Monday, July 22, 2013

Echo Jungle Sidestream Socks

I just realized yesterday, that I never blogged about this pair of socks that I finished in the early spring.

They are basically the Cat Bordhi recipe that I used as my "vanilla" sock, a simple design, called Sidestream. This time, instead of the usual short row, reinforced heel, I tried the infamous "afterthought" heel.   (I blogged about that on April 2 in the post, "Thoughts on Afterthought Heels.")

I had mixed feelings about the afterthought heel, although my concern about it not being as comfortable as the heel I usually knit, was dispelled with the first wearing. 

The pooling on the upper part of the cuff doesn't bother me, because those cuffs are always covered.  The pooling occurred because I increased a needle size as I worked up the leg, rather than adding any stitches.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I Don't Have Any Purple Socks

I know the shawl I frogged and am now happily knitting on will become cumbersome soon and will cease to be a really portable project soon, so I swatched some Premier Serenity Sock yarn in a color called Lavender Topaz. My previous pair of socks which I mentioned in the post titled, Thoughts on Afterthought Heels, in April, was the weight sock yarn I customarily use, but this Serenity Sock is extra fine.  I made 2 swatches because I had to go down a needle size when I realized the fabric in the first swatch was a loose gauge and would probably not wear well. When I went down to 2.00 mm, US size 0 needles, the gauge was just right. 

(I see that I only blogged about the afterthought heels on the last pair of socks, but not the FO, so I will, in the near future.)

I have just begun the toes, but in my usual OCD way, I found the same part of the self-striping pattern in each ball of yarn and cast on each toe at the same place, so the stripes will be similar, if not, match.

Here's to the next pair of socks.  Lavender Topaz ones.

Kate's Shawl Recsue

A week or so ago, when all the baby projects, except a distant future Christening gown, were finally done, I began making a simple cape I've been admiring for about a year. It's called  Kate's Shawl. It's a reflection of the shawl in which Kate Middleton was photographed, some time after her engagement and before the wedding.

I'm not a Royal stalker but I like the shawl.  Actually, I like RedHeart's texture better than the orginal's subtle print.  (Granted, the original is probably cashmere.)

I cast on , created a swatch, in which I needed to go down several needle sizes to get gauge, and began the shawl.  (Gauge swatch below is an inaccurate rendering of the color.  I chose a tan that is called wheat, for its neutral shade. I can't imagine any color with which it will not be wearable.)

After about 30 rows, I examined my work.  (I began with a cast on of 5, at the smallest tip of the shawl.) It was so-so.  First, the fabric texture didn't look like the photo for the pattern AND the fabric texture on either side of the center increases wasn't the same.  The latter was more troubling that the former.

I looked at a few finished projects on Ravelry.  The shawls I saw, also had the mismatched fabric on either side.  I thought perhaps, when it's wrapped around, somehow, both sides will look the same due to different viewing angles, so I continued to knit the shawl.  The more I knit, the more it bothered me.   Gigi, on the  Knitmore Girls podcast once said, "If you don't like it after 10 inches, you aren't going to like it after  25 inches."  She's right, of course.  My problem was that I wanted that shawl in the pattern photo.

I took another look at Ravelry, and there, I found a knitter who made the modifications necessary to create the shawl as pictured, AND she included them in her project notes.  Thank you, Ravelry member lizacorrea!!!   I took a deep breath and frogged the entire thing. (I had knit one ball of yarn - around 250 yards.) I had been knitting it on and off for a few days.  It was miserable, but I knew I was doing the best thing.

lizacorrea realized that to keep the texture columns aligned, plain knit stitches had to cycle in and out of successive rounds, and she modified the location of the pattern stitch repeats between some variable plain knitting at the edges and at the centers. which did the trick.  I'd like to think that had I stilled my mind and had the time, I could have worked it out. Who knows?  I'm so appreciative that lizacorrea did the work and shared it with the knitters on Ravelry.  I PM-ed her my thanks.  

I only knit a few rows, but it looks just like the project photo.  Now, I'm enthused to finish, even though the ruffle edge is alleged to take forever.

The exposure on this one is a bit too gray.  It's a true tan color. (Am I the only one who sees a Manta Ray there?)

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