I promised I'd show you how the Koi sock yarn knits up, once I had a sample. I can't show you the sock, but here are two views of it's components. This is how it looks in a twisted slip stitch. Note the lack of pooling or striping. It's a real variegated yarn, with many shadings and not a lot of sameness. I love that.
And here is how it looks in plain stockinette, 64 stitches to a row. I think it looks really nice. I love the light and dark versions of each color, and the little blips of other colors popping in and out. This is good, since my Andromeda shawl won't use up my first skein of laceweight, which means I will need to figure out something big to do with the rest.
As for those socks, I re-learned a common lesson with reading knitting patterns. That is to READ the instructions. There is a three-row pattern in the foot of the socks I was knitting, which I read the first time, carefully. Then I figured I understood it and didn't read carefully the second and consequent times, and missed a few key words. They made the sock a nice thing, but not the one the designer was going for! The second sock will be a fraternal twin!
I haven't had a chance to look at the new Knitty, but I will. However, I have just purchased two new books that I was impressed with, so I thought I'd share some thoughts on them.
Knitted Socks East and West: 30 Designs Inspired by Japanese Stitch Patterns, by Judy Sumner. What a useful book. First, there is all kinds of interesting information on some stitches that I have never tried before. I minored in Japanese, but can't read well enough to figure out those Japanese books (I can handle the crochet ones, but didn't understand the knitting charts). Sumner helps a lot with the charts, and the execution of the interesting stitches, like ones with wraps and long lifts. My favorite part of the book is her descriptions of how she learned the stitches and the technical stuff. However, there are plenty of lovely socks in the book, too. Most are very textural, with bobbles, wrapped stitches and interesting traveling techniques. They are definitely candidates for solid or semi-solid yarns. I liked the very tall socks, stirrup socks and toe-less socks. It was nice of Sumner to include a variety of styles that would appeal to old and young. Many will work for men, too. I'd say if you are interested in trying some new techniques or adding new stitches to your own designing repertoire, this book is well worth getting. Oh yes, and the photography is pretty clear, so you can get a good idea of what you are aiming for in the unfamiliar ways of making socks!
The Joy of Sox: 30+ Must-Knit Designs, by Linda Kopp. Whoever wrote the title was not kidding. There are really, really a lot of designs in this book that I would like to knit. The only ones that didn't intrigue me much were the ones in worsted weight yarn, but even some of those look like they'd be fun to knit as holiday gifts for house socks, etc. I got the book originally because Melanie, the author of the Pink Lemon Twist blog has a pattern in it (Chick Flick). But once I started looking at the patterns, I was glad I got it. There are some really, really lacy options that I loved (Sweet Nothings and Zhen Zen, for example), but also some wonderful uses of color--some of the colorwork socks are just breathtaking. And if you like cables and twisted stitches, there is plenty of that for you, too. Really, there is nary a dud sock in the book. What got a bit old for me were the sexual innuendo passages and the silly polls that didn't add a thing to the knitting content. The whole "joy of sex" parallel really seems unnecessary. This is such a wonderful collection of interesting socks that I wish they'd come up with a catchy title concept that related more to knitting. Well, it's easy enough to just skip the polls, sex content and such, and enjoy the patterns and the parts about the designers and their experiences--those were interesting!
That's it for me! I have not been feeling very social and am putting most of my energy into work and my knitting. I'm trying to figure out what to do next--I really enjoyed teaching last week and need to figure out a way to get back into that!