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Brewer Burns

Monday, April 30, 2007

I've Been a Bad Blogger

I may not have been posting this last week or so but I have been knitting. To give you a preview of some of the new projects:

Like I said, I've been knitting. Today I want to talk about a somewhat older project though: the Gentlemen's Socks with Lozenge Pattern that I knit for Stephen. I finished them:

They fit Stephen's feet really well.
Project Stats:
Pattern: Gentlemen's Socks with Lozenge Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock solid in Cedar
Needles: Size 1 dpn's
Mods: changed number of stitches to fit Stephen's feet, substitued an eye of partridge heel, knit fewer repeats of the ribbing pattern on the cuff

I've been on a real sock knitting kick lately, and these were really fantastic to knit. The pattern is well written and the stitch pattern was easily memorized. These are not too fussy for a man, and not too boring for the knitter. The perfect combination for a man's sock, really. I actually bought this book in part because there were so many knittable men's sock patterns in it. Most of my sock patterns are for women's socks, adn I really like to knit lace socks for myself, so I found myself with a dearth of patterns for Stephen. Now, with Knitting Vintage Socks as part of my library I have quite a collection of socks for men. One interesting detail in this pattern is that there is a "seam" stitch that is always purled. Since I had to decrease the number of stitches to fit Stephen's foot, my seam stitch is actually slightly off-center.

I loved working with the Lorna's Laces. I like the subtle variation in the yarn color and, as always, I love the feel of Lorna's Laces. So far, I haven't found another sock yarn that I like better (although Socks That Rock has fast become my second favorite sock yarn.) I didn't think that I would have enough yarn for a pair of men's socks so I actually knit these socks shorter than the pattern recommends. As it turns out, I probably shouldn't have worried.

I enjoyed making these socks and probably would make them again, given enough time between projects.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Random Saturday

I'm sorry about the lack of pictures. It seems to be a blogger issue, since the pictures were visible after I posted them, then not. So, I'm going to post them again:

If you still can't see them, they are also posted at victorianlacealong.blogspot.com. On with the randomness now.

1. I set a case for trial this week. First time I've ever done that.

2. I got a kite yesterday from a former client. He just wanted to say thank you.

3. I wore my Melon Shawl several times last week. It's fabulous. It's drapey, and warm because of the wool content.

4. I finished the first Lozenge Pattern sock. It fits Stephen like a glove.

5. I covet Mountain Colors cashmere yarn in Ladyslipper. I want some now.

6. I also covet Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock in solid colors. I want some for my own socks.

Now, some non-random thoughts on the Lozenge sock pattern. I like it. The pattern is logical and therefore easily memorized. It's interesting, but not too fussy. It's perfect for a man's sock because it's not too frilly, or lacy, or fussy. It's also perfect for a woman's sock because it's interesting without being overwhelming. I like the nice little touches in the pattern, like the purl border between the top-of-foot and bottom-of-foot stitches. I also like the nice little touches in the book, Knitting Vintage Socks. I like the fact that there is an introductory section on the history of Weldon's and the socks in the book. I like the fact that the book has a range of patterns, including interesting men's patterns that are more than plain stockinette. I like the fact that the the book is bound so that it will lay flat on a surface. My one and only gripe about the book is in the photography. Personally, I like it when books have close up pictures of stitch patterns in addition to full photos of the finished project. Some of the pictures seem like they were taken too far away from the sock so that the stitch pattern is not clear.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Finished Melon Pictures

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pretty Things

I unpinned my Melon Shawl today and it is beautiful. Unfortunately it was too late to take pictures, so instead I will show you a couple new purchases. First, I bought new earrings:

They're vintage. And so is my new shawl pin:

I bought both of these at Finders Keepers, a really fantastic little shop in downtown Spokane. The place has, literally, hundreds of pairs of earrings. I can't go in there without spending way too much time and money.

On the knitting front, I've also started turning the heel on the first Lozenge Sock. It's going well.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Melon is Finished!

It feels like forever since I've blogged. I have accomplished much in that time though. First, I finished my Melon Shawl. It went from this:

To this:

Okay, so, first: use a provisional cast on for both the center panel and the border if you're planning to make this shawl. It will make attaching the border and grafting together the two ends of the border easier. Second. I love this border. I think it provides the perfect counterpoint to the very curvy, circular center panel. Third, I am really looking forward to wearing this shawl.

Knitting this shawl really did start to get to me a little, especially near the end of the center panel. There wasn't really enough going on with the pattern to keep me from getting bored. Nonetheless, I recommend this shawl. I think it would actually be a good project for a beginning lace knitter, as long as you follow the instructions on making the melon stitch. It's really very easy, and not terribly fiddly.

After I finished the Melon Shawl, I cast on for a new project. The Gentleman's Socks with Lozenge Pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks for Stephen:

I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock in Cedar (a solid green-grey color) and I'm loving it. Just loving it. I love the yarn, love the pattern and am just really enjoying knitting another pair of socks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Conundrum of Lace

Lace is beautiful. Lace is fun and holds my interest. Lace, unfortunately, does not make for very good blogging material. Who wants to see 62 pictures of the same pattern repeat? No one. That being said, it's still pretty impressive.

I've knit the border of my Melon Shawl up one long side, around one corner, down one short side, and around the next corner. I'm a little more than halfway done with border and I'm still loving how it's looking. I am, however, wishing that I had read ahead a little more in the pattern and really thought about some things. First, I wish that I had used a provisional cast on. It would have made knitting the border around the cast on edge a little easier, and I think it would have looked nicer. Second, I wish that I had used a provisional cast on for the border as well. The pattern instructs you to graft together the last border row with the cast on row. Grafting is easier with live stitches, and looks a little better. That's the thing with this book, it's not a hand holding book. It's more of a hint giving book.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Melon Pictures

I finished the center panel of my Melon Shawl last night and started on the border. I'm loving the border, much more than I thought I would. Unfortunately, all of these pictures showcase the one big honking mistake that I made: forgetting to work the Melon stitch on the last repeat of about the tenth pattern repeat. Once I'm done I will wrap a strand of yarn around that repeat and it will not look so jackass.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Limping Along

In knitting and in life. I'm so close to being finished on the center panel of my Melon Shawl that I can taste it. At the same time I'm still limping a bit because my left knee is still a little stiff, a little swollen and a little painful to move around on. I can't really complain though. That knee is doing very well considering the fact that the bumper of the car connected with it squarely.

Grumperina has started a Dolphin Lace scarf using a skein of Sea Silk. You should go see it. It's turning out very well, and she noticed a discrepancy between the pattern as written and the scarf as photographed in the book. The scarf in the photo has one more row of double yarn over columns than the pattern specifies.

Since it is Easter Sunday this weekend, I will probably make a batch of deviled eggs and we may even brew beer (just like last year.)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Melon Shawl Update

I am very, very close to being finished with the center panel of my Melon Shawl. I am on repeat 55 or so. Everything is going well. The yarn is holding out. I am not yet finished with the first skein of JaegerSpun Zephyr. Apparently, some people have had problems with running out of yarn. I have not had that problem. In fact, it seems that I usually use less yarn than the pattern calls for. I intend to take some less craptastic photos of the shawl-in-progress tonight and post them.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Melon Shawl: Truly Craptastic Photos

I have 40-some repeats of the center panel of the Melong Shawl done. So I'm more than halfway there. I do feel less sore today, except my knee is truly swollen. In fact I started to feel like the blood flow was being cut off to portions of my leg this afternoon. I plan to attempt less craptastic photos of the shawl this evening.

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