Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pi for the New Year

Long have I loved colorway 100 of Trekking XXL.

Trekking XXL #100

When I saw multiple skeins at a LYS, I had to snatch them up. Since I had two, I felt drawn to to make something other than socks. Mid-December (in the throws of gift knitting) I cast on for a Pi shawl. I liked the idea of the long color repeats mirroring the concentric circles of yarn over rounds. However as I started I went back and forth between wondering if I was making a shawl I would love or just knitting rainbow craziness.

Rainbow Pi Shawl WIP

Knitting Pi is so absolutely zen - nothing but a row counter and knit, knit, knit.
I think that is why it went so quickly. I wanted to pick it up instead of other more "thinky" things.

This is the first knitting I have pinned out to block.
Mr. 5 (D's new online moniker thanks to Nuttnbunny!) had a big square piece of insulation that seemed to be waiting for this task. Covered with a sheet, it was a perfect blocking board.

Pi Blocking

The Bud was very interested in what I was doing. He did a nice job of leaving things be, and made a perfect helper when it was time to pull out the pins.

Pi helper

In this shot you can see my one modification - the edging. I debated on what to do. I wanted the color to keep rippling out in the same direction. All of EZ's edgings are perpendicular to the shawl. That would have put blocks of color around the edge, which may have looked fine, but was not what I really wanted.
Instead, I knit to the increase of 576 stitches, continued in the concentric circle pattern through 4 more repeats, and then did the YO round every other round for 12 rounds and cast off.

You can also see in the picture that I left my end to weave in until after blocking. I was not quite sure how much it would block out, and I wanted to make sure I was not weaving in too tightly.

Other than the center, this was the only end to weave in. To join the skeins I used a Russian join
- all I can say is... amazing! I will definitely do that again. I made sure the color matched at the point of the join, and you can't even see it. Plus - no ends to weave in Love it!

Rainbow Pi
Pattern: Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmerman from Knitter's Almanac
Needles: US 6 circs
Yarn: Trekking XXL #100

It's not quite big enough to fold over a "collar" and drape over my arms like some Pi I have seen, so I will probably pull it up around my shoulders a bit more and pin it with my favorite fibula clasp. Also, then it doesn't look quite so much like I have a target on my back.

Rainbow Pi - front

Rainbow Pi - back

Looking at the back like that makes me inspired to make a fair isle yoke sweater.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Evangeline Cowl

Way back in November of "aught 8" I whipped up some Evangeline mitts to keep my hands warm in my temperature challenged library.

Evangeline cable

When I finished, D looked at them and said, "I love that cable - you should use it on a cowl" and followed it up with, "I would totally wear a cowl like that."
How could I resist a) the knitting flattery, b) the great idea, and c) a request for knitting that would provide the small project FO high .

So here it is, the first FO of "aught 9", the Evangeline Cowl:

Evangeline Cowl

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy "Cloud Jungle" - which happens to be the recommended yarn for the Evangeline Mitt pattern. I used less than half the skein, so with one skein you could potentially make both the cowl and the mitts!
Needles: US 7 (I used a 47" circular needle to magic loop - I divided 54 stitches [3 cable repeats] and 36 stitches [2 cable repeats]), you will also need a cable needle or spare DPN
Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch in Stockinette

Evangeline Cowl - flat

Cast on 90 stitches, join in the round and purl one round.
Set up round: *p2, k6, p2, k6, p2* repeat 5 times around

Cable Pattern:
Round 1: *p2, k6, p2, k6, p2* repeat 5 times around

Rounds 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 - Knit or Purl all stitches as them come (i.e. knit the knits and purl the purls)

Round 3: *p2, put 4 stitches on a spare DPN and hold to the back, k2, knit the 4 on the DPN, p2, put 2 stitches on a DPN and hold to the front, k4, k the 2 stitches from the DPN, p2* repeat 5 times around

Round 5: *p2, k4, put 2 stitches on a DPN and hold to the front, p1, k the 2 from the DPN, put 1 stitch on a DPN and hold to the back, k2, p the stitch from the DPN, k4, p2* repeat 5 times around

Round 7: *p2, k4, p1, put 2 stitches on a DPN and hold to the front, k2, k the 2 from the DPN, p1, k4, p2* repeat 5 times around

Round 9: *p2, k4, put 1 stitch on a DPN and hold to the back, k2, p the stitch on the DPN, put 2 stitches on a DPN and hold forward, p1, k the 2 stitches on the DPN, k4, p2* repeat 5 times around

After the "set up round" knit the cable pattern (rounds 1-10) a total of four times.

Finish by knitting rounds 1-4 of the cable pattern, repeat round 4, and bind off in purl. Weave in the ends and block.

Evangeline Cowl - first FO of '09

This cowl is made to be fitted. Since I like to be able to tuck my chin in my cowls, if I were to make one for myself, I would probably CO 108 stitches and do 6 cable repeats around. Maybe one pattern repeat taller as well. Mods are what it's all about, right?

There was one more little FO of "aught 8".

I was going through my sock yarn bin last week, and the Bud saw this:

Peach Pit

He was totally taken with the colors and kept saying, "yep, those are the colors I like."

So just as '08 was on it's way out, I whipped up a quick pair of Budlet socks [Ravelry].

3 year old feet are hard to shoot

The last pair of socks I made for him I tried out a short row heel for the first time. This time I tried an afterthought heel. Where I would normally break for the heel, I knit a piece of waste yarn across half of the stitches. Then I put those waste yarn stitches back on the needle and continued around like normal. After finishing the toe, I picked out the waste yarn and knit a round heel (like a round toe).

Budlet Sock

I really enjoyed knitting the heel this way, but I will probably knit a deeper heel for his chunky lil' feet next time.

Budlet Socks 2

Happy New Year, everyone!

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