February Lady Sweater

Latest project: the February Lady Sweater. It was a humbling experience. I thought I understood how to do yarn overs. I got cocky and it was initially quite the mess. Thanks to the good people on Ravelry and one particularly kind poster who described in excruciating detail what I needed to do, it got better.  I also learned that I needed stitch markers. It took every marker I had, but it helped enormously. After that, it was surprisingly easy to do this sweater.

February Lady Sweater 2

It’s done top down. You put the sleeve stitches on a holder and then pick up when you’re ready to deal with them. I decided to make the sleeves full length instead of 3/4. I don’t plan on actually buttoning this when I wear it, but rather will treat it like a cardigan.


And then there was the Penrose

Penrose 2

You like? I’ve been working on this on and off since January 1 of this year. It’s one of the Woolly Thoughts’ patterns and I’m very pleased with how it came out. I would have had this done sooner but I was seduced away by various projects. The actual knitting is not difficult at all. It’s a nice portable project, but the problem with portable projects like this is that at some point the seaming begins.

The seaming…nearly 2 weeks it’s taken me to first stitch the pieces together and to weave in all the ends.

It was worth it though.

Ravelry link

Toe-up socks completed

So here they are: the toe-up socks. They fit great…after I reToe-up socks 2 by mlzafrondid the bind off three times. Yes, you read that right: three times. Apparently, when you do toe-up socks, you need to use a really really flexible bind off.  Alas, I did not try on sock #1 until sock #2 was done so I had the joy of having to pick out the bind off hoping I didn’t lose the rest of the work. The one I went with in the end was the sewn bind off. Something on the actual pattern to this effect would have been nice.

Toe-Up Socks

I am half a sock away from my first pair of Toe-Up Socks. They are by no means perfect. In fact, I am so far from offending the knitting gods with the perfection of the knitting that it’s just sad. Anyhow…

The pair I’m working on is from a Knitty pattern called “Back to Basics.”  You start with Judy’s Magic Cast-on which is one of those things that seems like it could not possibly work until it does. Thank god for Youtube is all I can say on that. I messed up the cast on for the first sock slightly, but I just do not have the heart to go back and fix it. Having tried on sock #1, I must say that it is the best fitting sock I think I’ve ever made. I particularly love how it fits around the instep. Sock #2 has a perfect toe, but there have been some other issues along the way. I decided to take this with me on my travels. While there was no problem getting it on the plane, it really did not lend itself well as a project to this kind of travel. I’m working on the leg finally and should have it done in the next couple of days.

The joys of self-patterning sock yarn

I’ve been knitting socks again. There’s something of the small child in me. I get bored very easily. The nice thing with socks (I suspect I’ve said this before but it bears repeating) is that there are several parts to a sock and therefore a lower boredom threshold. By the time you’re getting sick of working on the leg, you’ve got the heel flap. When you get to the foot and you’re starting to think it’ll never end, you suddenly have the toe decreases.

Up until recently most of the socks I’ve done have either been in worsted weight (goes fast, big needles, thick yarn), baby socks (over in a sec because they’re so small), or on in fatter than normal fingering weight yarn and on size 3 needles. They have all been done with Magic Loop.

Until recently. I think the bloom may be off the rose for Magic Loop and me. I still prefer it as a method to start circular projects, but for the past two sock projects, I have switched over to dpns once I’ve gotten past the cuff. For whatever reason, it seems to go much faster with the dpns.

I’ve been using the 8 stitches per inch size in Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks book so below I present to you my latest projects:

8 stitches per inch by mlzafron
8 stitches per inch, a photo by mlzafron on Flickr.

Socks from Graham's yarn by mlzafron
Socks from Graham’s yarn, a photo by mlzafron on Flickr.

Now add self-patterning sock yarn to the mix and they seem to go a lot faster. I now have the joy of wondering what color will come up next or how the patterns will form. Hours of fun and entertainment!

64 Squares

Recently I went through the stash and did some reorganization. My sock yarn has multiplied. It’s multiplied a lot. Instead, however, of me doing something about that (making socks for instance or working on my sock yarn blanket), I decided to tackle yet another afghan. At least I have the yarn for it already.

So I am doing another Woolly Thoughts pattern: the Penrose with Cascade 220 Superwash. It’s done in squares and parallelograms. I’ve knit 51 of the 64 squares required. I think it’s going to be rather sharp when it’s done.

Recent projects

So as you can see, I’ve been productive. For someone who hates making scaSea Lettuce scarfrves, I have sadly, been making a lot of them. This first is the Sea Lettuce Scarf by Lucy Neatby. I am glad to say that the hate never entered the garment. My Ravelry link is here.  I liked making the picots and I was endless fascinated with how the wedges kind of forced it to turn in on itself. Yes, yes, I am easily amused.  So this is a Christmas present for someone – haven’t determined who the lucky recipient will be yet. I’ve also discovered that I like short rows. I like how they can add dimension to a garment and now that I understand how to do them, I like doing them.

Tube ScarfThen we have this tube scarf. Truth be told this was an unplanned project. I started it while I was waiting for another skein of yarn for the above scarf. I won a knitting basket at a silent auction and this kit was included in the basket. I have no Ravelry link to share well because I couldn’t find it on Ravelry. Essentially you cast on about 60 something stitches onto a circular needle, join in the round, and knit till you’re out of yarn. Then you sew up the ends and voila! You have a very warm muffler/scarf. I think this is going to be for me. It wasn’t terribly exciting to work on, but it was very good TV knitting. Nothing like garter stitch to get you through complicated plots.

Spiral Rib SocksAnd last, but not least we have my mom’s Christmas present, a pair of cozy bed socks. These are the Spiral Rib socks from Getting Started Knitting Socks, by Ann Budd.  Ravelry link is here. Mom has been asking for socks from me for the past year, but I’ve had a block about sock yarn. Sadly, I have no such block about buying it. Since I love my mother and would like to make her something she can use, I went looking for an interesting worsted weight yarn project. I made some adaptations to the pattern, but these were insanely quick to do. I started them on Dec 3 and finished by Dec 6!