Socks for a Frosty Morn…

…not that we have too many of those in the greater LA area.

(Pet Peeve Digression: when newscasters call the greater Los Angeles area “The Southland.” A) Orange County and San Diego are further south; B) the real land of the South is some 3000 miles and a whole ‘nother mindset away.

/digression)

Anyhoo, another pair of socks for the drawer. These I’m keeping for myself, because there are just too many mistakes and/or oddities. My gauge changed from sock 1 to sock 2, making sock 2 noticeably smaller in the leg. I got complacent when knitting sock 2 and didn’t check my decreases, so sock 2 is four stitches wider in the foot. There was a knot in the skein, so sock 2’s leg has some woven-in ends (I couldn’t get the yarn to do a felted join no matter how much I spit and rubbed – if you’re a knitter, you’d know that is perfectly clean language for use in company.) The yarn, while scrumptious, is a sport/light DK weight, and I think the pattern would work much better in a true 4ply/fingering weight. Mine bag at the ankles no matter how much I tug.

BUT: they are perfectly squishy and comfy and my feet love them – and isn’t that the goal?

Deets:
Pattern: Frost Flower Socks by Doggrell Designs (Ravelry link – you’ll need to be signed in to see it)
Needles: 2.5mm
Yarn: Skein Queen Plushness in Chocolate Cherries

A Honey of a Shawl

After a long hibernation period, I present: Wabenschal.  Which translated from German into English means Honeycomb Shawl.

I started this shawl while still living in the UK.  It’s a very easy lace pattern, interesting enough to keep you going, easy enough to carry on a conversation without staring intently at charts.  I made good progress on it during the last month we lived in London, and took it out on the plane ride back to the States to finish.  But the stress and last minute running around that comes with moving continents caught up with me on the flight, and after making some horrendous mistakes I started a pair of socks and put aside the Wabenschal.

And then I fell into Sock Blankie obsession and the poor Wabenschal lived in the dark recesses of my WIP bag for a long, long time.

But now, it is finally complete.

I used up exactly two balls of Posh Yarn Amelia.  We’re talking inches -barely – left over.  Let’s hope I never need to darn this shawl.

But it is soft, and cuddly, and oh so pretty.  I so love the dye genius that is Tony of Posh Yarn.  Such a lovely peachy-pink-hints of gold color – I will enjoy wearing this on chilly SoCal evenings.

 

Deets:
Pattern: Wabenschal, available for free from Knitting Delight
Needles: 5mm
Yarn: Posh Yarn Amelia (DK weight merino/alpaca) in Cherie, 480 yards

Oh, baby!

One of my favorite couples just had their first baby – a boy.

So of course, I had to knit for him.

Aren’t baby things the cutest?

The hat and booties were made from the leftovers from my Lola Socks. Someone needs to have another baby because I still have approximately one skein each left of the Knit Picks Stroll Cocoa and Granny Smith.

I love the combination of spring green and chocolate brown, and I’m absurdly pleased with both items. Hope the parents (and the baby!) will like them as well!

Bootie deets:
Pattern: Christine’s Stay-On Booties (available for free here)
Needles: 2.75mm
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Cocoa and Granny Smith, waaaaaaay less than one ball used

I modified the pattern by wrapping, slipping and turning the short rows – otherwise I had issues with holes. I also SSK instead of K2tog on the right side, which made for a much neater edge. The lace is 18″ of 3-stitch i-cord on 2.25mm needles

Hat deets:
Pattern: Striped Hat by Debbie Bliss (available in the Baby Cashmerino 2 pamphlet)
Needles: 3.25mm
Same yarn as above. Probably used less than half a skein of each.

I knit the hat flat, per the pattern. I could have modified it to be knit in the round, but chose not to because my jogless stripes are never really jogless, and I prefer the look of the stripes when they are seamed together. But it’s a tradeoff, as the seam is slightly visible despite my most careful efforts. (I’m one of those crazy knitters who doesn’t mind seaming. Probably because I was taught to sew and embroider long before I taught myself to knit. More probably because I learned to knit in the UK, where EVERYTHING is seamed, even a simple beanie.)

And some outdoor beauty shots, for fun:

Their Name Is Lola…

…but they’re not showgirls. Just socks. But rather showy socks, I like to think.

I really enjoy the monthly challenges set by the Socks Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. I haven’t kept up with all of them, but this month I rose to the occasion and finished a pair.

The challenge was stranded socks – socks that require two or more colors in the same row, and the yarn not is use is carried (or stranded) behind the working yarn. I had just received the latest issue of Yarn Forward, one of the top UK knitting magazines (and the only one that doesn’t clog its pages with reprints from other sources – srsly, Brit mags, what is up with that?! Get some originality) and this pattern leaped off the page at me. I had two balls each of Knit Picks Stroll in Cocoa and Granny Smith sitting in stash. It was a project meant to be.

I had so much fun knitting these socks, even if the heel construction drove me a bit batty on each sock (you’d think, having puzzled it out once I would have it down for the second sock, but noooooooo.) I get cocky with second socks. Someday I will learn my lesson.

But aren’t they oh so pretty and slightly Victorian music hall (hence the showgirl name, I suppose.) The originals in the magazine were knit in black and red, which made them far more vaudeville star than my sedate combination of chocolate and grass green. But I like to think mine would be the choice for intrepid steampunk heroines to wear under their high button but steel-toed boots as they stowaway on steam-powered airships for adventures unknown.

Or, y’know, around the house when the air has a chill in it.

Deets:
Pattern: Lola Socks by Margarete Dolff, published in Yarn Forward #28, September 2010
Needles: 2.75mm
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Cocoa and Granny Smith. Took just over one ball of Cocoa, and less than one ball of Granny Smith

Le Apres Surf Hoodie – she is done!

I haven’t knit a sweater in a while.  When I started knitting, I made a few scarfs, a hat, and then plunged into the world of sweaters.  I made three (and granted, I sort of cheated, because they all used bulky – or super bulky – yarn and large needles so they were fairly quick knits.)

And then came along the Apres Surf Hoodie.  I even had the exact same yarn in the exact same color in my stash!  It was obviously meant to be.

Or not.

I knit about 1/3 of a sleeve. And then, for various reasons, the Apres Surf Hoodie went to sleep.  For a long, long time.   I still loved the pattern, and I very much loved the yarn, and the growing gallery of finished Hoodies on Ravelry attested that the problem was not with the pattern, but with me.  (Oh, and I started the Sock Yarn Blankie, which tends to tempt you away from other things – and not just knitting – with its “Just one more square and I’ll quit, I’ll swear” siren call.)

But I finally knuckled down and took the Apres Surf Hoodie seriously.

Et voila!  Enfin, je vous présente Le Apres Surf.

I rather like it.

I added 1/2 inch to the length of the body, wish I had added at least two inches more.  The sleeve length was not modified and they fit great.  The hood is a bit floppy, but that’s my mistake as I picked up too many stitches and should have decreased more often on the i-cord bind-off.  But it’s perfectly wearable, and it’s already been out to dinner (I live in a beach town, every day is Apres Surf here!)

The Blankie Continues

More sock yarn blanket.

It’s halfway there – someday it will be grow up to be a queen-size blankie, if I keep feeding it yummy sock yarn.

Lace Up Close and Personal

Two projects I’m working on:

Apres Surf Hoodie, in Rowan Cashcotton 4ply, color Citron

Wabenschal, in Posh Yarn Amelia, color Cherie