Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Firestarter Socks

Considering I am well into a new pair of socks and I just got my computer back from the "geniuses," why don't I share with you the story of The Firestarter?

Pattern: The Firestarter by Yarnissima.

Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Heather in Julia Child Colorway.

Needles: Knitpicks Harmony Double pointeds, US size 1.5 (2.5mm)

Pattern Review: The socks are knit toe-up with cables, a crazy gusset, and ribbing on the leg.

Knitting from the pattern was tricky at first, but after reading through it a few times, I was fine. It's a little complicated, but not impossible. It's not written quite like I'm used to, and the sock is totally original as well, which is pretty cool.

I especially love how the action happens on the side of the foot instead of the top. I also learned how to cable without a cable needle while making these socks, which saved a ton of time.

Modifications: One minor thing. After a few mishaps I was able to get a good gauge and I followed the pattern as written. I started to feel like the sock was getting too long, so I stopped doing the gusset increases a row or two early without incident. I have a narrow instep, and wasn't worried about the turn.

Yarn Review: I have blabbed on and on about Schaefer Heather many times already - I love it! It's a luxury yarn and a huge treat to knit. I'm happy to say I have yarn left over too.

Overall: Great socks! The only part I'm on the fence about it the extreme ribbing on the leg. These socks will certainly stay up, but the place where the ribbing starts forms a ridge. Not a big deal really.

And... I had some mistakes early on. I started on US size 2 (2.75mm) which turned out to be too big and the sock was too loose. I figured this out by the time I was turning the heel. (gasp!) I would have figured it out sooner but it was only slightly too big and I was in denial.

But, I am a pro. I frogged the sock like it was no big deal and cast on with smaller needles. I also carried over some panic about the fit and, preferring a snug sock over a loose one, skipped a cable repeat on the side of the foot.

When I turned the heel, the sock was now too short. After "laughing about it" a while, I frogged back to where I made the mistake and carried on.

By this point, I had basically knit a pair of these socks but only had half a foot to show for it. Thankfully I got over that quickly and cranked out a nice pair within the week.

The fit? Perfect!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Oh Dear

Reading about people's computer problems is really interesting... right?

Don't worry. I won't bore you. Except to say I can't exactly post as much as I wanted to because a day and a half after having the logic board replaced my computer really really died.

SO... Next week: Socks socks socks. One good story, one major disaster, and the most beautiful yarn I have ever seen. (Can you guess?) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Heather Chevron Socks

Yes! A new sock pattern - perfect for showing off your mad knitting skills!

This pattern has pictures and written instructions for you to make your own pair of chevron lace and drunken cable socks.


Pattern includes three sizes, women's small (7.5" foot circumference), medium (8") and large (8.5")

Yarn requirements: Schaefer Yarn Heather (55% Merino wool Superwash, 35% cultivated silk, 15% Nylon; 400 yards [365 m] / 4oz [113 g]), 1 (1, 1) skein. (Or any similar fingering weight yarn)

Skill group: Adventurous. This pattern is good for knitters already comfortable with knitting in the round. The socks are worked toe-up, with a short-row heel, a simple 8-row repeat of chevron lace up the front, reverse chevron pattern up the back, a staggered cable along the sides, and a sewn bind off.

Also available in my etsy shop.


Ravelry Downloads: (Immediate download)


Paypal: (After you buy the pattern, a PDF file will be emailed to you within 24 hours.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm not ignoring you

My computer is in the shop... still. I am on a borrowed one this morning.

What is the first thing I did when I got the borrowed computer?

Ravelry of course. I am an addict.

Anyway, this week I will get my computer back and then I will:

-Release a new pattern.

-Share the finished firestarter sock.

-Tell the story about working on this sock the day I encountered Clint Eastwood.

-"Bake" (buy) several pies.

-Start another pair of socks.

(Not in that order)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stash enhancement

I might as well tell you about another online yarn shop that I recently discovered... eat.sleep.knit.

Remember, once you know about something, you can't pretend you don't.

The shop is new, and during their first week of business, everything was 25% off so... yeah. Here is what I picked up:

From left to right: Schaefer Heather in greenjeans color, Claudia hand painted sportweight in John B color, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in african grey and loden. Soak wash in the corner, scent is called celebration.

And then I entered a contest on the shop owner's blog to guess the number of skeins they had in stock at that moment and somehow I WON! A free skein of Claudia Hand Paints sportweight in Summer Rose.

That is exactly the sort of contest I am particularly bad at. I approached this one a little smarter than the jellybean incident of 2005 (they all laughed at me!) but I won't bore you with strategy. I'm happy I won of course.

Why you might want to check out this store: if you sign up for the newsletter, you get 10% off all purchases this month. For every $200 you spend, you get $20 credit. The shop is cute and bright, with good photos. The order arrived quickly, with candy as a bonus. You are a yarnaholic and can't resist.

Oh wait, sorry, that's me. You are perfect.

In case you are wondering what celebration smells like I'll tell you it's nice. Like pomegranates.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Starting a firestarter

How about I introduce you to a great sock in progress?

I am on sock number one which I have knit and pulled out twice so I feel as though I am on sock number three, but really close in reality to finishing just one.

That said, I LOVE these socks! The pattern is uniquely original and I like how a lot of the action happens on the sides instead of the top.

What went wrong? The first time the sock was too big. Yes, I am fussy about sock fit. I frogged it all and cast on with smaller needles.

The second time I overcompensated and skipped a cable repeat which made the sock too short. I frogged back to the point where I made the error and started anew.

I have now turned the heel and the sock fits perfectly... Yay!

Pattern: The Firestarter by Yarnissima.
Yarn: Schaefer Heather in Julia Child color.
Needles: 2.5mm (US size 1) double pointed.

I must say I have a great story about one location where I did a few rows on this sock, and it sort of involves Clint Eastwood (!) but you'll have to wait a couple of days to read it.

I'm not trying to be a troublemaker, it's just that I want to tell the story properly and that will require a bit of editing first, you understand.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My new favorite yarn shop

Don't get me wrong, I love many online shops. Too many, probably. Like yarn, different shops are good for different things. That said, let me rave a bit about a great one: Sonny and Shear.

Obviously the name is fantastic. Their motto is "I got ewe, babe." Again, fantastic. I placed my first order with them at the end of October while they were having a big sale. See the pretty yarn?

My order shipped quickly, the yarn arrived all wrapped up with ribbon, and there were some bonus tea samples included in the package. I don't know if it's the yarn or what, but everything smells GREAT!

Sonny and Shear offer free shipping when you spend $40 and there are deals in their newsletter for more discounts and contests. After you spend $200 (they keep track) you get a $25 gift certificate for the shop. You can see why I'm raving now?

Let's talk about the stash enhancement. From left to right: Oceanwind Knits Merino fingering in colorway "Truffle," Dream in Color Smooshy in color "In Vino Veritas" and Mama Llama Sock II (a Sonny and Shear exclusive) in colorway "Vino." (see the theme yet?)

These are all yarns I've been wanting to try, and as soon as I do, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm still feeling clever and proud of myself for shopping in a theme and getting a good deal. I can't believe I am admitting any of this.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I've been busy

In the "Turn this cranky train around" department, I am going to raise the roof on you right now, so get ready.

I've been thinking about my being busy lately and how embracing it will probably be my best chance for survival. So let's get busy together, knitters!

I'd like to show off a new sock I designed in October, knit with Schaefer Yarn Heather in the Sophia Smith color: it's called...

I cannot think of a name! Suggestions welcome.

Okay fine, name to come. Pattern details to come. This is just a quick tease, and a chance for me to say get yourself some of this amazingly luxurious yarn if possible.

Exhibit B: Two Heather yarns pictured here, Julia Child and an unamed yet still loved blue one, begging to be snorgled.

Somehow, it's both strong and squishy soft, and it's my new current fave yarn to knit. Yum!

And for those worried that I am only coming up with new patterns for sale these days, I'd also like to mention that I will have a new FREE pattern available around the first of December...


(Deep breath) Thank you. This brings me to my point, let's knit the heck out of this fall and winter.

What are you waiting for? Grab some yarn, check out the Stitcher's Market and get your patterns published. Let's party!

Not into that? Get on Ravelry and search some patterns to try. Again, let's party! Snorgle your stash!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Paypal updated their buttons

...And now the Anne Diamond knee sock pattern can once again be purchased! I also listed them in etsy today, because etsy is just great that way. Joy!

Today I am in that great state of being where I have NO socks on the needles and I get to cast on.

Which yarn? Which pattern? Again, joy!

The funny part is that I have about 20 sock patterns in my queue. Not an easy decision...