Well Begun

Well then, that’s the first big step for next year’s book all sorted.  The last of the yarns are in, and they’re lovely.

DSC_6729 copyThat’s sweetgeorgia’s Cashluxe Fine in Terra Firma.

DSC_6720 copyAnd that’s their Superwash Sport in Goldmine.

Both delightful, as sweetgeorgia always is.  Both already swatched and properly sorted into my scheme!

If you want to look back over all the yarns for next year’s book, you should be able to find them here (plus other stuff about the book as it comes together).  I’ve got lots of pieces for it off with knitters right now, and the rest will be on the needles soon.  And I’m sure we’ll be talking about it lots once Curls 2 is out (cough, which happens next month, cough).  But for now, I’ve got my little pile of yarn snippets from each skein and I’ll just be over here petting them and cooing over the colors!

Still Smitten

Yup, this yarn in the mail thing never ever ever gets old.  These lovelies are from Anzula, and I suspect grand things are going to be happening with them!

8 copyThat’s dreamy in Gravity.

7 copyAnd that’s Squishy in Cardamom.

And oh my are they lovely.  I swear those folks can do no wrong!

Still Fun

The happy yarn barrage (goodies for next year’s book) continues unabated.  Today’s lovelies are from Malabrigo.

We’ve got some Arroyo in Reflecting Pool.

6And some Twist in Sealing Wax.

5And yes, for those playing along at home, that is rather thick, and it might not be what you’d expect for socks…that’s because it’s turning into slippers.  Oh and wow are they going to be nice!

Temptation

So this awesome thing happens when you’ve got a few books and a whole bunch of patterns under your belt.  You start to have a magic list in the back of your head of who does the best yarn.  You know, the places you are sure will always always always have something beautiful to tempt you with.  Hazel Knits is totally on that list (and this is not the first time I’ve fallen prey to their goodies).

I’ve got two of their little treasures to play with for next year’s book.  This is their divine in Braeburn.

DSC_6459 copyAnd this is their entice in Indigo.

DSC_6462 copyBoth clearly part of the Truth in Yarn Names movement!  I have a sneaking suspicion these are going to be some very pretty socks.

I get all the best mail

So there’s this thing where I have an idea, then I talk to some of my very favorite yarn makers, then they send me yarn, then I play with it.  I believe technically it’s called ‘my job,’ but really it feels like way too much fun to be a job.

Two of the latest yarns to arrive (they’re for next year’s book) are from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

DSC_6250 copyThe first is Yaksi Fingering in Poupon (tell me I’m not the only one to be amused by yak…that’s just nifty).

DSC_6252 copyAnd the next is Socks that Rock Mediumweight in A Hazy Shade of Blue (love STR because it’s twisted tightly enough to make for really really sturdy socks).

DSC_6382 copyBoth are delightful, and both might already have found themselves coerced into swatches.

DSC_6373 copy

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!

 

I love this part

So as I mentioned, Curls 2 is off at the printer (yay) and will be out this summer (double yay).  And that means it’s totally time for me to diving in to the next book.  One of the first steps is always getting yarn.  I flashed some of the other pretty yarns for the new one a few days ago, but the mail fairy has brought me more in the meantime!

DSC_6123That’s Mrs. Crosby Hat Box in Roasted Chestnut.

DSC_6127And that’s Lorna’s Laces Solemate in Manzanita.

Both awfully yummy, and a good illustration of something I’m considering for this book.  The Solemate is your classic skinny minny sock yarn, you’ll generally want something like 8.5 or even 9 stitches per inch with it to give you nice sturdy sock fabric.  The Hat Box is more of a sport weight, you’ll want something more like 7 or 7.5 stitches to get a good fabric with it.

There’s a lot of yarn like this these daysyarn with a good fiber mix and a good construction for socks, but a little bit thicker than classic sock weight.  I love them and they’re totally what I reach for when I want to make socks, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.  But then again, I know plenty of people who love a good skinny sock yarn and will reach for it every time.

So for this next book, I’m considering offering sizing information that says something like ‘If you’re using a fingering-weight yarn and getting a gauge of 8.5spi, the sock will fit a foot or leg of w [x, y, z] inches.  If you’re using a sport or dk-weight and getting a gauge of 7spi, the sock will fit a foot or leg of a [b, c, d] inches.’  Of course I’d tell you which the sock in the pictures was knit in (and I’d explain in the intro what was going on with the sizing and emphasize that you need to match your gauge to your yarn).  But I really think a lot of folks don’t realize they can adjust the size by adjusting their yarn and therefore their gauge, and this could be a good reminder.

So what do you think?  Helpful? Overkill?  I do it with a lot of my individual patterns and get good feedback, so I suspect it could work, but I’ve not done it in a book yet.  But it’s not that much extra work to include it, and if it will help folks, I think it could be nifty.

Neeeeext

So, now that Curls 2 is off to the printer (did I tell you guys about that? We should talk about that, look for more shortly!), it’s time to start on next year’s book.  Now next year’s book is a little different than most.  We’ll talk about it at length over the next year or so I’m sure.  But for now? For now I just want to show off some yarn!

DSC_6069Those are two beauties from Seven Sisters Arts (that’s Karen Grover’s company, formerly of String Theory, so you know everything is going to be amazing).

DSC_6084The greeny gold one is Apex (which has yak as part of the blend, which can sometimes make a yarn a bit temperamental, but in this case looks to be an absolutely marvelous sock yarn).

DSC_6073And the orangey one is Meridian (which is an delightful traditional sock yarn with fab stitch definition for showing off lots of fancy stitch work).

Swatching is underway with both, and I’m totally smitten.