Friday, January 29, 2010

K'done: Ribbed Shrug

A great use for sweater leftovers.



Pattern: Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug, by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino in Cappuccino - I used roughly 1.5 skeins to make the smallest size
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

I had about 2.5 skeins of this yarn leftover, so I decided to try this shrug pattern - I figured a shrug would be good for layering in a work-appropriate sort of way. I only used one yarn colour, and not the two the pattern suggests, because I was using up leftovers, and with a handpainted yarn, finding contrast colours that don't make the eyes bleed can be a bit vexing.

I actually finished the shrug nearly a month ago - it knits up fairly quickly - but never got around to picture taking because I wasn't wearing it. I'm wearing it today though, and I like it - I will definitely keep this pattern in mind for future leftover usage.



No view from the front, since there's hardly any front! I also suspect mine came out a bit shorter than intended - you know, row gauge, which I never bother to check on. Will I start? Well. I am happy with what I got in the end.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Squoosh

When my mum taught me to knit, she had me knit garter stitch rectangles - she'd grab some remnant yarn, cast on for me, and I'd just knit knit knit row after row until I ran out of yarn. Then, when I told her I was done, she'd rip it out, and if I asked her to, she'd cast on again and I'd have at it again. It was good practice, but I never developed any sort of appreciation for garter stitch. When she taught me how to do a purl stitch, and showed me that knitting one row then purling the next produced stockinette, I was wowed by how smooth the knit side was, and once I saw that, the nubbly texture of garter stitch seemed just bumpy and ugly.

More recently, I've been seeing pictures of items done up in garter stitch, and while my memory tells me I don't like garter stitch, there is something appealing about the fabric in those images. I thought I'd cast on for a Baktus - you know, scarves are relatively small, it's not as though I'm committing to a giant blanket for experimenting here. I'm now just past the halfway point in the scarf, and?



The fabric is squooshy, making the item seem cuddly and comforting. I can't believe I put off trying it again for this long.



The joys of rediscovery.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

K'done: Anastasia Socks

Let there be dainty feet.



Pattern: Anastasia Socks, by MintyFresh/PepperKnit
Yarn: Noelle's Noodles 100% Merino Superwash Fingering Weight, in Juicy
Needles: 2.75 mm / US 2

My first attempt at Anastasia Socks got botched - I did the decreases wrong on the first sock, so they leaned against the travelling eyelets, instead of with them. In the interest of having a symmetrically matched pair, I purposely did the same on the second sock. In the back of my mind, though, I knew I wanted to try this pattern again, with the correct orientation for the decreases.

When this skein of sock yarn arrived, and weighed in quite light - around 80 g - I was nervous about trying out a new pattern, fearing I might end up with stubby ankle socks that would never be worn. Since this pattern doesn't involve cabling or lots and lots of lace, I figured it would be a good match. The colours also lend themselves well to stretches of stockinette - a busier pattern might have led to visual confusion.

I made some fit improvements over the last pair too - made the foot a few rounds longer, and knit a longer section of plain stockinette at the back after the short row heel. I also knit the leg up higher - I've been thinking lately that taller socks might be a good thing.

Overall, very happy.



Onward!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

K'done: Francis Revisited

My first pullover.

From the back:

Photobucket

And from the front:

Photobucket

Pattern: Francis Revisited, by Beth Silverstein
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino (Aran/Heavy Worsted) in Cappuccino
Needles: 6 mm / US 10 for the body, sleeves, and most of the cowl; 4.5 mm / US 7 for about a third of the cowl

This is a great pattern - it seemed to just fly along. I made a few changes along the way. First, I knit the sleeves flat, since I don't have DPNs in the right size, so I had to seam the sleeves once they were knit. Second, I did the sleeve increases more gradually than called for the pattern, increasing every fourth row instead of every second, so my sleeves were longer. For full length sleeves, I'd increase even more gradually - every sixth or eighth row. Third, I didn't tack the cowl in place at the back of the neck.

When I started on this one, I was really worried about ending up with a sheer sweater - the stitches seemed so big and loose! As you can tell from the pictures, though, it all worked out just fine. So I don't have to worry when I see a pattern that calls for a gauge of 13 sts over 4" with aran/heavy worsted yarn.

Oh, and I would like to make another of these sweaters. Because there's so much stockinette to it, it seems ideal for handpainted yarns, though from the gallery on Ravelry it is very nice in solids too. So much potential.

A definite win. I wore mine on Christmas Day, and got some very nice compliments.