Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Knitting

The best thing about knitting Christmas socks is that if you decide to only finish one sock, you can still find a use for it.


These weren't really turning me on plus the fit was too large. (You can see that I did a much longer gusset decrease to try to make them fit.) So instead I added an I-cord loop and am going to fill it with candy for a holiday gift. The pattern is free from Drops HERE and I used Cascade 220 from the stash and size 3 and 4 (US) dpns and the smallest pattern size.



Bubbles is more interested in napping than any holiday festivities.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Color Knitting Links & a few Halloween Projects

Sorry I didn't post this earlier but there are still a few days to finish a Halloween knitting project.

HALLOWEEN FREE PATTERNS

The Witch Cats Hat uses two shades of orange and black DK weight yarn.

I love this Bathat! I am too busy with other projects unfortunately but I plan to make it next year. In lieu of knitting a hat, you can grab a plain black knit hat and add pipecleaners and eyes to make this cute spider hat.

The Scare Isle tam from Knitty features ghosts and many ghoulish colors.

This Zombie Hat is made with DK weight yarn and would be a great gift for all the zombie lovers in your life.

Not interested in a bat hat? How about these Batsy mittens?

Nevermore are socks inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe poem.

The Happy Halloween Fingerless Mitts use DK weight yarn.

FREE COLOR KNITTING PATTERNS

The Hold Your Seahorses sock pattern by RoseHiver uses two colors of sock yarn. I love the original colors used for these striking socks.

The Toast Wrap is a Sanquhar inspired colorwork cowl worked in fingering weight yarn.

Thanksgiving is on its way. I adore this cute little Tiny Turkey and may have to make one for my holiday table. Another knitted decoration is this bunch of Indian Corn.

The I Heart Mitts use two colors of fingering weight yarn.

The HoHoHo pattern is a really fun Christmas stocking knit in many colors of DK weight yarn.

I would definitely wear this Market Square Jacket knit in bulky weight yarn - but I'd have to change the colors. Also in the free ebook is this cute raglan sweater, the Park Place Pullover.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here's the scariest picture I could come up with from the Quarai Ruins near Mountainair, NM.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Book Reviews


ALICE STARMORE'S CHARTS FOR COLOR KNITTING

 
I honestly wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I do. I didn't even pre-order it from Amazon when I heard they were reprinting it but ended up adding it to my shopping cart recently when I needed an additional book to reach $25.

I have many books with color charts but this one is different I think. For one thing it is divided into sections by theme such as the Inner Landscape, Sea and Shoreline, Birds and Flowers and Far East. She includes Greek and Russian and Swedish motifs and some motifs that would be better for intarsia than stranding (due to float length). It really is one of the widest ranging books of charts I've ever seen.

She also has an chapter in the back of the book called A Word on Colour Knitting. One interesting thing she says in the chapter is that you should make sure to look at your color swatch from far away. That is a good point because if you look at the sweaters at her Virtual Yarns web site, the colors look different close up and far away. She also discusses how she adds colors and says that the number of colors in a design always relate to the size of the pattern.

For some odd reason my book naturally opens to page 31 which has a cute horizontal border of rabbits. Coincidence? The charts are divided into horizontal borders, allover patterns, vertical panels, and single motifs.




The one drawback of this book is that there is no indication of pattern length or width. You'll have to count it out yourself if you want to use a chart in your own design. Still I highly recommend this inexpensive and extremely useful book for all color knitters. Buy it!
 
CRAFT ACTIVISM


I received a review copy of this book as I am always interested in the subject of how we can use knitting to make the world a better place. The book defines activism as either making a statement, recrafting the past, crafting for a cause, crafting to recycle, renew, and reuse, and crafting a community. Ravelry is highlighted along with knit bombing, quilts with a message, and Ruth Marshall's work to highlight endangered species through knitting.

My favorite project included in the book is the Red Scarf Project. DH works as a Clinical Director at a treatment foster care program and the kids he works with who graduate from high school and go on to college are few and far between. The Red Scarf Project gives out 2,500 scarves a year to former foster care kids who are in college.


And yes, there is a pattern for those cute stranded mittens on the cover included in the book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Knit One Crochet Too's Wick Yarn


Here's my first Christmas finished project - a pair of basic boring hiking socks for DH. I used size 4 (US) dpns and 48 sts but I wish I'd used thinner needles. The yarn is Wick by Knit One Crochet Too and it is a soy/polypropylene blend. It looks like they market this yarn specifically for hiking socks because the polypropylene wicks away moisture. The color I used is called Cream but it does have a butter yellow tinge which I hope picky DH won't mind. I used about 2 1/2 skeins for these socks that have his required 8" of K2P2 ribbing.

The most amazing thing about this yarn is that is is springy like wool. (As opposed to super springy like Cascade Fixation or Elann Esprit cotton/elastic blends.) I have no idea why this yarn is springy but I read the Ravelry projects for this yarn and apparently it is the soy??


Here's a close-up of the yarn. It looks a bit like unspun roving with very thin threads in it. It was a joy to knit with and I can't wait to buy more colors to do a stranded project. It is listed as a worsted weight but I think I'll consider it a sport weight when deciding on future projects. I don't know yet how it washes up. I bought mine at Yarnmarket. (Note: K1C2 also makes a thinner yarn called Pediwick but it is a bamboo/nylon blend.)