Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lattice socks, perhaps?

Although it may not look like it from my recent entries, I have actually been trying to get some knitting done, but for various reasons haven't really made enough progress to justify any update photos. Just imagine things a bit longer than when you last saw them. ;) The 'Basic Black Shawl' is remaining on hold for now until the two cone spindles finally show up here, as these should improve the way the yarn feeds off the two cones of yarn.

The rather bizarre weather here in Sydney over the past week or so hasn't helped either, as 37°C temperatures and mohair really don't go together at all well -- take a quick look at my work in progress bars and spot the problem with my current projects. Despite not really wanting to start another project as I really love the way my current ones are all turning out and desperately want to see them finished, the desire to have something ready to work on on those hot, humid days will probably win out, and I'll wind the wool for either the Contessa Shawl or Melody's Shawl into balls some time over the next few days so I am prepared. Both of these shawls would be useful things to have to have around to use anyway, and ginger-nut having pointed out the version of Melody's Shawl which was recently completed by someone taking part in the International Scarf Exchange has done nothing to dissuade me from this plan. ;)

One of the things I have done over the past few weeks which I should make a note of here is my search for a stitch pattern to eventually use with this yarn from my sock yarn stash...

I really love the combination of colours in this yarn. It's a hand-painted Opal 4 ply sock yarn which I'm fairly certain I don't want to knit into a plain, stocking stitch sock, but obviously don't want to knit something too over-the-top patterned with either.

My first thought was back to a sock I remember seeing on a blog a year or two ago that had been knit in a stitch with a knit-lattice pattern overlayed over a stocking stitch background, which had the effect of both adding a bit of interest to the finished sock and breaking up the pools of colours which had previously been forming in socks knit from that particular hand-dyed yarn. I could have sworn that I'd bookmarked that blog and the relevant entry at the time, but either it doesn't exist any more or I wasn't quite as diligent with my bookmarking as I thought I'd been, as I haven't been able to locate it again anywhere. So, with the image of a stitch pattern in mind, I went searching through my Barbara Walker 'Treasuries' for something similar, and soon came across the 'Knit-Twist Lattice' pattern in her second 'Treasury'. The stitch pattern was for the most part easily adapted to knitting in the round, but I wasn't entirely sure what to do to deal with the jog which would occur at the point where the lattice finally crosses over at the end and start point of a round, so I had a play with a test swatch, and with a bit of slipping of stitches back and forth at the point where the jog would happen, I soon had a version of the stitch pattern which would work...

Apologies for the really 80s shade of purple of this yarn, but it was what I happened to have lying around here in about the right weight, and at least had the advantage of allowing the stitch pattern to be easily seen. I'm not entirely happy with the way the 'Left Twist' (well, 'Right Twist' for me really, as I've knit them mirror image as usual) stitches have turned out, but I've discovered that I'm not alone in having this happen with this version of the stitch pattern, and have since found an alternative method of working the 'Left Twist' described in one of the comments here which I plan to try out to see if it improves the end result at all. I actually have a feeling that the very splitty nature of the yarn I used for my test swatch may have contributed to the problem as I think it made the 'Left Twist' significantly more difficult to work, which may have distorted the stitches more than was strictly necessary.

One thing I have decided after knitting the test swatch though, is that a sock in this stitch pattern would work best knit from the toe up, as this would make it very easy to begin and end the stitch pattern at the points of the lattice and would therefore give a very neat, finished look to the final sock. Not having knit a sock from the toe up so far is also a good argument for using this method.

As a possible alternative to the 'Knit-Twist Lattice', I've also been considering HeartStrings' 'Rainy Day' socks...

... but a few people have pointed out that the predominantly dark colours in my yarn would most likely swamp this pattern.

Thinking on it some more, I have a feeling that this yarn...

... which is co-incidentally some more handpainted Opal 4 ply I have in my sock yarn stash, may well suit this pattern better anyway.

On the knitting magazine front, look what Michael found in Borders yesterday and brought home for me...

I didn't even know this issue had hit the news stands yet! :)

Our rainbow lorikeet has discovered a new trick of his own. One of his favourite toys is a ladder with multicoloured perspex rungs strung together on yellow nylon cord. He's always chewed on the cord, which was quite fuzzy as a result. Well, he finally bit through one of the cords recently, and I took pity on him and bought the last one of these ladders still available at the local pet shop for him. Just four days later, this is what his new ladder looked like...

And believe it or not, it's actually bitten through at exactly the same point as the original one!

So... Has he learnt his lesson now?

Not a chance! *sigh*

Even Tigger is at a loss as to what to do with him...

Katrina -- Yes, I am planning on using 4 balls of the GGH 'Soft Kid' for my version of the 'Lost In Translation' scarf, but then again I do like my scarves to be quite long. As a guide, at the end of the 2nd ball, my scarf measured 115 cm in length, and it is my current intention to cast off at around the 2 metre point.

Kate -- I haven't actually gotten around to watching 'Pom Poko' yet, even though it is sitting on my DVD shelf. I'll have to put that one on the top of the pile to watch next. :) Hmm... I wonder where my copy of 'Grave of the Fireflies' has wandered off to, as it's not with the other Studio Ghibli DVDs.

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At 12:47 pm, June 20, 2007, Blogger Tracy said...

The girls in my knitting group got their drool all over my new scarf. They agreed that none of us would be so generous as to part with such a treasure! You have many fans in the USA :-)


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