On The Needles – Colorblocked Cape and Stripey Socks

I fell in love with this colorblocked cape by Amanda Keep in the Holiday 2012 edition of Vogue Knitting. It helped motivate me to finish my last sweater project because I really wanted to start it, but I have a self-imposed “one large project at a time” rule.

Amanda Keep's Side-Button Cape

Amanda Keep’s Side-Button Cape

I still love how this cape looks in the magazine, but I’ve gotten off to a not-so-great start with this project. First of all, I read the wrong pattern when I ordered the yarn. I ended up ordering the yarn for the pattern that was on the page before the cape. I thought the colors looked off when I ordered, but it wasn’t so far off that I thought too hard about it. I figured it was just a “colors may be different than they appear on your monitor” issue. When I went to cast on though, I noticed that I needed 4 colors, not 3 like I had purchased. That’s when I realized my mistake. The yarn I ordered is a lighter weight and less fuzzy yarn then the pattern originally calls for too. I’ve decided to challenge my inner Tim Gunn and “make it work”.

knitting

It’s slow-going right now. This is the first time I’ve really worked with color. I’ve done striped scarves, but nothing like this where I’m changing color mid-row. I get frustrated keeping all the yarn from getting tangled, especially when the cats are nearby. And I’m having trouble keeping the stitches even where the color switches. It seems to be improving as I move up the cape, but it still looks messy. I keep debating frogging the whole thing and starting over, or trying to fix it and hoping once I block it, it’s not too noticeable.

knitting

knitting

I am making progress and learning a few things along the way. I like the colors together and I think it will look nice with a pair of jeans this spring and next fall as well. I’m keeping a positive outlook on this project – at least trying to anyway.

I’ve also decided to teach myself the magic loop method for sock knitting. I plan on casting on this afternoon. I didn’t want to get too complicated on my first sock project, so I chose a basic rib pattern from Ravelry and felici self-striping yarn from KnitPicks.

yarn and knitting needle

I watched a few videos I found on YouTube to learn the magic loop method. VeryPinkKnits has a nice series of videos that takes you through a whole sock pattern using the magic loop method. I didn’t like the pattern she used. Not that there is anything wrong with it, it just didn’t speak to me. I’m going to try and apply her instructions to the pattern I chose. It seems simple enough. We’ll see how it goes once I actually start knitting.

If all goes well, maybe I can finally knit a pair of socks from the book, Knitted Socks East and West: 30 Designs Inspired by Japanese Stitch Patterns, that I bought a year ago. I love all the socks in this book. There are so many interesting patterns and textures in it. It would be nice if I could actually knit them instead of just admire them from the pages.

Do you have any works-in-progress? Are you teaching yourself any new skills this winter?

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