I have three projects currently on the needles just for me: a hat, a coat, and a pair of socks. Our friend and ThreadBear instructor, LynnH, declared January Selfish Knitting Month, and I was all for it.
Trekking 315 socks
Trekking 315 socks in progress
I’m knitting a pair of socks for myself out of a colorway of Zitron Trekking that I fell in love with some time ago. It was one of those skeins that caught my attention a couple of times several months apart, but every time I saw it, I was excited anew. Finally, I took a skein out of stock, and I recently cast on.
I almost always knit socks on US0 needles using magic loop, and this time, I used a figure eight cast on. Assuming that I would wind up with eighty stitches, I should have cast on about twenty-six, but apparently, I wasn’t thinking and cast on twenty-two. I have a slightly more pointed toe than I generally find comfortable, but I didn’t care to rip it and reknit. It’s wool, it stretches well enough, and so far, I’m happy with my results.
I want to use a short-row heel for this pair, and I really liked the way I was working the wraps into the fabric. As is too frequently the case, I hadn’t measured, and finished the heel only to realize that the foot was about an inch too long. I worked another US0 into the fabric about an inch before the heel and ripped back Tuesday evening watching NatGeo.
Zitron Trekking in shade 315
Full view of my barn coat
I’m also playing design-as-you-knit with a barn coat for myself. It’s a basic cardigan with set-in sleeves and a shawl collar. Yes, the fronts are wider than the back. A good reason for that would be that I happen to have more front than back, so I made the panels accordingly. The true reason is that my gauge was off on the back, and I widened the fronts under the arms to make up the difference. The lower edge is cuffed; I used a flexible but sturdy cast on (I used the same cable cast on that I almost always use unless I have specific reason not to), knit about one-and-a-half inches of stockinette, worked a row of reverse-stockinette to create a folding line, and started the body of the fabric at that point.
For the armholes, I bound off about sixty percent of the difference between the width of my body and the width of my shoulders. To get rid of the rest of that difference, I worked a full-fashioned decrease every other row until I was down to shoulder width.
Collar detail of my barn coat
At the same time on the front center, I worked a low-visibility lifted increase just inside the reverse stockinette fold-over collar area every fourth row to give me just a little extra fabric in the shawl. I’d love to claim some sort of amazing planning, but as it happened, I got the last of the collar stitches increased at about the same time I hit my desired shoulder width. Ta-dah! I cast on the sleeves last night.
Fabric detail of my barn coat
The fabric itself is very dense and all hair fiber. I wanted something warm enough to wear during very cold weather for long walks. As I mentioned earlier, I made a composite yarn of a strand each of Cascade 220, Reynolds Whiskey, and Needful Super Alpaca. I had originally added a strand of Needful Feeling, but the silk content was too shiny and just didn’t come together in the fabric. Thanks to Marcia Bailey for helping me take measurements and choose fibers and colors. Much appreciated.
The three yarns in the composite: Cascade 220 in a dark eggplant heather, Reynolds Whiskey in a muted algae green, and Needful Super Alpaca in a rich cocoa powder brown
Morgan from Fall 2008 Knitty in progress in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed
Finally, my third current project (and frankly, the least immediate of the three at the moment… I need that coat), is Morgan from the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty. I’m working this pattern in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. The original was designed in lighter weight yarn knit at a nineteen-over-four , but I was after a firm fabric, so I went with a yarn that would normally be recommended for that gauge. More than anything, though, I just love the Silkroad line, and I really love that green.