Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

Lots of Mail (and a bit of knitting too) April 6, 2013

I haven’t been doing too much knitting the past week or so, but I have been getting a lot of mail.  First off are two books that I picked up from Amazon.

Entrelac Essential Guide

This was purchased on a whim when someone recommended it to me — Entrelac, The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale.  I’ve only done a quick perusal of it, so I don’t have enough to give it a proper review.  At first glance though she shows you how to do some really neat things with entrelac.  I’ve loved entrelac knitting ever since I first saw it years ago.  I even made my oldest’s Christmas stocking in entrelac as well as my favorite pair of fingerless mitts.  I’m out of practice with doing it though so I’ll use the instructions in the book to make a few swatches.  Look for a full review in the coming weeks.

socks from the toe up

This was a no brainer — Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson.  I used to follow her blog when she first started out and my first couple of pairs of socks were knit from the toe up (I even converted Pomatomus to toe-up).  I’ve only been using top-down for the past few years because of my high instep and the better fit I get with a heel flap.  After the rave reviews I’ve gotten about this book from Super Stella Sox and a few others, I finally decided to get the book.  At first glance I’m pretty excited.  It doesn’t have too much information on adjusting fit which is my big beef with most sock books, but it does have a heel I’ve never tried before and I’m pretty sure I can alter it to accommodate my high instep.  I also look forward to using the Turkish cast on and a sewn bind off again which are both things that I love.  Again, once I’ve gotten to play with this a bit more I’ll post a full review.

This year I’m going to attempt to make my kids matching sweaters for Christmas.  I had grand plans for this about 4 years ago and got as far as designing the cable patterns and actually making a sweater for my youngest (which he never did get around to wearing).  I’m thinking of using the same cable pattern again and making them ganseys rather than full cable knit sweaters.

gansey_swatch1

Not the best picture of the swatch, but I already have it charted out so it’ll be easier than starting from scratch.  I decided to let them pick out the colors they wanted for their sweaters and after a few false starts with garish shades of yellow, I got them to agree to a nice burnt orange color.

Orange Yarn

Webs is having a sale on Cascade 220 superwash, so I was able to scoop up what will probably be too much yarn for a really good price.  This project won’t be started until probably this summer at which point I’m sure I’ll have changed the design of the sweaters at least five times.

In WIP news, I’m in the straight section of my Saroyan scarf and should be starting the decrease section after a few more repeats.  I love knitting with the pashmina and I’m looking forward to finding another excuse to use it again.

Saroyan Scarf

I’ve also started working on my second Black Magic sock.  The Saroyan is my main project, but I need to be able to read the chart so it’s not as portable as a sock.

Black Magic sock

I usually tend to work on it while I’m waiting for the kids to fall asleep because it’s simple enough that I can knit it by the light of their night light.

I still haven’t touched my green sweater and I’m going to have to get it finished soon or I’ll have to wait until the fall to wear it because the weather is rapidly changing.  I’m hoping I can push myself to get some work done on it this week for sure.

 

Frogging and FOs January 27, 2013

Reclaimed YarnThis represents what was once my almost completed Giselle sweater.  It was a good try but in the end it just wasn’t going to work for my body type.  My biggest problem with the pattern was the ratio they used for the bust and arms of the sweater.  I have a large bust but do not have the large arms that come with following the pattern as written.  The sleeves were huge on me and there was just no fixing that, so I frogged it.  I decided on making a top-down raglan sweater using The Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater pattern.  I cast on for a 24″ neck with 5 rounds of 1×1 rib and then a few short rows to bring the back up higher.  I was going to go with an EZ EPS Sweater and got about 8 rounds of ribbing done before I found out I had twisted my stitches.  I’m a bit afraid that I’ll run out of yarn on this one, so a top-down raglan would suit me better and it’s harder to twist 108 stitches (although I did manage to do it on the first try).  The yarn is from School Products Yarn and is their Provence Lace Merino doubled and worked on size US size 8 (5.0mm) needles.   I’m going to NYC probably the first weekend in March and I really want to have it finished by then so I can wear it on my trip when I visit the store and hopefully score another cone.

Thing 2's MittensThis is a pair of mittens I made for my youngest.  I used US size 6 (4.0mm) needles and Peace Fleece from stash.  They are a little big on him (my own fault for winging them without a pattern), but he adores them and has asked me when I’m going to “needle” him a scarf to match them.  I think I have some navy Caron Simply Soft in my stash somewhere or I may need to head to AC Moore to get him some or Paton’s Classic Wool so I can get it made for him.

No Purl Monkey SocksI finally kitchnered the toe on the second sock and finished my No Purl Monkey Socks tonight.  I made the leg much longer than I normally do and it fits nicely.  The foot of the sock is a little long because of the way the repeats worked out, but only by a bit.  I should have finished these ages ago, but I haven’t been knitting as much as I should.  I used US size 2.5 (3.0mm) needles and Colinette Jitterbug 400 in Lilac.  I made a mod to the chart by adding a stitch to either side of the chart and consequently adding two rows to the bottom of the chart.  I’ll try to post the chart later this week.

 

 

 

Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts December 31, 2012

Finished Mitts

Finished Mitts

Size

  • Men’s medium/large

Difficulty

  • Medium – pick up stitches, small diameter circular knitting, paired increases

Materials

  • US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) 40″ Circular Needles, Double Pointed Needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Fingering Weight Yarn, about 200yds, Knitpicks Stroll in Fedora used in pictures
  • Waste Yarn
  • Tapestry Needle

Gauge

  • 8 stitches/inch, 10 rows/inch in the round

Abbreviations

Pattern Notes

  • The mitts shown have 5rnds of K1P1 rib at the top of the palm.  It works for the ones I made my father, but others might find it a bit skimpy so I’ve included alternate instructions to do 10rnds of K1P1 rib so the finished palm sits higher on the fingers.
mitts being worn, palm down

mitts being worn, palm down

Body of Mitt

  • CO 60 sts, join to knit in the round
  • Work 20 rnds of K1P1 rib
  • 1 – K
  • 2 – K29, PM, K2, PM, K29
  • 3 – K to marker, sl marker, M1L, K to marker, M1R, sl marker, K to end of round (32sts)
  • 4 – K
  • 5 – Rep rnds 3 and 4 until there are 22 sts between the markers (80sts)
  • 6 – K 15 rnds
  • 7 – K30, sl next 20 sts to waste yarn, K to end of rnd
  • 8 – K 9 rnds
  • 9 – work 5 (10) rnds of K1P1 rib
  • BO

Thumb

  • P/U 2 sts, K 20, P/U 2 sts (24sts)
  • K 5 rnds
  • Work 5 rnds of K1P1 rib
  • BO

Finishing

  • Weave in ends, wash and block
mitts being worn, palm up

mitts being worn, palm up

 

To knit a sock December 30, 2012

Firstly, I wove in all the ends of my dad’s Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts, so I’ll be able to get pics of them today and post the pattern later this week.  Secondly, I’ve been having a doozey with some socks I’ve been trying to knit.

DSCF2391

This once represented a skein of the old Colinette Jitterbug (tells you how long I’ve had it).  There was a weak spot in the yarn while I was doing the cuff and I prayed it didn’t mean what I thought it meant.  I moved on and by the time I got to the fourth repeat of the No Purl Monkey socks, my fears were realized when I had two more weak spots within a couple of rounds — moths had gotten to my yarn. Granted, this was old yarn — I have no idea how long ago I even bought it and it was back when Jitterbug came in about 320m skeins, not the handy 400m skeins it comes in today.  I’m lucky.  I got two 30g balls, a 21g ball, a 17g ball and some odds and ends — more than enough to do a simple pair of fingerless mitts out of for myself (probably just the female version of the Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts pattern).

DSCF2393

This one hurts a little bit more.  I’m just finishing the fifth repeat of the No Purl Monkey socks in the new Colinette Jitterbug 400m yarn in lilac and I have made the decision that they are indeed too small for my feet.  I can get the cuff on, but just.  I’m going to have to frog it and start over again with 72sts to the 64sts I have here.  I did this for my mom’s socks, so I’m familiar with the change up.  It adds a stitch on each side of the first row of the chart (you have 4sts before and after the decreases as opposed to three) and it add two rounds to the chart, so not a huge change.  This should fit my foot so much better.  It’s hard to frog it, but at least it’s an easy pattern and works up quickly — I did the above yesterday afternoon and last night.  I’m bringing it with me to my mom’s this afternoon so I should be able to get some work done on it there.

 

Needles December 26, 2012

DSCF2359

I made my first call to Knitpicks customer service today for my bent and cracked needle.  You can definitely see the bend in the needle, but I couldn’t get a shot of the hairline crack.  The customer service representative I spoke to sounded a little dubious that the needle had bent and cracked in regular use but they are going to send me a replacement needle.  I’m hoping I can loosen my grip a bit so this doesn’t happen again but my Addi needles all have similar bends in them so I’m not too hopeful.

I love the pointy tips on the Knitpicks needles, so much nicer for increasing and lace work than the blunter Addi needle tips.  I dread doing the thumb gussets on the Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts because a M1L is doable, but a M1R is a massive PITA with a blunt tip needle and there are ten of those suckers.  I have a 36″ size 1.5 Addi lace needle but it’s too grippy and I don’t like the way the brass smells when I’m using it.

As long as I’m griping about Addis, I will also add that I hate their new cables.  The nicest thing about Addi needles was the gold cable.  Now they all seem to have monofilament cables and they just aren’t as supple as the old gold cables, another thing the Knitpicks needle has going for it.  For sock yarn, I have two hanks of Colinette Jitterbug, a hank of Madeline Tosh and one of Malabrigo in my stash to be used.  I’ll be using my Addi size 2.5’s for all but the Malabrigo, so I don’t have to worry about the Knitpicks needles for a bit.  I want to replace my 40″ Addi sock needles with Knitpicks needles but I’ll have to wait and see how this second needle holds up before I make a decision.

 

Christmas Presents December 25, 2012

Filed under: Knitting,Misc.,Patterns,Socks — knittykeen @ 7:24 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My mom loved her socks and the ones I made myself are lovely and soft.  I managed to finish one fingerless mitt for my dad and will be giving him its mate over the weekend.  Once I get the ones I’m making for my husband done, I’ll be posting my Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitt pattern here with a promise to make it a pdf after the new year once I get my new logo squared away.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for reading!

 

Fine Tuning December 22, 2012

I finished the first fingerless mitt last night (well, almost finished — I only have the thumb left) and it looks pretty good.  The problem is that I think it’s going to be too big for my dad.  I had my husband try it on and it fits him perfectly, but he has HUGE hands, like regular men’s gloves don’t fit his hands.  So I’m getting ready to cast on with about a half-inch’s worth of fewer stitches and a few less rounds here and there and hope that this time I get it right.

Fingerless Mitt

I’m doing it in Knitpicks Stroll in Fedora on my size 2.5 addis.  The pattern will be up after Christmas.