I admit it. I'm a yarn snob. I don't really like the feel of most acrylic yarns and I really don't like knitting with most of them. However, recently I was asked to knit a Christmas stocking for a new family member (spouse). The family's existing 4 stockings were acrylic with a Santa head on them.
I discovered it is really hard to match the reds of yarn (from the existing stockings) from 25 years ago. Go figure. I found some Vanna's Choice red yarn that was pretty close so I decided to knit the top of the stocking to match the other one and knit the body of the stocking with white (crunchy Red Heart - ugh) using the red for the heel and toe and the Santa hat.
The leg of the stocking is knit flat to accommodate the intarsia of the Santa head. Then the stitches are joined in the round and the rest is knit like a conventional short-row heel sock.
I used my graphing software to graph the Santa head from the original stocking and thought I'd use the exact same pattern for the new one. I had a bit of pink yarn in my acrylic stash (I keep the stash for this exact reason - so I don't have to go out and buy full skeins of acrylic yarn) that I thought I'd use on Santa's face.
Since Santa's pom pom, hat brim and beard are white, I decided to outline them in grey to delineate them from the white of the stocking's background.
I also decided to match the short row heel so I found Priscilla Wild's video on YouTube that didn't use wraps yet didn't have a lot of holes. She does the short rows and just turns, slipping the first stitch of each row. When increasing the stitches again, she knits to the stitch before the 'gap' and knits the next two together, then picks up and knits a stitch from the row below, thus doing the increase and closing any hole there might have been.
I plan to use this heel again! Whilst doing my sock heel research, I watched Cat Bordhi's 'Sweet Tomato Heel' video. I remembered her mentioning it when I took that class with her in October. I would definitely try that heel as well but definitely not with striped yarn as once each heel wedge is completed, you knit all the way around for two rounds. For a reinforced heel I'd use the 'Padded Sweet Tomato Heel'. However, I would modify it by using my preferred 'Eye of Partridge' heel as I like the look of that better than columns of slipped stitches.
I must admit, the feel of the Vanna's Choice yarn was quite nice and was nice to knit with. To me, it felt a lot like Patons Canadiana or Lion Brand Wool Ease. I don't know if it pills a lot with abrasive use but I would definitely consider using it for an afghan that could be machine-washed and only if I could get it for a deeply discounted price.
Yesterday on the GO train on my way into and out of The Big City for a "girls' night out", I finished knitting the faux fringe of the second end of the capybara scarf and completed the 6 plain rows before starting the new capybara chart.
linked my blog to hers. I have since learned that her blog is read by capybaraphiles from all over the world and for a couple of days I received more than twice the number of hits on my blog.
One never knows who might be reading one's blog.