My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Socktacular

My new sock is coming along very nicely.

sip041507 Socktacular

Carol asked:
The sock yarn is lovely. You don’t think it will felt, do you?

A very good question, and it reminded me that I neglected to mention that this yarn is handwash only. So if I were to throw it in the washer, it might very well felt.

Will it felt with wear? I’m betting not. I’m actually knitting it at 9 stitches to the inch, which makes for a very firm, sturdy fabric. I think it will stand up nicely to wear.

Shirley in PA commented:
By the way, your new sock yarn is hand wash and dry. What will you do? You could always send me the socks and I will wash and dry and wear them for you. icon smile Socktacular

Ain’t she thoughtful? Thanks, Shirley, I’ll keep that in mind. icon wink Socktacular

Another sock question, from Regenia:
I’ve been hearing good things about the Panda Cotton since it came out, but haven’t yet gotten to see (or touch) any. How would you compare it to something of similar composition such as Fixation?

Warning! Strong opinion ahead! Warning!

My only experience with Cascade Fixation is that I bought a couple of balls of it, thinking I ought to try it. I knit a swatch with it and hated it. Hated it. H-A-T-E-D it.

(Did I mention I hated it?)

I found to too thick and heavy and textured for socks. I know a lot of people like it, but it’s not for me.

The Panda Cotton, on the other hand, is much finer and to my mind, much softer. It’s not exactly the same composition because it has some bamboo in it. Perhaps that’s what adds the softness. While it was not my favorite sock yarn to knit — you do have to pay attention so you don’t split it — it was a pleasant knitting experience and I really love the socks.

The Clown Miter Sweater

I really enjoyed hearing all your views on the miter sweater and I can certainly appreciate that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Here’s the back, complete.

miter041507 Socktacular

Little triangles form the back neck shaping.

miterneck041507 Socktacular

As I said, I haven’t decided yet if it is a clown sweater. I do very much like the look of it at this point, but it’s hard for me to visualize just how busy it will be when it is complete. Only time will tell. But I am certainly enjoying the heck out of knitting it.

And now I’m obsessed with miters.

Book Giveaway

The copy of Strange Affair goes to Elaine P-P. Elaine, I’ve emailed you!

Maltese Shawl Revisited

The Maltese Shawl I completed a few weeks ago has gone to its new home.

gala041407 Socktacular

This is my sister-in-law, Gala (married to my brother, Dave). Doesn’t she look fabulous?

Speaking of Fabulous

lucy041507 Socktacular

Lucy spends some quality time with her baby chick.

Comments

  1. The miter sweater is speaking to me. It says: What about edge banding in a solid color, like black, or cobalt blue, for instance? To contain and set off the shimmering color blocks, so to speak.

    Words can’t add anything to the Maltese shawl. Wooooow it looks good on her. Lucky sister-in-law.

  2. When I first saw the mitered sweater (in its beginning stages – I didn’t realise what size that the squares would turn out as) I wasn’t so sure, but now I can see it really coming together and it looks very vibrantly earthy! Tree bark, green leaves and grasses, and the little shot of blue for the forest streams. (Okay, that all sounded better in my head, but that’s the image it conveys.) I can’t wait to see its completed form!

  3. I hate Fixation, too. Blech. I should cull it…

    The shawl looks fabulous in its new habitat! :)

    Hee hee – now, does Lucy think that’s one of the baby chicks from Heifer International??

  4. The Maltese Shawl is amazing! So very beautiful and your SIL in one lucky woman!

    PS: I’m right there with you on the Fixation.

  5. Maltese is just gorgeous! Lucky Gala.

    Aw, Lucy and her chick are adorable. Mack has a little tiger that he carries around by the scruff; I find it sitting next to the food bowl, tucked into one of the kitty beds, snoozing on the bathroom rug…

  6. Ah. I was wondering how that would work up into a sock. But, I am only a novice, then; so… It looks very nice; melon-y, even! I like it. And I like the miter sweater so far. I can’t wait to see the finished sweater.

    My next socks I knit I will have to make green.

  7. Fixation isn’t my favorite thing to knit. But this summer when I was on vacation and doing a lot of walking, the socks were quite cushiony and comfortable. So, on balance, I’m glad to have them. Fixation will never be the core of my summer knitting, but I’m not going to rule out ever using it again.

  8. Maltese is gorgeous on Gala! Congratulations, Gala, on scoring something so awesome from Wendy!

    And those socks? So totally melony. :)

  9. Aw, who cares if it’s a clown sweater or not? (Personally, I say no, if my opinion matters here.) If you love it, then wear it. I’ve produced a couple… um… shall we say questionable sweaters over the years, and I adore them and wear them. The point of hand-knitting is to produce unique garments, right? Right??

  10. Will ya look at that completed back?!? I absolutely love it. (Sorry to gush)

  11. I agree with you about the Panda Cotton. I am knitting a pair of sock with this yarn … I think it is really good for summer socks because the sock feels cool on the feet … I mean really cool. Though it is not very thin, but good enough.

  12. Wow. Thank you so much for showing off our yarns! This is the first chance I’ve had to reply. We’re so busy filling orders. Never doubt the Power of The Wendy!

    I’ve been wearing socks made out of Froebe Fibers for about 4 months now, and haven’t had a problem with felting. Then again, I never throw my hand-knits in the washer. Too many bad experiences.

    They haven’t felted on my feet though. :)

    Thanks again!

  13. You might consider knitting the sleeves of your miter sweater in a solid color. I have made a couple of the “Caddy’s Cardigan” pattern from Sally Melville’s Styles book to use up yarn scraps. Solid sleeves really tone down the “loud” body. I can drag one out of the cedar chest if you want to see a picture.

  14. I know you’ve probably covered this before, but I’m new to your blog….when I make my toe up socks the toes are always pointy. Yours are not. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

  15. Wendy dear, your work is simply wonderful, elegant, and so inspirationsl. I love, love, love, the green mitered jacket. I thing the finishing should be in a neutral or a neutral green. Your favorite one is usually the best way to go though, you’ll alway be happy with it. I am such a color freak, so happy to comment on color choices. Thanks for the opportunity. Pet the cat for me, kitty is a sweetie, great photo op, great pic.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Apropos of nothing… Joann’s Fabrics is having a 50% off sale on their Ott Lights (my Joann’s, at least). I had only vaguely considered getting one before this, but it seems that everyone that has an Ott Light raves about it, so I got one. Not sure how I feel about it yet; it has to double as a desk lamp, and I am not used to having that much light at my desk!

    Elizabeth

  17. Oh, she’s so lucky! What a great gift.

    Could not agree more on your Fixation opinions…

    Lucy! You’re so cute! I think she should get her own little mittered square jacket too.

  18. The mitred squares sweater reminds me of one of those Magic Eye puzzles! I feel like if I stare at it long enough, a really cool image will be revealed. :D

  19. i think… had the squares been larger, it WOULD look a little clown-y, but at this size they look kind of delicate, almost mosaic-like. i think you’re going to have a fantastic, glowing kind of sweater/jacket when you’re done.

    since you mentioned liking the panda, but that it’s not your favorite, what IS your favorite sock yarn to work with? i’m always on the look-out for something better and softer for my toes!

  20. I love to knit socks toe-up – I convert all my patterns thusly. But: when working that last double-wrapped stitch I continue on around the circumference. Is this the way it’s supposed to proceed? Seems I should be returning to the start and then working around but if I did that, one side would have an extra row. Instead I work the wrapped stitch and feel like I am running over the stitch. This happens to me in stockinette and garter stitch toe/heel. What do you think?

  21. Kathy in NoVA says:

    *Does* Gala have *ANY* idea how lucky she is! Manohman! That’s generous.

  22. Lynne E. says:

    It’s not a clown sweater, because your color sense is excellent. However, it’s not something that I would be likely to buy as a readymade. In a retail store, I would admire it, and put it back. Where will you wear it? I have an expensive patchwork skirt, purchased in the sixties, that has been moved from Kentucky to Ohio to California, but worn only once. That’s the fate of much patchwork clothing, I think. Not that it matters, if you’re having a ball during the knitting process!

  23. oh can ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME??
    I came across this site as I am looking for a pattern out of an old issue of work Basket for slippers.. (garter stitch slippers that fold over at the ankle).. can ANYONE help me?
    Thank you dearly!
    Judy
    jlp226@sbcglobal.net

  24. It looks like the shawl is a perfect match for your sister-in-law! You must really like her, ’cause that’s a lot of work …

    Ah, Lucy and her baby chick – I hope the chick is behaving … ;-)

  25. Wendy- Those socks would make me crave canteloupe every time I wore them- and I don’t even like canteloupe!

    Your SIL looks divine- lucky girl!

  26. Socks are lovely, rather more canteloupe than honeydew, which is how I’d want it if they were mine. (Cantaloupe rules, honeydew drools.) Your SIL looks warmly, graciously regal in the shawl. Excellent choice with her hair and complexion. Miter sweater is interesting — in a good way — and nicely balanced in terms of hues and values. Right now I’d tend to agree with the “plain sleeves” and “plain band or border” comments. Maybe a dark, rich brown?

  27. *drooling over the miters* This is sooo not a clown sweater. It looks earthy (like Rhian mentions) but somehow elegant. How you do the sleeves and any borders depends on your taste, but in my case I would tend to go with solid or nearly solid sleeves. Note, however, that I am a very reserved person when it comes to dress. One of the things I love about socks is that I can be wildly dressed and very few people will ever notice. :)

  28. I love the colours in your new sock!

  29. your SIL is a lucky lady to receive such a wonderful gift! the shawl looks great.

  30. I’m working on some socks in Esprit (elann’s version of Fixation) right now. I’ve made lots of socks with it, and I really like it. My feet are always cold and a bit arthritic, so extra cushioning is good. Will I be drummed out of the knitting sorority now?

    I think your miter is more like stained glass. Your lace is… adjectives fail me, and Lucy is as splendidly feline as always.

  31. The shawl looks fabulous. Cascade Fixation does have a good use: baby hats. That’s about it, though!

  32. ChristyH says:

    I love the colors of the newest sock!

    I totally agree with about Cascade Fixation. My firned and I both bought some for me to knit socks for both of us. I knit hers first and I used my foot for the template. The yarn hurt my feet and I felt that it was too hard. I knit my yarn into socks for my dd.

    Christy

  33. I’m not sure I’d go for the mitered sweater myself but I think it would make a really funky cardi! I probably won’t be knitting any hand wash socks. I wear my socks without shoes all the time and I can just imagine the felted mess that would occur. As for Cascade Fixation, I love my socks light weight with firm fabric so I doubt I’d use it for socks. Some other form fitting garments? Maybe. But not socks.

  34. These socks are good enough to eat!

    And of course, Gala? Way lucky.

    Can’t wait to see the rest of the sweater….

    Speaking of cotton yarn for socks, are there any that you like that don’t have elastic? Since I’m allergic, that’s absolutely non-negotiable for me, alas. Cotton blends, I imagine, but which ones….

  35. Two very beautiful gals…lucky Gala and sweet Lucy!
    Your sock is cool! (so are the triangles on the miter sweater…)
    (((hugs)))

  36. I just wanted to pipe up and say that I do not think your mitered sweater reads as clownish at all. Such a thing certainly could, but I think you did a good job of choosing colors, and they cooperate, rather than competing with each other for attention.

  37. Lucy and her bedroom eyes… *snort* I swear she makes love to the camera.

  38. Boy, when I saw the completed back, I immediately thought, “Wow, that would look great with solid brown arms and a zipper front.” Kind of like a letterman’s jacket, you know? That was even before reading your post….love it!

  39. WOW! The shawl is just beautiful! I hope that Gala knows how fortunate she is to receive such a wonderful and heart made gift. Before I learned to knit, I was always trying to give hints to my Mom and my Mother-in-law (both are wonderful and expertise knitter’s) to make me something, instead of buying gifts for birthdays, etc., all I wanted was a handmade knitted anything. Well, I finally learned to knit, enough said. Lucy is just as adorable as can be! Happy knitting!

  40. I too am digging the mitered sweater. It looks rather like a mosaic, as alice said. The dark squares really pop out in their diagonals; I realize that the pattern was largely random, with the one-bag, two-bag process you described, but it works, and I’m with Ria, who says that it’s like a Magic Eye. I intentially did the ‘make your eyes go out of focus’ thing to try and pick out a magic eye picture. One didn’t emerge (to me), but I never could make out the images in those 3-D pictures until after I read what they were supposed to be anyway, then I could see it just fine. I could see that there was an image, I just couldn’t make out what they were.

    Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about the baby chicks running gag! Way to go on Chris for remembering the running gags.

  41. Hi Wendy: I agree with you on the Panda Cotton! Nice to touch, nice and stretchy – but boy does that baby split. I don’t have it on my re-purchase list at all.

    Your sister-in-law gained a family heirloom! Your Maltese shawl is beautiful.

    Lucy is just a cutey pie!

  42. A cardigan might make the sweater less “clowny”, (not that I’m saying it’s at all clowny), because an open expanse of a solid-colored shirt between the two front flaps would break it up a bit. Perhaps with a solid-colored i-cord edging all around? Just a thought….

    I think it’s a lot of fun to look at, actually….

  43. Oh, and I’m not a big fan of Fixation, either.

  44. Finally a baby chick picture!!! (or did I miss one a while back?)

  45. Love the colors of the sock. So spring/summery. Now if we could just get the warm weather to go with it. :)

  46. I agree with sanni and would go one step further. What about both neckband and sleeves in one solid color (still in miters)? I think it would keep it from being too busy. If I remember right, it’s going to be a pullover – but don’t know if you said it would be short or long sleeve. In either case, if you did a solid sleeve, you could do miter hem with the multi colors to tie it all together.

    Obviously, it would be a design element that might not be in your vision – bit if it seems busy after you get the front completed – it would be an idea.

  47. Kathie Sarmina says:

    When you first started the squares and mentioned putting the brown and green together I remember thinking “eh, not for me” – but now that I see the colors all together like that – wow. Very nice. Reminds me of the woods.

  48. Theresa in Italy says:

    I love that mitered sweater more every time I see it. I’m not even sure it would need a solid color section anywhere to tone it down—the colors you’re using are rich and muted—but that’s me.

    Gala does indeed look fabulous—that’s the word!—in her Maltese shawl.

    And Lucy and her baby chick seem to be happy together!

  49. Fixation is good for summer footies if you want to run around the house and not go barefoot but in softness there is no comparison, the Panda wins hands down. Having said that, I confess I have a lil obsession with koi – I always wanted to live in a house with a koi pond out back. I’ve cross stitched koi and needlepointed koi…and when I discovered Fixation just came out with a new colorway called Koi you know I had to have it :)

    Did you know crystal palace has another new sock yarn coming out much like the Panda Cotton but with CORN fiber instead of the bamboo and a bit higher % of elastic if I recall.

    I wasn’t so crazy about your new sock yarn in the skein, it’s was just ok. Now that I see it knit up, wowser! I’m in LOVE! :)

    I like the clown sweater cause it’s unique and happy looking and I think you’ll enjoy wearing it so much.

  50. I am loving the Miter Sweater! It reminds me of a dress my mother had in the 70′s and handed down to me that was killed (the dress that is) by a washing machine. Just the body was multi-colored and the skirt, cuffs, and neck were solid. So, I agree with Sunni about creating a solid border, it really pulls things together nicely. Also, I think this sweater would be absolutely lovely as a light jacket with a lining and zipper-front. Just my two cents.

    P.S. Your sister-in-law looks so elegant. The Maltese Shawl is perfect on her. Now I kind of want to try making one! :)

  51. I like the look of your mitered sweater. I have not yet done mitered squares (to be remedied, I hope, later in the year), and I wondered if it would have been possible to leave live stitches at the neck edge for picking up later. One reason I’m curious is that I’m working on an entrelac sweater that has a similar feel (a kind of patchwork appearance), and I have left live stitches at the back neck and shoulders using short rows as described in the current IK. The front is shaped like yours, and I wanted to leave live stitches there also, if I could. I thought I’d figure it out when I got there.

    The shawl is sensational.

  52. Shawl looks fantastic, lucky SIL!
    I enjoyed seeing the old Swedish embroidery in the background ‘Egen härd är guld värd’ (Home sweet home), a classic :-)

  53. Hi Wendy and Lucy!,
    For you miter sweater, what if you made a solid front for the sweater with perhaps miter sleeves and a miter border along the bottom. That way it would just be funky and not be dubbed the clown sweater.

  54. I’m glad to hear that there is such a vast difference between Fixation and Panda Cotton. I normally don’t mind a yarn being splitty.

    I tried a pair of socks with Fixation when it was the only thing available for socks in my area- before the sock craze hit, and got about two inches of leg done before my hands were itchy. I’m allergic to latex and this causes problems with some lycra/ spandex blends… It even makes finding jeans difficult. I read that someone else in the comments has a similar problem. I wonder if the PC would cause such a reaction….

  55. Oh my word! The shawl (and recipient) is lovely! I myself love the sweater.

  56. Pretty sock! How did you cast on for it? I’d like to try toe-up socks some time soon, too, and you’re the first knitblogger I’ve seen who does this on dpn’s.

  57. Also hate fixation because it hurt my feet to walk on the stitches. Have you found any cotton or cotton blend sock yarn that does not stretch out look nasty be the end of the day?

  58. Your footsie is a vision of summer with that melon colored wonderful sock on it! And your Sister-in-Law looks absolutely beautiful with your shawl on – a vision of loveliness. Love to Lucy!

  59. I can understand and appreciate your opinion of Cascade Fixation. It’s not great for pattern details but I think it has it’s place. I’ve used the Elann version a few times for my dad who’s wool-allergic and for kids who love the hand-knits but wear them rather hard.

    I find it very frustrating when I knit a pair of socks and they felt. It’s happened a few times and usually with gifted socks. The person who got the socks always feels so bad about it. You mention that the Froebe yarn is handwash but shouldn’t felt from wear. I’m just wondering how you can tell. I stay away from sock yarn that’s not superwash because even if I handwash, the socks often felt with wear. What an I doing wrong?

  60. The Maltese Shawl is beyond lovely and Gala is a lucky woman! The beautiful mitered sweater – I think that when it is finished it will be totally wonderful, and it’s going to be one of those garments that takes on a completely different personality when viewed from more than a few feet away. Up close, the garter stitch ridges, the miters and the colors all attract the eye, but back away from it and my guess is that it will seduce the viewer in other ways.

  61. For what it’s worth I like the miters. My question in about the newest sock. Is it pooling like that or are those really wide stripes? Either way it looks great and I love the spring colors.

  62. Your SIL looks wonderful in the beautiful shawl; just lovely. And Lucy looks adorable with her chick. (I agree that Lucy makes love to the camera! She’s a real Vogue model fer shure!)

  63. If you like it – and your wearing it – then who cares what others say!

    Enjoy your sweater and making it!

    Gia

  64. A few weeks back you made a sock using Lucy Neatby’s Garter Stitch Short Row Heel… which is one of my faves for toddler socks! Being as lazy as I am, any heel that I can whip through and not fuss over is grand, and I tend to do this heel on the kid’s socks to help with wearability longevity. Any feedback to share (even negative, as long as you say why you don’t like it)

  65. I really like the way your mitered sweater is coming out, looking forward to how you are going to do the neckline on the front. The maltese shawl is gorgeous.

  66. What a fabulous Lucy photo yesterday!!

    I definitely don’t think the sweater looks clownish. Although, it is always hard to say what a project is really going to look like until you put it on. I love the little hints of blue. Draws the eye.

  67. The shawl looks perfect on Gala! I bet she is delighted to have you for a sister-in-law. I really like the edging on that shawl.

    I think Lucy would just like some private time with her baby chick away from the prying cameras.

  68. You could do the sleeves in plain stockinette, maybe big wide stripes, or narrow ones if the colours are close, so it looks shaded. That would tone it down a bit. There’s a lot going on, with the texture, the colours, the shadings….sleeves are a great way to calm the senses and keep the body the focal point :)

  69. Oh, what a lucky girl Gala is! That is my favorite shawl. It’s just gorgeous!

  70. Denise in Kent, WA says:

    The mitred sweater is beautiful. If you decide it’s too busy to wear, you should definitely find a way to display it as an art piece.

    I’m not a fan of Fixation, either; I’ll probably end up using the little bit I have in my stash for a pair of bed socks.

    P.S. Lucy’s expression seems to say, “It’s about time you got me a chick!” Tee hee.

  71. I wonder if the new socks will felt on the bottom? I notice that mine do quite a bit, even at a small gauge, but I was informed by the gals who get most of my handmade socks that those ones are their favorites–they fit their feet perfectly. Now they want me to knit them more that felt on the bottoms.

  72. How about a relative birthday present? Since I got you nothing this year, if I get you something, that would be a massive step up and then I’d get a pretty stole, right?

    The B.O.W.

  73. The Maltese Shawl is gorgeous and it looks just right on your sister-in-law.

    Lucy is as fabulous as always.

  74. Hi Wendy,

    I’m making my first sock in twenty years – and I’m using your generic toe-up sock pattern. In fact, my sock is as about as big as your pictured sock!

    I’m almost at the point where I have to decide if I’m “about 2 inches away from the finished length” so I can start turning the heel. I’m assuming that’s two inches from the end of my heel.

    At least I can try it on as I go, and if I’m mistaken, rip it out and start over. I’m loving your pattern so far! (I’m using Koigu KPPPM in a colorway that reminds me of spring violets in the woods.)

  75. It’s not a clown sweater unless you put a giant floppy collar on it and start doing tricks.

    I made a square-ish sweater similar to that, out of granny squares. Each square had the outer row of the same color of greyish brown, and then I crocheted them all together and did the sleeves, button band, etc. in that color. It doesn’t look clownish at all. I wear it with a solid-color turleneck or a plain dress.

  76. Your mitred sweater might not look so much like a clown sweater if you knitted the sleeves in a solid brown mitre… What think yee???

  77. Or even a solid green sleeve??

  78. I love seeing the sweater develop. I think it’s one of those projects whose real beauty won’t show until it’s completed and on a body. The neck shaping is a stroke of genius–love it!

  79. The Maltese positively floats around Gala. Both are lovely!:)

  80. Your shawl is truly lovely! It has inspired me to do a rectangular one. Thanks!

  81. Wendy, how did you like the foam squares for blocking ? Maybe I missed it but I didn’t read anything on that.

    Is it easy to stick your T-pins on the foam ?

    Thanks!

  82. Personally, I’m loving the mitered sweater AND the melon socks. Divine! The sweater will be gorgeous when done – I’m sure of it. I lvoe the way all the little squares move one’s eye over the fabric.

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