Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I needed an easy project to get things going in March since I was such a slacker in February.  Plus with MD S&W looming, I needed an excuse to use up my stash so I could shop unrestricted :)

The first project was an easy pair of STR socks.  Started on the plane ride to Frankfurt, and finished on the train from Frankfurt to Bremen (yes, the train theme continues).  I bought this originally thinking the colors were perfect for a baby project, but it patterned so beautifully once I knit a swatch, I had to finish it as socks to keep the striping pattern.

I am calling them my rose garden socks, because the colors with the pinks/purples alternating with greens/browns remind me so much of the beautiful rose bushes in my yard in MD.  It sat in my herb garden, and the lavendar was close by, and the mingling of colors was beautiful.

I have these in mind as a gift for my friend's wife.  I made the foot a little shorter than I normally would since she wears a size six shoe, but I am not sure I can part with them.

I started Jared Flood's Willoughby on the first of March as well, and had these two projects going on in tandem.  I have wanted to knit Willoughby since the first time I saw the pattern, and I am completely in love with how the lace presents in this piece.  Jared has such a beautiful eye for lace, and I find his patterns very mathmatical. I think that is why they appeal to me so much.

For Willoughby, I chose a beautiful green cashmere from my stash (Cashmeres by Kate, purchased at the 2008 NHSW).  At 200 yds per 4 oz skein, I am counting this as "sock yarn" even though I would never make socks out of 100% cashmere.  Cashmere/merino/nylon blend maybe, but not pure cashmere.  I increased the number of repeats to 25 per side, since 20 looked a little short to me.  I am very happy with the final length pre-blocking.  In my opinion, scarves cannot be too long in the cold New England winter.

In the end, just short of four skeins consumed, so I get to count this as 2 100 gse.  Even though there was a lot of overlap between February and March with the whole diagonal-rib sock debaucle, I am counting this as goal completed for March.  Here is Willoughby in blocking, and some pics of the finished product (above).

Feb continued...

So, here is how the rest of my February went. 

Let's start with my STR project.  A while back I mentioned a beautiful skein of orange-red-purple STR that I had set for my next Feb. project.  Well, I finally found the perfect pattern for this yarn--Ann Budd's Diagonal Rib socks.  Simple enough to show off the yarn, but enough of a pattern to keep things interesting.  So I started and I loved the striping, but as I got to the heel, something just did not look right.  You see, I started these as I got onto an airplane so I took a quick glance at the stitch pattern and took off.  But in my haste, I only read the first two lines of the pattern stitch and figured I got the hang of it.  You should know, I am a lazy knitter when it comes to socks. 

On a long train ride from NYC to Boston, I realized my diagonal ribs were not so much...diagonal.  And the pattern was taking me a really long time to knit.  Sure enough, the lights came on and I realized ('duh!) the twisted stitch should alternate every other row.  I tried a few rows to see how noticable it was, and the answer is very.  Did I mention I had a good 9 inches of cuff plus a heel finished?  So, I put them on hold while I worked up the strength to rip them back.

Hamburg harbor, March 2011.
 I found my motivation a few weeks later on another train.  This time, it was a short ride from Bremen to Hamburg in northern Germany.  I ripped and ripped, and started anew.  Took much less time the second time around and by the end of March, they were finally finished.  Not coincidentally, I finished then up during yet another train ride, this time from Bremen to Frankfurt. 

Frankfurt am Main

Here they are.

I must admit, I love how this yarn looks in the pattern.  I made the usual modifications--top-down, alternating slip-stitch heel (my fave for STR) and gusset, with a few extra stitches picked up in the gusset increase to make up for the fact that this is a dense fabric with not as much stretch as, say, a 2x2 rib.  I also intentionally went down a couple of needle sizes to make it a more dense fabric.

At the end of the month, due to my laziness-induced error, I essentially made these twice: once in Feb and once in March.  I will count them as a March project, which of course means I am not one, but two projects short in Feb.  So yeah, I gotta give away some yarn...