Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spring socks, and a Swallowtail

Now that I'm done with the university semester and Big Important Events are out of the way, I have time to update my much reduced, but consistent, knitting.

First, Dalarna:
Dalarna socks
pattern from Knitting on the Road, by Nancy Bush
STR in Lover's Leap
2.25 mm Brittany Birch
mods: toe-up with magic loop cast-on (from Knitty) and widdershins heel (also from Knitty)
This was the Knitting on the Road KAL choice for February/March and I finished it on a bus trip to Edmonton in mid-March, but kept forgetting to take pictures. I loved this pattern, and am glad the group chose it because I would never have bothered with it otherwise. It looks so plain in the book, but that's what made it so enjoyable to knit. It was perfect for a semi-solid yarn, and the clock pattern made it interesting. I did modify it to be knit toe-up, since I wanted to make the best use of my skein, which worked out perfectly.
This was also my first skein of STR. I did not want to love it, but I did. So soft, cushy and springy.

Since I was on a bus trip, I made sure I brought sock yarn! So on the same weekend I finished Dalarna, I cast on for Roza's sock, and finished it in...I don't know, about a week. It was a quick knit:

Roza's socks
pattern: Roza's Socks,designed by Grumperina for Spring IK07
Fortissima Colori, leftover from the Mamlukes
2.5 mm Inox circs
Not much else to say, but again an easy to memorize pattern that works well with a gently transitioning yarn.

And last but not least, Rolling Thunder!

Rolling Thunder socks
Rolling Thunder by Sivia Harding for Knitty
Lorna's Laces Bittersweet
size 1 KP circs
mods: omitted the beads

I did try this with beads initially, but once I tried on the cuff I found they made me crazy. I have weird textural issues. But I really loved the Thunderbird stitch design and I like picot hemmed cuffs, so I did that instead, and substituted purl ridges for the beaded ridges. After the cuff, the garter rib goes fast, BUT, I ran out of yarn a few inches short of the second sock. No way was I willing to rip this and do contrasting toes and heels, though that would have been the logical thing to do. But I just didn't want to interrupt the colour scheme for this particular sock. So although I started these socks over the Christmas holidays, I didn't get ahold of yarn till a few weeks ago, and then finished them right away. My daughter has already claimed them for her own.

Closeup of the Thunderbird stitch detail - it really does look like a Thunderbird under storm clouds!:

Thunderbird stitich detail

Finally, the Swallowtail shawl - my second:

white Swallowtail
Swallowtail shawl by Evelyn Clark, Fall IK06
Knitpicks Bare merino, fingering weight
size 5 Boye
cast on Wednesday night, May 2, cast off Saturday morning, May 5, 2007 - in time for my daughter's First Communion
diversions: Pride and Prejudice (the Knightly/McFayden version) and audio book of War and Peace, watching dance tech rehearsal during cast-off

I chose the Swallowtail because I figured it was my best chance of getting a shawl done in 3 days - I'd knit it before in the summer, and knew the pattern was fairly easy to "read" and thus catch mistakes. I managed to catch almost all of them on the back side, purling back.

There's nothing like being time pressured for a special occasion to speed your knitting along! I'd like to knit one again for myself - at a more relaxed and enjoyable pace.

In action:
Swallowtail in the garden


Becky said...

That's gorgeous! Did you do any mods to make the shawl that big? Or is it just a question of gauge?

Sophie_vf said...

thanks Becky! I knit the pattern as written, but used fingering weight yarn instead of laceweight, so it is a tad bigger. Also, that is an 8 year old modelling it, so it looks bigger anyway.
I have previously done a Swallowtail with more repeats for a bigger shawl,'s in the September 06 archive.

pat said...

WOW Sophie! I am visiting from KOTR along and you have some beautiful knitting going on over here!! Your Dalarna's are so pretty in the shaded red - I think your version of Rolling Thunder is more beautiful than the original...and a Swallowtail in 3 days??? AMAZING!!!

Sophie_vf said...

thanks Pat. The advantage to the Swallowtail is that I already knew the pattern, so given the deadline I had, that's why I chose it :)

N. Maria said...

What wonderful eye candy you provided with those socks! Then I kept scrolling down and saw that beautiful shawl! Wow!

Jerry said...

I have a question... did you sleep at all durring the three days? Seriously though the shawl is beautiful.

Sophie_vf said...

not much. But I sure slept a lot *after* the event :)

Anonymous said...

Your work is wonderful.....this ismy first visit to this site. Where can I get the pattern for the swallowtail shawl.
I am fairly new to knitting but I would just love to try that shawl.
thanks in advance for your help

Sophie_vf said...

thanks for your comment. The Swallowtail shawl pattern appeared in the Interweave Knits magazine, spring 06 I believe. The issue may still be available, but IK is starting to publish their patterns on-line as pdfs, so check their site to see if this is one of them! Good luck and have fun.