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.

Hip To Be Square

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about squares.

I’ve amassed an embarrassingly large amount of single skeins of a couple of different yarns for the express purpose of knitting squares, to be put together into a blanket, most likely.

So it was sort of serendipitous that I received this eBook the other day:

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This is A Knitter’s Gallery of Mitered Squares – 45 Unique Designs in Color, Texture and Lace by Jill Bigelow-Suttell & Jane Bigelow. It is available in both electronic and hard copy here.

As the title suggests, this is a collection of patterns for 45 mitered squares. You can see most of the patterns on the books’ Ravelry page here.

The book contains more than just the patterns for the squares, though. There is a brief description of how a mitered square is created, some explanation on how to read charts, and very useful information on joining squares together: how to pick up and knit a new square onto an existing square in different ways to achieve different shapes. And there are instructions for creating left and right-leaning triangles, as well a top triangle. Finally, some information on stacking squares, moving in different directions to achieve different results.

The patterns for the squares are organized by type: color, texture, and lace. There is a large, clear full-page photo of each square:

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This is followed by a full page chart for the knitting of that square. (All of the patterns are charted, not written out.) Each square has notes explaining how to adapt it — for example, if it can be worked over any odd number of stitches, or if it needs to be worked in multiples of 4, etc.

After the patterns for the squares themselves there are a few patterns for items that can be made from mitered squares.

Frosty Sunrise is a wrap made from a couple of the lace squares in alternating colors.

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Harvest Celebration is a table runner (that could easily be converted into placemats) that combines squares with a border.

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Misty Valley is a simple vest design that demonstrates how stunning mitered squares can be incorporated into a garment.

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Aurora Night is an all-square vest: clever placement creates armhole and neck shaping.

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Once again, I’ve been authorized to host a give-away for a copy of this e-book. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of  A Knitter’s Gallery of Mitered Squares – 45 Unique Designs in Color, Texture and Lace, please leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. A winner will be chosen at random from the comments posted.

Speaking of winners, the winner of last week’s giveaway of Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith is Robin, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Meanwhile at home, I finished my Mighty Mini Scarf last Friday.

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And Loki is doing what he does best:

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Big Foot Knits

I have in my possession a review copy of the e-book Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith. It is available in both e-book and hard copy — the link up there is to the book on Ravelry. You can also order either version from the publisher, Cooperative Press.

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The book contains twelve sock patterns for larger feet, but it is so much more for the knitter who has larger than “average” feet. It is a mathematical masterpiece of how to properly measure your feet and legs, figure out the toe and heel shapes that fit you the best, and then adapt patterns to fit your individual feet.

The book starts with a “plain vanilla” sock pattern in both top-down and toe-up versions.

Next, you are taught how to measure your feet. There are many different points where you should take a measurement, and these are all shown with illustrations.

There is a very cool chart that show different shaped feet and legs so you can choose the configuration that best matches each of your feet.

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Then you are presented with a “personal measurements chart” that you can print out or photocopy depending on whether your book is electronic or hardcopy. Enter all your measurements and variables on this chart.

There is a chapter on gauge and why it is important for socks. More charts here — “cheat sheets” on negative ease and a chart where you can enter your gauge after knitting a swatch as directed.

The next chapter is about shaping your sock and includes details on many different increases and decreases, with a lot of excellent information on the rate of increase and decrease you need to use, along with detailed charts.

There’s a chapter on cuffs, one on heels, and one on toes. The toe chapter is particularly interesting as it explains how to create sock toes to fit a variety of toe-shapes.

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The next chapter contains a complete, detailed worksheet for you to create your own custom sock pattern. And there is a chapter on incorporating different stitch patterns into your sock.

Then come the original patterns. As I said, twelve of them. You can take a look at the pattern photos on Ravelry — they are all lovely, and they are beautifully photographed with really cool shoes!

Each pattern is written in three different sizes (generally around 10, 11.5, and 13″ circumference but there are some variations), and if that weren’t enough, each one has charts and worksheets to help you further customize the fit. The sample socks are all made from popular easy-to-find sock yarns.

All in all, a very impressive treatise on the sock for the larger foot!

I have been authorized to give away a copy of the e-book. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this fantastic book, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am eastern time on Sunday, July 20, 2014. A winner will be chosen at random at that time.

Meanwhile . . .

I am working along on my Mighty Mini scarf. At this point I am on the 18th repeat. The pattern directs you to knit a total of 21 repeats, but it looks like I’ll still have some yarn left over. I’m betting I can get a few more repeats out of it.

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The yarn (Blue Moon Fiber Arts Worthy fingering weight) is just gorgeous. While it is listed as fingering weight, but I think it is at the finer end of fingering. In fact, at first I wondered how well it would look knitted up in this pattern, but the more I knit, the more I liked it.

Loki sez:

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“All that loud knitting is keeping me awake!”

 

 

Endless Rainbow

I finished my Endless Rainbow this past week:

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Knit from Shalimar Breathless in the Concord Grape and Fairy Dust colorways, I used a U.S. size 3 needle and knit 37 repeats.

I took it to work to lay it out on the floor without kitty intervention:

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It’s nice and big and is going to be very cozy next winter!

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On the Needles

A couple of months ago I bought two skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Worthy, a lovely cashmere/silk blend.

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I started this:

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This is Mighty Mini, a scarf designed by  Rachel Henry. I am between one-third and one-half done at this point and am enjoying myself thoroughly!

Loki sez:

“Is it for me?”

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A Huge FO

I have a huge FO to share with you today:

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Okay, maybe it’s not that big . . .

A wee mouse, knit for one of Loki’s online pals. I used some Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Lucky colorway that was leftover from the T-Rex I knit a couple of months ago. It took me two lunch breaks to knit.

I used my own pattern that is part of my Projects for Leftover Sock Yarn pattern. This is a great pattern for a cat toy (if I do say so myself) because it is knit in the round and there is no sewing, therefore there are no seams, and therefore it is a more sturdy toy that will better stand up to some rough play.

I used a U.S. size 1 needle to make a nice firm fabric, and I stuffed it with a combo of polyester fiberfill and catnip.

Loki feigns indifference.

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In other knitting news, my Endless Rainbow is almost done. I’ve decided to bind off after 37 repeats. Said bind-off should occur later tonight.

and the Mystery Shawl KAL starts this Saturday! you still have time to buy the pattern at the reduced pre-KAL price!

Life is a Mystery

This summer, my life will be a mystery. As I have announced in the past couple of blog posts, my Summer Mystery Shawl KAL starts in a few days, on July 12. If you are thinking about joining in but haven’t bought the pattern yet, I encourage you to do so before the start date of July 12 — the pattern is now available for the reduced price of $3.00. On July 12 the price goes up to $5.00.

There is a lot of fun discussion in my Ravelry group right now about this project — everyone is introducing themselves, talking about yarn selection, asking and giving advice, etc. Come join in on the fun!

My Mystery Shawl project will run through the rest of the month of July (see the pattern page for details).

The mystery doesn’t end there! I will embark on another mystery on August 1:

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My very first project in collaboration with Craftsy: I designed and will host Craftsy’s August Mystery KAL! I am very excited to be working with Craftsy on this project. If you are a member of Craftsy and get emails from them, you were likely notified about this KAL via email today. Here is the email message:

I’m author and knitwear designer Wendy Johnson ofWendyKnits, and I’m so excited to be hosting Craftsy’s August Knit–Along! I’m saving the pattern details until the reveal, but I can tell you we’ll be making two projects for the first time in Knit–Along history! The first is a stylish accessory that will teach you useful techniques, and the second is a cute surprise that makes a great gift!

We’ll be using two soft skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash, the perfect pick for vibrant, easy–care projects! You can choose from five radiant colors: Como Blue, Aran, Turtle, Silver Grey or Charcoal.

These designs are the perfect way to practice increases, decreases and I–cord edging. Bring your basic knit and purl skills, and I’ll walk you step–by–step through both projects for fabulous results!

The cool thing about this KAL is that you will learn techniques with the first project, and then use those newly-learned skills as you knit the second project. You will learn an easy provisional cast-on, how to knit in the round on two circular needles, and how to create a decorative i-cord edging.

Right now Craftsy is offering the class (which includes two skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash) at a reduced price: $24.99. Hop on over to sign up — I think we are going to have a lot of fun!

Meanwhile at Camp

I am making great progress on my Camp Loopy project — the Endless Rainbow wrap.

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I am currently on the 33rd repeat and I joined in my second skein of the main color a couple of repeats ago. I think I will go ahead and make this a bit bigger than he pattern directs since I have plenty of yarn.

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Loki is waiting for me to get off the computer and spend some time with him. Who am I to argue?

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