Finishing School.

Today I managed to finish the first of my non-fingerless Regina Mitts:

I'm pleased with the way they're turning out so far. I can't help but wonder if I couldn't have managed to squeeze another half-rep of the berry pattern at the top of the mitt. Maybe I'll give it a shot when I whip up mitten no. 2, because (you know,) I won't be tired of bobbles and just wanting to get the thing over with already. On that note, I think I'll play it by ear and see how I feel when I get there.

Another fibrey thing of note is my ball of Frankenyarn:

This is 50 grams of my various handspun yarns that have been meticulously chopped into smaller bits and then joined together to make (eventually) One Crazy Sock. There is also 50 grams more of this stuff here to make Another Crazy Sock, but it has not yet been Frankenyarn-ified. If I had to splice together another 24 balls of yarn last night I think I'd have gone a bit funny.

Now all the Frankenyarn needs is a sock pattern to show off its charms. This should be a fun decision. We'll see.

What rut?

So much for that rut I was talking about -- these days the inspiration is overwhelming. Suddenly I find myself with not one but two new sock patterns in the works, mittens nipping at my heels and the urge to knit something large and full of holes becoming an almost all-consuming need.

On top of all this, last night found me gathering the rest of my handspun and busily turning other singles into usable yarns. I spent most of today spinning, plying and setting the twist of the last yarns to ensure that I have more than 100g of the stuff ready to go.

It seems another spindle sock is on the way!

Staggering Monkey mods.

It's impossible to improve on (sock) perfection, but sometimes one can tweak it a little. Here's the chart I made when I knit the first of my Staggering Monkeys:

Enjoy the mods! I'd love to see pictures of other Staggering Monkeys should anyone decide to make some.

Monkeys n' Bobbles.

As recently as last week I was wallowing in a knitting rut of unspeakable proportions. Here's the couple of projects that helped me claw my way out of limbo.

First up, my Staggering Monkeys:

Nothing, and I mean nothing can mimic the healing qualities of a couple of skeins of Koigu. This stuff should come with a warning label. Every time I use up my last couple of skeins I somehow manage to convince myself that it's not that great...I tell myself that there are loads and loads of other sock yarns out there and that I can definitely live without it...until more Koigu drops into my hands and the cycle begins anew.

If these Monkeys don't look quite like the average Monkey, there's a reason for that. First off, when I knit my Monkeys (and these are pair no. 3,) I always eliminate the purling and the YOs, replacing them with plain knit stitches and M1L and M1Rs, respectively. This produces a denser fabric and just looks more pleasing to my eye, really. I've also always wondered what would happen if one were to stagger the pattern on every other repeat. The result is twisty, twining paths that form a sort of pattern of diamonds and x's from cuff to toe. I charted out what I did, so if anyone would like to get their hands on it, let me know either in the comments below or on Ravelry.

Next, my Non-fingerless Regina Mitts:

I realize that fingerless mitts have their place, but I have to say I'm more of a finger-fan, myself. After slogging through (at the time of writing) 1700-odd mitten patterns on Ravelry and still not find that a nice, textured, sport-weight mitten that I'd actually want to make, the Regina Mitts caught my eye. The bobbles looked like fun, and I had never worked with them before, so I figures, why not? A little extra knitting around the thumb and fingertips, and I'll have a fancy new pair of mitts in no time flat. That's one day's worth of mitten knittin' in the picture.

The yarn I'm using is Québécoise. Not the softest yarn, by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes a fine pair of rustic mittens. As much as I love fancy yarns, I have a soft spot for the hardworking, simple yarns that allow my stitches to really stand out.

Now, what's actually scaring me is how much I love those bobbles. I never took myself for a Bobble Girl...who knew?