Last week I had an idea for a great blog post. Make it sharp. Make it aesthetically appealing in a minimalistic sort of way. Include artsy photographs of the socks I'm making by shooting pictures of them from quirky angles and by including natural elements in my compositions. Then I was scrolling through my Facebook page and saw a blog post shared there. . . . I clicked on the link for Iamsnowfox and, lo and behold, there was the embodiment of everything I'd planned to do with my sock post, only much better, as the amazingly talented Anja Troschau had achieved the kind of clean, lean design and appealing photos that I aim for but never quite achieve (in blogging, as in housework, I can never quite escape a bit of randomness and clutter, despite my artistic ideals). Troschau's socks, however, were nearly identical to my own and made using the same yarn and even the same colorway!
|Streaky was enamored by the soft feel of these socks, too, and didn't want to let go.
I shouldn't have been too surprised. Last Tuesday I attended the weekly knitting group at Cottage Yarn and found Pam, one of the regular members, working on a ribbed pair of socks in the same forest green shade (Lapwing, number 306) that I was using to make my socks. As I commented on her work and waxed poetic about Rowan's new yarn, which has a super-smooth feel--probably due to the silk and baby mohair contained in the fiber mix--Julie, another knitting group attendee, got up from her seat and purchased a skein in lovely smoky hues to make herself a pair of these eye- and foot-pleasing socks.
|I haven't washed and blocked these yet, but they
still look good.
While this yarn makes sublime socks, the other garments made from it pictured in Rowan's Fine Art pattern book are beautiful, too. Check out Knitionary, the blog created by a talented California knitter and and Rowan Ambassador to get a look inside this stunning volume. This images in this book and the yarn itself make me want to buy three skeins to make a wrap, but I have to plan carefully before indulging in my desires. At around $30.00 a skein, this fiber is definitely a splurge, but one that's worth the price.
In addition to finishing up my socks, I'm busy revisiting a project that has sat in a knitting bag for several months. Tucked away in my closet, this long vest project is one that I was sooo eager to start. I used two gift certificates last Christmas to pay for the Noro yarn and eagerly cast on. I finished the back and was pleased with the results and even had started the front. But soon, in an attempt to avoid facing my fears, I put my project bag away--out of sight, out of mind. Why fear? Somewhere in the midst of casting on or in the middle of knitting the back, I'd read through the entire pattern and realized that it involves making a steek! The thought of cutting my knitting, especially work done using somewhat pricey Noro yarn, is a bit terrifying.
|This is the back of the long vest, which includes an interesting pattern
created by doing two yarn overs and then pulling them out and crossing
them over four stitches on the next row.
I'm not certain what my hiding my work away reveals about the strength of my character, but summer is here now and with it ironically come thoughts of crafting garments for impending fall weather, so I've decided that steek I will. I'll be sure to share the process and results here. I'm not certain whether I'll get to this formidable challenge before my July 4th trip to England, but maybe knitting the front of the vest and cutting the steek will help me to avoid thinking about any fear I have of traveling alone overseas. Fear probably isn't the right word, though. I enjoy traveling and was actually thrilled when, sans cellphone, I ended up separated from the school group I was traveling with in Italy for an hour or so when we were in the Roman coliseum. (After two weeks without one minute to myself, I savored the solitude.) So the emotions I'm experiencing are probably more like anticipation anxiety. For half of the school year thoughts of my trip provided a useful diversion from dealing with the realities of the school day; now, in summer, I feel a bit lazy and know I should be writing lists and reading a Dicken's biography (I'm taking part in a seminar on Charles Dickens at Oxford) but, instead, I'm busy knitting, drinking coffee, sewing, reading novels and generally goofing off--all the time troubled by a niggling fear that I should be doing more to plan for my trip. At least I've created some great socks, as well as these nifty project bags.
|I did find time for some cooking last week. A knitter friend had surgery for carpal tunnel
syndrome, so I made her these muffins. (For a knitter, being incapacitated in this way is especially trying.)