Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I met my own deadline to complete grandma's Christmas socks in October - yahoo!
Modelled by my beautiful daughter - so looking longer and leaner than they do on me!
These are "Conwy" from "Knitting on the Road" in Regia Bamboo, colour Papillon. Knitted on 2.5mm dpn's, they have lots of sideways stretch, so fit a wide selection of legs!
The yarn has a lovely shimmering quality as the coloured wool smiles through an outer twist of white sheeny bamboo. It doesn't have the spring of pure wool, and it sometimes split when I was digging around for the loop through the back, but it looks and feels great. It also went a long way - I would say I only used about 75g for these.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Reaching the end of Socktoberfest, and I am so VERY nearly finished the Christmas socks for my mother - pictures soon! Just one toe to finish and I will be done! "Conwy" is a really speedy knit and looks quite impressive (I think!).
It was a busy weekend: the kids came home from visiting their dad in London so there was a lot of catching up to do with them (and their washing mountain!) The autumnal spirit gripped them and suddenly I found myself swept along on a tide of pumpkin-carving, wolf-head making, and tonight I have a red-riding-hood cloak to make.
Last night we went to a samhainn festival out at Oyne. The burning of the wicker man was certainly worth experiencing, but I think next year we will go one step further and go to the less-sanitised version at Aboyne .
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
My knitter's tea swap package arrived today - and I am (almost) lost for words!
Katie has excelled herself!
What I got:
Pacific Chai Mocha Chai Latte - when is a tea not a tea but a coffee and a hot chocolate all in one?! I have never seen this over here - I am very excited about this one!
TWO boxes of Celestial Seasonings fruit teas - Katie must have read my blog cos I was musing about how much I loved their teas when I lived in London and could buy such things!
Himalayan Green Tea - organic - oooh! It says the leaves unfurl as you watch! Fascinating!
Apple spice tea - now is this my clue about Katie? I am sure I read about someone buying this tea on the Tea Swap blog when I was working my way through the list trying to identify my secret swapper! (But she remained a secret to the end!)
Double chocolate cookies - oooh yummy!
A beautiful little box of four handmade chocolates!
And the YARN!!! A soft soft SOFT skein of pale blue Alpaca Cloud - now I have to remember where I saw that paisley lace scarf pattern the other day....
Wildfoote sock yarn - in pale yellow - custard socks for me! My (ex-) mother-in-law used to sigh (in disbelief) at my "custard socks" and now I can have some new ones... tee hee hee!
AND some Lorna's Laces worsted in such bright jolly colours - ooh I can feel some glorious gloves or a hat coming upon the needles!
Katie - if you are reading this: "You done good, girl!"
I am overwhelmed! Going to sit down with a cup of.... I can't decide!
Monday, October 23, 2006
Waiting on the kitchen table when I got home tonight!
It's my Hot Socks swap packet from Alex over at Lixieknits:
Lovely Cherry Tree Hill yarn in shades of blue / green with flashes of purple /pink. I have looked at this colourway before (Country Garden?) so I am really pleased to be able to try it out.
A sampler packet of Wild Blackberry tea - will go well with my home-made bramble jam and scones I think!
And a mad pair of socks "Thinking of Ewe!"
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Grandma came to stay for a week and needed some knitting to do, so we set her off to work on a tea cosy ! The perfect project for a short stay - and now the teapot is ready for the Knitters Tea Swap 2 and Hot Socks swaps to arrive. I am trying not to get anxious but I must be one of the last to receive their package for Tea Swap 2 - eek!
While she was here, I couldn't knit the Bamboo socks, as they are for her Christmas present, so I cracked on with the Scottish Inspirations-inspired scarf. I plumped for the So-called Scarf pattern after all: moss stitch just looked lumpy.
The last of the courgette crop, beetroot and some purple sprouting broccolli.
The leaves are falling - unusually they have stayed on the trees long enough to go brown this year, they are usually whipped off by the high winds that sweep across the valley.
Would I knit socks in these colours? Probably!
Monday, October 16, 2006
This has the same attraction for me as a brand new Toast catalogue! And it is equally out-of-budget.
So I have this plan....
I have a huge skein of charcoal grey Harris tweed knitting wool (see the Stash below).
And I have a metre of Liberty cotton in "The Street" in blue. This is a pattern of kitsch trees and birds... oh hang on a few days and I will show you a picture!
So anyway, the plan is to make a felted scarf in moss stitch (like the charcoal grey Scottish Inspirations jacket) and line it with the Liberty cotton for extra windproofness (because I really do live in Scotland!) and hold it together with a kilt pin on which I will spike some limpet shells, like on these scarves:
or indeed these ones:
harris scarf (no this is not my shop - different spelling, and she is 100 miles or so south of me!)
Except mine will be hand-knitted and therefore unique... and considerably less expensive!
Can't wait to get started!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
She told me about Piece of Beauty and I innocently clicked through and - OH MY!
It was something to do with the colours and the fact that Sarah lives "just along the road" (well, about 100 miles away, but when you live in the middle of nowhere that feels like a neighbour!)
But enough excuses! Show us the yarn!
It is really soft 100% merino superwash. Jaywalkers for my First Love in Boathouse (top) and something else for me in Vintage Floral.
So there I was, full of energy, ready to go with some hot hot HOT socks:
Log cabin socks from Handknit Holidays in pillar box red Rowan Cork.
But... I only had 4mm needles! The pattern said 3.75mm and I thought "what difference can 0.25mm make?!" Answer: "About 2 inches round the cuff!" Maybe I knit loosely (but I never thought so til now) cos this was WAY too big! Off to the frog pond!
Now what?! No needles!?!?!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
"Stand on that chair and don't move until I tell you to! "
And what is even more amazing - he did it!
The 1940's man socks are finished! And they even fit these footballer's legs perfectly! Of course, now I am being asked when I am knitting some socks for him to keep!
1940's socks for a museum. Knitted in Hayfield 3 ply pure wool fingering (circa 1950) found at ebay, using 2mm (size 0) dpns. Pattern? "Men's Light Socks" from "The Universal Knitting Book" published by Patons of Alloa, copied from the museum's archives.
Interestingly, the pattern notes tell me that a sock does not need shaping on the leg. Stockings have shaping, to make them fit the ankle more closely. My next vintage sock will be a stocking, to fit a 9 year old boy. Hmmm. Can't imagine my son wearing any such thing!
Monday, October 09, 2006
By special request from Bryony over at Library Girl Knits
I present: THE STASH!
HUGE skein of charcoal grey three-ply (in the sense of three strands plied together) pure wool from the Isle of Harris. Intended for vintage socks, but my understanding of "3-ply" was "fine fingering" not "fat aran-weight". We sorted out the problem and some more is on its way in single-strand thin-ness! But I love this - it is soft and wholesome - for Log-Cabin socks?
Rowan Cork - in Pillar box red - for Log-cabin socks from "Handknit Holidays"
Vintage 3-ply Hayfield Fingering for (yawn) 1940's museum socks
Opal Feelings in Rainbow - for jaywalkers!
Rowan Botany True 4 ply - three odd balls for stripey socks if I run out of other wool (yeah right!)
Regia Bamboo in Papillon - Friday Harbour socks for my mother - she can't wear wool
Fyberspates in Sea Scape - P-word socks for a friend (if I can pluck up the courage for the P-word charts!)
Socks That Rock in Lucy - not more jaywalkers?! Maybe for Here be Dragons socks - yummy stuff this!
Three little leftover balls: Fyberspates in Pansy and Foxglove and a scrap of Lorna's Laces in Desert Flower
That's all folks!
But naughty Bryony has let me in on a secret! Have you seen the yummy colours over at:
Thursday, October 05, 2006
- I taught myself on 4 metal needles and with a patternthat my mum gave me. This was in about 1992. I knitted one sock only.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
- It wasn't a pair. My first sock was made of a wool / nylon mix that was heavy on the nylon, so came up with the texture of a cheese-grater. I knitted it in stripes of red and yellow, and in order to keep the stripes even I made it too short in the foot to fit me properly. So I never knitted the second one. I binned it when I relocated in 2004.
What would you have done differently?
- Ha! I would have bought softer wool and I would have put fit before looks!
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
- Ooh! Lorna's Laces is lovely to knit and lovely to wear! I am predicting my Socks That Rock will be too!
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
- Crochet?! I never thought of crocheting a sock! I like 5 DPNs, bamboo. I loathe and detest plastic needles. I snapped a Brittany birch the first time I used it, so never again.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I really dont understand this question. I thought a flap WAS a short row! I just do what the pattern tells me and it works!
How many pairs have you made?
I have made 4 pairs, all this year, and the fifth is almost complete. That isn't many in the scale of things but for me it represents a major committment / obsession!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
At work, I while away those idle moments staring at an excel spreadsheet of Future Socks. (Well, those moments when I am not reading about other people's knitting on the web!)
On the needles:
1940's grey socks - vintage pattern, vintage wool, 75% complete - yay!
Almost on the needles:
1940's boy socks - vintage pattern, pure wool from the spinner on the Isle of Harris, so as "plain" and uncommercial as I could find. Lovely wool but grey as grey can be - sigh!
In the stash:
Regia Bamboo, colour Papillon - for ?Friday Harbour from "Knitting on the Road" for my mum's Christmas
Opal Feelings, colour Rainbow - for Jaywalkers (again!) for me
Socks That Rock, medium, colour Lucy - mmmm! Love it! Possibly "Here be Dragons" but not c0nvinced.
Fyberspates, colour Seascape - half a plan for the P-word socks for a friend, or maybe this will go to my Hot Socks pal if she likes blues / greens as I know she is unlikely to have seen Fyberspates yarn before and I like it a lot.
On its way to me:
Rowan Cork, colour Pillar Box Red - for the Log Cabin Socks from "Handknit Holidays"
Friday Harbour from "Knitting on the Road" - would like to try Mountain Colors Weavers Wool Quarters - but can't buy it in this country... a rich dark purple or blue I think
Whitby from "Knitting on the Road" - would like to try Louet Gems Merino for these - again can't find it this side of the Atlantic. Cherry Red appeals!
Traveller's Stockings from "Knitting on the Road" - would like to use Koigu for this but Get Knitted only stock "busy" colours, and I think it should be plainer, semi-solid
Boyfriend Socks - for my First Love, I think he would appreciate some Austermann Step for his tired old legs (ha ha ha - this is the man who walks at least 5 miles a day at golf!) and I have earmarked a turquoise / grey mix at Ebay.
The over-the-knee socks from "Handknit Holidays" - for my daughter - phew! A long knit, not for now! I need some instant gratification after the 1940's marathon! Not sure what yarn to use. Maybe Regia Silk Shine in dark red... she would like that!
I would love to try (but can't buy in the UK!):
Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop - ooh yes! Any colour, it just looks so tactile!
Socks That Rock - any weight, any colour, I'm not proud! I have one skein and I want MORE!
Posh Yarns, cashmere / merino
Blue Skies, Alpaca/ Silk - maybe this is more for gloves than socks, but I imagine some soft ballet pink fluffy socklets with a picot edge for post-Pilates chilldown... mmm....
Yarn Pirate - saw this on someone's blog recently and it was yummy! Blues and browns...
So, the Wish List just keeps growing!
Monday, October 02, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Tracing the roots of my current obsession with knitting socks, I realised it all began with a piece by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book “Romancing the Ordinary”.
“Are socks practical or passionate?
… like a sensuous woman, can’t they be both?
…stock up on the affordable luxury of seven new pairs – one for each day of the week, each new sense.
… a pair you intuitively put on when you want to meditate on the deeper meaning hidden beneath the pleasure of ordinary things (try wearing bubblegum-pink angora socks to bed for inspiration).
… And a pair chosen just to provoke wonder.”
Socks that provoke wonder?! I was puzzled at the time, but since taking up jaywalker-knitting I can see where she is coming from!
It began with a pair of ready made purple angora socks from Orkney Angora (http://www.orkneyangora.co.uk/socks.html) – such delicious fluffy warmth! Then I decided I wanted to make my own… and then I discovered sock-blogs!
Welcome to my Socktoberfest!