Archive for November, 2009

Sly Knitting Revealed

Back in October I did some sly knitting, but now that I’ve gifted it to the recipient I can reveal all.

In a matter of  about 5 days, I knit a little something as a birthday present for my wonderful sister-in-law.  My brother said she likes pink, and I’m glad that turned out to be true because it is Pink.

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid in 116 Fuschia

Needles: US6/4.0mm

It turned out a little bit smaller than I had intended, but I imagined my sister-in-law would wear it as a scarf rather than a shawl, so I was ok with that.  I didn’t make any modifications, so I don’t really have much to say about the pattern that hasn’t already been said.  It’s a great pattern.  Enough said!

After finally making one, I can definitely see the appeal in “shawlettes”, and I see many more in my future.  My Ravelry queue can attest to this.  I created a new folder in my queue just for these shawlettes, and have started it off with 6 patterns.  They are another great use for sock yarn, and, if only in my mind, a great excuse to go shopping for new sock yarn.

I cannot wait until my self-imposed ban on new yarn expires at the end of next month…


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Knit Stalking

So it would seem I’m totally stalking Kirsten Kapur.  Have you seen Katinka?  I know I only just cast on her Mystery Socks ’09 last night, and I’ve already planned on casting on a cowl project tomorrow on our road trip to KC for Thanksgiving, but I might have to dig around the stash for something appropriate and bring the necessary accoutrement for these as well.  Limiting myself the number of WIPs I have going? Feh!

Rather than going for two pictureless posts back-to-back, I leave you with my rather inauspicious start to the Mystery Socks ’09.  I say inauspicious because there were numerous false starts.  My only pair of US2/2.75mm are in use in the Gridiron socks, and besides that, after knitting the Gentleman’s Fancy Socks, I think I prefer smaller needles for my socks.  So I first tried the Medium size on US1/2.25mm.  I didn’t get past the first row before a lightbulb went off, and I figured they’d be way way too small.  Rip!

Then I thought I was being smart, and checked out what needles and the number of stitches cast on for the Fancy Socks.  Okay, US1/2.25mm with a cast on of 80 stitches.  The Large size calls for 72 stitches.  I thought that might work, since there was a little bit of give to the cuff of the Fancy Socks (I had them on, so I was able to check).  I merrily cast on, worked the first part of the ribbing and got to the good stuff when I eyed my work suspiciously.  Looked pretty small.  I tried it on.  I was able to get it on, but barely.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to comfortably knit on; I’d be worrying and fretting the whole time, which really kills a good knit.

So I dug around for another pair of socks that I really like the fit of, my Sunshine socks.  Reviewing my project notes (Hooray for Ravelry!) and the pattern (from the much loved and celebrated Sock Innovation), I discovered I used a US1.5/2.5mm needle and a cast on of 60 stitches.  The Medium size calls for 64 stitches, so after all that, here I am:

I really hope this one works out.

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Because I said so…

I’ve been feeling rather grumpy the past several weeks, and I think this has finally spilled over into my knitting.  Nothing already on my needles is really interesting me right now, but I’ve tried to resist casting anything new on.  I don’t really know why, except that sometimes I’m contrary even with myself.  That and I don’t really like too many projects going at once.  It tends to make me anxious.  But tonight I’ve decided I’m the boss of my own knitting.  I’ve been eyeballing Kirsten Kapur’s, of Through the Loops fame, latest mystery sock pattern for some time now, and I’ve decided to through all caution (and stupid self-imposed restrictions) to the wind and cast on.  Woo!

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Oooo, fancy!

Ok, so not really all that fancy, but they’re a finished pair of socks nonetheless.

Pattern: Gentleman’s Fancy Socks by Nancy Bush

Yarn: Zitron Trekking (XXL) in colorway 337

Needles: US 1/2.25mm

Not an overly impressive sock, as far as the stitch pattern goes, but it is extremely well-fitting.  I have no worries of it becoming baggy or slouchy after hours of wear, like some of my other, early attempts at socks do.  I really liked working on the US1 needles; I think most of my sock projects have been on US2s and US3s so these needles felt really really small!  I didn’t make any modifications to the stitch count (after all they were originally supposed to be for J), so as the pattern is written I can’t imagine how they’d ever fit any grown man, even going up a needle size as I did.

I think what I might end up liking best out of this pattern book (Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush) is the various heel and toes she details.  As a relatively new sock knitter, I haven’t tried many different techniques, so I can’t wait to dig into another pattern out of this book.  I really like the French Heel, which is what this pattern calls for.  It comes to a little point, and it seems to fit my narrow-ish heels better than any on my other hand-knit socks.  The Wide Toe I could probably take or leave.  I found it tedious working to only 12 total stitches on DPNs, and I don’t particularly care for the extreme point the toe comes to, although it really doesn’t show when the socks are on.

These are the second pair of socks I’ve done using Trekking (XXL), and I must say I don’t really care for how it feels when I’m knitting it.  I find it rather scratchy, but fortunately it’s not so noticeable when they’re on my feet.  I’m curious to see how it wears, though, because if it does as well as I’ve heard I’ll be interested in using it for more socks for J, in the hopes that they can withstand his feet (and his reluctance to take his hand-knit socks off. Who knew?  If I had any idea socks would go over so well with him, I’d have started cranking them out a while ago!).  The other pair I’ve made out of it, my Monkey socks, don’t get a lot of wear because they’re a bit too big.  So these fancy socks will be my first real test of Trekking (XXL).

Overall, I like these socks and I love the book!

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Guilt Assuaged

Since I unintentionally took over the Fancy Socks, I started another pair of socks for J, Anne Hanson’s Gridiron.  I’m really digging this pattern!  It’s plain enough that a man won’t turn up his nose at it, but still interesting enough to keep a knitter going.  A closeup of the gridiron-y goodness:

I also started my owls sweater a couple weeks ago.  It’s a bit slow going right now; just slogging through the stockinette body, but I’m just about at the point where I start the yoke short rows.  I’m really happy with how it’s going so far, but I think I’ve only done the easy conversion math (I’m using worsted weight instead of the called for bulky).  We’ll so how it goes when it comes time to figure out the owl placement and such.  I also really like the seed stitch edges.  I’m glad I went that route instead of picking up for a ribbed edge.  Oh.  Did I mention I’m also converting it to a cardigan from a pullover?  I am.


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After J’s rather enthusiastic reception of his first pair of handknit socks, I wanted to immediately cast on for a second.  So I did, although they didn’t remain his for long.

At this point, it was still J's sock.

I chose the Gentleman’s Fancy Sock from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.  The above picture is of the status early yesterday afternoon.  A couple hours after this, I asked him to try it on.  It was too tight.  All wass not lost, however, because it fit me perfectly.  I am still experiencing twinges of guilt over this, but I don’t know why; I didn’t make it too small on purpose (I swear!).  It’s a little plainer a stitch pattern than I would have picked for my own socks, but I think it’s a good man pattern.  I’m sure I’ll end up eventually making J his own pair, just going up several needle sizes to accommodate the fit issue.

I finished the first one a just little bit ago.  I went with the heel and toe specified in the pattern, French and Wide respectively, and I like the results.  The toe looks way pointier than mine usually do (I think what I usually work is called the Wedge Toe (according to Cookie A.’s Sock Innovation, anyway)).  On the Wide Toe, the increases are worked pretty much all the way to the tip of the sock, and then the remaining stitches are grafted sideways across the toe instead of across the top like I’m used to.  And I’m not explaining this well at all.

It seemed wrong to me when I was reading the directions, but luckily I didn’t try to second guess Nancy Bush.  I went with it and it came out right the first time.

I also really like the French heel.  But, man, is it hard to get a picture of your own heel!

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Slightly Disappointing Manly Socks

Not the pattern, that was great.  But whether it’s the yarn or the feet, I’m not crazy with how the these are holding up.  Yeah, already.  After only a week of wear.

And that was after picking at them for a bit!  Here’s the “pre-picking” shot:

Pattern: Manly Socks by Hannah Six

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Sock Yarn in Black

Needles: US2/2.75 mm

This was a quick, easy pattern, perfect for boy socks (at least my boy’s) since it’s not fancy.  Black probably wasn’t the most brilliant color choice, given the subtlety of the slip-stitch rib pattern, but I wanted something that would keep me at least a little entertained.  A plain ol’ black sock would have killed me, I think.  As far as the pilling and fuzzing of the yarn goes, I’m not sure if it’s necessary the yarn or the fact that the finished socks have been in pretty much constant use since I finished them!  I’m going to go with that theory until and unless I’m proven otherwise with the other skein of Gloss I have in my stash.

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