Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Yarn shopping in Turkey

While honeymooning in Turkey, I couldn't resist checking out the local yarn shops. Thanks to Polly, I knew just where to go to find yarn near the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

I purchased three hanks of sparkly fakey-fake yarn in turquoise, lime green, and burgundy. I'm not sure yet what I'll use it for -- it might make a cool bag. Or I could carry it along with something softer and fuzzier and make some funky scarves. We also spent a few days in Izmir, on the Aegean Sea, and there we located the covered bazaar, Kizlaragasi Han, which also has several yarn shops in the vicinity. (Again, thanks, Polly!)

At one of those shops I found some really soft, really pretty gold-flecked bright orange yarn for Emily's birthday. I can't wait to see what she turns it into!

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Kiri and Clapotis in action

Here we are, the happy newlyweds and Kiri, at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony! So far none of the pictures show off Kiri very well, but the official wedding photos aren't in yet.

Jessie wore Clapotis at the wedding too, as you can see here.

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Ring-bearing pouch

John and I may have gotten a little carried away in our frenzy to make stuff for the wedding. He made all the invitations, stationery, place cards, and centerpieces, and I knitted my shawl and gifts for the bridesmaids. Somewhere along the way I got it in my head that I would knit a little pouch to hold the rings during the ceremony, instead of those funny little pillows that are traditionally used. Last Minute Knitted Gifts had the perfect pattern for a drawstring pouch, which I modified to make it smaller (about 2 inches by 3 inches) but otherwise followed pretty closely -- used the same yarn and construction. This ended up being pretty last-minute -- completed just 5 days before the wedding -- but it was also a real quickie. My mom says it looks like a willy warmer, but we used it in the ceremony anyway. I made an extra I-cord to thread through the rings inside the pouch, in theory to make the rings easier to retrieve, but in practice probably just an extra layer of complexity. Everything went smoothly nonetheless and we are now happily married!

Ring-bearing pouch
Started: May 21
Finished: May 23
Pattern: Soft Drawstring Pouch from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Blue Sky Silk Alpaca, ecru, much less than one skein
Needles: US 6 dpns


Emily's stripey socks

So I decided to make a pair of socks for Emily to thank her for being in the wedding and for being a wonderful friend in general. Envisioning colorful stripey socks, I purchased these lovely skeins of Charcoal and Rainbow Lorna's Laces sock yarn on eBay. I found this Spun Magazine pattern for Basic Ribbed Socks, which looked nice and simple. This article was also very helpful, especially for pointing me to the twisted German cast-on, which is so easy and stretchy! This was not the first pair of socks I ever started, but it would be the first pair I'd complete. (The Koigu sock is still on the needles, but I plan to rip it out and start over one of these days, probably with a different pattern -- maybe something toe-up with a short row heel.)

Before I started the actual socks, I did a little swatch in the form of the first few rows of a sock. I wanted to make sure my gauge was right (which it wasn't -- I needed to go up a needle size) and figure out what looked best -- single rows alternated, or multiple rows of each skein at a time, or some funky fair isle pattern. It was fun to experiment and spontaneously change whenever I felt like it. In the end I went with alternating single rows of each skein. The fair isle looked kind of neat, but I wasn't sure I'd be able to get the tension right for the floats.

Here's how the socks came out. They aren't identical twins (maybe my gauge changed a little on the second one), but they're pretty close. Best of all, they fit Emily!

Emily's stripey socks
Started: May 11
Finished: May 21
Pattern: Basic Ribbed Socks from Spun Magazine
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, 1 skein Charcoal, 1 skein Rainbow
Needles: US 2 dpns

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