Wednesday, November 1


Thank you all so so so much for your comments on Brocade! You're all so kind, and you made this girl feel pretty damn good. I DO love Brocade, in spite of and even because of its flaws. I wrote about them in such detail because so few people have knit it, and I wanted to get as much information out there as possible for anyone considering the pattern in the future.

On to the contest. The question, for those of you who missed it, was which two ancient projects I finished last week. Four of you got it right! Kudos to you, Carrie, Eric, Emily and Trek.

Northern Lights mittens and New England socks

I finished the New England socks (last blogged about here) and the Northern Lights mittens (last blogged about here). If you guessed Lady Eleanor, you were close - she and I have been inseperable all week. We might be looking at fringe this weekend! Interesting that no one picked Butterfly - I don't think that one will ever get finished, either.

I assigned each of the correct answerers a number (1-4) and let the random number generator pick the winner. And that winner is:
Trek of Trek Casts On!!!
Congratulations, Trek! I know you're a sock lover, so hopefully the prize will be up your alley - a big hunk of the Mystical Creation Yarns hand-dyed merino that the New England socks were knit with. I have probably 2000 yards of it left, so I'll make sure you get enough for a pair of socks :) More details on that yarn below.

Some FO details:
Northern Lights mittens

Pattern: Northern Lights mittens, available here at Knitpicks
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette in... uh, a bunch of colors.
Needles: Inox dpns, size 1
Modifications: None, except for a pattern error - the pattern lists the second background color (the brown one) as "Fawn," but in the picture it looks a lot more like "Bark" or at least "Wood". Fawn is a little too light and the oranges don't really stand out in those sections, but I'd already returned my yarn once for ordering the wrong colors (they should really list that stuff on the website, geez). Meh.

If they look a little funky, it's because they haven't been soaked or blocked. They need to be - the tips especially are mishapen and my colorwork could be evened out a bit in a couple of places. But! Overall I think my fair isle here is very nice looking. Better in person. The mittens are pretty snug; if I were to knit them again I'd go up a needle size.

(Not too many pictures of the socks, since they're for a friend and hopefully she'll oblige me with a modeled shot once she gets them.)

Pattern: New England socks from Knitting on the Road (by the great Nancy Bush)
Yarn: Merino fingering weight in Amethyst from Mystical Creation Yarns, held double throughout
Needles: Inox dpns, size 1
Modifications: Yarn substitution, of course, and an inch more of stockinette before the toe decreases.

This pattern is just great. It's not too difficult but there's plenty to keep you interested - I especially enjoyed knitting the lacy ribbing. I'm happy with how it turned out in this yarn, too, for the most part. It's very very fine, almost lace weight even, but held double it's perfect for socks. As I think I've said before, I love the effect of doubling a variegated yarn - you get really cool flecks and it's a lot more interesting-looking than little stripes of color. A bit of stripey-pooling did occur in some parts, but that looks cool, too.

New England socks - heel

I think the heel on this sock is sooo cool. It's just like a regular slipped stitch flap heel, but the slipped stitches continue underneath after you turn it! It's a very narrow heel, maybe not the most comfortable ever, but fun to knit.

New England socks - cast-on

The cast-on is quite unique as well, and so pretty! I believe it's a sort of modified double-start cast on (correct me if I'm wrong, I don't have the book in front of me). Since I was doubling the yarn already, I had to quadruple it for the cast on. It turned out very stretchy, and did I mention pretty?

I hope Hilarie will like them. I need to pick up some sock blockers and block them - this is the first time that I've felt like I really need sock blockers. Do you want to know why? One sock is bigger than the other. Yeah. I have NEVER had this happen to me. And it's not because I finished them months apart - when I got past the heel on the second sock in July, I noticed that it was longer than the first sock I'd knit. I thought I'd done too many rows on the leg or something, got frustrated with myself and abandoned the project (see a trend here?) But when I looked at it again last week, I saw that I'd knit everything perfectly! It was just bigger for some reason. Well. I'll just block the hell out of that first, smaller sock, and everything will be okay. Right? Ugh.

A tidbit from my personal life: today is my 3rd anniversary with Brian! We had our first date three years ago today :) And what a date it was, sneaking beer into my freshman dorm - oh, youth! I love you, Brian! We're awesome. Thank you for the photo taking, the countless trips to Webs, and your overall embrace of my fiber habit (and more than that, of course).

I have a ton of movies to review - I'll try to get that up tomorrow. Expect a finished Lady Eleanor soon, too!