Twisted Flower Socks–at long last

I keep meaning and wanting to post regularly, and then things get in the way.  The past couple of weeks has been a Festival of Migraines! here.  Calling it a festival does give it a more upbeat connotation than I actually experienced, but when one has two migraines in one week with auras of lightning rainbows flashing around the whole left side of one’s field of vision, it does seem rather festive in a macabre sort of way.  Luckily, the headaches weren’t too bad, as the auras, which I usually don’t get, signaled that I should take some Imitrex immediately.  I have managed to do some knitting, and even with showing this FO, I still have two more in the wings.

The Twisted Flower Socks were part of the Single Sock Swap, and Jean of Golden Purl knit the first sock, and then sent me it, the yarn and the pattern. The yarn is Lana Grossa/Meilenweit Seta/Cashmere (65% wool/15% silk/16% polyamide/4% cashmere) in a lovely light navy, and of course the pattern is by Cookie A. I managed to knit the second sock so that it is identical to the first!
Twisted Flower Socks
Even up close!
detail
So this swap was a long time ago blogwise (but not so long when considering earth plate tectonics), and I received the package from Jean last November. I put off knitting until after the holidays, and then things went pretty well until I got to the heel flap, which had SSPs on the wrong side rows. The sock asked for a time out before I killed it. That purling two together through the back loop after twisting the stitches was, shall we say, unpleasant. After a couple months rest, I went back to the sock in a fit of guilt, and now all was easy. Even the twisted motifs, which had been doable, but I was looking at the chart almost every other stitch, now seemed logical. How could I have ever been so confused before? My brain did something in that intervening time; I don’t know what, and I’m not asking. I did check, and I can still do long division of two digit numbers into 4-5 digit numbers in my head, so that wasn’t what went in gaining understanding of what twist goes where. I can still sing the alphabet song too, but I’m sure something vital has flown the coop.

Anyway, I’m even contemplating knitting another pair of socks with twisty patterns in the future. I was going to also post the Stansfield 27 socks today, as they are also done, but they need a little bath and some blocking to be camera ready.

Plus, NELOSYS the first is done and blocked, but it has been too hot for modeled shots, so that has been on blog-posting hold too. And I have made several acquisitions, and I have a couple more on the way. But Archie, my computer, is again sick! It is something different this time, which even M doesn’t understand (this is very hard for me to understand as M thinks like a computer–he usually makes Mr. Spock seem overwrought with sensibility). Archie, when running on his battery, knows he has battery power left, but he shuts down anyway. He’s not overheating, he just goes to a black screen. Sigh. And then he won’t restart unless he’s plugged in. I’ve calibrated the battery and both his battery indicators indicate that he still has battery power. I fear Apple will want to see Archie again, and then I’ll be away again from the blogosphere. Good thing I have a lot of yarn…

The Consequences of Owning Many Sets of DPNs

Sock ennui plus many, many sets of dpns results in 6 pairs of socks on the needles.  And this doesn’t use all my available sock-knitting-sized needles.  It’s a slippery slope.

Socks on the Needles
Top Row (left to right):
1. Christmas Socks I: 4×4 rib (total snoozer), eye of partridge heel flap (42 rows to get a 2″ flap!), and FA merino in Lily Pond (very pretty). One sock done. Sock two started, but I have to bribe myself to knit on it.
2. Christmas Socks II: K3,P1,K1,P1 rib (looks nice stretched), slip-st heel flap, and FA SeaWool in Burgundy (nice colors, but the yarn feels a bit funny to me). One sock done. SeaWool is thicker than FA’s merino, so I used size 2 needles (2.75 mm) and only need 48 stitches around, as recipient has very narrow feet.
3. Stansfield 27 Socks (More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch): Knitting these for a friend’s birthday gift. Sock one done. Sock 2 on gusset decreases. Love, love, love the Fearless Fibers merino in Raspberry. Will finish these soon (birthday was July 31, but weather is hot here, and she got to try on the first sock, which fit!).
Bottom Row (left to right):
4. Making it up Seed Stitch and Rib Socks: Got this pattern idea from a sweater swatch I was knitting and HAD to try it out. Black Bunny Fibers Merino in Aquamarine. This is the third sock try with this yarn; I hope it’s the charm.
5. 2/2/2 socks: Cool cables, but rather complicated to knit for the effect (e.g. two cable needles for one cable and moving stitches from front to back half way through the cable for the other). Is all this fuss worth it? Or should I frog and try something a little simpler? BFL yarn in Poseidon from Little Dog Designs. Opinions?
6. Plain Stockinette Socks: CTH Supersock in Champlain Sunset. After trying to be clever and either getting a non-stretchy fabric (braided cables with no purling between the braids) or pooling ugliness (4 colors–2 striping on one side of the sock and the other 2 on the other side), I determined that stockinette on 2.5 mm needles (60-st sock) was just the ticket.

I have enough needles to put the plans I have in mind for these three yarns in practice.
Multi-colored Sock Yarns
CTH Supersock in Cabin Fever: Has been frogged once, but I think I learned my lesson.
Merino Tencel in Baltic from someone’s dye pot–I have lost the ball band. It’s pretty!
Claudia’s Hand Painted in Eat Your Veggies. I keep giving away the socks I knit from Claudia’s yarn. These will really be for me.

The goal is to get the gift socks DONE, and some of these multi-colored yarns knit up in simple patterns for myself, as I don’t even have a week’s worth of handknit socks. Then I have some plans for more complex socks, like Laura’s new Algernon pattern and Taina’s Paraphernalia (Ravelry link), using some semi-solids and solid yarns I have. I’m also making up patterns in my head. But which yarn for which pattern?
Semi-solid Sock Yarns
Left to right: Creatively Dyed Merino Sock in ATS3, Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose, CTH Supersock in Amethyst, Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino in Thoroughbred, and CTH Potlucks in Blue/Purple.

You can see why I say it’s a slippery slope.

Overdue FO, a prize, and some good reads

OK, so I suppose getting around to blogging for the FIRST time about a FO I gave to my mother for Mother’s Day (she received it early too) during the first week of August is a bit tardy.  But here at Molecular Knitting, I am a strong believer in better late than never when it comes to posting FOs.  So lets take a look at the mohair scarf I sent Mom.  She likes it too!
Stained Glass Scarf
Yes, I drink my fresh-squeezed OJ from a footed, crystal glass.  Once when I was in San Francisco, I saw a man leaning out of his 3rd story flat window, sipping OJ from a footed, crystal glass one bright, sunny morning while he enjoyed what I can only imagine was a spectacular view of the city.  I thought he had the right idea.  I didn’t live in San Francisco, and I couldn’t have afforded his home even if I did.  But I could find a footed, crystal glass in clearance room at the Mikasa outlet.  Yes, I feel very special.

I call this the Stained Glass Scarf for what I think are obvious reasons. The yarn is Artful Yarns Portrait in Weeping Woman. The Potrait series of colorways are all based on famous portrait paintings, and I assume this colorway is for the Picasso Weeping Woman painting. This drop stitch pattern was the third stitch pattern I tried–yes, I did rip mohair but very, very carefully. It was the best for the short stretches of color.
Stained Glass Scarf detail
Garter Drop Stitch:
Row 1: knit
Row 2: knit, wrapping yarn 2X around the needle (I used US 9 needles)
Row 3: knit, dropping extra wraps
Row 4: knit

While my computer was on the fritz, I won a prize! I won a skein of sock yarn in Claudia’s Bike for MS fundraiser. I got sent a lovely skein of CTH supersock in the Simply Sock Yarn Company Anniversary Colors.
CTH SSYC Anniversary Yarn
I have a twisty-ribby idea in mind, but I have other socks to finish first. More on those socks in another post. But I do want to mention a new series of historical mysteries (the first two are out) that I have enjoyed very much. They are the Lady Julia Grey mysteries by Deanna Raybourn.
Deanna Raybourn novels
The setting is mid-Victorian period in Britain. Silent in the Grave is the first novel, and it deals with the death of Lady Julia’s husband. Lady Julia assumes her husband’s congenital heart problem has killed him, but one of her dinner guests, Nicholas Brisbane, a private detective to the rich and famous, is sure it is murder. When Lady Julia realizes Mr. Brisbane is right, she decides to solve the murder, and asks for Mr. Brisbane’s help. Mr. Brisbane prefers to work alone. Lady Julia insists on helping. Sparks fly, and the culprit hasn’t a prayer of escaping.

The plot is clever and the characters are a great deal of fun. Furthermore, Ms. Raybourn is a good writer. She has an ear for dialog too. I am a very picky reader. My dad, a literature professor, taught me to recite from T.S. Eliot’s and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems when I was in grade school. I learned a love of words from this which led to an aversion of flat, lackluster writing. I am happy to report that I didn’t groan once while reading these two mysteries. I liked the first so well, I had to go out immediately and buy the second. Now I wait in loneliness for the third. Good mysteries are hard to find; I highly recommend these.