Cabled Mittens

mittens1

Whoo Hoo!  I finally settled on a pattern and have finished my mittens for the No-More-Humdrum-Mitten Exchange 3.  I finally decided I wanted something a little warmer than what I was working on. I decided to use a worsted weight yarn and stitch patterns from my Japanese stitch dictionary, 250 Knitting Patterns. The cuffs are pattern 225 and the back of the hand is the center of pattern 209. I think they came out well.

mittens3

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Consistency, That’s the Key

handdyed garter rib

I’ve managed to finish a pair of socks for a co-worker who’s moving to Colorado.  I didn’t know they would be for her at the time that I started them, but shortly thereafter we had a conversation about handknit socks.  She’s originally from Lithuania, and grew up recieving a pair yearly from her mother in the winter.  Since moving to America, her mom has quit knitting and she herself doesn’t know how.  She told me that the only socks she’s ever worn to bed were hand-knit ones in the winter.  Since she’s moving to such a cold place, I knew she’d really appreciate these.  She knows they’re coming and is excited about them.

Consistency is a goal that I’m working toward.  I spent some time daily on these socks, often with them as the only project I worked on for the day in the beginning.  As I started to get bored with the project, they became my carry-around and car knitting.  At the end I just powered through the ribbing on the second pair and bound off in one night.  This seems to work and allow me to get things done.  If only I could do that with the afghans.

Sock Yarn

I’m finding that I really like the sturdy sock yarns for wearing.  I spent 2 years in Germany, and for durability, there’s nothing like German yarn.  I am trying the Regia Cotton with my Madder Ribbed Socks for the first time, and I love it.  It’s slightly plumper than the Regia 4-fadig that I have the most of, so I can use 2.25mm needles to knit it with.  Their 4-ply requires that I use 2.0mm needles.  I don’t mind the small size, though, since the socks are virtually indestructible.  It might not be the softest stuff, but it wears like iron and I don’t find that I develop the pilling found in the other softer yarns.  My Socks That Rock is wonderful to knit with, but it doesn’t wear as well and I definitely have noticed some felting on the heels where I seem to be the roughest on socks.  My socks made with Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn didn’t last a whole year.  I’ve been ignoring those since there’s a hole in one of the heels and it makes me to upset to even look at it.  Those are the only socks I have that have developed holes, though, mainly because I don’t wear the others as often for fear of what damage I may find. 

I also have some random unnamed Czech yarn that seems like it will stand up as well as the Regia.  I just haven’t knit with it yet.

Now, I just need to find a shop that stocks all the various colors of Regia that I was so used to seeing everywhere in Germany.  Then again, I think I might have enough to make at least 10 more pairs of socks before I run out.

The Nancy Bush Project: Madder Rib

Madder Ribbed Socks

So, I wanted to share project #1 in the Nancy Bush Project.  They are the madder ribbed socks from Knitting Vintage Socks.  The ribbing pattern works really well for those self-striping or patterned yarns in the stash.  A little more interesting than plain stockinette, but not overwhelming to the yarn or too much work that will be lost due to the yarn choice.  I learned the Dutch Heel with these socks and will be finishing them off with the star toe specified in the pattern.  I have a feeling that this heel is going to work much better for someone with a narrow heel, but I guess I’ll find out for sure when the sock is done and I can try it on.  At least I’ll know what works best for my mom, who has narrow feet.

Insomnia

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve been hit with a bout of insomnia.  I started working the night shift in October and I’ve been doing OK with that.  It took me about a week to get my body acclimated to staying up all night long.  It helps that I’ve kept to my sleep schedule even on my days off.  Unfortunately, today has not worked out well.  I left work at 8am and haven’t been able to sleep since.  It’s now 5pm and I’m still awake, although tired.

Well, at least I got the knitting all completed on the Tilted Duster.  Now I’ve only got to set in the sleeves and block the whole sweater.  Luckily,  I know to stay away from that until I get some sleep.  Otherwise, I’d be ripping some seams when I finally got to look at it again.

The Nancy Bush Project

I love Nancy Bush’s books.  Her socks always come out wonderfully, and now she has her lace book also.  I’ve decided to try to finish one project per month from her books.  This will give me the opportunity to learn different sock constructions, as well as allow me to work on lace projects that I love.  In between these, I will continue to work on my WIPs until they are all completed.  Today’s WIP is my sister’s Tilted Duster( Ravelry link).  I’ve been stalling on picking up the stitches for the collar.  It just seemed so tedious, plus I was making it more complicated than it needed to be.  But finally, I buckled down and got it done.  I’ll be working on the collar and will get as much of it done as possible this weekend.

As for Nancy Bush, I’ve had to take a break from the shawl.  I’ll come back to that in the New Year after my Christmas gifts are completed.  Instead, I’m going to work on each of the simple ribbed socks in Knitting Vintage Socks, starting with the Madder Ribbed Socks(Ravelry link).  I’ve made anklets in this pattern in the past, but I’m going to do the full-sized socks in some Regia Cotton for my first pattern.

Darn!

I’ve already missed a day.  In my defense, I don’t have any internet access until 11pm when I  arrive at work, and we were busy.  I’ve pulled out my log cabin and am working on adding the last 4 sections to it.  Hopefully I can get that off my WIP list in the next few weeks and move on to the long-standing Tilted Duster.  The weather is perfect for curling up with a project and a movie, since it has been raining for the last day or so.  It’s a good time to knock some things off that list.

UFO Progress

stripe1I’m still working on my ongoing UFOs.  They get a little love from time to time and I plan to continue to work on them until they are done.  The striped log cabin is the closest to being completed, and actually has a deadline.  It’s meant for my younger brother for Xmas.  He knows all about it since I wanted to make sure that he was going to like it.  I’ve added another strip since this picture and it’s actually bigger.  It’s lap sized, but he wants it a little bigger and I’m loathe to do this much garter stitch again.  We’ll see if I can force myself to work on it this month.

Nancy Bush and Lace

The first thing I did after gassing up my car ($2.41 for premium in MD!) on Friday was to go straight to A Tangled Skein.  I saw that people were getting their copies of Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush in the mail from Amazon, and I wanted mine too.  I’m too impatient to wait for it to come that way, so I went straight to the store that I knew might have it in stock.  I love A Tangled Skein for just this reason.  They have a small but well-stocked library and usually have just what I’m looking for.  Plus, I’d rather give my money to a knitting store just to show my support. 

Anyway, this book is wonderful!  The patterns are interesting and varied.  The section on Estonian lace history is wonderful.  There is a whole section on designing your own projects and a pattern library in the back.  I highly recommend it as another book that is a must-have for any lace-knitter’s personal library.  If you would like to see pictures and a review, check out Grumperina’s account.  She covers everything in her usual thorough style.