Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cabley Goodness

Things are progressing slowly, Chez Crafty, since I have a few big projects on the go, right now.  I have gotten out of the habit of showing off WIPs, and just putting up photos of my finished projects, so I thought today I'd take the opportunity to show off some squishy wooly cables on my latest sweater project.

The pattern is Beatnik, a freebie from the incomparable Norah Gaughan, and when I saw a customer at my work wearing a lovely grass green one, it inspired me to pull my bag of Cascade 220 out of the closet and wind it up to make my own.  The sleeves are done to the underarm, and I've nearly got the body (in one piece, not separates) up to the bustline, so if I keep at it, I'll be wearing it before the snow melts.  Of course, that gives me plenty of time, in Edmonton.

Oooh just look at those cables... I can't wait to see them once they're blocked!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Green Apple Fossoways

I mentioned previously that I'm starting to purposefully knit my way through the last of my variegated sock yarn stash.  I've decided to do it the easy way and just make the simplest stockingette socks from them all.  Not only will it be a quick and mindless batch of projects, but it's also an exercise in Letting Go of the Outcome.  My tendency is to be an ├╝ber-planner and a bit of a perfectionist and I do like to challenge that tendency by just doing, sometimes, and learning that I can still fall in love with unpredictable results.

My latest simple sock project from the yarn stash was this pair of bright and happy green and yellow Koigu KPPPM socks.  The stunning beauty of a skein of handpainted KPPPM is definitely one of the hardest temptations for me to resist, though it is also a yarn for which it can be difficult to find an appropriate knitting design.  I've been hoarding this Koigu for the better part of a decade, so it's a nice feeling to finally use it.  The socks even ended up being pretty cute - the effect is mostly stripey, which is the most I could have hoped for.

p.s. George RR Martin fans will perhaps recognize the name of these socks - but only from the books, not from HBO!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Striation Socks

The last installment of Cookie A's 2012 sock club included some lovely dark purple cashmere-blend sock yarn from Stricken Smitten.  Of the two patterns offered, the pattern I chose was an open lace diamond design.  I started with the Large size, but quickly realized that the lace pattern has so much stretch to it that I ripped them back and restarted with the Medium.  It feels so good for a girl with huge hobbit feet to make a pair of size Medium socks!  They knit up very quickly (in just two days for the second sock) and fit perfectly.

I have made a difficult decision this year to not join the sock club again.  I really loved doing it for the last two years, maybe even more than I loved the Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock club the two years prior, but I think it's time for me to start making a dent in the sock yarn I already have, rather than continuing to add to it.  I'm currently working on making a bunch of stockingette socks from the variegated yarns I have left over from years past, and I'm also mentally pairing up fancier designs with the semisolids I've been buying more recently.  It's going to be a good year for socks.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Greynbow Socks

It's a while ago that I started these socks (and mentioned having to restart them a few times.)  I was halfway through the second sock when I left them to hibernate a bit, while I started and completed the Umaro blanket and started another pullover.

I recently picked them up again (mostly because I had another pair of socks I wanted to start, and self-imposed a rule that I had to finish this pair to start another pair.)  Having finally memorized the stitch pattern helped to get them finished.  Taking them to work a couple of times to knit during breaks didn't hurt, either.

The yarn was a gift from a kind knitterly friend, some time ago.  It's a lovely greyed-out rainbow of colours from Dream in Color.  The pattern is from the AntiCraft, also some time ago.  I didn't follow the pattern exactly, but rather decided to use my own sock recipe, more or less, with the Vinnland pattern on the instep, and simple ribbing on the back of the leg.


I also elected to try a new type of heel, this time, rather than the simple and reliable afterthought heels that I've been relying on, lately.  I used Cat Bordhi's YouTube tutorial for her Sweet Tomato heel, and tried it out.  I actually had to rip it back a time or two to make it fit my heel just right, but in the end it's pretty comfy and smooth, and looks cool, too.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Umaro

Anyone who follows this blog knows how much I love Brooklyn Tweed patterns.  By last count, I've made eight of them (some more than once) including most of his blanket designs.

A year or two ago, I decided to make this blanket as a gift for someone special.  I bought the yarn and left it to sit in my closet until the right moment came along.  About a month ago, I was struck with a case of finishitis and decided to finish a knitted bag that's been waiting for handles and lining.  While I was searching my closet for the bag handles, I ran across this yarn, along with some yarn that I'd set aside for a cabled pullover.  I haven't found the handles, but I have cast on for two more projects.  I guess sometimes finishitis leads to startitis, too.

While making good progress on the cabled sweater and a couple of pairs of socks, I still managed to make this bulky blanket in a little less than a month.  I used elann's Highland Bulky wool to knit it, with huuuuge needles (10.0 mm, aka US 15.)  The single-ply wool yarn isn't my favourite to knit with, since it's a bit splitty, but it did knit up nicely.  The end result is a warm bulky blanket, albeit a bit fuzzy and prone to picking up lint.  If I did this blanket again (and let's face it, that's not unlikely) I wouldn't use a wool single again, but probably do something with multiple plies, and machine-washable, since I think that would make it more practical.