Sunday, June 15, 2014

A sleeve, a sock, a blanket and edges.

This post is about the three projects on my needles, and some edge sampling. The three projects comprise a cardigan which seems to fall off the 'want to knit' list more than it should, the distraction of a pair of socks in fun yarn, and yet another baby blanket. Baby blankets are kind of a staple knit around here, they use up Handspun and make good presents. Socks, well they are also a staple, quick kiss to knit, portable as a project, use up the sock yarn I seem to collect, and are incredibly useful in the climate we have here. The cardigan - one of my wardrobe staple item, a good cardigan can make a plain dress warm enough and seem finished.

This first image shows my current sock project on top of the edge samples worked at Saturdays knitters study group. The samples are knit in grey and are held flat by a sock, more about that later. The sample shows four edges, selvedge that could be used to finish a peice of knitting. From left to right the selvedges are Chain garter selvedge, picot selvedge, picot point selvedge, double picot selvedge, all dived by a single row of vikkel braid. The cast off is a three stitch icord, which sits above the vikkel braid very very nicely. Most of these are detailed in Monste Stanley's book, The knitters handbook. Once blocked I will post better photos for reference.

Next up the stripey socks, in a lovely lively yarn. The yarn is my favorite blend of fiber for socks, super wash merino with a touch of nylon for hard wearing. The brand is Stray cat socks, found on, and is dyed to provide medium width stripes. This colour way is Silver Star, a citris lime green paired with a silver grey.

I wanted to do something more interesting than a plain vanilla pair of stocking stitch socks, but the yarn fought me every stitch. First I tried a standard Judys magic cast on toe, which worked but wasn't really set up ready for me to transition to something in the sock body. At the starting stage I wasn't sure what the transition from the toe to the sock body would be - I just wanted something that worked with this yarn.

I found the star toe and loved the effect with the stripe, in fact it was the pattern with the star toe, Multi stem, that inspired me to find a nice balance between yarn and pattern. The sock has a line of contrast colour stitches snaking up from the line of increases worked in the star toe. I liked that idea very much.

After finding the 'toe' for this yarn I tried various options to find a pattern to knit the body of the sock in. I tried to work a variation of the star toe pattern, thinking if there were paired increases and decreases that zagged left up one stripe and zagged right up the other then the stripes would be distorted. That didn't work, I wasn't clever or determined enough to make it work, the. I tried a few combinations of rib, single purl ribs up from the toe increases, and wide purl ribs that took up one with of the sock. Sorry no photos, but I can report a lot of frogging and starting again.

In the end the simplest and most elegant solution seems to be to work a slip stitch just where the colours change and in line with the increase lines. I am slightly disappointed that I couldn't come up with something cleverer but the yarn beat me into simplicity and quiet - I'm ok with that.

Here is the neglected cardigan, first sleeve half done. I've discovered like several others that the Sleeven sleeve is snug on, shall we say - mature arms. So instead of the slim fit deceases that are tapered from armpit to near the cuff I am working mine straight till after the elbow and then decreasing to the wrist. I want to wear this, I live in dresses and cardigans and would love to add this to my weekly rotation, but when I reach I to the wip basket - this has less appeal than other projects right now. I may have to force the issue with myself and commit to finishing.

Lastly is the baby blanket, hand spun for the first 140 grams and then 200 grams of commercial spun yarn. The Handspun was worked in factory scraps, from Design Spun Yarns, and ended up being blocks of three strong colours, red, orange and blue. This pure wool citris green seemed to be a good match for those colours, so I bought 200 grams of it, thinking that the green would make a wide boarder around the blanket that would balance the colours of the center. The pattern is one I've knit before, Basic Black Shawl, from Folk Shawls. I've always knit this as a Handspun baby blanket, not as a shawl, as it is simple and makes a generous square.

And there is a new hobby in our house, little cub has discovered and been indulged in Rainbow bands now the working surfaces of the family room are not only surrounded with spinning wheels, and covered with knitting, but also boxes of colorful small rubber bands. It's fun to see some one of her age find an activity/hobby that captures their interest. I admit to enabling, along with several of our knit group.

Take care - na Stella


1 comment:

Christina said...

Love the knitting - as always! And the rubber bands, yes, we have them too. Especially my 10-year old son loves them, and gets quite inventive which is great. Looking forward to seeing some more of that cardigan ;-)