Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

16. February 2010 12:15
by Jobo

Iron Knitter Round 3: Colorwork Socks!

16. February 2010 12:15 by Jobo | 46 Comments

the battle for the title of Iron Knitter is RAGING on... round 3 began after an unexpected delay on Sunday morning.  The "Supreme Commander" had been injured in a car accident, but is recovering, and her lovely husband managed to keep us all in line and forwarded us the pattern as soon as the emergency cooled off.  Helen - Glad you're ok, and on the mend!

chart The Round 3 challenge is Colorwork... also known as knitting a design using alternating stitches of 2 or more different colors and following a chart.  Usually this kind of design features intricate patterns, geometric designs, and sometimes detailed pictures or graphics

There are many different techniques to handle the two different yarns.  Some knitters simply knit stitches with one yarn, and then drop it, pick up the other color, and continue on going back and forth that way.  Other knitters use a fancy yarn-holding thimble that allows you to keep both yarns wrapped on the same finger and alternate your stitches by angling the thimble finger forward and back.  Myself, I prefer to do my colorwork holding one color in each hand.  For one color you basically work your knit stitches as always before - with yarn held in the right hand.  The other color gets held in the left hand in a similar manner as when knitting continental style, and stitches are "picked" through in the same manner.  This took me quite a while to master, but I find it does a really good job, and I can just fly along at it. 

If you are interested in learning this "two-handed" technique, check out the Philosopher's Wool Company - they have a little video excerpt available streaming on the site, and they sell really neat fair-isle patterns and kits.  You should see this woman knit fair-isle.  Must be seen to be believed!  (linky here!)

Shop Around the Corner Socks, by Helen Waittes, feature some standard style fair-isle diamonds and diagonals-and-boxes and also some little 'buildings' laid out like a city block.  Generally, I am not attracted to patterns (either knitting or quilting) that feature country-style motifs like little houses, but I still think this project will have value for me... pushing me to really focus on my tension and even stitches for colorwork technique.  I also plan to challenge myself and work an "afterthought" heel (see tutorial coming tomorrow!)shop around the corner 1


I currently have one sock completed, and have used the following modifications: 

- toe up!

- contrasting color heels and toes

- plain foot

- required chart section with a few added plain rows to help balance the chart

- 2x2 rib cuff in main color instead of Contrasting color


I didn't want to give away too much until I get the pair completed... I'll keep you posted!

15. February 2010 11:05
by Jobo

Wear them? or Frame them?

15. February 2010 11:05 by Jobo | 3 Comments

folks... I've knit entire lace shawls that didn't have this much lace!  I'm not sure which part of these socks made them so challenging, but they were certainly not the sort of knit that you could drop and pick up haphazardly!

finished wishing 5

When I started out on this lacy journey, many of my fellow iron knitters were having issues with gauge and size problems.  There were many complaints of XLL cuffs and socks... but for some reason, I got great results with the exact needles called for (2.25 mm) and my first purchase of Araucania Ranco.  Maybe my results had something to do with the fact that the pattern was actually test knit with that yarn (something I discovered while browsing through the completed projects on Ravelry)

Either way, these babies fit fantastically.  The heel fits very nicely, and the teeny little cables on the side seem to just hug the right places.  The foot length was just right after 2 repeats of the chart pattern, so I did not need to fudge anything to add in the little leaf-motif for the toe.  I opted to continue the diamond pattern down the foot as well, because I liked it so much. 

Of the two lace panels, the diamond based one was by far my favorite.  I think it's because I have a thing for geometrics.  I like rounded, curly, leafy type patterns, but always seem to go back to angular, pointy, lattice-like types of motifs.  I guess everyone has a style.  I did really enjoy the contrast between the rounded and angular panels though, and I really got to practice my "cabling with no cable needle" technique on the little cables.  I will definitely try more teensy cables in future socks.

finished wishing 3

Oh.... and I made the cutoff!  I'm still in the competition... Onto pattern 3!

5. February 2010 12:08
by Jobo

Iron Knitter Round 2: Ready to Rumble... er Knit!

5. February 2010 12:08 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Still making progress on my lacy green wonders... though a little slower than I had hoped.  The pattern is really well written, and so far quite straightforward to follow.  I completed my first heel last evening, and am working on the gusset decreases now as the pattern continues down the foot.  wishing heel

Since there wasn't a designated foot chart, I've decided to keep the same progression: 

     Half Zigzag - tiny cable - floral section - tiny cable - Half Zigzag

I am very pleased with the way this yarn (Arucania Ranco Solid) is knitting up.  I really like wild colored yarns, but for some reason lately, semi solids seem to be creeping up there on my personal yarn-o-meter.  I think this is because I am progressing to more complicated designs and lace patterns, and those are best complemented by the less busy patterned yarns.  In the case of this "lime" colorway - I think the color was an ideal choice.  I am falling more and more in love with it all the time.  And by the way, the texture and firmness of this yarn is perfect for socks.  It is knitting up smooth and with excellent stitch definition.  It isn't splitty, and the dye job is nice and even.  I will definetly buy this again.  My only fear is that I may run out of yarn... but I always worry about that and it rarely happens anyways.  I'll try to ignore that nagging for a while ;)

wishing past heel web


In all honesty, I think this might be the prettiest pair of socks I've ever made.  Mark made the comment last night.... "um, wont those be too pretty to wear?"  I'm thinking that maybe they might be pretty  enough to frame, or snuggle with late at night, or gift to a famous celebrity, or enter in the Miss Socks Universe Pageant.  mmmmm Pretty Socks...  I guess we should see if I can finish them first eh?


My plan for this weekend is to sneak in as many rows as I can while still managing to show the house, have a Spin-In day with fellow Spinner BrighidGreen, and entertain for games night tonight.  Thankfully this round isn't a timed one, or I'd be out for sure.  I just need to finish these by Feb 11.  I have almost a week.  If I really work hard and remember to sneak in a few rows at a time, I really think I can finish!  (I think I can, I think I can)  Although, I still fee like I am behind having only half of one sock done.  I have to keep reminding myself - the leg is the most heavily patterned part, so it's the part that should take the longest... and the foot is half stockinette... stockinette = easy!

Hope all you Iron Knitters out there are working along and feeling good about your socks!

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