Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mom's Monkeys Are Finished

Here they are. Done as of 2/8 at 8 pm.

Look at how much yarn I had left. It was like the miracle oil of Hanukkah. I worried from the 2nd cuff on that I was going to run out of yarn, but it held out. Delivering them to mom on 2/11 weather permitting.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Advent Scarf - Day 12

Day 12

Mom's Monkey - First Sock Done

18 rows of cuff then 5 leg pattern repeats.

21 rows of heel flap.

Turn the heel.

Picked up 12 stitches and made 1 on each side. Foot is 4 patterns plus 5 rows. Toe is 22 rows. Then grafted the toe stitches together.

2nd sock is cast on. Should be done by next week. Tried making my own sock blocker with a clothes hanger because this sock is larger than my store bought blocker. It's okay. May try to make one out of foam if I get to Michael's soon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mom's Monkeys -- February's Cookie A Knit-a-long

The Ravelry group sock for February is Monkey. I'm making this pair for my mom.

I'm using 2.5 mm DPNs making the large size.

I cast on 80 stitches using the German Twisted Cast On which for some reason took forever!

I'm using Handpainted Knitting Yarns Donegal sock yarn in a blue colorway. Here's the start of the cuff.

Because Mom likes her socks longer, I'm doing 2 inches of cuff which is 18 rows.

Sweetheart Socks

I cast on Sweetheart Socks in the last few days. I'm working them on Size 3 DPNs which made the toe up cast on interesting. I managed to get it done  using Judy's Magic Cast On.

Here's the toe which I worked in 21 rows knitting the odd rows and increasing 4 stitches by kfb one stitch from each end.

Then the pattern starts. Here's one repeat plus about 13 rows.

At the 10th row in the second repeat you plan for an afterthought heel by knitting a waste thread in the sole which you'll later pick out and pick up the stitches to add in the heel, a new technique for me. Here's what it looks like for now.

Advent Scarf Days 9 - most of 12

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11 and most of Day 12

I'm going into differently colored yarns. First orange and white, then an orange/red combo, then red/yellow/blue and next will be a blue/purple mix. The yarn hasn't been going far lately, so this may end up sleeping until more yarn becomes available. We'll see.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What To Do With Leftover Sock Yarn

Back during the Christmas season I saw on Ravelry that a bunch of people were knitting an advent scarf. The designer published one section a day for 24 days. I didn't have time to do it then, but I'm trying it out now and using my remnant yarn. Who knows what it's going to turn out like since the colors are going to vary over the course of the knitting.

Here's the pattern. Advent Scarf

Here's where we are so far.

Day 1

Day 2

This day has Nupps! Thankfully there was this great video to explain a way to do nupps that didn't involve having to purl through 7 stitches.

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6 and 7 (I think)

Look, it's yarn number 2!

Day 8

I'm viewing this both as a way to use yarn and a way to gain skills. The other thing about it is there's no way I could have kept up with the pace of this scarf. You have to knit 32 rows a day and for me at least that's taking 4 or more hours a day. I wish this was less wide and that the amount of knitting was at most 2 hours a day worth. I think when next December rolls around I will try to do this with a group though. We'll see.

And Then The Computer Crashed

But while it was down, I finished the orange socks.

I forgot to write down the exact dimensions of the socks, so I can't summarize how far I went on the foot and the toe, but basically I tried to make them a little shorter than I did the blue/purple ones I did before. I also continued to find that I had more laddering on the sock I did on two circulars, so I think as I head into a new pair of socks next week, I'm going to go with the DPNs rather than two circulars.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Yarn From Hell?

Pretty yarn, right? It's Alpaca Sox by Classic Elite Yarns in Russet.

I knitted up a swatch for gauge

and found that I needed to use 0s (2.25 mm) to get 32 stitches by 48 rows.

Then came the issue of what socks to knit, and that's where the "from Hell" part of this project comes from.

First I tried a pattern, which for some reason I can't find now, that did a false cable. It involved a stitch where you knit into the front, then the back, then the front again before removing the stitch so that every fourth row the number of stitches on the needles multiplied only to then have to k3 together a couple of rows later. A pain in the neck and what's more it just didn't look good, so after knitting the cuff and 2 or 3 pattern repeats

I frogged it. It just wasn't worth the effort to get the result.

Then I decided I'd knit a pattern I'd done before written for Flat Feet Socks. Basically it was a k2, p1 for the leg and foot. I was knitting them on 2s, and decided it was just too loose, so I frogged those after about 20 rounds.

And finally I decided to do a modified Hedera. I still did a k2tbl, p1 cuff, which was dumb because it doesn't flow into the leg pattern as prettily as k1tbl, p1 would have, but dadgum it I wasn't frogging again, especially because I decided to try to do 2 socks at a time and had knit both cuffs for 10 rounds before starting the leg.

As suggested, I cast on one cuff and knitting it, then cast the other cuff on a second set of needles and then knitting them onto the first set of needles. And then I made a couple of rounds with 2 socks on one set of needles until --- I though I'd go crazy trying to keep the yarn from tangling. So I knitted the second set back off the needles and proceeded to make 2 socks at a time on two sets of needles simply by knitting one for a while, setting it down and knitting the second for a while.

This also means I have one sock on a set of circulars (size 1, 2.5 mm) and another on a set of DPNs. It's been a while since I've used DPNs and I've never used any this small, but I like it, though I worry about accidentally pulling out an entire needle (because I did it indeed by sitting on the yarn).

And after only 3 days of knitting here we are.

I just have the foots and toes to go.

On the plus side for the DPNs I think they help me reduce laddering between the foot and the sole of the sock in particular. But on the plus side for the circulars, I can try the socks on without fear.

Here are the particulars from the socks.

Cast on 60 stitches on size 1 needles (2.5 mm)
10 rows of k2tbl, p1 cuff
10 pattern repeats from the legs (only 5 inches total, not 6 from the pattern)
27 rows of heel flap
Picked up 14 stitches and made 1 for each side of the gusset

Depending on what all I have to get done today, I should be able to finish at least one of the socks today and the pair no later than then end of this week. And soon the socks from hell will hopefully be only a reference to their flame-like color.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hederas Complete

Finished on the afternoon of January 10th. Basically did them in a week. I'm hoping they will fit my aunt-in-law Jane, but they may be a little long. We'll see.

On to swatching for something else.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Days 6 and 7 - Foot and Toe - Sock One Complete!

Knitting the foot took longer than I thought it would, 14 total pattern repeats including those started after picking up the gusset stitches. I finished it mid-morning on Day 7.

And that just left the toe, 13 repeats of knit and decreasing stitches before grafting 18 stitches together to finish Sock 1.

I'll cast on Sock 2 sometime today so that I can hopefully avoid Second Sock Syndrome.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 5 - Heel Flap, Turn Heel, Gusset

Day 5 was a good day for knitting. I knitted the heel flap, 33 rows.

Then I turned the heel. I love turning heels.

Then I picked up 16 stitches and made 1 on each side, resumed the pattern across the foot and knitted all the gusset reductions to end up here.

Now on to the foot.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 4 - Leg Complete

And now that I understand how the yarnovers work, round and round it goes. Between giving away a pan which meant I didn't have to waste time on a return, a lack of 5th grade homework, piano lessons and a really long Sugar Bowl, I finished 14 pattern repeats and have hit 6 inches.

On to the heel flap!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 3 - And Now We're Back Where We Started

Oops! While reading through the KAL thread on Ravelry I read a comment from kyliem123 that said, my lace is loose on the left and tight on the right, what do I do. Turns out I had the problem too. Fortunately there was a wonderful explanation of the problem and solution from AddieM here.

So I had to frog all my knitting, the cuff plus 10 1/2 leg repeats and start over. So by the end of 1/3 I was back to here.

It also dawned on me I hadn't explained fully what I'm doing. I'm doing the Medium version of the sock, casting on 70 stitches. I'm hoping with the stretchiness of lace that is going to prove to be the right size. The measurements in the pattern made me want to do Large, but then I only had one ball of yarn and it called for two, so I changed to Medium.

Also a word on solving the problem that caused this re-cast. Because of the way I'm doing the yarnovers, trying to create a larger rather than smaller hole, on Row 2 of the leg pattern, on Row three my pattern should read ktbl, p2, ktbl, k4, p2.

Hopefully I'll have time to regain some of my losses during tonight's piano lesson and the Sugar Bowl. Go Hogs!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hedera - Days 1 and 2

I cast on January 1st around noon Central time in compliance with the KAL rules. I'll admit it. I had to frog and cast on a second time. It looked like I had dropped a stitch in transitioning between the needles after four or five rounds. Luckily I'm not afraid to frog.

After a while I got the cuff done.

I've done one other Cookie A sock, Pomatomus and had forgotten about her love from going tbl (through the back loop). I have to say I love it though, except for that one time I forgot and it took a while for me figure out which edge was the leading edge to fix the stitch. Oh well, the occasional mistake proves their homemade socks.

By the end of January 1 I had enjoyed watching the Big 10 being demolished in 5 bowl games, 3 at the hands of my beloved SEC. And I had made it through 3 repeats of the leg pattern. Unfortunately I have no picture of that though.

January 2nd we spent most of the day in the car driving from Destin, Florida back home to Memphis. I'm not a car knitter, so I didn't get to knit until late in the day. I did manage to make it through 4 more repeats before it was time for bed.

I like to use stitch markers to separate the repeats. It makes it so I don't have to count as much, just to 10, not to 40. I was worried that the yarn was going to be too dark and too variegated to show the pattern well, but I think it's working out well. It's not quite as dramatic as those who are using a solid sock color, but for some reason I have a hard time making myself by solid colors. Guess I better work on that too.

Will I have time to knit on Jan 3? We'll see.

Hedera - January 2011

The first pattern in and the first in the knit along (KAL) is Hedera.

You can actually get this pattern for free here as it was previously published on Knitty.

Here's what the sock looks like when finished.

And now here's the details on my project.

I'm using Malabrigo Sock yarn that I bought in Fort Walton Beach, Florida at Unwind.

The color is called Abril.

I was good and swatched.

Well, not so good. I only did it so I could measure a 2x2 square and got gauge on my No 1s (2.25 mm). I have a question. Why is gauge always written in 4 inches, but the little measuring device everyone has only measures in 2 inches? I was happily surprised to get gauge with my 1s because I am a notoriously loose knitter. I do own one set of 0s, but I'd rather not have to invest in needles any smaller than that.

I also knit socks one at a time on two 24" circulars. After seeing the number of people doing two socks at a time in the Ravelry group, I think that's a skill I'd like to pick up this year. While I've never suffered from Second Sock Syndrome before, it is a bit deflating to finish one sock only to realize you have to do it all over again. I do worry though that I'll manage to tangle the yarn. I have tangling issues. You should see my seatbelt.

Next post, the knitting begins!


My first project this year is to knit through this beautiful book by Cookie A.

And I am not alone. I found this great Ravelry group dedicated to knitting through the book as well. I plan to follow it's knit along schedule to knit my way through in a year and a half.

The Adventure Begins

As 2011 opens I'm going to try to blog some of the knitting projects I plan to tackle this year.

I started knitting two years ago after finishing reading a 1000 page book and thinking I need a break and want to do something with my hands. I taught myself to knit with YouTube videos, knitted several scarves and then moved on hats in the rounds thanks to Charlotte at Yarniverse in Memphis, TN. A month later I was back at Yarniverse in Charlotte's One Day Sock workshop, and from there I've moved on to sweaters and afghans.

For 2011 I want to add mittens if not gloves to my repertoire. I also want to knit a lot of socks and try a lot of new yarns. I also want to try to visit at least one local yarn store in the cities and towns I visit this year. We'll see how it goes.

If you want to see some of the things I've done in the past, you can check out my Ravelry page. I'm relatively new to Ravelry still. That's another thing I'd like to improve on this year.