Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Opal Socks for Me

My DS gave me Opal sock yarn for Christmas, my DH gave me "Sensational Knitted Socks". I decided to try the toe up sock with the new to me heel flap/turn/gusset method. I knit the socks up to the point where I would normally start my gussets. (This is my only complaint about the book so far. CS doesn't help you decide where to start your heel flap on a toe up sock.) Then I knit a flap on the sole stitches, only in stockinette instead of the sl1,k1 heel stitch used in a top down sock. I wondered how it would fit, until I remembered that stockinette stitch would make a heel flap that was a rectangle rather than the square you get with the heel stitch. I had 36 sts and did 37 rows of stockinette and ended with a rectangle that was at the right spot for turning the heel.

After the heel turn, I picked up gusset sts and started knitting in the round again, decreasing just as for a top-down sock. It was a bit tricky to remember that my heel stitch needed to alternate plain knit rounds with sl1,k1. I finally got things synchronized by remembering that my sl1,k1 round was the same round to decrease gusset stitches.

My heels are done and I'm back to 72 stitches. Next is to knit up the cuff, in plain k2p2 rib, That fits me very well, and doesn't interrupt the wonderful patterns in the self-striping yarn.

I love this yarn, thanks Jake! (you know who you are)

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Friday, February 09, 2007

SamplerM is done!

February has been a pretty good month for knitting. I have two finished projects now. SamplerM is done - 28 lace patterns! I haven't bound off because I am considering sampling more lace, garter patterns this time. I am using #10 crochet cotton, so it might not be a true reflection of what I would get in a lace-weight shawl. If I need my needles, I'll bind off then. For now, I'm content to let it sit awhile.
I'm always surprised when people ask me 'What will you do with the Sampler?' I will probably put the patterns and sampler in a drawer or a box. I knitted the sampler to expand my knitting skills, not to create a tangible knitted object. I will probably refer to it for inspiration when I am trying to select a knitted lace pattern for a shawl or other lacy project.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blocking the KISS Pi Shawl

I blocked my KISS Pi Shawl this morning. I pinned it out on our bed, I was afraid of leaving pins in the carpet. I decided the easiest way to block it was to fold it in half. I stretched it out to 31" from center to point. I don't need it any bigger, even in my teens I never was 5 foot tall.

The blocking went okay, but it isn't as even as I'd like. It's not a lot of work, I can always try to improve the shape if it's obviously lopsided.

The second picture is fairly accurate for color, and I like to see the patterns all together. It's not an elaborate shawl, but darn it, it's DONE! The yarn is not sitting in my stash, waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect pattern, the perfect time.

I'm sure you have noticed the green gingham fabric. My SIL made curtains for her first nursery, and passed them on when I had my children. I didn't hang them for long, but have used them twice now for blocking shawls. It was especially handy to block my daughter's wedding stole. When I blocked Diametrag's shawl, I considered sewing the curtains together to fit her rectangular stole. I decided against it, and now I was able to use the gingham for my shawl.

Details for the knitters: KnitPicks Shadow, lace weight yarn, color Oregon Coast, 4 skeins, not much left, size 5 needles, Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi Shawl with lacy patterns selected with simplicity in mind, blocked to 31" radius.

Would I knit another? You bet! In fact, I am seriously considering knitting a similar one for my Mom in Texas. I would give her this one, but I know she would dislike the brown. A lot. I am also thinking of another shawl for me, maybe not a Pi, but a shawl based on garter lace, so there is not the problem of right side/wrong side. I would like it lacier and a vibrant dark color. I feel some pattern hunting and swatching coming over me. Must clean house, must wash dishes......augh!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

KISS Me Again, I'm Done!

I finished this afternoon, and this shows how much yarn I had left in the skein. That's a good estimate, as far as I'm concerned. I swatched, ripped and measured the yardage before I started knitting on my edge. It was time well spent and I will gladly do it again.

My husband took this picture, I'm all twisted around because I'm terribly camera shy. Of course the shawl isn't blocked, you can see it isn't laying flat, but I'm so excited that it's done!

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