I have made more progress on the socks for a friend. (Pardon the mediocre photo; the sun has not quite realized that it is SPRING!)

I am really, really enjoying these socks. I wasn’t sure if I would at first, since I usually knit with wool blends, but the Panda Cotton has really surprised me. A blend of bamboo, cotton and elastic nylon, the yarn is a little splitty but has a very nice feel to it. The finished fabric is wonderfully squishy and smooth to the touch. This pattern suits the yarn nicely, and while I am kicking myself for not choosing the other pattern I was considering (which only has patterning on every 4th row), it’s very easy to remember and not difficult to work. I will have to knit myself a pair when I have finished these!

Unfortunately, my friend has quite large feet so whilst the photo above makes it appear as if I am nearly finished, that’s not quite true. I still have about 5-6″ to go. But they’ll be done in no time – well, as soon as I have some time to sit down and work on them.

The Hiya Hiya needle is still a favorite, and I have put it through its paces while working the gusset on these socks (following the Upstream “sockitecture” from New Pathways for Sock Knitters). The cable is not *quite* as flexible as the Knitpicks circs, but the join is much sturdier and the needles are nice and slick with a good pointy tip.

I’m working on a pair of socks for a friend as part of a trade.

I’m using the Menehune Sock Pattern and Panda Cotton, since my friend is allergic to wool. I’m really enjoying this pattern, although the yarn is just a bit splitty. Instead of working the standard heel flap, though, I’ve decided to attempt a Cat Bordhi top-down technique. We’ll see how it turns out. Also, I am using my new Hiya Hiya circular and I love it! The cable is flexible enough to easily Magic Loop two socks at once!

For myself, I’m working on a Liesl using Dream in Color Classy in the Good Luck Jade colorway. It’s hard to photograph, but here’s a bad attempt:

This pattern is addictive and the yarn is just wonderful, but I’m not sure how I’ll like the finished product. However, the project is temporarily on hold while I decide whether I prefer long sleeves or a longer body – I am trying to keep it to a two-skein sweater.

I also have another sock and a sweater on hold, the sock (in Three Irish Girls’ Irish Sea on Kells) because I am working it at a tight gauge that hurts my wrists, and the sweater (in Three Irish Girls’ Fitzgerald and Spruce on Elenya Alpaca) because I need to convince myself the corrugated ribbing at the waist is too tight and needs to be ripped out.

1) Three Irish Girls, my favorite indie dyer, recently released their Spring Colors with a Lookbook, a fantastic compilation of all twenty colors – the photography is just stunning! You should definitely check it out. This yarn shop will be making an appearance at the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth at Maryland Sheep & Wool, a fantastic yarn fair that I have never been able to go to.  Some day I will make it though!

2) I am working on several WIPs but the most exciting is a pair of fingerless mitts with yarn that a friend brought back from a farm – it was spun and dyed by the farm owner, who keeps sheep.  I’m making up a cable to go on the mitts and it’s a bit of a challenge but I am excited for the final outcome.  Here’s a teaser (that has since been ripped out):

3) I am thinking about combining blogs, putting both knitting related content and book reviews on this blog.  If there are any readers left out there, what do you think?

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

I know you have all missed me! I am going to be posting more in the not to distant future but first I wanted to test this new posting tool.

The thing I like about monthly yarn clubs is that you pay up front, all at once (which can be kind of painful) but then you get yarn monthly after that without paying anything :)

My last 3IG shipment arrived not that long before the wedding so I didn’t get a chance to share it.

Once again, the packaging was lovely.

And the colorway is gorgeous. I have much love for it. It is my favorite so far, I think. This September colorway is called Baltic Sea and it is on Adorn Sock, a wool/nylon fingering weight sock yarn.  The “extra” in this month’s package was a free download pattern from Stich Diva. I haven’t chosen my pattern yet but I have a few in mind.

However, instead of socks, I thought this yarn would be just perfect for something else – the Lace Ribbon Scarf.  I cast on for this scarf while in Florida for my friend Nicole’s wedding and got a lot of knitting done on the flight home!  It’s a really good pattern for mindless knitting, since it’s easy to remember.

Isn’t it lovely?  I this this was a fantastic choice for the yarn – it would have made beautiful socks, but this scarf will be a great addition to my winter wardrobe.

Also, the October shipment came today!

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Just a quick Three Irish Girls Sweater KAL update!

Over the years I have had a variety of repetitive-motion-related problems with my upper extremeties.  Mild carpal tunnel, tendonitis, tennis elbow, a pinched nerve, cubital tunnel and … who knows what else, and I’m having a fairly troublesome flare up now.  I’m not quite sure what the culprit is in this instance but it is particularly affecting my right side – wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck.  In any case, the best thing for it is rest, rest, rest and I have been trying to do that.

Add to that the fact that I’m getting married in, oh, approximately 12 days and you will hopefully understand why I haven’t been up to much knitting, which in turn leads to not much blogging (also, typing is challenging, which further hinders the blogging).

So – in the interim, check out the Three Irish Girls KAL project tag on Ravelry to see what all of the participants have been up to, and check back later for more scintillating KAL updates and information.  I’ll also be posting some non-KAL updates this week.

As part of the 3IG Sweater KAL, I will be sharing a series of posts about various things related to knitting sweaters.  Today’s topic is the Seamless Yoke Sweater, and Rilana has been kind enough to write a wonderful post all about this basic yet versatile construction method.

You can find her post here.  I highly recommend you check it out – it’s full of good information!

My first introduction to Three Irish Girls’s yarn was through the Yarn of the Month club (now available in two new incarnations – Stash Menagerie and Sock Yarnista).  One of my first shipments in this club was a beautiful, soft single ply yarn (Galenas Merino) in a cool and soothing colorway (Curran).

As soon as I saw it, I had visions of a gorgeous yoke sweater in a deep blue with Curran snowflakes across the yoke.  I went so far as to sketch out my design, determine what color blue would work for the background and figure out how much yarn I would need.  Unfortunately, I never progresssed past the planning stage, but that sweater still sticks in my mind.  Maybe some day I will get around to making it.

(If you were wondering, my skein of Curran turned into a drop stitch scarf. It’s just as soft and lovely as I expected:

See? Even the cat approves.)

Welcome to the 3IG Sweater KAL!  Today is the official kick-off, and I know that some participants have already started their sweaters.  Others of us have to finish a few other projects first, and I know a handful of people are still waiting for yarn.  Don’t worry – we won’t leave you behind!

I must admit that I am one of the people who has another project to finish first.  I am working on a shawl for my wedding in October, and while I had hoped to finish that by now it obviously hasn’t happened.  I’ll be working away on that for now, although I will take a few breaks to get started on my sweater.

To kick off the KAL, I thought it would be fun to see what everyone is working on.

I’ll be working on a cardigan using Elenya Alpaca in the Fitzgerald colorway, with coordinating Spruce trim.

I have actually had this yarn for quite some time now, but I haven’t been able to decide what to do with it.  I have finally settled on a cardigan – probably with a zipper, probably with no hood, most likely with corrugated ribbing at the hem and possibly with stripes.

As I hate purling, I’m seriously considering knitting in the round and trying out steeking for the first time. Hopefully I can avoid too much pooling given the large diameter of an adult sweater… but I’ll need to do some more swatching to be sure. The above swatch was knit back-and-forth and it is just lovely.

Isn’t it lovely?

So – KALers – what are you knitting? What yarn base and colorway did you choose? Are you trying any new techniques?

My August 3IG Sock Yarnista package arrived today! (If you haven’t received your package and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read the text on the info sheet.)

It is gorgeous. I love the yarn. Each month we can choose a variegated or a semi solid colorway. Last month I chose a semisolid which I loved (the Popsicle socks). This month, I went for the variegated.  It is really lovely.  The yarn base feels and looks incredible also. I can’t wait to give this yarn a try!  For photos and more information, look under the cut :)

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