My stash was seriously enhanced yesterday via the mail. Got some stuff I'd ordered:
1. the Laleli cardigan kit from virtualyarns.com.
2. two socks worth of Regia yarn scored off of eBay.
3. Some Dale of Norway Svale (their new cotton blend yarn) from Bea Ellis Knitwear. I got this to make a cute little tank top in their Svale pattern book. I bought the color "birch" -- sort of a taupe.
Not too good -- I got the ribbing done on the back last night but had to stop early due to hand pain. what's with that??
Opal Sock Progress
Good! I finished the first sock on the train this morning!
Finished the front of Pentland last night -- I can cast on for the front tonight.
My Opal sock is coming along nicely too. I think I'm ready to start ribbing the cuff.
Handpaint and Variegated Yarns
My fellow knit-blogger Tracy remarked yesterday that she is usually not a fan of handpaint or variegated yarn but was admiring my Opal sock on my knitting page. Yep, your monitor is correct: it's pinks and blues and shades of grey into black. This is a fascinating sock to knit because the striping that occurs from the variegated yarn is so exciting to watch. Okay, so I lead a boring life. Sue me.
I too am not a fan of variegated yarn -- I am now remembering some gawdawful ombre acrylic yarn from the 1980s. Ga-a-a-ack! I think that was a repressed memory. And I still never use handpaint or variegated yarn . . . except for socks. Socks are my mindless commuting project so I'm generally knitting plain ones. The wild yarn makes it a helluva lot more entertaining.
I turned the heel of the Opal sock at lunchtime yesterday and was quite happy with it. I've done the short-row heel on my last couple of pairs of socks and this is the best looking heel I've done so far. I must be getting the hang of it!
I posted a new photo of my toe-up Opal socks on my knitting page. After knitting on the train this morning, I'm ready to turn the heel.
I was asked what pattern I use for toe-up socks. I don't use a pattern -- it's easy to figure out a generic sock pattern. I start with a figure-8 toe -- I found excellent instructions for doing this on Kim Salazar's Wiseneedle site -- a wonderful resource. Look in the knitting pattern section under socks. The figure-8 is a bit fiddly at first, but it makes a great toe!
I increase to 60 stitches, then knit til I have 6.5 inches (this is for my woman's size 8.5 foot). I do a short-row heel, then knit plain for a few inches. I increase from 60 to 72 stitches and do a 3 by 3 rib for a few inches. This makes it easier to pull the finished sock on over your foot.
And that's it!
Okey dokey, I finished the second Regia sock on Friday and started a sock in Opal. Color #119, if I'm reading the label correctly. It's a pink/blue/grey mix -- very cool. There's a photo on my knitting page.
And I also posted a new photo of my sweater WIP, Pentland. This one taken in natural light so the pattern shows up better.
Last but not least, some photos of Norge 2000, which we took this weekend.