Another secret revealed!

Having these test / sample knitting projects makes for great blog material. Yesterday I told you about my Sock Love. Today I get to share a bit of lace. At the end of the summer I started working on a sample knit for Nelkin Designs – a doily-turned-blanket sort of sample, Centrino. I think I hinted at it here and there – the super secret project, the white project of dooooooom…except not really. I liked knitting this – I did find it to be addictive and satisfying to work on! One of the best parts was the blocking! From blob to BOOM!
I used the full-sized mattress in the guest bedroom and every singe pin I could find. Magical!

Over the railing in my hallway.

Obligatory couch shot?

I found myself stuck for better ideas for styling / photographing this item – tricky too because I didn’t dare let the Lorax or Jackson near it 🙂 I love this photo that Laura has of it:
(borrowed with permission!)

Happy sigh – I’m really proud of that knit. As it was a sample, it’s not mine to keep, but I will certainly think about knitting this again at some point.

Sock Love

I love knitting socks. An outside observer might think otherwise, given that there hasn’t been a sock on my needles since September. And the fact that there are several mate-less socks in a drawer patiently waiting for their match to be made. Socks are a great way to splurge on nice yarn ($24 or so for a nice handpainted yarn, 400 yards or so, enough for a project!) and depending on your taste in patterns can provide a nice knitting challenge – just when you get really sick of one part, there is a new part to complete – cuff to leg to heel to foot to toes. Or the other way around, if you like toe-ups!

Back in June I had the opportunity to be a test knitter for Cookie A. – one of my favorite sock designers – for her new book. I finished one sock (all that was required for the testing) in 5 days!! I knit as fast as my knitting needles would go and I did it! I love this sock. I would love to wear the pair, so I really should get going on the second one, and eventually I will. Now that the book is finally available for pre-orders, I can share with you, Cusp:
Cusp #1
The yarn is Alchemy Juniper in “Turquoise Pool” that I picked up during Team VA Weekend last year. A dream to knit with.

I have pre-ordered my copy of Knit. Sock. Love. – I will probably take it to my local copy shop and have them change the binding to a spiral one – makes the book lay nice and flat. I did that with Cookie A’s other book, “Sock Innovation” (which I still dream of working my way through. A Julie/Julia thing.) There’s a nice post comparing both sock books, FYI. Now I want to knit socks. But, they have to get in line behind a test knit in progress, a sweater for me, a few holiday gifts and a scarf!

Somebody will wear my handknits!

Almost by surprise, the weather has turned windy and cool – very fall like, and we knew (and hoped) it was coming, but somehow it is a shock to the system. The heat is on and I have been pulling out my handknits to wear – I love to layer with the scarves and shawls-as-scarves. I’ve posted many times about how the Lorax absolutely refuses to wear pretty much anything I knit for her, so my most recent knitting accomplishment has been for Jackson. I usually pop his cowl on him, but figured it was time to make him something new. Behold, the Wurstwarmer!
Camera Shy
Someone is camera shy, or possible just ticked off. I used Sirdar Snuggly DK for most of the sweater – it was less than a full ball, when it was used up the last two inches or so are knit with Berroco Comfort DK. Both machine washable acrylic blends.

This is a great pattern. Obviously, the designer totally *gets* dachshunds and what odd little creatures they can be. I really appreciate how the pattern guided me through several measurements and then options as well relating to peculiarities of your dog: male / female, harness opening, to cover their little bum or not. This sweater stays on him pretty well – he was able to step out of it after doing a “squirrel” trick – his little legs fold up and then they are tucked into the sweater. If I knit this again, actual sleeves may help (a pattern option I opted out of) or casting off / on fewer stitches for the armhole opening.

The Lorax was helping me get Jackson to do his “squirrel” trick to take the photo. She is finally taller than the dog! Also, the Tinkerbell pajamas? A gift that her daddy picked up for her when they went out to the store while I was at Rhinebeck.

Dachshund sweater
Stay warm little doggie. And learn to love the handknits – I will be making this again!

Rhinebeck & Back Again

Not surprisingly, the weekend flew by – even more so because of Rhinebeck! I drove up on Saturday morning to pick up my sister-in-law and off we went to the festival. We had some goals in mind, and she was way more specific that I was. One of my goals was that I was actually going to speak up and say “Hi” to knitters that I know online – in each previous year I have chickened out and been shy.

I am quite proud of myself – I said “Hi” to quite a lot of people, old friends and new friends – it does seem so strange to feel like you know all these people, but I only really identify them with their username! We were on our way to get a lamb sandwich when we walked by the Rhinebeck Style spot Gale Zucker set up – and I saw a group of gals wearing a hat, just like mine! It was the Thursday night SnB crew – Wife, Mom, Knitter, Anphoe, jennsquared, Costumechick, BackstageKnits, Hedwigbc, & Alaina-Jane! I joined them for the group photos and I really am excited to see how they came out!

I also managed to run into and actually say hey to several people I’ve knit for – Laura (Schaefer Yarn), Amallen (Lorna’s Laces) & Knitgrrl – so that was really cool. On top of that, when I spotted Amallen, she was walking around with Ysolda – so I got to gush about her work and admire the new pieces for a bit. I also managed to find TammyG, Jesh, Librarysarie & baby, and The Painted Sheep!

After all that people watching and yarn fondling, what was my part of the haul? I surprised even myself.
One skein of Socks that Rock Silkie – Tlingit.
After carefully looking at all there was – I found that my favorite items were at vendors I bought from in the past, and still have not yet used that yarn. So I resisted. I was almost swayed by Sanguine Gryphon (OMG, that Bugga is amazing!) but I didn’t want to wait in a 45 minute line. I was also almost swayed by a beautiful raspberry-merlot lace (1200+yds for $20!) but I’m not planning to knit lace anytime soon. I’m blessed to have a pretty decent yarn stash, and I’ve got yarn “payment” headed my way. So I decided on the STR – there wasn’t a line really and it’s not something I can just pick up at the LYS. Likely this will be a shawl or scarf – I have another skein of silkie from when I was in the Rockin Sock Club – so maybe they will work together for something or just by itself like a Clapotis, Simple Things, or Trinity Shawlette

This is the start of a great several weeks of fiber that is somewhat local – Stitches East is next week (not sure if I’m going), the New England Fiber Festival is in a few weeks (very curious to check that out!) and then I’m going on the Knitter’s Review Retreat!