Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pointelle Socks

I'm back to the Sock Knitters Anonymous challenges this year. So far... so good - although it's only been one month (the annual challenges start in September). One of September's challenges was "All knit with the same color - red" and I just happened to have some red Knit Picks Stroll laying around. It's not what I would ordinarily choose for socks - it seems too flimsy - but it worked up OK. We'll see how they wear.

The pattern is Pointelle by Cookie A. It looks complex but the pattern is just lace patterning on every other round - there's a lot of plain knitting in these. In between all my other knitting, these went very quickly!

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Pointelle socks
Next month's challenge includes a 'holiday stocking' option - which is great, because I still haven't finished my Christmas stocking from last year. I've ripped it all the way out because I got the color dominance wrong, so it's fresh for a new challenge.

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Starting over
Are you doing any knitalongs? Have you started your holiday knitting yet?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sample roundup

Miss Babs has been keeping me busy (as usual!) working on some samples.

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Erica Shawl
This is the Erica Shawl, knit up in Miss Babs Tierno (the alpaca-silk blend also known as the 'kitten yarn') in Coventry - my favorite green. It's an easy bottom-up pattern that involves a giant cast-on, the lace pattern, and then short rows in stockinette stitch to complete the body.

To ensure the greatest possible flexibility on the bottom, I went looking for a new cast-on. I discovered that Jeny - she of super-stretchy bind-off fame - had found a very stretchy cast-on. However, I found her method a bit awkward and used the method described in this video instead. It's definitely worth a try if you have a large number of stitches to cast on (no long tail) and need great elasticity. It requires a little more attention than the standard long-tail cast on, but is well worth the effort.

Stitches Midwest 2012
Boyfriend Cardigan
I knit up a quick Boyfriend cardigan for Stitches Midwest in Miss Babs Yowza in Ruby Spinel. Yum, red - and I found the perfect little shiny shell buttons to go with it. It's a very simple pattern with an interesting rib detail.

Deco
Deco
And this month I've been scrambling to knit up Deco in Northumbria DK in Moss. I love the slip-stitch pattern. Deco might also be the sweater that converts me to top-down set-in in-the-round sleeves. I'll do another post on the details of the technique that Kate Davies used... but long story short, it wasn't frustrating (unlike every other time I've tried it). This sweater is winging its way to Rhinebeck and SAFF... Yes, I made a Rhinebeck sweater but I didn't get to go! One year...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Color Affection

It's finished - FINALLY! I am now one of the over 3,800 people who've finished one of these (at least according to Ravelry).

Color Affection
Color Affection
I had no idea how long the last rows were until I bound off, washed it, and threw it on the floor to block.
Color Affection
My highly technical blocking method: throw it on a sheet on the floor

A very sweet little girl learning to knit at one of the knitting groups I go to asked, "do you even KNOW how many stitches are on your needle right now?" No, honey, I have no idea... and I don't even want to know. (She was practicing garter stitch on 12 stitches and very dutifully counting after every row.)

But now it's over and it's snuggly and has twirly little ends and it used up a bunch of yarn and I'm happy. As you can see, I added another section with just the second 2 colors before knitting the final border.
Color Affection
It's huuuuge!
The brown is Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes; the grey is Louet Gems; and the pink is Ella Rae Lace Merino. I have just a little bit of the pink left, but there's enough brown to add to a colorwork or argyle project. Hooray for using up stash.