I’ve been busy making no progress. Well, almost none.
I’m out of the competition for Sock Madness 3 (again). Didn’t make it through Round 2. The pattern, “Tokena” by Tricia Weatherston, is a great-looking pattern. It’s two-color stranded/fair-isle knitting, and the pattern is well-written and fairly easy to follow.
I started out with some Lorna’s Laces (red and rainbow), but that wasn’t enough contrast (I bought the yarn for a different pair of socks). So I switched to black and rainbow, but I didn’t like how the rainbow was coming out (too much of a non-sensical jumble of color) so I switched again and used the leftover yarn from the Tropical Mer-tini socks from round 1. I like the contrast and color combination! I hoped there would be enough of the Gulfstream to finish the pair… I was a little behind because of the false starts, but finished the cuff portion and decided to try it on. It fit, but was pretty snug and I was afraid that wearing it all day would restrict blood flow. :( Having had times when I rip something and re-knit, only to decide that the first try was better, I left the tight one on the needles, and started a second sock with a larger needle. This was much stretchier than the first, and I was confident that I could pour on the steam and squeak in before the end of the round. I knit the 2nd cuff and tried it on - too loose!
I had only gone up one size in needles, so I figured I either had to consciously change my tension (which usually doesn’t work very well), or use another yarn. By then, there was almost enough finishers, and I figured I’d never manage to start again and still complete a full pair before the end of the round. I love this pattern, but it sure kicked my behind!
Now that I’m out of the running, I can still knit the other patterns and be eligible for prizes (although that’s not important to me - my stash is so large right now, I’d prefer that I don’t win any more yarn). The third round whizzed by, but I’m hopeful to knit a pair for the 4th round pattern. I’ll be ripping these and re-using this yarn, and give it a try for “Lucky Diamonds.”
Now that I’m no longer competing in the Sock Madness, I thought I’d work on some baby things, since we had a couple of upcoming baby showers/births to celebrate. I’m really becoming enamored of non-traditional colors for babies. So I went shopping (I know, I have lots of stash, but it never seems there’s an appropriate weight/fiber content/colorway for what I want to make) and bought some Dream In Color Classy in the Ruby River colorway. I decided that I would at last make a February Sweater on Two-Needles (Elizabeth Zimmermann, you can find it in Knitter’s Almanac). It is also a current hot item to knit the February Lady sweater - an adult-sized version of the baby sweater. Some folks have also had problems with good-looking increases in the garter stitch yoke and have modified the pattern to use a stockinette raglan yoke instead. The gal at the LYS said I should need about 200 yards or so, and the Classy supposedly has 250, so I bought the only skein they had of the Ruby River and hoped it would work out.
I had read that the backwards loop cast on worked nearly invisibly on garter stitch (done on the right side). I tried it and it was pretty sloppy, so I ripped it out and tried it again, yanking the yarn fairly tight for the cast on stitch and the following stitch, and it worked pretty well. (Sorry, the color of the photos just doesn’t match the yarn - it’s much more red. No pink at all.) I was pretty proud of the yoke, and happy with how it turned out. The color was unusual but I thought attractive (since I know it will be going to a girl). I found great buttons for it at 3 Kittens. The pattern was kicking my butt, however, as EZ considers everyone a “thinking knitter.” The problem is that I don’t think like EZ! The entire pattern is 2 paragraphs long. She says to repeat the increase row, but fails to mention that you must skip an increase because there’s 1 too many if you knit it exactly as the last increase row. (Perhaps you’re supposed to put on your “thinking cap” and realize that because she gives you the stitch count for the row.) Anyway, I struggled a bit with the pattern, but ultimately figured it out.
I did end up ripping a bit on this because she off-handedly mentions buttonholes after the point at which you should have put some in.
I knit the sleeves and was happy with how it was turning out, proud of myself that I had managed to get through all the rough times and was steaming along, finishing the body when I looked at my remaining yarn. Hmmmm. Looks like it’ll be a squeaker to finish. I had checked Ravelry to be sure that there were folks who made this with one skein of Classy, but this looked closer than I wanted to be. So I pulled out my new (Christmas gift) scale and weighed what was left. Then I knit 2 rows and weighed it again. I computed how many rows I could get by weight and was waaaay short. So I decided that the arms could be reduced by one pattern repeat, and I ripped back and re-knit one sleeve.
My tension must have changed because the 2nd sleeve is waaay too small. I then looked at changing to the stockinette, raglan yoke as you get more distance from stockinette than you do garter, and I hoped that would make enough difference that I could squeeze out the sweater from the yardage I had. I computed the stitches needed and it won’t be enough. So this sweater sits in time out until I decide what to do with the yarn.
I also found these fabulous buttons to put on the sweater:
I like this yarn because there are subtle variations in the color, but it all blends together
with no striping, etc.
I was so disappointed to see this striping! Since the entire bottom portion is exactly the same width (no shaping), I expect that the striping will continue. Not happy with these results, I will likely rip this. I’m thinking this may become a February sweater - with the garter stitch, and the increases for the yoke, etc., that may hide this striping effect.
I have knit a couple of afghan squares for the MKG charity project:
Even this one didn’t turn out quite right, as I was just following the pattern (which is for a full-size afghan) and figured I’d stop when the square was 8″. The last strip (yellow) ended 8 rows short (4 ridges). Next time I make this (and I will - it was easy and fun), I will make the center (red) 4 ridges less so the outside strips will all be uniform.
This is the Darning Pattern square from the MKG blog for May. I managed to knit both these squares last Sunday.
Knitting the Log Cabin pattern was fun, so I decided to try the Moderne Baby Blanket for another donation to the MKG charity project. (They accept full afghans, too - not just the squares.)
This is just the start, but these are the 4 colors I’m using. This is Caron’s Simply Soft Brites (Watermelon, Limelight, Lemonade and Blue Mint). It’s fairly mindless knitting, and just about fool-proof. Lots and lots of garter stitch! I think it will be a bright and fun afghan/blanket when finished.
Apparently all I’m capable of managing is garter stitch right now, but I’ll get back in the saddle soon!