Sunday, March 23, 2008

Knitting for Myself after Christmas

Since Christmas, I've been knitting for myself. I've finished two sweaters and my first pair of socks.

I started the socks rights after Christmas and quickly finished one, and then took a break while I knit a sweater. That was probably a mistake because the second sock is much tighter knit so they don't fit the same. I have a book about using two long flexible double pointed needles instead of a set of five double pointed needles so that you knit both socks at the same time to prevent this problem. Maybe I'll try that next time. I usually wear thinner socks, so I'm not sure about handknit socks in any case, but it was fun to try, and they work well with clogs. It was self striping yarn, so the stripes aren't as impressive to knit as they look.

Next, I hurried to knit a winter sweater before the weather got too warm to wear it, but I needn't have worried! I had plenty of opportunities. This was a very expensive yarn and I had some worries that the lace pattern I picked didn't really maximize it's potential, but I am pretty happy with the finished product. The yarn had two strands, one mohair and the other a loopy synthetic strand that was a little shiny. Very dramatic!

Finally I knit a sweater to wear for Easter. The yarn is 55% cotton/45% silk - very soft. I actually knit the sample guage square twice to make sure the size would be right since fit seemed important. I was glad I did and I'm very happy with this sweater.

I've knit so much I have a pain in my right elbow. I may have to take a break! I have more projects lined up but haven't decided what to tackle next.


HEB said...

Your sweaters are lovely! I'm especially fond of the Easter sweater. Where did you find that pattern?

Any other tips for those of us considering venturing into sock territory?

kzwick said...

Wow - that blue sweater is fantastic. I need some short sleeved sweaters.

Emily's Mom said...

The blue sweater pattern and yarn were ordered from the Patternworks 2007 fall catalog. their website is I ordered several yarns and patterns from that catalog (actually John gave them to me for Christmas) and they were all good. The pattern book was Nashua handknits, Natural fibers/creative designs. The North American Designer Collection No. 4 (North American Lifestyle Series, Spring and summer 2007) [ The book has lots of good patterns. I used a different yarn, however: Sunapee.

I don't know what to say about socks - I found several good instruction book that had basic patterns and variations for different gauge yarns and styles. I couldn't imagine how it would work from reading the instructions. But when I actually did it, it all came together. It seems very mysterious ("turning the heel", knitting a "flap" etc.) but it all works. Basically it's just knitting in stockinette or ribbing in the round, and decreasing or doing back and forth on short rows for a flap, and then picking up stitches along an edge and from a holder. You just have to follow the instructions very strictly and watch your tension to make sure you're consistent (which I wasn't on the first try!)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the sock knitting advice! It's nice to hear that even if the language surrounding sock knitting is confusing, the actual process is simply following directions. That, I can do.