Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wedding Socks: Hers

Over Labor Day weekend, my friend Gardenia got married. I had intended to give her and her lovely fiance-now-husband knitted socks for their wedding present. Little did I know, though, that my new job would take over my life in a major way, thwarting the very best of intentions to have the socks ready by their wedding day. Luckily, I think that wedding etiquette allows you up to a year after the wedding to give presents to the newlyweds. I hope. (If this is not the case, please don't tell me. Let me remain blissfully ignorant of the ins-and-outs of wedding etiquette.)

I've finished Gardenia's socks:

They're the tried-and-true Retro Rib Socks from Interweave, lately of Favorite Socks. Gardenia said she wanted turquoise socks, and Lorna's Laces provided the best turquoise color I could find, so I wanted an easy but interesting pattern that would work well with a solid yarn. The pattern also couldn't be too feminine because Gardenia's feet are about the same size as her husband's, and she suggested that they'd wear each other's socks. So the Retro Ribs were an ideal pattern.

Here's my and GPG's interpretation of the Caitlyn sock-modeling pose:

You can't really tell, but the socks are a bit big on me. But they are up to spec for Gardenia and her husband, so a nice wash in Eucalan and a ribbon around them will do the trick.

Pattern: Retro Rib
Needles: US2 Clover bamboo DPNs
Yarn: Lorna's Laces in Island Blue
Recipient: Gardenia

Unfortunately, there's still a ways to go on the socks for Mr. Gardenia. They are technically finished, in that you can wear them on your feet and the toes have been Kitchener-stitched together, but . . . in their current state one has a longer leg than the other. I want them both to have longer legs, so I have to rip back the short one (because I knit them toe-down) and knit it up again with a longer length.

I could have knit both socks with short legs and been done with it, but I realized after I finished the first sock that the leg was ridiculously short. So I knit up the second sock with a longer leg, knowing that I'd have to rip the first sock to make them match. These are the silly things I do in my relentless pursuit for perfection.

(On an unrelated note, the Lexus tagline used to be "The relentless pursuit for perfection." Now it's "The passionate pursuit of perfection." I think the former is much more compelling, don't you?)

Anyway, Mr. Gardenia's socks have gotten put on hold in favor of some big-gauge Christmas knitting (this prioritization is all based on my wedding-etiquette one-year grace period assumption). GPG's mom's scarf is done and I've moved on to another Brooklyn Tweed scarf, You're My Iro. Fortunately for me, Mr. Gardenia is a pretty patient guy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Silk Garden Goodness

I really enjoy the ever-changing colors of Noro yarns, but I find the colorways a bit much to make a whole sweater out of anything Noro. Accent pieces, though, like scarves? Much more my style.

This scarf from Brooklyn Tweed was particularly inspiring when I was casting about for ideas for Christmas presents for GPG's family. This scarf is for GPG's sister.

Since knitting time is scarcer now than ever before, this year's Christmas presents will be fairly large-gauge items. I need more instant gratification, and I also need quick results. Socks just take up too much time and effort, so my sock yarn stash is relegated to languishing in the corner for the time being.

Fortunately, though, for scarves like these, the yarn does 90% of the heavy lifting in making a beautiful finished product.

The aspect of Noro yarn that particularly intrigues me is how the skeins include colors that I'd never wear by themselves and makes those colors wearable by combining them (often in unusual blends) with other colors. I also how love two different Noro colorways can play off each other and make the finished object even more beautiful than the individual skeins of yarn.

I'm such a fan of the Silk Garden goodness that I bought two more colorways of Noro (two skeins each) for a scarf for GPG's mom. It's almost done, so pictures of that will come eventually.

Totoro reluctantly agreed to be my scarf model:

Thanks, Totoro! (I got him on my last trip to Japan to visit the Chairpeople. I love him.)

And GPG very kindly took some time this weekend to help me take some nice pictures of my latest projects, which we then prettied up in Photoshop. Thank to him, I actually have something to post about. Thank you, GPG!

Hope everyone has a good week! It's hard to believe September is practically over! Time is really flying.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sockapalooza, long overdue

I am probably the last Sockapalooza person to post about their sock package. (Melissa--I'm so sorry! I'm a terrible pal!) Work has utterly consumed my life over the past month, and unfortunately, it doesn't look like there will be much of a let-up before the end of the month, when big deadlines are looming. I will try to stop prefacing each post with an apologia about work and just post when I can.

Anyway, I finally have some pictures of my wonderful Sockapalooza package. I received it a long time ago, but looking at the pictures again makes me as happy as I was when I opened it! My sock pal was Melissa in Bryan, Texas, and she sent me a fabulous package!

This is what greeted me when I opened the box:

How fun is that? I especially loved the ransom-note-style Sockapalooza card. And everything was so cheerful and colorful!

Wrapped in all the tissue-paper was this:

That's a packet of Soak, which I've wanted to try for the longest time; a new ball of Panda cotton in yummy oranges and reds; and the leftovers from the Sockapalooza socks that Melissa knit for me! The leftovers will add a nice shot of red into my Extra-Long-Term Miter Blanket Project; I can't wait to knit a miter square out of it!

But, most wonderful of all are my socks! They are Cookie A's brilliant Thelonious sock pattern in Panda cotton:

They are the most beautiful socks I've ever seen! And they fit perfectly, too. I love the cotton (which is ideal for muggy Houston weather), and the pattern is elegant but STRETCHY!, which is a big priority for me.

I especially like how the eyelet pattern travels up and around the ankle:

Thank you, Melissa! I'm sorry for taking so long to express my gratitude, but I really loved my Sockapalooza package; it was so much fun to open. Thank you thank you thank you!!!