Some catching up to do!

For the record, the winning gardenia was No. 2.

Pretty white petals
Pretty white petals

And the whole room smelled amazing right after this bloomed. So lovely.

So, I’ve been such a bad blogger its not even funny! But, the beauty of not updating for a while is that I have so much to catch up on! We’ll start with an FO: the Huntington Socks for Mr. Blue-eyes.

Voila!
Voila!

These are just awesome. Mr. Blue-eyes loves them and, wonder of wonders, they fit!! Yay!!

*Not* modeled by Mr. Blue-eyes
*Not* modeled by Mr. Blue-eyes

The details are what make these just a great finished sock. The Railway Stitch adds texture and visual interest, as well as form-fitting ease, to the sock and the striped heels and toes make them super fancy.

These were a quick knit, too. If not for a little break between socks, they probably would have been done in two weeks.

I’ve also been spinning, spinning, spinning like a spinning, spinning, spinning fool.

I’m working on the merino-bamboo batts from Rhinebeck on my Greensleeves Tom Foolery…

Purple merino-bamboo
Red/purple merino-bamboo

…and my Rhinebeck soy silk on the Bosworth Mini, which feels so tiny in my hands compared to the other spindles, but man does it dance like no other on the end of the single!

A very bright and interesting combination of colors
A very bright and interesting combination of colors

The soy silk actually deserves some commentary. This stuff gave me fits! At the time that this photo was taken, I was so fed up with the stuff that it took all my willpower not to scrap these singles and pick up something more fun to spin, like the two ounces of tussah just waiting for me  in the stash. I just couldn’t get the hang of it, even after receiving a tutorial from master silk spinner and laceweight idol, TerriSpins (rav link). So I set it aside, worked on the pewter merino/silk project, worked on the merino/bamboo project, and tried to forget about the nasty, evil soy silk.

And then I picked it back up and actually watched what I was doing. And realized very quickly that there can be zero, zilch, nada, absolutely no twist in the draft zone with this stuff. Even a half turn of the spindle is too much. That little bit of twist and it ceases to be beautiful and starts being bitchy.

It was a total “ah, ha” moment. I’ve spun almost an ounce now, and things are going much, much better.

In other spinning news, I picked up a couple of monster sized spindles from Heavenly Hansdpinning, and quickly worked up 2 ounces of merino/tencel blend top that I’m in the process of plying. More on that soon.

And I ordered these pretty, pretty, curly, curly cotswold locks from Dyeing for Color so that I can try my hand at my first art yarn. I’m planning on trying to integrate some tailspun locks into a single of ultrafine merino…sounds much easier than I suspect it will actuall be but  I can’t wait for them to arrive so I can try it out!

On the non-knitting/spinning front, Jackson has gotten huge…though it would be nice if his head would grow to catch up with his body…what happened to that little puppy??….

You know you just want to love me...
You know you just want to love me…

…Jackson and Madori don’t get to see each other as often, since Big Changes are still underway, and they really seem to miss each other…very sweet…

Dont touch my hedgehog, Jackson
Don’t touch my hedgehog, Jackson

….and this is what you get when you can’t eat any of the dairy-laden desserts offered at the Asian-fusion restaurant, but the cute little waitresses still want to sing “Happy Birthday.”

Blow out the candle on your birthday fruit!
Blow out the candle on your birthday fruit!

I can only hope that this coming year will be as wonderful and promising as this past year turned out to be!

Greenery…and Some Gray

So, who’s it gonna be?

You?

Potential Flower No. 1
Potential Flower No. 1

Or will it be you??

Potential Flower No. 2
Potential Flower No. 2

Which bud will give me my first pretty little gardenia? I guess only time will tell…but I’m really enjoying my new houseplants. One of the beautiful things about living in an old house are those wonderful old-style design features, like ripply plaster walls and decorative molding on each window and doorway…and deep windowsills just waiting to be filled with foliage.

And a windowsill herb garden is most definitely in the future!


Yesterday marked the next phase of Big Changes…and this part, and all the lead up to this part, was much harder than the first part.


So, I’ve been trying to keep busy, and I decided to take a big leap: I’m working on my first handknit for Mr. Blue-eyes. And, of course, it has to be socks.
A manly sock for a manly man
A manly sock for a manly man
And its a purdy sock too!


This is the Gentleman’s Sock in Railway Stitch from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks, which is fast becoming a favorite go-to sock book.
A melding of stripes and texture
A melding of stripes and texture
I really like this sock. I wasn’t sure if I would really dig the combination of a textured stitch with striped details, but they just look so classic together. Interesting without being overwhelming, patterned while maintaining its masculine feel.


But a chick could totally pull off this pattern too.
Stitch Love
Stitch Love
The yarn is Valley Yarns Huntington, which I bought from WEBS in a fit of stash enhancing some time ago because, let’s face it, it’s a *fantastic* price for superwash sock yarn. It’s a great solid-color sock yarn that shows stitch definition beautifully, but it is really splitty. It does take some concentration to make sure that I’m getting all the plys with my stitches, but the end result is lovely. And this is a comfy sock.
A stripey, tapered toe
A stripey, tapered toe
I’m totally guessing on the size here, and I’m relying in the build-in stretch of the pattern, which is considerable.  Mr. Blue-eyes’ feet are longer and wider than mine, and his calves are considerably thicker, but there is some calf shaping in the pattern and there’s a lot of ease. So I’m hopeful that these will work out.
A very cozy sock
A very cozy sock
If not…well, they do fit me alright…