Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finally Francie socks

My first pair of finished socks for, I don't know, quite a while. For a while there I didn't feel like knitting socks at all. No inspiration. I have a number of started socks but none of them really appealed to me.

Besides, I have been knitting two sweaters lately. (Yes, the EPS is done, I just need to force M to take some nice pictures for me)

Then I found Francie. Finally a pattern I really, really liked. And which seemed perfect for the poor beautiful red yarn that had been wound in a cake forever and ever and that I had started (and frogged) three or four patterns with already.

Pattern: Francie by Rebekkah Kerner at Bowerbird Knits
Yarn: All Things Heather kettle dyed superwash merino, colour Maraschino, 1 skein, not too much left overs.
Needles: 2.25 mm KnitPicks circ, magic loop of course :-)
Mods: None, really, except that I did only 2 pattern repeats on the legs. They are 7" long anyway. Good thing too, because I would have run out of yarn otherwise.

I'm not all that excited over the leg pattern, it's just a bit strange.

If I knit these socks again I will probably just do a 2x2 ribbed leg.
The foot, however, I adore.

I have high arches and the fabric hugs them wonderfully. And the sole is so beautiful! I'm toying with the idea of making them upside down. I.e. have this tree structure on the instep. Should be possible. Somehow. Hmm.

Both socks. They are a tiny bit big, even though I just have one single row between the arch shaping and the toe. Maybe my row gauge is very different from the designer's. At first I thought I would have to give them to M, but right now it seems like they fit me fine.

They look very silly off the foot or blocker...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All better now

Fits like a glove, just as I wanted. The sweater will probably grow a little in its first bath, and the puckering from the short rows and the decreases will even out.

I have a good chance of finishing this in May after all. It would be fun to finish *two* sweaters for the DIC KAL :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Shouldn't have said that the EPS sweater was almost done. Slap! on the head from the knitting godess. I tried it on yesterday evening, almost done with the yoke, and the fit was... strange... to say the least. Bodice nice and fitted just as before. But the yoke hung like a sack, much too large. Sigh. I put the monster away and worked on a sock.

It was obvious that I had too many stitches in the yoke but how should I decrease for a better fit? Suddenly I remembered that there is a 4-decrease variation in The Opinionated Knitter (incidentally, this is the same decreases as for the seamless yoke sweater in The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns) So this morning I ripped, ripped and started doing the decreases this way instead. The first decrease is done at 2.25" instead of after 4.5-5" and this seems to work much better for me.

Knock on wood, and all that.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I am on some sort of Elizabeth Zimmermann binge. Reading her books (I got The Opinionated Knitter and Knitting Around in the post this week), watching her on DVD (I got the Knitting Workshop DVD too) and knitting her pattern (I'm almost done with an EPS sweater), feeling very inspired and wanting to knit many more of her patterns. To think that I never knew she existed until a few years ago... Amazing how her patterns don't look very dated either, after all these years.

As I was finishing up Twist I felt the urge for another DIC sweater, and I have been wanting to knit an EPS sweater for some time, soooo I got me some DIC Classy in Flamingo Pie, plus a lone skein of Gothic Rose to use as contrasting hems (from The Loopy Ewe of course) These colourways go together really well! I was a bit uncertain of the combination but the Loopy Elves very kindly checked it for me. Gothic Rose is a dark eggplanty colour, and Flamingo Pie is a mild orange with yellow and light eggplant accents. I would love me a sweater of Gothic Rose someday, lovely colour!

You may see that the 'non-pooling' Dream In Color has pooled into a yellow zigzag on the chest (of course not on the back...) I don't think that it is very visible IRL though.

The hems of my sweater have the dark yarn on the inside and picot edge

and the rest of the sweater is plain except for a small zigzag on the yoke, right after the first decrease round.

First I wasn't going to put in any yoke patterns, but the sweater asked for it! I haven't decided what to do about the neck yet, maybe a picot hem just like the other edges, maybe just a plain roll neck. We'll see.

I have read many discussions about how to hold the yarn when knitting with two colours, but I have never seen my way described. So here it is. I hold both yarns parallell in my left hand (I knit left-handed/Continental/picking)

If I am careful to keep them some distance apart it is easy to pick the one I want for my next stitch.

You have to be careful not to pull the yarns to tight though. The floats must not pull the fabric in.
My zigzag has two rounds with 5 stitches of one colour and then one of the other. On those rounds I tried to carry the single stitch yarn in my right hand and throw those stitches. That worked rather well, and the floats came out nice and loose without any fussing.

I also have a new sock! My sock mojo has been missing lately, but when I saw Yarn Harlot's Francie socks I had to get the pattern and cast on. The pattern has been in my Ravelry queue for some time but now I realised that this, at last, was the perfect pattern for the red All Things Heather sock yarn that I wound up ages ago and had started at least three patterns with already. Hedgerow socks, Brother Amos' Brimstone socks and a few others got frogged. Nice patterns, but not for this yarn. Francie on the other hand is perfect!

One sock is done and the other is started.

And this is how happy you are when you get to climb the stairs!