Friday, August 18, 2006

I really do knit...

Although my blog might lead you to believe that I only buy yarn.

I got a great big box from Beaverslide Dry Goods this week:
(The shoe I threw in for scale isn't doing it's job. The box was HUGE.)

Packed with beautiful yarn.

Upper Row: McTaggart Tweed ("fisherman weight", which is a heavy worsted to light bulky) in Mountain Mahogany, for a zip-up jacket for my husband.

The middle row, left to right has:
- Fisherman Weight wool in Brown Bison
- McTaggart Tweed in Arrowleaf Balsamwood
- Light Sportweight in Mink Heather (almost a heavy sock-weight)

Lower Row: McTaggart Tweed in Cutthroat Trout for some kind of outerwear sweater for me.

I made a Jo Ann Fabrics run while in Binghamton, NY for my cousin's wedding. The nearest one to me in Boston is a real pain to get to. I bought:
- Some thread
- ball-point needles and pins (good for sewing knit fabrics)
- several half-price purse handles
- some Sugar & Cream, because it's cheap and I haven't tried it yet.

I didn't buy any, but Jo Ann Fabrics seems to have it's own house brand of medium-quality yarns. As in, yarns with actual, honest-to-goodness natural fibers in them. Some were designer knock offs; one was almost identical to Rowan Soft Baby.

I've also bought two books recently:
- Greetings from Knit Cafe. I'll be honest. I bought this for the red carpet dress pattern, which I was thinking of making for my christmas dress (I'll be on the QM2!) With holiday knitting, I may not get around to it, but I'm hopeful.
- Generation T. this is a fun book on customizing T shirts. Some of it is highly punk, and some is more mainstream, but it's a great source for ideas. And there are a LOT of old T shirts at my house.

Not pictured: a box from KnitPicks with:

- Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan.
The designs are all wonderful, but I just had to have the chart for the Vortex Street Pullover. I may not make the sweater itself (a-line tunic probably won't be flattering), but I'll find somewhere else to use it. I wrote my thesis on vortex-induced vibration, so I was absolutely thrilled to see a Karman Vortex Street done in cables. I'm kind of miffed that I didn't think of it first, though...

- more Gloss for swatching, and a second skein for some socks
- More Suri Dream Handpaint, so that really big swatch I started can turn into a wrap
- Some Wool of the Andes for charity knitting
- Some Worsted-weight Bare for hand-dying
- Color cards for many of the new yarns

But I *have* done some knitting. Really I have!

Clapotis #3 is done, other than snipping the ends (already woven in) and dropping the ladders. Must.. not... forget.. to... bring... present...

This is the toe of my first:
- socks made of sock-weight yarn (as opposed to sport or worsted)
The yarn is a beautiful hand-dye by my one-skein secret pal.
- socks made without DPNs (DPNs are being used as a stitch holder in the photo)
- toe-up socks
- short-row toe sock
- sort-of-two-at-once socks

I started using Wendy's generic toe-up directions with some customizations. I resized them to my feet (68 st), and decided to use a Turkish (figure 8) cast-on:

That way, instead of using a provisional cast on, the loops attached to the waste yarn are made on the second needle instead. It gave a slightly looser row where the provisional cast-on would have been, but I'm hoping it will block out. It's on the underside of the toe, anyway.

I tried to do the two-at-once on two circulars method, and got seriously mixed up. So what I did was to work the toe of each sock separately up to the end of the short row toes, and then I put them both on the needles and worked from there.

By the time I got past the toe "knuckles", I was getting bored with stockinette, so I googled for some lace patterns. I really liked the lace from Falling Leaves, so I decided to throw it in on the instep and ankles. Lo and behold, it's also a toe-up, short-row toe and heel sock. So even though I hadn't read their directions to start with, I did end up following them. I suppose that (with the exception of the lace pattern), I unvented them. I think I'll call them Rising Flames. :)

I havent had access to my camera for a few days, so I can't post pics, but I'm approaching the heel. Very much looking forward to the short row heel.

I'm making these on size 0 KnitPicks Classic Circulars, which I have to say I love. They are quick like my one and only pair of addis, nice and pointy, and I LOVE the skinny and flexible cable. I have a Denise set and prefer cassein to metal, so I won't be buying the Options set, but I will definitely be picking up some size 1-4 needles. I might also buy a couple of cables and tips in Denise sizes for small-diameter knitting. I love my Denise set, but the cable is not especially flexible, so I've gotten some bad laddering when trying to do magic loop and some less bad laddering with the two circulars method. It is VERY nice that the Options tips and cables are available a la carte.

On my way to and from Binghamton (and at the scenic Comfort Inn), I did some swatching with a previous KnitPicks order:

Left-to right, thats:
- top row: McTaggart Tweed in snowberry (pinker than cuttthroat trout, which is more peachy)
- bottom row: Cotolin, Quarry (with some double-stranding experiments), Twirl, Suri Dream Handpaint

- Some experiments in stripes with some leftover worsted wools
- a full-skein swatch in Suri Dream Handpaint, soon to become a wrap.


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