Thursday, December 26, 2013

Once you've made mitts, it's important not to lose them

Strings! Perhaps it was just that I was a careful child, but I've never actually had mittens with strings.

I get asked about them fairly often, in mitten knitting classes - how to make them, how long they should be - but I've never had more than vague suggestions to offer.

I recently completed a pair of mittens in one of my favourite yarns - Sweet Georgia's Superwash Chunky  - and I had some of the skein leftover.

So I decided to make a string for them.

I used 4.5mm/US 7 DPNs - several sizes smaller than I used to make the mittens - cast on 3 stitches and worked a length of i-cord....

The question was, of course, how long the string should be. After a bit of research - that is, chatting with knitting mothers - we determined that the optional length should be the height of the wearer. 

But a very sensible knitting mother also pointed out that the cords are likely to stretch. Knit them tight to keep the stretch to a minimum. If knitting mitts for someone still growing, a bit of stretch isn't a bad thing. For adults, however, you need to keep them as close to their intended length as possible. Use the cast-on and cast off tails of the i-cord to sew the to the inside of the mitten cuff, but leave the cast-off tail accessible so that when the cords stretch you can remove the mitt, shorten the cord and then reattach it.  (The very sensible Fiona Ellis suggests making knots in the cord to take up the slack, too.)

I have discovered that there are many benefits to having mitts on a string: you can't lose them, they make an excellent extra pocket - great for holding my TTC tokens and transfers - and perhaps best of all, they make people smile. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Free Pattern: The Fingering Weight Fingerless Mitten Pattern

I was banging on about these so much recently, I though I might share the pattern.

They are worked top-down, so they're ideal for using up leftovers - and the thumb gusset is created by decreasing rather than increasing - I think it's a bit more elegant that way! If you are working from leftover yarn, divide it into two balls, and just work until you've run out of yarn.

A single mitt takes about 15gm-20gm of fingering weight yarn.

This is a slightly modified version of the pattern from the book, shorter in both hand and cuff for better use as layering mitts - and to help you use up leftovers!

If you've never made mitts before, this is a good place to start, as they skip many of the tricker bits of mitten-knitting. As long as you know how to knit in the round, you're good.

Size XS (S, M, L, XL)
To Fit Teen/Women’s XS (Women’s S, Women’s M, Women’s L/Men’s S, Men’s L)
Hand Circumference 7(7.5,  8,  8.5,  9) inches
Full Length (adjustable) 6-7 inches

Approximately 120 (130, 140, 160, 180) yds Fingering weight yarn.
1 set US 2.5/3mm needles for working in the round– DPNs, two circulars or a long circular as you prefer
Stitch markers

28 sts and 40 rounds over 4 inches/10 cm square in stockinette stitch in the round
Note: stitch gauge is very important, round gauge less so.

Cast on 42 (46, 50, 52, 56) sts. Distribute sts across needles as you prefer and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist. Note or mark beginning of round.

Ribbing round: (K1, p1) around.
Work ribbing as set for 1 inch.
Next round: Knit.
Work as set until piece measures desired length to thumb. I work mine so that they're 2 to 2.5 inches long so that they just cover my knuckles. Add an inch ro an inch and a half to cover more of your fingers.

Create thumbhole
Next round: Bind off 6 (6, 6, 6, 8) sts, k to end of round.
Following round: Using either the cable or backwards loop method, cast on 12 (12, 12, 14, 16sts, knit to end of round. 48 (52, 56, 60, 64) sts.

Note: You’ll probably find it easier to keep the new cast-on sts on the end-of-round needle as you work the first few rounds of the next section. If you do, place a marker before the cast on sts so you don’t lose track of the start of the round.

Knit 4 (2, 2, 2, 4) rounds. If you need to, rearrange sts at this point so that start of round is at the start of a needle, and place a second marker after the 12 (12, 12, 14, 16) cast on sts.

1st size only:
Decrease round: K1, SSK, k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k to end of round.
Knit 3 rounds.
Repeat the last 4 rounds 2 (-, -, -, -) more times, and work decrease round once more. 40 (-, -, -, -) sts.

2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th sizes only:
Decrease round: K1, SSK, k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k to end of round.
Knit 5 rounds.
Repeat these last 6 rounds - (2, 2, 3, 3) more times and work Decrease round once more. - (44, 48, 50, 54) sts.

The thumb markers can be removed at this point.

Final decrease round: Knit, decreasing 6 (8, 10, 10, 10) sts evenly around. 34 (36, 38, 40, 44) sts. (See below for help with this.)
The final decrease round: Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter how you get to the final stitch count, but if you’re not sure how to do it, use these instructions.
1st size: (K5, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k5, k2tog) twice. 34 sts.
2nd size: (K4, k2tog, k3, k2tog) 4 times. 36 sts.
3rd size: (K3, k2tog) 8 times, (k2, k2tog) twice. 38 sts.
4th size: (K3, k2tog) 10 times. 40 sts.
5th size: (K3, k2tog, k4, k2tog) 4 times, (k3, k2tog) twice. 44 sts.
Ribbing round: (K1, p1) around.
Work ribbing as set until cuff measures about 3 inches.
Note: This distance is the length of the cuff, worked down from the wrist. You can lengthen or shorten this as you wish. (Just remember, if you do make them longer, you might need more yarn!)

Bind off as follows:
K2, *insert tip of left needle into the fronts of these two sts (as if to ssk), and knit them together; k1. Rep from * until all sts are bound off. Cut yarn and pull through final st to secure.

Block (by giving then a wash, no special treatment needed) and weave in ends.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Many sensible knitters have suggested I try thrummed mittens for warmth. I've got a Fleece Artist kit for a pair of thrummed socks - I'm sure I could make a pair of mittens out of it:

I tried making a thrummed sock once, years ago, but fell down due to poor instructions. I didn't really know how to make the thrum - how much roving to use, how to secure it to the stitch. The resulting socks weren't nearly insulted or insulating enough.

Can you point me to any good instructions for thrumming?  Thanks!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cold Hands: On Hand-Knit Mittens & Strategies for Staying Warm All Winter Long

I've written about this before: I suffer from a medical problem called Raynaud's Phenomenon. I have poor circulation, and in the cold, the blood flow to my hands and feet is "excessively reduced". This means that that I'm quicker to feel the cold in my extremities than many others, and I have to be careful to protect them, as I'm at risk of frostbite or other injuries. My fingers go numb, and it can take a while for them to return to normal when I come indoors on a winter day.

This means that I need warm handcoverings earlier in the winter -- and later into the spring -- than most.

And when the weather really turns bad, I have to get serious about my handcoverings.  I have consulted a knitting rheumatologist (hello Dr. N, if you're reading!) about this, and she made a number of key recommendations.
  • Mittens are always warmer than gloves - it's better to have air circulating, and if your fingers are together they can share the warmth. 
  • It's best if the mitten is a bit loose, to encourage that circulation.  
  • Layering is good. Two layers of mittens will trap warm air between them.
Hand-knit fabrics aren't really all that warm, as cold air blows through the holes in the fabric. No matter how densely you knit, there are little holes between the stitches, that air can sneak through.

Over the years, I've developed a few solutions.

As the evenings get chilly in September and October, I start wearing a pair of small fingerless mitts when I'm outside. These provide some basic coverage for cooler days, but are small and fitted, leaving enough movement that I can do whatever I need to -- type, knit, make coffee -- without having to take them off.

These are my fingerless mitt pattern from my Knit Accessories book, worked in fingering weight. The book has a worsted and a fingering-weight version. They're worked top-down so they are great for using up leftovers. Being small-footed, I can usually get a pair of these mitts and a pair of socks out of 100gm of sock yarn.

By mid-November, the fingerless mitts stay on pretty much all day, even in the house. I live in a big old drafty loft with high ceilings, and it can be pretty chilly at home. And I layer a pair of wool mittens on top. At first, they're a pair of light single-layer mittens - I like these 100% merino Icebreaker ones because they're very small and light, lined with a wooly fleece.

And then another few degrees cooler, and the other pair becomes a pair of thicker hand-knit mittens.

I'm very fond of these red ones, worked from my Basic Mittens pattern in my Knit Accessories book. As with all the patterns in that book, there's multiple gauges available - there's a worsted weight and a chunky weight pattern, which can also be worked with double-stranded worsted weight. The red pair are Cascade 220, the orange pair is Classic Elite mohair.

Or in a chunky/bulky weight, like this pair-to-be, in Sweet Georgia Superwash Chunky.

Warmer still are stranded colourwork mittens, as the floats on the wrong side of the work create a lining.

These are the Morse Code mittens, as published in Knitty.

And then as it gets colder, I change up to these: they're stranded colourwork mitts, felted to get rid of those pesky little holes in the fabric. For extra warmth I've lined them with a 'Thinsulate' fleece liner that I harvested from a pair of inexpensive acrylic mittens. Pattern recklessly improvised, using Briggs & Little Heritage yarn.

But when the weather truly turns foul, I grudgingly turn to a more modern solution: technical fabrics. I have a pair of Arctic-rated mittens like these from Mountain Equipment Co-op (the Canadian equivalent of REI), but still always with my fingerless mitts underneath - that way, if I need to take my hands out of my mitts, to answer my phone, when popping into the coffee shop, to grab a plastic bag for dog-related stuff - then I've still got some protection.

So yes, chances are, if you see me between the middle of September and the middle of April, I'll be wearing my fingerless mitts, even indoors. I actually have several pairs so I can wash them every couple of days. I figure that between coffee dribbles and the general wear-and-tear of everyday use, they need a wash. One of the reason sock yarn is so good for them - I can throw them in for a wash with a load of socks.

I even have a Christmas pair, made with yarn leftover from last year's Christmas socks.

Monday, December 02, 2013

I Heart NY; I also Heart You and Have a Present for You

New York City is one of my favourite places in the world to be.

We were just there last weekend, grabbing a mini vacation to celebrate Thanksgivukkahmas.

Although the air was brisk, it was sunny on Sunday, and we took a leisurely walk along the High Line. It's an old elevated railway track that's been turned into an urban park. The views are fantastic, and the whole thing is unexpected and wonderful.

I am going to be back there in January teaching at Vogue Knitting Live, the weekend of 17-19th.

I've got a full slate of socky classes
  • Top Down Socks 101: Ideal for knitters who know how to work in the round, and want to try top down socks.
  • Top Up Socks 101: Ideal for knitters who know how to work in the round, and want to try toe down socks.
If you've not knit socks of any kind before, I recommend starting with Top Down (it's a little easier to get started); if you've tried one type, I definitely encourage you to try the other!
  • Soxpertise: A focused session addressing FAQs and issues in sock knitting, including a discussion of the pros and cons of both methods, how to convert patterns, gusset holes, fit, pattern adjustments, etc. Bring your sock knitting questions!
  • You Spin Me Right Round: Magic Loop, DPNs and 2 Circulars:A hands-on workshop on the whys and wherefores of these different ways of working in the round.
  • Heels and Toes: An overview of different types of heels and toes, focused on fit and how to choose the right one for your particular fit needs and knitting interests. We'll talk about how to apply your own choices to an existing sock pattern.
  • Socks for Absolute Beginners: An intro for sock knitters for the very very new. You don't need to know how to work in the round, even! (SOLD OUT, SORRY!)
As a Thanksgivukkahmas special, we're offering a little bonus to you when you register for classes. Use the code "NYTEACHER14" when you check out, for a free gift! Click here to choose classes and register.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Craftsy Holiday Sale

Whether you think of it as a Black Friday sale, or just an easy way to get some of your end-of-year gift shopping done - and hey, you are allowed to buy a gift for yourself, you know.

Learning is a gift!

Craftsy is offering big discounts on their classes, including mine. Go! Buy it for someone as a gift!

Thanks. And enjoy whatever you might be celebrating this weekend.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winners in the Doctor Who Knitting Party Photo Contest

I got some excellent photos, thanks!

Victoria and Matt - bonus points for wearing a scarf!

Rayna and Ten and her sock

KnitMairwen in the movie theatre, waiting for the show to start.

Sanja's Baby Blanket - and that's clearly the Alt-Ten in his blue suit in the background.

(Do you respect me more or less for knowing that?)

And Lea, also in the theatre.

Austen's Tea and Ten.

Here's mine, for good measure. Very silly expression on my face, but can you blame me?

Chosen by a very scientific method - well, ok, based on a poll of several key advisors - the winners are Victoria and Rayna. Victoria gets the yarn and Rayna gets the patterns! Thanks to everyone for playing!

I have to say though, that the best photo I saw was a little different: a sighting of my Bigger on the Inside Shawl on the BBC America pre-show that was broadcast Saturday afternoon. See the pic on Amy's Instagram feed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Knitting/Watching Party Contest

Tweet or email me (kate at wisehildaknits dot com) pictures of you knitting in front of the Doctor Who show (or in line for one of the cinema viewings) to win one of two prizes: a copy of both the scarf and sock patterns! Or a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a beautiful chocolate brown.

Entries by midnight EST Tuesday November 26th. I'll pick two winners based on general awesomeness, and share the best. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This coming weekend: Classes at Shall We Knit

Boy, I must really really love the team at Shall We Knit (spoiler alert: I do!), as I agreed to be teaching there this Saturday.

What's up with this Saturday, you ask? Oh, nothing much: just the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who. In which David Tennant is appearing along with Matt Smith.

Anyway, yes, I am teaching at Shall We Knit this weekend. This will be my last visit there until the spring, so if you've been thinking about a class with me, this is your chance.

I'm teaching some old favourites, and some new ones:

Introduction to Lace: The Rickenbacker Shawl  - Saturday morning
I designed this shawl as an easy lace project. The original intention was that it be easy so that you could knit it in dark colours; but the same details that make it easy to knit in dark colours make it an ideal first lace project. If you're confident with knit and purl, you know everything you need for this class. Along the way, I'll talk about some different types of increases, how to identify, fix and - even better - prevent mistakes in lace, and we'll demystify blocking. This shawl is a great way to use up a single skein of sock yarn, and would make an ideal gift...

Short Row Skills - Saturday afternoon
I'm doing this as a two-parter to address knitters of all skill levels: come for one of the parts, or both. In the first half, we talk about the whys and wherefores of that pesky "wrap and turn" manoeuvre, explaining why it exists, how to do it, and how to deal with hiding the wraps. In the second half of the session, I talk about alternative ways of working short rows, and the pros and cons for each, and discuss short rows as a method for adding bust shaping in a garment.

What Goes Around: DPNs, Magic Loop and 2 Circulars (And those tiny little circulars, too!) - Sunday morning
There are four ways to work in the round. All of them have their benefits, and in this bootcamp session I'll show you how to handle all them. We'll play with the needles to build confidence, and we'll talk about how to convert patterns and instructions from one method to the other. If you've always wanted to learn Magic Loop, this is the session for you! If you feel clumsy with DPNs, we'll fix that! And never seen a tiny circular - I'll show you!

Fearless Finishing - Sunday afternoon
Because you've got holiday knitting on the needles, and at some point you're going to have ends to weave in.
In this in-depth workshop, we cover all types of seams, weaving in ends, picking up stitches. We talk about blocking - why it's important and how to do it. We discuss appropriate cast on and cast off methods for different types of projects, and edge treatments to make your finishing easier. Because I'm a pragmatist, I focus on techniques that make it as easy as possible, and I'll share tricks for minimizing the work.

More details on the classes in the Shall We Knit newsletter.

The lovely Kim and Ron of indigodragonfly are also at the shop this weekend. Kim's teaching some classes too, and they'll have some yarn and other goodies. This is also the east coast launch of my Rock 'n Roll Collection, and Kim will have patterns and special yarn packs for the collection.

Even if you're not taking a class, come and say hello and see the Rock 'n Roll collection in person!

Oh, yeah, and about the Doctor Who special....If you're in the US, details here, if you're in Canada, details here, and in the UK, details here.

Luckily, the good people at Shall We Knit understand the importance of the event, and have arranged a special viewing for us later that evening. (Yay for PVRs.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Geronimo! Allons-y!

So very excited to see this tweet from my friends at Lorna's Laces this afternoon:

The yarn kits for my Time & Space socks and scarves are shipping today, just in time for you to get ready for your 50th anniversary special viewing.  If you're in the US, details here, if you're in Canada, details here, and in the UK, details here

I'll be wearing my Bigger on the Inside Shawl while I'm watching it, as will, I assume ScadianScout who had made this most excellent version with LED LIGHTS!


Friday, November 01, 2013

When Travelling Through Space And Time

It's good to be well-dressed and warm if you're going on a journey. These might be just what you need.

Socks.  Toe-up knee socks.
The pattern is worked toe-up, and written for DPNs, Magic Loop and 2 circulars, as you prefer. Four sizes, finished foot circumferences 7 to 8.5 inches, fitting teens to XL women's.  A variation for calf-length socks is included, too.

Six colors, in rather fetching stripes.  The kit of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock contains special half skeins of the yarn - enough to make a pair of knee socks, or a two pairs of mid-calf socks, one pair for you, one pair for your companion. Or if you have full skeins, you can make two pairs of knee socks, and four pairs of mid-calf socks.

(Thanks to Claude La Rue for the excellent photos.)

And a Scarf.
Suitably long: 7 inches wide by over 80 inches! With tassels, naturally. 

Pattern uses about 90yds of each of six colors from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky. A kit is available from your favorite Lorna's retailers contains special 3/4 skeins, just enough to make the scarf. Full-size skeins will make it even longer.

Pattern available for $5 here.

(Many thanks to Amanda Jarvis and her adorable hubby for the photography.)

Or a Shawl.  
If your lifestyle requires a more ladylike or subtle homage to your favourite traveller, perhaps the Bigger on the Inside Shawl? Free pattern on Knitty; uses two skeins of Lorna's Solemate Sock Yarn.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another Craftsy Giveaway!

Do you like my new designs? I love them all, but I'm particularly proud of the shawl.

If you do decide to make the lace shawl, you would need to block it.

Like this:

(This is the Rickenbacker, in Waterloo Wools' Huron Fingering, in the Highlighter colorway.)

And if you're not sure about blocking, I can help you with that! I have a class!

My Craftsy class launched just a few weeks ago, and the response has been most excellent.

As a way of saying thank you, Craftsy and I are offering another free class giveaway. Enter here.
Sign up for Craftsy, or use your existing account to enter the contest. One entry per person. (If you're having rouble seeing the giveaway page, using Firefox should help.)  Contest ends midnight EST Monday November 4th.

Remember, Craftsy classes make great gifts, too... As a special offer, since you might want to know how to block these new projects, here's a link for a 50% discount valid until midnight EST Monday the 4th, also.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Announcing: The Rock & Roll Collection

It's a well-known fact that I wear a lot of black. It's a holdover from my 'punk rock girl' phase. In my defense, it also makes it easy to get dressed in the morning - no decisions! everything matches! coffee stains don't show!

It's also a well-known fact that I like knitting in black. It's boring to look at, very difficult to photograph, and my optometrist doesn't like me doing it, but I love the results.

It's also pretty well known that I'm a big fan of the yarns of indigodragonfly. And she has a series of shaded black colorways, her "High Fidelity" series, named after quotes from a most excellent music movie.

It seemed like fate, really.

I'm thrilled to announce my The Rock 'n' Roll collection (feat. indigodragonfly)! Kim and I are launching it this weekend, at KnitCity in Vancouver: .

Rickenbacker, a slightly off-center triangle shawl worked in a single skein of fingering weight yarn:

Hofner lace socks:

Gibson cabled fingerless mitts in fingering weight:

And the Fender hat, in worsted weight:

Each of these is designed specifically to be simple and fun to knit in dark colors, and each is slightly off-kilter in some way: the socks and mitts have lefts and rights with mirrored patterning The shawl is mildly asymmetrical, and the hat... oh, the hat... it looks like an innocent ribbed watchcap, but it holds a secret: the ribbing is an irregular repeat. Some k1s, some k2s, some k3s, some p1, some p2s, some p3s, maybe even a p4.

You could knit them in colors, and they'd be fun and not-too-challenging projects. But if you've always wanted to knit rock and roll style, this could be your answer.

As is my way, the hats, mitts and socks come in multiple sizes, and the sock and mitts patterns are written to be worked on any method: DPNs, magic loop or two circulars.

You can buy the entire collection for $12, on Ravelry or Patternfish, or the individual patterns for $5 each - Ravelry links: shawl, socks, mitts and hat; Patternfish links: shawl, socks, mitts and hat. (Print copies of the patterns are available for $7 each or $15 for the collection at KnitCity, and look for them at a couple of key stores in the near future.)

Major kudos and thanks to the artists that helped make this idea happen: Kim for her yarns, Lauren Ogilvie for her photography, and Zabet Stewart for the graphic design. They got what I wanted and ran with it.   And then thanks to Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, who kept me on the straight and narrow, technically.

I'm honoured to work with such a great team.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Because lace looks fantastic in black. And a black lace shawl goes with everything.

But easy enough to knit so that you won't lose your mind. I promise.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Because sometimes it's too cold for fishnet stockings

 Who says you can't be a little sexy while protecting yourself from frostbite?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Don't Know About the Men in Your Life, but the Men in My Life Don't Like Their Handknits to be "Fancy"

See. Not fancy at all. Nothing to see here. Just a ribbed watchcap in a nice unassuming shade of brown...

Or is it?....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Conversation with Lauren, a Photographer

"So, you're telling me that you need me to photograph a collection of items entirely in black?"


Friday, October 18, 2013

A Conversation with Yarn-dyer Kim

"Hey Kim... you have a range of shaded black yarns, yeah?"

"Yeah... why... ?"

"I have an idea."

"Does your optometrist approve?"

"Probably not."

"Will that stop you?"


"Ok. Let me know how many skeins you want."

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New (Old) Sock Pattern: the Gansey Sock

This is a sock I designed years ago (in the spring of 2009,) for a now-defunct magazine. I've always loved it, and it's time to bring it back to life.

Traditional gansey pattern stitches make for an attractive, interesting to knit, but not too challenging sock pattern. Suitable for both men and women, in finished sizes Adult XS to XL (foot circumference 7 to 8.5 inches).

I do love the traditional patterning of a gansey, but I'm not always looking for a full sweater project.

This sock design takes a number of key gansey design elements. The patterning is often confined to the yoke area: to conserve yarn, to improve the fit, to make it a bit warmer, and to make future patching as simple as possible. Plain fabric uses less yarn than patterned areas, of course. The patterning improves the fit of the sweater in the yoke area by tightening up the fabric and making it a bit denser , warmer and harder-wearing. And future patching in key areas of wear - the lower parts of the body and the sleeves - is easy because they're worked plain which makes them easy to darn or reknit. And since these sweaters are designed to last, you can also make alterations - lengthening the sleeves for another wearer, for example, by unravelling and just knitting a bit further. And so with the sock, I've left plain the areas that are likely to wear out - the toe and lower part of heel. I have left the patterning on the back of the heel so that it will wear a bit better; pattern stitches are as good as heel stitch in this context. And I've the pattern stitches on the leg keep it nice and snug so it stays up.

I've used a classic regional combination of patterns - a typical Filey cables-and-steps combo. The designs were often very regional, handed down from knitter to knitter verbally, and didn't travel very far, so I stuck with a single region's patterning. I liked the "steps" pattern, since socks are for walking, after all. The reverse stocking stitch ridges are traditionally used to provide some definition to the patterning - I've used them here also as a convenient place to fudge the stitch numbers so that I was able to have my (k2, p2) ribbing with seam work out nicely, independent of the number of stitches required for the patterned area.

Although they're worked in the round, Ganseys often have faux-seams in seed or reverse stocking stitch, which flow up into the classic underarm gusset. The underarm gusset is there to improve the fit of what should otherwise be a fairly snug sweater - as with the gusset of a band-heel, top down sock. I replicated a seam which runs down both sides of the sock and splits - just as with an underarm gusset - to run down the side of the heel and the foot, all the way to the toe.

Pattern is written for DPNs, Magic Loop or 2 circulars. Available on Ravelry and Patternfish. (Note: Patternfish link might not yet be active.)

Thanks again to camera-whiz Claude La Rue who shows up my lame photography skills in the best way possible.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thanksgiving, With Sock

I have very good friends, who don't mind if I knit when I'm at their house for a Thanksgiving dinner.

And then don't even mind when I put my feet on their coffee table...

And an evening's worth of a knitting results in a sock ready for toe decreases.

(We were stopped at a red light when I took this photo; I can't imagine it's safe to do this in a moving car.)

The yarn is Paton's Kroy, col 55614, "Burnished Sierra Stripes". I LOVE THIS YARN. Love how it feels, love how it knits up, love how it wears, and this particular colourway is fantastic. Don't let the fact that it's sold in "chain stores" put you off.

When I say I love how it feels, don't get me wrong: this isn't about softness. It's not luxury-yarn soft, no. It's got a good woolly but not scratchy feel to it, and good density, so it gives great stitch definition. (There's a separate longer discussion here, but softness in sock yarn can often mean fragility.) Think Cascade 220, that sort of feel. This yarn is incredibly hardwearing. If you've not tried it, I recommend it. Although ignore the needle size recommendation on the ball band - go with your usual 2.25/2.5/2.75mm.