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.

Advertisements
 

Second Sock Syndrome and a WIP March 27, 2013

Black Magic Sock

 

This is the first Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou sock.  It’s just a simple stockinette sock with a heel flap.  I finished it last week but couldn’t muster the energy to cast on for its mate.  I decided to succumb to SSS (second sock syndrome) and do something else until I cast on for the second one.  After surfing through Ravelry for an hour last Friday night, I settled on Saroyan with the Madelinetosh Pashmina that I bought at Knitty City.

Golden Hickory Leaves

 

The pattern is written for worsted weight yarn and the Pashmina is sport weight.  I’m still using the US Size 8 (5.0mm) needles that the pattern calls for but I did 10 increase repeats to the 6 as written and will probably end up with about 14 repeats in the straight section.  I could have done a few more increase repeats, but I’d like to have a little bit of yarn left over for another project that is in the works.  I’m having the worst time memorizing the chart for the leaf pattern on the one side so it’s not mindless knitting since I have to pay attention to where I am in the chart.  I’ll probably cast on for the second Black Magic sock tonight so I can have something that I can just whip out and work on when I have a spare moment as opposed to having dedicated time to work on Saroyan.

In other WIP news, my green sweater has stalled.  I was all gung-ho about trying to get it finished in enough time to wear on my New York trip but when I realized that just wasn’t going to happen, I lost all my steam to finish it.  I’m planning on making some time this coming week to get the sleeves done so I can finish the body of the sweater.  The weather will be changing soon and I’d like to have it done to wear this spring while it’s still too cold to wear just a tee shirt but not cold enough for my coat.

 

Fluffy Mail March 15, 2013

I finally found someplace where I could order the Tosh Merino Light in the color I really wanted for a sweater, Eat.Sleep.Knit.  It was more expensive than other places I’ve seen Tosh Merino Light listed, $21.00 a skein to the $19.00 my LYS Loop charges, but it’s so hard to find any Madelinetosh in quantity that I just went with it.  My order got here super fast too, just three days turn around.

Tosh Merino Light, Golden Hickory

 

It’s the Golden Hickory colorway (the same as the Pashmina that I got at Knitty City) and I love it.  I’m planning another top-down raglan with a boat neck, 3/4 sleeves, and tunic length.  Of course I have to finish the green sweater before I cast-on for another big project, so I’m hoping to get those sleeves done this weekend.

As if yarn wasn’t good enough, I got a little “Yarn Lotto” card with my order and I won a $50 store credit!  So who knows, there may be another Tosh sweater in my future.  They also sent two mini skeins which I can use on my sock yarn blanket.

In other news, the socks I’m making from the Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou are coming along nicely.  I’m just about finished the gusset so I should have the first sock finished by the end of the weekend.  I’ve also decided I’m going to frog the Rick sock.  I’m just not happy with the way it’s turning out and the unevenness of my yarn overs.  I’ll have to so some searching to find another good pattern to use with the Manos Alegria yarn.

 

Shopping! (and some knitting too) February 8, 2013

I have not been in a LYS for such a long time, probably more than a year.  I went out on Saturday to check out a new place opened by one of the members of my knitting group called Hidden River Yarns.  It’s a bit off the beaten path for me but worth the trip.

Hidden River Yarns

I ended up with a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn, some miniskeins for my sock yarn blanket, and some stitch markers for a yarn swap I’m doing.  They had some cashmere blend sock yarn that I was sorely tempted to by as well as some gorgeous handspun.  I’ll be heading back up there on the 17th to work on my long hibernating sock yarn blanket, so I may succumb yet.

This afternoon, I hit two stores closer to home.  My first stop was Loop.  It’s always been one of my favorites, bright and airy with a nice selection of sock yarns which is what I always look for first.

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

 

This is a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Vanilla Bean.  I wasn’t planning on getting this particular color.  I am planning on making a shawl with it and needed to coordinate with another skein of Tosh Merino Light that I got as a gift two years ago.  I’ll be doing the Stella Luna shawl in a wonderful deep purple and the Vanilla Bean.

Stella Luna ShawlMadelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

The purple in the Vanilla Bean isn’t the same as the purple in the other yarn, but it’s close enough to be able to pull it all together.  I’m hoping to be able to cast-on for this by the end of the month, once I can get some new cables and needle tips for my interchangeables.

My second stop today was Rosie’s Yarn Cellar.  It’s nice and cozy and again has a wonderful selection of sock yarns.  I have been very interested in checking out the new Manos sock yarn, Alegria, and was not disappointed.  I wasn’t brave enough to get one of the neon blends, but there is always next time.

Yarn

 

I like the colors in the skein I picked a lot and am thinking about trying out one of the patterns from the Knitter’s Book of Socks if it’s not too much trouble to alter it to fit my foot.  The top skein is some Noro Iro, their bulky wool/silk blend, that I bought for my swap along with the Soak samples.

Enough about yarn, no onto some knitting.  I have not been working on this anyway near enough, but here’s my progress on my new green sweater.  It’s a top-down raglan using the Incredible Custom-Fit Raglan Pattern.  I’m about to start my third ball and am a few inches away from breaking off for the sleeves.  I’m worried about running out of yarn on this one so I’m going to put in a lifeline at 3/4 length for the sleeves and then knit the body and see if I can get away with long sleeves or not.  Here’s the progress I’ve made so far.

DSCF2479

 

I’m using School Products Provence Merino Lace, doubled on US Size 8 (5mm) needles.  I need to have it finished by March 9th when I go to New York so I can wear a sweater I made myself (something that’s only happened once before).