Kilt Hose Sighting

Remember  these ?

Oh, it looks as if we have a kilt hose sighting ….

and one involving a kilt of Campbell Ancient Tartan !

Two days short of the anniversary of this post , by sheer coincidence I recieved this photo and a short message from Mr Campbell Scot, which I am so very grateful for, and thought I’d share it with you :

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Hi Jen ~

I had occasion to pull on my kilt hose today and I got to thinking that it was about a year ago that you started knitting them for me. I thought I’d mark the occasion by sending you a postcard of them being worn proudly on location of Glenarm Castle which sits on the Antrim coast and is home to the Earl of Antrim and clan chieftain of The Antrim McDonnells. The occasion was the annual Highland Games that are held there where there is fierce rivalry between the Scots and Irish competitors that take part. But of course the rivalry only lasts on the competition field and these Celtic cousins always depart as the best of friends to do battle on another day. I must tell you that my socks have been greatly admired during their travels, and they will always remain my greatest treasure.

~ The Campbell Scot

Kilt Hose Finished !

They’re done, and I will miss them, but the person they’ve been custom made for will be more than happy I hope, so I will send them off to my Braid Scot friend in Northern Ireland, and he will have them when his kilt cloth gets off the loom and is being sewn into his kilt in Glasgow.  It was very nice to partake in a custom of Scottish tradition, and I must add , that I learn’t much in that area as well.

This epic little project, at first guessed to take a couple weeks ~but which turned into a couple of months~ not only taught me how to make socks, but taught me how to do so much more.  I wrestled my way through learning new techniques all around,  plus overcoming my impatience as well.  Last but not least to wrestle on this project was the Kitchener stitch, which like riding a bicycle, started off wobbly at first, but then went like a charm.

I would like to give special thanks to my Sonoma neighbor and good friend  Morrie ,  for she helped me generously with any question I had ~ from nursing me a whole afternoon through a heel flap and turn in Eye-of-Partridge stitch, to how to do short-row toes on the phone at 9 o’clock pm, and in the end agreeing that the grafting is indeed more like a ‘Bitchener Stitch’, than Kitchener, and lastly, giving me good sound washing and blocking instructions for the best attitude of the yarn used.  And we had a little fun with the Glasgow Patter as well.

The beginning of the project starts here. From from there and up to this post, over the months of July and August, there can be found many posts of progress of these kilt hose.

Kilt Hose posted on Ravelry here.

nothing else better . . .

So,  here I am knitting on a Sunday morning, trying feverishly to get at least one of the two kilt hose socks finished today, while listening attentively to our latest tune composed . . .

Mastering the track one summery Thursday night, I asked John ‘how is it we are writing all these tunes out of nowhere’, and  John replied in his usual matter-of-fact manner, “Well, there’s really nothing else better to do” and I agreed. And so it was titled.

In the Home Stretch.

Okay, so I totally blew my deadline of having these finished last week. But they will be finished this weekend , you can count on it, then they’re off to Northern Ireland !

I am learning *so* much about so many things with this unexpectedly epic little project : a braided cable, cuffing and reversing direction of knitting, narrowing down into a garter section (I chose to use smaller needles as well), Eye-of-Partridge stitch, sock gussets, and soon to be toe shaping and kitchener stitch… and I’m reinforcing my skill in reading a pattern (something I haven’t done much of, strangely). I had to totally improvise picking up stitches, and I got my SSK and K2tog mixed up a few rows on the first sock gusset start (quite obvious if you look closely at the one on the left). So far these have been a hugely valuable learning experience. I will miss them when they are done.

Heel Flap & Turn !

My first , very first HEEL FLAP & HEEL TURN ! Spent the good part of a day at my girlfriend Morrie’s house yesterday as we knit, drank yerbe matte, and laughed a lot (we watched some silly YouTube vids of hillarious Scottish comedy, apropo for a spell of turning a heel on Kilt Hose.) By her generous and patient nature, I managed to learn a new stitch pattern used for this particular Kilt Hose, called “Eye of Partridge” stitch, and shaped the heel flap, then managed to stay with the pattern as well as possible, through the turn. Thanks Morrie !

Kilt Hose project journey starts here.

Kilt Hose Progress Report

More than half way on the first of the pair ~ shown uncuffed, with garter section.

Have been reading a little about kilt hose making, as oppposed to regular sock making. One braw Scot might prefer his hose as thick and durable as one knitter can stand knitting. That means a wrestling through the cables a bit, but I’m loving the sturdy fabric ~ sport weight yarn w/ size 1 needles ~ which will make them very long wearing !

Decreases in the back.

Beginning of kilt hose project here

” John Anderson’s ” Kilt Hose.

John Anderson’s Kilt Hose on Ravelry here.

This  is the latest of three Kilt Hose attempts, with different gauges, yarn weights & blends, on different sized needles. I started with a very designer yarn shop wool/silk blend, but it was too big, too scratchy, too stiff, and too difficult to knit on the size #1 needles needed to achieve gauge. Then I tried KnitPicks ‘Swish’ which is 100% superwash wool, in DK weight, too big for the pattern stitches, not much better, though close. Very close, but still risking too big.

I’m just not in the mind space to rewrite the pattern, as when I get down to the foot part, I really don’t care to mess up a project I’ve never attempted before ~~~ socks ! So, I ordered 3 types of bare undyed wool & wool blend yarns from KnitPicks last week, knowing one of them would be right. ( I chose KnitPicks because I’m very accustomed to the yarn and I need yarn brand consistancy when guessing my way through something.) I am instinctively thinking the Sport Superwash Wool/Nylon yarn is going to be good for the gauge and size I need to make, but, it has some nylon (a slight disappointment, hopefully only for me) Actually, the nylon ingredient will no doubt achieve nice softness and stretch in the sock. A good ‘first sock’ project yarn.

There’s always the ‘next pair’ in nice all-natural blend, such as wool/alpaca or wool/silk (of another pattern, or altered pattern) with which I can try to make  Kilt Hose Finery . But that is another project, at another time. For this pair, I will just have to settle with some sort of compromise, and I’m hoping that wool/nylon blends are what most kilt hose is made from, and that it is acceptable for whom the hose are being knit for.  If the hose are too light, I will overdye with some tea I have in the cupboard,  Scottish Breakfast Tea to be specific, and that should leave them with a slight smokey scent for the finish.

I’d like these to be finished in time, as the kilt is being fitted soon and will be made and finished by end of August I believe, so it’s time to get crackin’  !