Tag Archives: Cookie A.

Tentatively on schedule

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I say that despite not getting by sister’s Christmas socks finished on the weekend (I didn’t even knit on them over the weekend, if we’re being honest). Nonetheless, it’s mid-November and the most time-consuming item (at least, what I think will be most time-consuming) is finished. Oh sure, I still have fair isle mittens, hats and a not-yet-designed tea cozy, but I’m not worried. In my head, that all seems doable and straightforward. I’m going to miss working on these socks, though.

I’ll have real photos after Christmas. Promise.

I’m placing an embargo on shots of the finished items until after they’re gifted, so while I’ll post some photos as the knitting progresses, the finished shots will be a little vague. Even though you can’t see them properly, know that I am totally happy with these socks. I’ll post details below, but I just want to give a shout-out to indigodragonfly, whose Merino Silk 4-ply sock was the perfect substitute for the A Verb for Keeping Warm Metamorphosis yarn the pattern called for. The indigodragonfly has a higher silk content and is slightly lighter weight, but it was perfect for Cookie A.’s pattern.

Colourway: Don’t You Have an Elsewhere to Be? (Cordelia)

Also, second sock syndrome? Not over here. I’m not sure why, since these socks are basically a repeat of the same 12-row chart from top to bottom, but honestly, I think I just enjoyed the yarn so much that watching the same shapes come out of it never got boring. I can’t decide if that’s sad or not, but maybe I don’t care? I can tell you that I seriously want a pair of these socks in this yarn for myself, but that will have to wait until after the New Year (and after L’s birthday).

Are you embarking on Christmas knitting this year? How’s it going? I feel like it’s early enough to be optimistic and still be enjoying the whole process, so for heaven’s sakes let’s engage in a little of that before the manic must-finish stress rolls in. (There’s no way that’s just me.)

Details
Pattern: Daphne by Cookie A.
Yarn: Merino Silk 4-ply sock by indigodragonfly in Don’t You Have an Elsewhere to Be? (Cordelia)
Needles: 2.75 mm bamboo dpns
Modifications: Not many to be honest. I made the largest size (we are a family of big feet), but instead of using te sport weight wool called for, I used a fingering weight. I don’t think it really made much of a difference. Other than that, I used Cat Bordhi’s hungry stitch ssk method for both the gusset decreases and the toe shaping. The biggest change, I guess, was that to get the right length in the foot before starting the toe, I ended after row 6 in my final chart repeat (that’s the half-way point). It worked out fine and I don’t think it looks weird. Each repeat for me was 1 inch, so it was easy to calculate. I also have yarn left over (enough to do surprise toes on a future pair of socks, or work in as stripes somewhere), so considering I made the largest size for size-10 feet, that’s pretty awesome yardage. It’s ravelled here.

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Socks and socks

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Last night, I made two new sock knitters. I have taught various friends to knit socks, but this was the first time I taught in a formal environment (by which I mean, people paid me), and although I was a little nervous, it was also really fun. Watching people turn their first heel – make flat knitting into something three-dimensional – is awesome. Truly, it is knitting magic, and to watch people realize that they have mastered a technique that cool is pretty great. I taught them baby socks, since it was only a two-hour class, so not only were the heels magical, but also tiny and cute. It was seriously fun, and I think I did alright as a teacher, which was a relief.

In the world of grownup socks, stuff is happening. The same weekend I finished my Jaywalkers, I finished the first of my Daphne socks. Can we just take a minute to recognize how amazing Cookie A. is? I mean, truly. Here is a pattern that is straightforward, well written, beautiful, and not boring. What are the odds of that? Second sock syndrome? Not with her designs. I love how these are turning out, and I think the indigodragonfly Merino Silk 4-ply was a perfect choice. This photo (shot with a flash indoors – sorry), sort of shows you what I mean.

Crappy picture, lovely socks. Let’s pretend the bad quality is a way to retain the surprise in case my sister wanders over here, okay?

The silk gives the lace such richness, and the tone-on-tone variegation makes the variations in texture pop. I am going to have a hard time giving these away, which means they are going to be an excellent gift. I’m just a few rows from the heel flap on the second sock, and if all goes well, they’ll be done by the end of the weekend. (That being said, it’s only Wednesday, so anything could happen.)

Finally, remember when I said I wasn’t going to cast on any more socks until my Christmas knitting was well in hand? Well, I said that, and then an hour or so later I was leaving the house to go spend an afternoon with a friend, and realized I had no plain knitting. None. Now, I’m sure Wendy wouldn’t have minded terribly if I had charts, but it’s not really as social, so I was forced – forced! – to cast on a pair of plain socks.

These would neer be described as my colours, but I am totally loving them nonetheless.

I’m not really sure why I didn’t go for Jaywalkers again, since it’s certainly a simple enough pattern, but instead I’m knitting these in a 3×1 rib, and quite liking the result. The yarn (Fleece Artist BFL Sock in Seafoam), both in the skein and in the ball, frightened me quite a bit with it’s acid-trip-level colours, but the way they’re blending in the rib is quite pleasing. They were an excellent antidote to the greyness brought by Sandy, and although I’m now buckling down on Christmas stuff (it is November, after all), they’re a pleasant little side project and should keep my wandering eye in check over the next month and a bit.

So long, perfect record

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Let me just start by saying that I have not been sick in about four years. I mean, I get hit by allergies in the spring and fall, and I get a cold every now and then, but I haven’t been stay-at-home sick in years. Well, until this week anyway. This week ended my no-sick streak in a big way. I missed three days of work; I went through multiple boxes of Kleenex; L made me soup; I even got to the pathetic point in sickness when you wonder if this is just going to be how it is now. I hate being sick, but as a knitter, it has its advantages.

On my first day home, I actually couldn’t knit. I spend the day wrapped in an afghan, intermittently reading and sleeping. I drank lots of tea and hot lemon (a family staple), and the next day I thought I was better. I went to work on Tuesday, feeling mostly okay. Then I went to work on Wednesday, and by the end of the night, I felt awful. I spent the next two days at home.

But, thanks to be brief uptick at the beginning of the week, I managed to make the week pretty productive. To whit: I am halfway through the first of my Christmas socks (a gift for my sister), I started a new shawl and am through the first chart, and I made a little headway on the much loved, though equally neglected, Spruce Jaywalkers. I wasn’t really planning this as a productive week obviously, so I don’t really have before pictures, but here’s what I managed to get done between sneezes and naps.

First, Christmas socks. I actually wanted to get these started a month ago (I swatched for them in August, for heaven’s sakes), but there always seemed to be something else on the needles. Anyway, on Monday night, when I was feeling a little better, I cast on the cuff for Cookie A.’s Daphne sock pattern. I fell in love with these socks when she first released the pattern, and knew it would be perfect for my sister, who always looks longingly at my handknit socks, and especially at the lace ones.

One of my favourite things about lace socks is that they’re a surprise when you put them on.

I’m knitting these in indigodragonfly’s Merino Silk 4-Ply Sock, a 50-50 silk merino blend that is very soft (and a little slippery) and perfect for the pattern. Although this is a fingering weight and the pattern calls for sport, it’s working out just fine. The colour is not quite as bubblegum as Cookie A.’s, but it’s certainly feminine, which you’d expect from a colourway called Don’t You Have an Elsewhere to Be? (Cordelia).

Here’s the expanded lace pattern. (I know this will be a good gift because I want to keep them for myself.)

Surprise!

I guess it makes sense that I started a few things this week, given all the finishing I did last week. New project number 2 is The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia (hilarious name, no?). I’ve had my eye on this one since she released it a few weeks ago. It’s a free pattern, written for a worsted weight tweedy sort of yarn, and honestly, how perfect is that leafy lace for fall? Well, on Tuesday when I was in the shop, Claudia (the owner) mentioned she’d like it if I wore more garments knit from yarns we carry (I knit with shop yarns all the time, but socks and things are harder to see). I was trying not to shop for myself before Christmas, but this seemed like the perfect excuse, so I snapped up some of The Fibre Company’s Acadia – a merino, baby alpaca, and silk blend – in Douglas Fir and cast on on Wednesday.

The other reason I cast this on was because I needed something to break up all the sock action I had going on.

I just finished the first of three charts (the others are about half as many rows each) and although it looks small, I have faith in the powers of blocking. I’m thinking it will be a sort of warmer, wintry shawl, and chose the colour because it will go nicely with my dark red winter coat.

Finally, the Spruce Jaywalkers. I actually finished the first one in Nova Scotia, casting on the second during the plane ride back to Toronto. I fully planned to just buckle down and knit the second, but then other projects came along, as they do, and it just kind of stuck around. Usually a sock taking this long is an indication that I’m bored with it, but that is not the case here. I continue to delight in the colour changes and watching how they stack up, and this sock has been faithful TV and travel knitting when I didn’t have something else more pressing to work on.

One and a half socks.

The pattern is easy, but not so mindless as to be numbing, and the yarn is fun and nice to knit with. I was an inch or so above dividing for the heel when I picked these up, and now I’m into the gussets, so it probably won’t be long before this is a completed pair, which I’m quite excited about. I have another skein of this Fleece Artist BFL Sock already wound and destined to be a pair of plain socks once these one are off the needles – truly, I love this yarn.

And there you have my week. I’m feeling much better now, which probably means my knitting productivity will dip as I go back to my normal routine, but that’s okay – I’m over being sick.

Everyone is swatching for the weekend

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No? Just me? Oh. Well. I guess when you’re wrapped up in something it feels like everyone else is too. What am I swatching? Ah, glad you asked. (Also, I’m sorry if that title was an earworm for you. I’ve had that song stuck in my head ever since I heard Loverboy was somehow back on tour with Journey and Pat Benatar of all acts.)

So, first some business: if you are my sister or a friend getting married this fall, stop reading immediately and go find yourself some other entertainment. I love you both, but go away for now.

Anyway, where were we? Right, swatching. I actually hate swatching for things. When I have a new project in front of me, all I want to do it start in on it right away, and swatching seems like such a drag. But, when I’m making things to be given away, I swatch. (I didn’t actually swatch the baby sweater, due to time crunch, but it turned out pretty well anyway.)

Up first is Daphne, one of Cookie A.’s new sock patterns. I am in love. In love. I am going to knit these for my sister for Christmas, and I’m going to try and get them started now because I just want to feel like I’m being proactive. I’m going to knit them in Indigodragonfly Merino Silk 4 ply Sock, which is equal parts superwash merino and silk and very luxurious and smooth and soft and just the sort of yarn that will make my sister squeal when she opens them (I hope). Colourway: Don’t you have an elsewhere to be? (Cordelia). Man I love their colourways.

Swatched on 2.75 mm needles, for 8 stitches = 1 inch.

I don’t normally swatch socks because I knit so many, but there’s a lot of silk in this yarn and I just wanted to make sure it was going to behave like I thought it would. It totally does.

My other swatch project is for mittens, which will be a bridal gift for my friend who is getting married this fall. She has much smaller hands than I do, but it’s a lovely charted Norwegian pattern, so I can’t really fudge the stitch count. This is the reason I swatch, but also why I hate swatching. So far I’m on my third needle size, trying desperately to get gauge and failing. Somehow (and I’m not sure how), it makes no difference to this wool whether I knit with 2.5 mm or 2.75 mm needles. My gauge remains 18 stitches = 2 inches, which is exactly three stitches too many. Sigh. I’m on to 3.5 mm needles now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that will put me over, causing me to tear around Toronto looking for the illusive 3 mm dpn.

Swatch in progress. Grr.

BUT, that won’t be this weekend, because even though I’m swatching like mad, tomorrow L and I are heading back to Tobermory (to a different cottage) and I am bringing socks. Remember these?

Leftover socks! Still leftover, but almost done.

Yeah, they haven’t changed much.I’m about to divide for the heel on sock two, and I suspect that the 5-hour drive will go a long way to seeing them on their way to done. Since that will leave me with the rest of the weekend and the return drive, I am also bringing this (from my little shopping spree).

Fleece Artist BFL sock in Spruce. It’s a mix of dark green, dark blue, lighter green, and yellow. Should be interesting.

If it starts to stripe while I’m knitting the cuff, it might become Jaywalkers; if not, plain socks it is! I can’t wait to see how it knits up.