to check their site, I saw the physical store was no longer open (don’t worry, you can still order through their website).  But then I learned that Karen Grover, one of the two folks who used to run String Theory, had started her own company, Seven Sisters Arts, and it was in the former String Theory location.

Let’s just say this was an exciting discovery and led to much squee-ing.  Shortly after that came much yarn buying.  The colors are every bit as gorgeous as you’ve come to expect from String Theory, with lots of fun new bases.  And gradients…oh goodness me the gradients.  Let’s just say they’re officially on my list of Yarn I Must Play With Soon.

We also stopped by One Lupine in Bangor and snagged a skein of yarn with the same name as the area we stay in (The Boy and I are opening discussions regarding a fingering weight hat for him, and this seemed like a lovely place to start).  And of course you can’t go to Maine without getting a bit of Quince, so I grabbed two skeins in a lovely chartreuse that I swear is a neutral and goes with everything.  I suspect I’ll have some socks in much that shade some where down the line.

There was actually a bit of knitting and quite a bit of taking pictures of knitting, too.  But that will have to wait till next time.  For now, I’ll content myself with subjecting you to just one lone vacation picture, which really is all it’s fair to inflict upon anyone.

Sea Treasures

Unearthed

A recent toss of the secondary knitting basket (don’t look at me like that, I know some of you have them, too) revealed by far my oldest WIP.

gray sockAs far as I can tell, I put that down some time in the summer of 2011 and haven’t touched it since.

For those keeping score at home, that’s one whole sock and pretty much the whole leg of another sock.  That should, in theory, be the fastest path from me to a shiny new pair of socks.

Alas, in this case, the theory doesn’t quite hold true.  The first sock truly isn’t knit tightly enough and will totally feel icky under foot.  I have absolutely no notes from these.  And most important of all, I don’t actually like knitting at this gauge.

But…but, I hear you say, these are awfully pretty socks, and it would be a shame to waste them.  Indeed they are, which is why I got out some graph paper and carefully reverse engineered the cable.  Then I did a lot of muttering and pinning of knitting and poking at things with darning needles and counting of tiny stitches.  Then came some vigorous typing and a bit of a stash toss.

quince tern in duskLovely, no?  Finally, I pleaded with an intrepid and talented knitter to pretty pretty please loan me the work of her needles.

So never fear, these are going to find their way into the world!  They’re just taking a rather more circuitous path than I would have imagined when I cast them on.

Change of Plans

A hat appeared, fully formed, in my head.  I knew pretty much everything about this hat: how it would be patterned, how the decreases would work, even how the sizing would work.  Everything except the yarn.  So I did the normal thing.  I tossed the stash, found nothing, and then ordered more yarn.

DSC_1578The yarn came, it was lovely.  I swatched, I did math, and I cast on.  But alas, it wasn’t right.  It’s not the yarn’s fault.  It is awesome yarn and will undoubtedly find its way onto my needles at a later date, just not now. DSC_1581So I went back to the stash and had a long chat with the skein I initially considered and then decided against.  After long consultation, we decided that we’d give it another try.  I think it’s going to work out rather well. DSC_1575

Toss

Those of you who have not had the distinct pleasure of living with me may not know one of my dirty little secrets.  I am a stress cleaner.  If I am feeling frazzled, I tidy things.  And, conversely, if things are untidy, I feel frazzled.

So yesterday, when I went to put something in my office closet and took full account of the mess in there, I sort of snapped.  I decided that I simply had to take an hour or two out of the day and purge the stash.  It was a fairly brutal purge if I’m being honest.  (Yes, yes I did throw away yarn…it’s ok to throw away yarn if that’s what you need to do to bring order to your world.  Same holds true for other stuff cluttering up your life, too.  You’re not obligated to re-home it, you’re allowed to just ditch it if that’s what you need to do.)

And when I was done, this is what was left.

DSC_0650That’s my personal stash.

Now, before you panic, there are a few caveats.  Book yarn (meaning yarn for books in various stages of production) lives somewhere else.  It takes up about one of those smaller bins worth of space.  I’ve also got another small bin worth of leftovers.  And I’ve got one more small bin of prize yarn (meaning yarn to be used as prizes for various knitalongs and upcoming giveaways).

But as far as my ‘hmmm, I feel like making a project, let me consult the stash’ yarn, that’s it.

The alarmingly attentive among you may notice that the front bin is made up entirely of String Theory and Quince yarns (I swear I could knit with nothing but those two for 90% of my knitting and be perfectly happy).  It seemed the best way to divide the yarn, given that those two account for more than a third of my stash.

So now it’s your turn to fess up.  How big is your stash?  Is mine excessive?  Or must I hang my head in shame until I can get a real stash?  And how do you like to sort it?  I considered ‘gray’ and ‘not gray’ but this seemed better in the end.

Loot

I went to Rhinebeck and didn’t buy yarn.  I know this sounds a bit odd, but I get rather frazzled when I find myself somewhere crowded.  I bailed out after less than three hours.  I wanted very badly to be elsewhere, so we left.  Luckily, we were up in Maine after Rhinebeck, and Maine seems to be exceptionally well supplied with yarn stores.  I visited quite a few of them.

quinceOf course we went into Portland, which means of course we went to KnitWit, which means of course I bought yarn from Quince & Co.  Rather a lot of yarn actually.  That’s six skeins of Tern (three in Dusk and three in Back Bay) and three skeins of Chickadee in Kumlien’s Gull.  I’m not quite sure what might become of them (this will be a theme, I don’t tend to buy yarn with a project in mind), but I think they’ll all turn into something grand.

string theoryAnd as usual, we stopped by String Theory, and I had my yearly indulgence of impressive proportions.  My ongoing obsession with their bases and colors is well documented, and this should be a surprise to absolutely no one.  Along the back are Merino DK in Alexandrite, Caledonia, and Earthquake.  In the front is Blue Faced Sport in Skerry and Caper Aran in Canyon.  I got two skeins of each because I love them all dearly and don’t want to run out.  I’m just going to emphasize that if you have the chance to try this yarn, you really really should.  They can do no wrong.

maine yarnAnd of course we visited a few other spots as we wandered around.  We stopped in at Over The Rainbow Yarns in Rockland (when we were in town to visit out very favorite restaurant in all the world, Primo – if you are even sort of close by you owe it to yourself to go).  I grabbed a few skeins of The Fibre Company’s Road to China Light in Moonstone.  And we also popped into Halcyon Yarn in Bath (I told you Maine was swimming in yarn stores).  There I found something new, a mink yarn by Lotus called Mimi.  I’ve not knit with mink before (though the promotional material assured me this was animal-friendly mink, harvested by brushing the critters, rather than by anything less savory).  I’m going to have to do some reading to see what folks do with it, but it’s so soft I had to give it a try.

That seems like rather a lot of yarn when taken all together – quite possibly enough to make up for not getting any at Rhinebeck!  How about you guys, were any of you at Rhinebeck?  Did you manage to fight your way through the crowds enough to buy some yarn?  I saw lots of folks with bags, so I’m guessing somebody bought some!

Playing Favorites

I’m in the middle of the best part of book making.  The part where I’ve chatted with some of my very favorite people in the yarn industry, they’ve graciously agreed to let me experiment with their beautiful yarns, they’ve mailed them to me, and I get to play with them.  This tray of yarn is sitting on my desk right now.

sock yarnsThese will be the socks for the book after next, and I love each and every one of them.  Starting at the top left, there’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Buckingham Fountain, and right under it is Mrs. Crosby Train Case in Boston Fern.  At the top right is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Mermaid Tears (the winner of today’s round of best yarn name of the day).   On the bottom, working left to right, there’s Bare Naked Wools Ghillie Sport DK in Cream, The Uncommon Thread Lush Twist in Tea Smoked, Quince & Co Finch in Iceland, and Shibui Staccato in Caffeine.

You can see I’ve already broken in to many of them to get started swatching (um, I may possibly have three of the sock patterns for these written already), and I’m having a delightful time.  This book is going to be ridiculously fun.

Book Yarn, Part I

Someone very graciously pointed out to me I’ve been remiss in telling you about the yarns I used in the upcoming KCC3.  This is a situation I need to remedy as soon as possible, especially since we’re only about a month out from the book’s debut!  So, without further delay, book yarns.

1These delightful specimens are from the lovely folks at Quince & Co.  I first fell in love with Quince & Co yarns when we went to Maine in 2012.  I’d seen it online before that, but it was extra delightful in person.  I knew I wanted to work with it in the next book.

On the left, you’ve got Finch in Carrie’s Yellow.  It’s an absolutely smashing sock yarn.  Four, tightly-twisted plies make the yarn springy and give it excellent stitch definition.  And the 100% wool base makes it just the tiniest bit crisp.  Not scratchy at all, but just assertive enough that you know it will stand up to the things we ask of socks.

On the right, you’ve got Lark in Split Pea.  It’s another 4-ply yarn, but much softer and loftier than Finch.  If Finch is crisp, Lark is pillowy.  You could use it for a huge range of things, but I may just possibly have used mine for the most adorable hat ever.  It’s perfectly suited to the task!

There is more book yarn to come (9 pairs all together) and I’ll be going through them all over the next few weeks as I get ready for the book’s big release!  If you’re looking for the other yarns used in this book they’ll show up here as they are posted.