As I mentioned earlier, my field trip to Woodland Woolworks was successful!
Oh, right, I hear you say. Like I would drive out there and not find something I wanted! Personally I feel blessed to be within striking distance. Anybody in the general Portland area who hasn’t been out there: you must go! Yarn! Tools! Wheels! Looms! A stash room of sale stuff! Go!
I went, and I was inspired by this: Knit One Crochet Too Ambrosia, a scrumptious blend of 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere, in color 713 – a yummy dark eggplant with the unassuming name of Plum. It’s hard to get a decent picture of this yarn in my dark little house, but hopefully you can get the idea.
Not your traditional sock yarn? Maybe not, but doesn’t it look cozy? And so soft! I made a pair of alpaca socks for a friend, and they’ve worn very well. I know my sockapaloooza pal loves soft things, and I suspect a little luxury would be a nice surprise!
Now I just have to find the perfect pattern! Suggestions welcome, if you know of something that would be really great with this yarn. I want a stitch pattern that just whispers understated elegance.
And, on the less-elegant side of things, these are my latest pair of socks, and another lousy picture. The yarn is Socks That Rock in the colorway called Falcon’s Eye. The needles are my trusty pair of Inox Gray US#2 (2.75mm) circs.
I decided first on the basket weave stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. That’s a wonderful book for people like me. I have my own basic sock pattern, and I vary it by changing the stitch pattern or putting in a different heel or toe so no two pairs I make look the same. But it’s still a basic, basic, sock. Sensational Knitted Socks has whole sections of stitch patterns arranged by repeat size. So, if I know that my instep is going to be 32 stitches across, I can look for patterns with repeats that fit in 32 stitches, like 6 stitch repeats, or 12 stitch repeats, etc.
This book along with Barbara Walkers four Treasuries of Knitting Patterns are what I use most when looking for sock designs.
Once I had decided on the basket-weave stitch, I went with an octagonal pinwheel-style toe because I felt that fit in with the whole “basket” theme. This I made up by myself, but it’s a fairly standard pinwhee / tote bottom / hat top type increase pattern. I wish I had a better picture, but I think it was a happy choice. I haven’t used this style of toe before, but it makes a very nice, round toe. I think I’ll use it again.
In less happy news, one of my cats, Captain Kidd, is very ill. Poor Kidd. He’s been sick for most of his 11 years. He was sick even when I picked him up from the breeder. I probably shouldn’t have agreed to even take him. But I’m not one to throw something away just because it isn’t perfect. So I brought him home, poor skinny little kitten, and I’ve been nursing him along ever since. He has a raft of physical problems. The most serious has been IBS, which makes it very difficult for him to gain weight. He’s been on a special diet almost since day one, and every ounce he’s gained has been a tiny victory. On a frame that should carry about 16 lbs or more (he’s a Maine Coon), Kidd has never weighed more than 12 lbs. He’s always been a big, skinny, skinny cat. In the last week or so, what little padding he had on his bones has literally melted off. He now weighs less than 9 lbs. and doesn’t want to eat much of anything. I’ve been tempting him with Gerber Baby Turkey (his favorite treat) and a special high-calorie diet suggested by my vet, but it’s clear he’s not doing well. My vet has referred me to a specialist, and I have an appointment on Friday. But the prognosis doesn’t look very good. So think some good thoughts for him, poor baby.