A Good Yarn

Monday, October 08, 2007


Since the Vikings weren't playing this weekend and last weekend was my mother's birthday, I decided to head down to South Dakota to see the family. On the way out of town, I stopped by the new Mary Lue's location in Mankato. The new store is really cute. It's much smaller than the spot in St. Peter was, but it looks much nicer. They seem to be focusing a little more on their higher end yarns. If you want some Elsabeth Lavold Silky Wool, this is your stop - they have an entire shelf with color after color of Silky Wool. They also have tons of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in a bunch of different colors. They still have some of the sheepy gift items, but less than before. I bought a couple of patterns, but no wool, since I'm still trying to only buy yarn for Christmas gifts and they didn't have what I was looking for there. It's definitely worth stopping by - it's very close to the highway, so easy to pop in on your way through town.

I had a great time visiting the family - my little nephew Jason has grown so much since I last saw him at his baptism:

I'm on the horns of a dilemma about the little cardigan I'm knitting for Jason for Christmas. My first problem was that the bottom hem was flipping up like crazy and the whole thing was just curling up into a cigar shape. I figured the edges would stop curling one I had it all sewn togethet, but I'm not sure about the hem. Then I was worried that the alpaca is too scrachy. I could feel it through my clothes on my lap as I was knitting it and it was kind of scratchy, so I'm not sure it's appropriate for that soft, delicate baby skin. Then I started knitting the front and the cabled part was shorter than the stockinette part. Like, an inch shorter. So, could I block it out to the same length as the rest, or should I rip out the whole thing. I decided I should wash the back in hair conditioner and block it out to see what happens. So, the hem flipping has been solved - the edges and the hem lay nice and flat now. I think the scratchiness has been alleviated too. I still wouldn't wear it next to my skin, but with a shirt underneath, it's not poking at me. So, I think I'll finish the first half and try blocking out the cabled edge a bit and see how it goes.

While I was waiting for the back piece to dry, I finished up my Pineapple Socks:

Project Name:
Pineapple Socks
Designer: Lijuan Jing
Pattern Source: Jojoland Pattern Leaflet
Yarn: Jojoland Melody
Yarn Source: Needlework Unlimited
Date Started: 9/10/07
Date Completed: 10/7/07

Comments: This was my last project for Project Spectrum this year. And I only finished one week late - not too bad considering how late I started them. This was my first time using Jojoland Melody and I really like it. It feels nice and knits up well and I love the gradual color changes. I probably wouldn't make this pattern again. I'm not fond of lace patterns in socks anyway and this one was super easy to memorize, but it was sometimes difficult to manipulate the stitches. I knit on size 1 needles and they are very close fitting - almost too tight, really. I really have to stretch them to get them over my heel. I didn't fully understand this heel and toe structure, so I made the leg shorter than I intended. I made the legs 1" shorter than the pattern called for and they ended up being anklets instead of the short socks that I usually prefer. I don't know what this heel pattern is called, but it's really shallow. You knit the heel back and forth, decreasing on each end, and then once it's as narrow as you wish, you start increasing by picking up stitches on those ends you just knit back and forth on. You do the same thing with the toe, kitchnering the toe to the bottom of the foot, basically where your toes start on your foot. It's interesting, but not my favorite structure. Since I made the socks a little shorter than the pattern called for and my feet are only 9" long, I was able to get the whole pair out of one ball of yarn. Here's how much I had left:

Close, huh? Here's another view of the socks, the obligatory sole to sole pose: