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January 21, 2010

You may be right . . .

Dream in Color Knitosophy Butterfly
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

(Lyrics, Billy Joel, You May be Right)

It was about four years ago that I finished my first pair of handknit socks and last night I had a dream about knitting socks -- particularly about starting a new sock when I already had single socks waiting for their mates to be knit (that's actually true, by the way). However, in my dream, I was experiencing the absolute joy and freedom of starting a brand new sock, shamelessly and totally guilt free. I woke up thinking how crazy that probably is to most people -- not to mention that non-knitters don't get the whole handknit sock thing in the first place. (Those who wrinkle their noses at my handknit socks simply don't get them as gifts. Their loss). There are no knitting police, but there are often haughty knitters who remind you that you already have single socks that need their mates. And yes, I already know about the concept of two-at-a-time socks. I have some on the needles now!

All I know is that when I saw my first handknit socks, I had to learn how to knit them. It took me a solid year -- perhaps almost two years -- to grasp the concept and actually learn how to knit them. Undeniably, it was one of the most difficult things for me to learn how to do, but I figured it out and count it among my proudest achievements. Sadly, somewhere along the way, I began experiencing the guilt (again, from other knitters . . . not from the loved ones who would eventually GET my handknit socks) about the unfinished pairs. I started feeling guilty about casting on and some of the pride of finishing a single beautiful sock was diminished by the finger-pointers. You see, I can finish a single sock -- the first sock -- rather quickly. I enjoy the entire process, start-to-finish (yes, even the grafting -- now one of my favorite parts, as a I always knit cuff-to-toe). But when one sock is finished, I desperately want to start another in an entirely different sock yarn. Yet I don't. Because of the guilt. Holy cow. How insane is that?

I'm starting another sock.

Continue reading "You may be right . . ." »

August 28, 2009

First sock found

My first sock - from February 2004
My first sock - February 2004

I was on a mission to find this sock the other day because I'd shared with somebody how utterly horrid my very first sock turned out; granted, I didn't think it was horrid at the time, but I do now. I got through the process of knitting it by nurturing a burning desire to be a sock knitter and with Mariann (my ever-patient knitting teacher) telling me that I could do it. This is the pattern she had used to turn others into sock knitters and I think it was a great way to learn sock techniques. It's a worsted-weight washable yarn held double and it becomes a thick crew sock. And, no, I never finished the second sock.

It struck me the other day that there are always going to be new knitters who genuinely want to put in the time and effort to learn how to knit and I never want to forget how it felt to have questions -- to be scared and uncertain. I don't remember if Knitting Help videos were available back when I started learning how to knit socks, but if they were, I'd have watched the ones in the Advanced Techniques section repeatedly! While I'm a huge fan of double-pointed needles for sock knitting, I'm planning to master the other techniques (magic loop, socks on two circulars) so that I can help others who prefer this method and are learning how to knit socks. And I'm even going to try to keep an open mind about an alternate sock-knitting method I've resisted learning so far -- the one in this book.

I know many of you have shared before that you're magic loop fans -- or that you love the two circulars method, but I'm curious to know which sock knitting methods you've tried before you settled on your favorite.

Meanwhile, there's a nearly finished, big-eared sock monkey knit entirely on double-pointed needles waiting to make his debut after he has his photoshoot this weekend -- along with a long and drawn out post about why I wanted to knit a sock monkey in the first place.

Sock Monkey - Monkey Business


July 06, 2009

I wanted to love them

Clover Takumi 9-inch Circular Needles
[Flickr]

I love the yarn
I love the stitch marker
I even loved the 9-inch circular needles. At first.

Knitting the ribbing (2x2; that is, K2, P2) was an absolute joy. It seemed easier to knit ribbing on the circulars. However, the plain stockinette portion slowed me down considerably because of the way I hold these needles. For me, there is too much "play" between stitches -- something that would be okay for a patterned sock, but undesirable when there is a need for speed. I knit faster on DPNs with more control and tighter stitches. I still like the concept of small circulars, but when I want a joyful sock knitting experience, double-pointed needles are my tool of choice.

You know what's coming next, right? I want to give the 9-inch circular needles to somebody who would like to try them. These are 2.75mm or the equivalent of a US Size 2 needle.

9_inch_circs2.jpg

Just leave a brief comment letting me know the sock yarn you're planning to use with the needles and I'll choose the recipient by Thursday morning. Assurances that you're going to post a photo and/or blog entry reviewing the needles are highly likely to influence me.

May 08, 2009

Knit plain socks

Just a plain sock

Last week, I had an urge to knit a sock -- a plain sock -- to compensate for way too much unfinished business (both in fiber and in my life). Instead of my usual 2.25mm double-pointed needles, I opted for the 2.75mm to knit these (2" ribbed cuffs were knit with 2.25mm) in the spirit of this great Elizabeth Zimmermann quote:

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.” – Knitting Without Tears


It worked.

Plain socks are no-nonsense knits. There's no fiddling with patterns or endless choices and decisions. And for this sock, I didn't even set out to knit them for a particular person. I just wanted to knit socks. Halfway through, I realized that this is the best way to get socks done. So, I'm thinking now about my "precious" sock yarn collection -- all of those skeins of sock yarn awaiting the perfect sock pattern before I use them. Why not just knit it all up? It's the process of knitting plain socks that I enjoy so much, so does it matter if I take the easy way out? I knit the first sock very quickly -- a personal record of 2.5 days of actual knitting time. And this was accomplished during a busy and stressful week. It has energized me too, so I am passing this idea along to you and giving you permission to knit plain socks.


October 02, 2008

Socktoberfest 2008

Embossed_Leaves.jpg

I'm joining in the fall festival of sock celebration otherwise known as Socktoberfest IV -- and I'm fully embracing the 'no rules' mindset that Lolly's always envisioned for Socktoberfest. I've not been able to focus on socks for months due to a number of different group knitalongs and design projects but those commitments are winding down and I'm delighted to return to sock knitting this Fall. I love that there are exciting sock knitting books still being published and new patterns to peruse on Ravelry and Knitty (and several other new online knitting magazines). If you'll notice, however, I'm knitting a sock from a pattern that is nearly three years old (but still as popular as ever). It's a wonderful pattern -- and if you can knit a Monkey sock, you can knit the Embossed Leaves sock pattern. The good news is that you no longer have to try to hunt down a back issue of the Interweave Knits in which it appeared; it's in the Favorite Socks book.

I don't yet know what my focus will be for this year's Socktoberfest, but I do know that Twisted Yarns has some exciting new sock yarns (Dream in Color Smooshy, Shibui Sock, Colinette Jitterbug, Regia Kaffe Fasset . . . plus so many more) but I'm the most excited about the saturated semi-solids like the Colinette Jitterbug -- I'm using the Morello Mash colorway for the Embossed Leaves socks. So, since buying sock yarn is another hobby of mine, expect to see some stash enhancement.

Happy Socktoberfest!


April 17, 2008

Monkey Sock :: One complete

Monkey Sock details

Monkey sock -- the full monkey

Last June, I started a sock on my birthday and four days after I started the sock, I got my Ravelry invite. Since I always have a couple of socks going at once (and feel absolutely no shame about that), I spent several hours that day and the next exploring Ravelry and adding projects and stash. I couldn't help but notice something incredibly interesting -- although I know MANY knitters who have not knit this sock pattern, it's the second most popular pattern on Ravelry (second only to the Fetching Fingerless Mitts -- which I haven't knit).

I don't know why it was such a compelling idea for me to finish this sock last week (I was SO close to finishing when I tossed them aside several months ago), I just decided to do it. I've already cast on for the second sock and the cuff that I wasn't overly fond of initially (lots of k1 tbl) is kind of charming to me now - and not at all as fiddly as it seemed in June.

Details below:

Pattern: Monkey from Knitty (Winter 2006)
Sock Yarn: Mama Llama Sock Yarn in Twisted Yarns Colorway
Needles: Lantern Moon Sox Stix, Ebony, Size 1 (2.25mm)

For the next week or so, I'll be working on a secret (knitting) project and I'll be kind of scarce. It involves NORO, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

January 16, 2008

But will I wear it?

I've been taking a long hard look -- a very critical look -- at my list of garments I intend to knit for myself. Usually something will make it on to my list due to my falling in love with a particular yarn. It's the yarn that attracts me first; then color next and design last. It's very rare that I buy yarn without a project planned but there are some yarns that have aged a bit in my young stash whose originally-intended patterns are really not that stylish any more.

So I've evaluated the store-bought sweaters I've loved and hated through the years and aside from the unfortunate intarsia phase, my favorite sweaters were solid colored -- usually natural colored, gray, red, or white, ribbed or plain stockinette and close-fitting. The sweaters that were the least flattering were loose-fitting cabled sweaters. I look best with some shaping, but an oversize sweater can be flattering on me if the proportions are right. Most surprising was that nearly all of my favorite sweaters were either 100% cotton -- or linen, viscose, ramie, and silk blends. Nearly all of them had some cotton though. I can remember owning only a small handful of 100% wool sweaters (one of which I still own after 15 years). Finer gauges predominated also.

My conclusion for knitwear for myself? Simple is best -- but it probably won't make good knit blog fodder or Flickr photos. And I'm okay with that. I want to knit what I'll wear. Chic Knits patterns seem to represent the style I envision for myself (Ribby Pulli and Cardi, Arianne, Cece) -- along with Knitting Pure and Simple cardigans and the Hourglass Sweater (Ravelry Link) in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Accessories are another story -- I'm much more adventurous with scarves, socks (sometimes), and hats.

For future socks for a family member, a planned 2x2 or 3x1 ribbing:

Passionberry :: See Jayne Knit

It's "Passionberry" -- a blend of merino and tencel from See Jayne Knit, an Etsy seller. Last week, I also received a set of sock blockers from Fearless Fibers. I love them and how they've infused my socks with their cedar scent. (And a quick thank you to Sallie, who has hooked me up with somebody we know who has darning eggs for sale).

I also finished the first of a pair of socks knit with Pigeonroof Studios sock yarn:

Pigeonroof Studios - Cinnamon

I love her dye job. The superwash merino she uses as her base is very nice -- the yardage made me a bit nervous, but not nervous enough to become a toe-up sock knitter. I like living on the (sock-knitting) edge. I've knit up all but two of my single socks-in-progress. I'm down to just one unfinished single sock and then will finish their mates. My Gesta vest front is almost finished and then I'll seam the sides and shoulders and crochet an edging.

There are a few changes in the air here and I can't share many details about them, but they're positive changes. While I anticipate how this will affect some of my plans, I've made some decisions about some of my former goals -- the ones unrelated to knitting. I'll share those as soon as I can. For now, I'll be in list-making mode.

Peace.


January 10, 2008

Well-loved socks

One year later . . .

These were the socks I knit for my sister for Christmas in 2006. She sent them to me when I sent her another pair this past Christmas. She told me she loved them and provided proof:

One year later . . .
.

And this is the Wollmeise Brombeere that I had left over when I knit her these socks:

Wollmeise Brombeere - leftovers

I'm thinking I have enough for my first attempt at mending socks. Tips anyone? Ideas?

This will be a short post for now, but I wanted to thank those of you who left such helpful and encouraging comments (and sent private emails) in my last post. I am pursuing some leads you all have given me and have discovered that a native Japanese speaker will actually have a more difficult time translating to English in an understandable way. He/she can translate in the SPOKEN native Japanese language, but then I would have to have somebody translate THAT. That explains the difficulty that my uncle had providing me with a translation. I had to set aside the pursuit in favor of some unexpected crises this past week, but it remains at the top of my mind -- even though I haven't been able to sit and reply to the emails some of you have left. Please know it is very much appreciated.

For those of you new to my blog, this is my maternal grandfather:

Grandfather
Born April 1891, Kyushu - Died January 1939, Tokyo

and this is my grandmother:

grandmotherblog.jpg
Born June 1898, Kyoto - Died June 1959, Tokyo

The samurai ancestry is on my Grandfather's side.

January 04, 2008

Shamelessly stockinette

Pink Panda Silk
Click the sock photos to see more information and larger photos

I started this sock in mid-December but interrupted finishing while I knit the Noro shop sample. Both are totally different knitting experiences and I love them equally -- however, the pink sock will get its mate soon so I can send this pair to my mom.

It was undeniably different knitting with yarn that had no "memory." I'm used to considerably more stretch in my sock yarns. In spite of that, the finished product is so soft that it will convert anybody who isn't already convinced that hand knit socks are superior.

Seriously soft silk socks

December 23, 2007

A sock is emerging

Another sock is emerging:

Noro Kureyon sock in progress

I'm knitting a sample pair of socks for Twisted Yarns from the much-hyped Noro Kureyon sock yarn:

NORO Kureyon Sock Yarn

Obviously, I love it -- otherwise I wouldn't have made much progress (if any at all) on yarn that I just acquired yesterday.

So if you're intrigued and you're wanting to know how it knits up and what it feels like, I have to caution that you will need to release any expectation that it will be any different than knitting with Kureyon. It is not soft to the touch, but it's not unpleasant either. And it's very much a thinner version of Kureyon, which I happen to already love. If you don't love knitting with Kureyon, you won't love knitting with the sock yarn. If you see it at your yarn shop and you love the color but hesitate due to the way it feels to the touch -- please try it anyway. I've tried on my sock-in-progress and I think it feels MUCH softer on my feet than I thought it would.

For those of you wondering how I've fared on my stash release goals, I am feeling good about what I've done so far. And I realized that I don't regret a single yarn purchase or acquisition in 2007. Nearly everything I want to release was acquired between 2004 and 2006 -- before I really knew what I most enjoyed knitting. So for 2008 -- more Noro (Cashmere Island, Kureyon, Silk Garden, Iro, Kochoran), more Malabrigo (lace and worsted) and more yarns from independent sources -- that is, hand-dyers and spinners. And 2008 won't see me taking up spinning, but I will try more designing. Of course I'll keep knitting socks and will try to finish more of what I begin. And I'll make lots of pom poms.

December 09, 2007

I can knit with my eyes closed (sort of)

Opal Sock

Yesterday I took my mom to her hair appointment and decided to wait there with my knitting instead of leaving to run errands. While I was knitting my sock, I tried knitting with my eyes closed . . . and it worked . . . just by feel. I don't know that I'd choose to do that very often (I mean . . . why?) but it's a few more stitches in the dark, right?

I know that I've shared before that I always have a sock-in-progress that I can knit while I wait. No thinking. Just knitting. The Opal sock yarn was from a swap with Jennie. Earlier this year (thanks to Flickr) I jumped the gun on her de-stashing plans to let her know I wanted that sock yarn. I'd never knit with Opal and wanted to try it -- plus, I love self-striping sock yarns. It's utterly unsophisticated but a wonderful excuse to knit socks with your eyes closed.

December 08, 2007

Happy holiday knitting

S'more knitting?

The holiday knitting at Chez Twisted Knitter doesn't include gift knitting -- there are no deadlines here this holiday season. Last year, I sent my sister her first pair of handknit socks. We talked last night and she told me that she's worn a hole in the heel. I reminded her that it's the highest compliment that can be paid a sock knitter -- and that they were meant to be worn! Guess who's likely to get more handknit socks?

Last week, I got some new double-pointed needles to test:

New needles to try!

My fellow Pretty Posie, Elizabeth of Trailing Yarn, sent them to me. She also sent circular needles and challenged me to convert to Magic Loop. But where would that leave me with my wonderful collection of DPNs?

I'm intrigued by the Hiya Hiya needles and can't wait to give them a try (today?) and will share my feedback here. Thanks again, Elizabeth!

November 12, 2007

Jojoland Melody Superwash

Have you experienced Jojoland yarns yet?

Jojoland Melody * Fraternal

I sent these two balls of Melody (Superwash) to Chawne and look what she cast on as soon as she received it: Socks of KIndness. The fingering weight Melody and the lace weight Harmony have been flying out the door of the shop where I work. Several knitters are using the laceweight to knit the Jane Sowerby (Knitter's Magazine, Fall 2007) "Ruffled Fichu" shawl. Here is a beautiful Fichu in progress. (A Fichu is the bit of a lacy shawl arranged in the bodice of a Victorian-era blouse - as in the Manet portrait. You and I have learned a new word today).

As for my own knitting progress, I've been swatching some sock yarns and evaluating my in-progress knits to see which ones need my time. Some projects just aren't good knitting when I'm feeling "scattery." When I'm trying to work through real life things, I often pause and go through my patterns and yarns. I find things that need to be frogged and I make good use of my ball winder and swift. Nothing huge is weighing me down, but a lot of little things. At times like this, the best project for me is often a plain sock. And music. And deep breaths.

November 07, 2007

Comfort Zone DPNs - My Review

Comfort Zone

Since trying the Comfort Zone double-pointed needles, I'm convinced there is a needle for every knitter. While I wasn't pleased with the way they worked with sock yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock), they might be a good DPN in the larger diameters. These small needles are a bit too sharp for me and the taper is too shallow for sock knitting.

But the biggest negative for these needles (which might in fact be a positive for other knitters) is that they are TOO flexible. I discovered that I prefer a heavier, rigid needle for knitting socks. I love that you can color code your DPNs and choose the colors you want in each size. Each set has SIX needles (rather than the typical 5) and I think that's a definite plus -- there are times when you might want an extra needle to pick up stitches or to replace one you lost in your sofa or car. If you're able to knit for long periods of time (I'm not), then the flexibility factor would probably help prevent aching joints. I don't have the luxury of uninterrupted, marathon knitting sessions, so I had no way to test this feature.

If you're curious about these needles, I'll be happy to send them to the first person who comments and expresses an interest.

Bonus vintage photo after the cut:

Continue reading "Comfort Zone DPNs - My Review" »

November 06, 2007

Knit Picks DPNs - My Review

Bluebell Rib

Vanessa was kind enough to send me a surprise package a few weeks ago - two sets of Knit Picks metal DPNs -- 2.5mm and 2.75mm. Until yesterday, I'd never knit with any Knit Picks needles and although I was intrigued by the idea of metal, I hadn't planned to buy them to try out. (Oddly, I'm not at all interested in the Harmony wood DPN's). I decided to swatch with a pattern that had some yarn overs and frequent K2tog's in order to test the features of metal over wood. Typically, a K2tog or SSK with a small diameter wood needle will make me really nervous. I've broken wood needles (Brittany birch and Lantern Moon Rosewood) and nothing is more frustrating to this sock knitter than needle breakage. So, the biggest delight for me yesterday was the feeling of the total absence of worry about breakage. I chose a yarn that other knitters had mentioned was a bit splitty, but after knitting for several rounds, I was giddy about both the yarn *AND* the needles.

Aside from the fact that the needles won't break, the other positive features are the pointyness of the needles along with their longer tapered tip (a positive feature for stitch manipulation purposes). I also like the weight of the needles and the fact that the stitches on the needle don't "roll" like they tend to do on my Crystal Palace DPNs (my usual DPN of choice). I definitely enjoy them enough that I'll buy the 2.00mm and the 2.25mm ASAP. I'm curious to see if these affect my usual sock-knitting gauge and will eventually try them with Lorna's Laces to see. Bottom line -- I'm sold.

I almost forgot to mention what made me smile so big yesterday -- the pleasant sound they make when two needles touch. For some, it's not a desirable feature, but for me, it was.

For more reviews and viewpoints, check out Grumperina's post and Wendy's post about the undesirable heavier weight. But Stephanie has a great post about these also.

And please don't miss these two videos: Very Pink's Sock Knitting Style and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Sock Knitting Method.

A big thank you again to Nora for the yarn and Vanessa for the DPN's!

October 01, 2007

Fleece Artist Handmaiden Sea Wool Socks

Fleece Artist Handmaiden "Forest"

I thought I had blogged about this sock already, but I now realize I haven't. Although it's just another plain sock (slideshow here), I wanted to share a few details about the yarn -- it's an intriguing combination of wool and "sea cell" (seaweed?) The color was what was so appealing to me so I bought it (via Yarntopia) with the intention of having something to knit as my "waiting in line" socks. It was unusual to knit with, but once it's washed it feels amazing -- soft and cool on the feet. My only concern was running out of yarn, yet I ended up having enough to knit a pair (with a tiny bit left over).

And . . . Socktoberfest 2007 is starting today! Here's some information from Lolly's Ravelry Socktoberfest group:

"A very simple concept with very few restrictions - Socktoberfest is a month-long (throughout the month of October) celebration of socks. It is a simple celebration of the accessories that we make as crafters to cover our feet. Think of it more as a festival than a knitalong - people who love something come together and celebrate it!"

My goal for Socktoberfest this year is to knit a pair of socks for each family member who doesn't yet have a pair -- and using my sock yarn stash to do so.

And, if you're interested in the Flickr group, here's the link: Socktoberfest on Flickr

Happy first day of Socktober!

1470585763_809832f0da_o.jpg


June 04, 2007

Birthday Monkey

Birthday Monkey

Pattern: Monkey from Knitty (Winter 2006)
Sock Yarn: Mama Llama Sock Yarn in Twisted Yarns Colorway
Needles: Lantern Moon Sox Stix, Ebony, Size 1 (2.25mm)


March 01, 2007

Schaefer Anne fingering weight yarn

I knit this swatch sock with Schaefer Anne yarn on Size 1 (2.25 mm) Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs:

SchaeferAnneSockBlog2.jpg


SchaeferAnneSockBlog1.jpg

This is a 36-stitch sock knit from the cuff down so that I could have a sample of how the yarn will look as a sock and so I'll know what my gauge will be on these needles (in this case, 9 st/in). I love this yarn -- it feels wonderful to knit with. I'm not as in love with the way these colors look in a sock, but there's generous yardage for a shawl. These look like masculine colors, so if I want Schaefer Anne socks for myself, I guess I'll have to buy another skein (or two) in a different color. I'm learning to look for more subtle color changes and not drastic ones like these if I want to knit a plain vanilla sock.

January 23, 2007

Donyale

From Black Dog Knits - Nora's textural sock pattern, Donyale:

donyaleblog.jpg

Donyale's my latest sock start -- the one I intend to carry with me to knit when I have a few minutes of time to kill -- either waiting in the car rider line picking up the kids or watching television at night. I've already tried it on the widest part of my foot and it's the best-fitting sock I've knit for myself EVER. It looks really tight, but it's not. It's perfect for my wide-ish feet and skinny ankles.

Thanks, Nora for a great pattern! It is interesting enough to keep me entranced but not so difficult that I can't carry on a conversation or watch television.

I'm writing my Donyale notes in this:

knitspirationblog.jpg

Keeping track? I'm working on a garment, a sock to carry with me, a capelet and a swatch (yet again on new needles) for my dream project. Of course, there are other small projects I just need to finish already (felting, seaming, weaving in ends).

August 29, 2006

Getting things done . . .

I have to lead with this excellent quote:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. (Steve Jobs)

My blog reading focus is primarily directed to knitting blogs (others here and there occasionally, but knitting blogs almost exclusively). I've found that knitbloggers are FAR from dogmatic -- there's a wide range of experience and thought represented across the knitblog spectrum -- I don't often come across cookie-cutter women in those circles.

I realized yesterday that I've been happily influenced by some of them. Typically, I can count on being inspired, but there are those times that actual ACTIONS result from reading other knitting blogs -- those times when I get up and get things done as a result of reading a knitting blog.

Surely I'm not the only one motivated to get up and DO SOMETHING when I read Ann's Hefty Bag entry. I didn't have trash bags to fill, but there were some significant tasks that I completed yesterday -- things I'd been procrastinating for quite a while. One of my hotspots is my kitchen counter -- where a lot of crap just accumulates. I cleared a significant portion of that yesterday not by shuffling the detritus elsewhere, but by actively DEALING with it.

One of the things I've been meaning to do is share some links here so that I could easily reference them later.

1. Fluffa's DIY blocking board and a slideshow you can see on her entry here

2. Eunny's notebook

3. And randomly, this post and this post . . . just because there are things for myself there I want to remember.

Finally, here's a finished object to flash -- more proof that I'm not just a starter but a finisher when I want to be:

Mountain Colors Bearfoot Wilderness colorway


August 28, 2006

Socks and Swatches

WollmeiseBlog.jpg

You don't swatch for plain stockinette socks -- you just start. What a liberating concept. If Elizabeth Zimmermann, Nancy Bush and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee share the same philosophy about starting socks, then I should too (the worst thing that can happen is that you end up with a pair of socks that fit . . . somebody). The sock *is* the swatch. Surprisingly, I've been known to get hung up on the details occasionally and not begin something for fear of messing it up and doing something wrong, so the nice yarn sits in a corner, untouched. I couldn't stand to have the Rohrspatz & Wollmeise suffer the same fate, so I chose my needles (Clover bamboo 2.25 mm) and just started. And it's knitting up beautifully!

This weekend while I was working, a customer came in with a pattern for a baby hat and some yarn (neither of them ours, but that's okay . . . sometimes) concerned about not having gotten the pattern gauge and I suggested just starting the hat with the suggested needle size (which she already owned) instead of what she thought she needed to get gauge (which she would have to buy). The worst thing that could happen is that after knitting the hat, it would be too small or too big. The hat would still fit a baby somewhere. She had more than enough yarn and the appropriate needles. Just start the hat. Oddly enough, she didn't seem happy with my suggestion.

At some point, you just have to believe that you have everything you need and that it's okay to make some mistakes.

August 24, 2006

Rohrspatz & Wollmeise sock yarn

Rohrspatz & Wollmeise

It's difficult to express how much I love the color of the Rohrspatz & Wollmeise yarn that Marjan sent me for our sock yarn swap. I made a vague request for "reds" and she sent me this gorgeous "Brombeere" (which I think translates to "blackberry"). I've swatched for my socks with the yarn and tried a garter rib before deciding that I'd be happiest with a plain stockinette sock so that I could really enjoy these colors.

There's a great Wollmeise Blog where I found stockings -- presumably knit with the Wollmeise yarn. Those stockings are inspiring! Thanks, Marjan, for a great swap. As of today, I have no socks in progress so it's a perfect day to cast on.

I managed to complete a stripe sequence for the Santa Fe Ruana yesterday:

SF Ruana Stripe Sequence

The ruana is knit with two panels and joined with a mitered panel in the back; the vertically-striped panels are the "colorful" portion of the ruana and while I'm not too sure yet about the yellow I chose, I'm happy enough with it to see the possibilities. I really enjoy knitting with Manos and am enjoying the dark red and forest green.