Updates from January, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 2:42 pm on January 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Clue #2 Mystery shawl 

    I finished the second clue in the mystery shawl project.  The 3rd clue comes out on Wednesday.   I had to rip sections back a few times, as I would miss an increase or decrease, or not have the correct number of loops.  Luckily for the second clue I had ordered these row counters from twiceshearedsheep.com, they proved to be the perfect thing for keeping track of my place in this pattern.  It looks simple, but there are several different sections with short rows and increasing and decreasing.  When I decided to order these row keepers, I got a medium (up to size 8 needles) and a small, and the smart lady who makes them sends along a handy little box to keep them in with her website on it.  Good marketing.

     In the progress photo you can see blue ribbons tied to the side, that indicates the end of a particular section.  Each row starts with a YO, and the correct number is important I am assuming for the next clue, as the number of rows and YO’s was stipulated at the end of each section.  It also helped me if I needed to rip back to the beginning of a section and restart it.  Most sections had several repeats, so I used stitch markers that I moved to keep track of those, and the row counter to keep track of the rows within a repeat.  Confusing?  It was for me at times, but with these tools I finally got a system down and my rhythm.
    On a non-knitting note, here is my name in Chinese (supposedly), from a Chinese New Years party last night.  I was the most characters of anyone.  Very pretty.
  • knitting1105 8:57 am on January 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    I finally finished this sweater for baby Stella.  She is a few months old, but still petite, so this will be big even now.  It is a Dale of Norway fair isle, knit in the round starting at the bottom with a front steek.  I got up the nerve to sew and cut the steek last week.  I started by steaming the sweater flat, and sewing a double line of stitches down each side, carefully pulling the yarn ends to the opposite side while stitching.

    Then, I cut away all the yarn ends

    And, bravely cut down the middle between my sewing lines.  No matter how many times I do this, it still makes me a bit nervous:

    Next came picking up stitches, knitting the band with a fold-over flap to conceal my cut edge line, and finding the right buttons.  I am very happy with the results.  I hope that the baby gets lots of wear out of it.

    I wrapped it up and delivered it today.


    Project Specs

    Pattern: 14206 Yoked Cardigan
    Pattern Source: Dale of Norway Book #142
    Yarn: Baby Ull by Dale of Norway
    Needles: US 1 and US 2
    Date Started: 1/5/12
    Date Finished: 1/24/12
    Finished Dimensions: 12 Month old

    • Diane Hamilton 2:01 pm on January 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That is so pretty–I love the colors! Stella is a lucky little girl and will be styling. I finished my hat, however, I don’t like the colors. Decided to start a pair a socks and see how I do.


    • Andi 7:53 pm on January 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      As I said before, this is gorgeous. I’m impressed with your will to steek. It scares me!!


    • thecrazysheeplady 8:21 pm on February 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, this is too cute!!! Beautifully done and wrapped!


  • knitting1105 1:18 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Boreal Socks 

    While waiting for the second clue in the Mystery scarf project, I began the socks using the Hazel Knits yarn that came with this month’s shipment.  The pattern is called Boreal.  It is a toe-up sock, not usually my favorite.  I have not found a good way to make a heel work for a high instep, and I find it more difficult to know where to start the heel.  On a top-down sock I knit until my toes start, then work the toe section, and I can easily try it on for fit.  When trying on the toe-up sock, you have to be much more careful, as you are pulling up the end with the live stitches on the needle over your foot.

    This pattern has proven to be very stretchy and accommodating for different sized feet, even with the short row heel.  After I got the increases finished on the toe, it was also an easy-to-remember repeat pattern, so I could take them along with me and knit little bits at a time (the pattern looks like little tadpoles swimming to me).  I have stopped on the first sock, and am going to knit the other sock from the opposite end of the skein of yarn, that will allow me to use all of the yarn and make them higher, the great advantage to toe-up socks.  This yarn is really soft and very nice to knit with.  My husband has a pair of socks from this vendor that I made him last year.  He says that they are his favorite socks, but I have noticed a lot of pilling on them.

    • darciad 1:58 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Love this pattern! Where’dya get it?


      • knitting1105 2:04 pm on January 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        It is from the Knitterati Sock Club by Janel Laidman. There is still the option to purchase just the patterns here, yarn packages are all sold out.


  • knitting1105 8:13 am on January 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Mystery Scarf 

    I am part of 2 sock clubs again this year, Janel Laidman and CookieA.  I still do have some colorwork socks to make from last year’s club, but I did not want to miss out on this year.  I am glad that I chose not to.  The first big improvement in the collaborated clubs (in addition to a discount for signing up for both) was that instead of receiving both clubs at the same time, they are on alternate months.  That means a new package every month, and always something to work on without feeling overwhelmed.  Last year, since I was in both clubs, the yarn  came later than the CookieA patterns.  I usually got antsy, and started one of the 2 sock patterns from Cookie with some stash yarn.  I am afraid that many of my Janel socks are still waiting to be knit up.  This year will be 2 sock patterns and 1 skein of yarn from CookieA in each shipment (along with 2 cookie recipes), and a sock and shawl pattern with 1 skein of yarn from Janel (one of which will always be a mystery knit-along).  With both clubs, the yarn will be from a different Indy dyer each month so if there is something I do not like, I am not committed to it for the entire year.  Admittedly, there was only one yarn base last year that I really had trouble knitting, and I get to try a great variety.

    This was the January shipment from Janel, beautiful merino-cashmere yarn from Hazel Knits (which I used last year on these socks that my husband took, and loves), stitch markers, and a cute project bag:

    I am finally breaking down and using my handspun yarn.  This is the Raspberry to Cream gradient from Fiber Optic that I spun up in December.  Refer to this post for a description of how I spun it up.  I love how it wound up into a ball with gradient upon gradient.  The pattern is a mystery pattern as part of the 2012 Janel Laidman sock club.  I only have clue one, shown completed here, so obviously do not know how it will knit up, but so far I am really pleased with the progression.

    While I am not sure of what this shawl will end up looking like, I think that it is designed much like Arcadia by Janel for her Art & Sole club last year.  So, if my theory is correct, we are at the center and will work back in decreases, then pick up along the long edge for a design.  Not sure how the gradient will work on this, but it will be interesting, and since it will be wrapped around a neck, the color should add interest.

    • Diane Hamilton 12:47 am on January 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Are you the Raspberry to cream for socks or this shawl?


      • knitting1105 9:45 am on January 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I am making the shawl with the Raspberry to Cream, I THINK that it will look something like the construction of the gray one i posted. We have been instructed to knit YO’s on the long edge, which I assume means picking up stitches and knitting in the opposite direction.


  • knitting1105 8:05 am on January 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Well Loved Socks 

    I actually have another finished project.  The extra yarn finally arrived to finish my Hex socks from the CookieA sock club.  I had put them in my husband’s Christmas stocking, minus a completed toe.  He wore them all day yesterday and declared them to be “Wonderful”.  He loves the handknit socks so much that he saves them to make sure that there are enough for the work week.  They are all in the washer now readying themselves for another week of work.  I think that I actually have about 2 weeks worth of socks for him, but need to make him some more.  There are a few pair that are going on a decade old or more.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Hex Socks
    Pattern Source: CookieA 2011 Sock Club
    Yarn: Fleece Artist Sea Wool
    Needles: US 1
    Date Started: 11/26/11
    Date Finished: 1/19/12
    Finished Dimensions: Size Men’s large

    • Allison 12:11 pm on January 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Those look great! I considered joining Cookie A.’s sock club this year but decided against it because I’d probably need the extra yarn package. It’s fun to see what you get!


  • knitting1105 12:46 pm on January 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mineral Point Wisconsin,   

    Travel Knitting 

    Last weekend we took my son back to school in Wisconsin, and gave ourselves a night away in Mineral Point.  I love that town, currently an artist community, and formerly a mining town.  We stayed in one of the 1840 Cornish Miner’s cabins that is now part of a B&B.   I loved the cozy space, and we took a dinner with us to cook there and spent the evening in front of the (fake) fireplace knitting, reading, playing scrabble and enjoying a good glass of wine.

    And the main reason for our little retreat was so that Dan could go to a remote Wisconsin town that had an amazing selection of electric guitars.  He is so excited to have this new toy.  Might make that spinning wheel that I covet easier to get.  It is fun to see him so excited, and to have the time now (just finished his Master’s) to enjoy his hobby.  I do understand the importance of a hobby, and having the best tools at hand.

    Along the ride, I worked on my mittens with handspun.  This was the second time starting.  I am not sure if I will keep them or rip them out again.  They are a bit large, I think that I overdid it on the cuff length.  I have had so many mittens that are too small.  I need to think about this a bit.  A lot of work in here….

    • Diane Hamilton 4:38 pm on January 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like a very cozy place to hang for an evening.


  • knitting1105 11:54 am on January 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    New Books 

    I received these 3 books for Christmas from my husband, and have not yet commented on them.

    The first, The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, has been one that I have been drooling over since first seeing it at a Wool Festival last summer.  I have 2 other books that focus on sheep and wool types, but this is the mother of all fiber related source books.  It not only has Sheep, but Goats, Camels, Musk Ox, Rabbits, Horses and Dogs and Cats too.  If this book had been out first, it would definitely be the only fiber source book that I would own.  I am off to read about Yak soon, as it is in a blended fiber that I am interested in ordering soon.  No superfluous patterns or fill-ins here, just 400+ pages of fiber info.  This book will be close at hand when spinning.

    The other books that my husband gave me are both reference books for color knitting.  Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting.

    And, 200 Fair Isle Motifs by Mary Jane Mucklestone

    Both of these books contain hundreds of charts for fair isle motifs.  Again, no patterns, just reference.  The Muckelstone book has the motifs knitted up in swatches on each page and computer generated colorings of the charts.  The patterns tend to be smaller and repeatable.  The Starmore book is basically charted designs in B&W, has a couple of knitted inspirations, and general instructions on how to apply the charts to your own sweater.  This book also has some larger one-off designs that would be great for not only sweaters, but mittens and smaller objects.   Both books would be good as design elements to put tracing paper on top of and design away with PrismaColors at hand (my absolute favorite colored pencils of all time).  This is my dream set…


  • knitting1105 12:05 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Finally photos 

    I finished this sweater soon after Christmas and my husband has been wearing it, but between dreary days and him being out of town, I have not had a chance to get a good photo.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Chess Sweater
    Pattern Source: Hanne Falkenberg kit
    Yarn: #2 Shetland by Hanne Falkenberg, colors Aubergine and coffee
    Needles: US 2
    Date Started: 8/15/10
    Date Finished: 12/28/11
    Finished Dimensions: Size Men’s large

    And I have been working on my mittens, I think that I need to reverse the colors, as it is not detailing well.  I thought with windows and doors being light, it would look like nighttime with the lights on.  I don’t think so.  All of the other patterns knit up on Ravelry have followed the chart.  So much for being a maverick, ripping back again.  This time just to the cuff.

    • Diane Hamilton 2:45 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater turned out great–I knew Dan would love it!


  • knitting1105 12:18 pm on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ribbing, , steek   

    Pink Baby 

    I have finished all of the main knitting for my newest baby sweater.  I love the colors, and this was very fun to knit.  The lower part of the body and the sleeves consist of lots of plain stockinette, all done in the round so just knit, knit, knit.  It was a good project when I did not want to focus on details.

    The yoke went quickly, in spite of a couple of decrease mistakes and color mistakes that I had to rip out.   Whenever you attach the sleeves in this manner, the first few rows at the junctions are tight.  I prefer a yoked cardigan for babies, as there is not the bulk at the shoulders, and seem to fit better.  The beauty of knitting this way is that I only now have to sew and cut the steek (still a bit of a frightening process), and knit the front band.  The neck ribbing was called for with a double over material.  I felt that would be too thick, so chose to do a 1×1 ribbing with a tubular cast-off.   The front band is doubled over, but that serves to also cover up the cut steek.

    When knitting the yoke, the first couple of major rounds of decreases divided nice and evenly around the body.  then it started to get more complicated.  I am a bit of a nut, in that everything needs to be balanced out nicely.  Decreases starting and ending equal number of stitches from the front band, and being spread out evenly throughout the body.  Here are the patterns that I had to use to get my decreases, I tried to find a mathematical program that would solve this, but it is beyond me.  I have given that task to my son, these I did by writing out the pattern.  I found how many even number of stitches went into a decrease row, and how many remaining stitches there were.  Then, I balanced out the extra decreases over a pattern in the yoke.  Here are my last 4 decrease patterns (each number includes the number of stitches knit + the 2 that are knit together; i.e 7= K5, K2tog — in effect 1 st less).

    (7,7,6) 12 times

    (5,4,5,5,4,5,5,4,5,5,4) 4 times

    (4,4,4,3,4,4,4,4,3,4,4,4,4,3,4,4,4,4,3,4,4) 2 times

    (3,3,2,3,3,3,3,2,3,3,3,3,2,3,3,3,3,2,3,3,3) 2 times

    I am writing these down here for posterity so that I do not have to recalculate these again.  Hoping for that program Ethan…

    • Karen 1:21 pm on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I have that pattern but wasn’t wild about the orange. However, I LOVE your chosen colors! What size did you make and will the decreases work for only one size? Thanks. It’s adorable!


      • knitting1105 2:50 pm on January 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, I am happy with the colors also, it took a bit of playing around with options. I made the 12 month size. The decreases as shown will only work for that. Hopefully my son will write the computer program that I need.


    • Kimberly (aka Melanthe on Rav) 12:52 am on January 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely beautiful!


  • knitting1105 9:58 pm on January 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Mitten Quest 

    One of the Ravelry boards that I follow, with spinners much more talented than I, has a mitten challenge right now.  It is the perfect time to knit mittens, winter is supposed to arrive this evening.  We have been having unseasonably warm weather, but that is about to change.  So, I went on a search for which of my hand-spun fibers to use and which pattern to knit.  I pulled out all of my mitten knitting books and spent an evening perusing through them to no avail.

    Then I went and looked at my Ravelry “favorites”, and found the mittens that I HAD to make next.  I love this pattern so much that I have favorites from 2 different people’s knit up versions of it.  This is a free download of the chart only and can be found HERE if you scroll down to the 36×36 charts.  You could easily get lost however in any of the amazing other charts available to download.   Remember, these are charts only, and assume that you know how to make a pair of mittens, and how to add a cuff and interpret the charts.

    Next was choosing the yarn.  I love all 3 of these fibers, and they all seem the perfect weight for stranded knitting at a fine gauge.  I first thought that the blue-green with the variegated yarn would be it, but in doing a test swatch, the purple & variegated combination was perfect.  Both of these fibers were from Fiber Optic, the purple is a Shetland and the multi-colored is a dye-break called “Mad Monet”.

    I started with the cuff, doing an Inkel Braid first, followed by 24 rows of corrugated ribbing.  When I finished, I decided that it was too loose, so it has since been torn out and I will restart with 64 sts (72 original).  The charted pattern is 36 x 36, although the chart is only 71 sts wide.  I don’t quite understand this, and the decreases at the top of the mitten are not balanced, so I will adjust the chart to end up with a 72 st pattern.


    Now to restart…

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