So, I started a pair of kew socks using TOFUtsies (in Best Foot Forward) and #2 dpns. I've finished one sock now. (pictures forthcoming, sometime when I'm not at school. So, make that, pictures to be posted in May. Bear with me kids.) I really am in love with this pattern. The lace is simple and pretty, I didn't get the usual holes at the point where the stitches split to form the heel flap and the instep, and the finished sock fits perfectly. (I think that's my favorite thing about hand-knitted socks in general. I'm kind of particular about sock fit. I find most socks either too big or too small, but I can always make my knitted ones exactly right. Just call me Goldilocks.)
However, as much as I love this pattern, I won't make it again with self-striping yarn. The striping plus the lace makes for a too-busy effect, and I ended up with some less-than-attractive pooling due to the difference in gauge between the lace pattern of the instep and stockinette on the sole. (Luckily, the worst of the pooling is mostly on the sole, and thus hidden. We'll see if I can manage that on the second sock.) However, I do want to make this pattern again in a semi-solid or solid yarn because, like I said, I'm in love.
Somewhat unrelated: do you find that your smaller diameter wooden dpns tend to bow a bit after you've used them for a while? Or is there something wrong with the way I'm holding my needles? Am I just too tense? Is it the needles I buy? I'm on my second set of Clover bamboo #2 dpns right now, but I might bite the bullet and buy some more expensive hardwood needles if I could be convinced that they wouldn't have this problem. (This is the cue for the marketing reps from Lantern Moon to start commenting here.) Is there anything to do about this, other than switch to plastic (shudder) or metal (too slippery)? Thoughts? Experiences?
Except, not quite, becuase I ran out of yarn when I was almost done with the ruffle that forms the top of the bag, so now I have to either (a) go out and get another skein just to complete the ruffle and knit a few feet of i-cord or (b) tear out an inch or so of the top of the bag so I'll have enough yarn to finish.
Not that another skein of Blue Sky Cotton would go unused for long, but it's the principle of the thing. I like the efficiency of finishing something with one skein, especially when that's the theme of the book! On the other hand, I hate frogging things when they're going well. I'm as much of a perfectionist as the next knitter, and I'm content to frog and re-knit things that aren't working out, but I really can't stand tearing out mistake-free rows. Like re-writing from memory something that's been lost as opposed to editing something extant.
Oh, the knitterly frustration
(hmmm... maybe my mommy will buy me yarn when she comes into town this weekend. There's a store on 79th I've been meaning to check out. Then again, probably not her idea of an exciting Sunday afternoon...)
unrelated: don't you just love how the little "tired" icon yawns every few seconds? I do.
Eventually, the bag will be about as tall as it is wide, with a bit of a ruffle at the top edge and i-cord run through eyelets to hold it closed.
The pattern said to start with a provisional cast-on, then knit the body (the spiral rib part), then go back and take out the waste yarn and decrease for the bottom of the bag from there. Instead, I started with five sts and increased to form the bottom of the bag, then just continued knitting into the body. No provisional cast-on necessary! (Also, because two of my #10 dpns are missing, I had to learn how to knit in the round using two circulars, which is actually kind of cool!)
My favorite part is that it's the perfect size to hold the two balls of yarn I'm working with when I'm not knitting:
I don't really have much more to say than that, but I felt I needed a kind of explanatory inaugural entry.
So, I visited the yarn store I had mentioned - the one that's eight blocks from my apartment. It was a beautiful day, around 70ish degrees, and the walk there was incredibly pleasant. So I was extra-disappointed when the store failed to meet any of my expectations
The selection isn't that great, and it's especially lacking in cotton and other non-animal yarns, which is a big factor for me, because I can't wear most wools. Specifically, they didn't seem to have the yarn I was looking for - Rowan 4-ply cotton for this project - or anything remotely similar.
When I asked the owner if they carried it, she seemed downright rude, telling me that she'd never thought that yarn was "anything special." That's kind of the point - the project is pretty simple, and the "special" comes from the leaf motif, the shaping, the picot hems. The yarn is just a good solid yarn that comes in a lot of pleasant colors and won't detract from the simple elegance of a nice knitted tank. She pointed me to some cottons that were not at all similar to what I was looking for, then suggested pure silk (way out of my price range), and merino (after I told her that there really aren't any wools that I can wear comfortably next to my skin). Now that I'm writing it down, I guess the things she actually said weren't that objectionable, but I got the distinct impression that she felt like it was my fault that she didn't stock any yarns that would work for my project. And I really felt like she didn't want me just wandering around fondling the yarn. What else do you do in a yarn store?
There's one more store on the Upper West Side that I want to stake out on Thursday. Fingers crossed for it to be better than this one!