Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Sweater, finally!

In January 2010 I set myself a goal of making my first sweater that year.  In February 2010, I learned I was pregnant. And in March 2010, I learned I was carrying twins.  So I postponed my plan to make a sweater, and concentrated on baby knitting/crocheting, since I had twice as much to make and there was no point trying to size a sweater while I was gaining weight and inches so rapidly.

In fall of 2011, I finally tackled it again.  I picked a nice, easy pattern, the beloved Central Park Hoodie, and set to work.  Now that I've made one, I think I'm ready to make my next cardigan in one piece.  I added two inches to the overall length, and knit the sleeves in the round.  I made pockets, using this supplementary pattern, but after sewing one on I decided to go without - they made the front of the sweater pook out.  I used a zipper instead of buttons, and made the sleeves nice and long (I hate it when the sleeves of a sweater ride up!)

I envisioned wearing it on rainy days when I got stuck working the outside shift at the nursery school.  A few weeks ago, I wore it while watching the kids ride around on tricycles in the fog and drizzle, and I was snug and cozy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tour de Sock, November

I finished!  On time!  I completed Tour de Sock!

Stage Four Pattern: Technical, by Jeannie Cartmel
Knitted 11/1-11/9

This pattern really built on the skills introduced in the first three stages: traveling stitches, cables everywhere, patterned heel flap.  Because this was a toe-up sock, there was some very specific calculation necessary to make sure the back of the cuff pattern matched up with the front.  This is perhaps the most complicated sock chart I will ever knit!

Stage Five Pattern: Calpurnia, by Chrissy Gardiner
Knitted 11/10-11/16

I decided pretty early on that these socks would be for my mother.  I wanted a nice light color to show off the lace pattern on the front, but lavender isn't so much my color.  This sock had a few firsts for me: first picot edge, first bobbles, and first time doing a chart that had a little "exploded view" to chart the leaves, where several stitches were inserted into the space of one stitch.

The lace pattern on the front of the socks is supposed to be angels, but my husband and daughter decided they look more like butterflies.

Stage Six Pattern: Mudslides, by Debbie O'Neill
Knitted 11/19-11/22

Ahhh, what a relief.  Six-row cable repeat pattern, easy to memorize, a quick knit.  I learned something important from this pair: there are things that can knit up even faster than plain stockinette socks, if they are just complicated enough to keep my interest.  These socks are very thick and cozy, and they are yarn-eaters.  I finished with about eleven yards left over.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tour de Sock, October

My friend Sarah hatched this grand plan to have a knitting competition to benefit Doctors Without Borders.  Well, actually, she hatched plans for two knitting competitions: Sock Sniper (like Sock Wars, only this time I got killed off first!) and Tour de Sock, a six-stage race covering two months.

My goal is to complete all six stages on time and get six new pairs of socks out of it.  Also work down stash.  I am learning tons.

Stage One Pattern: Calable, by Regina Satta
Knitted 10/1-10/8
Stuff I learned / significant firsts: how to repair a miscrossed cable, how to cable without a cable needle, first traveling stitches, first braided cables

Stage Two Pattern: Phellogen by Glenna C.
Knitted: 10/10-10/13
Stuff I learned / significant firsts: ktbl has many advantages, even if it is hard on the hands.  Also always double-check that the skein is actually tied before you throw it in the salad spinner to dry it.

Stage Three Pattern: Chain Reaction by Tobi Beck
Knitted: 10/19-10/22
Stuff I learned / significant firsts: first colorwork heel flap/gusset pattern - have always wanted to learn how to make cool gusset patterns.  Need to be more careful about laddering in colorwork socks.

This pattern puts gusset decreases in the center of the sole, which makes a really neat sort of tree pattern on the sole of the foot.

The contrast color here is Ty-Dy Sock - it is very soft and smooshy!

I am knitting away on Stage Four, and will post photos in the end of November when I have finished the race!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Potion for a Punkin

Every now and then, every knitter or crocheter stumbles upon a pattern she must start.  Immediately.  So you understand what happened when I found this pattern and knew I must start.  Right away.  My good friends were due to have a baby this spring so I decided to make a sock yarn version, which would come out the right size and have nice drape.  The pattern is called "Jacquard 30 Pattern Sampler" by Renate Kirkpatrick.  If you can stomach all the ends that need weaving in, it is lots and lots of fun.

I felt very clever when I figured out how to modify the pattern to eliminate the seaming.  Each motif is worked off the one below, and joined along one edge to the motif next-door using slip stitches.  Adding two selvedge stitches of black on each side of the design made the join-as-you-go virtually invisible.  This took about 1200 yards of black sock yarn and a whole mess o'scraps, hooked up on a size F.

Geek Alert: There is an online Hogwarts.  It lives on Ravelry.  This project was my first OWL exam, in Potions, completed for Ravenclaw House in Winter 2011 term.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Auction Socks

The mission: whip out as many pairs of preschooler-sized socks as I can between February 1 and February 12.  My daughter's school is having an auction fundraiser.  I managed three pairs:

Eye of the Tiger socks

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock
Size 9-11

Lake Tahoe socks

Bamboo & Ewe
Size 10-12

Spring Garden socks

Red Heart Heart & Sole
Size 8-10