Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FO: Niblet Socks

Since the Sassy Stripes socks that I gave to my mom keep getting holes in them which I can never seem to fix, I decided to knit her another pair - using worsted weight yarn this time to try to ward off holes! I also had another secret motive: I wanted to try out magic loop on a pair of socks that wouldn't take me forever to knit.

I planned to use the same Starter Stockinette pattern I had used before for my own worsted weight socks but I decided that it might be a good idea to use a pattern specifically written for magic loop since it is my first time. So after a very quick Ravelry search (in a hurry to get started!) I found this pattern and decided to give it a go. The pattern was very easy and produced some very thick & warm socks in a jiffy.

I'm still not sure if I like the magic loop method. I love the fact that it doesn't create any ladders running down the sock leg and traveling with your project is much easier, but it makes for kind of an awkward knitting position for the English-style knitter and I kept getting all tangled up in the cable. I honestly think I work faster on dpns, but maybe I just need more practice?

Anyway, here is a pic of my mom modeling the finished project. (She picked out the yarn and loves it. Frankly, I think it's kind of ugly... ha ha.)

yarn details

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Woods
80% acrylic, 20% wool
worsted weight
machine wash cold; tumble dry low; do not bleach; do not iron70 grams/162 yds @ $2.99 each (mom's treat!)

project details
pattern: "Niblet Socks" by Kathleen Taylor; free at http://kathleen-dakotadreams.blogspot.com/2007/09/freebie-friday-niblet-socks.html
needles: size 4, 32'' circular (from knit picks nickel plated options set)
gauge: I didn't bother... naughty Pepper!
yarn used: 248 yards/1.5 skeins
finished size: ladies medium (7-8)
duration: March 27, 2010 - September 19, 2010
cost: about $4.60

  • The heel/gusset area was created using short rows instead of knitting a heel flap and picking up gusset stitches like I have done with all my socks in the past. The short row method was really fast and easy and ideal for the magic loop needle set up (and produced no holes at the top of the gusset!), but I'm not super happy with the result. The socks just don't have the same fits-like-a-glove feel. It also looks kind of strange, though luckily that's not too obvious in this project because of the thick variegated yarn I used. I think it's worth the extra time to knit a flap and pick up stitches, but if you're in a hurry this might be a good option.
  • I enjoy that Taylor provided a chart for the stitch pattern - even though the pattern isn't that complicated. I love charts and always make them so I can stay sane while I knit, so she saved me some time by doing it for me! Yay!
  • On the foot I did five pattern repeats (starting halfway through the pattern) after the heel to measure 5.5'' and then 10 rows of stockinette so the foot measured 6'' and then I started the toe.
  • I finished off the toe with kitchener, rather than just sewing through all the stitches and tightening as the pattern instructs.

FO: Grandiflora

It seems like a million years ago when I found that awesome deal on RYC Soft Lux yarn and it was like kizmet because I was currently obsessed with the Cressida pattern in the corresponding Soft Lux Rowan pattern book, Classic Woman. The Grandiflora shawl pattern also caught my eye in that book and I thought it would look fabulous as a throw on my parents' couch but I ruled it out as a possibility since it took up so much yarn... then enter aforementioned sale. The fates aligned to give me the materials to make this shawl/throw/thingie, but it still took me about a year to find the motivation to knit it (and practically another year to write this blog post... ha ha). In the end, it was worth the wait! I'm so happy with the way this turned out. It was my first large-scale lace project, which means it inspired a lot of swearing and lots of frogging (I learned to love the lifeline technique!). And it looks great on my parents' couch, just as I imagined!

Here is a pic of me modeling it in my sexy jammies. You can see that it is like a really long, wide shawl. It's good to cuddle up in and long enough to drape over your legs to stay warm in the AC.

And here is a close-up of the lace pattern when I was blocking it:

Now to the details:

yarn detailsRowan RYC Soft Lux in Camel and Ciel
Dye Lots: 35885 (Ciel), and 63868 & 63869 (Camel)
64% extra fine merino wool, 10% angora, 24% nylon, and 2% metallic fiber
worsted weight
hand wash and lay flat to dry50 grams/137 yds @ $2.99 each (on sale)

project details
pattern: "Grandiflora" by Martin Storey in the book Rowan Classic Woman
needles: size 8
gauge: I am opposed to attempting to measure gauge in lace...
yarn used: 496 yards/3.6 skeins of blue (Ciel) and 735 yards/5.4 skeins of beige (Camel)
finished size: 21'' wide and 102'' long, plus 4'' tassels on both sides; the beige stripes are 4'' wide and the blue stripes are about 3''
duration: November 7, 2009 - February 28, 2010
cost: about $27

  • The bad thing about writing your FO post a year after you finish the project is that you can't remember any notes that may have been helpful in the future.... c'est la vie!