Toe-Up SockThis is my very first sock ever. I am quite excited, though I truly didn’t ever think that I would want to knit a sock, as I kind of feel that maybe knitting socks an awful lot of time to be spending to clothe one’s feet… But we’ll see, perhaps I will become addicted, as so many knitter seem to! So many of the folks at my knitting circle seem to be making socks, and they would make good xmas presents, so I guess I have to learn!!

The yarn is Knitpicks Palette, which is a wooly wool, not super soft, but hopefully quite durable. I’m knitting just one at a time, because I didn’t want to deal with casting both on at the same time… I’ll tackle that next time. The yarn was part of a splurge to celebrate getting a job – I ordered Knitpicks interchangeable needles, and a bunch of single balls of yarn, to test it out, in case I wanted to order a larger batch sometime. I’m sure that some 1-skein wonders like lacy toques and skinny scarves will be forthcoming!

I used the Magic Cast On described on Knitty here.  It was easy and effective – I like!  I’ll have to use it for starting the bottom of a purse I have in mind…

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I have been relatively silent on my blog in the past month because my camera died and because I’ve been wrapped up in the procedure of moving where I was living temporarily in Whistler, BC down to a permanent home in Vancouver.  I am still in transition as I write this from my friend’s computer in San Francisco, where I’m visiting while my husband packs up his things that we’re moving up to Canada.  All this chaos doesn’t mean that I haven’t been creating, however!! I’ve got even more things on the go now than ever.

Literally as we were moving, and on the road,  I was unravelling this lusciously soft and furry sweater, and dyeing it was the first project I did in my new apartment.  This soft puffy cap is the result.  It is knit on the round in diagonal brioche stitch, I’ll post the ‘pattern’ later.  With the yarn dyeing I was going for a much more even turquoise or aqua, but because there was so much yarn in the pot, and I added more dye as the bath progressed, it turned out quite variegated, which disappointed me.  Knitting up in this kind of stitch, however, helps to even out the color, and avoid the obvious pooling that happens with stockinette stitch and space dyed yarns.  I have a bunch more of the same – this cap only used part of one of the 5 or 6 skeins I’ve got.  So I’m considering overdyeing some of it, and I may make some more of these caps as gifts, because it was an ultra-fast knit.

Now, on vacation, I’ve got various unfinished projects with me, and to add to that I’ve started another – a lace shrug, which I’m hoping to finish in time to wear it to a wedding this coming Saturday.  Good luck…. I also have to finish sewing the skirt and top that I am planning to wear, and buy a pair of shoes!!  I definitely go overboard… from time to time!  Whatever comes together I will post after the event, but this is the beginning of the shrug, which is made of a recycled rayon/angora blend yarn held doubled.

I love stitch dictionaries. Since receiving ‘A Treasury of Knitting Patterns’ by Barbara Walker from the library, I have been obsessed with the multitude of possibilities that it contains. I flip through it every night before bed, finding new stitches that I love, and fantasizing about the garments they will inspire.

Since I have probably 400 yds+ leftover merino laceweight left over from my butter clam scarf, I decided that a perfect canvas for experimentation would be a pair of fingerless gloves; simple enough tubes stretching from hand to elbow. So armed with Barbara Walker, I measured, designed, and knit a couple of swatches.

design-gloves-measurements

As I have a limited amount of yarn, and I will be hand dying it, I will knit both at the same time, from the hand up to the elbow. I am not sure exactly how the hand will be covered; will there be tiny individual fingerlets? The gloves must definitely have a distinct thumb tube. The main idea is to have a lace pattern on the top of the arm, extending over the top of the hand, and stockinette stitch on the palm, and the underside of the arm. That way increases can be handled within the simple stockinette underside, or with a row of yo’s along the border of the lace. At and above the elbow, I want to switch the pattern to an all-around ribbing of some kind – maybe a lacy rib, or perhaps a chunkier, more solid one, but something with significant stretch to hold the glove up.

swatch-merino-lace-chevron

The final (and sometimes most difficult) question is color. I plan to dye the yarn prior to knitting … but I’m kind of tired of making dye tests, so I think I’ll just wing it, and well, we’ll see what happens!

kaleidoscope-cardigan-WIP
Pattern: Kaleidoscope by Sarah Sutherland, published in MagKnits [free]
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino Wool-Silk Blend Fingering Weight (70% merino wool / 30% silk 440 yds / 100 gram hank ) which I hand-dyed using blue food coloring. 200 grams (880 yds) will be enough for this sweater, which makes it cheap ~ about $13!
~

I’m maybe half-way through this cardigan, and I am loving the color of the yarn, as well as the slip stitch pattern that I decided to substitute in for the stockinette. When I dyed this yarn, I was somewhat disappointed by the result, as I was going for a deeper, pair of blues, but the result, knitted up is vibrant (which I like), and has subtle color shifts which I am very happy with in the knitted result. I’m not a fan of the patchy, variegated way that space-dyed yarns often knit up, but the color and tonal differences in this dye job, combined with the interesting stitch pattern, seem to be subtle enough to be very pleasing, and give the piece depth, without making it stripy.

I knit it from the top down, instead of bottom up, as the pattern was written, because I wanted to be able to try on the most crucial part (the neckline) immediately, so I knew that my sizing calculations were working out, as I’m knitting at a slightly different gauge and in a different stitch pattern than the pattern was written for. So the process has involved a fair share of math!!

kaleidoscope-slstpatterndyedyarn-KPmerinosilk-blues

The Slip Stitch pattern is knit as follows on a 4-row repeat (but it’s really just 2 different rows, one of them just being straight purl, so it is VERY easy)

  • R1 (RS): *K1, Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front*
  • R2: Purl
  • R3: *Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front, K1*
  • R4: Purl

I found this pattern in Step by Step Knitting Stitch Patterns, by Kristina Bryszewski [1988, K.M.B. Publishing, Vancouver, BC]