CO Monday: Sea Drift Toque, Happy Green Fyllyrd, Jan 2012 Mystery Lace KAL

There is nothing like a big UFO purge and Ravelry Queue clean-up to make me really want to cast on something new! 🙂

First up: a Drift Toque from my Christmas copy of Weekend Hats. I’m using some stashed Happy Feet DK — the color is gorgeous, and a little hard to capture with my camera.  I love the up-down cables and the sideways short-row construction.  I opted to use the called-for needle size (instead of going down a size, which I usually do, thanks to my loose knitting habits).  I have a huge head, and thought this might be enough to make the hat the right size for me.  Alas, it looks like it might be coming out a touch small … but, I think I can add an extra “wedge” of hat + short rows and make it fit.

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Next, I’m doing a Fyllyrd as part of the January KAL  in the Beginning Lace Knitters group.  I’m using my newly liberated Dream-in-Color Smooshy in the “Happy Forest” colorway.  I have already used as much yarn as I frogged … SO the right decision.  I just finished the first nupps repeat, and I am really enjoying it. If it looks like a neat pattern, join in the fun!  This is an open KAL that will be running all month (and, usually, afterwards as people finish up).

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I am using my other skein of DIC Smooshy (“Dusky Aurora”) for a different KAL (this one closed yesterday, so it’s too late to join in).  SusannaIC’s January Mystery KAL features nupps, beads, and a cast-on of 300+ stitches.  Fun times!

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FO Friday: Queen Anne Mystery Socks

1481 Family Jewels Mystery Socks

Yay, my socks are done! I have really enjoyed this mystery sock-a-long sponsored by the Knitters Brewing Company.  I talked about yarn selection and knitting style already, so instead of repeating myself, I will instead say how much I have been looking forward to having these socks done and on my feet. So pretty! I can hardly stand it. Easily my favorite detail: the heart cuff.  How charming is this?

1484 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (heart cuff)

Pattern: Mystery Socks III: the Family Jewels

Designer: Wendy Gaal

Available: free! on ravelry (kits are available with matching yarn and beads)

Yarn: Stroll Tonal in Queen Anne

1483 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (bead motif)

This pattern has a number of “new to me” features.  One of the big reasons I signed on was the opportunity to try a big bead on a sock.  When the time came, I ran off to Legacy Beads to find a 15mm-ish flat bead that worked with my yarn — no clashing colors, not so matchy as to fade into the yarn, but not too contrasty either. I settled on a “twist” Swarovski crystal bead in “Golden Shadow.”  My mad beading friend inspected the bead and determined that it had an “AB” finish on the back, but not the front, which helped it keep it’s own color while still reflecting some of the yarn color.  This makes sense to me — I had tried a clear crystal version, and it completely disappeared into the yarn.

1485 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (fleegle heel)

Another cool new-to-me thing is the Fleegle Heel. I didn’t know this was in the pattern when I signed on, so it’s pure bonus! I found it easy to do, and a nice fit.  I enjoyed it way more than a toe-up heel flap (those joins! ugh!), and it fits way better than a traditional short-row heel.  You can see a small err in my photo — the racing stripes on the gusset were supposed to blend into the leg, but I failed my “read the directions” roll and started the racing stripes one stitch too soon.  Oh well — only the designer and the 200 other people in the knit-a-long will even notice.

In general I found the pattern to be extremely well-written and mistake-free.  I prefer a charted pattern to words, but I understand the designer’s desire to “surprise” — and how a chart could potentially ruin the surprise.  I believe a complete version of the pattern will be released with full charts and so on, so chart lovers need not despair (or resort to home charting, as I did).  All unusual techniques were well-explained and/or had links to good videos.  Great fun, great community of KAL-ers!

1482 Family Jewels Mystery Socks (front and back)