Saturday, January 11, 2014

This year, it looks like I'll pretty much be a Baby Surprise Jacket factory, as it seems EVERYBODY around me is spawning. Hurrah for 6-ply sock yarn and 4mm needles, say I...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An open letter to a skein of yarn

Dear skein of Austermann Duett, shade 51, which I have been unsuccessfully trying to turn into a pair of socks since sometime in 2010,

Where are you? I should like to turn you into a hat, in hopes of greater knitting-up success.

Best regards,
L. Masche

Friday, September 30, 2011

Socks and "obligatory" patterns

In the last few months I've managed to complete a few pairs of socks, about a few of which I'd like to write.

First off there are the Toirneach socks which I'd started last November, then put aside after about half an inch's worth of knitting, then picked up again in August. The yarn for them (some lovely BFL by Fyberspates) came from Dottycookie, who decided it wasn't her colour and kindly gave it to me as a present, and the needles were the result of a swap with a raveler living in Sweden. Many thanks again to both of you.

I've also finally managed to complete a pair of Jaywalkers, after various unsuccessful attempts. The yarn in this case is Regia World Ball in the Brazil colourway, knitted on 2.25mm needles with 84 stitches for the main pattern (see again the bit where I mentioned I knit VERY tightly). They're somewhat difficult to get on and off, but they fit nicely and snugly once they're on.

For the other "obligatory" pattern, I'm finally trying to make a BSJ, largely as a means of using up some of the acrylic that I bought early in my knitting career. (I am in the pro-acrylic-for-kids'-things camp.) No photo as yet; perhaps soon, once it's completed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Resurfacing yet again...

I appear to be somewhat neglectful of this blog, but I should remedy this. Since I last posted, I've been mostly knitting socks. Lots of them. Mostly they've been successful, with three quite spectacular failures (two pairs utterly, utterly too small for their recipient - serves me right for knitting to my own size and then just trying to add 2cm - and one nearly-finished pair misplaced on a train or something).

Through all these socks, I've discovered various things:

  • I knit *tightly*. My gauge with regular German sock yarn (the 75/25 420m/100g kind) is easily something like 10-11 spi, and, actually, I like it that way. Looser gauge doesn't feel quite right to me. Somewhat frustratingly, though, my tight gauge means more yarn consumption, so I'm frequently stuck with annoying amounts of remnant at the end of a 100g skein - not quite enough for a full second pair, sometimes not even enough for some fingerless gloves (in the case of larger sizes).
  • I have short, wide feet (which I knew), and a high instep (which I didn't). This leads to a pronounced preference for top-down socks with heel flaps, though I'll soon try out some instructions for toe-up socks with heel flaps, in the case of limited amounts of yarn. What I've found unfortunately *doesn't* really work for me is, despite its genius, the Fleegle Heel. It seems to eat a lot of yarn, and still makes a heel that's slightly too tight for my instep, alas.
  • Further to the subject of weirdly-shaped feet, I appear to be particularly evil to the backs of heels, so I am now very partial to Eye-of-Partridge heels. The extra reinforcement and cushioning are both very helpful, and keep my socks from wearing through stupidly quickly.

Recently, I attempted something vaguely approaching project-monogamy, when I hoped to get a scarf done in a particular timeframe for a friend of mine. That didn't *quite* work (I've finally been to the post office, though, and sent it off), but I was somewhat surprised by how quickly I managed to make progress by just picking up the same project every time rather than alternating. (However, where would be the fun in doing that on a permanent basis?)

In another departure from the usual, I've started my first shawl, a Multnomah in some very brightly-coloured and high-contrast merino from Drachenwolle. I've had the yarn for over a year, and have tried several different patterns with it, and have been harbouring a fair bit of yarn guilt over it, because I've just not found the right thing for it. Socks are not the right thing for this yarn, at least not as knitted by me, so I hope this shawl is the right thing.

Lastly, I received something lovely in the post today: some beautiful merino/silk, dyed by the marvellous Wollzupfer and handspun by someone we all know and love, who doesn't need to be namechecked here, but whom I think most readers will pretty much recognise instantly :-)

I think that's it for now. Pictures to follow of various finished objects, in the fullness of time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Warm Hands

I recently took part, through the Drachenwolle group on Ravelry, in the Warm Hands project to send socks and other knitted items to a community of Innu in northern Labrador. These are the socks I gave to my friend Katherine to drop off in Toronto; hopefully they'll arrive in time. I also sent off the socks below, which have already arrived. Hopefully they will come to good use, and will be enjoyed - here is the post describing the first load of socks that arrived from the DW group!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I knitted a cat - grisig the cat - and thought I'd try to start actually blogging on here again. Have some photos :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Whoops, no, I'm still here.

Still alive, still knitting, mostly socks. Have recently discovered this method of making two socks at a time, which pleases me because it guarantees them to be the same length, and prevents second sock syndrome quite effectively. Overall, progress feels rather slower than just knitting around with DPNs, but I wonder if that couldn't be remedied by using a needle with smoother joins between the needle and the cable.

I've also experimentally started a Grandmother's Favourite dishcloth, using cotton twine acquired at a corner shop, just to see how it knits up. It's quite stiff, but I think that may make it more useful for cleaning. I think I will make more, though possibly out of other cotton yarn.