Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry *sniff* Christmas

The Christmas knitting is all done, the baking is tucked safely away, the fridge and pantry groan with abundance and our little tree shelters a select trove of presents.  But one extra gift has come to me in the form of a nasty head cold. 

It arrived yesterday, on the first day of my holiday, and seems firmly entrenched on my head this Christmas Eve day.  There'll be no family celebration for me tonight as a head cold is not the sort of thing I want to re-gift.

I hope you and yours are healthy, warm, safe and happy this Christmas.  And that you have no head-colds. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Crazies

Christmas is crazy making time.  There's just too much of it.  Too much to do, too many "shoulds", and too little light to keep me energized.  I've tried to pare away the shoulds but it's a constant struggle to keep them from creeping back in. 

This week I stressed myself making sure my Christmas knitting got done.  First up, I bit the bullet, bought the yarn and finished off the fingerless gloves, Susie's Reading Mitts.

I bought two balls  of the Rowan Kid Classic so I can use the extra yarn to make myself a pair of mittens to match my lovely hat.  One ball would have put me right back where I was with regards to stash busting.  That's a good justification, I think...

Then came a pair of socks, which were so much fun to knit as the yarn is Fleece Artist merino. 

I love these socks.  The color is like a juicy fruit (too bad my poor photography doesn't do it justice) and I'm very pleased with the design I threw together.  All the elements flow nicely one into the other. 

Finally, I just finished these gloves today.

They are for my grandmother who had a very specific requests.  Her eyesight is poor, so they couldn't have any busy patterns.   Most gloves such as Selbu ones put a snowflake on the back of the hand and then some small pattern on the palm.  They also generally include patterning up the fingers.  None of that would work for grandma though, so my solution was to keep the same design on the front and back of the gloves.  This also means that each glove can be worn on either hand.  This could ultimately save wear and tear on the gloves.


It's a lot of fun to just plug and play with different design elements to come up with something unique.  The cuff is from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Eastonia, the blue wrist pattern is an old fair isle one that I pulled from somewhere, and the snowflake is from the Selbuvotter book.

Personally, these gloves are too sweet for my tastes.  They look like grandma gloves, but that's a good thing since that's who their for!  Another instance of the best gift knitting is happens when we don't suit ourselves.

So that was it for the original gift knitting list and I'm done two weeks before Christmas.  Hooray for me!  And what will I do with that extra time you ask?

I started another pair of fingerless gloves as a stocking stuffer for Luke of course!  Bring on the Christmas crazies!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Good Gift

The best Christmas knitting happens when you put aside your own preferences and instead consider the preferences of the recipient.  This past week I've been knitting for a co-worker, an older gentleman who has taught me a lot and who will soon be leaving our company.  His style is old-school British and that means plain knitting folks. 

I searched the net for just the right pattern and ended making these up as I went.  I'm very pleased with the outcome,  other than the deadly boring nature of the knit. They fit my hands, Jim's hands and both boys too.  They took less than a 50g of sock yarn and less than a week to make. 

The little tweaks I put in these gloves make them special I think. Like extra stitches picked up, then decreased away to prevent holes at the join of the fingers.  There's a non-curling edge to the fingers.  There's also extra rows in the hand to raise up the first three fingers higher than the pinkie, but all fingers finish at the same level. 

As I was finishing up the second one, I thought I should write down what I did.  Luke has requested a pair and I think I'd like to make some for myself, too.  So I did and I'm offering it as a free Ravelry download. Of course, you get what you pay for and the pattern has not been test knit nor edited by anyone but me.  But I hope someone may find it of use.  I know, I plan on using the pattern again.

Absolutely Plain Fingerless Gloves: download now

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sending out an S.O.S

Isn't it a bummer when you run out of yarn so close to the end of a project?  And this was supposed to be a stash-buster Xmas gift.  There's no way I want to buy a whole 'nother skein of this yarn at $12 a ball.

Does anyone have a few yards of Rowan Kid Classic in Burgundy kicking around in the stash?  If not, I can go to my LYS and buy some more, but then I'd have to bust that out of my stash.  I'd much prefer to reduce someone else's stash. So please, search your stash, or ask a friend.  You'll have my gratitude and what every compensation you deem reasonable.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lying to Myself

Back in October I bragged that this year I wasn't going to do any Christmas knitting.  I lied. 

At first, it was just a case of finding items knit earlier in the year that would be good gifts for loved ones.  Then I realized I HAD to knit a pair of socks for my mother-in-law as a gift.  Every year, I give her a pair for Christmas, her birthday and mother's day.  After that, I dunno, things got a little out of hand.  My current knit-gift list includes:
  • a vest
  • slippers
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of fingerless gloves
Of course, this is still subject to change depending on my mood, my stash and how the knits turn out.  And honestly , most of those knits are done.  All that's left is the gloves and a pair of socks.  I've already shown you the vest and slippers.  And today, here are two pair of finished socks.

Pattern: my own, 72 sts
Yarn: Wild Fire Fibres BFL sock
Needles: 2mm

Pattern: New England from Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Paton's Kroy
Needles: 2.25mm

These socks have been on the needles for a while.  What's really been going on the last week is this:

Pattern: Druid Mittens, from Vogue Fall 2008
Yarn: Socks that Rock, Mustang Sally
Needles: 2.75mm

The back of the hand is quite pretty but you may have noticed that the thumb isn't complete.  That's because this mitten is sitting on the edge of the frog pond, preparing for a rip.  And the reason is this:

It's too short, the palm is shorter than the back of the hand, the top of the mitten is awkward and the whole thing sits on my hand crooked!  Frustrated much?  You bet!  I don't think I could wear these mittens day after day and be happy with them. 

It doesn't do to lie to oneself. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Styling It

I bought myself a new jacket to wear on the bus, rather than wait for the long process of knitting myself one. Of course, a new jacket inspired me to knit some accessories for it.

The knitting in yesterday's post was my new hat. Isn't it cute?

The pattern is Rose Red by Ysolda Teague. The pattern was a joy to knit, with clear instructions and fun milestones to keep you knitting, such as watching the flower on the crown emerge or switching from lace to cables.

After it came off the needles I tried it on and it did not look good. Sort of like a puffy beanie. I have a theory that girls with straight hair can wear snug beanies and girls with curly hair should wear slouchy, draping hats. A full immersion and a day spent stretched over a dinner plate resulted in the hat of my dreams.

It's worked in Rowan's Kid Classic, which I bought especially for my hat. I wanted something that would go along with the scarf I had knit earlier. I like how the two go along with out being an exact match. Kid Classic was beautiful to work with, stood up well under extreme blocking duress, and has a lovely bit of a halo from the mohair. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.

Now I need some mittens.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This must be a quick blog post. My weekend has been incredibly busy and I don't know where the time has gone. Here's a couple snapshots though.

Alex took this picture of my supper one week night.

Grab a bite!

However busy life gets, there's always room for knitting. In this case, a hat to go with my new coat. I can hardly wait for it to dry to see if it fits and looks nice. You can just never tell with hats.

Still Life - Fruit with Knitting

I hope you weren't too hungry before you stopped by my blog.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

'Tis the Season to Accessorize!

Since I last showed you knitwear, I was off work sick and we had some horrible weather which got me to thinking in terms of keeping the cold out. To that end, I present a parade of warm accessories.

First up, Canadian gloves. A variation on Nancy Bush's Canada socks from Knitting on the Road.
Jim and I are both very happy with these. The Kroy knit up very dense on 2mm needles. I had only one ball of the main color and ran out with the second thumb still to knit. I popped into Michaels with the glove in my pocket and easily matched the color with a new ball of Kroy. I love the color so I bought two. So much for de-stashing!

As an aside, walking through Michaels at this time of year, the aisles are just filled with clutter and kitsch. It made me really happy to be a knitter, creating beautiful and practical things.

Then I decided that Luke needed a nice warm hat for the 20 minute walk to school. In an effort to give him something practical and stylish, I decided to make up Struan.

It came out great and was a lot of fun to work. But Luke doesn't like the peak. He can feel it pressing in to his forehead. It does press in, but very slightly. However, Luke is sensitive and it doesn't do to argue with him. So, I knit him another hat.

This one he likes! No pattern, really. Just 2x2 rib until it was almost 11 inches, then decrease it all away.

There is over two balls of yarn in this hat. I almost always make my hats too shallow and I really wanted him to have a cuff deep enough to cover his ears. This one is almost too deep. But no matter. He likes it well enough that he was wearing it around the house all morning.

The yarn is the same as for Struan, which is a 70/30 alpaca/wool blend that is soft, squish and warm. I plan to knit him a dense pair of mittens and a loose and squishy scarf to go with his new hat. Then I know he'll be toasty and warm all winter on the way to school.

Speaking of squishy, while I was sick, my knitting brain took a holiday and I made myself some garter comfort.

For a novelty yarn, this one was a winner. It's actually got some merino wool in the blend and I love the little bit of gold sparkle in it. It whispers Christmas at me.

I knit it loosely so that it's huggable and squishy. I just love it! I bought three skeins of the yarn at the Needle Emporium's tent sale for a dollar a ball. It would make a great Christmas gift, if I can bear to give it up.

I have great plans for more accessories for family and maybe a few for Christmas, but there's also a sweater in the wings that I'm eager to get at. This time of year is great for knitters. We are so appreciated!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Happy Halloween

It was a great Halloween here last night. Alex and his friends were mages: water, earth and fire.

The water mage's grandmother put these costumes together starting Friday night when the boys announced that the party they were going to was canceled and they wanted to go trick or treating. She used bedsheets and ingenuity! In return, we had the group for a hearty chili supper before they hit the streets.

This was probably the last time any of our boys will be making the rounds of the neighborhood, so I'm very glad Alex had such a great time with his friends.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How It All Turned Out

It's too bad that life gets in the way of knitting. Sunday, I stopped to walk the dog, eat dinner and I even went to bed early. But I did get so far as one arm band completed. My teensy-weeny yarn cake only got me so far as three rows of ribbing and I had to cast off. At this point, three rows seemed pretty darned good.

But the remaining yarn wasn't enough to cast off with. There was ten stitches on the needle when the yarn ran out. I believed I had started with the slightly smaller ball, so I spliced in the second ball and completed the cast off.

Monday, I had to go to work. Terrible, I know. And when I got home, I had to eat and walk the dog AGAIN. He wouldn't negotiate that.

So I knew I had three rows to knit and then time to cast off. This time there was even more stitches on the needles when the yarn ran out, maybe 30 or more. What to do? I needed to splice in more yarn... Oh yes! The ends!

I started sewing in the ends and as I completed each one, I spliced in the reminder to the yarn on the needles. I must have spliced in 5 or six little pieces. Sometimes they came apart as I started the cast off, but I just spliced them back in and kept going. And you know what?

Yeah, I know, even Jim looks surprised. He was watching Lie To Me and it was getting to the climax. The poor guy worked hard to day, and he was in the middle of an interesting program, yet he still took the time to put on a good shirt and model the vest.

He hasn't decided if he likes it yet, and I'm not pushing him on it. He claims he is "not a vest guy". But if he doesn't want it, I bet my dad will.

So thank you, everyone, for your rooting and cheering. Don't you love it when the story has a happy ending?

Public Service Announcment - Free Patterns

On the third Tuesday of the month the Forest City Knitter's Club meets for show 'n tell, refreshments and occasionally a presentation. For October I was supposed to be giving a presentation on where to find free patterns on the internet. But now I can't (for reasons I won't go into detail about here) so I thought I'd put the links and explanation here on my blog.

Ravelry is your best source for finding free patterns on the internet because it is a one stop shop. Any pattern available for free on the net is most likely listed in Ravelry. To search for only free patterns, select free->yes from the availability tab on the pattern search page. See below.

Note that you do need to register to get access to Ravelry. There is no charge, and they don't sell your e-mail anywhere. If you aren't already registered, do it. The only thing you will regret is the time you will loose to its fascinating pages.

The grandmother of online knitting magazines is Knitty. Free patterns, articles, reviews and more. What's not to love? All Knitty's patterns are listed in Ravelry, but you can also search Knitty.

Interweave Knits has a website called Knitting Daily, that offers free patterns, free e-books and patterns from back issues for sale.

For those looking for edgier designs, articles and more, get over to the AntiCraft. It's not just knitting...

Lots of yarn companies offer free patterns to go with the yarns that they sell. Here's some of them:
Definitely worth a look is The Twist Collective. The online magazine is free, and it's beautiful. Lovely photos, great articles and lots of fun. If you like the patterns featured in the magazine, you'll have to pay for them. But it's well worth it!

Of course I haven't hit them all. These are just the ones that cross my path most often. Happy knitting and see you tomorrow night! (Maybe I'll have a vest with me....)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Knitting at the Edge of My Seat

Ever read a book you just couldn't put down? One that had suspense and drama? Where you just had to keep reading to find out how it ends? This weekend, my knitting has been just like that.

I've been working on a vest using special Fleece Artist yarn that exists no more. If I have not enough yarn, then there is no more to be had. As of Sunday afternoon, I have this much of the vest done:

Pretty, no? I just love the colors, the way the bright blue pops through the murky greens. Did you notice how much yarn I have left? It's hard to see because it's got some nice camouflage action going on. Here's a close up:

Whee!!!! That's knitting it close. I'm alternating a row from each ball, so I'll have equal shares of yarn for the arm bands. I'm dying to know if I'm going to make it.

Must. Keep. Knitting.

Well, I did take time out for a dog walk this afternoon. The sunshine was so lovely. It was also a perfect moment to catch a better shot of the recently completed Chunky Cabled sweater.

I should call it the hunky-chunky cabled sweater. Yowza!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Following the Happy

When knitting to please myself, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what project gets worked on, so please, don't ask me to explain. I'm just following my happy-making knitting. And tonight, I'm thrilled with this:

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I fell in love with the start of this project. The pattern is the Canada sock from Knitting on the Road. But the pattern was too snug to go over Jim's heel (the man has aristocratic arches and a deep, though narrow, heel). I was so enamored, I ripped back and began reworking it as a glove. And it fits like one too.

My favourite way to work gloves is to have the recipient try it on as I go. This ensures a perfect fit, even if it does drive the recipient a little batty, as they are asked to try it on during television, while drinking coffee or playing a video game. But Jim is well pleased with the snugness of it, and I'm pleased with how dense the Kroy 4-ply worked up on 2mm needles. There's only one fly in my ointment.

Tonight I cast on the second glove and in doing so I realized that I made a pretty big boo-boo in the cast on.

There's one row main color in the twist on the first one (to the left), but the second glove's cast on is the correct method. The second one (on the right) looks better in my opinion. Lucky for me, I'm not a fanatic about perfect matchiness. In fact, I think this rather charming. I guess it must be true love.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving all you Canadians, and happy Soctoberfest to all you knitters!

This year, I'm thankful for:
  1. A sturdy car that protected Jim in the accident.
  2. That Jim was able to get his feet under him and get working again.
  3. A healthy family.
  4. An over abundant stash. :)
Yesterday, I was looking over the socks drying in the laundry room and I noticed that Jim's Clessidra were wore through on the ball of the foot. These socks were finished in April of 2007, and considering that Jim likes them so well he wears them frequently, I'd have to say the sock yarn held up very well. But still, it would be a heart wrencher to throw knee socks into the trash. So darn it all, I darned them!

Jim tried them on and said he couldn't feel the difference. There was still some of the original yarn left, so I wove it through the last remaining nylon of the stitches vertically, and then wove in some more horizontally. That extra thickness may just give Jim another two years from these socks. I hope.

While working with the socks, I admired the pattern anew. I may just knit them again someday. The stash even has 4 skeins of the burgundy Regia silk originally called for in the pattern. Jim would be happy I'm sure.

And now presenting new socks:

My hand-dye, Nancy Bush's Madder Ribbed pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks (sort of, I used my preferred heel and toe). These are for Luke. It's hard to believe his sweet soft baby feet have grown into such long flippers.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Nurturing a Creative Seed

Taking the bus isn't so bad. I'm finding it rather relaxing in a way, since all I have to do is get myself to the bus on time, which is way less stress than fighting traffic. But it has got me thinking about how I can make the experience more comfortable.

First off, I bought a good umbrella and that's been indispensable this week. Next, I've got myself a large yet stylish bag with a long strap for carrying my stuff. But more importantly, I need the right kind of jacket. My current jacket is waterproof, but also doesn't breathe, so after a while it feels like you're wrapped in plastic, gently steaming. What I need is a wool coat!

My brain stormed, thoughts churned and Saturday morning all my ideas came together. After my morning chores, I got to sit down to play with yarn and pencil crayons all afternoon long. It was wonderful to immerse myself in a creative flow. I kept up a little inner dialog of encouragement and support that saw me through the whole thing. No negative thinking was allowed. It was awesome and I'm so proud of myself for that alone!

And here's the result:

It doesn't look like much, but most seedlings don't. The yarn is mostly Philosopher's Wool, with some Black Water Abbey, Beaver Slide and Jamieson's Shetland thrown in. The chart is Alba from Alice Starmore's The Celtic Collection.

I tried to channel Alice in planning the colors. I've noticed that she often uses two bands of highlight color ways over a background color way. In this case, the neutrals are the background, and the bright blue and bright pink are the highlights. It looks a little silly on its own, but when there are more repeats stacked up and a whole sweater put together, I'm hoping it will look cohesive.

I can't knit this for too long a stretch at a time. I start getting self-doubt, then frustration and then an urge to rip. I have to keep up the positive self-talk and that gets tiring. Here's hoping this seedling will sprout and grow!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OMG! It Fits!!

Squeeeee!! Look at that! Jim is the proud owner of a new sweater.

When I first joined the shoulders I thought that there was no way this was going to fit. That area looked so small! So the sweater sat in time out for a while. Jim would speak wistfully of his sweater, while I scorned the stupid pattern and cheap yarn. Sure it was a nice color, sure the yarn was soft, sure the design was unique. But look what wandering from the beaten path gets you, a no good-nik sweater with no shoulders to speak of. Then Jim would gently reaffirm his faith that it would fit, and coax me to just try. Just put the seams together before I gave up on it.

How could I refuse him?

I eased myself into the seaming. I set in one sleeve at a time. He tried it on and things looked a little more hopeful. So tonight I sat me down and stitched the whole thing up. You could have knocked me down with a feather when the darned thing fit! Want to see it again?

It was a close call, and it's a good thing that Jim is a slim fellow, or I don't think he would have been comfortable wearing it. Oh yes, he still would have worn it, just not able to move his arms much.

To give the pattern credit, I think I may have caused the problem by switching the cable designs from what was written. First off, I started knitting this design with the sleeves. The ribbing for the sleeves is set up to flow straight off into the cables. It's a nice design feature. When I started on the body, there was a similar set up with the ribbing. But the cables didn't flow with the ribbing, instead they went in the opposite to what they should have if they were going to match the sleeves. So I switched the cables.

The problem happened when I reached the armhole shaping. A signifigant part of the design is the addition and removal of stitches for the cables. If I had followed the pattern as written then the cables would have been at maximum stitches. See below.

Instead, we ended up at minimum stitches:

And that's what you get kiddies for trying to get smart with the pattern. Forget top-down raglans, my next sweater is going to be a vest.

By the way, from the comments to my last post, here is a very clear explanation of the relationship between heat and acid when dying yarn with food color:

Beadlizard said...
I love "The mordant is love. The heat is marriage." Wow.

In almost as brief terms, heat opens the scales on the wool, thus expanding the surface area, plus it facilitates bonding. The acid in the vinegar is an essential part of the bond.

You can get a feel for the process by playing with the order of things. If you mix the dye with cool water and vinegar, then add the wool, then bring up the heat, stirring gently, you'll get pretty level dyeing. If you hold it at the proper heat (just under a simmer usually) until the water is clear, then turn off the heat and let it sit until cool, *then* rinse, you'll get maximum take-up.

If you start with cool water, vinegar, and wool, bring it up to heat, *then* add the dye powder or stock solution, you'll get instant take-up, but ONLY where the dye contacts the fiber. This is how to get distinct sprinkles -- dry powder on a hot acidic bath.

To get darker colors you can go for full saturation -- use more dyestuff and the maximum take-up method (and plenty of vinegar). Or, add a bit of a darker hue like navy or black. We often use grape Kool-Aid to tint things darker.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Deep Purple

Alex borrowed Rock Band for the Wii from a friend and Friday night he and I rocked out till the sun went down. Poor Dexter had to miss his walk. I love my boy, but Alex and I are so much alike that sometimes it works against us and we don't get along easily. So it was a real gift and a treat to be able to hang out with my youngest son, doing something we both enjoyed.

In between gigs, I took time out this weekend to dye some more yarn. I was inspired by purple maples because they don't really look purple. Some are so dark, they almost look black. If you turn them over, you can see a green tint to the underside.

My idea then was to dye some yarn green, and then over-dye it with burgundy. At the last moment I decided to add tie-dye techniques to the mix. First, I skeined up the yarn, then wrapped knobs of it with hair elastics. I soaked the skeins in water with dish detergent in it, then dyed it Moss Green using Wilton Icing dye.

Janice from the Forest City Hand Knitters told me that it is vinegar that sets the dye and not the heat as I had thought. She recommended pouring in the vinegar at the end for an even distribution of color. Can anyone tell me what the heat is for? It seemed to me that the yarn didn't really take up the dye until after I poured in the vinegar.

Anyway, once the yarn came out of the green dye, I took off the hair elastics and replaced them in new locations.

Next up, the yarn went back into the warm crock pot with burgundy from Wilton. I hadn't realized that the burgundy was so pink. I was expecting a much darker color. I'm not disappointed though. Here are my results, in the original skein on the right and also re-skeined to distribute the colors on the left.

It's not as dark as a purple maple, but its on the right track. Perhaps I should have used a greater quantity of dye and more patience. I sort of rushed the process a bit by only heating the yarn minimally and then cooling it using gradually cooler rinse water.

Its a nice color and it should make a very interesting knit. The tie dye effect worked great. I'm definitely going to use that again. I'm calling this color way "September Rose."

Now for Monday morning and the beginning of my days as a commuter. I wonder if we'll see an increase in my knitting production?

Sweater Rant

Sweaters hate me. Which is fine because the feeling is mutual. The reason there is so much sweater yarn in the stash is because I don't often knit sweaters and I don't often knit sweaters because of the mutual hate.

I have actually finished knitting two sweaters, one that still needs to be sewn up and another that is complete. I haven't blogged about the FO, even though it was done a couple of weeks ago, because it pissed me off. I had a horrible time sewing in the sleeves and it took me a week to work up the stomach to get them both in. After that it was pretty smooth sailing and I like the sweater well enough, but it fits a bit large and the sleeves are a tad long.

Oh, I know I look all happy in the picture. I'm giddy from finally being quits with the darned thing!!

The pattern is lovely, by Kathy Zimmerman, and it's called V is for Violet from Interweave Knits, Fall 2006. The yarn is Rowan Cashcotton of which I expect great things. Like durability. I expect that this will be a cozy sweater this winter, suitable for good casual wear.

The second sweater is the green chunky cables and the shoulders are ridiculously small. We'll see if it works up okay once sewn, but it might take me a while to get to it. Every time I look at it I start to see red. Setting sleeves seriously sucks.

Next sweater I do will be a top down seamless one. Geeze... would you look at that? It seems I haven't given up on sweaters after all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Love

Last night, I reached the neck on the front of my current sweater and decided I was too tired to work the fiddly decisions required for a proper fit. But it was only 9:00 so I went stash diving and came up with this:

Oh yeah! This is more the stuff. Chuck the green chunky, bring on the teensy stitches, twisted edging and Canadian colors. I'm in love!!

Never mind that I'm suspicious I don't have enough yarn, and let's just ignore questions of fit. This is beautiful and I want to knit it all day long.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Third Time's the Charm

Hey! Happy weekend! I hereby dedicate this weekend to rest and relaxation. I intend to make the most of the last few sunny days of patio knitting. I'm reconciling myself to the bus plan. I can tell because I've been plotting what new hand knits I'll need to keep me comfortable at the bus stop and contemplating what other projects, besides socks, I will be able to work on the bus.

Now here's a bit of something bright to change the subject with.

The yarn is Lucy Neatby's Cat's Pajamas and it was hard work finding the right pattern.
First thing I tried with this yarn was the Monkey pattern.

The yarn looks great, but the sock was too small. I once tried the Pomatomus socks and they also didn't fit. Cookie A's patterns are awesome, but these two designs have taught me the futility of spending money on any of her other patterns.

Next up I tried a slip stitch pattern that everybody said was great for wildly variegated handpaints. I can't even remember the name of the pattern, but I hate what it did with the yarn.

Perhaps I was particularly jarred by how different this version was from the charming way the colors had striped in the Monkey sock. There was no tears lost ripping this one and I could console myself with the thought of more time spent knitting this yummy yarn.

When I finally did settle on Charlene Schurch's Chevron pattern, I was so entranced I couldn't put the sock down. I sang through the first almost in one weekend. So much for savouring the knitting of my cashmere blend sock yarn. I'll just have to savour them on my feet instead.