Tuesday, March 30, 2010

chirp chirp chirp

I think it's funny that it took me so long to post after my previous post, about follow-through. And I admit that I'm finally getting around to it today because I anticipate having a much more exciting thing to write about this coming weekend, and want to share some other things with you before that happens.

First off, the final total for the Doctors Without Borders donation, thanks to a whole lot of pattern sales, a few reports of finished items (at $1 per), and $10 for a finished socks challenge, is $1098. YAY! I made the final donation at the beginning of this month, and feel thoroughly embarrassed by the follow-up letters and emails I receive from Doctors Without Borders, because it's not my money I donated. I was just facilitating donations from you generous people. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Before I get on with the knitting photos (I'm a blog reader too, and I know what you're really here for), I thought I'd do a short share the love interlude. A very long time ago I think I wrote about some podcasts I enjoy. I still enjoy podcasts, and thought I'd share some newer ones, in case any of you are looking for things to listen to. In no particular order (okay, the order in which I found them in my iTunes list):

* Alyrenee's Copious Spare Time - Alyrenee is a costume designer who is always full of really interesting things to say on a variety of topics. Some of the topics are things that otherwise don't interest me at all, but her expertise and enthusiasm are enough to get me interested in what she has to say. Her episode about visiting the Harry Potter costumes exhibit is fascinating. I listened twice. Maybe three times.

* Math 4 Knitters, Journal Gazette - Okay, this is kind of an old one. Lara's Math 4 Knitters podcast was one of what I consider the first generation of podcasts that began a few years ago. But she took a little break, and is podcasting again, somewhat in partnership with her employer, the Journal Gazette. Her podcast is knitting nerdy stuff, paired with interesting interviews of local (to her) craftspeople. I particularly enjoy the nerdy stuff. I've always liked math, and really appreciate the way her mind works, and her willingness to experiment with knitting math and construction.

* The Savvy Girls Podcast - Deborah and Melanie are the best thing since sliced bread. The best thing since sliced banana bread with chocolate chips. With a side of gerbil chow. My new favorite.

As for the knitting, I have a pair of Embossed Leaves socks:

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

I used Caper sock yarn, which is an 80/10/10 merino/cashmere/nylon blend by String Theory. I wasn't sure if that 10% cashmere would make a difference, but it really does. Even better, the color is brilliant and beautiful, and the yarn was reasonably priced for this blend. There are other similar sock yarns that are more expensive and/or ridiculously hard to get your hands on, so I consider this quite a find.

Lacy Baktus:

Lacy Baktus
Lacy Baktus
Lacy Baktus

This is knit from my handspun superwash BFL, bought as dyed top from Hello Yarn. I adore the colors with a passion. (Speaking of hard to get stuff, Adrian's fiber is in the extremely short list of hard-to-get stuff that I'm willing to put in an effort to get. Her colors are that good.) In fact, it's the dye job alone that makes me love this scarf, because I am not a fan at all of superwash BFL. I tried it out of curiosity, and found it difficult to spin (super duper slippery, and gets wiry too quickly), and not that pleasant of a texture when spun up. I had originally planned for the yarn to become socks, but it has no elasticity. This seemed like the perfect pattern to take advantage of its drapey nature and to show off the colors.

So I adore the scarf, even if the superwash BFL makes it a little scratchy and plasticky feeling. I was unsure about how easy it would be to wear this scarf shape, but I really like it. For outside warmth wear I put the wide part at the front of my neck, then wrap the arms around the back of my neck, back to the front, and loosely tie them in front. It's not great for super cold weather, because I don't always get full coverage at the back of my neck. But under a jacket on a mild winter day, it's great. I tend to wear it with the wide part in back and the arms over my shoulders/front indoors, making it quite a versatile scarf. I will definitely be making more of these.

Hayrick Socks:

Hayrick socks
Hayrick socks

Yet another Anne Hanson pattern! It's a very satisfying knit, being one of those sock patterns that is easy to execute, but with enough interest to keep you going through the entire pair. The cabled look is actually all increases (yarnovers) and decreases, which I really like. The yarn is a Cascade Heritage base, dyed by a friend of mine. I wish I could buy colorways like this all the time! It's really perfect for the sock pattern, and those of you who follow Anne's blog will recognize that this is the type of colorway that she uses to great effect in so many of her sock and sweater patterns. Even though I can't get something quite this beautiful from Cascade, I will keep this yarn in the short list of sock yarns I want to use again. It's quite soft, and at least so far seems to wear really well. Better than some more expensive yarns I've used. Two thumbs up from me!

That's all for today. But I'll be back very soon with something more exciting. Oh heck, I hate trying to keep secrets like this. The huge hint is that I have a pattern of some sort coming out in a super duper awesome online knitting magazine that is due to come out with its Spring/Summer issue this Friday. If you find me on Ravelry (as bowerbird) you may be able to find another photo-less clue or two about the nature of the pattern.


Blogger Becki said...

I'm looking forward to Friday's surprise! I love cascade heritage - it is a great value, and a really sturdy yarn (without feeling like you are compromising on softness). The socks look so pretty!

3/30/2010 9:43 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Lovely knits, the embossed leaf socks look great in that yarn. I am excited for you about the pattern so will go and nose around rav!!

Thank you for all your fibre posts as I am working through my first fleece and they have been so useful. x


3/30/2010 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Becky in VT said...

Since I've been stalking said awesome online magazine (via ravelry) for the last week I know as much as I can about your surprise, and I just want to say:

Ahem, that is all.

3/30/2010 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Jessimuhka said...

Yay, good to hear from you again! They Hayrick socks are in the running for my next sock pattern. I currently have ZERO socks on the needles. (Blog posts of the last two completed pairs up in a couple days) Oh, and I'm almost done with my Coraline sweater! Love seeing your work, now I'm inspired to knit some more.

3/30/2010 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, the Baktus sure is gorgeous! Looks like a great, quick pattern, and your handspun looks fantastic.

Looking forward to the surprise!

3/31/2010 11:21 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Love all the projects but especially the Lacy Baktus! It's BEAUTIFUL! I think I need to make one, too!

4/01/2010 10:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good to see you back!

4/05/2010 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Blue socks are wonderful! I like knitted socks, but I think it is so long to knit one pair... How long did it take to knit this beautiful pair?

9/14/2010 6:39 AM  

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