Thursday, February 28, 2008

FO: Fingerless Fishtail Mitts

GREAT pattern from Knitting Pattern-a-Day: 2008 Day-to-Day Calendar.

Used US 6 / 4.0 mm Clover bamboo DPNs. In the "American Beauty" colorway of worsted Malabrigo. Or should I say MMmmmmmmalabrigo?

I ended up with 9 pattern repeats total. 4 before the thumbhole, 1 for the thumbhole, and 4 after the thumbhole. I saw some fingerless mitts my cousin-in-law knit based on the Koolhaas hat stitch pattern that nearly covered her fingers and that got my head thinking about needing fingerless mitts with a bit more coverage than my fetching mitts.

Fishtail Fingerless Mitts

Friday, February 22, 2008

FO: PIE blanket

Just finished this up and turned it over yesterday. I knit this as a donation to my company's United Way Auction. Basically, I donated a "hand knit item of your choice". The person that bid on and won my item got to decide what type of item they wanted, with some input from me as to suitable yarn choices/exact patterns. This is for his sister-in-law, who is expecting a baby in March.

Here's the original pattern:

I knit it on US 10.5 circular needles (knit picks nickel plated options) using ALMOST 5 hanks of knit picks bare superwash merino.

Because I'm a geek like that, I calculated how long it took me to do a row and then multiplied out from there to get an approximation of the time spent knitting... 26 hours.

Here's a closeup of the stitch pattern.

PIE baby blanket

Saturday, February 9, 2008

FO: Soaker Sack for Angel

And here's my most recent finished object... a soaker sack (think cloth diaper cover meets newborn gown) as a baby present for Angel's baby girl to be.

knit soaker sack aran BFL

I started it as a crocheted soaker sack using Patti Gonsalves' pattern. Realized about 3/4 through that I would run out of yarn. So I frogged the whole thing and cast on to knit it instead. I combined the waistband from the Curly Purly soaker pattern and then winged the rest of it. Came out pretty well and it's already in Angel's hands. The yarn is handdyed by Jessica of Baby Black Sheep.

WIP: A's killer bees sock

And here's a picture of sock#1 of the pair - prior to my first "too tight" bind off attempt.

killer bees yarn pirate toe up sock

I am happy to report that I was able to tink (un-knit, "knit" spelled backwards) the tight bind off and bound off using the combo of rivki and miri's advice. And the sock fits. It has been washed and is currently drying.

I am using the Seeded Ribbing pattern stitch from Charlene Schurch's book, More Sensational Knitted Socks. I seriously love this book. I have made the majority of the handknit socks I've done from this book. Using US1 (2.25mm) Harmony 32" fixed circular needle from Knit Picks, magic looping. Getting 9 stitches per inch, cast on 56. A's foot is 6" long and 5.75" circumference. Long and skinny like daddy's feet. Grandma S calls them "expensive feet" and I agree.

Friday, February 8, 2008

TIP: Very.Stretchy.BindOff

I did my first toe-up sock (for my preschooler, A) and bound off using a traditional bind off in what I thought was a loose manner. I mean, I knit the sock on a US1 (2.25mm) needle, so binding off with a US3 would be nice and stretchy, right? Wrong. Wouldn't go on over her heel. Very disappointed little girl.

So, as any good sock knitter would do, I consulted the ladies in the SKA. That's Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry. I thought I would compile the responses I received and share them with you.

pgprcrst8n: "look for EZ’s sewn bind off. It’s what I use for my toe-ups. Works great."

rivki: "Knit your first stitch. Knit your second stitch. * You have two stitches on your right needle. Slip the second stitch back to the left needle. Slip the first stitch back to the left needle. Knit both stitches together through the back loop. You’ll have one stitch on your right hand needle. Knit your next stitch. * Repeat the steps between the astericks around the cuff."

Miri: "I speed up the k2togtbl [that rivki describes] by not bothering to slip stitches back to the left hand needle. With stitches on the right, just slip the point of the left needle into the fronts of those stitches (now it looks just the same as if you’s slid the right needle into the backs of 2 stitches on the left) and knit them."

MomofTwins: "I have 2 favorites. 1) A Hemmed cuff. Looks fabulous, adding a professtional touch to the sock. And is quite comfortable. Although will mean a bit more knitting. and 2) a Tubular Bind off. It too looks quite nice. It is a “mantra” bind off like the Kitchener stitch (knit/purl/purl/knit). But is nice and sproingy (if you don’t pull too hard) and looks good too. I hope this is helpful. Here are some links: Tubular Bind off instructions

willknit4food: "I love Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Stretchy Sewn Bind off. It is easy as pie and wonderful! Copied from Weebleknits blog:

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Sewn Cast off from Knitting Without Tears

Break yarn, leaving a tail about 4 times as long as the circumference of the sock. Thread a tapestry needle.

  • sew forward (right to left) through two stitches as if to purl, leave the stitches on. Sew backward (left to right) through one stitch as if to knit and remove the stitch. Repeat from * until you run out of stitches. Work in tail on the inside of the sock and trim any excess.

Denise’s variation for circular knitting (from For the very first stitch only, after you go backwards through it, do not remove it, instead move it to be the last stitch on the final needle. It will then become the final stitch to be cast off. This gives a neater finish to the end of the round."

purplemelly: Definitely EZs sewn bind off. There’s a great article on Knitty of different bind offs and it has this one. Linky It’s the last technique on the page.

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