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.

Twofer

This morning when I shoved my money in the Coke machine for my morning caffeine, it spat out two cans of Diet Coke. Don’t you just love getting a twofer?

Of course, there are times when I shove my money in the machine, it swallows it, and sullenly refuses to give me my soda, so I’m thinking it all evens out in the end.

But I am all about the twofer. (Remember that, it will come up later in this blog post.)

Here is my new sock-in-progress:

sip043009 240x160 Twofer

I am calling this design “Bluebell Socks” because the stitch pattern is called Bluebell Rib. Creative of me, no?

It’s another relatively simple design, like the Honeycomb Socks. And the pattern repeat is the same number of stitches and rounds as the honeycomb pattern. Which leads me to the second twofer of this post. I’m going to combine the Honeycomb Socks and the Bluebell Socks into one pattern and call if “Twofer Socks” — two patterns for the price of one. Because the two stitch patterns have identically sized charts, you can use the same pattern and plug in the chart you want to use.

Lucky Lucy Giveaway

I invoked the power of the Random Number Generator and in its wisdom, it has selected Diane to receive the skein of Tempted Good Grrl sock yarn in the Lucky Lucy colorway. Thanks again to Stacy for donating this skein for the giveaway. And thank you to everyone who left a comment.

Lucy Sez

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“When I read that I thought for a moment that Momma was gonna give me away!”

Gotta Love Handpaints

The Honeycomb Socks are done.

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Notice the difference between the two?

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Yeah, different striping patterns. You gotta love those handpainted yarns! The two skeins I used for these socks (Claudia Handpainted in the “Pink Cloud” colorway) were purchased at the same time, from the same dyelot, and looked identical in the skein. Weird, huh?

So, anyway, I started another sock, using this:

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This gorgeous stuff is from Alyson — The YoYo String and Fluff fingering weight sock yarn. Alyson dyes the most incredible semi-solids. This colorway is called “Masking Envy” and it is a lovely teal, with a lot of depth to it that my photo can’t capture. You’ll have to trust me on this.

(Psst! You can buy this yarn from The Loopy Ewe!

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Speaking of gorgeous yarn . . .

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This is from Numma Numma, and it is fingering weight sock yarn in her new base “The Usual.” (Don’t remember the name of the colorway . . . ) I was whining to Allen at the Spring Fling about how I missed buying any of her new yarn in the last Loopy Ewe shop update and she very kindly gave me the skein she had brought to the Fling to practice on in class. Soon, my pretty, I shall be knitting you . . .

And even more gorgeous yarn . . .

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This is fingering weight sock yarn from Enchanted Knoll Farm in the “Athelas” colorway, given to me by the amazing Josette at the Spring Fling. Isn’t it just lovely? Another one to add to the queue of “must knit up soon” yarns. This yarn is also available at [the Loopy Ewe].

I will pause now so that you may wipe the drool off your monitors . . .

Ew — Errata

Sadly, we’ve identified a few errors in Socks From the Toe Up — two very minor ones, and one in a chart. I’ve created an errata page, which is available from the “Free Patterns” tab, as well as being linked over in the left sidebar. Sorry about the boo-boos, guys!

Lucy Sez . . .

lucy042909 240x162 Gotta Love Handpaints

“Whazzup??!!”

Little Loopy Is Not a Monkey!

Poor crocheted Little Loopy! Several of you saw the pic of him in my blog post yesterday and thought he was a monkey! He’s been very upset, but I managed to calm him down a little.

Crocheted Little Loopy is special. The Malabrigo people crocheted a few and sent them to Sheri. How cool is that? She very kindly gave each of the Spring Fling teachers one, and gave away the other two or three as door prizes. So no, he is not available, nor is there a pattern for him.

Knitting Update

I’m coming down the home stretch on my current project. Here is the first sock:

honeycomb042709 131x240 Little Loopy Is Not a Monkey!

Here is the second sock:

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Tune in tomorrow for a pic of the yarn for my next sock project, plus some sock yarn eye candy!

Hair Update

Yep, I’m still washing my hair with Chaz Dean WEN conditioner. Yep, I’m still henna-ing. My hair grows about one-half an inch every month so I re-henna once a month. Rather than just do the roots, I’ve been doing a full application of two parts henna to one part indigo. That’s why my color has deepened. In fact, there were some people at the Fling who did not recognize me right away with dark hair. Heh. I like being incognito.

Online Tupperware Par-tay!

Reader Amanda emailed me the following:

May 12th is the National Fibromyalgia Day of Awareness. I was diagnosed when I was only 20 years old and it felt like a death sentence. I was 20, but I felt like I was 90. I wanted to live like a 20-year-old, but I couldn’t. I had limitations that I HATED! I still have limitations, but thanks to the research that the National Fibromyalgia Association helps to fund I can live a much fuller life today than I did ten years ago. I can do things like knit every day now, when before I wasn’t able to and that’s huge for me, as I’m sure you understand.

Plus, there’s more understanding of what Fibromyalgia is and so my life isn’t as lonely as it used to be and that helps tremendously!

In honor of National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day I’m hosting an online Tupperware party with all proceeds going to support the work that the NFA does to help those who suffer from this chronic pain disorder. For each piece of Tupperware that is purchased the buyer will be entered into a drawing for a Loopy Ewe gift certificate.

Here is the link to my blog posting: http://craftymands.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/national-fibromyalgia-day-of-awareness-may-12th-shop-for-a-cause/

Can you use some Tupperware? Please consider ordering from Amanda here. Remember, the party ends May 10.

Lucy Sez

I’m loving the toys that my BFF Pat gave my Momma to give to me! Thank you, Pat!

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lucy042809b 240x199 Little Loopy Is Not a Monkey!

lucy042809c 240x179 Little Loopy Is Not a Monkey!

Post Fling Post

I returned home from The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling late yesterday afternoon.

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I’ll tell you up front — I never took my camera out of my bag. Yes, I am lame. icon wink Post Fling Post

I was too busy — teaching classes, catching up with old friends and meeting new friends, and basically having fun.

Here’s a blurry pic of me and Irish Diva Kate:

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Why are we blurry? I’m clinging to Kate for dear life. And why am I clinging to Kate for dear life?

Because I am wearing her Steve Madden platform pumps with the 5″ heels.

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My feet still aren’t sure what that was about . . .

Tempted Stacy was there, and I was so happy to be able to spend some time with her. And guess what? She gave me a skein of Lucky Lucy (the yarn I used for my Sprucey Lucy socks — pattern is on my free patterns page) to give away!

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Would you like it? Leave a comment to this post by 4:00pm Eastern time on Thursday, April 30 and the Random Number Generator will choose a recipient!

Speaking of Lucy . . .

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She’s happy to have her Momma home.

Gauge

Reader Deinera asked:

I have a totally random question that I’m not sure you’ll have an answer to, but I figure why not ask the expert anyway.

So almost all of your patterns call for size 0 to get the 8 stitches per inch. What I’m curious about is I really like 1.5 and even 2 (sometimes, depending on the yarn) and I can often get 8.5 – 9 stitches per inch. Am I just knitting too tightly? Why this crazy discrepancy in gauge?

I’m asking mostly because some of the lacier socks I’m scared to try because I’m afraid they won’t turn out right if the gauge is wrong.

This is a great question. Gauge: one of the great mysteries of knitting.

Why the discrepancy in gauge? Because everyone is different.

I consistently get 8 sts/inch with a U.S. size 0 (2mm) needle. But that will not necessarily be true for you. You may get 8 sts/inch on a 1.5 or 2 or 3, depending on your knitting style and how tight a knitter you are.

The needle size stated in knitting patterns should always be considered a suggestion, a starting point, for you to figure out your own correct needle size to get gauge. In my sock patterns, the gauge is always measured over stockinette stitch, so if the yarn is new to you, knit a swatch of it in stockinette. If you know you usually need a needle larger than a 0, start with that larger needle. Once you figure out what size needle you need to get that gauge, you are good to go. If it is a sock yarn you’ve used before and you know what size needle you need to get gauge, just use that needle.

If you always use a size 1 needle to get 8 sts/inch, by all means, that’s the needle you will want to use for your sock.

I may be weird, but I consistently get 8 sts/inch in stockinette stitch with all fingering weight sock yarns, although they may vary somewhat in thickness and loft. I think this is because I subconsciously adjust my tension to suit the yarn I’m using. Well, I know I’m weird, because I always could get gauge with the suggested needle size on Alice Starmore patterns (as L-B reminded me last weekend) and I think I’m in the minority there.

Here’s my current sock-in-progress, which I have decided to call “Honeycomb” because I think it looks like . . . wait for it . . . a honeycomb.

sip042209 240x160 Gauge

Alrighty then. I’m off to St. Louis in the morning and will be back Sunday afternoon. Talk to you all then.

Lucy sez: “A weekend of alone-time with my daddy! Must start primping now!”

lucy042209 240x177 Gauge