Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Swatch Watch

When I get in a baking mood, watch out.  In the past 10 days or so, I've made a tart...

A pie...

Mini cheesecake...

MORE sandwich cookies...


...and oyster crackers.

I've also been knitting up a storm.  A local friend just had a baby, and I knitted a colorful pair of booties.

I like their tidy tops...

...and little straps.

The original pattern (free on Ravelry. com, called Saartje's Booties) calls for the booties to be knitted flat, or back and forth on two needles. 

Once done, you seam the two ends together and pick up and knit the straps.  However, when I did this, I felt the seam was a little messy.  It's no secret that I despise sewing together knitted pieces and avoid it when I can.

Since they're such a quick little project, and I had plenty of yarn, I knitted another pair.  This time, though, I used Judy's Magic Cast On to put my stitches on two needles, side by side.  I then knitted along those stitches, adding stitches, and put them all on 4 needles.  Yes, it's initially very fiddly...

...but as you knit, you add more and more stitches...

It becomes easy to handle, and the bootie grows out of these stitches nicely.

No seaming to do...it's already in one piece!  I think it's much, much tidier.  This is the method I use, too, for toe-up socks.

After finishing this project, I thought I might knit a stranded shawl.  I wanted to use yarn that I already had at the house, but I wasn't sure what colors to use.  I'm terrible at visualizing, so sometimes I knit a little color strip to help myself out.

White and maroon?  Tan and white?  Which color should be dominant, and which the background color?  I decided on white and maroon, white dominant, but frogged the project after only a few rows.  I was in the mood to make...more socks.

In my "yarn heyday", when I worked full time and had a totally disposable income, I made a lot of impulsive yarn buys.  This ghastly neon green, tan, blue, and maroon yarn is a perfect example.  Just a small knitted swatch shows how the neon dominates.

A friend had given me several skeins of dark blue yarn, though, that was the exact color of the blue in this skein.

I've read that a trick to dealing with unattractive variegated yarn is alternating it with a solid yarn, and I had a sock pattern that was perfect.  All stockinette.  One stitch solid, one stitch variegated, and repeat.  A solid cuff, toe, and heel.

The end result looked almost thrummed, a look I really love.

The finished socks were snug, warm, and colorful.  The annoying neon, when spaced out, blends in nicely.  I only used one skein of the blue and a half skein of the variegated, so technically I have enough to make another pair! 

Here's to continued productive free time!

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