Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Striped hat - with Handspun!

Robert and I are planning a backpacking trip soon, and I decided I want a new hat.  I don't usually like to wear hats, because I don't like the feeling of having something touch my eyebrows (and any normal hat that comes down far enough to cover my ears seems to touch my eyebrows). I decided a long time ago that what I need is a bonnet or pilot cap of some sort.  Robert suggested that I should use my handspun, so I decided to knit this pilot cap in stripes, using leftover yarn from this sweater held double for the grey and my Wensleydale handspun for the stripes.
So far it's working pretty well.  I had to start over, because I initially started knitting the larger size (starting with 139 stitches).  It quickly became clear that it was WAY too big for me.  Now I'm using the "midi" size instructions, and it seems like the size will probably work out okay.  If it doesn't, I still have the dorkiest hat ever (an orange and red Klein bottle hat) to fall back on.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stripey socks: Take 1

I'm almost to the heel turn on my first stripey sock, but I'm going to rip it out.  I started doing a Fleegle heel (which I recently learned is also called a Strong heel) like I did on my last pair of socks.  I decided that this time I wanted a slipped stitch heel pattern, so I started doing eye of partridge at the same point where I started the gusset increases.  I was inconsistent about the edge of the pattern though - next time I will place markers to delineate the slipped stitch area.  I would also wait to start the slipped stitches - I think it looks a little strange to have them go a third of the way down the sole of the sock.

Once I had decided I would rip it out, I decided I don't want to do this kind of heel after all.  I chose it because short row and afterthought heels are usually too tight across the instep on my feet.  But now that I'm getting to it, I'm deciding that I don't want to distort the stripe pattern at all.  I did a bit of research on heels for self-striping socks (and almost ordered this book from Amazon but managed to restrain myself) and came across this article on Knitty.  I'm going to try a gussetted afterthought heel.  Hopefully it will fit better, and the stripes will be just a tiny bit narrower around the heel, but not any narrower than the last two stripes in the photo of my Fleegle gusset, which I think is fine.  I'm excited to see how it turns out!

I still want the Sock Architecture book.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Five steeks

I reached a big milestone on my Lofoten sweater this weekend: I finished the body!  It has five steeks ready to be reinforced and cut: two for the armscyes, one for the placket, one for the front neck, and one for the back neck.  It looks pretty ridiculous with all of the holes closed.  The shoulder seams are already "sewn" with a contrasting 3-needle bind-off.
I had a little bit of a panic because it seemed way too long, but I compared it to a ready-made sweater I own and held it up against my body after I got the shoulders bound off and I think it will be perfect.  Now I just need to finish knitting the sleeves and gather my courage for the steeks (there are two on the sleeves, too!) and the sweater should be finished in time to wear this fall!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Spinning along

I've been spinning at least one day a week since the Tour de Fleece ended.  I still have a ways to go on these singles, but I am making good progress.  It's good to keep the spinning in my fingers - I had a really great groove going by the end of the tour de fleece and was hardly ever breaking my singles, even though I'm spinning this as finely as I can manage.  Now I'm having a few more breaks and it's a bit frustrating, but I'm still enjoying it.  I can hardly wait to see the shawl that this is going to be!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hydrangea Mystery Shawl!

I finished my Hydrangea Mystery Knit-a-long Shawl last week.  I think the edging turned out beautifully!  It has an interesting construction method: a long narrow edging is knitted, then stitches are picked up along one edge and the shawl is knitted up from the bottom edge with decreases in each of two side triangles, with a lace panel in the center.
Learning to read your knitting was a big focus of the text in the pattern, and the little lace circles are pretty easy to read.  I've been doing lace knitting (and other kinds of knitting) for a long time and I'm pretty good at reading my knitting, but it's a bit more difficult to do when the background is garter, as it is with the Hydrangea shawl.  
I knitted the larger of the two sizes in the pattern, and was surprised that the shawl is pretty small.  I think it would cover my shoulders and that's about it.  Maybe this is because I used a different yarn than the one called for?

I have a ton of yarn left over!  It was a 100gm skein, and I still have 69gm left.  Enough for two more of these or a different large shawl.  In any case I'm not keeping this one.  I'll either give it as a gift sometime this year or donate it to my church's auction in the Fall.

Pattern: Hydrangea Mystery Knit-a-long Shawl by Courtney Kelley for the Fibre Company
Size: larger 
Yarn: Lanna Gatto Harmony 2/30 in Captain Navy, 31g of a 100g skein
Needles: I already forgot
Started/Completed: June 2015/July 2015
Modifications: none