Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Month: April, 2007

Progress: Canal du Midi socks in Louet Gems Fingering

There have been some really amazing FOs in blogland this week! Stacey’s Turkish Stockings and Brooklyntweed’s Saddle Shoulder Aran Cardigan are my two favorites. Both Stacey and Jared exhibit a discipline for knitting that I only wish I had!!! Perhaps I’ll get there someday when Beatrix is older…

As I said last week, I’ve been working on a pair of Canal du Midi socks in Louet Gems Fingering (Fern Green colorway). I have mixed feelings about the pattern, the yarn and the pattern/yarn combination.

I like the pattern, although if I were to knit these again, I would prefer that the twisted stitch pattern weren’t so squished on the instep stitches. I would probably throw in a few purls on the instep to spread out the panels of twisted stitches.

One thing that I do like about the pattern is the square heel. I personally prefer round heels but Aaron thinks that his mom’s heel is like his: narrow. I think the square heel will be best for her.

The only modification I made was to use a Sl1, K1 heel instead of straight knit:

If I had been around to blog earlier this week, you would have read a fairly grumpy post about how Louet Gems Fingering has such poor yardage (185 yds/skein) that it was doubtful that I’d be able to get a pair of large women’s socks out of two skeins. As it turned out, this is what remained of one skein after finishing one sock:

While I did not have to buy that third ball, I would certainly never choose Gems for larger socks in the future. If my pattern had been more cabled, I would have needed that third skein. Why not just plan on buying 3 skeins, you ask? One of my greatest pet peeves is patterns/designers that require that last skein but hardly use any of it; I find it both wasteful and indulgent. Besides, I’m not very good at using up sock yarn scraps so that last skein would likely sit in my stash forever and I would grow to resent it. Yes, I know, I’m cranky.

Pattern/Yarn Combination:
Is it just me or do the zigzags down either side of the cables look like reptilian scales? If the yarn weren’t green, it would never have occurred to me. It’s not awful, but I think I would prefer the Canal du Midi socks in a different color.

The second sock is already on the needles! More progress next week!

FO Child’s First Sock, Frogged Conwy Sock

Wow, so you guys really liked that kaftan! I wasn’t expecting that much of a response from a rediscovered FO! I think Aaron was pleased to read the positive comments too.

After the organic chemistry exam and four comprehensive exams, I returned home Friday to find loot! Mintyfresh of Pepperknit sent me two skeins of Claudia’s Handpainted yarn from her recent blogiversary contest.
What a great prize! Thanks, Minty!! I’ve been thinking that I really need to get some variegated and give it a try. When scanning through my Flickr gallery last weekend, I came to the conclusion that I am the most boring knitter alive. Same types of patterns, same types of yarns. I need to expand my knitting horizons a bit, lest you readers die of boredom.

Next up, a package from my secret pal! Before I continue, I should say that there has been some Secret Pal craziness that resulted in me having two spoilers. SO… while Heatherly works that out, you can look at pretty pictures of what Secret Swapper sent me from Australia!

A beautiful card, a teddy bear for Beatrix, a great folk music CD for kids, some chocolate and…

some soft Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in one of my favorite colors:
and another look:
Thanks, Secret Swapper! Just in time for my yarn diet!

For those of you have remarked the lack of much knitting progress in these last few weeks, I give you some FO photos of my Child’s First Socks for my cousin Ida:

Pattern: Child’s First Sock from Vintage Socks
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Boldly Red on US 2s

In my excitement about having the weekend free from studying and encouraged by a great example on Flickr, I cast on for some Conwy socks from Knitting on the Road. I was looking for a conservative pattern for my mother-in-law that wouldn’t tie me to a book (so fairly easy to memorize). As it turns out, Conwy is the perfect pattern.

Unfortunately, because it was the perfect pattern, I found it so tedious and boring that I frogged it a few inches later and started Canal du Midi, inspired by Grumperina’s version. I could not face the prospect of two large socks with Conwy. Stay tuned for Canal du Midi progress photos next week!

Debbie Bliss Baby Kaftan

Well, it seems that many of you think that I am asking a bit much on the superwash socks. Maybe I am. It’s not too big of a problem, since Aaron says the fuzz makes them softer. However, he also says that it makes them more like store-bought wool socks. *cringe* What a muggle.

Since I’m procrastinating taking a break from studying, I thought I’d post some FO photos from a sweater I recently discovered in the baby knits pile. I made this sweater about two years ago, certainly with no intention of having a baby who would wear it. I knit it simply because I wanted to learn to embroider. The embroidery project was a failure (at least, on my part) so Aaron figured out how to embroider and he did it for me. I was so impressed. So was his grandmother, who reminded him that his grandfather, who learned to knit for soldiers in World War I, knit blankets for all of his grandkids (at a gauge of 10 sts/in too). There’s certainly lots of needlework skill in his family! In any case, here is your ever willing model showing off her new (albeit a bit big) sweater:

Pattern: Baby Kaftan from Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport

Wear Test: Knit Picks Swish Superwash

It has been brought to my attention that while I will not consume any calories knitting the aforementioned chocolate yarn, neither will I burn any calories sitting on my butt knitting! You can see why I’ve come to depend on a complementary, non-sedentary hobby like running. Speaking of which, Christine of the Knitting Virgin (whose knitting skills reveal that she’s been around the block a few too many times to continue calling herself that) is coming to Lawrence in a few weeks and she and I are going to run a 5K together. Not only that but I recently joined Colleen on an indoor soccer team in town! I’m just meeting up with knit bloggers everywhere!

I’m still studying like mad for my exams this Friday so I haven’t actual knitting content for you. This blog fodder comes to you from Aaron, who recently washed his newly acquired misread Gentleman’s Socks in Railway Stitch. If you will recall, these socks were knit using Knit Picks Swish Superwash on US 2s. I’ve used Swish several times now, although only on gifts. I was curious to see how super this superwash yarn would be. First, I should say, the socks didn’t completely felt after a run through the washing machine. That’s something, isn’t it? I chose not to machine dry them when I saw the beginnings of felting. Behold, the fuzzy halo:

What, you want to see the damage close up?
I know some people would roll their eyes at the promise of true superwash and say I surely can’t expect to machine wash and dry handknits. Well, I do, especially when the label says I can. Furthermore, certain sock manufacturers have convinced me that good superwash wool is possible. If I purchase more Swish, it will be for its soft, spongy quality rather than for its washability.

For those unencumbered by a yarn diet, WEBS is having a sale on Regia. Those nice folks at WEBS must have heard about my diet and decided to test my willpower so go! Get it while you can! Knit g.bella‘s Clessidra socks from the latest Knitty. I will live vicariously through you!