Monday, April 27, 2009

Tea and a Sock

What a nice way to start one's day: with tea and a sock.

The sock is the second half of a pair that I am knitting for my friends' daughter's first birthday. This little girl was the recipient of the first sweater I ever made, and I decided to follow the same strategy to figure out socks: start small!

The sock is just a plain top-down sock that fit my needs: pattern uses sock yarn and is sized for 12mo. I decided to jazz them up a little by adding the cables to the cuff. I really had no idea how much yarn they would take, so I used the bigger of my 2 skeins of leftover sock yarn. In this case, the yarn is leftover from the feather & fan scarf that I knit for my Great-Aunt Jenny. I was a bit perplexed by the gusset instructions, but decided to just gto for it, and I've had great success.

The panda mug is one of a pair that my friend Elise gave to Jack and I as a wedding present. She threw the mugs (on a potter's wheel), glazed them, and hand-painted the pandas and the gold edging. I love these mugs!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Braided Cable Arm Warmers

The weekend after I knit my wooly owl mittens, I spent an afternoon playing around with cables. I didn't have a pattern, but was just experimenting with different patterns and widths. I felt counterproductive after so much knitting and ripping, knitting and ripping, so I settled on a nice braided cable and made some arm warmers:

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Jojoland 100% wool in Hawaiian Blue (1.5ish skeins)
Needles: 4.5 and 5mm
New skill: Braided cables

I made these with Spring in mind -- it's bicycle riding season! I don't like to wear mittens when I bike because I find they are too slippery on thr brake handles. And given that I lost one of my nice leather gloves after only a few weeks, I figured I'd make some fingerless mitts. I wanted to make sure they covered my some of fingers and a bit of my thumbs to keep me warm -- it is still pretty chilly in Montreal.

In addition to the extended finger covering, I also made sure to knit extra-long arms on them. I want to make sure no cold air sneaks up my sleeves! The pattern is reversible, so I made two copies of the same mitt.

My favourite detail is the way that the ribbing feeds into the cables. Here is the WIP picture I posted whe they were actually in progress:

Overall, this was a great weekend project and I'm very happy with them. I kept detailed notes and have a few tweaks in mind if I ever knit them again.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I'm working on a new cardiagan/jacket. Having used a whole skein of Cascade 220 means that I knit 200m this weekend! I estimate that the jacket is 25% done, but I'm being safe. I actually have a slight friction burn on my index finger from so much knitting!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Twit, Twit, Twoo

As I often mention, I am trying to learn a new skill with each project. Well, I got really excited about cables a few weeks ago, and found the perfect small project to do so:

Pattern: Give a Hoot by Kelbourne Woolens
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alaska (100% wool)
Needles: 4mm and 5mm
New skill: CABLES!

I'm not yet ready to knit the owl sweater, so these mittens were just enough to satiate me.

The pattern is very well-written. It does produce a rather small mitten, but this can be easily fixed. Since I have long, slim hands, I just needed to lengthen mine by knitting an extra round of knit stitches before the gusset increases, and a few extra repeats of rows 14 and 28. I also made long cuffs that can be tucked into my sleeves. The yarn was alright. It made a nice and sturdy pair of mittens, but I wouldn't use it for a garment (except outerwear).

I went to RixRax to get the teeny tiny buttons for the eyes. I always love that store -- so many possibilities! -- but I don't think I will be going there again. The store is wonderful, but the service is severly lacking; it's the kind of store where you feel like you're not wanted. So I will spend my money elsewhere!

After wearing those mitts for a few cozy weeks, Spring is in the air, so they will be retired shortly. Don't worry, I've already knit some armwarmers!

Oh yeah, and cables? Easy peasy. The directions in this pattern make it absolutely clear and terror-free. I used a DPN for them, but my sis has since sent me some cable needles.