Thursday, April 28, 2011

checking in...

Just checking in to see how it's going. As you can see I'm a little further along and I'm loving this color combo from Misti #HS19.

I posted new videos yesterday in the previous post that I think are better to see what's going on. If anyone has started and feels like sharing please do! I know my sister said she started about 80 times and finally had to chuck the 0's. And when she saw me doing the sample for the videos with a heavier worsted/bulky I think she may have changed her yarn/needle combination.... whatever keeps you going right?!

If anytime during the process you want to send photos I'll post them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2 in 1 sock KAL part 3: Videos

This is what I have so far and the #2's seem to be working out just fine thankfully, I didn't want to have to start again!

Finally the videos! 
Update as of 4/27: I redid all but one of the videos. I worked a bit on the socks before showing how to work the different stitches and I feel it's much clearer to see than working from the cast on.

In the last post we got as far as to cast on, join and work one K round then stop. The reason to stop there is because for the Estonian Cast On traditionally you work a K round then a P round before starting whatever kind of cuff treatment you want. I didn't want to overload you with information so I didn't explain how to work a purl round. I wanted to wait until I could make a video. 

So here now are the videos in all their rough edge glory! 

This first one shows transferring stitches "A, B, A, B" in case there was any confusion.

Video #2 shows how to join in both Continental & English. 
In these videos the English way comes in usually @ the 1 minute mark.

Video #3 shows how to work the Knit stitch in both Continental & English.

Video #4 shows how to work the Purl stitch in both Continental & English.

Video #5 shows how to work 1x1 rib in Continental & English.

If you've cast on using the Estonian Cast On and K 1 round, now you can P 1 round. For me after the P round I kept on knitting and will keep on knitting until I'm ready to turn the heel. So your next step would be to work the cuff ribbed or not and keep working until you are ready to turn your heel. 

Get in the habit of checking in with what you've knit after each round. The yarn I'm using has a bit of a tooth to it so it grabs. I like to pull them apart as I go to see if I've made any mistakes. It will be obvious if you've crossed the yarn and connected your socks. 

As you can see in this photo the gray yarn got caught behind the blue connecting the socks.

Checking in regularly though will help you catch any mistake that is easy to fix when first caught, but is such a pain if not... I'll talk more about that later.

I hope these are helpful and that you're still with me. Please comment if you have any questions regarding where we are so far. 

Next week, the heel!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

2 in 1 sock KAL part 2

 The next step in our 2 in 1 sock adventure is to combine the cast on stitches from the 2 needles onto 1. You want to think of the needles in terms of "A" & "B". For me the green sts will be A and the blue sts B. You want to transfer them as A, B, A, B and so on until all stitches in my case 104 are on one needle. I find it helpful to transfer them onto a needle one size smaller if they feel on the tight side. The less you have to struggle the better.

The stitches should look like this after transferring them all:

You then want to divide the stitches evenly onto 3 DPN's. You could skip transferring them onto 1 needle and go straight to transferring them to 3 but I find it less confusing when starting to get them all onto one needle and then divide them.

You want an even amount of stitches on each needle. 

I'm not a huge fan of these dark brown needles only because it's hard to see the stitches when it's a section of dark yarn.

Now to join. I'm not going to do anything fancy to join, I'm just going to start knitting. The yarn to knit the 1st stitch on the L needle comes from the 2nd to the last stitch on the R needle so the brown strand with the green stitch. Knit in the usual way.

Then holding the brown yarn in front as you can see my thumb is holding the brown yarn go into the next stitch on the L needle, the blue stitch and...

K in the usual way.

The first stitch is the outer sock, the 2nd stitch the inner sock. To keep the socks from attaching when working the inner sock you have to always put the strand for the outer sock in front of the needles as shown in the last 2 photographs. Repeat working the stitches in this manner 1 time around the 3 needles and stop.

Now this next shot, see if you notice anything particular towards the bottom of the L needle...

That's right! It broke! I was just going into the 4th stitch when it snapped on me! Not a pretty sight.

It had been one of those days too. The camera batteries were dying, I made 4 videos to show joining and working the first 2 rounds in Continental & English and upon viewing all were bad technical difficulties ie sticky little finger prints all over the lens and as you can see my working needle was a totally different needle because I lost 2 of the 5 brown ones. I don't even think it was a knitting needle, the point was horrible! I was happy to be through with those brown ones but I didn't have any other #1's, so I went down to #0's but it looked too small, so I've recast on with #2's, same amount of stitches and got one round complete before I had to finish for the day.

For the Estonian Cast on they traditionally knit 1 round then purl 1 round before going onto whatever cuff treatment they want. The sock I'm making is going to have a roll cuff so no ribbing. I wanted to keep it simple. I did a video to show the purl round so I'll reshoot those tomorrow and put them in this post tomorrow as well. I'll talk about making a ribbed cuff although I won't be showing it.

So for those who want to start: transfer your stitches, put them onto 3 DPN's, work one round and stop. Then tomorrow I'll post videos of joining and working one round in both K & P; English & Continental.

I have read where you can knit 2 separate cuffs before putting one cuff inside the other and transferring all the stitches in A, B, A, B fashion on one set of DPN's. I haven't tried this yet because I really wanted to have it be 2 in 1 from the beginning but if you're having trouble why not try it?!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2 in 1 sock KAL update

So you have your 2 balls of yarn ready I decided to use Misti Sock yarn again since I loved the way it turned out last time and the appropriate needles too. If you want to try the Estonian Cast on watch this:

I decided to cast on 52sts instead of 56 and this is how it should look at this point. I have 2 needles each with 52sts on them.

Here's a close up of how the stitches look when cast on using the Estonian Cast On. Notice how each needle has a different color? Like I said a muti-color hand dyed or hand painted yarn is great in helping keep track of the outer and inner sock. Also notice how the stitches sit close together in 2's. This will help you tell if you cast on correctly. The slip knot and the last stitch sort of sit by themselves but the ones in between are grouped in 2's.

I'm going to stop here for now but will be back hopefully by the end of the week with the next step.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a big thanks & a 2 in 1 knit along...

I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment. It was so much fun connecting with you all! It felt like I hosted this great party but without having to clean up afterward! Hope you all enjoy your patterns. There were 2 people who commented that I didn't get any contact information for: sutomwill and Annie so if you read this, email me so I can get your patterns to you.

One of the things I miss about having a yarn shop is teaching knitting. So with all the inquiries I've received about the 2 in 1 socks I thought the best way I could teach it without a shop would be to have a knit along. Starting next Monday maybe sooner I'll post detailed instructions with photos and maybe even a video on how to knit a simple sock one inside the other.

I'm hoping some of you are ready to start as I would love to get finished sock photos to post when we are through. I think it would also be helpful if people used the comment section with any questions they might have as this might help someone else too.

Onto knitting 2 socks in 1 with a little prep work before my next post. To start you'll need enough yarn for a pair of socks wound evenly into 2 balls. In my original post I used the Misti Sock yarn pictured. It's best to use a sock yarn that is multicolor because it will be easier to see the difference of the stitches ie inner & outer sock. If you're just experimenting you could use 2 different color yarns or even thicker yarn although the numbers I'll use are for sock yarn.

I used a #1 for the last pair I did and was happy with my gauge. I'm going to make another pair of children's socks and will use the numbers for that throughout the post with side notes for larger sizes.

From basic sock patterns I've seen it looks like they subtract 4 stitches as you go up in needle size. So if you cast on 64 using a size 1, cast on 60 using a size 1.5 and 56 using a size 2. For the children's socks I cast on 50 but since I'm making these for my older daughter I'm going to cast on 56. What ever number you choose make it divisible by 2. This will help when turning the heel.

So our final preparation before my next post is to cast on the number of stitches you've selected onto 2 separate double pointed needles. For me I'll have 2 needles each one with 56 stitches. I used an Estonian cast on for the last pair and really want to share this with you as it has nice elasticity for the cuff but since my photographers asleep I'll add that to the post tomorrow I think video is in order for that one.

Thanks again for helping me celebrate and for your kind comments! Also for your interest in the 2 in 1 socks. I'm looking forward to this KAL and hope that at least a couple of you are too!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

time flies

It's been just over a year that I've been posting here at Knit 1 LA and as part of my anniversary I thought I would take a little walk down recent memory lane to visit a few of my favorite designs.

This has been my most popular design from the past year and probably my most simple. What's not to love about working up a stockinette stitch rectangle with armholes in a night?! What I do like about it and what some of the compliments have been about are the proportions. I like the proportions and how either way you wear it it looks right.

With the Brioche Honeycomb Sweater I love the drama of the kimono like sleeves, the feel of Misti Alpaca's Super Chunky wool/alpaca blend and with very little shaping it's a pretty easy knit!

This one is definitely a more complicated knit but it's the techniques and finishing touches involved that make me love it. I can't say enough about a kitchener cast on or bind off for ribbing!

I think of all the capelets I've designed I like this one the best. I like the texture and that it doesn't scream crochet. I like to crochet, I'm not a great crocheter like my sisters Katy & Mary (both amazing!) but I do have more crochet designs in mind and hope in the coming year to put them out there.

I would have been happy with just the collars of these 2 sweaters! Obviously I'm a sucker for oversized collars but for me so much of these 2 designs has to do with the yarn I used for them. When wearing them they feel so luxurious they're very hard to take off.

 A note about the Trinity Collar Jacket a couple of people close to me didn't like the name (my husband said it sounded like a serial killer, that's not good!) so we changed it to "the Sophisticate" and the pattern I promised is on hold because I'm reworking a couple of things (a little less collar, a little longer body).

I'll end it here since I'm trying to be short and sweet. I will say that if you haven't tried knitting one sock inside the other: 2 in 1 socks you really should! If you're not a sock knitter it will completely change your mind about knitting socks and if you are a sock knitter it's a revelation!

OK so if you're still with me here I'll assume you like what I have to say or at least what I design, but now I want to hear from you. Leave a comment with in the next 2 days* about which design/pattern of mine you like best and why humor me and get a little descriptive and I'll email** you a copy of said pattern.

* let's say Tuesday @5pm west coast time
** if there isn't a way to contact you after a comment is left, email me so I have your email.

Thanks for a great year! Hope you've enjoyed as much as I have!

Monday, April 04, 2011

the Trinity Collar Jacket

More Blissa... I was contacted by the BagSmith after I posted the Trellis Collar Sweater and was asked to make a jacket with a large collar. Right up my alley so of course I said yes! A nice big box of this beautiful camel color showed up at my door and I couldn't wait to get started. Good thing too as they wanted it ready in time to take to Stitches South in Atlanta (if you go check out their booth to see this jacket in person). I think that gave me @ a week and a half. That was the easy part, with bulky yarns no problem. The challenge here was they asked if I could make the sample in a large. I'm used to making the samples you see photographed here in S/M and sizing the pattern up from there. I'm not used to working in reverse but I'm glad they asked because it really changed my approach. 

I hear and have read that if you have a fuller figure you shouldn't use bulky yarns. With this in mind I tried to create something that while using a bulky yarn wouldn't feel like a bulky piece. And honestly with this yarn, even though I used a #17 and got 2sts to 1" it doesn't feel like a bulky yarn. I don't know if it's because it's so soft and has such a great drape or if it's because of how smooth and polished it looks when knit up but whatever it is I love it.

The jacket is worked top down starting with the collar in a Trinity stitch and with the body in a reverse stockinette. It has 2 crocheted buttons placed at the top of the front facings for it's closure. Two more buttons are staggered up the side where the collar and body meet. One on the collar bone, the other on the shoulder. This way the bottom edge of the right side of the collar can be brought up under the left side and buttoned to give a couple different looks to the collar. I made the buttons using a 1/2" ring and with the bulky yarn they end up looking like one of the Trinity stitches. With the buttons being probably the most difficult thing to make I would rate this pattern for the advanced beginner.

I'm still tweaking the pattern for the smaller sizes but should be offering it for sale by this weekend.

Thanks to Molly for stepping in as my model! If you have young children and live in the Los Angeles area Molly is an amazing artist/teacher. Her studio is Create. Check it out!