Stash Flash-back

I can happily report no new acquisitions of stash recently -go me! I was wracking my brains to think what could I blog about for this Stash-Saturday post when it struck me I never fully filled you in about my Rhinebeck purchases last October. (Denial, much?)

One of the high-lights of my weekend was to shake the hand of a designer I greatly admire: Lisa Grossman, a.k.a. The Tsock Tsarina.

More than because I love her designs (though i was acting like a bit of a star-struck groupie) I mainly wanted to introduce myself because she’s a knitting-buddy of Helen Of Troy (OfTroy on Ravelry) who blogs at Golden Apples. Helen is a knitter and blogger that consider as an online friend because she reads my blog and often comments. We’ve never met – and are unlikely to get the chance to – so I felt shaking Tsock Tsarina’s hand was the next best thing to shaking Helen’s.

Anyway, The Tsock Tsarina does the most amazing designs for sock – many quite outrageous; all of them witty – which she sells as kits.

It was tough to chose but I opted for “Poseidon” in the end.

This had a beautiful skein of Jennifer’s Flock Sock in “Thalassa”, a bright blue with tints of green. This had a beautiful skein of Jennifer’s Flock Sock in “Thalassa”, a bright blue with tints of green.

I’m thrilled with the pattern too as it has tutorials on a few techniques that are new to me: Russian Long-stitch, for starters. This is a front-runner for the next pair of socks for me.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

FO: Embossed Leaves

Last Friday being Daffodil Day took precedence over my usual FO Friday post. Here it is instead for you…

I mentioned in my February Round-up post that I had put a pair of socks back into circulation. Amazingly, this was the first time I’d ever shown these socks to you! I hadn’t even put them up on Ravelry, til now.

Embossed Leaves

 They are “Embossed Leaves” from Favorite Socks, published by Interweave Press. I don’t remember when I knit them – that information is lost in the mists of time (which sounds more lyrical than “my brain”) but I think it was around this time of year in 2009. I did a lot of knitting that year that I never really blogged about – or maybe it was 2008! Details shme-tails!

I absolutely loved these socks: loved knitting them; loved wearing them. I knit them in 10 days – that much I *do* remember! I also remember that I left out the last repeat on the foot to make them the perfect length. The special thing about this patten is that the design of the star-toe, which finishes the final leaf shapes on the foot. A design-feature which prevented me from trying to reverse engineer them as toe-up socks. For once I was forced to stick to the pattern.

The yarn is  Bergère de France Cho’7 – an absolutely fabulous sock-yarn. This is gorgeously soft to the touch but wore like iron. I was highly taken-aback when I wore through one toe. This is the fault of the sticky-up-ness of my right big-toe, not the yarn.

So they languished for at least six months in a holey, unwear-able state. You may remember one of the promises I’ve made to myself this year is that I’ll put socks back into circulation by darning them. This was my first crack at it and I succeeded. Darning is a challenge for me, and something I put off forever. I used the deadline of the Sock-a-Month KAL to spur me to action. A bit cheaty from the point of view of the KAL but it worked as a motivator for me. I am re-united with my first love in socks.

Choix d’Annis

Selection Box of Treats

Last week, I was feeling very over-whelmed and I decided I needed some me-time. For many of my female colleagues “me-time” would involve getting a facial, a hair-cut or shopping for new shoes. These things would be living hell for me – especially now that the only hairdresser I’ve trusted in years has run off to Jersey to get married, the cheek of him!

No, my idea of me-time is to take out all my sock weight yarn and try to decide which pattern to make with each: heaven!

The box on the right doesn’t represent all of my sock-weight yarn – not by a long-shot! Instead, it’s a a little box of treats: a selection box of those skeins I hope to knit this year. Considering there’s 12 projects there and only six months left in the year, I’ll be doing well to get them all done!  But it will certainly be fun trying.

Annis Ol' Yarn, Annis Ol' Yarn, Annis Annis Annis Ol' Yarn

From the top:

So which one do you reckon will be best for Annis (the Knitty Surprise in the Spring / Summer 2010 edition of Knitty)… and why!

Answers in the comments here and I will give a prize to whoever comes up with the most convincing argument for any of the four yarns above.

Stash Saturday: The Yarn and Fiber Company

So I mentioned that I had little splurge online on The Yarn and Fiber Company’s website as compensation and therapy for minding the three crazies when DH got caught in San Francisco by the Ash Cloud. It was all delivered the other day, so I can show and tell all:

One Lace weight yarn:

Ivy Brambles Romantica Merino Lace Yarn. I don’t know what I’m going to make with this. All I want to do is cuddle it!

Two “goes” of Roving for spinning – previously blogged about:

Ivy Brambles Merino Roving in “Volcano” (l); Sereknity Blue-faced Leicester Roving in “Kismet” (r)

Three specific projects:

Sereknity Perfect Sock Yarn in “Jewel of Denial” for Jaywalkers (l); Kauni Effektgarn for Non-Reversible, Intarsia, Double-knit bag or blanket (r)


Jojoland Melody Superwash Fingering for their Swirl Shawl pattern – also purchased from The Yarn and Fiber Company. psst! Free-shipping to Ireland!

Ziggy: more Zzzs than Zoom

Sick of Ziggys

I’m struggling!

And I’ve been struggling with this WIP for 11 months now.

In fact, continuing to struggle with it was my first mistake. I should have ripped it back 1″ after the toe.

I started these socks on my first trip to London last February. About 1″ after the toe I didn’t like how the pooling of the self-striping yarn was turning out. I realised that what I should do: knit tube-socks with after-thought heels using a stitch-count that worked for the pooling. Instead of sending these straight to the frog-pond, I let them languish in hibernation.

Then last September, moments before I was due to leave the house for my trip to the I Knit Weekender, I messed up winding balls for my planned travel-knitting. I grabbed these socks instead at the last minute. Over the course of the I Knit Weekend I progressed them through the gussets and past the heels. Fortuitously, because I had used a Whirlpool cast-on for the toes, I was able to use Cat Bordhi’s Side-Stream Sockitecture i.e. I turned the socks on their sides after the gusset increases and before I started the heel-turns. I liked the visual interest that gave the other-wise tedious socks. It redeemed them for me – a bit.

Then I tried to get clever. Recognising I couldn’t do much about the stitch-count at this stage, I wondered if I changed the stitch-pattern – thereby altering how much yarn was used in the round – would I get pooling I preferred. The legs of  these socks have become a mish-mash of four different stitch patters as I swatch and switch from one to the other.

The other night my knitting buddies convinced me to stop messing and have done with them. I’ve settled on a 2 x 1 rib for the rest of the leg but lo-and-behold… the pooling is the same as the foot. The socks are getting the last laugh.

DH is leaving on a business trip on Saturday so I’m determined to have them ready for his suitcase. At least that way, these socks will earn me a January credit in the Sock-a-Month9 KAL. In the Dublin Knit Collective the January theme is “Beating the Wintry Blues”; whereas the February theme is “Labour of Love”. Getting these socks finally finished would be my way of beating my January blues, that’s for sure. On the other hand, persisting with them in the first place was laborious and I only persevered coz I love DH, and giving him hand-knit socks, soooo much.

I Knit Stash

When I posted about my plans for Ravelympics the other day I realised I was showing off my Dazzle before it had been properly debuted! Scandalous! 

It’s one of a few (okay – many!) purchases I made at the I Knit Weekender last September.

Here’s the main three, plus a little prezzie that Caroline had in store for me when she returned from her holidays in the U.S.

Just Desserts

From the top:

Heritage Hand-painted Sock yarn by Cascade Yarn (not bought at I Knit – a present Caroline brought back from her holidays)

Dazzle, BFL by The Natural Dye Studio; as previously mentioned  – bought with Ishbel in mind

Dream in Colour, Smooshy bought from Skein Queen’s stand; reminds me of petrol in a puddle

Bamboo Mix by Easy Knits – colourway “Rhubarb”

There were other purchases, but you’ll be hearing more of them another day.