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 :)


skyp socks

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 :)