Friday, September 09, 2016

Knitty and Cast Ons

I love
I think most knitters out there owe their first real projects to either Debbie Stoller of Stitch'N'Bitch or to Amy Singer of knitty. They are the ones who got us casting on stitches, making nose warmers and pixie hats. They taught us the things we wished our great grandmothers had handed down BUT without making us feel 'less' for wanting to make hats and socks and sweaters.

It has been a while since I was able to sit down and submit a project to knitty. I even submitted this one as I was getting packed to fly to the middle east this spring. Thankfully Amy and Kate were gracious in the midst of a total 13 plane flights, 2 kids to pack for college, school shopping, emergency room visits and the literal CHAOS that is the Walker way of life. So Candied Violets came to life. I think this is my 4th pattern for knitty.

Candied Violets first came about while I was twisting mini skeins with my friend Brenda, in preparation for TNNA Winter show in San Diego. That skein of yarn, Candied Violets in a cashmere blend. LOVE at first touch.

We started reminiscing about the french candies and one thing lead to another which lead to socks.
I knew they would be amazing, but at the same time, photographing rich colors can be a challenge. Thankfully, at TNNA I grabbed a skein of a complimentary pale purple coloured yarn from Anzula.

This way you can see the rich yumminess and see the stitches clearly.
I really didnt have to worry too much, the both yarns are primo stuff and stitch definition was not an issue.

Now here is what I really want to talk about.
 2 Colour Frilled cast on, or as we have to spell for Americans, 2 Color Frilled cast on.

Remember when I made a crazy twist and did a 2 colour channel island cast on for Sockupied? THIS is not as crazy, I promise. Just a little twist.

Here is the fancy tech'd instructions:

2-Color Frilled Cast On: Keeping about an 8 inch/20cm tail for seaming, make slip knot from both MC and CC held together. This slip knot will be undone after cast on is complete. Set up as if for Long Tail CO, keeping CC on left (over thumb) and MC on Right (over fingers). *CO 4 stitches. Lift sts one at a time over last st cast on (stitch 1) in this order st #2 over, st #3 over, St #4 over. Cast on 1 more stitch. This makes 1 pair of stitches. Repeat from * until you have the correct number of stitch pairs.

Let's go thru this step by step. Cuz I know you are brave knitters who can make awesome things out of string....and I don't want you to be afraid of a silly cast on. Especially when it looks so pretty.

Instead of making a slip knot in one yarn, you are doing it with both yarns held together.

There are 2 colours, the main sock colour and the colour you want to be the 'icing'. MC is main colour, CC is colour change...i think that is what it stands for maybe it is like crazy colour or something. Whatever you want to call it, the icing colour must stay in the same place in order to get the effect, over your thumb. Your main sock colour goes over your fingers just like you are using a long tail cast on.

Now in the above photo, can you see the little ridges and eyelets? Ok, we are going to be doing some extra work to ge these stitches, but the cool thing is you only have to do it for half the stitches that you actually want. So we need to cast on 4 stitches and play a bit of leap frog, one stitch at a time, DO NOT do them all at once.

Then with yarns back in place, icing over thumb and sock over fingers, cast on 1 stitch. This gives you 1 pair of sts. As you go, the stitches will pair up in little sets of 2 which will make them easy to count. If I want 64 sts I need 16 pairs or 32 sts.

You will knit into the front and back of each of the 32 sts which will give you 64 sts. Although it is a little stretchy, this part of the sock is done with the larger size needle.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Little Foxes

Foxes have been coming up a lot in our convos lately.
We watched the little prince on netflix and I told the kids how much i liked it and that it was not as creepy as the version from my childhood. I showed them clips of the movie of course. When Gene Wilder died they had a new refernce for him as Mr. Fox and not just Willy Wonka.

Because we love Mt Lassen Volcanic National Park, we drive up often for a hike or picnic. We actually saw a fox! Mt Lasssen has these lovely foxes, Sierra Nevada foxes or High Sierra foxes.
Turns our that they are an endangered species. Fewer than 48 live in the Lassen forest.

and of course Foxy-Fix gets a chunk of my money.

So we decided we needed more foxes in our lives.

Presenting Gilbert, a foxy bookmark. I spent all day trying to think of a name. Tali came in and said, oh he is Gilbert, cuz he is the colour of carrots. Well, you just can not argue with the Anne of Green Gables logic. And she did not know that the Space Cadet Yarns colourway is called "Headstrong" for a certain obstinate, headstrong girl. Perfection.

He is just a whimsical little bit of fun for TaliTamale. But we hope you will like him, too.

Monday, September 05, 2016

August and September socks

August kinda went crazy on me.
One boy returned from his summer adventures on the east coast. He was 22 mons when we moved away from Baltimore. It was so much fun to be on the phone with him. "are you taking the bridge or the tunnel?" and " "as you cross the bridge you will see sparrow's point and the old steel mill where your dad worked on computers for moving molten hot lava like steel" and ft mchenry. and then all the monuments of DC and then Philadelphia.
Then the older boy decided to apply to college on a whim, get accepted, get a scholarship, and move 3180 miles 3 wks from applying!
In the midst of this was the last of the summer camps and getting our oldest daughter back to school in Chicago and our smallest starting 5th grade.

So I forgot to post about August Socks for Knit-From-Stash 2016 (botanics)

Entomophily   are really more entomology than botany. Enotmophily is the pollination process of plants that involves insects. So these socks have  a larger bee motif down the center and tiny bee borders. but the thing I love most is this floral cuff! I adore it and it was totally worth translating from russian and then modifying the math and remaking it for knitting in the round.

and yes, after all those pictures and lettering, i noticed the tail end of my cast on was not woven in!
so that is a little bit of verifiable hand knit evidence right there.

Honestly I kinda collapsed after the littlest started school. and I did not post the pattern the last day of August like I should have. Thank you to everyone for being gracious.

Darlingtonia was a little easy flowing sock after Entomphily, and designed to use up all your sock scraps and/or mini skeins. Darlingtonia is a striped variety of carnivorous lily. This pattern will eat up your yarn bits, and it has this addictive flow so it knits up rather quickly.

Look at this lovely version from Robyn1960 in a single colourway:

DO NOT FORGET! BOGO pattern code on the previous post! Good thru Septenber 15, 2016 and it gets you a chance to win the traveler's notebook with knitter's notebook inserts from Crafty Chi!

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