Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

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.

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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.