Third Time’s a Charm

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Last week, I wound the skein of Hazel Knits, cast on, and worked 12 rounds of a cuff and 24 rounds of the pattern I thought I had settled on.

I hated it.

For starters, my gauge was wonky. The sock was extremely large, which was surprising. I had 72 stitches, which is usually the lowest I can go when making a sock. I also, really didn’t like how the stitch pattern looked. So, I ripped the whole thing out. There is no photographic evidence of this failed attempt because it was late and dark when I made the decision.

I started again with fewer stitches. I just toyed around with an idea and started diligently knitting in the evenings.

Friday morning, I looked at what I had, and hated it. So, I ripped it out. Again, no photographic evidence exists.

Friday, I was working from home, and it was a marathon conference call day, so I had time to do a bit of knitting while sitting on the call. I was really just playing around with an idea that had started forming. This time, I think I like it. It’s a bit of a different looking cable, which makes it kind of interesting.

I must say, this skein of yarn has survived being ripped out and reknit remarkably well. I was concerned that the cashmere in the yarn would make it too fragile, but so far, so good.  Yes, you read that right, there is cashmere in these socks. Entice is a Merino Cashmere Nylon blend, so these socks are a bit of a luxury.

On a slightly different topic, I have a mystery sock that will be released in 2 weeks. The Solid Socks group on ravelry selected me to be their mystery sock designer for the June/July KAL. I can’t really say more than it will be a pattern for socks using sock yarn. If you want to play along, you can join their group & download the pattern clues when they become available on ravelry.

Posted in Knitting, sock Tagged with: ,

False Starts

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Since finishing the green socks last week, I’ve been having fits of false starts when it comes to finding a new project. I’d swatch something, and think it was nice. Two hours later, I would change my mind and wonder what I was thinking.

I changed gears and decided to dig through the stash hoping the yarn would provide inspiration. Sadly, all that seemed to accomplish was to paralyze me. So much yarn, so little time.

I considered starting a sleeve for the hibernating sweater. Unfortunately, we’ve entered that stage of spring where it’s not that hot, but it is very humid. A worsted weight sweater coupled with a large lap cat doesn’t sound like a good idea right now.

Then this morning while in the car, I had an idea. I think this idea will look nice in the Hazel Knits Entice pictured above. That picture doesn’t really do the yarn justice. I think the background has too similar a value as the yarn, but I digress. I need to chart the idea, and cast on to confirm that it will work. Don’t be surprised if next week, I show something completely different.

Posted in Knitting, yarn Tagged with:

In Need of a Good Bath

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These socks are fresh off the needles. I finished weaving in the ends, and decided to take a few photos while I still had some light rather than wait until after their bath. Once they are washed, I just need to figure out which one is right and which is left.

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There is this massive textured business going on down one side and the rest of it is a twisted, cabled mess of stitches that I think look rather striking.

The socks aren’t the only things that could benefit from a bath. I could probably stand a good rinsing off after spending the morning at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It is a beautiful day, but those fairgrounds are dirty. I did pick up a couple of items.

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What you see there are two skeins of Miss Babs Hot Shot in the Livid and Roasted Pumpkin color ways. I think this is a new base for her, so I felt like I needed a couple of skeins. They are nestled in a beautiful wooden yarn bowl from The Whispering Wood Turner. I seem to be developing a small collection of yarn bowls. I’m not sure what’s come over me.

I could have done much more damage, but I kept it reigned in this year. My stash is growing faster than I can knit it.

Posted in Knitting, sock, yarn Tagged with: ,

The Velocity of Angles

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Yesterday, Knitty surprised the world by releasing two new patterns, one of which was designed by me.

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I’m very excited about this. This pattern has been in the works for a while, and I can finally talk about it. There is a bit of a story to this pattern’s creation.

It all started with the publication of Neldoreth. After Neldoreth’s publication, Christine of Skeinny Dipping Yarns contacted me to offer yarn support. Basically, she liked Neldoreth, and asked me if I wanted some yarn. Who wouldn’t say yes to that? After a little emailing back and forth, I found myself in the possession of 3 lovely skeins of sock yarn.

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The blue one in the middle (Underbelly) was used for Askance. I couldn’t wait to cast on with Christine’s yarn again, so I started playing around with swatches. I really wanted something special for the red yarn (Two Bit Hussy). Somewhere in the swatching frenzy, I produced this cable motif. Not being satisfied with this cable (and I can’t say why, because I rather like it), I thought it might be fun to have the cable rotate around the leg of the sock. (The green yarn, btw, is being reserved for a very special project).

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You may be wondering to yourself, why that isn’t the yarn in the pattern. That’s basically a result of Kate Atherley’s brilliance. Kate is the technical editor at Knitty, and she’s really awesome to work with. While Kate and Amy liked the pattern, Kate noticed that it had a little problem. This is one of the things that is so awesome about Knitty. If you submit something that they like, they will work with you to make it better. In fact, Amy, being the class act that she is, made arrangements for replacement yarn to arrive at my house so these socks could be knit again. While it is a different yarn, I really do like how this pattern looks in the Dream in Color Smooshy Melon Bomb colorway.

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With everything being resolved, I needed to find a name for this pattern. The cable is a bit angular, and it’s rotating around the leg. With my math background, that led me to angular velocity. In physics, angular velocity is the rate of change of angular displacement and is used to specify rotational speed. Objects that rotate around an axis have an angular velocity that can be calculated by dividing the angular displacement by time. It seems to fit.

That brings us to today. So far, the pattern seems very well received. Which is very exciting and humbling. I’m very grateful for the feedback I’ve gotten so far. I’m extremely grateful to Kate and Amy. Kate always makes me a better designer, and Amy, like I said, is a class act.

Get The Pattern

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Proof of Life

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To say that life has been hectic lately would be an understatement. The last couple of weeks have been particularly chaotic and busy. So much so that I had all but abandoned twitter and ravelry. I haven’t stopped in at knit night in ages. My house is a complete mess. My cats are misbehaving just to get any attention. Nothing bad has happened. I’m just very much overwhelmed by a lot of things right now, and most of it is work related.

Somehow, in the midst of all of this chaos, I finished a sock. It’s not a simple sock either. There is quite a lot going on. I think the idea of just working 6 rounds has been enough to allow me to maintain the appearance of sanity.

If you know me in the real world and have noticed that you haven’t seen me for a while, know that I miss you. I think this past week was the worst of the chaos, and it will start tapering off soon. Granted, I have a meeting at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon, which may prove me wrong. Either way, I have a funky sock (that needs to have some ends woven in, and desperately needs a bath).

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