Tag Archives: 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?

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?