The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Books About Knitting November 5, 2008

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 8:55 pm
Tags: , ,

This post is brought to you by the books at your local library.

 

I love my library system.  It’s only been recently that I’ve discovered how freaking amazing it is.  I went to the library a lot as a kid (I was a voracious reader) and even more in high school and college for research.  Oh the nights spent in the library researching…  Anyway, after college, I didn’t go to the library much.  I bought books as I wanted them and resold, donated, or hung on to them when I was finished.  And that’s still pretty much the case with my “pleasure reading.”

 

But the knitting books.  Oh, the knitting books.  When I finally put two and two together and remembered that I could check out knitting books, well, things have gotten out of hand.  In just the last few days, I’ve checked out Knitting Beyond the Edge, A Fine Fleece, and No Sheep for You.  Before that it was the Museum of Kitschy Stitches, which amused Lowell greatly and the History of Handknitting.  Right now, I’m still enjoying No Sheep for You and Cables Untangled.

 

As someone who loves cables, this book is great.  I ordered Leapman’s second book, Continuous Cables, from Amazon because it isn’t in the library system yet.  I can’t wait to look at it!  Cables Untangled has a great stitch dictionary in the back with cables I haven’t seen anywhere else, and the patterns for sweaters and even the afghans are gorgeous.  There’s something about the way a nice plump cable twists and turns over the recessed background of purl stitches… I love that look.  I like lace and knit/purl designs, but cables are really where my heart lies.  I’m already dreaming up some lovely cabled socks; maybe three or four pairs, haha!  Of course, I’m also planning a Fair Isle pair of gloves; I might have even ordered the yarn for them today while I was ordering some Christmas present yarn.  They’re going to be beautiful.  I hope.

 

I’m also hoping that the yarn I ordered to complete my sister’s scarf will be here tomorrow and I can finish the scarf-of-doom and post the pattern.  Of course, what I’m really looking forward to is the Dream in Color Smooshy that’s coming with the Cascade 220.  It’s destined to be a Christmas present if it stands up to my rigorous testing.  You know, squeezing it and knitting up a heavily cabled swatch.  I’ve never knit with Smooshy but the name is great.  So many ideas, so little time…

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Socks, circa 2008 October 3, 2008

 100_3854

I am fascinated by the history of knitting.  Did you know that knitting (as we know it) probably started in Egypt? Somewhere between 1200 and 1500.  Most of the early pieces that have been found there have been cotton, knitted with at least two colors.  And the gauge!  Most of the old knitting has a gauge of 20 or 30 stitches to the inch!  Insane, I say, insane!  No wonder it’s all so beautiful, though.  They could fit some really detailed designs on that many stitches.  As I said in my last post, the color work chart on these socks is taken from one of the earliest pieces of knitting found.  I added the extra colors, though.  Most of the ancient knitting I’ve read about used a single color for each motif but would have multiple motifs.  The "clocks" (a design that runs down the leg and splits at the heel) are also traditional but from later in the chronology.  If you look at Nancy Bush’s books Folk Socks and Folk Knitting in Estonia you’ll see socks much like these, with color work at the top and clocks down the sides.

 

I couldn’t think of a name for these socks that really fit, so I gave them a bit of that historical flair.  By that I mean I was looking through the History of Handknitting, hoping that the place the fragment was found or something else would be a good sock name.  When that failed, I just decided that naming them as if they were found in an archaeological dig somewhere was the easy way to go.  The color work chart only repeats twice and only has 3 colors, so it’s not too bad.  The clocks on these socks are a simple twisted stitch motif that doesn’t require a cable needle (check out the tutorial and more information here).  The colors of Louet Gems Fingering listed here are mostly the same as for the Arthurian Anklets.  (I’m doing some stash busting.)  Despite having published the pattern using Louet Gems, I would recommend using another yarn for these socks.  The Gems is good, but it’s too… the twist is too tight to really show the twisted stitches right.  Look for a yarn with some good loft to it.  Actually, Knit Picks Essential is probably a good pick…

 

The PDF version of the pattern has symbol-coded charts for the colorwork as well as color-coded charts.

Edited 4-9-09: Fixed various errors that a knitter was kind enough to keep track of.  The heel instructions now make mathematical sense and I hope I’ve clarified some of the other instructions.  Errata are in purple.

Edited 9-4-11:  Lots of small changes!  Renumbered the rows in Charts A and B and added stitch numbers to all the charts.  Changed the Egyptian Chart to a combined symbol and color chart which should work as a color chart or printed in gray scale.  Also added the original cables to the instructions- knitters now have a choice of the classic twisted stitch cable shown in the photos or the braided cable that was actually written in the instructions.  Be aware that there are two different sets of instructions for the different cables!

 

100_3831     100_3839

 

Socks, circa 2008

Download the PDF: Socks (circa 2008)

  • Finished Size: Women’s Size 8 1/2-9, foot length 9 1/2″
  • Needles: 2 size 0 (2mm) circulars (or DPNs), 2 size 2 (2.75mm) circulars (or DPNs)
  • Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering, MC: Caribou(2 skeins), CC1: Champagne (1 skein), CC2: Ginger (1 skein), CC3: Neptune (1 skein)
  • Extras: Tapestry needle, stitch holder or scrap yarn (optional), stitch marker (optional) 
  • Gauge: 9 sts x 12 rows = 1″ in stockinette, 9.5 sts x 11 rows = 1″ in Egyptian Chart

 

Special Stitches

Knit TBL:  Knit through the back loop. On WS rows, purl through the back loop.

Right Twist: Slip next two stitches purlwise. From the back, insert the left needle into the back of the first slipped stitch. Pull the right needle from both stitches and reinsert right needle into the loose stitch from the front. Slip this stitch back to the left needle, then k2 tbl.  On WS rows: Slip next two stitches purlwise. From the back, insert the left needle into the back of the first slipped stitch. Pull the right needle from both stitches and reinsert right needle into the loose stitch from the front. Slip this stitch back to the left needle, then p2 tbl.

Left Twist: Insert the right needle into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. Pull left needle out of the first two stitches and reinsert the left needle into the loose stitch from the front. Replace stitch on right needle to left needle, then k2tbl.  On WS rows: Insert the right needle into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. Pull left needle out of the first two stitches and reinsert the left needle into the loose stitch from the front. Replace stitch on right needle to left needle, then p2 tbl.

Right Purl Twist: Perform a Right Twist, but at the end, k1tbl, p1.  On WS rows: Perform a WS Right Twist, but at the end p1 tbl, k1.

Left Purl Twist: Perform a Left Twist, but at the end, p1, k1tbl.  On WS rows: Perform a WS Left Twist, but at the end k1, p1 tbl.

(See tutorial here for twisted stitches without a cable needle.)

 

Cuff

CO 68 sts with smaller needles.  Join in the round, being careful not to twist.

Work k1, p1 rib for 1".

Leg

Round 1: K8, *m1, k17* 3 times, m1, k9.  4 sts increased.  72 sts

Round 2 and 3: Knit

Switch to size 2 needles.

Round 4-18: Work Egyptian Chart (click chart to see full size).

Egyptian Chart Combined     Combined Key

Switch to size 0 needles.

Round 19 and 20: Knit.

Round 21: *K34, k2tog* twice. 2 sts decreased.  70 sts   

For Braid Cable Only Round 22: Work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, Chart B, p1, k21, p1, Chart B, p1.

Braid Chart A and B   Cable Key

 

For Classic Cable Only Round 22: Work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, Chart D, p1, k23, p1, Chart D, p1.

Cable Chart C and D   Cable Key

 

Repeat Round 22 until leg is desired length.

 

Heel

At the end of any round, turn.  Make a note of which cable row you stopped on for the instep.  The heel will be worked back and forth over the next 35 sts.  Put remaining the remaining 35 sts on a stitch holder or scrap yarn. 

Row 1 for Braid Cable Only (WS): Sl 1, work Chart B, k1, p21, k1, Chart B, k1, turn.  35 heel sts on heel flap.

Row 2 for Braid Cable Only (RS): Sl 1, work Chart B, p1, *k1, sl 1,* 10 times, k1, p1, Chart B, p1, turn.

Row 1 for Classic Cable Only (WS): Sl 1, work Chart D, k1, p23, k1, Chart D, k1, turn. 35 heel sts on heel flap.

Row 2 for Classic Cable Only (RS): Sl 1, work Chart D, p1, *k1, sl 1,* 11 times, k1, p1, Chart D, p1, turn.

Repeat Row 1 and 2 until heel measures 2" (approximately 30 rows) ending after a WS row.

Turning Row 1: Sl 1, k2tog, k17, ssk, k1, turn. 2 sts decreased.  33 sts on heel flap.

Turning Row 2: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn. 1 st decreased.

Turning Row 3: Sl 1, k6, ssk, k1, turn. 1 st decreased.

Repeat Turning Rows 2 and 3, working 1 more st each row, until all sts have been worked, ending after a RS row.

Next Row: Sl 1, knit across.  20 sts remain.

Gusset

For Braid Cable Only: 

Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap.  Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between heel and instep.  Instep: work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A.  Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between instep and heel.  Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap.  Knit 10.  Mark this as the beginning of the round.

Round 1: Knit to 3 sts before the first purl st, k2tog, k1, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, knit to the end of the round.

For Classic Cable Only:

Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap. Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between heel and instep. Instep: work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C. Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between instep and heel. Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap. Knit 10. Mark this as the beginning of the round.

Round 1: Knit to 3 sts before the first purl st, k2tog, k1, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, knit to the end of the round.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are 71 sts remaining.

Next Round For Braid Cable Only: K2tog, knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, knit to the end of the round. 1 st decreased.  70 sts

Next Round For Classic Cable Only: K2tog, knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, knit to the end of the round. 1 st decreased. 70 sts

Arrange stitches so that there are 33 knit sts on the sole needle(s.)  The other 37 sts, including the purls and cables, should be on the instep needle(s.)

Foot

For Braid Cable Only: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, knit to the end of the round.

For Classic Cable Only: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, knit to the end of the round.

Repeat until foot reaches 2" shorter than desired length.

Toe

Move the first and last purl stitches from the instep needle to the adjacent sole needle(s.)  There should be 35 sts on the sole and 35 sts on the instep.

Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to 3 sts before the end of the instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 4 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Round 1 and 2 until 18 sts remain (9 instep sts, 9 sole sts).

Knit to the end of the sole.  Move stitches so that all sole stitches are on one needle and all instep stitches are on a second needle.  Graft remaining sts together using Kitchener Stitch. Weave in ends and steam block lightly.

 

100_3834 

Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

 

Finito! September 16, 2008

Filed under: Knitting Projects,Musings — Cailyn @ 11:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

What’s this?

100_3761

Is that a swatch in Wool of the Andes Bulky Scuba?  Why, yes, I believe it is!  Any day you get yarn is a good day and 8 skeins of this stuff took up a nice-sized box.  I love the color.  Sometimes it’s very blue, sometimes it’s kind of green and it’s nicely muted.  I spent much of the morning knitting a swatch, because I seem to have left my brain down by the mailbox.  The first time through, I got perfect gauge.  But then I realized that things didn’t quite look right… Duh, I had crossed the cables wrong, two sts over one instead of one st over two. So, rip out and try again.  This time, I got something close, but not quite right.  Too many stitches per inch.  And here’s the funny part:  I tried to fix this problem by swatching with smaller needles.  What am I, an idiot??  Apparently yes, because I spent a good 15 minutes doing some very creative math and trying to figure out how I had gotten more stitches per inch than before.  Sigh.  Rip out, cast on again, do the cables right this time… No matter how I measure this last swatch, I keep coming up with different measurements.  I’m serious, sometimes it’s 19 sts/4 in, sometimes it’s 17, and a few beautiful times, it’s the correct 18sts.  Even when I measure it in the same darn place, I get different gauge!  I’ve decided to just cast on and hope that it resolves itself into something resembling 18 sts/4 in.  So, I’ll play it a bit fast and loose with the gauge.  I might regret this decision, but it’s a vest.  What’s the worst that happens, right?  (I really hope the Gauge Demon didn’t hear that!)

 

After a marathon session of knitting on Saturday night, and I do mean marathon, I finished the Aran Tam.  (It’s amazing what kind of motivation  “Every row I have fewer stitches to knit!” is.  I really barreled through this once I reached the cables.  Although it still took me 3 or 4 hours to finish.)

100_3762   100_3763

I really like the diamond cables I substituted, but the rice stitch I used for the half-diamonds doesn’t really pop like I had hoped.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to add a pom-pom on top, as is traditional. (I probably will.) The yarn on top there is the tail that has to be woven in. 

Here’s another picture of the original to compare:

582266505_ef0b9ce9fd   100_3763

And here it is on my big head facing, of course, away from the light source.  Really, I’m a special kind of stupid today.

100_3766

I think I’m going to run a few strands of elastic through the ribbing at the bottom.  I’m not sure if it’s the grip of the yarn on itself or the provisional cast on (probably not) or the fact that the brim was knit on size 3 (!!) needles, but it’s not very stretchy.  But other than that, I’m quite pleased with my first tam!  Thank you again for the yarn, Norman!

 

Coincidence? September 8, 2008

Filed under: Musings — Cailyn @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , , ,

I hadn’t thought about making a tam o’shanter until Norman suggested it.  I had been thinking of a traditional snow hat, but a tam is a great idea (they’re not really meant to be pulled down around sensitive ears).  I had always thought that the tam o’shanter was from Scotland, though, so I looked up a little more about it. The name originates from Scotland, but tams are found in both Scotland and Ireland.  Irish tams have more Aran styling to them, which is great, because I love Aran cabling.  Browsing around for some pictures of traditional Aran tams, I found these:

Pretty and traditional!  I’m fascinated by the symmetry of these cables.  So, having found my inspiration, I headed off to Ravelry to find some free tam patterns so that I could figure out how these things are made.  What I found was this:

582266505_ef0b9ce9fd

 

Looks just like the other tams, right?  This is the Aran Tam from One-Skein Wonders.  Isn’t that perfect?  And then, fate struck.  I looked at the yardage for the pattern.  350 yards.  “Well, that’s great!” I thought, “that’s about how much I have.”  Then, a glance at the suggested yarn…:  Kerry Woollen Mills Aran Wool!  I was practically floored by the coincidence.  I promptly (by that I mean the next morning) rushed to the library and checked out One-Skein Wonders.  That hat is going to be mine! (Well, I’ll probably end up changing it somehow… maybe sub a cable or two.  It’s just how I work.)  It’ll be just the right project to tide me over.  Tide me over until what?  Keep reading.

 

I’ve abandoned my sock WIP (work-in-progress, for the non-knitters.)  There’s nothing wrong with the yarn or the pattern.  It was just perfect a week ago, but now working on it makes me want to throw the darn sock across the room.  And it’s really not the sock’s fault.  I’ve been suppressing my extreme desire to knit something else.  And, as many of you know, once you’ve secretly given your heart to another project, nothing else will do until that new project is cast on.  What’s the project that’s got me pining away, unable to work on my previously fabulous, beautiful silk/wool sock?

 

 

 

The Estes Vest from Interweave Knits Fall 2008.  I don’t even know why I’m so in love with this.  But I have to make it.  Nothing else will do.  I’ve read the pattern probably 10 times so far.  It’s knit in bulky weight, which I don’t really use much (being a sock knitter and all.)  I’m itching to knit something bigger than a sock.  I really want to take the plunge into sweater knitting; the challenge of sleeves and necks and steeks intrigues me.  I live for learning new things.  The problem, though, is that I’m right in the middle of loosing some weight.  (I know everyone say that, but trust me, this is happening.)  Why spend hours, days, weeks, knitting a sweater that will be too big by next year?  So, I’ve very carefully squashed the knitting urges. 

But this vest… Vests can be a little big; they’re meant for layering.  Vests aren’t quite as much of a commitment, especially if knit in bulky weight, what with the “no sleeves” thing.  And look at the cute toggles!  (Which I want to make out of polymer clay.)  Let’s face it, the yarn is already in my cart in Knit Picks.  Wool of the Andes Bulky, in either Scuba or Sky, I keep changing my mind, which is why I haven’t actually placed the order yet.  But I think I’ll finally flip a coin and place the order in a few days.  Must… make… vest…!  But will make pretty hat until yarn arrives.

 

Danube Socks July 23, 2008

Filed under: patterns — Cailyn @ 2:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here they are, the Danube socks! (Finally!)

I’m not going to say that these socks are easy. But they were a lot easier than I expected. If you’ve done cables and you’ve made a sock before, you can do these socks! The center cable is complex, but the side cables pretty much take care of themselves. Some of the cables take a knit stitch and turn it into a purl or vise versa, so trust in the chart! (I forgot my own advice sometimes.) Also, unlike larger cables, there are cable twists every row. I’m going to post some pictures of how to do a twisted stitch tomorrow, in case the written description is confusing. It’s similar to cabling without a cable needle, just with fewer stitches.

One other word of advice- the ribbing at the top is pretty, but not very functional. I’ve broken it into sections for the written instructions, separated by semi-colons. The ribbing seems random, but there’s a pattern, I promise. And it’s really only the first row that you have to really pay attention to. After that it’s just working the stitches as they’re presented. Feel free to substitute your own favorite ribbing pattern instead, though. Oh, and do yourself a favor and gauge in the round- twisting stitches on the WS is not fun.

I made these socks on 2 circs- I particularly love the two circ method for cables, because I don’t have to worry about a cable traveling over a needle join. I also love the magic of working with DPNs, though, so I’ve tried to write the pattern as non-needle specific as possible. There are no guidelines as to how to arrange the stitches, except for the heel, so I hope the instructions are clear. I like to use stitch markers to mark the beginning of the round and the start and end of the instep sts.

Danube Socks

Download the PDF: Danube Socks

  • Finished Size: Women’s 9 (9.5″ foot length)
  • Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) DPNs or 2 circulars
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Essential, Mermaid (2 skeins)
  • Yardage: 400 yards
  • Extras: Stitch markers, stitch holder or scrap yarn, tapestry needle
  • Gauge: 9 sts x 12 rows= 1″ in stockinette; first 29 sts x 18 rows of Chart A= 2.5″ x1.5″

Special Stitches

PYI Ribbing (Pretty But Ineffectual Ribbing): *P2, k2, p2, k1; p2, (k1, p1,) twice, k1; p2, k1, p1, (k2, p2) twice, k2, p1, k1; p2, (k1, p1) twice, k1; p2, k1* twice

1×1 Twisted Ribbing: *k1 tbl, p1* repeat to the end of the round.

Right Twist: Slip next two stitches purlwise. From the back, insert the left needle into the back of the first slipped stitch. Pull the right needle from both stitches and reinsert right needle into the loose stitch from the front. Slip this stitch back to the left needle, then k2 tbl.

Stitch Key

Cable Key

Left Twist: Insert the right needle into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. Pull left needle out of the first two stitches and reinsert the left needle into the loose stitch from the front. Replace stitch on right needle to left needle, then k2tbl.

Right Purl Twist: Perform a Right Twist, but at the end, k1tbl, p1.

Left Purl Twist: Perform a Left Twist, but at the end, p1, k1tbl.

(See tutorial here.)

All knit stitches on Chart A and B are knit through the back loop (tbl). Gray stitches on the chart are purled.

Leg

CO 80 sts using the Long Tail Cast On.

Work PYI Ribbing OR 1×1 Twisted Ribbing for about 1”.

Work Chart A completely once, then work Rounds 1 to 30 of Chart A again. (The red line just shows the halfway mark on the chart.)

Chart A - Leg

Divide for heel: Work Round 31 of Chart A. At the end of the round, work the first 3 stitches as presented from the beginning of the round, turn.

Heel

Row 1 (WS): Sl 1, p39, turn.

Row 2 (RS): *Sl 1, k1* repeat until the end of the row, turn.

(After the first few rows, you may want to put the other 40 sts on a holder or scrap yarn.)

Repeat these two rows 28 more times for a total of 30 rows, then work Row 1 again. RS will be facing.

Heel Turn

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, k22, ssk, k1, turn.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn.

Row 3 (RS): Sl 1, k8, ssk, k1, turn.

Repeat Row 2 and 3, working 1 more stitch every row, until all stitches have been worked, ending after a WS row. 24 stitches remain.

Turn and knit across all heel stitches.

Gusset

Pick up and knit through the back loop 16 stitches along the heel flap and 1 st in the gap between the flap and the instep. (17 sts increased). Work Row 1 of Chart B across the held instep stitches. Pick up and knit through the back loop 1 st in the gap and 16 stitches along the heel flap (17 sts increased), k12 heel stitches to move the beginning of the round. Beginning of the round is now in the center of the heel. 98 sts.

Chart B - Instep

Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before instep, k2tog, k1. Work the next row of Chart B across instep. K1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit to instep. Work the next Row of Chart B across instep. Knit to the end of the round.

Repeat Round 1 and 2 until 40 sole stitches remain; a total of 80 stitches.

Foot

Work Round 2 until 2 ½” short of desired length. Try to end on Row 1, 13, 19 or 31 of Chart B. (Shown ending on Row 19).

Toe

Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to 3 sts before the end of the instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 4 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Round 1 and 2 until 20 sts remain.

Graft remaining sts together using Kitchener Stitch. Weave in ends, make another one, and wear around proudly!

 

Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.

 

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.