Summer Knitting

Glancing over at my knitting basket, I can’t help noticing it’s taken on a distinctly summery feel.


I wouldn’t ordinarily have said I knit seasonally, as I am still making wool sweaters and heavy cabled things, but lately I have been craving softer, lighter colors, cotton and linen, and finer gauge yarns. I can also count on the summer for a major boost of start-itis, with three new cast-ons included (so far).


The first is a shrug that begins with a square lace panel constructed from the center out (I will sew that hole shut in finishing). It’s intriguing to watch the lace pattern build organically, and I’m looking forward to figuring out how to convert the pattern to be as fully seamless as possible.


Next is Lepidoptera, which I will admit I cast on in a total impulse because I couldn’t resist the beautiful soft pink yarn wound up in a cake after I used a bit of it to finish the candy pink Featherweight sweater I’ve been working on for years. I love the look of this pattern, and I know I will eventually enjoy working on it, but because the two lace panels are knit with two strands of yarn held together and there is an expanse of one-strand stockinette in between, one winds up juggling three balls of yarn at a time. I haven’t mastered the maneuvering yet, so this project is neither particularly easy or portable. I can’t help wondering why it wasn’t designed with two strands held together throughout, but I’m sure time will tell.



Lastly, a pair of Catnip Socks, a beautiful free pattern by Wendy Johnson that I have had queued since 2010, knit in this soft green hand-painted yarn that I love fanatically. I was chiding myself for casting on new socks when I have been trying to focus on sweater-knitting and have a huge pile of finished socks that I haven’t blocked or photographed yet, but I was able to justify them by the fact that I work from home and my apartment gets frightfully cold in the winter (and autumn…and often spring). Like most New Yorkers, I am nuts about not wearing shoes indoors, so I wear socks and slippers almost every day – they might as well be hand-knit, right?

These socks also gave me the opportunity to participate in my favorite sock-knitting group on Ravelry again, and I hadn’t realized just how much I missed the community and camaraderie there until I logged back in and poked around. When I saw the July-August challenge is lace, I entered some kind of fugue state where my hands were winding the yarn and pulling out needles automatically.

And on the theme of community, I have finally set up an Instagram account just for my knitting and crafts: @vickiliciousknits. I hope you’ll hop over and say hello – I’d love to connect with fellow knitters and craft-obsessives!

False start

This is how much sweater I knit…

… before I realized I was making the wrong size.

I had calculated the gauge years ago using a much thicker yarn. While this size technically fits, it doesn’t fit well, so I’ve started over. I’m certain I brought it on with the hubris in my last post.

As a silver lining, I am glad that it gives me the chance to fix a few flubs I’d made in the very beginning. Fourth time’s the charm?

Two new cast-ons

In every aspect of my life, I have trouble finishing what I start. I could say a lot more about this, but since this is a knitting blog, I’ll just leave that as a fact.

Still, is there any thrill so great as starting a new project? I love gathering the materials, poring over the pattern again to anticipate the process, and finally getting the first few stitches going on the needles, knowing that at some point, all of it will transform from a pile of materials and pattern and ambition into an actual, knitted thing.

This is the beginning of the Diminishing Rib Cardigan by Andrea Pomerantz, from the spring 2009 Interweave Knits (my project is here on Ravelry). I’ve been wanting to knit this cardigan since I saw the preview more than a year ago, as it is exactly the type of sweater I like to wear over dresses and camis in the spring and fall.

I went with this magenta because I am absolutely obsessed with this color lately. It also goes nicely with a lot of my spring and fall clothes, and I think that saturated hues kind of transcend seasons, so I can get a lot of wear out of it.

I’m contemplating types of fasteners, and after reading the designer’s notes on this on her blog, I still haven’t decided, but I do think I’d like it to close at the waist.

The second new cast-on is probably very predictable for me, another pair of socks.

These are called Oh So Nikki socks, by Judy Sumner (PDF of the pattern here), another “underappreciated” pattern, for the SKA February challenge, which I described in my last post. My project page for these is here on Ravelry.

The name comes from a rather charming story related in the Designer’s Notes:

These socks were hiding in a container in my family room and I found them recently and said to myself “These are oh so Nikki!” Nikki is one of my twin granddaughters and she had requested “grandma socks with bright green and orange”
and these fit the bill and then some. I hope you have a Nikki in your life who will love them too.

Isn’t that sweet?? How could I resist?

It also doesn’t hurt that the stitch pattern is super easy, fast, and fun.

For such a simple pattern, I think it has a lot of visual impact, and I’m really enjoying this project!

I am still working to finish one of the socks from my January pairs, as well as that lace tunic and admittedly some things I haven’t even shown yet. I think I’m going to put some thought into how to get WIPs under control this spring…