Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ripping Yarns

In the words of an old ballad,
otherwise completely lost,
Life's a recipe-less salad
that's forever being tossed.
~Edward Gorey

The knitting zine is finished!


There is a ripping yarn, of course, two baby stocking patterns, one of my original recipes and various illustrations. There's a bonus third pattern in this one too!

Here are the stockings, String Beans and Carrot Sticks, made from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock mediumweight. (What can I say? I'd ingest the stuff if I could!) The green is their colourway, "Lucky" and the gorgeous deep orange-red is the new colourway, "Saffron Jungle".

Now looking for knitting stores in Portland, Oregon who might like to carry it.

The next edition - the summer one - will have patterns for adults, again with BMFA yarns, this time in silks. The words and pictures are dancing around in this unruly amusement park I call a brain.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

LIttle Things

Lots of knitting and designing has been happening at Chez Sophia, and I thought that I would have knitting pattern news to share today, but that will have to wait a few more days.

For today, I can show you what I've been doing in between - for something fun and fast to keep me going while the knitting, designing, ripping-out-and-doing-over was happening.

The first is a pair of little socks, called Tiger, Tiger. It's from a child's sock kit that I got at WoolGirl, but I didn't use either of the patterns that came with it. I wanted to do a simple stockinette with this yarn, so that the tiger stripes would show instead of being broken up or obscured. The yarn is incredibly soft and has an angora-like halo. I think the little guy will wiggle his toes happily when he wears these!


For the second thing, I finally used the little 1940's Bootee kit that I found in the antique store! This kit was complete with 4 patterns, a ball of light blue wool, and a set of white plastic (leatherette) moccasin soles with woolly padded soles. For a while I tried to make the bootee exactly according to directions - the patterns were very cute. But they were written so inconveniently! For instance, every single one instructed you to "break yarn" and re-attach it a few stitches away at least four times! and then... the pretty blue wool turned out to be already broken in several places.

I had some really great Fair Isle sock yarn that was half cotton, and would be perfect for this time of year. So I just took advantage of the yarn itself and knit a simple bootee to fit the moc soles.



I love them! They're so cute, and soft and cushy inside. If the moc soles hadn't already had a layer of wool padding, I would have put a layer of wool batting in between the sole and the sock. I looked at modern moc soles in the LYS yesterday, and they are made of suede and have no padding, so that'll be my plan when I make another pair. But the modern mocs start only at size 4 inches, and that's way too big as yet. The vintage ones (size 1-2) are 3.5 inches long.

Both of these socks - the Tigers and the Moccasins, I did top down and here is a bit of a "recipe" for them...

Tiger, Tiger
cast on 48 Sts on Size 0 needles
K1, P1 for 1/2 inch
knit plain for 2 inches
K1, P1 for 6 rows (ankle)
divide sts for heel
create your favorite heel
commence knitting on all 4 needles again
Knit plain for two inches
begin evenly spaced decreases for toe
at 8 sts, thread yarn tail through and pull tight
fasten off and weave in ends

Vintage Style Moccasin
Cast on 44 stitches on size 1.5 needles
K2 P2 for 1 inch
knit plain for 1.5 inches
divide sts for heel
Knit plain on heel sts only for 1 inch
turn heel
pick up gusset sts and commence knitting on 4 needles again
start traditional gusset decreases
knit plain two inches from end of gusset shaping
start decreases for toe, on either side of front
at 10 sts, close with 3-neelde bind off on inside
fasten off and weave in ends.
Use sturdy, contrasting colour thread to attach to sole.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

getting away from me

Whoa! A whole lotta time has gone by since I updated. Design takes so much more time than the production part. So many times I tinked back, studied my theory and my stitches and my desired outcome and re-designed and re-counted... it's fun, it's exciting, and for me, it's very satisfying. But it's not quick.

Now my task is to take my notes and my finished items and my photos (and my memories) and write up the patterns. I'm going to do something different with this one, and I'm excited. It will be the second edition of my knitting Zine...

Here's a sneak peek:



The colours have been so inspiring to work with! This is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Saffron Jungle and Lucky, both in Socks That Rock mediumweight.

There's more coming - three more in this series I think, and then I'm going to switch to making vintage underwear for a while.