Monthly Archives: April 2007

The BMFA Rockin Sock club kit for april has arrived! The yarn is a new wool/silk blend that has a lovely barber-pole effect due to the different dyeing properties. I don’t have any great pictures of the colorway, but here’s what I do have:

“Walking on the Wild Tide” colorway, and Grasshopper sock pattern

Of course I couldn’t handle waiting to cast on, so here’s my progress thus far. I’ve just finished the heel and am starting on the leg part. It’s still yet to be determined whether I’ll do the knee highs or normal sock length. I think I’d like to do the knee highs, but the pattern is a little boring so I’m not sure.

I’ve done a little swatching here and there, but most of my weekend and this week so far have been consumed by gardening!

A collection of random bushes along the south edge of the yard, plus the birdbath with petunias under it:

And my vegetable garden boxes. Nothing’s up yet, but most of it’s planted:

Oh, I almost forgot. In exciting knitting news, my brown and pink swatch was approved for my vest project! Yay!

The past few days haven’t produced much in the way of knitted objects, but have been educational and somewhat interesting at least.

First off, I got several new books in the mail. I love getting reprints of the classics:

I also got a shipment from Knitpicks so I could start swatching for my Level 2 vest. I’ve pretty much set on doing a houndstooth vest of my own design. Probably a scoop neck. I heard people say that Palette was scratchy, but I find it quite soft and very pleasant to work with. Here’s what I’ve done as far as a swatch I like:

I also tried lavender and cream, but didn’t care for the end result. There wasn’t enough contrast I think. I have several other colors to play with, and might have to alter from the pink/brown combo above if the committee thinks it’s too dark.

I shudder to think how much knitting it’s going to take to make an entire vest at 8 stitches per inch. Good grief, what am I getting into :)

My laptop was out of commission for the weekend as the cord broke and I had to have a new one shipped to me. During that time I did a fair amount of swatching for the master knitter stuff. I misread the instructions for my first cable swatch so I’m using it as my test swatch for the Cable Flare solution. Here are the cable ones I did finish, plus a very pretty lace swatch that ended up being too big :(

You can kind of see some little black lines on the lace swatch. Those are extra T pins in my “cat prevention” attempt. I do not know what it is about knitted swatches but they are cat magnets. Even with the pins, I caught one of them sneaking a paw or two onto it. Sheesh.

As for the cables–wow you can really see the flare problem. I’m kind of surprised they don’t have us resolve it on all 3 swatches.

I also did some seaming work. I seamed an exceedingly beautiful 1×1 rib seam, but realized after the fact that my cast on edges aren’t the same (one’s bumpy, one’s smooth), so I have to redo it. I might rework the entire swatch to use a tubular cast on anyway since those are so pretty.

I’m struggling a lot with the seed stitch seam. I got my copy of IK from Spring 2002, and it’s helpful but translating it to the reality of my swatch is being troublesome.

My airplane knitting for the week consisted of lace swatches for my level 2 tkga stuff. I used the Barbara Walker Treasuries (books 1 and 2). One of the fun parts of this has been charting the patterns. I prefer to work lace (and cables) almost exclusively from charts, so before starting each swatch, I charted out the lace pattern.

Here are 3 of the swatches I did. The bottom one is a Milanese Lace, and I don’t think I’m going to use it. I got lazy and made it too small I think. The top left is “Starlight” lace. I really like this pattern. It’s clever and open and pretty. The top right one is “Elfin” lace. It’s a very straightforward pattern–easy to work and pretty.

I’m working on another lace swatch now, to replace the Milanese one. It’s a wider pattern, and more of a panel than an allover stitch as these were. I’m a little worried that it might end up exceeding the 7″ square limitation, but we’ll see how it goes.

On Thursday I got the letter with my resubmitted level 1 swatches saying that I passed! I then got started on the knitting for level 2 in earnest. I have all the pieces knit for swatches 1-4, and 6-7. I had a question on number 5, but that’s been answered so I can get to that soon. I also knit the decrease swatches (8-10), and started on my first lace swatch.

Here’s a peek at all the ones I’ve finished as they’re being blocked:

The lace is going to take a while. I’m using size 2 needles and some pretty fine laceweight yarn. The inch of seed stitch on each end is a bit time consuming. For the first one, I’ve picked “Elfin Lace” from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. I got it all charted out, so writing the pattern should be quite simple.

I have a flight tomorrow, but will probably take my socks in progress instead of dragging this TKGA stuff along. It’s no fun to carry around my reference books.

Motivated by the STR socks, I finished up a pair that had been sitting around for a few months. They’re very bright and cheery. I don’t think I used enough stitches for the heel, as it doesn’t seem to fit quite right. But that doesn’t matter much–they’re just simple ribbed socks out of some very pretty yarn:

I have quite a bit of the yarn left, so they’ll have to become toes and heels for a matching solid I think.

With the big shawl done, I had a chance to finish up my February Sock kit socks from the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin Socks Club. The pattern was interesting. I hadn’t ever worked reversible cables before. They’re not identical on each side, but are equally attractive.

The one on the top is “right side” out, while the lower one is “inside out”. They’re made with Socks that Rock Mediumweight at a very tight gauge. I used up very nearly the entire hank.

Anyway, I like trying the patterns with the yarns they sent, but seriously this isn’t a great match. The colorway is entirely too busy for the cabling and doesn’t look very good. It would work much better on a solid or near solid.

Now I think I’ll finish up a pair of socks that’s been sitting around nearly done for 6 months or so. They’re bright and cheerful, in a red/yellow colorway from Artyarns I think.