Friday, June 30, 2006

Back in the saddle

After that eight-month hiatus, I was ready to try again. I went back to Cindy's sock class for inspiration, and took yarn that Mom had chosen. It's Fortissima Socka.

Mom likes high cuffs, so when I saw I had a bunch of yarn left, I took out the cast-on row and knitted upward. Happily, I was perusing my friend Szarka's blog and noticed her comment about binding off toe-up socks and how a regular bind-off won't work. She ended up doing a tubular bind-off, which turns out to be just a Kitchener graft between the knits and the purls of ribbing. So that's what I did, too. Thanks, Sz!

Magic, my ass

I took a class to learn how to do magic loop knitting. I foolishly opted to try it with yarn another friend picked out. (Do you sense a pattern here?) She wanted chocolate brown socks with orange stripes.

You try learning how to knit something on Size 1 slippery Addy Turbos using chocolate brown yarn. "Black cat at midnight" was how the teacher described it. I couldn't see a thing.

I persevered and got moving along, though it really hurt my hands. I got close to the heel and had the friend try on the sock. "It's too big," she said.

Now do you sense a pattern?

I stopped knitting for eight months.

Berled sock

Then a friend who wears an ankle brace asked me to make her a toeless sock to wear as padding -- much like the pedicure socks in the current Knitty. I knitted the thing three times, but each time, the sizing was off. Finally, she said it fit. She was fibbing, but she didn't want me to keep ripping it out. She decided to shrink the sock herself, with some ill-formed notion that hot water would do the trick. She put the sock in a pot of water on the stove.

Some time later ... sniff, sniff ... "What's burning?"

I have since instructed friend that she can find cheap six-packs of athletic socks at Wal-Mart and cut off the toes.

Socks sound good

I was resistant to socks at first. But everyone said they are a good little project to try. I took a class from Cindy at the yarn store.

I like my socks! I used Koigu KPPM on Size 2 DPNs. The cuff is short because I knitted too slowly to do more before the next class.

The socks are very comfortable. They have accidentally gone through the dryer a couple of times but did not shrink. They get softer with each wearing.

How about a sweater?

Once the scarf was done, I went to A Knitted Peace in Littleton.

I showed Marilyn there my scarf. Can I make a sweater now? I asked.

Absolutely! was the answer. Marilyn helped me pick out a pattern and yarn.

I chose the pattern that's on the front of Family Circle's Easy Sweaters.

The yarn is Rowan Cork: 95 percent merino, 10 percent nylon. The sweater was knitted all in one piece except for the collar. I went up the back, then down the arms, then down the front (with two balls of yarn).

Knitting the two sides of the front at the same time was a brilliant suggestion from someone at the yarn store. The pattern had suggested knitting one side, then going back to knit the other. But knitting both at once meant I just did one row, then the reverse, so I didn't have to think too hard, and my tension was consistent across the front.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Welcome to my knitting blog!

This is a good way to chronicle projects, if only just for me.

Mom taught me to knit a year ago, and got me started on a scarf after a visit to The Yarn Studio in Minturn, Colo. I knitted it lengthwise, using a Size 13 circular needle and Lamb's Pride bulky yarn.

It was supposed to have moss stitch, but I didn't read Mom's directions correctly and ended up with a partially ribbed scarf. That's OK. It looks fine!