Tag Archives: socks

A Quickie

I’ve got a dilemma. OK, it’s not really a dilemma, just a decision I need to make. OK, it’s barely a decision, but I’d like your input.

I’ve finished my Chuck sweater (which went really fast, since I had the week off work).  It’s blocking out right now, and I’ll let you know how it turns out later this week.

My needles are empty (at least for the moment- I have some design work coming up).  I’ve got a little more time to knit for myself, and I’ve got a lovely skein of Tosh Merino Light that’s been looking at me for months.  It’s a gorgeous, dark navy(ish) blue, but it still manages to glow in the sun.  It’s so pretty, I couldn’t manage to get a good picture of it myself, so I’ll use the one from Madeline Tosh’s website.Ooh!  Aah!
So, here’s the question- What can I make with about 400 yards of fingering weight yarn and abut 1 week of time?

My first thought is, of course, socks.  After all, I always think about socks.  I love these socks in particular.  I made a pair of them last fall, but my husband claimed them out from under me.  I would love to make a pair for myself.  But, I think this yarn might be a little too fancy for socks- I don’t think I can get behind hand-wash-only socks.  (I’ll do a lot of things for knitwear, but I won’t do that.)

Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica LuederMy second thought is a shawl/scarf.  It’s been a minute since I knit up lace- I’ve been on a cables kick for the last year or so.  I could knit up a shawl like this one.  I worry about trying to adapt such a lovely shawl to a fingering weight, though.

Annis by Susanna IC

Oh, but you know what I need?  I need a lovely, comfy hat.  (Here I go being a project knitter again.)  Of course, I’ve got plenty of hats, but I could always use another one.  I’ve had short hair for years, but I started buzzing it off a few months ago-  my head is cold and I need a soft, casual, non-super-cold-weather hat.

I think this one might be the one.

Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClureWhat would you make with a skein of special yarn?  What should I make?

Purse Socks

Last weekend, my brother and his girlfriend came to visit us up here in the Pacific Northwest.  It was my brother’s first time visiting us in years, and his girlfriend’s first time in Seattle ever!  So, we spent Saturday being tourists.  We visited Pike Place Market and the Gum Wall.  We ate piroshkis and drank cocktails made with local ginger beer.  We did a lot of driving.

Sure, the driving part is never fun, but when you’re showing guests around your city, you always end up driving a lot. And, that’s where your purse knitting comes in handy (unless you’re the one driving the car.  In that case, please don’t drive and knit).According to my Ravelry page, I started these bad boys back in January.  They’re going slowly, but that’s OK.  I keep one sock in my purse at all times, so whenever I have a little down time, I can break it out and knit a few rows.  I’ve worked on these socks in the car, waiting for food to be delivered at a restaurant, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and when I get to work before my shift starts.

These socks are perfect for piecemeal knitting- the pattern is super simple, there are no stitch markers to wrangle, no cable needles to lose, and no colorwork to worry about.  The overall pattern is just knits and purls, and there’s really very little shaping (just the usual heel and toe shaping that I could do in my sleep).  It’s a pattern I can keep in my head, without having to keep referring to a chart or a book, and it’s a nice dark color (so it won’t get grimy-looking from living in my purse for months).

I love my purse socks, and I’m excited for when they’re finished (though that’ll probably be in June, at the rate I’m going).  Maybe we should play tourist more often- I’d get more knitting in!

Do you keep purse knitting?  What’s your favorite “in a pinch” project?

Inspiration: Oscars

The Academy Awards were last night.  And, instead of watching them, my husband and I watched old episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (because we are nerds).  But, from what I’ve heard, the show was full of excitement.  So, here follows my zero-research (except for what my friends texted me while they were watching) report on “What Happened at the Oscars,” as explained by fiber arts projects.

  1.  The Oscars happened last night.  Lots of people got awards for being in movies.  When they won, they got to take home a little trophy.

Academy Award/Oscar Statuette by Susan J. S. Walkupdscf0261_medium212.  Apparently some Batman/Joker movie won an Oscar.  People seemed pretty upset about that for some reason.

Joker Amigurumi by Clare Heesh2014-04-01_17-11-08_medium213.  All the ladies attending the award show wore gowns.  (This one I actually did do some research on, because I like looking at pretty dresses.)  They were all very fancy, and almost no one wore anything with color.  So much beige, white, and black.

Chrysanthemum Gown by Chi Krnetaed__18__medium214.  I guess there was some mix-up with the Best Picture Winner? I think they called the wrong movie, then realized it was a mistake halfway through their acceptance speech and made the not-winners give the award over to the actual winner.  This seems so unlikely that I don’t know if I 100% believe that it happened.  I could look it up and confirm.  But then, what’s the point of doing a zero-research post, if I end up having to do research.

Mismatch by Jenn Morganredandbluesocks02_medium21Did you watch the Oscars?  Were they more enjoyable than I’m giving them credit for?

What?! More Patterns?

That’s right, knitters!  I’ve got another brand-spanking-new pattern, just for you!

(Actually it’s kind of 4 patterns in one!  I know!  Crazy!)

Last week, Knit Picks published another great collection, Knits for Everybody.  It’s such a smart book- I know I’ll be keeping my copy close at hand.330131Knits for Everybody is a collection of four super simple patterns (hats, sweaters, socks and mittens), useful staples that everyone can use (and make customize, if that’s how you roll).  But here’s the awesome part:  They are literally for everybody.  The sweater sizes go from a 3-month-old baby all the way up to a Men’s XXL.  The hats fit everyone from a preemie to a big-headed adult (like me).  And, my socks go from a 4″ foot circumference all the way up to a 10.5″ circumference.330131071My sock pattern is a super simple knitted sock with a heel flap in literally every size.  But here’s the cool part:  You can follow the directions to knit from the top down (my favorite), or from the toe up (my second favorite), and end up with virtually the same sock.  That way you can use whichever method feels right for you.330131081And, I’ve provided two slightly different variations: Socks (knit in sock weight, with a long ribbed cuff) and Slippers (knit in super-squishy worsted with a shorter cuff).

Of course, you can jazz up these socks and slippers whatever way you like.  Add stripes? Yes.  Change the ribbing? Why not!  Work some cables? Sure!  You can customize these socks (or any other pattern in the book) with no problem for socks that are truly your own!330131091Want to win a copy of Knits for Everybody?  Tell me which pattern you would make, and who it would be for. Socks for your auntie?  A hat for your nephew? A sweater just for you?

And Then You Win Some

I know you were all waiting with bated breath over the weekend-  Will Allison’s socks turn out?  Or will she be cursed to forever have lopsided footwear?

Well, I have an update for you.

But first, look at my artsy picture of my socks as they were blocking over the weekend.  I call this picture “Morning Sunlight with Wet Socks.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(OK, maybe I’ve had too much coffee this morning… or not enough.  One or the other.)

Once they were dry I took them down, and they looked OK.  Maybe a little lopsided, but not too bad.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know it’s silly, and something that I should have gotten over so long ago- after all I’ve been knitting since I was a little kid.  But, I can never get over how pretty blocked fabric looks.  Especially socks.  All those precise little stitches.  Aren’t they just beautiful?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Anyway, enough stalling.  Long story short, the socks came out fine.  They’re almost the same size- one is still a smidge big, but no one other than me would notice (or care).  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIsn’t it funny how your gauge can change over time.  I used the same needles and the same yarn (I know because they were all packed away nicely waiting for me in a little project bag).  I did the same number of rows and stitches, and for whatever reason I was way more relaxed for the second sock.   Sigh.

I guess it’s just another reason to avoid Second Sock Syndrome, I suppose.

Has your gauge ever led you astray?

You Win Some, You Lose Some.

And sometimes you end up with mismatched socks.

If my Ravelry page is correct, I started these socks in January, but I think I probably started them earlier- probably over Christmas.

I finished one right away, then did the toe of the second one…. then…. nothing.  I stashed these socks away  “just in case,” then promptly forgot about them.  So, when I was packing for my trip, I decided to bring them along.  After all, a sock-in-progress fits in my purse, so they’re great for traveling.   The pattern was super simple (just stockinette with a single row of purls around the toe and ribbed cuff), so they wouldn’t take away from looking out the window.  And they were almost done, so they’d go pretty fast!  Win-win-win.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey turned out pretty cute!  Nothing fancy, but they’re a pretty color, and they look ok.

Except if you try to measure them against each other.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne sock is fully a half-inch shorter than the other one.  I swear I measured- I even counted rows!  But, something must have happened to change my gauge between when I started these socks six months ago and when I finished them last week.  Blergh.

I don’t think I’ll try to re-knit them, or rip them out… they’re not fancy enough for me to really be bothered, and they aren’t going to be a gift.  I think I’ll try blocking them out, and hopefully that’ll fix the problem.  After all, blocking hides a multitude of sins.

Have you ever ended up with significantly different socks? What did you do?

Inspiration: Father’s Day Monkeys

Hey guys, Father’s Day is on Sunday.  (So go get your dad a card if you haven’t gotten one in the mail already!)

In my family, for some reason (I can’t remember when this started), we always get my dad Father’s Day cards with a monkeys on them.  Any monkey is OK, but you get bonus points if it is wearing clothes, smoking a pipe, or riding a tricycle (and bonus bonus points if it’s doing all three).

At this point, I don’t even know if my dad likes monkey cards (or even monkeys).  I suppose it doesn’t really matter, since we’ve been doing it so long that it’s become an ongoing gag.

So in honor of Father’s Day, let’s look at some monkey patterns.

(Hoo boy! There are some ugly monkey-themed patterns on Ravelry.  I’m not going to post them here, because that would be mean.  But, if you want a chuckle, head on over and look for yourself.)

There is the classic Cookie A pattern, Monkey Socks.  I love these socks, but, other than the name, I don’t think they have much to do with monkeys.  Also, they’re a little girly to be a proper Father’s Day-themed pattern.

Monkey Socks by Cookie Amonkey_2_medium2[1]There are a million monkey amigurumi patterns on Ravelry, but I think this one might be the cutest.  Look at that little face, those tiny hands, that adorable bendy tail.  I love looking at this little guy, but I think I might go crazy if I tried to make him-  all those ends… shudder!

Chinese New Year Monkey by Stephanie Jessica LauL1037384_logo_medium2[1]If that monkey was too cute, this monkey is not.  At all.  And, while that sounds terrible, I mean it in the best way possible.  I love this basket!  I love that the monkey’s eyes point in different directions, and that he looks like he’s trying really hard to remember where he left his house keys.  The big dumb ears are amazing, and the fact that the photographer put a big bunch of bananas in the basket couldn’t be more perfect.  I know it sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I really do love this monkey basket.  And, if I thought my dad would like to have a monkey basket, I would totally be working on it right now.

monkey basket bag by Cheryl L. CambrasScreen_Shot_2016-02-14_at_3.30.20_PM_medium[1]Do you have any traditions around Father’s Day in your family?

Inspiration: Leap Day

Happy Leap Day, everyone!

Has Leap Day William visited you yet?  Once every 4 years, he comes from deep in the Mariana’s Trench and brings candy and rhubarb in exchange for children’s tears! (What? That’s just a weird thing that I think about because I watch too much 30 Rock?)db34caa16f10394fd0836c17844e5951Maybe Leap Day is a silly made-up TV holiday, but I’m going to celebrate it.  It’s the one day, every four years when you get magical extra time to do all the things you don’t usually get to do!  After all, “Real life is for March.”

So, in honor of Leap Day and Leap Day William, let’s talk about the blue and yellow projects that I would never normally make!

First off, a dog sweater.  I know some dogs need sweaters, but mine is not one of them (in fact, he has so much fluff that he needs haircuts every two months… it’s ridiculous).   That being said, dogs in sweaters are the cutest/dumbest things in the world.  And, I’m trying really hard not to be that kind of dog owner.  So, Ollie will never get one of these (unless I make an exception).

Dachshund or Small Dog Sweater 2 by Copper Llama Studiodog_sweater_020_medium[1]I also firmly believe that ponchos are dumb (I suppose some people can pull them off, but I am not one of them).  But I will run around the house trailing three blankets from around my shoulders, because that makes more sense, right?  Although, I have to admit that this poncho is actually kind of attractive.  But, no!  I refuse!  No ponchos!

Golden bough/Gyllene grenverk by Ann Linderhjelmponcho2_medium[1]And, of course, I think socks should be comfy, cozy, and above all, practical.  (After all, they’re the things you wear on your feet and stuff into shoes.)  You definitely should never spend weeks and weeks making beautiful cabled brioche socks.  (Uh, oh… I can feel my convictions starting to slip- they’re so pretty and squishy…)

Cushy Cables Brioche Socks by Kirsten HallIMG_3400_medium2[1]And, you know what else?  Vests.  Vests are really stupid.  Why make a whole sweater, and not make the arms?  Don’t your arms get cold?  Mine do.  But, this one looks nice and comfortable, I suppose.  With all those cables?  And those super cute toggles…  Sigh…

Estes Vest by Hana Jason3108957975_2cce62321b_z[1]

Apparently my Strongly Held Beliefs about what I should and should not knit are not so strongly held, after all.  Maybe I’m being moved the spirit of Leap Day?

What’s on your list of “Never-Knits?”  Would you ever make an exception?

(Ooh!  And don’t forget the 52 More Weeks of Dishcloths Giveaway!  You’ve got until Wednesday to enter!)

I’m Stricken

Stricken with that dreaded Second Sock Syndrome!

I’ve managed to avoid it for years.  All my pairs of socks have been either completed finished or completely frogged (except for those socks in Mardi Gras colors that I stopped working on because I realized I would never wear socks in Mardi Gras colors, and really, who would dye yarn in those colors.  Honestly.)

But, I can no longer say that I am unaffected by Second Sock Syndrome.  Observe:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne sock, perfectly completed (in less than a week, mind you). Bound off, ends woven in, ready for blocking.  Look at that lovely shade of hand-dyed blue.   The yarn is beautiful and squishy.   It’s delightful!  And I’ve already done the toe on the second sock.  The fiddly part is done.  Now I just need to knit.

Unfortunately, I started the second sock almost a month ago.  While it’s been sitting in my WIP pile, instead of working on the sock, I have completed:

What has to happen to make me finish these socks?  I want to wear them… I want them to be finished… I just don’t want to pick up the needles and work on them.  Ugh!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat do you do when you’ve got a wicked case of Second Sock Syndrome?

Me Socks- Finished!

There is something magical about brand-new hand knit socks. I bet any knitter (or knitter’s family member) would agree.

And you know what’s even better than brand-new socks? Brand-new socks for that you get to keep! I’ve got new socks, and I’m so excited!

As I said before, I used the fantastic “Diagonal Lace Socks” pattern, because I wanted to try my hand at making toe-up heel flap socks, and I thought the heel on these bad boys looked pretty good. I’ve avoided toe up socks for years- mostly out of habit, after all, I have a great system for making my own socks, so I don’t even need a pattern. But, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and try my hand at these socks.

And, you know what? They were easy!

I’ll admit, it was a bit weird making socks without picking up any stitches, and I had a little trouble trusting in the math on the heel cap. But, trust issues aside, this was a great pattern, and the finished socks are just delightful.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, it doesn’t hurt that the Hawthorne yarn I got from Knitpicks is super lovely and squishy, yet I can tell it’s going to be strong enough to last me for at least a couple years. (I will be honest, though, I thought the color looked better wound into a skein- knit up, it looks a little dingy. But it’s not like I’m going to be running around making people look at my socks and judge their dinginess. Except for now. Look at my socks!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I think it’s time to break these puppies in! I think I’ll slip them on and taking them (and the dog) on a nice long walk.

Have you made yourself anything lately?