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Posts Tagged ‘KAL’

Mitten KAL!

Here’s another secret project revealed… head on over to the Patternworks Blog to get all the details on a new mitten knitalong! I’ll be knitting along in spirit, since I had to finish my mittens ahead of time for the pattern photo, but please join along with Katie as she knits her mittens!

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I’ve been busy since my last post a little over a month ago! Find yourself a good spot on the sidewalk, the FO parade is coming through town…

Ennoble (Nelkin Designs Mystery KAL)
Quite an unglamorous photo… will probably replace later when I take a better one.

  • Pattern: Ennoble by Laura Nelkin
  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Heather, colorway Tatiana Proskuriakoff (T.P. for short!)
  • Needle: U.S. 6 (4.0mm)
  • Started 4/8/11, finished 5/28/11
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

Father’s Day Socks

  • Pattern: my own Father’s Day Socks pattern (garter rib panels on front and back flanked by small cables)
  • Yarn: Austermann Step Zodiac, Capricorn colorway (even though Dad is a Virgo…)
  • Needles: U.S. 0 (2.0mm) Addi Turbo, 40″ circular (magic loop, one at a time)
  • Started 5/5/11, finished 5/28/11
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

Preemie hats for Sweet Caroline Project

  • Pattern: Preemie Baby Beanies by Karen Everitt (basic construction, used stitches from sock patterns on them)
  • Yarns: (L-R) Southwest Trading TOFUtsies, Zitron Trekking Maxima, Plymouth Sockotta (all leftovers from socks – left and center – and baby sweater – right)
  • Needle: U.S. 2 (2.75mm)
  • First one started 6/5/11, third one finished 6/10/11 (each one took 2 evenings of knitting)
  • Link to my Ravelry project pages: #1, #2, #3 (login required)

Mysteriously Sublime Shawlette

Deep V Sweater Monstrosity!

  • Pattern: Deep V Sweater from Classic Knits by Erika Knight
  • Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed
  • Needles: U.S. 3 (3.25mm) and 5 (3.75mm)
  • Started 1/5/09 (yes, that’s 2009), finished 6/18/11 (yes, that’s 2011)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (do I really need to tell you again that login is required?)

This one requires some commentary… After nearly two-and-a-half years on the needles, I’m really disappointed that this turned out to be a waaaaay huge hot mess of a monstrosity. That’s the problem with an adult sweater knit in pieces and seamed together after all the hours, days, months, YEARS of knitting has been completed. (At least with baby sweaters, if they’re too big, the baby will eventually grow into it.) Holding the individual pieces up on my body, I thought for sure the sweater would be too small, if anything. Well, it’s freakin’ bigger-than-plus sized. It’s linebacker sized. Might even be too big for a linebacker. Sheesh. I knit a generously-sized swatch, which I’ve run through the washer (cold water, frontloader) and dryer (on regular, not even low heat or air fluff… REGULAR HOT DRYER) and the swatch didn’t even shrink at all (which is not at all what I expected). However, the swatch did come out extremely soft after washing and drying. So the sweater wasn’t a total waste of time — at the very least, it will make a great lounging around the house in wintertime sweater. A note about the v-neck: Yes, it’s supposed to be a very deep v-neck… though not quite THAT deep. I’m short. I had the foresight to alter the sleeves so they wouldn’t be gorilla-length (like the rest of the sweater, though, still too big), but I didn’t think to alter the body so the V wouldn’t be quite so low. Duh.

Butin Collar

  • Pattern: Butin Collar by Laura Nelkin
  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Audrey, Clare Booth Luce colorway
  • Needle: U.S. 2.5 (3.0mm)
  • Started & finished 6/22/11 (well, clasp was sewn on 6/23/11 before I went to work, so I could wear it that day)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

This requires a little commentary as well. After the disaster that was the sweater above, this project was an absolute delight. Amy brought a kit back from TNNA (trade show) for me to try out. She gave it to me at work on 6/22/11. I knitted the whole thing that night, in about 3 hours, including the time it took to tediously thread the beads onto the yarn in a specific sequence. It would have taken me a bit less time had I not miscounted the size 8 beads at one spot and had to perform surgery on the yarn to thread on one more bead and do a Russian join to avoid too much bulk in the yarn. This is a GREAT kit — seriously, it includes everything you need except for the knitting needles. There’s even a dental floss threader included for threading the beads onto the yarn. This was also the first time I’ve used Audrey yarn — it’s a wool/silk single that’s absolutely beautiful. I think I really need to pick some up at the shop and make a shawl with it.

But wait… there’s been spinning!

Yes, I’ve been spinning! This is Highland Handmades hand-dyed bluefaced  leicester (that’s a breed of sheep) top in the Maritime colorway. It came with the drop spindle you see in the photo above as part of a beginner spinning kit. The stuff on the spindle has been spun; the fluffy stuff at the top of the photo is the fiber that I’ve pre-drafted (pulled apart to thin out the fibers before spinning). This was from my second session of spinning this fiber (trust me, you do NOT want to see the results of the first session). I’ve since gotten better, more consistent, with a little more practice. I’m a little more than halfway through spinning the whole four ounces of fiber. Not sure what I’ll do with the finished yarn yet. We’ll see what it decides it wants to be.

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Shocking, I know.

OnHold1_XL

On-Hold Socks

  • Pattern: On-Hold Socks by Wendy D. Johnson (from the book, Socks from the Toe Up)
  • Size: Medium (66-stitch circumference)
  • Needles: US 0 (2.0mm), Magic Loop 2-at-a-time
  • Yarn: Cascade Heritage Paints, color 9872 (shades of blue ranging from dark slate to navy)
  • Techniques: Judy’s Magic Cast-on toe, slip-stitch heel, Russian bind-off (used US 1.5 (2.5mm) needle for bind-off)
  • Started 7/2/09, finished 7/21/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

This is definitely a pattern you need to pay attention to. While I didn’t have any major mistakes that required serious frogging, tinking, or ripping back in general, there were a couple of times when I had to either tink* back a whole row (or close to it) or pick up a stitch a couple rows down where I forgot to do a yarnover. Learning how to fix mistakes in your knitting without having to undo several entire rows is a valuable skill to have in your bag of tricks. Not something I’d want to do on a complicated, open lacework piece — because it would be really hard to avoid making it look totally awful — but for something small and less complicated like these socks it’s pretty handy.

Next on the list is some gift knitting, so no blogging about that until the items are gifted (and, um, I have to actually start them first). But there will probably be another pair of socks on the needles in August for the next monthly installment of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL. At least that should be bloggable!

*For my non-knitting, blog-reading friends, here’s a vocabulary lesson: “tink” is “knit” spelled backwards. Tinking is undoing your knitting one stitch at a time by un-knitting it, as if you were playing a video of your knitting in reverse. Oh, and “frogging” is when it’s so far gone you just have to “rippit”. Srsly. I am not making this up. These are Official Knitting Terms.

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I decided to kick off my Summer of Socks 2009 knitting with Kaibashira. This sock pattern has been in my Ravelry queue for a year and a half, and I’ve had the TOFUtsies yarn in my stash for just a little over a year. Knitting these socks was certainly long overdue!

They look so very complicated, but once you get past the first couple rows of the cuff, they’re far easier to knit than you would think. There’s really only one “pattern” round in the 12-round pattern repeat, and everything else is just strategically placed rows of all knit or all purl stitches. Kaibashira is a surprisingly quick knit, as well. (Of course, I have had an unusual amount of free time for knitting lately, so YMMV.)

Kaibashira1_XL

Kaibashira Socks

  • Pattern: Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner
  • Size: 66-stitch circumference (approx. “medium”)
  • Needles: Cast on and worked first few rows using US 1.5 (2.5mm) circular needle, Magic-Loop style; then switched to US 1 (2.25mm) DPNs
  • Yarn: Southwest Trading Co. TOFUtsies, colorway 792 (Feet in the Sand)
  • Techniques: Cable cast-on, slip-stitch heel, kitchener stitch toe
  • Started 6/23/09, finished 7/2/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I’ve already started my next pair of socks that will do double duty for the Socks from the Toe Up KAL as well as Summer of Socks 2009 — On-Hold Socks by Wendy D. Johnson (pattern is from Wendy’s book, Socks from the Toe Up). The yarn I’m using is Cascade Heritage Paints in colorway 9872, which is a dark blue in subtly varying shades from deep slate to navy. I’ll be knitting the On-Hold Socks according to my preferred MO — 2-at-a-time on Magic Loop, from the toe up.

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Wow, finished these in record time!

Sprucey3_XL

Sprucey Lucy Socks

  • Pattern: Sprucey Lucy by Wendy D. Johnson
  • Size: Small (58-stitch circumference)
  • Needles: US 0 (2.0mm), Magic Loop 2-at-a-time
  • Yarn: Schaefer Nichole, Greenjeans colorway
  • Techniques: Judy’s Magic Cast-on toe, slip-stitch heel, Russian bind-off (using US 1.5 (2.5mm) needle)
  • Started 6/17/09, finished 6/22/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I knitted these socks as part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL I mentioned in an earlier post. I loved working on these — loved the pattern, loved the soft and squishy yarn. For the bind-off, I had first tried tubular bind-off (even used a slightly larger needle, US 1.5 (2.5mm), for the 4 prep rows before the bind-off). It looked great… but it was so tight, I really had to force the sock over my heel. And once I got the cuff over my heel, I couldn’t pull it up past my ankle. And I had already bound off both socks and wove in the ends. So I strung some scrap yarn through the cuff several rows before the bind-off, undid the bind-off and ripped back. I redid a couple more rows of the cuff and then finished up with Russian bind-off using a slightly larger needle. Ta-da… perfect fit! Absolutely, perfectly snug. These are probably the best-fitting socks I have right now.

I can’t start the next KAL sock until July 1, so in the meantime I’ve started a pair of socks for the Summer of Socks KAL I’m also participating in. I’ve chosen the pattern Kaibashira (that I’ve had in my Ravelry queue since January 2008) and a ball of TOFUtsies yarn (that I’ve had in my yarn stash since May 2008).

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I recently ordered the book Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson (blogmistress of Wendy Knits). The book features more than 20 sock patterns, all toe-up, along with several different toe, heel, and bind-off techniques. Choosing which pattern to knit first was a little tough, but I settled on Lacy Ribs. Within a few days after casting on, I discovered there’s a knitalong (KAL) group on Ravelry for the book… and it just so happens the first KAL sock for June is Lacy Ribs.

LacyRibSocks_XL

Lacy Ribs Socks

  • Pattern: Lacy Ribs by Wendy D. Johnson (from Socks from the Toe Up)
  • Size: Medium (64 stitch circumference)
  • Needles: US 0 (2.0mm), Magic Loop 2-at-a-time
  • Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock/Wool in the Woods, one of the “lottery” colorways (a mash-up of all the dyes from that day, so there are many varieties of “lottery” colors — this one is a teal/purple blend)
  • Techniques: Judy’s Magic Cast-on toe, slip-stitch heel, Russian bind-off (went up to US 2.5 needle for bind-off)
  • Started 6/5/09, finished 6/16/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

This was an easy stitch pattern to memorize — only 2 pattern rows alternated with ribbing. Easy, so it’s somewhat mindless knitting while watching TV, but just interesting enough not to be boring. I had originally started these on US size 1.5 needles, but I was afraid they were coming out too big (especially for such a stretchy pattern), so I ripped them out after finishing the toe and about 1.5 repeats of the pattern, and started over on US size 0 needles. They’re a bit on the loose side, but not too baggy. I probably would have been fine making the small size instead of the medium. This was also the first time I did Russian bind-off. I really liked it and will definitely use it again. I wouldn’t have needed to go up to a US size 2.5 needle for the bind-off, though — I would have been fine going up to a US size 1.5 instead. Still, just a little loose, not so baggy that they’ll fall down. (Plus, it leaves a little room for them to tighten up with washing.)

I’m definitely looking forward to making lots more of the patterns in this book — I love Wendy’s toe-up patterns, especially with the slip-stitch heel. Up next for the June segment of the KAL is Wendy’s Sprucey Lucy pattern (each month, there’s a pattern from the book and one of Wendy’s free patterns to choose from — or to knit both). For Sprucey Lucy, I’ll use one of the yarns I bought at Lamb’s Ear Yarns last weekend, Schaefer Nichole, in the Greenjeans colorway.

SchaeferNichole

Schaefer Nichole, Greenjeans colorway

Another brief crochet interlude…

The doily is finished as well. It’s a little wonky (yes, that’s a technical term) at some spots, but overall not bad for the first one.

PineappleDoilyXL

Petite Pineapple Doily (please excuse the blocking pins)

  • Pattern: Petite Pineapple Doily by Priscilla Hewitt
  • Size 7 steel crochet hook
  • Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton, #10, ecru
  • Started 6/12/09, finished 6/15/09 (even though Squeek got his hind leg caught in the loose thread and ripped out almost an entire round as he ran through the house…yikes)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I also took a stab at crocheting a coaster…

Coaster1_XL

Quick & Easy Crocheted Coaster (why, yes, it was)

You can see something is not right below the center hole, all the way out to the edge. I think I forgot the ch2 at the end of the second round. But other than that, “Quick and Easy” is a good name for this one… it’s true.

I’ll definitely be making some more of these coasters — gotta keep trying until I get it right!

So that’s it for the FOs at the moment. You’re sure to see more socks here in the near future, what with the Socks from the Toe Up KAL going on, and Summer of Socks 2009 starting up this weekend!

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