I’m happy to announce that two new patterns have been added to my website and Ravelry.

 

Topsy-Turvey Socks were designed as a kit for Craftsy (www.craftsy.com) as a practical exercise for the class Essential Skills for Sock Knitting (https://www.craftsy.com/knitting/classes/essential-skills-for-sock-knitting/44169). The pattern can now be purchased alone on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/topsy-turvey-socks. The socks feature a short-row heel and toe, but, in a deviation from the ordinary, one sock is worked from the top down and the other is worked from the toe up—no more “second sock syndrome!”

 

Slip-Stitch Chevron Socks (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/slip-stitch-chevron-socks) were designed specifically to show off the dye pattern in Baah Yarn’s (www.baahyarn.com) special La Jolla yarn that’s dyed in about equal portions of a solid color (shown in teal here), and white with speckles (shown in purples and golds here). The challenge in this design was to make the most of both dye patterns in the confines of a narrow sock circumference. After a bit of swatching, I chose a slip-stitch chevron pattern that allows the solid or speckled portions to “travel” above the striped background. These socks feature a flap-and-gusset heel and a wedge toe, finished off with Kitchener stitch (my favorite!).

Respond to this post to tell me which pattern you’d prefer and I’ll enter you in a drawing for a free pattern. I’ll pick a winner Saturday, Dec 24.

Happy Holidays!

While I’ve been busy doing other things (such as immobilize my right thumb due to arthritis and tendonitis), a few new patterns have been uploaded on Ravelry. All three are designed to keep you (or yours) warm and cozy during the upcoming winter months. Might I add that they’d make excellent holiday gifts?

shinny-mitts-promo-1

The first is called Shinny Mitts, which are lined mittens designed for River City Yarns in Edmonton, Canada. The outer mitten is knitted with their signature RCY Hat Trick yarn (a blend of superwash merino and nylon) in the “Colorado” colorway (inspired by the Colorado Avalanche hockey team) and Rowan Kidsilk haze (a blend of mohair and silk) for a muted stripe pattern. The inner mitten (lining) is knitted with Rowan Finest, a luxurious blend of extra-fine merino, cashmere, and royal alpaca. The outer mitten is worked first, then stitches for the inner mitten are picked up along the cast-on edge and worked in the opposite direction.

The knitting couldn’t be simpler–both the mitten and lining are knitted in good old stockinette!

heavenly-mittens-promo-2The second is called Heavenly Mittens, which I also designed for River City Yarns. These mittens are similar to the Shinny Mitts shown above, but on luxury steroids, so to speak. The outer mitten is knitted in a lace pattern with one strand each of RCY Eden (a blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon) and Rowan Kisdilk Haze (a blend of mohair and silk). The inner mitten is knitted with Rowan Finest (a blend of extra-fine merino, cashmere, and royal alpaca).

Bright specks of the inner mitten peep through the eyelets in the lace pattern on the outer mitt.
 

alpine-ridges-cowl-1-cropped

The third pattern is the Alpine Rings Cowl, which I designed for the most recent Knit For Fun Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado last September. The cowl features alternating stockinette- and reverse stockinette-stitch welts created by knitting every round. To form purl stitches on each side, the work is turned every 12th round so that the “inside” alternates with the “outside” to form an accordion look. The short-row “wrap-and-turn” technique is used to help hide the small holes that form when the knitting changes direction.

I used Vice Yarn Shameless (fingering/sock weight) in a colorway designed exclusively for the retreat, but the simple pattern will look great in any yarn!

 

 

Thank you for responding to my query about when you were last photographed knitting. I loved reading about when, if ever, you were photographed knitting. I find it curious that so many of us have no photo of us knitting, even though it’s close to a daily activity. But then, I bet not many of us have had photos taken while brushing our teeth! People Knitting illustrates just how interesting a still shot of our passion can be.

The lucky winner of the raffle is Tracy Gilman, who wrote “As far as I know, no one has ever photographed me while knitting. But my husband calls knitting an ancient art form, so I’m sure even he would appreciate this book!”

Congratulations Tracy! As soon as I get your mailing address (I’ll email you separately), I’ll take it to the post office.
Let’s all make a point of having our pictures taken while knitting this holiday season!

 

A couple of weeks ago Princeton Architectural Press asked if I was interested in receiving a copy of Barbara Levin’s new book People Knitting: A Century of Photographs. Enticed by the title, I said “yes.” I’m writing now to say that I’m not disappointed!

people-knitting-cropped

Measuring just 5 1/4″ by 7 3/4″, this little hardcover book is packed with photographs that document and pay tribute to knitters from the 1860s to the 1960s. The images depict soldiers and nurses from both world wars, school children, and various groups of men and women of all ages knitting for themselves, the troops, and their friends and families. From notable figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, and actresses Betty Grable and Doris Day, to a group of prisoners, People Knitting reflects the incredible diversity of knitting enthusiasts.

This is the kind of book that I like to display on my coffee table to prove to non-knitting friends and family that I’m not alone in my passion.

To enter you name in a drawing for this sweet book, respond to this email telling me the last time someone took a photo of you knitting. I’ll announce a winner Saturday, November 19.

I finished Anne Campbell’s Zigzag sock from New Directions in Sock Knitting without trouble.

zigzag-finished

The only “tricky” part was knitting little short-row triangles to fill in the “valleys” of the chevron pattern and even out the end of the foot. The toe has a normal wedge shaping.

Well, that certainly was a lot of fun. I wonder which sock I’ll knit next …

 

I’m approaching the end of my version of Anne Campbell’s Zigzag socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting. The heel turn was a breeze and, without any stitches to pick up for the gussets, I’m making good progress on the foot.

halfway-along-foot

I love how Anne incorporated the reinforced heel stitch along the heel turn for added durability!

I’m thoroughly enjoying Anne Campbell’s Zigzag pattern in New Directions in Sock Knitting! The heel flap and gussets are worked simultaneously with the instep.

heel-flap-completed

It’s hard to show in a single photo, but gusset stitches are increased on each side of the heel flap, and a few stitches are increased in the center of the flap. These stitches will be decreased as the heel is turned through a series of short-rows in the usual manner. That means that there are no gusset stitches to be picked up — ingenious!

I finished the cuff on my version of Anne Campbell’s Zigzag socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting. The short k2, p1 cuff was easy to work on the live stitches created as the leg was knitted. The stitches are bound off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy method, which makes for a sturdy, yet flexible edge.

cuff-done-ready-for-heel

Next, I’ll work on the other “selvedge” stitches to shape the heel.

I’ve finished the leg of Anne Campbell’s Zigzag sock from New Directions in Sock Knitting. The zigs and zags of the live stitches get grafted to the provisional cast-on stitches to form a ring.

leg-done-ready-for-kitchener

The Kitchener stitch is work on 44 (50, 56) main stitches; the live “selvedge” stitches will be used for the cuff and foot. I happen to love Kitchener stitch so this wasn’t a chore for me. I hope you won’t be intimidated by the seemingly large number of stitches to be grafted — it’s well worth the effort!

grafted-leg

Next, I’ll work on the cuff.

I’ve found my groove on the lace pattern for the leg of Anne Campbell’s Zigzag socks in New Directions in Sock Knitting.

half-of-leg

It’s a simple four-row pattern that’s quickly memorized. I love how stitches are created along the selvedges for the cuff and foot to come. It’s a slick construction!