Sunday, December 7, 2008

Catching Up: The Knitting

I have a lot of knitting to catch you up on, but not quite as many pictures as yesterday. Hopefully, the formatting will stay a little sane.

Mom's Christmas Socks
First we have to go way back to the pair of Christmas socks that never got blogged. We gave our parents their gifts while they were here, so there is no need to keep it a secret any longer. It started when I mentioned to Hubby that I was thinking of making Mom socks for Christmas. He said she would really love some heavy warm ones that she could wear around the house. I instantly thought of the Windowpane socks that were already in my knitting queue. The color work in these socks almost gives them an extra layer from the yarn that is being carried across on the inside. Originally I had chosen Essential in Cocoa and the Blue Violet Multi.

I was envisioning rich chocolate socks with a hint of color to lighten them up. I didn't get very far in my gauge swatch before I realized that the brown and the purple were too similar to really give the intended effect. Fortunately, I had some Essential in Buckskin waiting in the sidelines to become Hubby's socks so I was good to go, and the two colors worked even better than what I was originally shooting for.
The next dilemma that I had to overcome was the fact that I still hadn't successfully made a pair of socks that fit me. Mom and I wear the same size, so I needed socks that fit me. My first pair felt like they fit, but when I wore them the wandered all around my ankle. The second pair felt like it fit, but when I wore them for awhile they became uncomfortably tight around my leg. It took about 20 minutes of staring at my leg for me to realize that I have pretty good sized calves. I broke out my measuring tape and sure enough, there is more than 3 inches difference between my ankle and where the top of a hand knit sock would sit. I decided that this had been the problem since anything that fit my calf would be far too big for my ankle and anything that fit my ankle would be too tight for my calf. Knowing that Mom's calves are more muscular than mine, I decided that this was how I was going to try to attack my fit problem. I measured my leg every inch and incorporated decreases into the pattern to try and make a more custom fit.
Then I increased back to the original number of stitches across the five rows right before the heel flap. It makes it a little tight to get on, and you have to give it a serious tug to get that smallest section over your heel, but they fit me perfectly. They were really tempting to just tuck away for myself, but they seemed to fit Mom just as well.

Hubby's Parade Mitts
Next on the list is the Parade Mitts for Hubby. I started these about a week before Thanksgiving because Hubby was noticing what an advantage I was going to have at the Macy's parade because of the mittens I had made myself. The plan was to make him some Broad Street Mittens out of the Cocoa Essential that didn't get used for Mom's socks. Since time was short, I decided to make each of the gloves first and the mitten caps second. It was a wise choice, because I finished the gloves at midnight before the parade. I decided that Hubby could do with out the mitten caps for this parade, and maybe it would teach him that I'm only human and I need a little more time for completed masterpieces.
This picture should explain why I knit two socks at a time. Look closer....
The bottom pair is a half an inch longer than the top pair. Even on Hubby's long skinny hands it looks floppy. Since I'm not happy with them, I'm going to skip the mitten cap, make him a new pair, and eventually frog these. While he may not have had enough sense to give me plenty of time to make them, he did have the sense to love them once they were made (even if one didn't fit). Here they are at the parade. The Build-a-Bear float is in the background.

I told you all about my Sprinkles socks and the alterations I made to the pattern. So all I have to report now is that they are done and I love them!
Here is a good close look at the patter, but the colors are a bit off.

I wanted to go up a needle size for Hubby's socks since he wanted the same pattern as Dad's but when he tried them on, they looked a little strained. I decided a quick fingering weight fingerless glove pattern would be a good way to try out my gauge on a bigger needle so I went with Porphyria (Ravelry link) and the left over Essential in the Blue Violet Multi. They were a super quick knit, and now that I have my first pair of fingerless gloves, I am completely addicted. Expect to see a lot more in the future.
I thought that these were going to be cabled, but the pattern is made with a stitch that is similar to the Holding Hands and Feeding Ducks stitch, except this one is done on the knit side. I used a size 1 (2.5mm) needle and the ribbing turned out really nice so that is what I decided to go for with Hubby's socks.

Hubby's Brooklyn Tree Socks
Hubby loved Dad's socks and decided that he wanted the same pattern for his. So, I pulled out the Brooklyn Tree Pattern (which is actually called Francie but I call it Brooklyn Tree when the intended recipient is a man) and the Essential in Buckskin and cast on.
This is as far as I got before I decided that they seemed a little big and had Hubby try them on. Sure enough, they are too loose and I am going to have to start over with a Size 1 (2.25mm). Since we had guests and they were residing in our living room, I didn't want to have a frogged yarn mess lying around and getting in the way. I just set these aside and picked up one of the many other WIPs from my basket.

The project I picked up, I was hoping would become a baby blanket for some friends back in AR who recently announced that they are expecting. Since I am on a strict yarn diet, I am stash busting the CottonTots that I have left from a couple other blankets that I made. I love the colors of this yarn and it just begs to be baby stuff. I've been working in a make shift log cabin like pattern from the center out, and trying to just keep the project square.
That way, when I run out of yarn, I don't have to worry because the project is square and can be complete. Well, I've run out and it is only about 22 inches square. I can't decide if I should send it to them or not. It is no where near large enough to be considered a blanket, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be useful. I think it might be a great diaper pad, or maybe it could be thrown over a car seat. I could go ahead and send this to the animal shelter as another kennel pad, but I intended it for the baby, and I'm not sure when I'll be able to buy a blanket's worth of yarn. I just don't know. Those of you that have had children (and those of you who haven't but have an idea), what do you think? Could you have used a knit square, or would it just be a nuisance?


Jen and Rich Johnson said...

Wow! You are good! I just found your blog from Ravelry and am inspired. I really like the quiltish baby blanket.

Amanda D Allen said...

Thank you very much.

Lupie said...

So many beautiful things, where to start. The Windowpane socks are amazing and your mom will love them. The Broad Street Mittens look great. I had the same problem with my first Magic Mittens. They didn't match but by the 3rd pair I've done better.
The Sprinkles socks are beautitful and I will have to pick up some of that yarn.
The Porphyria fingerless gloves are great and an easy way to use up leftovers.
Last but not least that great blanket. Another way to use leftover yarn.
Great work!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes yes! Very nice colors on these projects. In particular, the Windowpane socks and the fingerless gloves. So pretty!