Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Sprite's Slippers

Pattern: Elf Shoes by Pamela Wynne (pattern via Ravelry)
Needles: US 10.5
Yarn: Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted in Purple Anthracite and Chartreuse Olive
Size: Adult (narrow) - originally knit to length for US Mens size 9/10

Comments: The verdict? Not Horrified - but perhaps not quite overwhelmed with joy either ;) and perhaps there was a small sigh of relief when they didn't fit (too narrow and perhaps just a hair short) These were originally knit for my husband, aka Mr. WoodlandSprite (that just made me laugh when a friend of mine called him that) as a last minute stealth holiday gift. The knitting was fast and furious and completed in one long day. Fulling was completed in the super fast felting machine that is the Luscious Gracious washer.

I don't know if it was the washing machine or the pattern - but these came right out looking like wee elf feet - complete with arch and heel cup! I blocked them into shape using my own feet, and tugging on them to gain extra length at the toe. I took final measurements and was pretty sure they would fit, but alas, I think they need a smidge of extra width and perhaps also a smidge of length - the good news is the shoes, when freshly fulled, are quite malleable - and can be stretched quite a bit for a perfect fit.

You may notice that these slippers have some pretty crazy curliqued ends on the toe and each tip of the cuff - this was not in the design - I suspect folks who properly finish their knitting and weave in the ends will not have such design features....me, I always leave an inch or so dangling off my knitting whenever I finish - we chucked them straight into the wash, figuring I could trim the ends off after fulling if I so desired. After seeing the results though, I have to admit I have no such urge - I love the crazy curly slightly-grinchy ends so they're going to all stay!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Pattern: 198 yards of heaven (pattern on Ravelry)
Yarn: in this case, I used just under 264 yards of my own handspun :)
Needles: US 11 - large needle size, coupled with lace = nice, fast, rewarding knitting.

Comments: This is a large shawlette - I totally forgot to take measurements before wrapping it up and sending it off. My cat isn't tiny, so use him for reference as you will.

Modifications? I believe after 2.5 repeats of the main pattern (it may have been 3.5 - I can't find my notes) I didn't use the proscribed edging - rather I follwed another Raverly Knitter's modifications, repeating rows 11 & 12 a few times (3x each) before binding off - I didn't follow her modifications to mimic the eyelets along the bound off edge....1) I didn't like how they looked and 2) I didn't have enough yarn to do so.

I'm really pleased with how well this came out - it's open, and plenty warm when wrapped around the neck. The colors worked out well, combining the two handspuns - and because they are both navajo plied yarns, the fabric is incredibly squooshy.

behold :) I love the bits of green at the edge...and the slighty tweeded effects of having handblended while spinning the singles at the wheel. I love it. I hope the recipient adores it as much as I do!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Study in Sock Construction

please excuse the catfuzz. It abounds in my household.

Pattern: Bartholemew's Tantalizing Socks - Sky construction - from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Yarn: Wollmeise sockenwolle in Hollerstaud'n
Needles: US2 and US 1.5

Comments: A fast knitting sock that (I think anyway) shows off handpainted yarns nicely, while adding textural elements (yay linen stitch!) that keep the knitter entertained. These are knit top down - a rarity for me, but I wanted to give this sock construction method a try.

Overall, I still prefer toe-up knitting (mostly because I'm still seriously paranoid about running out of yarn when I knit top down socks) - but these turned out some very nicely fitting socks - the heel construction ensures a nice close fit through the rear of the foot - though it may not be as durable as other heel construction methods (it's simply ribbed, rather than slipped and knit).

The split cuff nicely accommodates those of us with more ample calves, and the fabric seems happy enough to stay up without flopping over at all. These socks are actually destined for my husband...to make up for the fact that I ripped out a pair of handknit socks to knit these....don't ask. The tale is a sad one (involving handknit woolens with suspcious holes that looked like one of our pets may have decided they had a hankering for knitted fabric)...but it all seems to have ended well :)