Archive for February, 2010

Back in business

After a week of no Knitting Zimmermann projects I felt like I was going to go crazy. Sure, I had other knitting to work on but I missed that daily interaction with Knitting Around.

When I was up at my LYS on Saturday I picked up some Harrisville Shetland 2 ply for the Wearable Art Stockings. I swatched it and it came out perfect with a US #3 needle. So I’m off and running on the ribbing … again.

AND… my order of Harrisville Shetland 2 ply for my Seamless Yoke Sweater – our next project – was in! Oh, it was so lovely to pick up!  I’m pretty pleased with the colors. As usual the camera does not do them justice. For instance, that skein that looks like black is really a lovely shade of cocoa. I’m delight and can’t wait to start on the sweater. To be a bit honest with you all, I’m a little tired of socks – after all, the wearable art stockings are my 5th pair in the last 6 weeks. And besides, this seamless yoke sweater is THE sweater that launched Elizabeth Zimmermann into doing her own newsletters and publishing her own patterns. Isn’t that exciting to think about?



It’s funny, I swatched this sock before I purchased the entire amount needed for the art socks and thought the yarn I had chosen was a go. But now, after getting the cuff done and starting into the pattern I see that it is far from “a go”. It’s going to be scrapped.

For starters, I chose the WRONG colors. I should have chosen a light color and a dark or medium color. I choose two dark colors making it hard to see when it’s late at night or when you’re keeping one eye on the baby.

But the main reason I’m scrapping it is the yarn itself is not rounded enough to create a nice neat ribbing. I’ll save the yarn for a good rustic lace shawl — that will be beautiful.

In the mean time I’m planning on purchasing some Mission Falls 136 (sport weight) in cream and light brown when I’m up at my LYS on Saturday. I’ve heard a lot of good reports about Mission Falls 136 and I think this would be the perfect project to give it “a go.”

One down…

Hooray! I finished one of the Woodsman’s Variation Socks on Saturday. It took me a week to complete, mainly because I had to relegate this project to night-time knitting only. When I finished it on Saturday I rewarded myself with this.

My version is a little bit bigger than those in Knitting Around. Why? Well, mainly because I had to use yarn in my stash rather than yarn I had tried to order.

To make a long story short, the mill , Cottage Craft Woollens, I ordered my yarn from has customer service problems. It took a month to get my first order from them and that was only after calling them several time on the phone.

The order of yarn for the Woodsman’s 2-color Variation socks never came through. I tried calling but was rebuffed once with, “I’ll check on your order tomorrow. I’m in the car. I’m trying to start another business.” The next three times I tried calling they never answered and the answering machine was full, thus I could not leave a message. They didn’t answer their email. Finally I messaged them through Ravelry but never got a response. Thus, through Ravelry, I canceled my order. As of yet I have not had a response regarding my order or my cancellation.

I was really fustrated. The yarn they sold was perfect for the Art Socks and the Woodsman’s 2 color variation. But there was no way of getting it in time.BTW – this order I had placed ON THE PHONE with them and had double checked that it was in stock.

Apparently I’m not alone in my troubles with this mill. On their Ravelry group several people have said it took 3 to 4 months to get their order. So… if you want to order from this mill… be aware, it may take forever.

This is in contrast to an order I placed with Juniper Moon Fiber Farm — I received my order in 4 days! Amazing service! But more on that yarn later…

A Bit Better Now…

Woodsman's Sock - 2 color variation

Ahh… the Woodsman’s Sock – 2 color variation is going much better now. I think I was having so much trouble knitting it because I was trying to snatch some knitting times during the day. That just doesn’t work for this pattern. I had at least 10 rounds to rip out last night when I got a chance to look at the sock properly. Take care of a wee baby and knitting a complicated sock without a proper pattern just doesn’t go together. I’ve vowed to work on it only at night when I can concentrate on it fully.

Woodsman's Sock - 2 color variation

Here is how I’m fudging this pattern:

  1. I made charts from the pictures. You can make simple color charts in Excel and then print them out.
  2. I found yarn in my stash that is the same gauge as the Wearable Art Stockings.
  3. I cast on following the Wearable Art Stockings pattern in Knitting Around. I am continuing to follow the Wearable Art Stocking pattern, inserting the charts I made, until I get to the Foot Shaping for the Wearable Art Stocking.
  4. Rather than working the Foot Shaping for the Wearable Art Stockings, I’ll follow the instructions for the Woodsman’s Heel Flap, Gussets and Toe shaping.

Now, you might say, “But the numbers are off and I can’t follow the Woodsman’s Heel, Gussets and Toe exactly.” You are right, what you must do is follow the principle.

The heel is worked over exactly half of the stitches. By the time we get to the heel we will have 58 stitches on the Woodsman 2 color Variation, work the heel stitches on half of 58 (which is 29).

To turn the heel you work to the middle of those 29 stitches (roughly 15) and begin the heel turn.

To shape the gussets you will pick up stitches along one side of the heel flap, knit across the top of the foot in the cross country 2-color pattern, pick up stitches along the other side of the heel flap, and, voila, you are back at the heel stitches.

You will decrease those gusset stitches just as you did for the original Woodsman, only this time you will decrease until you have 58 stitches on your needles.

For the toe you will work the Woodsman’s toe exactly as EZ wrote it.

So you see, there isn’t much fudging at all. There really is a pattern written for us in the book, we just have to use our brains to make it! And after all, wouldn’t EZ be proud of us — that we’re using our brains to knit something beautiful?

Seamless Yoke Sweater — Planning

Seamless Yoke Chart

Hello dear knitters — well, it is about time to start planning for the Seamless Yoke Sweater which is on the schedule for March.

The first thing you want to do is identify which variation you would like to do — pullover (shown on page 19 of Knitting Around), the lovely Henley-neck (shown on page 25 of Knitting Around) or the exquisite cardigan (shown in The Opinionated Knitter). I have chosen to knit the cardigan version which means I will be steeking.
Once you have chosen which version of the sweater you will be knitting you can choose the yarn. If you are knitting the pullover version you can choose almost any kind of yarn (provided it gives you the correct gauge) because you will not be steeking.
If however, you would like to knit the henley-neck version or the cardigan version you really should choose a wool – not a superwash. You are going to want something that sticks/felts slightly to prevent unraveling.
There is some debate in the knitting world about using a superwash for a steeked sweater. Eunny Jang has a wonderful series about steeks called “The Steeking Chronicles.” If you have any doubt about what to use and the different kinds of steeks or even how to set up a steek into your knitting pattern hop on over to the Steeking Chronicles and have a read.
I will be hunting for a sport weight wool that is handwash only. We’ll see what I find.
Once you have figured out the version of sweater and what kind of yarn you will be using, plot out the colors you would like to use in the neck pattern. I photo copied the chart from Knitting Around and then, using colored pencils, colored in the chart so that I could see what it would look like.
I’m off to my LYS tomorrow evening to hunt down the yarn… I’ll let you know how it goes!
Happy planning!

Woodsman Variation

The Woodsman's Variation

I am INSANE! Totally INSANE.

I thought I would be so cute and sophisticated copying the beautiful Woodsman’s 2 color variation that Elizabeth Zimmermann has a picture of in Knitting Around. Yes, that’s right. There’s only a picture. I’m guessing and fudging my way through. And now I think I was INSANE to attempt it.

I should stop ranting.

I’ll start over….

Hi Knitters! It’s February, time to start those lovely 2 color socks that just make you drool as you stare at them in Knitting Around. Most of you are going to be starting or attempting to start the Wearable Art Stockings. I’ll try to post more about them tomorrow.

As for me, I decided it would be fun to recreate the lovely 2 color Woodsman’s Variation shown in the black and white picture at the end of The Woodsman’s Thick Sock pattern in Knitting Around.

I made charts after brewing myself a strong cup of tea and staring at the photo for a while. That accomplished I cast on.

I’m not fond of doing 2 colors on DPNs. So I thought I would experiment to see if I like small circulars. I tried 9″ circulars — DON’T! They will hurt your hands. I tried 12″ circulars – OH MY! They were annoying. Right now I’m on 2, 16″ circulars – it’s a little better and not too annoying. But guess what, I think I like the DPNs the best! Ha! We live any learn!

I’ve got to run — but I’ll let you know how I’m “fudging” it EZ style soon! Anyone tempted to try the 2 color Woodsman’s variation? If so, let me know and I can email you the charts.

ta-ta for now and happy knitting!