Category Archives: ravelry

Ishbel, you heartbreaker

Heartbreakingly gorgeous, yes?

ishbel

It’s been a bumpy road with Ishbel. First, I chose a yarn that I didn’t enjoy working with. Then I switched to a different yarn, and ran out before I was done. (Sooooo close. 1.5 rows, plus bind off.) After a rescue by KellyinTexas from Ravelry, I finished the knitting on Saturday.

Here it is unblocked.

unblocked

unblocked close

I was pretty pleased, and started the wet block process. I bought blocking wires last year after making my Shetland Triangle shawl. These are a great invention. I love how easy it is to pin out points with these. But seriously, I am going to have to get a plain white towel for blocking. This cacophony of color is just too much!

blocking ishbel

What is it about a blocking shawl that is so attractive to cats?

mookbel

As I was pinning the shawl out, I noticed this disintegrating section (without the needle in it, of course).

bad corner

I must have dropped a stitch during the bind off. I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do, until the shawl was dry. Which gave me time to think it through. There were bound off stitches on each side of the dropped stitch(es), so that meant the run was confined to a small area. After Ishbel was dry, I picked up all the live stitches I could see, and then removed the blocking wires. I tinked back the bound off stitches (luckily, this was near the end), and then proceeded to recreate the three rows that had ripped out. This took three tries to get the lace pattern correctly. I finished binding off again, and voilĂ !

corners

See the second from the bottom motif on the left? Yeah, I fixed it. Due to the bit of curl, you can’t see the whole motif, but it’s there. It just needs to be blocked to bring out the point. But no, I’m not going to re-block the shawl right now. It’s just fine the way it is.

But I have a comment, and a question. I never quite memorized the lace pattern, despite the fact that the repeat section is the same in sections A, B, and C. Is it because I was fixating on the holes, and not the solid parts? Which is figure, and which is ground? The branching holes, or the solid parts that look like leaves on a vine? What do you see?

figure ground

Despite all the stumbling blocks, I’d love to knit this shawl again. But I think I’ll make the larger size with the smaller border, or the smaller size with the larger border, to make sure I don’t run out of yarn again! And this yarn blocks like a dream, and is soooo soft. I’m going to love wearing this!

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague
Larger size, with larger border
Malabrigo Sock yarn in Violeta Africana, one skein plus a few more grams!
Size 6 (4 mm) needles (Lantern Moon ebony circulars)

Ishbel, interrupted

I must be loose. A looser knitter than Emilee, anyway. She finished her gorgeous Ishbel with less than one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn. That seduced me into thinking I could do the same. As I neared the end, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. I weighed the remaining yarn and found that it takes a little more than one gram per row. I had 10 grams of yarn left. And 10 rows to go. And a bind off row. Ouch. I really didn’t want to buy another $20 skein for about 3 grams of yarn.

interrupted

I kept knitting. Now I have three rows left to knit, plus a bind off row. This tiny ball of yarn isn’t going to make it.

Luckily, there is a Ravelry group called Malabrigo Junkies, and they have a forum thread titled “ISO/FT/FS.” In English, that’s “in search of/for trade/for sale.” Since I only needed a little, I posted there. Within a couple hours, I had a reply. KellyInTexas is my hero!

I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Mitered squares, topsy-turvy

I’ve been making a lot of socks, knit from the cuff-down. I know you can knit them toe-up, too; I just haven’t, yet. Well, once, but I never finished the first sock.

I’m knitting a mitered square for a Ravelry group project Afghans for Afghans blanket in honor of Kay and Peter. So why not turn that idea upside down, too? Instead of starting with the long edges and decreasing down, what if we start at the point, and increase up? Anything to mix things up a bit! And no gauge swatch required, because you’d stop when the square reaches the right dimensions.

Here’s my first attempt:

kfb

Cast on 2. Knit the first row (wrong side).

Row 1: KFB (knit in front and back of stitch), place marker, KFB

Row 2: Knit.
row 3: K to stitch before first marker, KFB, slip marker, KFB, K to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is desired size, changing colors as desired, ending with a row 2. The symmetry lover in me would probably bug out not knowing if the stripes would all be the same number of rows. I’m that way. But maybe I’d get around it by making all stripes just two rows (1 garter ridge), or 4 rows (2 garter ridges), and carry the second yarn up the side of the block, twisting at each color change. Binding off was a bit tricky; my regular knit bind-off was too tight and the piece wasn’t very square. I changed to a suspended bind off, and that made it looser, but there’s still not a nice pointy corner on the bound off edge.

I also tried this with yarn over increases on each side of a center stitch, like this:

yo k yo

Cast on 3. Knit the first row (wrong side)
Row 1: K1, yo, place marker, K, place marker, yo, K1

Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K to marker, yo, slip marker, K, slip marker, yo, K to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is desired size, changing color as desired, ending with a row 2. Again, I used a suspended bind off to keep the edge from pulling.

You could use any increases you like, as long as you increase just before and just after the center. Some need a center stitch to separate them, and some don’t. I can never remember which M1 increase leans left and which one leans right, but paired increases would look nice. Here’s a link to KnittingHelp.com‘s excellent page on increases.

I’ll add this information to the mitered square pattern page, just in case someone else wants to mix it up, too.

After all of that, I’m making my current mitered square in my usual way, long edge first. It needs to be 10 inches square, and I know that I get 4.5 sts/inch in garter stitch on US size 8 needles. 10 inches times 4.5 st/inch is 45 sts for each 10 inch edge. 90 stitches for my square.

Knit on!

Think pink! and purple, and…

Dragons!

shurt fo

The Shur’tugal (Dragon Rider) socks are done. And I love them! The color pooling has been vanquished (except maybe a hint of a pink puddle on one side of each of the ankles), the spiral has been embraced, and all is well.

shurt fo 2

Details:

Shur’tugal by Alice Yu (Socktopus), knit for the Ravelry Socks that Rock 2nd quarter Knitalong.
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Bleeding Hearts
Size 1 Lantern Moon Blond wood Sox Stix (I really like these 6 inch needles!)

shurt model

I modified the pattern to from 56 stitches to 48 to compensate for the heavier yarn and to escape the color pooling I had with 56. The socks look narrow, but they are a perfect fit. The fabric is pretty stretchy; I think they would also have fit at 56 stitches, but they wouldn’t have been nearly as pretty. And these are very, very pretty.

shurt model 2

I love the detail on the heels.

shurt heels

Thanks to Alice (Socktopus) for a great knit!

What is a sock

What is a sock start, but a gauge swatch?

Yesterday’s foray with the Bleeding Heart Shur’tugal left me cold. That big blobby pool of pink just didn’t make me happy. The spiral reversed direction between the ribbing and the dragon scale pattern, and the area where it reversed was like a big pink eyeball. I couldn’t take it, so I ripped it out.

bleeding hearts

The pattern calls for 64 or 72 stitches. I had already reduced it to 56 stitches on size 1 needles because I’m using STR Mediumweight instead of Lightweight. I knew if I increased to 64 stitches, I would have to knit on size 0 or 00 needles. No way. So I went the other direction, and cast on 48 stitches on size 2 needles. (ETA: I thought they were 2′s, but they’re still 1′s! I guess I can switch back to my new Lantern Moon blondwood Sox Stix, since they’re the same size as these Brittany Birch.)

spiral

(Please excuse the harsh lighting. The sun actually came out, hooray!)

What a well behaved spiral. Just what I wanted, and it looks a lot like the spiral on the designer’s revised pattern for Shur’tugal. (Ravelry link for the updated pattern, but I don’t think you can get it elsewhere. Join Ravelry; it’s free!)

So I’m much happier. The sock is a little snugger, but still big enough for my leg and my foot. And there’s no pink eyeball. Ahhhhh.

April is for casting on

It’s time for the next Socks that Rock knitalong on Ravelry. The pattern choices this month are Shur’tugal (Dragon Rider) and Mad Color Weave. I chose Shur’tugal, and bought this STR Mediumweight for it last month.

bleeding hearts

The color is Bleeding Hearts. Although there’s not much knitting to show yet, I couldn’t resist taking this picture, because it wasn’t raining!

bleeding hearts

But I’m not sure I like what the color is doing. The brighter colors began a spiral around the leg while I was knitting the ribbing, but when I changed to the dragon scale pattern, the spiral reversed direction, resulting in a huge color pool. The reverse side of the sock is all dark. I’m going to go through one more repeat, and then decide if I can stand it.

I also picked up the next installment of the Single Skein Club from Twisted; I’ll take some pictures soon!

Knit on!

A long time coming…Seafoam Socks Pattern

I just can’t stop knitting this pattern. It makes me really happy! The pattern is so logical, so easily memorized, so easy to track. I had to make another…

pile

The Fly Designs Monarch sport on top is my favorite yarn so far. The colors are even more vibrant than in the picture. The yarn is really springy and fun to knit with.

The pattern has been written for a while, but I wasn’t happy with my pictures! Pictures that looked good on the screen didn’t look good coming out of the printer. It’s been a frustrating couple days, but I think I have what I want now.

The pattern is available as a pdf download for $5 US through Ravelry. See the pattern page for more information.

It followed me home, can I keep it?

I got a tweet on my phone from Twisted the other day. It said, “BLUE MOON IS HERE!! Mucho Socks that Rock is right now being put on the shelves!”

I was at work, and had errands to run after work. But somehow I made it. There were 20 colors of Socks that Rock Mediumweight, the skinniest yarn I’m willing to knit with. I wanted one colorway to join the second quarter STR KAL on Ravelry, but I had a hard time deciding.

bleeding hearts

This color is called Bleeding Hearts. It looks like the dicentra spectabilis that grows in my garden. The stems are just peeking up through the soil now, and they’re the color on the dark end of the skein. The flowers will be a glorious pink when it’s time. This colorway is well suited suited to the pattern, Shur’tagal. It seems to want to be somewhat monochrome.

alley oop

But the Alley-Oop was so pretty, how could I leave it there? It has many of my favorite colors in it, as well as a green that adds just enough zing. Yes, I bought it.

Somehow I made it out the door without Tidepooling…

Second Sock Syndrome, conquered

I finished my Leyburns a couple nights ago.

leyburns 2

Yes, Leyburns, as in plural. Finally! I slogged through the second one. The first one was fun because I wanted to see if it would turn out the way I wanted, but the second one was just work trying to duplicate what I did on the first one. I’m glad I blogged it a few posts back, because I forgot how I did the toe and had to look it up!

leyburns

It’s hard to get a good picture of a sock on your own foot. I like how you can really see the twisted cast on in this picture.

leyburnpiano

Details:

Leyburn Sock by Pepperknit
for the Ravelry Knitalong

Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Eggplanted colorway
Size 2 needles
Mods: top down instead of toe up, twisted cast on edge, no wrap short row heel, 54 stitches throughout.

They’re a little bit loose, but they feel good. I think if I had gone down 6 more stitches, they would have been tight, so there’s a compromise there. But they’re cute! And done. I learned the short row heel on these. I like the fit of a standard round heel, better, so my next sock will go back to those.

Onward!

The yarniest day

Saturday was the yarniest day of the year so far, at least for me.

The day started with a knitting party at Twisted, before the shop opened. It was a fundraiser event for the Grant High School Booster Club. Twisted provided the space and the teas, Lantern Moon provided the needles, Carole provided the treats, and Anna and I provided the knitting instruction. I also made party favors: the Checkerboard Scarflet pattern, and stitch markers in school colors. We had 15 people come to knit, some with previous experience, and some newbies. What a fun morning! Thank you to Shannon & Emily for hosting. I remembered to bring my camera, but I was moving so fast that I forgot to take pictures. Oops.

After the party I headed downtown to meet up with the Seattle to Portland Yarn Crawl. Knit Bloggers from Seattle came down on the train to meet up with Portland Knit Bloggers and check out yarn shops in the Pearl District and downtown. The shops on the list were Knit/Purl, Knit Knot Studio, and Dublin Bay. I joined the crawl late, so I went directly to Knit/Purl and met up with several Portland area bloggers that I’d met last September at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. We ended up at Starbucks for some knitting/chatting time. It’s funny, I know many of these women by their blogs and Ravelry names, but I’m still trying to connect the right faces with the right names!

I think my camera may have been in my knitting bag, but again, I forgot to take pictures. Bad blogger! Here’s a picture of a book I bought at Knit/Purl. It’s a calendar with a different stitch pattern every day. I’ve been looking for a stitch dictionary, but not one in several volumes. Just a little thing to inspire, to go along with the small section in my Vogue Knitting book.

calendar

What I didn’t realize, looking at that cute cellophane-wrapped package, is that the directions are written out row by row, without charts. I guess if I want to use any of them, I’ll have to chart them out myself. But the pictures are great, very clear.

By 3:30 I was pretty done, but I wanted to check out Dublin Bay since I’d never been there before. It’s a lovely shop down at the edge of the Pearl. Lots of natural fibers. But I was tired enough that I didn’t buy anything, despite the 20% discount they were offering to the Yarn Crawlers. I suppose it’s just as well, since I try not to stash. But the Sea Cell was really pretty…