Category Archives: socks

Things Unfinished

Unfinished: February Lady Sweater.

I know what you’re thinking: “Another sweater, already? Has she gotten cocky or something?” But hey, this is a really cute sweater, it’s construction and lace pattern are pretty easy, and I had yarn enough in my stash. Everyone else is doing it…

FLS - WIP

Unfinished: Baby Surprise Jacket.

It almost seems like one would have her “Knitter” status revoked if one was pregnant and did not knit this ubiquitous cardigan. It’s ok by my, though, since I love reading Elizabeth Zimmerman, and this particular pattern manages to be dead-simple and not ‘mindless’ at the same time. It’s also like the origami of knitwear — it’s fun to blindly knit along and not know how it will work out and then just twist the needles and see a glimpse of it all!

BSJ -WIP

Unfinished: generic sock.

For those times that a simple sweater and/or garter stitch are still too complex… a boring ol’ sock. But it’s Austermann yarn “mit aloe vera“, which is pretty nice! And yes, sometimes I still can be sucked in by the novelty of yarn that stripes itself.

sock WIP

Unfinished: the nursery / baby ‘gear’.

I took a photo, but it’s just so overwhelming I can’t bring myself to upload it. There are many things that need to be not-in-there (some stuff that just needs to be trashed, and unfortunately more that need–ugh–organizing), a tonne of baby-shower gifts that need to find their new permanent homes (my gods, how many onsies does one baby need? I don’t think I’ll get to buy this baby any clothes until it’s a toddler!), and some critical pieces (crib? diaper pail?) that don’t even exist in this current reality.

And let’s not even talk about all those moms-to-be with their designer diaper bags and a month’s worth of meals in the freezer. Because that must be a myth, right?

Unfinished: gestation.

baby belly - 34 wks
Baby belly at 34 weeks

I’m beginning to find myself entering the ‘countdown’ phase, the point of no return looming close and feeling up to the challenge! (“Stuff” notwithstanding.) I know that there could be many more weeks before this little one decides it’s time to join us in the world, but I also can tell that my body is beginning to prepare for that transitional journey.
Having Dru tell me “I want to meet my baby now!” on a daily basis helps (or doesn’t), too :)

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Filed under knitting, pregnancy, rambling, socks, sweaters, WIPs

Ready, Set…

Are you ready for a day of Inexplicable Knitter Behaviour?

I’ve got my checklist all printed. (Yes, I’ve scouted out likely locations for my sock photos. I’ve got to work during the day, so I’ve got to be efficient!) Likewise cash has been taken out, in prep for prime snack- and book-buying, pretty notebook is at ready (for taking down blog addresses, of course), and little cards have been hastily printed (yes, I am that dorky) for this giving to others (how much am I wanting a set of MOO cards?).

stuff ready for launch

I’ve been in touch with my knitterly friends from far and near (give me a shout if you’re coming!), and hopefully will meet up with some of them before the event — someone save me a seat!) and the rest at the pub afterwards.

Me!
This is me! See you there?

A sock is in progress, of course.

sock WIP
Arucania Ranco, basic sock “recipe” (my own, but in the spirit of Stephanie).

Oh, and my camera, of course! Have I forgotten anything?

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Filed under knitting, out & about, socks

Sock Madness

Would I be mad, do you think, to sign up for Sock Madness 2?

Sock Madness 2

It’s a knit-off, a speed race for socks. I don’t even have any much of a sockyarn stash. And I’m not usually the competitive type. But the free patterns, and that push to knit socks, knit them fast and well

Would I be mad to? Would I be mad not to?

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FO: Samhain Stockings

Just in time for the end of Socktoberfest, I have a completed pair of socks! Perhaps what I have lacked this month in numbers is made up a bit by length and festiveness?


autumn knee-high socks

Samhain Stockings!

I knit these most of the way to and from Virginia (hooray for car-knitting time!), and so have completed them in about 2 weeks. They’re a simple sock ‘recipe” — toe-up socks on the magic loop, though I knit these one at a time.

autumn sock details
Short row heel and toe.

Varying my game a bit, all the while keeping things simple for work the car, I used a shot-row toe to perfectly match my short-row heel, both out of my solid-coloured yarn. This actually kept things really neat — 56 stitches total, 28 per side, and when I’d knit about halfway up my leg (where one would cast off for a regular sock), I increased 2 stitches every fifth row four times, so that I had a 64 stitch sock (both of these numbers are ones I’m used to with sock-knitting). Then I just knit until I ran out of yarn (seriously: sock #1 is slightly longer than the other!), joined in the solid yarn again, and knit twisted-stitch 1×1 ribbing until I was done! I cast off in the ‘Russian’ way, which I like, but I may have to run some elastic thread through it to keep the socks on if I’m doing a lot of walking.

autumn knee-highs

Samhain Stockings
Pattern: generic toe-up socks (see above)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in “Autumn” (one skein, divided in half), and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in “Chocolate”
Needles: 1 long 2.25mm circular (magic loop)
Started & Finished: October 2007!

zombie cat
This Hallowe’en I have no costume, though I did wear my new stockings today. Arddu, however, is going out as a Zombie!!

Happy Hallowe’en!!

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Filed under FOs, how-to, knitting, socks

Virginia Vacation

I’m back from vacation, safe and sound. There was a lot of car time, so I knit socks:

autumn socks
STR “Autumn” and Lorna’s Laces “Chocolate”. One knee-high sock done, the other is at about this state now.

Sadly, I bought no yarn, nor fibre. I did, however, see some sheep in Colonial Williamsburg:


leister longwools

Leicester Longwools from the Williamsburg flocks.

These cuties are Leicester Longwools, a period-appropriate breed for colonial times. I got to hear a fair bit about the breed history (what does it say about me that the one thing on the programme I don’t want to miss is the sheep presentation?), and marvelled at the staple length — about 10″! I have got to get me some longwool, y’all.

In the “Me? A tourist?” category, I may have taken a photo of a possum. But he was right outside our hotel! and he was not, as I originally feared, a skunk, so that fact alone endeared him to me.

possum
Not a skunk.

And finally I leave you with a photo of a very odd bush, taken from a parking lot behind a Waffle House. What the heck kind of bush has pink, purple, blue, and teal berries?!?

strange berry bush
Don’t know what it is, but it sure is pretty!

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Mad Colour Weave: Heel Maddness

So I broke down, and did in fact rip back the Black Purl sock back to the toe. Then I re-knit it with the proper zig-zagging twists — and I re-knit the heel — and I re-knit the eye-of-partridge heel flap — and then I ripped that out, having forgotten, once again, that stupid zig-zagging twist on the heel-flap! Once ripped, the heel was all knit again… only the twists didn’t quite line up the way they should. There was a period of most unladylike language and some cruel wielding of a crochet hook and eventually things were done properly.

Here is where it’s at now:
MCW sock, reknit
Apologies for the craptastic night-time photo.

It really just looks like it did in the last photo I posted of the sock, only, y’know, proper.

A close-up of what all the fuss has been about: a toe-up, gusseted, slipped-stich (eye-of-partridge) heel-flap, with the addition of the continuous zig-zag twist:
MCW heel close-up

In fact, this heel fits really well. I’m still not sure if that makes up for how many times I’ve knit the thing, but it does fit really well.

If I ever think that I can improve upon a beautiful-looking pattern again, or am trying to be stingy with my yarn, I’d like to think that I will remember the troubles I’ve been through with this sock. But I know I won’t — one skein of autumnal STR, to toes knit, the rest in a bag, awaiting the ‘perfect pattern’, says otherwise…

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Filed under knitting, socks

Curse of the Black Purl

I love (lovelovelove) the Lorna’s Laces yarn I received from my Secret Pal (SP10). It is in the very colourway I had drooled over in Lettuce Knit, “Black Purl”, a delightful mix of charcoal, grey, lavender and amethyst, with a tiny hint of a greeny-grey.

I was so delighted to get it, I spend many an hour browsing around Ravelry, looking at sock patterns and seeing just what the yarn might “want to be”. I saw it had a tendency to pool in strange ways, but it could also just stripe or blend — something I prefer, and therefore would like to encourage in my own knitting. Eventually I hit upon the Mad Color Weave socks from Woolgathering, and thought that the cabled/slipped stitches would be perfect for breaking up the variegation in the yarn and highlighting the wonderful colours.

Of course, never one to take the easy route, I had to change things up a bit more. I prefer tall socks, and want to get every last inch out of this yarn, so I thought I’d knit these socks toe-up. I tried out Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the first time, and let me tell you, once you catch the trick of it, it really is a sweet cast-on!

MCW socks - toe

Well, since I’m doing these toe-up, and the new cast-on went so well, why not try a ‘proper’ heel, I thought to myself. Wendy has great instructions for various toe-up socks, including a gusseted-with-heel-flap version, and fortunately for me her numbers plug in near-perfectly with MCW. Problem is, with a top-down sock, you always know where to begin the heel, and then the gusset just flows along until it’s finished — you never really have to pay attention to it. With toe-ups, you really have to get the gusset started in the right place, or else you end up with a sock for someone with far longer feel than yourself….

MCW - gusset #1
One dpn indicates where the gusset was started, the other where the gusset *should* have started!

So, I ripped it back, having learned my lesson (or so I thought). I’m a process knitter, right? It’s not about having a finished product rightnow, and besides, if I was all about the product I’d want to have it perfect. Frogging completed, the gusset was begun much sooner on the sock than I initially thought was right (but it is), the sock was re-knit from that point on (again), and I even made good progress into heel-attempt-#2 at knitnight. Heck, I was even a bit of a show-off with my clever eye-of-partridge heel-flap (from the toe up!).

MCW - gusset #2
Looks good, right? But where is that twisted cable on the heel?…

Apparently I am labouring under the Curse of the Black Purl — two full rounds into the leg, I refer back to the pattern, and notice the lovely, clear, giant photo of this sock, complete with it’s clever cabled/slipped stitches and it’s elegant heel progression… which I have completely failed to knit.

Frogging will commence this evening as we drive to a friend’s farm for camping over the weekend. I expect to get a lot of knitting in, but who knows how many times I’ll knit this heel before I finish a sock!

ED:Oh hell –I just noticed that the twisted -stitch cable isn’t even a cabled rope like I thought, but a 2-stitch zig-zag! I’ll let you know after the weekend just how far I decide to rip back… I don’t think I can face it right now!

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