Winter Knitting

Here are photos of what’s come off my knitting needles since finishing the Christmas knitting projects.

Faux möbius cowl knit with Misti alpaca chunky handpaint.

Churchmouse cashmere beret pattern knit with Louisa Harding silk and wool “Grace.”

“Simple Summer Tweed” sweater by Heidi Kirrmeier knit in Cestari Heather Collection cotton and wool blend.

That leaves me with only a scarf, a shawlette, and the endless lace project still in progress. Not to worry – I have my next sweater, a pair of socks, and another shawl already picked out and ready to start.


Christmas Knitting

My knitting fever continues unabated, so it was a knitted Christmas this year. All recipients now have their presents, so I can post photos of what’s come off my needles.

This scarf is knit with Interlacements hand-dyed ribbon, and Crystal Palace Waikiki left over from my weaving days. The pattern is “Misti Chunky Ribs and Ruffles,” by Nancy Kleiber, without the ruffles.

Here’s “Misti Ribs and Ruffles” again, this time out of Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky.

I read every easy mitten pattern I could download for free on Ravelry to understand basic mitten construction, and then made a pattern up out of the many I had read, while I was knitting these mittens. The yarn is hand-dyed super wash merino fingering from The Fibre Studio.

Another pair of made-up mittens, this time out of Berroco Borealis.

And here’s what I knit for me:

The pattern is “Sundry” and is available on Ravelry. It’s knit with two colors of hand-dyed Araucania Huasco.

There’s a new sweater on my knitting needles, and a shawl, a hat, and more socks waiting for a vacancy to open up in the knitting basket. The lace shawl I started in August remains a work-in-progress, but I finished the body of it today. Now there’s just two knitted-on borders to complete. All I have to do is learn what a “knitted on border” is, and how to do one!

More Socks, And a Mystery Knit-Along

The knitting obsession continues unabated. I thought it might ease a bit when I finished my sweater, but no, I am still knitting at every free moment.  For the last two weeks, my hands have held knitting needles much more often than they have held harp strings.  And I realized earlier this week that I like knitting nearly as much as I like playing the harp.

I just finished my first socks knit with needles, instead of knit on the sock loom. I used the same Patons Kroy sock yarn that I used with the loomed socks, yet these are much thicker and bulkier for having been knit traditionally.

First Needle-knit Socks
First Needle-knit Socks

This sock pattern creates the heel by knitting a heel flap, which I think is too bulky,  plus it disrupts the stripes. I like the short-row, traditional looking heel created on the sock loom much better. I found instructions for creating this short-row heel using knitting needles, which I’ll try on these babies:

The Latest Socks
The Latest Socks

In this photo the ribbed cuff is finished, and I’ve just started the leg.

I am trying something new to avoid the “second sock syndrome.” Instead of completing the first sock and then starting the second one, I am knitting them simultaneously, but on two separate circular needles. I will finish the ribbing and the start of the leg on sock #2 before continuing to work on the sock in the photo. Though I know the theory of how it’s done, I am not ready to tackle knitting two socks on one circular needle.

My newest and most challenging project is participating in the “mystery knit-along” being coordinated by my LYS (that’s knit-speak for local yarn shop,) The Fibre Studio. I am knitting a lace shawl with yarn from The Unique Sheep. This yarn company specializes in “gradient dyeing” that creates colors that subtly blend from one shade to another. They then work with designers to create shawl patterns that will showcase their beautiful yarns. My colorway is “Deep Waters” and moves through aquas to a deep ocean blue:

Deep Waters
Deep Waters

The shawl pattern is named Watership Down, after the novel, but since this is a “mystery knit-along” I have no idea what it will look like.  Every Friday the next set of instructions, or clues, magically appears in my email. Here’s what my shawl looked like half-way through the first clue:

Watership Down Shawl
Watership Down Shawl

A weaving teacher from long ago told me, “Yarn will teach you how to work with it, if you will let it.” Knitting with yarn that is skinnier than dental floss is a test of my patience and perseverance, but I am slowly learning what this yarn wants from me. I can’t chat, or watch television, or listen to music. I have to slow way down, watch my needles as I loop each stitch, and count the number of stitches in each section before I move on. I have to relax the tension in my hands and fingers with every stitch, and let the yarn slide into place on the right-hand needle.  I have to quiet my monkey-mind chatter and focus on the stitch I am making at each moment. For the yarn and I to work together, there can be no past or future, no thoughts or concerns distracting me from the stitch in front of me.

Last night, when I was too wound up to sleep, I didn’t get the sock project out of my knitting bag. Instead, I reached for the shawl. Concentrating on each stitch quieted my mind. This single-pointed attention eliminated all worries. For the first time, my shawl wasn’t a struggle or a challenge. It was knitting meditation.

The Fibre Studio displays a stack of lace shawls knitted by customers. I’d wondered what the draw was to knitting lace, and why someone would start a new shawl before the one they just completed was off the blocking board. After finding peace in creating patterns of lacy stitches, I think I know.

Sweater Pattern and Yarn Information

I forgot to write pattern information for my sweater in last night’s post, and several people want to know what it is.

This is the “Amiga” sweater from the spring+summer 2011 issue of Knitty. You can download the sweater pattern for free by clicking on this link to the Knitty Pattern Library.

The yarn is “Rick Rack” from Interlacements, in their “Forest Floor” colorway. It is hand-dyed 100% rayon. The yarn requires hand washing or dry cleaning. One 16 oz. skein has 1200 yards. I used slightly less than one skein for my sweater.

My First Sweater

I finished my first sweater, and here it is!



The yarn is 100% rayon “Rickrack” by Interlacements. The yarn knits up beautifully, without any big, blotchy pooling of colors.

I am very pleased with how the sweater turned out. The colors remind me of Ireland. Now I just have to wait for the weather to cool off so I can wear it. Meanwhile, I ordered yarn for the next sweater, a V-neck pullover. I think I am definitely hooked on knitting.

More New Socks

I made myself finish the second of the latest pair of socks before I would start my sweater. (I swore that knitting WILL NOT turn into yet another collection of unfinished projects!)

These are knit on the sock loom in a basketweave pattern out of Lang “Mille Colori” Socks and Lace superwash yarn. I doubt that I will use this brand of sock yarn again. I love the color, but there were so many slubs and very thin places that I am concerned about how the socks will wear.  DSC01381

I named them “Whovian” socks as they remind me of the multicolored knitted scarf that the Tom Baker Dr. Who always wore.


Latest Socks

I just finished the latest pair of socks today. They are knit from a luscious variegated washable wool and nylon sock yarn from a German yarn company (Austermann) using a basket weave pattern for the legs. This yarn contains aloe vera and jojoba oil which makes it soft and delightful to work with.


I knit the next pair for a Christmas present. They are now warming Beth’s feet so I can finally post a picture. I used Patons Kroy Socks jacquards yarn, and knit them in plain flat stitch. The jacquard yarn does all the work to make the patterns.


I like the basket weave pattern so much that I already have a new sock on the loom to make another pair.