Done: Cookie A.’s "Asymmetrical Cables"

I have lots of Cookie A. sock patterns but I hadn’t got around to knitting one until now. I recently finished her pattern for “Asymmetrical Cables” socks, which was published in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Masterclass.

I used some Opal sock yarn to make these. I am very happy with my results:

I’m pretty sure in another post I mentioned that I casted these on and explained that they’re not as difficult as they appear to be. Each sock has only one cable that travels thanks to increases and decreases every four rows. The rest of the knitting is stockinette stitch. Yes, if you look at my Ravelry page it says I casted them on on December 30 and didn’t finish them until February. But really, it wouldn’t have taken me so long if I hadn’t set them aside for weeks at a time. They are a quick knit and not too difficult if you can follow directions.
Oh yes, the pattern is a nice example of delightfully crystal clear, precise directions. I’ve read lots of Cookie A. patterns and thought “what well-written directions.” I have to say that following them is even more enjoyable than reading them. This pattern is very easy to follow with every single step of the process clearly explained. I expected to be able to follow the pattern with ease when I read through it. Knitting along with the pattern exceeded my expectations. This designer is very attentive to details to such minuscule things such as making sure the cable begins as a nice and neat extension of the 2 x 2 ribbing.
I also customized the pattern a bit to fit my feet. Well, actually, to fit my leg. I casted on the specified number of stitches for the largest size, made the cuff, and on the increase round I added six extra stitches. Then, just before making the heal, I decreased six stitches well in the middle of the stockinette areas far away from the traveling cable on the instep. This sharp decrease did nothing to mess up the gradual traveling of the cable down the leg and foot. I needed those six extra stitches because my leg is a bit wider than my foot to such a degree that I needed more circumference for that part of the sock.
Now, I’m going to go back to knitting my gansey. I’ll probably cast on another sock, too. I’ve got another hank of Rowan Fine Art sock yarn that is begging me to turn it into a pair of vanilla socks.

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Progress is progress

When you’re knitting a gansey, progress is progress. So far, here’s mine on Kathleen Sperling’s Aurguyle sweater published in the first fall 2013 issue of Knitty:

Above, you can see how my diamond panels are coming along. I am becoming obsessed about the day when I can finally block the finished sweater so that the diamonds look really super nice. Knitting ganseys is all about patience.

The cables and step patterns are really nice additions to this pattern, aren’t they?
Knitting a gansey is not for everyone. People who want the satisfaction of quick results won’t want to knit a sweater with finer yarn on size 2 needles.
I am notorious for knitting with finer yarns (I love DK, sock yarns, and lace weight yarns). This is not my first gansey. I made two others about six years ago when I bought Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book Knitting Ganseys, which is still the bible for making and designing these beautiful sweaters.
For me, the benefits of knitting ganseys far outweigh the negative consequence of not getting fast results. 
First of all, the finished product is absolutely beautiful. Traditional gansey stitch patterns are fascinating. Quite often, they are simple knit-purl combinations that look intricate and difficult but are actually very simple to make. When you add some cables to a gansey it just brings more eye candy to the garment. The Arguyle sweater proves that.
Another bonus of knitting ganseys is actually the type of yarn used. Buying the finer types gets you more value than the chunkier ones. These kinds of yarns are actually quite easy to find on sale at the end of the season. The wool I’m using for this gansey was practically a steal. I bought it two years ago in Madrid at the El Gato Negro yarn shop on the Plaza Mayor. It was the end of July and the store was selling this yarn at a discount and by the kilo. I bought 2 kilos total in brown and green for about 40 euros. 2 kilos of 100% wool for so little money? It’s a true story. Patience is the key to budget knitting. Anyway, that’s enough yarn to make 2 sweaters and several pairs of socks or a big shawl. I’d say I got the deal of the century. 40 euros = a couple of sweaters + accessories + endless knitting entertainment.
Finally, ganseys are traditionally knit in the round. No seam sewing required.
Knitting a gansey may not be “quick and easy” but for those of us who enjoy the knitting process, they are lots of fun to make and, after a time, a warm pleasure to wear.

Knitting Podcasts I Like

If you haven’t listened to a knitting podcast, you could be missing out on a lot of entertainment or boredom, depending on whether or not the podcast is actually really good. Everyone has personal preferences.

These two are my absolute favorite podcasts, not listed in any particular hierarchical order:

Knitmore Girls

Gigi and Jasmin are mother and daughter. They share their knitting conversations with the world through their podcast. Episode 319 was recently released, which attests to the long time they’ve been podcasting.

I don’t get into the contests (most knitting podcasts have contests and prizes) but their conversations, for me, are very interesting. Gigi, aside from being an avid knitter, also enjoys sewing. Their reviews of books and products are quite candid and honest. They have no fear about telling the truth and if they critique something they do so very kindly and politely.

Knotty Girls Knitcast

Jen and Laura are two friends that talk about their love for knitting and pop culture. They discuss their current projects, what they frogged, what they put in “time out,” and culture — both knitterly and geeky. Jen has been playing around with design and Laura owns her own yarn dying business. These two women are lots of fun to listen to. They have “geek” tastes in television and film, which matches very nicely with my entertainment preferences. They have a sense of humor that matches mine quite perfectly.

I listen to lots of other knitting podcasts, but these are the ones that I listen to straight away when my podcast app informs me there’s a new episode available. If you’re interested, search for them on iTunes or with Google.