knitting royale

when we arrived home sunday this is what remained of that glorious gold foliage which served as the backdrop for our photo shoot just 7 days earlier.

it’s just like the theater . . . once the scenery is gone and the house has emptied, you wonder if you really saw what you saw.

i have so much to talk about that i already know i can’t fit it all in one post. i wanted to write yesterday, but i had classes, a server breakdown (can i just say one more time that joe is a genius AND my hero?), orders to print, and loads of office-ey tasks to catch up on (i’d rather be talking about knitting, but such is life).
even my knitting was stalled yesterday for the most part, though i did get some done late last night.

we had a great trip east—i didn’t take nearly enough pictures, but maybe next time i’ll feel more comfortable with that. i especially wanted to share a beautiful old cemetery that we visited on friday, where much of my extended family is buried. but it was bitter cold, so we just tended the graves we came to visit and did not walk around much.

albany is a very old city—in fact, the first dutch settlement in america, during the early 1600s. this cemetery was opened in the mid-1800s, but graves from an even older burial ground downtown were moved to this spot at that time. so it’s very cool; when you enter the long, iron-fenced drive, between rows of tall trees, the first lots near the entrance have the oldest stones and monuments. various paths wind into the deep, narrow property, and up the hillside.
it’s sooo beautiful. some time i will get photos there.

so, let’s start with simurgh, shall we?
i am all done with the first half of my stole.

it’s looking good, but i have some decisions to make. the test knitters and i are all knitting different versions, some not even in the pattern (hey—change is good). jocelyn is knitting the straight petite size in the geisha yarn, colorway, shadow (same yarn as me). hers is coming out a little narrower than i thought (which makes me nervous), but it’s not blocked yet, and silk grows a lot, so we are waiting to see what the finished size will be.

it’s a good question though: how petite do you like a petite size to be in length and width? i mean, if i’m going to offer sizes they should be right—right?? is 21 inches too wide for petite, or 18 inches too narrow? and what about the length? tall people should vote too; i am all ears . . .

i am knitting the tall width and the petite length (i know—i can’t even follow my own pattern as written). but i’m doing it for a reason.
oh. no—i’m doing it for two reasons.

A) i want to see if indeed the petite size should be wider. and
B) i want to see if one skein of geisha will still be enough to make the petite size if it’s wider (the tall size will certainly require a second skein).

so i split my yarn in half and started the first stole half with the slightly smaller ball. now i’m done and i can see that indeed, i can knit half the stole with half a skein of geisha

and still have some left over. hehe. ok, not much.
which means you’d better knit REALLY close to my gauge, or tighter, to make a similar hybrid.
but you could do it.

we’ll see when the final blocking is done whether i will need to adjust the width in the pattern.

meanwhile, rachael has been quietly and diligently working away on another version of the stole. she is knitting the tall size with the laci merino yarn in thraven on a smaller needle. my prediction was that if you prefer laci, you could knit a petite stole using the tall instructions and the lighter yarn. you know, just to give you options.
however, what rachael is finding is that her stole is somewhere in between . . not as big as the tall would be in geisha, but not as small as the petite in geisha. interesting; doesn’t meet my predictions, but all good info for those who looove substituting yarn.

i still adore with the edging, both knitting it and looking at it . . . and it’s even longer in geisha.
i want to block this first half to see what i end up with, but i also want to get it right back on the needles and knit to the finish so we can do another full photo shoot with it.

maybe i’ll just pin block and snap a few pix. i dunno.

and check this out, dudes—remember my good friend nan, who test knit irtfa’a (her first faroese shawl)?
i swear, this is true: she cast off the last bit of edging and do you know what she did then?
she cast on for a second irtfa’a, because she liked making the first one so much.

of course, i also feel a bit of a tug to cast on for another faroese. hmmm, we’ll see. i have to dig through my goodie box and see what yarn in the queue needs to be used shown off.

(oh wow. the mail carrier just dropped off the mail they were holding at the post office when we were gone. hmm. after telling rachel that 80 percent of our packages are for david, today i see that 100 percent are for me. and they are all soft and squishy, except for the books. looks like tomorrow we should all bring drool rags.)

now, let’s talk about some more knitting in progress (seriosuly, there is so much to talk about; i hope i have time to blog every day this week.).
the geese wrap is also getting very close to half-done. in fact i can tell you the name: oh! canada.

it makes great car knitting both going and coming, and i found it also makes a great piece to take along to class. i can pretty much knit it without looking, and it feels so good i don’t want to put it down.

that photo is for jessica—she’ll know why . . .

and now for something really special. i told you i was working a bee sock right? in response to a special request from our lovely friend kim from the woolen rabbit.

kim has a beautiful new hi-twist merino sock yarn and she sent me some in her tupelo gold colorway with a plea to create a bee sock.

now, if you’ve not been feeling your usual queen bee mojo lately, and are in need a little pick-me-up; you know, something to wear with those peter fox mules, when you need a dose of “specialness”, then i think i might have the sock for you.

i know they’re ornate, but don’t they appeal to that teeny weeny little liberace streak we all have somewhere inside us (he had peter fox mules; i’m sure of it)?

i never really intended to go this route with them, but i was foundering around for a cohesive sock design (it’s harder than you think to morph a shawl into a sock), and i finally just started. i decided the socks could design themselves, and you know what? they are.

it’s a little creepy if you think about it too long, so just . . . don’t.

ok, and secondly (as if being queen weren’t enough), if you like a little touch of gold on your ba-a-ad queenly self—as in 24k-jewelry-gold, then this is the color for you.
do these socks not look like they are carved from a hunk of the stuff?

let’s take a peek at the back of the heel (i know kim is wriggling in her seat right now and i don’t want to make her wait any longer.

now, you wouldn’t have to add bees all the way down to the heel as i did here (but you would if you were answering to your inner liberace . . . or queen bee).

and i have a name for this one too—it just occurred to me this morning.
since the bee is the symbol of royalty, let’s call them marie antoinette.
(she didn’t have peter fox mules—she invented them).

41 Responses to “knitting royale”

  1. Jocelyn says:

    Oh, ack! No more gorgeous socks!! NOW which ones will I do first, the acorn socks, or Marie Antoinettes (which is the perfect name, btw)? Decisions, decisions…

    I’ll think about it while I go teach my class :)

  2. Karen S says:

    Beautiful, and maybe just the thing to lure my sock-mojo back with ;-) (it has been a-walk for several days now… I don’t know what to do!)…
    I really wish for those… BUT paypal (insert favorite curse words here) has gone haywire with my account and closed it in my face as I was trying to pay you for the raven shawl!!! Now, I have to have my friend pay for it for me…. because I NEED it!!! (though I am not allowed to cast on before Christmas… hmm, it feels almost like a dare!)
    Cheers from a gloomy Copenhagen

  3. Kim says:

    OMGoodness! You really outdid yourself…I LOVE that heel….and yes, I was squirming in my seat…LOL! Wheeeeeeee!

    BTW….as a short person, I usually prefer a shorter in length stole or shawl, but I like the stoles wider than petite. For Bee, I am making the width of the tall version, but reducing the length, so I don’t get lost in it :-)

  4. marianne says:

    Oh Anne, I’m still on my knees from Irtfa’a… and now you bring on these bee socks… I’ve been watching them grow and am just beside myself over them.
    I bought and downloaded Irtfa’a yesterday and I’ve spent quite some time just reading through… this shawl has touched me in a way no other has. Thank you.

  5. Josiane says:

    Gorgeous socks again today!
    It will be interesting to see the different versions of Simurgh, especially as those two yarns seem to be quite different indeed. I’m really curious to see what effect will be conferred by each of them.

  6. Carrie says:

    I’ll be interested to hear how those socks wear if you put them in regular shoes. Would you even do that? It seems like the little bees on the back of the heel might rub funny. Are you on the payroll for shoe companies, making us buy their shoes to wear with your pretty socks? Sneaky sneaky.

  7. Rachael says:

    Oh, I can’t believe you made socks out of the bee shawl, that’s SO cool.

  8. Vicki says:

    i love the socks! I will make a pair of those. I agree with nan! I want to knit another too! This is my first farose and I think I am in love. The call of the stole is also calling, I can’t to see all of the versions and see what you finally decide upon. The wrap is looking good too. I don’t know when you sleep. As for the petite size, I am not tall and I like a wider version of a stole with a slightly shorter length. If a stole is too narrow I don’t feel like it covers enough of me up.

  9. Kyrie says:

    Note to self. Breathe.

  10. Erica says:

    I am so in love with the simurgh! I don’t know how you crank out all of these amazing patterns so quickly, but I clearly need to learn how to make time warp so that I can catch up!

  11. Debbie says:

    It’s a good thing that you tell us all about the technical stuff first: length of the shawl, width, and so forth, because after we SEE what you’re doing over there, I completely forget the first part of your blog!!! The socks are so awesome! the shawl is stunning! The geese, oh, my the geese!!!! It’s all too much, too much, I tell you; I must lie down. Whew.

  12. Kate says:

    DOOOOOOOD!!!! The BEES!! THE BEES! I want I want I want!! That heel is to-die. Seriously.

    OK next can you do something with dragonflies? In tall grass? Pleeeeease? :D

    You are just amazing!

  13. Angeluna says:

    Anne, you have to stop this. Stop, stop, stop!!!! I am on total sensory overload with all this gorgeousness. I want to knit everything! NOW!

  14. Judy says:

    I love it all. The bees to the toe are beautiful and girly. Nice touch.
    The geese are flying right along. I can’t wait to see the middle.

  15. beverly says:

    That is divine. I adore seeing your designs and love to read your blog, but today, I’m a bit peeved. Why, oh, why did you link to Peter Fox’s shoes? I may not rest until I have a pair=–seriously, they are amazing, and I may have to wear a bib when reading your blog from now on!!!!!!

  16. Gertieanne says:

    Hi Anne,

    I am tempted to say stop making new patterns, because I just want to buy them all. Just kidding. Please, keep up the beautiful work. I think I will be buying the Marie Antionette sock pattern as soon as you put it up for sale. Just don’t know when I will find the time to make all these projects. How do you find the time?

  17. Rachel says:

    She invented them, eh? hehehehe,,,
    At first glance I thought those bees are visiting the toes not the heel, stupid me and I adore the edging of Simurgh.

  18. Rachel says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention I love old cemeteries, they have such beautiful ones in Europe, a real treat!

  19. Amanda says:

    those socks look so rich, i’d be afraid to touch them! almost fragile looking…
    oh canada! does look extra squishy and wonderful…i think there’s something terribly warm looking about a stole that’s bordered with garter stitch.
    and of course, i can’t fail to mention simurgh. very pretty and lacy. i can’t wait to see the blocking shots!

  20. Tonia says:

    Oh my I think I just peed myself looking at those socks. So when will that pattern be available? My feet want elaborate. They look so fun to knit too.

  21. Mary says:

    Yep, there’s lots of history buried in that cemetery–including a US President. (I’m also from Albany.)

    I’m still plugging away on the Honeybee Stole — please don’t distract me with more gorgeous designs!

  22. Kirsten says:

    Those socks are truly amazing!

  23. Catherine H says:

    I’m lovin’ the bee sock, just look at that heel! *swoon*

  24. Christy says:

    So many gorgeous things! I almost don’t know what to comment on…until I saw the bee-heel. I think I’m in love!

  25. Karla says:

    I’m from Albany, too, and I think I know which cemetery you’re talking about–so beautiful. I’m in San Francisco now and while it’s nice enough there’s nothing like home.

  26. Maria says:

    Now, I’m a fairly short person – only 58 inches tall. So, I’m not sure if I qualify as “petite” or just “really short”. But for me, 18″ is a much better stole width if I’m going out. If I’m just lounging around the house, it doesn’t really matter and if it was wider, it’d just be more of a blanket! Gorgeous socks and stole though – can’t wait to knit both!

  27. Tara says:

    OK, I’m just going to have to add the Oh Canada wrap to my wish list (I AM Canadian after all). It looks absolutely scrumptious. In the meantime, I’m off to lock myself in the bathroom to stop myself from buying any Woolen Rabbit (It’s been on my wish list for a while, but I just binged on some Fearless Fibers :) . What will tomorrow bring???

  28. stacey says:

    the shawl is beautiful – you can see the little glimmers of purple in the sunlight…..

  29. Rachel says:

    Those are really nice, and I especially like your acorn socks! They were hard to distinguish when they were on the needles, but the foot photos really made the acorn motifs pop! Great job!

  30. liz says:

    I’ll weigh in on the petite issue. I’m 5’1″. I like a 20″ width because I’m long-waisted and I still want it wide enough to be nice wrap, but I don’t want it as long from end to end.

  31. Dina says:

    Just when I resolve – for real this time – that three bins of yarn is enough, and I will *not* be buying any more yarn until springtime, you give me a peek a bee socks. Oh Canada is quite yummy too, and I don’t have the words for the raven shawl or stole, but oh! the bees…You slay me, you really do.

    As for the stole, I just finished the Twinings stole in the petite size. (Except that I didn’t buy enough yarn to make its full length, and it blocked out to 63 inches. Thankfully I’m short, so it’s only an inch shorter than I am, and so long enough. If I weren’t such an idiot, I would have bought enough yarn, and the longer length would have been fine. But an idiot I remain, so.)

    All that is a long way around of saying, I liked the width of the petite size (mine blocked out to 21″). A little wider would probably be okay, but I think if it were any narrower I would use it as a scarf rather than a wrap.

  32. dana says:

    i’m so happy to see that simurgh is nearing completion. i’m anxiously awaiting the blocking photos. i’m wanting to start knitting on simurgh now. (i’ll just have to content myself with my lenore socks)

    i’m 5’2″. i do like my shawls to be on the generous side. i knit the honeybee shawl in the tall size, and i love how it looks on me. i do not think it is too big. the idea of wider appeals to me. i like to wear shawls and stoles for style, but also for warmth. my office is cold almost all year long.

  33. cherie says:

    …joining the club here, waiting for the moment that the Marie Antoinette pattern is ready for sale! I think they will look quite fetching with my Born clogs, yes??? :)

  34. Michelle says:

    We have a lot of beautiful cemetaries out here in Albany, which one were you at? I LOVE Oakwood Cemetary, in Troy, we have picnics there when the weather is nice :)

  35. Jean says:

    Gorgeous stuff, Anne. Can’t wait to see simurgh done and blocked!

  36. LynnH says:

    Inner Liberace! What an apt name for a part of us all.

    Yes, that sock looks pure 24K gold, and the bees are just perfect for the yarn. I would not want to attempt a shawl-to-sock conversion… but you made this one look so perfect we would not know it took a bit o’wrangling.

    Nice job.

  37. Beth S. says:

    Oh Anne, that bee sock is simply incredible! :-) I love, love, love the back of the leg. Too sexy, my friend, too sexy! :-)

  38. Opal says:

    Such beautiful knitting! I can’t wait to see the bee socks on the foot.

  39. Lorraine says:

    Anne- My sister has a pair of Peter Fox shoes- black suede with red piping- she let me look at them once.
    Okay, so the Raven shawl, then the stole, Bee Fields, Bee socks, Oh Canada- Casino- that should take me into 2009-
    …I can’t take this anymore.

  40. yvette says:

    Those socks are amazing, now all you have to do is add some extra hours onto each day, so that the rest of us can keep up with your genius designs.

  41. Teyani says:

    love the bee socks – they look so outrageously playful !