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Archive for the ‘2010 Pair a Month KAL & CAL’ Category

Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

Yarn: Chewy Spaghetti Spaghetti in Keen

Needles: US1.5/2.5mm

I thought it fitting to finish this challenge with the same pattern I started it with. Plus, I knew from experience that it was very quick-knitting and good for variegated yarn. It’s a great pattern, and I may or may not already be thinking about making a third pair…

Some thoughts on this challenge: I’m glad that I did it, and I’m glad that it’s over. I feel like I accomplished something, but it may only be a notable something to me. But what the hey, I’m proud of me and that’s good, right? I finished the challenge last weekend, and I’ve felt this almost giddy-like freedom when it comes to my knitting now. The last couple months I’ve felt faint twinges of guilt if I worked on anything other than socks, so I’m relieved to have that gone. I do think that, eventually, I will probably always have a pair of socks on the needles, because they really are a great on-the-go project. But I’m taking a wee break, however, and seamed up half of a new sweater for J today (it’s looking a little small so far, which put me into a panic but I think some vigorous blocking may save the day. More on that, and the sweater as a whole, as details come available…). So clearly my twinges of guilt did not prevent me altogether from working on things other than socks! I also cast on for a lace project last week. I forgot how much I enjoy getting lost in a lace pattern. More on that later, as well. I’m not trying to be secretive, but I would like to get into a better blogging habit, so I’m trying to save things for other posts. We’ll see how this goes, as this is not the first time I’ve tried to learn this particular habit.

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Having four days off in a row did wonders for my knitting! I finished a total of three projects; two were in progress and one was started and finished in the same day.

First up, November socks for J. A pretty poor picture, admittedly, but they are navy socks and natural light is at a premium these days:

Pattern: Gridiron by Anne Hanson

Yarn: Berroco Comfort Sock in 1763

Needles: US2/2.75mm

This is the second go ’round of this pattern. The first pair was accidentally felted by J a couple days before these were finished. I told him he didn’t have to shrink his socks to get a new pair; he just needs to ask. It was during the knitting of these socks that I realized how much he likes his hand-knit socks. He repeatedly asked when they would be done, he was so eager to have them. Ah, it does my knitterly heart good! I experienced a first with this project – running out of yarn! I finished the toe of the second sock in black. I offered to rip out the first one’s toe to make them match but J was more interested in having them on his feet than having them match. Works for me!

Next up is a baby cardigan. I do not have a specific baby in mind for it, but I’m sure one will present itself sooner or later.

Pattern: Easy Baby Cardigan by Diane Soucy

Yarn: Berroco Comfort DK in 2753 Agean Sea

Needles: US7/4.5mm

I followed the pattern pretty much all the way on this one, but I can see making more and modifying them. It’s a great basic cardigan for a baby! I like the idea of ties instead of buttons, but it seems like it won’t close all the way because the garter stitch band is so short, even placing one set of ties back on the edges as the instructions state. It could be that i-cord ties are bulkier than crocheted ones, but I like the look of the i-cord better. At any rate, it’s a lighter weight cardigan, so if it doesn’t close all the way it’s doubtful the baby will freeze.

And last but not least, the super-fast fingerless mitts I made for J. I think altogether these probably took about 6 hours spread out over a day.

Pattern: Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Cascade 220 in 9459 Yakima Heather

Needles: US7/4.5mm

I whipped these up out of some yarn leftover from J’s Cobblestone Pullover. I loved how fast they went! I’ve already got plans for a pair for myself. I’m not entirely pleased with my kitchener-ing job on these, but it’s serviceable. J will use them, and they will keep his hands warm, and that’s the whole point.

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The Cecilia cardigan is no more. While I still think it is a beautiful pattern, I finally sat myself down for a little reality check. This project has been weighing me down for several weeks now. I felt guilty for not working on it when it’s so close to being done, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up because I knew I would never be happy with the finished sweater. What was I thinking when I thought I could wear a cropped cardigan? What was I thinking when I thought I could wear anything in the color yellow? This project was doomed from the start.

And so I tossed it. Yep, that’s right. I didn’t frog it; I threw the whole business away. I can hardly believe it myself, although it is strangely thrilling at the same time…I don’t particularly like the color, so I doubt I’d use it for anything big in the future. And the thought of trying to come up with several small projects just to use it up didn’t appeal to me. I have a couple untouched balls that I held on to; I’m not completely crazy.

I did finish a pair of socks in October:

Pattern: Twinkle, Twinkle by Laurie Lee

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid in 109 Lilac

Needles: US1.5/2.5mm

This was my first experience with a picot cuff, and I must say I like the effect. These are much shorter legged socks than I generally prefer. I was concerned about the amount of give afforded by the picot, so I erred on the side of shorter. I’m glad I did; I think with another pattern repeat they’d have been too tight. As it is they are a bit difficult to ease over the heel, but once they are on they feel fabulous! I personally don’t see the star effect of the lace pattern, and overall I think I just do not prefer lace socks. I like the cuff, but overall these are just “meh” for me.

However, I will share some gratuitous closeups; despite being underwhelmed by the finish project I seem to have gone picture-crazy on these.

Cuff

Leg

Heel

Toe

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Hard to believe as it may be, even for myself, I have not solely (har) been working on socks.  There has been much variety in the knitting in these parts. If a sweater and a baby blanket in addition to socks can be called much variety…

The sweater is a cropped cardigan called Cecilia. Super cute, but I think I must have deluded myself when I thought I could actually wear the thing when it’s done. I’m a little too…erm, busty to pull off the cropped look. I’ve known this about myself for some time now. And it’s the reason poor Cecilia has been languishing on the needles far longer than necessary. But I am determined to finish it, fit be damned. I tell myself that it not fitting, well or at all, isn’t so big of a deal. After all, I’m a process knitter. And I enjoyed the process before I started beating myself up for being overly endowed. So no more of that!

 

Hi! I am an out-of-date picture. Imagine me with one sleeve done!

 

It looks awfully small, doesn’t it? The pattern suggested several inches of negative ease because the lace, it stretches. But despite my attempts to be philosophical about fit and to just enjoy the ride, a small part of me despairs of it blocking out enough to actually fit around my chest.  At this point I’ve only got the second sleeve and the button band left, so soon we shall see how it goes. This may be my most vigorous blocking go ’round yet, trying to make it submit to my will!

The baby blanket I finished a couple weeks back, but was only able to gift it a couple days ago. I’m ridiculously pleased with how it came out!

 

Strangely hypnotic...

 

Pattern: OpArt by Melissa Dominguez

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK in Dusk and Asparagus

Needles: US7/4.5mm

Getting started was definitely the hardest part of this project. And it wasn’t so much hard as it was fiddly. Despite my intense dislike of Magic Loop (it just feels awkward and slow to me), it was the easiest way  for me to get going. As soon as I had a couple of the stripes, though, I immediately switched to DPNs and used them until I could comfortably work on circulars. The yarn was a pleasant surprise. It wasn’t anything special to work with, but as soon as I washed it (I figured I’d give it its inaugural spin (har, again) through the washing machine in case tragedy struck in the form of it unraveling. It seemed cruel to have the new parents to discover the ends were badly woven in and leave them with a mess of tangled yarn on their hands. Luckily for all in hearing range, crisis was averted when it came out perfectly intact.) it softened up beautifully. It went from a scrunched up, wonky looking square to a wonderfully drape-y blanket. I had read in some of the project pages on Ravelry that some of the Swish DK bled upon washing, but I didn’t have that problem. I would definitely use this yarn again and for this same pattern, which I definitely think I will make again should the need arise. I think it looks pretty awesome; not your typical baby blanket. I’ve even thought about making a gigantic one for the couch, but I’m not sure how I feel about that much garter stitch again anytime real soon…

And, finally, let there be September socks!

Pattern: Masonic Lodge by Emma Haigh

Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock in SY02 Desert Grass

Needles: US2.5/3.0mm

A pair of man socks! Nothing exceptional or exciting about these, other than that J likes them and has worn them several times already. I was interested in the yarn because it’s from a company in Western Nebraska. I like the mottled look of the finished socks, but the yarn was rather splitty for my liking. It was also a bit hard on my hands at first, until I got used to it. I have another three skeins in a purple colorway. I was thinking of using it for a Sockhead Hat and some fingerless gloves, but now I’m not sure. I’ll see how the yarn softens with wash and wear and then decide.

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There have been a more than one in my life in the last couple weeks, but here’s the most recent (and most easily photographed):

 

Yes, it's another sock.

 

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July socks:

Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks by Adrienne Ku

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid in colorway 102

Needles: US2.5/3.0mm

Not the most descriptive picture of a pair of socks, I know. But these were swap socks for the first ever International Sock Swap! They haven’t been received by my partner, that I know of, but I’m hoping they will soon. I really enjoyed this pattern; very easily memorized and it works up fast. Part of the fastness might have been because they are essentially a tube sock. My partner will put in an afterthought heel so that they fit her foot.

In other afterthought heel news, and in the interest of not dragging out these sock posts any longer than absolutely necessary, here are my August socks:

Pattern: None! Just a 72-stitch stockinette sock with a 2×2 ribbed cuff and an afterthought heel.

Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic in colorway 84.0050

Needles: US1.5/2.5mm

Not terribly excited by these socks, although I love the colors! The yarn is very loosely plied, and I prefer sock yarns with a tight twist. I’m a tight knitter, and I worried about it breaking (it never did, thankfully). I also don’t know that I’m crazy about the bit of fuzz or halo. Since this is a plain sock I don’t think it matters much, but if there were much patterning at all, even more ribbing, I think it would have bothered me enough to not use this particular yarn. These socks are also the poorest fitting ones I’ve knit. Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky? I overshot the length of the foot by a good inch at least. Because I was too lazy to rip out the graft and shorten the toe, I shortened the heel instead. When I pull on the sock so that it fits in the toe, the heel sits about a half inch higher than it should. It looks weird, but it’s not too uncomfortable. They’ll be decent house socks this winter if nothing else.

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June socks!

Pattern: Shur’tugal by Alice Yu

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Cherry (colorway 122)

Needles: US2/2.75mm

Strangely enough, I don’t have a lot to say about these socks even though I enjoyed knitting them, and I’m pleased with the finished pair. This was my first experience with Jitterbug as well, and I liked it! The color is great, and as always I appreciate a sock yarn with a tight twist. Probably the most interesting note on these was that I was working on them on a road trip to Indianapolis to see the Indy 500 with J, my brother and my dad. It was a great trip, and I was able to get quite a bit of the pair done on the drives there and back. Sadly, it was the hottest race day EVER, so it was much to hot to knit at the raceway. Normally I will knit anytime, anyplace but my hands were sticky and sweaty just sitting in the stands. I couldn’t bear the thought of yucking up the yarn that way! But when I see these socks, I think of that day, and that makes me happy.

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