Friday, August 22, 2008

Warm and woolly

August suddenly turned rainy and cold, which kicked my sock-knitting instincts into high gear.

Here is a Susan Lawrence pattern from the Vogue sock book, knitted from Socks that Rock. This is my first time! with this yarn, and I'm torn about it! I was a Socks that Rock holdout for the longest time because I think the colours are garish and I can't stand pooling and flashing because I'm basically a Type A control freak and a conservative bore who only ever wants to wear black and grey. But then! They introduced some colourways that are downright subtle, for the most part, and it was right there in front of me at the store, neatly arranged in racks, and I couldn't resist.

leaf lace sock in progress

Points in its favour: this colourway ("Thraven") looks like an oil slick, which is rad. The skein weighed 10g more than it said on the label, so I have no fear of running short (and plenty of warm fuzzy thoughts toward Blue Moon). Points against: the colours are still a bit too contrasty for my taste. And it's awfully dense and it feels a bit like knitting with spaghetti, which makes my hands ache. This is also a point in its favour because I imagine the finished socks will last a lot longer than e.g. the socks I've made out of Louet Gems Fingering, which are getting pretty felty around the edges. We'll see!

There's spinning going on, too; it's just in the background.


spinning - gotland

This is a poplar and beech and elm spindle from Kevin Rhodes. My favourite things about it are that it has a finial like a grandfather clock and that the whorl is a bit translucent. It weighs 23g and spins for a long time with nary a wobble. The browny-grey stuff on it is Louet Gotland top, which is turning into yarn fit for a hair shirt or mittens that will stand up to some abrasion and won't felt right away. We'll see?


spinning - brown shetland

A Greensleeves Vixen in tulipwood, got from Spunky Eclectic a few months ago. I'm working on some Shetland top, Louet again, and it is coming out fine enough for 2-ply laceweight. This is my "commuting" spinning: it lives in my (giant) purse in a Ziploc bag and gets busted out whenever I'm feeling too stupid to knit, which is often.


spinning - southern seas tussah

A little Butterfly Girl Designs spindle that is so so so perfect for silk I can't even believe it. For 2-ply laceweight again, only way finer than the Shetland stuff; I plied a little sample bit and it is actually the sort of yarn I would seek out to knit with. The fibre is tussah silk top from Treenway, which had apparently been in a bin in a closet for quite a while? Anyway, it's unearthed now, and I'm pretty excited about spinning the rest (and finding more silk in more colours to play with).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hold me accountable, please

I've been thinking about Hazel Carter's square Shetland shawl in A Gathering of Lace for, oh, five years now? But the part about seams has always turned me off, and then I get distracted by something else, and then and then and then.

This time, though, I've started it and am blogging about it so that the Internet will judge me and find me wanting if I don't finish. Also: I'm knitting the central square first, then picking up stitches around it and working the trapezoid borders upside-down, then knitting on the edging. I haven't decided whether I'll do all four borders at once and purl alternate rounds to keep things in garter stitch, or do them one at a time back and forth, joining each to the one previous as I go (like you'd knit on an edging). No seams at all for me, please, is what I'm saying.

Anyway, here's what I've got so far:

hazel carter shetland shawl

This is cashmere/cotton from Colourmart, the same as I used for Lyra and this poor sad Nieblingy doily. The same cone still! I have 105g left, out of 150g to begin with. The cone was $24, I think? Which makes all of these projects so inordinately cheap I can barely believe it. The needles are 2.25mm, which means the solid areas are relatively sturdy and untransparent, so it'll even be pretty warm in the end.

The only issue: it'll look like a tablecloth, on account of the whiteness. Maybe I'll dye it black once it's finished?