Thursday, August 29, 2013

Zebra Chevron

I've begun a new project, even though I have whole box of projects I need to work on. It doesn't require me purchasing any yarn, and it has been fermenting in my imagination for a while.
Maybe I should have warned you to wear sunglasses for this...
The swatch you see above, searing your eyeballs, is of a mosaic stitch called Zebra Chevron. I saw this stitch while leafing through A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker, and it occurred to me that it just might be possible to make a tam in this stitch whereby the decreases are hidden in the chevron pattern. So, now we will see if that is doable.

Of course, I have spent the better part of the day wishing I had done the math before casting on. Instead, I knit a band in the desired gauge and size and then tried to figure out how many stitches I should be working in the round to make the Zebra Chevron pattern work out. Much muttered swearing and ripping of yarn and scribbling of long division later, I think I have it. And I think I'm buying a calculator.

The actual hat will be in the same brand and size yarn as the swatch, but the Lego blue is being replaced by a heathered gray which will hopefully temper the violent pink.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More funky socks

Way back when I made my first pair of funky socks I'd done it reluctantly.Then the praise started rolling in when I wore them out in public. (A lot of directed from my co-workers, a bunch of middle class, very straight-laced architects. I was baffled.) And, they were practical, comfortable socks. Soon they became my favorite socks and I even ripped out the top of them to use up the rest of the yarn.
Now the snow can blow up my pants leg all it wants.
I went out of my way to make these funky socks.

Well, if you count randomly stumbling across a yarn sale while waiting for an appointment going out of your way. But the moment I saw the yarn, I was full of intention. Yes, yes, I know that's how it is with yarn romances. It seduces you in the store and you totally have plans for it, sort of. But I really did it this time.
The wide band of tan at the toe goes on the BOTTOM
I started at the toe with a provisional cast on of 30 on my usual US #2 needles so that I could use up all the yarn by making the leg as long as possible. This was also my first experience with the toe-up heel flap, and I loved it. I tried to make the second sock match the first as much as possible, but I got the top on the bottom and the bottom on the top... and I had to have a little talk with myself about whether I really needed to rip the whole thing out and turn it over or not. I decided to let it be, but I still think about it. I just try not to look when I'm putting it on. I can cope. I think.

The quilt is equally chaotic.
They fit nicely, and they are definitely funkalicious. So funkalicous that I was baffled for most of the first sock about what came next, color-wise. It seems that the alternation of the blue stripes happens every other repeat of the entire sequence of colors. I've never encountered this kind of thing before. Was it a manufacturing mistake? Intentional? I don't know. But lucky me, nobody liked the how strange the skeins of yarn looked, so I got these socks for less than $10.
Close-up of foot in sock.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Winter is coming!

No, really. I know it's +80 degrees outside right now, and my air conditioner sounds like it might have a stroke, but winter will be here before any of us knitters know it, and then where will we be?

That's right - so desperately behind in holiday knitting that we will be forced to give our loved ones our own knitted accessories. Then we will spend all winter tucking our hands into our jacket sleeves and walking around like a hunchback in the snow, a cheap dollar store beanie on our head.

Ok, perhaps I mean I will, not us. But not this year!

I'm making this for V:
I'm taking a pass on the pants and the stick
This is from Tessa Watts-Russell's Nursery Knits, which I scored at a thrift store. Some of the patterns are very dated ('80's) but most of them are classic and worth having. This particular sweater is called "Cross Country" (I suppose the little tyke is cross country skiing...? Looks more like an Alps adventure to me.)

It's a very basic sweater with slip-stitched stripes. I was expecting to purl on the reverse, since that makes the second row of color go smoother (no moving the yarn from front to back every other stitch) but that's not what the plan is, apparently. I suppressed my desire to modify and went with it. The result is the texture you see in these photos.
Completed back and front. Those ends will probably kill me.
The hem is being done on US #2 needles, so it's a tight affair. I went up a needle size or two for the body because I was concerned. But so far, so good. The yarn I'm using is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in sport weight. I confess, yesterday I had to order more. But that is alright, because I also had to order more of the same kind of yarn for a sweater I've started for myself. I am NOT freezing my tuckus off this winter. Really.

Nice, tight bottom... edge. (I obviously need to get out more.:P)