Monday, February 19, 2018

Warm Wool Socks

Of course, it's going to be in the mid-70s locally this week, now that I have finished my friend's wool socks. But we can depend on winter to return. And, assuming that he likes them (which he won't, if he wears them when it's in the 70s!), I now have the numbers to make him socks-that-fit as often as he likes.

Pattern: mine, toe-up, with several fittings along the way to ensure a good fit (toe width, foot length, heel, leg height)
Yarn: Regia Allround Color (discontinued), taking some care to start both socks at the same point in the color changes so that they would match

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday WIP

I bought a gradient mini-skein set on my trip to Maine last fall. After entering it into my Ravelry stash, I looked to see what other people had done with it, since this was my first gradient mini-skein purchase. Someone else had used the exact same set to make a shawl that I had been admiring for some time, and which was designed by a friend of mine!

This turned out to be excellent road-trip knitting. Before we left, I prepared the yarn (weighing and measuring) and popped it into labeled ziplock bags with a corner cut off for the yarn to feed through. Each pattern segment was easily memorized and worked until the next stop, when I could learn the next segment. Aside from a tragic incident with a bottle of ginger ale in sub-zero weather, which will make washing it before blocking more than usually necessary, it is going really well.

It's very near the end, but I am doing some test-knitting with a deadline, so that comes first (and is going fast). Then I will finish this. Then I will decide which to keep and which to give to NKD, since they are very similar colorways.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Is it weakness of intellect?

I matched some great yarn with the perfect pattern, and achieved a small blanket suitable for covering a baby in a carrier or carseat (since we do not cover babies in their cribs any more). The yarn was part of my retirement present from the office (they know what floats my boat). It was really nice yarn, and I was very happy to discover this pattern. It is in no way the pattern's fault that I kept messing it up and going back to fix things.

Pattern: Melissa Schaschwary's Willow Blanket
Yarn: Swans Island Organic Washable Sport (merino), 2 skeins of a lovely autumnal orange - pastels are for chalk, not babies

One more for the box, although I did just learn that a friend is expecting in May...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wednesday WIP

I have knit up two oversized pairs of wool clogs and a pair of mittens. They look like clown accoutrements, and are not considered finished objects, because they need to be felted down to proper size!

The very best washing machine for this is one I will not see again until August, so if I want warm fingers and toes (and I do!) I'm going to have to attempt this in my washing machine of considerably less power and magnificence.


Meanwhile, an addendum from last time:

That worked out well, I think.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Hint of Warm Air

I finally finished the sweater I've been making for NKD. It is astonishingly warm and weightless (and okay, see-through, but layering is a thing, right?). It took so long because I literally could not take my eyes off of it as I knit, as I frequently dropped stitches I couldn't feel.

Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company's Loft (60% mohair, 50% silk laceweight) in Olde Town East
Needle: 3.5 mm
Mods: Not wanting to sew the fragile fabric, I seamed the sleeves with a 3-needle bind-off, then picked up the sides of the back and knit or purled 2 stitches together at the end of every row of the front.

I will try to get a photo of it on her...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday WIP

I'm sewing together a blanket for my charity knitting group. Garter stitch 8x8" squares of worsted acrylic on size 10 needles. Pretty much my only constraint was that I only had enough of the pink for four squares and a little bit over. So, a nine patch.

I decided to put a Valentine's heart in the center square. After watching me re-invent all the reasons why people don't do color work in garter stitch (pro tip: there is no good way to handle the color changes, making for ugly edges), my knitting group suggested I ditch the pink heart and just make a nice, subtle, stockinette heart instead. Okay.

Then I decided that I had enough of the red left over to make more than the usual single-crochet edging. I decided I wanted to knit around in garter stitch, mitering the corners. So that's where I am now. Since I don't own a circular large enough to surround the blanket, the thing is strung on 4 or 5 long circulars, with the active part being knit on the only size 10 circular I've got, which of course is for hats and quite small. So every so often I have to stop and run the stitches on the active needle onto one of the smaller circulars.

Life is great, as long as I remember to
- miter the corners by increasing the stitch before and after each corner marker
- switch from knitting to purling (and back again) every time I hit the orange marker (garter stitch in the round), and
- not get confused between slipping stitches off the back of the active needle here:

as opposed to working stitches on to the active needle here:

So far, so good. I think I'll do a row of pink next, and while I'm at it, make it a row of eyelet by doing yarn over-knit 2 together around (except for the mitered edges). What's the worst that could happen? (Here, hold my beer...)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hole Milk

Christmas present for KD (but modeled by NKD, who nearly walked off with it) - a lovely half-round lace shawl with tiny dark purple beads at each loop of the edging:

Pattern: Lorna Miser's Lace Rims Shawl, an excellent pattern for showing off a variegated yarn

Yarn: Well. A bit of a mystery. I bought it at the Knitting Boutique, and the label said Feederbrook Farm, merino/alpaca/milk, 600 yards. I think it's their Milk & Honey in the Antimony colorway. Feederbrook doesn't sell that yarn in a single 600-yard skein; must have been a put-up for a kit. But it knit up great for this and I used every bit of it!

Beads: Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' transparent matte amethyst glass #6 round seed beads

Needles: 4.0 mm

Mods: None. Great pattern!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday WIPs

I've decided to devote Wednesday posts to Works In Progress, to overcome my tendency to only talk about things I've finished.

I'm working on a first pair of socks for a friend, which involves lots of trying on, taking notes, and re-figuring the math. If this last adjustment is correct, the rest of the sock will go quickly, and the second one will go like lightening, because the numbers will already be in place.

The pleasant surprise for me was that this yarn:

knit up into this nearly-jacquard pattern (this photo is sideways):

Definite one-row stripes of yellow and orange, with enough mottled green to make you think there might be something there in between. And I would never have guessed it from the skein, which looked like pure random color going on.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Favorite Knit of 2017

I knit a lot of things I liked in 2017. But by far my favorite was also the smallest. I knit an acorn for my BIL to use as a Christmas gift decoration. He would have taken a real one, but they are hard to find around here that far into winter, except for the partially eaten ones.

Pattern:  Revati Poole's Spiffy Little Acorn (on Ravelry)
Yarn:  Patons DK Gold, 2 grams of Taupe (5.2 yards) and 3 grams of Beige (7.9 yards)
Needles:  2.5 mm
Modifications:  I knit the cap in seed stitch, since I have never seen an acorn with a smooth cap (and have a childhood tea set made entirely of acorn caps to back me up). The merest smidge of fiberfill, and it was ready.