Monday, October 30, 2006

The Sock Craze Continues!

Monday is becoming my favorite day of the week, since I get to post customer projects. It's such fun and so satisfying to see the wonderful things all of you are making with Fearless Fibers Yarn!

Today I have two pair of socks to share with you. The first were made by Elisa using Fearless Fibers Merino Wool Sock Yarn in Peppermint Pink. These are particularly interesting because they are crocheted rather than knit. I'd never seen crocheted socks before. Soooo cute and such a different twist on the handmade sock theme. I've had several other customers in the past couple of weeks mention that they are making crocheted socks. Perhaps a trend in the air?

The next pair to share with you today were made by Karen using Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Yarn in the Abundance colorway. This is the heavier weight superwash yarn that borders between a sock and sportweight. I don't classify this yarn as a "sock yarn" in my listing titles and categories, as I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking it's lighter weight than it really is, but the fact is that most customers do in fact use it to make socks. It makes a nice, heavier weight sock for the winter, such as these wonderful socks that Karen made. Great job, Karen!

The "Abundance" colorway is one I haven't made in a while, but these are so cute that perhaps I'll have to whip up another batch here in the near future.

A big THANK YOU to Elisa and Karen for sharing their work! I have two new projects lined up for showcasing next week and let me tell ... they are both AMAZING! I can hardly stop myself from just posting them right now, but then I might find myself without anything new for next week, so I guess I'll just have to be patient ... and so will you. But believe me, the wait will be worth it.

Now stop cruising the web and get back to your knitting or crocheting!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Six-Color Sweater, At Last!

At long last, I found some time last night to weave in the yarn ends on the six-color sweater that I've had in progress for what now seems an eternity. I can finally call this a done!

So if you've been wondering what this:

Plus this:

will yield ... the answer is this:

This was made using my Fearless Fibers Sportweight Superwash Merino. I custom dyed the six semi-solid colors specifically for this sweater. I actually dyed two sets of the six colors and so I have another set that I'll list in my Etsy store before too long. I was holding onto it on the off chance that I might need more yarn to complete my project, but I actually had a fair bit left over when I was done.

This is the first sweater I've made for myself in quite some time and I'm reasonably happy with the way it turned out. Not a grand work of art, but a nice and comfy sweater to throw on with a pair of jeans when heading out on a cool fall day.

Now I just need to find time to make some more progress on the felted vest for the Red Sweater KAL!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Monstrosity and The Sublime

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I've joined the Red Sweater KAL. My project for that KAL is now underway. I've given it the appellation "The Monstrosity." Perhaps that gives you a clue how I feel about the project?

With so little free time these days, I bought yarn for this project rather than dyeing something myself. My first mistake was a spur-of-the-moment decision to stop by a LYS to see if they had anything nice in red. The shop is along the route I was taking while running errands, but the place is sorely lacking by any yarn shop standards. The Portland area has so many fabulous shops that I've oftened wondered how this little shop gets by. It's tiny. It's full of acrylics and cheap, scratchy wools. There are few patterns or books to browse. It's just a crummy shop by today's standards. With that said, I do like to stop by now and again. The shop appears to have been around for ages and ages, dating back to long before the knitting boom of recent years. The folks there are very friendly and I just hate to see any yarn shop go under, so from time to time I throw them a bone and pick up a pair of needles or some other small item there. (Those needles I bought are sure to keep them in business.)

I wandered into this shop on a whim and searched for red yarn for the KAL. I was about to give up, after browsing through a ghastly collection of yarns that reminded me of what my grandmother would have used to knit an afghan in the 1960's (that is, if she had been a knitter and if she had been alive in the 1960's), when the gal working there pointed out one lone shelf tucked away at the bottom of a corner area. There sat a small selection of Manos del Uruguay wool.

I've never Manos before but have eyed it a few times. It's a thick and thick worsted weight wool, hand dyed in semi-solid shades. Some of the colors are lovely and it's reasonably soft. Compared to the rest of the selection in front of me that day, it was very attractive indeed. And so, of course, I bought some. Foolish, foolish woman! With a plethora of utterly fabulous shops just a short drive away, I selected my yarn based on how it compared to the rest of this particular shop. I can't stress enough how stupid I am. You have to keep in mind that I have a house that's bursting at the seams with yarn. It's everywhere. I mean, I sell the stuff! I have HUNDREDS OF POUNDS of yarn in my home. I haven't allowed myself the luxury of buying retail yarn in a very, very long time and yet I chose to buy this yarn based on the selection in the worst yarn shop in the area. I may be too stupid to live.

Okay. Stupidity aside, let's get on with the project update. This is the yarn I bought.

That evening, I dove into planning and swatching for a sweater. It quickly became apparent to me that the yarn was just too heavy for my taste for an indoor sweater. I'm not a fan of cardigans and I decided it was just too much for a pullover. After further swatching and noodling on the project, I settled on a vest rather than a sweater. I've never owned or worn a vest in my life, but I kind of like the idea. Yes, a vest it will be!

I swatched a bit more and eventually cast on, with only a vague notion of something simple, perhaps with a bit of cabling. No. That didn't work out. Ugly. Just ugly. I swatched again, playing with ideas for integrating the gray and adding a little interest to a simple vest through color. I cast on. No. That didn't work out. Ugly. Just ugly. The thick and thin nature of the yarn just doesn't lend itself to any type of patterned colorwork. It just looks messy. Perhaps, I thought, I needed to keep it even simpler and just use the gray for a bit of striping detail. I cast on. No. That didn't work out. Still ugly. Just ugly.

All in all, I cast on four times. On the fourth attempt, my husband looked at my work and - not known for his tact - promptly informed me that it looked as though it were knit by a seven year old. That led to the fourth frogging. Now let me tell you, I am not a fan of frogging. Frog is a four-letter word as far I'm concerned. I just don't have a very high tolerance for frustration, so you need to trust me that when I tell you that The Monstrosity was ugly enough to warrant a fourth frogging, I'm talking about some serious ugly here.

Eventually, I decided on a revised plan. I will still make a vest, but it will be a felted vest so that the ugly, sloppy stitches won't be visible. It will be even heavier and thicker when felted, so it will be an outerwear vest rather than a pullover to wear indoors. I'm going to keep it super-simple in stockinet, all in the red with just a bit of gray for edge trimming. Although the project may be rather boring to knit, it should be fairly quick and will likely hold my interest simply so that I can find out whether it will come anywhere close to what I'd like. I haven't done much felting and what I have done has been mostly bags, so it will be quite interesting to see if what I come up with fits (or for that matter, even resembles a vest!). There's a strong possiblity that The Monstrosity may live up to its name. We shall see!

In happier news, I've continued dyeing like a madwoman and loving every minute of it. One of my latest creations is a new favorite for me. It's Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in a colorway called "Sublime." And it is. Sublime, that is. At least I think so. I did a run of eight skeins and have listed the first one in my Etsy store. The colors are sort of brown, sort of wine, sort of sage, and sort of bronze, and all mingle together to create something that is ... well ... sublime.

I'll end this post now, as Blogger has been very uncooperative today so I want to get this posted before it goes haywire on me again! GO KNIT! (Or crochet, if you prefer.)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Customer Project!

Another week gone by and it's time for another photo of a finished project with Fearless Fibers Yarn. Some of you may recall the "Knitting Mistake" contest back in August. The prize for the contest was a felted bag kit and the winner, Melissa, has kindly provided a picture of the completed bag she made with the kit.

Lovely job, Melissa! And thank you so much for sharing the picture.

For next Monday, I have two project photos lined up. I'm taking a great leap of faith in planning to post two on one Monday, so you all need to come through for me and be sure to send more pictures so I'll have something to share the following week. So get busy knitting or crocheting!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Holy Potatohead, Batman!

Wow! Bam! Zap! I just LOVE my new socks!

Yes, I know, I’m rather ridiculously excited and exuberant about a simple pair of socks, but for whatever mysterious reason I just love these socks with my whole knitter’s heart. I probably should have blocked them, as the yarnovers look a bit sloppy in the photos. I've never bothered to block socks before, but I may just do that for these.

I’ve named them Lapping Water Socks. They are knit with Fearless Fibers Merino Wool Sock Yarn in the Hudson colorway. I wanted a stitch pattern that would be reminiscent of lapping water, which seemed so appropriate for this colorway. I think this stitch pattern worked perfectly for that purpose.

I can’t put my finger on why I love these socks so much. As mentioned in a previous post, perhaps it is because they turned out just the way I imagined they would before I cast on the first stitch. Perhaps it’s because they seem to strike a good balance with just the right quantity of yarnovers to create a bit of openwork without so much lace that there isn’t enough “sock” left in the sock. Perhaps it’s the small details, such as the way the ribbing flows so nicely into the pattern stitch of the body of the sock.

Whatever the reason, I just love these socks! They are pair number three in what I hope will be a set of six pair for my mother for Christmas. Now, of course, I want a pair for myself too, so I may just knit another pair after the holidays.

For anyone who’s interested, below is the pattern. I make no promises that the pattern is perfect, but I’ve done my best to write it in plain English to make it easy to follow. If you would like to share this pattern with anyone, please feel free to do so but I ask that you provide the pattern as a link to this site. This pattern may not be reproduced or used to produce items for commercial purposes.

Okay, here comes the pattern … but I can’t resist just one more picture first.


Fearless Fibers – Lapping Water Socks
Size: Women’s – One Size Fits Most

One 4-ounce skein of Fearless Fibers Merino
Wool Sock Yarn
One set of four US #2 double-pointed needles

Gauge: Approx. 32 stitches to 4 inches

K = Knit
P = Purl
YO = Yarn Over
SL1 = Slip 1 stitch knitwise
K2TOG = Knit 2 stitches together
P2TOG = Purl 2 stitches together
PSSO = Pass Slipped Stitched Over

Lapping Water Pattern Stitch:
Row 1: *YO, SL1, K1, PSSO, K4* repeat
Row 2 and all even rows: Knit around
Row 3: *YO, K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K3* repeat
Row 5: *YO, K2, SL1, K1, PSSO, K2* repeat
Row 7: *YO, K3, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1* repeat
Row 9: *YO, K4, SL1, K1, PSSO* repeat
Row 10: Knit


Cast on: On U.S. #2 needles, cast on a total of 60 stitches, with 24 stitches on the first needle, and 18 stitches on each of the second and third needles. (NOTE: Dividing the stitches in this uneven manner will help to make following the 6-stitch pattern repeat easier.)

Ribbing: Using the fourth needle, join the yarn to begin working in the round, taking care to avoid twisting stitches. Begin ribbing. Work in P2, K4 rib for 14 rows. (Ribbing may be made longer or shorter depending on your preference.)

Begin Lapping Water Pattern Stitch (see above): Work 6 repeats of 10-row pattern stitch. On the final round of the 6th repeat of the pattern stitch, divide the stitches so that you have 30 stitches on the first needle, 15 stitches on each of the second and third needles.

Begin the Heel:
Work 20 rows on the FIRST NEEDLE ONLY in stockinet stitch. You will now be working back and forth on the first needle, rather than in the round. Stockinet = knit first row, purl second row, repeat.
After completing 20 rows on the first needle only, on the next row - still working the first needle only - begin short row shaping for heel as follows:

- K 16 stitches, slip 1, K1, PSSO
- Turn work and continue next row: Slip1 , P3, P2TOG
- Turn work and continue next row: Slip 1, K4, Slip 1, K1, PSSO
- Turn work and continue next row: Slip 1, P5, P2TOG
- Continue in this manner, decreasing by one stitch and bringing one more stitch into the work on each row, until all stitches on the first needle are being worked except one. On this final row, SL1, purl across to final two stitches and purl these two stitches together. 16 stitches now remain on the first needle.

Continue the heel:
- On next row, knit across the first needle. Pick up and knit 15 stitches along the side of the heel. You now have 31 stitches on the first needle.
- Follow Lapping Water Pattern stitch (beginning a new 10-row repeat to pick up where you left off previously) and work pattern across the 15 stitches on the second needle and – using the same second needle – across the 15 stitches on the third needle. You now have 30 stitches on the second needle and none remaining on the third needle.
-With your third needle and fourth working needle, pick up and knit 15 stitches along the other side of the heel. Continue on the third needle by knitting another 8 stitches off of the first needle.
You now have 23 stitches remaining on the first needle, 30 stitches on the second needle, and 23 stitches on the third needle.

Finish the heel:
- You are now back in position to begin with the first needle. This starting point is the center division of your sock heel.
- Knit one complete round. This will be pattern row 2 on the Lapping Water Pattern you are working on the second needle only. From this point forward, you will work the Lapping Water Pattern only on the second needle (which is the top of the foot of the sock) and will continue in stockinet (knit every round) for the first and third needles (which form the bottom of the sock).
- Begin heel decreases by knitting across the first needle until you get to the last 3 stitches on the first needle. K2TOG and then knit the remaining stitch.
- Work straight across the second needle, keeping to the Lapping Water Pattern.
- On the third needle, K1, Slip 1, K1, PSSO, and then knit the remaining stitches on the needle

- On the next round, work across all needles without any decreases.

Repeat rounds one and two described above, while keeping to the Lapping Water Pattern on needle two, until you have only 15 stitches remaining on the first needle and 15 stitches remaining on the third needle. The number of stitches on your second needle remains unchanged, with 30 stitches.

Work the foot:
Continue in pattern (stockinet on needles 1 and 3, Lapping Water Pattern on needle 2) until the foot measures approximately 7 inches from the back of the heel. (You may wish to make the body of the foot shorter or longer for particularly small or large feet. Keep in mind that the remaining toe to be knit will add a about an inch and a half more to the length of the foot.)

Complete the toe:

- Knit across the first needle until you get to the last 3 stitches on the first needle. K2TOG and then knit the remaining stitch.
- Begin the second needle by K1, Slip 1, K1, PSSO. The knit straight across the second needle until you get to the final three stitches. K2TOG and K1. (NOTE: You are no longer working in the Lapping Water Pattern on the second needle. The toe is knit in stockinet.)
- On the third needle, K1, Slip 1, K1, PSSO, and then knit the remaining stitches on the needle.

- Knit around without any decreases.

Repeat rounds one and two until 14 stitches remain in total. Knit across the seven stitches remaining on needle three, shifting them to needle two so that you have only two needles remaining, each with 7 stitches.

Cut your yarn leaving an ample tail of yarn to weave in your stitches. Use a tapestry needle and the tail of the yarn to weave the final stitches together. Kitchener Stitch is recommended for a smooth, seamless toe.

Weave in yarn ends and start all over again for the second sock.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sneak Preview

For Elisa and those of you who e-mailed me asking for a sneak preview of the next group of tone-on-tone sock yarns, here it is! The first skeins of these four new colorways will be posted tomorrow (Wednesday) morning in my Etsy store. There are plenty of other sock yarn options listed right now also, so have fun browsing!





On the knittng front, I'm about half way done with the second sock of the pair I posted about last week, so there will a finished sock photo posted soon. I'm also planning to post the pattern if I can just find the time to sit down and write it up!

The six-color sweater also received its neck a few days ago and is complete except for some ends to weave in and little final blocking for the bottom edge. Photo coming soon for that as well!

With these two projects concluding I'll be able to start soon on plans for the Red Sweater KAL that I joined. More info on that soon.

What's on your sticks? Has the cold weather given you a case of the Sweater Knitting Bug yet?

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's Customer Project Time Again!

It's Monday morning yet again and you know what that means! It's time again for another customer project photo! Here we go:

This lovely sock was created by Lisa using Fearless Fibers sportweight superwash merino in the Stargazer colorway. Fabulous job!! For a peek at more of her knitting adventures, check out Lisa's blog.

Next week's customer project is already lined up and ready for its turn in the spotlight. And guess what?! It's not a footwear project this time!

After next week's project, I'm wide open for a new customer project to feature, so please get those photos to me!

Thanks again to Lisa and all of the past contributors to this Monday feature. I just love seeing what everyone has created with my yarns.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

New Tone-on-Tone Sock Yarns + Lots of Knitting Progress

The first group of tone-on-tone colorways on Superwash Merino Sock Yarn are now listed in my Etsy store and ready to find their new homes! Without further ado, here they are:

Midnight Blue

Rusty Nail

Lime Kiwi


Coral Pink

At the time of this post, I have four skeins of each colorway available. I’ve listed one of each in my Etsy store and will replenish them as they sell. Of course, if you need more than one skein for the project you have in mind, you can pop me an e-mail or an Etsy “conversation” message and I can set up a reserved listing for you with a larger quantity, as long as they remain available.

There are three more of these tone-on-tone colorways still drying in my workshop now. There’s a wonderfully rich and vibrant emerald green, a gentle peach, and an eye-popping scarlet red. There's also an island green -- kind of green, kind of turquoise -- that's also ready now but for the life of me I can't get an accurate picture of it!

I particularly like these tone-on-tone colorways because of their suitability for knitting socks with cables, lace or other intricate patterns. Although handpainted sock yarns are wonderful, the variation of color can sometimes overwhelm the stitchwork and so I personally lean toward subtler color variations for more intricate patterns. Of course, the variation in the depth of shades in these new yarns are much too great to call them “subtle,” yet the commonality of basic color in each of these yarns gives them a certain continuity that will work well with most any sock pattern imaginable.

Speaking of socks, I have a new pair on the sticks. I started the first sock on Wednesday and found it just flowed off the needles incredibly quickly. In fact, it progressed so fast that I decided to take a picture of it before I got too far along. I didn’t want my first work-in-progress photo of these socks to be of a completed sock, as that would ruin the punch line for the final Finished Sock Photo!
The photo is just awful, but hey ... that also helps save the punch line for the photo of the finished socks.

It’s a good thing I took this WIP photo, as somehow – apparently by some bizarre bending of the space/time continuum – I finished the first sock on Thursday. I’m not sure how that happened, as I barely recall having much time to knit. I did stay out of the dye workshop on Thursday (my first day without dyeing in quite some time!), but I didn’t spend my day sitting and happily knitting my sock. I did laundry. I went food shopping. I went out to lunch with my husband. I accompanied hubby to the computer store to buy some parts. I ordered supplies. I labeled lots and lots of yarn. I answered e-mails. I processed payments and shipped orders. I went bowling (it was league night). When did I knit the sock????

I suppose it will remain a mystery how I managed to knit an entire sock during a busy 24 hour period, but I won’t question it further but rather just revel in the miracle of the completed sock. I love the darned thing as I have not loved anything I’ve knit in quite a while. I’m not entirely certain why. Perhaps it is because it looks exactly as I pictured in my mind before I cast on the first stitch.

Now I need to make the second sock and then I’ll give you a full blown picture and I can also post the pattern if anyone’s interested.

Enough chit chat for now! I have much dyeing to do today … and need to find time to work on the six-color sweater. I am overjoyed to report that I unpinned it from its blocking position last night and – with much fear and trepidation – began the process of seaming the sleeves into place. I was fully convinced by that time that the sleeve caps wouldn’t fit and that the sleeves themselves were too narrow. I can’t even express my delight in reporting that the sleeves fit perfectly into the armholes and the sweater itself seems as though it will fit like it was made for me (which it should, since it was!). I now have to knit the neckband, weave in about 9 million ends, do a little last minute blocking to the bottom edge of the sweater which is still curling, and then it will be DONE!

My next project to begin will be a red sweater for the Red Sweater KAL. I have no idea what I’m going to do for this sweater nor how I’ll find the time, but some demon got hold of me and before I knew it, I had signed up. If a red sweater to brighten up the dreary days of winter sounds like fun to you, pop on over to the Red Sweater KAL site and sign up. It’s just getting underway, so you won’t be a latecomer!

Now go knit!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Casino Shawl Pattern is Now Available!!!

For those of you who haven't visited KnitSpot and watched the progression of the Casino Shawl that Anne Hanson, designer extraordinarie, has been working on ... well, you're in for a real treat! Click on over to KnitSpot and take a gander at the completed Casino Shawl and you'll see just what I mean.

Anne designed this shawl using Fearless Fibers Laceweight Cashmere, available in my Etsy store. If the colorway you are seeking is not currently in stock, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm not taking any requests for custom colorways at this time, but if you are looking for one you've seen before or see in the sold item listing on Etsy, I may have more drying in my workshop already or I can whip some up for you in a flash. Anne also has plenty of other options for yarns to use for this shawl or perhaps something already in your stash will work. Whatever yarn you choose, the pattern is sure to result in an amazing shawl! It was truly a delight and privilege to watch Anne take one of my yarns and transform it with her amazing talents into a shawl that is nothing short of stunning.

A huge Thank You to Anne for her sharing her talent, not only by making her patterns available for purchase but also for allowing us all to follow along in awe as she progressed through the design process.

Enough from me. Now get over to KnitSpot and check it out!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

An F.O. (or Major Frogging?) Coming Soon

I’m so happy to report that I’ve completed the second sleeve of the 6-color sweater and it’s now blocking! Although it feels great to have reached this milestone that marks the final stretch for this sweater, I’m feeling more and more uncertain about whether the sleeves are wide enough and also whether they’ll fit nicely into the armholes. That massive curling of the fabric that I showed you in a photo posted last week just made it too difficult to get a good feel for the fit.

The pieces will take a while to block, as I may have to spritz them again when they’re dry or perhaps do a bit of steaming to really get the curling out of the sleeves once and for all. The bottom of the body is also pretty curly and that may not be resolved in the first blocking. The sleeves were so curly that I ended up using about a million and one pins to hold them in place and actually ran short of pins for the body. I’m not worried about that though, because I can always complete the construction and then worry about the bottom edge curling afterward. The anticipation and trepidation I’m feeling as I wait to see how the sleeves fit is killing me and I’m not going to risk losing any time at this stage messing with the curly bottom.

In the meantime, I’m continuing dyeing like a madwoman. My recent obsession with browns continues. The latest addition to the brown family is this:

It’s Merino Wool Sock Yarn (not the superwash, but the plain old, vanilla merino) in a colorway called Mocha Spice. Although I listed the first skeins last week, you won’t find them in either of my stores. The first batch all sold within a couple of days, but never fear! There’s more drying in my workshop already.

I also have these same colors on DK Alpaca/Wool.

I haven’t listed these yet, as I keep procrastinating about the name for the colorway. The Alpaca/Wool takes the dyes a bit differently than the Merino Wool and I keep vacillating about whether to call it by the same name or give it its own name. Silly, I know! Perhaps I’ll just call it Rich Mocha Spice or something of that sort to give it a bit of differentiation.

In other news, I have nine new Superwash Sock Yarn colorways on their way soon. Six will be ready within the next week and three more will follow shortly thereafter. These are a new series that I’m tentatively calling “Tone on Tone.” Each of these new colorways is rainbow dyed using a single color in highly varied shades from the lightest, gentlest hint of color through to rich and vibrant tones, along with every shade in between. They are far more varied in tone than what one traditionally thinks of as a “semi-solid” yet they are still built on a single shade.

I absolutely adore these new Tone on Tone yarns and am just trying to restrain myself from making any more until I see how these are received. They’re such fun to dye and it’s so interesting to see how each color I mix comes to life in the Tone on Tone format that I think I could make a hundred different versions without getting tired of it!

It’s a little after 7 a.m. now so it’s time for me to get to work! I have more dyeing on tap today and am also hoping to find some time to get a new pair of socks on the sticks.

Great day to all!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday's Customer Photo Fun

It’s Monday and you know what that means. It’s time for another photo of a finished project with Fearless Fibers Yarn!

I am greatly enjoying receiving these photos. It’s not only wonderful to see the yarns that I spent so much time and care creating turning into lovely completed items, but it also alleviates my guilt for not having enough of my own knitting progress to share these days. I continue to be very, very busy dyeing and so there’s not much time left for knitting.

Today’s project is from “I.M. Knittified” who you can learn more about on her blog. The socks were knit as part of the Six Sox KAL and are Snake Scale Socks and my oh my, aren’t they just darling!

The socks were knit with Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in the Thoroughbred colorway. On my monitor, the colors appear quite a bit lighter than the Thoroughbred yarn, but that may just be my monitor or perhaps a heavy dose of flash or sunlight when the photo was taken.

I have one more great customer photo lined up for next Monday’s feature, but after that I’m wide open … so get your photos to me and let your project have it’s moment in the spotlight!

Everyone have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Not-So-Impressive Progress Updates

Before I begin my post for today let me forewarn you that the pictures in this post are absolutely terrible. It’s dark and gloomy outside and for some reason I also can’t seem to get a decent photo inside. Indoor photos with a flash are always a bit shaky on quality, but these are simply horrific. I would wait and take them again later if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been a terrible blogger lately and really want to get this post up right now. So, my apologies for the terrible photos!

Now on to today’s knitting talk …

It was all the way back on September 22nd that I expressed my embarrassment that I had not yet finished the raspberry-colored socks that only needed one final toe for completion. Now, here it is October 5th, and I am only now finally able to say that the socks are done. I don’t know why I let them sit so long, but at last, I found a few quiet minutes and finished them last night.

You may recall that I referred to these as the ugliest socks I’ve ever knit. Now that they’re done, I like them a bit better but they still are not much to behold. The colors are actually quite pretty (I know it doesn't look that way in this awful photo!), but there’s something about the plain ribbed pattern that leaves me yawning. I think all of my customers, along with the myriad of knitting bloggers out there, have spoiled me with your over-the-top fabulous socks!

This pair is the second in what I plan as a set of six for my mother for Christmas. After taking a month to complete the toe on this second pair, I have to wonder whether I will reach my lofty goal of six pair! I plan to go to my LYS’s Friday knit session this week (of course, I plan that every week but rarely make it!) and should be able to get another pair on the needles then.

In other knitting news, here’s a really impressive photo:

What the heck is that, you ask? It’s a sleeve, of course! This is the first sleeve of the six-color sweater I’ve been slowly working on. I have never had any piece curl quite so drastically! OK, I admit, I gave it a little extra help for the photo for dramatic effect, but truly, this thing is so curled that I’m having a really hard time deciding whether I got the proportions right or not.

A wise knitter would have stopped after completing this sleeve, blocked the body and sleeve, and seamed the sleeve in place to verify that the size and shape work. But I’m not a wise knitter. I’m wise enough to know that I should do this, but not wise enough to follow through. Instead, I set the pieces on the back of my knitting recliner and then ignored them for two weeks, after which time I decided to throw caution to the wind and just proceed with sleeve number two. This may turn out to be a fatal error, as I think there’s a strong possibility that the sleeve is too narrow. I think it will set into the armhole just fine (I have the stripes to give me a sense of comfort on that, knowing that they will line up and match the body of the sweater), but the width of the sleeve may well be around an inch narrower than it should be. It’s just too hard to know for sure when the damn thing is such a curled-up mess.

So why am proceeding with sleeve number two when I have these serious and well-founded doubts? It’s that Delusional Knitteritis flaring up again! It’s fine, I tell myself. Superwash Merino is slippery and has a tendency to stretch a bit with wash and wear, so a little narrowness on the sleeves should be fine. It’ll all work about in the end. (Delusional Knitteritis can be a powerful force!)

I also mentioned some time ago that I began working on a plain old seed-stitch scarf in Fearless Fibers Mohair/Wool, Blue Dreams colorway. Simple as can be. A little wider than is fashionable, but practical for warmth. A nice, easy quick-knit to set aside for a last-minute holiday gift. I haven’t picked up the scarf in a few weeks, but I will eventually finish this off and perhaps knit a hat to match. Here’s a closeup photo.

It’s about 3 feet long at the moment and progress – when I find the time to knit on it! – is quick, so it won’t take too much effort to finish it.

That’s about it for the knitting updates. As always, I’ve been dyeing like a madwoman! My husband has also been working hard to get the new Fearless Fibers webstore ready to go. I very much want to see that launched by the end of October, but I fear it will take longer than that. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when it’s ready.

Thanks for stopping by. Now get back to your knitting (or crocheting) and get those finished project photos to me!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Featured Project

Another week has passed already and it’s time again for a customer project photo!

This week, we have a pair of lovely socks by Karen of Scarves for All Reasons. These socks are made with Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Sock Yarn in the Brick House colorway.

You can visit Karen’s blog to learn more about her adventures in knitting and also link over to her online shop where she sells her knitted treasures!

I wish I could provide you a link to purchase this yarn, but it’s currently out of stock. Don’t worry though … there’s another batch drying in my workshop now, so more will be listed in my Etsy store later this week.

Please keep the project photos coming! I’m am so enjoying seeing them!