JanPlan brought up on Ravelry

One of the members of a Ravelry group  I’m in posted an announcement about JanPlan, a method where you choose one or two things to focus on or learn in January. I am thinking about sweater making, spinning, and job hunting.

If I make a good start on something in December I’m hoping that will give me impetus for the next year.

I picked up the rainbow socks again. The heel is coming along. I am doing major increases along the center back to have enough stitches for the top of the foot above the ankle. I’m at something like 80 stitches per sock now, which seems ridiculous, bu it’s a very fine yarn.

I think my foot sample may have been a little off, because when I knit the fish lips kiss heel it felt weird on my foot, so I frogged it and have been winging it since. I hope they fit really well and last a long time. I am going to weave extra yarn in the toes and heels to extend their lives once I’m done with the knitting. I guess I will stop at crew length on the legs.

Yarns from Ashley’s destash

Ashley was giving away some stash at Melissa’s knit in yesterday.

I brought home:

1 Opal sock yarn

2 different skeins Lime & Violet sock yarn

1 Noro Kureyon in brown/gray/tan multi

6 skeins Malabrigo worsted, 2 red, 3 burgundy to green, 1 burgundy. single ply

4 skeins Rowan bamboo tape

2 skeins Rowan Tapestry blue/tan/white single ply multi. Looks like self-striping.

2 skeins Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Dyed cotton, one light green, one dark green

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Lime and Violet yarns, Opal yarn: Socks for me

Noro: started a 2×2 seed stitch cowl yesterday at the knit in. 2 knits, 2 purls all the way across, then 2 purls, 2 knits all the way across 48 stitches. Will seam and back with cotton or fabric.

Malabrigo worsted: blanket or lap quilt potential. I am also thinking about the Mad Blood shawl.

Blue Sky and Rowan Tapestry: cowls.

Rowan Bamboo Tape: scarf

Other knitting. Finished a yellow dishcloth. double knitted dragon scarf is on hold for bouts of gaming.

Opal sock label translation (I hope)

Ashley was giving away yarn at Melissa’s knit in. Trying to identify a skein of Opal sock yarn…translating for myself so I can pick the right version on Ravelry, and will be able to translate later skeins without as much work.

I think its a self-striping version. It’s a 4-ply printed yarn and the label is printed on brown paper and has a lot of text all over it. Glad!

Duh. Shortly after I started this post, looked to see if she had it listed in her ravelry stash. Yep.

For the record, it’s the

Language: German

Sock brand: Opal

Version name: ???

Manufacturer: Zwerger Garn. Note: the label says ZwergerGarn repeatedly with a space between each grouping. The label is printed on brown paper.

Not knitting very much right now

A week or so ago, I finished knitting a heart dishcloth for my mom. It only took me a couple of days, and I really enjoyed it. It is such a cute pattern! Pattern link

I am about 3 rows away from finishing the first page of chart 1 for the dragon-phoenix scarf (Born of Fire MKAL). I really want to get to the face part that is on page 2.

The charts are like this:

Part 1, charts 1-3: the phoenix

Part 2, charts 1-2: the rest of the phoenix and start of phoenix fire

Part 3, charts 1-3: transition from phoenix fire to dragon fire, and change  from phoenix main color to dragon main color

Part 4, charts 1-3: the dragon

It’s still exciting to think about it!

 

Double knitting in a MKAL

One of my goals for the year is keeping up fully with a knitalong. I joined the Born of Fire KAL on Ravelry. I started off okay, but my participation fell off some when it took me a while to get the gist of it.

Not that it was difficult; I just had moments when I realized I was knitting the front side rows from the wrong direction. And had to frog certain rows and do them over.

Also, since it’s double knitting, there were some instances where I would frog down to correct a problem, but the yarns were twisted around each other. That’s not something you can really fix without frogging down to it. It’s so pretty, and there’s so much more knitting I have to do, that I can live with those errors.

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Here’s the other side:

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I have 18 rows left of chart 1 of 1. There’s about 18 charts, I guess.

I am also still working on the rainbow socks for myself. I finished the heels and a little bit of the leg. I tried the fish lips kiss heel for the first time and they fit my feet so well it’s a little scary. I wouldn’t mind them being a smidgen less tight.

The yarn is like laceweight level, so I am having to increase about 16-20 stitches for it to fit me at the bottom of my calves, and then once I get them wide enough I will start about 2 inches of knitting to finish them off. I love them, but honestly, I wish I was using thicker yarn.

That said, it’s been an educational experience on making smaller gauge items, and I appreciate Melissa helping me out with those. I will probably be doubling up “fingering weight” yarns to make myself more pairs.

 

Crafting goals for the coming new year

  1. Full participation in a knitalong.
  2. Finish Juliet sweater.
  3. Make more socks for me. Finishing my first pair of small gauge socks for myself. Had to get them checked by my friend Melissa to make sure they were still on point and I didn’t have to frog. Still good! Maybe I’ll be able to start the heel before Jan. 1.
  4. Start the master knitter program. Big dreams, long process. Probably after the summer.
  5. Start another sweater. Either the Viking fair isle one, out of Cascade, or a top down one. Bottom  up is not my thing.

Sock knitting revisited

POST FROM OCTOBER

2015:

The whole reason I started knitting for myself was because I wanted the finished project, not because I liked knitting. I knew going in that there weren’t going to be a whole lot of things I would make myself because they took longer than three days (my threshold for making crochet projects).

I have accepted that things I want to make aren’t necessarily going to be warm (shawls). I have accepted that the majority of the sweaters I fell in love with on Ravelry will have to be admired from afar, because I prefer faster knits where great fit is not required. And that I may only have two handknit sweaters in me over my lifetime.

One idea that took a lot longer to die, though, is that all socks, regardless of yarn weight or foot size, should be knit on size 3 needles or larger. (My knitting friends have been laughing their heads off for quite a few years about that one.)

I made myself some socks on 2’s and 3’s, and while they met my “good enough’ standards, I want the ones I make from now on to fit me well and last longer. So I sucked up the unfairness of it all and asked my friend Melissa to show me how she knits socks.

She pays attention to her knitting, pattern instructions, and things like details. She knits socks that fit, and her sock fabrics tend to be closer knit than mine, because hello, she uses size 0 needles or whatever’s called for, versus, say, size 3s.

After she stopped laughing, she showed me how she starts the toe ups and looked at the toes I had started already. The ones on size 1s or 2s were too loose (dammit. I’m a loose knitter, apparently.) So I started another pair on size 00s. She thought the fabric on those came out much better.

Since that afternoon, I did my usual 2 or 3 restarts, and I have about an inch and a half of dense sock toes to my credit. I’m up to 60 stitches and hope that will be enough for my narrow feet without being too many.

I don’t usually mind the 00s knitting, but every now and then I’ll have my “irritated knitting” fit and have to put them down for a while.

I’m not sure where the irritation comes in. Maybe it’s how I feel like I’m knitting a section more tightly than the others and it drags across the needle in a weird way. Or worry that I have too many or not enough stitches, and I won’t know for sure until I have enough foot to try them on.

Anyway, here’s what they look like right now.

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So far, so good. I think it’s a good use of the JL Vinca yarn. I tried knitting this yarn as a couple of other projects, but they didn’t feel like a good fit for the yarn, so I frogged them all and put it back in the stash.