Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Socks That (Practically) Knit Themselves

All over the knitting blogosphere are photos of new leaves and budding daffodils. I've got a pair of socks in spring green, instead. The yarn is Abstract Fiber Super Sock in Primavera, an exclusive colorway for the Knit Purl Sock Club. It's a mix of green, lavender, and blue. Click on any photo to see detail.

When I gave my daughter the socks to put on for these photos, she said, "Guacamole socks!" No, Intertwined Socks. If you click on the photo to see the detail, you'll see the name is a good one.

Actually, the way I knit them, these are Intertwined Socks Lite. The designer, Sara Morris, wrote the pattern to be worked from the toe up on two circular needles. There are two distinct socks, sock A and sock B. There's a beautiful, patterned heel. I converted the pattern to top-down and made both socks the same, since I liked the chart for Sock A so well. I knit on double-pointed needles, not circs. I even ignored the beautiful, patterned heel to make just a plain vanilla one.

The essential is still there: the lace. It's 10 rows over 10 stitches and I could not put it down! The combination of the cheerful spring yarn and the intertwining lace had my needles flying.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two Projects: Pink and Purple, Yin and Yang

My two main projects on the needles couldn't be less alike.

In mindless tv knitting, there's an afghan in moss stitch.

The yarn is superwash merino. I'm knitting with two strands on the biggest needles I own to speed this up. Eventually, there'll be some kind of lacy border.

Don't get me wrong, It is a long slog of moss stitch but the results are pretty and the recipient asked for something very simple and clean. She will enjoy this afghan for years.

At about the time I cast on for the afghan, a lot of Estonian knitted lace was on my radar. This stunning book arrived in the mail


I bought mine from Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon but has the book, as do many other online knitting or book shops. This $60 book that's well worth the money. It's a coffee table book of stunningly beautiful photographs but it is also a pattern book that situates the lace knitting in a cultural and historical context.

To chose a favorite pattern is impossible but one of my favorites is Lily of the Valley and Stones. Nancy Bush also must love this pattern; her beautiful Facing Lilies Stole in the current Interweave Knits is none other than the Lily of the Valley and Stones pattern and a border.

So the other project on the needles is a stole of Lily of the Valley and Stones. The yarn was a birthday gift from my sister a couple of years ago. It's Jade Sapphire 2-ply cashmere in the Lupine colorway. I've been saving it for something glorious.

Fiddly lace knitting in fine yarn, baby. That's where the heart lies.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Acorn Stash

Acorn Stash socks are nothing like my other current project. They are fiddly lace knit on #1s in thin yarn.

How I love everything about them!

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy in the Strange Harvest colorway. It's a pretty good approximation of the floor of a stand of oaks. Click on the photo to make bigger and the acorns in the design will pop right out at you.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Thinking and Rethinking Pink

Almost a year ago, skeins and skeins of pink Cascade 220 Superwash arrived at my house. They're for a high-school graduation present for my younger daughter. I'm going to make her an afghan for her college dorm room.

But which afghan? If I were making one for myself, I'd go for theBabette Blanket. After that, I'd choose the Great American Aran Afghan.

My daughter hated Babette, was lukewarm towards the Great American Aran. She wants something all one color with lots of cables but not too seafaring, and no sampler squares.

I'm good with that. Now I looked for something worked either in strips or squares and the needle size smaller than 9. I'm more a lace knitter than an afghan knitter. A big shawl on little needles I can wrap my mind around. A big afghan on big needles I fought against.

I settled on an afghan made from a repeat of the same square which somehow looks really kicky in pink. The Debbie Bliss Comfort Square has plenty of cables (also plenty of bobbles) and definitely is not at all seafaring. Sadly, the effect of two blocks sewn together is not what I'd hoped. It's partly that the yarn needs to have more body for this job and partly that the square is a little wonky at the bottom so the join cannot be really smooth. You can see it in this picture. It's the little wavy bump. No, it doesn't block out very well.

I've decided to stop overthinking this afghan. I've decided to stop fighting the big needles. With doubled yarn, I cast on 150 stitches on #10s. The body will be moss stitch. There will be some kind of decorative border, either knit or crocheted. It will be something like Elizabeth Zimmerman's Stonington Shawl.

This will be good tv knitting. To go with, I have netflixed the murder mystery series "Castle".