Malabrigo Sock Yarn

amalabrigo

I made my Aestlight Shawl by Goodrun Johnson in January and this was the softest yarn I’d ever worked with.

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Now I’ve been wearing the shawl for over a month and it’s the  most gorgeous yarn I’ve ever worn. It just gets better and better each day with wear.

I’m daring all yarns I use in the future to beat it.

Currently undergoing the challenge?…. Dream in Color Baby (Shiny Moss colourway)

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The jury’s still out.

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After a long break, I’ve finally got my seamless cardigan pattern up on Ravelry.

Click below to dowload the PDF:

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I think it would look great in a solid colour DK weight yarn too!

My Resolution for this upcoming year…  knit items with mimimal seams!

I just finished this little guy, ‘Monsieur Lapin’.

I felt like I spent more time making up than knitting.

He IS cute though!

I took a little trip to the laundrette with my gorgeous pink  Rowan Tapestry Collection cardigan (70% wool, 30% soybean) which I made in 2008.  I have washed it successfully by machine many times; cool water cycle, spin and it even once made it accidentally into the dryer on low and survived ( I know, I know, a disaster was just waiting to happen!).  But the machine at the laundrette had other ideas. Despite it being put on a cool water cycle and also, despite there being signs papered up on the walls saying ‘heater broken, cold water only’, my beautiful cardigan emerged a shadow of it’s former self.

Left: Pre-wash, right: post-wash

The picture above is after much pulling of the newly-felted fabric back into shape. I estimate it would now fit a 7 year old beautifully 😉

Sad.

But it can’t just be discarded.  The colour and patterning of the yarn are so great that it will have to be recycled into a new project.  Maybe a bag?  The band of knitting at the bottom could be sides and a base, with the arms cut to form ‘gussets’.  Perhaps some brown leather handles?

Any other ideas?  …. please?!  (comments below)

I was reading a detective novel the other day, and guess what I found?

The word ‘clue’ derives from ‘clew’, meaning a ball of thread or yarn. It had come to mean ‘that which points the way’ because of the Greek myth in which Theseus uses a ball of yarn, given to him by Ariadne, to find his way out of the Minotaur’s Labyrinth. The writers of the mid-nineteenth century still had this image in mind when they used the word. ‘There is always a pleasure in unraveling a mystery, in catching at the gossamer clue which will guide to certainty’, observed Elizabeth Gaskell in 1848. … A plot was a knot, and a story ended in a ‘denouement’, an unknotting.

The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher (or The Murder At Road Hill House),2008.  Kate Summerscale

Who knew?

Finally, the socks are completed.  They were actually finished on the 30th and first worn the night of Halloween (you’ve got to admit it, they’re a pretty scary colour!). 

Nancy Bush designed the toe with a long stretch of stockinette stitch. I believe this historically was functional; it’s far more comfortable and less time-consuming to have a plain fabric in an area that will be covered by your shoe. I used one more pattern repeat than she’d directed, the stockinette toe should have been even longer but I spend more time with my shoes off than on and wanted something aesthetically pleasing. The toe decreases are also unusual, with 3 areas of decreases forming a ‘tripod’ of ridges from the toe, instead of the usual 2. This is also apparently historical and not as uncomfortable to wear as I first thought.

The socks fit well, are very comfortable and were fun to knit, but are very garish.  The difference in colour between the two socks from my misguided dyeing experiment have not turned out to be that noticable… but then, I’m not sure how often I’ll wear them out anyway (aside from Halloween!). 

The great thing about mystery socks is that it makes you try techniques that you may otherwise avoid. 

I am so used to toe-ups, that I had made picking up the the heel of cuff-down socks ‘fiddly’ in my mind. So I’m glad I was forced to try it again – it’s really not that hard!  They also slip over the ankle easier than the toe-ups I’ve tried so far.

And here’s that EOP (eye of partridge) heel flap again.  I like it better on this sock.

This design also made me try a new heel; a ‘Dutch heel’. It is much narrower than a regular Round French heel and appears ‘square-er’ at the turn.  In fact it looks so narrow that I would not have tried it as part of a regular pattern.  It is supposed to be comfortable for people with narrow heels – and it is.  Am not a fan of the appearance but will see how it feels and lasts over time.

Hmm…. a 60 st cast on, vikkel braid and then ribbing to help the leg stretch & stay up over big calves, a tiny narrow heel for someone with narrow feet…. am starting to think she designed this sock for me!

 

I’ve been making Wendy Johnson’s Feather and Fan Socks and have discovered I’m not a big fan of the short row toe.

Perhaps it’s just the way I pick up the wrapped stitches, but the ‘join’ looks uneven and ‘hand-stitched’ to me and is also a little bulky. I also don’t think it compliments self-striping yarn as the pattern is interrupted where the join occurs.  So, off to the frog pond for 2 socks and then re-knit using  Judy’s Magic cast on with bar increases.

There. Much better.

I love the colours of this yarn. It’s BFL by Yarn Pirate.

Time is moving too fast.

Part 4 of the Nancy Bush Mystery Sock is already out and I’m just starting part 3. I can’t even look at the Ravelry page because I’ll be tempted to look at the last clue!

Here it is just before the heel turn (part 3). I love the ribbing to help the sock get over my generous calves – how did she know?!! Its fitting well so far which is great considering there is only one pattern size – modelled here, not by myself, but a good friend 😉

Off to finish part 3 so I can finally check out the website again without spoiling the mystery!….

As I had mentioned during my experiments with dyeing yellow yarn, I am not a yellow person. Or didn’t think I was. So knitting the mystery Ravelry SKA Nancy Bush pattern this month is surprisingly enjoyable.

The first clue was only the cuff, but with some interesting twists. Purl 1 row after cast on = interesting seed-stitch appearance to first row of rib. Vikkel braid  = neat demarkation between ribbing and pattern.

Am however, finding some slight discrepancies between the 2 hanks of yarn I dyed. I obviously ‘washed’ more dye out of  one. Whatever…  why SHOULD socks match anyway? 😉

Clue 1 - Nancy Bush Mystery KAL 2009 - SKA, Ravelry
Clue 1 – Nancy Bush Mystery KAL 2009 – Ravelry.com (SockKnitters Anonymous)

It’s my first cuff-down sock in a long time and am enjoying it more that I thought I would (since discovering how easy toe-up are!).   But, ask me again when we’re on the heel! 

…. off to look for more yellow yarn for the stash!

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