Friday, December 26, 2008

Mmmmmalabrigo sock yarn

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
I'm very lucky. I can hop in my car and within 20 minutes be at one of three LYS. I know I won't continue to be this lucky if I don't continue to support these shops. Sometimes, though, they just don't have what I need. That's when I try not to feel guilty and shop online.

As soon as I heard about Malabrigo's new sock yarn, I knew I had to have it and that it would be a good choice for a gift that's somewhat time sensitive. I picked out the colors I wanted and checked on prices. There were some really good bargains to be had, but the colors I wanted weren't in stock in virtually all the places I looked. Then I visited The Yarnery, which is in St Paul, MN. They had the colors I wanted in stock. The price was a bit better than average. The shipping was a bit on the steep side, but wow was it fast! I ordered the yarn late in the day on 12/23. I had a shipping confirmation within an hour. The yarn was in my mailbox on 12/26. That's with a postal holiday in the middle, boys and girls. Can't beat it with a pointy stick. I ordered yarn from them a long while back and got the same good service.

Oh, and the yarn? Yum. I am so tempted to keep the gift skeins, but I'll be good. Maybe Santa will bring me some more next year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Chris-mouse

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
These are the Drops Christmas Mice, modified to be cat friendly. I knit the darker one in the round and it was much easier. I left out the ear and tail wires. I stuffed them with little bits of lamb fleece and lots of catnip.

I'll tell my cats that the Santa Cat brought the mice for them, but they are pretty skeptical.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ohhh nooooooooooo

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is the back of the leg portion of Stricken sock I've been working on. It's upside down, with the heel at the top of the picture. The pattern runs down the front and back of the sock. For the most part is knit in the round.

Having survived about 7" of teeny twisted stitches done in intricate patterns, the new challenge rears its ugly head. The heel flap is done flat. This means that stitch twisting and cabling have to be done on the wrong side also. When this bit of information finally sank in, I said many bad words. I worked past the heel last night. When I saw it this morning, I snapped the picture and immediately frogged it back to where the heel flap starts. I think I can do it correctly if I go slowly and work only in good daylight.

However, I'm worried about having enough yarn to do both socks. I checked it before I started, but it just doesn't look like enough. The yarn was a limited edition, so getting more's not a possibility.

I've got to face it. If I'm going to put this much time and effort into this pattern, I've got to make sure there's plenty of yarn. ::sniffling as I pull the needles out:: I'll be in my stash.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still Twisted

A week ago, I decided to look up a pattern in Socks Soar (see previous post) and knit them. I found the book without any trouble. When I found the pattern, there were pencilled notes in the margins. I'd already knit the pattern. This was one of my many pre-Ravelry socks that aren't photographed or recorded, so I'm only a little surprised by this.

I went back to my notebook of patterns I want to do soon (as opposed to the great big huge notebook of patterns I want to do eventually). I'm still on the twisted stitches kick, so I was delighted to happen upon Stricken in the notebook. One of my Knitter's Holiday swap buddies got me this pattern. Stricken is by my favorite sock pattern designer, Cookie A. She's coming out with a book next year. I've already got it on Amazon preorder. The book has patterns but also information on how Cookie creates her designs.

The pattern's fun, but not easy. I've made several partial frogs and restarts.
Fortunately, the yarn I'm using is putting up with the rework. It's a merino/silk blend from The Unique Sheep called Luxe. I'll be getting more of this yarn.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bavarian twisted stitches

My KnitMeter isn't exactly accurate. I have been knitting lately, but have been frogging most of it. I finished a pair of socks that were UFOs since July. I tried two different patterns with my handspun, and threw the second one down in disgust last night. Nearly everything I've been doing lately has not been working out. Jobs. Christmas gifts. Knitting. ::sigh::

I decided to go in a completely different direction with the knitting. I made Eunny Jang's Bayerische socks earlier this year. I loved doing the Bavarian twisted stitches and have been wanting to do some research into the technique. I discovered that three books I already own have patterns in them:
Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles (socks)
Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac (hat)
Nancy Bush's Fok Socks (Chalet socks)

It appears that there are two sets of books on Bavarian twisted stitches, both in German. Ravelry's got some good information on getting them even though I think they both are out of print. I think that with a German dictionary I could find them useful. I haven't used the language since college, but expect that enough of it might come back. The books are:
Uberlieferte Strickmuster aus dem stelrischen Ennstal by Maria Erlbacher
Bauerisches Stricken by Lisl Fahderl

Both are three volume sets. Now all I have to do is find a job, pay off some things, and I can hunt them down. In the meantime, I'll be attempting the socks from Socks Soar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Rule

The new rule is: if I want to start a new project, I have to complete something that isn't done first. This has not been working out very well as far as knitting goes. When I picked up my first UFO, I remembered why I put it down in the first place and I can't get motivated to work on it. I would rather finish the socks than frog them, but I don't seem to want to fix them so they fit. Bad knitter, no cookie!

I have discovered that if I'm bored enough, I will do some housecleaning. It's bad for knitting, good for cobweb elimination.