Monday, February 21, 2011

knee high stripes

As per usual, I've got several projects on the go at the moment: mitten 2 of a pair of stranded colourwork mittens, a cabled cardigan which has sleeves and most of the hem of the body but has got stuck because the pattern's odd, a lightweight probably short sleeved (I'll see how the yarn goes) jumper (sweater) in 4ply which is going very slooooowly and this sock, which is getting most of the knitting love.

I gave up on the cabled cardigan when it got too complicated to knit while watching tv and started a 2x2 ribbed sock instead. As I have 2 100g balls of the yarn (Wendy Happy) in the same colourway (I've got a couple more too), I thought I'd try a pair of knee high socks. I got to the top of the last yesterday and I'm pleased.

The yarn was a gift, one for a birthday, one from Christmas I think. It wouldn't have been my choice for sock yarn - it's bamboo (rayon) with 25% nylon. Obviously designed for socks, the self-striping pattern is probably optimised for 64 stitches, but looks ok on this (which are 72 in the foot and grow to 120 at the calf). It seemed a bit thin and not at all bouncy/stretchy, hence the decision to knit it in rib. Knitted up, it's not bad. It's cooler than wool. I can imagine wearing these in spring/summer with a red or pink cotton skirt. The yarn's a bit splitty, which is a con when knitting in front of the telly (mostly watching Alias with Rob), but it's fun watching the colours change.

Not sure what happened in the middle of the leg - there's suddenly an extra long orange and red bit. It wasn't a break, the yarn was continuous. There were a couple of knots, where I removed a section to make the colours continue as if there hasn't been. Oddly, both of the sections I took out looked like a whole red section. It's like this yarn wants to be red. I prefer the pink/coral/purple sections.

New skills: first time adding calf shaping. I used The Keyboard Biologist's handy calculation tips. Could probably have worked it out myself, but it's nice to have your hand held.
I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off at the top, which does what its name suggests. It's simple to execute and very stretchy. I'm not sure whether I like how it looks, unstretched, but when it's on it looks fine, which is what you want.

On to sock 2. Further notes are on Ravelry.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Christmas knitting

Oh dear, I've neglected this blog rather, haven't I?

While I work out what to do with it, here are Christmas knittings.

Totoro hat

This cute hat was for the small daughter of anime loving friends.

Pattern: Top-down bonnet with Anime Character by Adrian Bizilia

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Can't remember the needle size. The features were embroidered on rather than crocheted as a. I couldn't find a suitably sized crochet needle and b. I'm better at embroidery than crochet. Just.

Fairisle hat and mittens

Cute hat and mitten set! I improvised the mittens to match the hat.

Pattern: Scrappy Gems Fairisle Hat (Ravelry link) Modded a bit to make it deeper. The top pattern is made by going from row 37 back to row 16.

Yarn: scraps of DK leftover from other things.

This was almost my first attempt at stranded colourwork. (previously I used it to make little sheep on socks). I enjoyed it so much I decided to try something a little more ambitious.

First proper mitten

So, here is my first completed stranded colourwork mitten.

The main pattern is Swirly Mittens. I started with this 2 colour cast on, did the cuff in corrugated rib and then a Latvian braid.

I'm using Colinette Jitterbug on a 3mm circular needle. This mitten clearly needs a good blocking. The first mitten came together pretty quickly in the days after Christmas. (It was a good distraction from excruciating back pain.) Mitten 2 is at the thumb gusset stage and has been for about 6 weeks. I got distracted by other things which are easier to knit while watching TV and haven't gone back to it. It's getting too warm for mittens now anyway, so I suspect I shan't finish it for ages. Mind you, if I ever do finish, I suspect I won't wear them much.

Mitten 2 is also noticeably smaller than mitten 1. I seem to have tightened up as I get better (or more blase) at dealing with two yarns. I'm hoping it won't be too much of a difference and that blocking will sort it. Maybe?