Saturday, January 31, 2009

easily distracted again

... yes I'm easily distracted, again, by bags, and it seems a muddly post today, I missed posting on Wednesday, with starting back at work, and all, well the week seemed to just go. Missing Wednesday means there is a lot to catch up on. I've finished Bears Spring Thaw Socks, where the cat crashed the photo shoot. She just assumed the only reason any one would be sitting on the front stairs was to pet her. I've made some progress on Owls, only a few cm's away from the armscye (sorry no photo today), and then the sleeves, I've had mail, from far and near (and near), some Guernsey yarn, and my Vintage Purls summer 2009 sock club kit arrived - but apparently I can't blog the contents (Yum, Pretty, and Niiiiice) until those in more distant places get theirs. I'm so inspired by those I knit with on Thursdays, there is M who runs her yarn dye business, R who dyes and felts the most beautiful bags, J who spins and dyes and felts and knits ... and well I'm not sure there is anything J doesn't do, and now N who is developing a range of T's with attitude for the local market (as well as spinning and knitting the most adventurous and quirky stuff I've seen in person in a long time). Of course I have other inspirational knitters in my life, further away, who tempt me in new ways every week. My other distraction is the cast on sampler that I started on Saturday at the KSG (Knitters Study Group).

I've made some more project bags, this is a small sample of what is left after supplying many of the Thursday night knit crowd with some ... I'm not sure where I'm going with these. I like making them, and the fabrics are delicious, I made the first samples using fabric scraps I had around here, and M gifted me a sizable bag (or two) of fat quarters from her quilting stash - so I made more.

I even made tiny labels! The bags are all cotton, with a cotton lawn lining, and ribbon draw cords long enough to wear the bag as a yarn holder as you knit. The are just big enough to hold a center pull ball of yarn, a finished sock, and a sock on the go (or maybe tatting?). I can't decide what my favorite is, Pukeko or the yellow floral, or the more abstract designs. I think that is why I keep making them - the fabrics are so pretty.

I opened the back door one day last week to find this, a Small Packet, I know its a small packet because its clearly labeled a small packet, Royal Mail no less. I love the packaging ... just a sack, with my address in felt pen, and yet it got safely from one side of the globe to the other.

Inside was my 'Christmas treat', Bear gifted me a shopping spree, and I chose (amongst other things) some real Guernsey yarn from Wingham Wool Works. This is 5 ply, 465g per skein, I have no idea of the yardage, and it is so tightly spun that it is strangely elastic. Its deep navy, but traditionally Guernseys once knit, are said to wear so well that they are handed down generations .. and is meant to fade from dark to pale blue. This is for me, my 'big' project this year, after Owls I'm knitting a practice guernsey for Toby, then one for me. Given how far this yarn traveled, and how fast (barely a week from order to arrival), it was oddly less expensive than knitting a jersey in yarn from my LYS (mill factory shop excepted), including the shipping. I was alerted to this yarn via Ravelry, where an knitting buddy in the US with whom I had planned to knit-along-a-guernsey, bought some, having heard raving reviews of it on the Guernsey forum.

Spring Thaw Socks are finished, and Bear is very happy (amended Monday to add he wore them off to work today). These were knit from Wendy Sunbeam St. Ives 4 Ply Sock Wool in a dark green with warm rusty and pink flecks. The local LYS no longer sells it, and I miss it, its economical, and durable, and had some lovely basic shades that looked a lot more expensive than it was. I love the way the rib flows around the leaves - and they are symmetrical in the way the leaves are placed! Bear spent much time working out which looked better on the right foot (paw?), and which on the left foot (paw?)... should the leaves end on his outside ankle, or start there? Socks tarted 8th Jan, finished 30th Jan, using a 2.5mm needle, a size up for me but one size smaller than the pattern recommended - I just could not bring myself to knit sock yarn on 2.75mm.

And Yo-yo, who thinks the world revolves around her, despite being clearly at the bottom of the pecking chain in the family ... seemed to think we would only sit on the front step to pat her. In reality it was the sock is finished photos for Blog and Ravelry photo shoot with Bear, the socks new owner. I made 12 or so photos, and she was in 8 of them, of course in many she had her tail end towards the camera, so I have spared you those.

but finally Yo-yo left or maybe I pushed her, so the here you can see the sole, which has mid-sole gusset increases. These fit both Bear and I, but the toe is so square, and Bear has blunt feet, it seemed right to hand them over.

This is one of N's T'shirts, my dog ate my lace knitting, T's with attitude for local (and not so local knitters). I think she is planning to develop a range for quilters, and I know there are some for spinners. She hasn't yet got here catalog on line, but has her front page up, so if you are keen - book mark it and pop back in a few weeks. For now I'm one of the lucky ones test wearing her designs around town.

And last, my cast on sampler, 9 cast-ons, and I'm not done yet, I'm planning to work my way thru the Estonian and twined cast-ons. So far I have in order of being knit,Continental, Norwegian (seems to be also known as twisted German), Tubular 1.1 rib, Tubular 2.2 rib, Channel Island Cast on, I-cord cast on using yarn overs, Double start cast on (I used this one on Owls), I-cord cast on using m1, and Crochet chain over needle cast on. .... but there are many more. Click on the image for a closer look.

Take care
na Stella


twinsetellen said...

Nice socks! They look just like you describe the yarn - economical and durable, in the best sense of the words. Just the right amount of beauty - function and form balanced nicely.

Shirley Goodwin said...

These all look great, Stell. I'm jealous of your knitting group.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh, so much to comment on! I love the socks; they're definitely on my list o' socks to knit this spring (I even know what yarn I'll use, I think). And those bags are darling! I can see why you keep making them. I'm off to check out that guernsey yarn -- I love the way it looks. Good luck facing work this week :)