Friday, 24 February 2012

Totally Addicted To Socks

The blog silence can be blamed on many things - busy work, busy life - but the main reason is this: socks. I have been addicted to sock knitting recently, and it shows no sign of stopping. And I'm not sure vanilla socks make for good blog fodder. I did make a pair of monkeys but failed to photograph them before posting them off, and the recipient has not sent me one.

Aside from those, I have made some vanilla socks for my Mum, using Regia 4ply (bought in my local Hobbycraft).

My second pair is also vanilla socks, made for a Uni friend with cold feet, from King Cole Zig Zag (shade 764), bought from my LYS, baa ram ewe.
Both involved mainly involved 64 stitches on 2.25mm needles. Both started with Judy's Magic Cast On (8 stitches on each of the two needles involved), increasing 4 stitches every other row until reaching the 64, short row heels, and knitting the final rib for 8 rows on 2mm needles. The top ones involved some calf increases as Mum wanted them a little longer.

I still feel like I'm perfecting my vanilla sock technique, but it's getting there. The next step is probably an afterthought heel. Though next on the list sock-wise is Wanida by Cookie A [rav link] from her earlier book, Sock Innovation. Fingers crossed I can handle it!

Friday, 10 February 2012

FO - Cadence

So in the midsts of Lauriel going wrong and Christmas stress, I decided I needed some gratification. Preferably in the garment direction. I dug out some wool I'd got the the BaaRamEwe sale way back in August and trawled ravelry for something with more or less the right yardage.

Pattern: Cadence by J, from Knitty Fall 2012.
Yarn: King Cole Merino Blend Aran (7 balls) in the colour 782 Turquoise, which I think has now been discontinued. Bought from BaaRamEwe in August Sale for about £18.
Mods: oh tons, mainly to make it fit for my long body and long arms. I kept to the pattern for the beginning part, but then I knit the sleeves and body all in parallel so I could make maximum use of the yarn. Overall, I'd say I added about 1.5" to the sleeves and maybe 1-1.5" to the body, and I'm glad I did - I think the size has turned out perfectly. However, I was running out of yarn at the eleventh hour and cut about 3 rows off the ribbing around the body; necessary as I have less than 5 yards or yarn left!
It would seem this is my actual first garment, blocked and ready to rock. I would heartily recommend it to anyone else wanting to start down the garment track. You knit from the top down, put some stiches onto scrap yarn for the sleeves, and then crack on with the body. The pattern does contain my four least favourite words to find in a knitting pattern - 'at the same time' - but I just wrote down what needed doing on what row and that was fine.
Overall, I am chuffed with the way it turned out. The yarn and pattern work well together, I love the colour and it fits really well.

Photos courtesy of Stepcuddles

Sunday, 5 February 2012

On The Needles

Just thought I would let you know what I've been up to in the past week. Have mainly been cracking on with my owls jumper - which is now owl-ready, how exciting! - but mostly looks like a huge green knitted headless monster.

Just me? Ah well. The other one is the Magrathea shawl, which I was getting along with nicely but I've lost my direction somewhat and it needs Brainpower. It is in the Malabrigo I bought during that desperately needed trip to Loop, London, and I love love love it. You start and one corner which is a new construction for me, interesting once I'd got started.

The title of the pattern [ravlink] is a reference to the planet Magrathea in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where they custom-build planets. One desginer, Slartibartfast, was responsible for Norway, and did the coastline in those lovely fjords. The shawls's edging is inspired by this. Being something of a Hitchiker geek I of course bought the pattern the second I saw it, but even still the geometric edging is very very lovely.