Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On a Cat Bordhi Roll...

I hope all of you are aware of Cat Bordhi's newest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One. I am in love with this book, and all that it implies. Cat's genius has led her to an amazing fact - that socks can fit beautifully with infinitely varying structures. I fully plan to explore the possibilities of this at some time when I have no deadline knitting in sight, unlike the present!

But for now, I am having a great time with some of my favorite sock patterns from the book...

The Slip Stitch Rings sock (Cedar Architecture): my version is done in two colorways of koigu, one handpainted and one semi-solid.

The Cables and Corrugations sock (Riverbed Architecture): my version is done in Nature's Palette yarn in the walnut colorway.

The Tibetan Sock (Coriolis Architecture): my version is done in Koigu Kersti, which knits up at a perfect 7 stitches per inch and sure makes a beautiful sock.

The Coriolis master sock: my version is done in Indigo Moon fingering weight sock yarn, available at Three Bags Full Yarn Shop.

The Hearth and Home Eyelet Sock (Ridgeline Architecture): my version is done in Cascade 220 Handpaints.

The Ocean Toes sock (Cedar Architecture): my version is done in Mountain Colors Weavers Wool in ladyslipper. Yum. You can also see this sock in the book.

The Milkmaid Stocking (Upstream Architecture): my wonderfully decadent version is done in Blue Sky alpaca & silk. Mmmmm. Unfortunately, no picture but you can see it in the book on page 76.

Needless to say, the fit of these extraordinary socks is exquisite and *huggy*. I hope all of you can experience this firsthand sometime soon. And do check out Cat's videos on YouTube.

I love these socks and I can't seem to get enough of them. Anyone else on a Cat roll?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back to the Woods

Remember the Norwegian Woods shawl? I forgive you if you don't. It was a long time ago that I posted a swatch and promised more... but didn't deliver. Bad, bad me. Here is a recap of that swatch.

Since the Moonshadow came off the needles (and thank all of you very much for such a great response since it has been out!), I have resuscitated the Norwegian Woods. It is in an intermediate-but-getting-close-to-the-end stage - you know that stage when you are getting a bit tired of knitting but a bit excited to get to the end and block it all out to see what you've got?

So, hoping to kill (stun? much better word in my estimation) two birds with one stone, and also as it happens, needing a lace thing with which to demonstrate blocking to my beginning lace knitting class at Three Bags Full last night, I put the delicate live stitches of the Norwegian Woods shawl-so-far on holding strings and blocked it.

Notice how the pooling in the center section looks like shifting sands? I love that. And the lace pattern is so birch-like somehow. Ivory sea silk... what more need I say?

The picked-up edges have a bit of a wave due to the sinuous waving lace that emerges from them. I like that too.
The initial square piece, which began with a provisional cast on, flows seamlessly into the waving lace pattern. I really, really like that part.

In case you were wondering, the shawl has a little ways to go before it is really finished. There are two more lace patterns yet to be added (the swatch has been expanded). The good news is that in the process of doing this big-in-the-round knitting, I found a great method for doing big-in-the-round projects that is actually making this a fun knit. When I put the shawl back on the needles, I will share that with you along with some pictures.

I thought some of you might like to see how I use string or sometimes fishing line to block long straight edges, so I have a picture of that process too.

If I were going to block a bound off edge, the string (in this case, sturdy dk-weight mercerized cotton yarn) would be passed through the outermost row of bound-off stitches with a yarn needle. Here you see live stitches with stitch markers still in place so don't be confused. After you put the string through the edge stitches, tension is put onto the string by tying each end to a pin which is deeply dug into the blocking surface (in this case, a really ugly carpet). With tension in place, it is an easy thing to put a few pins down the line to make sure everything is square and straight, and bob's your uncle. This is a nice way to block long, long edges, and I seem to like it better than using wires (which I love for shorter edges).

Some of you might remember the discussion about whether this design should be a square or a triangle? Well, the squares seem to have won, but that's just for now. I have decided that the triangle idea deserves equal attention, and I already have the yarn... vermilion malabrigo lace yarn. Yum. Test knitting, anyone????

To celebrate, I got a new Lantern Moon knitting basket and I love it so much. This will now hold my back and forth projects safely, and it is a huge improvement on the open shopping bag I used before (I know... horrors!) Here is the new basket, which doubles as a Mooshie play environment. He particularly likes it when his daddy makes it into an elevator. Going down:

Going up:
Ain't we got fun?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It’s Out!

Happy birthing on a suitably gray, rainy day, Moonshadow! Pictures courtesy of the very talented guerrila photographer, Yee Jee Tso and the Three Bags Full yarn shop.

The top two pictures are the color correct ones. The yarn is Leili from Liisu yarns in the Moonshadow colorway. If you haven't heard of this gorgeous mohair/wool blend fingering weight yarn yet, you should seek it out. It is soft, strong, and behaves beautifully with lace and beads. Liisu yarns only sells wholesale, but you can find her beautiful yarn sold here, here, and here. Hopefully, all will have kits of this stole available soon.

Beads, as usual, are from Earth Faire. I used frosted crystal megatamas for this one. Drooling yet?

For now, you can find the pattern for sale here in both print and pdf formats. Happy, happy knitting to all...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Moonshadow Up Close

Coming very, very soon.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, all you wonderful Canucks!