My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Silk, No Socks

Yupperdoodles, there are currently no socks on the needles and it feels kinda weird!

It’s all silk, all the time!

Last night I took my lovely green silk and cast on for the Branching Out scarf that appeared in Knitty a while back.

I did 4 pattern repeats on the commute this morning and when I got to the office, ripped it out. I love the Branching Out pattern, but it was not right for this yarn. The yarn is too soft and drapey — the leaves looked wilted!

So I ripped the whole thing out and started over, doing a very simple lace pattern.

Cast on 26 stitches.

Pattern: (k2, yo, p2tog) repeat until the last 2 stitches, k2

Do that on every row and this is what you get:

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I’m working this on a US 8 (5mm needle) and I’m very pleased with the results. It certainly ain’t rocket science lace, but I think it suits the yarn beautifully. And as it is commuter knitting, it doesn’t need to be rocket science!

Of course, my at-home project isn’t exactly rocket science either.

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But it is fun, so I’m happy. I’ve still got a healthy chunk of knitting ahead of me, but I’m really hoping I’ll have this completed by early next week.

Christine asked:

Do you have a fool-proof method for joining balls? I’ve knit with an alpaca/silk blend that I was able to splice but I’ve yet to knit with 100% silk.

What I am doing on the Handsome Triangle is holding the new yarn with the old and knitting with both strands for several stitches before dropping the old yarn. After blocking, I’ll trim the ends I’ve left hanging.

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Because the yarn is fairly lightweight, this works well. This is how I usually join in new yarn for lace. I’m not a fan of splicing, particularly because I am such an aggressive blocker (grrrrrrr!) — I would trust the splice to hold through the blocking.

Office Hijinks

All this week I’ve noticed a peculiar aroma in the office. (Insert ominous music here.) When I went into work this morning, the stink was overwhelming. A coworker and I did some investigating and found it was coming from the a/c unit in my office. Charming, no? I called building maintenance and the head guy came up and agreed with me — in fact, he sorta recoiled when he approached the a/c unit. He agreed with our assessment that there was SOMETHING VERY DEAD IN THERE. He said building engineers would be coming up within the hour and taking the unit apart. Ew! Ew! Ew! Engineers had not shown up as of 12:30pm, so I left the office because I am not a fan of the huge stink and it was making me feel rather ill.

My next-door coworker phoned me a little while ago to tell me the engineers had finally arrived. Apparently there was not a decomposing body in the a/c, rather the insulation material inside the unit was completely rotted and disgusting and reeking. And we’ve been breathing in particles of that for several months. No wonder we’ve both had ongoing respiratory problems since we moved back into this office. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t prefer a dead rat — at least it’s organic. But anyway, say it with me:

Eeeeeeewwwwwww!

Book Giveaway!

This week it’s not a mystery, but a work of Chick Lit: Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik.

L-B bought this copy, read it, and sent it on to me to read and give away when I was done. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was great fun and lighthearted, but at the same time had some serious undertones. The characters were quite likeable and I felt pleased and satisfied with the somewhat predictable ending. War and Peace it ain’t, but it was a sweet story and heaps of fun. That adds up to perfect summer reading in my book.

Want it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday June 17, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient.

Lucy Sez

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“I will not divulge the secrets of the sock yarn stash, no matter how tempting the bribe!”

Socks and Silk

Yeah, like I said yesterday, this pair of socks is going to be completed well before the start of the Summer of Socks on June 21.

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To recap, these socks were knitted in my Sportweight Toe-up Gusset Heel Sock pattern (pdf) in Cider Moon Glacier sportweight merino wool, in the Wildwood colorway, on 2.75mm needles.

Do I have time to get another quick pair of socks in before June 21. Well, yeah, probably. Am I gonna? Well, no. Why? don’t wanna.

I think I’m going to work on something using this:

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This is 350 meters of lovely, lovely hand-dyed silk from Solveig at Solsilke — where I got my Bohus kits. I’ve had this skein since December 2005, so this is truly stash yarn. It never made it into the stash room, though. It has been living in a bowl in my living room where I can see it every day and take it out and fondle it from time to time. I think it is high time that it fulfill its destiny, don’t you?

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So what’s it going to be? Wanna hazard a guess? I’ll give you a hint . . . think lace!

I’m still working on the Handsome Triangle, speaking of lace. Fifty more rows . . .

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Sock Questions

Jenneke asked, about socks:

Do you usually work on one pair at a time?

I usually do, but perhaps for the Summer of Socks I’ll work on two pair at a time — a complicated pattern for “at home” and an easier one for the road.

I’m thinking that I’ll use the Summer of Socks as an excuse to expand my horizons — make some socks and employ some techniques that I usually don’t consider because socks are always my easy commuter knitting. Then again, I may wimp out and knit a bunch of plain toe-up socks. You just never know . . .

Carol asked:

Does the season/weather influence what colorway you want to work with? Or does it just sometimes rain yarns and fibers?

I am all over the map when it comes to colorways in sock yarn. As far as I’m concerned, anything goes! Some of my socks are knit for other people so they don’t need to be in colors I “like.” While I do stick to certain color palettes for clothes for myself (for example, when I wear grey I look dead so I almost never wear grey — unless I want to look dead, of course), but I will break all the rules for socks.

A couple of you were concerned that the sock yarn I posted about yesterday would not be enough to keep me in sock knitting for the entirety of the Summer of Socks. Now, you didn’t really think that’s the only sock yarn I have did you?

Lucy sez

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“I know how much sock yarn Momma has! But she doesn’t like for me to play with any of it. What’s wrong with her?”

Socks and Sock Yarn and Other Stuff

Yes, it might have been a little mean of me to mention the Summer of Socks yesterday, considering that sign-ups to join were closed on May 26. But in my defense, I blogged about it when I first found out about it, on May 2nd. That’ll teach you “skimmers” not to pay attention. icon wink Socks and Sock Yarn and Other Stuff

New Sock Yarn

I got a bunch of sock yarn in the mail yesterday. It was like Christmas and birthday rolled into one chez WendyKnits. First up:

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This is merino wool sock yarn from The Knittery, in the Passionfruit colorway. I won this skein of sock yarn in a contest over at Black Dog Knits. (If you have never visited, go there now — lovely photography!) I got to select any colorway of this yummy yarn from those available at The Knittery and the Passionfruit colorway called out to me.

Next up in the great cavalcade of sock yarns . . .

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Zen String Serendipity fingering weight. OMG! OMG! I bought some of the sportweight when it was first offered at The Loopy Ewe and love it. Last week Sheri put up some fingering weight for sale (yeah, it’s sold out now, thanks to people like me). The colorways are “Jamie” and “Ochoco.”

Another from my Loopy order:

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A new sock yarn from Cherry Tree Hill — SockItToMe. (If you are old enough to remember Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, you may commence giggling in a nostalgic manner now.) This colorway is called “Misty Moor.” The yarn is 80% merino wool and 20% nylon. It’s got a lovely squishy feel to it.

More Loopy yarn . . .

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Merino/silk blend from the lovely Heather at All Things Heather. The colorway is “Passion.”

Even more Loopy yarn . . .

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Claudia Handpainted — one of my very favorite sock yarns, in a glorious colorway called “Teal Party.”

So, I think I’m all set for the Summer of Socks, don’t you?

Speaking of socks, here is the second Cider Moon sock.

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I’ll have this finished well before the June 21 start date for the Summer of Socks. But I don’t want to start a new pair until the start date — don’t want to be in the middle of a pair at the start — that would never do, now would it? So I must find something else to occupy my train-knitting time until then.

A Plug for Ravelry

By now y’all have heard about Ravelry — some of you have been beta testers since the get-go, others of you have just received your invitation to join, and others of you are waiting for your invitations. (If you wanna join, you need to go add your name to the list. Click on the link above to go do that.)

Anyhow. If you are Ravelry-ing away and are enjoying it, please consider donating to help defray the costs of running the whole operation. There’s a link from the main page after you log-in to a page where you can donate. (No, I am not affiliated with Ravelry, nor did Casey and Jess ask me to mention this. I discovered the donate link at my last log-in and think it’s a good idea for the community to chip in to help keep things running. Heck, even a dollar or two will help!)

New Photo Coolness Question

About the new plug-in that Knotty Daisy installed to make the Flickr photos display in a pop-up when clicked upon, Cathy-Cate commented:

And I don’t know what magic Daisy wrought, but I can now see photos at work (without clicking) despite Flickr being blocked. . . .they’re smaller but totally fine! Awesome!
Thanks, Daisy!

Interesting! Are any of you others who have Flickr blocked experiencing this same thing now? Or did Cathy-Cate’s Flickr become unblocked at her workplace without her knowing it? icon smile Socks and Sock Yarn and Other Stuff

Q & A

Q: What is Lucy sitting on?

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A: That would be the sock I completed yesterday.

One Sock Down

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You gotta love sportweight sock yarn. Speedy socks!

And I am particularly besotted with this particular sportweight sock yarn — Cider Moon “Glacier.” What yummy yarn. I’m so glad I acquired *cough* several skeins of it when it was first offered at The Loopy Ewe. I recently snagged a skein of their fingering weight “Icicle” yarn as well.

The sock you see above was knitting with just an ootch shy of half a 110 gram skein of the yarn. Well, they said it was 110 grams, mine weighted 114 grams. I split the skein in half and started knitting. For reference, I wear a US women’s 8.5 shoe, so that’s a decent size sock from half a skein, or 125 yards or so.

I used my generic gusset heel sock pattern for sportweight yarn — available here (pdf format).

And I’m working on the second sock.

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After I complete this pair, I think there will be a sock moratorium until June 21, which is the start of the Summer of Socks. Then I can start fresh with a new pair then. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a pair of socks at the start of the Summer of Socks, now would I? Huh?

New Photo Coolness

A couple of you mentioned in the comments and in emails that you like the new photo coolness with my Flickr photos posted on this here blog. (If you are one of the unfortunate few who have Flickr blocked, just move along and pretend you don’t see this.) My web guru, Knotty Daisy, installed a little doo-hickey on the blog that makes it when you click on one of the Flickr photos, a window pops up with a larger photo, and the blog greys out in the background. Way cool, no?

The Handsome Triangle

Onward I slog, stitch by stitch.

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More Coolness

I got my first order of Moo Cards! Here they are, front and back:

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Lucy Sez:

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“Who is that drop-dead gorgeous kitty on Momma’s Moo cards?”

Stitch Markers I Have Known and Loved

There were a number of comments about stitch markers after my last blog post — including some good ideas for using other things as stitch markers. Here are a couple of those:

From Beverly:

I have a great solution for small stitch markers. (I may have heard this on Knitty Gritty…not sure) What I do is take different colored straws from various fast food places and cut them into little thin rings. One straw makes egads of stitch markers and if you lose them, who cares! They’re cheap, right? I love using them to mark the beginning of a round on socks or to show where the instep stitches are.

From Gayle:

I have another small stitch marker suggestion. Tiny rubbery hair elastics that you can buy from the haircare section make wonderful stitch markers. They come many to a package for less than $5USD and there are lots of colors. You can buy them in many sizes but I like the tiny ones for little girls’ little braids. They are rubbery enough to be a little less slippery, you can color code with them and they work on small needles. I carry them in a little tin. I used them while I was knitting my Clapotis and my dentist asked if they were bands for braces when I was knitting in her office!

Both excellent ideas, no?

While I love cute stitch markers, I don’t use them in my knitting. I find them somehow distracting. But I think they are little works of art and I love having them. Like these:

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These were a gift from a friend and I love them. I also love these:

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Teeny little Ragdolls! These were purchased from the Wee Ones Etsy shop.
What do I use in my knitting?

My first stitch markers were thin hard plastic ones. I believe they were made by Susan Bates.

Then I got the little red rubber rings.

I bought some sterling silver jumprings for truly elegant plain stitch markers.

I’ve got some of the little latchie jobbers from Clover, but I never use them as stitch markers — I use them to loosely join pieces of knitting when I’m seaming.

My most recent stitch marker acquisition — the green and purple ones made by Clover (and thanks to Margaret for turning me on to them). They are my current favorites.

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Socks!

New sock on the needles:

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This is Cider Moon Glacier (sport weight) sock yarn — it’s in the “Wildwood” colorway. I’m using a size 2 (2.75mm) needle and getting 6.5 stitches and 9 rows to the inch. Sportweight socks go nice and fast after knitting a fingeringh weight pair, I must say.

About sock heels, SallyA asked:

Is the slip stitch heel the same as the eye of partridge heel? If not, what’s different?

They are similar, but not the same. The slip stitch heel has you slip the same stitch on every right-side row so you get little columns if slipped stitches, while the eye of partridge heel has you slip alternate stitches on every right side row, so you get a checkerboard effect with the slipped stitches.

Speaking of the slip stitch heel, the Camouflage socks have been worn and approved by the KOARC.

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In other news, I’m still working on the Handsome Triangle.

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I’ve made a lot of progress over the weekend — there are 72 rows to go. But they are long rows!

In the Book Giveaway, Laura S. was chosen by the random number generator. Laura, I’ve emailed you.

And Lucy is still hamming it up for the camera!

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