Thursday, January 31, 2008

Designer Drive-By!

Hi! I'm Alyson, your Daydreamer Sock pattern designer!

I hope everyone enjoys this pattern very much - I went through a number of different incarnations in my head on this one before I settled on this. The allover stitch pattern used is pretty basic, and the reason for that, as explained in the pattern, is that the suggested cashmere fiber yarn can by its very nature be at odds with fitted objects. When we knit, our cashmere is usually reserved for items that don't necessarily have to hold shape: shawls, scarves, etc. That's because cashmere isn't a very memory-heavy fiber, and it'll stretch and relax pretty easily. A lace rib pattern allows the sock to fit snugly, while still having a little bit of pizzazz. And I wanted to do a toe-up design for two reasons: to be able to use up every last drop of this wonderful fluffy stuff, and because toe-up sock fans don't always get the love. This design would be very simple to convert to top-down, however - the stitch pattern is pretty basic, so flipping it upside down won't mess with your head.

And the flowers? Okay, when I first thought about adding them to the sock, I thought it was maybe a bit too...twee. Too cutesy. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I went with it, and figured for my own pair, I'd stitch them on loosely for the photos and then pull them back off....which is definitely NOT what I ended up doing. Can I just tell you how much I love these silly little flowers?? I want to knit them for all my items, hide them in hems and cuffs, just as a sweet touch. The flowers take literally five minutes each to create, and were such fun to me that I kind of went nuts when I first pinned them to the sock. It's only thanks to my husband's, "Uh, don't you think that's a bit much?" that you didn't receive a pattern directing you to attach ten flowers to the cuff, three to the heel and one to the toe. (I maintain that I think one on the toe would be adorable.) But I figure you're not likely to cram your cashmere-besocked feet into a pair of shoes, so slap those flowers on anywhere you like! (I finished this pattern right around the time the Yarn Harlot started her leaf socks, so I was definitely feeling her on the sudden and inexplicable obsession with knitting dozens of tiny objects to be slapped onto a sock.)

I know you're all thinking that knitting cashmere into socks is insane. I know you are. And it's just a pattern, so you can use whatever yarn you like to knit them, I know! (Any Zen Yarn Garden yarn, of course!) But let me talk you into the cashmere ones, won't you? I have a tale:

So when I was test-knitting - I test knit all my own patterns, especially the ones in cashmere, don’t ya know – the fluffy look was irresistible to people who would constantly reach out and touch the socks and ooh and ahh over the feel of them. My reaction inwardly was "Don't touch! You'll fuzz them!!" but my less over-protective outward reaction was to just agree that they were to die for. Knitters, however, always said the same thing: "Cashmere SOCKS?? Are you NUTS??!!?!" And my response for the first 2/3 of the sock was, "I know, I know, I'm writing a pattern, that's all." But then I tried the thing on. I put it on at work, after working a bit past the heel at lunch and I sat at my desk for two hours, finding excuses to not get up. There was a ball of yarn sitting on my desk, anchored to my foot by way of a half-knit sock. I couldn't take it off. I'd even knit them a few sizes too small for my own feet, just to ensure that I'd not wear them and either give them as a gift or put them under glass on display. Now I'm thinking that them being a bit small just makes them nice and snug and they’ll get plenty of wear. There's no way this yarn wasn't meant for socks! Just give them a try!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January's "Spoiler"

I am quite sure most of you have received your packages - at least that's my hope! Here's the spoiler and if you don't care to look at the photo up close and personal, don't click the photo! :)

Our wonderful designer will be dropping by the blog to introduce herself to the group and to write a bit about the surprise in January's package. Alyson has a fabulous way with patterns that's for sure! I now need to learn toe-up so I can try this design too :)

Has anyone cast on with the cashmere yet?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

January's "Teaser"

Oh me oh my, here's a little teaser for you to whet your appetite! I am so wanting to just curl up with all these cashmere yarns and am having a heckuva time letting them go out the door tomorrow! Oh yes, the surprise nice and I hope everyone likes it...I'm beyond pleased with it - just fabulous. We will have a guest appearance by the person responsible for the surprise too so keep watching the blog for more info in about a week's time.

I'm putting the club on hiatus until about March/April due to some pending commitments but have a few ideas brewing for when I re-start so stay tuned! It'll probably involve a club name change and a bit of re-focus but I'm hoping everyone will enjoy the idea too - it will, of course, still focus on luxury yarns :)

In the meantime, have a few cashmere dreams because these beauties are on their way tomorrow! Ahhhhhhhh, cashmere!!!