Sunday, February 12, 2012

First Pemberley Slipper

I'm back on track!

With my knitting, not my blogging, obviously.

I just took myself in hand and focused on the slippers.  Well, to be honest, I do have a pair of plain socks on the go. But just as sock yarn doesn't count as stash a plain stockinette stitch sock doesn't count as a WIP.

First Pemberley slipper
I started the first slipper on Feb 2 and finished off yesterday, which was about a week of knitting once I got going.

It worked up quickly, in the end, probably because it's small.

It hasn't been terribly difficult, either. Really, the hardest part has been picking up along the wee heel flap.

The flap is only 20 rows and you pick up 16 stitches and I could not squeeze that number of stitches into the allotted space for the life of me.

So I ripped it out and reknit it with a garter edge, thinking that works so well for my normal heel flaps it would work here.
Pemberley slippers start
It did not.

So I reknit it regular and just did my darnedest to get the correct number of stitches. Still, I was glad the heel flap was just a few stitches over very few stitches. I must have knit it three times sitting at Library Knitting last Friday.

Pemberley progress

Turned out I wasn't picking up my stitches in quite the same way the designer recommends, but I got them picked up and that is all that matters. Once I conquered the heel flap it was pretty smooth sailing. By Monday, just three days later, I was almost done the foot.

Which is pretty speedy, if you ask me, even with the lace and intarsia.

One thing I think I'll change on the second slipper is how I'm working the edging. By instinct I was crossing the colors to the inside of the sock, which is in theory the wrong side.

After the first repeat it occurred to me the lace would be folding over and the crossings might be visible, but I decided not to go back. Now that the slipper is done I don't think the fold over is enough to see the crossing.

However, I do think it is effecting the way the lace lays.

I think the crossings being on the inside are making the lace more like to stand up and roll to the inside of the slipper.

My hope is that by crossing them to the outside the lace will be encouraged to roll to the outside and lay flat.

None of which effects the lace that crosses the toe. That is very perky and I'm not sure how I can pick it up differently on the second slipper to get it to lay flat. However, if the rest of the lace is rolling out that might pull the vamp lace along.

Another momentarily tricky part was when I finished the foot and was ready to start the toe. The pattern says to pick up stitches along the vamp edging (which is the lace bit that goes across your toes) and my working yarn was on the opposite end of where the lace was attached to the slipper.

I finally realized I had to fold the floating edge of lace across to meet my working yarn. This totally makes sense when you remember that you are going to start working in the round at this point.

Still, I was glad I hadn't cut any of the yarn ends at all in case I had to go back.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Distracted

I can feel my project monogamy slipping away!

My focus is being lost. Multiple projects are calling my name and I'm finding it hard to ignore them.

Despite all my big talk yesterday I haven't started the slippers yet. How quickly things change. Could it be the blogging? I looked at it too directly and caused it to shatter?

Instead of the slippers I was working on a nosewarmer.

I know. And they are as silly as they sound.

I made ones for my walking friend and myself last week when it was particularly cold. What? Cold weather in New England in January? Who would have thunk it.

Then I made one for my friend Mel out in Chicago because she had mentioned she wanted to be more active, but it was rather cold to be walking or jogging outside.

Well, she thought it was adorable and her husband got jealous and wanted one with a mustache.

So that's what I was knitting last night.

The other project that has been drawing my mental eye is a pair of fingerless mitts.

I made that Cable Brim Cap out of the Winter 2011/12 issue of Vogue Knitting. I used Juniper Moon Farm Chadwick yarn. It came out very cute.
I had about 33 grams of yarn left, which doesn't sound like much, but it's such lofty yarn it looks like a good amount. Anyway, I was thinking maybe I could use the leftover yarn to make matching mitts.

And, well, all that is keeping me from the slippers.

But I can salvage this.

The mitts are still just an idea. I can nip that in the bud.

All I have to do is go crochet a mustache and then nothing stands between me and the slippers.

Well, aside from giving Samson and Baru last outs and going to bed.

But at some point soon the slippers will be mine!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Joining in Pemberley Slipper KAL

You will not be surprised to hear that I follow knitters and crocheters on Twitter.

Really, who else are you going to follow?

Depending on how I came to their account, I might not make mental connections out their blogs or patterns I see in magazines (which I suppose defeats the purpose a bit).

Because of this I was pleasantly surprised to see Fiberfool tweeting about hosting a KAL for the Pemberley Slippers from the Jane Austin Knits magazine from Interweave Press.

That image up there is the official KAL image from her blog, which she said participants can use.

Back in November I took a pair of classes with Sally Mellville at the Elegant Ewe down in Concord.

They were good classes and since it was at a hotel up the street (it's a small shop) they cleverly had lunch back at the store. And a discount for class members. As I was waiting to check out with some sock yarn (of course) I saw the magazine on the counter, flipped through, liked the slippers, and bought the mag, too.

And promptly tossed it into a cabinet in my new desk and semi-forgot about it.

Well, with my new found theme of "knit it if you love it" (and I have been knitting, just not blogging, I have to work on that) joining the KAL seemed like a good idea.

In fact, right after I discovered the slipper KAL I discovered a KAL for Lucy Neatby's Sea Lettuce Scarf, which has been in my queue for quite a bit longer than the slippers.

The slipper KAL runs from Feb 1 to Feb 14 and the scarf KAL starts on Feb 29. It's like they planned it for me.

These struck me as two opportunities to have some guided KIFYLI projects. I mean, how else are you going to prioritize? If I was able to prioritize all this stuff wouldn't be languishing and I wouldn't have so many WIP/UFOs, right?


I was planning to use Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted yarn for the slippers. You might remember this yarn took a brief turn as the top for the Uncooperative Sweater but got frogged. I've been looking for a project for it.

Sadly, I swatched last night and was unable to get gauge. Well, I was unable to take the steps necessary to see if I could get gauge.

I swatched on US2s and it was rather tight. I got 6 sts/inch, which was short of the desired 8 sts/inch. Of course, since I was watching TV I went UP a needle size instead of down. After the second swatch was even further out I realized my mistake, realized it wasn't going to happen, and selected a new yarn.

I'm going with Ella Rae Lace Merino. The original, thinner version. I swatched that on US2 and got gauge no problem.


This opens up color opportunities. With the worsted version I was going to be bad and use a variegated yarn. It might be just as well it didn't work out.

With the Lace version I'm going to go two-tone, which is suggested in the pattern notes. I'm going to do a brown slipper body and green lace edging (since the edging is leaf shaped). This might be an easy selection, but I had too many options in stash and could have been dithering forever.

I read through the pattern this morning and was pretty sure I see where to do the color changes, which was confirmed by a quick post in the Designedly, Kristi Knitters Ravelry group. All indications are that we can race ahead in the pattern if we know what we're doing. I'll probably cast on and see how far I get. It will be interesting to see the discussion of the construction and get the extra guidance on the pattern.

It will also be interesting to continue the project finishing momentum!