Tuesday, July 24, 2007

hearty-stripy socks

Three facts about the intended recipient of these socks:

  • She gets cold feet quite a lot

  • Her favourite colour is brown. Can you tell?!?

  • It's her birthday on Friday. By which time she is extremely unlikely to have a completed pair of socks.

I am winging these, so here is what i did, mostly for my benefit so i can remember when i have to make sock 2 - the sequel:

*now updated with full instructions and photo in case other hapless fools want to try*

Hearty-stripy socks

Toe up socks. Stitch counts for foot size worked out using this universal sock pattern. I used 3 colours - for the patterned bits, about 30g each of 2 different colours of Cygnet wool rich 4 ply (brown and cream). CC - smallish amount of leftover yarn from previous socks, for the toe, heel and cuff.

Cast on

  • 11 stitches on each of 2 needles using judy's magic cast on, in CC (oatmeal colour leftover from the last sock adventure). So 22 st. cast on in total.

  • Inc. 4 stitches each other round, one st. from end on each side until 66 stitches on needles. Finish toe section with a non-increasing knit row.


  • Work in hearty stripey pattern. Here is the chart. It's a 6-stitch repeating pattern, but i have put 2 repeats in so you can see it properly.

  • No weaving used for floats - this helps to keep the socks stretchy

  • Both brown and white yarns carried up side for added laziness

  • No jogless-stripe-faffery used. I have enough to worry about trying to keep the tension even enough to prevent the sock resembling a mini-eggbox.


  • Switch to CC

  • Short rows. Knit flat to one stitch from the end, wrap and turn. Then purl to one stitch from end, wrap and turn. Next row, knit to 2 st from end, wrap and turn. Keep knitting one less stitch every knit row until 13 stitches remain unwrapped in the middle. Then start knitting wrapped stitches until back to normal stitch count again. (see universal sock pattern
    for more details on short row heels)


I had to put some increases in here because the stranded fabric that my limited skill produced doesn't stretch very well, making it something of a challenge to get your foot in otherwise.

  • First all-round single colour row after heel, [k6, m1]* around. (e.g. row 1,2, or 3 of chart)

  • Next row, k around, then m1 at the end to get up to a multiple of 6 stitches for the pattern (78 st. total)

  • Knit 3 pattern-stripes

  • In CC, k1 p1 rib until scunnered, then cast off


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The top I'm currently makingA peacock, yesterday

On a small holiday on the south coast at the moment. Sometimes the sun shines down here! When I spotted this handsome beast yesterday, it made me think vaguely of my current knitting project (the drop stitch lace tank top from Fitted Knits).

Modifications made so far:
- knitted in the round. Cast on 136 stitches after a couple of abortive attempts to get a suitable size.

- using Debbie Bliss Cathay

- knitting the stitches next to the yo through the back of the loops, to give more stitch definition around the lacey bits

- did a couple more pattern repeats at the bottom, to shift up the ribbing towards the waist area. Don't really know why. Just can't resist a little pattern-tinkering.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

oh noes

Not sure quite how that happened. I had to go to the opticians and somehow got sucked into the John Lewis haberdashery department sale on the way home. Which is unexpectedly copious - usually there are just a couple of partially unravelled balls of Biggy Print languishing unloved in the bargain bin, but this time there is loads of stuff. Before I know it I am scrabbling wildly, like a kid floundering in a ball pool, and seem to have scooped up an armful of Debbie Bliss Cathay. Well it was only £1.60 a ball, and a half-arsed mental metreage calculation reveals 5 balls should be enough for the Drop stitch lace tank in Fitted knits. 8 ding for a nice new top isn't bad... and at least I'll have something to do with my hands again now while I watch telly, apart from picking dreadlocks / brambles / small animals out of the dog's fur. I got a couple of spare balls in case i decide to do something crazy like add sleeves... my upper arms aren't the most attractive things in the world so it may be for the best...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

cardie photos

OK, so finally the cardigan is dry.. yippee! And the rain held off for long enough for us to squeeze in a quick dog-walk between thunderstorms. One plus point of the recent biblically atrocious weather in this country is that it has now become baltic enough for the new cardie to be worn. So here is some evidence of it in action... thanks to Toast for his clever photography, and the rain gods for shutting up for 5 minutes.

As I can't seem to follow any kind of instruction without a minor act of futile rebellion, I should point out that I made a couple of modifications to the pattern, as follows:

  • Couldn't decide whether to make 34 or 36 inch. So it started out as a 36 round the yoke, as i have rather big beefy shoulders. I then went down to the 34 inch size after the under-arm split, and vacillated aimlessly between both measurements for the rest of the pattern.

  • Used the same 4mm needle throughout, rather than switching to a 3.5mm needle for the button band, because, er.. i didn't have one, and was too lazy to go and buy one.

  • Widened the button band a bit, so i can continue to eat pies with reckless abandon, and breathe at the same time without fear of propelling a button across the room at high speed.

  • The cuffs. I didn't like the original cuff design, which was so flouncy as to make Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen's shirts look tastefully understated. So after row 65 of the sleeve cable chart, I switched to the chart for the body and did rows 32 to 36. I finished the sleeve by repeating the section at the top of the sleeve cable chart: purl 1 row, knit 2 rows, purl 1 row, ..., knit 1 row, purl 1 row. Then I cast off. This gives a much gentler and less ostentatious flare that you are less likely to accidentally dip in your curry.

ruuun! before that cloud opens!!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

blocking adventures

So I finally finished the elizabeth bennet cardigan - hooraaaay! And as it was a just a tiny bit smaller than I would have ideally liked - I thought I'd try my hand at this blocking malarkey. And the results? I'll be jiggered if it hasn't magically transformed itself to the exact right size! It's now a whole 10 cm longer!!1!1 How does that happen? I think magic knitting pixies have sneaked in while i was out of the room and glued in a bit more fabric. It's even 5 cm wider around the previously slightly taut cabled middle section, which is excellent news!! *opens beer, phones curry house*
Marvel at the pin-based wizardry! I'll put up some pictures of it in action once it has dried out nicely. I am quite excited... have been coming in at 5 minute intervals all day and patting it impatiently.