Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the Trellis Collar Sweater

A couple of weeks ago I previewed the Trellis Collar Sweater, a sweater I'm wearing right now even though it's 70 degrees outside because I love it so much! I've said it before but this yarn Blissa from the BagSmith is divine. An absolutely gorgeous alpaca 85%, extra-fine merino 10% & polyamide 5% blend that has a nice loftiness to it thanks to it's crocheted tubular structure. It still has some alpaca heft but not nearly what you would expect, even at 85%. This sweater with the over sized yet versatile collar worked in this yarn is like an embrace and when you take it off you really feel it's absence,
it's that wonderful.

Knit using 4-4.5 skeins of Blissa, the half skein extra is for the version with sleeves and #17's. Worked top down in one piece it's a fairly quick knit. Although it's pretty straight forward without any challenging techniques I would still rate it for an intermediate knitter since there is some involvement on the knitters part to get a perfect fit. The sweater pictured (S/M) was made for a measurement of up to 43” around the shoulders with a bust size of @32-34”. 
A larger size is coming soon.

Available as a PDF download. $6.50

Monday, March 14, 2011

2 for 1

Update to this post: If you are looking for detailed instructions on how to knit 1 sock inside the other it starts here about half way down the post: prep work for 2 at once socks

I love knitted socks, I love the way they look and with so many beautiful designs out there you would think I would be tempted... but I'm not a sock knitter. It's not the small needles and it's not the fine yarn the problem I have with socks is you have to make two. I had the same problem with sleeves when I used to knit sweaters in pieces, you finish one and there's another one waiting and in my case waiting and waiting and waiting.... but for some reason a couple of weeks ago I got the sock bug and decided to tackle knitting 2 socks at once, one inside the other and I have to say this might be the start of something for me.

For one who doesn't knit socks I sure have a lot of sock yarn in my stash! I started with Misti Alpaca's Hand Paint Sock yarn a beautiful Alpaca, Merino, Silk and nylon blend and #1 DPN's. I referenced a woman's basic sock pattern estimating the number of stitches to cast on for a toddler then followed Elizabeth Zimmerman's way for the rest of it. 
What I love about Elizabeth Zimmermans way of instructing is it reminds me of my mom, "you do a bit of this and then you do that and then you have your sock". My mom used to tell me when I came to her with a knitting problem "you know how to knit and you know how to purl, you'll figure it out". An enabler she wasn't!  

 For the how to of knitting one inside the other I checked out youtube and found some helpful videos. There are also instructions in Interweave Knit's "Knitting Traditions" from Winter of 2010 which I forgot I had until I was almost finished with the socks. After reading their instructions I was glad I just winged it and let common sense guide me. Not that I found them confusing it's just once you have the stitches on the needles it's clear how you have to knit them.
You start by casting on the total amount to be knit for each sock on 2 separate needles with 2 balls of yarn. I cast 50sts on each needle using an Estonian Cast On for elasticity. Consider one to be needle A, the other needle B. Then place one stitch from each needle on a 3rd needle so they line up A,B,A,B. 
I decided to make it easier on myself by knitting the socks in stockinette stitch. I was going to do a ribbed cuff with a kitchener cast on and even thought I could work 2 separate cuffs and join them later but felt like that would be cheating. Plus what's the point of 2 in one if you don't start from the beginning! They did suggest doing just that in the "Knitting Traditions" instructions though by the time I read that I was almost finished.

 Using a hand painted yarn makes it easier to differentiate the 2 socks. Like in this photo the orange stitches are the outer sock, the purple stitches the inner sock. For the outer sock both strands of yarn are in back and you knit the outer sock using the designated strand (it makes sense once you get knitting). For the inner sock the strand for the outer sock comes in front of the needle the stitches are on and you knit the 2nd strand leaving this first one in front. You have to keep them separated when knitting so they don't cross and connect the 2 socks. I did that once and it was a real pain to rip out and put all the stitches back on the needles. 

Here's the beginning of the separate socks.
And here it is a little further along.

At this point I've turned the heel. Once you've worked this far how to turn the heel will make sense to you, hopefully! I didn't check but I'm sure there are more video's online for this too.
Heel and instep finished! You will need an extra needle when working decreases. Like working cables you have to rearrange the stitches at the decrease points to again keep the socks separated.

 The toe I decreased down to 7 stitches. Before grafting the stitches are placed on their own needles for each sock. Graft the inner sock first, then the outer sock.
Next time I think I'll knit the sock a bit longer and stop decreasing the toe sooner to graft more stitches since I'm not sure I like how pointy these toes are. I haven't blocked them yet so I should see how they look blocked first.

And finally!

Ta Da!

  2 socks for about the knitting time of 1!

I really enjoyed this sock experience a good thing too since I still have to make another pair to keep peace in the house. Maybe my next sock challenge will be 2 pairs at once, 3 inside the 1!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

To Russia (and Russian readers) with Love

The best part of having a stat counter on your blog is to see who visits. Lately I've had a lot of Russian visitors (with a few other Eastern European countries too) and I mean a lot. They were nudging out the Canadians and coming close to the number of my US visitors. I was really surprised and delighted! I would love to go to Russia but if I can't go I'm happy my blog does!

Anyways, it started from my Ravelry friend Jinnee (Zhenya) putting a link to the Misti Brioche Honeycomb Sweater on a Russian hand crafts site. Seeing all the action towards the sweater inspired me to write the pattern for the Brioche Honeycomb Cowl and as a, "thanks for stopping by" I wanted to have the pattern in Russian. Thank you Zhenya for the translation! She also sent me this link to a Russian festival that looks like great fun.

Brioche Honeycomb
Бриошь Медовые соты(шарф -труба)

Вам потребуется:
·1 моток пряжи Blissa(85% альпака, 10% мерино- экстрафайн, 5% полиамид)

·спицы № 12 или US №17
·игла для сшивания

Плотность вязания: 1.3 п в одном дюйме (1дюйм=2.54 см)
Размер один, в разложенном виде 23см *30.5см.

При вязании этого шарфа-трубы использованы узор «бриошь медовые соты» и  платочная вязка. Модель сшивается по открытым петлям в одном из рядов платочной вязки. Впрочем, вы можете также использовать метод закрытия петель на трех спицах или же просто сшить матрасным швом.

Узор Бриошь Медовые соты: четно 2

1.     Лиц.
2.     Лиц.
3.     (на лиц. стороне работы) *1лиц., провязать 1 лиц. из петли рядом ниже  * см. картинку и пояснение ниже.
4.     *правую спицу ввести в петлю рядом ниже скинутую в пред. ряду, провязать ее лицевой вместе с петлей над ней, 1 лиц. * см. картинку и пояснение ниже.
5.     * 1 лиц. из петли рядом ниже, 1лиц.*
6.     * 1лиц., правую спицу ввести в петлю рядом ниже, скинутую в пред. ряду и  провязать ее лицевой вместе с петлей над ней*
Повторять ряды 3 -6

Фото 1. показывает как провязать лицевую из петли рядом ниже.


1 лиц. из петли рядом ниже :
ввести правую спицу в петлю, расположенную рядом ниже, той петли, которая должна быть провязана сейчас. Таким образом, петля сверху, будет скинута.

Фото 2. показывает как ввести петлю под скинутую петлю и провязать ее лиц.

Скинутая петля (ряд 4): петля, которая была непровязана и скинута в третьем ряду.

 Описание работы:
Используя невидимый набор, набрать 16 п. Вязать основным узором(бриошь медовые соты)  25.5. см, при этом снимая кромочную петлю в каждом ряду.
Вязать платочной вязкой (все ряды лицевыми) 6 рядов.
Продолжить основным узором, начиная с ряда 3, провязать 25.5.см.
Провязать 2 ряда плат. вязкой. Набрать петли по краю невидимого набора  и сшить по открытым петлям начало и конец шарфа. Или закрыть петли на трех спицах (для этого сложить края полотна изнанкой внутрь, верхнее полотно на нижнее, концы спиц направлены в одну сторону, ввести третью спицу в первые петли каждого из краев и провязать их вместе, продолжать до конца ряда).
Спрятать кончики.