Finally finished a couple of pairs of socks..

The purple pair were just finished - I kept getting distracted by other projects, but finally got there in the end :)

here be socks )

(no subject)

Strange benefits to having been a competitive baton twirler for a decade:

I needed a 32 inch cable for a magic loop project. I don't have them specifically noted in lengths (I probably should, but there are a lot of things I should probably do), so when eyeballing failed, I took the cable most likely to be 32 inches long, and held it from fingertip to armpit.

Success! It was just a hair longer than fingertip to armpit, which meant that it was 32 inches.

I used this method, as this is how you determine how long your baton needs to be. It has to match your armspan, otherwise it won't work correctly. My armspan is 31 inches long, which meant I was That Twirler. (95% of twirlers clock in with a 29 inch baton, which means if you're doing exchange work, a 31 inch baton throws everyone off. I had a secondary baton for exactly that reason and hated it with an undying passion.)

But yes. Strange benefits I hadn't been expecting, much less half a decade on since I finished twirling.

Short rows! Or, k-r has opinions.

So I am currently working on the Wonder Woman wrap ( that's been making the rounds. It's a solidly written pattern. I do freely admit that I am only partially using the pattern; making substitutions and changes is my prerogative and also something that I do on most projects because I can't work with fingering and thus have to make changes to almost any pattern.*

It's also fairly easy, relying on garter, M1, and kfb for most of the shaping. The points of the Ws are made by double decrease. However, it does use short rows. This is, apparently, a reason many people I know do not want to make it.

This is like my at least fifth short row project in a year. I really love short rows. I was, thus, exceptionally confused a couple months ago when someone at the knitting table said, "I don't do short rows. They're difficult and fiddly and I don't like them."

So I poked at them to explain this. And this is when I discovered that this person was under the assumption that there's only one technique for short rows. Guys, here is where I admit: every person I know who likes short rows has their own personal favorite technique. But most people who have met short rows and run away screaming have never said, "I hate this technique, but maybe I won't hate another technique." Mostly because there are like five different ways to do it, but since they evolved in different places, not everyone's heard of them. So, this is me, giving resources in case you want to knit the above project (or a different one) and you just really cannot bring yourself to like short rows.

I loathe wrap and turn with every fiber of my being. It doesn't work for me. It just doesn't. My first couple projects used the yarnover technique. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for all projects. So the first project I made that used wrap and turn I dropped in a heap and said, "NOPE" at very loudly. And then I got a book from the library and studied all the different options to try and figure out what might work for my brain.

And when I found one that worked for me, I hung out at the knitting table, checked my phone a couple dozen times to make sure I was doing it right, and clung to it like it was the best thing ever. Now, I use that particular technique any time there's a short row project I'm doing. It saves my sanity. (It also means I've never had to use safety pins in my work; there was a project where I may have, in frustration, snarled out the words who the hell thought that the Japanese short row technique was the fastest technique on the planet and or their favorite. However, there are people who do so, and this is fine. [When I am not being introduced to new and fun ways to torture my brain mid-project setup. I am not at my best mid-project setup.])

For me, German short rows are my very favorite thing. This is a good tutorial for them:

This is a good instruction for wrap and turn:

This is a free class by the author whose book saved my sanity:

And this is the book in question:

As an important note, for patterns like the Wonder Woman wrap, where they use w&t, you knit the stitch you're supposed to wrap, flip around to the other side, and do the german short row technique on that side.

So, what's your opinion on short rows? Or Wonder Woman? Or both? :)

*This is, I note, not a "I don't like fingering" but "I have two projects in fingering right now, and even on size five or six needles (let's not talk about the idiocy of the size 4 project), it still makes my poor, abused hands [thank you chronic illnesses] make me nauseated and need more pain meds." But some yarn is really pretty, so I do about three projects a year in fingering and the rest in medium, chunky, or bulky yarns.

Silly spiral scarf

Used up some yarn I made for a big frothy spiral scarf - had to cast off using some other yarn leftover from a previous project (but looks OK as there was already green in it)
scarf this way )

A scarf and some socks

Hello! Some finished objects to share, a scarf and some socks, both in springtime green colours

pretties behind the cut )

(no subject)

 I am currently looking to move my yarn from a series of random storage containers to something uniform. This is an option:

As is this:

Pegboard would probably be the absolute best bet, but I have no idea how to use Pegboard when you can't "damage" the walls.

What do you use? Any ideas or opinions?
glinda: wooden needles in two bright red/pink balls of wool (knitting)
[personal profile] glinda2017-02-12 04:47 pm
Entry tags:

Finished Objects of 2016

Last year, could best be described - from a knitting perspective - as the year of projects started and never finished. I spent most of the first 6 months of last year working on one project, an enjoyable but slow-moving fair isle, double-thickness - ie. knit in the round - scarf. Before getting distracted by other projects. Which is probably a good thing, otherwise I might never have actually got anything but that finished last year. The second half of the year was marked by me having a bad case of 'oooh shiny' and starting lots of different projects, most of which I never actually finished. I realised when I started making this post that I actually only finished 3 objects last year. Admittedly one of those was a large chunky cardigan, but that was actually a really satisfyingly quick knit that I made in about 6 weeks.

This year I've set myself the target of finishing five projects I'd already started. Some are big projects (like the fair isle double-thickness scarf) and others are small (like the socks where I'm half-way through the second sock of a pair, but have mislaid it somewhere in the house...). Some are relatively new (currently working on a cushion cover that I started over Xmas) and others have been sitting half knitted for considerably longer (there's that lovely lacey jumper that I started in 2008). So there's quite a variety of projects to pick from. I just need to resist the urge to cast on something new...

things I actually finished! )
pensnest: knitted sweater close up, caption: it's all in the details (Knitting details)
[personal profile] pensnest2017-01-18 09:32 pm

Sock knitters!

Do you block socks? If so, why? If not, why not?
pensnest: knitted sweater close up, caption: it's all in the details (Knitting details)
[personal profile] pensnest2016-12-26 10:49 pm

(no subject)

Several years ago I noticed a member of my knitting group was creating an infinity scarf which started in the centre and knitted round a moebius loop so that a 'row' was actually knitting on both top and bottom of the cast-on, and the scarf/cowl grew outwards from the middle.

I'd love to try this, but I'm no longer in touch with the person who made it, and I really have no idea how to search for the recipe on Ravelry.

Can anybody direct me to a pattern which works like this? It just sounds like such a fun way of knitting a figure-8 scarf.
medrin: matlab code with everything but 'hold on' blurred (Default)
[personal profile] medrin2016-05-04 01:45 pm

Need advice for deciding on my next project

My sister is going to have her first baby in August and I am planning to make something for it. I figure a baby blanket is a thing that would be useful? Also, unlike clothes the baby won't outgrow it in a week and a half... But I'm trying to decide on what KIND of blanket to make.

So now I'm asking you, especially those of you who have/have had babies. What kind of blanket did you find the most use of? Knitted or crocheted? Wool or cotton?

I figure since babies, it need to be washable/durable so then cotton is a good choice. For wool choices I'm looking at sock yarns. Since I don't want it to take forever to make and also not be super bulky I'm looking at using 3-4 mm needles.

The two ideas I keep coming back to is either to buy a large number of different single colour yarns and make something like this: Crocheed chevron blanket, probably in a cotton yarn (probably either this or this which my LYS has on stock so I could just go buy it today.

OR: To knit something inspired by ten stitch blanket but with two spirals with different colour-ways. The yarn I keep looking at for this pattern is this which is very shiny but necessitates ordering online.

Maybe I should do both? Will I have time to do both? I have no idea.
Entry tags:

Sweater gauge and drape question

Question about sweater pattern alteration here:

I tend to pick patterns to pieces and combine the bits I like. I'm planning to knit caramel, which is a top-down cardigan that's got a lot of positive ease and is very drape-y, using some Malabrigo rastita and DK/light worsted handspun that's a mix of silk and wool.

My main question is, aside from me having to do math, is there a structural problem with me knitting in a looser gauge than the pattern calls for?

The pattern calls for 22 sts / 4 inches, and I just feel that because the yarn I have is very woolen and floofy, at that gauge it will be Too Stiff. Also, because chronic pain + hot flashes all the time, light weight cardigans are really more my style anyway.

I know for socks and things a looser gauge means you're more likely to get holes, and obviously it will be cooler (which I want). But other than that, is there any reason not to do it? I also know that because I'm using a lot of single ply, there will be Pilling Issues, but I can deal.

I knit a swatch with a gauge of 18 sts / 4 inches and I really like the way the fabric looks and drapes and feels so if there is not a problem other than those listed above, I will probably just go with that.


(no subject)

There's a very interesting radio programme on the BBC at the moment about the history of Shetland knitting and those who are keeping the tradition alive:

It will remain available for another nineteen days, and you should be able to listen to it anywhere in the world without recourse to a VPN :)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett2015-09-24 04:34 pm
Entry tags:

Sunset/sunbeam lace pattern?

Hi folk!

I'm currently working on a couple of instances of Celestarium, and I'm getting to thinking about edgings. In particular, I'm sure someone must at some point have charted up a lace pattern for the classic sunbeams-spreading-out-from-setting-sun image-concept (you know, this sort of thing), but I've had a pretty thorough rummage through Ravelry and the closest I'm coming up with is this beaded pattern and a shawl that isn't quite right but could, in a pinch, be adapted.

I don't suppooooose any of you have any ideas? I'm reasonably comfortable adapting existing patterns but I'm a little low on brain at the moment so I'd rather not have to chart it up myself!

Thanks lots :-)

Taking up the needles again,

When my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knitted her chemo caps. I'd send her two caps a month. Deb was ill for nearly two years when she passed a year ago last May.

Since she died, I didn't feel like knitting. I'd say that knitting so much wrecked my hands and gave me Carpal Tunnel. (It's not a lie, I really did.) Just recently I've started knitting again. I'm practicing colorwork, and design. This evening I cast on a hat to knit in blue and white. It is the first time I've knit anything in over a year.

I guess my period of mourning is over, and I can enjoy knitting again without feeling the loss and sadness.

Anyone else go through something like this?
glinda: wooden needles in two bright red/pink balls of wool (knitting)
[personal profile] glinda2015-07-25 11:24 pm
Entry tags:

Thoughts on my stash...

I've been really good these last few years, keeping my stash steady, even managing to do a decent cull last summer. Looking at my Ravelry page, I can see that the vast majority of my knitting over 2013 and 2014 was made from wool I already had in my stash. Probably helped last year by the fact that the only knitting stuff I took with me when I was working away over the summer was a selection of yarn, patterns and equipment for projects I'd already started or was planning for a particular purpose. This year...not so much.

I started off well, I bought some Fine Tweed for some mitts for my gran (knitted them) and I bought enough Fusion for two cardigans (1 knitted, the other about 75% knitted) in the January sales. Then I picked up some more Fine Tweed for another pair of mitts that I'm going to make for my mum and a skein of Harris Tweed wool from the Dingwall Wool Fest. And I gained a ball of King Cole Riot that someone at my knitting bee was destashing. Oh and I bought a skein of beautiful hand-dyed sock wool at Xpo North (I want to learn to knit socks, I thought nice wool would motivate me to learn). Yeah. But altogether not an unsalvagable situation, I just need to not gain any more wool for the rest of the year. And then we had a yarn swap at knitting bee. Because I'd gone for the same trick for this sojourn away as last time, most of my stash (certainly everything I would happily get rid of) is still at my parents. I was sad that I couldn't contribute, but everyone else was delighted they had someone to offload pretty wool on to! The sock wool I can justify, I want to knit socks and the lady who donated the sock wool has committed to teaching me how ("I'd much rather teach you how to knit socks than knit the socks myself" she said...) the odd ball of Noro wool to see if I fall on the love it or hate it side of the line before I shell out for enough wool to make that skirt I've been thinking about makes sense too. The rest of it? Not so much. But hey, pretty pretty wool for free, what's to complain about?! *cuddles wool unrepentantly* Now I just have to find somewhere to store it...
new stash pic )
pensnest: knitted sweater close up, caption: it's all in the details (Knitting details)
[personal profile] pensnest2015-06-14 09:25 am

Shawl wanted!

I have a Zauberball that I cut in half because I thought I would make simultaneous socks with it, only to realise after about four inches of socks that it was not sock yarn. Woe.

What I'd like to do with this yarn is knit a more-or-less colour symmetrical shawl or shawlette (or possibly scarf?), and I think it needs to be knitted from one end rather than from the middle. Does anyone have any recs for end-to-end shawls? Or, for something else that would use the long colour changes of a Zauberball to happy effect?

ETA: Many thanks for the suggestions! I think I might go with the Lala shawl suggested by [personal profile] killing_rose, or possibly Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander. At any rate, I've had fun browsing through the projects.:-)
Entry tags:

Simple hat pattern recs? Getting back into the knitting groove


I haven't been able to knit much lately because of some nerve issues. They *knock wood* seem to be resolving, so I'm hoping to slowly reintroduce some knitting to my days. I have been working on the same shawl for ages and I need a break from its interminable rows of feather and fan, so I am planning to do some hats for winter charity knitting because they will be faster, easier to play with different designs, and gratifying. (Also like everyone I know already has a knitted hat from me already, so shelters it is!)

I have a stash of several colors of worsted weight yarn (both acrylic and wool) that I'm taking with me on a trip, but limited time to check Ravelry before I go. I also haven't been on for awhile so I have no idea what new patterns are trending right now or anything.

Any advice on (hopefully free) patterns that are easy to do in the car or with brain fog? I'm cool with single color with maybe a four-row pattern repeat or a simple two-color pattern design (maybe mosaic but also colorwork?). Also cool with tiny-people hat designs, though probably not doing any preemie hats because there's just too much cat hair around for me to do preemie hats.

I also have a really gorgeous couple of yarns that would work really well for a Fair Isle kind of pattern when I'm sitting in one place and have the spoons to do so.

tl;dr Not asking y'all to go research a bunch of patterns for me, but basically if you have any hat patterns that have been burning a hole in your Ravelry queue, I'd love to hear about them!
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
[personal profile] evilawyer2014-06-19 09:35 pm

Truly, this flashed through my mind.

I applied for a job with an organization in their senior center. My interview went well, and I was excited to see that one of the regular, well-attended programs was knitting and crocheting. Yarnwork with elders! Double Joy!

I got a call back asking if I would consider being considered for a better-paying job with more responsibility that's, frankly, right up my alley, but that would have me working at headquarters and not at the senior center.

The thought "What?! No knitting?! No crocheting?! What kind of bait-and-switch number is this?!" flashed through my mind.

x-posted to [community profile] crochet
moropus: kermit (Default)
[personal profile] moropus2014-04-13 09:15 am

garter stitch cloth strip rug as pillow case

I made a rug to put on my foot stool out of strips of torn cloth with huge needles.

Now a boy that visits me often says he will pay me silly amounts of money if I make him a pillow case just like it. Obviously, its hard and lumpy and you could not lay your head on it very long. I think it would put your eye out.

How do I find out what he really wants? I suspect he likes the look of garter stitch and I could just make him one for his birthday in a soft yarn that you could actually lay your face on.

Nobody could actually sleep on a rug knitted out of torn cloth strips, could they?

I'm very puzzled here.
firestar: (Default)
[personal profile] firestar2014-04-06 12:02 pm
Entry tags:

Not strictly knitting per se but it does involve yarn. >.>

But I'm looking to get into weaving with pre-spun yarn and I'm wondering if I would be working with 4ply, DK or finer yarns like 2ply, if anyone here can help me out with that.