I’m Really Bad At This

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So I’ve been participating faithfully in the Knit.Sock.Love KAL and trying to work on one other project every month, but not updating the blog much. Surfing and posting on Ravelry seem to be the limits of my abilities. I do, however, feel the need to keep this blog going for myself if no one else ever checks in again. I just won’t promise anything in regards to schedule. That way, maybe it’ll happen more often lol. My latest sock for the KAL is Mona in Louet Gems Fingering. I have a few different color ways of this yarn that I bought just for Cookie’s designs. It’s not my favorite because I find it very thin. I feel like it needs to be knit very tightly or the socks will develop holes from a few wearings. We’ll see, since this is my first time using it.

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WIP it Up #1

One of my 2011 Resolutions is to become a monogamous knitter.  That does not, however, preclude me from starting new projects.  It just means that I can only work on that project until it is done.  Thank goodness for that, because I know now that I could not work on just my current WIPs and be happy.  Those I plan to intersperse between new projects until they are complete.

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My first WIP of the new year is a pair of Hederas using Cookie A.‘s new book Knit.Sock.Love. I am participating in the Knit.Sock.Love group KAL on Ravelry and hope to finish all of the socks this time around, with a few replacements (we’re allowed four).   I already know I won’t be making Gothic Spire (Ravelry link) socks because I tried that before and it did not end well, lol.  All of those wrapped stitches using DPNs were a disaster.  I’m leaning toward making some Rhiannon socks (Ravelry link), but I will know for sure when that month begins.

In addition, for all of the socks except ones that I don’t have enough yarn for (i.e. knee socks) the yarn has to come from stash.  Not surprisingly, I have enough yarn to make every pair of socks in this KAL except for one.  I think this will work out well.  Less yarn, more socks.  It’s a win-win.

Finished Projects

Last post I mentioned my Sockhead hat, which I knit in February.

I only got to wear it for one day before the doggy got to it and it ended up looking like this:
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It was such a pretty hat, too. Nice and warm. In any case, I’m now attempting to frog back the ribbing. I’m feeling like it’s a lost cause, though, and may just frog the whole thing and start over.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to finish a couple of pairs of socks. There are two new sock books in my library, one of which is Sock Club! Join the Knitting Adventure. The very first sock in the book is the Serendipity Socks by Ellie Putz (Ravelry link). I knit these socks with one of the skeins of yarn I got in the Eat, Drink, and Be Merry SemiSolid Yarn Club by Yarntini. They came out wonderfully in a more solid colorway and the pattern was an easy one to memorize.

serendipity-socks-complete
Pattern: Serendipity Socks
Yarn: Yarntini SemiSolid 75/25 in Ginger Ice
Needles: 2.25mm DPNs

I also managed to finally finish my Fancy Silk Socks by Nancy Bush. Ravelry tells me that these socks were started on November 8, 2008. I’m trying to work through my UFOs, so these were the next socks pulled out of the stash. Once I got started, it was very easy to finish and they fit wonderfully well. I think that part of the problem was that at the time I was having difficulty memorizing the pattern. Also, the 2.25mm DPNs were just a little too small. I switched to 2.5mm needles for the second sock and things went much more smoothly.

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Pattern: Fancy Silk Socks for a Child of 5 or 6 Years (Knitting Vintage Socks)
Yarn: DIC Smooshy in Lipstick Lava
Needles: 2.25 and 2.5mm DPNs

I’ve gotten a few more books in the mail and hope to talk about those later.

Consistency, That’s the Key

handdyed garter rib

I’ve managed to finish a pair of socks for a co-worker who’s moving to Colorado.  I didn’t know they would be for her at the time that I started them, but shortly thereafter we had a conversation about handknit socks.  She’s originally from Lithuania, and grew up recieving a pair yearly from her mother in the winter.  Since moving to America, her mom has quit knitting and she herself doesn’t know how.  She told me that the only socks she’s ever worn to bed were hand-knit ones in the winter.  Since she’s moving to such a cold place, I knew she’d really appreciate these.  She knows they’re coming and is excited about them.

Consistency is a goal that I’m working toward.  I spent some time daily on these socks, often with them as the only project I worked on for the day in the beginning.  As I started to get bored with the project, they became my carry-around and car knitting.  At the end I just powered through the ribbing on the second pair and bound off in one night.  This seems to work and allow me to get things done.  If only I could do that with the afghans.

Sock Yarn

I’m finding that I really like the sturdy sock yarns for wearing.  I spent 2 years in Germany, and for durability, there’s nothing like German yarn.  I am trying the Regia Cotton with my Madder Ribbed Socks for the first time, and I love it.  It’s slightly plumper than the Regia 4-fadig that I have the most of, so I can use 2.25mm needles to knit it with.  Their 4-ply requires that I use 2.0mm needles.  I don’t mind the small size, though, since the socks are virtually indestructible.  It might not be the softest stuff, but it wears like iron and I don’t find that I develop the pilling found in the other softer yarns.  My Socks That Rock is wonderful to knit with, but it doesn’t wear as well and I definitely have noticed some felting on the heels where I seem to be the roughest on socks.  My socks made with Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn didn’t last a whole year.  I’ve been ignoring those since there’s a hole in one of the heels and it makes me to upset to even look at it.  Those are the only socks I have that have developed holes, though, mainly because I don’t wear the others as often for fear of what damage I may find. 

I also have some random unnamed Czech yarn that seems like it will stand up as well as the Regia.  I just haven’t knit with it yet.

Now, I just need to find a shop that stocks all the various colors of Regia that I was so used to seeing everywhere in Germany.  Then again, I think I might have enough to make at least 10 more pairs of socks before I run out.

The Nancy Bush Project

I love Nancy Bush’s books.  Her socks always come out wonderfully, and now she has her lace book also.  I’ve decided to try to finish one project per month from her books.  This will give me the opportunity to learn different sock constructions, as well as allow me to work on lace projects that I love.  In between these, I will continue to work on my WIPs until they are all completed.  Today’s WIP is my sister’s Tilted Duster( Ravelry link).  I’ve been stalling on picking up the stitches for the collar.  It just seemed so tedious, plus I was making it more complicated than it needed to be.  But finally, I buckled down and got it done.  I’ll be working on the collar and will get as much of it done as possible this weekend.

As for Nancy Bush, I’ve had to take a break from the shawl.  I’ll come back to that in the New Year after my Christmas gifts are completed.  Instead, I’m going to work on each of the simple ribbed socks in Knitting Vintage Socks, starting with the Madder Ribbed Socks(Ravelry link).  I’ve made anklets in this pattern in the past, but I’m going to do the full-sized socks in some Regia Cotton for my first pattern.

SOS Wrap-Up

SOS 08 Wrap-Up

 

I managed to finish 4 1/2 socks during Summer of Socks 2008.  The last pair will be posted later when I’ve finished both socks.   Not so bad, really, when you consider that I was not monogamous during this time.  I worked on my sister’s Tilted Duster during Ravelympics (the main reason I didn’t get pair number 5 finished), as well as the occasional knit on my ongoing blanket projects. 

As you can see, I really do have a thing for red.  The purple yarn came from a Yarn Pirate Sock Club shipment, and the Blue was the December 2007 kit from the Rockin’ Sock Club.  I wanted to try to knit from stash, which I did.  I also wanted to use up some of the yarn that was not particularly my favorite (the Yarn Pirate BFL was a little thin for my taste).  I accomplished that goal as well.   The Cat Bordhi Salish Sea Socks pattern was interesting, and prompted me to buy her most recent book.  The unfinished pair comes from this book and is really interesting as well, with the unusual construction included in Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks. 

I’ve signed up for Sock Knitters Anonymous and the Solid Socks groups on Ravelry, and plan to continue my journey of sock knitting, at least until my yarn stash is significantly decreased.  I’ve got about 25 pairs worth of yarn still to get through, which will take me at least another couple of years to knit up.

It’s Summertime! What does that mean?

Well, for me it’s all about 3 things:

1. Lace: I joined the summer of lace and started a few projects. I’ve got the Bird’s Nest Shawl from Piecework magazine in the works with some stash yarn, the Goddessknits Anniversary Shawl going in some white Zephyr laceweight, and I am about to cast on the Heartland Lace Shawl (pdf)in a different Zephyr colorway. I want to get the Heartland lace shawl done quickly. I usually am able to do this with Evelyn Clark patterns, as they seem to be fairly easy to memorize (except for that Flowerbasket shawl, which hated me).

(Ooh, the new Piecework has an excerpt from Nancy Bush’s new Estonian lace book, along with a pattern.  I am sooo getting that!)

2. Socks: I joined the Summer of Socks 2008 (Flickr link for those without Ravelry) this year and have steadily been making progress. I finished these
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They’re the Salish Sea Socks by Cat Bordhi

Yarn: STR Mediumweight in Bella Coola (yarn and pattern from Dec 07 RSC)

Needle: 2.5mm Knitpicks Classic Circs

Started: 21 June 2008

Finished: 26 June 2008

The pattern is toe-up, and since I don’t usually buy 2 of the same size needle, I did these Magic Loop, using Judy’s Magic Cast-On. They ended up a little baggy, but I think that might be normal, as I saw that others had that same problem with the pattern in the Socks that Rawk Ravelry group. It’s OK though. They’ll still get worn and my mom likes the colors.

My next project is the Crosshatch Lace Socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks in a colorway of Yarn Pirate Yarn that I got with her Booty club.
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I’m knitting these toe-up ML as well. I’m determined to figure out how to get them to fit properly, and I really do like the ability not to lose stitches with the circulars. The problem is, I don’t particularly like this BFL yarn base of hers. It’s super thin to me, and very splitty. I definitely would not have bought it in a store. My goal, though, is to use up some of the handpainted yarns that have been sitting around here for too long. I’ve got 9 more balls wound up into cakes, and have bought 2 extra GoKnit small pouches to carry everything around in. I finish one pair and the yarn and pattern for the second pair are ready to go. Hopefully that will get things moving steadily along and I won’t get stuck with Second Sock Syndrome.

3. UFOs: Man, I’ve got a ridiculous pile of UFOs hanging around here. I need to get moving on some of these. It doesn’t help that I’ve got 4 or 5 blankets in progress. My goal will be to have them all finished by the end of the year. I’ve already committed to finishing my sister’s Tilted Duster during the Olympics. Everything else needs to get selected one at a time and worked on until completion (around the lace and socks, of course). I think first will be my brother’s striped log cabin blanket. I will focus on that this month and try to be done with it before the Olympics begin on August 8th.

That’s it for now. Whew, I need to post more often so I don’t dump so much stuff all at once. Maybe that’ll be the 2009 goal.

Castagna Socks Finished

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Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug

Needles: 2.5mm metal DPNs

Started: Way back in October, I think

Finished: 12 April 2008

I managed to get service today, so I’m going to quickly post these finished Colinette Jitterbug socks. I have to admit, it’s really nice yarn. Very similar to STR. The problem is, I must have gotten one of the original skeins where the yardage left much to be desired. As you can see, I had to finish these off with some other stash yarn. I’ve since started a new pair of socks with said yarn (STR lightweight in Beryl). Gorgeous stuff that I hope to be able to show you a finished object of in the coming weeks. I love Socks that Rock. Good thing I have a nice stash, since I won’t be buying any until I’ve used up what I have.

It’s all good, though, since my mom really likes these. You should have seen me trying to make it work. I knew that the first sock was a little too long, so I finished the second sock as far as i could. Then I ripped back the first sock so that the lengths matched. I left the second sock on the needles and re-knit the toe decreases on the first sock until they matched the toe decreases on the second sock. After that I was taking turns, knit 2 rows here, knit 2 rows there. I should have taken a picture of the yarn confusion. I knit them both as long as I could make them with the Jitterbug, then switched to the STR. SO, this is one full skein of Jitterbug knit into a pair of socks with a 6 in leg, fit for a woman with size 7 narrow feet.

At least it kept me busy at work on Saturday. I am not in love with doing Admissions at a very slow hospital on a Saturday. The only redeeming factor is the knitting time.

Photo difficulties

Well, I’ve been planning to post for about a week now.  I finished my most recent Shetland Triangle Shawl a week ago, as well as my Jitterbug socks and the March block for the Stitch DC blanket club.  The problem is, I can’t get the photos loaded.  My computer doesn’t like the sD card on my Panasonic camera.  They’re stuck in there for the time being.  And, I only have internet access on the weekends when I visit my parents.  Today I just happened to be visiting because I’m off.

So, I guess there will be no photos until next week.  I really wanted to share these, too, because I finally feel like I’ve got my knitting groove back and I’m excited about that.  For awhile now, I’ve just been keeping up with what everyone else has been doing, but not really getting in much knitting myself.  I think things started to change with the Hemlock Ring blanket.  The deadline really forced me to knit exclusively on one thing and I began to enjoy myself again.   I’m trying to dedicate myself to two projects at a time again.  One sock project, and a main project that I try to get finished in a reasonable amount of time.  I don’t know how well this will work, but I plan to try for now.

Maybe I’ll be able to post the pictures next week.