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354 Days ’til Christmas

Little, teeny, tiny bit of progress:

Stocking Progress

Of course, it would help if I hadn’t been distracted by finding a nearly-forgotten sock project.

Socks in Progress

I started the first sock at Stitch ‘n’ Pitch back in August. It’s a vanilla sock, done without a pattern. Now, I’m just trying to remember what I did on the first one.

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Victory is Mine!

Zig Zag Diamonds

I finished the Zig Zag Diamonds Socks while watching the Illini lose to Northwestern on Saturday. Well, at least one of us was successful.

Details:
Pattern: Zig Zag Diamonds, by Jeannie Cartmel
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 100% Superwash, in “Guide to Galaxy”
Needles: Addi Turbos, size US 1, 2 circs
Started: October 15, 2009
Completed: November 14, 2009
Comments: This would have been a quicker knit if I hadn’t messed up the pattern on the second sock. It was nice to have plenty of yarn for that 3rd sock, though. I’m not loving the way the pattern starts straightaway after the cast-on, even though it’s a 1×1 ribbed stitch pattern. The pattern and yarn were the September shipment for the Loopy Ewe sock club. It also happened to fit the theme for the Sock Knitters Anonymous Sockdown! for October, which is the main reason they got cast on and done so soon.

Zig Zag Diamonds

They are cozy socks. Now, what to do with that extra one?

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Sad Sock

One day, I will learn to look carefully at a sock before weaving in the ends. Yesterday, it seems, was not that day.

Zig Zag Diamonds

I had just finished watching Glee while doing the toe decreases and grafting the final seam. I neatly wove in the ends, turned the sock right side out, and put on my snazzy pair of socks.

Zig Zag Diamonds

Something didn’t look right. It took a minute to figure out what it was (and move past the Denial stage). The patterning didn’t match.

Oops

Somehow, on the second sock, I zigged when I should have zagged after the heel turn.

Wollmeise comes in a extra-large skein: 150g instead of the usual 100. My finished sock weighs 42g, and I have over 70g left. I would rather knit a whole third sock than rip out that woven in end, frog, and reknit the entire foot with the kinked-up yarn. I’m just not quite ready to cast on yet.

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Where I’ve Been, Part I

The silence around here has been for one big reason: I was on vacation.  And it was lovely.  I had several days at home (“staycation”), one of which happened to be either our fourth or first wedding anniversary (depending on who’s doing the counting).  Then, I took off for Chicago.  I got my bamboo dpns through security with no problem, and I did this on the flight from Burbank to Phoenix:

Sock in Progress

A toe in the very soft Artsygal Stripes.

I had about three hours between flights in Phoenix, which turned out to be a very good thing.  I was booked on a different airline for the second leg of my flight.  When I got off the little plane from California, the only monitors in the terminal were for my original airline, and I had no idea where to go.  Eventually, someone told me I needed to be in Terminal 2.  Since I didn’t know which terminal I was in, this wasn’t entirely helpful, but I went with it.

I had to go outside, get on a bus, ride to Terminal 2, go through Security again, and find my new gate.  Bless the Airport Volunteer who warned me which bus would go to the Terminals and which bus went to the parking garages first.

And on the flight from Phoenix to Chicago, I did this:

Sock in Progress

A very simple improvised pattern for a toe-up 2×2 rib sock.  At this point, I was about ready to turn the heel.  Unfortunately, after two attempts to do a short-row heel without a bunch of little holes, I came home with a still-unturned sock.  Since the Artsygal yarn is a little thinner than some of the other yarns I’ve used, I think I want to go down to size US1 needles and start over anyway.

When I arrived in Chicago, my sister was there to pick me up in her car.  Ah, the joy of not having to take the Blue Line into the city.  My sister just bought herself a 2-bedroom condo, so I even had a room to myself while staying with her.  She’s so new to the building, her name hasn’t yet been added to the directory in the lobby.  While waiting for her to park her car, though, I did notice this listing:

For Reals?

How would you like A Dumdum for a neighbor?

Actually, my sister’s neighbors seem perfectly pleasant.  At least, the one we met in the elevator was. 

My travelling sock accompanied me to the ALA Conference, where I caused a tiny stir by knitting in a signing line, but that’s a tale for another day.

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Pomatomi

They’re done!

Pomatomi

The specs:
Pattern: Pomatomus
Designer: Cookie A.
Source: Knitty, Winter 2005.
Yarn: FlyDesigns Monarch, Blue Grass colorway
Needles: US1.5 bamboo dpns
Comments: Cookie A. is a freakin’ genius. The socks are gorgeous, and I love certain little details she includes, like telling you to pick up an extra stitch on each side where the heel flap meets the instep when knitting the gussets, and telling you to knit those picked up gusset stitches through the back loop on the first round. It’s little things like that that leave you with fantastic looking socks and you might not even know why. (Unless, of course, you already know those tricks.) But, let me tell you, I could go for a good long while now without knitting any more 1×1 twisted rib. Crikey.

The yarn reminded me a lot of Socks that Rock Lightweight, very bouncy and stretchy. My stockinette stitches twist a little bit, looking more like -/ than like the usual / – something I also get with STR. And I really could have used a little more yardage. Not a lot, but even one more yard would have helped! I had mere inches left after Kitchener stitching, and I shortened the toes slightly from the pattern. This is why people knit socks toe-up, I know. The color is fantastic. It’s all deep and rich and the blue and green blend so very nicely, rather than pooling or flashing. Now, if it would only dip below, say, 80 degrees around here, I’d like to wear my socks.

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One Pomatomus, Two Skeins

I finished the first Pomatomus sock while watching Rachel Maddow last night, but a picture will have to wait for the weekend. I manage to finish kitchenering the toe right at the spot I’d marked as the halfway point of the ball. But when I weighed my sock, then weighed the remaining yarn (all on my trusty Weight Watchers scale; at least it’s getting some use), I seem to have used 1 more gram on the sock than I have left.

Here’s the frustrating thing: I think I’d actually prefer a shorter leg. But the idea of ripping out the first sock and doing it all over again fills me with dread. I’d rather knit up the second sock with what’s left and take the chance of having to do the last couple of rounds with a different yarn.

Speaking of yarn (and aren’t we always, really?), Stacy of Tempted Hand Painted Yarns, well, tempted me over Plurk with new colorways of Glam Grrl. I was helpless to resist, I tell you. And then these lovely things showed up on my doorstep a few days later:

Tempted Glam
Red Diamond

Tempted Glam
Destiny

One of these days, I’ll get my hands on some Branded in Glam Grrl. But that day is not today.

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Pomatomus in Progress

On Ravelry, there’s a group called Sock Knitters Anonymous, and they’re now in the second year of a challenge known as Sockdown. Every month, there is a theme, and for each pair of qualifying socks completed (cast on during the month and finished by the end of the following month), you get an entry in a drawing for prizes. This month’s theme is (a) knit any pattern in a yarn that is at least 75% orange or (b) knit any Cookie A. pattern in any yarn or (c) knit a mystery sock pattern given to the group over the course of 4 weeks in a yarn that’s at least 75% orange.

This has led to a whole lot of discussion about various yarns and whether they are Orange Enough. A search through my own stash revealed that I have no orange yarn. So, I cast on Pomatomus instead:

Pomatomus in Progress

The yarn is called Monarch, in a colorway called Blue Grass. It’s beautiful. I love it. But it’s pretty much an entire sock in 1×1 twisted rib, with a pattern that I can’t quite make stick in my head, so I have to keep a close eye on the chart. The payoff, though, is a really gorgeous sock.

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One Sock and a New Skein

I finished up the first ‘Vog On sock the other night during Palin’s speech. Yes, in this house, we watch both party conventions, although our politics are firmly left of center.

'Vog On

That picot bind-off gave me something else to focus on, at least. I’m not in love with the way it folds down at the top, but I think the sock itself is very pretty. I’m already into the gusset increases on the second sock. I like this lace pattern a lot, and I love Judy’s magic cast-on, now that I seem to have gotten the hang of it.

A couple of days ago, my second skein of Wollmeise appeared in the mail (thanks, Sandy!).

Wollmeise Fluffy

That’s the Fluffy in Wilder Mohn. The picture doesn’t quite capture the rich reds, but it was the best I could do before heading out the door this morning.

I’ve been keeping both skeins of Wollmeise (along with my 2 new skeins of Numma Numma – never fear, I will get to that entry!) on my desk where I can look at them. And pet them. And maybe squish them a little.

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‘Vog On!

It seems that y’all need a little time to ponder the Wollmeise project.  I understand.  I feel the same way.  But I think it’s going to be the Estonian socks.  Unless I cave and buy a copy of Ornette, but I think that one might look better in a solid color.

In the meantime, I started a new sock with this lovely yarn:

BMFA Silkie

It’s Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Silkie in an unknown colorway. (It was payment for a test knit of a sock pattern.) While knitting, the strand makes me think of chocolate and raspberries. Knitted up, it looks like fall leaves. I’m doing the toe-up version of ‘Vog On. I’m nearly done with the first one already – socks knit up FAST at 7 spi. And the lace pattern is easily memorized, so I actually have a project that can travel around with me.  It was too gray this morning to get a picture before leaving for work, but I’ll get one soon.

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Choices, Choices

Last week, there was a bit of a perfect storm on the Wollmeise front.  Sign-ups for her sock-club were open for three days, and then she did a shop update while people were waiting to find out if they’d gotten in. And then the Loopy Ewe split its Wollmeise shipment into three separate sneak-ups.

Oh, the feeding frenzy.

I entered the lottery for the club but didn’t get in.  (There were over 1000 entries for 535 spots.)  I had three skeins in my basket on her site, but left them, because I couldn’t quite afford both the club membership and the order from Germany.  I missed all three Loopy Ewe sneak-ups – I was in the car during the first two, and on the Reference desk for the third.  (I hear the third one lasted at least 10 minutes.)

I was offered two skeins by folks in the Loopy Groupies forum on Ravelry.   One Fluffy in Wilder Mohn, and one of the original 100% merino in Gewitterhimmel.  The latter arrived Saturday (along with some gorgeous nummanumma, which will be the subject of another blog entry).

Here it is posing with a baby banana tree in my yard:

Wollmeise and a Banana Tree

So, the question is: what do I make?

I’m thinking of making Helena from the Fluffy Wilder Mohn for Little Miss (although we’ll see how that works out as far as gauge, since the pattern calls for a DK weight.  It could be a little too lacy in the stockinette section to really work).  From the Gewitterhimmel, I’m thinking socks for me.  The Wollmeise has generous yardage (574!) and reportedly looks FANTASTIC is twisted stitch patterns.

I’m leaning toward the Estonian Socks from the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book.  But other possibilities are Kate Blackburn’s Catherine, SpillyJane’s Naive Socks, Kristi Geraci’s Froot Loop, and the Roman Rib Socks from Little Box of Socks.

Thoughts?

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