Friday, November 22, 2013

What's Up?

Days are flying by and before you know it Christmas will be here. I have completed most of my gifts but haven't begun to shop. As much as I would like, not everything can be knitted, though many attempts have been made trying to prove me wrong. Have you heard about swants?
Swants is an idea thought up by Stephen West. I had the chance to meet him at my local yarn store, Three Bags Full, and wow this guy is talented! He has designed beautiful shawls, scarves, cowls, mittens and swants. Swants are made by using an old sweater, cutting and sewing in strategic places. Here is the link to his tutorial. Check it out, informative and very funny.
I am not that witty nor do I own a pair of swants but I have completed and in the process of completing some clever knits.
 Recently I finished the Ocean City Shawlette I have mentioned before and I just adore the finished product, see for yourself.  Here it is being blocked after a soak in a warm bath. The warm water helps to relax the fibers making it easier to shape the garment. If desired, add a bit of wool wash to the water and rinse well before blocking. Avoid aggressive wringing or other agitation. I like to roll in a towel for 15 minutes, to sop up excessive water, yarn only needs to be damp before blocking.

In the works is a pair of socks I fondly dubbed  "Purdue Socks". Using a Fair Isle technique has helped to give some thickness to the very thin yarn I am using. These socks will be super warm, perfect for getting around campus in cold weather, a good thing as my son is not a fan of heavy coats. I am carrying two colors vertically in hopes of avoiding a bumble bee effect that I imagine would occur with horizontal stripes. Refresher: school colors are black and gold. I did have to frog (rip it rip it) the first attempt since I did not take into consideration the lack of stretch that occurs with Fair Isle knitting (darn my inexperience is showing). This created a width only a small child could fit into. Definitely would not work for my 6' 4" son. My second attempt worked much better. I casted on 4 additional stitches and moved to a size 3 needle for a roomier sock that an adult can wear comfortably.
It was suggested I put in an after thought heel using only black (black for the toe as well).
I think that would look pretty cool but I wonder if it will be necessary to use two strands for durability and in keeping consistent with the established thickness of the sock body. Need to ponder the idea for a bit.
I found this to be a very helpful tutorial explaining the how to of strand knitting. I found the Scandinavian method worked well for me.

Now to get them completed and onto something new.
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Thanks for stopping by,