Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stuck in Squares-ville

Not until I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures of my current knitting projects did I realize that everything I'm working on is square.

First, I pulled out Mitered Thing after Laurie sent me more sock yarn leftovers. Thanks again, Laurie, I always appreciate the kindness of knitting friends.
Mitered Thing take two

Since the time I first blogged about my "affair with mitered squares" I've received many questions about my method. I'll briefly describe how I make my garter stitch mitered squares. Hope it doesn't confuse more than it explains.

Cast-on an uneven number of stitches.
Do not slip first stitch on a row.
Knit half the number of stitches minus 3 (example: cast on 13 stitches, half minus 3 would be 5)
Here's the decrease you work on the right side only. Slip 1, K2tog, pull slipped stitch over K2tog
Knit wrong side row with no decrease.
Repeat these two rows until you have one stitch left.
Now pick up half the number of your cast on stitches down the side of the square and either cast on the other half plus one of the stitches or pick up along the edge of the square that is one down and over from the last completed square. Picking up one stitch for each garter ridge and one in the very center usually gives me the right count. (hope you understand that picking-up stitches part - I'm sure there's a better way to word it.)

Second, the Shop received a shipment of Trendsetter Yarns Tonalita, a long color change yarn that is great for Entrelac. I'm knitting a sample for an Entrelac class I'll be teaching.
Entrelac Store Sample

This is color 2345; blues, purple, pink, turquoise, teal and jade.
entrelac closeup
(photo is true to color on my monitor.)

Third: I was exploring on Ravelry and was searching everything made with Noro yarn when I found Quant on Knitty, an entrelac headband.
Quant Headband

Quant Tie and SetUp Row

By chance, I had a single skein of Silk Garden, sorry I can't find the ballband to tell you the color.
I'm going to have to hunt further because I really do like these rosy colors.
Noro Silk Garden Entrelac Closeup

Any other square projects I missed? Can you tell I have a strong quilting background to be so enamored of everything square?

Taking pictures isn't as easy around here as you might think. My helper Sam one second after I took the first picture of Mitered Thing.
one second later

He's cute but a little too curious!
Sams eyes 1

Not Cecile Brunner Rose

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zombie Socks - Round 1 of Sock Madness 2

The Zombie Socks are done!

Zombie Socks Sock Madness 2

Sock Madness 2 sent out it's first pattern last Thursday. Yes, I signed up to participate in this years speed sock knitting contest - me, one of the original turtle brigade. Last year I was eliminated in Round 1; this year, with divisions rather than open eliminations I qualified to go on to Round 2. (my standing? 23rd out of 40 in the Baylor Ball Band Division)

I'm not sure who made the pattern (one place says "Emm l e" and another says "Sheryl Ball") but either way this is a good pattern.

Stitch Close-up

It's a ribbed fabric with undulating dropped stitches which give you a very stretchy sock. I wish I had chosen a different yarn; I used Jitterbug by Colinette, color Toscano 55, a wonderful yarn even with the stingy yardage. The pattern called for 8 SPI; I got 7.5 SPI with size one needles. Normally I'd drop down to a size 0 needle but the yarn, being closer to a DK weight, just didn't like being knit on such a small needle - so I have a loose sock. I plan to knit this pattern again with a fingering weight sock possibly with fewer stitches.

Zombie Toe

Those yellow toes?? Just ran out of yarn and searching my stash came up with this yarn that I dyed myself. It's a very golden yellow with touches of green - I have no idea what I was thinking when I dyed it but it matched the yellow in the Jitterbug perfectly.

colors Jitterbug with hand-dyed

This pattern had garter stitch edges on the heel flap - a first for me which I know I'll be adding to future socks.

Zombie Socks - heel with garter edge

Making it to Round 2 was my goal, so I'm happy. I know I'm no speed knitter but I like the challenge and there's the reward of receiving the patterns for all the Rounds no matter when you're eliminated.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

New Toy - Lucet

My Lucet came in the mail this week.

Dave of "The-Blog-That-Shall-Remain-Nameless-and-Linkless" has frequently shown cords made on his Lucet. Then he posted a link to a YouTube Lucet Demo and I was intrigued.
YouTube Link Here

I found Margaret of The Rogue Lucette and ordered a beautiful cherry wood Lucet. Took me about an hour before my cords smoothed out - it's all about the tension you keep the working thread under. Now I plan on making some pullcord bags for small knitting projects. (Help me used up some of my quilting fabric stash!) Dave suggests that these cords are a great use of left over sockyarn - I've lots and lots of leftovers that I couldn't bare to trash.

One funny/odd/eerie thing - when I pulled the Lucet box out of my mailbox, the address label looked like I had printed it (except for her twos - that's the only difference.) I ask Margaret about it and turns out we both attended Catholic School at the time we were being taught our letters and numbers - except she was in Ohio and I was in Southern California. How's that for a coincidence?

Not much knitting to show this week. I did rip out the I-cord on the Mason-Dixon Baby Kimono and took Wendy's suggestion to use fewer stitches. Going from four stitches down to three did make a difference in the bulk. That K2tog with worsted weight dishcloth cotton takes some strength so I can only do a couple inches at a time.

I did find out that you can not notice you have a head cold while you have a migraine; something I would rather not have ever learned.

Are you watching the photos coming from the Iditarod - The Last Great Race? The human participants all look the same, male or female; when you're wearing that much clothing who can tell? I watch for the DOGS! The DOGS are the stars as far as I'm concerned!