Sunday, May 25, 2008

Small pleasures

Sometimes it's the small things that make me smile and keep me going. A sock is a very small knitting project, and yet can give so much pleasure, both in the knitting and then in the wearing of it. I finished the first Loksins sock on Friday, and am very, very happy with it. (As the second one is already underway, I am fairly well assured that the single completed sock will become a pair in the near future.) It fits beautifully, and the Knit Picks Shetland-style yarn is very soft, warm and light on my foot. I don't imagine that these socks will be the sturdiest and longest wearing socks I've ever made, but as I only have 1 or 2 pairs of shoes my hand knit socks fit into they will be worn around the house much more than anywhere else.

I'll wait to block this sock until I have finished the pair, but already the stitches are nice and flat. The lace shows better when on the foot of course, but find that taking pictures of my own feet results in some pretty weird imagery and will decline to exhibit such pictures. The heathery colours in the yarn finally shows up in these photos; the base colour is a royal blue with lots of kelly green and fuschia blended in to make a beautiful rich blue-violet. As I've already said, the lace stitches in the Loksins pattern are very easy to knit and become very intuitive very quickly. For anyone who's nervous about attempting lace on a sock this pattern would be an excellent starting pair. And you'll end up with really wonderful socks at the end of it!

The hexagons on the Hex Coat are continuing apace; I'm almost done with the first side. I haven't yet done the shoulder seams (or any seaming for that matter) as I'm slightly puzzled about the way the hexagons fit across the back neck. I'm not completely convinced that I got the shaping right so once I'm to the point where only the last hexagon at the shoulder remains to be done I will then go to the second front and finish it up to the same point. Then I can hold everything together and take a look to see if that one last hexagon in the center back will really join up with the fronts in a way that will actually fit around the back of my neck. I'm really feeling ready to be done with this project, and I'm convinced that the weather here in the Bay Area will continue to revert to unusually cold temperatures until I have actually finished it.

The new-project-startitis bug really bit me hard a few days ago, and so I also began a really long-term project - the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Instead of lots of small log cabin style knitted patches as in what one usually thinks of with log cabin quilts, this blanket is done in large, asymmetrical blocks for a very graphic, contemporary feel. I've been toying with the idea for some time, as the book's version is knit in Elsbeth Lavold's Silky Wool, and I just happened to have 3 balls remaining after finishing a project that used this yarn. I've picked up a couple other colours of the Silky Wool here and there, and while I don't have as much in total as the pattern calls for I have plenty to get a usable-sized blanket out of. And of course, I can always add more yarn as time goes on. It's a very free form design and will not end up looking like the one in the book, but will have the same feel. The yarn is terrific for a blanket - soft, warm, lightweight, and very comfortable against the skin. I'm guessing this project could run into the years in terms of length of time it will take to complete, and that's just fine with me.

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