Sunday, September 30, 2012

More on the "Little Projects"

I will update you on the commission sweater soon, but meanwhile what else have I been doing?

I started some plain socks from the yarn I purchased in the U.P. As planned, I am doing them two-at-a-time.
I went ahead and bought a long Addi Turbo cable needle in the size I've done my last few socks in. I couldn't use my interchangeable cable set because the needles don't come that small in my set, none of the cables are long enough, and the cable join isn't nearly smooth enough. Plenty enough reason to buy a new needle! :)

I've been enjoying the needles and the "magic loop" method isn't bad either.

I was disappointed that the colours are just knitting into regular variegated stripes instead of the agate look that the wool label promised. Then I looked at the picture again:
The feet on these socks are just regular stripes too. There's hope for my "agate" socks yet.

Usually this would be a perfect project for taking out with me: simple, small, and no loose needles to lose. But instead of winding two balls from the two strands on the roll (which is a bit of a pain by yourself), I set it up so that the roll can spin and I can work on the strands at the same time.
No re-winding necessary! It's been working really well. And even if it's not quite as portable, I take it out with me anyway. They didn't wrap the yarn perfectly so although I had the two strands lining up perfectly for a while, a couple of double wraps of the yarn have made them slightly misaligned. That's alright though; it's close enough. And I still think it's fun to work them two-at-a-time.

I did quite a bit of work on these as I waited on word back from my sweater guy on the redesign we had to do. Now that that project is up and going again, I have put these to the side.

Another project that has been going like gang-busters is a brioche scarf. Last time I talked about it, it looked like this:
It was using too much yarn, so I started over with fewer stitches, larger needles and two colours. It's going really well. Here's the "blue side" where you can see the original yarn:

and here is the "green side" with the new green yarn:
It is a wool/cashmere blend and much softer than the 100% wool variegated yarn. I figure the nice soft cashmere can be worn against the skin, and that will leave the pretty blue wool to show on the outside. Should be very nice.

With the changes, it now looks like I will have plenty of yarn. I haven't even knit up all of the blue that I had to frog back and the scarf is about 22 inches long. No more worries there.

The brioche stitch was a little bit of a slow start. There are two main ways to do it--one with yarn overs, the other by knitting in the stitch below--and I had previously done it knitting into the stitch below. I got Nancy Marchant's brioche guide book from the library to read through. It is pretty much the bible of brioche stitch and she teaches the yarn over method so I thought I would give that a go.

I soon discovered that knitting continental is the way to go with all the moving of the yarn from front to back. Here let me show you the difference:


So the only thing I don't like about it is that I have to watch my knitting because it is done continental style (it's still not "automatic" for me) and because of all the yarn overs I have to make sure I catch. Other than that, I wish I could work on it all the time!! It's very compelling.

PS: If you want to see that Norwegian purl better, I did specific post about it (with video) here.

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