Monday, February 6, 2006

Thank You Secret Pal!!!!

Saturday night I came home from work & Chris met me at the door and announced "a package came for you, it's squishy". Hmmmm.... I knew that yarn sometimes came in squishy packages. YAY! Even after spending a whole day at work, surrounded by yarn, I was more than ready to look at some more!
WOW! My secret Pal has really done her homework, she has TOTALLY pegged my tastes in yarn & color! She ordered this from her friends website. This gorgeous handspun yarn came from Whirlwind Handspuns. Her name is Amanda, and as well as beautifully spun yarns, she sells batts for spinning. So, to my friends who are spinning or learning to >YAHAIRA<, you should scheck her out website. Oh, & she custom spins fiber too, i.e. pet fiber. A one stop fiber shop!

The skein of blues is 100% wool, I am guessing it is light worsted/DK. I am thinking MAYBE a hat. They are the absolute perfect shades of blue. The deliciously soft skein of mossy, citron greens & ocean blues is Blue-Faced Leicester. I had never heard of such a fiber. I took both skeins to work with me yesterday & luckily Xtina, the goddess of yarn knowledge was on hand to give me the scoop. Like Merino sheep, Blue-Faced Leicester is just another breed of sheep. From what I have read, & heard they are a bit more rare, & apparently a big deal in the world professional spinning, etc. Whatever it is... It is dreamy soft, melts in your hands. I want to do something special with this one. I suspect it is sport weight. Again, these colors are IDEAL for me!!


Other knitting news...
I cannot believe that I am admitting this, but I STILL have not touched my felted slippers to be!!! I have been so immersed in habu lanterns, and "two-at-once, toe-up-socks on one long ass circular needle", that all else has ceased to be in my little world of knitting. The lanterns are plugging along. I have to be honest though, the novelty of knitting paper is wearing thin, & now it's just knitting a ton of little tiny "hats". I am still excited about the idea of having a strand of paper lanterns that I made. Though, these are for the shop, & I will have to make a whole separate strand for me. ick.

So... The socks. Friday night I had the worst insomnia, & at 1 AM I used Joelene's tutorial to learn Turkish cast on. I got it on the first try. Her tutorial is so clearly written, it was a snap! I began the toe increases Friday night as well. Saturday morning I ripped it all out, just so that I could try it again. But then I kept loosing a stitch somehow. Nuts! So I started over again last night & got it on the first go. The cast on looks great, but my toe increases look funny, kinda "holey" in spots. I should also mention that I am using the Elfines pattern from this wonderful site. I am not planning to use the lace pattern for this first pair, just using the pattern for sizing & #'s. This yarn was given to me from someone who no longer wishes to make socks, so I am using it to practice the toe up, magic loop thingy. I will definitely be making some elfine's once I get the swing of things.

The increases are every round for the first 8 rounds or so. Is it just me, or is it hard to increase into a stitch that was created from an increase on the previous round. The pattern calls for bar increases, but I wound up knitting into the front & back of the stitch, which was still difficult when increasing every round. If anyone has any tips....

I am super enjoying learning a new trick. Especially one that I suspect I will be getting a lot of future use out of. I am using a 40" US #1 addi. Has anyone used a shorter circ for two-at-once? Like a 32"? The 40" seems a little too long. btw, still CANNOT believe that I am knitting with a US #1. The other evening, I went to use a point protector & realized that all of mine were too big, & just slid down the needles. At 2 AM, it was SUPER funny, & I giggled for 5 minutes.
Today some friends are coming by for lunch & some afternoon knitting. I WILL work on my slippers! I WILL!!! I will... maybe.


  1. They look wonderful. I am so glad that you like them and the colors I chose were right on.. Enjoy!!
    Secret Pal

  2. they look great! yeah, I thought it was a pain when I first tried the pattern to increase every round and I did the exact same thing you did (kfb). but I restarted it and now Im doing the m1 increase as anna suggests, the trick is to pick it up from either the front or back and then either knit into the back look or the front loop...this way you wont have the little holes on the side. (if I dont make any sense go to the increase section at think its the m1a)

  3. Those socks look awesome! I'm glad you like to turkish CO! It's seriously the greatest. With that pattern, I did try the bar increase, but I went with kfb like you are doing because I didn't like the way the bar increase looked. I have yet to figure out how to make the bar increase look good. I'm about halfway up the foot so far and I love that lace pattern. You shuld try it for your next pair.

    Oh, and to make this comment longer, I usually use a 32" long needle for the magic loop. I like the Inox ones, so that's what I've been using. I have yet to buy my first pair of Addi's.

  4. i like 32" ones as well, even though I have a few sizes. I think 32" is my favorite.

    I defiantly like to kfb as opposed to m1, but I do it one stitch from each end, so that may make it easier!

  5. I have some US 0s waiting for me to use on some sock! I can't believe I have such small needles. I didn't eve think about what I can use as needle protectors. What are you using?

    Secret pals rock! Especially when they do their homework!

  6. I'm all about the 32". 40s are too long for me. For the holes, I do m1 knit back of the loop at the start of the row and then m1 knit to the front of the loop at the end. (I forget which is m1l and m1r) No holes for me!

  7. I use the Elizabeth Zimmermann paired M1s - they're in the margin in Knitting Without Tears. Since they're just loops, they're pretty easy to knit into and things don't get tight.

    Goreous yarn from your SP!

    I really want to see a picture of your paper lanterns - so cool...

  8. Thanks everyone for your kind words & superb tips! I don't know why I didn't think of the M1R & M1L that angela mentioned. I have used that same combo of increases for the thumb gusset on all 3 pairs of fingerless gauntlets that I have made! DUH!
    I am glad to hear that it is feasible to use a 32" needle, I will get some & try it on the next pair.
    flare- we sell these gummy like point protectors at my shop, they are rad, & come in all sizes. You can see them in the bottom photo, red. I like them cause they hold the needles together.
    Chris-photos of the paper lanterns are in a previous blog post.