Sock Anatomy (Part Deux)

Back in December I released my first e-book. At the time I gave you five cute little sock patterns with the promise of four more to come. Today is the day, when I present the last four patterns in the Sock Anatomy series. I am very excited to share these with you, and I hope you enjoy knitting them as much as I enjoyed designing them.

Tetius – my love for mini cables is immense. They are just so cute but classic at the same time. A lovely top down sock, with a heel flap and half-hankerchief heel turn. 

Brevis – twisted rib on an epic scale. I love twisted rib! It requires a bit of effort while knitting, but I think it is so worth it. The stretchy rib fits like a dream, and I think the clean lines are very visually pleasing. The heel is turned using a band heel – I really enjoyed this heel turn technique. 

Longus – longer socks with an elegant elongated cable running down the back of the leg. The heel is created with a heel flap and square or Dutch Heel. 

Ossa – fun and quirky socks, with swirling bands of colour twisting around the leg and the foot. The opportunities to play with colour here are endless. You could knit a rainbow version like mine or play with solids and variegated yarn like some of my testers. The stripes are really easy to create. The sock is knitted with an afterthought heel, although there is a twist, the heel is finished with a start heel and there is a matching star toe. Go wild with colour! I can’t wait to see your projects.

You can buy the book (containing nine patterns) for £9.00 or an individual pattern for £3.00 from my Ravelry store. The patterns will also be available on Craftsy soon, if you prefer that platform.

I have a group on Ravelry, please feel free to pop over. It is fairly quiet at the moment but I have some exciting plans for the coming months. 

I also have another set of socks in the pipeline. The series will include socks in adult sizes and feature some amazing British yarns. I am very excited.

Thanks for all your support so far.

Happy Knitting

Clare

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Episode 14 – On the Road to the North

A lovely review from Jo at Shinybees Podcast. Pop over and listen to her latest episode, she is fab! I’m almost certain she will put a smile on your face, she may even elicit a little chortle if happiness. I think she is brilliant.

Shinybees

Hello everyone and welcome to episode 14 of the podcast. I hope you are all well and have had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

Listen here

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Advent Garland KAL

I have been a little slower with this second advent decoration. Who knew it could take someone almost two weeks to sew up a tiny candle?

This is item number 2, the candle. I knitted it using scraps of Nurturing Fibres Sock Yarn in white and yellow, and some scraps of Colourspun Merino SW Sock in orange.

Candle_1

The design is by Frankie Brown and is free on Ravelry. The designer does ask for a donation to Children’s Liver Disease Foundation in lieu of payment for the patterns. www.justgiving.com/frankiesknittedstuff

The advent garland is a set of decorations held on knitted garland strip. The details can be found here. 

Does anyone else fancy joining in?

There are no hard and fast rules, you could knit any type of Advent Calendar. You have plenty of time too. I would love to see some other knitters projects.

Turning One

Today is a special day in our household. A certain little someone turns 1. I can’t believe a year has passed already, I also often can’t believe we are all still here in one piece. Believe me there were times when I just couldn’t see how I was going to make it to the end of that hour, let alone the week and certainly not the year.

Anyway … to my favourite mini sock model. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Used with permission Copyright: Genuine Mudpie

Used with permission
Copyright: Genuine Mudpie

The pattern for this fab cake can be found on the Genuine Mudpie blog and on Ravelry. Thank you to Trish Young for allowing me to use her photograph.

Lace Jumper Love

It has been a rather busy week or so round here. Last week I started my new course, an MLitt in Scottish History. It is great but there is a lot of reading, at points I have felt like my head may just explode.

Considering my distinct lack of knitting time, today’s post may seem a little bit off the mark. Over ambitious may spring to mind. In all honesty I have no idea when I may cast this one, but we can all dream can’t we?

Lets start at the beginning. I love lace weight yarn, I used to love knitting lacy shawls and dreamt of many lace jumpers. I don’t get much brain space at the moment to knit lace shawls, but I still dream of lace jumpers. I have enough lace, in shades of grey (naturally) to knit a jumper – I have been dream knitting. With further ado, I present to you my favourite lace jumpers of the moment. Now all I need to do is make a decision, cake up the yarns, swatch and get going …. easy peasy.

This was the pattern the renewed my interest in making a lace jumper. Westbourne [Kinu Love] has been designed by Isabell KraemerThe original design uses either a lace weight silk for the night version, or a fingering weight wool, for the day version. The combination of this light weight yarn and some classy stripes is right up my street. Think of all the colour combinations!

The designer also has some other fantastic patterns, I highly recommend a browse of her Rav store.

Here are the designers samples. I love the silk version! Imagine how luxurious it must be.

Used with permission. Copyright: Lilalu

Used with permission. Copyright: Lilalu

This is the sock version. I think I need one of these too.

Used with permission. Copyright: Lilalu

Used with permission. Copyright: Lilalu

This is a selection of some of my favourite projects by Ravellers.

Grey and yellow – what is not to love? This example by Millefleur is just stunning.

It is knitted using Holst Garn, I have been lusting after this yarn for a while now. I should treat myself to a ball or two. I have the perfect project in mind too (more about that in another post).

Used with permission. Copyright: Millefleur

Used with permission. Copyright: Millefleur

This is another example of a fingering weight jumper. The cool crisp colours are beautiful together. Jurga did a great job here, combining three yarns together, I imagine this fabric is just magical to wear.

Used with permission Copyright: Jurga

Used with permission
Copyright: Jurga

I love browsing other peoples projects on Ravelry. One of my favourite things is looking at the photographs people have of their WIPs. I find so many beautiful images, and it is wonderful to watch a project move from a few balls of yarn, to a stunning finished object.

This is one of those examples. I love the initial photo that Nadinkova shows us of the cones of fine yarn and the beginnings of her jumper. The finished object really is stunning, I love the colour combination and the extra length is really stylish.

Use with permission Copyright: Nadinkova

Use with permission
Copyright: Nadinkova

Use with permission Copyright: Nadinkova

Use with permission Copyright: Nadinkova

Onto the next jumper …

This pattern has been in my favourites for a while and the designer has so many other things I would love to knit (if I had all the knitting time in the world). The design is Versio by Ankestrick, a seamless top down jumper that uses the contiguous sleeve method. The original design is in a linen mix lace weight, but the design has been knitted in many different yarn with great results.

Here are some of my favourites.

I am usually drawn to stripes but I really like this project knitted by Yarnexploder. The colour is really striking and the longer length looks great.

Images used with permission Copyright: Yarnexploder

Another example of a single colour Versio is this classy navy jumper by GingieMay. Excellent clear project notes too. I always love it when Ravellers have such clear project notes, it really helps when working out what I will do for a project.

Used with permission Copyright: GingieMay

Used with permission
Copyright: GingieMay

Now onto the stripes…

A gradient style striped knit by Mipolin437. I absolutely adore the combination of colours in this example!

Used with permission Copyright: Mipolin437

Used with permission
Copyright: Mipolin437

As with all project reviews I love having a gander at the modifications that people make to a pattern. The sporty collar has been turned into a hood in the next two examples. The utter brilliance of combining lace weight, wide stripes and a comfy hood work beautifully together here. This project was created by Rililie, who also happens to have some amazing designs of her own (I am coveting a few of them for future projects – watch this space)

Images used with permission. Copyright: Rililie

This project by Minimiso is another fabulous example of brilliant WIP photography, I love this picture!

Used with permission Copyright: Minimiso

Used with permission
Copyright: Minimiso

Here is her finished object … which is just as fabulous. 

Used with permission Copyright: Minimiso

Used with permission
Copyright: Minimiso

Finally I have a project that has be modified heavily from the original design, I had to include it though as it is just gorgeous. The fit and tailoring of this jumper are in a class all of it’s own. Sheer brilliance, another stellar knit by Rililie. 

Images used with permission. Copyright: Rililie

The last design is from the recent Pom Pom Quarterly. I have always admired this publication from afar (it was just a little too much to order it when I was living in South Africa). I made sure I ordered the first copy that was released after we arrived in Edinburgh.   I was not disappointed, it is jam packed with gorgeous patterns, insightful articles and lots of added extras … and the paper, oh the paper it is printed on – its magical. Can you tell I am a fan?

The cover is adorned with a photograph of Garland, it is a fabulous jumper! Oversized, boxy, cropped, with delicate late details and a wide softly structured collar – it was love at first sight. The pattern is designed using a mohair and silk blend, the fluffy halo of the yarn coupled with stunning design elements creates a unique and stylish garment. I am not sure if it will work with the laceweight yarn I have which is merino and silk, I will have to think about it. Maybe it is the perfect excuse to splash out on some new yarn?

Here are the sample photos used in the Pom Pom magazine (did I mention they have the most amazing photography to go with the paper)

Used with permission Copyright: Juju Vail / Pom Pom Magazine

Used with permission
Copyright: Juju Vail / Pom Pom Magazine

Used with permission Copyright: Juju Vail / Pom Pom Magazine

Used with permission
Copyright: Juju Vail / Pom Pom Magazine

The pattern was only recently published but there are already some amazing projects from Ravellers.

This Garland knitted by Finlay is the height of luxury, mixing kidsilk (mohair and silk) with a fingering weight (alpaca, cashmere and silk) – just imagine how soft this jumper must be. The muted shades of green add so much to this project. It is the perfect combination of pattern, yarn and colour … and don’t get me started on the details. Have you seen those buttons?

Images used with permission. Copyright: Finlay

Last, but certainly not least is this colourful fresh example of Garland knitted by Baccarha. Two shades of green, the lighter colour is vibrant and fun, with a delicate shimmer. Magnificent!

Images used with permission. Copyright: Baccarha

What a round up of lace jumpers that was. Gorgeous patterns, stunning yarns, endless colour combinations…

The only issue is time, when will I find time to knit all these fabulous jumpers? Maybe I should aim to start with one and see how I go. Hopefully I can finish it in time for spring, I think it will be a perfect addition to my Edinburgh spring wardrobe. Now I just need to decide which one to knit.

Have you knitted a lace jumper? Would you love to make one, or does the thought of all that lace send shivers up your spine?

If you are not a lace fan, you could always convert the pattern to fingering weight.

Advent Garland KAL

I did it! I finished the first item for the advent calendar.

This is my little mitten. I am using this pattern by Frankie Brown, it was really quick and easy.

mitten_1

I have also started some of the other ones but they are in bits. Sewing things up and finishing items is not my strong point.

Are you participating in any KALs at the moment? Have you been sucked into the “Follow your arrow” KAL whirlwind? I am enjoying watching from the sidelines.

 

Things I Love

Good morning Tuesday,

I had a fabulous knit night last night, and as I wrote on Twitter – the pattern Knit Night that I featured in my last blog post is living up to expectations. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a knit night pattern, or indeed a pattern you can knit when you don’t want to have to think too much. It is working beautifully with the skein I chose, more details later in the week.

Each week I thought I would do a little round up of things I have encountered on my journey.

This week I have three gems for you.

1) This poem popped up in my reader this morning. It is from the blog “All She Wants to Do is Knit” by Caity Rosey. Given that this weekend I taught a magic loop, two at a time knitting class I thought it was rather apt. I really enjoy this blog, pop over and have a look.

2) Last week I discovered a new podcast. This is a new venture by Louise from the blog knitbritish.net. I can’t believe I have only just discovered this blog, it is brilliant and I think the podcast will become a firm favourite. She has already enabled me to buy a book about Shetland. In fairness it was not very difficult to twist my arm into buying a book that combines history, Shetland and knitting. If you have some time I highly recommend listening to this podcast.

Talking about British Wool brings me to number three.

3) Brigantia Wool. A good solid Yorkshire wool stocked by my LYS, the fabulous Ginger Twist Studio. This stuff is magic, it knits up like a dream and the colours are beautiful. I have a pair of socks on the needles at the moment in the DK. It is a light DK, more like a sport. It is perfect for sturdy socks. I also have a shawl planned and want to knit a jumper. It is excellent value for money, go on …. try some, you know you want to.

 

Love in a Variegated Skein

Earlier in the week I chatted to you about my new favourite yarn club “The Golden Skein”.  Even though it was variegated and really not my usual colour palette, I was bowled over by the skein by ‘For The Love of Yarn’. I wanted to cast on with it, immediately. This left me with the gaping question – what on earth do I do with this skein?

I am sure we have all been there, holding that gorgeous skein of hand dyed in the LYS or looking through our stash and seeing all the magical colours dancing in front of us. I love these skeins, but I always worry about all those colours together on one skein. The fear of pooling or a delicate stitch pattern masked by the ever changing variegation often puts me off knitting with variegated yarn. I decided to confront these issues and find a pattern for this wonderful skein.

For the Love of Yarn.  Used with kind permission of The Golden Skein (all rights reserved)

For the Love of Yarn.
Used with kind permission of The Golden Skein (all rights reserved)

Ravelry has a vast collection of patterns and designers, I could spend all day wondering around adding things to my queue and clicking on that little red heart … oh wait, hold on, I frequently do this….

Over the course of this week I have surfed my way around Ravelry, picking projects for this skein of yarn. I thought I would share some of my ideas with you. After all, you may have a lonely skein of variegated sock yarn in your stash that needs liberating and I enjoy doing some public service enabling where I can.

The first designer I thought of when confronted with this fabulous skein was Martina Behm a very popular designer who is most well known for her Hitchhiker. This design is knitted on the bias in garter stitch to form an assymetrical triangle. The design is perfect for this kind of yarn and the knitting is soothing, easy but certainly not boring.

A long time ago I knitted one of her designs, the shawl Lintilla. It was a really great pattern and the perfect solution to another skein of variegated yarn in colours I would normally steer myself away from. I was very impressed with the result, hence instantly thinking of her patterns for this skein.

Lintilla

My Lintilla knitted in Nurturing Fibres Supertwist Sock

I really do love her patterns, the simplicty of them add to the sheer magical qualities of the knitwear. Easily won over by garter stitch I am drawn to so many of her designs. I considered all of these when looking for the perfect project for my skein.

All pictures used with permission. Copyright: Martina Behm

Top: Trillian 

Bottom row from left to rightMiss Winkle, Leftie and Brickless

Trillian is the perfect beginner lace project, an easy shape, lots of garter stitch and a hint of lace on the border. I need to make this, I really need to make this. I love the little details in her designs, Miss Winkle is the perfect example of this, those little loops just jump out at me everytime I see them. Leftie is the perfect yarn combining project, imagine that variegated skein with a anchoring solid colour, allowing the busy yarn to shine through. Finally Brickless, the perfect match of shape and pattern. I know many people are not garter stitch fans (I can’t say I am in that camp, I love garter stitch) and I think this is the perfect Behm pattern for them. Interesting stitch patterns flow from one section to the next. The pattern is written for worsted but I am sure it would make an equally lovely sock yarn project too.

The patterns are available in multiple languages and at the moment Martina has a special on 10% off when you buy three patterns. I think these designs are well worth a look for those variegated skeins in your stash.

I carried on with my search and came across another designer who has some brilliant designs that, I think, are perfectly suited to showcasing variegated yarn.

Susan Ashcroft (Stichnerd on Ravelry) designs beautiful knitwear, simply designed stuff that packs a punch. Many of her designs are perfect for working with, and not against, variegated or self striping yarns.

These are some of my favourites.

All pictures used with permission. Copyright Susan Ashcroft

Clockwise from top left: Long and Winding Row, G’day Boomerang, Colourwheel Cowl, Samothrace Wings, Quaker Yarn Stretcher and That Nice Stitch.

I bought and cast on the Long and Winding Row but it did not work with this skein of yarn, I want to knit it in something thicker. I have the perfect skein of Malabrigo that I will be using for this pattern. It is a genius design and perfect for those times when you want to just keep knitting, without having to count or keep track of rows.

The stitch detail and shape of G’day Boomerang makes it perfect for a variegated skein and the short rows of the Colourwheel Cowl and Samothrace Wings are just what you need to break up the colour repeats and showcase your special skein. Jo from The Golden Skein is knitting a Quaker Yarn Stretcher with her skein of FTLOY and it looks fab. That Nice Stitch is a lovely little pattern for a pretty infinity scarf or looped cowl. This pattern has the added bonus of being free, and while I believe strongly that designers should be paid for their work I like the odd freebie as much as the next person.

One of the things that really attracts me to these designs is the amount of knitters who have made more than one of a design. I always thinks this speaks volumes for the design and the pattern. If a knitter keeps going back to knit the same design again and again, the pattern is bound to be brilliant. Here are some examples of gorgeous projects by fellow Ravelers.

The Long and Winding RowThe first picture shows just how this wonderful design works so well with variegated yarn. This project is by Scullybunbun who has knitted three Long and Winding Rows. The second image is of a project by Xstitch who combined two skeins of yarn to great effect. I am definitely using this as inspiration for my Malabrigo cowl that is waiting in the wings.

Pictures used with permission. Copyright: Scullybunbun (left) and Xstitch (right)

This is a gorgeous example of how a variegated yarn can be paired with a neutral yarn to create the perfect project. This was knitted by Covelady.

Pictures used with permission. Copyright: Covelady

Samothrace Wings uses clever short rows to shape the shawl and I think it would be perfect in a variegated or tonal yarn.

I love this example by MelsNattyKnits, who has also knitted numerous versions of this pattern.

Copyright: Melsnattyknits

Copyright: Melsnattyknits

This beautiful example by Covelady shows how the shawl works with a more tonal, but still variegated yarn. I love this project.

Copyright: Covelady

Copyright: Covelady

If you are searching for a free pattern to use that perfect skein of variegated I think the Honey Cowl is a great option. With almost 15,000 projects I don’t seem to be the only one who thinks this is a great little pattern. Here are some of my favourite projects by other Ravelers.

The colours in this version by GracieBelle are beautiful. I really do love this Madtosh colourway.

All pictures used with permission. Copyright: Graciebelle

Pictures used with permission. Copyright: Graciebelle

I also love the way the colours work together on this version by Mdcim. 

Pictures used with permission. Copyright: Mdcim

Finally, two versions of the Honey Cowl by Tweets1973.

Pictures used with permission. Copyright: Tweets1973

After all that searching the project I have chosen to cast on is a lovely design by Louise Zass-Bangham called Knit Night. I was instantly drawn to this design and love the fact that it does ot require counting or generally too much thinking. I have limited spare brain capacity at the moment and need a project just like this. I am going to ‘think outside the box’ and make this my Knit Night project. I desperately need a project for Monday nights and this, I hope, is the one! The pattern comes as part of an e-book, which is great value (it may have slipped into my Rav basket earlier this week).

The first pattern is Knit Night. 

All pictures used with permission. Copyright: Louise Zass-Bangham

Its partner patter is Stay Awhile.

All pictures used with permission. Copyright: Louise Zass-Bangham

Both of these patterns are flexible, with lots of options and will work with any yarn weight. There are also variations using beads or adding eyelets to jazz up your shawl. This is the perfect shawl if you want to try out something new like beads or simple lace, equally it is a great project for more advanced knitters. It works equally well in variegated or solid yarns, what is not to love?

Here are some examples of the fab projects knitted with this pattern. The example on the left is by Knittinghun, and uses a very bright but fun skein of Wollmeise. The example on the right is by CathyG and I really love how the pattern breaks up the bright colours of this skein, it is such a wonderful shawl.

Pictures used with permission. Copyright: Knittinghun (left) and CathyG (right)

I will update you on the progress of my project later this week, I intend to cast it on tomorrow night at knitting.

Do you have a favourite variegated skein that you just can’t find the right pattern for? Has this post given you some ideas?

I would love to hear about your knitting adventures with variegated skeins.

Knitters are lovely

Hope you are having a great weekend.

This morning I taught a lovely class at Ginger Twist Studio. It was a great fun, we worked on knitting two socks at the same time on one circular need. I really love teaching knitting, it is great meeting new people and teaching them new knitting skills. I always enjoy watching the workshop participants help each other. I have some more workshops coming up so keep an eye on my blog and the Ginger Twist blog for details. 

In other news, knitters are lovely. Yesterday a parcel arrived for me. It contained a pair of hand knit socks! I was overwhelmed by the kindness of a fellow Raveler who hardly knows me. There was a ROAK swap on one of the boards, she offered up a ball of yarn and I was going to snap it up, but decided against it as I already have too much yarn and not enough time to knit it all. I felt it was greedy to take the yarn and then just stick it in my stash. When I told Tracy that I was going to let someone else claim the yarn as I wanted it to be knitted with, she said she would knit a pair of socks for me and post them to me! Those socks arrived yesterday – what a wonderfully kind gesture. The are cosy and warm and fit perfectly. Thank you Tracy. You made my day!

photo-55

Advent Garland KAL

For those who know me, you will know that I have never been overly festive and Christmassy. It is just not me. I love seeing friends and family over the holidays but have not been a big decorator for the festive season.

This year we had a very low key Christmas, I made a few ‘play bottles’ filled with beads, glitter and tinsel and the little one was fascinated. I think next year I might need to do a little more. I wanted to create something with longevity though, something that would be part of all her childhood Christmas celebrations. I have decided over the course of 2014 I am going to knit her an advent garland. I was inspired by the garland that Jess from my LYS knitted for the shop and spurred on by a KAL in one of the groups I am in on Ravelry.

advent_gingertwiststudio

Copyright: GingerTwistStudio

The design is by Frankie Brown and is free on Ravelry. The designer does ask for a donation to Children’s Liver Disease Foundation in lieu of payment for the patterns. www.justgiving.com/frankiesknittedstuff

The advent garland is a set of decorations held on knitted garland strip. The details can be found here. 

Here are some beautiful examples of projects made by other Ravellers. I love looking at what other knitters have produced and these are some of my favourite examples of this project. Hopefully they will inspire you to join in.

This one was knitted by Sharron (Greenopaldream on Ravelry)

Copyright: Greenopaldream

Copyright: Greenopaldream

This was was knitted by Amanda (Knittpocket on Ravelry) 

Copyright: Knittypocket

Copyright: Knittypocket

This one was knitted by ‘Ronan’ on Ravelry

Copyright: Ronan

Copyright: Ronan

This one was knitted by Catherine (Muumi on Ravelry)

advent_muumi

Copyright: Muumi

I love seeing how people adapt patterns too. This one by Briony (SprigMuslin on Rav) features some different ornaments. Including a Russian Doll and a tangerine. 

Copyright: Sprigmuslin

Copyright: Sprigmuslin

Usually I am pretty useless at sticking to a KAL schedule, but I am going to try really hard to stick to this so I can have a whole box of advent decorations for Maeve at the end of the year. I am going to aim for 2 or 3 a month, figuring if some months I can manage 3 then I will definitely be finished by December 1st.

The first three ornaments are a mitten, a candle and a house. I am aiming to get at least two of these knitted this month.

I have already collected a whole box of yarn scraps (mainly sock yarn) to start crafting.

Is anyone interested in joining me on this KAL? 

More details of the modular KAL that inspired this idea can be found in the Nurturing Fibres group on Ravelry.