Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mega Socks

I couldn't find the ball band, and finally had to go to the yarn store to find out what kind of wool these are made of (ok, ok, I could have looked it up on the web, but there was a warehouse sale at my lys, soooo... )

Meilenweit Mega Boots by Lana Grossa, # 713. I love this yarn because not only does it slowly morph from one colour to another, but it's plied with two colours: one that is consistent throughout (in this case, green), and another strand that changes. It creates a colour depth that is hard to photograph. You'll just have to take my word for it, this stuff is beeeyooootifuuul.

Because they're knit from one ball, it's hard to have them start at the same point in the colourway without wasting a lot of yarn. So you end up with socks that are fraternal twins rather than identical. I think it adds to their charm, but some people might go crazy trying to "match" them.

In other knitting news, I've finally reached the lacy border section on the Icarus shawl, which means that there is light at the end of this dark, black, never-ending lace weight tunnel. I can't wait to put this baby on the stretcher for a bit of blocking torture, medieval style.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

And I like it too!

Here's a bit of Irish spring green to liven up your St. Patty's day:

One of my all-time favourite scarves. Super easy to make. Take two balls of self-stripping yarn in the same colourway (I used Noro Kureyon). Alternate two rows of one ball with the other, making sure you start in a different coloured part for the second ball. Mine is in rib (k1,p1) to avoid curled edges. It took 4 balls in all. Ta-da! Easy-peasy stripey scarf.

Green socks in progress. Oops, can't find the ball band... It's that lovely stuff that subtly changes colours as you go. I'll tell ya later when I find it.

Filatura di Grignasco Tango (50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose) in shade 221, a lovely moss green with flecks of blue and brown. It has the same tweedy, soft texture and weight as Rowan's Felted Tweed, but since I got it from the bargain bin, it was much more aligned with my meagre budget. I think I might have enough to make this with it:

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my Guinness...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Out of the pool and into the birdbath

I finished the now pool-free Koigu socks.

Knit with Koigu's KPPPM, in #P309 colourway, which I call sparrow, because the soft browns remind me of this resilient little bird.

Appropriate because these socks are going to my friend Kelly, an avid birdwatcher. Her boyfriend is planning a surprise birthday party for her tonight and it's my job to get her out of the house while the guests arrive. I'm taking her to our local natural history museum to see a new bird exhibition. She won't suspect a thing...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mining the past

My vacation continues, and though I'm faithfully plugging along on the Icarus shawl, there's really nothing interesting to show. It still looks like a big black scribble. I've officially entered the "will this ever end?" stage of the project.

So instead, I'll show you something from my blogless past, knit sometime last year:

Behold the hallowed Birch shawl, from Rowan issue #34, knit with Kid(Crack) Silk Haze, in a gorgeous teal blue colour enigmatically named "Trance".

This project marks a bunch of firsts for me: my first shawl, my first lace project, my first taste of the narcotic that is KSH and my first real understanding of the miraculous powers of blocking.

Though I find the points too long and am never sure what to do with them, I really LOVE this shawl. It's warm and light, the colour suits me, and I'm really proud that I stuck with it to the end.

I have to admit that casting on 299 stitches was daunting, especially since I had to do it, oh, say, six or seven times till I got the hang of the pattern. I kept screwing up a couple of rows into it, making mistakes and not being able to figure out where I had gone off the rails (damn you, tricky yarn over!) So I'd riiiiiip the whole thing out and start again.

And again.

Till I got a clue and put stitch markers between each "leaf". I immediately knew if something was off at the end of every ten stitch repeat. Sure it was a bit of a pain to have so many markers, but totally worth it.

For stitch markers, I like using ouchless mini hair elastics, which are cheap, smooth, light and have the added bonus of being easy to cut out if you mistakenly knit one into your work. I'm also partial to their pretty jelly colours.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Not much to look at yet

I'm in the middle of a 2 week impromptu vacation (I had a bunch of overtime I needed to use up before the end of the fiscal year) and I'm in heaven. Tons of knitting, pots of tea, books on tape, cross-country skiing, walks in the woods. Balms for the soul.

Curiously, this break hasn't yielded interesting blogging fodder. Mainly because I've been s l o w l y trudging on the Icarus shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2006, and despite clocking major knitting hours, it is not growing at a rate that is visible to the human eye. But I trust that in time and with the miracles of blocking, a shawl will materialize. One day.

As long as I don't go blind first. Knitting in BLACK LACEWEIGHT sure is tough on the peepers! I can barely see my stitches in the inky depths of black misti baby alpaca (I didn't choose this, I'm knitting it for a friend's wife). Thanks goodness for my Ott-lite!