Saturday, August 23, 2014

Finished Object: Tropical Feet Wave

Pattern: How I Make Worsted Weight Socks by Susan B. Anderson
Needle: Size 4 double Points
Project Name: Tropical Feet Wave
Yarn: Mountain Colors Twizzle in Springtime (MC) & Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted in Bud Green

I am in love with these socks! They knit up so fast on size 4 needles with worsted weight yarn. I love the silky feel of the Twizzle (85% Merino, 15% Silk content) and I think the Nashua (75% Wool, 25% Alpaca) is a nice contrast texturally to the Twizzle. This was my first time knitting a contrast yarn on the ankle/heel/toe

The ribbing on the ankle is Knit 3, Purl 1, which is different for me and I really like it. The socks are snug - but in a good way. Comfortable and not bunchy.

I had never used this pattern before and I found it was more of a guide than a tutorial. Meaning - I followed it along with her How I Make My Socks pattern (which is for fingering weight rather than worsted) and I also used my go to Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
and my own sock knitting experience thrown in to boot.

I am just happy as a pig in mud about these socks and I suspect they will get much wear this fall and winter. They are dense and warm and modeling them in 80°F temps was sticky and unpleasant, so I know when the fall weather arrives I will be seeking these out.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The urge for Christmas Socks

I want to knit a pair of Christmas socks. Not really sure why, but I just want them. I want to knit them. I want to wear them. So I went in search of Christmas Sock Yarn. I checked GnomeAcres first as I really like that shop and she has some wonderful Halloween yarn. But when I watched her podcast she said she was not going to make Christmas yarn for awhile - and since I am a pretty slow knitter I guess I will not be buying any Christmas yarn from her. Unless I want it for the next season.(Boooooooooooo!)

So then I went to Etsy and started searching for Fingering Weight Christmas yarn. After some digging I was able to find LolaDoodles shop and she is selling a yarn called Christmas in Vermont. This looked like a winner!

The price was reasonable and the shipping was also very reasonable. It showed up in just a couple days with a nice note. The colors where much more muted in person than I was expecting, but I am still pretty happy with what I got. If I am being really honest - I want the colors I saw on my computer screen a lot more than the colors I got - but I know that is the risk of buying yarn online. And also why its good to buy a single item from a new vendor, you get to test the waters and see how true their portrayal of their product is.

So overall I am pretty excited. I think this is more of a winter colorway rather than a Christmas colorway, and I am not sure if it will cure my need for Christmas Socks, but I suspect I would wear this all winter and not just up to Dec. 25th!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Finished Object: Don't tread[mill] on me Socks

I finished my Don't tread[mill] on me socks!

: 235 yards of Knit Picks Felici Sport Self Striping in the color "Depths". 
Needle: US 2 - 2.75 mm
Pattern: Loosely based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee with an afterthought heel.
With all the mistakes and craziness of these socks I was thinking they would be shoved in a sock drawer and forgot about when I finished them, but when I tried them both on together I found I actually really liked them! They are cozy and comfortable and even though they are kind of a mess, I am thinking they will be great with jeans this fall/winter.  

I did some of the ribbing and most of the knitting on the treadmill. I think I figured out at one point I was getting about an inch and a half of knitting done in a session on the treadmill, and I walk fairly slowly, so about three miles of walking for an inch and a half of knitting. 

I am learning more and more about sock knitting and am getting better at picking up the stitches for the afterthought heel. The first sock I did pick up the wrong leg of the knit stitch all the way across the foot. It was really hard knitting and it twisted the stitches across the ankle .

And I don't know what I was thinking on those toe decreases, but when I put them on they felt good and they are really comfortable, so I guess all the weirdness is forgiven. I learned a lot about sock construction and what works for me, and got a bunch of miles on my treadmill to boot, so I guess it's a win win!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Three Socks

I currently have three pair of socks on the needles all in various states of doneness and all in different yarn weights. So I thought I would post about my progress a little bit.

1. Don't tread[mill] on me

These are my Sport Weight socks and I have knit them largely while walking on the tread mill. I knit heels and toes when I am sitting comfortably somewhere with good light and Internet access. I still need directions for the afterthought heel and suspect I always will. I am finished with sock one and am inserting the heel on sock two at this point. It looks a hot mess - but I have a system. Since I cast on the heel before I do the toe, I take the working yarn (on the toe end) and ball it into the sock and hold it there with my working double point. Then I work the heel with a circular needle using magic loop. This works really well for me. So once I finish the heel I will try it on for length, and then knit the few more rows I suspect I will need to do and then I can try and duplicate the very odd toe decrease I did on the first sock. 

This is knit with fingering weight yarn and, just like the last sock, I had a standard heel in it and ended up ripping back and going with an afterthought heel. When I did the frogging on this sock I ended up keeping the circular needle in it and have been knitting this magic loop ever since. I am getting close to where the toe needs to be placed, so I will need to insert the heel so I can get the toe placement right. I know I need to be about 5½ inches past my life line in order to get the toe right, but I never trust my measurements and prefer to knit to fit (try on try on try on) to be sure. I think partly because I am knitting so many socks in different weights and I am still fairly new to sock knitting. 

This is still sock 1 and I have been knitting this on the treadmill as well. At this point I think I have done all I can on the treadmill with this - so I really need to insert the heel and measure so I can finish it up and move on to sock 2. 

And this is my worsted weight sock. Singular. As in - one down one to go. I have to say I am super in love with this sock and am anxious to finish these up. This is the first time I have knit socks with a contrast color for the toe/heel/cuff and I really like it. I like the look and I like the yarn I chose. The only bugger was more ends to sew in, but small price to pay. I think these will really keep me warm this winter. 

So that is my sock status. I make progress on one or more every day right now as I am hitting the treadmill every day. I thought I would have plenty of time at time for heel and toe additions, but I am backing up in that department. I am thinking rather seriously about casting on another pair. I am almost done with the blue socks, I have a lot of toe/heel work to do on the green ones, and I am not really keen on knitting the worsted weight socks on the treadmill for some reason. I knit those while couch surfing and while grilling in the yard - so it seems wrong to get them involved with the treadmill for some reason. 

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Finished Project: Socksocksocksocksock

I finished another pair of socks! YAY! This is the second pair I finished this year. GO ME!

Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Project: Socksocksocksocksock
Cast on: June 15, 2014
Bind off: July 30, 2014
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks (288 yards)
Needle: Size 2 Double Points

Am in love with them. This yarn is great and I love striping socks and I love the colors in these socks. I wish this yarn had not been discontinued! The only bummer about this project is that the second skein of yarn had dye speckles throughout the skein, so there was some sort of heathering/speckled look. Kind of tweedy.

The above picture shows what I mean. There was dye splotches through out this skein. Annoying - but I didn't notice it until I was well into the sock and I was NOT going to rip it back at that point!

As much as I love these socks, I am even more in favor of doing an afterthought heel in self-striping yarn. The heels look fine (I did Eye of Partridge), but I really like how an afterthought works with the striping yarn. You don't get the thin stripes around the ankle like you do when you work a more standard heel. But all in love, I consider these a success and am quite pleased!
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