Archive for August, 2008

WIP: One Ball Down

Oh, that pesky 10th inch!  For some reason, my brain wasn’t with it for a day or so and I just couldn’t focus on knitting.  I would finish an iteration of my scarf pattern and then look it over only to discover a large error — the kind you’d rather not leave in if you can help it.  The first time, I debated and then said “Oh heck, I have the time so I’m going to rip.”  Out came 6 rows.  The second time, I said “I think I can save this.” and I worked on fixing 3 of the 4 goofy stitches by dropping down, correcting and working up.  That went well, actually.  The fourth stitch was at the end of the row and I don’t know how to drop down and correct that, so I decided to live with it.  But looking it over one last time, I saw that the reason for that error was an undetected error earlier in the same row!  Rip-time.  Agh! Happily, the mental clouds cleared soon afterward and I finally got to the end of the ball.  Here’s a progress picture:

A pleasant discovery is that one ball of yarn produced just about 13 inches of scarf … I had hoped for 12 inches with the larger needles, so I was very happy to see this.  Since I have six balls, I will easily have enough for my target range (5 to 6 feet).  The final length will be determined when I get there (will make hubby model the scarf so I can verify that it’s a proper manly length).  Unlike the lace scarves I made for Christmas last year, I think the length probably won’t change much with blocking.  I’ll be “encouraging” the scarf to get wider to show off the cables so any slack will go in that direction.

I was so enthusiastic to get started with this yarn that I abandoned my bonus sock project entirely!   Christmas knitting wasn’t technically scheduled to start until tomorrow, so I have a jump on it.  I think it’s time to go back and give some loving attention to the Vinnlands, don’t you?

WIP: Staghorn Scarf

Let the Christmas knitting begin!

This doesn’t quite capture the richness of the color, but it’s close!  It’s Knit Picks Andean Silk in the “Hollyberry” colorway. The two stitch patterns are from Barbara G. Walker’s “Treasury of Knitting Patterns”, they’re called Staghorn Cable and Triple Gull Stitch (also a cable).  That’s seed stitch around the edges.  I love seed stitch, don’t know why, I just do!  The scarf will probably be about 8 inches wide after blocking.  So, now that I’ve settled on the pattern, it’s time to fret about whether there’s enough yarn to make between 60 and 72 inches’ worth!   I was sure I ordered enough … when I was using #8 (5mm) needles.   After one ball is finished, I’ll have a good feel for what to expect from the #6 (4mm) needles.

FO: A Prism Rainbow

I’m so happy with this color combination, and the pattern is just right for it!

 

When I saw pooling in pictures of other socks knit with the “Fly Fishing” colorway of Memories sock yarn from Knit Picks, I searched for a pattern that would minimize it … I think Prism did a great job!  It was easy too.  I did the socks toe-up, finishing with EZ’s sewn bind-off.   Lots of yarn left over, maybe this pattern would look cute in some fingerless gloves?  (Like I’m gonna have time for that … the queue is about to take on holiday knitting, ha ha!)

Did I say “holiday knitting”??  Here’s the yarn, it just came in from Knit Picks:

This is Andean Silk which is alpaca, silk and merino.  Very squishy!  This was the closest I could get to the actual colors … I think the blue one isn’t really that bright.  I used the lighter green yarn to make a test swatch:

Yes, there are a couple of errors … I just wanted to see if the needle size — #8 — was good with the yarn and to get an estimate of how many stitches to cast on for each of the SIX manly scarves that are planned.  I love how this yarn feels and drapes so far, it will make a wonderful scarf!!  I spent the morning narrowing down the stitch patterns (this, of course, is open to constant revision!!).  The one in the picture didn’t make the final cut.

And since I finished my August socks with a week left, I cast on for a pre-September pair!  I’m insane.  On a positive note, I love the yarn and the pattern so much!!!  Here ya go:

This toe-up pattern is called Vinnland and the yarn is Valley Yarns Franklin in the “spruce” colorway.  I expected a slightly more solid-color look, but I love it as it is.  The pattern is cool too.  It’s secretly a 2 x 2 ribbing with some increases and decreases which create the pattern.  I wanted to squeeze in another pair of socks cuz I have a feeling my September socks may drag into October  or November now that scarves are taking over, hah!

WIP: Prism View

What a beautiful day!

It’s difficult to sit and knit, but one more good session and I’ll have one of the Prism Toe-Ups finished.   I will definitely set aside some time after dinner because it’s so much fun to sit on the porch with the windows open at this time of year.  The cicadas fade away and the katydids take over … I think there are crickets and other critters, but the katydids pretty much drown ’em out!  Here’s a progress picture:

I hadn’t decided on how I was going to handle the heel until I got there and once I decided on what to do I ended up ripping out some rows.  OK, going all loosey-goosey can have its drawbacks!  I thought I’d try something new and went with one gusset on the bottom of the foot instead of the traditional side gussets.  I totally borrowed the idea from Wendy Johnson’s free pattern HERE (this is a pdf file).  It was handy that the stitch count was already just what I was using (no adjustments needed!).

I’m so tempted to pore over stitch patterns and start dreaming up another pair of socks to squeeze into the second half of August but on such a lovely day it might be more fun to spend some more time outside … did I mention we went on an 11-mile bike ride this morning?   We love to ride on Forbidden Drive, a wooded road along the Wissahickon Creek.  I didn’t take any pictures, but there’s some information about it HERE.  See you in  a few days with some *FO* pictures, I hope!

Shoes News

Been waiting all summer for cooler weather to kick in so I can wear some handknit socks!  In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about what shoes would show them off best.  It occurred to me that sandals would be great!  Well, as long as they don’t have a thongy-thingie … Sure, sandal season ends on Labor Day but what if you’re wearing woolen socks with them?  I went to the JC Penney web site and found a pair on sale that looked like it might work.  What do you think?

 

The one problem with buying shoes online is: you don’t get to try them on.  I wasn’t sure if the thickness of the handknits would be an issue so I ordered one half-size larger than usual.  Turns out, it wasn’t necessary.  In fact, the shoes look a little big in the back.  But hey, they were $15!!  They’re called Cabin Creek ‘Shell’ and they’re still on sale, get ’em while they last!

So, today I’m walking past an Aerosole shop with *no* intention to buy anything (really!) when I saw another sock-worthy pair of shoes in the window.  Here is a shoe called ‘Open Door: 

Are these the cutest or what??  They cost three times as much as the other pair, though.  Well, I needed shoes for showing off socks.  They’ll get good use!  Both pairs are fairly flat.  I bought these in my regular size too.  I tried on the half-size larger and they were definitely too large for me.  I think this style would look best on a narrow-to-normal foot.  Mine’s a little wide, and they look OK.  Just sayin’ …

WIP: Prism Sock

In a startling development, I’ve cast on for my August socks in the first week of the month!  I’ve had the Prism Socks by Jaya Srikrishnan in my queue for a while … I’m so happy to finally get started on them:

 

OK, the pattern’s for cuff-down and these are obviously toe-up … I really wanted to be able to try the sock on as I went because I wasn’t sure how the sizing would go with a slip-stitch pattern on the leg.  I started with 1/2 the expected total number of stitches (16 stitches on each of two needles using Judy’s magic cast-on) and then used a standard toe increase to get to 64 stitches.  I knitted 6 more rows, cuz I wanted the toe color to extend a little further.  I made one small change in the design too.  When it was time to join the second yarn, I moved one stitch from needle 4 to needle 1 and started with an extra slipped stitch instead of with a K3.  It makes the stitch pattern fit onto the top of the foot better.  I’ll slip the stitch back to needle 4 eventually (haven’t thought that far ahead, ha ha!).  Another option would be to leave the stitches evenly distributed and knit the last slipped stitch (K4 at the end instead of K3 S1).  Here’s how the extra slipped stitch looks:

This variegated yarn (Knit Picks Memories in the “Fly Fishing” colorway, now discontinued) has been in my stash since before I started knitting socks.  After looking at examples of socks knit with this colorway on Ravelry, I decided there was a risk of pooling so it migrated to the back of the shelf.  I later bought the solid yarn (Knit Picks Palette in “Wood”) in hopes that it would coordinate well and I think the combination looks great!

FO: Bigger-Than-Babies Socks

The “big kids” version of the Better-than-Booties Socks pattern is finished:

The pic looks a bit blurry … sorry, not a lot of light when I snapped.  I followed the pattern for stitch count, etc. but made the following mods: used US #4 needles and worsted weight yarn (Patons Classic Merino in “denim”), continued the decorative pattern over the top of the foot, and used two circular needles instead of DPNs.  A note: there’s really no need to rearrange stitches before beginning the heel on this pattern.  If continuing the cables, it’s better to just begin the heel on needle 1.  That leaves needle 2 (or needles 3 and 4 for DPNs) beginning and ending with 2 purl stitches, which is just what you want for the cable pattern.  I almost forgot to mention the size of the socks with modifications!  When laid flat, these socks measure 6 inches from tip of toe to end of heel and 3 inches across the foot.  According to one size chart, this would fit a kid’s size 13 foot (the biggest kids’ size on the chart!).

New for me:

– Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ short row technique for heel and toe, including ssp and sssp stitches as well as a backwards YO.  I think the short rows came out nicely, but the technique was a bit complicated.  I also wonder if the sssp and k3tog could be uncomfortable when inside a shoe?  I was very happy to try the technique though and appreciate having it in the mental toolkit!  When I made my hiking socks (same needles and yarn, actually) I used a short row technique designed by Priscilla Wild.  I thought that was less complicated and it came out nicely too.  It’s funny that both short row techniques were designed by Priscillas … do you think that’s a requirement?

– The cables on this sock were a twist stitch “mock” cable.  I’m also doing a twist stitch cable on Cotton Belt 2 (in progress).  They’re slightly different, but produce the same effect.  It was interesting to discover this second one, which seems slightly easier and maybe looks a tad more like a cable?  On the belt, two stitches are twisted around each other by skipping a stitch and knitting one, then knitting the skipped stitch before slipping both off the needle.  In the version used for these socks, the two stitches are knitted together, then the first stitch is knitted again and both are then slipped off. 

– The zigzag bind-off (the decorative band on the top of the toes) was a fun alternative to grafting!  I think it’s pretty too.  Don’t know if it would have a “discomfort effect” inside a shoe though … I’m thinking these socks will be worn without shoes (more like slippers) and it won’t be an issue.

This pattern came with several variations and I would like to try one of the “real” cable patterns.  Maybe sometime soon …