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Scratching the sock itch

That’s the cast on plus the first four rows of Baudelaireyou see to the left (Frax, you’ve turned me into a Cookie A fangirl;-). Yes, I’m still knitting the random lace jumper, but my tolerancefor such thin yarn on such thick needles is not high, and socks arecalling to me. I want to make Cressida, but I’d have to buy yarn forthat (oh no! the hardship!), and this purple Cherry Tree Hill is frommy stash.

The figure-eight cast on is cool and cunning, although I’m not sure I’dhave been able to maintain tension for much more than eight stitchesper needle. Talking of needles, this is my first sock with the Addis Ibought after my last sock-making experience turned into a nightmare oftrying several different types and techniques of needle, none of whichworked for me (metal dpns, bamboo dpns, two (inferior) circs, magicloop on same). The Addis are lovely. They’re short (40cm), so I’m notgetting as tangled as I sometimes do with long dangling needles, andthe join is incredibly smooth. Just a joy all round. (Although they aremore slippery than I’m used to, so I’ve accidentally slipped the needleout of the stitches a couple of times, but I expect I’ll get used tothat.)

Since I took that photo, while waiting for it to upload, and in betweenparagraphs of this post, I’ve knit a further six rows. This does notbode well for the (study) work I’m supposed to be doing today! Maybe ifI get the study out of the way early, I can spend the rest of the dayknitting…

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Yarn lust and progress

Frax, you’re a bad influence. I’m now lusting after Fleece Artist‘s merino sock yarn in burgundy, and several different Fyberspatesyarns, most notably the wool and silk “Scrumptious” DK, and the bluefaced sock yarn, both in “reds and plums”. And “blue lagoon” and”periwinkle”. And I know it’s evil to sell 50g skeins of sock yarn, but who could resist Shepherd Sock solids in “blackberry”? Or, for that matter, the Shepherd Sock multis in “Irving Park”, “Purple club” or “Valentine”? And, y’know, the Shepherd Sportwould make a fairly affordable clapotis, and the “Flames”, “Lakeview”and “Black Purl” colourways are rather beautiful. And several of the Cherry Tree Hill Supersock colours appeal, too.

But in more productive news, I’ve finished the second sleeve of therandom lace jumper (no photo because it looks just like the firstsleeve; you’ll just have to trust me) and have started on the yoke.It’s technically raglan, but the way the random lace works means I’mjust using one fewer yarnovers than decreases on each quarter of thebody, and holding it up to examine every now and then to see how theangle of decreases is going. I’m not too worried about it fittingperfectly – that’s part of the point of its very stretchy nature. 

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Cable chart

Over on LJ, someone in brit_knitsasked for the chart of the cable panel on the jumper of doom. I’m notwilling to share the original, because it’s designed around a triskellshape, for me, but this is a modified version of it – nearly the same,just with a few crossings changed to remove the triskell (it surprisedme how easy it was to change – five minutes’ work!). The sketch is onlyrough – it’s got bits copy and pasted to cover other bits, and I ranout of time to tidy them up, so the edges don’t match – but it shouldgive you an idea of what the chart will look like knitted up. It’s acontinuous design – the sketch shows one-and-a-half repeats.

Row 0 and row 60 of the chart are the same; the only difference is thaton row 0 there’s no loop to close, so if you’re repeating the pattern,go straight from row 60 to row 1. Odd numbers are right-side rows if you’re knitting flat.

The chart symbols are the same as the girlfromauntie‘s(scroll down on that page for the legend); the only difference is thesymbols for opening the cable loop – she uses different ones on thatpage.

The bottom one is “make 2 (right side):k1, k1b into the same stitch; then pick up the vertical strand runningdownwards between these two stitches just made, twist and knit”, thetop one is “make 2 (wrong side): p1, k1, p1 into the same stitch”.

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The jumper of doom

I’m teaching myself to design Celtic knotwork,with a view to designing cable patterns. The pattern on the jumper ofdoom is my first proper, planned knotwork design, featuring a vaguelytriskell-shaped motif.

So I planned the jumper as a showcase for theknotwork. Purple, naturally. I’d picked up a big pile of discountedDebbie Bliss merino DK, which is gorgeously soft, and a great shade ofpurple. The jumper would be fitted, and designed for my measurements.Set-in sleeves based on the pattern from Ann Budd’s Handy Book ofSweater Patterns. Designed seam-free, because I hate sewing seams: knitin the round with the hems knit up into the fabric, the sleeves knittop-down with stitches picked up around the armholes, three-needle bindoffs, and attached i-cord. V-neck, with the cables continuing aroundthe neckline.

It worked perfectly. The finished jumperis everything I planned it to be. The cable panel looks great, it fitsme perfectly, and the construction worked exactly as I wanted it to.But it just doesn’t suit me. Fraxadvises that I put it away for a few months before frogging it, toemotionally disconnect, but frogging it will be. The same yarn, and thesame cable pattern, are going to be reincarnated as a cardigan.

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Off the needles

The other two projects that I initially categorised as “on the needles” are the clapotis and the scrap scarf.

I started the clapotis ages and ages ago, inbeautiful soft cotton I bought in Baltimore, variegated purple, blackand blue.  I was having fun with it, enjoying dropping thestitches, but then I got distracted, cannibalised the needle foranother project, and put it down. Having see Frax’s clapotisat the weekend, I’m all inspired again, and intending to return tomine. And then I might make another, larger, one, since this one seemsdestined to be more scarf- than wrap-like. Maybe in sock yarn; I lovethe variegated colours, but don’t like the way it knits up in mostprojects, but it really works in the clapotis. Mmmm, sock yarn.

The scrap scarf is in no hurry to be finished.It’s made up of all the tiny bits of yarn leftover from other projects,from things like cutting off the ends after weaving them in. It’s allknotted together haphazardly, different fibres and colours* and weightsall mixed in together, and knitted lengthways in garter stitch. It’sgoing to be quite silly when it’s done, but I think I will love it.

* I mean it about different colours – this has the ends of things I’vemade for other people, as well as my own stuff, so it’s not all purple,blue and red :-)

This spends ages off the needles, because it takes pretty much all ofmy Denise cables, so I can’t use them for anything else while it’s onthem.

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On the needles

In my last post, I categorised three projects as “on the needles”.However, on taking them out to photograph them, I discover that two ofthe three are not on the needles at all: they’re on lengths of yarnfunctioning as stitch-holders, since I stole the needles for anotherproject. I hope I made a note somewhere of what size needles they were!

The project that actually is on the needles is the kidsilk haze jumper in Luscious Gracious’s random lace,which is loads of fun. You knit yarnovers and decreases randomly,making sure that the number of stitches you decrease matches the numberof yarnovers. It looks great in the KSH on big needles (Denises inUS15). Or at least, it does when blocked. I swatched to check I likedthe effect, and for a vague idea of gauge, and I’ve got the blockedswatch hanging on my desk door. It’s gorgeous. The jumper, on the otherhand, currently looks like a crumpled tattered rag, but I’m told thisis par for the course for lace generally, and KSH in particular.

It’s really stretchy, which is why I didn’t careso much about gauge, and the idea is that I want it close-fitting apartfrom in the deliberately floaty bits (bell sleeves, and probably aroundthe hem, too when I get there).

I’m knitting it in a slightly odd order:

  • Started with a provisional cast-on on the body, knitting up
  • Reached armhole, put all except one set of armpit stitches on a stitch-holder
  • Provisionally cast on sleeve stitches, joined with armpit stitches
  • Knit the sleeve down, trying on as I go

This is where I’m up to. Next:

  • I’ll take the other set of armpit stitches off the holder, and do the second sleeve
  • Release the provisional cast-on at the tops of the sleeves
  • Join sleeve stitches to the back and front stitches from the holder
  • Knit shoulders, doing raglan decreases as I go
  • Finish up neckline (haven’t decided yet if I’m going for V or round)

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Summarising…

Since I’m planning to use this blog to keep track of what I’m doing with my knitting, I shall begin with some lists:

OTN

  • Random lace raglan jumper, dark red Kidsilk Haze (pattern: me, inspired by Luscious Gracious)
  • Clapotis, black/purple/blue/green variegated lace-weight cotton (pattern: Knitty)
  • Scrap scarf, leftover bits of everything I’ve ever knit

Finished and photographed

  • Jumper of doom (purple cables, just doesn’t suit me), purple merino DK (to be frogged; pattern: me)
  • Dinosaur, purpley-pinky Marnasock yarn (pattern: Xtreme)
  • Socks, purpley-pinky Marnasock yarn (pattern: me)

Finished and possibly-to-be photographed

  • Halfdome hat, blue cashmerino (pattern: Knitty)
  • Lace-up fingerless gloves, dark red Maya (pattern: AlterKnits)
  • Purple Colinette One Zero cardigan (pattern: me)
  • Rogue cardigan, purple Donegal Aran Tweed (pattern: girlfromauntie, Claudia’s cardigan mod)
  • Silly pointy hat, purple Silkwood Contessa (pattern: me)
  • Dark red Manos lace wrap (possibly to be frogged; pattern: me)

Plotting

  • Reknit jumper of doom into cardigan with same cable pattern (pattern: me)
  • Purple leftovers cardigan (has to wait for the above; pattern: me)
  • Socks! (possibly Clessidra from Knitty)
  • Test project for spiral jogless single-row stripes
  • Test project for in-the-round intarsia
  • Something stranded with rainbow sock yarn
  • Something with various greys
  • Dying cream Irish wool to add to purple leftovers
  • Something with red Soho
  • Make a stash list
  • Have knitting weekend with Frax

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