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.