Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

Blanket Woes October 4, 2013

Now that it’s been gifted I can finally let the cat out of the bag and reveal two parts of the sooper seekrit project.  The main project, a rainbow sock yarn blanket, has been in the works for four months.  Here’s a pic of it pre-washing and blocking.

sock yarn blanket

I’ve been calling it the Sock Yarn Rainbow Baby Blanket of DOOM these past few months.  If you’ve ever made one of these before, it’s not a task for the faint of heart, each one of those squares takes 30-40 minutes to knit.  The first snafu happened when Thing 1 decided he would help me out by trimming all of the ends from the top squares and the beginning and end pieces of the crochet border, all waiting to be woven in.  I got some good advice on one of my knitting boards and reinforced the top of each square with a new piece of yarn.  With baited breath, I put it in the washing machine and prayed that my fixes would hold.  When it came out of the wash, a corner of one of the internal squares had come unraveled due to what I can only guess was a weak spot in the yarn.  I was devastated.  The morning of the shower had me looking up instructions on how to darn a hole and I made a passable patch, one that was glaringly obvious to me but something everyone else had to look for.  I took the blanket home with me after the shower so I could put it through the wash again to make sure the patch held.  You can see where this is going — it separated on one side.  I must not have gone in deep enough on that side so now I have to fix it again.  It’s currently drying on my banister and I’m hoping I can do the fix tonight.

On a happier note, part two of the project did turn out all right.

pumpkin hat

The green vine lost some of its spring in washing, but that’s an easy fix.  She loved both of the gifts and part three is waiting to have ends sewn in and to be blocked and washed.  Once that’s been gifted, I’ll post pics.

I seem to have some bad knitting mojo going on right now.  Between the hole in the blanket, the almost three inches of shawl I had to frog because I was going to run out of yarn before I finished it to a ladder – yes a ladder – in a sock I’ve been playing around with since the summer it has not been a good couple of weeks in knitting.  Here’s hoping things will get better.

 

Pocket Frogs September 15, 2013

Pocket Frog

I’ve been sitting on this pattern for going on seven years now and have yet to get it into shape so I can publish it.  It was one of the first things I ever designed.  If I can pull it off, I’ll be publishing it this fall and offering kits to make it up in my Etsy shop.  Here’s what I got for the frogs for my pattern pictures.

Pocket Frog Yarn

Clockwise from the top, I have Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Bittersweet, Manos del Uruguay Wool Cassica Multis in Cornucopia, Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Plaid Blanket and, Malabrigo Rastita in Archangel.  For fingering weight I plan to do up a set of rainbow ones with left over yarn from the sooper seekrit project.

Speaking of sooper seekrit projects, I’m about to put the finishing touches on it this afternoon.  In the interim, I started a second sooper seekrit project.  Here’s the swatch.

DSCF2693You can see the final product on my Facebook page.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Terra.  I’m not entirely sold on the yarn.  It has absolutely no give which was a bit of a pain.  I’m using some Tosh Merino Light in a shawl but that’s using a fine yarn on bigger needles so stretch really isn’t a factor.  I bought it because it was the perfect color, but I may choose differently the next time I need a DK weight yarn.  There are still two more parts of the project that I want to get done this week, it just depends on the kids and my school schedule.

To break the tedium of the sooper seekrit project, I joined a knit along on one of my knitting boards and started the Oaklet Shawl.  I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Vanilla Bean (which I love) on US Size 6 (4.0mm) needles.  I’m kind of meh on the pattern — I usually like my shawls to be more lacy, but it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  Besides, all of that stockinette really shows off the colors in the Vanilla Bean.

Oaklet ShawlI’m ordered most of this yarn from Eat.Sleep.Knit with the $50.00 store credit I won when I ordered that sweater’s worth of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Golden Hickory.  Some of their prices are a little bit more than my LYS but their stock is good and shipping is super fast.

Look for pics of the sooper seekrit project next Sunday.  Happy knitting!

 

 

Sock Woes July 1, 2013

Filed under: Knitting,Socks,sooper seekrit project — knittykeen @ 7:53 pm
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I just finished frogging about 2.5″ of sock – a nearly completed gusset and a bit more.  Turns out I should have read the pattern for the slip stitch heel basic socks from Socks from the Toe Up more carefully before starting the gusset since she suggests 3″ less than the length of your foot and I was using 2.5″ as my measurement for everything.  This would have resulted in a sock about 1/2″ too big for me.  I almost decided to say the hell with it and continue on with just a few extra gusset stitches, but I want a workable pattern that’s going to fit my foot not something that kind of fits, especially since I want to knit several of the socks in the book.

Some of this yarn has been frogged twice now but it seems to be holding up well.  It’s the Manos Alegria I got back in February. With some luck I won’t be frogging it a third time.  I won’t get to work on it again until next week anyway since I’m still plugging away at the sooper seekrit project.  Just a reminder you can check out my progress by taking a look at my Facebook page.  I’m in the home stretch now so it shouldn’t be too much longer if I can make the time to work on it consistently.

 

Sock Break June 12, 2013

I’ve had an epiphany about the sooper seekrit project and it’s going to be smaller and much more manageable than I originally intended.  As such, I’ve lessened the pace at which I’m working on it so I’m not posting a WIP Wednesday picture of it on my Facebook page.  Instead, I pulled out a hibernating WIP, my toe-up heel-flap sock.

Toe-up sock

 

If it doesn’t look that much different from the last picture I posted of it, it’s because it isn’t.  I took it with me to work on while the kids were playing in the park tonight, so I only got a few rounds done.  I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to alter it to accommodate my high instep.  I need about an extra half inch of heel flap, which would translate to an extra inch of gusset so instead of starting the gusset at 7.5″ for my foot as recommended in Socks from the Toe Up, I’m going to start my gusset at 6.5″ and place a life line before I turn the heel.  It will still probably take a while before I get there since this is my park and doctor’s office knitting, but when I do I’ll post the changes I made to Wendy’s pattern.

So it’s sock knitting for tonight then back to seekrit projects tomorrow.

 

And now a word from our sponsors… May 15, 2013

Filed under: Knitting,Misc.,Socks,sooper seekrit project,Sweater,UFO's,WIP's — knittykeen @ 8:13 pm
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Not really, but the sooper seekrit project is going to be taking up almost all of my knitting time for the next two months or so.  If you want to keep up with it, you can check out my Facebook page for WIP Wednesday pics of my progress.  I haven’t given up on my toe-up sock, but I’m falling behind on this project and I can’t start fiddling with that until I get caught up.  The green sweater has now fallen into UFO limbo from which it will hopefully emerge one day.

Note: The husband said, “You know how I said I would never leave you?  You’re putting that to the test,” in response to my use of sooper seekrit.  😛 to him.

 

Finished Objects and Fluffy Mail May 3, 2013

I finally have some FOs to post.  First off are a pair of socks.

Black Magic SocksOriginal pattern

Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou, Black Magic II

US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) Needles

They were my, “knit when I have five minutes to spare project,” which is why they took so long to complete.  I ran into a couple of snafus in the second sock where I had more stitches on my bottom needle than my top needle.  I of course found this out as I was half way through kitchnering the toe.  I just frogged back to the bottom of the foot and added another pair of decreases because I was not going to add in more yarn to do another two rounds so I could decrease properly.  A few years ago, that is what I would have done, but now it’s not like anyone is going to be looking that closely at my toes.  I did do something a little bit different, I did the heel flap 3.25″ rather than the 3″ I usually use.  I’ll have to wait and see if that makes any difference in how they fit.

Another project that’s finally finished after much frogging and gnashing of teeth is my Saroyan Scarf.

Saroyan Scarf stretched out

Saroyan Scarf detailSaroyan

Madelinetosh Pashmina Sport, Golden Hickory

US Size 8 (5.0mm) Needles

I ran into all sorts of trouble with this one, but it’s finally done.  The skein was definitely more than 100g — I weighed the scarf for the yarn marathon and it came in at 101 grams and I still have some left over.  I couldn’t get a good shot of the whole thing, but it’s just a bit more than the length of my sofa.  It grew a lot when I blocked it and it still curls despite the garter edge which I find annoying.  My main complaint with the pattern and something which would have made it so much easier for me to do was she charted the leaf pattern but didn’t include the increases and decreases on the chart.  As it turned out I ended up only doing 4 increases per repeat as opposed to five because I was having such problems following the written instructions.  I put in the decreases on the chart myself and when I was done after only five repeats (I used 8 in the increase section) I knew I was in trouble somewhere.  I had to frog back to the straight section and start all over again with four decreases per repeat.  I also changed where the decreases went.  In the increase section she has the MILs right before you started the leaf pattern but on the decrease section she has you do a k2tog, k1 before the leaf pattern.  I changed it so it would be even but if I were to make it again I’s do MIL, K1 and K2tog, K1 so there would be a solid edge running next to the leaf pattern.

All in all the leaf pattern is pretty and the yarn is so soft and warm so it’ll make a nice addition to my winter wear next year.  I ended up with 8 pattern repeats in the increase and decrease section and ten repeats in the straight section.

Now onto fluffy mail!

Knitpicks Stroll Tonal

This is for a sooper seekrit project so I can’t say more.

On the needles right now (aside from the green sweater I keep saying I’m going to start working on again) is a sock I’m knitting up using instructions from Socks From the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits by Wendy Johnson.

Toe-up Sock

The good news is that the stitch count she uses for her size large socks is just about what I use for myself when I knit with my US size 2.5 (3.00mm) needles, so I don’t have to change anything on that count.  This means I can knit all of the socks in the book without having to muss with the pattern repeats.  I’m doing the heel flap sample sock and the annoying thing is that I have to figure out myself how to accommodate my high instep.  I think I’m just about at the point where I would begin the gusset increases so I’m going to have to break out the book and figure out how to make the change for a larger gusset.

One thing this reminds me about toe-up socks — how much I hate M1Rs, especially with a blunt tip needle.  I have to say I’m very disappointed with my Knitpicks size 2.5 needle because it’s barely pointier than my Addi Turbo needle.  It is a bit pointier, which makes a M1R a bit easier, but it’s still a PITA.

I’m woefully behind on the yarn marathon, but I’m still not up to speed on my knitting.  If I can ever get than damned sweater finished, it will bump me up considerably, but as it is I’m lagging behind at not quite a mile.  So here’s hoping for getting my knitting mojo back.