Happy Feet

I had been away from the blogging world for a while now. Knitting world too! Can you believe it has been more than a month since I held knitting needles? .Twitch. I had to take up a certification exam which is essential for my career and considering how much it costs, I sat myself down for a serious study marathon. The last time I studied like this (as they say burning the midnight oil) was for graduation and that was a good decade ago, so I had to get used to this studying concept all over again. I am glad that is done and dusted and I can get back to my regular routine.

The last time I picked up my knitting needles was when I joined the Sock-Along in our very own SAC group. I had been wanting to make N a pair of socks forever now, so naturally I signed up. There was quite a big group of enthusiastic ladies who cheered one another. I have made a pair of socks earlier, so I knew what I was getting into. I chose a safe pattern (with ribs so that sizing does not become a huge issue) and a well know, tried and tested pattern: Susan Anderson’s Kids Ribbed Socks. (I actually typed that as Ribbed Kids Socks, that’s not the same thing, is it?)

I initially picked the cheerful Knit Picks Felici in Botany (of, I love those colors), but changed my in the last minute for two reasons. One, I wanted to play it safe by using a not-that-precious yarn for my first attempt and save the Felici for the second pair and two, which is more important, I couldn’t find the Felici for the life of me. (While I was knitting the socks, the mystery of the missing Felici was eating me away, so I did end up finding it). So, I chose Plymoth Yarn Sockotta. This was a gift from Rima, an SACer, so it made sense to use it for a SAC Along.

The first sock flew off my needles and to beat the notorious second sock syndrome, I cast on for the second sock as soon as I grafted the toe on the first one. The second one took its own sweet time and waited for me patiently to graft its toe shut, which, you will not believe, took me a whole month to get done. This was the time my studies peaked and every time I saw this poor little sock with its mouth wide open, I felt a pang of guilt, but exam was of higher priority. And finally when I did get it stitched up was on the last day of the Sock-Along. Huh.

So, here is the pair of sock modeled by happy, little feet who were too happy to wear handmade socks. Next up, he wants socks with a Mickey Mouse motif on it.

The Husband’s Sweater Project

My husband has been very supportive of my knitting hobby. He takes pleasure in being involved with my knitting in any way he can. He helps me winds yarn, comments on my knitting, gives his opinion when I can’t take decisions and in general is very appreciative of my hobby. When such a sweet guy requests you for a hand knit sweater, you don’t make him wait for 3 years, do you? Which is exactly what I did. Every year, his birthday whooshes by and I drown in my own guilt and vow to finish his sweater by his next birthday, only for it pass whooshing by without a completed sweater in my hand. I decided to take the bull by its horns and start working on it at the beginning of the year itself so that I have a good 11 months to knit this sweater.

Thus was born The Husband’s Sweater Project. After going over the Ravelry pattern database, I decided to make up my own pattern. Husband wants a plain pullover (cables would be nice, but I am bored of knitting cables), so I decided to make a basic top-down raglan. I love top-down because one can try them as you go and raglan is easy to calculate (for me).

Actual measurements:

Neck opening: 15″
Chest: 33″
Armhole Depth (Measured straight down the chest, not slanted): 9″
Upper arm circumference: 12.8″

I am planning a positive ease of 2-3 inches, so I am aiming for a finished measurement of 35-36 inches.

I made a swatch and got the gauge: 17 sts x 21 rows = 4″, post blocked.

Now that I had all the numbers I need, I opened up a spreadsheet and fed these numbers in.

After entering the standard raglan calculations, I ended up with these numbers.

This should give me a sweater with 16″ neck opening, 35.5″ chest and 9.8″ armhole depth. Next step is casting on. Stay tuned as I blog about my journey which I call The Husband’s Sweater Project.

New Pattern: Dyvest

Dyvest is a unisex vest with an attractive cable stitch pattern down the front. The Y-shaped staghorn cable divides into a similar half-staghorn stitch on either side of the V-neck, hence the name Dyvest.

Ravelry Pattern: Dyvest by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Bessie May Nettle in Coal colorway
[Aran/10 Ply; 70% Wool; 30% Plant Fiber; 87 yards/50 gms]
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm

The staghorn and half-staghorn are simple to knit with just 3 rows of cable and plain wrong side rows. Both cables are charted and written instructions are also provided.


The vest is knit bottom-up in round  until the armholes and then the fronts and back are knit flat. The shoulders are joined using three needle bind-off. Armbands and neckbands are knit after picking up stitches.

Gauge:
16 sts x 22 rows = 4″ in Stockinette Stitch
20 sts x 20 rows = 3.5″ in Staghorn Cable stitch pattern

Sizing:
Finished Chest Measurement:
17.5 [19.5, 21.5, 23.5] [25.5, 27.5, 29.5] inches
Vest is intended to be worn with 1-2″ of positive ease.

I knit the prototype using Bessie May Nettle, which is a blend of wool and plant fiber. This is the first time I worked with a plant fiber and I was blown away by the stitch definition – the cables are neat and crisp. I had to work on the fronts a dozen times, so I can vouch for ‘froggability’ of the yarn too, boys is it sturdy. With the main color as dark grey and the light grey heather, Coal colorway is an excellent choice for men’s and boys’ knits.

New Patterns: Punto Cowl & Hat

I am very happy to announce the release of Punto Cowl & Hat patterns which are released as part of Malabrigo Quickies. From Malabrigo Yarns website: Quickies are small, fast projects which require only one or two skeins of yarn. You could knit a small cowl and a hat in one skein each of MC and CC yarn. These patterns can be bought individually or as an ebook.

While I love variegated yarns,  I don’t like how muddy they look when used with cables or lace. I am not a big fan of pooling in stockinette stitch either, so the obvious step was to pair it with a plain yarn and make something colorful with it. Punto stitch pattern (as I would like to call it) is knit with one yarn per row (no carrying the other yarn) and the colorful CC yarn shows up as little specks or dots against the MC yarn.

Punto Cowl comes in 3 sizes. Small: 20 inches wide, a snug fit around your neck, Medium: 28 inches wide, a loose, comfortable fit around your neck and Long: 44 inches wide, where the cowl can be worn doubled up. All sizes are 8 inches high. Width and height can be easily modified by working more repeats of the stitch pattern.

Punto Hat comes in 4 sizes. S [M, L, XL]: 18 [20, 22, 24] inches. These are the finished sizes. Choose the size which give you no ease or an inch of negative ease.

Punto Hat
Punto Cowl

Punto ebook
Yarns Suggested: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Natural Colorway
Malabrigo Seleccion Privada in Code B Colorway
Needle Size: US #6 4 mm

New Pattern: Texo Pullover

Texo (Latin word Texo for ‘weave, twine together’) is a take on the traditional crewneck pullover with a cabled pouch added for extra warmth for the hands. The cabled pouch adds interest and texture to the otherwise plain pullover. The i-cord edges on the pouch give it a neat finishing touch. The top-down seamless construction makes this an ideal pullover to try it on as you go and also to modify the body and sleeves length.

Ravelry Pattern: Texo Pullover by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Knit Picks Swish DK
Needle Size: US #5 3.75 mm for the body
US #7 4.5 mm for the cable pouch

New Pattern: Filo

FILO are FIngerless GLOves with a simple and attractive all-over colowork pattern. FILO keep a toddler’s hands warm, leaving the fingers free for the child’s busy exploration. These unisex fingerless gloves are ideal for knitters who want to attempt colorwork since every row is knit with a single color. These are great stash busters to use up the left over sock yarn from other projects.

Ravelry Pattern: Filo by Anjali M.
Yarn Suggested: Knit Picks Palette
Needle Size: US #3 3.25 mm

400+ stitches…


After working on a large project for a good 40 days and when you bind off the last row with 400+ stitches with a mixture of relief and anxiety, only to realize your bind off row was so tight it is making the blanket’s edge flip over and you have to frog the 400+ stitches, pick them up and reknit them with a stretchier bind-off, I am not sure whether you should feel sad that you wasted an hour on this project or happy that it is over. I am going with the latter because thank Bob this blanket is done.

 

Also, when you are working on a center-out blanket, when the initial rows fly off the needles, do you tell yourself ‘wow, I have reached half the size already, so I will be done with this in 1 week’ even when that little voice in your head is telling you, ‘but every row will be longer by 2 sts, so there is no way this will be done in 1 week’, you ask it to shut up anyway? Yeah, that would be me. There is the little voice again saying ‘I told you so’. Shut up already!