Friday, February 1, 2008

Finishing, Starting, and Sometimes Frogging

Yay! My Cable Rib socks are complete! I took a lot of time to finish these because I could only do ten rows of knitting each night while my thumb heals (progress note: some thumb bending is now possible). This pattern is from "Favorite Socks" by Ann Budd. The yarn is Smooshy Dream In Color, and "Beach Fog" is the colorway. I knit them on one KnitPicks circular using the Magic Loop, my favorite method.

I love everything about these socks! First of all, they're the only pair I've ever made that actually STAY UP. The 2 X 2 ribbing is wonderful and I just may have to look for more ribbed sock patterns because I am sure sick of my other hand-knitted socks pooling at my ankles. I look like one of those show poodles with a little poof of fluff at each ankle.

I loved working with the yarn, too. I love the color and the springy feel of the yarn, not to mention that Smooshy is very generous with the yardage! These socks are very tall and I think I have enough left over for a third sock! I'll definitely be buying some more of this stuff.

Now that I'm finished with my socks, I've been yearning to make some mittens. Yes, mittens in Hawaii. I didn't say I was going to wear them....I just want to make them.

So I dug out my favorite knitting book from 1949 and found a basic pair for men or women:

Ten rows started in Wool Ease that I bought in Washington on our last trip. I've never worked with Wool-Ease before, but I think it'll be okay. I'm thinking that I will send them off to my dear son who would not want to hand wash alpaca or wool mittens in his dorm room sink. Thus, the blend. So far, it's a little splitty and rough to work with, but the knitted fabric seems to be fine.

I love old craft books. There's something just so sincere and unpretentious about them. Sometimes they're downright funny without meaning to be! Like this glove modeling job:

Doesn't she look like she's auditioning for a horror film? What was that photographer thinking? Did he not think the girl was pretty? Why not show her from the front? What is she doing? Being struck by a car? About to strangle someone? Did an axe murderer just jump out at her? Or is she laying face down, already the hapless victim of Gonzor, the big-footed squashing monster? A mystery.

I have a lot of old doily books, too. Here's a doily I finished recently:

I think this one is so elegant! I splurged and sent away for some quality Opera crochet thread instead of my usual Wal Mart brand. I wanted to see if it was any different. I must say, I was impressed. This thread seems to have a sheen and a nice body and drape to it that I haven't had before. I heartily recommend a nicer crochet thread if you're going to invest all that time in a doily. There you go, some doily advice. You heard it here, folks. You can find the above doily in this old booklet, should you run across it at a thrift store:

I've made three doilies from this book, including the cover doily. Definitely my favorite doily book ever. A word of caution, though. Old knitting and crocheting books are not for wimps! They assume you know a lot of stuff, and seem to be chock full of mistakes. Perhaps our needleworking ancestors expected mistakes and were sharp enough to catch them. I am constantly surprised and outraged when an old pattern writer leads me to work a row wrong. But then all I have to remember is that I'm alive and she's probably...well...not. Then I forgive her.

I was happy to find a fellow doily-lover, lover of quilts and old pattern books on the internet. Check out her new blog here: Sew Ritzy Titzy Yesterday, she posted the most amazing paper-pieced instrument blocks! Check out the piano and the violin. I think we may be long-lost twins! I wonder if she looks like Janet Evanovich, too...

Janet, do you like doilies?
(No matter...she's still cute...hee hee...)


Unknown said...

Love the socks! I especially LOVE the way the rib next to the cable flows INTO the cable as it goes down the foot! What a splendid example of sock architecture! Smooshy Dream in Color is my favorite sock yarn. There's something wonderful about the subtle tone variations...

Hope the thumb is better soon!

cinnamongirl93 said...

The socks look fantastic! Nice job! I have a stash of the Smooshy yarn just waiting for me to try. Oh my, the doily is beautiful! I do not crochet...yet..but I can sure appreciate all the time and work! I too love old pattern books, leaflets and tools. I think the model looks like she's in an Alfred Hitchcock movie or in the Twilight Zone!! Have a lovely day in paradise!

Mary Anne said...

Hi Lisa! I just popped over from Sew Ritzy Titzy's blog .... I was SO happy to hear that you have a blog!!! I've read your books and I can SO RELATE --- I feel I've come home to the open arms of the "Sisterhood of Imperfection" ..... Hallelujah!! (and I'm not even sure how the heck to spell that......)

..... but, anyhow, those socks look pretty darn perfect to me .... hmmmmmm...... please at least point out a boo boo to make me feel better.......

....AND, I think the glove model in that picture has probably just gotten a glimpse of one of my fudge jobs on some quilt I've been forcing to lie flat and she's just appalled !!!!

Dawn said...

I love the socks---especially the color!
P.S. My hairdresser claims (with my big, brown eyes and short, brown hair) that I look like Halle Berry (my husband wishes!)...which is quite laughable because with the German blood that runs thru my veins, the only thing I see when I look in the mirror is---eek! gray hairs that seem to have appeared overnight, along with lines around my mouth, and 'what in the world' is that happening to my neck??!!
Ha! Thanks for all of the wonderful things you said! You are one of those beautiful people that I wrote about in my blog.

Opal said...

Lovely socks! The color is perfect for the pattern.

There's nothing wrong with knitting mittens in Hawaii! I think they make great gifts for mainland folk. :)

Love the doily too!