Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Magic Loop is Magic!

I belonged to two sock yarn clubs this year, Sundara Murphy's Petals and Socks That Rock. The sock yarn has been piling up while I waited for the time to schedule my last two sock lessons, the first of which was taught on DPNs. I had knit the cuff with a Knitpicks self-patterning yarn. The pattern was fun, but the yarn was a bear to knit with on the bamboo DPNs - which had a very very sharp point and I HATED them. I visited Sit n Stitch in Toluca Lake, and they suggested I get Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circulars. I tried it with some Trekking that I had on hand, but the yarn was so small I could not even see my knits from my purls, and somehow it just wasn't working out.

Fast forward to my discovery of a new yarn store in Santa Monica (GU oh well) Compatto Yarn, and they were starting two sock classes with Magic Loop, one using Fixation, the other teaching a lace pattern. The lace pattern one was not meant for beginners, but because I had shown up for the other and it had been canceled, they bent the rules and let me do the lace class. I was determined to use up some of my yarn stash, and so I used a skein of Heavyweight STR that I had ordered off the Blue Moon website. Yes, there is indeed a pooling effect. I am just doing a simple rib. I spent some time researching the best patterns to use with STR's highly variegated yarns - the best bet seems to be Jaywalker. I did try a slip stitch rib which just wasn't looking very good and so decided to stick with the rib. The class taught a picot trim cast on using a provisional cast on. I had a bad time with it in class, but doing the second cuff at home was a breeze - probably because I used the teacher's strip of pre-crocheted scrap yarn. Anyway I am very excited about progressing on these socks, and am considering doing the lace pattern with the latest skein of Petals yarn, the red foliage one which is so beautiful and is fairly monochromatic. May even try to do at least one cuff before Saturday's class.

Other progress is completing my brother-in-law's holiday gift. Instead of the reversible rib pattern in alpaca that I had started, I decided to use some Berrocco Foliage that I had on hand in manly shades of gray and black, in a simple rib. I have finished it, without great stress to my hands.

I also started to work on the throw I've been planning with the yummy Malabrigo yarn I've been hoarding. I have made one square and have started the second. I had been contemplating some of the patterns in the XRX afghan square books, but could never choose one that I felt comfortable with. Then I found the Manos Del Uruguay Four Seasons throw booklet, and feel like this is a great fit.

I have seen a store sample that is gorgeous - I hope mine will look as good. I didn't really choose my colors wiht a lot of thought - just picked ones I liked off the internet. I learned how loose my gauge is by comparing my square to theirs. A good thing to know for the future - to always start out sizing down my needles.

Finally, another WIP is an afghan for a friend who is allergic to wool. So I bought a ton of yarn that is nonwool. I started it once doing stripes but was not pleased with the effect. At one of my knitting groups I saw something another woman was doing that was just changing yarns every row, picking at random from her bag of yarn. It really made a cohesive lovely fabric, so I am trying that. I don't have enough rows yet for a photo but will take one ASAP. It is hard to resist not picking and choosing from my yarn choices, but I will try to do the random thing.


HPNY Knits said...

long time no blog! glad to see you are knitting!

Hubby said...

We love you and your fanatical knitting ways!

Tammy said...

Hi, I am on the last square of my four seasons throw. I used the Manos yarn for it. We did a KAL at the lys and it was great!! I really enjoyed all of the patterns in the booklet. I just have half a square left, then sewing up the three strips. It really is turning out great, so think positive thoughts about your own throw!!