Tuesday, September 18, 2007

just in time for fall

Spring socks!

Pattern: Hedera, by Cookie A.
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in crabapple blossom
Started: December? February? I forget.
Finished: September 15
(Photo taken blind while being pinned down by a 30-pound toddler who got herself between my face and the camera.)

I complained and complained about this yarn the whole time I was using it, I got bored with the pattern, I let the second sock sit around half-knit for months. But now that they are done, I love them. Other than the wonkiness in the toe grafting. This is my fourth finished pair of socks, and I have learned a few things about sock knitting and about myself as a sock knitter. I know that I prefer toe-up to cuff down, I don't like having leftover yarn and wishing I would have made the cuffs longer, short row heels fit me better and I prefer how they look, I hate picking up stitches, and I hate kitchener stitch. Which means, for future sock projects, I'll try to stick with toe-up. No picking up stitches, no grafting, the easiest heel is the one that fits me best, and I can use up all my yarn. Unfortunately, there are a lot of really great cuff down patterns out there, some of which might be a challenge to convert. And, actually, the next pattern I plan to knit is written cuff down. The stitch pattern on the Canal du Midi socks would look almost the same upside down as right side up, so I'll probably just go ahead and do them toe-up without worrying about flipping the chart or anything. I am also intrigued now about Cat Bordhi's new book. I participated in Summer of Socks (as a blog reader - obviously not as an accomplished sock knitter!), so tonight I got the email from the SOS host about the free download of the winning pattern in the design contest. It is based on Cat Bordhi's Cedar architecture (the designer had Cat's permission to use the architecture and share the pattern), and I love how it looks. The lace pattern extends down the heel and over the sides of the foot, and there's a tiny short row heel at the bottom. Definitely something I want to try, especially as there is a related architecture that can go toe-up. I think I'll buy Cat's book rather than try to work that one out myself as the winning designer suggests.

I'm still waiting on my order from handpaintedyarn.com. I just ordered on Friday, so I'm trying not to be impatient, but I am excited to start my next sweater. I was also planning to start the Child's Cabled Jumper from Anne Hanson at Knitspot. I chose some 3 ply Rio de la Plata merino because I wanted something very soft and with subtle variegation. The pattern gauge is 18 st/4" so technically this yarn will work, with its gauge of 16-20 st/4", but I forgot when I was buying it that the pattern suggests a DK weight yarn knit at a looser gauge for drape. I got the Rio de la Plata from a LYS that went out of business, so I can't go exchange it or anything. I was a little disappointed when I wound it to find that it was mildly felted in spots, as if it had been skeined while it was still damp or something. Anyway, a good alternative would be the merino DK from handpaintedyarn.com, which of course I didn't think of until the day after I'd placed my order. Oh well, I can order again. I think I only need two skeins of the DK to make the largest size jumper for Mina, which makes it ridiculously cheap.

As always, too many knits and not enough time. Now that it's late, I'll just relax a bit with a glass of wine and something easy. Goodnight.

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