And more socks

Published on Thursday September 15th, 2011

We’re having the first little rain shower of the season, the setting sun gilding the mizzle and a delicate breeze ruffling the skirts of our big sweet gums. Dressing in haste this morning to get Ada to nursery school, I put on wool socks for the first time; they weren’t necessary, but they were at hand and didn’t seem like a terrible idea. Autumn isn’t here, but it’s imaginable. So here’s a teaser glimpse of a new design I’m hoping to finish up soon:

SilverApples (1 of 1)

Apparently I really am a tease, because the only detail in focus in this picture of my test sock is one I’ve subsequently decided to alter. I am fond of that little row of flowerets, but they’re too prim and static for the rest of the design. I’ll use them again on a plainer sock where they can hold the spotlight. There’s more work to be done on the cuff as well, so I’ll be casting on a mate that won’t quite match. I love both these yarns (although neither will feature in the real sample because this much contrast is difficult to photograph) — the moonlight neutral is Socks that Rock in an old colorway… Mica, I think? Remember when all the colors had rock names? And the espresso brown is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Chocolatier. Yum.

I tend to dash off on a whim when I’m designing and expect everything to fall together. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. This sock has been a doesn’t — apart from the change I’m making to the toe, I’ve tried several different cables and two other cuffs and I’m still fine tuning. But the original vision is still leading me on and I have the sense it’s worth pursuing. So watch for more this fall and kick me if it’s not forthcoming!

Friday snap

Published on Friday October 15th, 2010

Finlayson_proto_IP (1 of 1)

I’m one sleeve and five buttons short of a new jacket for Ada. It’s got a hybrid round-raglan yoke, some garter stitch, some stockinet, and some slipped stitches for extra style. I’m going to change a few things based on this prototype, but I have to say I’m pretty happy with it. And the yarn, too — I finally stopped chiding myself to knit from the stash and bought some Malabrigo Twist. I’ve got two skeins of Liquid Ambar (and I can see how liquid amber sounds more poetic than pitch). I’m cutting it close on the yardage, though. Good thing I didn’t bother to swatch, right? I knit most of this while we were most pleasantly putting our feet up in Friday Harbor a couple of weeks ago. A cooperative baby who was strangely amenable to being propped among the couch cushions at the yarn store allowed for the knitting of the first sleeve on a rainy day last weekend. We’ll see if such favorable circumstances can be reproduced this weekend to finish it all off.

Speaking of babies, I love the sleepy stretching before they wake up:

Ada, 11 weeks, stretching (1 of 4)

Ada, 11 weeks, stretching (2 of 4)

Yeah, that’s a commercially knit hat. I have no excuse for not having made her a better one yet. Or a pair of mittens, for that matter. Except that I’m all about the little jackets right now.

Name that sweater

Published on Tuesday February 9th, 2010

So I’ve finished a wee stripey something:

EmberStripes1

I would be cuter on a baby, if only one were at hand for modeling sessions.

Behold, a tiny gender-neutral pullover! It features a semi-solid background color (“Burnt Ember,” from A Verb for Keeping Warm; this is their Annapurna cashmere-blend sock yarn) with stripes of a bright solid, although you could just as well go the other way and use a neutral background to show off stripes that change color, as in Whitney’s adorable Stripes! design. It’s my riff on the classic white and navy nautical sweaters, down to the boat neck and overlapping shoulders:

EmberStripes3

Yes, I’m planning to write up the pattern, so what I need right now is help thinking of a name for it. It should be a gender-neutral name (and no, we’re not calling the sweater “Pat”), something playful and bright and maybe even sailing related, and I just don’t have any good ideas. If you do, won’t you leave them in the comments? If you’re interested in test-knitting it, I’d love to know that, too. All you need is one skein of sock-weight yarn, remnants of a contrast color, and two little buttons. At this point it only exists in one size — I’d say for a three-to-six-month baby, depending on the girth of your little cherub — but I’ll be working up some math for a couple of larger sizes. I knit mine in pieces, just for the heck of it and because I liked the way the semi-solid was behaving in my “swatch,” but picked up the sleeves at the shoulders and worked down, so there are only two real seams to sew plus a bit of tacking at the shoulders. It would be very easy to adapt it to work mostly in the round if you prefer.

Oh, you want to see the chicken buttons? Of course you do:

EmberStripes2

Sorry I didn’t get a real close-up of the chickies. I bought them ages ago because they were so darn cute, and it turns out they’re the ideal colors for this project.

Switching gears, who am I going to see at Madrona? I can hardly believe it’s this week already. I’m taking the train up on Friday evening so I can attend Amelia Garripoli’s “Productive Spindling” on Saturday morning (I sure hope she’s tolerant of self-taught beginners!), Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s “Knitting for Speed and Efficiency” on Saturday afternoon, and Carson Demers’s “Knitting Happily Ever After” on Sunday afternoon. This is the first time I’ll be staying overnight at the hotel instead of just zooming up and back or staying off-site with relatives. I’m hoping that means I’ll have more time to hang out and meet people and practice what I’m learning. If you recognize me, please do come and introduce yourself!

Pattern updates

Published on Thursday January 28th, 2010

After long and indefensible procrastination, I have posted new versions of the Columbia beret and the Twisted Tree pullover on the Patterns page. There is now a smaller size of the beret available for those who have smaller heads and/or want to wear the hat as a true beret and not a beret/snood. The new version of the Twisted Tree pattern simplifies and corrects an error in the sleeve increase instructions. As always, please contact me right away if you notice a mistake or any confusing directions in any of the patterns!


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