I'm making good progress on my Christmas knitting, here is the first of Mum's socks, knitted in a honeycomb slip stitch pattern. I've turned the heel and am now working on the foot - the top is worked in honeycomb, the bottom in plain knitting, with stripes due to the yarn alternation. If you haven't done this slip stitch pattern before, it's worth while looking at close up to see how it works.
The pattern is created by using two yarns, here it is one row of black, one row of pink and another row of black to start. The variegated yarn adds an extra something, traditionally this pattern is done in two contrasting colours. After these three rows, you work the next 5 rows in the pink, slipping two of the black stitches at regular points in the row. In this picture you can see how these stitches are stretched. Then a row of black, pink, black and so on. Next time you put the slip stitches in between the previous ones to create the building block or honeycomb effect. It does pull in the fabric somewhat, so you need a higher stitch count. But it creates a thick, cosy fabric perfect for socks.
I'm also getting on well with the lacy jumper, and in this photo you can see all the patterning. Starting at the left, the big central panel is called Leaves, then there is a cable, followed by Wasp Wings, another cable and finally a pattern called Berry - this doesn't show too well in this photo but it does look like berries! The Artesano Alpaca yarn is a dream to knit with and the only problem I'm having is that I can't do it when the cat decides to sit on the sofa next to me as the long needles I'm using poke her in the back! Thankfully at this time of year the windowsill above the radiator is an attractive destination for her...
Finally, the Gansey. I finished the body and knitted the neck, after testing it out on the victim first. It fits perfectly, which is a relief!
So now I've started the sleeves, using a smaller circular Knit Pro wooden needle bought especially for the purpose. Only 44cm on each sleeve, I'm determined to get there by Christmas!