Knit Meter

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Not in the Stash Mittens

So, I finished requested bed socks but still had some yarn left over. (Each sock used just over 1/2 ball of Alpaca.) And this is the problem with my stash it is mostly left overs. To avoid adding to my stash, I immediately cast on for a pair of mittens and because I'm nice and it was really his yarn, I made mittens for the spousal unit.

Working from the top down, I made a thumb and then the main part of the mitten. I ran out of yarn just as I was finishing the thumb shaping, so a bit of black yarn (from the stash of course) doubled and hey presto! I had a cuff that looks like it was meant to be.

This time the gods were smiling on me. When I knitted the second mitten, there was much more yarn left over than when I had finished the mitten. Lucky me that I didn't use that ball first, otherwise I would have changed the thumb shaping and then been buggered when it came to the other mitten and didn't have enough yarn.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Matrimonial Harmony Socks

The spousal unit asked me to knit him some socks that he could wear in bed when his feet are cold. He wanted them, thicker, looser and shorter than normal socks. I searched for patterns but didn't see anything I liked until the light bulb went off and I realised that I could just use a generic sock pattern.

I took him to Michael's when they had their yarn sale, picked up some different yarns and told him to pick and told him not to choose the cheapest but the one that felt the nicest. He chose Bernat Alpaca, which is 30% alpaca, 70% nylon, in a dark grey.

I used a generic toe-up sock pattern, adding a 3 x 1 rib on the instep for a bit of stretch. I started with needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended but this produced a stiff material, so I went down just one size to produce a firm but still soft material. After the short row heel I changed to 3 x 1 rib all around for the cuff. When the cuff was the correct length I worked one round of all purl stitches, changed to a size larger needle, and 1 x 3 rib for the turn back of the cuff. This produced a nice turn over for the cuff.

Excuse the poor quality of the photos but my camera has stopped working so I am having to use something more basic.

You can see from the next photo what a difference the bigger needle makes to the size of the cuff.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Holiday Knitting

I've called this holiday knitting because it covers two holidays - Summer and Christmas.

At the Stampede in July I bought 3 skeins of Alpaca as it was a good price for three rather than buying individual skeins. I decided a pair of gloves was the right project for these and if I made them while away in the summer they would be ready for the winter.

Good idea so far. except, instead of making a standard glove I decided that it would be fun to work from the top down. That means I work each finger and thumb individually and then work them into the glove at the right point.

Now I know why there aren't any commercial patterns for this method. It was very fiddly plus I didn't find any advantage in being able to adjust the length of each finger. In fact it was harder as there wasn't the hand of the glove in the right position. I finished one and promptly didn't like it. A combination of the gauge and the size. Although I had tested gauge before I left, this was too loose plus I didn't like the fit of the glove. I don't have very big hands and the glove seemed too big.

So it languished in its bag until the weather got really cold and I thought another pair of gloves would be useful. So over Christmas break I made a pair of gloves the conventional way. Yes, a pair, as I made both of them this time. I went down two needle sizes from the original and they fit much better.

But at -13 degrees alpaca doesn't cut it and I still need two pairs of gloves.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Widget

Have you noticed a new feature at the side of my blog?

It is provided by Shelfari.

This will show you the books I have read in 2009 and if you click on a book you will be able to read reviews of it.

My first book for 2009 was The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier. I have read a number of her books and this had the usual element of suspense as to what will happen next and how will the story end. Which was not as I expected.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions? Me?

So we've slipped into another year and once again I will not be making any resolutions. Basically my life is so perfect there is nothing I need to change!

The stash is still there and I would like to use more of it this year as it would be nice to see it put to good use but as I've said before, as most of the stash is left overs I am limited as to what I can make and scarves get boring after a while.

We shall see.