Sunday, March 30, 2008

No New Yarn In March!

Earlier this month I decided to pledge not to buy any yarn in March. Next month will be a big one for me with my birthday, my trip to Seattle and subsequent yarn crawl, and sock camp. Eep! But I knew that March was a month when I could be good and avoid yarn purchases. And I've succeeded - yes I know that tomorrow is still March, but I promise not to buy any yarn tomorrow either. Of course I did still receive sock yarn from the Rockin' Sock Club, but that was purchased previously.

As for the knitting, there has been quite a bit of it this month but I haven't finished a lot. In fact as I type this entry there are four pairs of socks in progress sitting on my desk. :o

I did do quite a bit on my Undulating Rib socks in the Flat Feet. The yarn is still fine to work with for me, and the socks are coming out much like socks with any other hand dyed yarn. I think if the flat had been one of the more "artistically" painted ones that might not be the case, but as it was - three vertical stripes - it was quite like what a hank of that given size would be if you dyed it in the skein.


As you can see it's knitting up in the spirally pattern that's common in handpainted yarn. Very pretty though! Also I think my stitches look a little less even than when I'm knitting with yarn that comes in a more normal (skeined) put-up. I'm sure that will block out just fine.

I think this stitch pattern lends itself well to close ups:


Now back to knitting!

Listening to: Odal ~ Agalloch, I Am the Wooden Doors ~ Agalloch

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Being a blogging slacker...

I finished some socks on Friday and am just now getting around to posting about them!

Pattern: Uzume from Socktopia
Yarn: A Piece of Vermont in Giggles
Started: 2/22/08
Finished: 3/21/08

I actually test knit this pattern before it came out, but I don't have those socks so I decided to knit it again for myself this time as part of the Momma Monkey memorial knitalongs. Especially since it's pretty much the only pattern at the gauge I usually like and cuff down. I will do toe up socks on occasion, but I really do prefer the cuff down construction.

I just love the little diamonds:

The yarn, A Piece of Vermont, was also a new one for me. I really liked how this skein was dyed so many variations of purple and related colors - it was quite variegated but not so much that it obscured the pattern. The yarn itself is very soft and a bit fuzzier than the yarn I'm used to working with - it has a bit of a fuzzy halo that is actually quite pretty. I like the yarn a lot, and I'll update it on my yarn page soon - probably after I see how the socks wear.

Also, a random heart on the sidewalk:

Listening to: Mayonaise ~ Smashing Pumpkins, Girl's Not Grey ~ A.F.I.


Monday, March 17, 2008

SPA yarn and Flat Feet

Can you see Cathy's influence on my SPA yarn purchases?


The furthest left is yarn from Dye Dreams - the first booth we stopped in! There was a beautiful dark blue-teal yarn that Cathy really liked *shock!* so I got it for her as a birthday gift. Then there wasn't another for me, so I picked up this blue and pink one. It's really pretty!

The middle yarn is from The Woolen Rabbit and is called Harmony - the color is Black Velvet. Cathy and I were ogling this yarn for both days of SPA and finally bought it Sunday morning when there were only two skeins left.

And last but not least, some pretty yarn from Pine Woods Yarn. They're in Maine and dye on a wood fired stove, and the colors are all unique. There were some multis and even some blue ones but my goal was to stick with semisolid for the most part, so I went with Cathy's pick of green.

So that's my yarn from SPA, fiber perhaps to come at a later date, or if not then when I spin it for sure!

I also started a pair of socks from my new Flat Feet. The yarn comes knit into a large flat piece with waste yarn down the middle. Each side is about 12" x 15" unstretched.

flat feet

I cut the waste yarn to make two flats so I could knit my socks 2 at once.


Then it was time to start unraveling and cast on!

The curlyness of the yarn was a little annoying during the cast on, but not too bad. While I knit it doesn't bother me at all, but I think this probably has something to do with my knitting style. I knit continental so I don't drop the yarn between stitches and I keep it at a pretty good tension so the part I'm working with is pulled taut and not curly at all. I can imagine if you are dropping the yarn between stitches then the frogged yarn could be really annoying.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sock Madness - now with Wollmeise! (and don't forget SP stuff!)

Yesterday while in the throes of Sock Madness the doorbell rang - this can only mean one thing: mail. So I went downstairs and the mailman handed me a box and asked if it was yarn. (Hee hee.) I was a little embarrassed by the fact that the mailman apparently knows me so well, but I was actually not at all sure what was in the box.

Turns out the mailman was right.


It was the final package from my super SP - Aspiring Crazy Cat Lady. I got a neat mosaic sock pattern with two colors of blue Meilenweit. That definitely looks interesting and I think I'll use it as packaged, just as soon as I get through some of my more complicated socks. She also sent some hand dyed fiber that she "made" herself. Um, blended herself - that's the word I'm looking for. It looks gorgeous!

And last but certainly not least... I told her it was my dream to try some Flat Feet - and then when I saw it at SPA I had Cathy convince me not to buy any because I had faith in my SP to come through with the Flat Feet. And come through she did! I'm very excited to use it and it seems that a few knittyboard members are excited to hear about it so I'll be starting those socks really soon and documenting the process.


Because I'm crazy... I decided to participate in Sock Madness again this year. The truth is that I don't really care about winning - as evidenced by the fact that on Friday night I decided to just go to bed instead of powering through my socks even though I didn't have to be up in the morning. (On Thursday I actually went to bed at a reasonable hour, but then I had work as an excuse!)

But I finished well before my division hit 40 so I'm into the next round.


Pattern: Zombie Socks from Sock Madness 2
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle in Mitternacht
Started: 3/13/08
Finished: 3/15/08

As for the Wollmeise...

Well first off I really really like it. I'm putting this up front because I'm going to be comparing it to other yarns since many people haven't had the chance to try - or even see and touch - it. But none of these comparisons are better/worse, they're all just *different*.

The yarn itself is much different than what I've come to expect from a handpainted yarn. It's not a 2 ply or even a 4 ply, it's an 8 ply. (I counted.) The multiple plies make it a little splitty, but a very little bit. It didn't really bother me at all after I got used to it while casting on.

It looks very thin and doesn't really feel soft in the skein. In fact it's 100% wool but I never would have guessed it, I could have sworn there was some nylon in it. Although it looks very thin it doesn't really compress at all - I used size 1 (2.25mm) needles and I think they were a good fit - the ballband recommends 2-2.5mm. The resulting fabric is nice and not at all holey*, flexible but I think it will be hard-wearing, and soft.

* All holes seen above are intentional. ;)

The yarn is very dense, but not sproingy at all. I realize that sproingyness is a made up quality - but not by me, no idea who first coined the term - but I suppose most of you know what it is. (For example, Socks That Rock is a pretty dense 2 ply, and it's very sproingy, Koigu is also a dense 2 ply but less sproingy.) Not exactly springy but more springy and dense combined?

In any case... back to Wollmeise. The properties of the yarn aside, the dyeing is wonderful. The color I used has a very true black, something that's hard to find in hand dyed yarn. The yarn was very evenly dyed and didn't have any splotchy spots, and despite the very blackness of the black, the blue and teal-ish bits were bright and true.

The skeins also come in 150g instead of 100g - and 574 yards. For me this is probably enough for 2 pairs of socks - I think I'll use the remaining yarn for a toe up pair and see how far it goes.

Listening to: Just ~ Radiohead, If You Could Only See ~ Tonic, Soft Rock Star ~ Metric

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Knitting Pink

I arrived home on Wednesday to find some pink yarn in my mailbox.

The yarn was from MJ for me to test knit the socks she's designing. Yep, she's come to take away my niche and has started designing socks too. ;)

See, pink ribbing! Oh, come on, you didn't really think I was going to show you anything secret did you? The California Socks in progress snuck into the picture too. They're actually getting a bit of attention after every few rows of the pink socks to give my hands and brain a bit of a rest.

Then because I can never have enough sock WIPs... I cast on for the Sockamania Simply Cables socks in Socks That Rock Lightweight in Blue Brick Wall. I've had this yarn sitting on my shelf for a while now because I wasn't totally convinced that I loved it. But then... I wound it into a ball:

Look at that blue beauty!

I also have a goal to spin more this month - I'm trying for at least 8 hours of spinning in March. So far I have 0 hours done and all these socks probably won't help...

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Yay for SPs and BFF socks!

Friday I got another lovely package from my SP!

The first part was a very special sock pattern and the Soxx Appeal yarn needed to make it:

And the second part was some very pretty Spring yarn she dyed herself!

Thank you SP!

I also finished the BFF socks I was knitting for Cathy:

Pattern: BFF by Cookie A
Yarn: Koigu (Cursed Koigu!) from Cathy
Started: 1/13/08
Finished: 2/29/08

Saturday I went to a knitting event with a pretty new-to-me group which was a lot of fun. I worked mostly on the Uzume socks there. Then on Sunday at Knitsmiths I cast on for Marble Arches (finally!) and worked on those a bit. Looks like I'm in a cast on phase again...

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Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs