Category Archives: knitting finished objects

Moving on from Socks to… Socks.

Dad’s second pair of Raggi socks are finished!

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I’m very happy with how I managed to work out the pattern with the larger yarn and to make the stitch count work out. The toe-up heel flap is exactly the same as the one I worked on his Hickory Socks, and it took some interesting math and charting to make the stitches flow correctly through the ankle and leg. I finished off the top with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind off from Knitty.

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Now I’ve started on a new pair, this time for the gentleman. Fittingly, I chose the stitch pattern from The Gentleman’s Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. I’m working it from memory and people’s project photos on Ravelry since all my knitting books are still in the storage unit, and I’m knitting it from the toe up (are we surprised?). Luckily, I got my Hennepin County Library card this week, and I’ll be able to go to the library tomorrow to browse their selection of knitting books.

The first toe is done, and I’ve started the stitch pattern. Excepting the cast on and first couple of rounds, it’s only been worked on my way to and from work. Public transit may smell funny, be slightly unreliable when you get down to the southern suburbs, and require dealing with other people, but there are benefits.

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In other news, while I’ve been convincing myself for weeks now that the downtown apartment is what I want, an apartment opened up in the building that I originally wanted to move in to in Uptown. I had called this summer, heard that there would be no openings, and put my name on the waiting list for next year. Last week, I got an email saying that they had an opening next month. Since the downtown place is still under construction, I made an appointment to see the place, and fell in love.

The downtown apartment was much more finished, with soffits covering the ductwork, etc. but shortening the ceiling, the tops of the closets finished and closed off eliminating storage space, and generally feeling a little smaller than I’d anticipated. I went in to my viewing of the Uptown building anticipating the apartment to feel the same size, since the square footage and closet space were nearly identical, but it felt huge. The windows were much bigger and more open, the ductwork and electrical conduits were raised to the ceiling and left uncovered leaving more space and more of a cool loft feel, and the polished concrete floors just added to it. The best part was the closets. They were finished up to the standard 8′ ceiling height, but the tops were finished, so there was an extra portion of storage space on top, all the way up to the 12′ ceiling. The apartment that I chose is actually 150 sq ft larger than the downtown one, with more windows, and overlooking the grassy courtyard in the center of the building. Plus, it’s in Uptown, so I’ll be in the middle of all my friends, in a much more puppy friendly neighborhood, and closer to cheaper grocery stores, etc. I’m ridiculously excited.

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Another Cowl? Yes, Another Cowl.

I got a lot done on my moebius cowl waiting in the Detroit Metro airport for my flight back home after Christmas, but discovered a knot in the yarn just before the end.  Since I hadn’t packed a tapestry needle, figuring that I’d just weave in the ends when I got home, I didn’t have a good way to join the yarn.  I’ve recently discovered a method described in (I think) Wendy Johnson’s book Wendy Knits Lace.  I checked it out from my local library a couple of weeks ago, and don’t have it in my apartment any longer, so I’m not suree.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

Whatever the publication, the method is to thread a tapestry needle with the yarn tail, and then turn the needle back and weave it through the yarn, starting a couple of inches back from the cut end.  When you pull the yarn through, you end up with a loop.  Then, thread the new yarn through the tapestry needle, pass it through the loop in the yarn tail, and weave it back and forth through itself just like the first.  You can then tighten up the loops and smooth out the woven ends.  There will be a thicker portion in the yarn, but a small adjustment in tension evens out the gauge and the join is very strong.

I wove in the ends this afternoon, and finished the cowl.  I love the shape.  The middle row, which is actually the provisional cast on, has a bit of a strange look to it, but it’s actually less noticeable in real life than it is in this picture.

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The Cowls! They Multiply!

I just finished a third cowl from the GAP-tastic Cowl pattern. I’m liking the Wool-Ease yarn, and I hope it holds up well in the wash.

Now, I’m working on a moebius cowl in the same stitch, with the same number of stitches cast on initially, but using Cat Bordhi’s Intro to Moebius Knitting cast on from Youtube. I had a skein each of the reds that I used for the first two cowls left over, so this is what I’m going to do with them.

Last but not least, I picked up two coat patterns at JoAnn’s New Year’s sale, McCall’s 5759 and Vogue 8346. (I also picked up two dress/top patterns. More on that later.)

I have this delightful dilemma where my pattern size is a 12 at the bust, 10 at the waist, and 14 at the hips. I don’t know if you’re aware, but it is exceedingly rare to find those three sizes in one envelope. On top of this, my shoulders are wide and either my shoulder blades stick out or my shoulders slope slightly forward.

I’m going to be making view B from the Vogue pattern. I’ve gotten pretty good at altering things, but I’m definitely going to be spending some time on the muslin for this. It seems pretty tailored, so getting it right is pretty important.

Now I get to find my fabric. Current choices include camel wool, red and black wool, cranberry plaid wool, and grey and black wool, all from Denver Fabrics.

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Doctor Who Marathons Breed Cowls and Fuzzy Pants

I knit up two last minute Christmas gifts in Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick using the very simple GAP-tastic Cowl Pattern from Ravelry. It’s not actually designed for this weight of Wool-Ease, but I cast on the recommended number of stitches and knit for the whole two skeins of yarn, and the cowls turned out huge and warm. Plus I was able to make both in two days, even with shopping and dance classes and family dinners and visits thrown in. I think working through the entire fifth season of the new Doctor Who with my parents helped.

(As a quick aside, that black and white table in the second photo is my great-grandmother’s enamel kitchen table where my grandmother and mother both learned how to make pie crust.)

I also made a good start on my fuzzy pants.  The fisherman’s rib pattern is super thick and fluffy, and progress is slow, but they’re getting easier now that I’m several rows away from the cast on edge.  The trick that I’ve found with the woolly nylon is that you have to pull out a good length of it with the yarn so the strands stick together and the tension doesn’t get uneven between the two strands that you’re knitting with.

I also pulled out the old sewing machine to stitch the elastics on a couple of pairs of ballet shoes (flats, not pointe shoes), picked up some purple felt for knitting needle cases, and made pie.

My next big project is to start thinking seriously about making a new wool coat to replace my L.L.Bean pea coat which is in its 11th winter right now. I love that wool coat. I’ve re-stitched the buttons several times, run it through the washing machine, shoved it in suitcases and dance bags, and worn it over both light layers and the hugest sweater known to man. I’d like to make something like it, since it’s such a flattering shape and fit, but I want something with a bit more neck coverage. I could just make a pattern from it, but McCall and Vogue patterns are both super on sale starting tomorrow at JoAnn, so I’ll probably pick up one or two new patterns and put something together using a combination of all the best attributes. I like McCall 5525 and Vogue 8346.

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