Saturday, May 28, 2016

In the Bag

It's Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., a time of solemn commemoration and also the unofficial start of summer. Some years it's hot, some years it's not. This year it's hot roundabout Exit 151, and the summery weather got me in the mood to make some summery knit-along plans... although not too many. Here's what's in the bag so far (bag purchased at MDS&W and autographed by 2016 Catalog Cover Art Competition winner Maria Victoria Savka).

2016 MDS&W tote bag

June is Camp Loopy 2016. Pirates are involved. The prep was a bit bumpy – I mis-read the rules but was set straight in time by a helpful fellow-camper (thank you, Nickiknitz!) so had to order more yarn (woe). Anyway, I plan to knit a Chilkat cowl using Manos del Uruguay Serena in colorways 2590 Natural, 2446 Chambray, and 2550 Seal.

Yarn for Chilkat cowl

July is the Tour de Fleece, July 2-24. As I find it helpful to check in with congenial teammates (YMMV), I'll be spindling with the Sock Madness team, Team Madness Forever 2016. The current plan is to spin up some MDS&W loot, Paco-Vicuña fiber from Victory Farm. I neglected to post a photo of my MDS&W loot – the festival was a hurried but happy last minute add-on to a busyness trip, and posting photos similarly has been something of an afterthought. Here ya go.

2016 MDS&W loot

The 2016 MDS&W haul: two T-shirts, Victory Farm Paco-Vicuña, Just Our Yarn Aziza 5/2 Tencel, Persimmon Tree Farm Piggy Toes SW. Plus the proverbial bag pictured above.

Depending on how my June project goes, I may essay a July Camp Loopy project as well. But, don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

August is the Ravellenic Games, August 5-21. I love the Ravellenics, but have been increasingly disenchanted with the Olympics™, not only because of rampant cheating and corruption but also because of the organizers' breezy disregard of the public health risk posed by the Zika virus. I may participate in the Ravellenics but boycott the Olympics™, and may even double-dip and go for a Camp Loopy project trifecta.

To be continued....

Friday, May 27, 2016

Unruffled

Now where was I before being distracted by those squirrels... right, modifying my Sweet Nuttins. I enjoyed knitting them in all their bells and whistles glory – interminable German Twisted CO! ruffles! cables! lace! beads! patterned heel flap! patterned gussets! – but I usually wear mid-calf socks under trousers, and I knew the ruffle would fidget me. So I unpicked it.

First, I picked up stitches using dpns, then frogged back. Or rather I unpicked back, as ribbing doesn't exactly zip out when frogged backwards. I suppose that means there's no gorffing in knitting.

Placing lifelines

The unpicking process was rather hard on the yarn, Lorna's Laces Solemate, which is very soft and prone to splitting and pilling. Initially I'd thought about knitting a longer cuff, but after seeing how frizzed the yarn had gotten, decided to bind off using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy BO instead. That made the unruffled sock somewhat shorter than the ruffled sock. JSSBO flares slightly, but not nearly as much as the original ruffle.

Unruffled and ruffled socks

After more unpicking, I had a pair ruffle-free yet still sweet Sweet Nuttins. It's too hot right now, but I'm looking forward to wearing them when it's cooler.

Unruffled Sweet Nuttins

It occurred to me that this Adrienne Fong pattern knocked me out of Sock Madness 10 and another of her patterns, Sockdolager, knocked me out of Sock Madness 7. More accurately, it's the usual busyness and travel that do it... unless... unless it's the Curse of the Belly Button!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Squirrel!

My Ekornsokkene are finished, and I'm happy. It's my first FO for the One Sock KAL.

Ekornsokkene FO modeled

This was a fun pattern to knit. The colorwork band on the foot was so interesting, I rotated it on the second sock to show off the entire band on the tops of the socks. Here's the two tops.

Top o' the socks

And here's the two soles. It was interesting how the jog at the end of each round distorted the X motif more than the double-eight pretzel motif.

Sole o' the socks

Curiously, despite the sprightly squirrels on the legs, as the stripes progressed the socks began to remind me of woolly bear caterpillars, in a good way.

Ekornsokkene FO

It's said woolly bear caterpillars can predict the severity of the coming winter. I can never remember precisely how, something about the thickness of their color segments. No matter, this week's weather forecast is for sweltering summer temperatures!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Late to the Party

Somehow I missed the grand blast-off on May 16 of the One Sock Knit-along, which is ongoing through May 31 on Ravelry and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (#onesockKAL). How can this be? Perhaps I've been so focused on Sock Madness that an opportunity to reduce the membership of the Singleton Socks of Shame almost slipped by. Or perhaps I'm just fashionably late getting started.

Ekornsokkene singleton

No matter, I'm jumping in with Ekornsokkene by Pinneguri. When last seen in January, the sock was merely a leg; now, after the difficulties of February, it's in danger of joining the SSofS. That will not do! *knitknitknitknit*

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I Got Nuttins

It finally stopped raining roundabout Exit 151, and I finally finished my Sweet Nuttins – ahead of the Sock Madness Round 4 deadline but 35 minutes too late to earn a spot to advance to Round 5. I even had the requisite late night, bad light FO photo.

Late night, bad light

When better light dawned, I took a modestly better photo to show off the socks' ruffled cuff, cables, lace, and patterned gusset. I don't know why the yarn (Lorna's Laces Solemate, colorway 809 Midway) looks so very different under different lighting conditions.

Sweet Nuttins FO

Shortly thereafter the new pattern for Round 5 dropped, and the competition went on without me. Which left me free to modify the pattern and put my stash in order, up next. Edited to add: Squirrel!