The 2015 Fringe and Friends Knitalong is currently underway and the theme for this year is Cowichan-inspired knits. The chosen pattern is the Geometric Cowichan-styled Vest from the Japanese yarn and pattern company Pierrot. It looks to be a fun but daunting knit for many reasons, so a little pre-project planning was called for in order to make the process more enjoyable. Here's what I came up with so far:
=> Since the pattern is written in the Japanese-style, with the instructions mainly consisting of a page of schematics & several charts which outline the pattern stitch by stitch, a way to keep track of the charts is a must. Dusting off the magnetic chart-keeper that I had bought years ago and never used plus some highlighter tape.
=> The vest is knitted at a super-bulky gauge so I am using three strands of a worsted weight yarn held together. I decided to ball up the yarn ahead of time instead of pulling from three skeins while knitting. Boy, has this made a huge difference! Now the project is more portable and there are less skeins to manage at once (and less tangles).
=> Also trying my hand at catching floats every other stitch. This wouldn't be too much of a problem if the project was knitted in the round instead of flat. But since I am not very familiar with how to do this on the purl rows, I ended up making a cheat sheet of instructions after viewing these helpful series of videos by Andrea Rangel on Instagram. I had to adapt the instructions from two-handed stranded knitting to how I knit colorwork (both yarns carried in the right-hand).
Do you fun-proof your more complicated projects too? What kinds of things do you do? Oh, almost forgot the most important tip: take lots of tea/chocolate breaks :)
It was hard to stop myself from taking way too many pictures of these socks. Let me count all the reasons why they are making me so happy:
♡ They only took a little over a month to finish (and not three years!)
♡ The awesome yarn (knitpicks felici sport) was given to me by one of the sweet knitters from my knitting group.
♡ Colorful stripes. 'Nuff said.
♡ I love ribbed socks but they are dull as dishwater to knit. Luckily, I found this simple skyp sock pattern to be quite engaging and addictive. It says a lot about a sock pattern when the knitter wants to cast on for the second sock right after finishing the first.
♡ I couldn't help but secretly chuckle at all the odd looks I was getting from strangers whenever I happened to be knitting on these in public, especially when I started mumbling slip-knit-yarnover-pass!
♡ I was happy enough with how the first sock turned out except for two things: the cast-on was a little too tight and those darn gusset holes. After a bit of research on the internet, I was able to find easy fixes for both. On the second sock, I used the alternating long-tail/Old Norwegian cast-on that I learned from knitting the Hermaness Hat pattern. It is a nice looking and sturdy cast-on with more stretchiness than just a long-tail cast-on. As for those gusset holes, this little trick worked like a charm. Can you spot the one without the hole? Pretty nifty, huh?
♡ Lastly and most importantly, these socks will hopefully offer warmth & comfort to someone in need of both.
If you are interested in knitting a pair of socks or have some hand knitted socks in need of a home, please visit Tracey's blog post for more info on how you can help. And thank you for indulging me on my newbie sock love :)