Knit Meter

Monday, May 30, 2022

April’s Socks

At the end of March, I showed my first finished socks of 2022 and explained my own rules for which patterns I could knit. The main thing is not to force myself to knit socks if I can’t find a pattern I really like that fits the Sock Knitters Anonymous monthly challenge. This is why I’ve only knit two pairs so far this year. The latest socks were for April’s challenge and as it took more than a month to complete the first sock I did wonder if I’d finish the pair in the two months allotted. But once I’d finished the Tunisian crochet project, I was able to spend more time on these socks.

One of the challenges for April was underappreciated patterns. This means any pattern that was published before the end of 2021 that had fewer than 15 projects. A search of patterns I owned came up with a few options and I chose Crocus Socks from Interweave Knits, Accessories 2011. There were only 13 projects and the newest ones had been made in 2018, so I was pretty confident that I would not be beaten to 15 before I cast on but to make sure, I cast on just after midnight Eastern time on 1 April. Although this felt a bit like cheating as it was still 31 March in my time; but I reminded myself that the finish time is also in the Eastern time zone so I am not getting extra time.

The yarn I used is from Akara yarns and was a gift. I think it works perfectly with this pattern and I am always happy when I can use gifted yarn soon after I have received it. The pattern is toe-up with a short row heel – not my favourite – but I went ahead anyway. I worked the short rows as instructed and am not happy with my execution. But I am glad that I made them that way as it reminded me to use a different method on a cardigan I am working on.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Ladder Back Jaquard AKA Invisible Stranding

One of the problems with working colourwork designs in knitting is what to do with the colour not being used for that particular stitch. When working stripes each colour has to be moved up the side ready for its next turn. Patterns that are a few stitches of two or more colours, the yarn has to move behind the stitches to get to where they are next needed. When moving the yarn not in use, you do not want it too tight so that the fabric puckers and you do not want it too loose so that you have floppy stitches; and what to do when you have to go across many stitches? The yarn going across the back of the fabric is called a float and it is recommended that you do not carry the yarn across more than 5 stitches or about an inch. You have to incorporate a method to “catch” the float. The one problem is these yarn “catches” show through to the right side. Can anything be done about this?

Enter the Ladder Back Jacquard method. I have come across this so much from one particular knitter in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group that it has certainly been present in my mind and when people have asked about it she has directed them to a group on Ravelry and from there I found a hat pattern that was designed to teach the method. Finally, I decided to just go ahead and buy the pattern as that was going to be the quickest way to learn this new-to-me method.

Let’s talk about the pattern – It’s Not About the Hat. The pattern is for a colourwork hat, in five sizes. Each size is charted and written out and comes in beanie and slouchy options. And then, most importantly, instructions on how to work the technique with YouTube videos and instructions on how to apply this technique to other colourwork patterns using a different chart (a snowflake) that could be used on the hat pattern.

Why am I mentioning all this? “Because someone wrote on their project page:- “Super cool technique, it’s just a shame it isn’t free for all users to enjoy.” So this person, who is selling patterns of her own by the way, doesn’t believe that other designers should be compensated for their work. Incidentally there are tutorials available if that person had made a little effort, like put the words into their favourite search engine.

I decided to go ahead with this pattern rather than practice through tutorials as I make a hat each month for charity anyway. The yarn was part of the friend of a friend’s stash. It is Arranmore Light from The Fiber Co and is 80% merino, 10% nylon, 10% silk. It is amazing how just 10% of silk makes such a difference to the yarn. By following the pattern, I have learned a new technique and have a finished item. I didn’t bother with swatching and my hat came out a little smaller than hats I usually knit. But that is the joy of charity knitting – it will fit someone. I have no plans for colourwork projects in the near future but when one crops up I know have another way of dealing with floats.



Monday, May 16, 2022

Tunisian Crochet

In my last post I said that I had a finished knitted item. Although it is not really knitted as it is Tunisian Crochet. My two yarny friends and I have Make Alongs at various times, usually we make the same pattern, sometimes we have a theme – for example Advent. It’s been a while since we all made the same pattern and one of the others suggested Tunisian crochet. I requested hooks for Christmas and then with all the cast ons at the beginning of the year suggested a start date of 14 February.

I was having trouble choosing yarn as I didn’t want to buy any but I also wanted to join in. Then it came to me I had five skeins of yarn that I had purchased to go together and I could use them double to make DK weight yarn. I had originally purchased this yarn as it was massively on sale and it would go with a skein of yarn I already had but as things go that skein of yarn turned into a pair of socks.

Here are the original five skeins. 

The top skein is the first one purchased, the next three were the ones I purchased as they were on sale and the bottom one was purchased so I had five skeins to make a wrap. But then the top one became socks however at the same time I was able to get another skein on sale. So I still had five skeins with plans to make a Joji Locatelli pattern, except I never did.

It was really nice to finally use these and I could see myself making a garment out of tweed yarn. I especially thought so for the grey yarn that I used for the border. As I said I had five skeins of tweed yarn but this pattern only used four. The remaining skein could become socks or will be lovely as one of those cowl/shawls that I like.

These are the five skeins before use, the bottom one was the one that didn’t get used.

Here is my finished Tunisian crochet shawl. It is soft and squidgy and I look forward to wearing it in the colder weather. 


Oh, and as we have all finished our shawls, there was a discussion about our next make along. We couldn't come to an agreement so new cast ons for the time being, which actually is a relief as I do want to finish some more things.

Monday, May 9, 2022

I Sewed a Skirt

I’ve been rather quiet just lately despite finishing two sewn items and some knitted items. I have knitted two hats that I will not be showing until the end of the year as they are gifts. I made a dress but do not have a photo of it yet and I also made a skirt which I will be showing here.

I was given some fabric for Christmas and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it to be a skirt; I also decided I didn’t want to make my standard easy pattern of two pieces cut on the bias with an elastic waist. A while ago I had downloaded and printed the Simple Summer Pleated Skirt from So Sew Easy. I had enough fabric as long as I didn’t want pockets and I had some zips from when I purchased in bulk so I could start whenever I wanted.

There is a video to go along with the pattern but I still was not able to get the zipper and waistband to look the same. Obviously, I was doing something wrong but, despite watching the video a few times I could not get it plus this way of attaching a zip was not in any of my books. Having said that, the end result is acceptable. The other thing is to trust your measurements. The body of the skirt, front and backs, are rectangles and pleats are added at the waist to fit the waistband. I had to take in the waist, which was not hard as the waistband is seamed but would have been better if I’d trusted my measurements and cut the waistband to the correct length. I still would have made the skirt pieces the same width and made bigger pleats otherwise I suspect that it would be tight around the legs. Despite these two issues, I am really pleased with the finished item and not only will it be worn I can see myself making more.