So, what have you been working on obsessively?

I intend to answer that. But first: new socks!

2009 6-20 001

These are my Comfort Socks.

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Multy (I swear it says Multy on the tag, even though this looks more like a solid)
Pattern: Party Socks for Little Girls, from a Patons pamphlet from 1968
Mods: knit over more stitches, using my own heel and toe and using 4x2 rib (I think) instead of 1x1 as called for in the pattern.

I think I neglected to blog about it last year, but for my birthday, my awesome husband compiled a gigantic binder of vintage patterns, many of which are sock patterns. I was casting about for a sock to start, and came across it again on my bookshelf. This pamphlet was the first one I pulled out, and the Ranco Multy seemed to go with it pretty well, so off I went. Normally I work off a list of pattern-yarn combinations that I've had going for many years at this point, so I should go through the rest of the vintage patterns and make sure some of them make that list.

The pattern was interesting in that it called for a sl 1, k1, psso left-slanting decrease, which I'd never done and which doesn't seem to be so common anymore. It makes a more visible decrease, I think, and I like how it looks paired with yo-s.

Here's a somewhat better shot of the pattern:

2009 6-20 004

Next up, cabley socks for Sock Knitters Anonymous's May Knitalong.

2009 6-27 004

Yarn: Oceanwind Knits Merino Sock in the Sweet Sheep colorway
Pattern: my own, a 4-cable x 2-purl plain sock

Oceanwind Knits is just incredibly wonderful. The plies are very plump, and I think I've used the word "nubbley" to describe it in about four different places - probably with different spellings each time - and I will continue to use it, because it just describes it so well. The colors are complex and interesting, and to top it all off, it's soft. I can't wait to wear these, but, along with the comfort socks, they've gone into a drawer until Autumn comes back.

And again:

2009 6-27 007

New socks on the needles, because I probably should knit my summer sockyarn while it's still summer:

2009 7-3 008

Panda Cotton, using the Broad Spiral Ribbing pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks. Started with Nibblets, but the pooling was too much for me. This pooling is okay.

And for the main act: the Knitting for Peace messenger bag!

Several/many years ago, I made my mom a small felted purse. It's pretty beat by now, and also she's learned to knit in the meantime, so she asked if I would help her make one herself. We quickly got down to planning, and all the talk of felting suddenly precipitated a desperate urge to cast on for this messenger bag, which I've been planning on making - and had the yarn for - for a couple years.

I started knitting last Saturday, and here's where we are so far.

That maybe doesn't look so impressive, so here's my hand for scale:

Whoa, right? Right. (Please tell me right, this probably represents about 15 hours of knitting.)

This project is also exciting because it gives me the opportunity to dig out my fabric stash to make a lining. I don't really have much red that has the same bluish tint that the cranberry-colored yarn does, so I'm considering going with browns or tans.

Someone mentioned on a blog once that using light-colored fabric for lining makes it much easier to see down into the bag when you're looking for something, so right now my plan is to use the lightest fabric on the far left to line the inside, and then the brown and white flowers on the right to line the flap. The bottom one also matches well, but there's only a fat quarter of it. I'm strategizing for pockets in the lining and maybe a flat one on the inside of the flap, but don't have a solid plan yet, and probably won't until I felt it.

I'm getting a bit nervous about my supply of yarn, but I don't think it's a matter of not being able to finish. It's more a matter of having a short-ish strap and maybe not enough to add pockets on to the outside part of the bag under the flap. Outside pockets would greatly increase the usability, though, so here's hoping I have enough for all of that.

Okay, enough of my jibberjabber. Have a great fourth celebration, if you're in the US, and a great fourth if you're not!

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