Tag Archives: cables

Oh damn


So, here I was, all prepared to do my Burrard progress post and report that I was almost through the waist decreases on the back with nary a problem and then I looked at the photos, and yeah, miscrossed cable. One full repeat back.


Can you spot it? Let me give you a hint:


Sigh. The only reason I even noticed it is because I was going to say how it’s a shame that this dark yarn hides the details in the knotted parts of the cables, and so then I looked at them more closely, and yeah. I almost made the same mistake in the row I just knit (which is hard to see, but is right under the cord at the top). Maybe if I had repeated the mistake then it wouldn’t be so noticeable? Because it would be continuous? I don’t know. That mistake is about 26 rows back, which is several thousand stitches, and I’m not sure I have it in me to rip that. If I really hate it later, I can always duplicate stitch, right?

(I can’t decide whether I want you to encourage me to be a perfectionist and rip, or tell me it’s okay and let me carry on.)

Anyway, before I noticed that, I was also going to say how I had to rip back all the ribbing after I started the cables and realized I was three stitches off in the ribbing (despite checking the errata) because I apparently can’t count. Ribbing isn’t such a big thing to rip out, though. I actually ought to be somewhat farther along, but this has been kind of a long week work-wise, and by the time I got home (often at least an hour later than usual) all I could handle was plain stockinette, so I turned to these, which were cast on months and months ago at another time when all my brain could handle was plain stockinette. The splash of colour was a welcome distractions as well, and I figure that if I knit a few rows a week, I’ll get both some colour therapy and that much closer to a finished pair (the first one is done), so it’s win-win.

Maybe I’ll pick them up now while I debate what to do about this cable situation.


A hat too late


This weekend, it was spring. I don’t know if it’s going to stick around (being from Nova Scotia, I’m programed to expect a big storm in March), but for now, it feels great. I spent a good chunk of Saturday just walking around the city and enjoying being perfectly dressed for the first time in months. It was gorgeous.

Finished just in time to not need it! This is how people who don't wear hats plan hat knitting I guess.

Finished just in time to not need it! This is how people who don’t wear hats plan hat knitting I guess.

It stands to reason, then, that I would finish my winter hat just a week before this warm weather rolled into town. I haven’t blogged about the hat because, even though a month passed between when I cast on and when I cast off, I really never felt like I was knitting it. I am not, generally speaking, a hat person. I am that idiot on a cold day who’s turtled deep into a scarf and bareheaded. I don’t know why, but hats never occur to me. This was a cold winter, though, and when February rolled around and it became clear it wasn’t going to warm up, I decided to cast on. (I do, I should say, have a hat, a nice hat even, but I’ve never knit one for myself and I decided it was time.)

I guess there was too much halo for the cables. I still think this yarn will make a toasty hat.

I guess there was too much halo for the cables. I still think this yarn will make a toasty hat.

I chose Scrollwork, by Irina Dmitrieva (from Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 4) and, very responsibly, paired it with some stash yarn. I got to the first bit of cabling and realized I’d made a bad choice. The yarn I was working with (this yarn, a wool/alpaca blend that would have made for a soft and lovely hat) was just not going to show off those cables to their advantage. And after the work I was about to put in, that would suck. So, I ripped back and started over with some of the Shelter I bought in New York.

Let me preface this by saying I didn’t swatch. This may be the first hat I’ve knit for myself, but it isn’t the first hat I’ve ever knit, and I know that 112 stitches on a 4.5mm needle will fit my head just fine. So I cast on and went with it. This is a demanding hat. The cables twist and turn and don’t think about trying to watch anything while knitting them because, well, you’ll be hitting pause a lot. I loved the knitting. For the few hours at a time that I spent with the hat, I enjoyed every stitch (well, almost every stitch – I also worry my post-cable purls are too loose) and there’s nothing like working complex cables to make you feel smart.

Right around here I started to wonder if maybe it wasn't looking a little short.

Right around here I started to wonder if maybe it wasn’t looking a little short.

What will quickly make you feel less smart, however, is after finishing your fancy hat and realizing it’s small. In the photos, there is quite a generous slouch, which is partly why I wasn’t worried about fit. I ought to have been. I don’t know if my hat just didn’t grow as much, or if my cables were tighter or what, but not only does my hat not have that slouch, but it is almost too small. I can wear it, but it doesn’t quite cover my earlobes, and a cold day, that’s dumb.


This is a very good representation of the colour. Photo taken before it was spring.

On the upside, I enjoyed knitting it so much I might just knit another one! I am also probably going to have a go at the cowl too, since that would both be fun and give me a winter set. But maybe next year, since it’s spring now.

Pattern: Scrollwork, by Irina Dmitrieva
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Plume
Needles: 3.75mm for the ribbing, 4.5mm for the rest
Modifications: I knit this exactly as written, except I switched to the larger needle in my last row of ribbing, which made the increase row a little easier to work. Also, of course, I started twice.

Lots of snow means lots of knitting


I grew up in rural Nova Scotia, which meant that every winter we’d get close to a dozen snow days (one year, we had so many school was almost extended into the summer to make up for it). Snow days were, of course, the best, and usually an excuse to sleep late and be lazy all day (except when we were little and then they were an excuse for a lot of playing). Living in Toronto, we don’t tend to get much snow, and working at a newspaper, my workplace is never closed because of weather.

Last week, though, Toronto got hit. That same big storm that barrelled through the the East Coast hit us first, and although we didn’t get quite as much snow, we got a lot (over a foot!). It mostly came on Friday and, yes, I had to work, but waking up on Saturday to a city that was still digging out meant that everything was quite and beautiful and wintry. If that combination doesn’t fill you with the desire to knit, well, I don’t know what does.

After long grey days, snow really brightens everything up.

After long grey days, snow really brightens everything up.

L was busy marking assignments, so while we did go walking around in the snow and admiring how much prettier the city is in the snow – it was one of those perfect winter weekends, with a bright blue sky and no wind and snow everywhere – I spent the majority of the weekend happily knitting and listening to Tina Fey read Bossypants.


I was was a little all over the place knitting-wise, but here’s what I occupied my needles most:

I wish I'd taken a photo on Saturday morning, because I just about doubled the size of my Woodstove cardigan.

I wish I’d taken a photo on Saturday morning, because I just about doubled the size of my Woodstove Season cardigan.

I can sometimes be a reactionary knitter, thus, a new hat. This is Scrollwork by Irini Dmitrieva and I'm knitting it out of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Plume.

I can sometimes be a reactionary knitter, thus, a new hat. This is Scrollwork by Irini Dmitrieva and I’m knitting it out of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Plume.

And, last but not least, I'm making good progress on my Everyday Socks. They're good TV knitting, and with the cold, I'm extra motivated to get another pair of socks finished.

And, last but not least, I’m making good progress on my Everyday Socks. They’re good TV knitting, and with the cold, I’m extra motivated to get another pair of socks finished.

A little all over the place maybe, but I like variety; it keeps me interested and helps ensure my hands don’t get tired or sore. Those cables are addictive, though, and if it’s still cold out when I finish that hat I will probably cast on right away for the matching cowl!

Mirror Mirror, Cable Cable


I was going to wait for a nice sunny day to photograph these before posting, but I am just too excited! My mirror-cabled socks are done, and they are just exactly what I wanted them to be.

It is really hard to take picture of your own socks, especially when the details are on the sides of your legs.

You know how sometimes you decide what you want to knit before you find a pattern, and then you search and search and search and nothing comes up? Well, I spent a long time clicking through Ravelry patterns before I had to concede that the socks I wanted weren’t there anywhere. Maybe they’re too basic, I don’t know, but whatever the case, they weren’t there. So, I made them up. As I said, they’re fairly basic, but they’re just the blend of pretty and plain that I wanted, and although they were an easy knit, they were just interesting enough to keep my attention.

Also, I totally had enough yarn in the end. More than enough, as it turned out (remind me of this when I’m knitting my next pair of socks and have a similar fit of worry).  Just in case you wondered what happened.

I will post nicer pictures when the weather improves, but until then, here they are.

Pattern: Mirror-Mirror cabled socks by Me
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in colourway “Boticelli Red” (the real colour is somewhere in between the shades of these photos)
Needles: 2.25mm Clover bamboo dpns

I haven’t written this up as a formal pattern, but I might, since there doesn’t seem to be one out there yet. Would you want to knit these? (I have a sneaking suspicious they may become my go-to sock.)

For the first time in a long time, I don’t have a sock on my needles right now. I’ve got the sweater (goodness knows that isn’t going anywhere fast) and I’ve cast on a new project, but since it’s literally just 67 stitches on a needle right now, I’ll wait to show/tell you about that until it’s more interesting to look at.

Turning a corner, so to speak


A little while ago I started thinking about a pair of socks I wanted to knit. This isn’t that unusual, except that it wasn’t a pair I’d seen out there before. I poked around on Ravelry and didn’t see the socks I wanted, so I decided to hunker down and do the math and figure them out myself. Admittedly, they weren’t too tricky or fancy, and that was kind of the appeal. After colourwork and lacework, what I really wanted was a sock that was easy to knit, but not boring. I knew exactly what yarn I wanted to use (I’d spotted it on my shopping spree), so when I saw it again I snapped it up and set about charting.

Malabrigo sock in colourway Boticelli Red – it's an incredibly deep and decadent colour.

I cast on last week, and I’m pretty pleased with how things are progressing.

This is actually my first cable project (so it still qualifies as a socks-as-learning-tool project), which added a little bit more daring to the design. I’m also knitting at a really tight gauge (about 11 stitches to an inch), which I’m hoping will make for a long-wearing sock.

What really pleases me about this project, though, is that for the first time, my ssks look just like my k2togs. Seriously. Maybe you don’t have this problem, but for me, my decreases rarely match. They’re close, absolutely, but they just aren’t quite equal. It always seemed that no matter what I did, my ssk had a floppy arm. There, I said it. It was imperfectly formed, and although I’m sure no one else noticed, I noticed, and I bugged me.  It turns out, though, that there’s a solution: Cat Bordhi devised a way to make “slim and trim ssks” (YouTube link) and you know what? It totally works. I will never ssk without a “hungry stitch” again if I can help it. Just look at this:



I thought the cables would be my favourite part of the socks, but you know, I think the ssks are jockeying their way forward. They’re so tidy. They’re so trim. They’re so indistinguishable from their k2tog brethren. I’m excited to get to the toes where their matchy-ness will really be on display. This is an incredibly nerdy thing to be excited about, but I just found out that, after months of thinking ‘there has to be a better way,’ it turns out there is. I am thrilled!