Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crusoe socks

Just a quick post about a pair of socks that I have finished
I had some rainbow sock yarn that was purchased in the summer, and I needed a pattern that would do those colours justice.  I remembered that I had sock pattern designed for this - Crusoe Socks.  I looked over the pattern, it called for KPPPM with a cast on of 44 stitches.  I read again, and a second time.  There is no way I am knitting a sock on 44 sts with sock yarn and a) have it fit an adult foot and b) not have so loose a gauge that it wears out quickly.  I decided to size up to 56 sts.  I used the not so scientific method  of "sounds like a good number".

I didn't try the socks on or measure them in any way.  I knit on.
When I was getting near the toes - I tried them on.  Could barely get them past my ankle, and seeing as the intended recipient has larger feet than me this was not going to work.  Surgery was performed above the heel flap, the stitches were picked up and then 4 was added - and the cuff was re knit at 60 sts. 

Lessons learn - if you pick numbers out of the air - check the fit with a foot or tape measure.

Final info
Yarn: Shelridge Farms Handpaint
Needles : 2.25 mm
Cuff: 60 sts, foot 56 sts
Pattern: Crusoe socks

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pooling and a method to fix it

Some people like how multicoloured yarn pools (or stacks), other people detest it and avoid yarns that would tend to do this. I am in the middle - a little bit of pooling on a garment is fine but when it gets too much it drives me crazy.

So when I started the MinO jacket and had knit a couple of inches, I noticed the pooling and decided that I would do something to minimize this. The most common method (and one that Fleece Artist recommends on other patterns of theirs) is to knit from two balls (or opposite ends of the same ball) at once. Knit one row, slide stitches to other end knit a second row with the second ball, turn and purl two rows back. Requires swing needles or circulars.

I decided to utilize this method, I joined the second ball, and knit away. However I didn't pay attention to where I joined the second end. Unfortunately, I had lined up the colours, so I continued to get pooling. I denied the problem figuring that since the colours should be coming in opposite order it would fix it self. I knit on. It soon became apparent that it wasn't going to resolve itself. I didn't want to rip out what I had already knitted.
  1. I had two yarns attached to the sweater
  2. I didn't want to cut the yarn but I wanted to alter how the yarns were placed
  3. I thought of intarsia and fixed the problem

What I did:
Green and blue represent the different yarns and the arrows is the direction of knitting.
  1. Knit all the way across the sweater in yarn A
  2. Knit across until there was about 20 stitches left with B
  3. Slipped those 20 stitches to the other needle
  4. Purl with A, 20 stitches
  5. Twist A and B together and knit with A to end
  6. Slip first 20 stitches to left needle
  7. Purl with B back to beginning
  8. Purl entire length of sweater with A
  9. Knit as normal

A couple of further thoughts on this method:
  1. It is a secondary method - you have to have two balls of yarn on the go (unless you join a second just for this)
  2. There is nothing magic about 20 stitches. You don't want 1/2 of stitches and you do have to slide the stitches twice. With this sweater I wouldn't go less than 20 stitches, but sliding 30 or 40 would have worked as well. My cast on was 140 sts, YMMV.
  3. You have no extra ends to weave in
  4. If pooling develops again, you can repeat this process
I was happy with how this technique stopped the pooling in the sweater, and wished I had figured it out sooner. The red arrow shows where I did the maneuvering.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I was going to write a post about the new sweater I am knitting for NB - MinO- which I have been loving. However, last night as I was working on another project I ran into a problem. So my dear readers you get some of my musings.
First the players:
The Yarn : Louet Gems Sport. 2 skeins of 100g/225 yrds merino, ball band gauge 22-24 sts/4"
The Intended: Christmas present for my SIL
Some background
  1. When I first bought the yarn I was thinking socks
  2. The yarn has been wound in balls for awhile now, since I was always going to cast on for socks with it
  3. My SIL saw the yarn and remarked how lovely the colour is, (I love colour as well)
  4. I cruised Ravelry and decided on Embossed Leaves - people have knit these socks with this yarn
  5. I don't know how the above was accomplished. I need size 2.0 mm(US 0) to get gauge and that hurts my hands. With a 16 st repeat I can't cut out a pattern repeat.
The delimina
  1. The yarn now is saying scarf/shawl to me - do I listen?
  2. Will the recipient wear the red scarf/shawllette? I know she would have worn the socks
  3. Do I knit her socks out of another yarn?
  4. Do I want to knit another red scarf after I just finished Sugared Pompa?
The ideas - feel free to toss others out there (all are Rav links)
  1. Boneyard shawl
  2. Red Skies at Night
  3. Drop Stitch Scarf
  4. Flower Basket Shawl
  5. Herbivore