Thursday, November 30, 2006

Asa Soley's socks

I took a photo of Ása's socks as well [Edited - The socks are now finished.]. The first one is done at the moment. The yarn is thicker and I'm using 3 mm needles instead of the 2.5 mm. I'm actually following Cat Bordhi's basic sock pattern to the T. It wasn't what I started out with. The top part (ribbing) is acutally about inch shorter (3.5" vs. 4.5") than in her pattern because I just knit one repeat of the yarn (blue to start of blue). I knit the heel flap k1s1. I didn't do it with Kamilla's sock and I found the heel flap too wide compaired to the ribbing. After I turned the heel I desided to continue the ribbing and then it accured to me that I had in fact followed her pattern all the way through). It's a good pattern.

Kamilla's socks

Kamilla's socks
Originally uploaded by rajnos.

I finally just took a photo on my cellphone. I sent it to flickr and I can blog through them.

These are Kamilla's socks and she loves them. I'm so happy about that because kids usually don't like what you make for them and you have to love them in spite of it. he he But it does give you a lesson in not expecting the recipient to love your knitting as much as you do. But that's not the case now.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Moving on

I'm over the felting failure. The reason (beside the time that has passed) is that I rediscovered sock knitting. I've knit couple of pairs of socks, actually two for me and two pairs of toddler size socks. It's never really fascinated me.

I was intrigued by knitting socks on two circulars. I came across this idea some time ago, but it seemed so complicated. This summer I acquired Cat Bordhi's book on the subject, which has been sitting and waiting for me to be ready to try it. I've been giving this some thought and I decided I wanted to make plain socks but in interesting pattern. I needed wool socks for my kids, so it was the perfect opportunity. I got some discountinued sock yarn on (~$2.50) and got started. At first I thought, why just knit one sock. Why not do both? Let alone that the only experience I had with two circulars was knitting the top of my Odessa hat.

Well I started it that way, but it was very complicated. Not so much the knitting part but I had a big problem with the yarn tangling up, since I only had one skein and I had to knit from both ends, plus that would mean that the socks wouldn't match. Eventually I took one of them of the needles. Oh, boy. Oh, boy. It was amazing. I just love it. I've fallen in love with sock knitting, head over heel. It is so much fun.

It's so much faster because you have fewer junctions and only 2 needles instead of 5. The knitting is more even because I used to have a big problem with ladders. I just couldn't stop the gap that formed where the needles joined. I don't yank needles of the stitches and I don't have to worry about loosing the working needle when I lay my project down.

I remember the toddler size socks I did before. The top part of them (the ribbing) seemed endless and to take forever. This time, it was over before I knew. I already finished the pair and all that is left is the crafting of the toe on the second one. I can't do that with out the instructions in the computer. So I couldn't do that last night. Even that part seems easier now for some reason. I've never been able to master it before but now it seems so much simpler.

The socks were knit on 2.5 mm needles. These are old metal needles from my mom. The knitting would have been even smoother and easier with newer needles, either Addi Turbo or KnitPicks. The pattern is kind of a mix and match. I looked at my original toddler sock pattern from a Sandnes Christmas collection, but the stitch count seemed a little high and Kamilla's old socks were always too loose on top (they were just put over the trousers instead of under). I looked at Knitting Rules!, online patterns as well as Cat Bordhi's book. The stitch count varied from 44 to 50 sitches. I ended up casting on 48 stitches. I did k2 p2 ribbing. The heel flap and the rest of the sock is knit in stockinette and follows Cat Bordhi's basic sock pattern (except I didn't continue the ripping on the instep like her pattern does).

While I was knitting the first one I kept trying it on Kamilla. She loved it and even asked to try them on. The second one was easier since I just followed the color pattern on the first one. The color changes are perfect. I wish I could show you pictures of the finished product but I'm having an uploading problem with my camera.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Felting gone wrong

It's been a while since I meant to write this post but lots of things are going on. I have a cold that just wouldn't go away and I have to prepare a presentation for a job interview.

So, the story goes like this:

When I was in Iceland last June, I meant to buy yarn for another pair of slippers for my husband. He wore the other ones down and he really likes them and asked me to make another pair. When I was in Europris I found a yarn that looked perfect for felting so I got that instead of the recommended yarn. It was cheaper and it saved me an extra trip to Hagkaup to buy Fritidsgarn. I bought a bunch of the yarn so I could make more pairs. It turned out the yarn was a little thicker then Fritidsgarn but I proceeded making the slippers just using bigger needles on a smaller size. I also made a bowl from the book 'One Skein' and when the slippers were done I make a box from Mason-Dixon knitting out of some more of the yarn. I loved the box. I liked the colors and it basically stood up by itself. (It was knit double stranded (tvöfalt garn) ).

Things just went downhill from there. I washed the stuff and realized that this yarn doesn't felt well. Earlier I had washed the bowl, it didn't felt well but I thought that might be because it is a toploader (the washer) and because I just put it in a normal full load. It turned out that wasn't the case at all. The slippers didn't shrink at all and the box grew if anything :( and it became softer and doesn't hold up as well.

Buh hu hu ;(

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kinda Lost

I'm kind of lost right now, knitting wise. I've finished the bulk of the little projects I have and the others are not calling me. I have a crochet project, but I lost the hook. I have a washrag, but that's more of a travelling project and in-between project (I have actually been using it a bit lately). I have the log-cabin blanket, but the yarn is now in my bedroom and everytime I need it the bedroom contains a sleeping baby. Finally I have a shawl, Swallowtail shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 06, but I was knitting it while listening to the Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and now, when I pick it up and start knitting I feel that I miss the book and I can't stop thinking about it. It's not often that books have this effect on me. So I become a little sad. Plus, the pattern is not easy (or least not for me for some reason) so I tend to make mistakes and then spending a long time to try to fix them.

I ordered yarn on Ebay for couple of christmas presents. It never showed up. The seller is going to send me more in different color. It's weird how the yarn just disappeared.

Well. I have to go now. Being harassed by Kamilla :) he he. Next post will continue in the same depressing manner, when I talk about my recent adventures in felting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Odessa in pictures

Isn't she georgeous?

And my Log Cabin blanket. It's growing, slowly but getting there. Just started round 7.

I couldn't help but put one of Ása in an alert state. She's wearing the Magknits sweater I made for her and what's more - she loves it! It's so great when your kids want to wear what you make them.

Knitting HD - Odessa

In the online cross stitching world, finishing a piece is called Happy Dance (HD). Usually pieces take so long to make that you are really happy when they are finally finished. Or least that's the understanding I have of that term.

Tonight I finished the Odessa hat. Happy Happy.

There is a knitting group that meets at my library first Sunday of the month. Last Sunday the theme was beaded knitting and the month's project was a beaded scarf. I wasn't terribly interested in the scarf but I was interested in beaded knitting so I was inspired to make Odessa instead. I started last Saturday (one week since now) and I just finished it. It should have been a much faster project. Partly I was working on other things (finally finished the knitting part of my husband's slippers) and partly the needle I had slowed me down. For the most part of the knitting you use 16" (40cm) 4 mm (US6) needle and my needle that fits that size is cheap and horrible. The joint is as un-smooth as can be, there is actually a little ball of plastic where a smooth joint should be. I also have a longer 4 mm needle from the same company and that has a bad joint as well. I got these two needles because I was going to knit a sweater with them and I got them at the same place where I got the yarn (and it was the only kind they had). I was happy that the needles were cheap but now I can't knit the sweater :(

When it came to decreasing and I had to switch to dpn (sokkprjónar) I realized that I had no dpn in 4mm. I didn't feel it was worth it getting these needles just to knit few rounds at a top of a hat, plus it meant I had to go out to get them. Lately I've been wanting to knit socks with 2 circular needles instead of 5 sock needles (dpn) and I thought perhaps I can knit the top of the hat with 2 circulars. I got out my KnitPicks Options (which didn't come with 16" cable so I couldn't use it in the first place) and got a 4mm needle together. It was great using this method. Much easier then I thought it would be. I already have Cat Bordhi's book and it came in handy too. I can't wait using this method to make socks. It seems a lot faster that with dpns.

I have found couple of new problems with the Options. It doesn't come with 16" cables :( The other problem is perhaps my fault. It's called 'forskrúfa' in Icelandic and it means that I can't tighted the needle on the cable because it will just turn and turn. This has happened with one (out of 2) 24" and one (out of 2) 32" cable that came with the set. I do however still love to knit with these needles. And they where much much better than the other crappy 4 mm needle I had been using. Much faster.

Back to Odessa. I did make one kind of big mistake. I read the pattern wrong and put beads every 6th row instead of every 4th. I didn't realize this until I was starting the decreases. I briefly considered starting over but I liked the beading and didn't think it would be any better if it was denser. So I stuck with it.

I knit it in the suggested yarn, Rowan Cashsoft DK, which is buttery soft. It only takes one skein and there is a bundle left over. This hat is kind of short. You can see it in the model hat (the top most one) and I find this a little uncomfortable. If I would knit this hat again I would make it a little longer, perhaps a centimeter or half an inch. There seems to be enough yarn for it. I got the beads at a local bead store 'Just Bead It'. I love the name.

It's too late for photos now. Hopefully tomorrow.