Thursday, 29 January 2009

WIP: Chevrolace

As I wait for Mark to arrive sometime today after his booked flight has been canceled, I might as well post an update to show you what I've been doing lately. For a few days last week I designed a sock pattern that consists of traditional Maori designs. There doesn't seem to be any such thing around, so I've had to invent my own pattern. It had proved to be quite fun and I will have to make a few adjustments later on. At first I started knitting it with the yarn above, but the pattern didn't come through at all and I decided to use a different kind another time.

So I have put it aside for now and am knitting up some Chevrolace socks that have been on my list for at least a year already (but I am knitting them from the top down contrary to instructions). I must say that I've not seen any of these that look nearly as good as the ones featured in the original pattern on Knitty. My own won't be quite as nice either, I assume, since the variegated yarn distracts from the lace. This is a bit disappointing, but I don't mind too much because I plan to finally knit a split toe section so that I can wear these with my flipflops in spring. I've been wanting to try that for some time too.

In other news, I've worn my Mojos with shoes for the first time - normally, I do not wear handknitted socks in my shoes at all because they are ust too pretty - and that was a mistake. Due to the friction they look quite felted on the sole and back of the heel! Argh! I hate that. I guess this means I won't be wearing any of my good socks with shoes again.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

TARDIS Flannel


Today I came across a TARDIS pattern and just had to knit it to match Mark's Dalek flannel. It was a very simple patter with only knit and purl stitches. It doesn't come through quite as well as it should due to the dark and variegated yarn, but it is okay. Now I will just have to think of a Valentine's Day gift that has nothing to do with knitting!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Munkeh


On the train to university this morning I knit the last few rounds of Monkey and am wearing them this evening when they are much appreciated in these cold temperatures. They are very well-fitting socks, especially since I used 3 mm DPNs for the cuff and 2.5 mm ones for heel and foot. Atcually, the socks would probably have been fine eve if I had used just the smaller needles as the lace is much stretchier than I expected. This is one of Cookie A.'s patterns that I had saved for a year now, waiting for the day I have the right yarn and am more experienced when it comes to sock knitting. By now there is hardly a pattern that seems daunting, and Monkey turned out to be incredibly easy to do.

Materials:
  • 2.5 mm and 3 mm DPNs
  • 100g hand-dyed Schoppel-Wolle Admiral, colourway 1982 hand
  • row counter
  • tapestry needle

I made a few changes to the original pattern by beginngin with 10 rounds of ribbing and knitting only 5 pattern repeats instead of the specified for the cuff. I liked this length best and am very happy with it. To make things more interesting, I used my favourite heel in Eye of the Partridge pattern again, which looks quite good and is less boring than the plain heel given in the instructions.

The colours are marvelous in this yarn and it was definitely worth splurging on. Contrary to my expectations I do not regret it! It also feels very soft and comfortable both while knitting and wearing it, and I hope very much that the socks can cope with the washing machine. I would be very sorry to have these shrunk or felted by accident!

See? This time I even shaved my legs before taking pictures. Aren't I nice?

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Lohengrin


Well, what did I say yesterday? Here are the pictures!

As it happens, I managed to finish the beautiful Lohengrin today. Since I took such a long break between the two socks, it has taken me much longer to finish the pair than usual. They have definitely been worth the trouble and I am wearing them right now because I just couldn't wait. They are surprisingly warm too even though I am used to slightly thicker yarn than this kind here.

Materials:
  • 3mm DPNs
  • ca. 100g Schoppel-Wolle Admiral Ombr√©, colourway 1962 ombr√©
  • tapestry needle
  • row counter (essential to keep track of the intricate pattern!)
In the end, I didn't use up all 100g of the yarn, especially since I made the short-cuff version of the socks. It was strange at first to be knitting such a short version since most patterns tend to offer longer cuffs, but now that I am wearing them I must say that this may be the ideal length for me.

I am still in love with this colour. It is so warm and bright, just a happy colour that I wouldn't have thought is "my" kind of colour, but it was too pretty not to buy. I am glad I did now because it goes well with the pattern.

By the way, please ignore the hairy legs in the pictures. It's winter and I needed an extra layer of insulation.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

A Possible Delay Due to Laptop Death

My laptod died this morning and it looks like I need a new hard drive altogether. It's always got some problem once a year and it was long overdue already. Unsurprisingly, it decided to come up with a whopper of a problem to make up for the delay. Because of this - and because I decided not to get it fixed since I will be moving countries soon enough - I will have lots of time to knit in the future. I am more likely to run out of yarn than out of ideas, too.

I expect to finish the last Lohengrin sock sometime tomorrow since only half the foot and the toe section still need to be knit now. I shall try to upload pictures as soon as possible, but it all depends on what laptops or computers I have access to. There may be a slight delay, but it is unlikely since I always feel I have to post as soon as something is done and I have photos.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Ribbons Flannel

It looks like I will be busy knitting flannels for ages! I don't mind; it keeps me nicely busy with small projects that are quickly done. This is my third already, knitted after a Butterfly Wash Cloth pattern by Joan Barnett.

Materials:
  • half a skein Lily Sugar'n Cream Stripes, colourway 23143
  • 4 mm circs
  • rowcounter
  • crochet hook to weave in ends
Since this is the smallest needle size I have used with flannels so far, the cloth is a little denser than the others, which I like a lot more. It was harder making the ribbons, however, even if I left the yarn run loosely in front of the stitches. Picking them all up to form the ribbons in the end was a little tough, but you get used to it and find out how to make it easier for yourself after a few rows.

This flannel definitely needs blocking or it will look rather crumpled. That's also a nice look, but I blocked mine anyway to lie flat. Now it is lying next to the bathroom sink, waiting to be used. The rippled flannel has already seen a few uses and is great to use: it is soft, but you can still lather up, which is something I wasn't sure would work too well. It's not as much lather as with a shower pouf, of course, but it works. I won't feel too bad about getting rid of my poufs now that I have these flannels instead.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

EXFOLIATE!


One would think that I really don't have time for knitting every day now that I am getting ready for my doctoral defence and writing my talk. Still, it's been a busy day today and I managed to knit yet another face cloth. This one is for Mark, who is a big fan of Doctor Who. This is probably the best practical gift for when we move together, actually.

Materials:
  • half a skein Sugar 'n Cream, colourway 19983 (looks like army camouflage)
  • 5 mm circs
  • crochet hook to weave in ends
I used the Exfoliate! pattern I came across in my two-day search for such face cloths and it was easy except for the baubles that were a pain to knit with such thick unyielding yarn. Instead of making 5 sts out of one, I then resorted to only 4, which was still quite hard to do. I later noticed that ne bauble is out of line because I got mixed up with rows, but that's okay. It's still a Dalek and as dangerous as ever.

Now I'm in the mood for some Doctor Who, actually.

Baby, It's Cold Outside - Your FOs

In this entry you will find images and details of my first designed hat as knitted by others. I will edit and expand the entry as new picture are sent in. You can find a quick link to this post in the side bar menu for your convenience.

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Birgit was a fast knitter and gave the hat a try in white with Merino-Classic by Junghand. She used about 70g, she said.



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The first to send me photos after only a few days (and a lot of help correcting my initial German pattern) was Christa. She got it done just in time for the really cold temperatures this January '09 and says it fits perfectly.

Christa used sock yarn (doubled) and 3.5 mm circs and is currently working on a scarf with a similar pattern to match.

Monday, 5 January 2009

The Obsession Continues

Didn't I say I was going to finish my socks before starting anything new? Obviously I lied because this afternoon I could not longer resist the temptation of the Secret Santa cotton yarn and made myself a flannel. Admittedly, it is the pattern of a dish cloth, but it's all the same to me. Even on Ravelry both are pretty much the same anyway.

Pattern: Diagonal Ripple Dishcloth

Materials:
  • 5 mm circs
  • half a skein Sugar 'n Cream Stripes, colourway 23143
  • tapestry needle

Blocked, it is 24 x 24 cm in size, which is the best in order to let the ripples pop up nicely. It's obviously reversible since the pattern is basically an alteration of knit and purl stitches. I'm glad I gave it a try.

WIP: Half a Pair of Monkey

My 50th project is halfway done by now: This morning I wove in the ends of the first Monkey, and it fits very well. For now I will probably go back to Lohengrin in order to finish the pair. Monkey is certainly a much faster knit, but I don't like knowing I have a started sock waiting to be continued. Of course I will have Monkey waiting instead, but I don't mind as much because it's an easy pattern to knit up in a few days.

I've made two changes to Cookie A.'s pattern: I knit 5 instead of 6 pattern repeats for the leg since that is long enough for me, and I used the Eye of the Partridge heel again instead of the ordinary knit heel. Actually, now that it's done I think it might have been prettier to leave in the plain knit heel, but it's not a problem. The yarn is certainly nice and soft and the colours are lovely and just a tick darker than shown in the first image.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Secret Santa 2008

This is a very happy me with 6 lovely skeins of Sugar 'n Cream. You've got to love that name in itself! I came across this yarn on Ravelry, as usual, where I saw a number of people using it. I didn't know for some time that it was 100% cotton and mainly suitable for practical things such as pot holders, flannels, dish rags and the like, but I did like some of the colours a lot. As this is another Canadian yarn (why are so many of the best ones from there?), I couldn't yet get my hands on any of it, so I am very happy to now own quite a few skeins of it in a variety of colours.

The yarn came to me as part of a Secret Santa swap on Board77 that has been going on for 4 years every Christmas by now. It is always a lot of fun, especially because people from all kinds of countries take part so that you never know what you will get and from where a package might travel to you. So far, all my Secret Santas have been American, including this one. The box came from a family I have had the pleasure to know online for a few years already and that made it even more special.

The box, as soon as I opened it, was glowing with beautiful colours and I am already trying to think of ways to use the nice paper. It is far too pretty to throw in the bin. At first I thought the paper was merely there to protect the gift bag in the middle, but it turned out to be a number of wrapped and ribboned parcels arranged around it.

Inside, I found a dish rag from Sugar 'n Cream yarn and the 6 skeins. There was also a big tin of hot mint chocolate that I will have to try soon, seeing how it is really getting cold here at the moment (we're meant to have -20°C in the next few days, which is the kind of cold I have never experienced before). Inserted into the accompanying card was a family Christmas photo/card that I will have to put in a nice spot because it is very pretty as well.

I've been photographing the yarn and adding info to my stash on Ravelry all day to update it. I am so happy with it! There are so many things I plan to make of thes skeins - flannels, a shower mat, maybe another dish rag. These are all the kind of things that will come in handy when I move in with Mark this year.

My Secret Santa sent all the right things and I am still really excited about it. It was the best Secret Santa so far, both as far as the giving and receiving is concerned. I got the perfect gifts and my recipient was also very happy with what I sent her, which I had hoped she would be. In the end it was all much better than expected. Now I am already looking forward to our fifth annual Secret Santa even though it is still months away!

Friday, 2 January 2009

WIP: Monkey

Cookie A.'s Monkey socks are ones I have been wanting to knit for quite some time. They were among the very first I ever came across, so it's been over a year. Finally I have the right type of yarn for it and I couldn't resist starting these already despite having the last Lohengrin still waiting to be finished.

The pattern is easy to knit and fast as well. What you see in the picture is what I did in an evening (three pattern repeats) and I will most likely knit at least one more pattern repeat later. There probably won't be anything much to write about these since I believe they will be knit up quickly without trouble.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

WIP: Lohengrin - One Sock to Go!

(Click on image for a clearer picture.)

2009 has startet well, obviously, and I finished my first Lohengrin socks this evening. They look very lovely and I only wish I could have got away with using 2.5 mm needles instead of 3 mm, but my feet are too wide. The pattern would have appeared tighter than it does now when I wear the sock, but it still is pretty as it is. The socks are perhaps a bit thinner than others I have made so far, but they keep my feet nicely warm even in our current cold temperatures. I am also very impressed by the good fit so that I am now liking the idea of cuff-down socks a little more than before.

I had no problems with the knitting and it was faster than I expected. I did half the foot last night while waiting for the New Year, actually, since there wasn't much else to do besides using up all the crackers and sparklers. One more sock to go and

Happy New Year!