Monday, 31 March 2008

Queen of Cups

Before I tried my hand at Nathania Apple's Queen of Cups, all my socks had been put together with different patterns and I never used just a single one to make a pair properly. So I was quite nervous when I began these, especially since they looked to be more complicated than any of my previous attempts. What is more, I never tried my hand at top-down socks before! I was very happy with the toe-up versions, thank you very much. Their advantage is that I don't have to worry about running out of yarn halfway through.

  • 100g Lana Grosso Meilenweit Bosco (only about half is needed)
  • 3mm DPNs
  • patience

The pattern itself isn't actually very difficult; I would say it is medium. Once you get into it, the pattern repeats are easy, which caused me to be a bit bored with the knitting after a while and was the reason why I didn't finish as fast as I might have. I was a bit tired of knitting the goblet pattern over and over. The result, though, is marvelous and I really love these socks! They are quite loose, so take care not to make them too large or choose a larger needle size like I did even if you have thick legs. These socks will fit even then. Perhaps you will even have to choose a smaller set of DPNs for the leg.

Heels are my bane. Honestly, I am rarely satisfied with them. My first socks had a horrible Dutch heel that I swear I will never make again if i can help it. Queen of Cups has a similar heel so I wasn't at all keen on them and prayed they would fit properly for a change. It was an easy knit, to my surprise, and it fits perfectly! No slipping, no pinching, it's just right. I love these socks!

Like a Mermaid

These Nereid fingerless gloves from Sutherland Studios have been around for a while and were derived from Cookie A.'s Pomatomus socks featured in Knitty's 2005 winter issue.

  • 2 skeins Fabiani Micro-Plus Colori
  • 2 mm DPNs
At first I was a little daunted by the look of it. Somehow it seemed very complicated and just reading through the instructions didn't help! However, I liked the pattern so much that I wanted to give the socks a try after all. In the end, I decided against yet another pair because I had just finished one and needed something different. Having already begun the Pomatomus socks before my decision, I simply knit on and added the thumb gusset, thus very easily turning a sock into a glove.

Having done that, it left me with little else to do. A few more rows of the nereid pattern, plus a ribbed edge were all that was missing.

In fact, I know someone who has knitted these without the ribbing, which looks just as good. Though my gloves fit well while they were still in progress, once I finished them they turned out to be a bit too long on the fingers. I would have done well to leave out the ribbing too, but the longer gloves are quite useful outdoors when it isn't quite cold enough for normal gloves, but not warm enough to go without either.

I used a stripy yarn here that, luckily, doesn't distract you from actually seeing the knitted pattern. However, the gloves do come out best in a yarn of a single colour or similar shades of a colour that do not form a pattern when knit. I am sure I will give that a try when I do finally make the socks! The pattern was very simple in the end and not at all as confusing as I had thoguht from looking at the instructions.

These were my first gloves of any kind and I liked the thumb gusset so much that I also used them on Rose's wrist warmers in the end. I wouldn't be surprised if it remains my favourite thumb gusset for a long time.

And, finally, since I studied literature, here is a book recommendation for you too:

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Doctor Who, Doomsday

The Doctor: [the Doctor is transmitting his image from the TARDIS] Here you are, living a life day after day. The one adventure I can never have.
Rose Tyler: [crying] Am I ever going to see you again?
The Doctor: You can't.
Rose Tyler
: What are you going to do?
The Doctor
: I've got the TARDIS. Same old life. The last of the Time Lords.
Rose Tyler: On your own? [the Doctor nods]
Rose Tyler
: I... I... I love you.
The Doctor
: Quite right, too. And I suppose... if this is the last chance I'll ever have to say it... Rose Tyler... [he fades away before he can finish]

This particular episode of Doctor Who is one of the most memorable featuring the 10th Doctor and Rose. Something else that is memorable for me are Rose's wrist warmers, which she wears in the last scenes. Being a knitter, of course I noticed them right away - but, oddly enough, I did not fancy them because I am not a fan of cable knits. It didn't take long, however, and I really wanted to give them a try after seeing so many people having knit them too and looking good with them. So here is the result!

The original ones by Christina Slattery are longer and a little narrower than mine. I only completed three diamond patterns and used the thumb gusset from Nereid fingerless gloves instead, keeping it shorter too. They are perfect for me this way! Ideally, they are nice to wear both indoors on a cold day or outdoors in the in-between seasons (fingerless doesn't cut it for me in winter, I fear). They are quickly done in a day or two - unless you are lazy like me and get easily bored by too many repeats.

  • 1 skein Fabiani Balu
  • 3 mm DPNs
  • cable needle
  • Doctor Who DVDs for company
As you can see below, the palm side curls a little bit if only knit stitches are used. The original pattern suggests ribbing, which is probably a good idea unless you do not mind the curling. The wrist warmers are comfortable either way.