LYS had the right yarn to make the fingerless mitts on the cover. Besides that, I realized the shop was having its anniversary sale this weekend. So I got Nashua Creative Focus Cotton DK in both the cover red and the depicted grape purple. I was a bit weary of socks, so yesterday I sat on the patio, enjoying the weather, and started on a pair of the short version. I am almost done with the second of the pair (I got distracted uploading photos of my stash and finished items to Flickr so I could put them on Ravelry--this required uploading my new and wonderful Photoshop CS3 Extended that I got with staff discount at work, so time passed).
Anyway, these are weird little items, aren't they? They go super quickly, though, and actually are warmer than they look. I can wear them when my hands get sore from typing. I plan to make the longer versions in red, and I think I will use smaller needles. The pattern calls for size 6, and I used size 4, but my little bitty hands are still a bit small for the finished product. I'll try size 3 for the others. The pattern stitch is really fun. The only thing I don't like much is the finishing technique around the thumb area. I think I'd have crocheted an edge, and may do so on the second pair.
The Knitting New Mittens and Gloves book (by Robin Melanson) isn't as incredibly exciting and mind-bogglingly different as the scarf book in the same series, but there are some interesting patterns. Too many of them require finding and buying accessories and additional hardware for my taste. But, there are some easy ones and some hard ones, so there should be at least one or two patterns for you, no matter what your taste.
I've also finished a Bathtime Blossom in Anchor Magicline cotton. I do so love this pattern. The yarn is fun--if you get a chance, get it and make a dishcloth! The striping pattern is long, so it makes a fun effect. Note that on the washcloth, each "wedge" is mostly either pink or blue--that's just a lucky accident. I used size 4 needles and think 3 would have been better. I admit, it's the same ones I used on the mitts. They were sitting around.
I also managed to start the second sock in the Garden Path socks I am making using Jody's hand dyed yarn. I want to wear them, so I will be working on them when not in a bus. I'm saving the happy rainbow Perchance to Knit socks for the bus.
While I have a minute, let me tell you about the other book I bought recently (yay having a job so you can buy stuff). It's Knitting America, by Susan M. Strawn. It's one of those big coffee table type books, with lots of illustrations. I am really enjoying reading it, though. There is new information that Strawn has found, and lots of photos I have not seen yet, many of interesting pieces of old knitting. I love reading the history of knitting, and have probably bought every one of those books that's come out over the past few decades. This one is a great addition, and is wonderful to sit around and read when I need to rest my hands. A great birthday or other holiday gift idea!
And...one more thing. I got a new yarn yesterday at the LYS. I got enough to make a whole sweater, and a pattern for an interesting sweater that is a combination of knitting and crocheting. The yarn is Bouton d'Or Surya. It is very thin, probably fingering weight, though is is not a sock-type yarn--no bounce. It is solid and smooth and made of 55% bamboo and 45% soy. You would imagine that a combination of those two will be very soft, and it is. It's also slightly heathered, since we all know that bamboo takes color differently from soy (or at least NOW we all know that). I can't wait to knit and crochet with this. It is so soft and smooth. It comes mostly in pastel colors, so I got light blue--all the other colors really aren't for me. At some point, probably in the dead of next winter, I'll make the sweater (it's a spring one, so of course I will dawdle about it).
I hope that now I am back to a more regular schedule where I can at least blog 2-3 times a week!