While shopping in Colorado last week, I found some books that I needed. The first is Carol Sulcoski’s new book “Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarns“. Have you seen it? She does such a wonderful job of explaining how to avoid pooling/striping when working with handpainted yarns, including how to determine what your skein is likely to do, depending on the lengths of the color runs. GREAT info for all of us who love handpainted yarns. There are also 21 sock patterns by designers like Nancy Bush, Charlene Schurch, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Chrissy Gardiner, and more. Definitely a great investment. I also bought a book called “Beautiful Sheep” by Kathryn Dun. Beautiful photographs of more breeds of sheep than you ever knew about, plus all of the statistics about each breed. I think I need to frame some of the photos and hang them up here at Loopy Central.
In addition to shopping, there was also some knitting time. (14 hours driving out + 14 hours driving home + a few afternoons of being “snowed-in-so-we’re-watching-movies” = time to knit). I finished up 3 socks that were halfway done, and I’m happy with all three. The first is Dye Dreams in their new Dream Sox line. This is one of my favorite semi-solids to work with. Not only do Mona and Stephanie do wonderful dye-work, but the base yarn is terrific. It’s a superwash merino/nylon blend, which makes for a very durable sock. (And you’ll love how soft and squishable this yarn is.) I used a pattern from one of Charlene Schurch’s books and the pattern really pops out. I have tucked away several more colors of this yarn for future socks.
The next sock I finished is my first ever Jaywalker. (Note – that link takes you to a page with a Ravelry link, or a link to email Grumperina directly for a copy of her pattern.) I thought the self-striping pattern would look fun in this pattern, and I really like how it turned out. This is a brand new indie-line for us, which comes from Canada. We’ll have Sweet Paprika’s line up next week in both this Vivace self-striping fingering weight, and in their lovely Minuet worsted weight (along with some great patterns from them as well.) Self-striping hand-dyed yarn is hard to find, as it’s such a time-consuming process. I’m so happy to have found these gals and their company. When we unpacked these boxes, I will admit to taking a few more colors of these, too. sigh.
The last sock I knit up is out of Cascade Fixation. I had not knit with Fixation before (I just had a lot of you clamoring for it) and I’m glad I took the time to knit with it. This is such a comfortable sock to wear, and I like all of the color choices. Fixation is 98.3% Cotton and 1.7% Nylon. It as some stretch to it and is billed as having “100 yds, 180 yds. stretched”. I wondered how far that would go. I have seen people talk about the Vog On pattern from Knitty.com, so I thought this would be a nice little anklet sock to use with Fixation. (And they give directions for both cuff down and toe up in that pattern.) I knit it toe up and substituted my preferred short-row heel. I could’ve stopped at anklet length, but then I wondered just how far up I could knit. Some of you have asked “How long are you supposed to make the cuff?” Of course it’s totally a matter of preference, but I prefer to make my cuffs about as long as the foot, when folded in half. This little $5.50 skein totally measured up. I was able to do my size 11 sock with my regular cuff length and even had a little yarn left over. (Note to self: flatten out that picot edge when washing and blocking it.) If you’re looking for a warmer weather yarn to use for socks for the spring and summer, give the Cascade Fixation a try. At $11.00 for a pair of socks, it’s a great deal. (People also use this yarn for knitting up bikinis, but that is SO not on my list…..)
My Noro Sweater is coming along great. (I’m making the Chevron Cardigan out of Knitting Noro. Good basic designs, and I’ve already picked out a second one that I want to make from this same book.) I have the body finished and now just need to knit the two sleeves. I realize that “just two sleeves” is still a significant amount of knitting to be done (not to mention the sewing up of all of the pieces), but it makes me feel like I’m closer to the end if I can say “just two sleeves”. It didn’t help that I had to do some frogging (once for pattern errata, and someday I’ll get used to looking that up FIRST), once for knitter-error, and once to change the colors that were coming out. FPS. I’ll bet I could’ve had one of those sleeves done, if not for the frogging. I’ll keep working on it and will look forward to showing it to you soon.
For those of you who have been waiting for us to get The Knit Kit in, it arrived this morning! I put it up and even though we ordered several dozen, it may very well sell out quickly. If you click on the link and find that they’re gone, I’m happy to save one for you out of the next batch. Just email us if you want to pre-order for the next time (we’ll have more in in about 2 weeks.) These are such great little kits.
So what have all of you been knitting for the past two weeks? Fill me in!