Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Not a Good Month for Green

I follow a lot of knitting-related blogs, though I'd be hard-pressed to remember how or when I found any of them. One of them, the fabulously named Violently Domestic Hunter Hammersen recently published her second book, The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet: Twenty Patterns Inspired by Vintage Botanical Prints. As the name suggests, it's a collection of ten sock and ten accessory patterns inspired in turn by ten botanical prints (one sock and one accessory pattern per print. Got it? good.). Having watched her blog for some time about its creation, I gave in to temptation and pre-ordered a digital copy (print copies will be available some time this summer) and had it in my hot little hands (aka iP*d pdf viewer) a few days latter. I pored over the patterns and the Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus Socks (Daffodils) begged to be knit. The cheery green, the growing leaf pattern - what's not to love?

Well, the saga of finding an appropriate green sock yarn, for one. I searched high and low, coming up with very few options. On etsy, there was a seller in Ireland that seemed possible but a touch on the dark side, but my last etsy transaction had taken a week to ship and I was feeling gun-shy. A friend pointed me to a yarn shop that had a green sock yarn, but it looked a little too variegated and, well, I wasn't feeling the love. A dyer I follow on twitter had a green in a yarn I'm familiar with but it's a bit thin for my purposes so she offered to dye another base up for me, but I don't know how that went (pst, if you're reading, I'm still interested!). Finally, an indy dyer I'd been watching, Old Maiden Aunt restocked her shop to the point that I could bear to look through it.

This brings us to a familiar rant: I hate having to click on an item to see if it's in stock, especially if the answer is mostly "no". If I've clicked on 10 things and 7 or more (let alone all) of them are out of stock, there's a good chance I'm going to take my marbles, in this case my credit card, and go home. You want to show off your range of inventory? Mazel tov! I really am happy to see them. I'm excited to see yarns that may someday be mine, if I come back. But not at the expense of seeing the yarns that can actually be mine now. Especially if there's no way to say "ping me when this yarn/colour is back in stock!" As previous rants have established, quantity is also a plus.

Anyway, OMA had restocked her sock yarns and I pored over the colours and decided on "Emerald City" in a superwash BFL plus another rusty red of the same. If you're looking for blues and purple jewel tones, OMA is your woman, but I'm trying to cut back (my three finished socks are all purple). She's also got a lot of earthier tones if that's your thing. It's not mine so I spent a lot less time drooling over them. But I found my yarn and I ordered it and while it's not a shade I normally think of as "me" it's as beautiful as I could hope. Truly stunning.

I kept the yarn in the envelope until Sunday, when I untwisted my Emerald City skein, put it on my equally lovely umbrella swift, and started winding it with my ball winder. Around 85g into my 100g skein, it became hopelessly tangled. I spent the next hour untangling and winding the last 15g. Very disappointing, but I'm willing to believe it's a one-off. I wouldn't even mention it except it's part of The Saga of the Green Socks. Things are finally going according to plan: I had my yarn wound (in two 50g balls even!) and my pattern queued up, and now to select my needles. My 1.75mm carbon fibre DPNs are in the middle of finishing my second Wishbone Sock and my 2.0mm are still holding my languishing Zum Dirndl socks. My 2.25mm were too loose, leaving my 1.5mm needles:

Isn't it beautiful? Mind you, that's after I had to rip back one of the leafs and reknit it after I *ahem* made an error while watching Battlestar Galactica. A couple rows after taking that picture, just as the pattern was starting to come together for me, I tried it on and... couldn't get it over my heel. Horror. Dismay. Despair. Waah.

Options? Order duplicate needles in other sizes, finish knitting my other socks in progress (or continue knitting the other socks while waiting for duplicate needles...)or add more stitches - tricky because the ribbing on the cuff flows into the leaf pattern. I'm probably going to split the difference - finish my Wishbone Socks (closest to done and I don't want to go much larger on needle size) and add two stitches in the back or inside seam. Thoughts?


  1. PRETTY! (that is truly the extent of my thoughts).

    Okay fine. Also 100% agree on your rant (parrot toys are the pain point for me on the stock issue) and it sucks that you had to look that hard for sock yarn.

  2. I think you mean poring over, rather than pouring. Unless making patterns wet has some knitting function I don't understand. No advice to offer on socks though.