Wednesday 16 March 2011

Weekly WIP Update

How fast does Wednesday come around?  I just remembered that I missed a WIP update last week because I wanted to talk about my health, so that means the time between updates is relatively even shorter in my head!

Since we last spoke I have started a new pair of socks.  When I was finishing my brown socks (which I have yet to show you) I managed to break one of my lovely KnitPro Options needles by putting my foot on it, when trying my socks on.  It isn't surprising that the needle broke as it was a 2mm needle.  In other words - teeny!  I decided to buy some metal KnitPro needles to replace the broken one.  As I am now knitting socks using two circular needles I also decided to get shorter cables for my replacement needles.  So far I am enjoying the shorter cables but have to confess the metal needles are harder on my hands.  At least the 2mm diameter means there is some flexibility in them.  My new socks have got this far:

I am loving this yarn, Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color, which has sat in my stash since March 2009.  The yarn is soft and sproingy and the striping works really well. 

This is another sock from Cat Bordhi's book.  It is one with a plain foot and patterned leg.  I've decided that this is a sensible style of sock as the foot is usually hidden by the shoe.  This pattern is Chain Mail, with a plain foot and wrapped ribs that make a chain mail pattern on the leg.

I am enjoying working through my sock yarn and making them into socks.  Socks really are a perfect project to carry around.  I don't have to think too hard about what I'm doing with them at knitting groups or spending time with friends.  Having a simple travelling project to grab without thinking too hard makes leaving the house much quicker too, for which my OH is duly grateful.  Socks are also incredibly useful.  In fact my friend was dropping large hints for a pair the other day.  When I say dropping hints what I meant is complaining that I haven't made him any!  Looks like I might be looking for a man's sock pattern soon.

As socks are only my travelling project I have started another project for at home.  It is Ember's Embrace by Amy Wunx.  It's a free pattern that can be found here.  The wrap can also be made into a shrug with the clever use of cuff-links.  I think it will be a useful garment.  I decided that this would a good project to show off my Toft Alpaca DK yarn.

This yarn is lovely.  It feels soft and bouncy, with a kind of silky gloss that helps the yarn slip through the fingers.  Unfortunately this yarn was in the discount basket and I think I might have discovered why.  There have been a few times that this yarn broke, repeatedly, over a few metres.  At least the alpaca can be fixed by spit splicing, if it was cotton I'd be tearing my hair out. Mind you, I wouldn't have bought this lovely yarn if it hadn't been discounted so I can't complain too much.

I decided that I wanted the wrap to be slightly wider than the pattern so I cast on 99 stitches rather than 63 that the pattern called for.  I knitted for a couple of inches and decided that it was a little bit too wide.

I frogged back and cast on 81 stitches instead, and I think this width works better.  I haven't taken any photos of the new width but you can see the stitch pattern in the old photos and it looks exactly the same.

When I started I was a little uncertain about whether this was the right stitch pattern for this yarn, but the more I knitted the more I loved how it looked.  When the wrap is blocked I think the pattern will really look beautiful.

I also really like the seed stitch border.  The yarn looks wonderfully textured in this stitch pattern.  As the wrap has grown I have fallen more and more in love with the the pattern and the yarn.  I am really enjoying knitting this project and it has exactly the right amount of complexity for TV knitting.  I hope that over the next few weeks you will fall in love with it, as much as I do!

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