Past FOs

FINISHED OBJECTS 2007

HWJF Pair #7

HWJF #7

Pattern: Toe up sock using my own pattern

Yarn: Trekking XXL

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Knit: 12/5/2006-1/25/2007

This is one of my last “leftovers” from last year and I’m happy to have it finished. I always love how much my guy appreciates his socks. These came off the needles on Thursday and he *had* to wear them on Friday. Can’t get much happier than that. :)

I had another color experience with these socks though. Part way through the second sock I just had to stop knitting it because the colors were just making me emotionally irritated. I know these aren’t my favorite colors, but I thought it was odd to have such an emotional response to them. Do you ever feel this way about something you are knitting for someone else? Do you ever worry about putting “bad mojo” into something you’re knitting, especially for someone else? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

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Audubon Jacket

audubon jacket 2

Pattern: Audubon Jacket by Morehouse Merino

Yarn: Morehouse Merino Bulky and Three Ply

Needles: Size 11 addi turbos and clover circs

Knit: 12/21/2006-1/28/2007

After several long years of coveting and dreaming, this sweater it is finally mine! I cannot tell you how awesome this thing is. I wish there was “feel-o-blog” so you could feel how cushy and warm and soft and just plain wonderful this whole project turned out. Despite the fact that I felt like the progress was a bit slow because of the big needles and the big yarn, I really loved working this up. The pattern was fairly easy, just knit and purl stitches, but the pattern repeat was 8 rows long so I found myself referring back to the pattern quite a bit. Just when I thought I had learned it, I had to change it to do the sleeves in the round. Not a real problem, but something that slowed me down a bit. There were a couple of places that the directions could have been more specific (like how many stitches should you pick up around the armholes and up the fronts?), but I think things worked out really well. I was a bit doubtful about the sleeve decreases, but they seem to have worked out just fine. I’m really happy with the fit and I may never take this off! Here’s another shot:

audubon jacket

And the stitch pattern closeup that some of you asked for:

Audubon Closeup

And I love how the sleeve bindoffs worked out:

audubon sleeve bindoff

I think it makes a nice finish.

I also have a bunch of yarn left over. I’ve got several small skeins of the three ply and an entire skein of the bulky. Perhaps it will become a hat or scarf to match? Any other ideas for all this leftover yummyness?

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Fairly Easy Fair Isle

Fairly Easy Fair Isle

Please excuse my weird expression. Freezing to death while modeling is not conducive to good facial expressions apparently. ;)

Pattern: Fairly Easy Fair Isle from Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Onyx (6 skeins), White (less than 1 skein), Blue (less than 1 skein) and Dark Blue (less than 1 skein)

Needles: size 10.5 Addi turbos

Knit: 1/28/2007-2/12/2007

This was a seriously fast sweater! The combo of bulky yarn and big needles made it move along quite quickly during the solid colored parts. The stranding areas were a little more difficult, mostly because of the need to purl on the wrong side rows. The whole sweater is knit in the flat, with the underarm seams closed with a 3 needle bind-off and the sleeve seams sewn. The finishing was basically simple, but there sure were a lot of ends to weave in after the yoke was finished! Having done fair isle in the more traditional “in the round” way, I can see what the designer was going for here, but the only thing that was really simplified about this sweater was the fact that the S word (steek! I think that word ends with eek for a reason!) was not employed. Doing fair isle in the flat like this really doesn’t make it easier, in fact I really think the opposite, but for a first sweater attempt with this technique this isn’t a bad pattern to cut your teeth on.

I’ve worn this a couple of times already and I think it will become a cold weather staple. The mohair content of the yarn makes it super warm but not terribly itchy (although I did and will continue to wear a T-shirt under it). I wasn’t terribly thrilled with how my button holes worked out, but they are serviceable. One thing I’m very happy about was my color choice with this yarn. I think anything but the slimming qualities of black with this bulky yarn would have made this sweater a lot less flattering. I do think it’s too bad that the book gives a chart for a lighter color option, but doesn’t show a picture of the sweater knit up in it.

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HWJF Pair #8

HWJF Pair #8 - Thuja

(Kitty included for scale of course!)

Pattern: Thuja from Knitty

Yarn: Socks that Rock Mediumweight in the Stormy Weather Colorway

Needles: size 2 Addi turbos, 68 stitches total

Knit: 2/22/2007-3/7/2007

Mods: I just plugged the stitch pattern from Thuja into my usual toe-up sock pattern. I only did the pattern on the instep and the cuff and left the heels plain.

Another pair in the books! I wasn’t too sure about this yarn and this pattern at first but I think they worked out well. The pattern is really a simple rib, but it was enough to make knitting these a little more interesting than just plain stockinette. The mediumweight yarn is quite nice to work with and despite the fact that I knit these on size two needles (I think the ball band says size 3 or higher), they seemed to progress fairly quickly. I also wasn’t sure I’d get a pair out of one skein for Mr. ginormous feet my guy, but I made it *and* had plenty of yarn to spare. That’s always good news in my book. The funniest part was that the stripes matched up pretty well between each sock and I really didn’t even try.

Take a look:

HWJF Pair #8

Crazy huh? I seriously didn’t plan that.

One thing I can say, I sure can’t wait to make myself a pair of socks with the mediumweight! I may even use the same pattern. I think it worked out well. But mine will be blue… you’re shocked I’m sure. ;)

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Pomatomus

Finished Pomatomus

Pattern: Pomatomus from Knitty.

Yarn: Koigu KPPM 2 skeins plus a bit of the third (damn it!), bought in North Carolina during Bassoon Camp ’06

Needles: Size 1 addi naturas

Knit: 1/19/2007-3/15/2007

Mods: Does changing the toe color count?

They are *finally* finished! After my frustrations with gauge and then running out of yarn I was bound and determined to have these off the needles pronto, so I finished the second sock in 4 days. I refused to knit anything but the second sock until it was finished. I suppose that says something for project monogamy, doesn’t it? (Of course, that doesn’t mean I actually learned the lesson as you’ll find out soon.) While I do love the finished product (despite my annoyance at the need to find something else for the toes) I found the pattern to be a bit irritating, for lack of a better word. I couldn’t really find a rhythm with this pattern until I was part way through the second sock. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was still not entirely satisfied with my needle choice or just the intricacies of the pattern itself.

One thing that helped me get through these was finally learning a better way to purl. I had a look at

this video and suddenly it all became clear. All I had to do was wrap the yarn around my left index finger in the opposite direction! I got alot of practice while I finished up these socks and I think it will really pay off not only in speed, but in making my hands a little less sore too.

Finished Pomatomus (4)

Overall, a nice pattern that makes a beautiful pair of socks. I’m not sure I’ll be knitting this again any time soon, but my Mom did express a liking for the pattern when she saw it. I believe her words were “You could make *me* a pair like that!”. Hmmm… maybe I’ll be making another pair sooner than I thought! ;)

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Dad’s Birthday Socks

Dad's birthday Socks

Pattern: Thuja from Knitty

Yarn: Socks that Rock mediumweight in the Stormy colorway

Needles: Size 2 addi turbos

Knit: 3/19-3/26/2007

Mods: Knit toe up using my usual pattern with short row toes and a heel flap

These may look familiar to you, but if you really look at the pictures, you can tell they are quite a bit different! My Dad tends to wear a lot of boots, and his feet are significantly less wide than HWJF, so knitting these was almost totally different. I had purchased two skeins of this yarn originally thinking I would only get one pair of socks for HWJF out of it, but I lucked out and was able to get two pairs of socks for two guys with big feet. Gotta love the yardage in STR! They also knit up pretty darn quick on size 2 needles. Best of all, my measurements and calculations worked out and they fit perfectly! Now that’s always a good thing. :)

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Greenery Hat

Greenery Hat

Pattern: Greenery Hat from Lilith Parker’s Lair of Lunacy

Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Tide Pool (1.5 skeins)

Needles:Size 7 addi turbos

Knit: 4/7-4/8/2007

Mods: Went up one needle size from what was called for in the pattern

Wow! Do those bags under the eyes scream I need a vacation or what?!

I’m a very bad knitter and did no swatching for this hat. I basically eyeballed the cast on with the size 6 needles and decided that I better go up to a 7. The hat is still a touch small, but I’m hoping a bath and a block will solve that issue. This is a well written pattern and would be great for someone who hasn’t tried cables before. The directions are written out in words, so if chart reading scares you, give this pattern a whirl. It made for a pleasurable weekend knit. But I must say, I will *never* do a cabled knit with my addis again. It is more trouble than it’s worth. They just ARE NOT pointy enough! I’m really going to have to solve that issue sooner than later…

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Irish Hiking Scarf

Irish Hiking Scarf

Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf from Hello Yarn

Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Tide Pool (about 4 skeins)

Needles:Size 8 addi turbos

Knit: 12/10/2006-4/9/2007

Another great simple cable pattern that was really nice to knit. This one was really popular in blog land for quite some time so I really don’t need to say much. This is another one that is completely written out for those who might be frightened by the thought of chart reading. Just one note about the yarn – I’m questioning the fiber content a bit now that I’ve had experience with several other merino yarns and some merino fiber. This is either not entirely merino, or it is the scratchiest merino around. I still have two complete skeins leftover, but I’m not sure what to do with them. Perhaps another hat?

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Entrelac Socks

Entrelac Socks

Pattern: Entrelac Socks by Eunny Jang. Pattern found in the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits.

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull (less than 1 skein for the contrasting color, slightly over 1 skein for the main color)

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Knit: 3/16-4/23/2007

Mods: I didn’t make them knee high obviously. Instead of the written cuff, I used a K1, P1 rib for 8 rows at the top of the cuff with a sewn bindoff. I used my memorized short row pattern for the heels after the pattern instructions didn’t work out very well. Despite warnings by the designer to the contrary, I slipped the first stitch on the sides of each block that get picked up later and didn’t have a problem with the amount of give in the fabric. I also taught myself how to knit backwards to eliminate the need for constant turning.

Whew! I made it! There were points during this pattern where I really didn’t think I was going to make a *pair* of socks, but I managed. This was my first attempt at Entrelac and while I’m very glad I learned the technique, I can’t say I’m as in love with it as other people I know. It’s interesting, and I like the effect, but I don’t think I’ll be doing it again right away. I definitely saw a lot of improvement in my technique between the first and second sock. I was more confident about how to carry the color that wasn’t being used up a block to put it in the right place in the next round the second time through the pattern. I think my pattern stitches were neater too. I also understood the cast on for the toe much better the second time through, and I may just try using it again for a different pair of socks down the line. I think that was the one thing I really like the best about the pattern, the toe.

Entrelac Socks  side view

As I said above, the directions for the short row heel as written in the pattern were confusing for me and it seemed to work out better when I did the short row pattern I already knew. It was easy enough to throw it in without doing any major calculations.

Entrelac Socks bottom view

I still can’t quite get over the Entrelac being part of the sole of the sock. I suppose it would have taken a major amount of work to figure out how to do it without that being the case, so I understand why it’s there. I’m just still not totally convinced that this is going to be comfortable for me. I’ve been wearing these around the house a bit and I do feel the extra lumpyness, but it isn’t bothersome. I’m not sure that this will remain the case when I put them in shoes though.

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Handspun Socks

Handspun Socks

Pattern: My usual toe up pattern with the exception of the use of an afterthought heel

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull for toes and heels, my own handspun for the rest (dyed fiber purchased from the Little Barn during Rhinebeck 2006)

Needles: size 1 addi turbos

Knit: 1/28-4/25/2007

It certainly took me long enough to finally finish these, but it still feels like a good accomplishment. My yarn works!! :) These are the first thing I’ve ventured to knit with all the yarn that I’ve been making and they came out pretty well. It is amazing how knitting at a tight gauge makes the yarn look better! I still decided to play it a bit safe and used commercial yarn for the toes and heels since the heels especially seem to get felted quickly on HWJF’s socks. We’ll see if that was a wise decision as time goes on. The fabric on these came out nice and cushy while still appearing to be fairly strong, so I’m hoping these will be enjoyed for some time to come.

Handspun Socks Toes and Heels

The afterthought heel was new for me. I’m not particularly in love with the technique, mostly because taking out the waste yarn to open up the seam where the heel will end up is a bit of a pain, but I’m glad I gave it a try. It also amounts to a short row heel which is also not a favorite for me, but the recipient doesn’t seem to mind.

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Spring Argyle Socks

Spring Argyle Socks 2

Pattern: [Okay, I'll Wash Them] Diamond Socks from the book “Never Knit your Man a Sweater unless you’ve got the ring!” by Judith Durant (which I reviewed here)

Yarn: White – Silja (most of two balls), Blue – Regia (part of one ball), Pink and Yellow – Dale Baby Ull (part of one ball for the pink, a very small amount for the yellow)

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Knit: 3/15/-5/1/2007

Whew! They are done! Despite all the crazy construction elements on these, I really did enjoy making them. This was my first attempt at Intarsia, and I’m glad to know it really wasn’t that hard to do. I’m certainly glad I checked out the videos on this site first, but it really wasn’t that hard. I did have a few holes in the first sock, but they were easily sewn up. I learned the value of using bobbins during this project, and I’ll certainly be using them for future argyles (yes I do plan to knit more of these!). I think the one thing I would do differently in the future is to not continue the colorwork onto the instep. That little element causes the need to knit the flat gussets and adds more sewing to the project (certainly not my favorite thing). I like the look of it, but it would be far more simple to only do the argyle patterning on the cuffs and knit the foot in the usual manner.

Occasionally I still look at these and think, “I really knit argyle socks?!”

Spring Argyles Standing

Yep. I guess I did! :)

Spring Argyle Socks

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Mother’s Day Socks

Mother's Day Socks

Pattern: My usual toe up sock pattern (with the exception of a Turkish cast on) and the stitch pattern Stansfield 304 from “More Sensational Knitted Socks” by Charlene Schurch

Yarn: Blue Moon Sock Candy – Cherries Jubilee colorway (2 skeins)

Needles: Size 2 addi lace turbos

Knit: 4/28-5/9/2007

Mods: The Turkish cast on and resulting toe are not my usual for toe up socks, but after doing it on my Entrelac Socks I decided to give it another go. The stitch pattern didn’t work with it quite as well as I had hoped, but I may use it again in the future.

Mom hasn’t gotten many handknit socks from me yet due to her wool allergies so, now that we’ve found some appropriate yarn, I had to make sure she got a pair for Mother’s Day! It was a frantic knit to finish these at the end, but she actually ended up getting them in the mail on Friday. I knew I should have written “Do Not Open Until Mother’s Day” on the box!

I actually enjoyed knitting with this yarn quite a bit. It’s 96% cotton/4% elite (some kind of synthetic fiber) and has a bit more give to it then a totally cotton yarn would. The first day knitting with it my hands tired quickly, but after that I didn’t have a problem with it. It was a bit on the splity side, but not enough to be problematic. And of course, you have to love the color! I think the way the colors behaved differently on each sock makes them even more interesting.

This was the first thing I’ve knit with the new addi lace needles and I have to say I really like them. The cord is much more flexible then on the regular addis, so much so that it hangs nearly straight when you first take it out of the package. No need for steam with these! The points were just sharp enough to make the purl 3 togethers in this pattern fairly easy to execute, without splitting the yarn so much that I couldn’t make fast progress. The coating on the needle is a bit grippier than the regular addis which wasn’t the best for this particular yarn, but it wasn’t so bad that it couldn’t be tolerated. Overall I’m really pleased with these needles. I think Skacel has solved the problems that we have all complained about in very good fashion. I’ll be interested to see how the metal on these holds up compared to the regular addis. Many of mine are discolored in the areas my hands touch the most and I wonder if that will happen with these.

I also enjoyed knitting up this pattern. It’s the first one I’ve used from this book so far and it was fun. Mom had picked this pattern out when we were up visiting for Easter and I’m glad I got to try it. I was able to memorize it fairly quickly and it was interesting enough to keep me going but simple enough to make good commuter knitting. Always important in a sock pattern!

Mother's Day Socks 2

They seem to fit fairly well too which is always a plus. I won’t get to see them on Mom’s feet in person until the end of the month. Then I’ll be able to see how they fit and tweak measurements for future socks. Mom picked out several other stitch patterns and yarn to go with them, so there will definitely be more wool free socks in the future for her.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!! :)

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Kiri

Kiri

Pattern: Kiri

Yarn: My own two ply handspun shown here. Fiber from the Little Barn. Purchased at Rhinebeck 2006.

Needles: Size 8 Crystal Palace Bamboo Circs

Knit: 5/10/-5/19/2007

Mods: I did 12 full pattern repeats and left off the last row of the edging chart.

She’s done and I love her! Despite my issues with judging the amount of yarn it takes to knit an entire repeat of the shawl pattern at a certain point (and would you believe I almost did it again on the edging chart?!), this was really an easy to knit pattern that turned out very good results. It was simple enough to knit while on the train, but interesting enough to not be a bore. I think this would be a good challenge for someone fairly new to lace knitting while still interesting enough for someone with more experience.

The hardest part of the whole thing is the initial few rows before the first chart. I’d highly recommend practicing this with some other yarn before starting your shawl if you aren’t using a smooth yarn. It can be difficult to see what you are doing and was the thing that kept me from making this for so long. Of course, now that I have, I really don’t mind because the universe obviously knew that I was meant to make this with my own yarn. :)

As some of you observed in the blocking post, it did take a bit of doing to get this all pinned out. I actually finally broke down and bought blocking wires just for the occasion. Once I figured out how to pin them down, it really made a difference for keeping the long edge of the shawl straight despite needing two wires for the long edge. My usual method with a string probably would not have turned out such good results. I had feared that the thing would dry out before I got it all pinned out, but by keeping it folded up a bit while working on it I was able to get it done while it was still damp.

Kiri Side

I just happened to need to get dressed up for a concert on Sunday (HWJF and I played Holst’s Planets in a local community orchestra), so it made for the perfect opportunity to get some good finished object pictures. I also wore the shawl with my sleeveless dress out to lunch. We ate outside under an umbrella and it was perfect for keeping the chill of the early afternoon off me.

I wore it to work yesterday and it worked well there too. This may end up taking up residence on my chair at the office after bassoon camp for those days when the AC is just too much.

Kiri with the Tree

I think I’ve been bitten by the lace bug! I’m spinning something now that might just have to end up being a Swallowtail after this experience. I’ll know more once I see what the yardage turns out to be. It’s the same fiber in a different color, so at least I have some idea of how it will behave this time. And I’ll be making extra sure I have enough yardage for what I want to do this time!

Overall, I’m very happy with this (as if you couldn’t tell). The experience of making something that started out as a pile of unspun wool is very gratifying. There will definitely be more of these experiences in my future! I’m imagining knitting something from fiber I dyed myself too. That would heighten the experience even more! Now if only I had a place for a sheep…….. ;)

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Tofutsies Socks

Tofutsies socks (2)

Pattern: My usual toe up sock pattern

Yarn: Tofutsies by SWTC

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Knit: 4/2-5/31/2007

There’s been a lot of talk about this yarn since it came out and I don’t have a whole lot to add to the discussion. I enjoyed working with it, and while I found it a bit splitty, it wasn’t enough to stop me from knitting with it. The fabric is light and smooth and reminds me of a summer weight machine knit sock you would buy in the store.

Tofutsies socks (1)

I’ve already worn and washed these and they were quite comfortable to wear (I think I wore them the day we went horseback riding at camp) and seem to wash well in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry. I’ve also recently heard that they are coming out with some better colors which I think would be a definite improvement since this was the only one I could find that I liked. I found the put up to be quite generous as well. I had more than plenty left over after knitting these for my size 11 foot. Overall, I’m quite happy with them and I’ll be interested to see if the fiber content has a good effect on these as they wear.

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Northern Star Socks

Northern Star Socks

Pattern: My own! I used my usual toe up sock pattern with the exception of the use of the toe from Wendy’s new pattern. The fair isle motifs were adapted from one found in Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting. The ribbing at the top is corrugated ribbing which I learned from a description in the book Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.

Yarn: Louet Gems Opal. 2 skeins of black, one skein pink, one skein raspberry

Needles: Size 2 addi turbos

Knit: 5/19-6/9/2007

Northern Star Socks - side views

I know I’ve said before that I really don’t feel like I did any real “design” work with these, and I don’t, but I’m still pretty proud of them nonetheless! I had a picture in my head when I picked out the yarn, and that picture definitely changed as I went along, but overall they are still very much what I had hoped for. There were a couple of roadblocks, mostly having to do with gauge, but in the end the experience was really rewarding and seeing the finished object emerge was really, really fun. The corrugated ribbing made the perfect topper and I’m really glad I gave it a try despite hearing how much some people hate knitting it (I suppose at a smaller gauge it could be a pain).

Northern Star socks closeup

The yarn was one of the best parts of this project. It’s squishy and soft but well plied and sturdy. The colors really worked out well and they have a great selection of other colors in this yarn. It isn’t terribly expensive either which is always nice. I had enough left over of the pink and raspberry colors that I could probably get another fair isle sock out of them depending on the motif I used (especially if I hadn’t wasted some of the yarn figuring stuff out). Not bad for being able to cover up my size 11 feet! :)

Incidentally, I decided to name them the “Northern Star” socks for a couple of reasons. First, the motif is from an area of the world that might be considered “northern” or Nordic even. Secondly, memories of summers past in northern places like Banff seemed to be calling out to me as I made them, so the name just seemed appropriate. Third, the vivid colors on a black background are what I imagine the northern lights must be like, although I’ve never gotten to see them in person. Someday I hope!

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Almost Monkey Socks – SOS2007 #1

Monkey Socks

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.

Yarn: STR Mediumweight – Midsummers Night colorway

Needles: Size 2 addi turbos

Knit: 6/21-6/27/2007

Mods: I knit these toe up using my usual formula with the exception of changing the toe to the one from Wendy’s pattern and this cast off that Jody blogged about here. I turned the chart for the lace upside down and took out one pattern repeat worth of stitches to make it fit my foot.

It’s not like you need me to tell you this pattern is awesome since you’ve heard it enough times by now, but it really was fun! It’s fairly easy to memorize, the directions are given in written and graph form, and it’s just a pleasure to knit. I did, of course, turn this Monkey on its head, but I don’t think it minded too much. ;)

Monkey Socks (2)

I also don’t need to tell you what a joy the yarn was to work with. It really is a pleasure to come back to STR over and over and still love it. I think this colorway worked really well with this pattern. It wasn’t too variegated so as to obscure the lace, but it did lend some interest. Although after looking at the SOS Flickr group you’ll see that a whole lot of variegation can work out pretty well with this one too.

The new-to-me cast off I tried really worked out well for these too. I love the EZ sewn cast off, but I wanted something a little quicker this time around and after reading about Jody’s experience, I gave it a shot. And I love it! Fast, simple and knitted instead of sewn. What’s not to love?

Monkey Socks (1)

The Monkey pattern is just a great knit and if you haven’t already tried it, you really should! :)

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Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves Socks

Pattern: Falling Leaves

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – Icehouse colorway

Needles: Size 1 addi lace

Knit: 6/27-7/5/2007

Mods: After the first toe I did my own short row toe. I also used my usual heel flap and gusset and bound off again with the same bindoff used here.

Another pair of socks in a week! Good thing I had some travel knitting time or it wouldn’t have happened. ;) I’ve already described my issues with the toe, so I won’t go into it again. I’m just not a fan of short row heels (fat ankles I guess) so I took that out too. But other than those two things I think this is a really attractive pattern and a fun knit. I like the way the yarn did funny stripy things in each sock, and I don’t think it obscures the pattern too much. I really love how each repeat of the pattern comes together and meshes so nicely. Not all lace patterns do that, and I certainly appreciate it when it happens!

Falling Leaves closeup

I’d like to knit this pattern again in a solid color, because I think it would be equally appealing. There aren’t too many patterns you can say that about either! Another thing I like about this one, it’s written for toe up! I always like it when I don’t have to bend my brain too much and still come out with a pretty FO.

This was also my first time using Lorna’s Laces yarn of any type. If you think that’s heresy, what I’m about to say will really shock you. I think it’s ok, but it certainly doesn’t make my top 5 favorite yarns list. It reminds me a lot of standard Regia and Opal, just a little softer. I’m still reserving some judgement because I really haven’t worn these much just yet (considering our current temperatures in this neck of the woods, I should think not!), but once I do perhaps I will be more enamored with them.

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HWJF Socks – Pair #10

HWJF Pair #10

Pattern: Plain stockinette toe up sock.

Yarn: Opal Handpaint

Needles: Size 1 addis

Knit: 6/1-7/13/2007

I always have a pair of plain stockinette socks going so these have been around the block with me. I finished them up in between times when I couldn’t work on Clessidra because I was trying to figure things out. The Opal handpaint was nice to work with. I like the way the pooling worked out on both socks. The boy seems happy with them too.

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Clessidra – Summer of Socks #3

Clessidra on blockers

Pattern: Clessidra from Knitty.com

Yarn: Regia Silk – 2 balls

Needles: Size 1 addi lace

Knit: 7/6-7/31/2007

Mods: I made these toe up with a flap heel and significantly shorter than knee-high. You can read about the modifications I made here and here.

Clessidra Front

It hasn’t taken me this long to knit a pair of socks in quite a while, but it was well worth it. I love the look of this pattern. While the miles of seed stitch were a little trying at times, the look of the texture, especially in the lovely Regia Silk yarn, I think is really beautiful. I’m really glad I took the time and went through the trouble of converting this pattern to toe up. I was able to make these more than long enough to suit me while using the yarn until it was almost completely gone. That alone was satisfying! If I were to knit these like this again I think I would put the big cable down the front of the leg instead of the back. I really felt like I didn’t get to do that patterning as much as I would have liked and while I still love these, I think it might be even more striking at this length with the pattern down the front.

Clessidra back 2

I rarely knit with silk yarns. My Tweed Pullover is my first time working with a silk blend and these socks are the second. I think I may now be officially spoiled! These feel incredibly good on my feet and even though they are fairly thin, I think they’re going to be quite warm. A quick try-on in my air conditioned apartment (not to mention the photo shoot outside in 90 degree weather) proved that! The yarn was great to work with and I’ll be very interested to see if the silk content has any effect on how long they wear. I also am quite impressed with the yardage per ball. Despite all the patterning in these socks and my size 11 feet, I was able to get a very good sized sock out of one ball for each foot. Every time I thought I was going to run out of yarn, I just kept knitting and the yarn kept coming! Always a good thing for those of us with huge ample feet.

Clessidra back cables

Overall, I’m quite happy! Were I not on a mission to knit patterns that I haven’t tried before, I would totally do these again. And should I come across more Regia Silk in a must-have colorway, it may very well be going home with me. :)

Clessidra back

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Gift Socks #1 – Summer of Socks Pair #4

Gift Socks #1

Pattern: Plain stockinette toe up sock.

Yarn: Austerman Step (No idea on the colorway)

Needles: Size 1 addis

Knit: 6/17-8/10/2007

Yes indeed, I am already thinking about Christmas gifts and that is exactly what these will probably end up being. As you can see, these are definitely not my colors, but I think the recipient will find them to their liking. This is pretty much my usual pattern, which has gotten a few tweaks as of late.

Gift Socks #1 heel

Incidentally, I really loved working with the yarn. Maybe the whole deal of it being infused with Jojoba oil is a crock, maybe it’s not, but it is soft and strong and really lovely to work with. As you saw in the last post, I bought three more skeins, so it definitely grew on me! Now if only I had paid more attention to the stripes, maybe they would have matched. Ah well… I think they will still be appreciated.

Gift Socks #1 toes

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Purple Herring – Summer of Socks Pair #5

Purple Herring

Pattern: Red Herring from Knitty.

Yarn: Tess supersocks and baby. 1 ball purple and 1 ball of black

Needles: Size 2 addis for the colorwork, size 1 for the foot and heel.

Knit: 8/1-8/13/2007

My first top down socks of the summer. I really enjoyed doing this pattern. It was interesting enough that I had to pay attention, but intuitive enough that I was able to memorize it for the second sock.

Purple Herring Cuff detail

I modified the pattern slightly by using a size smaller needle to knit the foot. I prefer a sturdy fabric for my socks and it was just going to be too loose if I stayed with the size 2 needle. I switched needle sizes just a few rows after I put in the waste yarn for the afterthought heel.

Purple Herring Heel

I’m still not crazy about this type of heel, but it’s about the only way to get the heel to be a different color in the manner that the pattern calls for and I do like the use of the different color for the toes and heels. I think the toe came out quite nicely as written.

Purple Herring Toe

And I must say again that I absolutely loved working with this yarn. It has a good bit of stretch and is soft and oh so nice to work with. The dyeing is quite nicely done as well. You can see some slight variations in the purple in the picture of the cuff and while some might call that a flaw, I actually like it. I’m also a big fan of the yardage. After knitting this pair, I may almost have enough to do a second pair just like them if I reverse the colors. Not sure I’ll do that any time soon, but I always like to have plenty of yarn. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t secure some more while I was in Maine. I could get some at Stitches East, but I’m seriously thinking that I probably shouldn’t go to that considering it is the weekend before Rhinebeck (anyone want to bring back some sock yarn for me? ;) ). Then again, can you really have too much of a good thing? Like socks?!?! ;)

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Retro Redux

Retro Redux

Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug from the book Lace Style

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease (about 2 balls, I’m not entirely sure for reasons stated below)

Needles: Size 8, 9, 10 and 10.5 addis

Knit: 8/19-8/25/2007

Mods: I used the stitch count from the largest size but used the length measurements for the medium size.

I’ve got a bunch of cotton ease in my stash still and I’ve been trying to find ways to use it. This was a good project for getting a couple of already used balls turned into something with more of a purpose than taking up room on the yarn wall. I actually had used this very yarn for Tempting way back when, but I was still in my “I am tall and therefore large and therefore must knit something 3 sizes too big in order for it to fit” stage, and finally ripped it out when I realized I would not be wearing it again. When I saw Karen’s Retro Redux on Ravelry, I decided to go for it.
This is a really simple and enjoyable pattern that yields a good result. I think this might make a nice first lace project for someone with very little lace experience. The pattern only involves alternating knitting or purling with yarn overs and is easily memorized. There’s no increasing at all because you just change needle sizes. And finishing is really minimal (two short seams and a couple of ends to tuck in). I finished knitting the majority of this the day I cast on and only needed a few more sessions to finish it off.

Retro Redux 2

I like shrugs and this will make a good transition garment as we start heading into fall. Now if the weather will just cooperate…

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Denmark – Summer of Socks #7

Denmark

Pattern: Denmark from “Knitting on the Road” by Nancy Bush

Yarn: Wollmeise in the Rittersporn colorway, generously given to me in a blog contest by Kristy

Needles: size 1 addi lace needles

Knit: 8/16-9/2/2007

Mods: I added extra purl stitches between each element of the pattern to make them fit. You can read more about that here.

Denmark 3

Once I got my sizing issues out of the way, I really loved knitting these socks! The pattern is really smart. The ribbing pattern really confused me at first, but once I noticed how nicely it flows into the cuff pattern, the genius was obvious. The details are so nice too, like the little nupps that start at the top of the cables and give a nice definition to their start. It’s just a really well designed pattern and I do hope to make more patterns from this book.

Denmark 2

What can I say about the yarn that hasn’t already been said? Probably nothing, but it bears repeating! The colors are simply amazing. So saturated and just beautifully done. The yardage of each skein is also worth noting. After finishing these I weighed them and the leftover and they were about the same (although I wasn’t using the most wildly accurate scale or anything). That’s pretty impressive considering the size of my feet! And while the yarn was a bit on the splitty side, it was certainly outweighed by the beautiful fabric and the colors. I probably wouldn’t have gotten to try this without Kristy’s contest, so thank you again for the wonderful prize!

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Socks for Mom – Summer of Socks #6

Mom's socks 9-07

Pattern: My usual toe up on 54 stitches

Yarn: Cascade Fixation

Needles: Size 3 addi turbos

Knit: 8/5-8/29/2007

Mods: I tried to do a picot bind-off

Nothing too special about these. I took good measurements of Mom’s feet back at the beginning of the year and I’m still trying to tweak things to get them to fit properly. Since these were otherwise pretty boring socks, I tried my hand at a picot bind-off. Yeah. Not so much. It makes the top of the sock curl a bit more than I’d like. I really need to learn to do a hemmed picot bind-off sometime as I think that would be a better way of doing this. Overall, she was happy to have them and even wore them a few times while I was home (it was cold!) and if Mom’s happy, I’m happy. :)

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Tweed Pullover

Tweed Pullover side

Pattern: Tweed Pullover from Cables Untangled by Melissa Leapman

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool – 10 balls (give or take)

Needles: size 5 and 6 Crystal Palace Bamboo circs

Knit: 6/2-9/25/2007

Mods: A slight tweak of the neck which will be discussed below

I couldn’t be happier with how this came out! It’s a teensy tiny bit long in the body, but as a tall girl, I really don’t mind. The sleeve length is just perfect, which is something I always find a bit difficult to get right. I was worried after getting some better measurements of myself recently that I had made the wrong size, but I think it turned out pretty well. I mentioned previously that there is a lot of talk on the ‘net about how this yarn grows when it hits water. While I was a good little knitter and washed and blocked my swatch, I think I blocked the actual sweater a little more aggressively than the swatch, but in this case it paid off!

Tweed Pullover

For the most part, I found the pattern to be well written and error free. The charts were easily read and well done. I’ve said this before too, but if you decide to make this sweater I would really recommend starting with the sleeves. You will develop a really solid knowledge of the main motif, and when that motif is repeated on the front and back of the sweater and interconnected, you will understand it so much more than if you started with the front or the back. I think that knowledge would help the knitting move along more quickly as it has some fairly complex cable crossings.

Tweed Pullover Sleeve Detail

The one place the instructions tripped me up was knitting on the turtleneck. First, the instructions indicate that the sleeves should be sewed in but that the back seam of the left shoulder should be left open. Then you pick up stitches and knit the neck. The only problem with this for me was that I forgot that there is a saddle to the sleeve and therefore part of the back must be left free to sew to the saddle after the neck is finished. I picked up stitches all across the whole top of everything, and then wondered why it was so difficult to only put 101 stitches into the neckline! ::slaps forehead:: So, I would *highly* recommend pinning that last shoulder seam together before you do the neck to show where you should NOT be picking up stitches.

Tweed pullover closeup

Also, the chart for the neckline had the cables being twisted on a wrong side row. That made absolutely no sense to me, so I did them on the right side, just like the rest of the sweater. It also still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me why the neck couldn’t be knit in the round. It would have been easier to knit and one less seam. But, as illustrated above, sometimes I’m not so smart, so perhaps I am missing something important here. I did the neck as instructed otherwise, because I did not want to rip it out *again*.

Tweed Pullover front

The yarn for this project really grew on me as I worked with it. I think it really worked well for this sweater and makes it lightweight, but quite warm (I couldn’t wait to get it off after this photo shoot as it was not exactly wool sweater weather at the time!). I did notice that it feels a slight bit on the itchy side around the neck, but I’m hoping another wash before I wear it “for real” will help with that.

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Big Sven Sveater

Big Sven Sveater

Pattern: Big Sven Sveater by Cottage Creations

Yarn: Bovidae Farm

Needles: size 6 and 8 addis

Knit: 9/26-10/4/2007

Mods: My gauge was vastly different than the pattern (14 stitches over 4 inches after washing vs. 9 sts over 2 inches in the pattern), so I followed the numbers for the fourth size instead of my actual size. This gave me about 2.5 inches of ease throughout.

How could anyone not be happy with a sweater that comes out this good in 8 days?! I thought it was time I did a fair isle yoke sweater for real and this was it. I might have actually liked more patterning on the yoke, but I’m not sorry that I took a bit of a “baby step” in the fair isle sweater direction. I had thought originally that I would just use the pattern as a guide and make additions like waist shaping or some different patterning on the yoke, but the pattern was so well done and entertaining, I was just as happy to follow it verbatim.

Big Sven Sveater 3

I didn’t mind slogging through all the plain stockinette on the body and sleeves since they went so darn fast. The yarn was a definite joy to work with. It’s a nice spongy two ply that definitely softens with a good washing. I expect it will continue to do so over time.

Big Sven Sveater 2

The only thing I might really do different would be to have chosen to use the black for the patterning within the blue stripe instead of the green. I choose to use the green thinking that I would use so little otherwise it would almost be totally silly to even have it in the pattern, but it did not contrast the way I had hoped. Perhaps I should have swatched the colorwork? ;)

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Grandpa’s Christmas Socks

Grandpa's socks

Pattern: Twin Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

Yarn: Aussie Sock

Needles: size 1 addi turbos (over 66 stitches)

Knit: 8/19-10/23/2007

Mods: I just inserted the pattern into my usual toe up sock

Another Christmas present done and ready to go. I think it’s ok to post these here since my 88 year old Grandfather wouldn’t know how to work a computer, much less know what a blog was. ;) I picked this yarn up in Maine this summer and ended up buying two skeins because HWJF said he liked it and I figured that was a good endorsement for a “boy appropriate” sock yarn. I had hoped that the ribbing pattern would break up the pooling since I could tell just from winding the yarn that this stuff was definitely going to pool, but it didn’t and I really don’t think my Grandfather will mind. I actually think it’s kind of neat the way it worked out.

Grandpa's socks closeup

Since I only have a shoe size to work from I also wanted a pattern that will be really stretchy and/or hold things together for a good fit. I think this ribbing pattern definitely fit the bill. Of course, I won’t really know until they are gifted, but a knitter can hope, right?

I also finished another sock recently:

New England Sock

This is New England from Nancy Bush’s “Knitting on the Road”. It was a really interesting pattern and I’m glad I gave it a try, but size 0 needles are really tiny! Of course, after knitting this, going back to my usual size 1s felt huge. *sigh* Sometimes I wish my hands didn’t have a better memory than I do! ;) This is being sent to a friend who will knit the other one themselves. It was actually kind of liberating to know that I didn’t have to knit the other one. I may have to try this single sock thing again sometime. But perhaps I better wait until the Christmas presents are done. ;)

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Cobblestone Pullover

Finished Cobblestone

Pattern: Cobblestone Pullover by Jared Flood, Fall 2007 Interweave Knits

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, 10 balls (with plenty left over)

Needles: size 7 addis

Knit: 11/1-11/23/2007

Mods: I added some extra decreases in the neckline to close it up a bit more. I also added several extra rows to make the collar curl a bit more.

Finished Cobblestone yoke and cuff

Whew! I made it and with time to spare! I think being sick for a couple of days, having a holiday and doing some plane travel helped *a lot*, but I managed to finish this up in the time allowed and I’m quite happy to have done so. This is a very straightforward pattern, the only slightly tricky thing possibly being the short rows in the yoke. Overall I think it would be a good sweater for an advanced beginner and depending on the type of yarn chosen, quite a fast and pleasurable knit.

Finished Cobblestone 2

My gauge was quite different than what was called for in the pattern, but luckily the math worked out that I could follow the 51.5″ size for the stitch counts so no extra math was needed. I followed the length numbers for the 43.5″ size and the yoke worked out quite easily. I had read in a couple of places that the short rows made the yoke look wonky, but I didn’t have that problem. Since the pattern didn’t mention that you should pick up the wraps for the short rows, I didn’t and it worked out just fine. The garter stitch hides them quite nicely.

The yarn was a pleasure to work with (despite my complaints about skinny yarn and boy sized sweaters!) and makes a nice light fabric that will be quite warm due to the alpaca content. The two ply construction with little flecks of tweedy color and texture thrown in makes it just that more interesting. And the fabric it produced really is lovely.

Finished Cobblestone yoke

As I mentioned above, I did a few mods at the neckline. The final stitch count made the neck too open for HWJF’s liking, so I did another round where I decreased every fourth stitch. I also knit more than four rows of plain stockinette at the end of the neck. He wanted it to roll more and adding a few more rows basically made that happen. I also had to be very careful with the bind off and ended up taking it out at least once to get it right so that pulling this on wasn’t a struggle.

Overall, it’s a good fit (although the sleeves may be a touch long) and he seems happy (he’s wearing it as I type this in fact), but you won’t catch me knitting a sweater for him in a DK weight yarn again any time soon! Good thing he picked out that peace fleece…. ;)

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Scrolls Socks

Scrolls Socks

Pattern: Scrolls from More Sensational Knitted Socks

Yarn: Panda Cotton (2 skeins)

Needles: size 1 addis

Knit: 11/26-12/1/2007

These ended up being my Mom’s Christmas socks this year. I enjoyed the pattern and the yarn, although the reports of it being splitty are definitely true. It wasn’t too awful, but it was definitely a factor in the speed in which these were knit. I was also rather upset to find wildly differing yardage between skeins, so much so that I had to rip part of the first sock in order to make the cuffs the same height.

Scrolls Socks detail

It’s a good pattern though and one I would almost consider knitting again because it’s just so darn cool looking!

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Traveling Vine Socks

Traveling Vine Socks

Pattern: Traveling Vine from More Sensational Knitted Socks

Yarn: Panda Cotton (2 skeins)

Needles: size 1 addis

Knit: 12/2-12/8/2007

I ended up sending Mom this pair for her birthday. She’d gotten nothing but red socks this year, so I had to break it up a little! This pattern was fun once I got it started. Each row ends with a different stitch count, so if you give it a go just try and trust the pattern. It does work! Again, the Panda cotton yarn is fairly nice but I am told that these did stretch out a bit with wear. I have several more skeins in my stash and will try to remember to incorporate more ribbing into the finished socks next time and maybe go a little smaller size wise.

Traveling Vine Socks detail

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Anatolian Mittens

Anatolian Mittens - Fronts

Pattern: Anatolian Mittens from Folk Mittens

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted

Needles: size 2 addis

Knit: 10/16-12/13/2007

Mods: I felted them!

The picture above shows you the mittens pre-felting. I really loved how they looked when they were finished, but they were just too darn big. If the thumb placement had been higher up on the body of the mitten I probably could have gotten away with it, but where it is I could fold the whole top of the mitten over and into my palm! That’s what I get for not swatching. ;)

Anatolian Mittens - Front and Back

I even went down a needle size from what was recommended! I think Lamb’s Pride’s idea of “worsted” and the rest of the world might be something different! Knitting the thumbs was really hard on my hands. So much so that I only did one an evening until they were done. It seemed like it was kind of silly not to just finish them, but I know better than to push my hands too far.

Anatolian Mittens - Front and Back

I didn’t really want to loose all that great patterning, but they weren’t usable this way, so into the machine they went.

Anatolian Mittens Post Felting (2)

I’d say they didn’t come out half bad. You can see that one felted slightly smaller than the other. Also, where my float tension was a little uneven it twisted things a bit, but not too shabby under the circumstances. It made the fabric thick and squishy which is kind of nice and the wind doesn’t get through nearly as much as it did before.

Anatolian Mittens Post Felting (1)

The thumbs worked out ok too. I was a little bit afraid that they might felt to the mitten.

Anatolian Mittens Post Felting

I wore them to work yesterday and they are still a little bit on the big side. They may go through another felting cycle in the near future, but for now I’m considering them done. If nothing else, they should be even warmer than they are now if I felt them again! :)

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Wedding Garter

Wedding Garter

Pattern: Wedding Garter from the Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar

Yarn: DMC size 10 crochet thread

Needles: size 2 addis

Knit: 12/15-12/17/2007

This was definitely a quick knit but not the most well written pattern. There is no indication that the two strips of lace are knit not from top to bottom, but along the long edge and stitches are left on the needle to be bound of all together after each pattern repeat. It’s a little odd and made me run to look for errata at first, but it does work out.

As I said it is also knit in two narrow strips. These are then sewn together. Seems to be like there could be a better way, but I didn’t have time to figure it out. Ribbon is run through the eyelets that are in the lace to help hold it on. It also calls for elastic to be run into it, but we couldn’t figure out the best way to do that. I may have to update you on that part later.

Overall, it’s pretty and quick and serves a purpose. The bride to be was happy, so that’s good enough for me!

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Barbizon Jacket

Barbizon Jacket

Pattern: Barbizon Jacket by Morehouse Merino

Yarn: Morehouse Merino three strand (9 balls)

Needles: size 4 addis

Knit: 2/16-12/20/2007

Mods: I calculated a size smaller than given in the pattern because of my gauge issues.

Since I started the year with a Morehouse Sweater, what better way to end it than with another one?! I simply love their yarns. Everything I’ve ever made with them just feels like wearing a warm hug and this sweater is no exception. One unfortunate problem with Morehouse patterns that I’ve experienced is that it’s nearly impossible to get the called for gauge. I believe this pattern called for 5 stitches to the inch on either 5s or 4s and after going down to 4s I was still well out of the ballpark. I liked the fabric I was getting though, so I left it at that and did a few simple recalculations to get the fit I wanted. This yarn definitely grows quite easily when it hits water, so my sleeves came out a touch longer than I had intended, but I really don’t mind where they hit me. The garter stitch cuff makes it easy to turn back and just about no one will be any the wiser for it anyway!

Barbizon Jacket 1

The only thing I may have done differently would have been to make the collar a little wider. Short rows are used to get it to fold over at the back like it does (genius! I never would have thought of that one myself!) and then you knit straight for a while to get the right depth on the lower borders. Ever the impatient knitter, I probably could have done a few more rows, but that’s being pretty picky. The seamless construction makes this a pretty simple knit with no finishing to speak of except a few ends to weave in. The most challenging thing about it are the short rows in the collar, but the instructions are clear and easy to understand. If you want to try a simple Morehouse pattern, this would definitely be one to try. The results are great and I’m sure I’ll be wearing this sweater a great deal in the future.

So, an A+ sweater in my book and a great way to finish off 2007!

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FINISHED OBJECTS 2006

Mom’s Scarf

Moms scarf.JPG

Pattern: Morehouse Merino Ultrasoft Scarf (picture here)

Yarn: Paton’s Canadiana

Amount: 2 balls

Needles: Size 8 Addi turbos

After making a pair of mittens for my Mom for Christmas, I had plenty of yarn leftover. I asked her what else I could make for her with it and she requested a scarf. I love this pattern because it is very simple but comes out look fabuolous and gives a good deal of warmth. The number of cast on stitches doesn’t really matter so much as long as it’s an even number. This is something I can definitely wip off at any time without too much thought.

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HWJF’s First Socks

hwjf socks.jpg

Pattern: Basic toe up sock from Queen Kahuna’s book

Yarn: Regia

Amount: 1 ball

Needles: Size 2 addi turbos

Techniques: Magic loop (1 at a time)

Time: Knit from 1/2/06-1/21/06

The verdict on these is overwhelmingly two thumbs up! It’s been all I could do to keep him from wearing these before they were finished (“If I put the ball in my pocket and run the yarn down my pants leg, I could wear them today!”~ HWJF). And I got them to match! I couldn’t believe how easy that ended up being (watch, I’ll never be able to do it again!).

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Fair Isle Headband

fair isle headband.JPG

Pattern: Telemark headband from Bea Ellis Knitwear

Yarn: Peer Gynt wool and some cotton (included in kit)

Amount: 2 balls of wool and 1 ball for the cotton lining

Needles: Size 2 and 4 Addi Turbos

Dates: Feb. 10-13, 2006

This was so much fun to knit! (Thanks for the present Sami!) I wasn’t particularly fond of working with the cotton yarn for the lining because it was so slick and splitty, but the results were well worth it. The cotton yarn starts and ends the project so that it can be folded over and sewn together to create a “no-itch” lining. The directions were easy to follow and the chart would have been easier to follow if I had been smart enough to bring my magnetic board with me. It might also have helped if I had reversed the colors as that would have matched the chart better. Overall I really like how it worked out.

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Fair Isle Bag

fair isle bag.JPG

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride worsted in sapphire and Periwinkle (1 skein each)

Needles: Size 7 addi turbos

Knit: Feb. 13-18, 2006

I made several modifications to this pattern. I didn’t like the cables at the top, so I took them out completely. Halfway through the project I discovered that the fair isle patterning was only on one side and the back was seed stitch, which is probably why it was originally done in two pieces (way to read the directions before jumping in!). Instead of that, I knit the bag completely in the round, I did all four charts, two on each side, twice using charts 1-4 for the bottom row and the same charts in reverse for the top row. After the three rows of seed stitch after the second row of charts was done, I bound off the three stitches on each side and knit back and fourth, reducing four stitches at the end of each row until 25 stitches remained. I then knit in stockinette for 11 rows before binding off and sewing the resulting flap over the bamboo handles that I bought at Joann’s (on sale and with a coupon!). I’m fairly pleased with how this turned out. It could probably use a cloth lining, but seeing as how I don’t have a sewing machine and I hate sewing in general (I always say that’s why I knit and crochet!), it ain’t happenin’! And since it did come out fairly well, I’ve decided to donate it to the silent auction at this weeks MLA conference. I really need another knit bag like I need a hole in the head and I made this more for the technique experience than the want of the actual bag.

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Samus

Samus.JPG

Pattern: Samus from Knitty.com

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride worsted (what the pattern actually called for!)

Needles: Size 8 Addi Turbos (of course)

Knit: Approximately Oct. 23, 2005 – Feb. 9, 2006 (closure added a week later)

Love this sweater, love this yarn and love this pattern! I want to thank the designer for such a wonderful, error free pattern (my sleeve issues were my own making). This was a really nice knit and I do like the way it turned out. I decided to go with a single hook type closure because the knitted frog closure thing just wasn’t working out and I didn’t want to try my hand at zipper installation this time around. I like the way my Sitcom-Chic came out so much, that I thought this kind of closure would work for this too. I’ve already worn this to work and I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it. If nothing else, it sure is W-A-R-M! We haven’t had much winter this year, but I think this will be a wardrobe staple in winters to come. I may even wear it as a jacket in the spring!

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HWJF Vest

hwjf vest.JPG

Pattern: Sort of my own with the help of The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.

Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Carrot (about 8 skeins)

Needles: Size 7 Addi Turbos

Knit: Jan. 23 – Feb. 4, 2006

HWJF likes sweater vests, so I thought I’d make him one for a Valentine’s Day present. I also know his favorite color is orange, so off I went to the Knitpicks catalog and picked out 9 skeins of this yarn. I ended up having an entire skein leftover plus some small parts of two others, but better to have too much than not enough!

To keep it all a secret, I measured the hell out of another vest he likes to wear that he left at my apartment one time. Using those measurements on the trusty book mentioned above, I picked out a v-neck pattern that I thought would fit with a few minor alterations. I wanted something simple, but not too plain, so I added a simple 8-row cable up the front. While I was afraid that this would pull the front out of proportion with the back, it didn’t turn out that way. The blocking might have helped that.

I worked on this during train rides and times I was home alone and managed to pull it off without him suspecting a thing! His look of shock and confusion when he opened it was well worth all the sneaking around. I’m pretty pleased with how it all worked out and I think he likes it too.

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Baby Blanket

baby blanket.JPG

Pattern: 4 x 4 basketweave

Yarn: Cottontots by Bernat

Needles: Size 7 addis

Knit: March 2-9 , 2006

Here it is. Another FO for the year. I have to say I’m pretty glad this one is over. While the yarn isn’t all that stiff, it was a bit difficult to work with. The first two days I knit one ball a day. By the third day, I got about halfway through the third skein and just couldn’t knit any more because I had a lot of pain in my right thumb. Perhaps I should have gone up a needle size to make a looser stitch, but I really like the fabric that this turned out at this gauge. Best of all, it is machine washable/dryable yarn and is very soft. I think it will make a good blanket for the impending bambino.

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Jaywalker Socks

Jaywalker Socks.JPG

Pattern: Jaywalker Socks from Magknits

Yarn: Trekking XXL

Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbos

Size: Small

Knit: Feb. 16 – March 20, 2006

Love this pattern! Love these socks! What more can I say? It was a great pattern for travel knitting once I got the hang of it and I really enjoyed knitting it. The yarn was a lot of fun too and I’m totally ok with the fraternal nature of these socks. I have a shirt that will go just perfectly with these and I can’t wait to wear them both together and see if anyone notices. I lucked out with the fit considering I went up a needle size from the pattern. The chevron pattern seems to make them snug enough for me despite the fact that it uses several more stitches than I normally would for socks for me at this gauge. I think I may make a pair for HWJF using the stitch count for the large size. But for now, these are MINE! :)

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HWJF Socks – Pair #2
HWJFsocks2.jpg

Pattern: Queen Kahuna Toe-up

Yarn: Regia

Needles: Size 2 Addis

Knit: Feb. 19 – Apr. 6, 2006

Another pair of socks for HWJF. Pretty much the same as the last pair I made for him. He seems equally happy with these. I have another ball in the same color to make a pair for myself, but I think that will have to wait for a bit.

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Blue Gable

Blue Gable.JPG

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in color Blue Paradise. Less than three skeins.

Needles: Addi turbos in size 6 and 4.

Knit: April 19-27, 2006

Modifications: I lengthened the body slightly and added six extra rows to the sleeves before the ribbing.

Although I’m not happy with the picture, I am happy with the finished object. I really enjoyed this quick, painless knit with the result being a cute top that I can certainly wear to work. I had to lengthen the body as usual (have I mentioned I’m nearly 6 feet tall?) and I put a little extra length in the sleeves since I’m not a big fan of real short cap sleeves. After reading posts on the KAL today I found out that the initial cast on was supposed to be backward loop to make more of a boatneck. I’m fairly sure that I used my usual long tail cast on and while the neck isn’t as open as it could have been, I’m just fine with the result.

I really loved working with this yarn. Despite reporting to you all that the first skein had 3 knots, the last two were knot free. I’ll take this to mean that first skein was the exception and not the rule, so I would definitely knit something else with this yarn in the future. I bought 4 skeins without a definite project in mind and I ended up with a fair amount of the third skein and all of the forth skein leftover. Any ideas for what I can do with the leftovers? If you plan on using this yarn with more than one color together in a project, definitely pay attention to the warning on the label. It did loose a lot of color in the wash and might cause a problem when using more than one color (in this case, check out the sink turned toilet bowl effect here).

I think I might consider making a long sleeved version of this at some point. Might make a nice fall top. The only other thing I might have done would have been to make the waist decreases a little earlier and then add some increases for the hips. Definitely a great pattern and a fun knit. Go get yourself one!

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Heirloom Aran Pullover

bassoonsweater.jpg

Pattern: Heirloom Aran Pullover from Knitpicks

Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (8 hanks)

Needles: Addi Turbos size 7 and 9, switched to a Crystal Palace Bamboo Circ, size 9 after the first full repeat or so of the back.

Knit: 3/21/06-5/7/06

Modifications: None except for a few *ahem* design elements here and there

Wow. It’s finally finished! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy with a finished object. The seaming and neckband alone took the better part of a day themselves, but I am so happy with the finished product. When I first decided to knit this, I was thinking of a much heavier and more rugged knitted fabric than I was getting with this yarn. But in the end, I’m really happy that it’s a bit lighter and softer than I had imagined. I wore it around Princeton Sunday night when it was getting a bit chilly and it was plenty warm despite the cool breeze.

Only a couple words of caution with this pattern in case you plan to run out and buy it. The sizing runs small. I made the 40″ size and I am by no means a size 40 and it fits me. And I did check my gauge and was right on. The other thing, beware the seed stitch horseshoe cable! While the others *look* more complicated, that one nearly drove me insane.

When I bought this pattern I really thought I would feel like this was my “magnum opus” if you will. I thought that it would be so complicated that when I finished I would feel like I had conquered the world. Well I gotta say, not so much. It was a challenge and it was what I needed at the time I started it, but I don’t really feel like it was that monumental. I have a lovely finished garment that I’m very happy with and that’s pretty much the end of the story. I guess I have to find something bigger and better for the next time around huh?

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Broadripple Socks

broadripple socks.JPG
Pattern: Broadripple socks from Knitty

Yarn: Cascade Fixation

Needles: Size 3 addi turbos

Knit: 5/2/06-5/19/06

Not much to say about this project except I’m really happy with how they turned out. I had a difficult time getting started with this yarn, mostly because I just wasn’t used to how stretchy it really is. I also tried doing these on clover bamboo circs at first and that was just not going to happen. I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to stretch it as I knit or not. Once I switched to the addis, I realized that I could just knit and let it stretch or not as it pleased. The pattern was really simple to memorize and it made for good commuter knitting. Now that I know how to work with it, I really love the yarn and definitely have a few more pairs planned with it in the future.

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HWJF Socks – Pair #3

hwjf socks _3.JPG

Pattern: Generic Toe-up from Queen Kahuna.

Yarn: Opal

Needles: Addi Turbo size 1

Knit: 4/29-6/6/06

Here is pair number three for HWJF. He’s holding them up while relaxing on the porch at camp. There were a couple of firsts with this pair of socks for me. This was my first time using Opal yarn and I enjoyed it. It’s very springy yet strong and I think it will make a nice wearing sock. Coupled with this is the fact that this was my first time using a size 1 needle for socks. While it did make them seem to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to knit, I can definitely see the difference in the fabric. These will probably be harder wearing just for the gauge difference, never mind the yarn.

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Lacy Leaf Cocoon

Lacy Leaf Cocoon.jpg

Pattern: Lacy Leaf Cocoon from the Spring 2006 Interweave Crochet

Yarn: Cascade Pima Tencel 5 skeins

Hook: Size G Brittany Birch

Crocheted: 5/9-6/7/06

Modifications: Shortened the sleeves, deciphered the pattern!

This isn’t the best pic of the jacket in the world, but you get the idea. Except for the sleeves and a little bit of tightness in the armholes, I really love how this turned out. This pattern was absolutely fraught with mistakes which made making this a bit difficult. Luckily they had some very nice pictures in the magazine or I would have gotten absolutely nowhere with this. As I’ve said before, I’m not sure who is to blame for that, but there you have it. Along with the bad directions I should have expected that the yarn requirements weren’t quite right when they gave the same requirements for each size. So I did, of course, run out of yarn. I had planned on shortening the sleeves anyway since I plan on wearing this to work and I didn’t want to be pushing them back all the time, but I didn’t expect them to be *quite* this short. I ended up making the sleeves as long as I could with the darker blue color and then just adding a simple single crochet edging to finish it off. Not as nice as I would have liked, but not a bad solution considering the situation. As I said, the armholes are a little tight, but considering the fact that this is a 50% cotton yarn, I think it may stretch a bit anyway. I’ll be very interested to see what happens when this hits the water, since I haven’t quite gotten it there yet. I’ll be sure to report any interesting findings!

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Summer of Socks – Pair #1

SOS_11.jpg

Pattern: Chevron with “In-Place Afterthought or Forethought Heel” from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. 66 stitches.

Yarn: Regia Strato color

Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbos

Knit: 6/21-6/29/2006

So you already know that these socks helped solve my kitchener stitch woes and the heel was a pain in the neck. Other than that, I really loved how this pattern worked out. The self-striping yarn really worked well with this particular pattern making the stripes really uniform and interesting. The stitch pattern gave the sock a stretchy but snug cuff. The fit of the heel leaves a bit to be desired for me. I think it is just too shallow for my particular foot. If I was to do this type of heel again, I would definitely give the cuff another inch or more since this heel pulls it down more than I originally expected. I think these may have confirmed my love for a traditional heel flap type sock, but I plan to do a few more different techniques during the Summer of Socks before I say that for sure. Overall, I am pleased with the finished product although I’ll never do that heel again!

I’ve got a new pair in the works for HWJF, but I’ll have to show them to you another time… :)

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Summer of Socks – Pair #2

purple YO cable socks

(They really are Purple. Dark Purple in fact. I just can’t seem to get a good pic of the color to save my life though.)

Pattern: Yarn Over Cable on p.43 of Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.

Yarn: Cascade Fixation

Needles: Size 3 addi turbos

Knit: 7/11-7/19/2006

Specs: Short row toe and heel from the same book. 7 stitches to the inch using 50 stitches total.

Three words. So. Freekin’. Cute. I don’t know why but I am just totally enamored by these little cables on these oh so stretchy socks! This combination of yarn and pattern worked out really well in my opinion. I thought several times while knitting this that doing this pattern with regular yarn could have been a real pain (you have to psso over two stitches) but with the amazing stretch of fixation it wasn’t a problem. I also decided to give the short row toe and heel another go with these. I think the toe is just fine but I also think the only reason why the short row heel is comfortable on these is because of the nature of the yarn. Expect to see more combinations of short row toe and traditional heel flap on my socks in the future.

I am planning my next pair to be from this same book. I may just spend the whole summer doing socks from one book from the looks of things. I’m definitely going to get my money’s worth out of this one. ;) You should also expect to see more Fixation type socks on the needles. It was such a nice change from Regia to knit with this yarn. So soft and easy feeling through the fingers! I have been reading a lot about Elann’s Esprit being very similar. Anyone care to share your experiences? I’ve heard many good things about Elann in general but I’ve never ordered anything from them myself.

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Summer of Socks – Pair #3 and HWJF Pair #4

hwjf green socks.JPG

Pattern: Toes and heels from this pattern, cuff ribbing from Sensational Knitted Socks p. 37 Garter Rib

Yarn: Regia

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Gauge: 9 sts to the inch

Knit: 6/21 – 7/22/06

Another picture of a happy guy with his new socks. :) Despite the fact that the weather was in the 80s yesterday, HWJF just *had* to wear his new wool socks to work! Now that’s a satisfied customer!! ;) I on the other hand am… well… freekin’ glad they are D-O-N-E. I once read about how colors have vibrations and that people are attracted to certain colors because they vibrate well for them and their aura (and now, of course, I can’t find anything about this phenomenon so I probably sound a bit deranged). Well let me just tell you, this color of Regia did NOT vibrate well with me. By the time the first sock was done I was totally sick of looking at it. I had to start something that was completely the opposite just so I could spell my extreme dislike for these colors. Hence the purple cable socks I posted previously. They were like a refuge from the green and brown hell on size 1 needles I was living. But I love my guy and he loves his socks so the suffering was worth it. Here’s a better pic of the socks themselves:

hwjf pair _4.JPG

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Summer of Socks – Pair #4

small capitals

Pattern: Small Captials from Sensational Knitted Socks, with short row toes and heel flap heels

Yarn: Silja (80% wool, 20% nylon)

Amount: 2 skeins

Needles: Size 2 addi turbos

Gauge: About 7 sts to the inch

Knit: 7/23-8/5/06

Another finished pair for the Summer of Socks! I cast these on because I needed a pattern with more interest and I sure got it. It wasn’t that difficult, but with an 8 row repeat over 12 stitches it was impossible to memorize. It was also nice to use some slightly larger needles since I had been working on these along with another pair for HWJF. I purchased this yarn from the Fabric Place in CT and had used it for another pair in a purple color quite a while ago. I really love how that pair has held up and feels after washing so I hope these act the same. Right now they are a bit stiff and itchy, but a run through the wash (and they are machine washable which is also nice) will probably do them some good. I think I am really sold on the short row toe idea, but I think I’ll stick to flaps for heels. The lacework is stretchy but I think short row heels would have made these a lot less comfortable.

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Summer of Socks – Pair #5 and HWJF Pair #5

HWJF#5

Pattern: Generic toe up socks using a short row toe and flap heel. Blueberry waffle pattern for the cuffs.

Yarn: Trekking color 90

Amount: 1 skein

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Gauge: About 9 sts to the inch

Knit: 7/23-8/19/06

Another pair for the boy. No happy boy pic this time for the finished object since we can’t seem to be near a camera in daylight together lately. As always I love the way Trekking works up and I felt like it took forever to finish these! Why do boy feet have to be so gosh darned big?! This makes my 4th finished pair during the Summer of Socks. I’m almost to my goal of 6 pairs!! :)

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Chicken Potholders

chicken

Chicken potholders

Pattern: White Chicken from “Ultimate Book of Pot Holders” by Annie’s Attic

Yarn: Sugar and Cream Cotton

Amount: Probably less than 1 skein (I was working from a cone) with a bit of accent colors

Hook: Size H Brittney Birch

Crocheted: In about 4 hours on 8/20/06

As I mentioned in the last post, we are going to Maine this weekend to visit HWJF’s parents and have a big picnic with his family (I’ve met his parents once and I haven’t met any of the other family yet. Eek!). I thought it would be nice to have a little thank you gift for them for having us up for the weekend. Apparently they like chickens. So the search for a dishcloth pattern began. Do you know how hard it is to find a stinking dishcloth pattern with a chicken on it?! Hard! I didn’t find anything I liked online so off I went to A.C. Moore where this was the *only* book that had anything chicken related in it. Can you believe that? What’s the deal with chicken discrimination anyway? So the plan for now is to make the other one that the book shows in the car on the way. Wish me luck!

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Mailbox

mailbox

Pattern: Made up! (Cast on 50 stitches, knit a few rows, pick up evenly around, decrease for a while, knit until you run out of yarn)

Yarn: Cascade 220

Amount: 1 skein

Needles: Size 11 addi turbos

Knit: over a couple of weeks

This is kind of a dumb thing but I’ll show it off anyway. We don’t really have a good place to put our mail and I was inspired by all the books with felted bowls and boxes that are floating around lately to make a felted mailbox. I just wanted something simple that would sit on the stand by the door to the apartment that we could put mail in without it looking like a mess all over the place. One skein of 220 and two trips through the washer later and this is what I got. It pretty much stands up on its own and I think it will serve the purpose. The original plan was to make one for each of us but I was so damn bored making this one I don’t think I could stand to do it again!

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Copy Cat Socks – Summer of Socks – Pair #6

Copycat Socks

Pattern: Toe up socks with heel flap and short row toes. Lace chart from Wendy.

Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in the Azure Malchite colorway

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Gauge: 7 sts to the inch

Knit: 8/20 – 9/4/06

I love this yarn! Must. Have. More. I really understand the hype about this stuff now. It is soft, has a slight shine, is squishy and warm and comes in amazingly vivid colors and is so yummy and wonderful I just want to eat it. Scary, no? ;) If you have not tried Socks that Rock, I highly recommend that you do. It is well worth it! There is definitely much more of this yarn in my future. And a big thanks to Wendy for sharing her chart for the lace motif on her blog. I must be some sort of idiot though because although this is a very simple pattern, I cannot tell you how many times I screwed it up and either had to frog back or ladder down to fix the mistakes! If nothing else, I guess I learned a thing or two about fixing mistakes in lace patterns. I love these socks and I almost wish I never had to take them off my feet!

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Fetching

Fetching.JPG

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty.com

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 2 skeins

Needles: Size 6 addi turbos

Gauge: 20 sts to 4 inches

Knit: 8/30-9/7/06

Mods: Lengthened the cuffs significantly, lengthened the part above the thumb by one pattern repeat, and lengthened the thumb by 4 rows

You’ve probably seen these popping up on blogs all over by now and with good reason! What a fun simple pattern! It’s even written in very simple language so that an adventurous beginner could even tackle these, in my humble opinion. I found it a little tough to do the cabling without a cable needle (my preferred cabling method) at the beginnings of each side since I was using the magic loop instead of double points, but it wasn’t so difficult that I couldn’t manage. I can definitely understand why this yarn is so popular now though. It’s like buttah! Absolutely just seems to melt around the needles. But at nearly $20 for the two skeins I used, I won’t be making a sweater for myself from this yarn any time soon. The finished product is nice and warm and snuggly (ok, a little too warm for the 80 degree weather that they were photographed in, but colder temps are coming honey!) and I think I’ll really enjoy wearing these outside this fall and in the office when I’m freezing to death at the computer.

I decided to lengthen the cuffs because I always find the gap between coat and gloves or whatever very annoying and the length I used here will bridge the gap quite nicely. I decided to make the part above the thumb a bit longer too because I wanted them to come up closer to covering my first knuckles and after making the first one, I found I had enough yarn to do that without even coming close to running out. The thumb was also lengthened because I have long fingers and the first joint, especially in my right hand could always use some extra warmth (I call it “bassoon thumb”) because it does get achy at times. As you can see from my description, I had a slightly different gauge than the pattern called for, but it didn’t seem to make much difference for me. Your mileage may very if you want to do the same thing.

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Bob

Bob.JPG

Pattern: Bob from Knitty

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Mint (sadly discontinued) – Three complete balls and a bit of a fourth

Needles: Size 8 addi turbos

Knit: 5/26-6/25/06

Mods: Started the neckline ribbing later than the pattern called for.

I didn’t blog much about Bob since he was knit rather haphazardly between the end of May just before I left for bassoon camp, after I finished HWJF’s last pair of socks, and pretty much all over the place rather inconsistently. I’ve got a bunch of cotton ease that I really wanted to get to using and I thought this would be a good pattern for it. The choice worked out well and now it is finally getting cool enough to wear this again. I really love the waist shaping on this. I think it’s the first sweater I’ve done that had this feature and although I was worried about it hitting me in the right spot, I think it worked out. My modification deserves a bit of note. If you look at the pattern in its original form, the ribbing for the neckline begins at the same place that the front and back are divided for the armholes. That pretty much hits most people, from other pictures I’ve seen of this design knitted up, in a place that says, “Hello. My nipples are riiiiiiiiiiight *there*!” Not exactly attractive if you ask me. So I waited a bit to start the ribbing at the neckline and I think it paid off. I was afraid that it was going to look weird with the sleeves being totally ribbed, but I don’t think it does. It’s actually a nice accent. This was supposed to be my project spectrum green project if anyone is counting. Please excuse the bathroom mirror picture as my photographer has been unavailable and if I didn’t get a picture and get this thing posted soon I might never do it!

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Little Arrowhead Shawl

Little Arrowhead Shawl.JPG

Pattern: Little Arrowhead Shawl from Interweave Knits by Pam Allen (a staff project that can be downloaded in pdf format here)

Yarn: Laceweight Cormo given to me by Kristin for winning her blog contest

Needles: Size 7 Crystal Palace Bamboo circs

Knit: 8/5-9/10/2006

Mods: One extra pattern repeat in the body of the shawl

Many thanks again to Kristin for the great prize! I decided to try and take my pictures for this outside to get a better idea of the color. While it still isn’t quite right, I think you get the idea. When I measured this before blocking it was only about 43 inches on the longest side and afterward it was well over 50 inches. It’s a nice size to just wrap around my shoulders for a little extra warmth on a chilly night. The pattern was well written and easy to get the rhythm of after a few repeats. I had about a billion markers on the needle by the time I was done but it was well worth it in the end. I think this is my first real lace shawl (not counting two Clapotis (Clapoti?)) and I’m happy with the results. The yarn was great to work with and lost very little color during the wash.

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Summer of Socks – Pair #6 and HWJF – Pair #5

HWJF _6.JPG

Pattern: Toe up sock with heel flap heel and short row toe. Simple k2p2 rib for cuffs

Yarn: Online Supersocke 100 Summer color 789, one skein (Cotton/wool/nylon blend)

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Gauge: 9 stitches to the inch over 80 stitches

Knit: 9/4-9/18/2006

Special technique: Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn cast off (tutorial here [scroll down])

Those of you that said I could do it were right! I made my goal for the Summer of Socks and managed to knit 6 pairs before the deadline. Whew! My sock needles are tired! HWJF seems very happy with his very orange socks. This yarn was very nice to work with. While I’m pretty sure the cotton content is the highest (German anyone?!) it really felt more like working with wool while I was knitting these. I’ll be very interested to see how they wear over time. The sewn cast off was something that I heard Brenda Dayne talk about and decided to give a try since I found that tutorial easily on my Treo while on the train. I really think it is the best cast off for toe up socks I’ve found yet. I asked HWJF how he felt it worked and he said it was fine (you know boys, details like these are lost on them at times). I can’t wait to try it on the next pair I make for myself. We are still tweaking the fit of his socks too. I think this is the closest I’ve come so far. I went down a few stitches and tried to carefully fit the heel flap to his feet. I think I need to reduce a few less stitches on the toe but the heel seems to work quite well so far.

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Adagio Scarf

adagio scarf

Pattern: Adapted from a pattern in the book “Scarf Style”

Yarn: Adagio from the Skacel Primera Collection (70% baby llama, 30% silk), 2 balls

Needles: Size 6 addi turbos

Knit: 10/7-10/9/2006

Special technique: Cableing without a cable needle

This yarn is just incredibly beautiful and soft. You may have a hard time knitting with it just because you’ll be petting it so much! The pattern you see here is a very simple combination of garter stitch to help with curling edges, ribbing for a little texture and interest and a long cable to take advantage of the current styles (cables are supposed to be big this year and you can definitely see that around the blogosphere) while showing off this soft and luxurious yarn. As you can see, just two balls make a nice long scarf. I was able to wrap this around my neck several times with plenty to spare and I’m a tall girl. While the yarn is soft and does have some halo, it still gives good stitch definition for the cable pattern. If this color isn’t your favorite, the yarn comes in several other beautiful jewel tones that will suit just about anyone. If you’re in the area, stop by the shop to see the sample and check out this amazing yarn soon! :)

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Moose Hat

moose hat

Pattern: Moose Hat Kit from Bea Ellis

Yarn: Dale Heilo (1 ball white and 1 ball black) and 1 ball cotton

Needles: Size 6 addi turbos

Knit: 9/20-10/5/2006

Special technique: Fair Isle with some magic loop thrown in at the end

I made the boy be my model despite the fact that it isn’t actually for him! I know, I’m cruel. ;)

I really love the way this turned out in the end. Going up a needle size really helped and so did all the great advice I got from all my knowledgeable readers! Leaving the floats *really* loose was definitely the way to go. While I think the moose part could probably have been better using an intarsia technique, that would have made the rest of the hat difficult. I still ended up with a couple of wonky places, but for the most part it is much better now. I did give this a bath and a good blocking (using some mixing bowls of all things) and that evened out the stitching even more. The only pain about that was the cotton lining took *forever* to dry. But I think it is well worth it considering HWJF even noticed that it “wasn’t itchy” thanks to that lining. I didn’t put anything on the top as the pattern says because I absolutely love the way the decreases create a pattern of their own:

moose hat top

Isn’t that cool? (Minus the one *oops* stitch that I just couldn’t force myself to fix.) I will say that I was getting nervous at the end about yarn supply, but I did make it with plenty left over.

This will be a Christmas gift for someone who may or may not read this blog, so I will say no more about that. Believe it or not I actually plan on making another one of these, just in different yarn and different colors. I’m also planning that as a Christmas gift so I’d better get a move on! Just have to find an appropriate cotton for the lining……

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Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers

Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers

Pattern: Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers from Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation

Yarn: Paint Box by Knit one, crochet too (100% wool), 2 skeins, color 4

Needles: Size 7 Crystal Palace Bamboo Circs

Knit: 10/9-10/26 2006

Have you already knit Fetching but now you want something a little more substantial with a little more color and a bit more of a knitting challenge? This is a great pattern meeting all of those requirements. The leaf cable pattern is much more involved and is totally worth it. Its subtle texture gives this project a bit more interest. The overall length of these make them much more cozy. (Unfortunately I couldn’t get a modeled pic in the daylight since I had to take the pictures myself on my break at work! Although it *was* fun to photograph them on this giant begonia.) These end up going from about halfway up my forearm to nearly the end of my pinky, so they leave the fingers free while giving a lot more coverage. I can’t say enough about this yarn too! I think the color transition is much more subtle than the yarn the pattern called for and it gives the color change a lot more interest. It’s a pretty soft wool too with a nice cushy feel that is somewhat loosely spun and just really nice to work with. It would probably work really well for felting too. If you want to see the sample and you live in the area, it is already up at Woolbearers, so go check it out!

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Malabrigo Cardi

Malabrigo Cardi

Pattern: Diagonal Rib Cardigan from Lopi

Yarn: Malabrigo (100% merino wool)

Needles: Size 10 and 10.5 addi turbos

Knit: 10/11-10/20 2006. Seaming and buttons finally finished on 10/28/2006

(Good lord. I really don’t make a good picture lately….)

While it didn’t make it to Rhinebeck, the Malabrigo Cardi is finally finished. It came out a bit smaller than I had originally thought it would, but it blocked out to a good fit without much manipulation. So far I love it! How could anyone not love any sweater made with this yarn. So. Soft! I even managed to go outside my usual color palate for this one and I’m still happy. For some reason, this sweater just captured me as soon as I saw the sample in the store. I guess the triangles were just something so unusal that I had to make it for that reason alone. While I can understand why this would be a good sweater in Lopi, the fact that it semi close-fitting makes me even happier that I went with the Malabrigo. There isn’t going to be a whole lot between my skin and this sweater, and honestly, there doesn’t need to be. It is so warm and cozy! I may never take it off! The hardest part of the whole thing (besides following the often unhelpful pattern) was finding some nice buttons for it. I really love the details of this sweater:

Details

The triangles on the cuffs, the buttons, the way the button band worked out – I just think it’s all too cool!

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Woolbearers Socks

woolbearers socks

Pattern: My now standard toe up sock with a short row toe and a flap heel

Yarn: Woolbearers hand dyed Cestari Sock Yarn (100% wool, 400 yards)

Needles: Size 1 addi turbos

Gauge: About 6 sts/in.

Knit: 10/22-11/3/2006

Yet another sample for Woolbearers, this time in their new Cestari sock yarn! I absolutely love the colors and I found the yarn really great to work with. When we looked at it initially, I really thought I was going to need size 3 needles but I ended up liking the fabric better on 1s. Your milage may vary. It’s a great two ply yarn with a nice lofty feel and it makes a wonderful pair of finished socks. Best of all, this yarn is machine washable! How could you not love that? The put-up is quite generous and I had plenty left over after making these fit my size 11 feet. I could have easily gotten a pair of socks for HWJF out of this skein, so you know the yardage is good. If that all hasn’t convinced you, go look at the online store where you can check out the other colorways (Raspberry Sundae and Midnight Sea might just have to go home with me sometime soon!), and pick up your own skein! :)

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Mom’s Broadripple Socks

Mom's socks

Pattern: Broadripple from Knitty

Yarn: Cascade Fixation, 2 balls

Needles: Size 3 addi turbos

Knit: 11/4-11/11 2006

These socks couldn’t have worked out better. She likes them and even wore them already! My Mom is alergic to wool so fixation was definitely the way to go for her. This is such a simple pattern to memorize and adjust for size that it made it really simple to turn out another pair this year. This makes my final total for socks knit this year 14 pairs!!! I’m really proud of that accomplishment considering my goal was 12.

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Moose Hat #2

Moose Hat #2

Pattern: Moose Hat from Bea Ellis

Yarn: Lite-Lopi (1 ball white and 1 ball navy blue) and 1 ball Palma cotton

Needles: Size 6 addi turbos

Knit: 11/15-11/25/2006

Special technique: Fair Isle with some magic loop thrown in at the end

Another successful hat and one more Christmas present finished up. I thought this would be a drag the second time around, but I actually enjoyed doing this hat again. The lite-lopi worked out perfectly. It’s a bit fuzzier than the original Heilo that the kit came with, but it still makes a nice warm hat. The Palma was something I found in a discount bin at Woolbearers and it worked out perfectly as a replacement for the cotton yarn that came with the kit too. I still think stitching down the cotton lining after completing the knitting is a royal pain, but the no-itch result is totally worth it. Hopefully this hat will keep my Grandpa warm for years to come! :)

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Winter Socks

Winter socks 2006

Pattern: Winter Sock from the Magic Loop Booklet

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull – 4 balls (I held two strands together throughout)

Needles: Size 5 addi turbos

Knit: 11/11-11/28/2006

Another Christmas present off the needles! These have become a yearly knit for a certain someone. This year I used a superwash wool instead of the wool acrylic blend I’ve used in the past. Oddly enough, although I’ve knit with superwash wool before, this stuff just felt “crunchy” (for lack of a better word) to me while I knit it. Anyone else had this experience? Maybe it’s because I’ve been working with mostly pure wool lately. I could have made the cuffs a bit longer but I was afraid of running out of yarn. This only confirms my love for toe up socks even more! I already have ideas for the leftovers, but it would have felt better to use more of the four balls I bought. I think they will still be sufficient for putting in winter boots though. And I finished the second sock in two days. Gotta love socks from worsted weight yarn (or the equivalent thereof)!

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The Boyfriend Sweater

boyfriend sweater

Pattern: Made up with the help of this calculator

Yarn: Cascade 220. Six skeins with plenty left over

Needles: Size 7 addi turbos

Knit: 9/24-12/20 2006

I really didn’t think I was going to get this done by the deadline but I managed! And I’ve actually seen him wear it so, mission accomplished!
I was afraid I had made the raglan increases too deep, but it actually worked out perfectly so that he can comfortably wear a dress shirt and tie underneath if he wants to. The ribbing pulls in just the right amount at the hem and the end of the cuffs and I managed to use a traditional cast off without making it too tight. The sleeves were very simple once I figured out that decreasing every 5th row really was going to work out just fine. Overall, we are both happy, but I don’t plan on making him another sweater any time soon (even if we already have a pattern picked out).

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