Which swatch will speak to her..?

January 5, 2008

Leaf Tags

My mother in law, Christine, is going to be so surprised. Yesterday, I prepared a little package for her filled with three swatchy gifts.

Rather than just going ahead and knit her a shawl with a stitch pattern I choose for her, I want her to be involved in the creative journey and make it all a special experience.

So I tagged the three swatches with leaf shaped notes and wrapped each swatch individually in tissue paper with the leaf tags hanging out.

Little Swatchy Gifts

I am so excited by this and I sure do hope she genuinly likes one of the swatches.

Off to New York her package went today!

Tristan’s glove

TG1

It looks better…way better now! I knitted the glove in the round (upper glove in pictures below) and there are no bulky seams.

TG3 TG4

I also did the ribbing part on needle size US 8 and the body part on US 9 which gives it a more tighter and more together look. Left glove is knitted in the round, the right glove was the initial design:

TG5

I think I am going to write this “manly” fingerless glove pattern in three sizes (S, M and L).

That’s it for this entry… I need to get going writing up the pattern for Tristan’s Scarf and Glove. I also need to get going writing up the pattern for fingerless Glove Sally! This is all a labor of mere passionate knitting love.

Then, I have to get going finishing up my grey top… and besides all this, my head is just exploding with new designs!

Lately, I have been thinking about knitting flowers, clutches, bags and summery little scarfs. Allthough Spring is still several months away, it is already present in my mind. I feel like a thousand little flower buds are about to burst open in my head and many cute little knitting projects will fly off my needles…

Oh the excitement… I LOVE IT.

Thanks for reading and untill the next entry!

 


Intimidated by Socks and dpns Part III

May 6, 2007

Soxies

In this third and final part of “Intimidated by socks and dpns” I am, as promised, going to touch 5 topics:

  1. Zen of picking up stitches
  2. Zen of picking up DROPPED stitches
  3. Seriously getting Geeky with it
  4. How variegated yarn behaves in stockinette stitch
  5. How the journey to get there can be more captivating than the destination itself

Should you have missed part I and II, see here:

Intimidated by socks and dpns Part I
Intimidated by socks and dpns Part II

But before I start, here is a little sneak peek of “Emanelle”:
sneakemanelle

Now let’s get started!

1. Zen of picking up stitches

At some point, you have to pick up stitches when knitting socks. These stitches are picked up alongside the heelflap:
heelflap2

The instructions of the pattern I was working with, said to slip every first stitch while working the heelflap. Why is that? Well, this is because alongside the ridge of those slipped stitches, you are going to pick up stitches later on.
Over at knittinghelp.com is an excellent video tutorial about picking up stitches in the “and more” tab of the basic techniques section.

Now picking up stitches was for me very difficult in the beginning. I would fail time and time again… but I kept on trying and finally I got the hang of it.

Just remember… with every stitch you pick up, breath in… and once the stitch is picked up, breath out… Just keep on breathing, okay, and things will be just fine.

If you get frustrated, lay down your work and walk away. Once you find the peace of mind again, go back to your knitting work, and try again. And remember… it is just picking up stitches…

2) Zen of picking up DROPPED stitches

Ever had this happen to you:
GASoxieDroppedStitches
Notice how the green strand in the back is not attached to the stitches that are hanging their heads down? Mercy mercy me, those are called dropped stitches… Now I can say to you not to panic, but I know you will. So panic for just a little bit, scream for all I care and then gently put your work down and s-l-o-w-l-y back away.

Take a deep breath, and rest assured that when you find yourself in times of dropped stitches troubles, crochet hook and a US#1 needle will come to you:
Twoheroes

Take another deep breath, and with the needle, catch the dropped stitches so that they will not drop any further down your work:
catch

In order to whip them back into the place they belong, you use the crochet hook. Put the very first stitch you are going to whip into place again, from the “rescue needle” to your crochet hook:
hook

Now remember that green strand the stitches dropped down from? Make sure that green strand is now around your crochet hook next to the stitch that needs to be whipped into place again:
heroesinaction

Next step is pull that green strand trhough the stitch next to it and you have safed your first dropped stitch! :
pullthru

Slide that safed stitch from your crochet hook onto the needle it belongs (that would be the bamboo needle on the left in the picture).Now that you have whipped that stitch into its place again, continue to do so with all the other stitches untill everybody is in place again!
in place

Remember… they are just dropped stitches. They won’t kill you. You are the boss of them and with the help of a crochet hook and a “rescue” needle you will be just fine.

4) How variegated yarn behaves in stockinette stitch

I realize that I could go on and on about this so I decided to dedicate another post to this very topic. So I think I will skip this one for now!

5) How the journey can be more captivating than the destination itself

When I started my journey with the Great Adirondack Soxie yarn I was simply thrilled. I so much loved the yarn when it was in a skein, and I so much loved the yarn when it was wound up in a ball.

GAsoxieskein

The uplifting colors from the stitches on my needle would make me knit faster and with every change of color I was in heaven. From soft pink, to fuchsia, to orangy pink, to orange to yellow and finally to go into the green, bleu and grey. I LOVED IT! It genuinly brought me joy.

The silky feel of the yarn made it truly a pleasure to work with.

GAsoxieheel3

As for the endresult or so to speak “destination”, the sock itself…eh… what can I say.
I like it. I am not loving it… I think it is okay.
soxie1

I think what I am trying to say here, is that I don’t particularly like how the colors of this variegated yarn behave in stockinette stitch… But as promised, I am going to dedicate a post just to that very topic.

And now, I am DONE talking about socks!!!


Intimidated by Socks and dpns Part II

April 26, 2007

My second Great Adirondack Soxie sock is done! Remember my first soxie?
soxie1

Here you see the Soxie pair:
Soxies

In this post I am going to touch two topics:

  1. Anatomy of a sock demystified
  2. Tip for knitting in the round with double pointed needles

In Intimidated by Socks and dpns Part III I am going to touch the following 5 topics:

  1. Zen of picking up stitches
  2. Zen of picking up DROPPED stitches
  3. Seriously getting Geeky with it
  4. How variegated yarn behaves in stockinette stitch
  5. How the journey to get there is more captivating than the destination itself

Before we start I just wanted to say that I am by no means a sock expert. I just wanted to document my own sock journey. Are you ready?

Now let’s get down to the Knitty Gritty.

1) Anatomy of a sock demystified

With these steps, I merely want to show how the sock is formed. I hope that by seeing these pictures, you will be less intimidated or even better, not intimidated at all anymore!

The pattern that I used for this sock is described in my post “How does one describe Beauty“. However, with this Great Adirondack yarn I used dpn #1.

Step 1: cast on x stitches on dpns and work in the round. If you do not know how to do this, watch the video instrcution on small diameter circulair knitting in section advanced techniques on the website knittinghelp.com.

Step2: Work back and forth on heelflap

heelflap1
Please note that on the sides of the heelflap, stitches will be picked up later on:
heelflap2

Step 3: turn heel and pick up stitches
GAsoxieheel2rs2
Step 4: Shape gusset
SoxieProgress3

Step 5: Knit in the round for several inches untill it is time to shape toe
GAsoxiecruisin

Step 6: Shape toe! Lots of decreasing.
fish

More decreasing untill there is only 8 stitches left.
eight2

Step 7: Grab those 8 stitches with a darning needle, pull slightly and stick needle in hole.
dneedle2

dneedle4

Step 8: Turn sock inside out and pull tightly. Weave in ends. (Yikes, looks like a snake)
Snake

Step 9: There you have it! Anatomy of a sock demystified!
done

2) Tips for knitting with double pointed needles

First of all, don’t get intimidated by the “many” needles you are going to work with. In my case I worked with 4 needles all together. Three needles you see on the sock:
SoxieProgress2

And a 4th needle is thrown in the mix to actually knit with.
Now FOCUS on just the two needles that you are working with, okay? Just try to pretend that those other two needles are not there. Focus on the two that you are working with!
Focus

At some point, the needles you are not working with get in the way. See how my thumb is cramped up by a “non” working needle? No fun knitting like that!
Intheway

If that happens, just gently push the needle that is cramping your flow to the back. And now you have plenty of room to focus and knit on the two “working” needles!
outtheway

Hopes this helps a bit…

See all other posts on this topic:

Intimidated by socks and double pointed needles part I
Intimidated by socks and double pointed needles part III


Intimidated by Socks and double pointed needles

April 17, 2007

I would always tiptoe around socks and double pointed needles. Very quietly, tippy toeing, observing, closer and closer and then … hastily back away. Oh how those socks and double pointed needles intimidated me!

But then, there was Robert. My knight in shining fiber armor, helping a damsel in sock distress and teaching me that double pointed needles are harmless. I met Robert at a beginner’s sock class over at Close Knit, my favorite yarnshop. He chased away my fear and showed me with lots of patience and encouragement that anyone can knit socks with double pointed needles. Will you believe me that I hugged Robert when class was finished?

The turning of the heel, the shaping of the gusset and toe are no longer a mystery to me. However, I only knitted 2 pairs of socks, so more practice is needed to fully understand the anatomy of the sock. Off to Close Knit I went and bought me some of this:

GAsoxieskein

This luscious piece of skein is from Great Adirondack Soxie sock yarn in a springy colorway. It is 100% merino but so incredibly silky! Silky, Shiny and Springy… Yum. I decided to challenge myself and I am knitting up socks with needle size 1. So there you have it, this is what I have on the needles right now.

I just turned the heel:

GAsoxieheel2rs2

Although no longer mystified by the turning of the heel, I still gaze at it and ask myself who was this brilliant person who designed this? Just look at it…

GAsoxieheel3

The hardest part of knitting socks is not the heel but picking up the stitches. With such small needles I am working with right now, I have to remind myself not to hold my breath but to keep on breathing. Breath in, pick up a stitch, breath out… breath in, pick up a stitch, breath out… Untill I’ve got them all picked up and then with a proud feeling of victory, I kick up my heels and knit one round. And this is what you see, isn’t tight, crisp and neat?

GAsoxiepickup

Ha! Socks and DPNs intimidate me no more! You know why? Cuz I am Getting Purly With It!

Intimidated by Socks and double pointed needles Part II
Intimidated by socks and double pointed needles Part III


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