Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In(t)ro of East and West

It didn't took me a long time to decide what I wanted to knit first from my new "Knitted Socks East and West" sock book. I immediately liked a pattern called "Inro" . It wasn't anything challenging or extra ordinary, but I enjoyed the simplicity of these socks. The socks-ness of these socks. I just wanted to knit them and so I did.

Pups like them too
According the book "inro" means "a small ornate case consisting a stack of small, nested boxes" and in the socks the wrap stitches are supposed to resemble the stacks of the boxes. And in a way it does, just google "inro" and you'll see it too. Learning what "inro" is made these socks more special to me. Now they're more than just rows of purl stitches and some random wrap stitches. I think good design does that.

Showing off the cuffs
I think these were the least painful socks I have ever knitted, because I finally, miraculously, learned how to make a decent Dutch heel. My biggest problem in heel knitting was picking up the stitches along the heel flap. I just couldn't pick them without getting very loose and ugly stitches. But I tackled the problem. I tackled it. And now I can knit as many socks with Dutch heels as I want and it will be completely pain free. Yay.

Project info
Name: In(t)ro of East and West
Pattern: Inro by Judy Sumner
Made for: myself
Size: 38 
Needle: US 2½ - 3.0 mm
Yarn: Novita Jussi 721 1.1 skeins

I knitted these socks with 3mm needles even though the pattern suggested 3.75mm. I have 3.5mm needles, but for some reason I always tend to choose needles that are like size smaller. Though it works for me, I usually end up with the right size with the smaller needles. These socks fit perfectly as well.

I'm currently knitting my second pair of socks from the book and the pattern is the same quality as the first one: very clear. There are some errors in the book though, but I printed the errata from the Internet soon after I got the book. I want to be prepared.

Finnish summary: Sain valmiiksi ensimmäiset sukat Knitted Socks East and West -sukkakirjasta ja opin vihdoinkin miten tehdään kunnollinen kantapää ilman reikiä ja löysiä silmukoita. Helpottaa sukkien kutomista jatkossa.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gift from a fairy yarn mother and other skein stories

I think I've never babbled much about yarn in my blog. It simply has not been my favorite subject due to the generic nature of the yarns I have used in my projects. Why babble about yarn that isn't going to make the reader to "ooh" and "aah". But recently I got a gift from a fairy yarn mother and it's making me "ooh" and "aah" for sure.

I asked J.R. to write about my new yarn because only he would have been able to describe the probably widest smile ever on my face when I opened the package containing a two most gorgeous skeins of yarn I have ever hold with my own hands. It would definitely have been a nice perspective, but unfortunately and expectedly he refused to. Anyway. I never thought that I could own something as pretty as these yarns:

Sock Pixie "Napoleon and Josephine" and Brooklyn Handspun "Bubble Yum"
You see, I'm not a rich knitter. At least not yet. I've seen these beautiful hand-dyed yarns all over the knitty internet, but they've always been way beyond my financial capabilities. But there I was, holding the yarns I thought I wouldn't be holding for years. And it felt magnificent. It felt like magic. It felt like a gift from a fairy yarn mother.

I got the yarn from Knittingknoobie.com's Susie. I volunteered to make her blog a new design for free since that's what I like to do... and to thank me she sent me the yarn. I couldn't have imagined a better way to thank a knitter. And I feel so special because I know that these hanks traveled a long way to me.

I still don't know what I'll do with the yarn, but one thing is positive: it is going to be something special and it's going to be something for me and only for me. I'm going to enjoy knitting them and I'm going to enjoy wearing the knitted item.

I also got some yarn from J.R.'s mother. Or technically she just bought them for me. We were visiting a yarn shop with her because J.R. is knitting a cardigan for her and she needed to choose the yarn and color. I was about to buy the yarn but then she said that she can buy them for me together with the cardigan yarn. And as I said: I'm not a rich girl so I let her buy me these two skeins:

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Tono
I fell in love with this yarn almost instantly. It reminds me of Regia Hand-dye Effect but it's even better. It's supposed to be fingering, but I think it's more like light fingering. I don't mind though. I have already knitted one sock with the grey colorway and the shades look as good knitted as they looked in the skein.

Finnish summary: Suunnittelin uuden ulkoasun Susien blogille ja kiitokseksi sain kaksi kerää käsinvärjättyjä lankoja. Sen lisäksi sain vielä J.R:n äidiltä kaksi kerää Lana Grossa Meilenweit -lankaa, kun olimme yhdessä lankaostoksilla.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's not over until I blog about it

I hope it's not too late to blog about Christmas presents... because I got "Knitted Socks East and West" sock book, a skein of Malabrigo Lace and KnitPro 2.25mm DPNs from J.R.!

The book is actually from my wish list. I listed it because it contained so many sock patterns (28 out of 30!) that I actually wanted to knit. Usually pattern books only contain couple of patterns I would like to knit. Anyway. "Knitted Socks East and West" is very lovely. The patterns aren't too difficult but the socks look rather unique. The book also introduces some special Japanese stitches which I'm very eager to learn. I have already finished one Inro sock from the book and learned wrap, which according the book is something very typical in Japanese knitting.

I also finished a pair of mittens during Christmas holiday. My sister asked for warm mittens and I decided to knit her phenomenon mittens with short cuffs. I used considerably smaller needles that the pattern suggested, but they turned out in the correct size. My sister has small hands. Here's my sister's dog modeling the mittens:

Project info
Name: Woord's Mittens
Pattern: Phenomenon by Carine Ancel
Craft: Knitting
Made for my sister
Size: small

Needle: US 4 - 3.5 mm
Yarn: Novita Isoveli 794

Finnish summary: Joulupukki toi lahjaksi "Knitted Socks East and West" -sukkakirjan, kerällisen Malabrigo Lace -lankaa ja KnitPron sukkapuikot koossa 2.25mm. Joululomalla tuli myös neulottua siskolle tumput.