Knitting, Socks

Upside Down Monkeys

I have wanted to knit myself a pair of the Cookie A ‘Monkey Socks’ for quite some time. I think I must be the only sock knitter without a pair and the simple yarn over increases and single stitch decreases create an easy to memorise pattern that is an addicitve knit.

So in true ‘change everything but keep the identity’ style I cast on a pair of toe up monkeys. The pattern on Knitty calls for 2.5mm needles. I thought that was going to be a liitle loose for a 64 stitch pattern as I knit all of my socks on 2.25mm needles at 64 stitches… So I ignored that part of the pattern and used 2.25mm needles it’s worked perfectly, very pleased I went down a size.

For the heel I used Nathan Taylors toe up sock heel with a gusset (my first time knitting one of these in a long time!) a bit of maths and some tounge poking out the side of my mouth concentrating later I bloody well managed it! Pat on the back to me at 3 am in the morning while feeding Eve.

I’ve made the socks cropped with added shortrows at the back to create a lip so they dont roll into my trainiers and bunch up under my feet… In theory and it adds a little attractive extra detail when I’m wearing them that I really like

These are my perfect springtime sport sock… I love wearing Converse trainers and these I’ve designed to fit perfectly about half an inch above ther top line of my shoes.

Details:

Yarn – Stranded Dyeworks Plateau sockblank in the Koi Colourway

Needles – Hiya Hiya sharp 2.25mm & 2mm Chiagoo mini interchangables for the top

Stitch Markers – Friperies & Bibelots snag free mini O’rings.

Leather Knitting Bag – Handmade by me

Knitting

WIP Wednesday – What’s on the needles?

In a bid to kickstart more regular posts I’m going to start a bi-weekly WIP segment… Bit of motivation and I love watching and reading about other peoples WIP’s, yarn choices and modifications. So kicking off with Brioche!!…

Double Denim Marl

So as part of the pattern selection I’m putting together at the moment I’m knitting up some samples and after knitting sooo many Bobble Marley hats my marling mojo is in full swing. I also wanted something a little quicker than just 4ply, so using a 5mm needle and a collection of Coop Knits Sock Yeah that I’d lined up for a broke the that wasn’t working for the project I intended it too.

Using grey, blues and greens I’ve colour graded the shawl with a mixture of one and two colour Brioche. I’ve even made tassels!! Bloody love a tassel… Don’t know why I don’t own anything with tassels on! So far this has been a quick enough knit, I’ve enjoyed watching my progress and getting from one colour change to the next. Still undecided as to whether or not I’m going to add a scalloped edge to the shawl but that might be a little more than my tired brain can handle at the moment. I’m currently working with this incredible teal colour that I use love! Sock Yeah yarn is lightly marled as it is, if you look closely there is such depth to this yarn that makes it a real pleasure to watch run through your fingers… I just love it. I’m hoping to have this one finished in the next week or so, if I can keep the motivation up!

White Horse Jumper

I keep wanting to write sweater… it’s not, its a jumper I’ve taken on the ‘sweater’ Americanism (nothing wrong with that). This project has been on my needles for quite some time and I’m now about 5″ into the body… I desperately want to get this finished to wear before the summer gets too warm.

I’m knitting it from 100% BFL from Riverknits in the Gringer Nut colour way that Becci dyed specifically for me for this project… such a talented woman! I’ve tried it on… It fits so far (always a bonus, especially as I started it whilst pregnant and my decision making processes were slightly impaired by hormones and sleep deprivation)

Thinking that I might make it cropped as I really love the way it looks with cropped sleeves and a slightly shorted body – I’m making a medium size so that it fits and flatters my new postpartum body.

Toe Up Monkeys

I’ve wanted to knit a pair of these for a long time, they’ve been in my queue for quite some time… I’m knitting these using a sock blank purchased from Amy of Stranded Dyeworks. This is her Koi colour way and I think it works perfectly for this pattern.

I’ve not yet knitted a toe up sock with a heel flap and gusset but a friend recommended the sock maticians formula for toe up socks. I’ve got to the point where I need to turn the heel but I haven’t yet had a chance to sit and read through the pattern so I know what I’m doing without distractions (very difficult with a new baby).

Some people like to unravel their sock blanks and block then residing them before knitting with them, I love knitting strait from the blank but it does mean that I need to block anything I knit from them fairly aggressively after finishing, it effects my gauge very slightly but not enough to bother me. I’ve used 2 of Amy’s sock blanks before… They’re somewhat of an addiction! Great dye saturation and the colours she picks I really like. Not my usual colour choice ‘Koi’ is oranges, pinks, whites topped off with black speckles, so much fun to knit with and I’m really looking forward to wearing these.

Knitting

Instant Hatification – Stranded for Stranded

I watch a great podcast by Amy Florence – of Stranded Dyeworks. Amy is a very talented knitter and her podcast is really informative. Recently she’s been knitting Dipyrmid hats, this is a colour work hat knitted in the round from the bottom up using two colours. I love Amy’s examples of the hats, she uses her colour ways in different variegated and a semisolid yarn. I have a hank of Amy’s DK super wash merino in my treasured stash in the colourway ‘Naive Watercolour’ I’m pairing it with a bright blue hank of John Arbon’s organically farmed Falkland merino number ‘KBN37’. I’m hoping it’s going to work… There’s something that doesn’t quite add up with the pairing at the moment but we will see what starts to happen with my colour work starts… between then and now I have 4″ of ribbing!!

Ive put together a hank of grey KBN03 and Amy’s Mettlesome too if I like the first hat although I may end up mixing and matching… grey with the Naive Watercolour… decisions decisions! I’ve not knitted a colourwork hat or indeed any hat really without changing the needle size between the main hat and the ribbing… normally I go down a needle size for ribbing, this pattern doesn’t. I’m definitely putting in a lifeline and going up a needle size for the colourwork… We’ll see ow it goes. I’m knitting this for a prezzie… If it doesn’t work it’ll be mine (unless I can be bothered to rip it back) I’m my own worst enemy, I rarely swatch.

Needles – 3.25 mm Lykke 3.5″ small needles and then changing to 3.5mm for the colourwork as I know I knit a tighter gauge with colourwork and I want the hat to have some slouch to it.

This will be my first attempt using slippery yarn for colourwork… It might go terribly badly and end up being a blocked colour cable hat… but you never know! Thinking I may also need to use the longer 5″ needle tips to make sure that I’m getting the floats long enough.

Knitting, WIP Wednesday

Experimenting With Colour, Shape and Texture

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my knitting that I forget that knitting is my freedom and my meditation. I’ts an easy thing to forget… especially when you’re already stressed and wound up.

I started a project months ago after seeing an episode of Skeindeer knits where Elli had completed and interesting shaped shawl. Something about that shawl sparked my imagination and a need to experiment. I have a small collection of Wollmeise yarn that I purchased about 5 years ago when you cold only get grab bags in an update from them (Unless you were super quick and knew exactly what you wanted). So, using a 150g skein of my favourite green Wollmeise and a 100g sock black from Stranded dye works I set about experimenting with colour and shape.

I really enjoyed playing with different textures within the colours I had chosen and finding out what patterns really made the colours sing. I am purposefully not writing a pattern for this shawl so that I really can just play with it and knit what I want to into it. It’s a brilliant way of freeing my very cluttered mind at the moment! Knitting meditation!

Hoping to have it finished fairly soon!

Nu xx

Knitting, WIP Wednesday

Pebbles & Leather

I am really fond of this pattern, it started about 6 years ago and is yet another one of those patterns that I never had the chance to write down. I love the bobble pebble texture of these mittens and how they fit, so this is my motivation to get them finished and the pattern written up at long last… Ready in time for winter hopefully! The pattern will be available in fingerless and as a full mitten (when I get round to writing it up).

The yarn is integral to these mittens, they’re fabulous mini skeins from Riverknits. You can spend hours playing with different colour combinations (and I have!)… I love these tones and shades and how they work together. They’re really special.

Knitting

A New Autumn Cast On

I’ve been completely caught up in the autumnal feeling at the moment. I love this time of year it really speaks to me as a red head. All of the colours are changing and the world is brown, reds and oranges.

I’ve taken this opportunity to indulge in some autumn design work and greasy from the inspirational chaos that was my weekend at Yarndale I’ve gathered by thoughts and I’m ready to start!

I thought I would just give you a quick peek at some of the incredible colours I’m going to be using. All BFL and all hand dyed in a UK based floating dye studio (I know right!… how and where do you find the space to dye as well as live! Amazing!), these autumnal masterpieces really hit me and wanted to work together.

As you can see form the pictures the colours work so beautifully together I’m hoping this is just going to be one of those projects that clicking onto place!

Have a great weekend everyone and happy knitting

Nu x

Knitting, WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday – Father Cables

As part of today’s WIP Wednesday I thought I would introduce you to my latest project…

So I’ve been carrying around a white alpaca pom-pom and a hank of ‘The Fibre Company’ Cumbria DK for over a month now waiting to turn them into a Father Cables hat by YOTH. I’ve been toying with the idea of coming up with a way of knitting a top down version as I want a deeper brim and as little waste as possible. Instead though I’ve opted for a preliminary cast on and I’ll go back after finishing the chart and knit as big a brim as I can and use up what’s left (hence the interesting stripe of bright green along the bottom of the hat)

I’m not sure if this is going to work but there’s only one way to find out!

The Yarn:

The Fibre Co – Cumbria DK – A blend of masham, merino and mohair… It’s turning out beautifully. I have recently been trying to experiment more with different types of fleece and yarns so that I can further my knowledge and develop a better understanding of what’s available. I’m really enjoying this voyage of discovery and it’s opened my eyes to a lot of sheep breeds that I wouldn’t have been aware of.

The Pattern:

As I used a different cast on method that I’ve going back to later it seemed like a lot of stitches but the cables really do start to pull everything together quite quickly. This pattern is available for free on the YOTH website. I was drawn to it because I really like the open cablework in the middle and the lack of repeated cables and generic braids. There is noting nicer to sit and knit on a cool autumn day than a few cables!

Although it’s the random movement of the cables that first drew me to this pattern I’m finding it a more involving knit than most of the hats I’ve knitted. This isn’t a bad thing as it keeps you involved in the pattern but it’s not knit night knitting as you do need to follow the charts and mark out clearly where you are.

As with a lot of repeating patterns I am finding that stitch markers in this case are essential to keep track of my progress…. Especially when knitting and TV watching!

Techniques Used:

Cabling without a needle:

Crochet cast on over your needle

Supplies:

Yarn – The Fibre Co, Cumbria DK purchased from A Yarn Story in Bath

Needles – Interchangeable LYKKE needles

Stitch markers – Bulb pin stitch markers in a variety of different colours available from Riverknits

Pattern – YOTH Father Cables available from their website

Pom Pom – Super soft white fluffy alpaca Pom Pom (not yet pictured) also purchased from A Yarn Story

I very much doubt this will be a finished object this week as I’m about to start switching for another project but you never know!

Hope your WIP’s aren’t getting you down,

Happy knitting

Nu x