Well, maybe not with evening shoes at the opera. But the rest of the time. This of course means several black pairs will have to be made, for state occasions when bright orange or lurid green are inappropriate. Fortunately there are some balls of Bamboo cotton hanging around for just such a purpose. Otherwise, there is now a very real likelihood of some of that huge crate of sock yarn actually getting used up over the next few months, as knee-lengths, ankle-highs, thick ones, thin ones, cabled and lacy, ribbed and downright weird, get cast on, worked up, finished off, and tucked into the Celtic Memory sock drawer thereafter to emerge in strict rotation (or any old how, as the mood strikes), to amaze and delight my fellow citizens.
Have you seen the preview of Winter IK? Now this is one magazine for which Celtic Memory is waiting with ill-concealed impatience. There are actually four - count 'em, four - projects on which I would like to get going immediately, and that's pretty good - often you're lucky to find one, aren't you? What did you like? Me I'm going for the Refined Aran Jacket, the Sweater Girl Pullover, the Celtic Tote and the Tilting Cable Socks for definite. (Do we detect a pattern here? A cabled pattern certainly.)
The Dogi vest is progressing. At last got to the stage of putting the right front on a spare length of yarn and working away on the back, which is going much more speedily since there is only half the number of stitches.
I've folded it at the shoulder here, so you're seeing one half of the overall vest. I love this Wool in the Woods yarn - it's so smooth and crisp you can't believe it's wool but it is. And the colourway, Tropical Storm, is glorious. Looks as though there will be plenty in the five skeins which is just as well, since there isn't any more to be had. However, won't uncross fingers just yet - the pattern for that neckband looks pretty greedy on yarn.
The weather has been grey and November-ish here in West Cork, so much so that a bout of dyeing was required to bring back a little colour to the scenery.
These are some of the new merino-tencel sock yarns which will be going on eBay tonight as soon as the Mi na Samnha listing ends. Here's a close-up of Tidal Pool looking a little drier than when it was dripping on the line.
and here is Strawberry Cream:
So it's sock yarn on eBay this week. Next week will be another SECRET STASH SALE, when (most reluctantly), some of those sumptuous coned yarns are taken out of their shrines and grudgingly skeined up to let other people have a go. Prepare for cashmere/lambswool, kid mohair, cashwool, wool/cotton, and heaven knows what else. Lots of laceweight too, if you're planning shawls as Christmas presents (and who isn't, for Pete's sake?)
Oh and on that topic, listen, listen, Celtic Memory HAS STARTED HER CHRISTMAS GIFT KNITTING! Now this isn't really typical - about mid-December is more usual - but it so happened that I was skeining up some rather nice green sock yarn with a fleck of yellow gold in it, for washing to remove factory dressing, and found faults several times within the first few yards. This often happens when you nab a cone of yarn from the back door of a factory - either it's been tried out and wound back on roughly, or it's been tossed around the place, maybe nibbled by mice, or caught on machinery. You keep going until it reaches the undamaged area and ditch the outer layers.
Which is what I was about to do. And then I stopped and thought again. Waste not, want not. Somewhere there is a little person who would really value that yarn. In my case, a little furry person.
Yes, that tangled yarn in the foreground is going into a washcloth. No, I am not bothered about the idea of a pure wool washcloth. Neither will the recipient be remotely concerned. It's going to be knitted or crocheted in a very loose gauge. It will then be equally loosely wrapped in tissue paper with perhaps the merest thread of tying up. And it will be put on a safely high shelf until Christmas Day when Muffy the Yarnslayer will get her very own festive washcloth. What she does with it is her own business. Yes, I will take pictures.
You think I'm wimping out of that ghost story, don't you? I'm not. Not really. It's just - well, it's just that it doesn't have white-sheeted figures and clanking chains. Nothing you could put your finger on (would you want to put your finger on a ghost? No, neither would I). It's just about an inexplicable experience of terrifyingly elemental evil and stark terror. And it didn't even take place in Ireland but in the far far north west of Scotland. Quite a few years ago. So maybe it's not appropriate. I'll think a bit more about it. Curiously reluctant and not quite sure why.
Finally wearied of wearing out the Celtic Memory eyes trying to see fine stitches by poor light late at night, and took the plunge. An Ott-Lite has been ordered from the UK and should be here next week. Yay! What did we do before the Internet?
(By the way, UK readers and knitters, have you noticed that daylight bulbs - very useful items - come in the bayonet form, while almost every modern table or desk lamp comes with screw-in facilities? Why don't they match up? Who buys the daylight bulbs besides me, and into what sort of lamp do they put them? Where do they FIND these lamps that actually match the bulbs? And related to that issue, is there a vile secret plot to force the entire world into buying lamps which only take expensive designer bulbs which can only be sourced from one manufacturer?)