Tuesday, December 2, 2008

There's a new sock in town

I knit a lot of socks. Not as many as some, but I do my part. Mostly lately I've been doing pretty plain vanilla socks, things I can do in meetings and don't take much thought. In fact, I've gone a pretty good way towards using up my sock stash. Granted it was never very large but it was large enough that I haven't been buying it lately.

I did, however, go to Enticements in Decatur on Saturday and saw this Berroco Sox yarn. I've stated before and will again that I'm not usually a big fan of the variagated yarn but this is self-striping - a very different animal altogether. The colors really struck me on this (color #1425) so I bought it and got started on a sock. What about these colors, huh? All my really favorite, really saturated colors. I love it. And looking at the link above, I really, really, (no, really) love the colorways. I think I'm going to have to get me some more of this.

I've decided I must be a Berroco girl because I've been doing tons with it lately and am loving every Berroco yarn I'm getting my hands on. My goodness. You might like to know that they have a Berroco newsletter that's a lot of fun and has links for free patterns and lots of great info. You can sign up from their web site (see the link above). You can also find the link for their blogs from that page. Good stuff, Maynard!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ode to a Mug

I really like mugs. I have a few mugs in my cupboard. Not as many as I used to. I used to have a wonderful mug collection including a number of mugs from Dunoon Pottery but I lost all of them in a fire a number of years ago. But the ones I have have a special story are of special interest to me.

Now, I don’t go for just any mug. There are criterion.

It has to have some weight – none of those cheap, flimsy things. If it’s going to be called a mug, you gotta know you’re holding on to something. There is a difference between cheap/flimsy and porcelain. Porcelain mugs won't have the same heft but then they have to have the translucence.

Next, it has to have great decoration or design. No ponsy flowers or cute little bunnies. It has to be something interesting.

Then it has to have a good shape. No apples with handles, no swimming pools, nothing that holds 2 drops.

Finally, it has to have at least a 3-finger handle. This is something I learned from a very dear friend of mine named Stephanie. We had a few adventures did Steph and I. But probably the most valuable lesson I ever learned from her was that, to be an acceptable mug (or cup), you have to be able to insert at least 3 fingers through the handle. Think about the genius of it. Haven’t you ever had a mug that held about 3 cupfuls of tea or coffee (or other hot beverage) with a handle that only accommodated 1 finger? How do you hold it up? You know what happens – you burn your fingers and/or you drop hot liquid all over your lap. Right? Three fingers – test it now and save heartache later.

I love this mug.
It has everything.
Substantial and can hold a goodly cup of tea.
The Texas flag and a 4-finger handle.
There’s really nothing more one could ask for.

Portuguese Fisherman's Sweater

This is going really fast and I'm pleased with it so far. I'm thinking I could have started the placket a little sooner to make it a little longer but it's fine. Next time. Also next time I will do what I meant to do here which was, when I got to the placket, increase for every stitch in the placket and then move those extra stitches off onto a holder ready to knit up. That would have been much easier than picking up those stitches later! I did also pick up stitches along the right-side edge for every other row and then knitted them off as I went. That was a good move because it made a neat edge and meant I didn't have the bulk of a seam.