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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.

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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I made this little soaker sack last week to use up some Three Irish Girls Peregrine Merino that I had lying around.  The variegated color is Rhiannon, the green trim is Dolan.  This yarn is from when 3IG was still called Irish Baby Knits, so I think the colorway is a little bit different now.

It still needs the drawstring, but I’m making a little hat with the leftover yarn first and then whatever is still left after that I will use for the drawstring.

This thing is STURDY.  It’ll be bulletproof!

Here’s the start of the hat. Baby heads are tiny!

Look, it’s Not Socks!

Here’s the start of my Seascape Stole, out of Malabrigo Lace in the colorway “Oceanus”.

It’s lovely!

I just hope it ends up being wide enough. I am assured it will be, but of course I always worry.

Nancy showed me how to do a Twisted German Cast On, which is nice and elastic. I am going to have to remember it for future reference because it does seem quite a bit better than the standard long-tail.

I’ve only a few more rows to go before I start the actual patterning – here goes nothing!

This is (quite unintentionally!) turning into the Summer of Socks!

I finally finished my Popsicle socks last week, and I wore them today. I love them. They fit really well.

You are probably sick of hearing about these, so I will just add one more photo

Wait, I lied. There’s one more.

Okay, that’s really it this time.

I went to the local Barnes & Noble Breaking Dawn release party on Friday night. (I am not linking to a website for the book because I can’t find one that isn’t full of spoilers, and this book is really easy to spoil.) While I was there, trying to avoid the hordes of screaming tweens, I cast on for my next pair of socks. These are using both yarn and pattern from the Knit Me Up Twilight sock club (fitting, no?) – but not ones that were meant to be together.  I’m using the newest yarn, “Volturi”, with the pattern from two months ago, “Entangled”.  I have done 60 stitches for these though I have always had to go down a lot of stitches before now, I was hoping the cable would pull them in more. I am not sure if this is going to work or not.

I made a fair amount of progress so far. The yarn is really pretty!

We’ve already discussed how bobbles were not for me.  Now we’ll take a moment to remind ourselves that pink is not my color.  Pink, purple – no thank you. It’s just not my style.

Why, then, do I love these socks?  I can’t get enough of them.  I spent my free time today knitting instead of reading Twilight (Breaking Dawn comes out Saturday!), instead of putting together a contest entry for a Ravelry group I belong to, instead of playing with the cats (sorry, guys).  These socks are magical.  “Just a few more rows”, I keep telling myself, “just until the next repeat passes off the edge”.  And then I keep going.  The pattern author indicated in her blog entry that she intended this trick on the foot as an antidote to second sock syndrome.  I think she has succeeded. 

These socks are a pleasure to knit.  The yarn is wonderful, Kells Sport Merino from Three Irish Girls. It’s soft and squishy and not too thin, doesn’t hurt after rubbing along my finger for hours on end, and feels nice in my hands.  The colorway – which I would never have chosen on my own – is beautiful, so subtle and yet full of colors – pink, lavender, rose, violet, every shade in between. The color repeats are marvelously short, I do not need to spend a minute worrying about pooling (which I dislike, so this is wonderful).

This photo does not do the yarn justice. In reality, the heel flap might actually be my favorite single thing about these socks. (I love the socks as a whole, but if I had to choose one individual aspect, it would be this heel flap.)

I worked the socks in the round through the heel flap and turn, and picking up stitches along the gusset, at which point I had to split because my circular needle (barely long enough for two-at-once magic loop socks) just could not hold that many stitches and still function.

The right sock is currently on hold (bearing stitch markers reminiscent of Edward’s topaz eyes courtesy of my Twilight stitch marker club)

(You can see here how my bobbles are ever so slightly off center; it seems the stitch preceeding the bobble tends more toward looseness than the one directly after it. I suspect blocking may help slightly but not entirely.)

while I work on the left sock (using the “dazzle” stitch markers from the same club – absolutely gorgeous – and a single stitch marker I received as a blog contest prize a couple of years ago, which is perfect for keeping track of my rows)

(see the heel flap? Gorgeous, isn’t it.)

Beautiful, no?

Do you begin to see how the pattern slides off the side of the foot?  (Ignore my tendon-riffic foot, I was flexing it to show off the foot a bit better. I have discovered it’s fairly challenging to take photos of ones’ own feet.)

I do believe part of the fun is watching the stitch markers sparkle in the light (nifty row-counting-marker in the foreground).

What kind of popsicles are pink and purple? Well, my awesome socks.

The Popsicle pattern by Nicole Hindes is unlike anything I would normally choose. It has BOBBLES. This seems to be a common thread among Sock Yarnista club members – this “OMG BOBBLES” feeling.  Many of us have never done bobbles before, or we have done them but didn’t care for them, or any number of other things.  But, most of us are going with the flow and knitting the pattern as specified, me included.

To my surprise, I have found that I adore these bobbles.  I had to modify them slightly so that it does not cause as much pain when I am knitting them (ktbl rather than ptbl), and at first it was slow going, but now I’ve got them down – just in time to be nearly finished.  The bobbles change to purls for the foot of the sock so the bumps don’t get in the way of shoes. I received my yarn on Wednesday and knit the ribbing. Thursday I knit about half of the bobble rounds and the other half last night. Today they are temporarily on hold while I study (and update my blog, of course) but I hope to get back to them tonight and tomorrow – I am nearly to the heel flap and gusset.

This

 

Became this – the beautiful ball of yarn, and the start of the socks after the ribbing and one bobble round (I am knitting these two-at-once on one not-quite-long-enough circular).

And now they are here (bad color – the sun is not out today).  Admit it, you love the bobbles too….

(Can you tell where I have an extra plain row between bobble rows?  Yeah, I forgot how to count – we were watching There Will Be Blood – but the beauty of two-at-once socks is that they are both wrong in the same way, so I left them that way :) )

Oh, and I also finished these socks – simple 2×2 rib in my own basic sock pattern, “Hoh Rainforest” yarn from the Knit Me Up Twilight Sock Club.  I am glad I left them shorter than normal, I ought to have done some decreases for the cuffs if they were going to be much taller.  I love the yarn on the cuffs, it doesn’t pool nearly as much as it did on the foot.  It is hard to take photographs of your own feet..

What do you think – did Carol get the colors right?  Here is a spiderweb and mossy tree in the Hoh Rainforest.

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