Saturday, August 25, 2007

Busy end of summer

I have been way too busy lately and haven't had much time to post here, sorry about that. I also haven't been able to finish up much knitting. I have had time to get a few socks started so that will have to do, but first I wanted to reply to Debby's comment on my last post.

Debby asked about how tight my knitting was on size #0 needles with the Panda Cotton. I am a rather loose knitter so I usually use needles 1 or 2 sizes smaller than recommended, but I like my socks to be knit fairly tight (loosely knit socks wear through quickly and are not as comfortable on the soles of your feet). So, with my loose knitting and size #0 needles I was able to get a gauge of 8 sts to the inch which resulted in a very nice sock.

I knit this sock up last month while I was up in northern Wisconsin for a week.

Pattern: Basic sock w/ Steeples stitch pattern from the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Lightweight in Lunasea
Needles: US #0 dpns
Gauge: 7.5 sts = 1"

I really like this sock, I just have been distracted by other socks and haven't knit up this ones mate. I actually have the top inch of ribbing on the needles, tucked away in the bottom of my knitting bag.

This sock is Tamara's fault, she had this same yarn at knitting Group recently. I loved the colors and asked her what it was, when she told me I realized I actually had that yarn in my stash at home!

Pattern: Basic sock w/ slip-stitch pattern
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Mediumweight in Harlotty
Needles: US #1 dpns
Gauge: 7 sts = 1"

I tried several different stitch patterns until I finally settled on an old favorite. This is a simple 2 row stitch pattern but it looks great with almost any yarn. I started with a k3,p2 rib and then:
Row 1 - Knit
Row 2 - * k3, slip 1 (k-wise), k1, yo, psso k1 & yo (pass slipped stitch over the k1 and the yo)*
This socks mate is almost half done and will probably be finished within the next few days.

This sock is Eunny's fault. I love cables, especially teeny tiny ones on itsy bitsy needles. I could not resist. I love them.

Pattern: Bayerische Socks by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll
Needles: US #0
Gauge: 9 sts = 1"

These are not nearly as difficult to knit as they look, you just have to pay attention a little bit. It is a lot of stitches (96 sts.) and cables on every row. I am not crazy about the yarn (it's a little scratchy) but it might soften up after washing. I just couldn't think of a nice solid yarn that would be thin enough for this pattern. Claire came up with the perfect yarn, after I already knit this one, Lorna's Laces. Damn! I love that yarn. The only thing I DON'T like about Lorna's Laces is how long it takes to knit a pair of socks with because it is so thin. My favorite socks to wear I knit with Lorna's Laces. I can't believe I didn't think of it.

That's all I have pictures of for now, so I guess the rest will have to wait. Thanks for stopping by and I'd love if you left a note to let me know you were here. That way I can come visit you too.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A not so manly skeleton scarf, oh and some socks.

I had intended this scarf to be for my husband, but it seems that this is not a very manly scarf. I thought that might be the case so I had him try it on (when it was the right length for me) and asked him what he thought. He thought it would look great on me. The fine ladies at my knitting Group also confirmed that this was definitely not a manly scarf, I'm not so keen on these things. I finished it up, and after it was washed, blocked and dried, I had to agree, this was way to luxurious for a man! I just love it!

Pattern: Skeleton scarf by Donna Druchunas from Arctic Lace
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas - Alpaca & Silk in Kiwi
Needles: US #3
Gauge: 6 sts = 1"

I did change the pattern a little. I used a different yarn (thicker) but still wanted a rather narrow scarf, so I only did one repeat of the pattern instead of two. Also, the ends of the scarf don't really match so I changed the end border a little to make them match better. I blocked this rather quickly (I was excited) so the ends to really match in this picture. I will block it again and be patient this time, it's totally worth it.

Now, on to the socks. I must apologize for how horrible these pictures are. I should really get myself a nice camera. Anyway, I knit these up for me. This was my first time using the Panda Cotton and I didn't know how they would turn out, so I just made a little pair of summer anklets.

Pattern: Highland schottische kilt hose by Nancy Bush from Folk Socks.
Yarn: Panda Cotton in Fern
Needles: US #0 dpns
Gauge: 8 sts = 1"

I significantly shortened this pattern! I eliminated the beautiful turned down cuff and all of the leg and made tiny little ankle socks. I do like the full pattern and might make them another time, but right now this is all I wanted.
The yarn is rather splitty. I needed a break after finishing the first sock and picked up a shawl that I have been working on in some INCREDIBLY splitty yarn. When I started up the second sock the yarn didn't seem to be splitty at all. The socks are very comfortable, so soft and perfect for summer. I will be knitting more socks with this yarn, I already bought more.

Here is another summer sock.

Pattern: Spiral Boot Socks by Veronik Avery from IK Summer 2007
Yarn: Cascade Fixation
Needles: US #2 dpns.
Gauge: 7 sts = 1"

These socks are actually quite different from the pattern. I shortened them so they would be good for summer, but I also changed the stitch pattern without realizing it. I cast them on with out having the pattern in front of me, fairly confident that I remembered the stitch pattern. I didn't realize until I got to the gusset that instead of doing a k2tog dec., as the pattern calls for, I was doing a SKP. So, my spirals go in the opposite direction and the stitches look a little different (see how all the stripes peak up a little bit, they should be pointing down). Still, they turned out pretty nice and were quickly claimed by my youngest. I do think I will try this pattern again, knee socks this time in a nice soft wool.

Even though it has been pretty warm here, I needed a little wool fix. I got a little more than I bargained for.

Pattern: Undulating Rib Socks by Ann Budd from Favorite Socks.
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Toscana
Needles: US #1 dpns.
Gauge: 7 st = 1"

This is a great pattern for a guy, I know, I am not the best person to make that call, but all three of my guys like them, especially my husband!

I am not sure if there is a mistake in the pattern (it isn't on the errata page) but I thought this change looked better - after the plain ribbing, start the undulating rib pattern on row 9 of the chart. I didn't continue the purl sts. along the toe dec. simply out of personal preference. Other than that, this sock is great.

I did run into a slight problem (my mistake, not the pattern). The stitch count on the instep changes from the 1st half of the chart to the 2nd half. This is important to realize when you are decreasing for the gusset. On the first sock, I counted just the heel sts. and stopped decreasing when I got back to the original number. On the second sock, I counted all the sts. and stopped when I got back to the original number. When I got to the toe, I realized I had decreased 2 extra sts. on the second sock. I figured he wouldn't even notice, it's only 2 sts. I had him try them both on (the 2nd still on the needles) and he said, "These are really great! Why is this one so much tighter? Is it the needles?" ARGH! I ripped them back to the gusset and did them right. He is totally worth it (he buys me lots of yarn).