Update. Or, how I’m single-handedly keeping the economy afloat by buying more yarn and magazines.

OMG, I have been so delinquent in posting.  Of course I always think of something clever to say while I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep at night but when I’m awake and within arm’s reach of the computer, I’m either too wrapped up in other stuff or can’t think of a damn thing to say that anyone would be remotely interested in reading.

New Yarn!

Anyone, while I’m here, I may as well tell you about my awesome purchases made today at the Circle Craft Christmas Market down at the new and rather cavernous convention centre.  I looked at a bunch of exhibitors but my main purpose for going was to see Trish Moon at Indigo Moon Yarns to show her the Terpander Socks I made from her Goldfinch yarn and snap up some more of her delicious sock yarn.  Here’s today’s booty – n.b. they’re all 100% merino superwash fingering weight and all at discount prices.  Thanks again Trish!

Lilac
Gabriola Green (at least I think that’s the shade)
Milk Chocolate
Logwood Purple

New magazines – Jane Austen Knits and Knit.Wear

Also, after stocking Urban Yarns, I finally got my hands on a copy of Jane Austen Knits.  I have two words:  absolutely glorious!  I love practically everything in it.  Two more words:  love it!

I also found a copy, also at Urban Barns, of the much-coveted Knit.Wear.  For this one, I have four words:  Spec-tac-u-lar!!  I adore the cover wrap and virtually all the other patterns.  Everything is so classic, yet chic and wonderful.

That is all for now.  Get back to your knitting!!

Terpander Socks and Vintage Reindeer Sweater

Look, Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ Terpander socks!

Terpander Socks

If you’ve read my recent review of Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class, you’ll know that my favourite pattern from that book is Terpander.  I’ve cast on those beautiful socks with the Trish Moon’s Indigo Moon 100% merino sock yarn in her new Goldfinch colour that I bought at her stall at the Harmony Arts Festival this summer.  Just look at these socks – the cables are simply delicious and the yellowy-green-yellow yarn is just gorgeous – it has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.


And looky here, a finished object! – Vintage Reindeer Sweater


As for finished objects, I (finally) finished DH’s Vintage Reindeer Sweater which I made from an original Mary Maxim 1950s pattern I found on eBay for $7.
I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky which was the most economical 100% wool yarn I could find that even came close the to required gauge.  The gauge didn’t match the pattern exactly so I did a little monkeying with needles and by knitting a size bigger than he usually wears but it still came out a little snug under the arms and across the chest.  After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I found redemption with TECHknitter and her ingenious gussets and now the sweater fits DH perfectly.  The knitting itself was pretty quick but I became a little bogged down by the incredibly time-sucking process of inserting the zipper.  (N.B. I used another tip from TECHknitter to prepare the zipper for insertion – see the Winter 2010 issue of Interweave Knitsfor a full explanation of the process.  It doesn’t make the process any quicker but it’s pretty easy, looks great and no actual sewing is required.  Win-win-win.  Bonus:  check out Eunny Jang explaining the process:

 

BOOK REVIEW – SOCK KNITTING MASTER CLASS

 

The sock-knitting book you’ve been dreaming of

It’s finally here: Sock Knitting Master Class, Innovative Techniques + Patterns from Top Designers published by Interweave Press. It’s another instant classic by best-selling author Ann Budd and it’s definitely worth the wait. This time around she has collaborated with 15 other top designers to produce 17 stunning new sock patterns, all of which beautifully incorporate the signature elements and techniques each designer is famous for.

Contributing Designers

Devoted knitters will recognize the work of these master knitters:

  • Cookie A.
  • Kathryn Alexander
  • Véronik Avery
  • Cat Bordhi
  • Nancy Bush
  • Evelyn A. Clark
  • Chrissy Gardiner
  • Priscilla Gibson-Roberts
  • Anne Hanson
  • Eunny Jang
  • Melissa Morgan-Oakes
  • Deborah Newton
  • Clara Parks
  • Meg Swanson
  • Anna Zilboorg
  • and of course, Ann Budd herself

The patterns in Sock Knitting Master Class are divided into two main categories:

  • top-down
  • toe-up

Within each construction type, you’ll find:

  • lace
  • cables
  • stranded colourwork
  • slip stitches and
  • twisted or travelling stitches.
I’m drawn to squishy textures like cables and lace and my personal faves from the book are Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ Terpander (which I’ve cast on already), Cookie A.’s Asymmetrical Cables and Ann Budd’s Mock Cables and Lace:
Cookie A’s Asymmetrical Cables

Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oates

Mock Cables and Lace – Ann Budd

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to know about sock knitting

In addition to how-tos for the various cast-ons/bind-offs (including the brilliant Judy’s Magic Cast-On and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off), there are chapters on mastering the elements of good design: fit, comfort, yarn and gauge, needle choice, heels, toes and aesthetics. To borrow a quote from a recent KnitPicks podcast, this book makes me want to drop everything and knit something from it right now!

Why should you buy it?

What sets Sock Knitting Master Class apart from other knitting books is that it’s perfect for newbies or intermediate knitters and anyone in between. If all you want are gorgeous new patterns, look no further. If you want knitting instruction, that’s here too.  Beginners can learn about socks from the ground up and the adventurous will be inspired to pull up their socks and take their knitting to the next level. Everything you could possibly want to know about knitting and designing socks is in Sock Knitting Master Class. Helpful insider design tips and notes accompany each pattern, including yarn suggestions and tips on how to customize to suit your preferences.

Oooh, there’s even a DVD included!

The book includes a bonus 95-minute instructional DVD in which Ann Budd brings Sock Knitting Master Class to life by discussing and demonstrating tips and techniques, including cast-ons and bind-offs, which can be difficult to learn “off the page”. It’s very easy to skip ahead chapter-by-chapter on the DVD if you want to pick and choose topics. It’s not necessary to watch the entire presentation if you only want to see a specific technique demonstrated.

To paraphrase Knitty.com, this is the best sock book that has been published so far. That is all. Go buy it.  I couldn’t agree more. After all, it’s what you’ve been dreaming of.