essentially….i like it so far…

27 09 2007

the new knit picks essential has been around for at least a year so this little review is definitely not timely. however, i had a chance to buy and try some of the newer, softer fingering weight sock yarn when knit picks was having their summer book sale. (incidentally, i got another lace book! huzzah!).

where was i? oh….yarn, like i need more sock yarn.

still, at the prices that knit picks sells their crack yarn, how could i not get a couple of balls to qualify for free shipping? and at the time they were also introducing a new cotton-blend sock yarn and adding colorways to their essential line…i wasn’t being irresponsible by buying all the different new yarns…so why shouldn’t i try to see if their economical yarn could become a real favorite??

i’ll stop rationalizing. but bottom line, i was just curious. so here’s my two cents:

the old essential, i believe, was manufactured in italy. i have a couple pairs worth of this thinnish and somewhat scratchy yarn. i do not enjoy knitting with it (and their simple stripes). others have said that the fabric softens with washing. but honestly, my knitting time is precious and i don’t want to waste it on yarn i could live without. i have almost one cabled sock completed with the old essential. i’ll probably keep it in my ufo pile because i’m enjoying the pattern.

the new essential, on the other hand, is manufactured in peru. it’s definitely softer with a looser twist, but has a decidedly plastic-y feel that reminds me of sometimes squeaky acrylic. i knit the yarn up with size 0 needles producing a spongy fabric that feels light. i really can’t complain; i like the feel of the yarn when i knit and the resulting fabric looks good. but will it hold up? i’m not so sure. i have a feeling it will pill in the wash. of course, i can try to avoid that by hand washing. but, who has time for that?

i picked up the ‘special’ colorway of essential that they put on sale due to a sub-par dye run. i figured i’d try out the sale colors because they were described as more muted. now the colors were not glowing neon but i would say that the colors are still saturated. i will say that i don’t care for the color combo…but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to knit pick’s color style…they have a bare line that you can color yourself. yeah!

in conclusion, as i approach the heel of my sock on my first trial run of kp essential….essentially, i like it. the yarn has the potential to be a good staple yarn, but i’ll be waiting to buy more essential until after i see how it survives the wash. (but damn the prices are tempting!!)

as always, pictures later…still no photoshop on my ‘puter.


blocking photos!!!

19 09 2007

butter has fixed me up a new computer and now i can start posting again!! hooray!! (thank you, babe!)…unfortunately, i still need to install a bunch of programs, including photoshop.

in my blogging absense i have been knitting feverishly on my stole (much to the dismay of my little army of single socks). i will eventually catch up with the sock knitting (and pictures)…but in the meantime, here she is, my arctic diamond stole:




i’m loving the lace…and i can’t wait for post blocking photos. i’ll give a better “fo roundup” when i get more time!

bellatrix socks [no pictures…computer is still broken :(]

1 09 2007

hello. may i introduce you to bellatrix? she is a crazy old broad and runs with the likes of lord volde- shhhhhh! lol…

[imagine a very blurry picture of bella on the plane…skybus! (not a bad flight…very similar to southwest’s service…just not as perky).]

being a hp fan, of course i would want to knit one of the hp themed socks that have been floating around the internet. i dove into my stash with the fawkes, bellatrix and nagini (all .pdf’s) patterns in mind. when my eyes fell upon this yarn, i knew it was going to be bella!!


claudia handpainted yarn fingering weight in black walnut
2 skeins | 180 yds : 50 g | 100% merino wool

while i was reading the books i envisioned her coloring as a mix between elvira mistress of the dark and cruella de vil . you know, goth, pale, and burgundy lips with a sneer that never goes away. there are even small streaks of gray that show up every now and again. i thought the yarn and pattern were a perfect match.

man, did the sock stretch out when i started to knit the foot (i did the pattern toe up so i could maximize yarn usage). so i went down a needle size….well, the sock was still too big…so i modified the pattern a bit. instead of the 1-2-3-2-1 yarn over pattern, i switched to 1-2-2-1. this resulted in less stretch and a better fit. the bubbles were not as uniform, but i thought it added more chaos to the baby bella’s overall look.

altered bellatrix pattern

the yarn striped neatly up the foot, but after i turned the heel, it started to pool. no matter, this was one pattern i thought looked nice with color pooling.

still more that one sock to be finished with this pair! ugh….new pathways…. 😦 i’m coming!!!