Archive for July, 2009

FO: Vinnland Socks

AT LAST!  The Vinnland socks are off the needles before their first anniversary!  It’s a long story (see other posts) but the bottom line is that the pattern is beautiful, it looks more complicated than it is, and it’s easy to memorize. All you really need is the ability to M1 … one type for K and one for P. 

I’m not the only one who had trouble with the short row heel … just sub in another one you like and don’t let it stop you from making this sock!  My current favorite, which worked excellently, is a heel with the gusset on the bottom of the foot.  It’s just so cool!  You can find it at Wendy Knits

The yarn was the gorgeous Valley Yarns Franklin, hand-dyed bt the Kangaroo Dyer in the “Spruce” colorway.  One hank was more than enough for this pair for my size 9 1/2 feet.  I have some left over.  I’m tempted to buy some here too … must … resist …

This light shows the stitch pattern well.

This light shows the stitch pattern well.

 

Action photo ...

Action photo ...

 

A closer look at the gusset on the bottom of the foot.

A closer look at the gusset on the bottom of the foot.

FO: Soleil Camisole

I greatly enjoyed the last part of this camisole.  The flat knitting came out much more even than I feared it would and the shaping made it all very interesting.  The most challenging part, though, was the single crochet around the edges.  I’ve never done single crochet before (and it shows, ha ha!).  The first armhole took several tries, the second armhole was better and the neck was not too bad (I saved the neck for last, hoping I might have the knack by then).  Tonight, I ripped the first armhole and tried again.  It’s OK.  There’s a good chance I will always be wearing a jacket or something so I don’t think those edges are a deal-breaker … yay!!

Soleil Camisole

Soleil Camisole

A review of the details: this free pattern is called Soleil by by Alexandra Virgiel.  I followed the instructions without modification except that I knitted one extra iteration of the lace pattern at the bottom.  I used Patons Grace mercerized cotton yarn in the “Ginger” colorway.  The pattern was easy to follow and I may use it as a jumping-off point for variations!  I also like the yarn a lot.  This is my first completed adult-sized garment with shaping and stuff.  (The Coin Cable Raglan is languishing — almost complete — in a bag.  That’s a story for another day!)  I recommend it as a first garment because it’s knit in the round (mostly) so the only sewing is at the shoulders.

In other WIP news, I’ve also gotten the Vinnlands going again.  They’re also close to being finished so maybe there will be Happy Dancing Feet pictures soon!

Sticky Sticks

Green Soleil

Green Soleil

Lots of tugging going on here, cuz it’s flat knitting time … it doesn’t look too goofy, does it?  (Don’t answer that!)  You can see the beginning of the V-neck and the armholes.

It seems that the unusual low-humidity weather we have been enjoying for most of the summer has moved on.  And that means: even the cotton yarn is feeling kinda sticky.  If it stays humid, progress will be slow … unless we break down and turn on the A/C.  With the exception of a few hours in April, we haven’t done that yet this year … I guess we’ll see!

But what’s mid-summer on the Eastern Seaboard without humidity and cicadas??  (I call them Birthday Bugs and they’ve just started their thing in the last week … right on schedule!)

Stockinette Stretch

As a new knitter, I leaned heavily toward projects that allowed me to try out new and fancy stitches (lots of scarves!).  I also felt a strong wish to give a hand-knitted gift to each of my immediate family and any others who even hinted that they’d be interested (that’s where all the scarves went!).  I”m now starting to make things for myself and it seems I’m now moving toward a different kind of learning.

First, a long stretch of stockinette in the round may help me to develop consistent tension.  And at the same time, it’s a personal tension-reducer!  Many others have made the comparison between knitting and meditation; that’s most apparent to me with this kind of knitting.  Later in this project: flat stockinette.  It could be slow going: since my purl knitting is pretty loose, I will be tugging after each stitch.  Sigh.

Second, knitting garments means real attention must be paid to shaping and sizing.  It’s not as “sexy” as producing a fancy lace or cable, but I think it’s the next stage in the learning process … and maybe the kind of knowledge that makes the transition from “new” to “experienced”?  I will have to change my header, ha ha ha!

Here’s the Soleil:

I may thread on a second circular needle and try it on soon …

Lacey Days

The Soleil cotton camisole (shell, tank, top) is knitting up quickly.  I have finished the lace border and have begun the body.

Since I am long-waisted, I followed the recommendation of many other knitters at Ravelry and added an extra iteration of the lace pattern.  (I like lace anyway, so more is good!)  I also measured another top of acceptable length.  Yes, the extra inch of pattern should put this one in the same ballpark.  I was wondering if it was going to to be wide enough, but the directions call for increasing by 20 stitches right after the lace is completed.  I get it, the lace is supposed to hug a little extra.  It will show off the pattern better that way!  I’m still mildly concerned about the size, but not enough to stop, ha ha!

Cast on for Summer!

It was a low-key Fourth of July weekend with family visiting.  We talked, listened to birdsong and went for a couple of walks in scenic places (a beautiful garden and a shop-lined street).   The only knitting I did was a test swatch for the Green Soleil, a project I decided on last week.

The gauge is a tiny bit looser than that in the pattern, but this is a two-sided swatch and the project will be knit in the round.  You can see from this picture that my purl and knit rows aren’t all that well-matched.  Knitting in the round will eliminate the purl rows, so there!  I decided to use metal needles too.  In my experience with socks, I have found that I knit a little more firmly with metal.  That’s enough information to go ahead with the project, I think. 

This yarn,  Patons Grace in the “Ginger” colorway, is a mercerized cotton.  I like it a lot, although I haven’t completed any projects with it!  I bought a skein of the “Azure” colorway long ago and knit a swatch of lace with it.  It was so pretty that I used it for the background of my blog header.   I also went out and bought 11 more skeins without even having a project in mind.  My stash consists of 6 skeins of the “Ginger” colorway, 3 of the “Azure” and 3 of “Spearmint” (a variegated colorway that matches the others).  I struggled to find a project that would suit the yarn and the colors and started a cardigan last summer.  It turns out that I didn’t want stripes.   On Thursday, I converted that UFO back to yarn and started the swatch for this new project. 

On the afternoon of the holiday, my sister-in-law pulled her easel and some canvases out of her car and offered to paint some portraits.  She painted me and my other sister-in-law before the day’s light gave out.  Hey, if I was going to be sitting for a while … might as well knit!  So the beginning of this project is captured in paint.  Dorothy took a better picture and will probably comment on it in her Daily Painting Journal, check it out!