Shur’tugal

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Tour de Fleece programming…

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… to bring you the first finished object post in forever!

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Pattern: Shur’tugal by Alice Yu
Yarn: Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes, Equinox

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These are my best socks so far. The pattern has plenty of stretch, so I can get them over my heel but they still fit well through the calf. I have large calves, so I did extra shaped ribbing on larger needles.

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I love the little details, like how the pattern melts into the heel…

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… and the toe.

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While it is much to hot for wool socks now, I’m sure I’ll wear them often once it cools off!

Kink

As you may have heard, Connecticut had a record-breaking snowfall yesterday.

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It was the perfect opportunity to finish a little short-term project that I’ve been working on.

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Pattern: Kink, Knittyspin First Fall 2010
Yarn: Handspun Singles, from Corgi Hill Farm Merino/Silk

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It was really fun to knit, and I think it was a very good use of that yarn. I especially love that I FINALLY finished something, after spending so much time on as yet unfinished long term projects.

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Yes, the singles are uneven, but the pattern works with the unevenness rather than against it.

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It’s not exactly my usual style, but I can pull it off.

Happy Halloween!

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In honor of Halloween/Day of the Dead I made my sister this skull garland. It’s pretty fricken rad if I may say so myself.

I started with the Day of the Dead Crochet Skull pattern by Darlene Harris. I added an extra round of single crochet to make the jaw area more solid, which you can see in the yellow skull on the left.

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Using black, I chained 20 then did single crochet around the bottom edge, ending across from where I had attached the black. I chained 15, then single crocheted around the bottom edge of the second skull. And so on. Next, I chained 20 and then single crocheted along the top edge of the skull. I chained 15 and single crocheted along the top edge of the second skull. And so on. This is why there are two strings connecting the skulls. To finish, I used a hot iron and some Niagara spray starch on the skulls only (not the strings connecting them).

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Each skull took about 1/5 of a ball of Sugar ‘n Cream, so it was a VERY affordable project.

Caroline says she loves it!

Socktoberfest!

In honor of Socktoberfest, I decided to knit socks with my own handspun.

So this

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was turned into this:

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Fiber is 60% superwash merino, 30% bamboo rayon and 10% nylon, hand-dyed by Cloudlover, in R’lyeh

I spun it when I was waiting to hear about the bar exam (passed!) so it’s a bit uneven. The Heelless Sleeping Sock by Nancy Bush (in Knitting Vintage Socks) is very forgiving.

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The pattern calls for the ribs to rotate in an S-twist direction, but just for kicks I decided to do one Z-twist.

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They’re the most fraternal socks I’ve ever made, but I still like them.

Speaking of socks, this is all I bought at Stitches East:

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I see a lot of socks in my future. Perfect, because I have a TON of sock yarn in my stash!

Monkey Socks

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I finally finished my Monkey Socks. They’re in the Canon, I had to knit them.

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I knit them a few rows at a time, over the course of over four months. I’m not a big sock knitter, and this project made me think about why. There are a couple reasons – I walk a lot, and if you’re walking serious distances, handknit socks aren’t comfortable (you’d want a finer gauge and more stretch). Also, I have size 10 feet and substantial calves, so handknit socks tend to be too small for me.

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Indeed, these are a bit too small. But in general I think they turned out well, and I see more socks in my future. I’ll just be more careful about sizing, and challenge myself to make the necessary modifications.

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I’m particularly pleased with how the yarn (Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, in River Run) worked with the pattern. There was some striping, but the pattern was still perfectly visible.

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Kitty says my feet smell funny.

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Pasha

One of my best friends from law school is a guy named Jon. Jon has a thing for penguins, so Pasha (Knitty, Winter 2004) was the perfect farewell present.

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The knitting was super easy, and while the seaming was a bit fiddly, it wasn’t too bad. I would highly recommend Pasha for any penguin fans in your life.

I hope Jon and Pasha like their new home down in DC!

Hollyhock

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Pattern: Citron, Knitty Winter 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Hollyhock, one skien

Thanks to my neighbor’s talented gardening and a stroke of good timing, there actually is a hollyhock blooming in our yard, in almost exactly the perfect color. I love how the ruffles on the shawlette mirror the ruffled petals.

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I’m pleased with how it turned out, even if it is quite small.

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It works nicely as a scarf, and Malabrigo lace is deliciously soft. This is the first time I’ve used it, and I can see what the fuss is about.

This would have been a very tedious project if I had been in a better place, emotionally. I cast on just two days before the bar exam started, when I desperately needed zombie knitting. It was one of those times that I really leaned on my knitting as a coping mechanism rather than just a hobby. Now I’m done with the bar, and I have a lovely little shawlette as a souvenir!

Blueberry Fizz

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Pattern: Orangina by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, Mariner Blue (just over 5 skeins)
Verdict: LOVE

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I was really not sure about this one – until I tried it on. When it’s just flat it’s about the same size and shape as a pillow case, which is a bad sign. The ribbing pulls it in nicely though, and I think it’s surprisingly flattering. I’m not sure I’ll want to do seven inches of ribbing on #2 needles ever again, but the results are worth it.

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I also really like the way the Cotton Fine shows off the lace. I’ll have to find another reason to use this yarn some time soon.

A bunny for the kitty

For some reason (to avoid bar study?) I decided to make a catnip mouse for my cat, Fiona. As it turns out, I preferred the catnip bunny pattern from Coffee and Cream. It was super easy, and only took about an hour (during my nightly Daily Show-Colbert Report wind-down).

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I followed the pattern, except that the tail is a bobble rather than felt.

How does she like it?

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Whoa!

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She loves it! I have a feeling that I’ll make many more.

Handspun Shalom

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I finished Shalom! It used almost all of the handspun I had, so probably 425 or so yards.

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It’s got an… interesting texture. Let’s call it rustic, rather than lumpy, ok? In all honesty though, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out considering what a disaster it could have been. In a fit of “go big or go home” spirit I bought a huge amount of green fiber at Rhinebeck (I think from Spinners Hill) without knowing how to spin AT ALL. Now that I’ve been doing some other spinning, I can tell that this fiber was nowhere near as easy to draft as some others. ¬†But hey, I knit with it and the result is wearable! ¬†Between the texture and the mottled green coloring, it sort of reminds me of moss.

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I was concerned that the texture and color variations would obscure the twisted rib in the yoke to the point that it wouldn’t be worth doing, but I think you can totally see it. It’s recognizable as Shalom rather than a generic cap-sleeve cardigan.

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The fit is very similar to the fit of my February Lady, which is a relief. The yarn was so lumpy that it made the whole concept of gauge pretty difficult to work with, so I had to try it on as I went and hope that it wouldn’t grow too much when I blocked it.

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I basically followed the pattern, accounting for the fact that it was different yarn and I’m a lot bigger than the designer. The most noticeable modification is that I did a 9-stitch garter band for the fronts and am using the chunky pewter shawl pin I got at Stitches East as a closure, instead of a button at the top.

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I also deviated from the pattern by making the arm holes quite a bit smaller than called for, and I think it worked out for the best. I’ve seen some of the sleeves on this pattern turn out like little wings (or Zapp Brannigan’s futuristic epaulets). Hmm, that was kind of mean, sorry. But I’m sure you know what I mean.

In my grand tradition of finishing items JUST as the changing weather renders them unsuitable, I finished this on Wednesday, when the temperature reached the 90s and broke an 80 year old record. Fortunately today was quite a bit cooler, especially in the evening. I’m glad I got to wear it once before putting it away for the summer!