Hello my knitting peeps! (heh – I always wanted to use that phrase) I bet all three of you were beginning to wonder what had happened to me. A romantic European tour with George Clooney? Piloting the space shuttle? On the run from the Mob? No! I’ll tell you what happened to me – May! May happened to me! And to a gardener (and the “flowergirl” in the name of the blog has nothing to do with weddings and everything to do with flowers), May is the Ultimate Month. So much to do! Finally! Outside! Warmth! Snow-free! Sunshine! FLOWERS! See:
That’s a peony by the way; I have dozens of them crammed into my tiny yard and they’re my pride and joy. Along with about a zillion other plants and flowers and a few vegies. So, knitting and the English Rug have taken a backseat lately – I haven’t touched the English Rug all month (but I will get back to it!) and knitting time is limited to bits and pieces.
Those bits and pieces (and a couple sustained hours this afternoon) add up though and socks have been completed.
Pattern: Kai-Mei by Cookie A
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock, colorway “Gilded”
Notes: This is the first pattern I’ve done from Cookie’s new book, Sock Innovation and, typical of Cookie A patterns, it’s great fun and a little out of the ordinary. I love how the lace panel wraps from the side to the top, and that the right and left sock mirror each other. I did have some problems wrapping my head around the gusset (where the lace pattern begins) but that was this knitters inexperience rather than a problem with the pattern. I also got frustrated with the errata for this pattern – I think some of the errata needs an errata! It is disappointing that a book from a respected publisher would have so many mistakes; I’ve read that the first edition has sold out and that these mistakes will be corrected in the 2nd printing but that still leaves me with a flawed book (and I plan to make every pattern) Be sure to check the errata page!
I finished this sock as part of the May KAL for the Ravelry group Sock Innovation; there are other groups doing KALs for Cookie’s socks, but I decided to stick with this one because it is much more low-key than the others. With so much on my plate right now, I decided to go with clear and simple. The KAL – and Ravelry – were incredibly valuable since there is a lot of discussion about the pattern (and the errata) and many explanations on interpreting it. I might have thrown in the towel otherwise. What did we do before Ravelry?! (Oh Ravelry, how I love you!)
Because of all the straight ribbing on this sock, I decided this would be a good time to teach myself the Norwegian Purl (sounds like a beer hall dance, doesn’t it?) This is a way for continental knitters (pickers) to purl without stopping to move the yarn to the front of your knitting. Basically, you scoop up the yarn from the back (while holding it in the back like you do for a knit stitch) and the swoop it forward and the loop it under and twist your wrist and wiggle your nose and viola! a purl stitch. (For a better – real – explanation and videos, check out YouTube) It’s supposed to help you knit faster since you don’t have to move the yarn back and forth but I’m not sure I ever got noticeably quicker. Also, I believe it made my gauge looser. Looser! Like I need to knit looser – I’m already too loosey-goosey in the knitting department as it is! It was a lot of fun to learn though – an interesting challenge – but I’ll probably stick with my “regular” purl.
And finally, the yarn? Madelinetosh? It just might be the most beautiful sock yarn ever. Silky soft yet substantial and with deep, gorgeous, subtly variegated color. It has a bit of sheen to it that makes it especially luxurious. A joy to knit with, a delight to wear. I think this might be true love.
I just hope George won’t be too heartbroken.