cool beans

Check out the awesome socks Lori at Yarnbeans made with a skein of my handspun!
Things:

I can’t believe it – it’s not even midnight and I’m super duper tired. May have something to do with a stressful day, with more on the way. I still have lots of reading to do tonight though…

I do not think I will have enough yarn to complete the Sienna cardigan, judging by how much yarn the back has gobbled up. Time for a rip and re-think.

Knitpicks Gloss for Serrano – definitely worth swatching out; it’ll be on the heavier side (about 18 WPI versus Anne’s 21) but I think it could really work.

Feeling almost lost with knitting projects now that commissioned stuff is done for the time being. Almost. I keep feeling like I had this whole big list and now I can’t remember anything that was on it.

I am contemplating as to which skein of handspun to use for the facings of the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I don’t think I have the right one; I’ll have to spin something up. Damn.

I have two so so so close to being done sweaters that’ve just been sitting for awhile. Must. Finish. Maybe this weekend.

Off to swatch, knit, and read. Good thing this textbook opens out flat!

Edited to make this a longer post, get my rambly thoughts out, and of course procrastinate:

Current Projects
– black alpaca top-down pulli (just past the sleeve split)
– sienna (rip)
– plain trekking socks
– handspun socks
– blueberry greek pulli (just needs some seaming and blocking)
– VBC (damn buttons; i’m tempted to sew the front opening shut)

Upcoming projects
– er – Rhinebeck sweater?
– sienna reincarnated
– wanderlust hoodie from IK with Araucania Nature Wool Chunky
– #19 “Cabled Cardigan” from VK in Elann Highland Chunky (actually…maybe I’ll start this now)
– a knitty sweater
– another Lucy
– dare I say…Christmas knitting?

Oh, and I’ve got yarn for a cashmere tweed sweater, and a Polwarth sweater (i’m thinking cables, although I don’t have very much yarn), and a Polwarth/Silk shawl, and lots and lots of socks…

Dang. That’s one big list. And what about when the winter magazines hit the stands?!

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rainy nights

Torontonians: does it seem like it’s been raining a LOT? I’m starting to get tired of perpetually wet pant-bottoms. Ew. That said, the rain sure sounds nice when I’m all inside and dry with my knitting…

I have finally completed my commission knitting for the time being, so it’s on to bigger and better things!

Traveler’s Stockings
Pattern: Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush (love that book!)
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl, dyed by me, 2 skeins
Needles: Knitpicks 2 mm, 32″ circ

Notes:
Although the divine Ms. Bush calls for 3 skeins of koigu (same yardage as the Louet), I only used 2. Perhaps mine are a bit shorter in the leg than she calls for, but I still had a bit of yarn left from each ball. Whatev, now I have a third skein of this colourway to play with. Maybe anklets?

The knitpicks circs worked really well, especially for those traveling stitches! Addis would never have cut it for me. Unfortunately I did find that my hands tired faster with the metal needles, since I’m not used to them and they are more rigid than the bamboo I’m used to. Ah well, I shall continue to use whatever I have at my disposal.

Lovely pattern indeed, easy to read once you get through a bit of the first chart. The traveling stitches made it easy to keep track of how many rows were on each sock. I LOVE the back of the cuff.

Oh, and I swapped out the gusset heel for a short row one. I don’t have anything againt gusset heels, in fact I have quite a few pairs with one. But I find a short row heel is so nice because you don’t have to count or ever have more stitches than you started with. And now that I’ve got my technique down, it’s short row all the way.

No holes!

How about some yarn?

This is a skein of 100% tussah silk that I spun up as a 2ply, then dyed a nice deep blue. I have another skein I dyed a great raspberry colour, but it wouldn’t photograph well – now, the question is what to do with them?

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Serrano – yarn subs

So. I know that it’s been frustrating for those of you who want to knit Serrano out of Schaefer Anne, and haven’t been able to find matching skeins! Anne is supposed to be a yarn where every skein is unique – leftover dyes, or something like that. However, the company has seen the pattern, and since they know there’s going to be interest, they’re going to start dyeing up matchng skeins! lettuce knit will be getting some, hopefully soon.

Of course, you might not want to knit it out of that yarn, or it’s too difficult to find, too expensive, or you just can’t wear the fibres in it. Thus, I present some appropriate yarn substitutions and thoughts.

I’m sorry about the dark photo; it’s just been all kinds of cloudy and dreary here the last few days! So from top, we have:

Koigu KPPPM (175 yards/50 g; 19 WPI)
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino (420 yards/4 oz; 20 WPI)
Knitpicks Essentials (231 yards/50 g; 20 WPI)
Louet Gems Pearl (175 yards/50 g; 20 WPI)
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (215 yards/2 oz; 21 WPI)
and
Schaefer Anne (560 yards/4 oz; 21 WPI)(4 oz = 113 g)

As you can see, these are all wools; I don’t have any comparable non-wools on hand to show, but I’ll get to that in a bit. Anne is 60% superwash wool, 25% mohair, and 15% nylon – and as you can see, comes in one big honkin’ skein with massive yardage. I think it’s going to be pretty difficult to find a yarn that comes in the big skein like that, so you’ll probably have to buy a number of skeins of another yarn to make up the yardage. You probably won’t be able to match the yards per pound (2240 ypp) in a sock yarn; it’s more like a laceweight that way.

Anne is quite a light fingering weight, almost like a heavy laceweight. All the yarns I’m showing here are “sock yarns”, although of course there’s still a lot of variation! Basically you’re looking for something that would get you perhaps 32-36 stitches/10 cm in stockinette on say a 2.0 mm (US 0) needle if you were knitting socks. Since this is a garment, and obviously not as dense as a sock, knitting on the larger (3mm) needles would net a bigger gauge – what we’re aiming for here is 28 sts/10 cm unblocked.

This is quite a loose gauge for this yarn, and blocking makes it even more open – 21 sts/10cm. Because you’re blocking to size, there can be a fair bit of play in your unblocked gauge, although the length measurements and such given in the pattern assume that you have the same unblocked gauge (especially row gauge) as me.

You really must knit this in a natural fibre (or at least mostly natural; Anne is 15% nylon after all) so that the blocking is as effective as it needs to be – it needs to be able to stretch out quite a lot when wet, and stay that size when it dries. Silk, cotton, and wool are all great for this.

I’d have to say my personal pick out of the ones I’ve shown above is the Lorna’s Laces – it’s quite on the skinny side of fingering weight, and comes in lots of great hand-dyed solids. It’s also quite widely available. That said, I think any of the ones above will work quite well. With a slightly thicker yarn (like the Koigu or Louet Gems), the fabric won’t be quite a open as it is with a thinner yarn, but you can use that to your advantage – the sweater will give you more warmth and coverage! On the other hand, if you make the sweater from a laceweight yarn, it’ll be even more light and lacey – perfect for spring and summer.

As for silk and cotton suggestions, I can’t think of *too* many off the top of my head, but here’s a few, along with even more wool suggestions:

Handmaiden Sea Silk (heavy laceweight)
Brown Sheep Cotton Fine
Austermann Pharao (available at Elann.com; laceweight)
Cascade Lace Weight Silk

Regia Silk
Lang Jawoll
Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra
Baby Ull
Knitpicks Bare Merino Fingering Weight

I know there are lots more out there! If you have any questions about a particualr yarn, please feel free to email me!

How about some knitting content? Remember this?

Well, here’s some proof that it actually *did* become a fluffy bunny (part of a commission order):

Gotta go – still more of that order left to finish!