Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Sock and a Request (Adriana)

I finally FINALLY finished my second Naive sock! Long-time readers will recall that I knit the first one last summer. Then it sat by itself all winter long until I decided to make it part of Mission Possible.

It is now done and here are the pictures to prove it!

View from the top (it's hard to take pictures of your own feet)

The cables go on and on and on...

The sexy gusset

Cleo gives her approval of the new socks

The pattern is, of course, Spillyjane's Naive Socks (This Must Be The Socks) (pattern free here)
I dyed the yarn myself a few years ago.

Comments: this is a really awesome pattern (and I'm not just saying that). Once you get going it goes really quickly. After a few repeats you start to be able to see where the cables are supposed to twist which makes it good bus knitting. Unfortunately I did something a little wonky with the first sock so I had to repeat it with the second one in order for them to match (I don't care).

In other news, I FINALLY learned how to cable without a cable needle! I figured out the left twist by myself on the bus one day and Grumperina's great instructions helped with the right twist. Now I actually enjoy doing cables, which is seriously awesome. I just wish I'd learned before knitting Trellis.

I have a request for you all. I'm going to be away from home for a month this summer (I'm stage managing Pete's Fringe shows this summer and we're hitting the road!) so I've decided to only knit socks while I'm away. This should help me make a dent in my sock yarn drawer. In preparation for this trip I want to buy a new skein of sock yarn, but I'd like to support an Indie dyer. I looked at a bunch of different yarns but I'm totally overwhelmed and need recommendations.

Here are the ones I've looked at:
Mama Blue
Sunshine Yarn
Fearless Fibers

With so many gorgeous sock yarns out there you can see why I'm having trouble picking one. If you have any recommendations please let me know.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Couple of Flannery's (Adriana)

For those who don't know, our friend Spillyjane has become quite the prolific sock designer. I think she is designing faster than she can knit the prototypes (which is the real reason why we often only see one foot modeling socks on her blog). She recently released the very beautiful Kethry, a lovely lace pattern based from a Japanese stitch pattern, I believe. I really wanted to knit it using the gorgeous Cherry Tree Hill yarn I won from B way back when, however, my life is much too busy right now for knitting from a chart. That's why I was thrilled when Jane came up with another new sock pattern, one that is easily memorized and thus much more practical for my life. She has called this one Flannery (I have no idea why).

I started Flannery a couple of days ago in the gorgeous purple and blue yarn that Heather dyed for me last summer as part of our Sock Yarn Challenge. Unfortunately, the yarn and the pattern didn't agree and it started pooling unattractively.
blue flannery
See, pretty pattern but not right for the yarn.

Usually I'd find a new pattern for the yarn, but since the purpose was to knit Jane's new pattern I had to find myself some different yarn. Luckily I have plenty to choose from so I selected the FA merino I got for my birthday from Heather and Gen and off I went again. Thankfully this yarn seems better suited to the patten.
red flannery
I hope you can see the lovely pattern. I really enjoy the little cable knots and the straight knitting is a nice relief from the cabling.

Jane, I salute your madd designing skillz!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mission Possible Update (Adriana)

Back in January I announced that I was taking part in Mission Possible 2008, which was an attempt to finish UFOs and use up yarn that had been sitting around for too long. I've been making some progress on it and I thought it was time to report back.

My list:
1) Chevron Scarf - all done, just needs pictures taken
2) Red Merino from Vancouver - made into berets for Emma and myself
3) Make one shawl with stash yarn - done but only those on Ravelry can see it
4) Finish Mystery Shawl 3 - I tried, I really tried. I knit another 50 rows but then it started making me depressed so it's back in the box. I honestly don't know if I have it in me right now to finish it.
5) Make a Huggable Hedgehog - started it yesterday.
6) Knit a summer top that I'll actually wear - no progress yet though I think I've settled on making Kate Gilbert's Camellia.
7) Knit second Naive sock - 80% done! I should finish it on the bus sometime this week
8) Knit second Pomatomus - not yet
9) Play with Kid Silk Haze - DONE!
10) Use up purple Koigu from Christmas - done!
purple koigu sock3
purple koigu sock2
11) Use Grey Jo Sharp - made hats for my brother and his girlfriend
12) Finish the second Simply Lovely Lace Socks - done and gifted to someone with teeny feets!

So, for those of you keeping track at home, that 7 done, 2 in progress, 2 not started and 1 who knows (MS3).
Enough procrastinating for me. I need to go write a report on Leonard Bernstein's (of West Side Story) leadership abilities. Fun.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Trio of Hats (Adriana)

I have a confession. I knit these hats in February but I didn't blog about them because I felt badly that one of the hats didn't fit. Last night I finally made myself frog the offending hat and reknit it (please don't point out that it's now too warm out for hats).

Back in January I was in a knitting slump and my dear friend Emma requested a slouchy hat. I found the pattern (Last Minute Purled Beret) and made it extra slouchy per her instructions.

purple slouch
It seems to have come out a smidge too big

We did have some fun posing the hat on her handsome cat Toby
It's a little too big for him too

This hat is in the process of being reknit and will hopefully be a better size this time. (The yarn is Mission Falls 1824 wool in Crocus)

Emma requested a red one and I wanted one too so I made us twin berets!
twin berets
At least this one fits (mostly. It's also a little too big but Emma's going with it).

And that is the story of the three hats. I hope everyone's having a nice weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Personal Victory (Adriana)

Sorry for the delay in blogging. I volunteered for two weeks at the local theatre to help them get ready for a big special event. It was a lot of fun but between that and school, I was kept very busy. I did, however, manage to get some knitting done (of course).

A couple of years ago I scored a great deal on some Kid Silk Haze. After watching Heather and Jane struggle with this sticky, fuzzy yarn, I was more than a little afraid of it. This January I decided to suck it up and knit something with it. I didn't want to tell anyone what I was doing in case I jinxed myself.

I am pleased to announce that I have successfully knit a shawl with Kid Silk Haze without any incidents! In fact, I want to use this yarn for some wedding knitting (now I just need to find some more good deals on it).

After sifting through dozens of patterns on our good friend Ravelry, I decided to make River, which is from Rowan 38 but is also available for free here. I am very pleased with the end result.

River blocking on my multi-coloured foam blocks

River hanging from the curtain rod (you can't quite make it out but it's actually snowing outside. Lousy Smarch weather)

Close up!

I am madly in love with this shawl and have been wearing it everyday. Unfortunately the navy doesn't show up against my black coat. Also, my Granny tried to kidnap it when I showed it to her last week so I think I'll give it to her for her birthday and knit myself another one (I also have 2 balls of Meadow Green). Until I gift it though I will continue to enjoy it myself :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The SOCKS do TORONTO! (Heather)

(Subtitle: In which our intrepid blogger painfully overuses the parenthesis)

Long time, no see, eh?

This past Tuesday, Gen and I each used a lieu day on a whim (what are the odds that we each had one burning a hole in our proverbial pockets?) and headed out on the town to photograph our socks in interesting places in a grand scheme organized by the Yarn Harlot.

Some of the places (Prince's Gates, Ontario Place, etc) I had never been to before, and it was a great way to spend the day (though if I were to do it again, I think we would take the TTC a great deal more. A GREAT DEAL more. My legs burned and ached more the next day than when I climbed the CN tower last October). I think I might have enjoyed the talk more if I wasn't so damned exhausted, and I think I came across as a teensy bit demented (and more than likely rude) when I accosted Rachel H. to ask about the Scavenger Hunt. We were just so very tired and just a tad bit desperate that after 8+ hours of hoofin' it around downtown Toronto we had missed it! The thought had also crossed my mind, that the day being what it was, we had been victims of the cruelest prank ever perpetrated on a knitter, though we were more or less convinced that no knitter could be that dastardly.

(proof that the sun actually did shine for a time)

You can see the entire Flickr set here.

Long story short, we ended up winning a fourth prize!

(sweet sweet victory)

Gen won too... we did explain twice that we were playing as a team, but Jayme the Wonder Publicist and Rachel H. decided that we each won a skein of lovely Socks that Rock! Mine is Cobblestone County.

There were more than a few places that I would have liked to see, but we had to get a little mercenary towards the end and ruthlessly plan our attack. I would like to see Riverdale Farm sometime this spring/summer, and seeing all the landmark tourist areas, some for the first time (Casa Loma especially, and it is within walking distance of our apartment!) we each decided that it would be worthwhile to invest in a City Pass and see them all one week.

(Casa Loma: A castle within walking distance of my teensy one-bedroom apartment. Surreal.)

We also decided that it would be on a warmer day.

(This picture was taken from a reclining pose)

Anyway, there is tons that I would love to say about it all, but I am just all worded out. I have done some other knitting lately, but all has been slow in the face of the call of Fable. (Thanks a lot, Sam... I have now finished the game twice!)