Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: Uncategorized

Cabled Socks and Gift Knitting

Thank you for all of your comments about my new pattern. If you decide to try it out, please let me know what you think! I’m working on two more sock patterns but they’ll be secret knitting until I get them right!

I have a half finished pair of socks to show you. I put this pattern together off the top of my head and now that it’s done, I think there are some things I would do differently. Nevertheless, here you have one cabled sock in Knit Picks Swish Superwash (Bordeaux).

Marly noticed that I was knitting on circulars and asked what I thought of using circulars instead of DPNs. Well, my dear Magic Loop friends, I hate circulars. I am begrudgingly knitting socks on one long circular because I have nightmares about poking little Miss Beatrix in the head with a stray DPN. She’s usually in my lap when I knit and I’m too scared to risk jabbing her so I’ve moved to a circular needle FOR NOW. I’ll be back to my dear double pointed needles when she’s a little older. Speaking of the little devil, here she is in her new Santa suit: I don’t even like Christmas but I couldn’t resist dressing my kid up as Santa. There is something wrong with me.

Speaking of the holidays, I’ve decided not to do any gift knitting this year. A three month old baby is a great excuse, but I’m considering rethinking the annual flood of gift knitting. We have a tradition of only gifting handmade items so for the last 7 years, that’s meant knitted items from me. However, I have decided that, in the future, I will only knit for people who are genuinely excited about handknits. Too often, I’ve gifted a pair of mittens or socks to relatives and I can tell immediately that the items will not be used at all. This doesn’t offend me the first time – after all, how would I have known that X wouldn’t like handknit socks? Who wouldn’t wear handknit socks??? I simply try to remember who likes the handknit goodies and who doesn’t for the next year.

Needless to say, there are only a few family members who are excited about the handknits. I’ve been thinking that it would be nice to knit for those people throughout the year and occasionally send them socks or scarves instead of trying to squeeze every last bit of knitting time in before Christmas. That way, the relatives that don’t appreciate handknits don’t feel like I don’t love them as much because I didn’t spend hours knitting for them. Is this a hopelessly flawed strategy? Will I gift knit again this Christmas? We’ll see. I am capable of it, given my recent stash expansions (yarn prOn coming your way next week when all the loot arrives…)

How much gift knitting do you do? Are you bloggers frantically working away on holiday projects or do you take it easy and give other kinds of presents? I’m interested to see if there’s a Blogland consensus about gift knitting.


Poseidon Socks

Finished! Check them out! I’m naming the sock pattern Poseidon because of the lace wave pattern. You’ll find the pattern in the column on the right.

Up next? Some cabled socks using Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Bordeaux. I’m pleased to report that Swish is wonderful to knit with – a nice change from Essential.

Stay tuned for more socks!

New Lacy Waves Sock Pattern

So I’ve been working on a sock of my own creation this week. I plan on writing up the pattern because I like the lace waves but before I do, I’ll knit up a second pair to work out any kinks. When I wrote the pattern, I thought I’d rather knit a toe-up pair but frankly, I much prefer cuff-down socks. I’ll probably include both top-down and toe-up instructions in the pattern but I’ll stick to my cuff-down patterns, thank you very much. I’ve tried so many toe-up heels and I just don’t find them as durable as any top-down heel. Here are some previews. I apologize for the lame pictures. It was dark outside and I couldn’t get great light:

I used Knit Picks Essential sock yarn for this one. You can’t really argue with KP prices but I find the quality lacking with this particular line. The yarn is awfully splitty. The fabric feels nice but I didn’t really enjoy knitting with Essential. Unfortunately, I have four more balls to use – two in dark green and two in burgundy. My other complaint about Essential is that the color, Gulfstream, looks electric blue on the website but when it arrived, it looked more blue-green. I was going for the electric effect. Maybe I’ll dye my own to get the eye-searing blue I crave. When I showed Aaron the Gulfstream ball and explained it would be for socks, he asked if they would be socks to wear outside. Yes, Mr. Neutral Tones, socks to wear in public, thank you very much.

I am somewhat amazed that I am getting so much knitting done. My graduate work is not progressing as well as I would like. I attribute this to the fact that I cannot write while nursing, but I can knit. That’s just how it’s going to be for a little while longer. You can imagine how disappointed I am about this, right?

Finished Cable Twist Socks!

Thanks to all of you who commented about my Kitchener woes. I think I’ve figured it out. Enfin! I had hoped to get my second sock done on Sunday but we had a long weekend after a certain baby got her first round of vaccinations. *sigh* Check out the second toe (on left) :

No horns! I tried the Pink Lemon Twist tutorial but I could not figure it out. I’m not really content with simply tacking those corners down when I weave in my ends as a solution to the problem. So, in the end, the horn-free toe was achieved by following Theresa’s advice about only going through the first and last stitches once. I’m quite happy with it although I have no intention of going back to re-graft the first sock. I can live with a slight imperfection!

As for the rest of the sock, look how nicely the pattern comes out. I’m totally in love with it. I used an eye of partridge heel instead of the one suggested in the pattern because I prefer the lattice look.

And now for the action shots… You can’t knit socks without trying them on in shoes, can you?
Hey, there’s nothing as cool as white socks and black shoes, right? Just kidding – these shoes were closest at hand when I was taking pictures.
In other knitting news, I’m trying out Norwegian Purl with Continental knitting. With NP, the yarn is held in back. This allegedly makes ribbing fly by. I’m intrigued. Do any of you knit and purl this way? Do you have any strong opinions about it? This will be a long term project for me because I’m so impatient and often switch back to English purl because it’s easier and faster right now. My goal is to get good enough at the Norwegian purl to abandon my old method.

Finally, I have a Secret Pal update – check out the fuzzy baby yarn and pattern from my Secret Pal! I’ll be returning to baby knitting soon – as soon as I get this sock knitting out of my system!

Second Sock Syndrome Prevention

Thanks for your all of your comments on the Cable Twist Socks! I’m really smitten with them. I’ve finished the first one and I’m halfway down the leg of the second one. It knits so quickly because the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. Even though I’m using US2 DPNs, it’s a fast knit!

My only regret with this sock is the Kitchener grafting. I love the seamless look of the toe graft but I hate how I get points that stick out at either end of the toe. Do you see them? I’ve looked up tutorials and learned the setup steps to make it look cleaner but I still see a pronounced bump on each end. Do any of you master sock knitters out there have any suggestions on how to avoid the problem?

And here’s your oh-so-exciting progress picture on the second sock:
Now that I know how quickly these knit up, I want more pairs. *sigh* I have so many baby projects that I want to start but since B. is too small for many of her existing knits, I’m going to postpone the big baby knitting projects for now.

So what next? Another pair of cable twist socks? Or the Orchid Socks from craftaholic? Or the Hedera Socks from Knitty? Carin, my secret pal from SP8, gave me some Lang Jawool that I’d like to use soon – it’s calling me. So, I guess I’ll think about what comes next while I work away on the second Cable Twist sock.

Much to my horror, I’m discovering that knitting is one of the only activities that I’m still able to do. I haven’t started back to running yet for a host of reasons. First of all, Beatrix can’t go in the jogging stroller until 4 months (another 5 weeks) because of the head support issue. The only other time I can really run (baby-free) is at 5 p.m. when Aaron gets home from work and that seems to be her fussiest time of day when nursing is the only thing that satisfies her. We walk all over town every day but walking just doesn’t clear my head the way running does. I keep assuring myself that this is a very temporary situation but it’s still hard to take.

Secondly, I honestly think my brain checked out the day I delivered. I have such a hard time reading, concentrating and remembering really important stuff! I hope this is just postpartum brain. Everyone assures me that it goes away…


I’m waiting…