Saturday, September 11, 2004

So I'm back to socks. I knew I couldn't stay away for long. I started these the other day with the homespun I was whining about, and green and grey Sunbeam St Ives sock yarn. I love the St Ives yarn and want heaps more of it. Unfortunately I bought it back in New Zealand, so will have to hunt down a local source.

I have an ingenious plan. I knit in green at home and in grey on the train to and from work. This kind of colour variation works really well on these komi patterns, but the thing I really really love about the komi patterns is how little you have to think. Almost every second row is three of each colour, and the colour blocks are always in odd numbers of stitches, 1, 3, or 5. It makes it so easy to just knit, without stressing over the pattern. Plus, even though it's russian, it actually ends up looking quite celtic, especially in this pretty green.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hmm, I followed Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage instructions to the letter by counting even quarter stitches when calculating my gauge, but after I had knit about twenty rows, I discovered that my sweater was going to be about 20 stitches too big. So I frogged it and put away the homespun, to dream about another day.

I wonder if it's just because I'm still getting used to circular needles and once I got into the rhythym I loosed up and was actually knitting larger than my gauge. Or maybe I was not careful enough measuring my favourite jersey for fit.

Still, I like the idea of hemming a seamless jersey by picking up the stitches from the bottom (10% less) and knitting a little hem and basting it to the inside. I like the fact that you can knit letters into the hem, hidden but still there. There are a million lines from The Lady's Not For Burning I want to hem in, just thinking about it.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I have some nice homespun wool, it knits up to about 26 sts/10 cm on 3mm needles. I can't decide whether to try knitting the short-sleeved fairisle sweater from Sarah Dallas's vintage knits, or if I should try knitting an Elizabeth Zimmerman yoke sweater. I may be about to make the fatal mistake of starting a project I don't have enough wool for. I would have enough wool for the vintage sweater, but would need to buy the other colors for the fairisle motif. I probably won't have enough for an Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater, but would have enough for a vest. It's such nice wool, I want to make something really nice with it, but I on't want to waste it.

Also, I am getting sick of knitting socks.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

I am having issues with my socks. Every pair of turkish socks that I have knitted, the top is never quite right.

If I rib, the ribbing folds/droops down in the middle because of the natural curl of the knitted fabric.
If I corrugated iron rib (alternating colours) there is not enough stretch and the socks are too hard to get over the heel when you are putting them on.
If I use the traditional braid stich, they are too tight, not enough stretch.
If I cheat and just do the final step in the traditional braid stitch (binding off in alternating colours) it curls over.

What can I do to fix this. Blocking doesn't seem to do any good, what about elastic.
Does anyone else have this problem?

Also, I have discovered ebay. Do any australians out there buy knitting supplies off ebay? I could become addicted.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The last two months, all of my knitting needles apart from my beloved dpn's, my wool and my books and patterns have been floating in a container in the Tasman Straight. They arrived on Monday, so now I have lots and lots of knitting inspiration.

In the meantime, I have been knitting more socks. A green and grey turkish pair for myself, and various other pairs for others.

Here are the ones I made for myself.

I love the curlicules in this motif from Anna Ziilborg's Fancy Feet book. I had to cut off the edges in order to make them the right size, but they still look good. The thing I love about these turkish-style socks is the ingenious way the little heel is made, and the way in which it fits so well. There is something very satisfying finishing knitting a sock with a heel.

To supplement my turkish and komi knitting skills... I have picked up a very old book of anatolian sock motifs from the library where I work, which is in a community with a large Turkish population. It is called Anatolian Knitting Designs, by Betsy Harrall, and is published by a Turkish press called Redhouse. While Fancy Feet has beautiful photos and colour inspiration, plus practical written instructions, this book has many little motifs, with their Enlgish and Turkish names, and suggestions for the ways in which they can be used together, horizontally and vertically, which lets you use the motifs in socks of many different sizes, without having to change your guage. It's much more varied than Fancy Feet, and I suspect may be a book Anna Ziilborg owns.

My struggle when it comes to knitting these socks is choosing colours. I tend to like a neutral background with a coloured pattern, but that can be boring. I feel like I need to mix it up a bit. Does anyone have any good colour combos that they use?