Here are Joshua's Norwegian Star Slippers knit with Cascade 220 in the Puget Sound and Black colorways. I noticed with these slippers that though black is called the main color, that the Fair Isle pattern looks better when I have the black yarn in the contrasting color spot (the left side of my knitting thimble). I had the black yarn on the right side of my knitting thimble for Justin's slippers and the pattern does not stand out as strongly. It has also been challenging for me to make the second slipper the same size as the first. I ended up going up to the 2.5 mm needle for the second slipper. The checkered pattern on the cuff was also difficult to line up with all the picked up sts followed by some shaping decreases. I certainly learned a lot from this project!
I like to keep a tally of my knitting accomplishments for the year. In 2012, I knitted one set-in sleeve sweater, 1 tank top, 3 hats (1 handspun), 3 scarves (1 handspun), 1 cowl, one handspun tea cozy, two pairs of Fair Isle slippers, and 11 pairs of socks. I hope to knit with more of my handspun in 2012.
Here is the completed foot of Joshua's Norwegian Star slipper. I am using 2.25 mm Addi Turbo 40" needles and my knitting thimble with this Cascade 220 Superwash yarn in the Puget Sound and black colorways. It is a bit much to be knitting almost worsted weight yarn on sock yarn size needles, but it is necessary to make child size slippers. I realized after I received the yarn that I could have used sport weight instead, it just did not occur to me when I planned this project.
I have started the foot part of the second slipper and will then pick out the row of blue yarn between the heel and the foot to knit the leg and cuff sections of each slipper. The edges on this slipper are a little wavy and some blocking would be in order, but I will likely mail them as soon as I complete them. I had the foot turned inside out as I knitted to improve the edges, but this might have been a situation where dpns might have worked better. Justin and Joshua will outgrow these slippers, which will not become heirlooms, and the sooner I finish them the sooner Joshua can wear them.
Here are the Filigree Slippers I knitted for my nephew, Justin. The pattern is from the book Scandinavian Slippers and Socks. I used Cascade 220 Superwash in Maroon and Black and size 2.5 mm Addi Turbo 40" needle for the first slipper foot. Somehow my tension loosens when I use my knitting thimble for a second sock or mitten so I ended up going down to a 2.25 mm Addi Turbo needle for the second slipper foot. I knitted Fair Isle with the slipper turned inside out to keep me from pulling the yarn too tightly at the edges. I had to turn it right side out once I got close to completing the toe.
These slippers are started at the heel and a row of waste yarn is knit into the top of the slipper after the heel. Once the foot is complete, the waste yarn is removed, the stitches are picked up and the ankle/leg section is knit with twined knitting. I had never done twined knitting and I found it to be utterly annoying. With two balls of yarn (as two ends from center pull ball result in a very twisted yarn), one stitch is knit with one ball and then the next stitch is knit with the second ball, and the yarn is crossed over the previous yarn, with each stitch. The two balls of yarn become very tangled and then have to be untangled. The result is a stretchy, durable fabric, but still, I had no fun knitting this way. I went up to size 3.0 mm needles on both slippers for this twisted knitting section as the cuff looked too small when I used the 2.5 mm needles.
I had been planning to make Lawrence and John this Danish hotpad, which is knit with twined knitting, from the Folk Mittens book. Sorry guys, that's probably not going to happen. Joshua is waiting for his slippers, but I am taking a little break until I find out how these fit Justin. They could end up being Joshua's slippers if they are too small for Justin.
Here is my completed Sheep Carousel Tea Cozy, a birthday present for my good friend, Lawrence. I had started a different project for him, however, I quickly realized I would not complete it in time for his special day. I adore Kate Davies delightful patterns and remembered that I had given Lawrence a teapot years ago. I downloaded the pattern and got started.
This design is for a much larger teapot so I adjusted the pattern for a smaller teapot. I changed the Latvian Braid to a two-color garter stitch pattern. I also added a column of white stitches on edges of the second pattern repeat (each pattern repeat has two sheep in it and each half of the cozy between the steeks has two repeats of this pattern repeat). I used 2.5 mm needles instead of 3 mm and eliminated the ribbing and the i-Cord edging at the bottom. The yarn is handspun dark 2-ply yak for the background and 2-ply wool for the sheep. I wish I had made the spout steek as long as the handle steek.
I crocheted the steeks before I cut them following Kate Davies helpful tutorial found here and they worked out very nicely. I used my knitting thimble with the dark yak yarn as the background (so on the right yarn holder) and the white wool on the left, except for when I worked the sheep faces, then I switched yarns, as per Kate's clever recommendation, to help the sheep faces stand out better.
Lawrence inspires me with all of his wonderful creations and I hope he is having a fantastic birthday!
I have been having a lot of fun spindle spinning my Cormo/Possum roving. I even plied it on my All-Day Lollipop spindle. I used about two ounces of it with some handspun alpaca two-ply yarn to make this Fair Isle hat. I casted on 84 sts and worked k1, p1 ribbing on size 7 Addi Turbo needles. I changed needles to size 8 and worked two rounds plain before starting the Fair Isle pattern which I found in 1000 Great Knitting Motifs by Luise Roberts. I minimized the jog which goes through the middle motif diagonally. I worked two plain rounds after the motif and then decreased six 14 stitch sections every other round until the last few rows where I decreased every round. This hat is about 19" around and it was a joy to knit with my spindle spun yarn.
I have completed this Four Corner Hat which I have wanted to knit it for a long time. Our local library has Hats: A Knitter's Dozen and that version of the pattern only has one size. I used Knit Picks Telemark yarn in Columbine and Drift and my size 5 Addi Lace Clicks, going down a needle size as my yarn was thicker than what the pattern called for. The hat is knit in four different sections and each section is joined to the previous section as it is knitted. There are two inches of plain knitting followed by the Fair Isle band. The original has three colors, but I just went with two colors. It took nearly two skeins of the Columbine (purple) and just one skein of the Drift. It was nice to use my 20" needles in my set of Addi Lace Clicks for the Fair Isle band, a bit roomier than 16" needles would have been. I did my best to eliminated the jog (which starts between the middle diamonds). Sewing the Fair Isle band neatly to the hat was a challenge, and overall it was a fun project to knit.
My nephew, Joshua, turned 6 years old yesterday. Last Saturday, I decided to knit him a pair of mittens to match his Spiderman hat. These are the "We Call Him Spidey" mittens, a free pattern on Ravelry. The original pattern has an afterthought thumb. I prefer a "sore" thumb, so I added a gusset and redesigned the thumb. I used my purpleheart Darn Pretty Dpns and they are slightly smaller than 2.75 mm in diameter. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Sport in Winter's Night, Hollyberry, and Black. The stitch gauge is about 7.5 sts to the inch. Now Joshua has a matching hat and mittens to wear for the rest of the winter.
Here are the Norwegian Rose Socks that I knitted for my sister, Teresa. The yarns are Knit Picks Stroll in black and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Tahoe colorway. The pattern is very same pattern I knit for Wendy's Toe-Up Socks for Every Body book. I used size 2.00 mm Addi Turbo needles for the toes (and heels) and started with an 8 stitch Turkish cast on. I worked increases every round till I reached 36 sts and then every other round to 68 sts. I decreased to 66 sts then switched over to my 2.5 mm Addi Turbo needles.
My knitting thimble usually works well for me, however, my first sock was small and these socks are a bit bigger, all with the same needle size. They ended up being about a week late for her birthday and they are a little big in the leg for her. The first sock would have fit her foot, but probably would have been too small in the leg. At any rate, they are completed, and she has them to keep her feet warm during this cold winter.
I have completed the second hat from Alice Starmore's Hat Trick kit, this one is Snowdrop. I eliminated the jog in as it showed up quite prominently in the photo on the pattern instructions. I used size 3.00 mm needles for the ribbing and 3.50 mm needles for the rest of the hat. I inadvertently confused Bog Bean and Kittiwake in the ribbing and even added an extra round, not that anyone would really notice. I switched to a 40" size 3.50 mm circular needle as I approached the crown and worked the Magic Loop. Here, the hat is not blocked as the Rubbermaid container I need to block it is in the freezer. I marked the center where I started the jogless join with a size 0 needle and the jog is not really visible which makes it worth all the extra effort.