Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Avoidance 

In between the holidays and some work-related travel, knitting has been going on Chez Pink Monkey. Indeed, I've been fairly prolific!

I finished the Twisted Tweed socks that I started during Socktoberfest.

Finished Tweed

Pointy Tweed

Twisted Tweed Socks from Schrodinger Knits
Trekking #76
Size 1/2.25mm Needle

This is a great pattern that yields perfect results in this sometimes tricky yarn. I wanted to use a pattern with this that would lend a little interest but not distract from the striping nature of the yarn. I originally started with Nancy Bush's Spey Valley pattern, but they were too tight. I had loved this pattern instantly when I saw it over at Stella's, so a change seemed natural.

This pattern was really well-written, with both toe-up and top-down options included and a great explanation of a short row heel. Even though I'm usually a heel flap kind of gal, I decided to try the short rows in the spirit of Socktoberfest. While they turned out well enough, I'm not planning to change heel preferences any time soon.

The slipped stitch pattern keeps the knitting interesting and enjoyable. If you are going to make these, please be aware, however, that the pattern greatly compresses the row gauge, which means you have to knits a LOT to make any progress. I'm not a retentive person who requires symmetricalness in her socks, but I did reverse the stitch pattern on the second sock to achieve this effect, mostly just to make it interesting.

They were a bit tight on my feet during the knitting, as the slipped stitches do cause the fabric to lose elasticity. During blocking, however, they relaxed and they now fit perfectly. Love them!

I also recently completed a quick stash-buster project: these Indoor Mitts.

Finished Mitts

Fingerless Mitts from Weekend Knitting
Women's M/L, with gauge of 4spi
Rowan Summer Tweed, Denim Colorway
Size 7 Needle

I've had a lone skein of Summer Tweed hanging around in my stash for a few years. I'm a bit obsessed with this yarn's qualities and really wanted to find a good project for it. After seeing Pam's pretty mitts and hearing rumors around my office about how cold it gets it the winter, I decided I needed a pair of handwarmers for those many hours at my desk. Although silk and cotton aren't usually thought to be winter fibers, I find that they do their job nicely.

My hands are really small, so I started with the sizing for the smaller glove. I could tell they weren't going to be large enough, however, so I ended up having to use the medium size and adding two extra ridges. I had a little trouble creating a neat thumbhole, but found that some strategically placed twisted stitches on the edges fixed that right up. Otherwise, this pattern is tremendously fast, easy, fun and great for that single skein you have lying around (and I know that you have one somewhere).

You may notice, however, that there is a notable exclusion from this cavalcade of FOs. Where, you may ask, is that lovely sweater that you worked so hard on during NaKniSweMo?

The hard truth is that even though it's almost a month after that deadline, I'm still not done with the sweater!

I finished the last few pentagons easily enough, and brought the sleeves with me on a recent work trip to Maryland so that I could finish up the caps. I copied the page on calculating cap shaping out of the Vogue Knitting Bible and planned to work on it during the plane ride. I tried to follow the directions and complete the calculations correctly, but it ended up just not making sense to me. After doing one prototype that was half the size it should have been, I decided to essentially wing it. I knit both caps in the dimensions I thought were correct and sewed one of them in to see how it fit.

Shit

Instead of a close-fitting, sophisticated-looking shoulder, I got a bizarre 80's Star Trek-looking effect with a few inches of fabric extending up over the seam area. Crap. My disappointment over this and the realization that I would need to sit and do some serious thinking caused me to put it aside for a few weeks (and focus on quick, instant gratification projects).

Now, however, I have the tools at hand to do this right.

The Tools for the Job

I will have a new sweater for New Year's, so help me God.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Not Gonna Happen 

Unfinished Sweater

This is me right around midnight on Friday with the completed sections of my sweater. Despite my concentrated efforts, I did not complete the Swirled Pentagons Pullover for NaKniSweMo.

As of right now, I have both sleeve caps and about 2.5 pentagons left to knit (progress was hindered by the ripping of one incorrectly-knit pentagon). In some ways, I'm actually relieved that I didn't make it. Because I'm making the sweater with a different gauge of yarn, I'm concerned that I'll have to change the proportions of the sleeve cap (I've had this problem before). To ensure a proper fit, it will be better if I block out the body, seam it up and then make my calculations. In this case, I'll be happier to have a nicely-fitting garment rather than a hastily done one. Despite not finishing, I'm proud of the amount and quality of knitting I did complete.

So, I will continue on and hopefully finish over the course of this Hanukkah week. Thankfully, I'll also give myself permission to work on some other projects, like my lingering Tweed Socks. I'm usually a pretty focused knitter, but that degree of project monogamy really got to me! Soon, my knitting imagination can run free once more.

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