Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hugs and Kisses Baby Socks

Pattern: Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks by Ann Budd from Interweave Knits Summer 2005 (and also available for free here.)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Needles: Addi Turbo Size 2

I made these for a co-worker who is expecting her first baby in late July. This project took me about a month, mostly because I kept putting off working on it. They knit up quickly, but the pattern uses short-row heels and toes, which I don't especially like doing so it was always too easy to put it off until another day.

I used a different bind-off than called for in the pattern. I tried the zig zag bind off, but it made the toe area really flare out. After completing the short row toe, you have two parallel needles of stitches, and the instructions have you knit one from the front needle, then one from the back, alternating in this way while binding off. Of course, this puts those two needles of stitches all in a row, hence the flaring. I undid the bind-off and used a regular 3-needle bind-off and I think it looks a lot better. If you look at the picture, the bind-off is that horizontal row that divides the cable panel from the toe.

The cable panel is really adorable and very easy. Their were other variations on this pattern including one with a basketweave cable panel and one that was plain stockinette. They are all extremely cute so I will keep this in mind for the next time I need to knit something for a baby (short rows or not).

The yarn feels nice knit up but it's really splitty so working with it is not as wonderful as I had expected, and the cable cast-on was a real bitch. But I'd probably use it again as it comes in very nice colors and is very soft, as well as machine washable - a must for a new mom, as far as I'm concerned.

If you have a Ravelry account, also check out this adorable sweater that one of my co-workers knit for the baby. There was also a totally cute hat with ear flaps and a pair of booties with ribbons woven in around the cuff. The mom-to-be is also a knitter, so I'm sure she'll have some great things for him as well. This is one lucky baby!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two short reviews

Elv, Meg, and Claire share an imaginary world and even speak their own language. But as they grow up, their shifting loyalties and very different personalities start to pull the sisters in opposite directions. There is a mystical flavor to The Story Sisters that isn't my usual taste, but it wasn't overpowering. The characters and their relationships were compelling enough to keep my interest until the very end.

There is really not much more for me to say about this series, except that I am still with it and very impatient for the next installment, due out in October. Too many twists have happened for a spoiler-free plot summary here, so I will just say that it continues on faithfully in the tradition of Luxe and Rumors, and that there are still twists and surprises and romantic intrigue.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I started a new sock on June 3rd. Two weeks later, this is how much I've done.

That's a total of 24 rows. After taking the picture, I knit a few more rows out of guilt.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rumors : a review

I'm sorry for the blog silence last week - things have been a bit crazy here! I have barely done any knitting at all, though I have promised pictures of my new sock project and will post those later this week. In the meantime though, I want to tell you about the book I just read.

I recently shared my review of The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, in which the story leads up to the funeral of society girl Elizabeth Holland. The second book, Rumors, is focused on Elizabeth's younger sister Diana, and her budding romance which is threatened by Elizabeth's opportunistic friend Penelope Hayes and former Holland household maid Lina Broud.

Without spoiling the plot, I will only say that this book was every bit as good as the first one. The Luxe had left the story in a great spot for the second book to pick up, and it was just as full tasty little turn of the century society tidbits and scandal and fashion as the first one. Again, each chapter began with a snippet from an etiquette manual or newspaper column. The thwarted romances were just as heartbreaking, the backstabbing just as shocking. The third book in the series is on its way to me now, and I hear there's a fourth coming out in the fall. That will be hard to wait for!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vesper Algae Socks

Simple and straightforward. This is Vesper Sock yarn from Knitterly Things, in the Algae colorway. After months of begging, boringknitter finally sold it to me to get me off her back. Aren't the colors lovely?

They are knit in plain old stockinette, per basic instructions in Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. I used my usual heel flap and gusset construction with a wedge toe. There is not much else to tell you about them except that I'm very happy to have my new pair of pretty striped socks!

I recently bought a copy of Sock Innovation by Cookie A. and have just begun a pair of socks from that book. I'll share progress once I have more than a cuff. I'm pretty excited about the patterns in this book, and all the sock design information at the beginning is fantastic. Stayed tuned for sock progress shots!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This is the hottest series since Harry Potter, so I couldn't put off reading it forever. I do enjoy a good vampire novel, and I think I would have loved this book if it was published when I was a teenager (though we had Interview With the Vampire then). Even at my age Twilight is a page-turner, but there were certain things about it that I couldn't overlook.

Maybe I'm just too adult and cynical, but I audibly scoffed when Bella declared that she would love Edward forever. She barely knows the guy. (And think for a minute about your high school sweetheart and the undying love that you pledged - and how quickly you got over it.) What Bella and Edward have is a very intense chemistry, and that is all. It's great, but it's taken way too seriously in this novel.

Another sticking point for me was the behavior of the teenaged characters. In situations where they were unsupervised, they were way too orderly and well-behaved. No one so much as snuck a cigarette when out of sight of adults. Every one of them came across as a mature, responsible goody two-shoes. Maybe I was just particularly wild as a teenager, but I didn't buy it for a minute.

Still, it's a good story, and I can see why every teenaged girl in America is in love with Edward Cullen. Vampires are sexy and mysterious and a little scary - what could be better than that? I'm not sure yet if I'll continue reading the series, but I'll definitely watch the movie.