Tag Archives: socks

Inspiration: Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone!  If you’re in the US, you’re probably already prepping for the big meal tomorrow.  (I know I am!) My whole family is coming into town first thing tomorrow, and my husband and I are doing the whole spread- turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pie, the works.  (I’m actually roasting some pumpkin for the pie and making some candied pecans right now… my house smells very good this morning.)

I’m actually vegetarian, so I don’t really care about the turkey (that’s my husband’s thing, but I’ve been told he makes a mean turkey).  For me, the whole point of Thanksgiving dinner is the sides.  So, let’s talk about my favorite sides (with some knitting, because that’s what I do).

Stuffing might be my favorite savory side.  I use the same recipe that my dad used when I was a kid, it’s full of sage and thyme, apple bits and big, juicy raisins.  So good!  The first time I made it, I was shocked because it starts by melting a whole cup of butter, then sauteing a bunch of celery and onion, basically making butter soup.  No wonder everyone likes it!

Stuffed Mittens by TECHknitterMashed potatoes are a staple in our house- I probably make a batch of them every couple weeks (I’m from the Midwest, after all).  My usual mashed potatoes are pretty chill- un-peeled potatoes, a little butter, a little of whatever milk I have in the fridge, and salt and pepper.  For Thanksgiving, I pull out all the stops- I put in the effort to peel all the potatoes, and step up my game with sour cream and whole milk, the whole nine yards.  So creamy and tasty!

Mash Potato Socks by Verena Cohrs

One side that most people keep strictly to Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce.  I am not most people.  I’m a cranberry fiend.  The moment fresh cranberries come into season, I stock up.  I make cranberry muffins, cranberry pancakes, and generally have a bowl of home-made cranberry sauce in my fridge.  I love it on cheese sandwiches (I realize this is weird), with mashed potatoes, or just plain, eaten with a spoon.  My favorite!

Cranberry Sauce by Brittany Tyler SimmondsBut the best part of Thanksgiving might be dessert.  Specifically pumpkin pie.  I gotta say, I make a mean pumpkin pie.  I go fully from scratch- make my own crust, roast my own pumpkins (though this year I’m using Blue Hubbard Squash, because my grocery store was out of sugar pie pumpkins!  The horror!) and garnish with homemade candied pecans and bourbon whipped cream.  I mean what’s not to love?

Pumpkin-Pie by jo columbineDo you celebrate Thanksgiving?  What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods?

Pattern Spotlight: Hermione’s Everyday Socks

Sometimes you find a perfect pattern, and all you want to do is to keep making it over and over.  Sometimes it’s a perfect in its complexity and detail.  Sometimes it’s perfect in its simplicity.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder is one of those patterns.I’ve made socks every which way- plain stockinette, lace and cables, toe-up and top-down.  But I think Hermione’s Everyday Socks are on my Mount Rushmore of knitting patter designs. They’re simple, but interesting.  They’re easy but don’t not boring.  They’re sturdy, but not bulky.  And they’re truly unisex (in fact, my husband claimed my first pair of Hermione’s socks that I made… It was a sad day, but it did give me an excuse to make a second pair).I’ve been playing with the simple construction and knit/purl texture with some of my more recent socks- adding stripes, or changing the frequency of the purl bumps.  I’ve worked them top down and toe up, with a variety of toes and heels.  It’s amazing how many different variations you can make from such a solid starting-point. If you’re looking for a perfect-sock-for-everyone, you couldn’t do much better than Hermione’s Everyday Socks.

Little Green Socks

OK, if we’re being honest, there’s nothing little about any socks that I make for myself.  I’ve got great big feet- the better to stop me from falling over.  (Oh, if only that were true… I’m such a klutz!)

But, these socks are coming along great!

I decided that I wanted to have tiny mirror-image cables running up the sides of the legs like this:  And at first, I thought that was all I wanted.

But you know me- never leaving well enough alone.  If there’s a way to embellish.  I’ll find it, and sew sequins to it.

So I decided to take one of those cables and run it down the top of the foot, too.  (I actually had to rip back a little bit when I decided to change it, which I think was worth it.)

Right?!  I love how this sock is turning out! The color- the tiny cables, the excitement of making them toe-up! (Yes, I’m a dork.)

I can’t wait for the other one to be done (and the weather to cool off again) so I can wear them around!

Are you working on any project that’s gotten you excited lately?

New socks!

I’m on a sock roll! And you can’t stop me!

(Actually, you probably could, I’m pretty distract-able.)

I’ve been digging through my overly-extensive sock yarn collection and trying to use up some yarn that’s been hanging around for way too long.  (I once got overly-excited about a sock yarn sale and ended up coming home with about 2 dozen skeins of yarn… that was probably three years ago, and I’ve still barely made a dent in it.)

Anyway, I found enough turquoise-blue for a pair of socks, and I thought I’d get cracking.  But this time, I feel like trying something new.

95% of the time, I work my socks top-down.  But this time, I think I’m going to switch it up.  I’m going… toe up!  Woah!  I’m a loose cannon!

That means I get to break out Judy’s Magic Cast On!  I’ve used it a handful of times- mostly years ago, before I got so set in my sock-knitting ways.And, I gotta tell you.  That is one satisfying technique.  (It’s a little bit of a pain at first, but dang!  Once you get past the first few rows, it looks really nice!)

I’ve increased up to the toe,  so now I’ve just got to decide what I want to do next… cables? Texture? Lace?  There’s too many options!

What do you think I should do next?

Woo!

Woo Hoo!  My socks are officially finished!

An unfortunate number of ends are all woven in (why did I think striped socks was a good idea?).  And the socks have been blocked.  They’re lovely and finished and have grown about two sizes.  (But that’s a good thing, because I have great big man feet.)

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of insightful things to say- just that I love these socks, and love blocking socks in general.  They’re smooth and perfect and ready to go.Unfortunately, it’s about a million degrees here, so I won’t be wearing my socks any time soon.  Sigh…

What’s your favorite part of making socks?

Tip-toe

I’ve made it to the toe!  My socks are almost finished!  Woo!  There’s something just so satisfying about finishing a pair of socks (or any knitting, I suppose).

This morning, after dropping off my husband at his bus stop, I sat down to do knit a couple rows before grabbing breakfast.

And, well, I got a little distracted.  Let’s just say I got my breakfast a couple hours later than I had planned (which is saying something. I love breakfast).

I’m so happy with how the socks turned out, but I think my favorite part of making socks (and the reason I love making top down socks in particular) is sewing up the tip of the toe with the Kitchener stitch.  It’s one of those perfect knitting tricks that just makes me endlessly happy.  I know that a lot of people have trouble with the Kitchener stitch, and it took me a long time to figure out how to do it.  But, man, I love it now.

It’s like magic!

You start with a big ugly hole in the end of your nice sock.  Then with a few careful stitches,Then a little careful pulling,  (I know you’re supposed to keep your stitches tight when you do the Kitchener stitch, but for whatever reason, leaving them loose, then tightening them up afterward makes more sense to me.)And, voila!  A perfect, lovely toe!  I just love how the stitches disappear, looking just like your knitting.  Whoever figured out how to do the Kitchener stitch (presumably, Ms. Kitchener) is a freaking genius! Now I have to go weave in all my ends (my least favorite part of making socks).

Do you have a favorite technique?  Something that makes you happy whenever you have to do it?

On the Road Again

We just got back from another road trip! This time, to Mt Rainier National Park.  My folks came to visit last weekend, and we drove to the mountain and stayed in the lodge at the top (well… the lodge is about a third of the way up the mountain, but it’s as far as you can get with a car).  The weather was… wet… but the park is absolutely gorgeous, nonetheless.

I mean, look at it!  It’s absolutely stunningWe spent the day hiking around, checking out waterfalls and finding tiny wildflowers.  (We even spotted a fox and a few deer-but they were too fast to get a picture.)And, in the evening we hung out in the lodge, playing cribbage and playing the ukulele.  It was absolutely delightful.

Unfortunately, the road to Rainier is narrow and twisty, so I wasn’t able to make that much headway on my Road Trip Socks (dang motion sickness!).  I had hoped I would be able to finish them last weekend, but it looks like I’ll just have to keep working on them at home.  Oh well- we still had a fantastic trip.

Have you spent any time in National Parks?  Which is your favorite?

Road Trip Knitting

Summer’s Road Trip Season, and this year I’ve got a bunch of trips coming up.  We’re flying to California to visit friends, we’re driving to Mt. Rainier with my folks and we’re going to a family reunion waaaaay up in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.

Of course, we’re not doing all this at the same time (we do have to work, after all).  But, I want to get ready for all that car/plane downtime.  That means stocking up on Dramamine, filling my Kindle with new books, and planning out some simple-yet-interesting knitting projects.

I’m a big fan of socks as travel knitting.  They’re small enough to fit into a purse or cary-on, but take long enough to fill up a whole week of travel.  And, other than turning the heel, they’re easy enough that you don’t really have to focus on what you’re doing.

They’re the best!

Anyway, I dug into my stash, and found a bunch of little ends of sock yarn.  So, I was thinking of doing something to use up that yarn.  Stripes seem too boring, and colorwork would make me carsick (simple is the name of the game, after all).

I poked around on Ravelry, until I found these beauties!

Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna LevaniemiHer original pattern (it’s not a formal pattern, exactly, more like a design suggestion that I can use with my standard Socks by the Numbers pattern) uses a lovely cream color with a pretty variegated yarn. The little stripes combined with the knit/purl pattern make the colors blend together really nicely.

But, what I really love is the idea that Ravelry User mckr had.  Stripes!  But when the stripe colors are mixed with the background color, the whole thing looks gorgeous and cohesive.So, I picked out six mini balls of leftover sock yarn, and a full 50g skein of a lovely navy blue.  I think they’ll look great together.  (One of the mini-skeins even has sparkles!)

I’m making myself wait until our road trips are officially going before I start knitting these bad boys.  Vacation can’t start soon enough!

Are you looking forward to any upcoming projects?

 

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?