Friday, January 29, 2010

Cheshire Cat

Here's another recent FO! My Illusion knit socks that I've been working on for what seems like forever!

Pattern: Wonderland Socks (or Alice's Illusion Socks) by Alice Bell
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Sock in Cocoa and Bare
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
Started: August 10, 2009
Finished: January 11, 2010

I made several modifications to this pattern:

1. The pattern has you begin the illusion knitting right after the toe increases. But if you do that then the kitty cat will be hidden in your shoes!! Instead, I worked the foot in plain 2x2 stockinette stripes and didn't start the illusion knitting until after the heel. Because of this, I shortened the kitty cat chart by a few rows (I eliminated rows 16-19 and 22-25 of chart) to keep the socks to a reasonable height on my leg. If I had kept the chart as-is, then I would have probably ended up with knee-highs - which honestly would have been OK. They ended up hitting me about mid-calf.

2. I worked a toe-up Riverbed architecture heel flap.

3. I worked calf increases, since I knew the sock was going to hit quite high on my calf. I worked two stitches each increase row (one on each side of chart) on rows 15, 26, 29, 32, 35, 38, 41 of chart.

4. I worked a 1x1 rib cuff for 14 rows and bound off in tubular bind-off.

5. I reversed the chart for the second sock. (I think the pattern tells you to do this, anyway.)

I am very happy with them!! I have yet to wear them, though (aside from pictures, anyway) because I am giving a presentation on Illusion Knitting at the Charlotte Knitting Guild meeting tomorrow night, and I want to pass them around as a sample. They probably wouldn't appreciate stinky-feet smelling socks getting passed around!! :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Sweater

Here's my second FO of 2010 - a very fuzzy sweater!

Pattern: Viola from 'French Girl Knits'
Yarn: Knit Picks Suri Dream in Blackberry
Needles: US 7 and US 10.5
Started: Nov 21, 2009
Finished: Jan 6, 2010

Modifications: I made several modifications to this.
1. I substituted the Suri Dream for the mohair blend yarn called for in the pattern. I am allegic to mohair, but I really liked the fuzzy look of this sweater. So far, the alpaca is not making me itch - which is good!
2. If you've seen the original pattern, then you know that this is supposed to be a puffy short sleeved sweater with ruffles on the neckline and the sleeve cuff. Well, I knit the first sleeve per the pattern and then decided that the puffy short sleeves (which hit me at the elbow!) were not very flattering for me. I ripped the sleeve out (quite a chore with the fuzzy alpaca yarn!) and re-styled the sleeves to be long sleeves, and not poufy. I simply eliminated the increases at the start of the sleeve, and did gradual decreases throughout the length to taper the sleeve.
3. I also worked a picot fold-over hem at the bottom hem instead of the plain stockinette - I wanted to eliminate the roll that you get with plain stockinette, and the picot hem looks very nice with the pattern's picot buttonhole band.
4. I eliminated the ruffles. I was going to add them, but once it was done I decided that I really liked how it looked without them.

Overall, I am very pleased with this! It's a bit on the dressy side - so I don't suppose I'll wear it very often, but it is nice and soft and warm. Which, right now with all the cold weather we're having, is quite welcome!

First FO of 2010

Here's my first finished object of 2010 - finished on New Year's Day, no less.
Meet Crabby, the Hermit Crab:

Pattern: Hermit Crab by Hansi Singh (In Amigurumi Knits book)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted - various colors
Needles: US 5
Started: Dec 28, 2009
Finished: Jan 1, 2010

Modifications: none. Well, except for knitting the last row of the legs and chelipeds (it says to purl, but that seemed wrong to me).

He was a quick knit, although very fiddly. I am pleased with the result - it's an ingenious pattern. One of the boys may get him once I've made another toy from the book. Sometimes they have trouble sharing. Sometimes I have trouble sharing, so neither one may get him when all is said and done! :-) Right now he's guarding the bobbins on my lazy susan.

Happy Knitting everyone! I hope your 2010 is going well so far!!