Thursday, September 3, 2020

South Seas Table Runner

In my last post, I promised that my next project would not be socks. And it's not!

Boy, did it take me a while to slog through this simple pattern. I don't think I was mentally or emotionally ready to move away from my ultimate comfort knitting project of socks.

But I did it. And it really is an easy and pretty knit, even if it did take me a long time to make.

Close up of a lightly folded hand knit pink linen table runner with a pearl bead tied to the corner, on a white background.

The pattern is South Seas Table Runner by Mel Clark, from her book "Knit 2 Together" with Tracey Ullman. I used three colors of Lana Grossa Linea Pura Solo Lino yarn leftover from the Color Block Pullover that I knit earlier this year: 3 Rosa, 35 Dark Rose, and 39 Lilac.

I used US-4 (3.5 mm) knitting needles as recommended by the pattern — it's one of the sizes I had used with this yarn for the pullover, and I'm not too picky about gauge for something like a table runner. To start, I cast on then knit two rows in Lilac. At color changes, I knit two rows to finish off one color then another two rows to begin the new color before returning to the lace pattern. I ended with another two knit rows of Lilac followed by the cast off.

Top view of hand knit pink linen lace table runner with a pearl bead tied to the corner, on a white background.

I was having trouble finding the recommended flat shell beads from reputable store online, and I like that little detail on their sample. From my stash, I was able to round up four pearl beads, each about a half inch (1.27 cm) in diameter. I tied each to a corner of the knitting with a bow because I want to be able to remove them when I wash the table runner. There's a little clear nail polish to discourage fraying on the ends of the yarn I used to tie on the pearls.

After washing and drying, the table runner measures about 10 by 24 inches (about 25 by 61 cm). I would have liked it to be longer, but I like the color proportions. As it is, I used up all of the Rosa and Lilac.

Close up of a pearl bead tied to the corner of a hand knit pink linen table runner on a white background.

I think the pearls may be a little big for the table runner. They'll do for now, but I'll continue to keep an eye out for the flat shell beads or maybe smaller pearl beads.

For now, I'm itching to get back to some soothing sock knitting!

I hope you and yours are doing well as we continue to navigate 2020.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Uneven Ribbing Socks

More socks.

I promise the next project I share will not be socks.

But, as my go-to in times of stress, there will be more socks coming. This year is a lot to take.

I’m trying to stick with the easier sock patterns — in particular, I’ve been knitting my way through patterns featuring 4-stitch repeats. This one is Uneven Ribbing by Charlene Schurch. It’s a basic 2x2 rib with the rows staggered.

Top view of feet wearing hand knit socks in shades of red with hints of other colors, on a white background.

Using yarn leftover from previous sock projects, I alternated between two yarn colors every two rows. The exception is at the toe where I used only one yarn color. The yarns used are:
  • Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet in colorway 07: short gradients of red, green and blue
  • Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet in colorway 4: subtle red variations
  • Ella Rae Lace Merino in colorway 209: short gradients of red with a dark brown or black
  • Cascade Yarns Heritage Paints in colorway 9926 Cherry Berry: short gradients of red and dark blue
  • Dream in Color Smooshy with Nylon in colorway Cabaret: a mix of multiple colors that takes on an overall red-purple hue

The Dream in Color yarn was a last-minute addition when I realized there wasn’t enough of the other yarns to complete the socks. It changes the overall look of the socks quite a bit by taking them from red-with-dark on the leg to red-with-bright-and-colorful on the foot. It works, even though it wasn’t my original intention. Design changes like this happen when working with scraps!

Feet casually posed wearing hand knit socks in shades of red with hints of other colors, on a white background.

The two Happy Feet yarns and the Ella Rae yarn are now out of my stash. My big basket of sock yarn has gone from filled to the brim to only about 2/3 full in recent months.

I hope you and yours are safe and healthy. Take care.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Waffle Cone Socks

I’m still trying to knit my anxiety away through making socks. Is it working? I don’t know, but I do feel better when I look at the colors and feel the textures.

My latest pair of socks is from the Waffle Rib pattern by Charlene Schurch. It’s another simple pattern that keeps my hand busy and lets my mind wander just a bit. I call them Waffle Cone Socks as a nod to the pattern, the colors and the summer weather.

Top view of feet wearing hand knit striped pastel socks on a white background.

Once again, I used a set of US-1 (2.25 mm) knitting needles with a cast-on of 72 stitches. This combination is working well for me as I knit with a variety of leftover yarns of different weights and gauges.

This time after I split the balls of yarn roughly in half, I knit with three colors at a time, alternating them every two rows. The yarns include:
  • Shibui Knits Socks in colorway 1765
  • Snowdrop 80% alpaca/20% silk in pale green
  • Schaefer Yarn Company Anne
  • Regia 4-f├Ądig Patch Antik Color in colorway 5753

Three other yarns, a beige and a gray from previous projects of mine and a leftover self-striping yarn of my mom’s, were also added to the mix.

I had a few false starts with this pair of socks, trying to find the right balance of the colors. I had a lot of solid pink but not as much of the other colors. In the end, I used up all of the Snowdrop, Anne, and Regia yarns, plus the unnamed beige yarn.

Casually posed feet wearing hand knit striped pastel socks on a white background.

I was all set to move on to a sweater but, well, there were some issues. That seems to be a running theme for 2020, unfortunately, Thankfully, my yarn issues are nothing in the grand scheme of things and I was able to cast on ... another pair of socks.