February 8, 2019
It's been a while since I've knit a shawl with yarn of heavier weight than sport. Eleven years, in fact. I was somewhat surprised to even find suitable yarn in my stash when sign-ups for the Almina shawl test knit opened! I was drawn to the distinctive look of the cables in this pattern, and was delighted to find out they were easier to knit than they look! The pattern is intuitive enough that you only need to glance at the instructions every once in a while, and it's a fairly relaxing knit. Adjusting the size is also very easy; instructions for that are included in the pattern. It's written for worsted or aran weight yarn, but considering the nature of the pattern, you could work this in any weight you want and get any size. I used madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the colorway Charcoal for my shawl.
January 31, 2019
I only finished the warm-up socks for Sukka-Finlandia after two actual competition patterns, so the warming up part may have been completely lost on me, but they did offer a nice amount of challenge, nevertheless! The Elämän virta socks based on a pattern by Tiina Kuu were written for sport weight yarn, but I decided to go with the largest size and fingering weight yarn since I don't own a lot of heavier weight sock yarn. I was a little worried the cables would pull in the fabric so much the usually OK stitch count of 60 would be too little, but they do fit, especially after some blocking! My sock knitting gauge is needle-bendingly tight, and with 2.5 mm needles and fingering weight yarn I tend to get 32 stitches per 10 cm/ 4 inches. I suppose I could go up in needle size, but 2.75 mm feels signifigantly bigger than 2.5 mm, and also the ChiaoGoo Twist Minis only go up to 2.5 mm, I think. After I've gotten used to that supple cable and pointy needle tips, I'm hesitant to go back to other sock needles.
January 29, 2019
The second pattern in the Sukka-Finlandia sock knitting competetion is Aave by Heidi Alander. While the pattern has both lace and cables, the back of the leg is plain stockinette, and the heel a bit more straight-forward than in Jean Next Door. It still took me longer to finish, but only because I was working on other things simultaneously. Due to my tight gauge, the socks turned out slightly more snug than I expected, but this will probably help keep them from turning sloppy. One thing I can't stand is loose socks!