Category Archives: Bells and Whistles socks

The James Brown of sock yarns

Paraphernalia Progress It’s been an eventful month around these parts – work is exceptionally busy which explains why you get last week’s photo of the current sock instead of one taken yesterday, as I approached the toe. As you might have guessed, the sock is Paraphernalia, out of stashed Opal. This is my last ball of Opal in the sock yarn bin, and given that I still have a fair amount of knitting up to do before I reach 20,000 yards in stash, Opal and I will be separated for a good long while.

Can I just say again how much I love it? Opal is the James Brown of sock yarns – the hardest-working yarn in show business. Color, durability, yardage, and value; Opal has it all. Love! If there’s anything reading forums at Ravelry has taught me, it’s that there are a million kinds of sock yarn and an equal number of people who love each one. You can have your Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend – I’ll take Opal any day.

The only downside? This sock may turn out to fit my mother’s size 7 foot instead of my wee size 6. So I might lose out, and mom will get two pairs, since her Bells and Whistles Socks are next up in the “Finish Me!” parade, sock division.
Lizzy Progress First to be finished will be Lizzy, seen here as last week’s pile of pieces, now a seam and a ruffle away from being a cardigan. I’m as shocked as you are to find that…I like seaming. For a results-oriented person like myself, it’s easy to see the relationship between the time spent learning how to do it well, and the lovely seams that are the product. It also makes me feel like the 14 months I spent with this sweater in progress were worth it because I’ll happily wear it out of the house…when it’s not 90 degrees here.

Tune in next time: will I start the Chicknits Ribby Cardi or Slinky Ribs from Custom Knits? Can I keep from casting on two pairs of socks for the July Socknitters Anonymous challenge? Will my budding crochet skills allow me to start Evelyn Clark’s Flowerbasket Shawl as it was meant to be started? You and I are both dying to find out.

Was this a good idea, or what?

Basketweave Scarf I did promise to give you still more eye candy after dumping my OMG!!HugeFinishedSweater photos here – so here we go. First, my next-to-last FO of the year, the Basketweave Scarf from Knitting Daily, completed with 2.5 skeins of yarn repurposed from my failed Lush turtleneck, seen so long ago. Was this a good idea, or what? So soft! So fun to knit! Such a shame I have only this one photo to show you – there are a few crappy cellphone pictures lurking here and there, but none can capture the lovely, soft reversible nature of this scarf, given to my cousin who had been asking for a scarf (and hat and mittens) as a NotChristmasGift because I didn’t have her name in the family draw but I cannot resist the genuine appreciation for handknits.

First Jaywalker FullIt also helped that my cousin had my name in the family draw, and she gifted me with not one but two colors of Garnstudio DROPS Fabel sock yarn – yay! As soon as I opened my gift I thought to myself: “I guess I’m making a pair of Jaywalkers.” And so it came to pass that I knitted one of the Interweb’s most venerable patterns with my very newest sock yarn, Fun, easy, and certainly the loudest socks I’ve made in a good while – which is just the way I like them, apparently.

Sadly, I’ve gotten in the habit of ravel-ing projects before blogging about them, because I’m fastidious about creating a Ravelry entry as close to the actual start date as possible (rule-follower much?). Anyhoo, I wanted to let you know that in the on-deck circle is a pair of Bells and Whistles socks from IK Holiday 2006 for my mom – lovely, but I’m still in the “shut up, I’m counting” lace knitting phase, so photos will have to wait until later this week when a full repeat is finished.

As for plans and resolutions, you might as well know that when I tallied up my stash after the Christmas frenzy was over, I was alarmed to discover that, instead of the 20,000 yard cap I was aiming for, I ended up with more than 25,000 yards of yarn stuffed in plastic bins (some of this is charming Lizzy, an FO that remains U). So, until I hit that 20,000 yard mark, no more yarn – even though it might take all year. What to knit? A lot more socks: I’d like to make six pairs in 2009, which means (say it with me) a sock a month – totally do-able! Punctuated Rib, Old Navy, Pot Pourri and Rivendell socks are in the queue, plus the Ribby Cardi, and the terrific Primordial Hat [rav link], which strikes me as a delicious companion to the Basketweave Scarf. That should get me close to 5000 yards down – and after all, my cousin did ask for a hat.