Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kid Knitting

Basic ribbed socks in blue, child's sizeBook cover: Vogue Knitting Socks TwoI've made another pair of socks for the 4-year-old. He appreciates them so much and demonstrates such enthusiasm for my efforts that it motivates me to knit more for him.

This pair was knitted from the Basic Ribbed Socks pattern in the little book Vogue Knitting On The Go: Socks Two, altering only the foot length to about .5 inch longer than the child's actual foot measurement for growth room. The yarn is Lang Jawoll superwash. I did not use the included reinforcement yarn for heels or toes this time because I simply forgot about it. It's ok, he will probably outgrow them before he has a chance to wear them out anyway.

Red Stephane cardigan, detailRed Stephane cardigan
I have finally finished the child's red sweater I started a year ago. Fortunately I had chosen to knit it 2 sizes larger than he was actually wearing at the time. Losing track of the project in storage for several months hasn't been the disaster it might have been, as it turns out it's the perfect size for him now with a bit of room for him to grow.

The cardigan was meant to have a hood, but the child didn't like it when it was finished. I removed the hood, ripped it out and knit a simple ribbed collar instead. He liked this version much better.

Book photo: Stephane hooded cardigan from Annie Blatt Creation Magazine #1Book cover: Annie Blatt Creation Magazine #1To review the project, the pattern was the Stephane Jacket from Annie Blatt Creation Magazine #1 and the yarn was Schachenmayr Nomotta Extra 100% superwash wool, a DK weight yarn.

I did make a few alterations to the pattern. I adjusted the stitch and row count to match my gauge, and I added extra length to the body and sleeves to fit my child (who tends to be tall and slender) and for growth room, which at his age seems to be confined to height only. I made sure this added length was in full pattern repeats so that the design would still look balanced.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Socks and Doll Clothes

Socks in Araucania Ranco MultySock toes using different colored reinforcement yarnsI've finished the pair of Araucania socks for my mother. In the photo at left, you can see where I ran out of matching reinforcing yarn just before turning the heel. (Click on the photo to see a larger version)

The difference in color is subtle enough that you can only really see it up close, as in the photo at right.

Mom just loves them, and is so happy to be able to switch off between the 2 pair of handknit socks I've made for her.

Baby doll wearing knitted outfit next to pair of socksI couldn't let the 4-year-old feel left out, of course, so I made him a quick pair of thick socks in some leftover worsted yarn (Patons Classic Wool) to wear around the house as slippers.

I also made a little outfit for the baby doll with some of that grab bag yarn. I don't know what the yarn is, but it feels like a cotton and synthetic blend. The pattern comes from an old Patons booklet of doll clothes. The doll itself was made by my mother from a pattern by Judi Ward called Bare Baby, and you can find it here. It is rather lifelike, and all the kids just love to hold 'the baby'.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


3 pair finished socksI had a stack of half-made socks waiting for my attention for so long that I had forgotten they existed. Has that ever happened to you? Well, it happens to me with alarming regularity. So, as I say, I found this group of guilt-inducing projects and pounced on them, right ferociously I might add. Now they are Finished Objects and will never threaten my peace of mind again.

pair of small grey socksAnd with hands properly limbered up from sock knitting, I dug in and whipped up a pair for the 4-year-old with some of the leftovers. He is very happy about this and loves his new socks. He is looking forward to more sock booty, just as soon as possible if you please, thank you very much.

I find that the boy has some difficulty putting on his own socks if they have ribbing at the top. He is at an age where he simply must do everything By HimSelf, and so I have made his socks with the garter stitch cuff to make things easier for him.

1 sock finished in AraucaniaAfter seeing the colorful sock yarn additions to the stash, my mother has requested another pair of socks. Which I have dutifully started knitting. I have one finished and am working on the second.

Which brings me to a dilemma. Halfway through the heel on this second sock I have realized that I am going to run out of reinforcement yarn long before I reach the toe. I have more reinforcement yarn in my stash that doesn't quite match but comes rather close.

sock dilemmaThe yarn that I'm using for toes and heels on this pair of socks is from my stash, purchased in 1990 and the yarn is hard to find anymore. I could do as Elizabeth Zimmermann suggests and use quilting thread as reinforcement, it would be easy to match the color, but the texture would not be the same.

The texture is important to Mom, and she agrees that using the off-color reinforcing yarn from stash to finish the sock is a good idea. She then went on to suggest ripping out the toe on the first sock and reknitting it with the off-color companion yarn in order to make it match the second sock.

I gave her The Look.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Yarn Peep Show

Rowan Felted Tweed in BilberryMy local yarn shop recently had a drawing for a hefty gift certificate. To my immense surprise I won that drawing. See what I chose to spend that gift certificate on!

In the photo at left, Rowan Felted Tweed in Bilberry. Delicious rich purple that just happens to match my new fall outfit. I want to make a simple chanel-style jacket with this. Mmmmmm. Yummy.

Grab bag of pink yarnsSo of course while I was there picking out my prize I found the grab bags in the back of the shop, and the new sock yarns.

I just couldn't resist the one grab bag of wild pinks and purples (photo at right). The one color range that is in such short supply in my stash. The colors I need for handknits for the little girls in my family! Just look at all the little hats and mittens and wee handbags-to-be in there!

Doesn't that just bring out the Barbie-girl in you to see all that pink-and-fuschia? (Insert sound bite of little girls squealing here)

Araucania Multi sock yarn in tie-dye colorsAraucania Multi sock yarn in pinks and purplesThen the sock yarn... Oh my, it's a new shipment of Araucania hand-dyed sock yarn, so new it hadn't even been priced yet. Wow, first pick of skeins right out of the box!

On the left, some tie-dye colors that the 4-year-old fell in love with. These will become socks and more socks. On the right, shades of bittersweet and rose with a hint of aqua that I just had to have. This will be saved for a special project that even I haven't figured out yet.

So much for the stash-only diet.