Sunday, 7 February 2010

Knit Love Club

Time for some Knit Love!

I mentioned back in August I think it was, that I had entered the ballot to get a space in the Socktopus Knit Love Club. I entered, won a space, and paid my club fee for the year - and last Monday, picked up my first package!

The way that it works is that we get 6 parcels a year, with luscious yarn and custom-designed patterns. There will be a package roughly once every 2 months, which gives me plenty of time to get the socks knit - especially as I can do a sock in a week when I put my mind to it.

So with no further ado, here is all the gossip on my first package. If you don't want to see any spoilers, don't go past the spoiler owls (aren't they cute?):

Knit Love Club Spoiler Shield

I had heard tales of shiny silver parcels containing yarn. But I had no idea that they were mirror-reflective shiny.

Knit Love Club 2010 - Parcel #1

The first pattern is called "Rumpled" and looks far more complex than it actually is to knit. The yarn is Alchemy Juniper - a yarn I had never used before and comes in the colourway "Rumpelstiltskin".

Alchemy Juniper - Rumplestiltskin

I adore the yarn. It's so soft and feels like knitting with velvet. I love the colourway too - it isn't one I would have chosen, but it's like sunshine. Knitting in the sun, it looks absolutely beautiful. If you want to read more about the Juniper yarn, there's a great article here. It's a slightly splitty yarn, but with care, it knits up wonderfully.

The pattern speeds along quite quicky too. It has twisted stitches, yarn overs, and it's a cuff-down sock with a heel flap and gusset. It's my first sock of that type, and so far it's gone quite fast.

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled WIP

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled WIP

I sped through the first sock in 2 days, getting to the heel flap but then managed to make a major boo-boo when starting the gusset. The pattern called for doing decreases on every other round, but I managed to miss the "Round 2" instructions and decreased on every row - giving me a gusset that would not fit as it was too steep. So I had about 10 rows that I needed to frog back but was scared to do - as I didn't want to drop stitches and was worried about having to rip the whole thing up and start again.

After some careful thinking about help from the group on Ravelry, I decided to try and carefully insert a lifeline about 10 rows back (on the row where I picked up the heel flap stitches) and run this all the way round so that I could rip back to this point and then pick my stitches up again. It was hard because I needed to pick a non-lace row, but also needed to choose a row where I hadn't done more decreases than I needed to - which left me with only that one point where I could do it.

It took forever to do, but there was a nice feeling of satisfaction when I was done. Makes me feel like I am improving as a knitter and that I needn't be as worried as I used to about things being beyond me.

I quickly completed sock 1 on Monday and have been on sock 2 since then. It's taken
me much longer to make good progress on sock 2 (always does, for some reason) but I should have it done within the next week or so. Here are my socks so far:

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled WIP

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled WIP

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled WIP

They need blocking, and hopefully that will help them fit a bit better on my leg. The fit around my ankles but are a bit tight - although the foot fit is fine. I love how well the flap and gusset fit.

The next pair of socks I want to make also feature a flap and gusset, although they are a toe-up pattern. I want to make a pair of Firestarter socks and I already have the yarn in mind.

Watch this space for more socky news :)

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