Monthly Archives: January 2010

Testing… testing… 1,2,3

My new sock design:

Pair of socks

Is now in the hands of the test knitters. :)

Also, I’m working on writing up the pattern for this:

Sock On and Off

Sizing this for anyone with less than wide feet is a challenge due to the width of the design, but I think I’ve worked it out. I’ll be looking for test knitters for this one soon, probably sometime next week but I don’t want to promise anything. I still need to figure out how to do cabled charts…

And I’m nearly finished with the pattern for my hot water bottle cover (which needs a better and shorter name than that one). I’m on a writing streak! Which also means a testing streak… any volunteers? :)

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Finished! (Well, sorta)

I’ve got one sock done!

A finished sock.

I was happily working on the second until I got to a knot. I generally don’t mind knots, one or two in a ball is fine and a lot of the time I don’t find any. But this knot came at the end of a dark pink stripe and the new yarn began at the lighter pink stripe. This meant I had to wind my way through the pink, blue and dark pink stripes (5g worth of yarn) to get to the right colour again. Not happy and I expect better from a yarn company.

I’m not completely sure about the leg, I think I might make the second one a little longer and change it the small detail on the back but I’m generally pretty happy with the sock and I’ve already started to write up the pattern. :)

It’s growing!

Just a quick post today. In my last post, I mentioned how quick my Happy socks were knitting up, well, here’s the progress since yesterday:

clothilde 011

I’ve gone for an afterthought heel to keep the stripes uninterrupted. You can just about see a couple of the stitches of the blue waste yarn for the heel in the orange stripe of the picture above. I’m not too sure yet what exactly I’m going to do for the heel, it’ll either be a wrap and turn heel or a series of decreases. I’m not a big fan of wrap and turn heels, but I think I like how it looks better. I’ve got until I finish the leg to decide but I don’t think that will be long at all! :)

Happy Capricorn Socks

I’ve had some Wendy Happy yarn (4ply 75% bamboo, 25% nylon) sitting in my stash for a while. The colourway is called Capricorn (my star sign) and I really like the combination of colours.

The yarn knits up to produce broad stripes of colour so I decided a little lace panel running up the side would add just enough interest without conflicting with the stripes. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted (for once) so it didn’t take much flicking through my Lace and Eyelet Stitch Guide before I settled on the main design with some ideas for the leg that I’ll hopefully try out tomorrow. I’m enjoying the fact that it’s a very quick knit, I only started last night and this is my progress so far:

Sock! (Almost)

A close up of the lace detail:

Lace Detail

The yarn has lived up to it’s name; I’m really happy and it’s certainly made up for all my frustrations with my Neon socks. I’m definitely going to write this pattern up. :)

Neglected Neon

Isn’t it sad when projects are left to dwell, neither finished or frogged, condemned to a pointless existence? I think so, and I really try not to do it, although several of my projects will beg to differ. Especially ones like my Neon socks (Ravelry link) which according to Ravelry, I started in February of last year.

In Progress...

The yarn is 50/50 Neon from The Knitting Goddess, it’s made up of two 50g skeins, one the reverse of the other . I originally had an ambitious idea of combining the colours so that the sole is green and the top of the sock is blue. It didn’t quite work out and I ended up with significant ladders between the colours which landed the project in Time Out.

However, I’m determined to try and finish this project. Although it’s tempting to give up on my original idea and just knit a regular pair of socks I’m going to have another attempt. So a couple of days ago I ripped back to correct a few wrong cables on the leg and added another repeat to the leg. I did the heel flap again and yesterday I redid the heel turn. I eagerly picked up the gusset stitches as I worked out how to set it up for intarsia in the round but after knitting for several rounds with my metaphorical fingers crossed for no ladders… disaster struck. I found I was missing a stitch. There should be 36 stitches across the top of the foot and somewhere within 4 rounds I’ve lost one and I can’t see where!

So I’m slowly tinking back, hoping I find it without having to rip back to the start of the heel flap again.

So. Frustrating. Those regular socks are looking more and more appealing…

Finished Fairfall Gloves

Here are the lovely (and now completed) gloves I test knit for Maerchen on Ravelry:

Fingerless Glove

Although with the prediction of more cold weather at the end of the week I think I’ll likely be wearing them like this:

Mitten

I love the design of these, the reversible panel means they look good both as fingerless gloves and mittens. Plus, there’s no buttons or velcro to contend with when you want to quickly move from enclosed to free fingers. They’re so snuggly and warm, even when worn as fingerless gloves due to the double layer from the flap and the garter stitch palm.

I’m know as a tester I’m probably biased, but I think the pattern is also very well written and clear. I made only one modification which was to add 4 extra rows to the hand and hand flap sections to accommodate my slightly longer fingers. If you’re looking for a good convertible mitten/glove I’d definitely recommend these! :)

The colour in the photo’s isn’t quite accurate, the purple yarn actually leans more to the red side of the spectrum than the blue but it was the best I could achieve with my camera on a dull day like today.

Hot Swatch

I’ll be honest, I tend to be a bit lazy when it comes to swatching. I’m often too eager to start a project to be concerned with a 4″x4″ swatch that I’ll have to wait for it to dry. Sometimes I can get away with it as after knitting 14 socks I can be fairly confident of what my gauge will be on 2.25mm needle using sock weight yarn. Other times I’ll reluctantly knit a swatch just large enough to work out my stitches per inch.

Just like this one:

Swatch

I’m using this pretty stitch pattern for my new hot water bottle cover, I’d had my previous cover since I was little and it was definitely in need of being replaced. The new cover is very nearly completed (pictures coming soon!) and I’m also thinking I’ll probably write the pattern up. It’s a quick knit and a good way to practice fair isle techniques as the stitch pattern is relatively simple with no more than two colours per row.

Designers Pledge to Help Haiti Relief Efforts

The designers of these patterns on Ravelry have pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to Haiti relief efforts. There are already over 25 pages (and growing) of patterns to browse through! This is a lovely idea and I thank all the designers who are taking part for their generosity.

I’ve decided to buy Whimiscal Little Knits 2 which has been on my wish list for a while as I love the Damson and Veyla patterns. The designer, Ysolda, is currently donating 50% of all sales on patterns to MSF until January 31st. There are so many talented designers donating, I encourage you all to go have a look and see if you find anything that’s been on your wish list too! :)

The Result of Caving to Guilt Free Casting On

My plan to finish some WIP’s in January had a bit of a set back when I started on the Clothilde (Ravelry page here) shawl last week. I’d blame the ‘Guilt Free January’ thread on Ravelry for encouraging me to cast on without guilt at my number of WIP’s but it would be a bit unfair as it really didn’t take much encouragement at all. I bought the yarn a while ago and decided not too long after that it would be perfect for Clothilde so this project had been patiently waiting for too long anyway.

I really enjoyed the pattern, it was quick to knit and easily memorable (not to mention pretty). I was also impressed that the designer had gone to the effort of both charting and writing out the lace pattern. It’s not something that is done all that often these days and although I now find charts easier to use than written instructions I know there will be plenty of people who will appreciate them.

Now for the pictures!

Caramel

The yarn (YarnAddict Yarns Superwash Merino in Caramel) was a joy to work with, so soft and with a beautiful variation in the colour too. I’m thinking the left over yarn might be used for contrasting cuff and heels in a pair of socks, maybe with a nice dark chocolate colour… caramel and chocolate without the calories? Gotta be a winner! :)

clothilde flat

When I added my project to Ravelry I made a note about how I hoped I would have enough yarn to do an extra repeat of the edge lace. I was happy to muddle through with lifelines and see what I could get out of the yarn but I’d barely done one repeat before I received a comment from the designer that I should be fine as her original gauge was very different compared to other yarns used. Brilliant! I love how Ravelry lets you connect with designers and vice versa!

After 4 repeats of the Gull Wing Lace and 3 repeats of the Spearhead Lace, it grew into this:

Before Blocking

Which blocked out into this:

Fully Blocked

So pretty!

Detail

Testing Times

Currently on my needles is a test knit for Maerchen on Ravelry (you can see her other designs here, I like the fun ‘Dumber Than Snake Mittens’!)

The pattern I’m testing is Firstfall, a mitten with a reversible cable panel that using flaps converts into a fingerless glove (I’ll link to the pattern when it becomes available). With the freezing weather the UK has been experiencing lately I’ve thought more than once that even though I love my fingerless gloves, maybe the extra warmth from gloves or mittens would be better. These mittens should offer the best of both worlds as well as being ever so pretty, so I didn’t hesitate to volunteer to test these!

I toyed with the idea of giving these away to someone, I do have more than enough pairs of fingerless gloves. But I don’t have any convertible ones and every wardrobe needs a pair of convertible gloves, right?

I’m almost up to the hand flap right now and I’m hoping I’ll finish a mitten tonight but here’s how it looked earlier today:

Firstfall Test Knit

The colour is off, it’s a brighter purple in real life, but today has been so completely dull I gave up trying to get an accurate colour. Mastering my camera and photo editing software is something else I’ll have to endeavour this year. :)