You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2008.

It’s that time again, where the Three Irish Girls Sock Yarnista packages go out and I am made a very happy woman.

(WARNING, SPOILERS FOLLOW!!)

Yarn:Three Irish Girls, Beckon Super Merino

Color: Arctic Circle (August 08 club color)

Dye Lot: initial club run

Amount: one skein at 350 yds

Purchased at: through Sock Yarnista club

stashed on Ravelry here

This month’s package included a coordinating mini skein, which I can’t wait to use for contrast heels and toes. It also included a set of special Sock Yarnista colored decrease stitch markers from Girl on the Rocks.

This colorway is so incredibly gorgeous and I absolutely adore being in this club. My mail tends to be pretty unexciting, so getting this (and my monthly mix CD swap package) is definitely a highlight.

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Alright I have finished my first Ravelympics project for the Sock Put event. You’ve seen the progress, now see the full pair.

Pattern: Spring Forward (ravelry)

Source: Knitty Summer 2008

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Kells Sport Merino in Lady Slipper (1 kein)

Needles: US 1

Started: August 8, 2008

Finished: August 21, 2008

Avoiding pooling with this yarn and pattern combination took a little work. I generally prefer a more random look with variegated yarns, so I pulled from two balls and alternated rows. While working on the first sock I actually manipulated the look even more by cutting and rejoining the yarn to mix up where colors came in a number of different times. On the second sock I was worried about running out of yarn, so I didn’t use this technique. But I am a bit happier with the lack of pooling on the first sock.

I also tried a new kind of short row heel on this pair of socks. I’ve long preferred short row heels, but was never able to pick up wraps perfectly, but with this pair I worked the short row heel as detailed in the “Beyond the Basics: Toe Up Socks” article by Ann Budd in the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. It is based one Priscilla A. Gibson-Robert’s short row heel. I found this style much easier and was incredibly pleased with the end result. This may be my new go to heel. Just to clarify, I worked these socks top down which is my preferred method, but still worked the short row heel from that pattern.

I think the choice of this yarn for this pattern was a great one. You can still clearly see the stitch pattern, but there’s still all the fun of a variegated yarn (I really am a sucker for them). And now I’m a ravelympian.

Find them on Ravelry here.

So it’s Day 7 of the Ravelympics and I have one sock complete.  Which seems about right pace-wise. 

 

If it weren’t for two bouts of frogging I’d be a bit further along.  The first one, which I mentioned in the last post, was done to avoid pooling.  The second one came once I was midway through the toe decreases.  I tried the sock on and realized that while the fit was fine through the instep, it got way to baggy by the ball of the foot.  So I frogged back a few inches and worked some decreases into the underside of the sock about midway down the foot.  I decreased 8 stitches of 16 rows, which was just the right amount because they fit great now.

Both times it’s been hard to decide to frog back.  Normally I have no qualms about ripping back to fix something I don’t like, but because these are supposed to be time sensitive it was a harder choice.  Ultimately I’m really glad I chose to do it.  It would have been sad to have socks I didn’t like at the end of the ravelympics.  And I honestly think I still have plenty of time.

I’ve barely done any more work on the cowl.  I’ve been focusing on the socks so far.  But I would guess I’ll need to change it up more pretty soon, since normally I don’t have this much devotion to a project.

Ok I could probably think up a more creative title if it wasn’t nearly 2am, but it is, so you’re stuck with what you’ve got.  I am, like so many other ravelers, participating in the Ravelympics, which began yesterday.  Which means my full knitting attention will be devoted to the following two projects through August 24 (unless I finish up early).  Which most likely means a lot of my blogging attention will be devoted there as well.  So you’re sure to get frequent updates.

My first event is the sock put.  The pattern I’ve chosen is Spring Forward from the most recent Knitty and I’m working with my first Three Irish Girls sock club yarn.

Here was my progress as of this morning.  I was just a few rows past the first pattern repeat.  I’ve now completed two and a half pattern repeats and I’m ready to start the heel.  Initially I didn’t like the way it was pooling, so after doing almost a full pattern repeat I ripped it out and started alternating rows pulling from two balls.  I just prefer a more scattered look with variegated yarns.  Even though it was a bit of a set back, I’m glad I made that decision, since I like it much better now.

My second event is the cowl jump, for which I am using the Razor Shell Neckwarmer pattern and Blue Sky Alpaca Silk.

I’ve only knit about 8 rows on this project.  I actually cast on once and knit the first pattern row and realized that when calculating the extra repeats I added into the pattern I made a goof and had cast on the wrong number of stitches, so I had to start over (luckily that was only 5 rows in the project).  Because I know this project will go much faster I’m trying to focus as much on my socks as possible for now to make sure I can get them done.

The detail shot doesn’t help you see the pattern yet, but you sure can see how fuzzy the yarn is.  I do love alpaca.

I believe I mentioned that I’ve been feeling productive lately. Well here’s another project resulting from that productivity (I have another knitted FO to show you as well, but I’m waiting until I can get better pictures), a new case for my DPNs, which have long been overflowing the old one.

I bought the fabric for this project when I was in Portland back in April at a shop called Bolt. Bolt calls itself a “neighborhood fabric boutique”, and it is amazing. It’s a small shop (thus the neighborhood feel), but they really pack in the gorgeous fabrics. They had such incredible prints. I wanted to start right away when I got home, but machine issues held me off. This was my first project with my new machine (!!!).

My exterior fabric is a print called “Carnaby Street” by Robert Kaufman and the interior fabric is called “Botanical Pop” by Jackie Shapiro for Windham Fabrics. I love how graphic they both are and the mix-matched scale of the two combined.

To make this needle case I used this tutorial from Multicrafty. I modified it a bit to make it a more appropriate size for DPNs, but the tutorial was a great starting point for creating something to my own specifications to fit just what I needed. I only made two rows of needle pockets, making the finished open dimensions only 16″x17″. The pocket heights are 7″ and 10″, but the 10″ pocket is sewn shut 3.5″
from the bottom so that the actual depth of the pocket is only 6.5″. I also made pocket divisions in different widths to accommodate different needles sizes. There are seven 1.5″ pockets on the right and five 1″ pockets on the left for smaller DPNs (I do love me some tiny needles).

My sewing skills are still a tad shaky in some aspects (apparently it’s not like riding a bicycle), but I’m hoping some of what I used to be able to do will return with more practice. Either way, I’m still very pleased with how this came out. Really darling and just what I needed.

Also the ric-rac (which just happens to be the perfect color) was just one of the lovely trimmings sent to me by swap partner guiderbec on swap-bot. It turned out to be ideal for this project!

One thing I learned this year during birthday week is that my friends and family are enablers. The gifts I received were amazing and much to my delight almost all of them fell into my three favorite categories: fibery gifts, fashiony gifts and bookish gifts. And since you’re a lucky bunch, I’m going to share the fibery ones with you.

As I’ve already mentioned my mother gave my a membership to the Three Irish Girls sock yarn club. My parents also gave me a new sewing machine(!!), the KnitPicks lace blocking wires, Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, and Favorite Socks. Seriously am I a lucky girl or what?

But some friends also got in on the fibery goodness as well.

I received this amazing early 90s knitting book called Floral Knits. It is a chock-a-block full of so bad they’re good patterns. While I may never use a single shape in there, the charts are really incredible. And with some slightly different color choices and application I think they could each be something really great!

I was also giving some amazingly gorgeous coordinating yarns. I’m still looking for just the right pattern to highlight their beauty together, but here’s a little more to feast your eyes upon.

Yarn: Three Irish Girls, Adorn Sock

Color: Connemara Valley

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 430 yds

Purchased at: gifted!

stashed on Ravelry here

Yarn: Tilli Tomas, Voile de la Mer

Color: Mermaid

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 290 yds

Purchased at: gifted!

stashed on Ravelry here

And there was a gift certificate to A Tangled Skein, which may just be my new favorite knitting store.  Oh the enabling never stops!

It was such a fantastic birthday, and I am so incredibly grateful to all of my friends & family for their gifts (fibery, fashiony and bookish) and all they did to make it special. I was beyond touched by how much effort was put into making my day a great one (did I mention I also got a mural for my birthday?). So if you’re out there listening, thank you everyone!