Sparkle Socks & Danish Paper Stars

You can’t really see the sparkle in the photo but there’s a polyester strand in the yarn that glitters. Click on the photo and you can see the sparkle.

Finished these socks last evening. The pattern was interesting enough that the knitting went reasonably fast. When the pattern changes in short intervals the knitting always seems to go faster – probably doesn’t but I feel I’m making progress more quickly.

Sparkle Socks

Danish Paper Stars

Years ago I used to make Danish Paper Stars for tree ornaments and give them as gifts. Haven’t done them for ages but I thought they’d be a good addition to the silk scarves I’ve done for the knitting ladies.

I tried remembering but the critical part is getting the initial intersecting of the strips going in the right direction and in the end I had to find instructions online.

Danish Paper Stars

After three stars my hands have recovered the moves – particularly the twist needed for the 3-D points on each side. My intention is to make about 20 stars but in years past I often made as many as 50+. I’ll add string to them so they can hang.

One Pair Of Socks Completed; New Quilt Started

The knitting continues as usual. A couple of evenings ago I finished this pair of red/brown socks – they’re in the give-away stash. The next pair of socks got underway.

Red Socks Completed

A few days ago, I also started a new quilt. I had a collection of leftover batik jelly roll strips – I sorted through them picking out contrasting lights and darks in a variety of shades (reds, blues, yellows, greens, browns…) and set up sets of four. If I had stitched them together as 2.5″ strips my resulting blocks would have been 8.5″ square which was bigger than I wanted for the quilt I was planning so I trimmed them to 2″ which has given me 6.5″ blocks to which I’ve been adding sashing strips which will finish at 1″ – completed block size = 7″.

First Half of Latest Quilt

As you can see in the individual blocks, I’m alternating asymmetrically cut pieced strips with narrow sashing and alternating the sashing direction when I put them together. I’ve offset the third column against the second – it’s about making it easier to sew the columns together – the sashing joins don’t need to match up. (I’ll match up the blocks/sashing position in the 4th and 5th columns with the 2nd and 3rd.) It’s also making the content of this modern quilt less regular, therefore a bit more interesting.

Also, around the outside (on three sides) I’m using fewer pieced strips in each block (you can see that in column 1) to increase the amount of background toward the outside edges of the quilt. I’m planning a 6 x 8 quilt to which I will then add uneven borders – 3″ on the top and left, 6″ to the right and bottom to extend the background and position the pieced blocks toward one corner of the finished quilt.

I’m half way there – I completed three more blocks for column four late this afternoon, I hope to finish the fourth and fifth columns tomorrow which will leave just one column (with blocks composed mostly of background to complete Monday). I have fabric from the original sewn strips sections to use when I go to make the quilt back – don’t know what I’ll do with them, yet (haven’t chosen a backing fabric either – have to go through what’s in the stash and hope there’s something there that might be suitable).

The background fabric (a pale grey grunge by Moda Fabrics) I did purchase just for this quilt – I really didn’t have a long enough length of anything that would set up a strong contrast between background and inserted strips.

I find it interesting that in spite of the quantity of fabric in my stash I still have to buy fabric each time I go to make a new quilt. I seem to be missing some fill-in colours, or background or backing. The stash just seems to keep getting bigger!

Christmas Socks

Two weeks ago one of my neighbours knocked on my door wondering whether I might have some undesignated socks to sell. Turns out I had a half-dozen pairs of women’s size socks – she took 2 – one for her daughter and one for her daughter-in-law. However, I didn’t have any men’s size. I showed her the socks I’d just started and offered to turn those into a pair of men’s socks – she just needed to send me her son’s shoe size, which she did.

These are the finished socks – to fit a man wearing a size 9 1/2 shoe.

Men’s Socks

Turned out well. They’re actually brighter than in the photo and yet subdued enough I’m guessing her son will actually wear them.

So her order is now complete and on to the next pair of socks.

Ombre Socks

These are my latest socks, finished last evening. They were interesting to make; I wasn’t sure where the colour transitions were going to happen. I knit a leg that is 80 rows after a 12 row cuff. I like a longer leg – it keeps my ankles warm since the sock comes up under my pants. However, the ombre would have worked better in this case had I only done about 65 rows and then started the heel. I wouldn’t have had such a sharp transition of colour when I picked up the front after the heel was completed.

I could have unravelled back to the 65 row point and reknit the heel. But the overriding choice is the longer sock and nobody will ever notice the transition. So into my sock drawer they have gone. I’ll start a new pair this evening.

I’ve done all the preparatory work on the alpaca yarn I bought in Italy – the skeins are now balls. I’ve even downloaded a Fair Isle  pattern.

Fair Isle sweater pattern

The challenge is my yarn is not the same weight as the yarn used for this pattern. I have to knit a sample square to see what kind of size it will turn out. Then calculate the stitch number to be able to make the pattern fit. The major part – the flowers – is based on a 16 stitch repeat so I just need to end up at the yoke with some multiple of 16 for the pattern to turn out.

My plan is to tackle the sweater sometime soon.

Courage Of The Morning Sun

Finished these socks yesterday. Used Opal yarn: Courage Of The Morning Sun. I loved the colour combination and the way it knit up. I happened to have a ball of Sisu yarn in a complementing shade of burgundy to go with the burgundy in the Opal yarn. It set up a striking pair of socks.

Courage Of The Morning Sun

The only challenge, which you can’t see in the photo, is that I didn’t quite get the start point for the second sock right. I didn’t remove enough yellow yarn before starting the sock so the strips don’t line up perfectly between the two socks. Given the nature of the “pattern” it doesn’t really matter. Nobody is ever going to notice when I wear them.

Peach Socks

Well, these socks turned out nicely. Finished them last evening. They were fun to knit because the bright colours changed often and resulted in a pleasing pattern.

Peach Socks

Into the stash they have gone. While I do have sweaters in peach and shades of purple, I have enough socks in those colours I don’t need another pair.

“Nova Scotia Tartan” Socks

Two weeks ago I started knitting this pair of socks – had a solid blue for cuffs, heels, and toes that blended nicely. I didn’t think anything in particular about the colour combination until I was knitting in the group last Friday afternoon and someone commented they looked like Nova Scotia tartan. Since then several people have remarked on these “Nova Scotia Tartan” socks.

Similar colours for sure: the royal blue and yellow with hints of white. The tartan has both medium and dark green along with a fine red stripe. But I guess you could say the socks do have the flavour of the NS tartan.

Nova Scotia Tartan

Anyway, the socks are now finished and in the sock stash. I have lots of blue socks in my drawer so these will be passed on to a deserving recipient for a birthday or holiday gift.

Started the next pair, immediately, as usual.