Thursday, May 19, 2016

Scrappy Sock Knitting

In trying to clean up my yarn stash over the past few months, I have been reminded of all the partial skeins of sock yarn I have in there. Oh, mercy! I used to be more of a sock knitter, but in recent years I let that slide a bit. A couple of years ago I separated some of the sock yarn leftovers into like colors to maybe make something with them. I am formulating a post with a list of great scrap sock yarn projects, some I have done myself and some I'd like to do. While I'm formulating that post, I'd like to show you what I recently completed with one of the groups.
I had these six partial skeins grouped because I just love the browns, creams, roses and rusts together. All of these were used in various Figheadh pattern samples and there was enough left over to really accomplish quite a project. When I started to work with these, I just thought I would make a couple of pairs of toe-up socks. But once I was done with the second pair, I realized there was enough for a third! 

The first pair (seen above on top of the pile) was made with all six yarns. Once I knitted the toe in one color, I began ten-round stripes with the rest, returning to the toe color for the heel, mirroring the same sequence on the leg as on the foot, and then finishing the cuff ribbing with the same yarn as the toe and heel. 

On the second pair (seen above under the first pair), I used one yarn for the toe, the heel, and the cuff ribbing while alternating two of the other colors in three-round stripes on the foot and leg. 

In the picture above, you can see the partial third pair on the needles. It was worked almost totally with just two of the six colors in two-round stripes. I say almost, because I ran out of the brown on the last of its stripes and had to use another of the browns for one half round! You can't even tell.

Here are the finished four pairs of socks made with the six partial skeins--yes, four! After that third pair, I weighed the remaining yarn and determined that if I was careful, I could squeeze out another pair. The fourth pair was by far the trickiest, and I should have made them two-at-a-time the official way. Instead I made them wacky two-at-a-time. That is to say that I knit to a certain point on the first one, then knit to that point on the second one on a separate set of circulars that said they were the same size (liars) and back and forth like that to the end. Yeah, they are not the same size. But that's okay! 

That fourth pair was knit with one color on the toe with a color band in color number two before working one-round stripes with colors three and four. Then color five made the heels, and the same little band with color two appeared just before the cuff ribbing, which was knit with color number six! You can see how much yarn was left when all this was done above the four pairs in the picture above. 

Here's a shot of the four pairs of socks together with (almost) all the Figheadh samples made before those. Bear with me--lots of info!

Clockwise from noon, you see the Beechbone Gauntlets in MacKintosh Iona Fingering in Safari; then socks #4 made with all six; then another pair of Beechbone made with Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Panchea; then socks #2 made with Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra, and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6; then socks #1 made with all six; then the Ironwork Mitts knit with Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock in Ivory and Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra in Honeyed Plums; then socks #3 made with the Mackintosh and the Sanguine Gryphon; and in the middle is one sock made for the Fundamental Toe-Up Socks pattern that was knit with Plymouth Happy Feet in color #3. The sixth yarn was Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Orchid, which you can see as the lighter stripe on socks #2. I can't show you the Figheadh project it was used in, because it's still in progress (aka secret).

Note: Many of these yarns are no longer available, but please go and see the new yarns offered by these lovely companies!

This was such a fun project! I posted the progress on Instagram and when I asked for a vote, they chose socks #2 as their favorite out of 45 votes. 

How about you? Which is your favorite? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Courtly Cowl

When I designed the Astoria Wrap for the Knotty Knitters Calendar, I was so smitten with the cable and lace stitch pattern combo paired with a pointy garter stitch edging that I had to take it further...
...and make it a cowl as well!
Malabrigo Worsted in Tuareg
The cowl begins with the garter stitch edging and then morphs into the cable and lace pattern. I mirrored the edging on the bind-off edge and after a bit of tweaking got it to work.
 
Then I pushed it a little more and made it a bigger cowl that double-wraps around your neck and drapes its pointy edging all over the place. And that's how I made my favorite cowl of all time. Seriously. I love this thing. The blue small one and the brown big one are both made with Malabrigo Worsted, one of my all-time favorite yarns. You can see why I love this cowl, what with all the favorites going on here. 

Malabrigo Worsted in Roanoke
At first I just made the cowl as a fun project for myself, not planning on ever publishing it. But every time I wore it, I got the nicest compliments, so I took the hint.

Now it's a real, live pattern all its own! It's called the Courtly Cowl, because it looks kind of court jester to me, but also kind of queenly. 

Look at how many ways there are to wear the smaller version:

Neat, tidy, and queenly with just the lower edge showing...

...or pointy edging peeking a little at the top and bottom...

...or all-out crazy and jesterly!

This blue one is the deep version. Meaning there are two versions of each cowl advised in the pattern. You can make the small in a short version (shown below), the small in the tall version, and the large cowl in either short or tall--you decide.
Malabrigo Worsted in Water Green
If you'd like to try the Courtly Cowl, head on over to Figheadh and grab one for yourself. Choose your favorite soft and cozy heavy worsted yarn and get to stitching. I hope you'll let me know how you like the project if you do make one.

Thanks for visiting!




Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thunderstone & Beechbone Gauntlets

Recently we released two new glove pattern on the Figheadh Yarnworks site, and I'm here to tell you a bit more about them.

First up is the Thunderstone Gauntlets!
I found these two stitch patterns and just knew they would play well together in a glove. Once I tried the combination, they were clearly trying to depict an arrow's trajectory. Then I found out about the ancient belief that random aches and pains were caused by the shot from an elf's arrow, called elf-shot, of course. It was also believed that finding an arrowhead called a thunderstone gave you protection from these piercings, so there was my perfect name for the design.

Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, The Red Carpet & Beach Glass
I don't know about elf-shot, but these gloves will protect your hands from the cold, alrighty.

Second up is the Beechbone Gauntlets!
They are named so because of the two stitch patterns employed, the Beech Leaf Lace pattern at the cuff and the herringbone pattern that covers the back of the hand and that side of the fingers.
Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Panchea
MacKintosh Iona Fingering in Safari
Both sets of gloves have a little ribbed area at the inner wrist to allow them to fit snugly. Both patterns are laid out mostly in a well-organized table format for easy reading while you work. The Beechbone pattern has a chart for the cuff as well as written instruction for the lace pattern. 

We hope you'll try them!


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Brackenhill Shawlette Complete!

Holla! Freshly unpinned from the blocking board, I give you...my own Brackenhill Shawlette worked in Ravenwood Cashmere!



Oh, the softness. Sometimes while knitting the shawl, the spin on the yarn would be so fine that I feared it would break, especially in places where there were yarnovers (intentional holes, for my non-knitting readers) and it seemed that one fine strand had the weight of all that went before. But I know this is just silly, because this yarn, although delicate, is strong. It will serve me for the rest of my life.
I already mentioned the slubs in my last post (I forgot in the last post that this is the official name for these), and they did blend in more when washed and blocked. I kind of like them in there--they lend character. 

The third skein only yielded one little slubby spot near the end of the shawl--entwined in the garter stitch edging. I could see that there were more to come, so while I don't really mind them, I was a glad enough when the shawl was complete before reaching those.
I love this shawl. I loved working it. I love the satiny sheen of the fiber--especially once it had its bath and stretching. I even loved finding that one pesky error in the pattern. Now it can be a totally pain-free knit for the next person.
We're seeing a rare bit of sun this morning, which allowed me to snap Brackenhill's glamour shots by the hearth. Her next feat is to wrap my neck in her cozy warmth on this breezy, damp March day.

The corrected version 2 of the Brackenhill Shawlette has been sent out to previous buyers, and now when you buy the pattern, you can be assured that everything works. I hope you'll try it.