July 19, 2007

It's all about socks

Last week, after arriving home from Italy, I finished both the Spiral boot socks and the striped socks for Hanna. They both went blocking, and came out with smoother surfaces and clearer stitches.

In the striped socks I knitted for Hanna I tried two different ways of making the rounds more jogless. Under the foot I used a method of knitting the first stitch of the new colour with both colours, and then adjusting the unwanted colour stitch on the next row. This creates a pretty straight line, but it is, as you can see, hard to keep the tension even. On the inside of the leg portion (this sock pair is having a left foot and a right foot, both with the jog on the inside of the leg part) I used a method where you knit the first row of the second colour just like normal, but on the second row pick up a loop the first colour and knit it together with the first stitch of the second colour. The tension was easy to keep up, but I don't think the jog is as good. Or perhaps I knitted something wrong here? I have a feel it's not looking like it's supposed to. So please, since I feel neither of these methods is perfect, if you do know about a better way to avoid the jog, would you like to share it? I would really appreciate it!


These socks were also knitted using the magic loop technique. It is the first time I have used it for completed socks, before this I have only used magic loop for the toe portion. And I think it will stay that way. The heels were fussy to make on magic loop, and there is clear signs in the sides of the socks were the rows have started and ended. Since I never get any marks when knitting with the old-fashioned trusty double-pointed needles, and the speed is also of quite an other world, I think I will stick to the dpns for the future. And use magic loop for toes only when I'm starting socks that way.

Project details:
Pattern: my own, knitted from the toes up using magic loop. A basic way to knit toe up can be found here.
Yarn: Regia cotton sockyarn, 41 % wool, 34 % cotton and 25 % polyamide, about 75 grams.
Needles: 2,5 mm addi circular needle.


The Spiral boot socks then? Finished with the knitting and blocked. They still need some kind of elastic or perhaps a beautiful ribbon would be enough in order to stay up. The lace in the cuff is too elastic to stay up without any help, and my leg not shaply enough. But the socks were funny to knit, and I think the pattern is pretty cunning, the way it looks like there is only one pattern on the leg. Click here to see a picture where the decrease points are marked with two lines! If you look closely you can see were the decreases are made, but when you just look in a normal way, they look like having just one pattern. All in all it is a very well fitting sock, the foot is just perfect for me.


Project details:
Pattern: Spiral boot sock by Evelyn Clark for Interweave Knits Summer 2007.
Yarn: Novita Nalle (a Finnish sock yarn), 145 grams.
Needles: 2,5 mm double pointed needles.

Before starting our trip to the archipelago on Monday I dug out three balls of Regia Silk in a denim blue colour, 2,5 mm dpns and Nancy Bush's Folk socks book. The pattern I chose is the Chalet socks, with it's roots in the sock pattern with traveling stitches found in Bavaria, Tirol, Alsace and Norway. I once lived in Munich and stayed with a family very fond of the traditional Bavarian way to dress, and since I have liked the traveling stitches in socks very much. I in fact found not long ago a very traditional pattern, but since it will look better in a light coloured yarn I decided to let that pattern wait a while, and I chose the chalet socks instead. In this pattern there is something as unusual as mistakes in the charts. The center pattern should start with two twisted knit stitches that on row number two are crossed. This way you'll have circles that every second time twist around once and every second time twice. The way the pattern is charted was very hard to understand in the beginning, not being like what I'm used to, but I'm starting to get the grip of it. And now the knitting flows, I'm past the heel already. Look look!


I hope you'll have a nice day, filled with laughter and joy! I'm now off to clean the house, tackle the last of the archipelago wash mountain and do some work in the garden.

July 11, 2007

Back home again


We are home again, trying to adjust to the weather and the normal life. There are so much to be happy for here, the favorite knitting spot by the window with a view over the garden, the well equipped kitchen with all the familiar utensils, the ability to have a conversation in a shop in Finnish or Swedish, and knowing the other part understood everything, instead of those mixed conversations in Italy-German-English, where there were no guaranties you message went through or were understood (I think this feeling was mutual). But there is also so much to miss, the fabulous weather (it's raining here), the fresh fruits and veggies, so much riper than here, sweater and fresher, the beach and the sea, the feeling of no worries you have when you're just a limited time in one spot, and can forget about all the problems (like broken computers) you left behind at home, and you're just hoping will magically solve them self in your absence. As usually, they don't, they wait you out, and then pop out their ugly heads when you turn the home key around. And Italy, I already miss you, the country, the people, and, surprisingly, the language, that I found for the first time very interesting. The flight home went well, the children are so happy, and I have washed the mountain of dirty clothes we had with us home. Nothing were unintentionally left behind, and there is a load of happy memories back with us home. I'll post some more pictures when I have sorted them up.


The stripy socks were almost finished in Italy, and when I came home I hungrily grabbed the Spiral boot socks, finishing the first and happily knitting away on the second, finishing that one too in almost no time. They are ready for blocking, and I have NO pictures of the process. I can't believe I just knitted away on them. You can see the socks on my knitting spot above, on the right side. More pictures as soon as I get them blocked!


Now I only have to put my act together and finish the striped socks, the socks containing so many summery memories. I only hope for a day with sun, it feels silly to knit these when it's pouring down outside. It doesn't feel right, let me tell you. But they looks very promising, the fit on Hanna's feet is almost perfect, and there is just a couple of centimeters on the cuffs left. The colours remind me of Italian ice-cream, available in more different colours and tastes than I could ever imagine. I don't know why this is a new experience, I have had ice-cream on every Italy trip I've made before, but of some reason it hit me stronger now than ever before. One of the first days I was staring at a huge ice-cream assortment, only to realize it was only one third of what the gelateria had to offer. Wow! I tried two different ways to make the stripes jogless, and I'm very much looking forward to see which one is better after blocking.

June 30, 2007

WIP update version June 2.0

To cut a long story short, my computer, which has served me faithfully for three years, crashed today. Like in dead. It took me eaons of time to find the right log in page to Movable type, to find my copies with all password, to install Photoshop, to install mails and you name it more to our second laptop. But now it's done, and I'm free to blog again. But I have no spell check, so please, do not complain on grammar or spelling mistakes.

I feel it's time for a WIP update again. Those with eyes for details have perhaps noted that the sidebar got updated a couple of days ago, and I have now updated it with a third project.


First up on my now ongoing projects is Blustery. Blustery is a very simple vest by the talented Anna Bell. I like the clean cut od the vest and the small pockets. Anna's pattern have been very good for my body tye before, and I have high expactations on Bluster. The pattern is written for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby, but my yarn choice is this time Rowan WoolCotton. I have enough yarn in the stash in this lovely plum colour. WoolCtton is a bit thinner than Cashmerino Baby, thus I had to change to 3,75 mm needles instead of the suggested 4 mm. Blustery is cast on with a beautiful tubular cast on, that really looks neat. Want to see it?Just click here!


I had one big ball of the Finnish yarn Novita Nalle in the stash, a dark carchoral grey colour. It should be enough for knee high socks, and I immedetliaty came to think about the Spiral Boot socks by Veronik Avery, from Interweave Knits Summer 2007. I'm knitting on 2,5 mm dpns, and I'm about halfway down the first leg. The pattern is very fun to knit, and very clever. There are three different patterns in the leg spiral, all of them basically the same, but with different amounts of stitches. As you advance down the leg you decrease stitches twice, and shape the leg that way. But the increases are almost invisible, and it looks like the same pattern continuing from the top to the bottom of the leg. I think I have enough with yarn, the pattern requires three 50 gram balls, and my big ball is 150 grams.

And third on the list is a pair of socks I cast on as travelling knitting. They are a simple pair of striped socks, knitted from the toe up in Regia cotton, and sized for my older daughter. I have a little more of the blue yarn, and I will knit the toes and heels with that colour. I'm interested in using up all the yarns scraps, but to get the socks look the same. There is also the risk of getting a second sock syndrome with a pair as simple as these, and this tofether with the goal of using up all the yarn, is the reason why I decided to try to knit both socks at the same time, using the magic loop technique. I have never before used it for anything but the toe part of toe-up socks and for small projects, but it goes quite nice with both of the socks on the needle at one time. It also makes the shuffle of the needle and the loops less irritating when you can knit both socks before you have to shift places for the needleends.

That's all for today folks! I'll update the different projects as I advance. Have a nice day all of you. Sun is finally back here in the south of Finland, goodbye rainy days for a while again!


Welcome to my blog! My name is Maud, and I spend my free hours grooming Afghan hounds, knitting, cooking, and growing bonsai trees. I am since the summer of 2012 reporting from Stockholm Sweden, entries before that are from Esbo, Finland.

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