Saturday, September 29, 2007


There has been no new work on the body of the sweater but I now have one sleeve ready to go and the other sleeve started. Switching from my metal addi circular needle to my bamboo DPNs has slowed me down some. It has also loosened my gauge somewhat, though not enough that I'm going to rip out and redo with a different set of needles:

I have now worked my way through one whole ball of Old Gold and one ball of Sunset. There are, however, still 2 balls of Old Gold and one of Sunset to go.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quick progress update

I'm almost at the point where I need to start working out the neckline and sleeves. I've briefly set the body of the sweater aside and cast on for a sleeve. This will give me a bit more time before I have to decide exactly how I'm going to change the neckline.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


As of these pictures I've finished the decreasing part of the waist shaping and I'm about to start the increasing part. Colour work sweaters really seem to show progress, which makes me want to take pictures more than I generally do.

And one of the cool faux seam:

And an inside out shot for my mother:

I'm not tucking ends in as I go so I should get hours of fun tucking them all in at the end. Luckily I don't really mind hiding ends in colour work, though I don't like it quite as much as my mother seems to.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

One of every colour

This is my sweater so far. You can't really tell from the picture but I started with the body. I'm at the point that I have now used each colour in the sweater at least once. I'm pretty happy with my progress so far. I'm finding it pretty easy to keep track of the pattern and I haven't needed to use stitch markers. I'm really enjoying watching how the colours change as new colours are put next to them.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Left Over Swatching

Having finished my Endpaper mitts with yarn to spare I swatched for my Autumn Rose Pullover. One of the things I love about knitting is that if you mess up you can always rip out and restart with the same yarn. The idea of a colour work sweater where you break your yarn every three rows makes me a bit twitchy. I couldn't bring myself to swatch properly with the sweater yarn and break the yarn into that many little pieces knowing full well that I might not get gauge and I'd have to do a new swatch with different needles. My solution was to knit the Endpaper mitts in the same yarn as the sweater (though obviously in different colours.) My gauge on the mitts was a bit off so I knit a gauge swatch with 3.25 mm needles following the sweater pattern but using left over mitt yarn.

I got the needed stitch and row gauge using my 3.25s so I cast on for the sweater last night. So far I'm still working on the ribbing, but everything is working well so far. The neat thing is that my 3.25 circular is the same needle that I knit my fist lace shawl with and now I'm using it for my first colour-work sweater.

Pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

End of Endpaper

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift; 25 g Shetland Black (101) and 25 g Peach (440). One ball of each made two medium size fingerless mitts and left me with ample left overs.
Needles: 2 mm bamboo DPNs for ribbing and 3 mm bamboo DPNs for colour work.
New Skills Acquired: Italian Tubular Cast-On & Tubular Bind Off.

I used my left over yarn to do a sample swatch for the Autumn Rose Pullover and I found that 3.25 mm needles give me the required row and stitch gauge so I'm now all set to cast on for this sweater. Hurrah.

And a picture of the inside of my mitts for my mother:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Knit, knit, knit,...

A few progress pictures.

End paper mitts:

These are coming along really nicely. I'm definitely getting a good feel for the yarn, though I don't think I'm getting the gauge I will need for my sweater. I seem to be knitting a bit more loosely than required, but we'll see what gauge is like after these have been washed and blocked.
Endless toe-up ribbed sock:

One down, one to go. I think I may rip out my cast off and put a bit of 1x1 ribbing at the top of this sock, but I'll wait until it has a mate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Knit, Rip, Repeat

Yesterday I started knitting on a simple colour work winter hat for myself. The plan was to use the dark welsh and some of my white shetland that I had spun up. I picked the general design Monday night and was ready to cast on Tuesday morning. I had decided that I would do a provisional cast on so that I could go back and do the ribbing after finishing the rest of the hat. This was because the last winter hat I made for myself had problems with the ribbing and I ended up cutting it off and redoing it after. Unfortunately I just couldn't get a nice, even tension when I started with a provisional cast on (and I tried several times.)

Finally I started with a 2x2 ribbing using the shetland on smaller needles. This seemed to work and my tension was nice and even. I carried on and completed one repeat of the pattern:

Then I tried it on... It fits onto my head but not comfortably. It is too tight. All of my careful calculations failed to take into account that colour work is a lot less stretchy than plain knitting. Sigh. I will rip out and redo.

I might even have started re-knitting this hat today, but my Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift arrived so I was able to cast on for a pair of Endpaper mitts. I decided to knit a pair of fingerless mitts in part because it has been chilly and my hands have been stiff and in part for practice. I bought a kit for the Autumn Rose Pullover at the Knitter's fair but I really don't want to screw it up. So I've decided to knit a pair of mitts using the same yarn and the same gauge to get a feel for it. These mitts will actually be a complicated sort of gauge swatch:

The problem is that I chose to use a peach coloured yarn and the shetland black. With the black as the dominant colour the peach just looks off white. So I'm ripping these out too and I'm going to make the peach the dominant colour.

Practice is good (or so I keep telling myself.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pink and Green and Finished

These socks almost deserve a saga of their own. They are for my New York Sock Exchange pal. I bought the yarn, Zen String's Serendipity fingering, from The Sweet Sheep at the Knitter's Fair specifically for my pal's socks. The yarn is nice but it has a mind of its own. It didn't look right as a Mad Weave sock so I tried it as a Monkey but that didn't work either. Finally I went back to the Waterfall sock pattern on size 2.5 mm needles.

The yarn worked well with the pattern, though the feet turned out quite differently on the two socks. I modified the pattern a bit to make the heel Eye of Partridge. I highly recommend this pattern, especially for gift socks, because it is a really nice lacy ribbed pattern with a lot of give; it produces socks that could fit a variety of foot and leg circumferences.

The socks are now drying and with any luck my pal's package should be in the mail by tomorrow. Wish it luck going through customs; my pal live in the States and I'm up here in Canada.

And now I'm off to work on planning out my Scarlet sweater...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Frankly Scarlet...

... I'm in love. I bought two skeins of this lovely mohair wool blend at the Kitchener Knitter's Fair and right now it is my favorite yarn ever. Most of this is due to it being the perfect colour for me. I love red and I look great in the scarlet reds but they are hard to find. Blue reds are just more popular or easier to dye or something.

This yarn also has a great plush hand. It is a 3 ply 60% mohair/ 40% wool and remarkably soft. The mohair doesn't even shed much (I know this because I've been wearing a skein around the house as a scarf/necklace.)

I love this yarn so much that once I got home I regretted only buying two skeins, so I got in touch with the people who make and sell it Wellington Fibres and got them to send me enough for a sweater. I highly recommend ordering yarn from these people; they are really quick to reply to emails and very helpful. The mohair comes from their goats and they run the mill that makes the yarn.

Expect to see a sweater in progress in the very near future. I am already planning the design out in my mind.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Revenge of the Pink and Green Yarns

The doomed sock was frogged and restarted as a simple 3 by 1 ribbed sock. To make things interesting I thought I'd try a toe-up sock with a gusset heel. It has been a learning experience with bits ripped out more than once. Now I'm just plugging along on the leg waiting until I run out of yarn.

I think the colour combination of pinks and greens is mildly cursed. I bought some great pink and green yarn at the Knitter's Fair on the weekend and I've started knitting it up for a sock pal. So far this is what I have:

It is the Mad Weave, which I really like. I am not sure that I like this pattern with this yarn, though. I've got a little voice in the back of my head telling me that this yarn should be a Monkey. I'll probably be frogging tonight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


This is the last you will see of this sock. The trellis lace pattern is making the sock twist pretty badly. I should have know looking at the pattern instructions that the fabric would be seriously biased, but I made the mistake of looking at the picture instead. Magazine pictures are not entirely to be trusted. So I'm frogging this sock. I still want to make a pair of stockings with this yarn but I think the combination of stripy yarn, lacy stitches and spiralling is just too much. I think I will look at some basic ribbing instead.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


So I say I'm going to work on colour work socks and mittens for practice and what do I do? I cast on for a pair of lacy stockings using some Trekking yarn I've had laying around for a few months. These are inspired by Rowan's Anna Socks Anna Socks. I'm using the lace pattern from these socks but working the socks toe-up with fewer repeats of the lace. I'm not sure exactly how these socks will look when I'm finished them but they should be fun.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Last week's work

After all of that Norwegian sock knitting I needed a break. I had a ball of Austermann Step yarn that I'd bought thinking I might use it for my swap partner before I found the red Trekking. I'd done a few gauge swatches for various patterns without finding anything that really worked with the yarn's stripes. I finally realized that I might as well knit a plain pair of socks and take advantage of the stripy yarn rather than try to find a pattern that otherwise accommodated it. And so I knit the following pair of plain socks for a very dear friend.

I used an 'eye of the partridge' heel flap (my first attempt at this pattern), a size smaller needle for the sole of the sock and a short row toe (also a first for me). They should be pretty hard wearing.

I finished the socks on Friday and then needed to have something to knit on while watching tv in the evenings. I cast on a pair of mittens using left over yarn from my monkey socks (Jitterbug) and my Norwegian saga socks (Sisu). I am very pleased with the results.

The pattern is Annemor #2 from Selbuvotter. I made the thumbs longer but otherwise followed the pattern. These are meant to be a child's mittens, so I'm putting them into my gifts pile.

I'm trying to get as much practice as I can with stranded knitting because I really want to knit the Autumn Rose Pullover. The more practice I get the better my tension will be. So expect to see colour work mittens and socks and hats and who knows what else in the next little while.