Tag Archives: kai-mei

Knit-picky

I started the second Kai-Mei/Lai-Wah sock. And it’s just a little bit different. Can you see what I changed?

cuffs

I shifted the ribbing over by one stitch, so the K2 would flow out of the center of each 4 stitch twist at the top of the cuff. I like how it looks more symmetrical with the twist, instead of coming out of one half of the twist. That’s how knit-picky I am! Here’s the new cuff.

cuff 2

And here’s the first cuff for reference:

cuff 1

Oh, I bought these sock blockers at Twisted. I decided that it might be easier to photograph socks on blockers than to do the contortionist thing that I usually do. But I think I’ll still be doing that sometimes, too. These blockers were made by Twisted co-owner Shannon’s parents, and they’re really nice.

blockers

Kai-Mei meets Lai-Wah

The first Kai-Mei is done, but I’ve named my version Lai-Wah for Ravelry project purposes. The pattern is still essentially Cookie A’s Kai-Mei, but I’ve put my personal stamp on it, so why not give mine my Chinese name?

ribby

I love the stitch definition knitting with Louet Gems Sport. The ribs and twists really pop! I chose a different lace for the foot; this is fishtail lace from my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar. (I don’t love this calendar; it only has written instructions, no charts. It was shrink-wrapped when I bought it; how’s a knitter to know? I need a good stitch dictionary; do you have one that you love?)

lai wah right

I think I like Cookie A’s lace panel better; it has a more dramatic holey-ness. This one is more subdued than I anticipated, but once I figured out the panel placement, there was no going back. I think this lace would look more open at a normal sport weight gauge, but I like my socks to be pretty densely knit for better wear, and that made the lace more dense, too.

toe pic

I love how the lace angles across the foot. It’s a little disconcerting that the toe is angled, too, but it’s perfectly comfortable. One down and one to go! It will be close; the first sock weighs 53 grams (love that new kitchen/yarn scale). The skein of yarn is supposed to be 100 grams, but there are 53 grams left. Which means I’ll just make it. Or I won’t…it’s an adventure!

Where did my week go? (knitting content, eventually)

Well, that was a busy week! Easter on Easter, a Passover Seder on Tuesday, flew to LA on Wednesday to see Springsteen, home on Thursday, 16 crafty moms celebrating spring birthdays Friday, worked a high school fund-raiser event on Saturday. Sunday starts all over again…

LA is different from the Pacific Northwet. They have flowers like these growing in hotel parking lots.

bird of paradise

And funny looking trees.

palms

The last time we saw Springsteen in LA, it was in 1985 with 90,000 of our nearest and dearest, here.

coliseum

This time it was at the LA Sports Arena, right next door, with 20,000 of our closest friends. Here’s the obligatory crappy cell phone pic. We were to the right of the stage, pretty high up, but the venue is small enough that it didn’t feel like we were on Mars. Bruce was stupendous, as usual. Three hours of fun; the man knows how to put on a show.

bruce

lai wah

I did take my knitting! I had just finished my Shur’tugal socks, and didn’t have any good airplane knitting on the needles. Although I want to knit with beads, and do Chrissy Gardner’s toe-up sock from Twisted’s Single Skein Club, both require either attention or charts or tiny things that don’t make for good airplane knitting. What’s a knitter to do? Cookie A to the rescue!

I love the Kai-Mei pattern in her new book, Sock Innovation. It’s written for fingering weight yarn, and I only had Louet Gems sport in my tiny stash. No problem; I adapt things all the time. But something about this pattern made me want to completely play with it and make it my own. Here’s the process so far.

I started with 48 stitches, because most of my sport weight socks are 48-52 stitches around. I decided on a 2×2 rib instead of the 3×3 in the pattern, because I like to put twists in my ribs so I can use them to count rows. My first attempt had a right twist on every rib every 6 rows, but that was boring. I decided to alternate columns of right twists with columns of left twists, and offset them so the right twists and left twists were 4 rounds apart. I used the twisted cast on edging that I used on my Leyburns, because I thought the twists would complement the twisted rib.

48 stretch

I was cruising along on the plane and later in the hotel, when I heard the 1 a.m. tiny voice say, “ribbing sucks in a lot. Sure that will go around your leg, but it would look prettier if it wasn’t stretched to the max…” Right-o. Let’s try 56 stitches instead.

Since I was ripping it all out anyway, I thought I’d play with the twisted cast on. What if I used stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch for those first four rows before the twist? I could take advantage of stockinette’s natural tendency to curl, and hopefully get a tighter, tidier edge. I like it better, and I like the not as stretched out ribbing better, too.

56 stretch

Here’s a better look. Garter edge first:

garter top

Stockinette edge:

stockinette top

Side by side! Garter on left, stockinette on right:

twists

What do you think?

Almost done with the first sock; more soon!