Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Coming Attractions: New Pattern Sneak Peeks

Coral Reef Cuff

I know. One of these days I need to actually transfer my patterns from notes to nice, clean PDF files--complete with photos and helpful how-tos. Until then, though, I think its fair to offer you a sneak peek of a few things I've been working on...

Barn-Door Socks

First, the Barn-Door Socks, knitted in Noro Kureyon Sock on US#1 needles. I love the way the subtle lace pattern looks in the rugged, slubby Noro yarn. I also love the woolly feel of the yarn when I knit with it...Is it just me, or does it leave a soft lanolin-type feel on your fingers?

The colors are simply beautiful. I've never spent a summer on the shores of Maine, but these colors evoke what I imagine it would be like: a silvery-brownish tone, like weathered-wood shingles; pale muted purple, like the twilight sky and the mist that rises over the ocean; aqua and turquoise, with flecks of white, like clear waves crashing on jagged rocks.

A surprise is in store for the heel and toe shaping--they'll be fun to make! The fit is great, the yarn isn't rough on your feet (despite the slightly scratchy feel as you knit it), and the colors and quiet stitch pattern could make for a unisex sock--depending on tastes, of course.

Next is a currently-nameless tea cozy. I knitted this swatch in Peace Fleece worsted-weight, a wool and mohair yarn with a decidedly sheepy feel. I absolutely adore this yarn and am entranced by the Peace Fleece story.

Tea cozies have enjoyed a renaissance during the past couple of years, and it's easy to see why...Sure, we enjoy our coffee--really enjoy it!--in the U.S. But most people I know also enjoy a cozy cup of tea from time to time.

In fact, during the colder months, when the air seems to crackle and snap and make the inside of your nose burn, knitters and crocheters dream of settling in on a deep, cushiony sofa with a hot cuppa and their current project (fireplace optional). For non-needleworkers, the scenario is the same, but usually includes a much-beloved book instead of a scarf-, sweater-, or sock-in-progress.

Either way, once you settle in on the sofa, the last thing you want to do is get up for more hot tea every half hour. Thus, the tea cozy. This pattern will be an easy, quick knit, with an eclectic twist, making it a great idea for Christmas and other holiday gifts.

Freesia Socks

Finally, more information about this sweet pair of socks knitted in Shalimar Sock Yarn. Shalimar is hand-dyed by Kristi, who owns Eleganza Yarns in Frederick. This pattern's name, "Freesia," was inspired by the azure blues and creamy yellows in the ultra-soft merino yarn.

In my sophomore year we moved to Marin County, and I had to change to a new high school (Tamalpais H.S., in Mill Valley, CA). Tam has a gorgeous campus, built on a hill, with lots of grass and trees. One building encompassed a courtyard, with four tree-planters surrounded by a sort of colonade.

Beneath the trees, the planters were filled with Freesias. When the sun shone down mid-day, the entire courtyard would be thick as honey with their scent. Though I didn't know what the flowers' name at the time, I fell in love with their dizzying perfume. I can almost smell them when I look at this yarn…

The heel and toe in this pattern are a bit unusual, as I've been feeling a little bored with the ubiquitous short-row heel and wedge toe. The details will make for a feminine sock that looks pretty from every angle.

I know you'll just put them in shoes and probably hide them under a pair of blue jeans, but that's OK. Think of these socks like delicate Parisian underwear--even though no one else sees them, you'll know they're there!


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