Utter loss of my knitting skills last week.  Two projects started, two ripped out: Pyroclastic socks and the Ivy Vines cowl.

My Pyroclastic sock is gone.  I got through the cuff, heel, and started the arch shaping, then it all went wrong.  I believe I followed the instructions for marker placement, but the arch shaping was offset from the centre. Ripped the whole sock back to the hemmed cuff, which is fiddly to make but lovely to wear.  Started again using the rib pattern from Ambrosia Socks, but didn't like the slipped stitches.  I'm going back to Pyroclastic, but skipping the arch shaping for a regular heel flap and gusset.

Ivy Vines started off so well, with a luscious mink/cashmere yarn.  Got gauge on my second swatch, only to find out that the swatch was a liar, the cowl was far too big, and the fabric felt too floppy.  Ripped the whole thing out, and was going to start the intriguing Knotted Medallion scarf (Ravelry link).  When I re-skeined the yarn, I came up short for the scarf.  Either I lost yardage in the winding, or my skein was 35yds short.  I need a new pattern for 194yds of mink yarn (skein is supposed to be 230yds, pattern needs 220yds).

Edited to add:

I emailed Great Northern Yarn about the short skein, and he's sending out another one!  I can make the Knotted Medallion scarf.  Fabulous!

Edited again to add:

He sent a spare 50g skein, which is enough to make the scarf if I combine the two.

One project went right, a simple Lopi hat for Ruth using a Franken-pattern assembled from hat techniques I like.  Lopi on US8 needles at my gauge makes a bulletproof fabric and a very warm hat. Used a Clover bamboo needle for it and the thing is hopelessly coiled. I soaked it in hot water and stretched out the cord on my bobbin box for a few days before cast on, and it still wants to curl back on itself. Ruth wouldn't take half-knit hat off when I went up to get a second head measurement and pronounced it toasty warm.

Lopi hat for Ruth.

(Click for a bigger version on Flickr)

Now I'm trying a Coronet hat for me using Imperial Stock Ranch 2 ply.  I got it from a "yarn tasting" at Knitty Couture, and I do not like it.  Every few stitches I have to stop and pick out bits of vegetable matter.  I'd expect that from handspun off an uncoated fleece, but I wonder if they picked the wool at all before it was spun.  The colour is nice, the dye job is good, but the yarn is plain annoying to work with.

You work the cabled band on Coronet first, graft the ends together, then pick up stitches from the bottom and work upwards.  Last time I picked up stitches from what I thought was the bottom of the band and it turned out to be the top, assuming the cable points right to left.  It made a good hat, a friend in Canada liked it and wore it, but I want mine to point the correct way.  Also, I want to not be using the crappy Clover bamboo needle from the Lopi hat.  The band is finished and picking up stitches is just waiting for a quiet moment.

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