Sunday, June 01, 2014

Monthly updates are so so very wrong

Because updating every month means that there is too much to cover in a single post, and so it feels a little manic. Given it has been so long since the last update there are finished objects well overdue for blog space, namely a pair of socks and a cowl, and also some yarn, spinning has happened and there are two more skeins complete. As usual no plans for the yarn, but I just love making it.

These are blue Gladys socks, by General Hogbuffer, knit for my eldest son with his size eleven feet. I'm aware that a sock named Gladys may not be the most masculine sounding sock, but as he is not a knitter, and is as unlikely to enquire as to the name of the pattern, as to ask about the name of the yarn, or the number of plies, or any other knitting detail I am confident he will remain ignorant that a sock named Gladys is keeping is feet warm. The yarn is after all a very manly blue, Chance, by Vintage Purls.

I usually prefer toe up socks, there is a comfort in knowing that once the foot is worked the leg length of the sock can be decided without risk of running out of yarn. In this case I liked the sock, and whist I could have reverse engineered the pattern I decided that it was time for me to again knit a traditional heel flap and gusset sock. I loved the construction of the heel flap, and despite his size eleven feel feeling like a challenge to knit a pair of socks from a single 100 gram skeins of yarn, there was even yarn left over. 13 grams to be precise. I feel the leg is a tad short visually, but do notice that most of the shop bought socks for men are short in the leg. I would happily knit this again for myself - except that there are hundreds of sock patterns out there that I want to try so repeating one pushes the chance to knit new patens further away. This sock did bring to my attention the designs of General Hogbuffer, and there are now several from that author in my project queue.

Gladys the sock had several little details that communicatd that this was a designer who liked details as much as I do. I loved the rig and farrow pattern (garter welts) thatwere used to stop, start, and break patterns up. Equally well thought out were the instructions to customize the arch shaping by modification of the rate of gusset decreases. Perhaps the most lovely and at once mentally significant and yet visually invisable was the toe shaping. Most socks, toe up or cuff down provide for a stand rate of increase/decrease at the toe, the standard seems to be four stitches every second round. Gladys starts off with decreases very four round, then three rounds, then two, which provides a lovely long and pointed toe, a perfect match for elder cubs feet have. Small details to be sure but ones that tell me this designer thinks about what they are doing rather than just following standardized patterns.

And here is the second finished object, almost a stealth project. I started this about a month ago, not wanting to waste the cashmere left over from the KSG hat. I had 41 grams left and a local knitter, Shoeboxsally, was talking about a pattern called Zuzu's petals, how it knit up quick, was lovely to wear and used only 30-something grams of yarn. She is right, she often is, Zuzu's petals is a lovely wee project. I knit mine in the yarn remaining, it took 39g and I have 2 grams left over. Perfect - although there was some fudging of the placement of the penultimate increase round when I saw how little yarn was left.

Here is a really really bad photo of it being worn, a selfie taken in the car whist waiting for little cub to finish ballet. The cowl is a lovely design, looks like a lace shawlette and yet wears like a close fit cowl, it never falls off, always stays put and perfectly covers that drafty cold spot left exposed by vee-necklines in winter.

Other news around here, there is new yarn, fresh off the spinning wheel.

Some lovely autumnal three ply faulkland. I love this fiber, it makes me realize that whist the local fiber is lovely it can at times be a little short in the fiber staple length. This faulkland is long, 3.5-4.5 inches long which makes for dreamy spinning. Local fiber seems shorter, which is probably because local farmers shear twice a year, so the growth between shearing is shorter.

And more recently is this smaller skein of merino, from Schoppel-wolle, a super wash merino. Available at Vintage Purls, it is space dyed, I bought two 50g lengths and rearranged it them to provide three matching sections. I spun each and then plied with the hope at least some of the sections would line up - some did, some didn't, but it works.



Last week we had a snow day which the cat ignored. She sat on the back of the sofa and pretended the sun was shining. I love how optimistic cats are.

On the snow day, both cubs schools were cancelled as was my work, so I supervised indor and outdoor play and knit a scrunchie. I used the last of the sparkly yarn left from little cubs Infinity scarf, and a pattern found via ravelry, the scrunchie. I loved that this pattern didn't call for knitting a strip or tube and sewing it up to enclose an elastic hair band. The scrunchie was cast on over the elastic hair band. As my yarn was finer I fiddled with the stitch count, but didn't make notes. I love the effect - there. There may have been other scrunchies made which were inspired by this one - which might have been tucked away In little cubs hair tie box - if so I will dig them out for a photo and blog post soon. I did have a lot of fun thinking of ways to cover elastic hair ties with knitting, sort of personal graffiti?


Littl cub turned twelve this past weekend, which meant lots of birthday wishes, a party and lots and lots of thoughtful gifts from people in her life. She has good friends who seem to care for her and like hanging out with her and are interested in what she likes. She now has a new hobby, one of those sweeping the internet craze hobbies, rainbow looms. She already had a small loom, but post party had two more, a mini loom and a larger reconfigurable loom.

She now also has many many more rainbow bands and several boxes to keep them in. This box is impressive, it opens like this, and then if you undo the side catches it opens even more like this...

As well, inside there are many many colours of rainbow bands, we gave her the box in an attempt as many parents do to keep their kid tidy. Her friends and knit night buddies provided a huge array of rainbow bands, sparkly, metallic, shimmer, glow in the dark, mixed neon, mixed jelly and lots lots more that I can't remember. There are several still in packages which are yet to be stowed in the boxes.

Meanwhile today is a public holiday, so I've been knitting, finishing the socks that we're featured earlier in this post, and catching up on ravelry threads and forums that I follow. I like public holidays in winter, sort of permission to be inside and warm and do hobby things.


Take care, na Stella


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I love the Gansey socks, and have put them in my queue (very near the top). Some of Hogbuffer's designs are fascinating, especially the stranded sock patterns.

I have also just purchased Zuzu's Petals pattern, for a comfortable warm shawlette (cowl), perehaps to knit in possum wool.

Thanks for pointing me to these patterns.

Diane Head
Waikanae Beach