Saturday, August 11, 2007

Again, with the FO's

So here I am again, with some FOs that seemingly come out of thin air. Behold!

Yarn: STR, cobblestone county colorway
US 2 circs, toe-up, 2 at a time
Love this yarn! It's tightly spun, but still squishy and soft. My own pattern.

Yarn: Austermann Step, purple stripe colorway
US 2 circs, toe-up, 2 at a time. My own pattern.
The striping sequence is off, if you look closely. I knit from the inside and the outside of the skein, no rewinding. With such long repeats and close colors, it wasn't a big deal to me.

This is another great yarn. If you've got sensitive skin, definitely check this yarn out! The Jojoba and the aloe make them the softest socks ever. Also, for the laundry-impaired: I recently accidentally left one sock (not of this pair- a different one of this yarn) in the hot/cold wash of the washer. Anyone familiar with felting should be cringing right about now. The yarn not only held its shape, it also held its feel! You seriously can't tell the difference. Actually, I think the abused sock feels a little bit softer, if you can believe it! The only quirk I found with the yarn as a negative was that it is sticky- knitting from the inside of the ball netted me several places where I had to pull the yarn apart from itself. However, there were no knots- a definite plus!

Yarn: Kroy sock yarn (black) and a red yarn (bernat?) I can't remember.
US 2 and US 3 circs, toe-up, 2 at a time.
My first colorwork socks! I designed them using a motif from a Fair-Isle pattern book, then adapted them as I knit them to fit my feet. I love the color (Project Spectrum June/July- Woo!)and looking at them on my feet. They are naturally very, very warm. Several things I learned from these socks:
  • Despite all attempts to knit loosely, I do not. To compensate, I used larger needles on the leg portions. Eventually, I had to add in stitches because of my calf size, but using the larger needle on the same number of stitches worked very well for about two inches!
  • Despite all attempts to strand loosely, I still do not. This causes problems like your socks literally hugging your feet a little tighter than wanted. The motif I chose had two lines with really long floats- up to about six or seven stitches, too many for fair-isle. On these, I would twist the yarn as loosely as I could, but the socks still ended up tight.
  • Next pair, make sure that several more stitches are added in to compensate for tight knitting/stranding issues. Up to five or six, even.

I've also got some WIP's to show off. Take a gander, will you?

MS3 in progress. My camera is incapable of getting an accurate close-up shot, as the beads and the forest green color obscure the macro capabilities. I'm at clue #3 (I think?). The stole pattern turned out to be asymetrical; I plan on knitting two halves that look the same and grafting them together. Not that the stole as written isn't really neat looking, just that I really, really like things to be even and a wing-shaped stole just wasn't jiving with me. This is my first KAL for the shawl (I joined after reading the Yarn Harlot's blog post), and I definitely will be a part of it next year. The charts are well designed, easy to read and not difficult at all! Knitting the shawl has opened me up to the world of lace, finally. I'm enjoying the yarn (really old stashed Skacel Laceweight Merino) and the product. Blocking should be just fantastic!

I pulled out Cozy from the stash and started work on it again, after a year time-out. My newfound love of lace (and tolerance for purling on smaller needles) has let me knit happily on it. Also, the shawl is knitting up beautifully on my choice of yarns- Crystal Palace laceweight and handdyed Knitpicks laceweight. It is soft and, well, very very cozy!

Finally, I'm using up the rest of the Austermann Step and the black Kroy yarn for a 2nd pair of fair-isle socks! Another motif from the same Fair Isle book. This is a really fun technique that I borrowed from the Fake Isle hat on pair a self-striping (or variegated) yarn with a bold hue. The contrast between the two makes the colors not only pop, but look ten times harder than it should be! Notice the striping is still opposite- I didn't bother rewinding the skein. I like the funny sequence. The pattern reminds me of a court jester's outfit.

Lastly, this is a birthday present I made for Casey's mom. She likes pirates. The whole thing took about two minutes- only the letters I painted, the rest is part of the Michael's fall craft-extravaganza-sales pitch section and was pre-painted! It was really, really hard not to have it say "YARRN" instead :)


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