Friday, March 31, 2006

elfine in progress

elfine in progress, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

My sockpal sock number one has been growing slowly. There were some setbacks. I don't seem to get on with the wrap method for short row heels. My first attempt was messy and too small since I decided for reasons best known to myself to knit it on 2.25mm dpns. The current heel is attempt 3 or 4, still using the wraps method, but on 2.5mm dpns. I think it's OK. Sock two will have a backyards yarnover short row heel though. I seem to get on with those better.

Heels apart, I love the stitch pattern. I'm not quite confident enough to knit without looking at the directions, but the lace pattern is pretty intuitive. I've done a repeat and a half of the leg. I'm going to see if I can finish this sock and start the second one this weekend.

angelica in progress

angelica in progress, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've finished the body. Looking at this picture, the darts look in the slightly the wrong place. But I quite like how it fits, so I'm not ripping the body out. Onto the sleeves!

Cross-posted on Angelica knitalong page.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

secret monkeys revealed

secret monkeys revealed, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It's been sent now, so here's that secret project - a jumper for the newly arrived daughter of my friends D and C. C comments sometimes as monkeypask, so there had to be monkeys.

Pattern: Made it up as I went along. Top down raglan with seed stitch edging and buttoned opening along the raglan line.

Yarn: Emu superwash wool from my Grandma's stash.

Needles: 4.5mm circs and dpns

Notes: This was a fun knit and a quick one. I wrote down what I did as I went along, mostly, so I could do it again. The button tabs in are slightly the wrong place, the top one should probably be nearer the neck. I looked and looked for monkey buttons, couldn't find any, so made some out of Fimo. This won't fit the baby yet, but hopefully she'll grow into it before it's too hot to wear.

Here's another monkey close-up.

2 secret monkeys

Monday, March 27, 2006


I've got an essay to write to post on Wednesday morning. I can tell because my wrists hurt. I was supposed to do lots of essay writing yesterday, but instead I did lots of kntting-based displacement activities and now my wrists ache slightly. Oops. A couple of days not knitting and they'll be fine again.

So what did I knit? I started Pomatomus, (above) but I decided I didn't like it. The yo holes looked huge (although looking at this version, I think they're meant to be) and I had big ladders and I didn't like the way it was pooling. So that's been ripped. The yarn might become Mata Hari socks, but I think I should finish my sock pal socks first.

Talking of the Elfines, I've reknit the short row heel on the first one about three times and I'm still not totally happy with it. I just can't work out how to knit the wraps together on the knit side. The pattern says knit the wraps and stitch together through the back loop (something like that), but that makes a big loop on the right side when I do it. Perhaps I'm just interpreting it wrong. I'm fine on the purl side (the trick is to lift the wraps onto the needle and then purl them together). I'll try the backwards yarnover method on the second heel I think. I need to get a move on. 2nd May seemed ages away when I started, but now it's nearly April.

I did loads of boring stocking stitch rows on the body of Angelica while watching Poirot last night, so she's getting nearer to being finished. I'd like to finish her soon or it'll be too warm to wear her. Not worth a picture since she'd just be a big navy blue blob.

I feel like I'm being well-behaved by only having two projects on the go. There are all sorts of lovely projects in my head tempting me to get them started, but (if you ignore the red and purple Pomatomus, which is ripped now, so I don't think it counts) I'm being good and sticking with two.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

out of the dark

I decided I was fed up with the dark blue background. I like the way the colours stand out against white. It does lose the difference between pigwotflies and pigwotknits though. I'll probably do some more tweaking soon.

finished, but still a secret

secret monkey

I've got another finished object to show you, but it hasn't been sent to the recipient yet, so here's a little peek.

at long last, jaywalkers

It feels like I've been knitting these for ever. The first one was completed in December, but it's been hanging around waiting for a mate for long time since then. Now I've got a pair.

Pattern: The notorious Jaywalker

Yarn: Angel hand-dyed sock yarn colourway 11

Needles: 2.5mm dpns

Modifications: Increased number of stitches to 92.

Notes: I've learnt a lot in the making of these socks, about how socks fit and about how to fix mistakes. There are subtle changes between the first and second sock. I've got better at grafting, I can do it almost without thinking now. I've also learnt that you generally slip stitches knitwise unless told otherwise. On the heel for the first sock, all the slipped stitches were slipped purlwise.

The final fit is good on the leg, but a bit baggy on the foot. If making these again, I'd do them toe-up to get the fit right. I'm finding I like my socks to fit closely and I think these are a bit too baggy to wear with some of my shoes. The second sock seems looser than the first. Admittedly it hasn't been blocked yet, but perhaps my tension has changed over the last few months.

The yarn is pretty and rather more subtle than some of my other sock yarn. I'm never sure whether I like it or not. Initially, it had good stitch definition, but it gets fuzzy with washing and hanging around.

I'm not overjoyed with this socks, but I'm glad they're finally finished.

Monday, March 20, 2006

red lamp

pink post-its

ready, jump!

Jumping late on to another bandwagon. This one's all about colour and I like colourful things, so I don't know why I didn't sign up weeks ago.

The idea is, there's a colour theme for each month. March's theme is red and pink. You can use the theme however you like. Knit things in those colours, find pretty things in those colours to share on your blog. Whatever. I like that sort of no-pressure participation.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I think I worry too much

Elfine's socks are lovely and my feet are not as big as I think they are.
So I shall knit to the required foot length, turn the heel and knit up the leg and not worry.
Except that my sock pal seems to have slim ankles, so now I'm worried about bagginess.
I will not worry. I will knit on.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

fast growing socks

Elfine's socks grow very fast. Perhaps it's the Addis, perhaps it's the magic loop, perhaps it's the small number of stitches. Whatever it is, after an evening of knitting (and listening to A Doll's House so it counts as work too), I've got nearly to the heel. Perhaps it's just that the previous socks I was working on were Jaywalkers, which have 92 stitches divided over 4 needles and Elfines have 65 divided over two. I like the lace pattern and it's really stretchy; it fits me and my feet are an inch bigger round than my sockpal's. That makes me slightly worried that they're too big. Hmm. I need to find a smaller footed person to try them on I think.

Monday, March 13, 2006

a test post

Hmm, something odd seems to be happenning with pigwotknits. I can't access it. Will this post help?

UPDATE: It's back. I wonder what happened?

the sock starts here

The beginning of my sockapalOOOza socks. The story so far:

I decided I wanted to make my sock pal some very English socks. So I'm using Amelia/Anna's Elfine's socks pattern, with some autumnal Fyberspates sock yarn, dyed by an Englishwoman living in Wales.

I tried it out first on 2.25mm dpns, but it was too small and dividing the stitches on the lacey side over two needles didn't work very well. So I bought some 2.5mm circs, and I'm off. I've done the toe and four rows of the lace repeat. The size is right and using the magic loop technique means that the row across the front is continuous. It's a bit fiddly and the 60cm needle I've got means it's only just possible. It might be easier with a longer cable. I think most of the fiddliness is because I'm used to dpns and a new way of doing something is always tricky at first. There's a long way to go to a completed pair of socks, but I've taken the first step.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

fruitless progress

I'm going to give cabling circles a try one day. I've got a sort of a design in mind, but it'll probably be months before I've got the time to think about it properly.

Yesterday I did lots of little knitting things that didn't come to much.

I wound skeins of sock wool into balls (or yarn cakes, if you like). Orange and green Fyberspates for my sock pal and purple and red for me.

I tried to find my 2.75mm dpns to start Pomatomus. I know I've got some somewhere, but they were elusive.

I knit a toe and half a lace repeat of Elfine's socks on 2.25mm dpns (yes, my sock pal socks) before deciding a) that my gauge was too small and I needed to go up a size and b) that this pattern is written for Magic Loop for a reason and maybe I ought to give it a try. So I ripped.

Thinking about it, I always end up going up a needle size for socks, so I've ordered some 3mm dpns for making Pomatomus (I've got size issues, having large feet, so I might even need to go up a size again if that doesn't work, but I've got some 3.25mms) and some 2.5mm Addi circs for Elfine. I've never tried Addis and I've heard many good things about them.

I also knitted a few rows of Angelica. After weeks of knitting scratchy wool, lambswool and cashmere feels like butter. I'm about halfway through the waist darts. I'm worried they start a bit high. When I've got a moment, I'll slip it onto waste yarn and have a try-on.

And I did a little gauge swatching for a secret, but hopefully quick project. I'm way off, of course. I'm not sure whether to go with what I've got and adapt the pattern or buy yet more circs in a different size. Or buy different yarn, but I'm trying to use up my stash and not buy things at the moment. What's a knitter to do?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

cabled circles

Does anyone know how to cable a circle?

I've seen Eunny's notes on unventing cables and the girl from auntie's notes on closed loop cabling, but neither tells me what I want to know - how to make a circle, either a single line, or a cable in a circle, kind of like a laurel wreath. Does that mean it's impossible, or just tricky?

Any thoughts?

blue scarf

I just realised I never blogged about what I did with this woolly gorgeousness. It became a mini-Clapotis.

I did one increase section and then about 12 repeats of the straight section, using 8mm needles.

The wool bled loads when I washed it and it really softened up. It's still a little scratchy, but it's OK round my neck over a jumper.
This picture shows the colour change from one skein to the other. I didn't alternate skeins - too fiddly and it makes it harder to judge how many straight section repeats to do - and I quite like the result. It shows off the randomness of the hand-dying process. You can also see the fuzziness round each stitch in this picture. I think it'll continue to soften up as I wear it and wash it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Olympink is finished

I finally finished my Olympic knitting, very late on Friday night. I washed and blocked, hoping it would be dry enough to put the zip in on Saturday and wear on Sunday and it was. Hooray! I meant to take some blocking pictures, but I was too impatient. But she's done now and I like her.

She did grow a bit in blocking, which I hadn't anticipated. She's not too big and I like the length of the sleeves, but I wish she was a bit tighter in the body. Maybe next time I wash her I'll reblock and try not to stretch her any more.

My dad took the pictures and the ones I liked best were the ones at interesting angles. Hmm. He also failed to mention the smear of toothpaste until afterwards. Oh well.

Here's a back view, so you can appreciate the double cable down the back. And the um, robot pose. I don't know why either.


Pattern: bpt from Knitty

Yarn: Vintage Jaeger Spiral Spun from my Grandma's stash. I used 550g of pink and about 150g of purple

Needles: 5mm circs and 4.5mm dpns

Modifications: I followed the pattern exactly up to the point the sleeves divide off from the body and then just followed what would make it fit. I changed the waist shaping at the side into waist darts. The arms felt too baggy, so I did the decreases more often than written. If I made this pattern again, I'd do some maths and make the arms smaller at the top by doing fewer increases along the raglan line on the sleeve side. I'm going to try this out on the next top-down raglan I make, probably Forecast.

I love cables! They're sort of magic, the way they look all messy when you do the cross-over and then they transform into beautiful sculptural curves. Limited pink yarn meant that the sleeves end in wide purple cuffs. The cunning thing about this that I discovered yesterday is that when I wear this hoodie with my bright red coat, the only bits that stick out are the purple bits, so I don't have a horrible red and pink clash. Unplanned, but clever!

Friday, March 03, 2006

busy pig

Hi sock pal. I've not forgotten your question. I will answer it this weekend, promise. I've been running around all week with not a moment to sit down with a measuring tape, but soon I'll be able to stop and relax.

A measure of how busy this week has been: My Olympic cardigan, which I spent hours and hours of the last fortnight knitting. This week, I've knitted precisely one row.

I did do some Jaywalker knitting on the tube on Tuesday and Wednesday (I was in London on a course), so it's not all bad.