Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sock Chimneys

I love knitting in the round and have done a LOT of it. So I thought I had fairly good knowledge on the subject. I was bought Circular Knitting Workshop by Margaret Radcliffe for my birthday and was quite surprised that there was a lot of information that I've been finding very useful.



It's a beautifully made book, clearly written with lots and lots of good photographs. It's set up like a lot of knitting books with techniques and then projects to demonstrate the techniques. However, the first 103 pages of this 320 page book are filled with details of circular knitting from the cast ons, joining in the round methods, diffferent ways to graft,  to converting a pattern to circular knitting. I wish I'd had this book when I first started. It's very in depth.

Much of the information I've seen in other places such as books, Youtube, Ravelry etc. but it's brilliant to have it all in one place and organised into sections. One section that surprised me was about Kitchener stitch; it explains clearly the way I'd learnt how to do it but there are another 4 methods -including a left hand version.

Lucy Neatby's Sock Chimney technique caught my imagination and since I was nearing the end of my socks for the January Mystery Sock - Echeveria by Rachel Coopey  for the Sock Anonymous Group on Rav, I decided to give it a go. The gist of the idea is when you get to the point of grafting, change to a contrasting waste yarn and continue knitting for a few rows and cast off.


Fold the chimney inside the toe.


Then using the colour change as a guide start to graft the toe together (starting in the middle then coming back and doing the other half). Here is the link to Lucy Neatby's site, if you want more detailed information on the technique.


The sock on the right was made using the Sock Chimney technique and the left sock using plain old Kitchener stitch. I can't really see much difference myself, the Sock Chimney one didn't have the little ears on the edge you get sometimes. Though it takes a little extra time to knit those extra rows, there's more control on the tension and once figured out easier to execute than Kitchener Stitch. I'll definitely try this one again.

Oh and the finished socks!



Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bobbing

I can't seem to settle with my craft life at the moment. I'm bobbing about all over the place. As well as the usual, knitting, I've been spinning and sewing too! As I mentioned last week, I've been doing some embroidery. My dropcloth sampler arrived this morning; so I've got another project to add to the list.


I've got 3 socks finished at the moment, unfortunately none of them match each other! So I'd better get on and do the others.

I have got some finished objects to show you. I've been wanting to spin the fibre I got for Christmas, but I'm a starter/finisher so wanted to finish the fibre I already had on the wheel. However, it seemed to be taking forever. I'd intended for the merino to be sock weight but somehow, it ended up thinner than that and in the end I've drafted over 2km and plied it into a 1km 2ply. I've no idea how it ended up being that much and I'll have to find another project for it, as it's too thin for what I intended it for.

Here is the big pile of merino. It was a rainbow 100% merino mix from Wingham Woolworks. There's 2 skeins of 2ply, which adds up to approx. 1014m in 178g. I haven't checked my w.p.i. on it yet but it looks like a heavy laceweight. It's sometimes hard to capture the colours clearly and there are some really lovely inky blue hues. The last photo shows the dark colours the best.


I managed to get around to starting some of my HilltopCloud fibre. Here is 36g from my Frog Prince Batt, which is 80% Shetland, 10% Silk Noil and 10% Firestar. The batt is the little one at the back right in the photo. The handblended fibre club arrived last week too, so I've got even more to get through now. I won't post photos in case it spoils the surprise for anyone but here's my stash page if you want to peek.


I ended up with a 3ply with approx 132m/36g.


The silk noils added some extra texture, which should be interesting in the finished knit; though not sure what this will be for. Most probably in a colourwork project or a trim.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Embroidery

Not really sure what started it but I've had the needle, thread and embroidery hoop out this week.

I ordered this sampler to embroider and while waiting for it to arrive; I ransacked my supplies. It was like a very colourful bomb had dropped.


I bought the latest Crossstitcher magazine, and wanted to try a little cross stitch. I like the bird cross stitch but didn't have many of the exact colours so after much playing about and matching colours. I found suitable supplies without having to buy anything.

This is my progress so far...


I'll see how much gets done before the knitting bug bites back.





Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Fluffy gifts

I had some really wonderful surprises from my family this Christmas. I had lots of lovely knitting/spinning gifts.


Some very helpful knitting books.


And some gorgeous spinning fibre and some Knitpro Cubix needles. Going clockwise, starting with the braid, it is 100% BFL - Enjoy the Ride from Countess Ablaze. The others are from HilltopCloud, 100g Yellow Batts - shetland, merino & camel, and a 35g Frog Prince Batt and 100g Hand Blended Frog Prince Roving.

And my best knitting present of all was made by my niece.


I love it. Though, not sure what the warning is about, perhaps flying needles and balls of yarn! I'm sure I'm not a dangerous knitter...



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Learning to Knit

I had a wonderful day, during this holiday week. 


I taught my beautiful niece to knit. We had some help though from little Pippa.


To be honest, there was more giggling, talking and music than knitting but it was lots of fun.