Thursday, 11 January 2018

If All Else Fails, Start Something New

I haven't refashioned any of my garments just yet. It seems to take a little bit of time to build up to getting the scissors out and really start snipping. Or at least a bit more planning since it's a good idea to measure 15 times and cut once. The scissors are at the ready. I just need one more week to get brave enough to actually use them.

In the meantime I've got a new idea for a new sweater. How come it's always so much easier to start something new?

I have my little pile of Cotton Tweed in the Faded Denim colour. A lovely soft blue. What? Blue again you say? Yes, stick with what works, it's blue again.
My idea is to do a Top Down with both fronts worked on the bias with eyelets. It might be cap sleeved or maybe longer sleeves. I'll have to see what I think once I get going. I have a different idea for working the V which will lend itself to the bias. I need to get my carpenter square out to check on the angle and width for the fronts. Ha, ha. No really I do need to do this.
A new project. Kinda makes one a little giddy.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

The New Year has begun

It's time to get organized. The new year has begun and my office is a mess.

I took the week off. Did you? You might have been knitting up a storm but because knitting is my job, I read ... a lot. Nice and cozy, sitting in the sun (inside of course because outside it was frickin' freezing!). Now I have piles of yarn and half finished projects and ideas and ... well it's a mess.

I have made a couple of decisions though.

I need to pull out every knit thing I have put away and decide why I'm not wearing it. Do you have some of these projects too? I enjoyed knitting them. I like them but I don't wear them. How come? What could I do to make them something I want to wear?

I have a top from the Need A Circular Yoke book with short sleeves which I don't wear. In hind sight I think I should have made it with long sleeves. I think I would wear it now if it was a vest with cap sleeves. This is totally doable.

I have a wool sweater which is way too big for me that I am going to turn into another garment by felting it and cutting it up. Yep, cutting. I'm looking forward to it. Imagine me rubbing my hands together in a gleeful manner, hee, hee, ha, ha. Snip, snip.

These are the first two reconstruction projects that I have earmarked for my new year of wearing as much knitwear as possible!!

How about you? Something new in your knitting year?
Cheers and Happy New Year,

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Fish Lips Heel

Are you ready? All my sock presents are done, yay, so I started one more pair since I wasn't going to do "the Christmas thing" until after the holiday and now have time. I thought I would continue to explore different heels.

I'm knitting Queen's Castle socks which are toe up with a wrap & turn short row heel.
And this time I substituted in the Fish Lips heel which is also a short row heel but uses Twin Stitches instead of the wrap and turn.

I did the heel over 60% of my sock stitches instead of 50% which I think is used in that pattern. This gives me a higher instep and more room for the heel. If you find your socks are straining at the ankle you could try this with any short row heel.
I like it very much. I find the Twin stitch great to do even on dark coloured, fine sock yarn although it is a little more of a trick after a long day.

This is the beauty of learning lots of heel methods. I and you too, are free to sub in any of them at will, to add variety to sock knitting.

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday. See you on the other side,

Thursday, 14 December 2017

New to me Heel

Yikes it's coming up soon, the big day of the winter. It's sneaky. No matter how much you plan, it seems to jump closer and closer without you even noticing.

I'm on my last pair of Stash Buster socks using the Stacking Stripes method.

I'm trying a new heel which I'm loving.
This is the heel which acts as the gusset. You work increases on either side of 2 centre stitches every other round until you have doubled the back of the leg stitches. Work the increases into any pattern you like. I choose to work the increases into a K2, P2 pattern. Example: 60 sts on sock, 30 sts for back of leg, work increases until 60 sts on back of leg, total on sock is now 90 sts.

Then turn the heel using the standard V-heel short rows ending in SSK, K1, turn and P2tog, P1, turn. There is a trick, you knew that was coming right? You will get back to the original number of stitches and then have to continue to turn the heel for a couple more rows. On these rows work the SSK (no K1 afterwards) and turn. Work P2tog (no P1 afterwards) until you have your original number of sock stitches. Then work in the round again.

I have found it works great and gives a nice deep heel turning which I really, really like.

I first worked this heel using Vanilla is the New Black pattern. You might find this an easy heel too.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Printed Spiral Striped Socks

I'm deep into Christmas knitting. Maybe you are too. I'm knitting socks and am on my third pair and on the home stretch with the second sock. Then I'm done. Whew, before the big day too. I'm patting myself on the back as I knit (makes knitting a bit awkward).

This was the first pair.
This a printed sock yarn (Comfort) and knits up beautifully. I had a second ball but didn't want to do exactly the same thing so I decided to Spiral Stripe it and see what happens.
It's the same printed wool but striped with navy. One stripe in printed wool and one stripe in a navy solid from my stash. I'm so happy with this. It changes the effect of the printed wool so much.
I used the same method as the Stash Buster Socks  which uses 3 colours but here I used 2 colours and only the switched colours in one spot. I've written about the technique in another blog which I call Spiral Stripes. In one sock I changed colours at the side of the sock and on another sock, in the middle of the back of the leg. It didn't seem to make much difference to the sock. The line you see in the centre of the photo is the dpn line which will disappear on washing.

I happen to have several 50g balls of different sock yarn in my stash. I think there will be more of these stripes socks in my future.

I hope your Christmas knitting is going well. What are you knitting?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Good Shaping, Wrong Garment

One of my new experiments is working... sort of. I like the deeper neckline. This particular neckline works by not working any raglan increases on the Front edge. Raglan increases are worked on the sleeve side of the Raglan Marker but not on the Front side, for about 3", while I worked short rows up against the neckband at the same time. Don't you just love "at the same time"?!
Can you see it now? Once the crewneck was done I reverted to the regular raglan increases on both sides of the marker.

Would it help if you could see it upside down exactly like it would be as if you were knitting it? You can't see the increases on the sleeve side but you can see that the sleeve is accumulating stitches.

It works but I don't think a crewneck pullover is the garment to use this on. I think it would work really well for a V-neck cardigan. I can almost see it in my head. So I'm saving it for that and just playing with this pullover for a bit.

I'm wondering if it would be fun to start moving the knit columns in the centre panel and make them move around, criss-crossing into a lattice. Would that look really weird when the top section is straight? Maybe I could have a bit of fun with it just under the bust and then work straight again. Maybe work hip shaping increases into the centre panel?! Hmm, I think I like that idea.

Time to play,

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Change the Angle

T_a asked me what the difference was between the Spring Breeze neckline and the new ideas I have had for shaping the neck.

The Spring Breeze has the shaping system I have used in the Baby V, Button Your Top Down and Hoodies and Pullovers books. It works really well. I love using it.

Once the neckband is knit, the neck shaping is achieved by using short rows. On one side of the front the short rows end with SSK, K1 and Turn. The SSK is a decrease but it also attaches the front to the side of the neckband. The K1 kicks it over a stitch giving the neckband a 45 degree angle.

         SSK, K1
                  SSK, K1
                           SSK, K1
I want to try to push this a bit and see if I can get a deeper neckline while still leaving myself some open stitches at the centre of the neckband to work a stitch panel down the front. What I've done is add extra rows that do not have a K1 at the end of the short row so do not bump the neckband over one stitch. It means that the angle is no longer 45 degrees. The extra rows add a short vertical section to the angle at the side of the neckband. One one side of the front the short rows end like this:
SSK, K1   attaches and adds to V shaping
         SSK,         attaches only, vertical
         SSK, K1,
If I was working a Top Down where the neckband is picked up afterwards, this is the equivalent of working an increase every 4th row. Of course I'm doing this the hard way but ... there you go, it's more fun.
I wonder what it would look like if I used P2tog instead of the SSK? That might work great. OK one more swatch just to see.