Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WIP Wednesday: Merlot Vine Socks

Socktoberfest means it's time for another pair of socks for me. Haven't made many this year. This one is Yarn4Socks' October offering, Merlot Vine, designed by Anne Hanson, author of the Knitspot blog. The nice thing about this sock "club" is that one doesn't need to subscribe. I just bought this single kit. I fell in love with the yarn when I saw it on Anne's site several months ago. The colorway is "Arial," 100 percent superwash merino, fingering weight from Twisted Fiber Arts.

Merlot Vine Sock

I love knitting with this yarn. It's the tiniest bit splitty, but I can easily live with it. More importantly, the dye completely saturated the base yarn, so there are none of those white spots or pale areas one finds in some other skeins. The pattern is lovely too, though a bit obscured by the yarn.

This is the first time I've done a short row toe that begins with a provisional cast on. I used a splitty waste yarn on the first sock - a mistake. A very irritating mistake. I kept picking up the yarn through the bump instead of under and it was impossible to unravel the waste yarn. Curses! The green yarn in the background is my "Seattle yarn." I'll blog about it later. I was on the plane back home when I started the second sock. All I had was this "Seattle yarn" to use as waste yarn and no crochet hook. First I tried to do a turkish cast on for the required 34 stitches and discovered quickly that it doesn't work. I used a seaming needle with a crooked tip in place of the crochet hook to make the crochet chain from the "Seattle yarn," and once I got the hang of it, it worked well.

Merlot Vine Socks

It's hard to see the crochet chain in these pix because the waste yarn and working yarn are similar color.

Merlot Vine Socks

Merlot Vine Socks

I've had lots of left over yarn from other socks, so in an attempt to avoid this, I put the first sock on waste yarn without cutting the working yarn after the required number of leg repeats and cast on the second sock from the center pull. I can add more leg repeats with whatever remaining yarn there is.

Barbara flattered me enormously by nominating me a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Thanks Barbara! I haven't rocked much this spring and summer because I've traveled almost every month since May, mostly for work. I haven't kept up with your blogs or mine, or anything else it seems. I haven't kept up with knitting either. I have a gizillion almost finished pieces that, frankly, I just don't feel like working on. I've been to Lansing, Michigan, including a quick trip to Detroit; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Tucson, Arizona; San Francisco; twice to El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico; and twice to Seattle, Washington, and managed to visit yarn shops almost everywhere. I bought "souvenirs," of course. I wrote about Woven Arts, Unravel and Artfibers. I've also visited Loop in Philly, and So Much Yarn in Seattle, City Knits in Detroit - I will write about those later. They are beautiful shops with lovely, friendly staff. I should also write about El Paso's little yarn/shop cleaners, but it needs to be seen to be believed and I don't have pix. I guess it doesn't really look funny, but it's a strange concept.

My laptop crashed before my trip to Seattle last week, so that didn't help! I turned the dang thing on one morning and the screen stayed black. I totally panicked! I hate to admit it but a good portion of my life is online: I telecommute one day week, pay bills, read newspapers, shop, read and send e-mail, I take it with me on all my trips, and there's my online knitting life too, of course. I just sat and stared at the black screen for about 5 minutes before I summoned the presence of mind to call Dell. They are going to replace the motherboard, and I've borrowed a laptop from work in the meantime. They say that I won't lose any data, and I pray this is true. I swear I'll throw a fit if I have to reload my music and postcasts on iTunes. I don't throw fits. I usually roll with most things, but just the thought of it...I'm going to start looking for those hacks that allow one to transfer data from an iPod back to a computer. I hear they work. I'll give the laptop another 18 months after the motherboard replacement, then it will probably be time for a new one. It's only 3 years old. Don't any of these machines last longer than that?


  1. That sock yarn is pretty & I like that you don't have to join a club & can buy a single kit. That's why I won't join any clubs...what if I only like 6 kits out of 12?

    Amazingly, although I have a love/hate relationship with Dell, my laptop's lasted almost 5 years. I never would've believed it but now that I've put it out there, I'm sure it'll break down.

  2. Hi Ava! I'm glad you visited and left a comment, because I edited my blogroll the other day, and accidently deleted your blog and didn't realize it. So, you're back on the 'roll'. The Dale baby sleeves are more than half way done! I also love the color of your sock yarn. I need to make some socks before I forget how!

  3. the colors of your sock are gorgeous! so bright and delightful. i want to sigh and sigh and sigh over them. and, can't wait to see the finished project.

  4. I do love the yarn despite the hurtful pink and green combo! LOL I will have to check out her sock kits!
    Dang you really wanted to do that 2nd sock on the plane! Haha!

    I didn't realized you travel SO much with your job! (gotta email me and tell me what you do woman!)
    Well now I feel honored that you take time to read AND comment on my blog. TY!!

    My gosh! I had my laptop crash on my 2 years in and got it fixed by a friend who recovered everything since my warranty was dead by then. I have had it now for 5 years so I consider myself blessed! ;o)
    I am sure your info will be recovered too! But doesn't hurt to look at your plan B.



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