Tag Archives: Malabrigo

Snow on re-entry

4

Time flies when you’re in the sun. We got back to Toronto last night, and it was snowing. Snowing! When we left Eleuthra yesterday morning it was still cool (we left the house before the sun was up) but it was still probably 17 or 18C, and then we landed in snow. Boo.

Nevertheless, we had a fantastic holiday. I will do a proper post about it in a day or two, but before then I have to go through the many photos and unpack, and deal with all the things that didn’t get dealt with while we were away, and also cuddle Ganymede, who spent the week in an empty apartment (don’t worry, though, a friend of ours visited regularly to check on her).

So, in the absence of real holiday pictures, lets talk socks – apparently I need to start wearing them again.

Finished Stepping-Stones.

Finished Stepping-Stones.

I finished the Stepping-Stone Socks last Friday, the day after we arrived. I had the cuff finished before we left, and the leg finished by the time we landed in Nassau and the heel turned by the time we boarded our teeny plane for Eleuthra (it sat 18, including the pilots, and I didn’t knit on it). Even with swimming and walking and reading and eating and drinking, it was a breeze to finish the foot on Friday, and L obliged me with some lovely photos.

This one is less lovely, but he thought a behind-the-scenes shot would be hilarious, so...

This one is less lovely, but he thought a behind-the-scenes shot would be hilarious, so…

Certainly one of the reasons these socks were so quick to knit was because they are knit in worsted weight. Man, what a difference that makes! Besides the heavier yarn, though, these socks have a delightfully fluid and quick stitch pattern that only takes two rows to memorize. Honestly, I will knit these socks again and again, and because it’s a six-stitch repeat, it’s an easy pattern to adjust for size and yarn weight. All that being said, I found the subtle change from leg to instep pattern weirdly hard to adjust to; it just didn’t flow as well for me. The instep is just a little less intuitive (it also involved more counting) and while I like how it looks, I think the next time I make these I’ll continue the leg pattern down the foot and see how it looks.

steppingstones6

I knit these socks over two weeks, but actual knitting time was only about four days, so these would make an excellent last-minute gift. My mum requested that the socks be a little taller than the ones I knit for myself, so I knit the legs to 7 inches. She also has slightly longer feet than I do. Those two factors meant I needed just a bit more than 100g to knit these, but you could easily make them from one 100g skein. I now have 82g of red yarn leftover, but I might just whip that up into another Puerperium Cardigan (our friends had a baby girl last night!), so I’m not annoyed in the least that I needed that little bit of extra.

Details
Pattern: Stepping-Stones by Clara Parkes (from The Knitter’s Books of Socks, but also available for free on Ravelry!)
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Ravelry Red
Needles: 3.5mm
Modifications: First of all, I changed the needle size. I thought the large size would be too big for my mum, so I just adjusted the small. They knit up perfectly to fit a size-10 foot (9-ish inches in circumference). I also changed the heel. Since I went up a needle size I was worried that the one in the pattern would be too thick/bulky for a comfortable fit, so I just went with my normal slip-stitch heel (also saving me extra ends to weave in). Other than that, I knit it exactly as written. (My socks are Ravelled here, if you’re curious.)

steppingstones5

I also finished another pair of socks while away, but I’ll save them for another post.

Mirror Mirror, Cable Cable

12

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.

Details
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.

Very. Slow. Progress.

2

I know the key word there should be “progress,” but mostly it just feels like “slow.” Anyway. Remember all that time ago when I said I was casting on for a sweater? Well, I actually did that. And then I got distracted by socks and life and it languished. It’s my in-the-background project, so I was alright with it not being a priority.

Last week, though, I decided I should dedicate some actual time to it, otherwise it was just going to be a background project forever, and nothing is less motivating than returning to a project that seems to be going nowhere. So, Tuesdays and Thursdays are now for sweater -knitting only (well, and work and cooking and all that other stuff; it’s more like any knitting that gets done on those days must be for the sweater). It’s been two weeks, and this is what I have to show for myself:

April 10, barely beyond the ribbing and before my dedicated sweater knitting plan.

April 20.

Today

This is Buckwheat by Veera Valimaki and I am being unoriginal and knitting in the same colourway she did, which is Malabrigo Sock ochre (had I seen Boticelli Red at the time, things might have been different). To get gauge I had to go up to a 4.5 mm needle, which means the wool and needle pairing are not exactly natural (tiny wool, biggish needle), so I feel the need to hold everything more tightly than normal, which is slowing me down.

I’m not quite at the waist shaping, which means I’m just far enough along to start worrying that it won’t fit. I have no reason to think this except that I tend to think this about everything  knit right around the point that I’m far enough into it that ripping back seems unfathomable.  Thus, I will not be ripping this and will instead persevere with the assumption that I’m being crazy and everything will work out.

Turning a corner, so to speak

1

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:

ssk

k2tog

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!

A Cautionary Tale

8
Yarn splurge

Last weekend I went into Lettuce Knit to exchange some wool (I had an extra, unwound skein of the wool I used for Almondine, so I thought I’d plan ahead and get something for the next pair of socks). I had just started the Happy-Go-Lucky socks, and thought I’d ask Natalie what she thought – I’m still new to colourwork and wanted to make sure I was doing things properly. For the record, this is how far along I was:

Happy-Go-Lucky

Just a bit of top.

At that point, I could get my foot through without any trouble. Nonetheless, Natalie took one look at them and said “be careful.” Her warning: She has highly-arched feet and there are some socks she just can’t get her foot into. I thought about that for a minute and then decided to just got for it. I was knitting above gauge, I thought, surely that will save me. Still, her warning haunted me all week, and when I Friday rolled around and I was halfway through the foot I thought I should check. The heel did seem small to me, and I was (secretly) a little worried. I couldn’t get my foot through. It was because the socks were still on the needles I reasoned, and plowed on.

Still, I was worried. I went to work that night and then spent all my downtime on Ravelry looking at projects I could start on the weekend in case these socks decided not to fit. I need to do this. I need to plan for the worst so that if it doesn’t happen, I can rejoice, and if it does I have something else planned already so no worries. I picked two patterns (this one and this one) and decided that I’d finish the Happy-Go-Lucky toe on Saturday morning and then go buy the necessary wool for the other patterns. No big deal.

Of course, then the sock fit. Only barely, to be fair, but I got it on and it was comfortable and lovely. Perfect, right? Well, yes and no. You see, in all my planning for ways to not be horribly disappointed in case they didn’t fit, I got kind of excited about these other projects.

Happy-Go-Lucky

Half of a pair. Secretly, I'm pretty pleased about how this looks – especially the surprise stripes on the sole.

That meant I went to the yarn store anyway.

Yarn splurge

Three skeins each of Cascade 220 Heathers in colourway 4008 (for the scarf) and three of Malabrigo sock in colourway Ochre (for the sweater).

I have been swatching ever since. I will cast on the second sock this week, but I might also cast on a sweater. Maybe today. Maybe right now. You see what happens when you preplan for disaster?