I keep meaning to blog and then, well, life gets in the way.
I am pressed for time today, so I am going to go in reverse order.
And I am going to leave the BMFA STR LW order for its own post. Or two.
Fresh off the needles: Cosmic Wave sock by Tanis Lavallee. The pattern came out on June 27. I bought it June 28 and cast on right away. I don't have a skein of her Cosmic colour, and didn't end up purchasing one when they went on sale on June 30. Really, let's face it, I don't need any more sock yarn.
But I did cast on with a new skein of STR LW. The colour is Whirly Whirleroo. When I opened my box from BMFA (yes, a box), I looked at the skein and was underwhelmed. I went back and checked my order and the BMFA website to see whether I had indeed actually purchased that particular skein of yarn. Sometimes they look very different in real life, but the photo on the BMFA website was accurate.
Really? What was I thinking? Was I drunk? (No).
Anyway, I cast it on and was very quickly pleasantly surprised. I think this colourway knits up similar to Muddy Autumn Rainbow or Grandma's Flower Garden or some similar colour.
The Cosmic Wave pattern itself is great. I think next time I might try it on 2.5 mm needles, and I might change the decreases from what is written to one of the other variants (ie SSK or K2tbl) just because I found it a little fiddly.
Anyway, sock #1 is done. I love how the yarn knits up. And it didn't even pool too badly at the gusset, which makes a nice change for STR.
The yarn is very grey and purple with flashes of pink and turquoise and pond scum and rust. It actually matches the dining room painting pretty well.
The pattern itself is great. Nice and simple but looks complicated. I think it will become one of my go-to patterns for variegated yarn. It really breaks it up nicely.
I found sock #1 a little snug to get on over the heel. But then again, 66 stitches on 2.25 mm is smaller than I would normally knit (hence the decision to go up a needle size in future).
Two thumbs up for the pattern.
The BMFA STR also gets two thumbs up. It is I think really my all-time favourite yarn to knit with. I know that may surprise some people, but it's true. STR never disappoints me. I think the yarn mill may have changed specs a bit over the years. I am finding that the current STR is a wee bit splittier than it used to be in the past. But it is also softer.
I prefer the LW to the MW. I used to buy the MW because it had more generous yardage back in the days of the 360 / 380 yard skeins. But my preference is for the lighter, thinner version. I'm all about thinner socks.
Anyway, I'm quite pleased with this. Since I started sock #1 on June 28, I think it qualifies for the August SKA sock challenge (aka finish yer WIPs). If not, no worries. I have plenty of other singletons.
Moving backward in my photo stream, I ordered Strangefire and Conspriacy Theory in the last WBFA update. I kicked myself earlier in the year for missing out on the Strangefire, but it was back in the shop last update.
I have a serious weakness for WBFA yarns. (No. Really?)
I was originally underwhelmed by Conspiracy Theory until I saw it knit up by Ericaerry. I knew I had to have it. It looks a wee bit calico / tortie-ish. Hmm. I have a cat this colour.
I bought the dogs some squeaky stuffed animals. Naturally Lilah has taken them all.
Before the Cosmic Wave sock, I knitted a plain vanilla sock out of one of the new 75/25 MN skeins from Vesper Yarns (knitterlythings). It's a 6-stripe yarn in shades of earthworm (maybe supposed to be peach, but deffo looks like earthworm to me), magenta, teal, bright lemon yellow, hot pink, and aqua.
I did the sock on 2.0 mm needles with 72 stitches.
Here's a review of the yarn. It's apparently a little thicker than the previous 100% merino version of the Vesper. It has 25% nylon content, and although it says Merino on the website, the label says "superwash wool". It feels like one of those German workhorse yarns like Regia or Opal or Pfafferstollenknuttsenstricken or whatever they're called. In a word, it's kind of scratchy. I assume it will soften up with washing and wearing.
The yarn is a bit splitty. I was using 2.0 mm needles, so they weren't my super-stilletto Signatures, but I found this yarn split quite a bit. I was forever having to go back and re-knit stitches or lift one of the loops over.
It's a 4-ply, which is good in terms of longevity and wear-ability.
The colours are nice and bright, but there are spots of neutral between the different colours, so it's a bit mottled looking in places. The colours are nice and saturated, so that's a plus. For the most part they are evenly dyed (which is also something I look for in a self-striping yarn).
I think that this yarn on 2.0 mm needles is more bulletproof than I like, so I think I will go up to a 2.25 or a 2.50 mm needle if I knit a pair for myself.
I will definitely knit with this yarn again. And in fact I joined up for the three-month Vesper sock yarn club for July - September (although I did ask for the non-nylon base). The yarn is fine. I will report back on how it softens up after washing and wearing. (Which means I will actually have to knit sock the second).
Some time before the Vesper sock, I received my order from String Theory. Caitlin had a coupon code for her birthday, so I took advantage. I really liked the Geosmin sock in the Wave base, so I ordered all five skeins in the Wave base.
I got two with matching heel/toe skeins. One is Phaeseolus and the other is Fulgurite (I think - it's downstairs and I'm lazy).
As usual the purple isn't purpley enough. It's showing more magenta / raspberry here, but it's darker in real life.
Yes, I am still on a blue kick. No, I do not know what is wrong with me.
The other three are Neon, Large Hadron Collider and Uranus.
I did a third test knit for Laura Fahlin (lfahlin on Rav). The sock is her Veering Sock. I don't think it has been published yet, but it must be close. It's a great sock and well worth the $4 price tag when it comes out.
I used gradient yarn from White Birch Fiber Arts in the 80/20 MN blend in the Pinkety Pink colourway. I love the fact that WBFA Lisa's gradients are true gradients. There is no abrupt colour change.
However, I have decided that if I am going to use a gradient sock yarn, I have to do something like a short row heel. Otherwise, by the time you've done the heel flap and met up with the gusset again, it looks like an abrupt colour change on the instep. Then again, as I think about it, that might be a similar problem with a short row or FLK heel. I am going to experiment.
The 80/20 is not my favourite yarn to knit with. It's a typical 2-ply and it's not super tightly twisted. I find it a bit splitty and undo-ey, but it knits up all right. As we know, I prefer a thinner, smoother tight twist yarn to the looser pebbled yarns. First world problems and all that.
The heel flap is double eye of partridge, which I really like. Laura's patterns are intuitive and easy to memorize, but they look complicated.
And when I go further back in my photo stream, what do I find? Why another White Birch Fiber Arts order. Surprise!
I ordered a sock set in a one-off which looks a bit like Wild Thai Ryder. I also got three standard skeins in No Need to Apologize (which is itself a bit Wild Thai Ryder-ish, Travel Agent for Guilt Trips and An Unexpected Journey.
I also knited a Cowl with the last of my Twisted Fiber Arts sock club yarn. That must be a record for me. All three skeins knitted up in three months. I was going to do another Irish Girlie Knits cowl, but then I saw some by Karalee Harding. I decided that something lacy would complement the dark yarn nicely. The skein is a medium sized skein of Tasty (which is an 80/10/10 MCN) in the colourway Raven. It goes from black to purple to dark blue.
I started it June 12 and finished it June 15. I used 234 stitches and did it on ? 3.75 mm needles. I didn't write that part down, but I think that's what I used.
As usual, Leonard looks quite fetching.
Hmm... I still have two socks and more yarn to share with you. I think I am going to end this post here and pick up again tomorrow or on the weekend. This is quite long enough for now.
Yes, it's what happens when I'm delinquent about blogging.