Even here in the Dirty South, the cold is coming. Well, as much cold as we get here, which by Northern standards is more like a brief flirtation with the idea of being chilly. Still, the air has gone from soft to crisp, and I’ve been here long enough that I get whiny at anything below about 45 Fahrenheit (that’s around 7 Celsius for the rest of the world). (I’ve also been here long enough that I describe temperature in Fahrenheit, though I use the ‘double it and add 30’ conversion from Bob & Doug McKenzie* to make sense of it.) Here are the latest preparations for the eight week onslaught of not-being-quite-warm-enough.
Gloves! These gloves have been rattling around in my work basket for two years. Almost exactly two years, it turns out: according to my Ravelry project page, I started these on October 29, 2011. I finished them last night. I was briefly embarrassed to admit this, and then realized that it really doesn’t matter: they took as long as they took, and now they’re done, and the work basket didn’t explode for having held them for so long. The design is most pleasing, with enough detail to be interesting while being clean enough to show off the yarn. My favourite bit is the way Mueller uses the cable knot to bring the glove in at the wrist, and then tapers the ribbing up the back so that the hand widens gradually, instead of poofing out all of a sudden.
She’s put some thought into these gloves, and it shows. The yarn impresses me, too: a merino/cashmere/nylon blend with a very tight twist, not baby’s butt soft, but very springy and hopefully hard-wearing, which is what you want in a glove yarn. Indeed, I suspect that these things will outlive me. (Pattern: Knotty Gloves, by Julia Mueller. For some serious glove pr0n, check out her other designs. Those are some serious gloves right there. Yarn: Skinny Bugga! by The Sanguine Gryphon in Northern Purple Gold Beetle. SG is no more, but the dyers have gone on to become Cephalopod Yarns and The Verdant Gryphon, and have brought the Bugga! line with them.)
Next up, some handspun socks.
These are my usual 3×1 rib, toe-up, make-it-up-as-you-go-along socks, but with a completely different heel. I decided to try Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel, and while I was suspicious of the lack of gusset increases, I am completely sold on this method. It’s a bit tight across the arch, so I’ll probably add a couple of increases next time, but the rounded heel fits so nicely, much better than the usual right-angle heel.
I have high hopes for the yarn, too. It’s BFL/Silk fibre in Liberty from Pigeonroof Studios, which I chain plied with a tight plying twist (see above re: twist and durability) and then knit at a very dense gauge. With a bit of luck, these choices — fibre type, yarn structure, fabric density — will make for some hard wearing socks. Fingers crossed.
* What conversion method? This one right here. You hoser.