Monday, 14 July 2008

The Gift of Socks

I love giving knitted gifts for Christmas, or any other occasion actually, but Christmas, being in winter, is a perfect time weather wise and other wise to give a hand knit item that can be worn and appreciated right away. The thing is, as all knitters know, you really have to plan ahead if you actually want to have the time to knit a gift for a loved one without going mental. So, it's only July, but I've already gotten quite a head start on some Christmas knitting, exhibit A:

Four pairs of socks!

On the left we have a plain stockinette stitch sock knit out of Tanis Fiber Arts "Stormy" Colourway, and on the right is Craftoholic's Springgrass sock knit out of Tanis Fiber Arts in "Marine". 

Next we have simple twisted rib socks knit out of Lorna's Laces in "Bittersweet" and Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Christmas Balls" colourway.  All four are actually pairs, I just decided to model one of each.

And though this has nothing to do with socks or Christmas, here's the newest member of my family, Stella:
She's an 8 month old whippet and is a total angel! I'm sure she'll become proud knitwear model in the months to come. We just love her.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Summer knitting

This whole concept is brand new to me! I've never had the slightest bit of interest in knitting summery things. I tend to dress in pretty form fitting clothes, especially in the summer, so a knit camisole never seemed like the right thing for me, because I didn't think that it would be possible for me to knit something that I'd ever actually end up wearing. But then I fell in love with this lovely cotton yarn. It's so shiny and smooth and just beautiful, and I wanted to find a way that I could knit with it, and actually make something that I'd wear. Then I saw this and this and decided that I could give the razor cami a try.

I'm knitting it in Garnstudio Muskat #47. It's a VERY bright orange, I ordered it online and when it came in the mail even I was a little surprised at it's intensity. But then I figured, if you're going for orange, you might as well go for bold! 

I've actually knit much more then what I've photographed. I've only got the straps left to knit, and I expect to get them done tonight if all goes well, so then it'll just be a bit of light blocking and I'll be ready to model it! It's crazy hot here though, too hot for a knitted cami, even if it is cotton yarn... I'll have to wait for a cooler evening to wear it, but I think it'll be a success. The yarn is awesome. I love the sheen, the stitch definition, the drape. I will definitely be knitting more cotton projects, so even if this knitted cami thing doesn't work out, this project will not have been in vain because I've found a new lovable yarn!

Saturday, 5 July 2008


I'm making progress on my mitered square blanket, I feel a bit weird about it though, kind of how I felt while I was working on my Noro Lizard Ridge Afghan. When I take on a big project like this, invest so much money and time into it, I feel like I really need to milk it for all it's worth! I could work solidly on this blanket for another week or two and probably get it done, but I feel like it really can't be rushed, like I need to just take it slow, do one square at a time and let myself really enjoy it, because if I finish it too quickly, then somehow all the work won't be worth as much or something. That may make me crazy, but I've decided to approach it that way, I knit a square whenever I feel like it, and watch it come together slowly. I've got 3 new squares to share, I've placed them in order of least liked to most liked:

I'm not really fond of the orangy-peachy squares, but I'm working towards a rainbow-like gradation of colour over the finished project, so I need some orange/peach in there somewhere to balance it out. I'm all done with that section though, I've gone through my red, orange and yellow half of the afghan and now I'm working towards the green, blue, indigo and violet section. That's the part I'm really looking forward to, I think I'll like every square I knit from now on. I know it seems weird to be knitting with colours that I don't like, but I think/hope that the overall effect will be worth it. Here's where I'm at so far:

Half done! And I've only been working on it for a year!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Cabled Yoke Pullover

So, I have actually been doing a lot of knitting lately, but just haven't had the time to document it. Today, it was sunny and beautiful and even though it was definitely NOT sweater weather, I decided that I couldn't pass up this photo-op, and dragged Ceej outside to photograph my new favorite sweater. Voila the Cabled Yoke Pullover from Patons pattern book Cables #500846.

I used the recommended yarn, Patons Decor in Winter White (I'm not sure if that's the recommended colour). They sell Decor at a LYS near my apartment, and I had the pattern book and had been wanting to knit this sweater for months, and then one day in March I was just overwhelmed with the urge to start it right away! I had some grey wool in my stash that I had intending on using for this project, but the more I thought about it the more I felt that this pattern really needed to be knit in ecru. So I marched to my LYS and bought the Decor because I knew it was available and I'd be able to cast-on that same afternoon. If I were to knit this sweater again, I would use a different yarn, maybe Patons Classic merino Wool, as long as it was something not synthetic. Decor is a lovely, soft, pleasant yarn, but I'm really a wool person. Its the only thing I'd change about this sweater.

I made a couple alterations to the pattern. First of all, I made the smallest size, but felt right off the bat that it was going to end up a bit too baggy for my liking, so I made it a couple stitches smaller all over. I'm really happy with the way it fits now. This is one of the first times that I've been disciplined enough to rip and re-knit portions of a project that I wasn't happy with. Usually, I have a really bad habit of not being a perfectionist, I knit things once, and if I don't like it, I'd rather just never wear it then have to undo and re-knit all that hard work, I know it doesn't make that much sense, but I just hate doing things twice! But, this time, I knew that this sweater had potential, so I stuck with it. I didn't like the way the collar fit me, it was very stretchy, kind of stood up and flipped out and looked very victorian or something, so I undid the cables and did a simple 1x3 rib instead and turned in under to make a stiffer, mock turtleneck look. It really suits me better. Here's a close up of the yoke, I didn't get that much of the collar in the shot, but you can see where the cables stop and the ribbing starts.

I also had to undo the whole bottom 6 inches of the sweater. I followed the pattern, but it ended up with a very short stockinette section and the 6 inches of cables and even with that the whole thing fell somewhere just above my belly button and looked really stupid. At this point, I knew that I'd have to rip, but couldn't bare the thought of it, so I set the whole thing aside for about 3 months. When I decided to give it another go I just undid the 6 inches of cables, knit about 5 inches of plain stockinette, then added 4 inches of cables. I think that the proportions work better on me since I'm petite. A taller woman could probably handle all those inches of cables on the bottom, but for me, it was a bit much. Here's a photo of the better, shorter cabled bottom edge (I also did 4 inches of cables on the sleeves). You may also want to notice my gorgeous new shell leaf ring. I just love it!

I think that come fall I'll get a lot of wear out of this cute pullover. It's casual, but a bit special and different because of it's interestingly placed cables. A winner in my books!