My current work in progress:

The Throwback by Andrea Mowry, knit from Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Worsted and Spincycle Yarns Dream State, using 4.5mm and 5mm needles.

Remember These Socks?

plank061608 178x240 Remember These Socks?

The formerly unnamed socks pictured above are now called Walk the Plank Socks. The pattern is now available for sale from the Sanguine Gryphon’s etsy shop.

Oh, and the Swan Song Socks pattern is now available as a freebie download from The Loopy Ewe’s free pattern page.

In current knitting, here is an artsy photo of my Nanner Sock in progress.

nanner061608 240x180 Remember These Socks?

It poses gracefully on my desk to show off its heel in progress.

heel061608 240x180 Remember These Socks?

Show-off. 😉

For those who asked, this sock pattern will not be made available to the public. It’s a freebie I doodled up for my Plurk buddies. Sorry!

Here’s what it looked like outside my window as I arrived home from work:

storm061608 240x160 Remember These Socks?

And here’s what Lucy looked like moments ago:

lucy061608 240x160 Remember These Socks?

A New Week

I am pleased to welcome a new week because last week was not a stellar one. After what I suspect was a case of salmonella, intense heat and humidity, work and computer issues, power outages and fires in DC, and a cable outage for me at home, I’m hoping for a calmer week ahead!

What I did this weekend:

I Plurked:

plurk061508 240x186 A New Week

I started a new sock:

lucyandnanners061508 240x160 A New Week

This is the first Nanner sock, a pattern I designed for my Plurk-buds and me. You kinda sorta have to be on Plurk to understand the significance of nanners (bananas), so I won’t bore you with the story here. But it is an easy lace pattern that I’m knitting in Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in the Butter Peeps colorway on 2mm needles.

Because it is easy lace, I do not need Golden Boy to keep track of my rows, so he is resting quietly.

I was startled by a Freddy Krueger-like character last night:

scary061508 240x199 A New Week

And that pretty much sums things up!

Lucy sez:

lucy061508 240x192 A New Week

“Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!”

Golden Boy

Today I would like to show you my most precious possession:

gb061208 240x164 Golden Boy

I call him Golden Boy.*

Golden Boy may look like an ordinary barrel-style row counter to you, but he is so much more. So much more. For he is a barrel-style row counter that works. And works well.

gb061208a 240x160 Golden Boy

When I advance his numbers, they move well, but with the merest whisper of resistance. Enough resistance to ensure that the numbers do not change when you shove Golden Boy and your work in progress into your knitting bag. But he is not so stiff that it is difficult to change his numbers. He is the perfect blend of resistance and ease.

But Golden Boy is dying.

Every time I turn a number my heart aches a little, because I know that with each turn, his mechanism is wearing out just a little bit more. I treat him gently and with respect, but I know it is not enough. Someday, Golden Boy will die.

gb061208b 240x170 Golden Boy

Because I am a fickle woman, I have sought to replace Golden Boy. I’ve bought countless barrel-style row counters, but none of them come close to Golden Boy’s smooth elegance. They are all either unyielding or too loose. I’ve tried to use katcha-katcha counters, but am annoyed because it is not attached to my knitting. Golden Boy fits perfectly on the small stitch-holder that has been his home lo, these many years.

gb061208c 240x160 Golden Boy

Sigh . . . I will miss Golden Boy when he finally gives up on life.

Oh yeah. I finished the first of the Ivy League socks last night.

ivy061208 160x240 Golden Boy

Lucy Sez:

lucy061208 240x186 Golden Boy

“Sometimes my momma worries me.”

*with apologies to Jerry Seinfeld

A Book Review

(Blog post delayed a few hours due to internet outage!)

A couple of days ago I got in the mail my (autographed!) copy of The Eclectic Sole by Janel Laidman. It’s newly published — I had pre-ordered it from the author’s website (she self-published) but the link on the title there is to Your choice. 🙂

20080612 2 204x240 A Book Review

This is a book of sock patterns, in case you hadn’t guessed. It is one of the nicer self-published books I have seen — clearly written and nicely organized. There are 14 sock patterns in the book. Each pattern is accompanied by lovely clear photos of the sock that let you see all the details you wanna see.

The socks range from easy to challenging and from traditional to very funky. The construction is mostly top-down, with three toe-up patterns and two knit with a sideways construction. There are several different heel and toe constructions. There is lace, texture, and colorwork. The patterns are all very pretty, and there is a nice techniques section at the back of the book. The charts are large and clear and look easy to follow. I’d say this book is well worth its cover price of $23.95 and deserves a spot in any dedicated sock knitter’s library.

That’s my two cents worth. 🙂

20080612 3 240x160 A Book Review

I am coming down the home stretch on the first Ivy League sock. I’ve really enjoyed knitting this first sock. So much so, that I’m actually looking forward to knitting the second sock. Yeah, get me. I think the reason for that is a combination of loving the yarn and being entertained by the pattern. Gotta love that, right?

20080612 1 240x124 A Book Review

Lucy thanks all of you who voted for her LOLCat photo. She has delusions of grandeur.

Code Orange Day

Yes boys and girls, the air quality was down to Code Orange today as our knitter bravely plodded in to work. At 5:00am it was over 80 degrees and very humid. Nuttiness!

But I did make some progress on the Ivy League Sock. Houston, we have a heel:

ivyheel061008 240x160 Code Orange Day

This sock is just so minty fresh! 😀

ivy061008 240x160 Code Orange Day

Nadine commented:

I really like your new sock. I am coming out of lurking just to ask you “pretty please” to do the pattern in the small also. I wear a size 7AAA and most designers only seem to do them for med width or larger. Although I can adjust the length, I am not experienced enough doing socks to adjust the numbers for the width. That said, I have all your available patterns and I did notice that some of them have the small size, so I will be doing those first. I’m hoping to use them for Summer of Socks. Thanks for hearing me out.

The Ivy League Socks pattern will indeed be written to accommodate a size small.

I do try to make my patterns work for a number of sizes, but it is not always possible. Sometimes you can only stretch the stitch pattern so much or shrink it down so much to work in a wide range of sizes. For my “for sale” patterns I always do at least 2 sizes, and try to do 3 sizes whenever possible. So I’m thinking about (and trying not to envy) you slim-footed people.

Speaking of feet, check out my new shoes:

sketchers060908 240x190 Code Orange Day

These are Sketchers shoes in the “Cali” style. They are plastic or rubber or whatever, but are nicely ventilated so the tootsies will not get too hot.

MarjiB commented

Speak to me of superwash wool, O Wise Woman of Knitting. I have only knit with it once and that was a gift scarf. People speak of it growing and/or shrinking once you have washed and/or dried it. It can’t do both at the same time, can it? Is it magic or horrible? Is it from the Twilight Zone that it can change sizes? Don’t you treat it like any other wool? The only thing I noticed when I used it is that it felt like acrylic while I worked with it and then felt like wool after I blocked it. What am I missing?

Well, there is superwash and there is superwash. When was the last time you knit with it? I think it has been improved a lot over recent years. The first superwash I tried a few years ago was so acrylic-y feeling it almost squeaked on the needles.

The superwash sock yarn that is available now is awesome. At least the superwash sock yarn with which I’ve come in contact. What do you all think?

Here is Lucy, striking a seductive pose!

lucy060908a 195x240 Code Orange Day

Isn’t she a classic beauty? But her secret is that she wants to be an LOLCat. She’d like you to vote for her LOL pic!