Block All The Things…yes even your swatches

Remember the gray speckled swatch on the needle from the other day?  The one with the Daintree yarn from Skein?

Well it came off the needles and looked fine…but like most knitting (all…not most…all), it was a bit rumpled and untidy.  That’s just the nature of knitting. It needed to be blocked.

All I did was squeeze it under water a few times then lay it flat beside the sink to dry.  No pins, no wires, no tension, no real effort.  Just soak it and lay it flat to dry.  And look what a difference that made.

I hear from people all the time saying ‘my knitting doesn’t look like yours.’  And 95% of the time it’s that they’re not blocking their finished pieces.  And I get that sometimes the full blocking dance is hard (worth it…but not always practical) but I promise you can soak your knitting and let it dry (hint, that’s basically washing it, and you’re going to want to do that from time to time).  You spent all that time making something, you owe it to yourself to take a few minutes and really let it shine.

And…just because it amuses me…this colorway is called Sea View and I just happened to come across a few pieces of sea glass on the beach as I walked out to the picnic table to take these pictures.  I decided to take shameless advantage!

Oh, and just for anyone following along at home, it’s a swatch for a project that will be in Curls 3 (which will be out next year if all goes according to plan).  You can follow along with all the Curls 3 posts over here.

No I didn’t forget

So somehow over the space of a little less than 12 weeks this summer I found a house, bought a house, sold a house, launched a book, and moved across the country.  I don’t particularly recommend that timeline (let’s just say I picked a book launch schedule long before I knew we were moving), but it turns out, it is more or less possible (if you don’t mind not getting much sleep for a while in the middle there).

However, it didn’t leave me with much time for swatching.

Luckily, I’m all settled in now (unpacked, and even most of the way through that inevitable list of tiny things you want to change about any new house), and back to swatching for Curls 3.

This is the lovely Daintree yarn from Skein (love them, the socks I did with their yarn continue to delight) in the color Sea View.  And lovely as it is now, when I get the swatch off the needles and properly blocked, I suspect it will be even better!

You’ll be seeing more of Curls 3 stuff around here in the next little while, but if you want to catch up on what’s gone on so far, you can see all of the posts about it here.

Good Mail (yes, more!)

This really is one of the most enjoyable parts of any book…the yarn shower that comes at the beginning…

Because really, how could you not love finding that in your mailbox?  That’s the Magnificent DK base from Knit Circus in their Brass and Steam colorway, with an extra skein of the yellow that comes at the end (the KC folks are super flexible and will totally help you get the amount/color of yarn you need for whatever scheme you’ve cooked up!).

Or this…it’s just pretty much going to make your day no matter what.  I swear it just about glows!  It’s Daintree by Skein in the color Sea View (I love their colors, I used their yarn in Calcareous and was helplessly smitten).

You can see all the yarns for this book over here, and I swear it’s just about the most colorful bunch of yarns I’ve ever played with…this is going to be so much fun!

Calcareous (plus giveaway)

We’re totally on a roll.  I told you I had a lovely stack of early patterns to bring back, and today’s is Calcareous!

calcareous main smallThese sort of hit that sweet spot between cabling and ribbing.  The cables keep the ribbing from getting boring (because I can’t be the only one who would go mad with boredom before I reached the end of a pair of plain ribbed socks).  And the ribbing keeps the cables behaving nicely and makes sure the socks fit beautifully.

calcareous internal 5 smallAnd there’s something rather tidy going on with the gusset there too.  See how the decreases are snugged in there, hidden away in the larger stitch pattern?  It’s kind of nifty!  I was apparently having a ‘hide the gusset’ phase for a while there (Anemochory takes a similar approach).

calcareous internal smallI find the overall effect almost irresistibly dapper!  They yarn totally helps with that too.  It’s Top Draw Sock from an awesome company called Skein (yes they’re in Australia, yes this makes their yarn a tiny bit harder to come by, and yes it is totally worth the effort).  I’ve got a second skein of their yarn to give away to introduce one you to their awesome goodness.  Just leave a comment telling me how you feel about ribbing on socks to be entered to win.  (Too boring to bear?  So hideously comfy you struggle through anyways?  You’re madly in love and don’t know why I hate ribbing?  There’s no wrong answer, we’re just chatting!)

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

calcareous internal 2 smallComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, October 16, 2015 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.