Snowflake Socks, FO.

Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark in Rosemary and Northern Green, 2 balls of each
Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo dpns, US 2
Pattern: Snowflake Socks by Chrissy Gardiner
Started: January 2008
Finished: January 2008

Notes: My first true FO of 2008, as they were both started and completed in the new year. Also my first colourwork socks -- they won't be my last! I'm already tossing around pattern ideas for colourwork socks of my very own (I know, I should finish The New Mitten first, but I can't help it.)

Since I wasn't getting row gauge with the Telemark I made slight mods to the pattern, which are detailed here.

Fun Fact: All told, I think these socks took me six days to produce. Not that I worked on them non-stop for six consecutive days -- there were breaks here and there -- but I averaged about three days per sock. I think this may be a new personal record.

Three whole days.

I can't believe it either, but look what I finished yesterday:

This gives me hope that the second sock will knit up just as fast, but still I fear the Second Sock Thing a-knockin'. I'm fairly sure that the allure of being able to actually wear these socks will help me overcome this.

Since I'm using Telemark (which is not the recommended yarn,) and since I didn't bother to swatch beforehand (which is just me living dangerously,) I've had to make a few tiny adjustments to my final sock. Luckily, blessedly, I'm getting stitch gauge but not row gauge. This, as I've been told, is not always something to worry about, one merely adds or subtracts rows as needed. So before I forget, and on the off-chance that someone would like to make their own pair of Snowflake Socks in Telemark (two balls of each colour will make one pair of socks,) here's what I did:

Heel Flap: Stopped to turn heel after there were 11 chain sts on either side of the flap rather than the prescribed 14. Ended up picking up 14 sts total on either side (13 sts + m1 to close up gap between gusset and instep) so all the gusset decreases were on track as per the pattern.

Foot: Knit one full rep of snowflake pattern and then knit first 7 rows again rather than knitting the last rep all the way to row 13. Had done as the pattern said and tried it on to find that my toes were already covered. Ripped back to the end of row 7 and prepared to start the toe from there. Knit 1 row in MC and then started toe decs on the very next row, in CC.

Toe: Changed the toe decreases. Realized that my row gauge wasn't going to play nice with the toe as written, so I did the following:

Rnd 1: *k7, ssk, k5*
Rnd 2: k all sts
Rnd 3: *k7, ssk, k4*
Rnd 4: k all sts
Rnd 5: *k7, ssk, k3*
Rnd 6: *k7, ssk, k2*
Rnd 7: *k7, ssk, k1*
Rnd 8: *k7, ssk*
Rnd 9: *k6, k2tog*
Rnd 10: *k5, k2tog*
Rnd 11: *k4, k2tog*
Rnd 12: *k3, k2tog* -- 16 sts rem.
Graft toe, weave in ends.

Ultimately, the toe ended up a bit more stubby than the ones I usually knit, but the fit is fine, so I don't mind too much. Now if only that second sock would knit itself!

Raspberry Azure, FO.

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Raspberry
Needles: Bamboo dpns, 2.50mm
Pattern: Azure by Deb Barnhill
Started: December 2007
Finished: January 2008

Notes: These were my first FO of 2008 and toe-up socks ever, and I'm pleased to report that they were relatively painless. The patterned heel flap was a little clunky (but still lovely) the first time round, but by sock no. 2 it just zipped right by.

Everyone thinks that these socks are actually cabled! The surprise on their faces when I tell them that all that twisting is done with clever increases and decreases is priceless.

I couldn't ask for a nicer pattern to take the edge off the somewhat crappy yardage of the Jitterbug. Now I do have another skein of it lurking in the stash...

Who knew?

I finished my Raspberry Azure socks yesterday, and I was meaning to start on Elfine's Socks today, but somehow this happened:

Yes, that's a decent bite out of the first leg of the Snowflake Socks from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits.

Look, I'm as surprised as anyone here, as I've been a closet non-fan of colourwork socks -- "let's keep the colourwork where we can see it and where it won't get walked on," -- but come on! Look at these socks! I'm totally in love and I'm already making plans for knee-high socks of a similarly patterned nature. Who knew they could look this good or be this much fun?

Chevalier Mittens, FO.

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino in Grey Mix
Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo dpns, US 5
Pattern: Chevalier Mittens by Tikru
Started: October 2007
Finished: November 2007

Notes: Adriana's Xmas present. See her post about them here.

They were a surprisingly quick knit! Both of them together took me about a week at the most. Did I mention that I had started them early? All Xmas knitting should be this delightful.

I am scarily in LOVE with the cuffs on these mittens. I may have to produce a pair for myself one of these days.

Progress, or lack thereof.

Progress continues on the New Mitten, albeit slow progress. Not quite "progress" in a geological sense, but pretty close. Have a picture, in the hopes of becoming distracted:

Ok, I know these are US 0 (2mm) needles, but I also know how quickly mittens like these tend to work up. It seems the trick to quickly producing such a mitten lies in actually picking it up once in a while. Working on one's Raspberry Azure socks will never result in a new mitten/mitten pattern that everyone can enjoy. No, the only good that will come out of that is proving to oneself that toe-up socks are a perfectly feasible (and fun) sock-making method (ps--> They're nearly done!)

Back to the mitten, erm, at least what there is of it at present (which, let's face it, isn't that much.) That's a fishtail cuff, which, aside from having a delightful name produces one crazy delightful faux-entrelac cuff. What else...oh, did I mention that this one is going to have a gusset thumb? Ever since I made those Komi Mittens I have had a Serious Thing for highly-patterned gusset thumbs (and seam stitches!) so the New Mitten is being treated to both.

I've really got to polish off those socks and get to work on the Mitten. It's got a surprise or two to reveal that I can only hope that everyone will enjoy as much as I do.