Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lovely Lace Socks

The lovely Embossed Leaves Socks are done. I have been wanting to knit up these socks ever since I first laid eyes on them. But first I had to find the perfect yarn...

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks
Source: Favorite Socks, by Interweave Press
Designer: Mona Schmidt (Her website can be found here.)
Yarn: Oceanwind Knits Hand-dyed Sock Merino, Thyme (I also considered the Sweetgrass colourway) - I believe the perfect yarn for this design
Needles: 3.25 mm (3 US)
Tension: 28 st / 10 cm (4 in)

I love the detail of the star toe that seems to complete the leaves.
The pattern (as printed) has two problems. First is the 1x1 rib cast on - I didn't like it and I found out that the designer hadn't done this cast on either. She had intended the tubular cast on. She even posted a Tubular Cast On tutorial on her blog. My cuff (above) is cast on in this method - I love it!

The other problem is where the heel gusset begins. The directions ask you to (gasp) cut the yarn. This is not needed. I just picked up one side of the heel flap (becomes needle 2 I think), continued with the lace pattern on needle 3 & 4, and then picked up the other side of the heel flap (needle 1). This works beautifully and I didn't cut the yarn!

Then I got carried away and continued all of the lace repeats for the foot. After finishing (weaving in ends and blocking) I realized that these socks were too long for the intended recipient. It took me a day before I could face frogging and re-knitting and re-blocking. But now they are perfect (if I do say so myself) and ready to be popped in the mail.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Garter Stitch Baby

My first Baby Surprise Jacket. appropriately knit for a friend's first child.

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket, from The Opinionated Knitter

(I used the pattern along with Dawn Adcock's notes.)

Designer: Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK 063 Taffeta (light), 066 Myrtle (medium), 067 Sloe Berry (dark) - one ball each.

Needles: 4.0 mm (6 US)

Tension: 22 stitches per 10 cm (4")

This jacket is so famous I felt I HAD to knit one. Now that I have knit one I can see what all the fuss is about - it is so much fun to make. It goes from this amorphous shape to a lovely jacket with only two shoulder seams. EZ instructions were a challenge (but as you can see I got help from Dawn Adcock). Rather than just diving in to this project it was important for me to read and try to understand EZ's pattern. But once I started to understand the sweater was done before I knew it.

The choice of Sublime Extra Fine Merino was wonderful. I love the stitch definition and luxurious softness of the yarn.

I also made my first custom label (with the help of Grumerina, a.k.a. Kathy Veeza). Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

I complemented this pattern with Saartje's Bootees.

These lovelies knit up very quickly with what I had left over from the Baby Surprise Jacket. They are so cute!

And after all is said and done, here is what I have left over!

Note: My last post was November 17, 2007! I am still recovering from my computer crash and have rebuilt my system. Now I just have to put it all in the new chassis and, at last, recover the files from my previous hard drive. Well, I am back and it won't be so long again before I make another post.