Colourwork and Sock Fun

I did some gorgeous mittens in my first year back at knitting called Fiddlehead Mittens By Adrian Bazilia.  I had so much fun doing stranded knitting that I was sure I’d be churning out sweaters and more of those great mittens for the rest of my life.  However, like a kid in a candy store I was attracted by all the other pretty things and I’ve done very little colourwork since then.  Lately, I’ve picked it up again and it’s delighting me as much as ever.  I was reinfected with the bug thanks to a Celtic Cast On podcast I watched awhile back.  In it, Kelly was wearing a gorgeous sweater called Sundottir and I thought, I have to make that!

Second sleeve of my Sundottir with added colourwork detail not in the pattern.

Shortly thereafter, I happened to be scrolling through my Instagram feed (as one does) and a beautiful new yarn caught my eye, put out by Barrett Wool Co..  It was a pale pink Aran weight wool and I thought it would make a lovely colourwork sweater if I could find a nice grey yarn to contrast it.  On impulse I ordered five skeins of it and then had trouble finding a sweater pattern for which that was enough yardage, until I remembered the Sundottir!  The reason I didn’t first think of it was because I was really hankering after a cardigan and the Sundottir is a pullover.  Whatever, I’m still going to make it and it’s going to be fab.  Anyway, if I have the courage, I could always steek it!

Which brings me to my second colourwork project, also inspired by Kelly from the Celtic Cast On, the absolutely charming and well-named  Merriment cardigan. It’s sized for a baby or child, and it requires steeking, so I can learn that skill on a little sweater and then see whether I’d like to try it again for my own sweater.  For those of you not familiar with steeking, it’s the technique of knitting a sweater in the round (on a circular needle) and then cutting it down the center front to make it into a cardigan.  For obvious reasons, lots of people are nervous about the idea of cutting their knitting, and I’m no exception! However, I love the idea of avoiding all the purling that a stockinette stitch cardigan knitted flat requires, so I’m determined to give it a try.  Luckily, a friend of mine just had a baby, so I even have a recipient for the sweater.  Yay!  (This friend, Annie, has a knitting podcast with her husband, Alex,  called, “Knittingitup” and if you haven’t tried it, you should check it out, it’s sweet!)

My first “S.O.S” sock. Love the yarn, but not crazy about the heel.

On the sock front,  I’m halfway through making a pair for myself using the “Smooth Operator Socks” pattern by Susan B. Anderson.  I really wanted to try this pattern with its afterthought heel and cuff-down construction after listening to Tracie from the “Grocery Girls” podcast rave about it.  However, I’ve pretty much decided I prefer toe-up socks and will go back to that method once I’m done with this pair.  There is much to be said for toe-up socks, if you enjoy Judy’s Magic Cast-on (which I do), and you like knowing you’ll have enough yarn to finish the project (always nice!) Plus, I am not a huge fan of the afterthought heel.  It certainly is faster, once you get the hang of it, but I much prefer the look of a heel flap and I really enjoy knitting them, so back I go next time!  It’s okay, I love trying new things and until you try them, you never know, right?

Close-up of the Afterthought Heel. Notice the bump? Planning to do a better job on the second sock!


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