As promised, here are a couple of new sock photos. I have another one done, too, but it’s a new indie dyer that we haven’t announced yet. I’ll save that photo for later! I love these Noro socks. (Color S185)I was so anxious to see how they’d wash up, as they are definitely scratchier feeling to knit. (I survived it, just because the whole color thing was so fun to watch progress.) They softened up in the wash. I hand-washed them in Soak (let them soak in the water for about 15 minutes) and let them air dry, like I always do. (I always hand-wash all of my handknit socks. I’ve never felt like it took very long, and after putting all of that knitting time in, I’m all for making sure they last as long as possible! After I wash them, I roll them up in a towel to get rid of excess moisture, and then dry them on this, which is mounted on a wall in our bathroom. I love it. I know, I know – you’re supposed to “dry flat”. But once I have rolled them in a towel, there is not enough moisture and weight left in them to stretch them out of shape when hanging on this rack.) Back to the Noro socks, I was glad that it softened up some after washing. I knit these on size 0 needles and the stitch definition still looks great, post-washing. This sock is still not as soft as others, but honestly, when it’s on my foot, I can’t tell the difference. I’m working on the matching sock now, and will absolutely make more. There are several other colorways I want to try out. (Also great yarn for scarves, mittens, gloves, etc.) It’s one of those yarns that you’ll either like or not, but I love it!
The second sock is the Araucania yarn. To be honest, I saw this skein and thought it looked awfully splotchy. A very unique looking yarn, to be sure! However, I only had to knit a couple of inches on my sock to realize how absolutely gorgeous it was all knit up. All of those splotches add up to an amazing mix of colors and I will be knitting more of these socks as well! (Not sure of the colorway on this, but it’s one of the ones that was on backorder in our first order from them, so we’ll have it eventually!) Both of these experiences are a good reminder not to judge a sock yarn until you’re worked with it. Knitting it up tells you a lot about the dye and color. What seems to be “splotches and unevenness” in the skein (or “abrubt color changes” or any other description that comes to mind) will bring about different results in the knitted fabric. You might love it, or you might hate it, but it will be different when you work with it. (Of course you can also check our photo galleries to see how things look when they are knit up. You all have been so generous in sharing your finished sock photos for all of us to see and benefit from.) The same goes for washing the socks, and of course wearing and washing them more over time. What might look great all knit up, might not wear so well. (Or, it might wear very well!) I know that I baby my handknit socks with the handwashing. I also don’t normally scuff around in them without shoes or slippers on, and I most often wear clogs, so I don’t get a lot of wear-out on the heels. (That’s not why I wear clogs – I just like how easy they are to kick on and off.) So, lots to consider when picking out the sock yarns that YOU want to work with and wear. That’s why we try to keep so many different options for you! This was done in the Loopy Laces pattern by Wendy. (It’s Wendy’s birthday today – go tell her Happy Birthday!)
Speaking of options, are you wondering about next week’s Sneak Up? Here’s the list so far, although we reserve the right to add to it if we get more photos done:
- Hand Maiden Casbah Sock
- Schaefer Anne, Lola and Heather
- New Dream in Color Classy colors
- All of the Dream in Color Baby lace colors
- Fiesta Boomerang and Baby Boomerang
- Yarn Nerd
- Mountain Colors Bearfoot
- New Sakina Needles Roving
- New Yarn Ball Earrings from Romi
- New Loopy Ewe totes (in the larger size – same as our Loopy Groupie bags, but black handles and zipper. We’re saving the red handles/zipper for Loopy Groupies. You all have been asking to be able to buy this size, and we have them for you!)
- New Loopy Ewe canvas totes – the perfect size for sock projects (and they’re RED!)
- New Loopy Ewe coffee travel mugs (because, you know, we like coffee around here)
Coming up the week of January 14th: Wollmeise Sock Yarn, Plucky Knitter Lace, Sheepaints, and more.
Spring Flingers! Watch for an email next week, telling you how to go about paying for your deposit for the retreat. We won’t have you sign up for your classes until March, when the balance of the fee is due. We’re excited to have all of you attending, including some of our favorite Canadians, as well as Kellie all the way from New Zealand and Claudia (the Wollmeise herself!) from Germany! We can’t wait to have all of you here.
Our final Random Acts of Kindness winner is: Heather from IL. Congratulations, Heather! Thank you ALL for participating in this fun month-long contest. We’ll be sure to do it again next December! (Although I’m hoping that we’ll all keep RAKs on our minds throughout 2008. We’ll have to have a quarterly check-in and contest, just to keep things moving.)
Fourth Quarter Challenge photos are due in by January 10th! The Challenge for last quarter was to knit something with 2 or more colors/yarns. I’ll remind you after the 10th, to go vote for your favorites and then we’ll announce the winners. You can see the entries so far, here.
It’s a new Quarter, which means a new Loopy Q1-08 Challenge! This quarter, the challenge is to knit something that you have not knit before. I don’t mean “try a new pattern for your socks”. I mean, if you have never knit socks, knit socks. If you have never knit a shawl, try a shawl. Or mittens, or gloves, or fingerless mitts, or a neck warmer, or a Chevron Scarf, or a sweater, or a vest, or ….. well, the list is endless, isn’t it? (And hey – if you haven’t spun before, get some of the beautiful roving we have going up next week and make “spinning” your “Q1-08 Try Something New to You” challenge!) You have until April 10th to submit the photo to the Q1-08 Gallery and there will be two winners. 1, a winner by random drawing from all of the entries, and 2, a “Knitter’s Choice”, awarded to the project that gets the most votes from all of you. So figure out something that would be fun to learn and do, and jump right in. I’m going to attempt a shawl. Again. (I loved working on it – see blog post here – but that’s all I ever did on it. There were just too many socks needing to be done. I’m going to frog this and start over and am bound and determined to do the whole thing this time.) What do you think you’ll work on for the Challenge?