Sunday, August 31, 2008

SIPs... and DPNs that stay together

Vanilla sock, Nutkin sock (Beth LaPensee for,
Spiral Boot sock (VĂ©ronik Avery from Interweave Summer '07)

"Have socks, will walk."

Here's the collection of current socks-in-progress. The vanilla sock is in Knittery's cashmere-y goodness, Sea World. The cashmere blend always wants to be vanilla socks. I think it knows it's great already. This is my second pair (or will be when I finish this second sock) and they are so comfy to wear on cold mornings... hence my rush to try to finish the second pair while we still have cold mornings. It stalled a little when I realised how much green I'd been knitting up of late. I needed a break. I needed something pink or red. So I cracked open the Lorna's Laces in Apple Hill I got with my Loopy Groupie welcome kit and started my second pair of Spiral Boot socks. The first pair are plain pink and are brilliant worn with boots. The ones I'm working on now are, if you haven't noticed, seriously bright, colourful socks. As opposed to frivolously bright, colourful socks... Finally, VCM will find out anyway... I'm knitting Mum the Nutkins. Again, second time around for the pattern, but it's so easy and so comfortable, even if it does bias. They're in the Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in Roses and - a-ha - are coming up roses. The cotton is so easy! And light enough for wear in Tropical temperatures. VCM actually spotted the Roses when she was visiting. "Oh, can I have socks out of that?" Now, understand, I'd been saving that yarn up for myself - I loved that yarn. "No, mine!" the two year old inside me squeaked out, instantly feeling rather bad about it. So I ordered two more balls of it! I always thought one should have one's cake and eat it too.

And after spotting a couple of blogs/video tutorials about making ends for dpns, I got hold of a trove of pencil toppers (more difficult than you'd necessarily think to obtain... I practically got the secret services involved... you know who knows what I mean!) and they work a treat when I carry my SIPs around. I found I didn't even need to attach them with elastic! They survive in my bag all day long and keep all the needles together around the house (my knitting tends to move regularly from room to room, sometimes, I swear, without my assistance). And they're funny! I've got cat's heads (which sounds very macabre or oddly mafia-ish), sushi, pirate devil ducks, devil ducks...

Glaistig (Robin Melanson, Knitting New Mittens & Gloves)
"I can almost reach that lemon..."

Will I ever stop knitting these mittens? Quick, incredibly pretty - the pattern calls for a buckle, but I find that a gorgeous button does the trick on the cuff - and very little yarn. I've already got two pairs of my own (one needs to coordinate), but there are mittens being churned out for friends too.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Give peas a chance

Why oh why do the birds always dig up the little pea seedlings just as they pop up above the straw mulch? Do they know peas are my favourite things of all to grow and thus strive to frustrate my efforts? Do they know I've already used more than half the packet of seeds?

In other news, woke this morning with this word on my lips: "Wollmeise!" I ask you - I now wake up exclaiming about yarn!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's all about yarn... well, almost

I have two skeins of Wollmeise! Around lunchtime I went to the Loopy Ewe site out of idle curiosity to see whether the next batch of Wollmeise had disappeared and... on the What's New page? Lots and lots of Wollmeise! Clicked on anything remotely pink, figuring that I like almost any colourway featuring pink, and then clicked - crazedly by this stage - to the checkout. By the time I got there, I had just two skeins left. After finalising everything, I did a happy dance and then realised there was no one to tell! So I rang a friend on the other side of the country, who is the only person I know able to 'get' how wonderful this purchase is. After finally figuring out what I was trying to say - I think I sounded rather breathless and over-excited by this stage - she joined in the triumphant celebrations!

I've never even seen actual Wollmeise, but after reading about it on blogs, seeing how 350 skeins can go in 5 minutes at the Loopy Ewe, and listening to Claudia herself on the Knitting Uncensored podcast... I just had to participate in all the amazing madness that seems to be connected to this yarn. So, this is my first Wollmeise purhase and I'm in a very happy place already. I hate to think of my state when the yarn arrives...

The last time I got this excited was over Numma Numma. I'm a big fan of Numma Numma. I can stare at a skein of Numma Numma for hours. I bought the Black Cherry Jam and Sprinkles for Stella last time. What can I say? It's colour therapy!

Before the Wollmeise madness, I picked up some yarn for my Molly Ringwald by Michele Rose Orne (downloaded from the Interweave site).
It's pink - but I think a top called Molly Ringwald needs to be pink. I picked up Michele Rose Orne's Inspired to Knit a little while ago, too. It's really, really gorgeous. I'm a big fan of the Papillon Cardigan.

Speaking of books, this one was just for fun!
It has the cutest little vampires in it and since vampires have also been a major part of my life lately... well, at least, those of the fictional variety have been! I realised how bad it had gotten when a friend visited and managed to find a vampire novel in almost every room.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What Would Arwen Wear?

Woodland Shawl (Nikol Lohr, Thrifty Knitter)
"When it's Tolkien, it only makes sense to have a woodland theme."

It really is difficult to photograph lace in progress! It's my first shawl, my first time on circular needles, and I'm enjoying the process, although at some point during Silent Witness last night, an extra stitch snuck into the pattern. I suspect foul play. I'm using Bellamodern's The Lord of the Rings - I managed to snap up the very last skein at the Loopy Ewe a while ago and since my life has recently been dominated by The Lord of the Rings, it made sense to celebrate the fact.

It is a great pattern and the yarn is marvelous. Isn't it just what Arwen would wear?

I like Arwen. She is able to be strong and valiant without having to turn into 'warrior-girl'. I love that she embroiders a banner for Aragorn - that there is power in her needle. There's a long tradition of independent women who make their minds known through the needle - just think of Penelope. And while she is Aragorn's ultimate prize, the choice to marry him is profoundly her own. I can imagine Elrond's feelings about that little scenario considering his own heritage (check out his family tree and you'll see what I mean). Okay, the appendix does rather ruin it for me... and that slight suspicion that Legolas and Gimli didn't tell her about their boat when they left her behind in Middle-earth!

On a purely superficial note, she also has the best hair accessories in the films!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Monkeys in Tree

Monkey socks (Cookie A.)
"If only socks grew on trees... or if the yarn at least did."

There will be many Monkeys to come, so I begin with Monkeys. These were knit a while ago in the Fleece Artist (I've lost the label, but it was something Forest-y) I bought at Knit Happens. There's something about the glossy texture of Fleece Artist that just feels good on the needles, even though they have faded a bit with washing. And I love Monkey socks. But, then, almost everyone does, right?