Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All the spinning fibre in the world

I hit up the moving sale at Twist of Fate and came out with exactly the right amount of fibre.

Left to right: Punta top in "Embers", "Smoke on the Water", and "Midnight Embrace"; superwash wool in #202 and "Aurora Borealis". There's 100g of each.

twist of fate fibre

Also, 100g more superwash in the colourway "Tradition", which is mostly dark blue plus a bit of purpley brown; I was too excited not to spin it right away. There's around 150m here:

tradition worsted

I also got 200g of Corriedale awesome in shocking bright blue, which refused to photograph well (my camera wants it to be either neon or grey, and it is neither!—my camera is weirded out by all fibre, actually, and I need to commune with it to figure out why), and a handsome new drop spindle. I'll be busy for a while.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I haven't knitted anything that's actually germane to this blog in quite a while, and was feeling guilty about it—the idea was to keep topical here at Doilies Are Stylish HQ. So here is something small:

kalliope - 1

It's "Kalliope" from Kunstricken 2007 knitted out of almost the very last bit of my ecru Colourmart laceweight silk, which ended up yielding one enormous shawl and eight doilies of various sizes. I think there's enough left for another smallish doily and that's it (which is still an outrageous amount of knitting to have come from one cone of yarn). I'd count this doily as "smallish"—it's 11-1/2" across, 61 rounds.

It isn't in the Niebling style of extreme fiddliness, which came as something of a relief after lots of fiddly doilies all in a row. I'm impressed by the fiddly doilies, of course, and I like to knit them, but sometimes you need something easy and intuitive and with no "hex mesh" to knit in between. Like a palate cleanser!

This was the only slightly fiddly part: a round with six three-over-three cable crossings. I wanted to work them without a cable needle because that's how I roll, but slippery silk covered in slippery coning oil doesn't take kindly to that type of manhandling and. Well. I had to reconstruct about six rounds of knitting underneath where one cable was supposed to be. I used an extra DPN to cable the rest of them.

kalliope - 2

There should be a quiz on the internets where you answer personality-test questions and it responds by telling you which famous doily designer you are most like.

You scored as Christine Duchrow!

Your patterns are heavily stylised and geometric. You like to combine the same small motifs in different ways to make different designs, instead of coming up with something new each time. That's okay—the simplicity you prefer means knitting is relaxing!

You are organised, even though your patterns are quirky sometimes—you like to work from charts and think everyone else should, too. This way all your missteps are easy to find.

You aren't fussed about which way your decreases slant, because with thread this fine it's impossible to tell either way.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sock blog

Apparently all you need to escape from a Sock Rut is some interesting new yarn!


These socks are in Schaefer "Heather", which is superwash wool and nylon and silk (I can't stay away from silk), in their Dian Fossey colourway. The pattern is "Firestarter" by Yarnissima. I'm a bit wary of this irony, especially as fire season has just begun and I don't want to tempt fate, so in my head I've christened the socks "Smokey the Bear".

I made a couple of small modifications. I don't like the look of short-row toes, so used a figure-8 cast-on at the tip of the toe and increased with lifted increases to 56 stitches, which is four fewer than the pattern calls for, because a 60-stitch sock in this yarn is too big for me. I increased to 60 at the ankle to accomodate the 1x2 ribbing, then didn't have to switch to bigger needles to shape the calf because it was already big enough around. At the very end I increased three stitches in each side cable so that it would resolve into the same ribbing, like so:

firestarter cuff

The yarn is really soft, you guys, and really smooth and really round. Knitting with it feels decadent, wearing the finished socks even more so. I'm not completely sold on the colours, however. I never know what to do with variegated yarn; I don't trust it not to pool in flashy splotchy spirals, and I'm never sure how to work with whatever pooling tendencies it has without straying too far away from the thing that I wanted to make. In this case I decided to trust the yarn, and it resolved into camouflage tiger stripes. I don't think I mind, but I wish it came in solid colours—I want to pick this colourway apart into its component greens and knit with them one at a time.

In the spirit of Messy Tuesdays, I was going to offer you a mistake—there's a cable crossing in one sock that goes the wrong way, which happened while I was knitting and carrying on a conversation simultaneously and didn't want to disrupt the flow of either by stopping to fix it. I looked for several minutes just now but couldn't find it, so I suppose it is not too egregious. Hmph.

Have a WIP instead:

sorbet socks

These socks may also be a mistake, and are certainly a mess! The yarn is Fleece Artist Woolie Silk (I don't know why it gets an -ie instead of a -y; to differentiate it from Silky Wool maybe?), and the pattern is slightly modified from the Gentlemen's Half-Hose in Ringwood Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm appalled but secretly delighted by how garish they are (it's fine, because they'll be hidden underneath boots for the most part and only I will know they're there) and I'm really enjoying the Ringwood pattern—it's plain enough to go very fast but patterned enough that progress is obvious, and you can count repeats to make the second sock match the first.

I also made some yarn:

lite-brite handspun

Gosh, I really am bringing the garish, aren't I? It's about the same colour as the little pegs in a Lite-Brite when the light behind them is turned on. So: like a neon rainbow. There's 2oz here spun into around 100m, with 2oz left to spin, and I think that it will become Lite-Brite mittens.