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Season whiplash

February 12, 2007
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We are not without knitting content despite everything.

After the lovely intermission in Hawaii we’re back to winter in the continental US…sorry…
Last week I wouldn’t have had too much in the way of progress to show you, but this week I do.
I finished the Monkey socks last week.

I am really happy with how these turned out. I like the basketweave effect that the stitch pattern gives, and the short color runs in the yarn avoided striping and pooling nicely. The colors are beautiful and intense, and each run was pretty much one row around the leg so it turned out very nice. They fit pretty well too – the stitch pattern is elastic and when it relaxes it reminds me of the ‘bubble’ socks that Irish dance students wear – it poofs a bit but doesn’t fall down really badly.

I did lengthen the leg – she says to knit 6 pattern repeats and I knit 8. I wish I’d knit 9, but I think that would have pushed me dangerously close to running out of yarn. I’ve sort of evolved a way of gauging how I’m doing with yarn consumption, given the size of my feet, whereby I need to use just less than 25 grams for the leg if I’m working with 100 grams of yarn. I have pretty small feet from what I understand, so your mileage would definitely vary… but having worked out that general statistic, I can weigh my ball of yarn as I knit and not be totally in the dark about whether I’m pushing my luck too far.

I started knitting my brown bluefaced leicester, Sam found me the perfect pattern and because it’s new there were not many places that had it – I found it at The Mannings.

It is coming out very lovely – it’s going to be heavy because my yarn is heavy, but that is the kind of thing it’s supposed to be. I ordered 8 extra ounces of the dark bluefaced leicester fiber from Copper Moose on eBay in case I run short of yardage.

I have to admit that this kind of pattern (where the primary design element is drawn in knits and purls) really plays to the weakness in my knitting. I don’t know exactly what this weakness is or I’d fix it – but it seems that I am incapable of working a pattern like this and have it look like, say, a chevron – it always looks like a muddle of disorganized bumps. Maybe someday I’ll have the time to ask some expert to look at my work and figure out why this is. Until then, I may not tackle a fabulous gansey project…

I also have been working for 2 weeks on the Cats’ Day shawl. I wanted to show you my 8 ounce ball of laceweight yarn stuffed into a 1.5 liter tupperware box but I don’t think I have the photo here… so instead you get to see the lace.

Maybe the box shows at the top right of that shot?

The pattern starts off very easily, it doesn’t feel like you’re beginning work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Provisional caston of 127 stitches to knit the center square, and the pattern is simple so it goes quickly. I am about 2/3rds done with the center square. Here’s a detail of the pattern – each section of the pattern represents something about the life of cats in the Shetland islands, and in the center, cats sleep in pairs under fir trees.

Isn’t it darling? After the center square is done you pick up all around the outside of it and knit the border in the round – that will be about 500 stitches so we will be embarking on the Sistine Chapel ceiling then… Thank goodness I got that 40 inch cord for my Knitpicks needles…

The one evening that I was without a pair of socks on the needles, I couldn’t sit still, I felt like I had to be DOING something, so I cast on for Evelyn Clark’s Lupine Lace socks, using some Knitpicks Gloss yarn (merino and silk). My yarn is sort of wine-colored, which is a bit contradictory to the lovely easter-egg colors chosen for the pattern photo…

The photo was taken in bright light so it washed out the color just a little, it’s a nice dark garnet shade. Some folks have said they have not liked this yarn, but I’m liking it. It’s plump and shiny – a little dry to the hand because of the silk content, and I have a feeling these will be somewhat delicate – but it is pleasant to knit. Unless something nasty happens later in the knitting, or in the first washing, I think I would buy more of this yarn.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    February 12, 2007 3:27 pm

    Your handspun BFL is so yummy, and the coat looks like something I’d love to snuggle into. The Monkey socks are really pretty, and the lace is gorgeous. What a great colour.

  2. February 12, 2007 10:54 pm

    Wow! All the lovely knitting…I don’t know what to do with myself, except pick up my needles and try to make something pretty! That Leicester looks yummy…the color is gorgeous. It will look stunning in that Jacket pattern.
    Ang

  3. February 13, 2007 4:48 pm

    It is all so very beautiful. I was told by a mutual friend, June, that you use a Kromski. I am looking at either an Ashford Traditional or a Kromski Prelude. Can you give any insight?

  4. February 13, 2007 9:46 pm

    I think both are probably fine wheels but I think the Kromskis tend to be more wheel for the money and are pretty pieces of woodworking too. They need tons of oil especially at first and it takes a bit of time before you get them adjusted just the right way for yourself, but I like them a lot. I never even tried any Ashfords. Just my 2 cents…

  5. February 19, 2007 9:06 am

    I’m playing catch-up on blogs but you are one productive knitter so it seems like I missed so much! That BFL jacket looks yummy and I love the color of the shawl.

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