Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh selfish me

My Christmas knitting is done! D. O. N. E - done! And while I enjoy making all my Christmas gifts, it's always nice to be DONE.

It's been snowing here in Boston for about a day and a half straight (with a small break yesterday afternoon) - so while I'm done with my Christmas gifts I've already cast on two things for myself. I know - insert a shocked *gasp* here. I so rarely knit for myself.

Yesterday while cleaning my knitting area I found one skein of Caron Simply Soft in a luscious purple color. I'm quite sure I got it while working at Michael's in Colorado (so it's been in my stash for quite a while). I've even cast on a couple things using it and I ripped them out because it just wasn't working. I know one of the ripped ones was a project from the '07 Interweave Knits Holiday Mag called the Huckleberry Ascot. While I loved the pattern, the yarn just wasn't working for it - too stiff.

So when I re-discovered this skein I realized it would probably be perfect for a cowl that I've been thinking of making for myself for about a month now. I'd been searching the pattern database on Ravelry and had several options. When presented with the "free" yarn from my stash, however, I realized I also had many pattern books I needed to start using more AND a couple of said books dedicated only to one skein projects. It was fate.

I finally choose the lacy Sofia Cowl (image on the right from the book's website) from One Skein Wonders. I have about 2.5 inches knit so far and I think the yarn and pattern combo are perfect. Soft enough for a cozy cowl but stiff enough to stand up a bit around my neck and help keep me warm. The good part about this pattern is I have more yarn then the pattern calls for, so I can just keep knitting and end up with a larger version. It'll be nice and slouchy and warm when I'm done, despite the open lacy fabric.

The second cast on from my post-Christmas-selfish-knitting-binge is an effort to knit all of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock sock club yarn. I just signed on for another year of this sock club and in order to better justify the expense I told myself I had to finish all the socks from this year before the first shipment from next year (which arrives in the third week of January). I only had one more skein remaining after all the Christmas socks were done. About one month to knit one pair of socks - plenty of time!

The one skein I have left is from the May shipment. It is a nice purple variegated colorway meant for a pattern that came with it called Cleopatra's Stockings. I like the yarn but don't care for the pattern. It's a pretty pattern but far too "fiddly" to knit. I cast on and couldn't even get through the first pattern repeat without pulling my hair out. So I ripped it out. In order to cast on I had to find a suitable pattern that worked with it's variegated loveliness. In my opinion, there just aren't enough patterns that are interesting AND work with variegated sock yarn.

After more Ravelry searching, I had a couple of options. The top of the list was a pattern called Mad Color Weave socks. On the surface it looked like a complicated and fiddly pattern. I almost had my mind made up to give it a try but decided to ask a fellow sock club member who had already made the socks what she thought of it. (Pic on the left is linked in from yecatsml's photo stream on Flickr - gorgeous!).

The other sock club member (rabbitsknit) loved this pattern. Not too fiddly at all (she actually thought the same about the Cleopatra's Stocking pattern) - so I trusted her opinion. To see the Sock Club Member's socks - click here.

I have the cuff of one of the socks done and so far I love the pattern! Complicated only on the first repeat - after that it's a piece of cake.

**Note - sorry for all the linked pictures. Since it's snowing and dreary I can't take my own. I'll update later with some of mine.

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