PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Knitting & Stuffs

Seems like most of my vacation has spent either coughing (yes, it's still with me), sleeping, knitting or playing Guitar Hero. I am what we like to call "cosmopolitan", but using the fourth, and little-known definition, which means "couch potato consuming large volumes of liquids."

At least with the knitting, I have something to show for myself, eh? So buckle up, because I'm going to release a machine-gun burst of finished objects, along with the current WIPs.

Duet Socks in Army Girl
Army Girl Socks

I used Wendy's Generic Toe-Up pattern for these, and I really like them. One thing I've learned about sock knitting this year is that because I am a loose knitter, I have to knit these socks on the smallest needles bearable, and I don't need to have a ton of stitches. The whole concept of negative ease finally went off in my head. I wanted a firm, solid fabric, while still having drape, and I'm really, really pleased with these. The yarn was absolutely scrumptious, too. (Middy Duet Sock Yarn in "Army Girl" colorway.)

I had a goodly bit of yarn leftover and I thought to myself, self? That baby Kara might need a hat. So I grabbed each end, and winged it, resulting in this delightful swoosh of a hat:

Baby hat in Duet Sock Yarn

Because I happened to grab the ends where I did, the pink on each side matched up, and creeped along and around the hat in a blaze of glory. I love it!

I'm also working on a couple of gift scarves, in the lovely Colinette Giotto ribbon I snagged at The Studio this fall, when they put all their ribbon yarns on sale. (it was a heckuva deal!) I think this colorway is "Pharaoh", and it's a nice rich jewel-tone medley. I'm improvising a bit, just doing a basic drop-stitch pattern, and am probably going to switch over to straight needles for the next one, because the whole wrap/drop part is a PITA with circulars.
Drop Stitch Scarf
(this picture gets blurry when bigger, so apologies. I'm whacking out this update & adding photos without editing.)

I used the same yarn for a Christmas scarf for Momma Linda, but for obvious reasons, couldn't post it. This one adapted Wendy B's Dream Swatch head scarf pattern to a bigger neck-scarf-sized version.

Dream Swatch Scarf - close up

Christmas? Well, it just pretty well sucked this year, what with the Cough from Hell, and Being Depressed About Parents: Living, Dead, and Stepped. Usually I just focus on one of the versions, but I got the triple-whammy this year. James was so understanding, and hugged me hard while I cried like a little kid. And then he made us apple cider with Hot Damn 100, which is most definitely NOT something to give the kids. Warmed, I went off to bed and woke up the next morning to get a fantastic call from the Studio, telling me the Noro Sock Yarn was in. WOOT! I hackingly tried to squeal, but my vocal chords weren't cooperating.

I got two skeins, and have one pair underway. I picked Lucy Neatby's Mermaid Socks, because they're a great pattern, and I figured with the long repeats of color, they'll have added interest with the fishtail lace. Now. This is Noro yarn, so it has the stellar, stunning colors. Breathtaking, really. But the yarn itself does present some challenges. It's sticky, twisty, and lacks that "sproing" that we sock knitters like to feel running through our fingers. I'll sometimes get really wiggy about making colors line up, and skein off half a ball of yarn so I can start my socks at the same point. But I was being lazy. And I really didn't care, and thought it could be kind of fun to knit from either end of the ball, to watch the different colors line up & then reverse themselves on the other sock. Given that I was knitting a Lucy Neatby pattern, it was actually fitting - she doesn't really believe in wearing matching socks, and I figured her eclectic spirit would approve. (Color #095)

Noro Mermaid Socks

As you can see, I'm definitely not gonna have matching socks. And the yarn LOVES to stick to itself, so knitting from the outside & inside of the skein requires being careful, and not just pulling on the yarn willy-nilly. It tangles on itself with little effort, and I expect for the second pair, I will wind off a second ball, just to spare myself the headache. And I am definitely counting on the yarn to bloom - most Noro yarns do, once washed, and I can already guess it will bloom, from how it feels. But it's no luxury for knitting - and because it feels so skinny, I'm using Double Zeros, (00)! But it's so fun to watch the colors shift and meld and change.

Now, I'm behind on my daily dose of Guitar Hero, and at some point, I have to switch over to get some sewing done. Busy hands, happy heart, as my great-grandma Hattie used to say!

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posted by PlazaJen, 12:10 PM