YPF – Silver bells

30 11 2007

2 weeks ago, I fell in love with something I saw over at Lotus Knits‘ blog. She’d just had a contest and the winner had won a skein of her Aura sock yarn in the “Walking with a Ghost” colorway. She’d also mentioned that she would post more of this yarn on her etsy shop that evening.
After a brief exchange through her blog and email, she listed a skein of that yarn especially for me and a few days later it made its way to me.

By now I bet you’re wondering why I fell in love with the yarn, right? Well, first of all, Aura is a blend of Merino, Silk, Nylon and … wait for it … Silver strands. Furthermore, this particular colorway was silver colored so it was just beautiful!

You want to know what it looks like now, don’t you? (Make sure to click on the pictures so you can see them bigger)

Lotus Yarns Aura - Walking with a Ghost

You can see the shiny thread better on this one


Can you see the shimmering of the silver thread?

The yarn is super soft and the color is just gorgeous. I’ve been thinking that I should make a pair of Snowflake Lace socks with the yarn. That would be a quite appropriate match I think. Now if I could only knit them in time for Christmas…

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I know I’m a little late to the party…

29 11 2007

but I’ve been wanting to post this meme ever since I saw it on Turtlegirl‘s blog almost a month back.

1. What’s your favorite sock yarn? (please note that the word ‘yarn’ is singular. Just pick one. I know it’s hard.)
It’s the first question and I’m already having a hard time answering it. I would have to say that my favorite yarn to knit with so far was Dream in Color Smooshy. I loved knitting with this this summer for my Sockapalooza pal. The yarn was really soft and I love the colorways it comes in. Of course, since I didn’t knit them for myself I can’t say anything about the wearing of the yarn.

Finished Sockapalooza socks

This is a pair of Waving Lace in Dream in Color Smooshy Happy Forest

2. What’s your favorite type and brand of sock needle?
I’m a Magic Loop girl, so for me it’s circulars all the time. I love my Addis, but the cables get so full of kinks it’s a pain to knit with them. I also use the Inox circulars, these have perfect cables that don’t kink up but the join between the cable and the needle is a bit of a pain.

3. Do you knit your socks toe up, cuff down, or sideways?
I knit most of my socks toe-up but I will knit a cuff down sock if I have to, or if I want to do a picot cuff.

4. Do you knit both socks at once or just one at a time?
So far, they’ve all been one at the time. But I’d love to try the two at once, although I’d deathly afraid of the tangled mess that will most likely happen.

Dream in Color Smooshy - In Vino Veritas

Dream in Color Smooshy In Vino Veritas

5. What’s your favorite toe and why?
I’ve only done one kind of toe so far, the wedge toe. I find that it fits my feet quite well so I haven’t wanted to try anything else. Also, it’s the easiest toe to do toe-up.

6. Favorite heel?
Short-row heel all the way.

7. Do you prefer plain or patterned socks?
I love a plain stockinette sock to bring along with me but I am not afraid of a patterned sock and I love to knit them, just need a bit more attention.

8. Who do you knit the most socks for?
99% myself. But I’ve started knitting socks for other people now, there’s only so much room in my sock drawer after all.

9. Do you darn your socks? If not, what do you do with them?
I haven’t needed to yet, thankfully. I think that I’d probably try darning a small hole but I’m afraid I would just toss the offending sock in the trash. Good excuse to knit myself another pair!

10. Do you only wear handknit socks?
I alternate between my handknit socks and SmartWools. I just love those socks, they’re warm and comfortable. If you have to wear something else than handknit, I definitely recommend SmartWools.

Detail

Detail of the Waving Lace socks

Bonus question: What pattern, if any, is your basic “I-just-need-a-pair-of-socks” sock pattern based on? Do you keep it written down or memorized?
My basic pattern is a Turkish cast-on, toe up sock with a short row heel over 64 stitches on size 2.5mm needles. I don’t need to have it written down. Of course I’ll write down key numbers so that I can replicate in sock #2 but besides that, no.

ETA: In the comments to this post, my Sockapalooza pal Alli from Knitosaurus, for whom I knit the Waving Lace added: “Hey, just wanted to comment on the wearability of the Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn! I wear the socks you made me about once a week and I handwash them in no-rinse wool-wash. They are holding up remarkably well so far. I have a lot of handknit socks and I seem to wear them pretty hard because especially the heels are just a wreak. I even have a pair I finished this summer that I have already had to darn! However, the Waving Lace Socks still look great, a little bit of fuzzing on the heels but other than that they look just like the day they came in the mail! I love them!”

Thanks for the feedback Alli!





I don’t know what came over me

27 11 2007

Last night, I was minding my own business, browsing through Flickr when a series of unfortunate events brought me to this.

“This”, if you haven’t clicked on the links, is the Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl by Sarah Bradberry. I particularly fell in love with mustaavillaa and Funky Carolina‘s versions.

After browsing some more, through Ravelry and Flickr, I decided that I’d eventually try a version doing some of my leftover sock yarn. I sorted through my stash and came up with 2 piles. One of blues/greens/browns and one of pinks/purple/browns.

Here’s the version I liked the best:

Sock yarn leftovers for the Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl

You can click on the picture to make it bigger

You know where this is going, right?

This morning, I cast on and knit the first 22 rows, and this is what it looks like:

Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl

I’ve decided to go with 4mm size needles, as this was what a few people used. I think it looks nice so far and I’m enjoying it. Of course, I haven’t got 500 stitches on my needles yet…

To be continued.

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This weekend I went down to Mystic River Yarns for a Southern New England Knitting Blogger Meet-up. I was going to meet Debby which I had missed at Rhinebeck. Sadly, I experienced camnesia that morning and forgot to bring my camera. Thankfully, you can see plenty of pictures of the event on Debby, Sarah and Kristen’s blogs. It was quite fun and I had a great time, it was nice finally meeting you Debby!

I made one small purchase at Mystic River Yarn…

Misti Alpaca Chunky Fuschia

A skein of Misti Alpaca Chunky in Fuschia to knit a Foliage hat or something like that.





The talent of others

20 11 2007

ETA: Here’s my friend’s Kelly response to your wonderful comments about her Christmas Tree Skirt: “”Thanks for posting these pictures, Valerie! Whenever I see this skirt, I’m reminded again at how happy I am to be done with it! Yes, it took almost a full year to complete, with the majority of the yarn being Lite-Lopi with a little Lamb’s Pride and DMC tapestry wool mixed in. It was 13 colors I think (?more?), in all. Thanks everyone for your kind comments! Knit on! Kelly”

I have much to blog about but not quite enough time (Getting ready for a big sale at the store for over the weekend!). So, to tide you over, I’ll show you a few pictures of the Christmas Tree Skirt from the book Handknit Holidays that my friend Kelly knit.

Christmas Tree Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt

I know she knit this out of Lopi yarn and it took her about a year. Correct me if I’m wrong Kelly! She finished it just after last Christmas. Sadly, she wont get to use it this year because she’ll be traveling during the Christmas period. So I wanted to make sure that someone saw it!

If you want something more doable in time for Christmas, check out your local post office! You can get these adorable stamps…

New usps stamps for the holidays

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US! See you all on the flip side, hopefully I’ll be a better blogger then!





Last Friday’s meet up

16 11 2007

Last Friday, we drove up to Minneapolis to do some yarn shopping and meet up with 3 bloggers: Chris, Guinifer and Deb

We met up at the 318 Cafe across from Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior, MN. We had a fun lunch, chatted a lot and knitted quite a bit!

Chris and Deb

Chris & Deb

Kelly and Guinifer

Kelly & Guinifer

Kelly, Guinifer, Chris and myself were working on socks and Deb was working on the Flower Basket Lace Shawl which I had just purchased that morning (the pattern, not the shawl) at Needlework Unlimited.

After lunch, we crossed the street over to Coldwater and had fun browsing there. I purchased one of their Dream in Color kit for the boy version of the Tulip Cardigan.

Tulip Cardigan boy version

I have no one in particular to knit it for but I thought that the boy version would do just as well for a boy or a girl.

After lunch and my last yarn shop visit of my trip, Kelly and I went over to the Mall of America. Let’s just say that we did a lot of walking there. Those who’ve been there will know what I’m talking about. We walked each level once and then in our search for a specific restaurant (very good by the way) we ended up doing 2 of these floors an additional time. Anyone have a clue on the mileage of one of these floors? The first floor is 0.57 mile long.

Our whole day in the Minneapolis area was a lot of fun. Thank you Chris, Deb and Guinifer for meeting up with Kelly and I, we really enjoyed it!

More on my trip next post.





Etsy Friday

9 11 2007

A few months ago, I decided that I needed a new wallet. I was tired of my old large and raggedy looking wallet I’ve been using the last 6 or 7 years.

I wanted to buy my new one on Etsy so I searched and searched until I found the perfect one. There was one that I kept going back to, the Girl’s Best Friend Wallet from Jenna Lou. I also really liked the wristlet wallets from Blissful.

Finally, a few weeks ago I found this wallet:

New wallet - front

It’s from Sugar Cane. The front pocket, where I keep my bills, has 2 additional pockets for cards. In the back there is a zippered pocket for change. I really liked the print and the size is perfect for what I use all the time.

I still needed room for all the additional cards one uses here and there. Like my grocery store cards, my bookstore and pharmacy cards, etc. So I bought this little zippered pouch for them:

Zippered pouch for cards

Although the fabric isn’t the same as the other one, I liked that it also had mushrooms and had the same type of fun print. This pouch came from What Sew Ever.

There’s really a lot of fun wallets and pouches available on etsy, I do wish I needed more than one! : )





The tale of the Snickets

6 11 2007

One day, there was a beautiful pattern named Snicket socks. They were in the September 2006 edition of MagKnits. A few months later, in July of 2007, I saw iSeL’s gorgeous version of the pattern with modified heel and fell in love. At the same time, I had the chance to get a hold of a skein of Sunshine Yarns Soft in the Bloom colorway and thought that they would make a nice pair of Snickets à la iSeL’s.

So I cast on towards the end of July. Back then I still used a cable needle to cable, so the sock took some time and effort. It took me just over 2 weeks of exclusive knitting but I had one sock.

Snicket sock #1

A sock with no heel turn. Which I noticed only after the sock was finished.

Fast forward 2 months, it’s the beginning of October and I just want to get the pair done. It takes me a month but I get the second sock done. I also learned to cable without a cable needle in the meantime, which makes knitting the sock so much faster and easier.

1 finished Snicket

I also decide that the no heel turn thing is a problem and so I frogged sock #1 back to the heel. 5 days later I have a heel turn and another foot. And yet another pair of socks to keep my feet toasty warm this winter!

Finished Snicket socks!

Stats
Sock #1 was knit between July and August 2007, the foot was later reknit in November. Sock #2 was knit between October and November 2007.
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Soft in Bloom
Pattern:Snicket Socks
Mods: Heel flap with twisted stitches columns as per iSeL Knits

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I’ll be visiting a friend in Iowa for a week starting tomorrow. I’ll be in the Waterloo area during my stay there. We’ll be going up to Minneapolis to get together with Chris. I’ll have internet access while in Iowa so let me know if you’re in the area and want to get together!