Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PAIRfect Socks #2: In Progress


My last few posts have been about PAIRfect Socks.  As soon as I finished up a cotton pair of PAIRfect Socks, I grabbed a ball of wool blend PAIRfect yarn off the shelf at my local knit shop and cast on right away.  This yarn is fun and yields great results.



The heel looks a bit unusual, doesn't it?  While I was at the knit shop last week, I bumped into a knitter friend named Robbie.  Robbie showed me the socks she was working on and said the heel is a "Strong Heel".  I had heard of that!  It's basically a Fleegle Heel.  I need to do a little more research about this, but I am thinking you use a Fleegle Heel when you knit socks from the toe up and you use a Strong Heel when you knit socks from the cuff down. 

Here is where I found the instructions for the Strong Heel:

https://www.theknittingsquirrel.com/heather-socks-featuring-the-strong-heel/

I've used the Fleegle Heel before, but in case you missed that, here is some information about the Fleegle Heel:

PAIRfect Socks: Done


I finished up my PAIRfect Socks when I was at the knit shop last week.  I love how they turned out.  These socks were made from one ball of Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect Cotton yarn. I used 2.25 mm Karbonz double pointed needles and I cast on 56 stitches. They fit me really well.  I snapped these photos at the knit shop.



I loved making these socks. Sadly, it appears the cotton version of Regia Pairfect socks has been discontinued, but I did buy a wool version at my knit shop and cast them on right away.  I'll show you those soon. I am nearly done with sock number 1 already.  

Happy Knitting!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

PAIRfect Socks



PAIRfect Socks


I am making a PAIRfect pair of socks.


Have you seen this special yarn at your local yarn shop?  I found this PAIRfect cotton sock yarn while visiting my mom and dad in Oregon. My local knit shop is now carrying this sort of yarn in a wool blend.  I am wondering if the cotton version has been discontinued. 


This yarn is designed to take the guess work out of making a perfectly matching pair of socks.  The yellow yarn you see is waste yarn.  To begin the socks, you pull the yarn from the center of the ball and you cut away the yellow yarn.  Then you start the cuff.  I cast on 64 stitches using 2.25 mm needles but the socks were way too big for me. I started over with 56 stitches.  The cuff, as you can see, is k2, p2 ribbing. When the yarn changed to blue, then I switched to stockinette stitch for the leg. When the yarn turned to blue again, I began the heel. I took detailed notes about the rows in the heel, the heel turn, and the number of stitches I picked up along the sides of the heel flap.  Right now I am working on the foot and the color has turned blue again.  I just need to keep on knitting until it's time to start the toe based upon the length of my foot. 

The leg portion of this sock is quite a bit longer than I would have ordinarily knit for a sock for myself, but that's okay. I am just following along with the design and concept of this yarn. 




Thursday, May 4, 2017

Building in Color: Panel #4 in Progress


Building in Color: Panel #4
I just began working on Panel #4 of my "Building in Color" afghan (pattern link HERE). Above you can see a photo of the "right side" of the panel; below you can see a photo of the "wrong side of the panel".  The new skill in this panel is "knit below".  You can see a video of this technique by clicking HERE.  This new skill is not too hard although I kind of like the wrong side of this panel a bit better than the look of the right side of the panel.  I think when I started knitting this panel, my tendency was to try to knit really loosely, kind of like I feel I need to do when there are a lot of slipped stitches in a pattern. I think knitting loosely was making my panel look rather sloppy so I am working on my tension a bit. 

My class on Panel #4 is tomorrow at my local knit shop (The Yarn Shop at Words of Life).  I sure am looking forward to seeing all of my friends at the knit shop; it's been awhile!





Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #11 Complete



Norah's Vintage Afghan: #11 Complete


Wow!  This was a quick block.  It looks so tricky and complicated but this block was one of the easiest yet.  Most of the rows in this block were simply knit 3, purl 3.  Cable stitches occur on only 8 rows in the entire block if I am not mistaken. The cables themselves are a bit tricky.  The cables are worked over 9 stitches. After you work the first 3 stitches from the cable needle, you do have to move some stitches from the cable needle BACK to the left hand needle and work those stitches,  and THEN you work the last 3 stitches on the cable needle.  Not too hard but just enough to make you feel as if you are all thumbs at times.

The yarn in this block is Berroco Vintage Worsted weight and the colorway is "Smoke".  I am not sure if I am going to start another block right now, or if I will work on some other WIPs.  I have two classes to teach this coming Friday (my "Building Blocks" and my "Building in Color" afghan classes at my local knit shop... the Yarn Shop at Words of Life).  I spent most of today making pillows for my Etsy shop and preparing for Friday's classes. 

Up next, I'll show you my latest Building in Color panel.

Also, if you'd like to see all of my posts about my Norah's Vintage Afghan project, you can see all of those posts by clicking HERE. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #11 in Progress


Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #11 in Progress

This block is knitting up quickly.  Although this block looks complicated, the block is mostly a repeat of knit 3, purl 3 as you work your way along. Cable stiches are completed on only three rows of the pattern repeat.  Above you can see one pattern repeat (the pattern repeat is 24 rows).  I'll have this block done in a jiffy and will be sure to show it to you when it's all done.

Happy Knitting!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Norah's Vintage Afghan: #10 Complete


Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #10 complete


Since I've been sick this past week, I got this block done in a jiffy.  This is block #10 of Norah's Vintage Afghan and the yarn is Berroco Vintage Worsted in the "Cracked Pepper" colorway.  The cables in this square were pretty straight forward; it's just a four row repeat.  I placed stitch markers where the red lines appear on the chart.

I've already started to work on Block #11, which is going really quickly. Block #11 is mostly knit 3, purl 3. I'll show you my progress on that block tomorrow.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Skew Socks No. 2


Skew Socks No. 2


Here is another project I've had done for months now, but I never bothered to take photos.  This is a great sock pattern called "Skew". The pattern link can be found HERE.  This is a FREE pattern and the designer is Lana Holden.  At my local knit shop, these socks are affectionately known as "Jeri's Crazy Socks".  Jeri discovered this pattern and has taught oodles of folks how to work this pattern. I took her class sometime last year and have completed two pairs. I am sure I'll make this pattern again sometime soon.  This is definitely a pattern that you have to focus on quite a bit, as the sock construction is highly unusual. There is a right sock and a left sock and you start each sock at the big toe and work diagonally across the foot. The ankle construction... I can't even begin to explain it but you do end up grafting some stitches together in the heel area. It's really amazing and incredibly creative. 


Here, I am having such a hard time describing how unusual this pattern is.  Here's a quote from the pattern about the construction of these super cool socks...

Skew takes the concept of the bias design element to a new extreme by turning the entire architecture of the sock, including the heel, on the diagonal. Rather than attempt to compensate for the non-squareness of stockinette stitch, I chose to exploit it, resulting in delightfully anatomically correct toes followed by an innovative heel shaping which continues the diagonal flow of the stitches without interruption. This heel requires neither short rows nor picking up stitches, but it does require a little bit of faith until the origami moment when a short grafted seam transforms an unfamiliarly-shaped object into a finished heel. A fair amount of high-school algebra and geometry was resurrected for the design process, but the knitter only needs to be able to count.

Don’t let the clean stockinette swaths fool you; the unconventional shaping will keep you on your toes!



The only problem I seem to have with this pattern is that I am not quite certain when to begin the heel. Both pairs of my Skew socks have been a little long in the foot portion. I think you can see that in the photos.  Next time I just need to start the heel about 1 inch sooner.  In case you are wondering, the yarn I used in these socks is Regia Design Line Random Stripe by Kaffe Fassett.

Another note... it's best to work this pattern on one long circular needle or two smaller circular needles. The pattern notes recommend against using double pointed needles for this pattern.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Trillian: Complete


Trillian


I am so very happy with this project.  This is another design by Martina Behm.  The Trillian pattern link is HERE.  This is not a free pattern but I am sure I will knit this a few more times. In fact, I am currently working on a blue Trillian.

Many of Martina Behm's patterns call for about 150 grams of sock yarn; much of the sock yarn I have is just 100 grams.  As a result, my Trillian is slightly smaller.  The pattern specifies that you continue to increase until you have a certain percentage of your yarn remaining and then you start the final border.  In the pattern, Martina specifies she increased to 191 stitches before beginning the border.  In my project, I was only able to increase to 157 stitches before I began the border. I ended up with very little yarn left over.  At first I was concerned my project was a little small when I tried it on, but this project grew significantly larger when I wet blocked it. 


I just love wearing this garment.  The yarn was a gift from my friend Belinda.  She got this yarn while on vacation in New York.  The Yarn is Liberty Fibers Merino Superwash Sock yarn and the colorway is called "Chinese Lacquer".  It's so soft and the color is beautiful. 






Saturday, April 29, 2017

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #10


Norah's Vintage Afghan:  Block #10



Lately I have actually been working on one project at a time.  This is a bit out of the ordinary for me. I tend to work on lots of different projects, a little work here and there on each project.  Since I am focusing on just one project at a time, I am enjoying the sense that I am actually finishing things.  This week, I have been working on Norah's Vintage Afghan Block #10.  This has been a very enjoyable knit.  I am using Berroco Vintage Worsted Weight yarn for this project and the color used in this square is "Cracked Pepper".  I'll have this done very soon and I'll be sure to share some more photos when it's all complete.

My labradoodles, Sandy and Brutus, are my constant companions. They love it when I sit and knit.  I looked up from my knitting the other day and this is what I found...


"Well, hello there BruBru!  Whatcha need, sweet boy?"


I never did figure out what he wanted or needed.  Maybe he was just checking on me.  He decided to hop up and join me on the couch.  And, just to ensure I did not leave, he plopped his sweet head over my legs to hold me down.  Sweet boy!



.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Market Flowers Hitchhiker (Hitchhiker #2)



MARKET FLOWERS HITCHHIKER

This is the second time I've made a Hitchhiker.  This is a great pattern by Martina Behm.  For this Hitchhiker, I used yarn I purchased at a yarn shop near Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.  The yarn is hand dyed and the color inspiration was the beautiful fresh flowers you find at the market. 




My friend, Marilyn, also bought a ball of this yarn. She did not use all of her yarn in her project so she gave the remained of her yarn.  What we found interesting is that her ball of yarn was brighter and the dominate color was yellow.  My yarn was a bit more muted and I would say the dominate color is purple.  You can see the color variation in the photos. I started the Hitchhiker with Marilyn's yarn and, when that ran out, I added my ball of yarn. This definitely makes my Hitchhiker one of a kind.

Many of Martina Behm's patterns call for 150 gram skeins of sock weight yarn.  Specifically, she uses a German yarn called Wollmeise.  It was nice to add Marilyn's yarn to my project so my Hitchhiker is a generous size. I sure love wearing this garment!  It's surprising how much warmth just a little wrap adds when you wear it about your neck and shoulder.

On Ravelry, there are nearly 27,000 Hitchhiker projects.  It is not a free pattern, but it's a very popular pattern.  It's also very fun to knit.  Here are a few more photos for you to see.







Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nubby Cowl


Believe it or not... I've had this project done for an entire year and realized I never posted it.  I bought this yarn at the Interweave Yarnfest in Loveland, Colorado, in April 2016. I knit this up project up right away. 

Here is a little more information about this project... long overdue!

************************

Lovely wool, eh?  

A special treat from Yarn Fest. I could not resist diving into my new yarn. This yarn is from Greenwood Fiberworks; the lady in this booth was terrific. I noticed Greenwood Fiberworks is from Utah. The yarn is called Wooly Mammoth and the colorway is "Earthen Hues". 

I saw the photo below on Facebook; the photo reminds me of some of the terrain I've seen in Utah and it reminds me of the colors in the yarn. Just beautiful!


Belinda and I both purchased this yarn; we received a pattern called "Möbius Cowl"
along with the yarn. It's a very simple pattern. 

Cast on 77 stitches on US Size 15 needles. You know how patterns say "join in the round being careful not to twist the stitches"?  Well, to make the möbius flip, you twist the stitches one full twist on purpose and then knit in seed stitch until you almost run out of yarn. You don't need to mark the end/beginning of the round since there is no beginning and no end.  When you are nearly out of yarn, bind off. Easy Peasy. 


Here is a link on Etsy where you can see more Greenwood Fiberworks yarn:


Here are a few photos of the completed cowl.  I love this project and it was definitely quick and easy!




I have a number of other projects I've finished recently and will be posting about them all very soon!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Building in Color: Panel #3 Complete


Building in Color: Panel #3
Short Rows


I have completed Panel #3 of my Building in Color afghan project.  The new skill in this panel is "short rows".  In this panel, we were also given guidance as to how to carry two colors of yarn up the side of your work in a tidy way so that you don't have long strands of yarn along the edge.

The designer of the "Building in Color" afghan is Michelle Hunter.  Her video tutorials are really great. If you are ever struggling with a knitting technique, you might want go to Michelle's blog to see if you might find a video that will give you some guidance.  Here is a link to her video tutorials:

Video Tips: http://knitpurlhunter.com/blog/?page_id=1594

I have a number of other completed projects to share. I just need to take some nice photos to share.

Happy Knitting!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Hitchhiker


Hitchhiker (With a dog back drop... yep, knitting with a dog on my lap again...)

I already have too many projects in the works but I was compelled to cast on a few new projects recently.  This is a Hitchhiker shawl/scarf.  I have made this project before and like it because it's a very wearable garment.

The Hitchhiker pattern link can be found HERE.

The yarn I am using is a "Baah" brand yarn called "La Jolla" and I am using the "Market Flowers" colorway.  This is yarn I purchased at "So Much Yarn" in Seattle, Washington.  The colors in the yarn were inspired by the colorful flowers you find in Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Here are some flower photos from the Pike Place Market.  I was there in June 2016, after taking a cruise to Alaska.