December is here! We are getting scarily close to Christmas. I hope all of you who are knitting or crocheting gifts this year are merrily casting off and preparing to wrap everything up ready for December 25th!
I haven't done any Christmas crafting this year. I knew I'd struggle with finding the time to knit people gifts, because if there's one thing the Year of Projects has taught me, it's that once I have a list I will find any excuse to go off piste and work on something completely unrelated! The project I'm sharing today is a prime example of that...
I knew this year I wanted to learn stranded colourwork. I was very generously gifted the yarn and pattern to knit Peerie Flooers so it was almost top of my list for the second YoP. I finally got round to starting it a few weeks ago and quickly discovered that I love knitting stranded colourwork!
Unsurprising then, that when my needles for Peerie Flooers broke, I reached for my new delivery of Patons Diploma Gold and cast on for Eskimimi's Cool Stocking. What was I doing to myself! A pattern and yarn not included in my YoP list, so shouldn't even be on my radar right now. And not only is it one pattern, it's two, because I will also be making the Star Stocking. Both of which, of course, have to be finished before Christmas comes, because what would be the point in knitting them now if they weren't?
Casting on went smoothly, the cuff was nice and quick and before I knew it I was thick in the middle of all those lovely colours.
It is hard to tell in that photo, but I have been finding it harder to do the stranded knitting on dpns. My floats are a lot tighter than they are on Peerie Flooers, so I am going to have to do some serious blocking on this stocking to get it straightened out.
This was my nemesis. It took me three goes to get that toe right (mainly down to my ineptitude at reading the instructions!), but my main concern was the afterthought heel. I am Not A Sock Knitter so this was an alien concept for me. But I put my trust in Mimi and her pattern and just followed all the instructions to the letter (reading and re-reading several times in the case of the heel, so as not to repeat the toe fiasco).
I put a lifeline in the live heel stitches before unpicking my pink waste yarn. I didn't want to have to faff around with my dpns while risking losing the live stitches and having the whole thing unravel on me. It was really weird seeing the sock tube open up like this!
But I did successfully pick up the live stitches with my lifeline, and was able to easily get them back onto my needles. For ease of picking up stitches, I went back down to my 3mm dpns to capture them all, before knitting them back onto 3.5mm needles as I completed the first row of the heel.
Once this heel is finished, I will cast on straight away for stocking number two. It will have taken me about two weeks to get this first one knit, so I still have time (just) to get the second one finished and both of them blocked and finished off before Christmas Eve!