Jobo Designs

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

1. April 2010 19:58
by Jobo

Iron Knitter - All over but the Crying!

1. April 2010 19:58 by Jobo | 1 Comments

After several months of knitting socks for the Iron Knitter competition... I'm sad to say it's all over for now.  The last round featured an interesting pattern - again, not one I would have necessarily have chosen on my own, but definitely a learning experience.

Pattern 6:  Meander by Lisa Stichweh

I liked the idea of a cable running around the ankle and then onto the foot... but I wasn't crazy about the cables themselves.  Now that's not to say they weren't perfectly good cables, I just have an issue with symmetry, so I didn't enjoy the fact that one of the "rope" strands was 1 stitch wide, and the other was 2 stitches wide.  It just felt lopsided as I was working on it, though I will admit it looked fine and not funny at all when the socks were completed.

I also found the seemingly random placement of ribbing stitches to be a bit challenging.  Usually when there is ribbing there is a regular pattern of knits and purls (i.e. k1p1, or k2p2, or even k2p1, etc.)  but in this case there was a non-repeating distribution of knits and purls.  This made it quite difficult to get into any sort of rhythm in knitting this area, although I will admit that I did get better at following along knitting and purling as the row before.  I would try and sneak a peek at the next 2-3 stitches, work those and then sneak a peek at the next few, and so on.

The most challenging part of the sock was following the pattern with the travelling cable across the ribbing.  In a way it reminded me of the Cookie A.  "Kai Mei" socks that I finished after Christmas, and the way that the lace panel travelled it's way across the sock, though in the case of the "Meander" socks, you had 2 cables travelling from the back of the sock to the front where they met in the middle and converged to end in one cable on the top of the foot.


finished meander 2

In the end, I was happy with the socks, though I think the yarn is maybe a little too busy in color variation to properly show off the cables on the socks.  I might overdye them to be a more solid purple.  I still have to think about it for a while.

The pattern was quite well written and easy to follow... I would recommend it to anyone who wants a cabley challenge :)

So who won the contest?   Well needless to say, it wasn't me... but I wasn't as far off as I thought I might be.  The winner was Ember (who coincidentally was on Team Canada also?!)  and she completed her entire pair in around 18-19 hours!  You know you have a hard core knitter when you find someone willing to knit on through the night without sleep to win a knitting contest! 

Your favorite Jobo finished in 5th Place :)  I couldn't stay up all night (I think my hands might have fallen off, and I get cranky when I don't sleep enough)  so I knit the first sock completely on Saturday, and woke up early Sunday and completed sock number two before bedtime.

Congratulations to Ember and to all of the knitters who participated in Iron Knitter!  It was great to meet you all, and I hope to keep in touch!


Stay tuned for more Iron Knitter Wrap-Up Posts... I have a couple of surprises for you!

23. March 2010 17:00
by Jobo

Cable and Lace: Sophisticated but Simple Socks!

23. March 2010 17:00 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Iron Knitter Round 5 has begun... Saturday evening, I cast on and knit like crazy so I could make progress but still get to go to the movies too! (Green Zone, with the handsome Matt Damon... not bad ha ha)

The pattern is another freebie from Ravelry - Cable and Lace by Allison Sarnoff - I wonder how many other lovely patterns are on there that I haven't seen yet.  Realistically I can keep pumping out a pair of socks a week for the next few YEARS and still not find the end of the beautiful patterns available on Ravelry. 

I really like the simplicity of this design... and even though it is simple, the basic lace lattice and columns of basic 3x3 twist cables looks elegant and sophisticated.  The stitch arrangement itself consists of a basic 8-row repeating design... half of which are plain stockinette rows!  The pattern works up very fast because of this, and I was able to memorize it within a few repeats. 

bordeaux cable and lace3Close up of cable and lattice detail...

After two days of knitting away, I have sock #1 completed and the second one ready to start the short-rows heel.  I find the slowest row is the one with the cable crossings.  I am out of practice with manipulating a cable needle (aka a lonely DPN in my world)  and am finding that I really need to concentrate to slide the stitches around properly.  Maybe by the end of the pair I will feel good about it again. 

bordeaux cable and lace

The other 7 rows, however, are a speed zone!  Where there is so much of the design in plain stockinette, no purl stitches on either side of the cable (as it is customary in a lot of designs to make the cables "pop" from the design) I feel like I am just flying!  The foot portion with plain stockinette along the sole is even faster! 

I hope I will be able to complete the rest of sock 2 tonight...  I really want to be able to remain in the competition until the last round.  I know that the chances of me "winning" the competition are slim considering I am competing against people who can knit entire pairs of socks in less than 18 hours... but as long as I can stay in until the last round, I feel like I'm winning anyways.   Iron knitter has really gotten me to step outside my own box and try different techniques and patterns - helping me to learn new things and strengthen my skills.  I am starting to worry what the last sock challenge will be (please don't be entrelac, please don't be entrelac!)  After the last pattern, I wouldn't be surprised to see something completely spectacular for the finale.  We've done lace, colorwork, cables, picot edges, gusset and short row heels - all combined to make wonderful beautiful socks.  Keep your fingers crossed I get to stay in ;)

bordeaux cable and lace4

I chose to use another skein of Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed... this time in Bordeaux!  I have basically every color of this yarn, and love the softness and smooth texture it creates.  I find it looks great as plain stockinette, but still has nice definition for lace and other things.  This particular fuchsia skein has just the right amount of color variation to be interesting but not overpowering.  Some of the other colors I received were almost solids.... which is good for some things, and less well suited to other things.

The Color is difficult to photograph... looks burgundy sometimes, but Screaming Pink in other types of light.  With the color combination and the stitch pattern - these are Girly to the Max!  I love them.  They are a little tall for me though, so perhaps they should end up as Holiday gifts.  Who knows, sometimes I get attached for some reason or another!

And finally, here is a pic of a completed sock... hopefully to be joined by an identical twin shortly!


bordeaux cable and lace2

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