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!
It's early November and, as is traditional by now, I have a number of projects on the go. This is my knitting for doing with TV programmes which require my full attention such as Downton Abbey. Once you get past the border, it's stocking stitch all the way, on nice large needles. Most relaxing. This is Rivelin, using some stash wool. I haven't posted a picture of OH's gansey, but it is progressing, the back is completely done and I'm determined to complete the front this week. I also have a pair of socks on the needles for him.
This is part of my Mum's Christmas present - socks in a honeycomb pattern, not easy to see properly in this photo, but it's rather clever. One yarn is variegated, one black, such a clever use of colour. The pattern comes from the Knitter, it's called Electrify.
And this is also for Mum, a lacy jumper in the latest issue of Knitting magazine. It's done in Artesano Alpaca, which is lovely, and which I bought from Moss Stitch, who specialises in Artesano and Manos yarns.
And finally, this is for me, my local yarn shop in Crawshawbooth has just stocked the new SMC Select range and I fell in love with this. It will be sitting in a bag until my Christmas knitting is finished, honest!