In the time it took to learn my way around having a blog (linking, uploading, publishing…) I put lots of new things On the Needles. I will not be apologetic about it – I’m just keeping up my share of the A.D.D. Knitters of America local chapter. Besides, it really isn’t my fault that the new colors of Sockotta came in just in time to satisfy my own personal Memorial Day Weekend Sock Knitting Extravaganza. I love Sockotta sock yarn because it is a cotton/wool blend and I am often too hot in all wool socks. I still knit and wear 100% wool socks but reach for my Sockotta socks most of the time. The first sock I ever knit was out of Sockotta and I was instantly smitten. Soooo… I snapped up this summer sherbet color (color #63) and went to town. It looked so beautiful on my desk that walk-in customers couldn’t resist and we quickly sold out. I was then compelled (I can’t remember who was twisting my arm)) to get another new color – the southwest desert (color #59)- and knit one of those up.
At Christmas last year I switched sock knitting methods. I left behind my double point needles and embraced one sock at a time on 2 Addi Turbo circulars and haven’t looked back since. The knitting is so much faster and pleasingly pleasant that my Second Sock Syndrome is almost completely cured. In fact, I will now boldly proclaim my Second Sock Syndrome a brand, a label, an issue of my past and rename myself Second Sock Sally!! I do feel the pangs of my beautiful collection of double point sock needles as they languish alone in jars and needle holders (the television commercial where the mop is trying to woo the woman to give up her new Swifter comes to mind). But languish they will as completed socks continue to fly off of my 2 circular Addi Turbos.
As it happens, I also acquired a new summer dress around the same time. It is rather fancy, for me anyway, and the bodice straps are a little more revealing than I am used to. Luckily, I work in a yarn shop and immediately began the search for a fabulous shrug pattern that would cover up the bits I wanted to hide. I found this to be surprisingly hard but finally hit upon a pattern in the book Lace Style – the Little Silk Shrug by Pam Allen. I love the simplicity of it; the scantiness not so much. The shrug is a simple lace rectangle with a couple of inches sewn together under the arms. I decided to enlarge the width of the rectangle and make it a little longer (again to cover up the bits I want to hide) and here is my progress so far. I am using the Misti Cotton which is a pima cotton and silk blend. I love this cotton. The silk (17%) adds a little something special – a little sheen and it almost has a halo. It will feel so good on my shoulders this summer that I am considering buying a few tank tops to wear with it. I love cotton garments in general and do enjoy knitting with cotton despite its lack of elasticity and bounce. I am thinking of this color as vibrant watermelon (color #16) making it perfect for a quick summer project.
We recently expanded our selection of Addi Lace Needles from sizes 1-4 to sizes 1-9 and I picked up size 8 lace tips for this shrug. Addi Lace tips are a dream, or should I say half of a dream? The coating on the needles is a bit stickier than the traditional Addi coating and that slows it down a bit – in theory a good idea for lace knitting. In practice (at least for me) it is a little too slow and I would dearly love a combo – fast needles with a wondrously tapered tip. Until the day when the Needle Manufacturers deign to give us everything we are looking for in ONE needle, I will keep switching back and forth between needle types to suit my purposes. Like we all do all the time because we have to – more on this later.
Here also is an update of the Wrap Vest in Block Island Blend. Since this vest is done side-to-side, picture taking is a challenge so I pinned it to our in-store mannequin, Stella. Poor Stella. She has her own deficiencies (out of respect for her, I will not enumerate them here) so the piece still isn’t being shown to best advantage but at least the progress is noticeable. I valiantly knit about 10 inches over the weekend and have completed the left side armhole and am now facing the next 10 inch expanse across the back to the right armhole. A veritable Knitter’s Waste Land of back and forth ribbing on a size 5 needle…………
I will, however reluctantly, charge headlong toward the goal – a beautiful flowing pink summer vest – with the newfound support of my readers. (Plus, I have the shrug on size 8’s to switch to when I need a break.) While I am on the subject of Block Island Blend, I would like to throw a shout out to a colleague of mine here at Halcyon, Beth Hood. This spring she knit her fingers to the bone designing a Christening Gown with the lovely Block Island Blend. You may have seen it in an advertisement in Interweave Knits. Here is what she has to say about this fiber: “Buds of beautiful texture form a beautiful fabric knit from Block Island Blend. The ply suggests a delicate tweed or highlights to the color. I love knitting with Block Island Blend and seeing the texture pattern emerge. In the case of the Christening Gown, the texture of the fiber gives one the sense of a true heirloom.” You will be hearing more from Beth and seeing much more of her work as this blog takes shape.
Thanks for tuning in – Happy Knitting!