Do those of you who knit or pursue other crafts look forward to winter? I know that for as much as I love the warm time of the year and all the outdoor activities in my life, I also look forward to being forced inside by bad weather. It gives me the excuse to lay up in a chair and knit to my heart's content!
That just hasn't happened this year... in case you haven't heard, we have been experiencing 'drought-like' weather this winter in California. That's the phrase you use when still hoping for some good storms and not wanting to confess to a full-on drought. I can recall several dry Januaries, but not one that was preceded by a dry December. There's hope for snow at the end of this week. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!
On the needles:
I am doing the Inspira Cowl, which is a free Ravelry pattern. I was inspired by the one my knitting buddy Barbara Sue finished in late fall, and by the mushroom dyed yarns I got in December, in preparation for my display at the Fungus Foray. I have still to blog about that, but it will be on my CSA blog, so check there.
All of the dyes come from mushrooms, except the top two yellow sections, which are from lodgepole pine bark. The photo is upside down, with the needles at the bottom, though I am working towards the top. The brown and rosewood are from Dermocybe and the two greens from the Jack O' Lantern mushroom, while the yellow in the bottom is from Sarcodan. I will have to get some better photos! This is coming along nicely, even though corrugated ribbing is a slower-moving process, and will probably be the only project on the needles until finished. After all, this is winter and it is supposed to snow later this week (think snow, think snow!).
On the Circular Sock Machine:
Thanks for the encouragement about getting my antique machine running. Here's one of the second pair of socks, made for DH from Mega Boots yarn, with needles threaded through the toes so that I can kitchener them closed. I need to wade back through the CSM list on Ravelry and find that great video, to refresh my memory on what might be the most intimidating part of the process at this point in the game. I have to say, as humbly as possible, that I am pretty pleased with my progress on the machine. This yarn was a bit splitty, but I got through the process uneventfully and DH will have a pair of socks to wear. We think I still might want to make his foot a bit shorter next time....
Since I was doing so well, I decided to try a yarn that had given me trouble while I was still mastering the tension - Regia Sockotta. I have to say I really don't like this yarn, for the machine and probably even on my feet. It's a bit stiff, even though close to half wool. That cotton part really changes the texture. The colors are great though, and I made myself a short pair of socks for summer hiking. This photo shows the mock rib hem on the right, the heel, and the foot, with the toe just almost out of view on the left.
I will be trying out some sport weight yarn this week, before trying to get my nerve up to change to the larger cylinder... can't seem to find a nice, hand-holding video on that process. The machine's diameter is always the same, so if I want a denser knit, I need to use the cylinder that will hold more needles, to get a closer gauge. If I can use the sport weight, I can keep going on the 54-needle cylinder rather than switching over. I'll let you know how that goes! I am happy to say that all of these projects are coming out of my stash, though here's a project that I will be searching out the perfect yarn to use. Guess who it's for?