Monday, April 29, 2013

Photo of the Week: Metallic

111/365: Metallic by jchants
111/365: Metallic, a photo by jchants on Flickr.
The undulating colors of the metal facade of the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Photos of the Week: A Shawl, with Tulips

I finished it! In the photo above, I'm displaying my Evadine shawl, knit in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Shannypants colorway.  The shawl was a mystery knitalong in Corrina Ferguson's PicnicKnits group on Ravelry. It was one of the most complex lace projects I've done, but I'm very proud to say that I didn't make any mistakes, and I was able to finish within two weeks of receiving the final clue; the best I've ever done on a mystery KAL. The key to my success was that I counted stitches section-by-section and row by row, so that if my count was off, I caught it right away. 

You may have noticed in the post title above that it says Photos of the week. That's because last Monday Mr. D and I did our annual day trip to RoozenGaarde, in the Skagit Valley, to marvel at the tulips. We had a cool but mostly sunny day, unlike last year, when it poured. Anyway, I couldn't limit the photos in this post to just one, so I'm sharing my favorites from the day, which includes the shawl photo above, taken by the wonderful Mr. D. 

Happy tulip time, happy Spring!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Photo of the Week: Welcome to My World

93/365: Welcome to My World by jchants
93/365: Welcome to My World, a photo by jchants on Flickr.
Inside the kingdom of the cherry blossoms.

I'm way behind on the photo of the week; this one is from the week of April 1. I have a special photo of the week coming up in a day or two, so stay tuned...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's Time To Talk About Socks

I love knitting socks. I love wearing my knitted socks. As you can tell by the photo of my sock drawer in the previous post, I have knit A LOT of socks. But I haven't really talked much about socks here on the blog lately, so this post is to make up for that.

Plain vanilla socks are the perfect project for social knitting, and because I do knit pretty frequently with my knitting friends, I have knit a fair number of plain vanilla socks. Here is my latest pair, the Not So Plain Vanilla Socks:

These socks were knit out of a fun self-patterning yarn that really kept my interest, and I love the result.

When I first a started knitting socks, about five years ago, it was all I could do to get through plain vanilla socks, so that's all I knit for quite a while. Then, as my sock knitting skills improved, I began to branch out. First, I knit a pair of garter rib socks, based on the stitch pattern in Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. I've knit garter rib socks several times over the past several years. Here is my most recent pair, my Happy Socks, knit out of one of the first Hazel Knits yarns I ever purchased, a yarn club colorway, Aloha, from June 2009. They really are happy, aren't they?

Once I mastered plain and simple ribbed socks, I moved on to patterned socks. The first pattern that I knit was Linda Welch's Spring Forward, and although they took me months to knit, I am still very proud of them, and love wearing them. Here are my I'm Springing Forward socks; I really felt like I was springing forward as a sock knitter when I finished these.

Since completing those Spring Forwards in the summer of 2009, I have continued to intersperse patterned socks with plain vanilla and ribbed socks. I am finding that I always have to have at least one patterned sock on my needles, even if it languishes while I work on other projects. That is the case with my current patterned sock project, my Hazel Knits Mystery Sock KAL Socks, the Chinese Bell Flower pattern designed by Adrienne Fong. The knitalong ran from January 1 through February 28, but I'm still plugging away on mine. This is probably the most complicated sock I've ever knitted, but I am really enjoying it, nonetheless. Here is what the socks look like so far:

I've just scratched the surface on socks in this post, and I haven't even talked about my preferred sock knitting method, two circular needles, compared to the magic loop method or dpns. I also haven't touched on top down construction—again, my preferred method—versus toe-up. Those discussions will have to wait for another day.

The point of this post is just to reiterate what I said at the beginning: I love knitting socks!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Photo of the Week: Inside the Sock Drawer

I've been seeing a number of photos of the insides of sock drawers recently, and I wanted to take one, too. This shows just a few of my 24 pairs of hand knit socks. Lately I've been thinking a lot about my sock knitting, so watch the blog for a post about socks coming up soon!