needing is one thing and getting's another

Something quick and fun to round out the year. Remember my complaining about these silly socks? Actually it was more like the silly yarn. Either way, I was complaining.

I think I'm done with it...after being wound twice, I was ready to start knitting with the colorful end of the yarn rather than the washed-out, dirty-laundry-looking end. You can even see the colors pooling to create the tie-dye effect they [those tricky manufacturers] promised. I am kind of loving these and will love them.......even if they don't match.

Happy New Year!! Have a glass of champagne, and happy knitting!


thank you for your love

I really, really love fair isle knitting. Like, really. It's addicting, once you get going; the colors make fascinating patterns and it feels like the rows just fly by. Plus you don't get stuck picking just one color...although you use two colors per row, you change the combinations so often that you can use up to ten colors for one of the stockings below. It's fabulous!

These stockings were actually started last spring/summer as gifts for two couples I knew who were getting married...I just had to wait until well after the gift-giving for an appropriate occasion to feature them. (Yay Christmas!)

The pattern is a free download (towards the end of the page) from Cascade Yarns, designed to use their worsted weight wool, Cascade 220. I was nervous about using wool...there's always the danger of moths finding something that's stored in a basement or attic or box for the majority of the year. And even though you don't wash stockings very often, if at all, I wanted to make sure these were super easy to take care of. I substituted Berroco's Comfort worsted in place of Cascade 220, and I think it was a great choice. The color range was more satisfying than other acrylic options (like Plymouth Encore), and I think it's slightly thicker too...so the stockings are more durable and the stuffers won't escape when it gets put to use.

I didn't quite know what to do to hang them...on the first set I did a braided cord, but it was kind of bulky. The second set I used a matching ribbon, which was much easier and still pretty. These were really fun to knit, and a great introduction to fair isle for those of you looking to venture into new techniques.

Merry Christmas, Kniterary Club!!


santa laughs this way

It's snowing today! A lot!

I have to apologize for yet another long delay in posting. I really thought that I would be diligent about posts since I finished school, but I lied. A tragedy happened over Thanksgiving, right about the time I was getting ready to post again. My camera died, this time for real! Ever since the falling-from-a-tree incident, it had been acting a little temperamental and would occasionally give me warning messages out of spite. This time it seems to have quit for real...it won't focus, and the lens won't retract. This was its last photograph:

It was a pretty good way to go out, I think.

Anyway, the mittens! I finished a pair this weekend, and have to give them away on Christmas Eve...one more pair to go and I'll be all done with Christmas knitting. This might be the first year I actually reach all my gift knitting goals in time.

Here's what they're made of, and why I'm so excited about it. One of my family members is a vegan, and she doesn't wear wool. This yarn comes from Juniper Moon Fiber Farm, a cruelty-free farm where the sheep aren't slaughtered and they all have names. It's pretty awesome, and you can get a share of it (like a local produce share) if you buy in advance. Then you get a box of yarn when shearing season is over! Check out their website and order some for yourself! If you're a reader in Virginia (you know who you are!), you can visit the farm too. I think it might cost a gazillion dollars, but it's still a Virginia business to be proud of!

This is their Bulky yarn, colors Tangerine (left) and Lagoon Pond (right). One skein is enough to make a pair of mittens (knit densely at 4 st/in) with a bit left over (see the Tangerine ball, that's how much I have remaining). I really like the yarn...it's not super soft, but I haven't washed them yet either. The color selection is also somewhat limited, but pretty.

Anyway! Time to go play in the snow. Yay Christmas! To get you in the spirit, listen to this song: it's the best Bob Dylan I've ever heard.