Sunday, June 24, 2007

STR Inside Out

Well, I've finally started knitting the first Rockin' Sock Club sock pattern using the Monsoon medium weight yarn sent with the first sock kit back in February. In a way, I'm glad for the delay since it gave me a chance to read others' posts and see what size of needles others used to make the socks. I knit rather loosely, so I always have to drop a few sizes, but I also have a high instep. So, when I read that others had to frog their socks because of a tight instep, I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands. I finally opted to use a size 0 for the toe and heel, drop down to a 00 for the foot, then up to a size 1 for the leg. And when I knit the foot, I started out trying to knit rather tightly (it hurt my hands because I was using metal needles!), then I loosened up a bit as I reached the instep. Crazy! It actually worked! I am loving how these socks are turning out. My hubby is even envying these socks, saying, "I'd wear a pair of those!" My only issue is how the striping worked out on the foot. Mine seem to be pooling weirdly instead of striping, compared to other photos I've seen, especially with the grey color. It will be interesting to see how the second sock turns out!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dollar Store Treasure

I was killing time the other day, when I took my teenaged daughter shopping, and found some amazing deals at the dollar store. I didn't expect to see 100% wool yarn there but came across a multitude of Moda Dea Cartwheel yarn, mixed in with the acrylics that made up most of what they had. Twenty minutes later, after digging through several bins, I managed to find enough of 3 colors to make several things (hats, socks, scarves, purses?) and enough of another color (hazey, a mix of white, beige, grey and blue) to make a sweater! I couldn't pass it up at a dollar a skein!

I've been wanting to make a jacket type sweater for a long time now, and so maybe the hazey yarn will work out. I have in mind an old Knitty pattern I found the other day. It's called Bpt from the Fall 2003 issue. The hoody sweater zips up the front and has these really cool cables that go up both sides of the zipper and also up the sides of the sweater and arms. I just don't know if the yarn will be good for it as it's a thick and thin yarn, so it might look weird or camouflage the cables. Does anybody have any feedback on this pattern or thoughts on using the Cartwheel yarn?

The other pattern I thought of using was the Point Five Raglan Jacket by Liz Tekus (from the Knitter's Stash book). I'd have to alter the pattern somewhat to knit a smaller size (by eliminating some of the increases in the raglan part) but it might be a better match for the Cartwheel yarn than the Bpt. Has anyone had success with this pattern, especially in adapting it to make a smaller jacket?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Goodies for baby Naiya

This is Naiya - my niece and "nephew-in-law" gave birth to this little sweetie in April. We can't wait to meet her this summer!

I had a lot of fun knitting the heritage blanket for Naiya. I made it from art yarns supermerino in color 127. It was so soft and lovely to work with and I was pleased how it washed up. The pattern was a nice one, fairly simple to work, although in retrospect I wonder if the varigated coloring of the yarn detracts from the pattern of the blanket. If I were to knit it again I would use a solid color.

I made Naiya a little bear to go with her blankie. Sweet dreams, Naiya!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

afghans for Afghans socks

I've been so busy these past few months, trying to get various knitting projects done, that I've gotten behind on my posts and had wanted to mention the children's socks I made for the afghans for Afghans sock project back in March. I used the Paton's Classic yarn that I'd dyed with koolaid (see March 3 post).

The first pair I made for a little girl using the handpainted yarn. It was my first attempt at making a short-row heel. The pattern is a free one, for charity knitting, listed as Socks For Children In Common. I was a little disappointed with my efforts, as I got holes in the heel from not properly knitting the wraps. Admittedly, I was pretty confused when I did it the first time. I looked at several online tutorials, and that helped considerably. The second sock went a lot better but I still want to try more short-row heels so I can practice knitting the wraps the right way, etc. All in all, I think they turned out pretty well and I liked the way that the handpainted yarn looked when it was knitted up.

For the second pair, I used the other yarn I'd made. When I dyed this yarn I thought the colors were rather blah looking, but when I knitted it up I came to like the way it looked. The "liver" color from the grape koolaid actually looked o.k. when mixed with the other colors. The pattern I used for this one was a traditional top-down with a standard slipped-stitch heel. Since I was getting rather close to the due date for getting them to afghans for Afghans, I opted for a sock I could just crank out the second time around. I adapted the pattern a little, so that there was less ribbing at the top of the sock. They came out kind of squatty but will probably fit someone with a wider foot. It was fun trying some different sock patterns and using the koolaid-dyed wool.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In the nick of time...

Phew! It was close, but I finished the shawl for my son's teacher the day before graduation! I really enjoyed making this shawlette, from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits (see June 3 post for links). I was a little worried when I was knitting it, as it was a little wonky but when I blocked it the shawl really relaxed and flattened out beautifully. The combination of the alpaca and silk made it quite drapey and soft. The only part that gave me a little anxiety was when I had to kitchener stitch the 2 halves together at the end. I barely had any yarn left at all, and so I was nervous about running out of yarn before I finished, but I had just enough left to graft it together plus a few more yards. I wasn't sure how much to leave extra to kitchener stitch, but I went with the rule of thumb of 4 times the width. I added several inches just in case, and it was a bit cumbersome having to pull that much yardage through each time, but I muscled through it o.k. And even with a few phone calls interrupting me (was I knitting through the back or pearling through the front on that last stitch, urgh!) I managed to get through it.

Here it is, modeled by my daughter, and I think my son's teacher really appreciated it. It almost makes me want to knit one for myself, perhaps in the Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk - Ginger or the new Peapod colorway?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My mom's socks are finished!

My mom's socks are finished! Actually I finished them a few weeks ago but have been so busy with other projects (posts coming soon!). I really liked how they turned out but there is one aspect of the Jaywalker pattern that bothered me. It is when you slip the stitches on the instep portion to mimic the pattern used on the leg. I don't know if I was too tight when I slipped the stitches, but it turned out just a bit puckery, although after blocking it was better. I wonder how it would look if you didn't slip those stitches - has anybody tried this? At any rate, they turned out fine and my mom says they fit her perfectly! My fear is that she'll just stick them in her drawer and look at them instead of wearing them. So, please wear the Jaywalkers, Mom!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Clementine Shawl

I just started this lovely shawl for my son's teacher at school. It is from the spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. It is made from Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk and I decided to use the Mandarin color shown in the pattern. It is a lovely muted pumpkin shade and the yarn is so soft and drapey! Unfortunately, I started the project a little late and now I am scrambling to finish it before the end of school!