Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Surprizing even myself, I finished my dad's socks in record time. They were done on Wednesday. Man, I should knit in worsted weight more often!

Men's plain stockinette socks (no pattern), in Red Heart McIntosh, 48 st on size 3.75 mm dpns

I used a regular gusset heel with an eye-of-partridge heel flap. This type of heel is really easy (simple instructions here), and turns out just as thick and sturdy as the more common slip-stitch heel.

The yarn
(30% wool, 70% acrylic) was a little underwhelming, but that's what you get for buying emergency yarn supplies late at night at Walmart! Speaking of which, all three Walmarts in the St. John's area are now open 24 hours... I wonder how long that's going to last?!

I'm making good progress on the Gatsby Girl, now well into the herringbone lace pattern, and inching closer to the shoulder shaping. It still looks small to me, but it's very stretchy, so I'm going to trust the pattern measurements and my gauge and keep chugging along.

I went to a fun knitting lecture last night at The Rooms, a beautiful new facility that houses the Provincial Museum, Art Gallery, and Archives. Shirley Scott gave a really fun talk on traditional Newfoundland knitting. So nice to see someone else interested in promoting our local knitting heritage. I spoke with Shirley briefly after her presentation, and I hope I'll get to meet her and more local knitters soon at a knit night gathering. I have finally tracked down a local knit night (this Sunday!) and I'm going to try to make it out.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

A wee break for mansocks

The realization hit yesterday that my dad's birthday is only a week away. He is notoriously hard to shop for, but he has always loved a good pair of socks.

Sweater knitting has been put on hold for a few days while I whip up a quick pair of mansocks. I'm not falling into the trap of eternal fine-gauge mansocks this time though! As he likes thick socks for his work boots, and I'm on a tight schedule, it's worsted weight this time around. A speedy 48-stitch sock in strictly utilitarian acrylic-wool blend. I would have liked to have used superwash wool, but couldn't find any on short notice (this is not a city where soft superwash merino grows on trees like it seems to do in places like Toronto!). And in this particular gift situation, hand-wash only socks would be a curiosity akin to having a bowl of fruit on display that is not meant to be eaten. Completely illogical.

This is the morning's progress while lounging in front of the TV. At this rate, I'll be done by Tuesday. Wish me luck!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

So far so good

The front (or back - they're the same) of the Gatsby Girl pullover. It looks very small, but those sections between the cables are 1X1 rib, so it has a lot of stretch. I opted for the smaller size, the 36", so let's hope this works!

The bottom edge is a facing to be folded back, so it should look a lot neater when it all goes together. I have never been so happy that I taught myself to cable without a cable needle - I'll never go back! Still loving the yarn very much, and looking forward to moving on to the the lace section soon.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

This just might work...

Keeping up the trend of ignoring my well-intentioned list and going wherever my next whim takes me, I decided to break out some really nice yarn that I had been saving. I bought myself a little graduation gift when I was in Ottawa - 12 skeins of Silana by Lana Grossa in a pale blue. It's a beautiful DK merino-silk blend, soft like kittens. This is definitely the nicest yarn that I have ever had in such quantity - I usually just buy a skein or two of something lovely, and then I never know what to do with it! It was deeply discounted (possibly discontinued?), but still a splurge by my standards.

Feeling marginally better today, I've been doing some swatching. I think that I have decided on a pattern: the Gatsby Girl pullover from the Fall 2006 IK.

With more than enough casual wear it my closet, I've been looking to knit something nice enough to wear to work. I think this will fit the bill nicely.

My only hesitation is in trying to decide on a size. Every one of my measurements falls exactly in between two sizes on this pattern, and it recommends an exact fit for zero ease. I don't really feel like tweaking the pattern, so I can't decide whether to go for the size that's an inch smaller, or play it safe and go an inch bigger. Since I usually err on the side of too big and end up disappointed, I'll probably try the smaller size. I like my clothes fairly fitted, so it shouldn't be a problem. But why then is it so hard to take the risk?!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tweedy comfort

I find it amazing that no matter how I try to prioritize my knitting projects, making lists of upcoming projects, stashing yarn and purchasing patterns with definite plans, that if the right mood strikes, I will be forced to drop everything, start something new, and knit on it continuously until it's finished, or a different whim overtakes me, and I abandon it in favour of the next big thing.

I go through moods of wanting to clear out my works-in-progress to start fresh (I can dream, can't I?), and there are other times where I start three new projects in a week. There are times when a new pair of socks needs to be started just to fulfill the need for a simple, portable project to take on a trip, and then there are days like yesterday.

I've been fighting a nasty cold for a few days, and finally called in sick yesterday to stay home and be miserable lounging around the house. I've been working on a design project, trying to make some sort of cardigan out of a big pile of black Patons Fresco that's been sitting in my stash for way to long. Through the haze of cold medication yesterday, I couldn't bring myself to pick up the calculator. I needed something to pass the day and make me happy. Something with explicit instructions that I couldn't mess up very easily.

I finally downloaded Anne Hansen's Delicato pattern for lacy fingerless mitts.

There was no way that I would be leaving the house (or even getting out of my pyjamas), so I pulled out the only yarn I had on hand that would work, a cone of laceweight Derby Tweed left over from a vest I knit last year.

Exactly what I needed, and a very well written pattern. And they'll keep my hands warm in the chilly office when I return to work.

I also bought the Irtfa'a lace shawl pattern while I was at it, for another day when I'm feeling a little more adventurous. For today, I'm going to curl up and finish the left mitt and spend some quality time with Harry Potter - finally, I get to catch up with the rest of the world and read book 7.