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Fear not faithful readers (if indeed there are any of you left)!  Finals are over!  I’m back in DC for a month!  And I have plenty of free time!  Which means my little blog will get a decent helping of the attention it deserves.  So stay tuned I’ve got plenty to show you.

Socktoberfest is long over, and these socks have been finished with for a month, but I’m still so pleased with the results that I can’t help but want to show them to you.  So here are this years Mystery Socks from Through the Loops.

Pattern: Mystery Sock ’09 (ravelry)

Source: Through the Loops

Yarn: Sundara Sock

Needles: US 1

Started: October 1, 2009

Finished: November 14, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

I know I mentioned in passing that Kirsten was doing another Socktober Mystery KAL this year.  I of course could not even live with the idea of not knitting-a-long.  Just like last year,this years KAL was a real blast.  So many people participated again this year.  There are currently 575 projects listed for the pattern on Ravelry and I think most of those were at least started during Socktoberfest.  I know I’ve said before that I just love a good KAL.  And my thoughts on the matter have always been the more the merrier.  This might have something to do with the fact that photos are my most favorite parts of KALs, I love to see what everyone is doing, and the more folks involved the more version you get to see.  What could be better?

The pattern itself is awesome, of course.  Kirsten hit another home run with this one.  Super fun to work on and brilliant end results for just about every version I’ve seen.  I love the change in direction from leg to foot.  The way the pattern extends down the back of the heel flap is another especially nice detail.  The chevron cuff is so much more interesting than plain old ribbing and the way the toe looks like flower petals is so sweet.  Here take a peak:

This was actually my first time using Sundara Sock.  Compared to some other sock bases I’ve been working with lately it was a hair stiff for my taste. It feels perfectly soft once knit up and blocked, but it could be a bit softer running through the fingers.  Thats said the colors are so lovely.  And her yarns do seem to yield gorgeous end results every time.

So there you are!  More FOs to come & much, much more.  Like a finished Vine Yoke Cardigan as soon as I get some good pictures.  See you soon.

So you have until the end of tomorrow to enter the giveaway, but in the meantime I have something to show you.  Another real live FO!  More shawls of course, I seem to be obsessed (me & the rest of the knitting world).  I’ve actually been doing pretty well with my power through and finish goal.  And as a result I’ve got my Shetland Triangle for your viewing pleasure.

Pattern: Shetland Triangle (ravelry)

Source: WrapStyle

Yarn: Sundara, Fingering Silky Merino

Needles: US 5

Started: May 29, 2009

Finished: July 5, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

Oh my goodness did this shawl turn out beautifully.  I can’t really take much credit though, it’s all about the yarn.  I do truly understand why people pay the money for Sundara FSM.  It is well worth the splurge.  It definitely ranks high in the Quality of Yarns I’ve Worked With hierarchy.  The combo of silk and merino make it amazingly soft, and yet it isn’t the slightest bit splitty, unlike some other silk/merino blends I’ve worked with.  The sheen of the yarn is incredible.  It captures light in ways my eyes barely even believe.  If I had done nothing besides wave it around in the sunlight all day yesterday I would have been happy (fabulously, I got to do that and have a lovely day off!).

I’m sure plenty of you reading have already made a Shetland Triangle, since it’s so popular, but I’ll share my thoughts anyhow.  It’s a nice simple lace pattern.  Unlike most lace (at least for me) it’s chit chat friendly.  I can knit this pattern and talk as well as listen.  This is because, while the chart looks slightly different, most of the repeat is the same two rows.  And it’s a short repeat.  So once you quickly get the hang of it, you just keep going.  No brainer.  In fact, I never even xeroxed the pattern out of the book.  I just looked at the book the first night & memorized it and walked around with no pattern.  Even the edging chart was so easy that after doing the first half of the edging chart at home with the book I took off for work and finished the edging chartless.

I made the shawl considerably larger than the pattern called for.  Sundara FSM packs a hefty 500 yard wallop & and I wanted to make a significant dent in it.  I ended up doing 13 pattern repeats, which gave me a pretty sizable shawl.  It measured around a 68″ wingspan while blocking and post blocking it’s about 62″x30″.  It’s definitely enough shawl to wrap around a decent amount.  I used about 85% of the yarn and I’m left musing about what to do with the 70 yards I have left.

And what’s even more exciting than how beautifully this shawl turned out, is that I have a new toy which helped me show you how beautiful it is.  My parents gave me my birthday present early this year since they’re leaving to spend the next two weeks in Italy.  I unwrapped a beautiful blue & green box to find my very own Nikon D60!  How did they know?  It’s possible I might have dropped some hints.  I have had the most fun playing with my new camera & I couldn’t be more pleased with the photos I’m getting as a result!

So I went a little crazy during the Sundara LE updates in May.  I guess I’m building up my Sundara Sock stash.  my rational was that I could use it for some gorgeous shawls or other non-sock items, since my sock yarn stash could last me years.  But I got some very pretty yarn and now I can show you.

Yarn: Sundara Yarn, Sock

Color: Garden of Delight

Dye Lot: LE Postings May ’09

Amount:1 skein at 350 yds

Purchased at: Sundara Yarn website

stashed on ravelry here

Yarn: Sundara Yarn, Sock

Color: Gone With the Wind

Dye Lot: LE Postings May ’09

Amount:1 skein at 350 yds

Purchased at: Sundara Yarn website

stashed on ravelry here

Yarn: Sundara Yarn, Sock

Color: Fancy Free

Dye Lot: LE Postings May ’09

Amount:1 skein at 350 yds

Purchased at: Sundara Yarn website

stashed on ravelry here

Not surprisingly the Garden of Delight is my favorite.  It’s such a fantastically fresh shade of green.  But I love the others too.  Sundara’s colors have so much depth to them, it’s hard not to love nearly every shade.  Which is good, it make me step outside my color comfort zone and choose things I probably wouldn’t much of the time.  Always good to widen one’s horizons.

Also you might have noticed my new banner (also featuring Sundara Sock).  I took a week long photoshop class last week and made myself a few options.  This is my favorite of  all of them.  I had a great time in the class.  It was a blast to learn some new skills and experiment with what photoshop has to offer.

So last time I posted I promised to show you some pictures of actual knitting and here I am pulling through!  I hope to include a few more projects, but hey, here’s at least a glimpse at what I’ve been working at.  I’ve been shawl obsessed of late, so the two things I have to show you are of course shawls.

Here’s a little close up of my Ulmus that I’ve been working on for the KAL over in the Fans of Through the Loops group on Ravelry.  I’m getting close to finishing.  As you see here, I’ve started the edging.  At this point I’m about 15 rows into the edging, making me 19 rows from calling this an FO.  It’s turning out truly beautifully.  The pattern is fantastic.  The main body of the shawl is just a 2 row slip stitch pattern in stripes, which is great to do while chatting with friends or watching TV, and just when you start to get bored with that, the leaf themed edging comes in.  It’s really been wonderful to work on and as I believe I’ve said before, I always enjoy a good KAL.

Sometimes I love photos with too much contrast.  I know not everyone will agree with me, but this would be one of those times.  As you heard, this yarn was a special treat, and so was starting this project.  My week had been a bit of a bummer, so on Friday night I gave into the my startitis with reckless abandon and cast on for this Shetland Triangle.  I have been incapable of finishing things lately, and starting new projects right left and center.  I had no business starting this, but it sure did make me feel better.  And it’s a total dream to work on.

Some friends mentioned devoting June to finishing, so I’m going to try and do just that.  Since I didn’t finish a single project in May and have far too many to say on the needles, it would be a good idea.  I’ll let you all know how it goes.

So much has been happening lately that it seems like forever ago that I finished the GRE & ordered myself a little reward. In fact it was about two months, which how long it takes for Sundara Year in Color offerings to show up after being dyed to order.

Yarn: Sundara Yarn, Fingering Silky Merino

Color: Poppy

Dye Lot: Flowers From my Mother’s Garden, March ’09

Amount:1 skein at 500 yds

Purchased at: Sundara Yarn website

stashed on ravelry here

What better way to reward oneself than by ordering yarn you would normally feel incredibly guilty buying?  I’ve been wanting to try the FSM for sometime now, but it’s not normally budget friendly for me to spend $50 on one skein (even if it is a hefty skein).  However, when rewarding myself for hard work, I occasionally allow splurges of this nature (to be clear I recognize that this is psychological, if I spend $50 on 2 skeins, I have still spent $50, it just seems like it goes farther and so I feel less guilty).  This one is from the Flowers From my Mother’s Garden offering from March 2009.  It’s called Poppy, and is a bit lighter than I expected (although the second photo is more true to color), but still seriously pretty.  I long ago hatched plans to make a Shetland Triangle with this one.  Conveniently, the dyed to order nature of the Year in Color set up delayed this yarn until a week ago, allowing it to function as a reward for my news as well, thus saving me from buying another $50 skein of yarn (although not saving me from picking up a few things with lower price tags from the recent Sundara Limited Edition updates).

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted any photos of actual knitting.  I promise I have been knitting, just not getting good photos (or actually finishing much).  But I swear I will show you some soon!

Ah Sundara.  The most coveted of yarns.  Or at least close.  She certainly has the whole supply and demand thing working to her advantage.  Have gorgeous yarn at a relatively limited supply and knitters go crazy.  And I am most certainly not immune.

Yarn: Sundara Yarn, Sock Yarn

Color: Mint Julep

Dye Lot:

Amount: 1 Skein at 350 yds

Purchased at: online from Sundara Yarn

stashed on ravelry here

As part of the Crusade Against Winter Gloom, I scored this lovely little sock yarn.  And someday soon I will get to know what all the fuss is about.  It is super pretty though.  So I’m guessing that might have something to do with it.

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