flowergirl knits

flowers, cats and knitting

Category: Yarn

Stashin’ at Stitches

Some serious stashin’ has taken place recently – last week was the great enabling event known as  Stitches Midwest.

Actually, I did pretty good. I went in with a list and I pretty much stuck to that list. Granted, the list was a bit unreasonable – yarn for three sweaters as well as some sock yarn – but I stuck to it and I’m pretty proud of that.  I came perilously close to stepping off the edge though – I literally had two – two! – pattern booklets clutched in my hands and was fondling the yarn needed for two more sweaters when I somehow got a grip and took a step back. I wrote down the name of the patterns and have added them to my Ravelry que (which I use as a holding bin for ideas) and walked away. (Well, I still had yarn for three other sweaters – and some sock yarn – but it could have gotten very messy indeed)

Stitches was great – I’d recommend it to any knitter/crocheter/spinner. My friend Chris and I drove to Schaumburg the day before it started, shopped at IKEA and the Container Store, then spent the night at a nearby hotel. We arrived at the opening day of the market fresh and rested right as it opened. It’s a good thing we’d had a good night’s sleep – the market is exhausting! So many people, so many vendors, so many tempting pretties to see! It’s a bit overwhelming. We both had lists and we’d studied the list of vendors before we arrived which helped immensely, but we were pretty beat by mid-afternoon. A lot of work but so much fun!

My treasures included:

-highlighter tape for marking your place in charts (similar to using a post-it note, but longer lasting – those post-it notes always lose their sticky for me after a few line changes)

-some funky buttons (I have no idea what I’ll use them for – not terribly smart shopping but I couldn’t resist)

-mouth-watering gorgeous sock yarns from indie dyer Miss Babs (I even picked up a couple skeins of variegated colors – I usually stick with semi-solids – but they were just too beautiful to pass)

-yarn for sweaters – Blackstone Tweed in “Plum Island” for Noisette, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in “red-brown” for Slinky Ribs and Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair in “Rhubarb” for either Portland or Halcyon.

The goal is to knit with as much of this yarn as possible before next year’s Stitches – and considering how much yarn I already have waiting to be knit, this could be a challenge.

Now, my question for you – when does yarn become “stash yarn” (since it’s so noble and uplifting to knit something “from the stash”!) As soon as you buy it? Once you bring it home and store it in your yarn bins or bags? After you’ve catalogued it in Ravelry (so satisfying and tidy)? Is there a time frame – six months, a year? When does yarn step over that magical line and become stash?

My vote is “as soon as you buy it” but I’m willing to hear other opinons!


Ravelry Made Me Do It

Ravelry swag and sock knitting

Happy Ravelry-versay to me!

Today is my second anniversary with my much-loved Ravelry! It’s hard to believe it’s been two years – I can’t even imagine anymore what it was like before Ravelry – the pattern search, the ability to organize your projects, yarn and needles, the online community. I’m quite certain that I am a better knitter than I would be without Ravelry, and that I’ve stuck with knitting and pushed the limits of what I thought I was capable of. I’ve meet some wonderful people through Ravelry (although I’m only rarely in the forums), discovered incredible patterns and learned techniques I never even knew existed. And it just keeps getting better – fun new features are constantly being added.

So, thanks Ravelry! I’m looking forward to many more happy years together!

Dream in Color Smooshy "Cinnamon Girl"

Knitting time around here is still somewhat limited, but it is getting better. Above is evidence that I’ve made progress on my Sunshine socks. Sadly, this is still the first sock – I’m going to have to beat feet (haha! so funny am I) to get the pair done by June 30 (for the KAL) You might notice that this sock is not pink as described in my previous post; it is in fact actually lime green. The pink yarn (a beautiful heathered color from Araucania) was too splitty (as was the first yarn I tried for this sock) – it just couldn’t handle the cabling. So I went with an established favorite of mine – this is ShiBui Sock in “Kiwi”. Love it. And it’s cabling like a champ. The Araucania will be saved for a lacy pattern in socks or a scarf (someday)

Finally, to celebrate my Ravelry-versary I stopped by the LYS and bought myself a skein of sock yarn. What can I say? Ravelry made me do it!

M is for Malabrigo

Mmmmmm. It’s been All Malabrigo, All the Time around here lately. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Earlier this week I whipped together another Crofter’s Cowl (Rav link) intended for my hairdresser. She had admired my purple one and carefully mentioned (several times) the color of her coat (black). I’ve been going to her for many years and trust her with my hair implicitly (not a small thing when it comes to one’s hair) and was happy to oblige.

This colorway is “Vermillion”; it’s lighter and has a wash of coral-pink variegation that I hadn’t expected (I would have named it “Geranium”) but it’s still lovely. Malabrigo is so perfect for cowls – warm and light, incredibly soft and it looks gorgeous in patterns like this lace. It also holds blocking beautifully – it’s fun to unpin those points after blocking. The pattern is wonderful – quick to knit and so pretty. I did modify this cowl by knitting five repeats of the pattern instead of knitting two pieces and then grafting them together. This makes it even quicker to finish and still looks, IMHO, great.

I’ve also been working away on Tang. This Malabrigo colorway is “Buscando Azul”  (darker and richer than this photo shows)  I call this my Obama Sweater – I knit a big chunk of the body of this sweater while watching the Inauguration and associated activities (such a fun and happy day, full of optimism and hope!) It’s now my tv-that-needs-close-attention (i.e. “Lost”, “Battlestar Galattica”, etc) knitting; the simple stockinette means that it’s easy to stop and start without losing my place. However, that’s also it’s weak point – I’m easily distracted by more complex/fun projects.

The latest to turn my head was this cowl.

Pattern: Thermis by Kristen Patay

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, colorway “Scarlett”

Notes: This is a wonderful pattern – beautifully written, clear instructions, clever design (I love the button placket and the way it is integrated into the design) The 1×1 ribbing and the thermal pattern are perfect in Malabrigo making it, if anything, even squishier. And I love that the pattern calls for buttons – it adds some character and a dash of style.

I knit this exactly as written; the finished cowl is quite long (written for elegantly swan-necked dancers perhaps?) It easily comes up over the tip of my nose and the bottoms of my ears which, considering the sub-zero weather we’ve been having lately (today’s high – 7 degrees) is a good thing. But if I make it again (and I probably will) I might make the bottom ribbing a bit shorter.

Once again the Malabrigo color surprised – and delighted – me. I had expected a dark red; this is definitely fushia – dark pink with a wash of red. This is all part of the joy of hand dyed yarns – each batch is different and unique.

There’s lots more Malabrigo in my knitting future since I have a rididulous amount marinating in the stash, including sock and lace weights. Somehow that doesn’t bother me one tiny bit!

Hats are the New Cowls

This was one of those patterns that you fall in love with the minute you see it – and in this case, the love was absolutely justified. I’m not even a big fan of hat-wearing and yet look – I knit a hat! A really cool hat.

the lovely star pattern

Pattern: Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Knitpicks Palette, colorways “Fog” and “Eggplant”

Notes: This is a brilliant pattern with clear and simple instructions. Inspired by the beautiful Selbuvotter patterns frequently seen in mittens,  the pattern emerges almost by magic with the decreases creating the distinctive star outline on the top. This is an excellent pattern to try  if you’re new to Fair Isle (like me) with only two colors to think about and little shaping required. And – get this – the pattern is free!

beauty is in the details

A certified Yarn Snob, I was pleasantly surprised by the Knitpicks Palette. It’s very soft yet sturdy (although it is a bit splitty) and comes in a nice range of colors (51). And you simply cannot beat the price at $2.19 -1.99 per ball (I used most of the ball of  “Eggplant” and half of the ball of “Fog”) I’m not convinced that I made the right color choice – I thought the purple would be brighter – but I’m coming around to it.

I did run into one problem with this project, but it had nothing to do with the pattern or yarn. In her notes on Ravelry, Kate had noted that she is a loose knitter and recommended that most people would want to go up one or two needle sizes from her recommendations. I’m a loose knitter too so I stuck with the needle sizes given, skipping that pesky gauge swatch. Even so, the hat turned out too large.  I actually (brace yourself) put it in the dryer – on hot – for about half an hour after soaking it. This worked a treat (although it could be shrunk a bit more yet), making it much closer to human head size. The yarn held up beautifully with no felting and the pattern remained distinct. It also evened out my stitches which were lumpy (typical of stranded knitting pre-blocking)

Best of all, this was so much fun to knit! I got quite addicted to it, working on it when I should have been knitting Christmas gifts or going to bed. I’m thinking about making another one as a gift (but I’ll have to go down to 00 for the ribbing – yikes!) And – bonus – it doesn’t cause hat hair.

Looks like I may be taking up hat-wearing after all!

Ahhhh…..That’s Better

warm and comfy and it doubles as neck camouflage!

Now this is a cowl – soft, warm, pretty pattern, purple. It’s large enough to easily pull on over your head, yet it has enough substance to stand up on it’s own (and can be pulled up over your nose on those sharply cold days) And it’s finished just in time – winter has arrived and it means business.

Pattern: Crofter’s Cowl (Ravelry link) by Gudrun Johnston

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, colorway “Purple Mystery”

hey! that's snow on the ground

Notes: This is a great pattern with very satisfying results. It is knit in two pieces and then grafted together. The lace pattern is simple but interesting (I found stitch markers to be essential); the only difficult part was Kitchnering the two halves together. I actually like to use the Kitchner stitch – it makes such a neat and clean join – but 80 stitches of Kitchnering got tedious. At some point about 2/3rds of the way around my mind wandered for a minute and I got off by one stitch, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. If I make the pattern again (and I probably will), I’ll simply do 6 repeats of the pattern (as have others on Raverly) and instead of points on each end, there will be one end with a straight edge.

This yarn is incredible. Very soft, creating a warm yet lightweight fabric, dyed in incredible, mouth-watering colors. It is a delight to knit with and now, a delight to wear. I have heard that sweaters knit in Malabrigo tend to pill, but I don’t really care (and nor do most Malabrigo users on Ravlery); that’s what sweater shavers are for. There is a lot more Malabrigo in my future.

Before I can plunge into more Malabrigo though, I need to finish up some other projects including getting back to Flyingdales. I am well into the cable, rib and seed-stitch section now and it’s fascinating to watch it grow, once I got it established and could “see” it. I’m loving the yarn – Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair – which I picked up at Stitches Midwest. It promises to be very warm and cozy, which will come in handy if only I can get it finished!

Swatching for Sweaters

With Veste Everest finished and awaiting cooler weather for its public debut, it’s time to start thinking about the next Big Project – a sweater with sleeves. That means – swatching!

Like many knitters, I’m not all that thrilled about knitting swatches. It feels like a waste of time, an unnecessary delay till you can get to the fun part. But, as I have to remind myself every time, swatches are important and not just in preventing you from knitting a sweater that’s too big or too small; they can also tell you a lot about the yarn.

I’m not going to yammer on about how being off even one half a stitch per inch can cause you to knit a sweater large enough for an elephant (or small enough for a rabbit) – it involves math and calculations and counting and, well, I only just barely understand the reasoning; I’m sure that if I tried to explain it, it would fly out of my head. I knit my (tiny) swatches, count the stitches with my handy Susan Bates knitting ruler, mutter vile curses when, inevitably, I come up with the wrong number then sit and ponder for awhile whether I need to go up a needle size or down. (See? I told you I just barely understand this stuff) Eventually, I figure it out.

teeny tiny swatches (better than no swatches at all)

Upper Left: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch W4 in “Eggplant”, bought at Stitches Midwest. This is like knitting with butter if, you know, butter was stringy and didn’t melt. haha. Incredibly soft, gorgeous color. You may not be able to tell from the photo, but there are a lot of variations in the color (Buffy – who dyed the yarn – told me that this was how her purples always came out) It’s very subtle, similar to Malabrigo kettle dyed yarns. I’m hoping this will add depth to the finished sweater without being distracting. I had originally planned to use this for Flyingdales cardigan but just couldn’t get gauge; instead I’m planning on making a Daily Sweater with it.

Upper Right: Cascade Eco Wool in “Silver”, from stash. While not at all harsh when knitting with it, this yarn softened up beautifully after washing. It has a rustic look to it and is a bit thicker; this will be a sweater I can take on my next Arctic expedition. Or out shoveling sidewalks, whichever. This one is scheduled to become a Portland sweater (Ravelry link)

Lower Right: good old Cascade 220 in Heathers, from stash. If the color looks familiar, it’s because it’s leftover from Veste Everest. The yarn for the new sweater is another Cascade 220 Heather, but a light, herb green. This will be for Mr Greenjeans cardigan, but with full-length sleeves.

Lower Left: Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair in “Sky Blue”, bought at Stitches Midwest. I’m already in love with this yarn. While knitting it feels sturdy and not-quite harsh; after washing it is soft, supple and fluid. The color is subtle yet clear with a lot of depth. This is destined for a Flyingdales cardigan.

Interestingly, all four of these yarns are considered worsted weight, yet they range from almost DK weight (the Shelridge Farms) to almost bulky (the Cascade Eco Wool) – yet another reason to knit a swatch! I was also tickled to find that with the two Lisa Lloyd designs (Flyingdales and Portland) I got gauge with the recommended needle (usually I have to go down two or even three sizes) – maybe she’s a loose knitter like me?

So why am I messing around on the internet instead of madly knitting? I don’t have any of the correct sizes of needles needed in circs! Argh! Even now a needle order is winging it’s way to Jimmy Beans Wool. Until then, I’m back to working on the Livia socks (a break from them has helped) and a hat for a friend. And hoping that delivery gets here fast!

Oops! I Did It Again or, My Excellent Adventure at Stitches Midwest

that's a lot of sock yarn...

(Admittedly, on the Brittney Scale of Scandal, this is pretty much a non-event)

I bought more yarn. LOTS of yarn. Yarn enough to clothe a small nation (especially if they have cold feet) An epic amount of yarn.

Maybe it was the wool fumes.

Sponsered by XRX Publications (publishers of Knitters Magazine and many knitting books), Stitches events are held across the country throughout the year – West in the winter, Midwest in the summer and East in the fall (they’ve just added South starting in April of next year) They bring together knitting designers and teachers for a series of workshops and classes, and hold a market where vendors of all things knit-y and yarn-y show off their wares. Heavenly!

my fabulous sheep bowl from Jennie the Potter

Stitches Midwest was held in Chicago (Schaumburg) this past weekend and happily, I was able to visit the market. My friend Chris, always the Good Sport, agreed to come along and navigate (I am a nervous Big City Driver and am not very familiar with Chicago) We had a great time and as a bonus, I think I’ve converted Chris into a knitter (she’s already requested an invitation to Ravelry)!

The Market is wonderful – and overwhelming. In fact, I felt panic pressing on me when I first walked in. However, Chris, ever Practical and Organized, suggested we start with Aisle 1 and methodically go up and down each aisle (there were 8!) Fortunately, I had seen a vendor list ahead of time and was able to do some research on who would be there, what kinds of products they offered and to think about how much yarn to get for specific projects. This helped enormously; it didn’t stop me from buying from other vendors, but it gave me some focus. It was still hard at times – to walk away from the gorgeous/expensive hand dyed merino at Knitting Notions (I’m saving up for next year), to pick the perfect shade of blue at Green Mountain Spinnery, to choose just two Cookie A patterns and limit the mitten yarn at Shelridge Farm, and even (though there is evidence to the contrary) not buy every sock yarn I came across.

I tried to buy things that aren’t available to me locally; even though many/most things are now online, it’s worth it to actually feel and hold the yarn and see the colors before buying. The bonus is getting to meet many of the artists, talk to them about their products, thank them for bringing us such beautiful things. It makes the yarn – and the end product (sweaters, socks and mittens – I hope) that much more special.

door prize swag from Mass Ave Knit Shop

There were some wonderful discoveries (independent dyers of gorgeous sock yarns such as Aisha Celia Designs and MacKintosh Yarns), chatting with the charming Jennie of Jennie the Potter fame, and a jaw-dropping special treat – I won a door prize just minutes after arriving! And a really fabulous door-prize – a $50 gift certificate to the Mass Ave Knit Shop booth where I was able to indulge in some sock yarn I haven’t seen before as well as a charming sheep pin. The ladies there were super nice and they had oodles of beautiful things. Thanks Mass Ave Knit Shop!


In addition (yes, there’s more) there were hour-long classes held next to the Market floor; Chris took a free Learn to Knit class and had a great experience including receiving needles, yarn and a booklet to keep (she said there were about 18 people in the class which bodes well for the continued popularity of knitting especially considering that you had to pay to get into the Market itself) I dropped in on a free Demo (Provisional Cast-On) that was very good. The event site (Schaumburg Reniassance Hotel and Convention Center) was very nice – good parking, comfortable conference hall, healthy, tasty food at the concession stand.  It was just a great day – Chris and I have already marked our calendars for next year!

The Market was pretty intense; if you’re lucky enough to attend one, I’d recommend setting aside a whole day just for the Market. That will give you time to see as much as possible, to stop and talk to the vendors and other knitters, to stop in on demos or the Market sessions (I’m sure the formal classes, which run 3 or more hours, would also be fantastic) Chris and I drove up the day before (a three hour drive for us) and spent the day before shopping at IKEA (worth the trip alone!) and Woodfield Mall, stayed at a nearby hotel and were rested and at the Market shortly after it opened the next day.

Oh, and bring your rolling suitcase (empty) and wear your best walking shoes – you’ll need them both!

Special shout-out to Chris for all the support and navigation – and welcome to the crazy/fun world of knitting!

Mine! Mineminemineminemine!

A package from Germany
A package from Germany

Knitters appear to be no different than any other consumer, often getting caught up in the hype of a new pattern or yarn. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where or when or how one of these crazes begins, but suddenly everyone is knitting a Chevron Scarf, or everyone is scrambling for the same sock yarn. It’s an interesting phenomenon, one from which, I have to admit, I’m not immune.

Fortunately, my experience so far indicates that there’s a reason a pattern or yarn becomes “it” in the Knitting World – it really is fabulous. I love my Monkey socks and my Central Park Hoodie and I adore Socks that Rock and Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarns – they’re popular for a reason. But those patterns and yarns are relatively easy to get ahold of; there seems to be a current craze for the hard-to-get.

Wollmeise. Sock knitters start drooling just at the mention of this yarn which has almost reached magical status. It’s hard to find (it’s hand-dyed by one woman in Germany; the only US outlet I know of for it is The Loopy Ewe), it’s dyed in small quantities at somewhat irregular intervals (I think, actually, Claudia is dying yarn as fast as she can but she does have a life and needs to do things like sleep and eat once in awhile) and it’s snatched up the instant it goes on sale. The instant. (The Loopy Ewe had 300 skeins that they put up for sale on their website – unannounced – a couple weeks ago and it all sold in 4.8 minutes. Crazy.)


It is also possible to purchase Wollmeise yarn directly from Claudia in Germany. She posts yarn on Fridays (not every Friday, but many Fridays). Again, it disappears fast. If you happen to get to the site when there is yarn available, throw the yarn in your shopping basket (virtually speaking) and pay for it as fast as you can. Do not dither. It will literally (not virtually) disappear out of your shopping cart if you hesitate. (The smart thing to do is to register an account with the site and put together a wishlist; then check your wishlist on Friday and any yarns that are in stock will be indicated. From here you can add them to your cart and checkout quickly. Fridays are no time for window shopping; Fridays are serious) (I don’t know why I just told you that; I’m just creating more competition for myself!)

I got lucky; on my first try a couple weeks ago I went to the website almost on a lark. And there was yarn available! Hardly believing what was happening, I got two skeins. Interestingly, it’s no more expensive to buy the yarn from Claudia and have it shipped from Germany and, in spite of it’s rabid following, it’s no more expensive than any high-end, handpainted/hand dyed sock yarn that is more commonly available (especially considering the very generous yardage of 575 yards per skein!).

Wollmeise “Rittersporn”

Shipping was super fast, considering it came from Germany – I ordered on July 11 and the precious package arrived in my clutches on July 25. And, really, what’s more fun than getting a package of sock yarn – from Europe?! Friday was a gooooooood day

Wollmeise "Dornroschen"

The package did not disappoint. The colors are, simply, amazing. Intense, complex, rich, subtle. It’s difficult to tear your eyes away from them. Both of my skeins have very subtle color changes which means they’ll be perfect for complex patterns. The purple/blue skein is “Rittersporn” (meaning Larkspur or Delphinium, perfect for flowergirl) and was difficult to photograph; it’s more purple than the photo shows, with deep, lapis blue shading. The red/pink skein is “Dornroschen” (Sleeping Beauty) and while red and hot pink sounds like a wild color combination, it blends together beautifully. Also included in my beautiful package was a sample twist of worsted weight yarn in lemon green (very pretty, very soft) and a small package of gummy bears! Fun!

Of course, the real test will come with the knitting; I’ve used some yarns with gorgeous colors, only to be disappointed by the yarn itself. I like some substance and lots of softness. I have some other projects that have to be done first but I’ll be testing these out soon. I think they call for something special; in my book that’s a Cookie A sock pattern. I’m thinking “Twisted Flower” and “Marilinda”. Complicated and beautiful. Can’t wait!

Traveling Knitter – Outer Banks, North Carolina

While the Outer Banks is a familiar to people living on the East Coast, it’s not quite as well-known to the rest of the country. Comprised of a narrow strip of land running along the east coast of North Carolina, it is famous for wide, relatively uncrowded beaches, great seafood, five lighthouses (including the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse) and the site of the Wright Brothers first flights at Kitty Hawk. It’s also home to a fascinating and fragile ecosystem which includes a wealth of bird life, wild horses and various sea creatures. To this Midwestern born and raised girl, it is exotic and fascinating; I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit it frequently since my family has a reunion there about every other year where we rent a big beach house and everyone that can, comes.

This was a “beach-house year” (as we call them). I spent about as much time deciding on what knitting projects to pack as I did clothes and somewhere along the line Reality (with whom I’m barely acquainted) abandoned me and I ended up packing about 6 different projects. Haha! Very funny, Reality. I did get Jim’s Giant Socks knit, which was the most important and I got a good start on another pair of socks (which I’ll show in a later post), but the other projects simply came along for the ride and some salt air.

Added to the fun, for me, this year was discovering a yarn shop near where we were staying. Yet another great feature of Ravelry is being able to search for local yarn shops by location. I arrived in North Carolina with map and address in hand and soon made my way to Knitting Addiction in Southern Shores. This is a delightful shop – one large, open room that nevertheless packs an impressive array of yarns. There was a lot of cotton and linen displayed (understandable in a warm weather location at the beginning of summer) including Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton and O-Wool Organic. They also had some very cute t-shirts for sale (“Hand over the sock yarn and no one will get hurt”). I just happened to be wearing my Ravelry “Daily Dose of Fiber” t-shirt that day and two of the ladies working the shop noticed and commented on it. Best of all they have a cat! A lovely grey calico who was holding court on a hand-knit blanket at the front of the store! She was very sweet but made me miss my own cats even more.

I picked up some Blue Sky Organic Cotton for another Baby Soft Cardigan but refrained, with great difficulty, from buying more yarn (also, my brother, who was driving and had so far been very patient with me, was beginning to get antsy) I also picked up a beautiful, hand crafted button made by Schena Arts from nearby Hatteras Island. I love the design and I think it will work with CeCe. It was the best souvenir from the whole trip.

A Watched Pot Never Boils….

Lime Green Summer Socks and creeping phlox….and that particular yarn or needle you need for a project never seems to arrive. I decided I would drop Ariann for a bit (a dangerous move since it is somewhat in danger of becoming a permanent UFO) and work on a Green Gable sweater which looks like a quick knit. I have the yarn, but not the needles which seems odd; I seem to have almost every needle size ever invented (often more than one pair) but not the ones I need! I see a conspiracy at work here….

And then mid-deadline-knitting I decided I hated the pattern I had chosen and went and found a new one which, of course (conspiracy alert here!) required yarn that I didn’t have in my stash. My stash that is beginning to look like a branch of the LYS. Odd, no?

While I wait – and wait – for yet more needles and yarn to come to my house, I’ve been working on my Lime Green Summer Socks, which I usually knit on only at work (since it’s so nicely portable) I’m not overjoyed with it so far; the color is good but I’ve come across a knot and a big splice in the yarn already (which probably means I won’t be able to match up the striping between the socks) and the pattern is b-o-r-i-n-g (my fault) However, it’ll be nice to have some cotton socks and the simple/boring pattern is admittedly a relief after all the cables of Twisted Tulip (another project waiting to be completed, but that’s a planned stop and I’ll get back to it soon. Really, I will)