No Socks?! And, Watch Me Delude Myself Into Thinking I Can Finish Lace in Four Days

As of this moment, there are zero, zilch, no socks on my US1 dpns.

It’s a little unnerving.

I’m almost never without socks to work on. But lately, I’ve been consumed by triangular shawls and scarves and preparations for Malabrigo March, and it dawned on me that I have no small-gauge socks cast on. I mean, I’ve still got the thrummed socks going, but those are on US3 and US5 dpns—which means they don’t count–and I haven’t cast on any small gauge socks since I finished up my Monkeys. Which, by the way, are awesome.

Some groovy new socks

Despite the fact that I just could not seem to memorize this chart, these flew off the needles. It’s not that the pattern was difficult—because it really wasn’t at all—it just would not stick in my brain for some reason. It was really kind of weird.

Anywho, I did eight repeats on the legs, instead of the six the pattern calls for, and six on the foot…and I still have a crap-ton of this yarn left over. I love red—it’s my favorite color—but it’s kind of funny that I never really seem to knit with it. I always seem to get drawn toward the purples and blues. As such, this is my first pair of red handknit socks, and the red is really really red.

Which makes them all the more awesome. The yarn is Creatively Dyed Beaches, the “Del Mar” colorway, that I got at Stitches East. You should get some, too, as it’s also awesome.

Happy feet!

I did the original purled version of the pattern, which I like a lot, and I stuck with the stockinette heel flap, though I did consider doing a slipped-stitch heel flap instead. Overall, I couldn’t be any happier with them.

Right now, I’m trying to finish up a simple 1X1 ribbed scarf out of the Malabrigo Twist in “Cookie”—mostly because I just want to wear the thing so badly.

Deliciously cuddly and soft…and I love the striping action!

And I’m trying to bust out this Gail/Nightsongs shawl as quickly as possible so that my US 6 Addi Lace will be free for Malabrigo March…which starts in four days. 

Reminds me of that 90s song: “If you steal my sunshine…”

I’m farther along now than this pic; I’ve almost finished my fourth repeat. The pattern calls for seven repeats, then the edging, and yardage will not be a problem.  So, I can totally knit at least three more repeats–but probably more than that, because who wants a tiny scarf, right?—not screw up  in a way that requires tinking or frogging at all and bind off the whole thing off before Monday, right?

Oh, sweet delusion, how I’ve missed you, my old friend….

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Herbivorous Maximus

While much of the rest of the East Coast has just been pummeled this winter, southern New England has been—much to my dismay—pretty mild. Here at La Casa de Weasel, even the houseplants seem to think it’s already springtime.

Little red flowers just blooming away

Even this one plant, which is just a green that always seems on the verge of death, is sprouting back to life on my windowsill.

Meet “Kitty,” the houseplant with nine lives

Maybe all the greenery booming around the house is what subconsiously inspired me to knit my Herbivore.

Like a giant cashmere-blend leaf on my shoulder

This was another pretty quick project and another wonderful yarn. The pattern requires a whole lot of knitting and purling through the back loop; even with that, it only took about a week and a half, start to finish.

Gotta love the textures going on here

The pattern is pretty ingenius for it’s effective use of texture on what would otherwise be a stockinette and rib shawl. I wasn’t sure about the garter-stitch edging, but I went with it and I love how it finishes the piece. The pattern was really intuitive, too; for most of it, I didn’t even need to look at the pattern, it was so easy to memorize.

A little cashmere goes a long way

To me, the yarn is what really makes this special. This is Caper Sock, a merino/cashmere/nylon blend from String Theory, in the “Poisedon” colorway. No matter how I try, I can’t get the color of this photographed accurately but, in the end, I don’t think it really matters. It’s beautiful in any light. It’s also soft and, after a good wet blocking on my wires, it’s wonderfully drapey and cozy.

My Herbivore is a little bigger than the pattern calls for, mostly because I wanted to use up as much of this skein as possible. So I knit until I felt it was as big as I could comfortably go, then did the garter edge and bind off.

All that’s left

I think I did pretty well in using up the yardage on this one.

My bamboo is going crazy right now too…

Feeling lucky?

…and someone should tell my Christmas cactus that it’s not Christmas anymore.

Look who’s budding

With snow in the forecast, though, all this greenery might be a bit premature. I’m not sure spring has sprung here quite yet!

Finishing Up

Here’s what I really love about knitting: You take some string and sticks, put them together and after a while you have this crumpled mess of stitches.

Getting there...

Then you take those stitches, soak them for a little bit, string them up on some wire and get something similar to what you started with but a hundred million times better.

A lovely swoop of fabric

Herbivore slipped onto and off of my US 6 Addi Lace this week. I’d wanted to knit it for a while and had the perfect yarn stashed away just waiting. But more on Herbivore later….

Besides the newest shawl off my needles, I took the long weekend to finish up some long-standing spinning projects. First, I spun and plied the last of some kettle-dyed shetland humbug top from Shunklies that had been lingering for a while.

Bah, humbug!

I love shetland. It’s a woolier wool–totally unlike merino–and it’s just so much fun to spin. The texture, the crimp of the fiber, the way it drafts…it’s unlike any other wool I’ve spun to date.

Wooly goodness

The finished yarn is a nicely balanced light fingering weight. And I got a fantastic 487.5 yards out of the 3.5 ounces of top. I think this is destined to become a pair of colorwork mittens…eventually…

Gotta love the shetland

…but I think it might just make an appearance at Rhinebeck this fall first. I’m really, really happy with it.

After finishing the shetland, I set my mind toward clearing off my Bosworth mini.

From the Bosworth onto Little Joe

I got a nice sized cop off the rest of the bamboo/silk left after I finished plying it with that awful soysilk. I Navajo plied the singles into a heavy laceweight and wound up with little more than 180 yards of nicely finished yarn. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I’m glad to finally have it done and to have my Bosworth ready for some new challenges.

There was something very rewarding about finishing up those spinning projects, and something even more rewarding about putting two more spindles into the empty-spindle vase for safe-keeping…though I can’t promise they’ll stay nekkid for long!

More on Herbivore to come, plus my latest finished socks and my newest cast on…can you ever really have enough triangular shawls?

Getting Ready…

…for my first Malabrigo March! 

Is that really so wrong? I mean, February is cruising right on by…and Malabrigo is, like, completly amazing and beautiful and unlike anything else in the whole wide world. 

And can you really ever have enough of it? Really? 

So, the first dose came from Jimmy Beans Wool (which stocks EVERY colorway of the worsted weight merino, which is in fact mind-blowingly awesome) in three different shades of reddish-brown Merino Worsted. 

Cinnabar, Red Java and Sealing Wax

These are destined to become Colonnade (Rav link) by Stephen West, mimicing his beautiful prototype (Rav link) of the shawl that I want want want! 

It’s been tough to resist the temptation to cast this on. Ever since I gave away my Frost Diamonds, I’ve been craving a big, cozy Malabrigo shawl of my own. I didn’t want to knit the same pattern again, though, but Colonnade totally fits the bill. It’s a similar shape, but I love the stockinette/lace contrast of it…very similar to Ishbel in that regard. I can’t wait to start this! 

Also from Jimmy Beans Wool came this beautiful little skein of Lace. 

A simply gorgeous colorway

The colorway is “Amoroso,” and I love it even more in person than I did in the photographs on Jimmy Bean’s Web site. It’s has these infusions of pink and orange on a red base that are really stunning. This will become a lacy little something, though I’m not quite sure what at the moment. Maybe an Echo Flower (Rav link) shawl? I dunno…suggestions anyone?

Finally…and you’ll notice a color theme happening here…I got two skeins of Worsted to make Jared Flood’s fantastic Grove Mittens (Rav link).

Someone likes the reds, huh?

These are “Rojo Vivo,” another vibrant red-orange solid colorway. I actually had a tough time deciding what color to get for these mittens. I bought the yarn on a trip to WEBS last weekend, and they had a lot of nice semi-solids and solids to choose from. I typically tend to gravitate toward the redder reds and stay away from the orangy tones, but this color grabbed me. “Rojo Vivo” is bright and happy, and I think those swirly little cables are just going to pop.

So, that’s how my March is shaping up…though I might add something else as well. A Geodesic Cardigan (Rav link) would be awesome, but with my work schedule picking up even more next month, I don’t really want to overcommit myself.

And I may have also indulged myself a bit more at WEBS. But the new-ish Malabrigo Twist is just…

Two hanks of Twist in “Plena”

….so….

And two more in “Cookie”

…freaking wonderful! I mean, can you really blame me? Really?

The Twist is not officially for Malabrigo March, however. It’s kind of for whenever…which might be right now…or might be March. But will probably be right now. And again, is that really so wrong?

A Set of Stripey FOs

I’m less than one week into Crazy Time at Work, and already it’s…well…crazy. This past week, I was in a less-than-stellar mood. Never before has the stress of work increased so rapidly at the onset of Crazy Time. Oh well…here’s hoping for less-crazy, at least for a little bit.

One the plus, though: If we keep up this pace we will get to the end of it in May really fast!

What’s this? A transitional colorway, perhaps??

I did manage to whip up the rest of the set to match my Turn-a-Square, and I’m pretty happy with the whole deal.

I did a simple 1X1 rib over 30 stitches on the scarf with some uneven, transitional striping where the handspun merges with the commercial yarn. It’s cute and squishy, but it did confirm that this set is destined for gift-dom. As soft as the School Products yak/merino feels in the hand, it makes my neck really, really unhappy.

Digging the colors at work in this one

Thankfully, my neck is unlike other people’s necks, and someone else will surely enjoy this one at some point. And it is purty. I did some creative fudging at one point, so there’s a line of kinda-twisted funky stitches in the handspun, the somewhat intelligible details of which are here on Rav. Suffice to say, I’ve learned the true value of the provisional cast on, and ripping out a long-tail cast on is never a good idea.

For the other part of the set, I chose the 75-yard Malabrigo mitt pattern (Rav link), made the cuffs and tops longer and added the stripes to match.

Yay for stripey mitts!

I happened to be in a green section of the handspun, so the stripes are very…well…green. But, I think they still match the set well. These were ridiculously quick, too, despite my alterations to the pattern. The pattern is very clear, and they knit up in a day…total instant gratification.

So, the set it done. Yay! And both skeins of yarn are completely used up and gone. Double yay for stashbusting!!

Stripes and stripes and more stripes

Who is it for? Well, who knows!

But someone is really, really lucky…even if I do say so myself…