Morning S.E.X.

I wasn’t planning for any S.E.X. this morning, but then this happened:

knitosophyIt was at my LYS, just begging to be picked up. Hold on, hold on. I don’t mean sex. I meant it was a Stash Enhancement eXpedition, of course. I’ve you’ve read the popular knitting guide Stitch n’ Bitch, you might recognize S.E.X. as one of their acronyms.

The yarn is Dream in Color Knitosophy in the color Strength. I used this brand of yarn on Zooey’s Pinwheel Blanket before, and was pretty fond of it. I think I’m going to whip up a Little Sister’s Dress, but I can’t tell you who the recipient is just yet.

I also recently acquired this yarn at a stash swap at my LYS.lorna's laces

I couldn’t resist it when the former owner said she’d give it to me for $15, since Lorna’s Laces is usually double that for a pair of socks. Some of Matt’s favorite socks are made with Lorna’s Laces, and this color (Fiddlehead) seems like a nice manly color, so they will probably end up as a pair for him.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I wish you all lots of S.E.X.

The softest socks he has.

Which is softer, the socks or Seymour?

Which is softer, the socks or Seymour?

I finished my fourth pair of socks for Matt. I’d like him to be as spoiled as I am one day and be able to use hand knit socks daily in the colder months because he loves them so much.

matt stripe socks-3

He says this is the softest pair yet! I made him this pair out of some Opal and this pair out of some Knit One Crochet Too, both nice hard-wearing yarns, but definitely less supple than this pair. Maybe I’ll whip up some socks out of Malabrigo or Koigu for him one of these days. That’s the softest my feet have known yet, but they require more delicate care. I think of those as my sometimes socks and often wear my Regia socks because those can take a beating and come out perfectly in the washer and dryer.

matt stripe socks

I also made these faux-argyle socks. That yarn (Cosmo Linie 33)  had the softest hand, but they already have a hole in the toe, so that yarn is now filed away in my never again brain folder for sock yarns. I think he only wore those for about a month. I haven’t darned the toe because that seems like more of a pain than knitting another pair and the socks had other issues too.

This yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in the colorway Roadside Gerry. I like working with it, and I really like how it striped. I originally tried to use this yarn for myself, but there was some massive pooling at 64 stitches. It looked better at 60 stitches per round, but I thought that might be a bit narrow for my foot, so they were frogged a second time and they became socks for Matt.

matt stripe socks-4

These were sort of a surprise Christmas gift (ahem, now very belated). They went by the wayside as I became enchanted with a number of sweaters and they were relegated to bus knitting when I got to the ribbing. Well it’s nearing then end of the chilliest part of the year, but they are finished and ready for regular wear.

I’m already starting another pair for him.

A good man deserves good socks.

matt stripe sock-2

Here is a quick update on another project I’ve had on the needles for awhile. I started these back in November with some Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in the Roadside Gerry colorway I’ve had in my stash since at least 2008. The stripes look really good in Matt’s size sock (72 stitches). I tried them in my size with 64 stitches and there was some icky pooling of the stripes. They worked well at 60 stitches, but I thought I might not like the narrowness of them. I turned them into a belated Christmas gift for Matt and tried to work on them secretly until just a couple of days before Christmas. Then I let the cat out of the bag, because I’m horrible with waiting to give people good surprises.

matt stripe sock

I love the colors. I am getting ready to be done with these though. With the stockinette socks, once I turn the heel and get through the gusset decreases I get antsy while working on the leg. I love having at least one pair of the socks on the needles for easy project portability.

I just remembered I have another pair languishing somewhere… Maybe I have more things on the needles than I think…

Rrrrrrrrrrrrripppppppppp? Or not?

Apparently, this Outlast fiber in my skein of Lorna’s Laces Solemate is some kind of miracle fiber. According to this press release about it, it can help control body temperatures, has high wind resistance, resists wrinkles and fading, is very durable, and can do your taxes for you.

Um, just kidding about that last one.

The yarn is not Malabrigo Sock soft by any means, and it could be a wee bit springier for my taste, but it is lovely, nonetheless. The thing is…I’m not really sure I like this amount of variegation in the color as I’m doing the lace. I know I was all cocky about the subtlety of the contrast, etc. a few days ago, but now I’m having doubts. I’m not afraid to rip this, but I can’t decide if I like it or hate it right now. I’m not getting a good gut reaction. There is a bit more splotchiness in the color than I would like.

In desperation, I pulled out that old Ishbel I was making out of the Araucania Ranco sock yarn from years ago. Now that I seem to have no troubles with the pattern at all, I thought about ripping back to the stockinette portion (not much at this point) and starting that one over. Everything was on gauge, and though not my favorite yarn in terms of softness, the color is a magnificent red-orange (colorway 105–good approximation here) and I could still get this thing done fairly soon so maybe it won’t occupy my brain at 5 am and make me get out of bed to look at yarn in my stash. Hmph. Basically, I’m eating all of my words from earlier this week.

Opinions are most welcome. Rip? No? I’m going to switch to the Araucania version for right now, but I’ll wait to decide on this Solemate version for a few days so it can simmer.

Keeping calm and casting on.

The Featherweight Cardigan has been blocked. I still need to weave in the ends, and take a picture of course. It’s a little snug in the arms, but that’s to be expected, given that I made my non-preggo size and preggo-arms are bigger than that.

What’s next you say? Well, as much as I should be plugging away on the baby blanket (which is now somewhere in the 720+ stitches in a round range), I have decided I must cast on for something lace. I’ve decided on Ishbel, a lovely shawl that has 11,355 Ravelry projects. Whoa.

I started making this a couple of years ago and then quit on it for no good reason. I’ve chosen a different yarn, because I was previously knitting it out of some Araucania Sock that was a gorgeous color, but didn’t feel that great to knit with. Oh, and if you ever try to wind a ball of that stuff by yourself on a swift and ball winder…BEWARE. At the shop we’re always joking that it had to be put together by children. It’s a tangled mess. I even wrote the company about it once and got no response, after I struggled to wind three balls of the sock yarn and had to cut them in order to make them useable. I still haven’t knit up a single one of them.

Regardless, it seems I’m fairly long-winded this morning. This is the yarn I’ll be using for Ishbel.

It’s Lorna’s Laces Solemate. It’s color 310, Catalpa. The fiber content is 55% Superwash merino, 15% Nylon, and 30% Outlast. This is definitely more synthetic than I normally use in a project, so we’ll see how that goes. I was charmed by the color, and it’s definitely still very soft.

Since it’s a project with a good amount of lace, I wanted to check and see if the color changes would outshine the lace. An easy way to do this is check the color contrast in a black and white photo. I saw this a couple of years ago in the book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns and was reminded of it again in this post.

From the picture, it looks like there won’t be hugely dramatic color changes, so I’m going to forge ahead.