Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I finished another Moebius scarf this past weekend. I discovered a ball of Regia Cotton Surf in my stash, and fell in love with the pale, subtle colors. The light isn't good in my picture, it is actually pale blue and shades of ecru. I swatched and swatched, and finally decided on a pattern I liked. I wanted this scarf to look good vertically, and chose Diagonal Ribbing for the reversible quality. I alternated with a simple yo, k2tog pattern for a lacey effect, and changed from left slant to right slant on the Diagonal pattern.

This scarf is much softer than the previous Moebius; I used a size 3 needle this time. I cast on 264 stitches, and knitted 38 rounds, using up all but 10 yards. Finished size is about 6 1/2" x 50" before washing. I am very happy with the way the lace and diagonal ribs look together, and am thinking of trying to knit the next Moebis with my stash of angora yarn from Jane.

Here's another picture, showing a close up of the pattern.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Well, how easy was that?

I am embarrassed to admit how simple it was to turn those heels. I looked everywhere on the internet for explicit instructions on how to turn heels with 2 socks on 2 circs. All I could find was cryptic hints saying 'do one at a time.' It can't be that easy, I thought. Well, it *was* that easy.

I found a sockulator on The Knitting Fiend's blog which is for toe up socks with gussets and a heel flap. I found detailed steps for lifted increases, which I am excited to try on my orange Opals. I will also try her way of turning the heel; I am hopeful it will eliminate the little gaps I sometimes get between the heel and heel flap.

Now I am coasting to the cuff on these little blue socks. My moebius is on hold for now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My second pair of Opal socks for charity are ready for the heels! I'm getting better at the 2 sox on 2 circs, but now I'm faced with another challenge. I'm not sure if I will put the non-working sock on a holder, or work the heel with the dangling, tangling mess.

Knitting this way is slowly getting easier. The little circs are very comfortable in my hands; they are starting to bend a bit, but that makes me think of them as old friends.

If it seems that it's taking a long time for me to make these socks, well, I must admit I've been a bit distracted by yet another Moebius scarf. You can see the culprit in my picture, more sock yarn that will not be hidden in shoes. I wanted a wider scarf, and also wanted a pattern that went lengthwise, to be attractive when worn as a long loop. I finally found a nice reversible diagonal stitch, and have done a few rounds of a simple yo, k2tog between the panels. I am into the last half of the skein, and will have a nice, wide Moebius that I can use as a hood if I choose.

The picture isn't real good, the flash bleached out the stitch pattern. If the sun comes out today, I'll try to get a better shot.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I am a member of many lists, one of them is the Arachne lace list. Members on this list occasionally have raffles to give away unused or duplicated items. Jane from England had a greeting card featuring Shetland Lace, and wanted to give it to someone who was interested in knitted lace. She held a drawing, and my name was picked! I got the postcard yesterday, and took a picture this morning.
Jane says she got it from the island of Unst in the Shetland Isles. On the back of the card is written "Unst Heritage Center, Photo by Judith Marsden, Shetland." Thanks Jane! It is a lovely card.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

We had some snow last night, only about 5 inches. This morning is all blue skies and sun shining on trees coated with thick wet snow. In my back yard the oak tree is bowed down with snow on top of last year's leaves. It feels like March or April, and most of the snow will melt today. Everyone is having an unusual winter, I feel lucky our weather is on the mild side.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm past the toe increases on my 2nd pair of Opal socks. This pair is going to be the same size as the first ones, about 7" long. I'm using Farbe 526, Partie 5119. It's interesting that the toes are all solid so far. I thought there would be more yellow and red stripes, but so far it's all solid.

The needles and yarn are all so neat and tidy on the table. No twists, no tangles, it all looks so easy. Don't let it fool you, it feels like I'm tangling with a devil child. I didn't have too much trouble on the previous pair, but I switched to 2 circs after the heels. With this pair the yarn twists, turns and wraps around and through the needles. I am developing a method that involves ignoring the twisting until I finish one complete round. Then I untwist or whatever, and do another round.

In theory, 2 socks on 2 circs is faster and easier. So far, my post-it notes with tally marks seem like an insignificant nuisance. Maybe the 3rd pair will be back on my dpns.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My first pair of Opal Socks for charity is done! Finished size is 7" long, 4" cuff, 1 1/2" heel flap, and 7" around. My size charts say it should be a large toddler or small child size. I have 58 grams left from this skein. I'll buy some solid yarn for heel, toes and cuffs and make another pair from the leftovers.

You can also see the progress I've made on the orange Opal socks for myself. The next pair of charity socks is going to be the blue skein in the lower right corner.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm making good progress with my socks. I have two pairs on the needles, but keep thinking about starting another Moebius scarf. I've made two Moebii, and am tempted to cast on another. They are as addictive as knitting socks.

I made my first scarf using this pattern: Moebius Scarf - The Original . I had a skein of white Woolease and cast on 200 sts with size 6 circular needles. I didn't know I needed a long circular needle, and I knitted away on a 29" circ until it was twisted around so tight it hurt my wrist to knit a stitch. I had another size 6 circ, so I started knitting with that, and knit all the stitches onto my new circ. I kept knitting in the round, but using two circs. After the first 2 rounds it worked very well. I'm not going to buy any long circular needles, and will keep using 2 short ones.

I knit alternating sections of garter stitch and moss stitch, and bound off when I had a few yards left. My Woolease Moebius measured 5 x 48" and goes around my neck 2 times, forming a warm, snug cowl.

I liked it, but the Woolease was a bit stiff. Folded in half lengthwise, it was bulky and scratchy. I wanted a scarf that was more flexible, and not so much like a neck brace. I poked around my stash and found some Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino fingering weight. I looked at the skein of Spring Frost and realized it was too pretty to spend its life hidden in shoes. My decision was made, I grabbed my size 2 circular needles and cast on.

After some calculations, I cast on 260 stitches and knit alternating stripes of garter and check stitch. The colors in the yarn swallowed up most of the patterning, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. The final measurements are 5 x 38", which makes a snugger cowl, but the sock yarn is more flexible and is not as bulky. Also, the scarf is shorter so I can wear it as a single loop more comfortably. I used 64 grams, and there's not enough left to make a smaller one. I may knit a small tube to use as a scarf ring.

So I'm ready to start another Moebius, only even lighter weight. I have some angora I could use, I may swatch that and see if I want 2 strands or 1. I'd like to make a lacy scarf, but not fuzzy. I'm considering cotton thread, I have lots of that, but I'm not sure how it would drape and show a pattern. Another swatch, I guess.

I have been using a regular long tail cast on. It works, but there is a definite ditch in the center of the scarf. I want to try the provisional cast on for the next one, and perhaps that will make a difference.

I found a Yahoo Group that is knitting all kinds of Moebius. MagicalKnitting . I don't have Cat Bordhi's books yet, but am considering a purchase. I do have some birthday money from my mom.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I finished a second pair of socks for my son. I used 2 50 gr balls of Cervinia from Smiley's Yarns. The yardage on this yarn is a bit short, and I had to make the toes, heels and cuff in Opal DK. I knit them toe-up on #1s, rectangular toe to start, and 2x2 rib to fit his narrow feet.

He has the strangest feet! I thought everyone had 'square' feet; that is around the foot is about the same as from heel to toe. His foot measures 10" around and 11" long, I measured twice to be sure. The first pair was loose on the cuff; I corrected that on this pair by going down to #0s after the heel flap. He says they fit very well.

I thought I would never finish these socks. This is the third pair of men's socks I've knit since Thanksgiving, and they have all been shades of tan, gray and dark green. We have had gray skies most of that time, and extreme gloom and fog since the New Year. I didn't realize how hard the combination of drab yarn and gray skies was, until Sunday morning, when I was doing the tubular bind off. The sun finally peeked through the clouds and I could really see my stitches!

Now I can put my energy into the beautiful Opal yarn I have waiting for me. The colors are such a relief to work on.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I started my first sock for charity with two sets of 5 size 0 dpns. I knit both socks at the same time, alternating between the socks. I am knitting from the toe up to the cuff, and prefer the Rectangle Toe, which you can find here .
Starting with 12 stitches, I knit my rectangle, and picked up stitches on the straight edges. When I had 8 sts on my 4 dpns, I continued with increases until I had 64 sts total. (16 sts on each needle) With a gauge of 9 spi, I should have a sock about 7" around, which will be good for a small child sized sock. I continued with k3 p1 rib on the instep until 4.25" from the beginning (30 rnds) then started increasing for my gussets.
I like to add about 1/6 of total sts for gussets. So I added 10 sts on each side of my sock. When my gussets were done, my needles had 26-16-16-26 sts.
For Christmas, I got size 0 circular needles, and now I wanted to try to finish these two socks on 2 circs. But I had to turn my heels and knit the heel flaps first. I like the heel and flap construction of the Roman Rib Sock and have adjusted the stitch counts to fit my socks.
Now I switched my socks to 2 circulars needles, and am knitting away to the cuff. Knitting 2 socks on 2 circs is harder than I thought, and I'm glad I practiced by knitting a hat with 2 circs first.

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