Friday, October 20, 2017

Sock Wool Review 11

Huh. Three more to blog about!

1. Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome: nice and thin at around 400m/100g, and nice colours....but pricey. Mine came put up in 50g balls, so I got two. Sadly, it felt quite harsh knitting up, and kind of splitty, too. Sure didn't feel like merino!! I gifted the socks, so can't comment on the wear, but I don't think this will be a repeat for me. According to Ravelry, it's discontinued. I'm not crying over this one.

2. Aslan Trends Santa Fe kettle dyed - 85/15 merino/nylon sock yarn, comes in 50g hanks at 165m (if I can read the blurry label...). This is a bit thicker than I normally use (I got it as a gift), but it is tightly plied and has a great "boing" factor. Seems to wear well, although it does pill in the long run. I used it in a pair of mosaic socks, using a non-merino contrast yarn which I also used for the heels and toes, so hopefully that will cut down on the pilling and felting at least a little. As per usual, I wouldn't normally purchase merino yarn for socks...

3. Dynasty sock yarn - can't find this on the the Ravelry database! It's a new one - Chinese product - carried by my local Fabricland shop. Pretty limited solid colours (no earth tones and I find the stripey colourways hideous), 75/25 wool (not merino)/nylon, 170m/50g so a bit thicker on paper than what I'd normally use. But it certainly knits up much thinner than the Aslan Trends above! It's surprisingly pleasant to knit, feels like a thinner version of Kroy. It's got a good price point at $16/pair and if you're a Fabricland member you usually get 20% off (and maybe more if you wait for a sale). Good for a few pairs, until you get tired of the colours.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Mosaic/Slipped Stitch Practise

I'm a big fan of slipped stitch/mosaic knitting for socks. It's a way of getting that fair-isle look without having to worry overmuch about the tension. Slipped-stitch patterns are a bit tighter (and thicker!) than regular stockinette, so you do have to watch your tension a little (I usually use one needle size larger than I'd usually use - so a 2.25mm rather than a 2.0mm), and my socks turn out well.

I'm not sure what the official definition of "slipped stitch" patterns is versus "mosaic" patterns, but my working definition is that slipped stitches are the technique, and mosaic knitting is a particular group of designs made using the technique of slipped stitches. Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries feature pages and pages of what she terms "mosaic knitting", and I've noticed that one commonality is that these patterns feature TWO ROWS of knitting/slipping per colour. So perhaps that's how she classifies them? There are also lots of pages of what she calls "slipped stitch" designs, that don't seem to share this feature.

Anyways, what you call these patterns is neither here nor there. They work great for socks!

 When I first started exploring these stitches I made a scarf, which was great fun to do and didn't take long. I picked some fun-looking stitches from various sources. Here it is:

[mosaic scarf]

It's done in three colours (this one was from some alpaca yarn from KnitPicks, which is rather sheddy but very soft and warm) - I find that using a limited number of colours ties the design together in a pleasing fashion.  The basic idea is 8x8" sampler blocks separated by garter rows and finished with a few rows of garter edging. It's not very long (it's more suitable for manly crossover-type wear rather than a wrap-around-your-neck style), although you could easily add more sampler blocks to make it as long as you want. 

Anyways, download the pattern for the thing below, and make in time for the holidays!

Monday, July 10, 2017

All About Sheep!

I signed up to talk at a local PechaKucha event recently. It was fun!

You get 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about anything you love.

Guess what I talked about?