Saturday, June 20, 2009

yeah, i got to gamble...

i love swaps. truly, i do. they are the closest i get to gambling. really. i toss my name in, not knowing where it will land or what i may get. i just trust the yarn gods that it will all come out ok. and it always does. i mean, how can you go wrong? make a new friend and have them buy you yarn! the ultimate relationship!

this spring i once again participated with the ravelry, swap on a budget group, this time as part of the international swap and it was real fun. i "met" some wonderful knitters from around the world, hong kong, italy, germany, india, norway and various parts of the u.s. which was so fun! i even found myself posting on our group board on a regular basis which is unheard of for me! but it was that type of group.

and the coolest thing was i was got yarn from a different country! since i wasn't home when the post person came by to deliver the package i had to wait until i could pick it up the next day. by then i knew it was from india so as soon as i got it, i ripped it open and inside i found all of this...

jaishree hails from india and crochet's the most amazing doilies as well as being a knitter. she crocheted the doilies pictured here. i happen to have this thing about doilies. i love them. it is a thing from my childhood, doilies were everywhere in our house and both of my grandmothers houses, so to get some handmade ones is a bit of heaven! she also sent this lovely necklace and earring set which look quite nice on. the silver yarn is shiny and cord sized but not cord stiff. i am thinking of doing a dressy cowl or shawl/wrap thing, something shiny around the neck or head. the blue yarn is an acrylic which will be great for something baby and the multicolored yarn is truly amazing. the picture does not do it justice but it is rainbow colored and breathtaking in fingering weight cotton, which is probably great for crocheting doilies except i don't crochet. the owner of the LYS suggested a lace shawl, since it is quite a large hank of yarn, which works because i love shawls.
next up is this great bag. again, the picture does not do this justice. it is so lovely, if i weren't such a tote hag it could be used as a lovely handbag, but i am using it as a sock project bag since it can fit a huge ball of yarn as well as having a zippered pocket for measuring tapes, crochet hooks and the like. it is currently being used as the project bag for my sweet friend's socks and it is perfect. pictured with it are three balls of burgundy wool, also fingering weight. i am thinking these will make great fingerless gloves, nice color that would hold a pattern well. but i am still deciding.
then jaishree did something daring and included an article of clothing. it is this very simple, beautifully embroidered shirt. and it fits! it is a bit sheer, which i usually avoid, but with a pretty cami or tank top underneath i am willing to give it a try. especially during summer. it is such a delight to receive a piece of traditional clothing. jaishree explained these shirts are made in the province of india she lives in. and i thought it very brave for her to include it, i think both of us were thankful it fit!
and if all the above were not enough, also included was this heart scarf in the same blue of the yarn pictured above which will come in handy in the winter when i do my long walks and crave a warm neck as well as a copy of the lace ribbon scarf pattern.
whew! quite the haul! so though i am not a traditional "gambler", when it comes to yarn, i'm so in!
(please forgive the lack of breath inbetween pics and words. for some reason the formatting is not cooperating.)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

the great information...

in my haste to post about the big guys birthday, i neglected to post the specifics on his birthday socks. so in case you were wondering, let me tell you about them:...

the yarn....lorna's laces - shepherd sock in carmel (a colorway of a few years ago).

the pattern...lonnies sport's socks by rebecca mercier, available for free via ravelry (search patterns for sport or short socks) or at her website, whimsical knitting designs.

the purely subjective opinion....i really like this yarn. i have knit a couple of pairs of socks with this yarn and i love working with it. easy to knit with; the yarn feels great while knitting; looks great even after being frogged or unknit multiple times (important point!); feels great to wear and it wears well. i have laundered the cute husbands pair of socks (same yarn, different colorway), stuck them in the dryer for a moment or two then hung them until they were completely dry and they look great each time. my only dismay about the yarn is i do have a hard time finding it in any of the local LYS' around me so i purchase it online. this yarn was purchased at purl soho in nyc a couple years back.

i equally like this pattern. it is easy to follow, easy to memorize, fun to knit and the finished product looks great. though it can't be seen in the pictures, it is a slip stitch pattern that gives the sock some nice texture and a pleasing visual. it is a good "guy" pattern, though it could work equally well for girls. i was able to adapt it to knitting on two circulars with no problem. on the whole, it is a great pattern and i would use it again. which may not be for awhile since this designer has other interesting to me sock patterns which i would like to try.

so there you have it. if you are looking for a nice sock pattern for a male friend, take a look at this one and definitely take a look at this yarn. in the meantime, the big guy will wear his socks, hopefully in good health!