today i taught myself how to knit Continental. i can't believe how fast i picked it up--i was going on a half-remembered lesson that Adriana gave last July and a photocopied page from that Anna Zilboorg book--but it took no time at all to get my hands used to the new motions.

though my main motive for picking up this techique was mainly utilitarian (read: eliminate all that annoying untangling while working with multiple colours,) i couldn't help but enjoy the very feel of it. holding both work and yarn in the same hand simultaneously both literally and figuratively made me feel more closely bound to the fabric i was producing. knitting with both hands at the same time isn't as difficult as i had thought! the resulting swatches (one in-the-round, one in the flat) are destined for a spin in the washing machine so i can finally see how garter stitch and in-the-round colourwork look properly fulled.

on a totally unrelated (but mitenny!) note, tonight i grafted the top of the first Checks and Charms mitten. it remains thumbless with about a million ends (where did those come from?) still unfinished, and it will so remain until...well, until i get around to it. as such, i'm striking it from the "On the Needles" list as it is, frankly, no longer on my needles. working mittens fom the bottom up (with the exception of Latvian mittens) just isn't satisfying or fun for me lately. i suspect i'll have better luck with top-down mittens.

Another placeholder.

this morning my mind was filled to bursting with musings on mittens--mitten technique, mitten construction and, mainly, whether the use of duplicate stitch would comprimise the historical integrity of Latvian mittens. i had mentally composed a suitably mittenny post, and carried it with me the better part of the day...

...and once at home, promptly forgot it. i did away with my chagrin while winding a good bit of my stash. surrounded by colours, i gathered together pinks, browns, oranges and ivory, fully intending to put both them and the new cast on (Middle Eastern CO) that i learned this morning to work in a new, magnificent mitten.

then i ran into the sock pattern that Adriana had shown me last night.

there's a very good chance that i'll have both a new mitten and sock cast on by the end of the evening.

Monkey, FO.

Yarn: ONline Supersocke in colourway 669
Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo dpns, US 2
Pattern: basic pattern, Monkey by Cookie A., Monkey variant courtesy of fiberjinx
Started: 15 May 2007
Finished: 22 May 2007

Notes: the very popular Monkey socks done in a fairly crazy colourway. i love the pink squiggles scribbled all over the finished socks.

since i tweaked the pattern and made fiberjinx's Monkey i changed all the purls to knit stitches and i ignored the yo's and opted for M1's instead. of course i managed to forget to knit through the back of the loop for all of those M1's so the fabric has a touch of an openwork feel about it. i'll have to remember to not do this when i make the next pair.

Fun Fact: this pattern is so easily internalized it isn't even funny! i dispensed with my chart fairly early on and knit them from memory.

All over the road!

just when i (un)officially decided to lay off the socks for a while (i even went so far as to acquire this book to dissuade me,) the next thing i know i've acquired yarn to make THESE.

thank you, economical knitpicks Telemark, for having the SAME GAUGE as the Dale of Norway yarn called for in the pattern!

Thank you also for having such tempting colourways:

clockwise from the top left, these are Rosemary, Northern Green, Tangelo and Poppy.
Northern Green will be the main colour of the sock with Rosemary as the contrast. Tangelo and Poppy will be the two accent colours. i can't wait to get my hands on these colours!

also in the works are the Mega Mittens. these are still bouncing around in my brain and will most likely materialise in some form very soon. the good news is that i already have everything i'll need!

as for actually knit objects, i just grafted the toe on the first Monkey today, before i was taken out to ogle Arctic Terns (which are currently one of my new favourite birds.)

now the question is, cast on for Moneky no. 2 or start tangling with a new colourwork sock and/or mitten?


why can't you do it? / why can't you set your monkey free?
always giving into it / do you love your monkey or do you love me?
why can't you do it? / why do I have to share my baby with a monkey?
with a monkey / eieee eieee ei la la!

it's all fun and games 'til someone starts quoting George Michael circa 1988.

as one may have guessed (and really, how could one not have guessed,) i've started work on Monkey. what you really have to check out is the yarn:

that's ONline Supersocke in crazy-go-nuts colourway 669. i was half-concerned at first that the colours were tangling with the pattern but it's not looking too bad.

Flannel socks, FO.

Yarn: Regia Strato Color in Flannel
Needles: Bamboo dpns 2.50mm
Pattern: Plain Vanilla sock recipe (short row heel and wedge toe)
Started: 8 May 2007
Finished: 15 May 2007

Notes: my first socks working with self-striping yarn. also, first socks worked on 2.50mm needles.

Fun Fact: achieving identical twin-socks was a lot easier than i had thought, and i managed to do it without wasting too much yarn.

In Times of Stress...

...nothing heals like sock yarn. we won't speak of all the other sock yarns i have squirreled away here, or of all the projects i've already taken on. i just want to bask in the glow of Trekking XXL 146 'til all the stress and the stupid goes away.

with any luck my ball winder will turn up tomorrow (i hope, i hope.) that should help out as well.

Queen of Cups, FO.

Yarn: KnitPicks Essential Tweed in Inca Gold
Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo dpns, US 2
Pattern: Queen of Cups by Nathania Apple
Started: 10 March 2007
Finished: 6 May 2007

Notes: this is my first completed pair of intricatley textured socks. i usually use sock knitting as a good "downtime" activity and often i just end up knititng more of my Plain Vanilla socks (i've work the odd colourwork pattern to stave off the boredom, but that was about it.) these socks gave me a chance to play with texture and showed me that complex socks can be just as relaxing. this could bode very well for the long-forgotten and still-mateless Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern that's been hanging around here since last fall.

Fun Fact: if the socks in the picture aren't looking as lint-ridden as other finished objects knit with Essential Tweed out there, there's a good reason for that. one might recall that i carefully groomed the more offensive tweedy bits out of the yarn before, during and after knitting. the resulting yarn is much more subtle and (in my opinion,) makes for a nicer pair of socks that don't make it look like one had a serious run-in with a lint trap.

Snagglin' Socks, FO.

Yarn: Sock It To Me Colori, Koigu KPPPM
Needles: KnitPicks dpns, US 2
Pattern: my Plain Vanilla sock recipe, NOW featuring a short row heel, still featuring a wedge toe
Started: 14 April 2007
Finished: 2 May 2007

Notes: these socks feature my first serious attempt at short row heels, which are also consequently my best short row heels. i seriously doubt that i will ever go back to using the heel flap method unless a pattern calls for it (or i'm just really in the mood. strangely, suddenly using the heel flap as a blank canvas for complex colourwork/texture seems really, really appealing--i suppose the grass is always greener.)

this is also the first pair of striped socks i've ever made, and as such features my first shot at jogless rounds. the latter ended up looking pretty good, but the former...let's just say i have to get around learning to weave in ends as i go.

Fun Fact: these socks gave me the chance to dip into my collection of Koigu KPPPM snagglins lurking in my stash AND gave me the chance to do away with an odd ball of standard superwash sock yarn (left over from another koigu/superwash colourwork experiment.) i love having the chance to use up otherwise odd bits of yarn and turn them into something useful and beautiful in the process. Koigu KPPPM is far too pretty to languish in a box in the closet!

endless ends.




clearly, this is the rarely-seen horrific side of striped things. at least the socks are done! and i mean all the socks. i grafted the toes of both the mates to the Snagglin' socks and the Queen of Cups socks this morning.

my other fancy news is that i finally got around to ordering that ball winder(!!!)

i must run, as the tagine is on the table. onward!


apparently not touching hand to needles for the better part of last week is enough to make second socks fancy and exciting. i should keep this in mind for future reference--second socks often need all the help they can get.

since there are still-warm chocolate chip cookies in my imminent future, i'll make this quick.

this is Snagglin' sock no. 2. these short row heels are never going to get old...and look how much better it looks than the one is the previous post!

the second Queen of Cups sock grew considerably today; the last time it was documented (and touched) it was barely more than a wide cuff. here it is now:

after all these short row heels the heel flap was considerably less painful than i thought it would be. i'm currently mired in the middle of the gusset decreases but those should go quickly. the goal is to have this critter polished off sometime this weekend (let's see if it actually happens.)