Blue Christmas socks, FO.

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM
Needles: KnitPicks dpns, US 3
Pattern: my Plain Vanilla sock recipe, featuring a round heel and wedge toe
Started: early December 2006
Finished: early January 2007

Notes: this was my first project worked with metal needles, which were much more heavy than i expected. i discovered the joys of toting such needles in purses (the stabbing! the slipped stitches!!) and decided that maybe i should shelve the metal needles for a while. regardless, these socks kept me busy during a dreary and depressing holiday season.

Fun Fact: these socks allowed me to hone my reading-and-knitting-at-the-same-time skills. they also travelled with me to every holiday event and party i attended last season.

Happy Monday.

you're twistin' my melon, man! you know you talk so hip, man, you're twistin' my melon, man!

it's a slow day here. last night i saw fit to have one too many cups of Arabic coffee (with cardamom in) which resulted in a night of rather fitful sleep. now that that's out of my system (thankfully,) have a picture of a sock-in-progress:

this is the first of the Queen of Cups socks, and this picture was taken a couple of days ago. since then, the sock may have grown about an inch (maybe two?) longer. the yarn is knitpicks' Essential Tweed in Inca Gold, which was chosen mainly because it's the last solid-colour sock yarn in the stash. while i love the deep gold of the yarn i can't say that i'm a fan of the colours they've chosen for the tweedy bits. don't get me started on the way that the bits hang out of the yarn so that it looks like you rolled/stepped in a pile of red, yellow and blue lint. in fact, the only upside to this is that it makes the tweedy bits easy to remove.

this all bears witness to the special lengths to which i will go to use up longtime stash-dwellers. i sat there like a vain chicken and preened that poor yarn until the more offensive bits grew into an ugly, fluffy and disturbingly substantial pile. my reward for these hours of toil is a much more attractive, deep gold sock with subtle bits in. mind you, i'm not looking forward to doing the same will ball of yarn no. 2, but we do what we must. onward!

Spindle Socks, FO.

Yarn: my own handspun Corriedale and Merino
Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo dpns, US 2
Pattern: my Plain Vanilla sock recipe, featuring a round heel and wedge toe
Started: early September 2006
Finished: 12 March 2007

Notes: these socks are knit completely using my own handspun. if you really want to weird people out (if knitting socks from scratch hasn't already made them question your sanity) be sure to tell them that you made the yarn yourself--that way they'll be sure they're dealing with a nut. the same goes for mentioning that you dyed the orangey-pinky bits before you spun them.

i wanted these socks to have a mismatched and homespun (literally, in this case) feel, like the knitter had to make do with the little bits and pieces of yarn that were on hand (which, actually, was also the case.) i didn't set out to specifically spin yarn for these socks, and it wasn't until the first sock was well on its way that i plied some remaining singles in unlikely combinations "just to see what happens." in the end i had more than enough yarn to play with.

Fun Fact: i had no idea what these socks were going to look like when they were finished! changing colours on a whim turned this project into a fascinating and relaxing experience.

Sympathy for the spindle.

yet another project that i'm neglecting:

my Briar Rose featherweight spindle is half full of a merino/silk blend that was gifted to me by Adriana. how i can let such a pretty thing lay by the wayside like this i'll never know. i must pick up my spindles again soon.

and yet, strangely, i find myself with a good chunk taken out of my first Queen of Cups sock. it's funny how these things sneak up on us.

Get stole!

since i finished the Shetland Triangle, shawls and stoles have been stalwart denizens of my knitting hamper. i have one of each on the go right now--the Gothic Leaf Stole and Birch--and though they haven't seen that much action lately that's due to change any time now (probably as soon as i finish that second Spindle Sock.)

this is what the Gothic Leaf stole looks like as of today:

i'm nearly at the halfway mark and well into skein no. 3 (at this rate i may very well get another project out of that mill-sealed bag of rowanspun 4 ply!) now the question is do i do what the pattern tells me (stop after rep. 12 and cast on for the second half separately, knit it up and then graft the halves down the centre for a more balanced-looking garment) or do i just keep on the way i'm going, forget about having that whole mirror-image effect in the finish piece and work my way through the second half as before? at this point i'm leaning towards the latter; the most serious issue i can see arising in the near future is the sheer bulk of the stole as it continues to grow, and this is a non-issue at best.

and this, of course, needs little introduction:

yes, it's Birch. no, it's not very large (yet) since i am treading carefully with this one due to the sheer length of its rows. i have got to take a decent bite out of it to get them down to a more manageable size. at present i'm ready to start the first rows of rep. 2 and i should probably get around to that any time now (must finish that sock!) Birch's pattern of spines and holes make it easy to keep track of once one really gets going--my problem is that i have to get around to actually getting going. soon, soon...there will be more pictures!

Ants in pants...

it's springing outside! all the windows are open! i'm feeling antsy!

this isn't surprising, really, i get like this every year. when everything feels this fresh and new i get this gigantic burst of creative energy--the trick lies in channelling it properly while still under its spell. this is not always easy to do.

today this energy is urging me to knit socks--lots and lots of socks. new socks! intricate socks! look, there are lots of sock patterns! no, i'm not helping you decide which one! maybe you will have to buy new yarn, haha! knit socks!! (stupid energy.)

so before i let this sunny energy wheel me down paths (socks!!) unknown i figured i'd better tie up some loose ends that have been lurking (and nagging) of late.

the main one which needs tying up is (wait for it,) a sock:

this is the second of my spindle socks (so called because they're made completely from my own handspun.) i had turned the heel without a pattern and ended up guessing the numbers wrong, so i knew i was going to have to rip back. at the time this was hardly appealing (it was pre-Christmas and the heat was on) and so it got tossed INTO the stash to await repair. yesterday i re-turned the heel (properly this time) and today i finished the gusset. before i know it, it'll be time for the toe decreases, and spindle socks!

the other end may or may not be tied up, since i'm happy to stuff this one back in the box (literally) and forget about it for a while:

it's the first of the Checks and Charms mittens, and i fear if i don't finish it soon i won't have a fancy pair of mittens for next winter, either. this happens every time i knit mittens--i get burnt out after the rush of knitting in the waste yarn for the thumb hole and it all goes downhill. i know i'm really close to the end and i should just finish the thing and at least have half a pair of mittens, but...what i'm saying is that i need your help. feel free to plead on the mitten's behalf.

this final one isn't so much an end but more of an incipient treat:

this is more of my handspun, evidence of what can happen to a nice Fleece Artist merino sliver (colourway: Pinata) when left in my company. i'm bad; i still haven't bothered measuring the WPI, but it's fairly consistent in weight (somewhere between laceweight and fingering.) i decided a week or two ago that a nice thin scarf in a basic lace pattern would be the perfect reward knitting. the scarf only made it to about four inches in length before it was ripped (it was too wide and the lace wasn't doing it for me.) so now i'm on the lookout for another basic lace pattern to inflict upon this yarn...or maybe on the other handspun (from another FA sliver, yet to be documented,) or maybe...

there goes that energy again...i'd better get back to work.

Making, cont'd.

as promised, here are the pictures of the iPod Nano coozies headed for i made up the pattern (more or less) as i went along, not forgetting to bind off a few stitches in the lower right hand corner to allow for the earphones.

this one is knit from my own handspun plied with Lamb's Pride Worsted. i threw in a simple colourwork pattern and some iridescent beads just to keep things interesting. to finish, i added an odd pseudo-cameo button that i've been saving for just the right project:

these next two are vegan-friendly coozies with fun felt flowers:

so there are the coozies--just a peek at the goodies that i'll be sending overseas in the next little while.


finally, a proper logo for Mauve Ice!

Mauve Ice is my new line of extra-sweet goodies created especially for (coming soon!)

i owe you guys pictures of the iPod cases that i designed/knit/embellished for the shop! shall we say tomorrow, when the light is better for such activities? it's a date!

Fire in every part...

clearly lacking the strength (and also the will power) of ten ordinary men, i just snapped up a skein of Fleece Artist Sea Wool in (as if you couldn't guess) the Hercules colourway. And now dinner!