28 December 2008

Sand Stitch Mania

Dear Mandella,

I think I may have choked the Blogger on my photos. At any rate, I am at last posting photos of some of my knitting (none of it completed), and even this isn't everything.

In no particular order . . .
A pair of socks started from a skein of Louet Gems superwash sport weight. This is splatter dyed (by me) in a number of my favorite colors. I'm knitting these (on US 1.0) in a variation on my favorite waffle stitch over 64 sts:

Rnds 1 - 3: Knit all sts
Rnds 4 - 6: *K2, P2* all around
Rnds 7 - 9: Knit all sts
Rnds 10 - 12: *P2, K2" all around

It offsets the waffle so that you get a kind of honeycomb effect. At least, that's what it looks like until it's worn. After that, who knows? Anyway, this is just the start of a pair of socks.
Didn't I once mention that my friend Lorna had given me one of the KnitPicks sock blanks? Well, here it is, all dyed, and I've started knitting my first ever toe-up socks, 2 at a time. The pattern is a zig-zag lace from one of Charlotte Schurch's sock books. I'm getting 9 sts to the inch on US 1.0 needles, so I cast on 72.

The linen/garter scarf has made some progress. This is a 2-color scarf knit back and forth on US 9 (I'm using a short circular to accomplish this) with Manos del Uruguay wool/silk blend yarn on the following pattern (multiple of 2 sts):

Row 1 (solid color): *K1, sl 1 with yarn in front* repeat to the end. Turn work.
Row 2 (solid color): Purl all sts. Turn work.
Row 3 (coordinating variegated color): repeat row 1, turn work
Row 4 (coordinating variegated color): Knit all sts. Turn work.

Each side has a unique look, so I don't consider it to have a right or a wrong side. And the yarn not in use is carried on one side (it's just 2 rows).

And here we come to one of the larger projects. This short-sleeved pullover has been started and frogged several times. I started it around the time I attended the Melissa Leapman workshops this past October. As you can see, I'm utilizing one of her simpler cable patterns (but I'm still varying it to my tastes). This is being knit back and forth on US 4.0 needles (I'm using a long circular) with Louet Gems washable merino in sport weight. I dyed the yarn a deep red color. Here's a better photo of my progress on the back:

I'm getting about 6 sts to the inch. For the back I've cast on 145 sts. The first and last 18 sts are worked in plain stockinette stitch (I worked a 2 x 2 rib to start). Then, working toward the center, is this simple cable motif offset by some columns of knits and purls. At last we have the center 49 sts which on the front will be worked in an elaborate cable motif (also from one of Leapman's books). On the back I am working it in sand stitch, which is my latest passion.

Here is the sand stitch pattern (multiple of 4 sts):
Rows 1 and 3 (RS): Knit
Row 2 (WS): *K1, P1* to the end
Row 4: *P1, K1* to the end

Of course, you can vary that as follows:
Row 1 (RS): *K1, P1* to the end
Rows 2 and 4 (WS): Purl all sts
Row 3: *P1, K1* to the end

Either way, you get a nice texture. In fact, either side is acceptable. I happen to like the side that's mainly knit stitches. Anyway, I discovered this stitch in an old book that catalogs various craft stitches (knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery -- you get the idea). I think it's also called a double moss stitch, but I've also seen double moss stitch worked as something else.

At any rate, I've incorporated that stitch into a few other things:

The bright fuschia (sp?) section of this pullover-in-progress (I'm using up lots of odd balls of Cascade 220) is in sand stitch. (The dark blue section is in the linen/garter stitch, but that's another story -- I'm using a different stitch pattern with each band of color).

And here it is worked onto the back of a glove (the first of a pair) I knit for my husband, Ed, also in Cascade 220, but the washable version, on US 3.0 dpns. Yes, I have pattern notes; no I'm not printing it yet. I have to get the second one done. And then I have to do it again because I've got gargantuan fingers on this thing (all except for the little finger, which seems to be just right).

Not pictured is a coordinating scarf (also from Cascade 220 superwash) that utilizes both the sand stitch and the seed or moss stitch. I call it the Moss and Sand scarf. I'll post that pattern as soon as I have a photo of the scarf. And that scarf is actually finished (hooray!).

Also finished but not pictured is a hat that coordinates with the the aforementioned scarf and the above glove, also from Cascade 220 superwash, and worked on a US 3.0 circular. I really like the density of the fabric that I get in working Cascade worsted on US 3.0 or 4.0 needles.

Added to the above is a hat in progress with more Louet Gems sportweight (in a space-dye that I'm not crazy about but c'est la guerre). I'm knitting that on a US 2 circular and using the heel stitch pattern for 2 reasons: it's thicker, and it goes faster with slipping those stitches!

Oh, and I have another hat in progress that is with 2 strands of a sock yarn held together. It's a very nice yarn, Jojoland or something like that. Anyway, 2 strands of it knits up quite nicely on a US 3.0 needle. That hat is about halfway done but it's at my LYS as a demonstration of what can be done with that yarn.

None of the above includes, of course, a number of other works in progress. Seriously. Just wait until you see my To-Finish list for 2009!

Hugs and happy crafting!


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