This was a great yarn weekend, but I'll talk about that later. Meanwhile, some progress in certain projects.
My father's socks. This is mostly through the gusset increases on the second one. I'd decideded to go with Fleegle's No-Flap, No-Hassle heel. This makes a triangular shaped heel, and I haven't decided whether I like it yet. Part of the problem is that my father isn't here to try on the sock, and I'm just guessing at the size. I think it may look better on the actual foot it's meant for.
As for the black Cathay scoop neck top...well, it turns out there was just enough yarn to finish it, but then I looked at it and thought, Oh, it's just a black tank top. Blah. So I decided to buy another ball of the Cathay (at This Is Knit, and of course, totally different dye lot, but it's for the sleeves/ribbing, so I'm going to call it okay) and I'm going to do the cap sleeves. I have a lot of cap sleeve tees, and I love them, so why not one more? Plus, I'm excited about trying to figure out how to do a cap sleeve. I have some ideas.
Third project on the needles is this:
Looks terrible, but that's the curse of unblocked lace. It's Eunny Jang's Print O' The Wave Stole, knit in a cobweb-weight merino from Margaret Stove I got in New Zealand last year. Here's a better picture of the lace pattern:
I'm on the fourth repeat, and if I do say so myself, it's gorgeous. I can't wait 'til it's done. It's slow going, because, although the lace pattern isn't difficult at all, I'm scared to death of making a mistake, and so I've been too nervous to work the pattern from memory. I sit there with the chart in front of me. I put in the lifeline after every repeat, too, which slows things down only a little bit.
Speaking of lifelines, if it seems like there are a lot of random ends of yarn in that first picture of the lace, it's because I've got the normal lifeline, and two vertical lifelines. I first heard about them on either the Knittyboard or Knitter's Review forums, and found a description in Fleegle's blog. Basically, it's a way to help pick up stitches around the vertical edge of a piece of knitting. After I'm done with the centre panel of the stole, the instructions say to pick up 240 stitches at each long edge of the piece. 240! I hate picking up stitches. It's probably why I will never do a standard heel flap for a sock again. No matter how careful I am, it always seems messy and haphazard to me- more an art than a science. Putting in a vertical lifeline is easy- I just have to remember to loop my working yarn around a piece of waste yarn at the beginning of every row, thus "carrying" a piece of waste yarn up the side of my work. This means every other loop at the vertical edges of my work will have a lifeline through it. When it comes time to pick up the stitches, they'll be picked up already, almost- I just have to run my needle through those loops. Since it's only every other row, I'll probably also have to pick up a few extra here and there, it's way better than 240 all at once! Here's a blurry close-up of the vertical lifeline:
I remembered it after I'd done most of the first repeat, but it'll definitely be a life- and sanity-saver when the time comes, I think.