Saturday, May 30, 2009

Swatching around

In between whittling down my sock WIP list, tapmouse & I were having a little bit of fun combining various STR skeins for the STR Ulmus KAL on Ravelry.

My first choice based on a stash pic I took a few months back is Dutch Canyon & Mossay:

My original second choice was Potomac and Petrified Wood. I discovered this while rooting around my stash and talking to tapmouse about her potential Potomac combinations.

She then suggested Potomac & Mossay, while perfectly fine, didn't give me the aha! or instant love reaction for me.

So then I started seeing knitters starting their Ulmus,' especially tapmouse's Footzey Foo & Harlotty combo and someone's Petrified Wood & Lucky combo and was inspired to try Potomac and Falcon's Eye. Now this was interesting.

So the swatching began with Dutch Canyon/Mossay first:

I then started the Potomac/Falcon's Eye swatch with the intention of also swatching Potomac & Petrified Wood, but because my Dutch Canyon/Mossay was already coming out deeper & darker than I had anticipated, I decided to stop with just the 2 swatches.

In fact, I've already decided that both swatches will eventually become full-blown Ulmus shawl/shawlettes (depending how far I get with the lightweight yardage). What'll be fun & interesting is when I get further along to take a pic of the "back" side of the shawl. Sometimes, the color combo on the reverse side is just as interesting, if not more so.

While up at the cabin for the long holiday weekend, we stopped in downtown Sonora to do some business. Usually we drive through downtown on the way to one of our family adventures, so I took the opportunity to drag the family into By Hand Yarn which I've only managed to get to once before. It's a really nice roomy lys in the Sierra foothills.

I went in with the intention of just browsing & checking out stuff for inspiration when I momentarily fell off the yarn diet wagon. I will say however, that I forgot that my Monkeys can be quite the yarn enablers. Monkey1 directed my attention away from their Shibui stock (no Wasabi!) to a cute little baby sundress store sample done in the Caribbean & Fuchsia colors in Tahki Palma yarn. It's their new organic cotton yarn (I assume the base only as I'm doubtful of the dyes are) and the store sample felt quite lovely.

I grabbed what was left of the Caribbean & a few Fuchsias in hopes that I have enough for a tank top for Monkey1. I'm sorta winging it based on a couple free online patterns & my gauge since Monkey1 is in that dreaded tween size range where there are barely any free or pay patterns around.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May RSC kit

As usual, I'm throwing up a few non-Rockin' Sock Club pics up first so that my fellow club members who haven't gotten their kit yet can avoid spoilers if they so choose.

Pixie Park lightweight in skein form.

Pixie Park opened up.

Pixie Park purposely knit up a little snug to avoid striping. Not sure you can see it, but it stripes in the 2x2 ribbed cuff. It also striped when I accidently decreased down to 66 instead of 64 sts on the foot. However, I did rip the foot back when I noticed the error so I don't think I have any photgraphic evidence of it.

I can also get STR lightweight to stripe when I use 2.50 mm needles at 64 sts in St st. I am not, however, as experienced with making the mediumweight stripe or not on my command since I prefer to play with the lightweight.

pattern: Sock Recipe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot
size 2.25 mm KP Harmony circs

Needless to say, I love my May RSC kit.

And it's no wonder that I was one of the many mentioned (Even Cat Bordhi liked it. ;) ) who asked for Carrie's Rare Gems to be replicated. All I needed to do was look at one of the skeins I dyed at Sock Camp. I obviously love that section of the color wheel.

It was a pleasant surprise since I expected all our lobbying to culminate in the colorway being added to the website at some point in the future. I'm totally looking forward to knitting this up and see what it does in JC's fun pattern.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tested by a Nebula

Sometimes, supposedly knitting a second sock at a "relaxed" pace doesn't always mean things go smoothly. I've had to tink & rip back so many more times on the second sock (the right) than the time-crunched test-knit-on-a-tight-deadline left sock. Apparently, relaxed doesn't mean I'm allowed to lose my focus on the pattern. But I'm happy the pair is done.

Nebula by Cookie A
pattern size medium
Dream in Color Smooshy in Wisterious
size 2.75 (US 2) Knit Picks nickel-plated dpns

only mod: less pointy toe

With the long holiday weekend, I get to get a bunch of knitting done & finally finished my first Cat Bordhi secret sock as well. The foot construction is her new sock architecture to be released via book form at Sock Summit.

The varying blues & blacks of the STR Rare Gem lightweight I bought at Sock Camp reminded me of how the Pacific Ocean changes colors as you gaze at it from a tropical beach - from the turquoise & aqua shades near the shore to the dark blue of the deep ocean, to the black shadows on the surface caused by the clouds overhead. So I ended up nicknaming the Rare Gem My Deep Blue Sea. I then decided the Crest of the Wave pattern (using the chart in More Sensational Knitted Socks) more fitting than the 2 Cat patterns I initially had in mind for the leg.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jubilant Shawl

I finished the shawl on Mother's Day, but didn't get around to blocking it 'til the next day. Monkey1 decided to be the model rather than the photographer, so scale the shawl against a 4'9" grade school child.

Shawl that Jazz by Samro, one of the loveliest knitters around
BMFA BFL Sport in Jubilation - ~1.35 skeins
size 9 & 11 KP Harmony circs
version: the rufflier one

I was initially concerned about a slight difference between the 2 skeins I had bought at Sock Camp. (Pic immediately below.) Since it was a last minute buy (as in the last day before BMFA packed up), I rushed through and didn't check carefully. With the shaping involving short rows, it would've been a total PITA to alternate the 2 skeins, so I took a chance and started with just one.

It didn't matter at the end because I didn't need to start the second skein 'til the edging. (Obviously, gauge came to the rescue 'cause I knit a little tighter than the pattern spec.)

What it look like unblocked:

And as a Mother's Day gift to myself I got another Namaste Laguna in Eggplant from Woolgirl's Mother's Day sale. I was definitely in a color-coordinating mood.

One of these days, I will knit a matching pair of socks in the Jubilation mill end that I got at Stitches West the month before Sock Camp which matches so well. Sometimes it's more surprising when hand dyed yarns actually do match across fibers and dye lots.

Now back to my sock WIP's which haven't moved forward very quickly and to a new shawl KAL. Ulmus, here I come.