Completed Project – Champagne Bubbles

I wasn’t sure about the lace version of a Nancy Marchant pattern, but I decided that I was ready to try.

Champagne Bubbles is published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday, 2014 (available as a digital magazine).  Again, using Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, in color Peaceful Earth, with the contrast color of Knit Picks Palette in color Camel Heather.

I intended this to be a light and casual wrap, and I believe that is how it turned out.  Very enjoyable project, and now that I’ve knit several of these, I can follow the pattern and fix stitches that are missed.

Note on the picture with two side-by-side projects.  The one on the right is not blocked – same yardage as the one on the left.  What a difference a little warm water and stretching can make!

Completed Project: Hidden Hearts Socks

This project dates back to August (see post), and was a “learning” project as much as a sock project.

Things learned:

Turkish Cast-on with one Circular Needle – my new favorite toe-up sock cast-on method.

Knitting on Circular Needles (instead of DPNs) – Also my new favorite technique.  While the cable for the circular needle sometimes gets in the way, this technique is much safer and more stable for me than trying to manage DPNs.

Project Progress by the Gram – as a toe-up sock, with a yarn that was enough for two socks in one skein (Berroco Comfort Sock Yarn), it was an interesting experiment to knit “half the yarn” and then start the next sock.

That mostly worked – I ran out of yarn right at the ribbing of the second sock and had to find something that would coordinate and complete the project.  I considered unraveling half of the ribbing for the first sock, but discarded that idea as being unnecessarily complicated.  As it happens, I kind of like the result – the scrap yarn I used coordinated perfectly, and almost seems intentional.

There was a lot of yarn.  This is a knee sock!

Something else that worked out unexpectedly – the yarn pattern matched up perfectly in the sock.  That made my day.

All in all – a thoroughly enjoyable (if slow to completion) project, and I learned several new techniques that will have a permanent place in my knitting repertoire.

Detail of sock pattern
Sock with “alternate” band. Second sock is laid out, below

 

Weekend knitting – gift stashing

My very first knitting project was a knitted scarf made from Lion Homespun and two cheap plastic stick needles.  I don’t know what happened to that scarf.  I think I have the needles, somewhere.

The pattern is very easy and yields terrific results.  The yarn is very nice and lofty, and this becomes my go-to gift scarf (particularly to men) because it is so well-received.  Don’t tell them that it is also the easiest and quickest pattern to knit!

Supplies:

  • One skein Lion Homespun yarn
  • One set of #17 straight needles

Instructions:  This project is worked with two strands held together and knit at the same time – pull from the center and the outside of the skein at the same time.  Cast on 12 stitches using the long-tail cast on.  Knit until you are nearly out of yarn.  Cast off using stretchy cast off method (I use the knit 1, YO backwards, k1, pull YO over last stitch, pull first stitch over last stitch).

I was out of my usual stash of ready-to-give scarves, so picked up three skeins at Michael’s on a recent trip to the city.  This project only takes a few hours – I knit up the three you see here over the weekend.

One year, I gave this scarf to everyone in my family.  One thing I noticed was that every scarf was a different length.  This is true for this set, also.

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Brioche Cable Cowl Completed

Finally completed!  It took no fewer than four complete “do-overs” to get onto this pattern, but once it clicked, I completed it without too much difficulty.

Things to learn –

  1.  Needle size matters – use a larger needle size than recommended – you really want a loose knit on this project, both because of the type of project (a cowl needs a lot of give) and because of the double-knitting-like feel of the project.  While you are only ever knitting with one color per row,  the style is double-sided.
  2. Pay attention to stich count and transition between rows.  Because you ar changing colors at each round, the transition needs to be smooth so it doesn’t look messy.
  3. This pattern could have been written more clearly.  Instead of referring to the sample colors, the author would have made it easier to read by referring to MC (main color) and CC (contrast color).  I never did get that straight, and – until I finally caught onto the pattern – it was confusing.
  4. Start with something simple.  While I did swatches in the brioche knitting to figure out the technique, a two-color, in the round project was maybe not the best project to start with.

I am pleased with the result, however.  The Caron Simply Soft yarn is very soft, and the project is lofty and generous.

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WIP – Oops, Completed Project – Lucienne Scarf

One thing I like about Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball is that it is so quick to knit!

Partly because of last-minute Christmas craziness and partly because it knit up so quickly, I only have finished-project (blocked) pictures.  Because I immediately wrapped and gave away the finished project, I don’t have a modeled photo, either.

And… because I lost track of the yarn band, I’m not sure of the color.  It might be Calming Desert or Graceful Green.

Oddity – If you take a look at the color layout, you can see why I wonder whether there might be a flaw in this one.  The pale neutral color (see close up photo for both a look at the pattern and the color) suggests that that might be the color-start point that got off track in the processing.

Pattern:  Road Not Taken Scarf, published in The Art of Knitted Lace, available from Amazon, and your LYS.  The book link above shows a collection of the patterns available in the book.  I picked this book up at the one and only yarn show I’ve attended, in Southern Indiana in fall, 2015.  The patterns offered are varied in both style and skill level, and the book includes both written and charted patterns for many projects.

I modified the two-stitch border to a three-stitch border and added a YO/K2tg on the knit side to create the lace edge effect.  Not coincidentally, that feature made it easier to insert the wires for blocking.

I’m enjoying the Shawl in a Ball series.  The colors are nice, the yarn is soft, and it’s easy to work.

KAL Update – Cableship

I have very much enjoyed this project.  The instructions are clear, the intervals (between one section and the next) are manageable, and the sock is terrific.  Thanks, KnitPurlHunter!

I’m sorry to report that I don’t have WIP photos.  The project was so fast and so fun (and my day gig is starting to get busy), I didn’t a chance.

So, here is the completed project!

Notes:

  1.  Socks using a single circular needle are probably going to be a permanent part of my repertoire.  I feel that I have a lot more control.  (That said – I’ll be interested to observe my experience the next time I knit cuff-down socks.  I’m not sure how I’ll manage the toe decreases).
  2. However, this is my third sock using a single circular needle that knit up larger than expected.  I must be using a circular needle differently than DPNs, and I need to figure out how to adjust.
  3. Turkish Cast On for toe up socks is much easier (for me) than Judy’s Magic Cast On (IMHO).  With apologies to knitting technique pioneer Judy Becker, the Turkish Cast On is easier for me to manage and remember.
  4. German Short Row Heel – the way to go as a terrific alternative to the traditional knit heel (particularly for toe-up socks).  Michelle Hunter’s instructions are the best.
  5. I like the Zauberball yarn – it is made for socks (yes, I realize that all sock yarn is technically “made for socks,”) and is a very nice weight, handles well, and shows off the pattern of the sock well. (Shout-out to my Local Yarn Store, River Knits, for carrying this and other fine brands)
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You can see the back cable on the prone sock

If you look closely, you’ll notice that I did not bow to my usual obsession to have the stripes match.  This particular varigated yarn pattern does not seem to have regular repeats, and the color chages are gradual enough to not trigger my need for balance.  Besides, I plan to gift these socks, so I probably won’t see them to notice.

Completed – Cachoeira Socks

Slow to start, but once I finally got onto the pattern, it went quickly.

Comments –

  • I originally thought the pattern too busy and distracting, but after working it up, I really enjoy it.
  • Using one circular needle for socks – new favorite technique for sock knitting!  While any technique has its appeals and frustrations, knitting with a single circular needle allows more secure project management – meaning, no stitches dropped off the ends of the DPNs, no cramming too many stitches on a DPN, no lost stitches when on the go.
  • Still don’t know why this project knit up a good bit larger than expected.  Definitely wearable, but plenty big.
  • I really liked the way the pattern continued on to the heel stitches.  Very interesting and appealing use of pattern.

The details:

Pattern:  Cachoeira, found at Knitting Magazine.

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in color Lost Lake Heather.  Machine washable, shows detail well, 65% Superwash Marino Wool, 25% Nylon, 10% Donegal (which accounts for the tweed).