My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

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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Second Camp Loopy Project

If it’s July (and it is — how did it get to be July already?) it is time for the second Camp Loopy Project! Here’s mine!

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This is Martina Behm’s Endless Rainbow, a really fun two-color garter stitch wrap. I am knitting mine from Shalimar Breathless in the Concord Grape and Fairy Dust colorways, using a U.S. size 3 needle.

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Most of the Endless Rainbows shown on Ravelry are using two colors with a lot of contrast. I thought it would be fun to knit a more subtle version, and so far I am liking it very much. There is enough contrast between the semi-solid Concord Grape and the variegated Fairy Dust so that it shows up, but the overall effect is quite subtle.

This pattern is a lot of fun to knit! There are long slogs of garter stitch as the piece grows, but they are broken up by the bits of contrast you insert every few rows. The little triangles of the variegated color are created by knitting back and forth and increasing on one end of the knitting, and Martina has a neat little trick with a crochet hook to bring the solid yarn not in use back to the end of the row after the triangle is created. She has even created a little video to demonstrate the trick — it is linked to in the pattern.

So I needed a crochet hook. Since the yarn I’m using is fingering weight, I needed a pretty small one. I dug this out of my knitting accessories:

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Isn’t it cute? The hook is 2.75mm and it works perfectly. What is also nice is that I can clip it onto my yarn keeper so it is always with the project!

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You can purchase this hook from The Loopy Ewe. And if you search for “mini crochet hook” on etsy, you’ll find ones for sale that are similar. I actually have several — they were sent to me as part of yarn club packages, and I’m sure I bought one or two myself. I keep one on my keyring because you never know when you’ll need a wee crochet hook!

WendyKnits Summer Mystery Shawl 2014

In case you missed the announcement, there is plenty of time to get your pattern and get ready for my summer KAL. The KAL starts July 12, and if you buy the pattern before the 12th, it is $3.00, going up to regular price of $5.00 on the 12th, the start date. You can purchase the pattern here. And there is already a lot of fun and conversation about the project going on in my Ravelry group here!

Loki is resting up for the holiday weekend.

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