Loads of knitting, and a contest of sorts…

Man oh man, my blogging this summer has been sporadic at best! I have often found myself with the choice between blogging or knitting – and we all know which a good Loribird will pick, hands down, every time… Ah well, I’ll start making it up to you at the end of this post. In the meantime, let me show you what I’ve been up to lately!

Firstly, I (finally) finished Andy’s newest pair of socks. I used the stitch pattern from “Gentleman’s Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern” (from Knitting Vintage Socks) but aside from that there is no adherence to the pattern as Ms. Bush wrote it. I completely ignored the calf shaping and the heel and toe treatments in favor of my “autopilot” flap-heel and wide-toe. So I can’t say that I followed the pattern, but my socks do bear a striking resemblance nonetheless.

I knit these using Sockotta yarn, which is a cotton/superwash wool/nylon blend (45/40/15). I am not a fan of knitting with cotton, as I don’t like the lack of elasticity, so this yarn was only marginally bearable. But Andy commented that he liked the feel of the knitted fabric when I first cast on, so they made a nice pair of socks for him.

I finished the mittens I was working on, and I’m very pleased with the results.

Paton’s Kroy Sock yarn (green) and Jojoland Wool Yarn (fingering weight, bronze)
2.25 mm (US1) dpns for colorwork, 2.0 mm (US0) for the ribbed cuff

I found this pattern very easy to memorize, yet interest-keeping throughout, and I like the look of it with the subtle color contrast. I ended up with a large-ish sized mitten, perhaps (hopefully) a man’s size… Into the gifting drawer they go!
I taught myself a new technique for holding two yarns while knitting the second mitten; previously, I had been “throwing” one yarn (right-handed) and “picking” the other (left-handed, my preference for single-color knitting.) But my tensions for these two methods were significantly different, so there was a certain amount of fiddling to get things even. With time and practice, I’m sure it might have sorted itself out, but I am not the most patient person. I saw a diagram somewhere about holding two yarns in the left hand, crossing them over the index finger to separate them, so I decided to try it. Eureka! It worked like a charm, and I was able to “pick” my way rapidly through the rest of the mitten with the most even tension I’ve ever achieved.

I’ve finished the back of the Minimalist Cardigan, and I’m happy with the sizing and fabric so far. (Rudy seems to like it too, if the tail is any indication…)

I am really glad that I frogged back to correct the seed stitch/moss stitch mix-up. My stitch gauge is still larger than the pattern calls for, but the fabric seems to drape better in moss stitch.

Finally, I found myself thinking of autumn and winter, despite the heat we are still being subjected to experiencing.
I started my first pair of gloves, and I am completely addicted! I call them “Green Thumbs.”

I’m using Ann Budd’s Basic Glove Pattern from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, which I’m finding to be a valuable resource. There are charts to guide you through sizing for many sizes and stitch gauges, and detailed instructions to avoid common pitfalls. My gloves are the most plain-vanilla pattern, no embellishments of any kind, but I’m using the yarn I spun from the Tamarack and Spruce alpaca/merino/silk fiber I got from Susan’s Spinning Bunny last spring. I had been in a quandary what to knit with this yarn, because I loved petting it so. Gloves seem the perfect solution – what better way to be able to run the yarn through my fingers? I believe that I love it even more knit up…

Alright, nearing the end now… While I was away on vacation, Andy was busy here in the wool room:

I’m getting shelves! HUGE ones, a matching pair, framing the waterfall-view window, and most of the shelves will have adjustable height. I’m so excited! A perfect place for my books and for displaying my favorite yarns and other objects. Now all I have to do is prime and paint… and whittle down what will go on them…
I have a large knitting library – the only things I’ve ever loved more than yarn are books, so books about yarn… well, you can imagine. All things considered, I keep myself fairly under control. My mother is a librarian (hi Mom!) and through her diligence at searching the used-book sales I’ve ended up with some duplicates; and then there are some books that probably deserve more appreciation. I’m planning on lightening the load, and you all get to benefit! (How’s that for a way to celebrate missing my first blogiversary? It was August 10th. Ooops. )

First up, a copy of Meg Swansen’s Knitting, which I’ve heard is going out of print in the near future.
I’m keeping the library-discard copy my mother gave me, so if you want this like-new copy, send an email to blogcontest AT hotmail DOT com, with “Meg Swansen Book” in the subject or email, and I’ll get my little helpers to choose a name randomly. Feel free to enter no matter where in the world you are, I’ll ship it to you 🙂
I’ll keep the “contest” open until, let’s see, how about Friday, August 31st, midnight EST. And don’t worry, there will be more books given away, possibly even some yarns – school is starting soon, and I’m feeling rather magnanimous…

All for now!


14 thoughts on “Loads of knitting, and a contest of sorts…

  1. I love those mittens! They’re beautiful.I envy your shelves. I ran out of shelf space long ago and now I have to be extra careful of what books I buy. Maybe you and your DH would like a vacation in Hawaii? Maybe he’d like to help me out with my shelving problem? 😉

  2. I want a wool room!!!!! Maybe when my daughter, Sara, gets married in Oct I’ll get one. You and several of my other blog friends are beginning to get on my nerves. I don’t know if I just goof off, blog/read blogs too much, knit projects that are time consuming or I am just a slow knitters. Probably all of the above. But man, you guys spit out the FOs. Those gloves out of your handspun are gorgeous. I absolutely love that yarn!!!!

  3. I got here from Gammy Peggy’s site. I must agree with her… Wow. You get a lot done and all of it is beautiful. The gloves are gorgeous, someday I’d like to be that good!

  4. Those socks do look good! And you’re lucky you ignored the toe. I knit those toes twice because the pattern toe is just ridiculously long and pointy and resembles nothing as much as a the tip of a Jester’s shoe.

  5. You silly bird!!!! It takes a lot to make me mad and I would never post it publically. 🙂 But listen, my housekeeping is horrible and that is just it, my laceweight collection is inspiring, let’s just hope in turns into FO’s. 🙂

  6. The mitts are lovely but the gloves are awesome! I just love the colours, they remind me of the colours in the water we saw somewhere in Scotland! The book looks a good reference source -thanks for the link! Glad you had a great vacation.

  7. Happy belated blogoversary! 🙂 I feel the pull of mittens/gloves too, even though they are a bit unreasonable in the warmish weather… (but colorwork! lots and lots of colors!)

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