Tuesday, February 24, 2009

counting: sweaters and socks

Today Snowflake commented that he thought I had made more socks than sweaters. So I did a count.

Of course, it's not true. I have knit more socks than I sweaters. By my count*, I've knit 33 socks, and I've only knit 16 sweaters**. (Why the uneven number? Well, I'm more than halfway through a pair of socks right now, you see.) So hah! I've knit more socks than sweaters.

Of course, what Snowflake meant was that I've knit more pairs of socks than sweaters. I've knit 16 pairs of socks, and I've knit 16 sweaters. So yeah, it's pretty close. But judging by the way this last sock is going, I should be up to 17 in the very near future.

By the way, my Riding to Avalon hoodie is dry and I'm wearing it right now! Yaaay!

*It wasn't that hard to do the count. Yes, I've been knitting since I was 6 or so, but I haven't been knitting sweaters or socks that long. I knit my first pair of socks near the end of my freshman year of college, and I knit my first sweater near the end of my senior year of college. So all my sweaters and almost all my socks are on ravelry.

**To be a sweater, it had to have sleeves. Vests and sleeveless tops don't count. Baby sweaters do count. I've knit two baby sweaters, so if you don't want to count those, we're down to 14. I've got a number of sweaters at near-completion, and I didn't count those.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

sock thoughts and a happy Ravelry story

As some of you know, I'm a sweater knitter, not really a sock knitter. Despite this, I have recently started thinking about sock knitting. For one thing, Snowflake discovered that he loves handknit socks. (He recently called his one pair of handknit socks his "reward for doing laundry".) For another, I joined this Sock Marathon KAL where we try to knit down our sock stash between February 1 and August 1. Now, I don't have that much sock stash, so after I counted it all I decided to try not to increase the sock stash by August 1. So far I haven't been doing too well. Here's how it has gone.

Initial count:
1 pair's worth Araucania Ranco Multy in purples
1 pair's worth Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in Lenore (black)
1 pair's worth Dream in Color Smooshy in In Vino Veritas
1 pair's worth Malabrigo Sock in Velvet Grapes
1 pair's worth Maple Creek Yarn Bamboo in Forest
1 big shawl's worth Silver Moon Farm Fingering in Smoky Plum
2 pairs' worth Zitron Trekking XXL in blue stripes

Bought since February 1:
1 pair's worth Dream in Color Smooshy in Visual Purple
2 pairs' worth Zitron Trekking Pro Natura in off-white

On its way:
1 pair's worth Knit Picks Essential in gray

Knit since February 1:
1 Maelstrom sock in Smooshy Visual Purple. The second sock has been started.

I decided to use the DiC for the Maelstrom sock for practical reasons. For one thing, this beautiful semi-solid is gorgeous, and yet does not fight with the fairly simple lace pattern. For another, the DiC is in one big hank. For me, this means it is not conducive to socks two-at-a-time. The Maelstrom sock pattern is also not conducive to two-at-a-time, since it is sort of chart-heavy and there are different charts for each sock. Put those things together, and I am very pleased with my decision to combine this pattern with this yarn. Sadly, I probably won't have pictures to show you until the second one is done, but it shouldn't be too terribly long.

Now I need to think about what to do with the rest of this sock yarn.

The Trekking Pro Natura is for my wedding stockings. Perhaps you guys can help me decide! Which should I make: option a or option b?

I bought the Smooshy In Vino Veritas with the intent of using it for Jared Flood's Druid Mittens. I still think this is a good idea.

For the STR in Lenore, I'm considering buying the Lenore pattern and actually using that. I've heard it's a great pattern.

I bought the Maple Creek Bamboo with Vinnland in mind. I still think this is a good idea too, although I keep forgetting about it.

Since I have so much of this Trekking XXL and since it's self-striping, I think that the best idea would probably be some striped knee socks... or however tall it goes, anyway. I'll go toe-up and just keep going until I run out of yarn.

And finally, I plan to make a pair of gray socks for Snowflake with the KP Essential. I have a few pattern ideas for this one too.

So the only stuff that doesn't have a plan is the Malabrigo Sock and the Ranco Multy. I do really want to try out the Houdini sock idea, and the best way to do this would probably be to do a plain one with a lovely multicolored yarn. Perfect! Maybe I'll try out the first pair two-at-a-time with the Malabrigo, since it is neatly wound into two balls due to the awesome knot that they put halfway through, and figure out what to do with the Ranco Multy later.


I promised you a happy Ravelry story! Here's what happened. I was knitting on my Riding to Avalon hoodie hood, when I discovered to my dismay that I was about to run out of yarn. (It's Queensland Kathmandu DK, I got it on closeout at WEBS, and they don't have any left.) I was sad, but hopeful that I would find a solution. I went onto Ravelry and searched people's stashes for this yarn in this color. I was delighted to find that not only did people have this yarn, but they had it in the same dye lot as well! Yay!

I found one person (AmandaCathleen) who had used a small amount of the yarn for colorwork and had 4/5 of a ball left. I figured she didn't want it anymore, and I was right! I gave her a mere $7 through PayPal and two days later, the ball of yarn was in my mailbox! So great!! Since then I have used this ball of yarn to finish knitting the sweater, and it's now downstairs blocking!

What with the fact that the sweater is soaked in these pictures, the flash, and the fact that I'm generally not a good photographer, you can't really tell what's going on. But I'm loving the buttons!

And no, I don't really know how to block a hood.

Monday, February 16, 2009

this hat is fabulous

Well, some things have happened.

For one, the Turn a Square hat that I'd been wearing all winter? Lost it. :( I think I left it on the bus.

We are now more than two weeks into February, which is the first month of this 6-month sock yarn destashing marathon. I haven't been doing so well. I've bought 3 pairs of socks worth of yarn, and I've knit... nothing. Yeah, not so good.

However, I did finish the Jabberwocky socks back in January! Yay! They're the ever-popular Leyburn socks pattern in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock lightweight in the absolutely gorgeous Jabberwocky colorway. They're much darker in real life, I had a terrible time trying to capture the colors with my camera.

Also, I knit a lovely cowl for my friend Aynat. The pattern is called Balsam, and it's a lovely simple spiral lace. She wanted to be able to pull it up over her nose, so I substituted 2x2 ribbing for the garter stitch edges. The yarn is Berroco Palace, which is just a dream to work with. 50/50 wool and silk, worsted, squishy, gorgeous. I loved this quick little knit.

I may have made a trip to the yarn store on Valentine's day. My friend Wendell needed moral support, I swear! I ended up walking out of there with some off-white Trekking Pro Natura, hopefully for my hypothetical wedding stockings.

I also made off with a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in Visual Purple to be friends with my In Vino Veritas that was already in my stash.

I also grabbed Knitter's Workshop by EZ (can't believe I didn't own any of her books before this!) and some reeeally pretty buttons that are intended for my Riding to Avalon. Oh yeah, my Riding to Avalon is almost done. I'm about halfway through the hood right now.

And finally, I picked up one skein of Malabrigo Worsted in what is possibly the most gorgeous colorway ever: Oro y Vino.

Yes, that was only half the skein. That's because I made the other half into a hat yesterday.

So fabulous!! I love this yarn and this hat. There are lots of pictures, but since I took them all myself, some of them are more successful than others.

But I think they all capture the colorway beautifully.

Oh yeah, and I finally got some pictures of Tom's Sheldon. Here he is, posing with my Silver Moon fingering weight.

And I finally took some pictures of my long-since-complete Central Park Hoodie.

I just bought the Maelstrom pattern from Twist Collective. I will knit some socks!