Sunday, September 11, 2011

July Adventures in Knitting

I've been busy knitting (and not blogging), but I've also been waiting for a couple patterns I test knit to be released. One pattern still has not been published.

My July adventures in knitting started with test knitting a scarf for Esther Budd, the designer for whom I test knit HRH Kate's Shawl in May. This scarf comes in three variations (as did HRH Kate's Shawl); I knit the second version, as I did for Kate's Shawl. Choosing the same pattern variation to knit was probably a mistake; I was bored with it long before I finished the scarf. (As always, click on any photo to enlarge.)

The secret to scarf knitting is swatching and a bit of math. The final scarf should be 8-10 inches wide and about the same length's as the recipient's height. If you don't knit a swatch and block it, you have no idea how wide or long the finished scarf will be. My swatching and math told me the scarf should be 44 stitches wide and 66-68 pattern repetitions in length, so 44 stitches wide and 68 pattern repetitions is what I knit. Lo and behold, the final dimensions of the scarf were 10.25 inches wide and 75 inches long.  (I could have quit after 65 or 66 pattern repetitions, since the recipient, my husband, is 6 feet (72 inches) tall.)

The scarf was knit with Black Water Abbey two-ply sportweight yarn, in the Haw colorway. I used 1.25 skeins or 438 yards. I started this scarf on 03 July and finished it on 14 July. The close-up on the right shows the zig-zag pattern more clearly.

My next knitting adventure, another test knit, was a pair of socks---the Ornamental Socks by Angela Whisnant. It had been at least a month since I'd knit a pair of socks, so I was happy to knit these. The pattern close-up below better shows the design, which looks like a shamrock.

The socks were knit toe-up, in Schoeller + Stahl Fortissims Socka in the 1015 Blue colorway.  I started the socks on 12 July and finished on 22 July.

One bit of advice for anyone planning to knit these socks: Don't knit them for someone with big feet. The pattern repetition is very small, and even though I was knitting the socks for Niece-with- Smallest-Feet, I was bored with the pattern by the time I turned the heel.

My final project was a shawl I started in May. This was another test knit. I call it the Name Game Shawl, but the designer, MMario, named it "They Call Me MMario." He described it as "a warped version of feather and fan crossed with a left-handed swirl."

The shawl, which was worked in the round, was knit with Great Adirondack Silky Sock yarn in the Cantaloupe colorway.

The pattern repeats eights times on each round. The directions said to knit the vertical pattern repetition until "long enough." I did three vertical pattern repetitions, but if I had it to do over again, I'd knit four, since the shawl didn't block out as large as I expected.

I started this shawl on 09 May and finished it on 30 July. I used 2.3 skeins, or 830 yards, of yarn. This shawl was my "knit during lace class" shawl, which meant that I only knit it on Tuesday afternoons, except at the very end, when I used it as my "knit in the car" project, then finished it on a weekend.

The last project I started in July, a pair of socks, I'll tell you about with August's adventures, since more knitting was done in August than July.

What have you been knitting this summer?


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