Well, the madness hasn't really let up, but I feel like if I'm going to take up the bandwidth (or whatever it's called), I should occasionally write something, just to pay the rent or show I'm still alive, or because I miss the old days where I actually had time and energy to devote to the joys of fiber. Also, I'm a little loopy from grading 31 midterms, mere days after grading 31 papers.
Thanks to those who guessed at what these are:
They are actually Fratellos (or Fratelli as the former Italian student in me insists on saying), and I actually got the kit, so the yarn is Wollmeise. The Yarnissima kits are totally cool, by the way, with the professional looking bound pattern, the laminated card for travelling, and a few little treats, all nicely wrapped up. That said, I don't think I like Wollmeise for this pattern. First, it's a little too variagated - even in real life you can't clearly see the twisted stitch pattern on the toe and ankle area. Second, IT'S REALLY SPLITTY!!!! I actually quite like the yarn - the dye is so vibrant and the many plies give it great sheen, but those very plies are the devil when you're doing a lot of twisted stitches with tiny needles. Not that I'm agitated about it or anything!
It also pools in the first gusset increase area, at least for me, in the small size (boy, don't my feet look TINY in this picture?!). Btw, for those who like twisted stitch patterns, have you seen this beauty?
Just one more quickie before I go back to going insane:
These are Laila's Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush. I've always loved them, but always hated the untwisting of yarn that comes with fair isle/stranded knitting. I decided to try again, but using the two-handed method of stranded knitting, and I love it. Suddenly a new path has opened up before me. Also, I used my own handspun for the orange, and I love that too. Look how it changes: