Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sock Number Two

The newly dyed yarn was too tempting!

I'm excited to see that it doesn't really seem to be pooling very badly.

This is a pattern loosely based on the Undulating Rib Socks from Favorite Socks -- but completely different. I wanted some purl stitches and some knit stitches, so (even though you can't see it in the above picture, unstretched) I did a 3x1 rib then a 1x3 rib to achieve the look. I think it will work when it is actually on a foot.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Usually I don't like reptiles.

This sock, however, just channels alligator, doesn't it?

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug purchased at Purl

Needles: Size 1 DPNs

Pattern: Twin Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Between Dyeing and Knitting

I really enjoyed the weekend of dyeing. A friend was up to visit and we went a wee bit crazy, as you could tell from the last post. I've now ordered my own dyes and I can't wait to give it another go, although we'll see how it works out!

I couldn't wait to wind the yarn and see what it looked like in the ball. I mean, I really couldn't wait. The yarn was still a wee bit damp, so I had to reskein it. (Don't worry, I was careful and didn't twist the skeins until it dried!) I love the way it turned out.

This is the skein I am least impressed with. I thought it was sock yarn and it was the first skein I grabbed out of the water. It was not. I'd love it if it were sock yarn, but I prefer my lace yarn to be more even. I'll have to find a simple lace pattern to knit with this. Maybe even a simple feather and fan to make undulating ripples of color. I love the way it looks in the skein and the color repeats are short enough that the knitted fabric should be even enough without reminding me of a circus.

This is more sock yarn. Again, it's more variegated than I prefer -- I was trying to play with my technique. I think it will knit up very nicely, however.

This is one of my favorites. It's a deep teal fading to light sage. I can't wait to knit this one up!

This is Zephyr lace yarn. The left one has not been reskeined but the right one has. See how the color becomes deeper and more intense after reskeining? I think this is my all-time favorite. At least out of what I've done so far.
And here is some aran-weight 2-ply cashmere merino. I haven't seen colors like this anywhere before. Smoky warm oranges and reds that blend into brown at spots. Honestly, I can't even tell you how I made this one. I love the way it looks reskeined (again, at the right).

I think I could say that each of them is a favorite.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Over the weekend

It started like this:
Progressed like this:

Then it got hot:

And then:

Some roving:

At the end, this is what we had:

Left: Cotton chenille, middle left -- cashmere/merino blend, sock yarn and silk/wool laceweight, right -- Cascade 220, sock yarn, laceweight, undyed laceweight.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Before the crisis, I swatched. I swatched a lot. On the left, Patons Classic Wool from JoAnn Fabric on size 7 needles. In the middle, Rowan Felted Tweed on size 3 needles and on the right, Elann Peruvian Pure Alpaca Fina on size 3 needles. I love the look of a simple stockinette swatch, and it's good practice to help keep me from rowing out (my gauge is looser when I purl than when I knit). The stitchmarkers are showing me what size needles I used with each swatch. This is a new method of keeping track and I like it -- at least so far. I've tried doing yarnovers to symbolize needle size and tying knots in the tail, but stitchmarkers are far easier.
Projects are already in the works for two of the three swatches, and I'm already impatient to be finished!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Virve's Stockings

Another pair of socks:

These are Virve's Stockings from Folk Knitting in Estonia. I love the touch of colorwork at the ankles. Maybe it will make mine look a little bit smaller! I remember reading about dainty ankles in historical fiction books when I was a kid, and although there are other parts of me that remain dainty, my ankles are not one of those parts....

I knit these socks very tightly, which means they are snug on the foot. So snug, in fact, that I have difficulty getting them over my heel. Especially that colorwork section. But once they are actually on they fit like a dream. They are tight enough they haven't fallen down yet, and I've had them on for about an hour.

The lace section at the top helps them stay up, too. The lace isn't very defined because it is stretched, but that's fine by me.

This was a new heel for me, too. I forget what it was called, but I like it. The shape on the sole of the foot is a rectangle instead of a trapezoid. Different than what I'm used to, to the point that it surprised me when I finished the first one. The toe on this sock is also different -- no space is left between the decreases at the sides, which makes it look like the toe is sewn together. I like it, too. I think these will be getting a lot of use!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Denim Foxgloves

I have been reading about Cat Bordhi's innovations for a while on blogland. Although I've never tried knitting socks on 2 circulars, I've been intrigued.
Then I received her latest book for Christmas. Wow! Great sock patterns, but even better -- a technique that can easily be adapted into a generic "formula" for making socks. Not only that, but I also learned two new increases that are truly almost invisible.
Each chapter describes a different "architecture" or shaping formula for socks. These are the Simple Socks with a Slant -- a version of the Foxglove architecture and the increases are asymmetrical yarn-overs.
Bordhi recommends using a double strand of Trekking XXL to simulate the colors of handspun. I had a skein of Austermann Step on hand, and so I did the same thing with that.
The result? A pair of socks in 5 days flat, knit on size 6 needles. They are soft and cushy, and feel like they really will keep my feet soft.

Friday, January 11, 2008


So I finished knitting the Indigo Ripples skirt quite a while ago. If you noticed (probably not), it was on the sidebar. I finished the body a long time ago, and had to wait until I had access to a washing machine and a dryer to finish it. Since it is made out of denim yarn, you have to shrink it, and I added extra length so I could dry it in the dryer.

This all happened over the winter vacation, when I finally wove all the ends in and finished the i-cord drawstring. I love how it turned out -- it's a perfect fit, the fabric is dense enough to wear without a layer underneath (at least upon first washing) and it's just as long as I wanted it. Yippee for gauge calculations that were accurate! I was getting worried when the skirt looked like it could be tea-length....

The ruffle flips up when I walk, which I think is great. Normally I never would wear something so frilly, but I think it works just because it is a knit. And this is one garment that people won't suspect that I made myself! I'll have to experiment without the tights once the weather warms up. I'll be wearing this skirt a lot, I can tell!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I have a new project. I have been working on it and loving it, and there are photos to introduce it properly. Not right now, though. I found that I had increased a few extra stitches, and so I ripped out an inch. Not a big deal. A pain in the neck, but no big deal. I was impressed with myself for taking so much care with this project.


Yup. See all those loose stitches? Those are the stitches that USED to be on the needle. Look closely at the cable. And at the needle tip. That is the BACK of the needle tip. That used to be connected to the cable. And no, these are not interchangeable needles.

I'm off to go look for some size 3 needles.

Handknit socks, after two years:

Here you see two of my favorite pairs of handknit socks. On the right, the first pair of toe-up socks I made. On the left, the first pair of socks I made, ever. Both of these socks are near to two years old, and it shows. The blue pair has felted on the bottom, and there is an awful lot of pilling on the grey pair.

The grey pair has been out of commission for more than a year, now, with a huge hole in the heel. I noticed a small hole in the blue pair after I last washed it. Since I couldn't stand the thought of throwing away socks, especially not the first pair I ever made (even though the gauge is so loose on this pair that another hole is going to pop up within the next few wearings, I'm sure), I decided to take some yarn and give darning a shot.

Is is a beautiful remedy? No. Not at all. But it will hopefully serve its function, so I'll be able to hold on to two more pairs of socks. And with that I am content.

Friday, January 4, 2008


The last finished piece of 2007 was not knitting. I was on a sewing kick.

This is remnant fabric from Joann's. It was on sale and I bought it on an impulse. Then I got busy.

This is also sale fabric from Joann's. The Toblerone however, did not come from there!

My new bag! I followed the directions for the quilted coasters in Last Minute Quilted Gifts and then attached a gusset/handle to the sides. It's sturdy enough for most days, and cavernous for all of the stuff that I accumulate!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

And then there were two:

On the top is the washed mitten, on the bottom the unwashed.

I love the way the colors blend after blocking,

and the way fair isle looks on the inside.

Can you see why these are called Invisible Thumb mittens?