now that I have finished the black socks (I pulled the thread through the last loops around 4 a.m.) I am free to just do what I want and have fun with it - for a few days at least:) one thing that very often happens to me the moment I have managed to keep a deadline and the project is on its way to the recipient - I am in limbo and start wasting my time. I just sat in front of the finished pair of socks this morning and wondered how many stitches it takes to make one pair. calculater out and off I went... (am I going nuts? I did something similar with the last shawl!). of course size 46/47 isnt' necessarily average, but I guess it gives an idea - if I didn't miscalculate I knitted over 14.300 stitches on just one sock! sounds amazing - and our handknitted socks nowadays aren't exactly knitted with sewing thread yarns. imagine how much work it was to make knee-highs with the extremely fine yarns the elizabethan knitters used! puh... I am quite glad that I don't live in these times - though that's just one of many reasons! I tried to take another pic of the finished socks - but it's not better than the last batch, so I spare you another yucky one!
I didn't just knit during the last few weeks - I also ordered some new books. Vivian Hoxbro is well known by now for her ideas around domino knitting. I had seen a few of the projects online that are featured in "knit to be square". the technique itself isn't new anymore - but some of the ideas in the book appealed to me, e.g. the pyramid-shaped pillow (reminds me of the "cusheens" by Vivian Prideaux), the bucket bag, the tea-cozy and of course the lace-style projects, where the squares aren't finished and thus leave gaps in the knitting. it's quite easy to change the designs or sizes and I think the technique is great fun for all kinds of projects. the book is from interweave, with their usual layout and style.
I also bought "knit one below - one stitch.many fabrics" by Elise Duvekot. this I saw in the "knitter's" magazine, published by xrx. I have several books published by them and do like their style. they always give a lot of "how-to" explanation and the photographs are well done, with close-ups of special areas. of course the technique of "knitting into stitches below" isn't a new technique - but most books only show a few typical brick patterns etc. - if the patterns are featured at all. this technique is very easy to do - but can result in very interesting blends and patterns. you can achieve a very complicated looking blend of colours - simply by knitting with a single colour in each row! no complicated fumbling with several yarns on one finger or twisting of threads needed! the book shows loads of designs, everything from shawls, scarves, socks, kids projects, jackets, afghans and sweaters is covered, for men, women and children. I am sure I'll use this technique in a project or two very soon!
on another note - I am a voracious reader even when I shouldn't, because I have to finish projects. even though I am well past the age to fit into the group for "teenage fiction" - I like reading some of those books. quite by chance I discovered the first book of a new trilogy: the book is called "the poison throne" (Moorehawke trilogy) by the irish writer Celine Kiernan. it's set in a medieval phantasy land and the characters in it are described so lively and well, that I couldn't stop reading the book and finished it in record time. of course I had to look for the author's homepage to find out when the 2nd book will come out (I have to wait a bit longer:(() and was surprised about the very personal way Celine Kiernan keeps in contact with her readers. I also found out about a new way of reading: one reader described it as "inhaling the book" and I thought this described pretty well the feeling I had when finishing this lovely book:))
back to some more practical things - I'll finally be able to start on the pattern "Harmonia's Rings" by Sivia Harding - needles and yarn are at the ready....