Friday, May 12, 2006


Well, ok. I'm not done the shawl yet. I've got a really good excuse, though! Well, good in my book. And it is, after all, my book. Er, blog. Whatever.

I'm down to about an hour of knitting left on the shawl. And I had about three hours of knitting time today. If I'd finished the shawl, I wouldn't have had anything to knit today. So I figured I'd start on the socks, but to do that, I had to wind the yarn into balls. Of course, I managed to drop one of the skeins, leaving it looking like a visitation from the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It took more than an hour to untangle/wind. And then I had to do the other skein, but I figured out the trick of winding from your own arms without tangles. (Use both arms, keep the skeinned part taut.) So then I was so excited with my new technique, I had to wind up the skein of Aaron's sock yarn, which is the next project in line after my Master Knitter swatches. I'm a little bit in love with the yarn I got for him. So smooth! So shiny! So pretty! I understand why people describe yarn as "yummy" - I really just wanted to take a big bite of it. But, y'know, didn't. I'm not that crazy. Anyway, I finished winding yarns and went to bed. The shawl'll get finished tonight. For real, this time.

(My favorite part is how friggin' huge it is. Baby blanket? This thing covers me from head to toe. With my toes stretched out. Apparently the "thought process" (for lack of a better term) that went into this was, "swatch? It's a blanket, who cares if it's to gauge?" which, ok, fair enough. The part that I really can't understand is the bit where I thought I'd use bigger yarn on bigger needles and somehow get a product that was... smaller. Um, what? Anyway, I hope she likes it. One hundred and forty hours of work, to my best estimation. Whew! The next kid gets booties.)

So I did start the socks this morning (2-on-2-needles, toe-up, short-row toes and heels). I'm also really digging this sockyarn. It's from Shelridge Farms - their Soft Touch Ultra wool/nylon fingering weight in "opal". (I don't think the direct link works, but you can find it on the site, although the picture doesn't do it justice.) It's really soft. Which is funny, because at the festival I was really torn between it and the all-wool, which is much softer and I was bummed at how rough the "with nylon" was, because I really wanted nylon. So, yeah, that 100% wool yarn must be really soft, because this stuff? Very soft. And in the picture and when you first meet it, it looks like a sort of greeny-turquoise color, but when you knit it up, it gets these spots of purplish haze... kind of a peacock, I think. And re-reading my description, it sounds kind of gross, but it's beautiful. Which in a way bums me out, because why aren't there more manly sock yarns? Why are they all so feminine? I mean, yeah, more women than men knit, but some of us knit for men, and we like options, y'know? (I did find someone on Etsy who sells manly variegated sockyarns, but now I can't find the link and I've blown the sock yarn budget for the near future anyway.)

Anyway, I think it's manly enough, as long as I don't do it in lace. I still haven't decided if I'm going to do little cables or anything on the leg, but I've definitely decided to keep the in-the-shoe part smooth. (I really want to do a picot edging, but I'll wait until I do my own socks. I mean, really, I complain about manly colorways and then try to give the poor guy doilies for his feet? No.)

So I'm liking these short-row toes. Never done them that way before. Not that I've made that many socks. For the record, I used the Sockulator III to calculate the pattern, although obviously I adjusted it to be 2-on-2. Not that that's not falling-off-a-log easy, I'm just mentioning it. I will never again make socks one at a time. Too easy for me to make the second one a half-inch smaller, and once I finish one I REALLY REALLY don't want to do another. I was happy that this quarter's Cast On talked about that method, although a little disappointed that they didn't do toe-up, which I also think is vastly superior to top-down.

My only complaint is that I wish I'd bought another Addi instead of another Crystal Palace. Need slickness, and these bamboo needles bend alarmingly when dealing with all those wraps... (Then again, would I even be able to pick up those wraps with Stubby McBluntnose Addis?)

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