Hazy

Every now and then I find a yarn that knows a special magic trick.  It somehow manages to be more than one color at once.  I don’t mean more than one color over the length of the yarn (that’s easy enough).  I mean more than one color at any given spot in the yarn.  Sort of like this.

DSC_4894 (This is surprisingly hard to show, so you can click to see a bigger version of the picture if you want to peer at it a bit more closely.)  See how it all seems to have a base color (whether that’s purple or blue or teal), but then there’s also a sort of secondary color (I read it as a very reddish purple, but accounts differ) that carries across all of it?  You can see it most on the sort of haze of fibers that stick up off the surface of the yarn.

DSC_4898You can see it even more clearly if you untwist the plies and look at them individually.  See how the primary color is sort of a lovely teal, but just at the edge of kinks (the spots that were on the outside of the strand when it was all twisted up) you can see just a tiny hint of that purple business?

It’s kind of magic.  I swear every time a yarn does this I end up loving it.  So two questions.  First, dyers, how the heck do you guys do that?  Do you dye the regular stuff first and then toss it back in to the haze color for a quick second go?  I’m terribly curious.

Second, do you guys know of any yarns that do this?  Skeinny Dipping does it sometimes, as does Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  But by far the most consistent one I’ve found is String Theory (and I think it’s part of why I love them, that’s their Caper Aran up there).  But there must be others.  And you guys have got to know way more yarn than I do so…point me towards it!

Wrack

They’re here!  The pattern for Wrack (The Boy’s latest socks, and oh buddy has has he ever earned them with the shipping shenanigans of the last week or so) is up on ravelry.

wrack main smallYou’ve watched these click along all through last December.  And if you’ve been here for a while, you know that me knocking out a pair of socks in less than a month is pretty darn speedy.  Part of that is the yarn (squoosh aran by Skeinny Dipping, and a lovely fat sock yarn it is), but part of it is totally the pattern.  The cables get you off to a good start, then you switch to ribbing for a while and cruise along at top speed.  Then, just as you’re in danger of losing steam or getting distracted, you make one more little cable swoosh and you’re done.

wrack inside smallAnd, as usual with my fat socks, I’ve written the pattern so that you can totally make it with more traditional sock yarn too.  It’s written for gauges of 7, 8, or 9 stitches to the inch, and with a cast ons of 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, and 84 stitches.  That means you’re going to be able to fit pretty much any size foot you might want to knit for (and a few sizes that might make you a bit weak in the knees if you think about them for too long).

wrack back smallSo if you know somebody who could use a snuggly new pair of socks (hint, this could very likely be you, isn’t it time you knit something for yourself?), these may well be just the ticket.  They’re up on ravelry now.  And, through the end of the day Friday, use the code SANDY to get a dollar off the regular price.

Scattershot

Well, that was a bracing few days.  Most of those copies of Curls have gone off to new homes in lovely yarn stores (and yes, you can totally ask your favorite store to get in touch, I’d love to send it their way, too).  The porch has looked a little something like this for the last few days. DSC_0644But never fear, we’ll be back to yarn-y goodness next week!  In fact, Tuesday will see the release of the lovely brown boy socks you watched me make earlier this winter.  We took the photos for them when we were in Charleston, and looking at them (and then looking out my window to the piles of snow) is really making me rethink this ‘live somewhere with a real winter’ decision.

wrack main small alternateFolks on the mailing list will get a message when it comes out (and some sort of shiny coupon code), so be sure you’re signed up if you want to hear from me.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see if I can make it be spring just through the power of my despair.

Decisions, Decisions

So, I’ve got finished knitting, I’ve got finished patterns, all I need is photos.  Luckily, I’ve also managed to flee my snowy, freezing home and come somewhere a bit warmer (not warm mind you, I’m still walking around bundled up in woolies, just warmer).  Looks a bit like this.

riseEven luckier, I actually managed to bring the knitting in need of a photo shoot (on the theory that it might be easier to find a spot to take pictures here than at home).  I intend to press my willing victim into service and get two patterns worth of pictures while I’m here.  So now, all I have to do is decide which pattern should come out first (one will come out next week, the other the first week of March).  What do you guys want next, socks?

socksOr a hat and mitt set?

hatNow full disclosure, if something goes wrong, or the pictures don’t cooperate (or if editing them is too much of a bear on the laptop), I reserve the right to be all contrary and ignore your sage advice.  But if you’ve got a preference, I’d love to hear it!

One Sock Two Sock

So, that’s two finished socks.  Alas (and I didn’t realize this till I took them both outside in the daylight), they seem to be two slightly different colored finished socks.

DSC_0061I’m going to try very hard to tell myself I don’t care (I mean really, if I didn’t notice while I was knitting, it’s not likely to be a big deal).  Failing that, I’m going to try very hard to tell myself that The Boy (the intended recipient of said socks) doesn’t care.  Next up on my denial plan is washing them a few times to see if the difference lessens.  The final tactic is a bit of a tea or coffee soak to sort of nudge them to the same place.  We’ll see which approach works best…

Other than the tiny color variation I adore them.  They’re super thick and cozy (the yarn is Squoosy Aran by Skeinny Dipping).  And the wee cable squiggles were just enough distraction to not go mad in the middle of giant boy socks.  The pattern is out with testers now, and I suspect it will come out some time late this winter.

43 and a Toe

Sock the first is done (that’s him, smugly pleased with his blocked state, there in the background).  Sock the second has a leg, a heel, and even a gusset.  He only needs 43 rows and a toe to be finished (yes, yes I do count rows and keep an obsessive mental tally of how much is done versus how much remains…it’s totally a valid lifestyle choice).

DSC_2818With any luck, the finishing of the socks will coincide with the holidays.  That will mean The Boy will actually be home during daylight, and I can get some lovely modeled shots and get these out fairly early in the new year (fairly early meaning ‘still winter around these parts’ not ‘your Christmas lights are still seasonally appropriate’).

These are growing on me the more I work on them.  Of course by now I’m starting to get a bit itchy for some lime green or maybe some orange, but as far as stately browns go, these are awfully pretty.  Christine does good yarn!

Close Enough

There is no sun.  The sun is gone.  The sun will never shine again.  It will be gray, and probably sleeting, until the end of time.  This means I will never get a good picture of this sock.  We’ll just have to accept this and move on.  We can console ourselves with knitting.

DSC_2807I’ve still got to get The Boy to try it on to make sure it’s the right length before I graft the toe.  But I’m pretty sure it is, which means I’m pretty sure this counts as a finished sock.  That’s worth a blog post, whether or not the sun ever shines again.

Zipping along

The sock has grown.  It’s funny how that happens when you actually sit down and knit on it.  But despite the growth, it still may not be the most exciting thing in the world (a few more inches of plain ribbed sock is still plain ribbed sock).  I’m holding out hope for the additional swoops at the toe to wake me back up again.

DSC_2776Meanwhile, you can all distract yourselves with the adorable project bag.   It’s from Three Bags Full, and it’s marvelous.  I’ll have to show them off better in another post, but there are wee pockets and elastics inside to hold your various notions in place.  And the bag is plenty big enough for both socks (even though I’m using two full skeins of heavy yarn to make nice fat socks).  I totally love it.

That’s Better

Oh hey, look, sun. That’s a much better representation of this lovely yarn.  It’s Squoosh Aran by Skeinny Dipping.

DSC_2753And yes, this is going to be a fairly staid and reserved sock.  A bit of wobbly action at the top, then a nice rib down the leg and foot.  There may be one more wee wobble at the toe, just to wake me back up.  It’s a fairly thick yarn (I’m only doing a 56-stitch leg for The Boy and his rather sizable feet), and I often think those look better if you don’t get too fancy with the stitchwork.  Luckily the yarn is totally pretty enough to carry the show on its own!

The Sock You Cannot See

I’m working on some socks for The Boy (compensation for his efforts in the giant book shipping extravaganza that he’s about to participate in).  I’m using a lovely brown yarn with subtle hints of green and red.  It is lovely, and in the right light you can see all the glorious tints and shades it has to offer.  In the wrong light, you cannot.  It’s Cleveland, it’s December.  The right light is hard to come by.  This picture does not do it justice at all.

boy sockBut it’s knitting.  I’ve been skimping on the knitting of late, and for the love of wool I’m going to show it off when happens.  So please pardon the less-than-stellar picture, and rest assured I will show it off better if the clouds ever break.  It’s pretty enough it deserves to be seen at its best.