Self-striped socks

So, a few months ago, I posted about using Magic Loop to knit a pair of items at the same time. My test case was a pair of mittens.

The organizer of my knitting and crochet group asks members to demo various techniques or crafts at our meetings, and a few weeks after I finished the mittens, the demo was knitting in the round on two circulars. Well, I’m perfectly happy with Magic Loop knitting, but I did find it a bit tangly, when knitting the mittens – since I was doing stripes, I was having to juggle four strands of yarn – so for my next pair project (socks, this time), I decided to give the two-circulars method a try. I have to say, I really like it. I’m not going to give up Magic Loop, but for knitting two at a time, I much prefer the two-circulars method.

Pro-tip: It really helps to have a pair of needles that are not identical, either different coloured tips, or different coloured cables, because you are supposed to knit from one end of one of the needles to the other end of the same one, and if you have identical circulars, it’s way too easy to get confused and accidentally knit onto the wrong needle.

Here are my socks in progress. Notice that one of my cables is purple and the other is red; nicely contrasting.
Self-striped Socks

Rawr. I’m a monster (bonnet)

I found this totally adorable bonnet pattern (here) that I wanted to make for the Knitting Circle’s charity drive. Only problem was it required seaming – the bonnet’s sewn flat and then sewn together at the back, and the little spikes are knit separately and then sewn on. I hate seaming. It’s my least favourite part of knitting. So, I re-engineered the pattern.

The difference starts on row 26, the first bind off row.
26. Knit to last 8 stitches, turn the work
27. Knit to last 8 stitches, turn the work
28. Knit to last 12 stitches, turn the work
29. Knit to last 12 stitches, turn the work
30. Knit to last 16 stitches, turn the work
31. Knit to last 16 stitches, turn the work
32. Knit 8

Fold the work in half and bind off using Gartered Kitchener Stitch (garter version explained at the bottom of the page), or 3-needle Bind Off.

For the spikes:
Pick up and purl 12 stitches in two parallel rows along the center line of the bonnet.
Join to work in the round.
Continue with original instructions.

I worked the spikes on three double-pointed needles, two to hold the two lines of stitches, and a third as my active needle.
I also realized when I was nearly done with the first spike that I’d done it in stockinette, instead of reverse stockinette, but I was happy with how it looked and decided to keep it that way.
Finally, instead of braided ties, I used i-cord (there’s only one done in the picture).

Greed and other deadly sins

This is Lucy’s new sister, Georgie.

She joined the family back in October (she’s nearly half again as big as in that photo now).

One of the funniest things I’ve noticed about her is how she always wants what Lucy has. If Lucy’s on my bed, she wants to be on my bed; if Lucy’s getting a cuddle, she wants a cuddle; and if Lucy’s chewing on an antler, she wants that antler… even if she was chewing on one of her own for ten minutes before she realized that Lucy had one too.

Christmas Knitting

Mum’s llama hat turned out very nicely. Her only requests were for the llamas to be white, and the background colour to be the same as for her sweater. I’m quite pleased with how the rest of the colours I picked worked out, and I hope she likes it too.

Mum's Chullo

I also finished her sweater just in time for Christmas, but I stupidly didn’t get a photo of the finished garment before I sent it off. I’ve asked her to send me one when she gets it.

The knitting circle had a Christmas party a week or so ago, and one of the things we did was a homemade ornament exchange. I made this little guy.

He’s supposed to be a fox, but his ears turned out pretty big and he looks more like a bat. I call him Batfox. The ornament I received in the exchange was a little snowman made of wine corks. He’s wearing a little, teeny, tiny scarf too. ๐Ÿ™‚

HOT Fair 2013

The County Fair opened this weekend. I went by on Sunday to see how my pieces had fared (no pun intended). I entered a wee hedgehog in the Knitting (Non-garment) category. He got a first place ribbon. (The photos are fuzzy because I had to use the zoom on the phone’s camera.)

The previously mentioned shawl, which was entered in the Knitting (Garment) category, won a second place ribbon.

I think I counted about half a dozen knitted entries, total, so as usual, the ribbons aren’t terribly impressive, but still fun.

Busy Knitting

I’m really enjoying the Knitting Circle I joined a few months ago.

Back in May we started a block-a-month Knit-along. There will be six knitted blocks and six crochet. Since I don’t crochet, but I still wanted 12 blocks, I’ve been searching ravelry for some extra blocks. I’ve done eight blocks so far. I won’t post individual photos of the blocks (though I have posted them on flickr if you’re really interested) , but I will post a photo of theย  finished afghan after I finish it in October or November.

My friend Angeline posted on facebook a few months ago (during the height of the Jayne hat fiasco) that she really wanted one, so I offered to make one. I ended up making three; a baby one to test out the pattern, and then one each for Angeline and myself.

I’ve made a few more baby hats for the Knitting Circle’s preemie project (along with the baby Jayne).

I finished the body of my mother’s cardigan ages ago, and then had to put it on ice until she could send me her arm measurements. Now that I have them, I’ll be starting up on it again within the next couple of weeks. I’d like to get it to her before the weather turns.

After she and her friend saw photos of the Jayne hat, I got a request from her friend for a hat with ear flaps. I found this awesome pattern for a chullo with llamas on it. Mum liked it so much, she requested one for herself as well, in the same colour as her cardigan for the base colour.

And it’s Fair season! This year I’m going to enter a shawl I made last year. Technically, you’re only supposed to enter items you’ve made since the last fair, but a few weeks ago I ended up reworking about half of it (and making it a larger size) because I had found a dropped stitch the first time I wore it, so I figure that counts.

Knitting

I’ve found a new knitting group in the area. A friend on facebook posted about attending a meeting, so I just tagged along. Really nice group of people. They have an ongoing project of making hats for preemies and newborns in the NICU at the local hospital, so I made a few for my second meeting.

Next meeting we’re swapping coasters, so I’m making this one (the pattern will be a bird once it’s finished).

My madrigal cardigan is coming along nicely. Just have to finish the second sleeve and add buttons.

Once I’ve finished it, I’ll be starting a cardigan for my mum. Like this, only with a zipper.

If at first…

Several years ago, I came across the book No Sheep For You, a book of knitting patterns and techniques for people who don’t like, or can’t wear woolen garments. I really liked the Morrigan pattern. I’m a sucker for cables (not to mention the pattern is named for the Celtic goddess of battle and strife – totally badass).

So I bought a bunch of KnitPicks’ CotLin yarn (it’s a cotton/linen blend), with the intent to knit the Morrigan. It then sat in my stash with the pattern for several years while I worked on other projects.

Last spring/summer, in preparation for my visit to the UK, I decided I needed a new sweater to take with me and finally pulled out the yarn and pattern. I got as far as reading through the pattern and looking over the chart, where I came across the term “no stitch”. No stitch?? What the heck does that mean? So I gave up on the Morrigan before I’d even started it, and found another pattern, the Azami.

I had finished the body, done one sleeve and the hood, when I decided to try it on. It was enormous, and I must have done something wrong on the hood, because that was too small. Very discouraging, so I frogged the entire thing and decided to try yet another pattern. Now I’m working on the Madrigal.

It’s a really interesting pattern. You start at the top of the back, work down to the armhole, and then go back up to your cast-on row (done in invisible cast-on, btw), and work down the two fronts, then join the three sections together at the bottom of the armholes and finish working the body. A nice thing about the technique is that I’ve been able to try it on as I’ve been working on it, and I’ve already made one or two sizing changes based on the fittings along the way.

And I may yet pick up the Morrigan again, because a couple of months after I gave up on it, there was a segment on reading charts on Knitting Daily, in which Eunny Jang specifically mentioned what the whole “no stitch” thing meant! Yay!

Knitting updates

My needles have been very busy this year. The Easy Baby Aran referenced here turned out really cute. I guess the reason they call it an easy aran is because there’s only one place where you do any actual cabling. The rest of the textured effects are just done with knits and purls.

I made another of the little hoodies, this time with the alterations I’d considered as I followed the instructions the first time. The little guy is still much too small in it, but his mom got a pic of him wearing it all the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

I came across a pattern for Hello Kitty pants (on Boing Boing? Epbot? can’t remember) and I thought they were adorable. So I made those for another friend’s baby.

I made a cardi with a leaf pattern down the button band for another friend.

That was a top-down, raglan pattern. I really liked how the sleeve caps looked when I separated those stitches and continued down the body, so I decided to make another top-down raglan, but in short sleeve (and a pullover, not a cardi).

I’m holding on to this one for a little while, because the HOT Fair is coming up and this is the only completed garment I still have.

I’ve put a bit more work into the Elizabeth of York jacket in between baby garments, but I’m still only on the first piece. Fingering weight yarn and size 1 needles don’t make for a speedy project!