Friday, March 19, 2010


Actual, honest-to-goodness knitting. I haven't been whipping through any projects, but I have been working steadily, and this morning I finished a pair of socks.
I haven't taken pictures of the pair; this is from the pictures that I took last weekend, in preparation for a post on the projects I have OTN, but I promise you, there are two, and I will a) wear them out into the world very soon, and b) take pictures of both of them on my feet.
Aren't they lovely? This is the first kit from the Vintage Purls Summer of Socks club that Stella so wonderfully signed me up for. (As an aside, she has posted some really interesting discussions lately about knitting and designing; they certainly inspired me to think about my knitting in a new way.) I'm already looking forward to casting on for the next kit. You can't really see in this picture, but these socks are beaded, just up towards the top, which charms me all to pieces.

I knit these using my size one Signatures, which were perfect, as there were some k3togs and some sssks, and the pointy tips of the Signatures make light work of moves like that. They're knit toe-up, which is not my habitual style of sock knitting, but I like shaking things up a bit, and this cast-on was quite nice, and I like the round toe. The heel was particularly nifty, and of a style I'd never done before; it fits beautifully. And I really do love this yarn; I have at least one other skein of it in stash, and I'm starting to lay plans for it.

So that's mostly what I've been working on. Barring the bit where there was beading to be done (using my trusty little bitty crochet hook), these were excellent travel socks, so I've been schlepping them about with me and working on them here and there. I was vastly entertained last week when I pulled them out at a meeting. Everyone insisted on fondling the first, finished sock, looking at it and then looking at me strangely. "You're knitting a pair of socks?" one person asked. I gave my latest answer to this question (I've gotten it a lot lately: "You knit that sweater?", etc): "Someone's got to." There was a moment of silence, and then another person looked at me and said, "You can buy socks at Target, you know, for ten dollars a bag." Honestly. Someone actually said it. I thought that was one of those things that people only say to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, but there it was. What I wouldn't have given to have had my recorder to hand. I don't think my fellow committee member understood why I found that so vastly entertaining; there is was, a trope from the modern knitting experience. But you know what? I couldn't buy these socks at Target for ten bucks a bag, baby.

I do have a few other things OTN, waiting for my renewed attention. I finally cast on for the Tibetan Clouds Stole using Sundara's fingering silky merino, although I haven't made much progress. It turns out that it's better for me to have only one beaded project going at once (which may mean that the stole may be derailed again soon, because wait 'til you see what's coming in the mail). But this yarn is gorgeous, and you all were right about the last set of beads I bought; they're perfect.
It's not much to look at now, I know; it'll be easier to see for a while once it's on circs. The way this stole is knit is very interesting to me; the center back is knit in the round, with increases at four points to create a square. Then I'll cast off one side of the square, put the next side on a stitch holder, cast off the third side, and begin to knit out, back and forth, on the last side. It's a fun structure, and the lace is lovely, so even if this does get put aside again, I guarantee it won't be for long.

I have two other scarves going, both of which are nice and simple for meetings or plays or movies.
This is the Wool and Camel-Down Ripple Scarf from the book Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders. The pattern really doesn't look like much in the book, but knitting in a colorful yarn like this, it does something lovely, I think. The yarn is Schaefer Nicole, which I quite like.

In fact, I'm liking Schaefer so much that I unintentionally stumbled at my LYS the other week, and picked up a skein of Schaefer Audrey, a gorgeous silk/merino blend (I really do like silk and merino together, can you tell?), in the happiest of springtime colorways. I needed it, don't you think?
It's all shades of pinks and greens, both vibrant and subtle, and it makes me very happy. I'm knitting it into Damson, by Ysolda Teague (Rav link), which is another little shawlet in the shape I've been loving so much lately. The skein is big enough that I might very well end up with enough to make two, which would be a nice outcome.

And that's it. That's what I've got going on right now. Nothing for a deadline, no pressure, and I'm thinking that I'd like to take advantage of that and do some spinning. I bought some absolutely gorgeous roving last summer at Sock Summit from A Verb For Keeping Warm, and it's been calling to me.

Remember these?
And these?
I think the first (a silk/merino blend, heh) needs to be spun up into a very fine two-ply to knit something lacey, and the second is begging to be a pair of socks. I'll probably start up the second soon, maybe even tomorrow.

Meanwhile, tonight we're going to see Cirque du Soleil's Kooza, the tickets for which were a birthday present from my beloved husband. I truly love Cirque du Soleil, and always find myself inspired to take better care of my body after seeing the things those performers can do with theirs. And tomorrow I think will be a catch-up day, as Rick leaves Sunday for a week in Virginia, and the girls and I will be spending Sunday up in Tehachapi (I'll be working, they'll be playing), which I think will be the perfect venue for my new socks, as it's much cooler up there than it has been lately down here.


twinsetjan said...

Love the color and the beads! I have a hunch these socks are going to get a lot of wear this summer...they're great!

I'm looking forward to seeing how the stole progresses.

Alwen said...

Such pretty yarns! I like the first sock one and the scarf yarns, yum!

I made tatting cliche bingo cards for when my lace groups does demos. People really do say "No one does that any more" even when you are sitting right there doing it. It's amazing to hear in person, though.

twinsetellen said...

Spinal reaction here to the color of your Tibetan cloud stole. Please don't set it aside - I want to see it finished!

I always tell people that if you want a sweater, go to Target. If you want to KNIT a sweater, sit right down and let's talk!

EGunn said...

Not whipping through projects? Sure looks like it from here! Lots of pretty things on the needles in your house. I need to work on getting some going in mine.

I had someone tell me the other day that she'd been thinking that it would be cheaper to just make socks than to buy the wool ones at REI for $15 a pair. I managed not to laugh too loudly before telling her that I'd paid $25 for the skein of Socks that Rock that made the sock in her hand. She was a weaver, so didn't even have the excuse of just not knowing what crafts cost.

Can't wait to see the rovings spun up!

Jane said...

I think there are just some people that don't have a creative bone in their body and cannot understand the satisfaction of actually making something for themselves. Enjoy the socks, the colour is lovely

Lynne said...

So many lovely things to look at - why don't we have touch capabilities? ;-(

Mary Lou said...

I have had the experience, too. Big ole good ole boy on a plane, but he suggested Walmart. I gave him what I hoped was a pitying look and said. I have three words for you = No Toe Seam. His eyes widened and he said - well, ah could git behind that. Very funny.
And I love silk and merino. My clapotis is fingering silk and merino. Yum.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work and lovely yarns. No matter how quick one finishes a project is not the point, is it? It really is all about the yarns and the act of knitting.

Rachael said...

Lovely socks! Enjoy Kooza, what a great show, I love cirque!

I went looking for beads for the tibetan shawl yesterday and didn't find anything I liked, I think I'm going to end up ordering some. Something that sounds so simple at the beginning, picking out beads to match yarn, somehow ends up being really complicated!

staci said...

I've gotten a lot of funny looks about sock knitting from non-knitters too. And I've learned it's best to just let them think you're weird than try to convert them by knitting socks for them, because then you'll be knitting them socks for all eternity, LOL!!!

Another Joan said...

Standard answer to "$10/bag at Whatsit" = "Not THESE socks."

Nana Sadie said...

Oh my Tibetan Clouds is so going to be gorgeous....!!!!!
And yes, I love Shaeffer yarns and colorways so much - your Damson is very pretty!
I'm chuckling all over myself over your colleague's statement re: Target. (I was told to go to Walmart and it was $6!)
Can't wait to see what's coming soon...

Nana Sadie said...

Oh...and the funniest looks (and things said to me) are those that follow any comment on my last vacation - to Sock Summit.
Whaaa??? You went to Portland to learn about SOCKS?
Oh yes, we surely did, didn't we!!???

Willow said...

The Ripple Scarf looks like a tapestry, as if it's woven and not knitted. Beautiful!

I just wanted to reach out and stroke those skeins of fiber. Can't wait to see them spun up!

AlisonH said...

Love the socks! And yes, I've had people say that to me, too, oh yes. And I once gave a lace scarf to someone, who ran to go show it to her husband over there in great excitement.

His reaction was a flat, absolute, "Nobody does that anymore."

She was speechless. She stood there. She looked at him. She went, "SHE does!" waving it at his eyeballs, while I stood there totally cracking up. He was not moved--he was very sure of himself. "NObody does that anymore!"

I knew on the spot we could tease him for life over that one. He'd earned it!

Lori said...

I adore that Wool and Camel-Down Ripple Scarf! I have the book and didn't even pause at the pattern; it looks so great in the yarn you chose now I have to check out my stash and get that scarf on the needles. And those socks are really so beautiful; it's not uncomfortable, wearing beaded socks? You inspire me to try toe-up socks. One of these days. :)