Thursday, November 9, 2017

Do I need intervention?

" Hi, I am Doris, and I am presently working on my twenty-eighth pair of socks."



 

I started these during the S&W Festival when I had a quiet sit down

 

Seriously, I just recently thought about just how many pairs of socks I have knitted (mostly) for my husband alone.  The other day I had ten pairs drying on my clothes dryer (I wash them in the machine on the hand- wash cycle and then line-dry them) and he still had enough pairs to last him another week at least.
Please note that all captions under the pictures are links to my ravelry posts with detailed information such as yarn and pattern used .

Have I turned into a sockaholic?

Honestly, I don't even count knitting socks as a new project.  When I say "I will not start anything new until I have finished such and such project", it is a given that I do have a pair of socks on my needles.  Let's face it they are small enough to transport easily and pull out anywhere anytime to knit a few rows or even just a couple of stitches or turn a heel. They are also easy enough (depending on stitch pattern) to work on while chatting or watching TV.

I didn't start that way.  

When I got back into knitting around 2005, my friend Mary Pat gave me some pretty sock yarn and two sock knitting patterns.  I dismissed the patterns, because I thought the yarn was far too pretty to wear on your feet and made shawls out of the sock yarn.

Shawl 1

Shawl 2
Another friend, Marie-France, kept telling me how much fun sock knitting is, but I po-poohed the idea.

And then it happened.

The  year was 2011 when I saw this really pretty self patterning sock yarn while on vacation on the Outer Banks.  The yarn even came with a free pattern written by the shop owner, Jeanne, and was marked "easy". Christmas was not far off and one of my sons, Richard, was into snowboarding.  So, why not knit a nice pair of warm socks for him?!
And so it started.

My first pair of socks

Of course I could not make just one pair for one son, I had to make a pair for my husband, Tony

Tony's first socks

and for our eldest son, Gerry

Gerry's socks

and for our youngest son, Matthew.

Matthew's socks


And THEN a friend gifted me a ball of German sock yarn "Zauberball".  And it would have been meaningless for anyone else to receive socks made out of that, so I made a pair for myself and whenever I wear them I do think of Erica 😍.

Socks for me
That should probably have been enough:  One pair of handknitted socks for each member of the family; five pairs total.

BUT what do you do when one of the recipients swears that the socks you knitted are the only socks which ever fitted.
So, I HAD to knit my husband a few more pairs of socks.

Socks 2 for Tony

Socks 3 for Tony

And then another fatal incident, finding the perfect pattern.

One seemingly ordinary day my friend Bobbi told me about this new well fitting heel-construction and of course I had to try it.
And promptly fell in love.....
So, since then, I am only knitting two-socks-at-a-time toe-up and use the FLK heel construction.

socks 4 for Tony with first FLK Heel

Socks 2 for me
More socks for Tony
Tony's birthday socks 2015
Didn't use the FLK for these
Smaller version of the "Elementary Watson" socks for me incorporating the FLK Heel
Knitted these when giving a sock knitting class in Rhinebeck
Lacy socks for me in my favorite color
First pair of Cotton Socks for Tony; Summer 2016
Perfect fit every time: more cotton socks
I could not resist the color Cotton Socks for me
...this time Liverpool Red Socks (Cotton)

Always knitting...





More Cotton Socks for Summer :)
More Cotton Socks, playing with color
I had to try some Hedgehog Fiber for myself
Birthday 2017; in all the socks I made so far other than the cottons this yarn seems to hold up the best (no pilling)
His and hers Anniversary Socks; July 1st, 2017
Color "Kingfisher" WYS British Birds Series for my fisherman
And these Cotton Socks are presently on my needles, but not for much longer

So there, I admit it, I am a sockaholic, but I have no regrets, so don't stop me.

I dare you to give it a try yourself and see where it takes YOU.  

Perhaps take a sock knitting class next time I offer it (most likely in January/ February).

Disclaimer:   The timeline is not 100% correct, but it makes for a good story ;)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

RHINEBECK


Yes, I went this year!!! And it was such fun!!!
With so many articles (Blogs, YouTube and otherwise), there is not much I can add.

So, I want to first share two of my favorites:
  • This is an article by Mason Dixon Knitting and I like it especially, because it features Julibeth sporting her "Sunset Highways" sweater knitted up in Hedgehog yarn from The Knitting Garage in Rhinebeck (where we both work).  Click on the link to read the full article.
https://www.masondixonknitting.com/rhinebeckpie-party-scrapbook/

  • And this one is a video by Kristi Glass; 1 1/2 hour long but well worth it as by the end you will feel like you went yourself :) and you will have a queue of new projects to start, because everyone's Rhinebeck sweater looks SO GOOD.


  •  MY SUNDAY AT THE FAIR
Last , but not least here is me (it was actually cool enough to wear a sweater in the morning until it got too hot and I changed into a different top).

wearing my Elibelinde sweater, Leftie Shawl and #12 Skirt
I also wore my RBK mitts (but not all day as it was too warm)
RBK Fingerless Mitts



  • I ran into some familiar faces spinning:
Marie-Pauline spinning right off her rabbit:



And Ute spinning on a big wheel:



  • And my spoils of the day:

Starting at the bottom left corner and going clockwise: Blue-ish yarn is a raw Silk Yarn I want to use to make a "Boxy Lacy Top", then there are a few pins for myself and as gifts, a "Fleegler Beader" from Ms Babs as I have lots of beads and this tool is supposed to make it easier to add the beads to my knitting :)
The purplish yarn from The Neighborhood Fiber Co. will go with the Hedgehog Yarn I had bought at The Knitting Garage (color doesn't show up well in the picture; it has a lot of blues and purples ). I am planning on the "Trestle" pattern.
What do you think?

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  • I was also in Sunday's ravelry group picture which I will share as soon as it is published on their site (I am the one in the back row brazenly stretching out my hands to show off my mitts).  I certainly hope I was not in anyone's way. 


  • THE KNITTING GARAGE
We had a LOT of fun at the LYS in Rhinebeck, The Knitting Garage at Stickle's.  Especially due to the extended hours (open till 8pm) and wine and snacks and -needles to say- amazing yarns and notions.  The Knitting Garage Yarn (hand-dyed by Leah Stickle) is fabulous, but we also carry Hedgehog, Fibre Company, Madeline Tosh, Brooklyn Tweed, Cascade, Loopy Mango, to name just a few.  AND since Leah was not able to do a booth at the fair (due to health issues), we had all of her pretty hand-sewn project bags in the store. so, the place was hopping and FUN.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

RBK Fingerless Mitts

I just published a new pattern: "RBK Fingerless Mitts".

Click on the link to view and and while you are there, don't forget to <3 it and check out my other patterns.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rbk-fingerless-mitts 




If you are in town for this year's NY State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck (RBK), stop by at The Knitting Garage in town and get your coupon code for one free download of this pattern with purchase of yarn.

This offer is valid until November 1st.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Off my needles and on my needles

My Elibelinde is finished 😍

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook (Knit With Doris/Discover Your Inner Knitter) and didn't see my post, but wonder whatever happened with the sweater I talked about in my last post:  It is finished and I am looking forward to the cooler weather to wear it.
Click here for more detailed project notes: http://ravel.me/Strickliese/e1




 What's presently on my needles
Right now I am test knitting a fingerless mitts pattern I wrote for The  Knitting Garage At Stickles.  To give you a little heads-up, here are a few pictures.... Stay posted 💙💙💙...



One color version
Final test knit
 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Size does matter or How changing your gauge helps

I want to talk a little bit about how NOT knitting to gauge can play in your favor

 

 

Most of the time you want to make a swatch and knit to gauge to ensure that the finished project is exactly the size of the finished project in the pattern.  This is especially important when you work up a fitted garment.  

But what if you want to make it bigger deliberately?

The most simple way to do that is to use thicker wool and larger needles.

Goal:  I have been intrigued by the "Tree of Life Afghan"  by Nicky Epstein and when I decided to knit up a blanket for a friend, I thought that this was the perfect pattern (finished size 48"x 58").  The beautiful pattern, which looks almost like a painting, is created simply by knit and purl stitches and a few cables.

Problem: But almost 2,000 yards of Aran weight yarn on size US #8 needles?
I wanted something quicker to work up and squishier/ thicker for those cold nights she would use it.

Solution: Then I found the baby blanket version by the same designer : "  Baby Tree of Life Throw"
which would make a 26"x34" blanket in worsted weight yarn on size US# 7 needles. 
So, I decided on using Bulky Yarn on size US#11 needles and tweak the pattern a bit.
Right off the start I decided to knit a seed stitch border right in.
With a gauge of 11 sts and 4 rows to 4 inches, I calculated that I should cast on 20 additional sts for the border left and right for a total of  112 sts .
To lengthen the blanket I threw in a few additional seed stitch rows to get to a total of 212 rows.

The end result: A 41" wide to 53 " long throw knitted up fast and looking fabulous :)
I used 1122 yards of bulky weight yarn on size 11 needles :)
The blanket is ready to ship :)

Next time you knit a blanket or shawl, give it a try and go up ( or down) in yarn weight and needle size.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

When things all come together

I just love it, when things all come together, when I suddenly realize that there is a common theme in different areas of my life. It makes me feel all wrapped up in harmony.

First :  While being on vacation my niece just finished a book and gave it to me because it sparked my interest.  The book is called "Indigo" by Catherine E. McKinley and gives an interesting account of the author's search for the original and true color indigo.  I was intrigued to read about  dying cloth and by the meaning and symbolism of different cloth designs.  I am glad to have a little background understanding about dying from when I attended a workshop on "natural dying" some years back at "The White Sheep Barn" in New Paltz, NY. Click this link to read that post : Natural Yarn Dying



Then:  The new PomPom magazine came out and I was drawn to the stitch pattern used in the sweater "Elibelinde".  At first I thought to just use that stitch in my next pair of socks.
But then I remembered the yarn I had bought last September and put aside for a sweater.  My plan then was to knit a practice sweater for myself before knitting up the one I made for our son.  And ,wouldn't you know it,  that yarn, a four-ply fingering, is the perfect yarn for this sweater.
And so I started; intrigued, too, by the symbolism of the pattern.  As the name of the sweater says it all : "Elibelinde"
"Elibelinde (Turkish for “hands on hips”) is a motif of a hands-on-hips female figure. It is widely used on kilims (flat tapestry-woven carpets) and occurs in many variations. The arms of the figure are represented by two inward-facing hooks, while the body of the woman is represented by a triangle or diamond. The head is typically represented by a diamond. The Elibelinde is a symbol of fertility and motherhood. It is one of many kilim motifs commonly woven into Turkish flatweave rugs.



And:  The same niece who lend me the book, took a lovely photo in New York city with the fearless girl by the charging bull in the financial district.  Hands on hips....  It just seems I have come full circle.

Claire in New York City

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The pattern is very straight forward and easy to follow.  There are some minor errata which anyone who knitted a sweater before would pick out (I even think this may be typos and not erratas from the designer). Read my notes on ravelry for more information on that: Strickliese's Elibelinde.

The length is right

Looks like it will be the perfect fit!!


But: When everything DOES NOT line up:  So, the Chart B cable in the front section of the sweater does not line up with Chart A as it should (see my ravelry notes for more detail on this).
My question now:  Can I live with it or do I want to rip everything back to the armhole divide and re-knit....?

Uh, oh, something does not look right

Meanwhile:  A sermon was lingering in my memory (nagging me)..."when you are lost, go back".  Yes, I certainly did get lost as that specific detail in the sweater did not look the way it should.  So, I unraveled to the front/ back divide and am in the process of re-knitting.  I rather loose a few days worth of knitting than feeling regret every time I feel like wearing the sweater.
And yes, this is a bigger errata, but I still very much like the pattern.
My advise to you is when you divide the front and back be very careful that you have symmetry and an even number of repeats in the front!
Also, if you wait a little, the designer Ellinor Siljeström will most likely publish a new version or errata.
 
Much better!

I am hoping this re-knitting does not set me back too much and I will be able to start on the sleeves soon, but then again, to me knitting is not a competitive sport when you have to race to the finish line.  To me it is about the act of knitting and figuring things out when they don't look right and getting things just the way you had envisioned them sometimes with fearless determination, with your hands on hips.

Still, at times I wish I had nothing else to do, but to knit this sweater ( I almost feel a little possessed by it).  One thing which helped me to speed up the knitting, was to work the cables without a cable needle and I made a little video of that.


I will be working the sleeves two at a time on two circular needles.  There should be no problem to be able to wear this during this year's Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck :) I still have five weeks till then and I am very much looking forward to wearing the sweater :)