Since I posted my completed my version of Nicola Susen’s Square Socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting, I’ve received a lot of questions about how the sock fits.

I have to admit that I didn’t take time to knit a gauge swatch (I can’t believe I’m admitting this!) and these are a little too big for me. I’m confident that I’ll find the perfect feet someday.

Here are a few images of the socks on my feet. They are surprisingly comfortable, given the unusual construction. The slanted bind-off at the top of the leg evens out greatly when the sock is on a foot. The only issue might be the circular starting point at the ball of the foot. People with sensitive soles may find it uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm, I wonder which socks I’ll knit next…

I’ve put a new pattern up on Ravelry!

Savannah Trees Cowl was designed as a tribute to the historic Savannah location of my Spring 2018 Knit For Fun Retreat. The yarn is Jones Street Sport from Savannah’s own The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio, dyed in a custom Moss and Leaves colorway.  The stitch pattern includes mirrored cables to reflect gnarled tree trunks and dropped stitches to reflect the lacy effect of moss hanging off limbs.

The stitch pattern, which repeats over 25 stitches and 6 rows, is based on a simple k4, p1 rib so, other than the cable-crossing rows, the knitting is quite straightforward. The lacy vertical columns are created on the bind-off row by dropping the purl stitches each side of the center plain knit-4 column. So easy!

Get 20% off the $6.00 price by using the code TREES by midnight Friday, May 18.

Knit happy!

A couple of weeks ago I held my Knit For Fun Retreat in the beautiful historic district of Savannah, Georgia. Getting there was a little tough with 6 bags, all weighing 50 lbs, between my event coordinator Cindy Hallam and me. Those bags were filled with swag, which we then transferred to the retreat tote bags. It was like a huge birthday party when the attendees received their loot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were extremely fortunate to have classes by Sivia Harding, Meghan Fernandes, and Joji Locatelli.  Sivia taught about mobius shapes, beads, and decorative mending; Meghan taught about special stitches and warm weather knits; Joji taught about her Boxy Sweater, as well and working with color and designing a crescent shawl. I filled in as the Knit Doctor to help attendees with any questions about their knitting, choosing yarn, taking measurements, and anything else that came up.

The retreat was great, of course, but my mind keeps returning to the beauty of the city. The spring flowers were in bloom, the trees dripped Spanish moss, and the sun shined brightly every day.

I didn’t take nearly enough photos but I’ll share a few that I have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m having so much fun with Nicola Susen’s Square Socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting that I find myself knitting on it when I ought to be doing other things. I love how this sock is constructed so differently from the standard toe-up or top-down sock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s no real heel to speak of. Once the foot is the desired length, the the leg begins in bias k2, p2 ribbing with mirrored increases worked at the center front of the leg and mirror decreases worked at the center back. This forms a tidy knit columns at the center front and back of the leg, with k2, p2 ribs angled between them. When the leg is the desired length, the top is finished back and forth in rows with a stitch bound off at the center front of each row while decreases are continued at the back of the leg.

The result looks oddly angled, but wet blocking helps it to assume a more sock-like shape.

I’ve uploaded a new skirt pattern on Ravelry. Velvety Pleats, another version of my basic pleated skirt pattern, is worked with two strands of laceweight Shibui yarn held together: Cima (70% alpaca, 30% merino) and Pebble (48% recycled silk, 36% merino, 16% cashmere) in the Fjord colorway. You really have to feel the fabric–it reminds me of the softest velvet, hence the name.

The skirt is worked in rounds from the top down, beginning with a casing to accommodate waistband elastic. Four darts shape the taper from the waist to the upper hip circumference, then purl stitches are added in “gores” between mostly stockinette stitch “pleats” to provide ample fabric across the full hips and seat, as well as flare in the lower skirt. Each pleat is decorated with traveling-stitch chevrons and is bordered with twisted stitches to sharpen the boundaries between the pleats and gores. A simple bind-off produces slight scallops around the lower edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worked at a sportweight gauge of 6 stitches/inch, this skirt knits up a bit quicker than others I’ve designed for fingering weight yarn.

Because the upper part of the skirt relies on negative ease for a good fit, you’ll want to choose a size that measures 2″ to 3″ less than your actual high-hip circumference. (Measure your high hip across your pelvic bones.) You don’t have to worry about your full-hip circumference (that’s your widest circumference) because the gores add several inches by the time that circumference is reached. Instead of hugging your bottom, this skirt is designed to skim over the top, then hang freely to the hem. So, if you’ve thought that a knitted skirt isn’t for you, think again. Even curvy girls look great in this classic design!

Use the code VELVET to receive 20% off the $7 pattern price between now and midnight Friday, April 27.

 

I love the way we knitters can transform so many skeins of yarn into something so delightfully wearable! Case in point is my version of Joji Locatelli’s Big Old Coat. I bought the yarn from Sweet Fiber at Knit City in Vancouver, BC, last fall and cast on New Year’s Eve. The pattern is very well written and the yarn is a joy to work with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part is that I absolutely love the sweater and have hardly taken it off since I finished it.

I’m very excited to announce that I get to be a Knit Star this year! Knit Stars is an online workshop that’s available around the world to anyone who has internet access. You’ll get access to my lesson on finishing steeks with zippers or buttonbands and well as lessons from 11 other teachers. This will be the biggest online yarn party ever!

You can find all of the details by clicking here.

Join now to take advantage of the earlybird rate of just $179. That’s less than $15 per class!

My fellow teachers are:

Andrea Rangel
Ann Shayne & Kay Gardiner / Mason Dixon Knitting
Arne & Carlos
Carson Demers, Ergo I Knit
Cecelia Campochiaro
Christel Seyfarth, Art Knits
Lorilee Beltman
Mary Jane Mucklestone
Veera Välimäki
I hope to “see” you there!

Last week I returned from a three-week trip to Scotland. For two of those three weeks I was on the inaugural  Lambs On The Run excursion, sponsored by Colorado yarn shops  LambShoppe and Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The other week I explored Edinburgh with my event coordinator Cindy Hallam.

The Lambs On The Run trip began with three days at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, followed by a spectacular bus tour of the country.

In addition to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, trip highlights included:

  • A couple of days to explore Edinburgh and the Royal Mile (I did my best to stimulate the local economy!)
  • A tour of Roslin Chapel (featured in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code)
  • High tea at the historic Balmoral Hotel
  • A tour of Stirling Castle (aka, Castle Leoc of the Outlander book and movie fame)
  • A visit (and tasting) with world-renowned chocolatier Iain Burnett (his truffles have won best in the world)
  • A couple distillery tours (I do love a good whiskey!)
  • Colloden House (where Bonnie Prince Charlie waited in vain to be recognized as King of Scotland)
  • The Colloden Battle Field (the battle ended the Highland way of life)
  • Clava Cairns (“magical” stones, such as those featured in the Outlander books and movies)
  • A drive around the breathtakingly beautiful Isle of Skye
  • A sheep dog demonstration by Neil, one of the few shepherds left
  • A sheep shearing demonstration, also by Neil
  • The historic New Lanark Mill, which is still in operation
  • A whole lot of Scotish foods and brews
  • Visits to a number of yarn shops featuring yarns that aren’t easily available in the U.S.

I’ve included a collage of photos below, in no particular order. If it looks mostly cold and damp, it was. But when the sun came out, did it ever shine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next spring Lambs On The Run will            tour Italy. Florence, here I come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nice thing about plane travel is it gives me lots of time to knit, which means that I’m flying along on my Big Old Coat, designed by Joji Locatelli.

I started to get nervous that there may be a chance that I’d run out of yarn if I waited to knit the sleeves until after the entire body was done. I put the body stitches on a holder so I could make sure the sleeves are the proper length. Once they’re done, I can simply work the body as long as I have yarn.

As for the body, I’m alternating two balls of yarn to mitigate any color irregularities between skeins. Don’t be alarmed by the narrow looking sleeve. It will stretch out nicely when I block the sweater.

The only adjustment I made to the sleeve is to use a tubular bind-off for a more invisible ending than the simple knitwise bind-off Joji specifies in the pattern. If you’re unfamiliar with the tubular bind-off  check out this YouTube video.

 

As I knit my way through Nicola Susen’s Square Sock pattern from New Directions in Sock Knitting, I’m struck with her ability to create a sock shape out of simple squares.

The sock begins with a square to form the ball of the foot. Two quarters of that square are put on a waste-yarn holder while the other two quarters are decreased to form closure at the top of the toe. The decreases are worked in four sections to end with just 2 stitches in each section. These remaining 8 stitches are gathered with yarn threaded on a tapestry needle.

At this point, the sock shape isn’t readily apparent.

 

The two sections of held stitches are then returned to the needles and worked in a bias tube with decreases worked along the top of the foot and increases worked along the bottom of the foot.

When knitting socks, I typically work with four double-pointed needles–three to hold the stitches and one to knit with. Hovever, the “square” format of this sock construction makes it easier for me to hold the stitches on four needles (one needle per section) and knit with a fifth.

So far, the sock has an odd shape. The cast-on “point” at the ball of the foot looks suspiciously like a heel. I think blocking is going to be a key step in this pattern.