Still trying to catch up on the projects I finished in the last two months. Right, I'll try to make this quick. Todays topic: Knitting.
Did I mention I like knitting socks? Well, I do. And I have two more pairs to show. The first one is a pair I that I made as a swap gift - the theme of the swap was fairy tales.
So how do these fit the theme, you might ask. The pattern is called Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga is an important figure in Slavic folklore (she is often reduced to being the Eastern European counterpart of the witch in Western European fairy tales, but does really have a lot more facets to her). She lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs... And that's where the sock pattern comes in: The patterning resembles chicken feet!
The second pair is the result of the August / September Mystery KAL with the Solid Socks Ravelry group. They actually took me almost two months to complete (which was mostly due to me not being able to count...). Knitting them was a very interesting learning experience. I have knit quite a lot of socks since finished my first pair last November (yay, my first sock knitting anniversary is coming up soon) - but I had never started a sock at the heel before. But that is exactly what this pattern (The Troll's Cauldron) does!
The point that I was most concerned about while knitting them was the fit. The pattern (which, by the way is very well written) does indicate a couple of spots where you can adjust the length and width of your socks, but as I was completely unfamiliar with the construction, it was more guessing than knowing what I was doing on my part. In the end, I was more than surprised to find my socks are a perfect fit!
I did finish my Mystery Blackberry Shawl! And I love it! It was four months in the making, my first project with lace weight yarn - and oh, it put up a good fight on the last couple of rows. When I came to the last ten rows or so I just grew impatient - I just wanted it to be finished. And as you will all know, impatience in knitting leads to mistakes. At one point I spotted a mistake some five rows back... right, some might say "misplaced yarn over five rows down - so what?". I tried that - but no, doesn't work for me. I know - no one else would ever notice. But I will - because I know. On the other hand, I absolutely did not want to rip out five whole rows... it took a while, it was incredibly fiddly, and I was close to giving up - but somehow I managed to fix it. Yeah, that happened about three times before I got to the second but last row... by that time I was running dangerously low on yarn. I was about half through the second but last row when suddenly the yarn became a terribly tangled mess. My only thought was - save that yarn, I don't want to start a new ball for the last three rows. It took at least an hour to untangle it. And if that wasn't enough I finally ran out of yarn half-way though bind-off and had to join a new ball after all! Had I known this, I would just have cut the tangled mess and joined new yarn right away - would have saved a lot of time...
Anyway, it's done, and I'm very pleased with how it came out. I wear it quite often with a teal or petrol coloured shirt - it really goes well with that range of colours.
One of my favourite projects of the last couple of weeks must be a pair of fingerless mittens - because I learned so many new techniques making them. The pattern is Maia Fingerless Mitts by Romi Hill. I purchased the pattern months ago, but had not gotten around to try it when the "Try something new" swap in the Beginner's KAL group came up. I had never used beads in knitting before, so that was something new... oh, and starting fingerless mitts from the top was new to me as well. Also learnt a way to make provisional cast ons using a crochet chain less fiddly by chaining straight onto a knitting needle.
Oh, and the yarn! I used Mirasol Sulka Legato - a merino, silk and alpaca blend - and I fell in love with that yarn from the moment I cast on. It felt so good in my hands. It was a real treat working with it, and I am already looking forward to using it again - hopefully soon.