Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Because Socks Don't Count.

Nah, they really don't!

I'm suffering from a bit of a knitting ennui at the moment - Icarus is proceeding along nicely but let's be honest - I'm at the end of Chart 1 now which is almost 400 stitches - and mostly it's straight knitting with a few yo's and ssk/k2tog's thrown in. It's a totally and completely necessary evil of the shawl, I know - and makes for a wonderful architectural "bone" structure that is a truly brilliant design stroke on the part of Ms. Mim, but it's a tad dreary to knit at the moment. I worked my way through three separate BBC America disks of Lord Peter Whimsey working on it - it's fantastic movie knitting - but as my Netflix disks are currently in the mail and I have naught to watch it's starting to wear on me a bit. Thank goodness my latest video infusion is due to arrive today, and 2 more disks should show up tomorrow.

I won't bore you with another picture of what currently looks like a blue knitted deflated balloon. It's quite tough to photograph that saggy blue silky blob in an inventive way. I think I might try pinning it out for a photo shot when I move from Chart 2 -> Chart 3, though........

I'm also working on Peggers' vest. A very nice soft Paton's tweed in a brown and orange fleck with an acid-green trim done on size 7 (8?) needles that while it is going along quickly enough is still - no matter how I try to dress it up - nothing more than a hugely mammoth swath of stockingknit stitch. I knit to something like 8 or 10" then shaped for the armholes and am now making the armholes a full 11 1/2" deep. My man - he's a big'un (6'4"!) which means size L and XL in terms of his shirts. Thank god this one isn't a full sweater - his arms are stunningly long - - even HE calls them gorilla arms!

I'm also ready to start pattern repeat #5 out of 11 on my backyard leaves scarf. While I am still truly feeling the love for the yarn, the pattern is starting to suck out my soul in little tiny bits and pieces. I think this is from doing way too much on it in 24 hours when I first started. I'm currently relying on the bus trip next weekend to & from the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival to help me out with the scarf - as I figure I can get a huge whacking amount done on that particular bus ride.

I have no picture updates on that (knitting) front either, though.

What I do have to show is my current attempt to still keep the overall number of my knitting projects at a managable level, while simultaneously boosting my current knitting mojo.

(See now where the socks start to creep in, and why they absolutely & positively don't count as a knitting 'project'???)

I went shopping at the farmer's market this weekend (yes, I was able to entice Kim to come with me, which was a lovely time - we drove, we purchased, we ate, and we let the Munchkin run around and look at "horsey hineys" in the horse trailers that were for some odd reason in the middle of town that afternoon - - and a good time was had by all - and she still got back with some time left in the day to study for her microbiology exam!) and picked up a little sock yarn from La Casa de Gryphon.....

The blue-y yellow-y green-y one is Gryphon's sock yarn in her 'Australia' colourway. One of my bestest & oldest friends was born in Australia and spent some wonderful months traveling around there a few years ago - so these will be for her. I'm pondering some sort of slipped stitch pattern to really show off the wild colours.

The hot pink & orange & yellow skein (again, via Gryphon) is for a very very good friend of mine (who I think might read this blog and so will therefore remain nameless!) who needs some cheering up via a bright pair of socks. I knitted a wee test swatch to determine the best pattern for these and the yarn really kind of..........bloomed in the washer/dryer and lost a bit of the stitch crispness, so I'm pondering some new stitch patterns to compensate for that.

The above was my final purchase - a skein of Gryphon's Traveller sock yarn in her 'China' colourway. This is for a pair of socks for an organic farmer friend of ours who is absolutely one of the nicer guys around we know - and while we've chosen to totally break from tradition this year and are NOT members of his CSA, that doesn't mean that shiitakes and bags of mixed baby lettuces and suchlike won't show up nonetheless on our doorstep....not to mention fresh eggs! As he's very very tough on his feet (and he's also on his feet all the time!) this is truly a man who needs some cushy socks for what little 'downtime' he chooses to give himself.

This Traveller yarn is exactly what is called for. VERY soft and sproingy and just luscious to the hand. And of course machine-washable, which is also very necessary given the current mental scatteredness of the recipient. I sat and stared at it and did some sock pattern searching in Knitty and came up with some things that I kind of liked and then took those patterns and modified them to what I ultimately wanted. It's a very simple idea - a k2p2 ribbing that after a few rounds* shifts to the right one stitch (repeat from *) - so that the pattern spirals down the leg. My current thinking is that I'll do that on the top of the foot as well - and will do the toe in a star decrease - that way it will remind me of a screw with the threads running down it plus the tiny little spiral at the end. And our buddy? Very much a wee bit of a 'loose-screw' kind of guy - too many years spent out in the full blazing sun farming without a hat plus some SERIOUSLY fun days as a carefree youth!

Here is where I stopped after about 45 minutes of casting-on, knitting and munching and sipping this morning (rhubarb coffee cake left over from this weekend's Sunday AM baking fest & a mug of basic java).....

.........taken mere minutes ago while walking across campus (knitting bag slung over my shoulder, scouting the whole time for a Perfect Photographing Opportunity!) for yet more coffee... It struck me as I was knitting how much this colourway actually reminded me of rhubarb - that bright oxalic green plus the splashed tinges of pink and brown - just like the lovely plant itself!

I'm quite pleased with the photo (and not just because I was able to giddily cram the entire yarn cake into this bronze cub's mouth!) but because I think it truly shows the elasticity and spring and body that is in each and every skein of this particular line of sock yarn. Knitting with this stuff is just lovely - it really reminds me of the primo stuff that I first experienced via Sundara. It would make a wonderful pair of mittens and an even better sweater, if it were dyed in (to use Purly White language) a Somewhat Solid type of way! Along those lines I have a design idea that I'm going to submit to Gryphon and will see what she thinks of it - now wouldn't THAT be fun if it worked out??????


Sandy said...

You too, huh? ;)

I absolutely LOVE the sock yarn you picked out and am jealous of your proximity to such a great source of beautiful fiber. Enjoy your un-projects and have fun at the MD Sheep & Wool festival!

Miriam said...

Don't feel bad about Icarus. I got bored of it by then too ;)

Kate A. said...

I love knitting to Lord Peter, too! I have the same set, and I think I may even have been watching it when I was working on Icarus! I've now seen it so many times over that I need a little break, but it *is* great knitting-watching! I love all the little knitted items Harriet's always wearing...

Sockapaloooza4 pal said...

Hi there! Just your sockapaloooza4 pal checking out your blog for ideas. I have to say, from what you wrote that we seem to have complete opposite tastes in colors and patterns so they'll be very knit outside of the box socks for me. Hope the ennui clears up :)

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this?


Or search for Hollywood Librarian Trailer

Sweet. NOT just shelving books.