Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Small stranded knits

I've one of those ultra-successful projects to report. It isn't much to look at, but it delivers a lot of satisfaction.

I knit this potholder in the round. The front and back are the same. After I had knit a 9" wide tube 9" long, I closed the top and bottom with a 3-needle bind off. (Of course, I had to pick up stitches along the bottom to do that.) Then I added an applied i-cord edging. I wanted to felt it down to less than 8" square. It is a little large for a potholder. However, I was hand felting and quit after it had shrunk a mere one-half inch in size. (It was 9 1/2" originally). I expect that it will felt a little more each time I wash it. Actually, it is not too large. I knit this one to replace the tiny, 6" square cotton padded potholders I was using. Every time I pulled a hot pan out of the oven, the heat transmitted through the cotton and burned my hand.

With this large, wool, double-thick, stranded potholder, my hand is completely protected. Since I have some of the tapestry wool left over, I can knit another and throw away those useless cotton ones. Although I planned this project to practice stranding, I'm pleased with the unexpected utility of the final result.

At the same time, I was practicing stranding with the Ilga's Socks project I posted earlier. While I was knitting the second sock, I decided upon a modification. It was an unexpected change, actually, one that at first earned some skeptical glances.

Seriously, after trying on the first sock, I realized that following the round toe instructions in the pattern had produced a toe that was overly tight. At first, I thought I'd just rip it out and knit a standard wedge toe in the main color. Then I saw a project on Ravelry and became inspired. This was a perfect chance to try stranding just above the toe. I had recently admired a few socks that used just a little fair-isle patterning there. I ripped out the round toe and knit the new one on a drive we took last week. When we arrived, I found the stuffed moose in my room. The balloon moose was one I had acquired the night before. I have a fondness for moose and was hoping to see some. It was possible, since this was just a little ways down from our lodge.

That's Yellowstone Falls. There are moose in Yellowstone Park, but I didn't see any. I did see a lot of other sights and took hundreds of photos. I'll sprinkle a few more into later posts. For now, it is back to the socks.

Even though I had decided to add the toe patterning before I left on the trip, I forgot to pack the book with the pattern. However, since I could check the inspiring project on Ravelry and count the stitches in the stranded cuff of the sock, I devised a small pattern that matched the cuff. The brown yarn I used here was different than the browns I used in the cuff. Since it was the toe, I wanted one that was more durable and softer than the others. As it turned out, this brown worked well with the purple I used in the small chart. There are actually four colors in the toe: orange, white, purple and brown. The color difference is visible in real life, but probably not noticeable in this photo.

I chose the pattern I liked the best from the cuff, edging it with the first pattern and a very simple one at the end.

Now I just need some cold weather so I can wear them. If they prove to be comfortable, I may add stranding at the toes another (future) pair.

I'll end with some links to the pertinent Ravelry projects:

My potholder

My socks

The socks that inspired me

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Nanette said...

I love both the potholder and the socks!

Wool Winder said...

Beautiful work!

Marjorie said...

Those socks turned out really nice. I really like the stranding around the toes. That's where I could use a bit of extra insulation, and you may see the sincerest form of flattery soon as I attempt something like that myself.

I used to be able to find the perfect potholder. It was heavy terrycloth with a bias strip around the edge. Now all the cooking stores have these fancy-schmancy potholders that are just annoying to use. But in my case, I want to try out some of the quilting feet on my new machine, and I will probably give quilted potholders a try from some scrap fabric.

Yarny Days said...

These socks are beautiful! Stunning work..

Amanda said...

Oh my word - these are fabulous! Well done you!