What’s On My Needles: Knitters Brewing Co. Mystery Socks III

A few weeks ago, I heard about a free mystery sock knit-a-long being hosted by the Knitters Brewing Company. This was just the kick in the pants I needed to get my Firecracker socks finished and off the needles. It was hard to wait for the KAL to start! Although I was tempted (as I always am) to buy their kit for the KAL, I controlled my desire to own every ball of sock yarn in the world, and instead selected a pretty little colorway from my stash:  Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in “Queen Anne.”

0701 KP Stroll in Queen Anne Tonal

I made a shawl out of Shadow Tonal in  “Queen Anne,” so I knew I loved the color already.  (Actually, that was a mystery KAL project too!  Interesting….)

0175 completed Mandala II (edge)

Anyway, back to the mystery socks.  Clue #1 came out right on time, and everyone dove in.  The socks are toe-up, so I used Judy’s magic cast-on and magic-looped through the nifty twisted-stitch toe pattern with stately aplomb.  I finished one toe, and decided that I really needed to do two-at-a-time with this pattern.  Usually I hate having two socks on my ML at a time, because the “extra” sock drags at my needles.  That’s because socks are often my “take-a-long” project, and I sometimes knit standing up or even walking!  But, since these socks will be worked on in quick weekly bursts, it seemed like that wouldn’t be a problem. Also, I really wanted to have them DONE and wearable when the last clue came — and not have a whole second sock staring me in the face.  So, a rare bird in my knitting life: two at a time socks:

1347 queen anne mystery socks (clue 1)

Impatiently I waited for the next clue …. and waited … and waited … until Clue #2 was released a whole day early! Yippee!  I got right to work.  A few rows in, I decided I just couldn’t handle the written instructions.  I’m more of a “chart girl” you see — I like to see where I am in the pattern, and written instructions just can’t do that.  So, I stopped and made my own chart. After that I flew along at warp speed.  The twisty stitches are fun and pretty too, and even though my yarn choice is colorful, the tonal nature allows the stitch pattern to shine through:

1364 mystery sock (clue 2)

Now I’m waiting again — browsing the KBC forum, which has multiple threads devoted to this KAL. I always love the community aspects of participating in a knit-a-long, and this time is no exception.

Speaking of which … it’s not too late to join in!  Grab some sock yarn, print out the first two clues, and catch up before Friday’s Clue#3 (or maybe Wednesday? Pppppplllllease?).

Ravelry Monday: Pansies, Alassë Míriel Hooded Cowl, and Grecian Goddess Socks

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First pick: “Pansies” by Rebekkah Dickson (FREE!)

My favorite flowers are pansies, so I’m always on the lookout for good patterns (heck, good anything) that include pansies.  These are far and away the best knitted pansies I’ve seen — true to the flower, without being fussy.  The petals are knit flat, then sewn in place.  The pansy “monkey face” in added in post-production with duplicate stitch.  I can see myself adding pansies to a lot of upcoming projects … all I need is a little purple/blue/burgundy and yellow/white yarn, any weight will do.  Whee!

Second Pick: “Alassë Míriel Hooded Cowl” by The Jane Victoria ($5.00)

Can I just say, WOW, what an ingenious garment! Part cowl, part hood, part shoulder cozy… I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and I LOVE it already.

Third Pick: “Grecian Goddess Socks” by Katie Franceschi ($5.95)

I’m a sock lover, it’s true.  I just washed (nearly) all my hand-made socks, and stopped counting at pair 24.  I’m in the middle of a sock-a-long as we speak (where is clue #3, people?), and eagerly awaiting my first 2011 Rockin’ Sock Club shipment. But these socks call to me too! Alas, there are other things on my needles, so these faux lace-up socks will have to wait in my queue.

Alassë Míriel Hooded Cowl

FO Friday: Rockin’ Socks in Firecracker

This week I finished a pair of socks!  My Firecracker Corners are on my feet as I type, and I love them.  The yarn and pattern were part of the July 2010 shipment of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts (aka BMFA)  Rockin’ Sock Club. There were six shipments last year, and (alas) until this week I’d only completed two pairs of socks!  For Christmas my dear sweet husband who knows and loves me well gave me a membership in the 2011 Rockin’ Sock Club, and I’m expecting the first shipment soon … so I thought I had better get my rear in gear and finish the pair of socks I’ve had on the needles since July (gasp!).

1339 firecracker socks

Pattern: Dusty Corners

Designer: Linda Welch

Available: to 2010 Rockin’ Sock Club members only for now (available to the general public sometime after July 2011)

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in Firecracker (a club colorway)

1337 firecracker socks (close)

As usual with any socks that I’ve let languish, when I finally pick them up again I’m done so quickly I can’t quite believe I let them sit so long.  Something about the purple-red with surprising bits of pale blue really made me happy as I knit along.  The pattern was simple, but attractive. I especially appreciated the contrast between the 1×2 cable and the larger mostly-stockinette waves within the variegated colorway.  I did get a bit of a self-striping effect on both socks, but not so much as to detract from their overall beauty.

I wanted very badly to cast on a new pair of socks as soon as I finished these, but I managed to refrain.  (Honesty moment: I did wind yarn for a rogue pair of socks! But I didn’t cast on.) Given that I’m planning to join a Mystery Sock-a-long that starts in just a few days, and of course I’m expecting the January shipment from BMFA … I really shouldn’t put needles into ANY socks just yet.  Instead, I’ve picked up a few other sad WIPs that are in need of attention. With any luck, I’ll get to share them here on a future FO Friday.