Friday, May 26, 2006

silky wool pullover - it's done!

silky wool pullover
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
I am so excited about finishing this sweater because it's the first one I've knit by making it up as I went along. It fits perfectly, which isn't a guarantee since there's only so much you can figure out by holding it up to yourself and deciding when to decrease, start the armholes, split the neck, etc. But most of my guesswork seemed to come out all right in the end. I used a lot of techniques I've never tried out before.

I haven't blocked it yet, thus the wrinkliness of the arms. Also, this colour of silky wool seemed to have a lot of...uh, vegetable matter I think they call it. I'm still picking out thorns.

Please excuse messy bathroom, and shower curtain rod that recently started casting itself upon the floor, for unknown reasons.

pattern: made up
yarn: Elsbeth Lavold silky wool, 4.5 skeins MC, half skein red
needles: size 6 (4mm) addi circular
Knit a leisurely pace, April 14-May 25

Knit in the round with purl stitches as "seams"
colour stranded motif at lower edge from Folk Socks
waist shaping with increases and decreases
short row bust shaping
short row shoulder shaping, 3 needle bindoff
split neck and contrast colour seed stitch placket knitted on
sleeves knit from shoulder down, shaoed with short rows (sort of)
Knit mainly in stocking stitch with seed stitch trim

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Knitting in the Old Way
Ann Budd: Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
Nancy Bush, Folk Socks
Interweave Spring 06 - the saddle shoulder sweater

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

first order from Knitpicks!

first order from Knitpicks
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
I'm always a little worried ordering stuff from the states with the exchange, duty and all. But shipping was fast (one week!), no more expensive than within Canada, and they have border fees built into the shipping so you don't get that unpleasant surprise.

Now, if only I could remember what I actually planned to knit from this stuff...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Falling Leaves

While dithering over Denmark, I finished up the last of my 2 100 gram skeins of Fortissima to make anklets. I'd already knit a pair of Conwys and Nancy Bush's Rib and Cable socks from this yarn, and I love the look and feel of it. But I knew a third pair of full length socks wasn't going to happen, and anyway, we're going into summer. So lace it is:

Falling Leaves socks

They're actually a little big for me, and my foot doesn't open up the lace pattern as nicely as it could. But there's no way I'm going to knit with anything smaller than a size 0 needle; and it was too finicky to figure out how to make a 12 stitch repeat smaller. They're comfy and I'm happy with them.

Falling Leaves socks

pattern: Falling Leaves, from Knitty
yarn: Fortissima Colori (I've gotten three pairs out of 200 grams - I am a happy camper!)
needle: size 0 Addi circular, magic loop
finished with 1X 1 rib and grafted off - best toe-up finish ever!

knit shorter to accomodate leftover yarn, Magic Cast-on subbed for the short row toes

Denmarks are done!

After much hemming and hawing and non-committal poking at the sock in progress, I finally bit the bullet and finished my Denmark socks for the Knitting-on-the-Road-along. It's a fast, easy, and thoroughly enjoyable pattern, but the warm May days demotivated me greatly because my chances of wearing a thick, cushy sock knit in DK weight yarn between now and October are not great.

I also second guessed my yarn choice. DK weight in solid colours is not easy to find here, and my first choice, a garnet wool/acrylic mix with Teflon (I'm wearing these suckers, not frying eggs in them!) was appallingly statick-y. My next choice was a handpainted merino from my local LYS ( I guess that's redundant)

It looked so pretty in the skein and even nicer in the ball:
macro of painted yarn, golden plums

yet I was unexcited by the look of the sock in-progress:

something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Eventually, though, I was overcome by the end-of-May deadline, the unavailability (at short notice) of an alternate yarn, and, in the end, this is some of the smoothest, springiest, nicest feeling yarns I've come across. So after letting the sock languish for some weeks, I picked it up and finished it this weekend.

Denmark socks

There were times I really loved the colour transitions and changes, and some times that I did not. I liked this, for instance:

cable detail, Denmark socks

In the end I was pleased with them with the conviction of someone who is unwilling to frog and start again. They fit wonderfully, and feel almost silky on the feet. So I'm glad I persisted.

Pattern: Denmark, by Nancy Bush, Knitting on the Road
yarn: merino handpainted DK weight from Painted Yarn, in the Golden Plums colourway
needles: 3mm Addi circulars
knit May 5-May 19 (with long periods of indecision in between. It's really a fast knit)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shetland Triangle shawl

Although I've flirted lightly with lace in the past with a smaller projects such as a chevron rib scarf and Pomatomus socks, this is what feels like my first "real" lace project, in a decent size shawl. It's not huge, which makes it perfect for my vertically challenged shelf, and it came out exactly right for a shoulder shawl. Evelyn Clark's pattern was well written and easy to follow, and caused me almost no angst during the knitting. It's a perfect beginner's lace shawl.

Shetland Triangle

I think the stitch pattern itself is called "fir cone", though I'm not sure I've actually seen a fir cone that looks like this. It's nicely evocative, though.

stitch detail, shetland triangle

Fully pinned and blocked. I wish I'd take a "before" photo, when it was a cute, puffy mass of blue:

Shetland triangle

pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark, from Wrap Style
yarn: Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool
needles: size 8 addi circs
knit May 1-5, mostly while watching Sharpe's Rifles etc.

I wanted to get a picture wearing it before blogging it, then thought the better of it - do I really want to blog a picture of my butt, albeit topped by lace? I think not.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Silky sweater progress, and country socks fini!

I'm still making this up as I go along, but have now managed to finish the body. Fronts and backs were knit back and forth, and the front split to include the seed stitch placket. I don't know if I'd do that again - it was really fussy having four balls of yarn going at a time and I think I spent as much time untangling as knitting. But, it looks neat and tidy, or at least it will once I've woven in the ends.

The shoulders were shaped, then fronts and back joined with a three needle bind-off. This sweater is turning out to be a sampler for all sorts of new-to-me techniques.

shaped pullover

And at last! I finished off the Country Socks! A little warm to wear right now, but they'll be fab when fall comes.

Country socks

Pattern: Country Socks, from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.
Briggs and Little Durasport, Oatmeal and Jean
2.5 mm Addi turbos
March 17 - April 20 (the sock spent a lot of time sitting in a backpack)