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Monday, August 27, 2007

I'll be back...

I just wanted to let you know that blogging will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks. We've got school starting here soon and will have to get into that routine (which I know already will move my blogging time to later in the morning) and I'm still working on the pattern version of Swan Lake, so there just isn't that much to show anyway.

I'll pop in when I have something to show or when I finish the pattern up, but until then I didn't want you to worry that I'd been attacked by The Fiendish Fans of Fun Fur or some other sinister organization.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Majestic Mountains

A New Pattern From Georgina Bow Creations!

Majestic Mountains Stole

Snow capped mountains and evergreen trees highlight the center panel of this stole that will protect you from chilly breezes. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains that she sees everyday in her Colorado home, Georgina Bow designed a lace stole in honor of the majesty of mountains everywhere. Beads accent the geometric designs on each end, as well as accenting the snow and trees. Ends and borders are knitted as you go, so you don't have to go back and finish these areas later. By changing the yarn color of your stole, you could depict a mountain range in any season as well as the changing colors of daylight.

  • 1000 yards of laceweight yarn (Shown in Furr Yarns, Inc. Handpainted Zephyr in the Aegean colorway.)

  • Finished Size as shown 20 inches wide x 67 inches long with directions for lengthening and shortening the design included in the pattern.
  • Please see Eratta Note below.

$6.00






Please note that Georgina Bow Creations Patterns are separate from Pink Lemon Twist Patterns and the shopping carts cannot be combined. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this might cause.


If you're interested in being part of the Majestic Mountains KnitAlong, please click here for more information.


If you have any questions for the designer, please feel free to contact her at GeorginaBowCreationsATYahooDOTcom

ERRATA: Correction for "Chart one - row 1"

Row E has two more stitches than are used in Row 1. Make the following change:
On the left side count in until you reach stitch number 6. This is a knit stitch between two yarn overs. Change it to "knit 2 together".
On the right side count in until you reach stitch number 6. This also a knit stitch between two yarn overs. Change it to "slip, slip, knit".

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One More Bobbin

This is the last bobbin of the blue Romney/Merino batts that I did and I'm more than 2/3 of the way through spinning it! I will have to let the singles age a bit since the first bobbin was finished so long ago (in a galaxy far, far away), so it will probably be a while before you see the finished yarn. I'm not sure that I used enough Angelina in the blend. I didn't want to go overboard, but the sparkles seem a long way apart in the singles at least. Of course, it might all even out perfectly when I do the plying - we'll see. I can't wait to see what the finished yarn looks like!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Peace in Simplicity

graysocks

Sometimes you don't want to work complex knitting patterns. Sometimes you need something simple and repetitive to soothe your tired mind. Sometimes easy is perfect. These socks are exactly what I need right now. I started them last week when I was in the middle of my lovely rash (thanks so much for all the get well thoughts you guys sent!) and as you can see, I've already finished the first one and have started the second. These are for my husband, Mickael, who has been so amazingly patient while I was abducted by the Mystery Stole 3 Knitalong. Neither of us knew how big it would get this summer, but he and Caleb have both been really wonderful and supportive while I try to keep on top of things and keep the group going smoothly. Once I get Mickael's socks finished, I will use the rest of the balls of yarn (I have 2 balls of Regia in a discontinued colorway that I picked up from Elann ages ago) to make some tiny socks for Caleb so they'll have matching, manly gray socks. As you can see, I'm using the most simple stockinette sock pattern with a ribbed cuff and I think (crossing my fingers) that I've actually lined up the starting point pretty well for the second sock - it seems to be working out to be very close to identical to the first sock. There's something very relaxing about watching the stripes develop in plain stockinette stitch.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Adding Beads to Designs That Don't Already Have Them

I got an email about a week ago from someone who was interested in adding beads to Hanami. Now the Cast On for Hanami already has beads, but that is the only place the design has them. This knitter wanted to add beads to the main section of the stole. I started thinking and realized that with the huge number of knitters who tried beading for the first time with the Mystery Stole 3 Knit Along, and who apparently enjoyed the beads, that this might be a question that others are asking too, so I decided to discuss it in a blog post.

First, let me say that I will not be discussing how to add beads to knitting. There are several different ways to do it and my personal favorite was covered in an excellent tutorial by Deb, here.

Also I'd like to add that adding beads is like adding accessories to an outfit - each of us has our own style (subtle versus flashy or somewhere in between) and each of us has our own limits as to how much is enough. For these reasons, when you add beads to a design, the number, style, and placement of those beads is personal and your choices will probably be different from a friend's choices.

The technique I'd recommend when adding beads to designs that don't have them is called trial and error. If you are adding beads to one of my designs, or another design that is distributed in a file format, print up an extra copy or two of the chart pages. If you're using a traditional paper pattern, copy the charts - you are usually allowed to make copies for your own personal use. I like to use a pink highlighter to mark bead placement because I used pink squares in the MS3 design for beads, and I've found that if I mark a square with pink, I can move back from the chart a few feet and still see both the general chart design as well as the bead pattern. If I find that I have too many pink squares, I can use whiteout to take beads out of the design.

OK, so let's get started. The first thing you have to think about is the design of the project you're adding beads to. Apparently it didn't have beads to begin with, but the design appealed to you anyway for whatever reasons. As you add beads, it's important not to go overboard and add too many or you'll lose the original design. The only designs of my own that have beads are Hanami: in the Cast On, and MS3. In Hanami the cast on beads balance the ruffle at the opposite end of the stole. If you add too many beads to the center of the stole, those cast on beads won't balance the ruffle anymore. In MS3, I did the design of the lace first and made sure I liked it before I added a single bead. I knew that not everyone would want to use beads so I made sure the design was strong enough to stand on its own without the beads. If you look at the charts for that design (for those of you who aren't part of MS3, I apologize, you can't look at the charts yet, but I'm working on getting the traditional pattern finished as soon as possible), you'll see that I used the beads to highlight and accent the design. This is the kind of thing you want to do if you're adding beads to a design that doesn't already have them.

Also think about the style of the design. Moon Dance is a very geometric, repetitious style of lace and if I were adding beads to it, I would put them in the same places throughout the design in a predictable pattern. Hanami has two separate patterns, one is geometric and repetitious while the other is random and organic. You would want to add beads to the basketweave section in a regular pattern and you would want to scatter the beads lightly throughout the blossom section. Leda's Dream, while it has 3 different lace patterns in the center section of the stole (and two at each end), should probably be treated in the same way as Moon Dance, with a regular, repeating bead pattern. Scheherazade presents a different challenge as it is neither a repetitious, geometric design or a random pattern. Scheherazade is essentially a picture drawn with Yarn Overs, so you want any beading to enhance and accent the picture, not overwhelm it. Looking at other designers patterns, try to figure out how the design is used: geometric, pictoral, random, repetitious, organic, etc. and add beads in the same style to accent the design. Again, you purchased the pattern because you liked the original design - don't get so carried away with the beads that you lose what appealed to you in the first place.

So, with these things in mind you can add your beads. Add a few to the chart, then pin the chart to a message board or tape it to the wall and back off a few feet - how do the beads look? Are there large open spaces with no beads? Sections with huge clumps of beads? Can you still see the main pattern design or do you only see the beads? Keep going back and forth and adding or removing beads, then looking at the design until it looks just right. Also keep in mind that if you add beads on a plain knit stitch it will be easier to work when you actually sit down to knit, than if you add them to a decrease. It would be possible to place a bead instead of a Yarn Over and work the design in beads, not lace, but you will have to ignore the decreases, and you will have to allow quite a bit more yarn to do this.

Finally, remember that the style of beads you choose in comparison to your yarn will also affect the finished design. If you choose a high contrast bead your beads will really pop and make much more of an impact, whereas if you choose a bead that is a closer match to your yarn, you will get a bit of sparkle or shine (or not if you choose a matte bead) and the beads will accent your design. When in doubt as to bead color, I've found that for any color but the darkest yarns, a clear silver lined bead will look like a drop of water or rain on the lace. For darker colors of yarn a dark gray silver lined bead will be more subtle. (To see what kind of beads I'm talking about click here - the clear, silver lined beads are #110 and the gray, silver lined beads are #923.) I consider these two colors of beads to be the little black dress of the bead world - they are appropriate anwhere and will work for anything.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Not Much Today

I was planning on writing a blog entry about adding beads to designs that don't already have them in the pattern. Then the other day I got into something that made me break out in a rash so at the moment I'm covered in cortisone cream and still woozy from the Benadryl I took last night (I can't take it during the day or I fall asleep). Also, the amazing itchiness of my ankles (the rest is getting better) pretty much precludes any coherent thought right now.

So, next week I will blog about adding beads to non beaded designs. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blue Waffles With a Side of Yarn Comparisons

bluewafflesdone

I finished my blue waffle socks! Oh, and for everyone who was wondering where I got my sock blockers the other day, I got them from The Loopy Ewe. Aren't they cute? These socks are made from my 3 ply GCNI/Mohair blend that I handdyed and then handspun. I knit them on US 2's (2.75mm) using the stitch pattern from the Blueberry Waffle Socks, but adjusted it to my gauge. As you can see, I did the foot of the sock in stockinette because I didn't want to have the dreaded Waffle Foot Disease (I'm really hoping that this disease doesn't exist and that no one has lost a loved one to it right about now).

One of the things I wanted to do with this yarn was compare it to some 2 ply yarn I spun from the same batch of roving. Here is a close up of the sock knit from the 2 ply - I've tried to photograph the stockinette area for comparison:

2 ply stockinette


And here is a close up of the stockinette area from the blue waffles:

3 ply stockinette


As far as yarn sizes go, both the 2 ply and the 3 ply yarns average 14 wpi. This surprised me but when you measure wpi, you don't overlap your wraps and while the 3 ply is a firm, round yarn, the 2 ply is fluffier. Despite being the same size yarns, I knit the 2 ply on US 1's (2.25 mm) and got 8 stitches per inch and I knit the 3 ply on US 2's (2.75 mm) and got 7 spi. I think part of this is due to the fluffier nature of the 2 ply, but the main reason can be seen when you look at the close ups of the stitches.

In both pictures, the toe of the socks are up near the top of the picture, so when you look at the stitches, the V's they form are right side up. If you look at the V's the stitches make in the 2 ply (the pinker sock), the arms of the V pull apart some. To compensate for this I had to use a smaller needle, but you can still see that the individual stitches tend to open up. When you look at the V's of the stitches in the 3 ply sock, the V's pull in towards the center of each stitch, filling in that space better. Just by looking at it with your eye, it's not a hugely obvious difference, but as far as the socks go, it meant the difference of 0.5 mm needle size (in needles this small, that's a big jump) and getting one fewer stitch per inch in the 3 ply. This meant that while there isn't a big difference in the thickness of the socks (remember, the yarns are essentially the same size), the 3 ply sock used less yardage and took less time for me to knit.

Now some of you will argue that it took longer to spin, but I don't think that's necessarily true. You have to spin all your singles before you can ply. If you have 6 ounces of fiber, spinning 2 bobbins of singles isn't going to take less time than spinning 3 bobbins of singles, assuming you spin the singles the same weight. I was spinning for socks so I spun my singles the same weight. Plying a 3 ply yarn will actually take less time than plying a 2 ply because your yardage is going to be slightly less. And as the socks prove, the 3 ply yarn makes a substantial fabric on larger needles, resulting in fewer stitches per inch in the finished knitting.

So, my conclusions are that the "experts" aren't making it up when they say that your stitches look fuller and you need less yarn for knitting with a 3 ply than you do in a 2 ply. And just in case your eyes haven't glazed over yet and you haven't curled up under your desk in the fetal position, I'll throw one more thing at you - 2 ply, because it does open up within the stitch, is exactly what you want to knit lace with. 2 ply is also supposed to be great for weaving because it isn't perfectly round and the yarns can lock together in the woven fabric better.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Message From The Blog Dog, Finn

As of today, I have been a part of the Pink Lemon's family for a year, so Mommy said I could take a turn blogging. I've learned a lot in the past year with my family so I thought I'd share some of it with you.
  • Boys are fun. They are messy eaters, they are noisy, they run in the house, and they leave yummy Lego's laying around. If they're small like my boy, you can share a popsicle with them.
  • Cats are fun. They run when you chase them. They do taste good, but you have to be careful. My cat has sharp teeth and sometimes he gets them very close to my eyes and then Mommy fusses at the cat (which doesn't happen nearly enough in our house if you ask me). Also, cats eat cat food. Cat food tastes good.
  • Spinning wheels are fun. If you turn your beak sideways while your Mommy is spinning, you can stick your whiskers in the spokes and it tickles. Be careful though, you don't want to get your nose bonked by the footmen. Also, spinning wheels means there is wool in the house. Raw wool is great to lay in. You have to do this carefully when your Mommy isn't paying attention though.
  • Tails taste good. I'm not allowed to chase mine anymore because I ate all the hair out of it. It's growing back now as you can see in the picture, but for weeks Mommy wandered around muttering about my "pathetic, bald, little rat tail."
  • Taking Mommy for a walk is fun. It gets her outside and gives her some fresh air and exercise and I get to eat leaves, rocks, earthworms, sticks, and other disgusting things Mommy says I can't put in the blog. We have lots of fun on walks.
  • Birds are a menace. We get birds in our backyard so I bark at them to get them to leave. Sometimes I have to jump up and down to get them to move along. I would like a goose though. They fly around here sometimes and they make funny noises. I think a goose could be fun - I bet they taste good.

I have had a lot of fun this last year, training my family. I know that Mommy has put my picture on her blog before and she reads all the comments to me. Thank you for all your support over the last year and if you see a posting from Ramius on StealMyDog.com, please ignore it. He's such a kidder - I think.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Frostrosen is Finished!

Frostrosen Done

I finally got my poor Frostrosen Shawl finished. This was not a difficult shawl to knit and with the size of the yarn and needles, it wasn't even a particularly long knit. But if you throw a huge Knitalong and pattern design in the middle of knitting it, you get a 4 month project. I started it in April and finished it over the weekend.

Frostrosen Done2


Here are all the stats and useless information. The pattern is Sharon Miller's Green Moss Shawl*, and I worked the smaller version. I used handspun yarn from The Knotty Sheep's Kitchen Sink Batts in Frostrosen instead of using Kid Silk Haze as the pattern calls for. I used US 7/4.5mm needles and I did work it in the garter stitch the pattern calls for. I don't think I made any changes to the pattern - like I said it's an easy knit and really enjoyable. My blocked measurements are 74 inches wide along the top edge and 35 inches long from neck to lower curve (it's a half circle shape - not a triangle shawl).

*Her patterns are not cheap, but if you look at the Special Offers in her site, you can buy 3 patterns and get 1 free or get a free pattern with the book Heirloom Knitting.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Sockapalooza Socks

sockapalooza4

As you all know, I was in Sockapalooza 4 this Summer. You saw me knit the socks for my pal, but this weekend I got the socks that were knit for me! It's always wonderful to get socks in the mail, especially when they've been knit just for you. My sock pal is Heather who lives in California and she actually moved during Sockapalooza - from the other side of the country! And I was thinking that hosting MS3 during Sockapalooza was crazy.

She used the RPM pattern - isn't it great in this yarn? It's Paton's Kroy sock yarn, which I've never used before but I've heard wonderful things about it. The colors are just perfect for wearing with jeans, which I pretty much live in from October to April or so. I know I'm going to love wearing these socks, and did I mention that they fit perfectly? Thanks so much Heather! I love them!

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Friday, August 10, 2007

You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

rockin_girl_blogger_award

OK, apologies to Sally Field aside, THANK YOU! Yesterday when I woke up and stumbled to the computer in my usual uncaffeinated state and started deliriously reading my emails, I noticed that two people had given me Rockin' Girl Blogger Awards! Not really in any condition to figure out what this meant, I waited until later to try to figure out what was going on. Then Christine told me that I had been nominated by yet another blogger for this award!

So, I am sending out big hugs and thank you's to everyone who has given me this award!

Part of this award is to award other Rockin' Girl Bloggers so without further ado, here are my Rockin' Girl Bloggers:

Christine of Talullah's World. In addition to being a great friend and highly effective enabler, she is able to leap computer problems in a single bound, reformats files faster than a speeding bullet, and kept a great sense of humor about it when I told her she was twisting her stitches when she knits - and apparently had been for years.

Kary of Sheep At The Beach. She spreads joy and beauty in her corner of the Internet as well as helping animals, helping people, and sharing a positive, fun attitude with everyone!

Sherie of Whimsy Knits. Sherie jumps into anything with both feet and just goes for it. She knits like a speed demon, spins like a whirlwind and as if that wasn't enough, she has recently quit smoking (Congratulations Sherie!) and is spending her cigarette money on fiber equipment - if that isn't reason to quit, what is?

Thanks to everyone who gave me this award and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

More Blue Singles

Bluesingles2

I got some spinning done yesterday and I am more than halfway done with my second bobbin of blue singles. When I showed the first bobbin, there were some questions about the fiber and the color so I'll give you all the details here.

This is spun from batts that I blended of Romney and Merino (50/50) and then I added some Opal Angelina (sparkly stuff for you non spinners). The fiber was dyed before blending with Landscapes Dyes. My Mom and I were working on these together (she has 6+ ounces of this fiber too, only her's doesn't have Angelina in it) and we wanted a blue that hinted at being blue violet. We started with Marine, the pure blue color that Landscapes makes. It's a nice clear royal if you use it full strength. Then we added just a tiny bit of Grevillia, the cool red color. (Cool reds are also called magenta by some dye companies). By only adding this tiny bit of cool red, we were able to tip the pure blue just barely towards the violet section of the color wheel and as you can see, we got a nice, rich ultramarine color.

So now I just have to finish up this bobbin, which I hope to get done today, and spin a third bobbin and then ply them together. I will use this yarn for socks- the Romney adds strength and the Merino adds softness.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Something Red

Redblur

The big secret red blur is pretty much out of the bag at this point. In some ways this is nice because now I can work on it on the blog and don't have to find separate blog fodder, but in other ways it's sad because I can't surprise you with the "extra" for the MS3 pattern.

Yes, the red blur (which in true red fashion is photographing as a different red each time I take a picture of it) is a stole with two wings. When I decided on this year's theme for the Mystery Stole, I knew I wanted to have the extra as a stole design with two wings. Why? Because I've never met a person yet who hasn't wondered what it would be like to fly. Even those who are afraid of heights have watched a bird fluttering from tree to tree or a hawk riding the thermals high in the air and wondered what it would feel like to be the bird or hawk, even for only a few minutes. The wings on the stole won't let you fly, but sometimes the symbolism of wings and the freedom they represent to us can mean more than actual flight to our hearts. And also, wings are pretty cool!

Legal disclaimer here: if you attempt to fly while wearing the winged stole you are a menace to yourself and society and any and all injuries incurred during your moment of stupidity are completely your own and I hope you give it some serious consideration as you lay moaning in the hospital trying to heal your broken body. Thank you.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ravelry

I just got into Ravelry - I'm PinkLemon. I can see how everyone is loving this thing!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Blue Waffles

bluewaffles2

What an inspired title! Clearly, I'm going to need more caffeine today if I intend to make it to lunch. I finished up the first of my blue waffle socks and got started on the second one. I really like the way this yarn is knitting up. Once I get both socks done, I will do a comparison of this yarn (3 ply) versus the 2 ply yarn I spun from the same roving (just dyed a different color). Hopefully I'll be able to get some decent pictures of the stitches so we'll really be able to see how the different yarns look in the stitches.

As you can see, I decided to make the foot of these socks in plain stockinette stitch. I have several pairs of waffle socks (what can I say, it's an easy stitch pattern and works great for a no brainer sock) and I've found that they tend to make my feet look like waffles when I wear them in shoes. This is a slightly heavier weight yarn than my other sock yarns so I was really afraid of waffle feet on this one - might not be comfortable!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Deb who paid for Hanami twice...

I've been trying to track you down and so far have had no luck. Blogger doesn't give me email addresses with the comments so if you could leave your email address IN the comment (use spaces and AT instead of @ and DOT instead of .), I'll email you and we'll get this straighted out. Thanks!

Frostrosen is Coming Around the Far Turn. It's Thundering Towards the Finish Line...

frostrosenblob3

Well, as much as lace can thunder towards the finish line that is. See the picture? See the right half of the shawl? It's not on the needles! I've knit the edging across half of the top of the shawl and now I just have to knit it across the other half and Kitchener stitch the two edgings together. I hope to get it finished today, but that will depend on the Mystery Stole group.

You see, today we took the stole offroading - where no stole has gone before. Today's clue started short rows. In lace. Why would I do that? Because I can! Bwah ha ha!

Of course that means there may be a few questions...

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yesterday Was a Very Good Day!

The title pretty much sums it up, so I'll get straight to the good stuff! Lesley from Wool and Company sent me a gift as a Thank You for doing Mystery Stole and look at what she sent:
Bracelet


Its a beautiful sterling bracelet that says EAT SLEEP KNIT! She also sent the tiny sheep which was the subject of a brief scuffle between myself, Mickael, and Caleb. I won (HA HA!) Thank you so much Lesley, I love it!

Earlier yesterday I had run out to pick up a couple of things at the Hallmark store and I found something I have been looking for for almost four years. When Mickael and I got married, we had some Tupperware canisters. They weren't ugly but they weren't pretty either. They got the job done of holding my staples* and keeping them fresh, but they didn't look like much sitting out on the countertop. I had looked for some new canisters when we moved up here but couldn't really find any that I liked, that would be perfect for our kitchen, so I just kept using the Tupperware. Yesterday, I replaced the Tupperware canisters! We have a few Chicken and Rooster things in our Kitchen (including the ever popular Chocolate Chicken: a cookie jar we keep filled with chocolate) and when I saw these, I knew they were perfect.

Canisters



Aren't they cute? I love how the knobs on the lids are painted to match the chickens on the side of each canister. You can't see it in this picture, but the lids are red, which is the main color I'm using in the Kitchen right now. I knew there were the perfect canisters out there somewhere!

*An interesting little tidbit we learned from Judith MacKenzie McCuin in the spinning class at MDS&W was why "staples" are called "staples." In feudal times you would get your flour, sugar, salt (staples) from the lord of the manor. Everyone was under the feudal system (OK, not everyone, but English speaking everyone), so it worked out pretty well. With the rise of the merchant class and trade guilds in the Renaissance, many people moved into the cities and could no longer get these items from a feudal lord. The Stapler's Guild were the men who sorted the wool locks by staple length. This was important to do before it was combed for spinning because combing separates the shorter locks from the longer. If you don't sort out the locks ahead of time, you lose a lot of wool. Anyway, the Stapler's Guild bought these basic items in bulk, so if you lived in the city and had no feudal lord, you could get them from the guild. This is why we refer to flour, sugar, and salt as Staples. I thought that was pretty interesting.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Waffles Anyone?

bluewaffles

I've started a new pair of socks. This is the GCNI/Mohair yarn that I spun into a 3 ply. Since I wanted to compare how a 2 ply yarn and a 3 ply yarn looked knitted up, I decided to knit this pair of socks in the waffle stitch pattern too. (A month or so ago I knitted some pink and blue stripey GCNI/Mohair 2 ply into waffle socks - this is what I'm comparing.) The yarn is a heavy fingering weight or possibly a sport weight yarn so I'm knitting it on US 2's, which I think are 2.75 mm (I can't remember). I'm halfway through the heel flap now so these socks are zipping along pretty quickly. The stitch pattern is the one from the Blueberry Waffle Socks, but I've adjusted the rest of the sock to my own gauge.

If things look a little different this morning, that's because I'm trying Flickr as my photo hosting site today. I'm less than 500 people away from getting into Ravelry and I think I'll probably get my invite later this week if they keep doing invites at the rate they have been. (Flickr and Ravelry are linked somehow so you can just click to add pictures.) I'm very excited about seeing what's in there. I will probably just add new stuff to Ravelry and not enter previous projects - at least not at first. We'll see, who knows what I'll do when I actually see it. If you click the link to Ravelry, they do have a bunch of screen shots of the site so you can kind of see what's in there.

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