Finished Objects

I just blocked my MIL’s shawl, and decided it was time to brag properly. I’ve been really good at taking pictures of things as I finish them, but terrible about posting the pictures.

So, without further ado, in order the pictures were taken, which bears little resemblance to the order of finishing, the last few months of finished objects. Click on the image to enlarge.

The first is a butterfly my son made for his teacher’s new baby, due to arrive early summer. I created the pattern, and really should have planned it better. He did the sewing on the machine and stuffed it, then I finished closing it.

The next two are the gauge swatch for my daughter’s blanket. She hopes to go to sleep-away camp next year. I worked for years as a counselor, and have firm opinions about what’s appropriate for a comfort object. Small enough to pack easily. Large enough not to get lost. Rugged. I think this will do nicely.

She chose the yarn (Berroco Sox Metallic) and wanted the same pattern as the socks in the next bin, so I stole the lace pattern (Cookie A.’s Monkey Socks), did it centre out, increasing every other row at each corner with yo,k,yo, and knitting any stitch that wasn’t otherwise claimed. I tried lifted and M1 increases, but the corner needs a bit more stretch than those give. Next time I might try R1:yo ; R2:twist.

When I ran out of yarn, I frogged back to the last solid K row and did several rows of garter. The almost-finished blanket sitting in the “almost finished” pile now. I want to block it before sewing in the ends. I have no clue how the edge will look. It’s too loose and ruffly now, but the blanket will block big.

I’ll block that sometime after the blocking set-up is free.

Then we have two pairs of socks. I didn’t bother with a swatch for the first, and it was a man’s pattern. (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Earl Grey) So, they slouch. The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Fantasy. Very nice, and fun to watch the patterns grow. The first sock took 3.05 repeats, so I have a small ball of 0.95 repeats in my stash. I think I mis-counted “repeat for 14 rows, times 3” for the second foot, since it’s longer, or it might be a gauge issue. They stopped matching as early as the heel, though, when the pattern was easier to count, so I think it’s either a gauge thing, or the yarn isn’t consistent. I much prefer doing two socks on the same needles, since my gauge varies with day, but didn’t have the right size circ and wasn’t sure if this pattern would divide well over two rather than three needles.

My son’s socks (he loves them, and insists on black, and with the inexperienced teacher and challenging class this year he’ll need all the little love reminders he can get, but he insists on black) were a mix of three toe-up recipes. Cast on from one, increases from another, and heel from a third. The instep and leg is a rib, not sure what it’s called, over five stitches. Three st of stst, then 2 of seed. I liked that the toe was actually the gauge — just keep increasing till it’s big enough.

I messed up the length of the foot, so had to undo the toe and knit down. For the solid part I did k4p1, with the p1 centred over the seed stitch. (When you knit in the other direction, it’s offset by half a stitch.)

Done two at a time with magic loop, except for an inch on the leg where I tried dpns. Dpns feel faster, but I like things even!

The only black yarn they had was Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine. Yes, alpaca for boy’s socks. Wonderful feel, but with black and a bit fuzzy, very hard to read the stitches. I did combined, so the P were twisted on the needle (and untwisted as I knit them), so it was easy enough when knitting, but a pain to fix anything. Very soft and comfortable to wear. Yeah, I know, the picture doesn’t show the rib details very well.

Lastly we have the item that inspired me to get this batch of pictures up, my MIL’s shawl, started ages ago. Stonewall, by Anne Hanson, done in Stylecraft Pure Luxury Merino DK. I should have listened to the yarn store owner and gone with one step finer yarn, but I didn’t trust it to be warm enough. Since then, Beve has shown me some of her shawls, and I think fingering or even finer would have been fine. Ah, well, it was a fast knit. It blocked to two feet by eight, but will relax a bit, and Oma wants six or eight inches of fringe added.

Pay special note to the blocking wires. Unwilling to pay for the shipping from Knit Picks, and not seeing them in the LYS, I asked Dad. They’re bronze weld rods. Very carefully cleaned with steel wool and good-quality green scrubby. The ends were shaped on the belt sander, and polished with the green scrubby. The bronze is soft enough that the scrubby works well. I only needed pins every foot, which is nicer than the every six inches the online ones recommend, and way better than every two inches without blocking wires. The mats are Canadian Tire exercise mats, bought last year to stand on while washing dishes and keep husband’s feet warm under his desk in the basement.

Go me!

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