Friday, August 24, 2007

I've got the blues

blue fuzzy toes
Eek! Giant blue fuzzy toes!

I don't know how noticeable it is to other people besides me, but I am sort of limited in my color choices. I own clothes in plenty of colors, but most days I clad myself in some combination of blue and green. My wedding ring has blue and green stones in it, and I always laugh when I put it on in the morning because it looks like I planned to match my ring to my outfit, but I really just like blue and green.

Anyway, I made some blue things:
embossed leaves socks

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks by Mona Schmidt, from IK Winter 2005 (and from Interweave favorite socks, which is where I got it)
Yarn: KP Gloss in Dusk, less than 2 skeins
Needles: size 2 DPNs
Dates: 7/20/2007 - 8/20/2007 (?)
Modifications: I did a long-tail cast-on instead of the totally weird cast-on in the pattern, added a pattern repeat to the cuffs to make them longer, and reversed things on one of them to make them mirror image of each other:
embossed leaves socks

This was kind of an accident. My one complaint about this pattern (well, besides the unnecessarily confusing cast-on) is that the foot is supposed to be exactly X pattern repeats long (I can't remember exactly how many). I must have had a much looser row gauge than the designer, because I was making bigger socks than the designer and mine were the right size half a pattern repeat short of hers. So I had to futz with the star toe to get those purls to line up with my leaves. Then when I started the second sock I thought I would just start with the second half of the repeat so I could do the toe as written, and then they would be reversed.

embossed leaves closeup
I am a big fan of both the garter stitch border of the heel flap and the purl edging of the instep pattern. The garter stitch border nicely hides where all the stitches are picked up, which to my eye always looks icky on plain stockinette. And the purl stitches on the instep nicely hide how parts of the foot are always a little stretched out looking.

Verdict: love these socks. The toe was a bit uncomfy at first but I'm used to it now. The gloss started out deliciously soft and has softened up even more with a bit of wearing. I haven't tried washing it yet, so far I haven't noticed any stretching out, and there is some pilling on the bottom of my foot but doesn't seem any worse than any of my other socks. (I feel like ALL my socks pill at the ball of my foot. Maybe I'm just using wimpy yarns.) Anyway part of the point of these socks was to see if I like Gloss enough to make a Thermal out of it. I'm kind of thinking not. I'm still a little wary of the pilling and stretching that other people have talked about, not such a big deal in a pair of socks, but that sweater looks like it will take a lot of effort. I'm not so sure I want to make it anymore, period.

Here's blue thing number two:
hourglass sweater
P.S., I have short(er) hair now!
P.P.S., I always think I'm smiling, but clearly my pictures prove me wrong. What am I so pissed about?

Pattern: Hourglass sweater by Joelle Hoverson, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Size: the one that claims to be 37" bust, it really came out more like a 40" bust - about 2" positive ease, exactly what I wanted. Thank goodness I have learned to wash my swatches.
Yarn: Noro Cash Iroha, less than 10 skeins, plus some nameless wool/silk blend for the edging - I had made some very ill-advised wrist warmers out of this stuff and don't have the band anymore, I was only too happy to frog them when I thought of using the yarn for the trim.
Dates: 6/2007 - 8/2007 (I need to get better at keeping track of my dates.)
Modifications: You may realize that I am once again a total copycat. I loved the contrast trim and rounded yoke neck of Diana's version, so that's what I did. I also made both the body and sleeves a titch longer than the pattern called for, and added more increases on the upper arms because I really wanted to make sure this sweater was baggy and comfy, no negative ease anywhere.

Here's a better look at the rounded yoke and contrast trim:
hourglass neck

Verdict: Love. It. Have worn it every day since I finished it about a week ago. Has FAR surpassed the cabled turtleneck as the best sweater I've ever made. This is due to several factors: the delicious cash iroha is much softer than Cascade 220, the sweater is looser and comfier, and those dang cables are HOT. I forgot about how cables were originally designed for warmth, they weren't kidding! I think the cabled turtleneck is in the closet until the coldest days of winter (which, around here, means in the low 50s).

Here's the back:
hourglass back
Yes, my jeans have sparkles on the back pockets. Quit looking at my butt.


Emilee said...

Those are both lovely! I love how the socks mirror each other.

Thea said...

great job on both - love the trim detail on the hourglass! and the sparkly back pockets...

Guro said...

Great socks and sweater! And the colour on both is absolutely yummy and looks great on you!

Bridget said...

Great FOs!

I'm a green and blue person too ... I always end up there, somehow.

Knittypants said...

Both projects turned out great. I love the blue of the sweater it's the perfect shade.

Batty said...

Pretty blue socks! And that hourglass sweater is incredibly flattering on you. Seriously, you should be smiling. It looks great!

IrishgirlieKnits & PashyKnits said...

Blue heaven!! Love the socks!! I really enjoyed that pattern too!

Gorgeous hourglass sweater! The trim is especially a nice touch (I too shall some day be a copycat and add that detail perhaps!). Great job!! And I love the looking at the butt comment! Of course, I wasn't...but loved the comment :)

Kathy said...

Your knitting always amazes me.

The blue socks are a work of art to me.

Love your blue sweater as well.

Your sweaters always fit you so well.

Kim said...

So, so pretty -- both the socks and the sweater! I also lean toward the blues and greens. Lovely work!

bradyphrenia said...

both of your FOs are beautiful. i really must make that hourglass pullover one day.

Nikki said...

They are both great. I love that you did a yoke construction.

Sienna said...

oooo! I love your new sweater. Sexy!

The_Add_Knitter said...

Love your Embossed Leaves, so lovely and such a satisfying pattern.

Esoteric Knitter said...

Fantastic socks! And a great sweater too! :)

Lori said...

Pretty socks and sweater. I'm partial to blue, too. I had to laugh when you said "I thought I was smiling...what am I so pissed about?" I have wondered the same thing on my own pics! Or I look majorly tired and I think,"I don't feel tired..what's the deal?"

amylin said...

Nice socks and great sweater.