March 31, 2018

Similar But Different

Every year since I can't remember when, I have knit JB and the girls a new pair of socks for Christmas.  Historically, they are the first things I knit each year - because I like knowing they are done.  

Sometime last Summer, Wendy at Lancaster Yarn Shop {which is also my LYS} got a pretty new color of Crazy Zauberball Malerwinkel and thought - wouldn't it be fun to make the girls socks out of the same yarn?  

So, I bought 2 balls, 1 ball is enough for a pair of socks, and then promptly put it away.  The one rule to #christmassocksforall is that they have to be knit in the year they are gifted.  

At some point between purchasing the yarn and starting knitting, Wendy and I had a conversation about knitting socks with zauberball and she mentioned a striped pair she had made.  Well, that planted a seed, but in 2018 I'm not spending my money on silly little things like patterns - not when I know how to knit a pair of socks AND have stitch dictionaries on my shelves.  

So - first things first - I caked my 2 matching dye lot balls of Malerwinkel into pretty yarn cakes.  Next, I pulled out the stitch dictionaries because there is absolutely nothing that will bore me faster than a plain stockinette sock, except maybe 1x1 rib.  UGH.  

Because I was using both yarn cakes on each sock, I didn't want to knit 2 at a time, but I still did them on my circular needles, and toe up.  To keep the stripes uninterrupted and balance out the yarn cake usage, I used cake A for the toe, heel, and ribbing of socks 1 & 3 and cake B in the same places on socks 2 & 4.  

With lots of numbers in my head, I grabbed US1 {2.25mm} circular needles and got started.  I started with a 72 stitch sock and worked 2 repeats of the stitch pattern on either side of the foot.  Put the heels on waste yarn, worked up the leg, then did 3 repeats of the pattern all around for a cuff.  Finished with a tiny, tiny bit of ribbing and bound off.  Quickly knit an afterthought heel and sock 1 was done in 3 days!  There are very, very detailed notes on my ravelry project page so that I could repeat for sock 2.  

First Pair Done!
I forgot how quick it is to knit single socks.  It took me about 3 days per sock to knit these.  Back in my bus commute days it would take 2 weeks to knit a pair of socks.  I'm also happy to report that these socks are the same size - there were no gauge changes between sock 1 and 2.  

Second Pair - Similar, but Different
With the first pair complete it was time to start the second.  I knew that a 72 stitch sock would be too big, so this time I only did a 60 stitch sock.  I tried something new when starting the second pair.  There is a technique I learned from knitting top down socks where the decreases go all around the toe.  I wanted to try recreating that from the top up and it worked!  
It Worked!
This time, I worked the ribbed lace up the entirety of the leg as well as along the edges of the foot.  
Side By Side
Pile of Socks
With the leftover malerwinkel I've been knitting "similar but different" socks Eleanor.  Sadly there is a gauge issue between her first and second sock, but I don't care - she's a baby and won't wear them for long - that is if they aren't lost first ;)

It feels good to have these done and in the Christmas Box reading for gifting already.  

December 26, 2017

Fall Back

The Halloween shirt (seen on Instagram) was the first of the 10 bowling style shirts that I made JB.  Since I haven't been sewing a bunch for myself lately - I cannot promise you that I won't drag all 10 shirts out into posts of their own.  

Along the lines of  "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" I'm still using McCalls 4399 - it is long since out of print, but M6972 would work or M7206 if you wanted to do some print mixing - in fact, I might need to add this pattern to my stash during the next sale.  

We had friends vising from Seattle and I asked them to take his shirt photos.  There were 2 reasons behind this - 1.  JB thinks one photo from each angle is enough - figure out how to make it work and 2 - he always changes into his outside working clothes while I'm still working.  

Back view - you can see there is plenty of room here to go around his slim hips.  I feel like the sleeves are a wee bit too long - but he says their fine.  I might put a deeper hem in the next batch I sew up.  

Apparently - Anna was making him laugh.  While JB's first comment when he saw this shirt was - it's bright, it's got quite a bit of kitchen time this Fall.  Guests always comment on how seasonally appropriate his shirt is and then there's Snoopy.  I mean, who doesn't love Snoopy?  

Just look at that pattern matching - across the pocket and the button placket - WIN!!

December 19, 2017

Ursula - the First

I am a knitter as well as a person who sews her own clothes.  In this grand cross country, life changing move, I am very blessed to have found an incredible LYS.  The Lancaster Yarn Shop is everything I could want in a shop - the owner is knowledgeable, friendly, and incredibly helpful - not only in the realm of knitting.  She often tells JB & I about things to do, places that have to be seen along with sharing great produce stands and restaurants.  

In January of this year, I signed up for her 4 week class to knit Ursula by Kate Davies.  This had several items on my knitting bucket list that I wanted to try - stranded colorwork and steeking.  Steeking is scary stuff, my friends, scary stuff!  I bought all the yarn to make a darker colored version of this sweater and then I fell in love with a stranded colorwork hat in the shop and had to have a sweater in those colors.  If you look closely you'll see my hair matches the colors in the sweater.  

I learned a lot of things making this sweater.  First - swatch, swatch, swatch and then try on.  Multiple times.  Because even though you've got gauge with your swatch, you might relax as you carry on.  

While I like this sweater a lot, I'm not sure I love it.  On me, to me - it feels a bit frumpy.  I know it doesnt look that way to others (or else the knit night ladies are all just being kind). It could also be how I styled it.  We had been at an industry conference and I was over it by the time I wore this outfit.  We had also spent 2 hours in the car coming home. 

It looks good from the back.  

In the future, I would add the ribbon to the button bands, but I would not actually add buttons.  I would use snaps - possibly magnetic ones.  This sweater will get worn - just not as much as I had hoped after all the work that went into it.  

I have enough yarn left over to make Eleanor a similar, but different sweater.  AND I still have enough yarn to make another version of this sweater.  
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