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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.)

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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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.

Two skeins of yarn in the mail today – the last shipment of the Knit Me Up Twilight sock club, and the first of my Three Irish Girls Sock Yarnista shipment!  I’m also nearly finished with my Hoh Rainforest socks from the … April? Knit Me Up Twilight sock club.  Just need to decide how long to make them.

What do you think – summery anklets, or longer socks? (ignore the lines on my calf from the socks I was wearing earlier – storebought socks just don’t fit properly! ;) Actually, don’t ignore them – that’s about where I would normally wear my socks, so I may go another inch or two on this cuff.)

 

Tomás is now guarding the paper that the 3IG yarn came wrapped up in – it must smell like something fantastic.

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I have been working on two projects that just aren’t quite right lately.  Yet somehow, I can’t bring myself to rip them out. Mostly because I am not sure what I want to do next.  I love the yarn for both, which is part of why it is so difficult!

Project the first:

Longies with 3IG Carys BFL.  Beautiful yarn, fine pattern. Bad gauge.  I love how the yarn is striping in the body but dislike the striping on the legs.  I think this yarn may become a striped sweater, rather than longies, once I get around to ripping.  I really love how the purple semisolid looks next to the Isla, and I think that a striped sweater would really show this off to great advantage.
Project the second:

This is meant to be the Shapely Tank from White Lies Design, in Bella by Selah. This is a GORGEOUS silk/wool blend yarn.  Unfortunately, the pattern does not work. It increases entirely too much too quickly going into the bust area and is entirely too large. I don’t know if I want to rip down to the waist and work it from there or if I just want to rip it all out and do something entirely different.  I am leaning toward a complete rip and something entirely different, but I don’t know what.  I have three skeins of this – enough for the tank top I thought I wanted, but not enough for a cardigan or anything else.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I finished my first lace shawl today! I cast on for this on May 4th and I finished the bulk of the knitting on the 12th, so it went really fast. I spent a couple of days pondering what to do for the border before settling on using some red Palette from my stash to complete the border as specified in the pattern. I am amazed at how well this worked. The red is not an exact match to the yarn but you would never know it just by looking! Then after I finished knitting it sat for a couple of days before I took the time to weave in the ends. Now that it is finished I love it. It’s the perfect size to wrap around your shoulders without being too long and unwieldly.

The shawl is a gift for my good friend Nicola, who’s mother has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I hope that it will give her comfort through this very difficult time.

shawl
Notice the red border. The shawl still needs a good blocking but that will need to wait until I can spread it out in the office.


one edge

starting point/center back – I am pleased with my grafting job!

bottom point

close-up of the lace

How much yarn was left from the variegated – I love when this happens!

Here is my first-ever proper lace project! I’ve put lacy patterns in socks and shirts before but this is the first time I’ve attempted a lace shawl. It’s really a lot of fun. I’m using large needles (size 8 I think) and fingering/sockweight yarn so it’s not as bad as it could be :)

The pattern is called Alix’s Prayer Shawl and it is from http://www.debbiemacomber.com. The yarn is from the Three Irish Girls YOTM club, dyed by Bungalow Buns. It’s 75% superwash merino/25% nylon. I only have one skein but I have feelers out to see if I can get another one; if not, it’ll just be a small wrap rather than a large shawl.

shawl
It is too big to stretch out properly!
shawl
Here’s one of the pattern blocks.

The center stitch – these stitch markers are from Knit Me Up, I got them in the first Twilight sock club shipment. They are not my favorites :(

A more stretched out version of the pattern block – I hope that I can block it to this size when it’s finished. These stitch markers are very nice if a bit heavy. I got them in a swap at some point – no idea where they are from!

The wrist pain is still bothersome, so I have not worked on much lately.  I’ve got a few more rows in on my second “Edward’s Heart” sock; I’m now three repeats in to the leg of the sock – it’s a quick, easy repeat, but the tiny gauge gets me every time.  I’ve only got a few more rows finished on “Bella’s Tears”, they are really pretty. 

I am craving an easy-knit project but nothing on my list fits that category just now.  A friend is having a baby girl later this year, so I’m thinking I’ll start something for her instead. The soaker sack pictured below is just not doing it for me, so it’s going to go bye-bye in favor of something else, I just haven’t decided *what* yet.

Details and photos of the Knit Me Up Twilight club April shipment are behind the cut.

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