Sunday, July 24, 2011

K'done: Helical Stripe Socks

Getting more bang for my sock yarn buck. Gotta love that.

Pattern: Helical Stripe Socks, by Grumperina
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn in Auburn, Oak, Foliage, and Wine for the stripes, and Timber for the toes, heels, and ribbing
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

I worked these toe up, in order to be able to put in a flap heel without having to pick up stitches. I cast on 20 sts using Judy's Magic Cast On, increased until I had 64 around, then abandoned the Timber yarn and started with the striping. Once I got through the gusset increases, I switched back to the Timber yarn, put in a slipped stitch heel flap, but with two sts of garter at each edge, then abandoned the Timber yarn again to resume the striping. I was able to get pretty good control over tension at the joins, but there is a wee bit of laddering going on - not in the stitches right at the join, but in the one previous. I'm not too concerned, though - it's not super obvious in the pics I snapped of the on-the-feet-but-unblocked socks, and I suspect it will only improve once I wash them.

I'm very happy with the resulting socks, and I look forward to doing this again with more leftovers - it lets me squeeze more socks out of my sock yarn, which appeals the cheap thrifty person in me to no end. I haven't yet weighed what remains, but I totally had enough yarn. I started with 20 g of each colour (except for Wine, of which I had only about 15 g) per sock, and I probably still have enough in each colour to use them for more stripey socks - but I'd want to change up the colour combinations.

One nice bonus from this project is that it's given me a taste for colourwork - I had previously thought that I'd never be interested in it, but now I'm thinking of adding some two-colour socks to the SSP plans.

But, it's not all sunshine and roses. Socks are typically my go-to portable project, and these just aren't. I started the toe as I waited in the airport for my flight to Seattle, and by the time we were taking off I was done with the toe and ready to start the stripes. Juggling five cakes of yarn - even if they're little cakes - while seated in an airplane requires some thought and care. All those cakes also take up a fair bit of real estate in my handbag. Also?

Using more than one colour means that you're left with an unholy mess of rather a lot of ends to weave in.

Still, I think they're worth it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

K'done: Belle Vitini Socks

Whoa moly that's a lotta twisted rib.

Pattern: Belle Vitini, by Kristi Geraci
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, in Summer Blooms
Needles: 2.75 mm / US 2 for the first part of the cuff (involving cables); 2.25 mm / US 1 for the remainder

Um, yeah. The lace on the leg was fun, the cabled bits at the top of the cuff were fun, but I'm not a fan of 1x1 ribbing, and making it twisted ribbing slows me down some more, and there was a whole lot of it in this pattern. For each sock, I did alright until I got to the heel flap, which, instead of being in slipped stitches, is in the twisted rib. So I was really sick of the ribbing by the time I finished the heel and then guess what? It carries on in the lace. All. The. Way. Down. The. Foot. So yes, I'm very glad these are done and off the needles.

I borked something up in the toe decreases of the first sock - somehow I ended up with 20 stitches, which shouldn't have happened, and didn't happen on the second sock. Whatever the error was, it's not obvious to my eyes, so I'm leaving it there. If I were to do another pair of these, I'd do another half repeat of the leg chart, but who am I kidding? The odds of me agreeing to do all that twisted ribbing again are really, really slim. Like talk to me in ten years slim.

Still, I am happy to add these socks to my collection. When I saw the pattern, even though the sample is done up in a teal colour, something about them screamed pink to me, and lo, I had this skein of super pink yarn in the sock yarn stash. In all honesty, I suspect some sort of screwy association in my head - the Vitini of the pattern name is getting hooked up with martini in my head, which then somehow links to the bright punchy pink of a cosmo. It's all wrong, I know, but I'm happy with the end result of that train of non-logic. I guessed that the name was Italian - I know vitre and ventana mean window in French and Spanish, respectively, so I thought perhaps vitini might be Italian for window or small window - but Google Translate told me that vitini is Italian for small screw. So maybe it's not Italian after all.

Either way, time to move forward!

To something that does not involve 1x1 twisted rib. Yeesh.

Friday, July 1, 2011

K'done: Amiga Cardigan

I'll have to get some help getting some good modeled shots. For now, iPhone pics will have to suffice.

Pattern: Amiga, by Mags Kandis
Yarn: Fleece Artist Silk Merino (a one-time special from Knitty-Noddy), in Chocolate
Needles: 5 mm / US 8

This was a fun knit, though not exactly challenging - there's no shaping aside from the raglan sleeves, and it's stockinette the whole way through. But sometimes that's just what a person needs, and that was the case for me - this saved me by being available when I was just not in the right frame of mind to work the 1x1 twisted rib needed for the June SSP socks. Which, um, still aren't done. But I have a new sweater!

The yarn I used is a sport weight, and it's 70% merino 30% silk, as opposed to the fingering weight cotton yarn called for in the pattern. So my resulting fabric is warmer and denser than what the designer intended, but I knew that going into it, and the result is just what I intended, and that's what matters in the end, isn't it?

I lengthened the sleeves to full length, mostly because I had sufficient yarn to do so. The body length is a bit cropped as written, and I think the long sleeves and cropped body are sort of cute together, given that this is a layering piece - whatever shirt I wear underneath will be peeking out at the bottom, which I like. The wide front bands are knit in one piece with the collar, which thus has a tendency to roll at the neck, since the fabric is so drapey that it just won't stand up there, but that's totally fine. All of my edges have the tiniest bit of curl to them anyway, since I don't use pins or wires to block - most of the characteristic stockinette curl came out, but a tiny bit remains. I'm okay with that.

The buttonholes ended up coming out a tiny bit large for the button size recommended in the pattern - it's super easy to pop them out. Again, because this is a layering piece, I'm not too concerned - in fact, I don't know how often I'd wear this buttoned up.

Overall, it is a cozy but light sweater, and I am happy to add it to my collection. Not sure if it's polished enough for work wear, though.

Still, a win!

And Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! 144, eh?