FO Friday: Well, half of one, anyway

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I finished the first sock! Sorry about the crappy picture- the colorway is hard enough to photograph at the best of times, but the light is horrible. On the up side, we’re expecting snow in a couple of hours!

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For those of you just turning in, this is a Mock Cable Sock (although there’s not much mock about it) in Candy Skein Yummy. There’s a whole lot more information in Wed.’s WIP post, here. This sock went very, very quickly, and I’ll hopefully have his twin soon! I have a ton of work to get to, but for more detailed posts, check out Tami’s.

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WIP Wed: Something Simple

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After straight designing for what feels like FOREVER, I need something simple to cool down. Of course, I can’t just go from something really complex to a mile of garter stitch. Oh no, I’m somewhere in between.

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These are Wendy Johnson’s “Mock” Cable Socks from Socks from the Toe Up, my sock knitting bible. These patterns always turn out great, and I use the basic templates just about every time I make socks. I’m not quite sure why they are mock cables- there are actual cable crosses involved. It’s a little strange. I was actually going to make another pair of Trilobite Socks, but I saw these before I could flip to the pattern in the book. I thought there must have been some really cool technique for making fake cables, but you just do a bunch of small crosses. Oh well, it’s still a really cool pattern, and I love how it’s interacting with my variegated yarn.

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Speaking of yarn, this is the last of my Candy Skein Yummy in Butter Mints. It’s just a little bit more pastel than the picture shows, but I really, really love it. I raved about Candy Skein the last time I worked with this skein, but I can’t say this enough: CANDY SKEIN IS GOD.

For more WIP Wed posts, check out Tami’s. She’s also the creative force behind Candy Skein, so you can definitely link-hop from her blog to her web store!

Blog Week(s) In Revew: 1/7-1/21

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Well, it’s been over a week since I last posted. Woops! It’s not that I haven’t been knitting. Oh no, I’ve been knitting like a fiend. Most of it, though, is design projects. There’s something about designing that makes me a little hesitant to blog. Probably the uncertainty- there’s never a guarantee that your WIP will turn out (Rocky Coast Cardigan, anyone?), but at least when you’re working on other people’s designs there’s guidance. You have none of that when you’re just starting out! Well, I’m just about finished knitting on the last design for a little bit, so I’ll hopefully have progress on someone else’s pattern to show you on Wed. Until then, I have some lovely blog posts to show you guys! We’re a little heavy on the accessories, today, but no worries.

Who doesn’t like a quickie? First, there’s Sezza Knit’s newest design, the Basket Weave Rib Socks. These seem like a perfect little pattern to add to my never-ending sock queue. Simple enough to keep in my head but complicated enough to keep my interest. Best of all, they’re free!

I really love Nook’s Angelus Shawl. It fits in this whole trend of combining colorwork with other skills, like textured stitches, cables, and lace. Honestly, I can’t get enough of looking at this shawl. It’s truly a masterful project.

Stitched Together’s Fluvial Shawl is also pretty gorgeous. The simplicity of the lace and cable columns set on stockinette and ribbing is, somehow, just as attractive as something five times as complicated!

Twisted Knitter’s Adiri Slouch Hat seems like the perfect winter hat. A fun knit and a fun wear!

If you’re into colorwork mittens, you have to check out The Knitting Squid’s Octopus Mittens. Not only is it an ingenious pattern of, you guessed it, Octopuses (Octopi?) on mittens, but I love the colors she chose. Plus, the detail of the tentacles continuing on the inside is really cute!

Finally, there’s just one garment. I absolutely love Don’t Drool on the Wool’s Fair Isle Yoke Cardigan. Her technique is absolutely wonderful, and it seems like it fits really, really well. She seems completely happy with it. Plus, she steeked! Steeking medal awarded 😉

FO Friday: That Garter/Cable Thing

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I finished it! Well, sorta. I cast off my design sample (so far known as garter stitch+cables+Malabrigo) yesterday evening. It’s one of those projects that I had really, really high hopes for. In fact, I’m not sure that I could have ever met those hopes, even if everything went perfectly and it was a breeze. In any case, it’s not exactly what I was expecting, but I think I’m coming to terms with what I ended up with.

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I mean, it’s Malabrigo, so it just feels like heaven around my neck. Heaven, I tell you! And the texture has made it so thick and warm that I bet I could wear it in the arctic and still be comfortable.

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The whole plan was to hit on the “sweet spot” so that the colors from a very, very variegated skein of Malabrigo Worsted would make up and down stripes. In the end, I’m pretty sure that perfect stripes are pretty impossible. I still think the pooling effect that I ended up with is pretty nice!

P1010006I don’t think this pattern will come out anytime soon. It still needs to be written and tested (and I already have 2 tests going on right now) before it gets released. I’m thinking of saving it for that collection that’s been ruminating in my head. We’ll see what happens.

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For more FO Friday posts, check out Tami’s.

WIP Wed: Designing

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Without any sort of push from me, this break has become swallowed up by designs. That might be part of why I’ve been feeling a little stressed: there’s this sensation when I’m designing that it has to be perfect, which seems to lead to a lot of ripping. Let’s not even talk about the stress from writing patterns. Anyway, I think I’ve come up with some great ideas. There’s the stitch pattern that I showed you guys a while ago. I guess it’s time to admit that it is becoming a hat! I don’t think I’ll release this pattern too soon: I’m envisioning it as part of a collection. We’ll see 😉

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And then there’s this shawl, which is currently blocking on my floor. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish getting this pattern written up in the next couple of days before I start looking for test knitters. This is a Knit Picks design in their Imagination Sock Yarn, and I’m actually very pleased with how it is turning out.

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Last but not least, there’s this little garter stitch-cable number. I’m not even going to say what it is, except something that is DRIVING ME CRAZY. I know that it will be amazing when it is complete, but let’s be honest- that’s a far way off. A far, far way off.

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Well, that’s my current WIP’s. I’m going to enjoy our strangely amazing weather! For more inspiration, check out Tami’s.

Blog Week in Review:

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It’s time for another blog week in review! This one is pretty quick- I think most knitters are still recovering from holiday knitting 😉

First there is Through the Loop’s Kanagawa Rainbow Mittens. These might be the coolest colorwork mittens that I’ve ever seen. Well, at least they’re the most interesting!

Next, Being Careful Not To Twist made two pairs of socks out of one skein of yarn: one for her father-in-law and one for her baby. It’s so cute!

Finally, there’s Knit the Hell Out’s Howlcat. It is BOTH a cowl and a hat. I know- such a genius idea; it blew my mind, too. You definitely need to check this design out.

That’s all I have for you guys! Be sure to check in on Wednesday- hopefully I’ll have a lot of progress on my newest design to show you guys. I just got back to school, but I’m not sure if that means more or less knitting time. Luckily, I have almost a week and a half until classes start!

Yarn Store Review: Baa Baa Sheep

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A new yarn shop opened up in the area, so I was excited to check it out! Baa Baa Sheep is located right in the center of Ghent, a really nice area of Norfolk, VA. I think it’s the perfect area for a yarn store (lots of well-off clientele and other artsy shops are restaurants to attract them), so I hope she does well. I always think that you can learn a lot about a yarn store from the type of service you get, so I’ll start with that. Even though she was helping someone else when I walked in, the owner still greeted me. After she finished with the other woman, she asked me if I needed any help. Once I said no she stepped back and let me meander around the store, which was very nice. I’m not sure if it is because I’m young, but I’ve had people follow me around yarn shops before, trying to “advise” me on things that I already know. Once I was ready to check out she helped me immediately and wound my yarn (once I asked, though). She was very chatty and I felt like a valued customer- not an invader! Yeah!

As for the decor of the shop, that was interesting. It’s a smaller shop, and she has all of the yarn on the walls with tables and sofas in the center of the room. I saw a couple of people come in and sit down with their knitting to a ask for help. The owner helped them, but wasn’t shy about abandoning them for a customer who needed help (they weren’t there for a paid lesson or anything, I don’t think). The only strange thing was that the samples were mostly on top of the yarn shelves, which was probably too high for someone as short as me to really see. Personally, I didn’t really care as I don’t spend a whole lot of time looking at samples, but it might make it harder for other people to see them.

Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Water Green

Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Water Green

Finally, there was the yarn. For the size of the space, she had a pretty sizable selection, although she had limited color options. Most yarns only had about 4 options, which was a little disappointing as I was considering a buying a sweater quantity of a couple of things, only to not like any of the colors she had. I’ve seen other stores buy a lot more colors, sometimes keeping larger quantities in the back. I was surprised about which yarns she had, too. She ordered from a pretty large range of companies, from a few indies to big ones like Cascade. It was odd, though, that she only had one or two from each company. For instance, she had Cascade 220 (worsted weight 100% wool) and Plymouth Galway Chunky (chunky 100% wool), but not Cascade 128 or Galway Worsted. There was nothing wrong with the selection, it was just odd. In the end, I kept inside of my budget, only buying 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted (pictured above). I think it will make a great sample for a design I’m contemplating- we’ll see!

It really is much more green then it looks like in this picture

It really is much more green then it looks like in this picture

In the end, I highly suggest you stop by Baa Baa Sheep if you’re in the area. It hasn’t dethroned my favorite LYS’s, but it has a different selection and great service!