Agnes’ Silk Stockings WIP

Almost halfway done and modeled by the recipient.  This is Agnes’ Silk Stockings to Knit from the September/October 2011 PieceWork magazine.   More information about the project is available at the earlier post:  Adventures in Knitting – Stockings.

The main holdup on the progress of this project was the need to have the recipient (Daughter #2) try it on as I knit up the leg, to be sure it fit.  As it happens, I think I over-knit the length, but I installed a lifeline for just such an occasion.

Current status – second stocking is started, and I’m nearly ready to knit the heel.

Interesting project and enjoyable (sorry for the slightly blurry picture – was taken at night with poor lighting because it’s hard to capture the daughter and the stocking at the same time).

Agnes Stockings 2015-01-04 (Large)

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Coffee Break – Coffee Cup

Apparently, my attention span isn’t working well with more substantial projects.  Maybe I need to take a break after the Aran Afghan.  Here’s another “stash-buster” project that I whipped out over the weekend, just because I was in the mood to do something different and something quick.  This is a double-knit Coffee Cup, one side of the Coffee and Tea DK Pot Holders from Elizabeth Evans, and available for free on Ravelry.

Don’t look too closely – I can use more practice on my double-knitting skills, and I didn’t think my attention and patience was up for a two-sided project, so I did the coffee cup on both sides (reverse side is the inset photo)  Yarn is mystery yarn from my stash, probably basic acrylic yarn inherited from my grandmother’s stash.

Still, the project was fun, and I refreshed my memory on casting on, double-knitting, and invisible bind-off (which, as far as I can tell, is simply the Kitchener stitch, available at this and many other YouTube links).  After I finished the project, I realized that I should have twisted the yarn at the wrong-side end; the other three sides are bound invisibly, but there are two “edges” to that side.

Maybe I’ll do another quick project.  This looks interesting:  Star Trek Pot Holders.  So does this:  Leaf Pattern.  Both free on Ravelry.

Coffee Break Coffee Cup 01-19-2015 (Large)

Adventures in Knitting – Stockings

The fun thing about trips with daughters and best friend is that they pull me out of my comfort zone.  It was B’s idea to go to a yarn festival (not something I had really thought about, before), and we had a delightful long weekend which included the Southern Indiana Fiber Festival.

Of course, yarn was purchased and a good time was had by all – despite the fact that I was the only knitter in the group.

During the trip, we discussed knitted stockings as a fashion piece.  While this is not something I would ever wear, the other three were enthused, and one of my purchases was two skeins of a lovely, hand painted, merino, 2-ply yarn from A Good Yarn, by Mary Ann Habeeb.  Daughter 2 picked out the yarn and the color for her stockings.

Patterns for knitting stockings – and we’re talking about the thigh-high kind that require garters, and not knee socks or ankle socks – are surprisingly rare.   There are several of the “fishnet” variety, but I was looking for something more elegant.  B found a few for me, and I have them queued on Ravelry, but I wanted to start with something a little simpler.

Finally found Agnes’s Silk Stockings to Knit, from the September/October 2011 issue of PieceWork, published by the people at Interweave.

This is a nice, elegant pattern that is easy to grasp, and the increase in size up the leg is managed by gradually-increasing needle sizes.  The instructions are clear and complete.  The sock is knit toe-up, and it is important to try on the sock as it is knit for proper fit adjustment.  Occasionally, I was able to get Daughter 2 to try on the stocking, and I had to be careful to not get it too big – she seems to be smaller than the pattern instructions call for.

I am working the piece using both DPN and a single circular needle (depending on what I have in the required needle size).  I think I like the circular needle for this project – at least after the heel-turn and a bit up the leg.  Easier to manage the project, less likely to drop a stitch and much easier to try on the project.  Be sure to select a circular needle especially for lace knitting to avoid catching the yarn on the joints.

Here are two pictures – One of the start of the project with the toe detail, and one taken a few days ago as it reaches over the knee.

Agnes Silk Stockings WIP 11-28-2014 (Large) Agnes Silk Stockings WIP 11-01-2014 (Large)

Adventures in Double-Knitting – Norse Neck Warmer

The Norse Neck Warmer appears in the Winter, 2013, issue of Creative Knitting.  I’ve been wanting to try double-knitting, and this project looks very achieveable for a first effort.

I’m getting the hang of it, but this is definitely a pattern that takes a bit of focus (something of a problem for me).  The pattern calls for a long-tail cast on, which worked fine, but was extremely tedious because the two yarn colors kept twisting, and I had to keep track of which yarn was the tail.  I got into something of a rhythm, but I will be checking to see if there are any better ways to cast on nearly 200 stitches.

If you are not familiar with double-knitting, it is exactly what it seems: you are simultaneously (or, perhaps more accurately, “by alternating stitches”) knitting positive and negative images on the front and back of a piece.  It’s time consuming in the sense that you are actually knitting the project twice.  It also requires concentration to follow the pattern and remember that the second stitch of the pair is always the opposite color.

The directions are clear and there are some photos in the accompanying article for the cast on (which, frankly, I did not find helpful and I figured out my own way to cast on)

While I understood the concept, and knew what I was getting into, it still seems like “magic” that the alternating stitches on the needle come off as front and back double-knitting.

Neck Warmer 11-11-13 (Large)By the way, the yarn of unknown origin, handed down from my mother or grandmother.  Just basic worsted-weight yarn that works for the Size 4 circular needles that I am using.