Lurid Socks?

The sock saga continues. With the titillating toe-ups done, I have another notch on my sock blocks. The only trouble with them is that they came out a bit more mottled than I expected—but they turned out beautifully. I’m now a huge fan of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity DK. So soft! So snuggly. So warm. I wish they fit me—but they don’t.

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The bee is in my bonnet now that I’ve found a pattern that works and is easy to follow. It’s worsted weight, so they go fast, but that also means they are not for daily use. Nick still wears the heck out of them–usually as socks around the house, now that things are a bit chilly.

I’ll probably revisit the fingering weight later since he’s wearing quickly through the two pair I knit a while back. For now I’ll try to knit a few of these for Christmas/birthday presents since I’m feeling a bit more confident about them as a project.

And to think… Some people use sock knitting as a place to start learning how to knit.

My first knitting project was garter slippers similar to these, which are vastly easier than sock.

What was your first project?

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Black Friday Yarn Buying Binge

I like to shop local. Knit Fit gave me that chance and I did break the piggy bank.  And it didn’t help that there was a huge close out at my local JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts the same weekend. And though some of my purchases seem a bit mainstream–you must remember—Cascade Yarns are based in Seattle.

I’ve been telling myself that they are for Christmas gifts and for the most part that’s true. But the reality is that most of my recent purchases are serendipitous (I have no project in mind) or because the yarn was sumptuous. I just had to have it. Given I skipped all of the other yarn events this year, I suspect it was inevitable.

Let’s just call it a bit of retail therapy.

😊

A Really Useful Gift for a Knitter

My mind has been on gifts for Christmas. In fact, I’m a bit worried how I’ll complete all the presents I’ve planned to make. I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of some yarn for some of those gifts–hoping it will arrive before Thanksgiving when I’ll finally have some time to knit.

This past weekend I went to Knit Fit in Seattle and picked up a few of the skeins I need, but some are still in transit. Meanwhile I took a master class on decreases and increases, because I’m always struggling to know which one to use when and what each one looks like and is best for certain projects.

On the wrist of the instructor, Andrea Rangel, had on a tool I truly coveted. It’s the one thing I’m always wanting close to hand, but isn’t handy—a measuring tape. Instead of it being in a toolkit there it was as a fashionable bracelet on her wrist.

When I got home I made a quick search and discovered they are made in Oregon by a company called ILOVEHANDLES. For a mere 19.95, I think it’s a beautiful, affordable gift for any knitter in your life.

What a Week I’m Having!!

Work has been tough lately. I mean it’s always challenging, but lately the kitchen has been getting a really, really hot. All week I’ve been telling myself that I have something to look forward to. Knit Fit Seattle!

Even though I worked super late last night, I stayed up even later to make sure I had all my supplies lined for my classes. I even activated a new credit card, in spite of needing no new yarn whatsoever! In fact, I’ve been debating another donating.

Last night I was sleepy, and many mishaps ensued, including dropping 32 ounces of water into my bureau drawer, but by midnight—I was ready! However, this AM I went to look for the address and see if there was nearby parking (a perennial Seattle nightmare) and on my registration in BIG BOLD LETTERS was the date—November 10-12. *sigh*

I REALLY need a break, so I’m making lemonade. I wound all my remaining Madeline Tosh DK into cakes in anticipation of making another George Hancock (combination of Georgetown and Hancock sweaters in Home and Away) and took photos of my latest FO—a Sixteen Cable hat in mohair.

I hope you are having a great week, or better yet, weekend!

A Yarn Weight Key for Holding Two Strands Together

Holding two strands of yarn together can make some beautiful projects. I came across several blogs and lovely patterns on Ravelry which show some spectacular outcomes of holding two yarns of the same weight together.

I’ve got it in my head to do a gradient sweater with a set of Miss Babs Fingering Weight yarn and I’m not too keen on knitting it at a fingering weight. I once knit a sport weight and it took me over a year to complete it (of course not knitting monogamously).  And yet, patterns like the Happily Sweater by Katy Banks, the Progressive Pullover by Faina Goberstein and the Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller are calling my name!

     

I’ve been looking for a key to holding two strands together and couldn’t find a definitive source. This won’t be one either, as this is not an exact science. But after researching and testing I came up with what you could use as a good rule of thumb. After that, swatching should get you the rest of the way.

First to the Craft Yarn Council to get the “standard weight” categories, including a “new” knitted yarn weight called Jumbo—which I often get by hold three worsted weight strands together. The table below is a modified version of what you’ll find at their site. I encourage you to look there for the full table.

Category
Fingering 10-count thread
Sock, Fingering, Baby
Sport, Baby
DK, Light Worsted
Worsted, Afghan, Aran
Chunky, Craft, Rug
Super Bulky, Roving
Jumbo, Roving
Gauge Range Over 4”
33–40 stitches
27–32 stitches
23–26 stitches
21–24 stitches
16–20 stitches
12–15 stitches
7–11 stitches
6 stitches or less

In general, from standard yarn sources (e.g., Quince and Co, Lion Brand or Cascade Yarns, in general I find the following is true:

  • 2 strands of thread weight = Lace weight to fingering
  • 2 strands of lace weight = fingering to sock to sport weight
  • 2 strands of sock = sport weight to DK
  • 2 strands of sport = DK or light worsted
  • 2 strands of DK = Worsted or Aran
  • 2 strands of Worsted = Chunky
  • 2 strands of Aran = Chunky to Super Bulky
  • 2 strands of Chunky = Super bulky to Jumbo

Always check your gauge, since your mileage may vary. I’m selfishly sharing so I could put the list in a place I could find it. 😊

Maybe next time I’ll do some tests with mixed weights, since I do an awful lot of those combinations too. And after that maybe three strands.

Like so much with knitting, the possibilities are endless!

Titillating Toe-up Socks

This weekend I looking for a way to make sock knitting a bit more bearable. My husband has gone crazy for them! I did I test run with some worsted acrylic I had lying around in a bright variegated yarn called “Lava”.

The "hole" truth
The “hole” truth

As I’ve mentioned before, they were just a prototype. I never thought he’d wear them, but on completion–he HAD to have them. In a few short months he’d loved them to death and demanded a replacement pair–in the same “lurid” color. It wasn’t worth knitting them in that same bad yarn which will only wear out quickly again, so I hunted up a similar color scheme in wool. Cost a pretty penny too!

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Since this is expensive yarn I want to use it wisely–making them as long as possible. That requires then to be toe-up. So I’m at it again—looking for an easy way out—so frustrated by the toe-up patterns that cause me nothing but heartache.

Enter Staci and VeryPink.com.

  • Want to learn how to knit two socks at once on two circular needles? Here’s how: https://youtu.be/i4iD77aJCAw
  • Want to do a provision cast on for magic loop socks (because I can’t seem to get other method to work)? She’s got you covered: https://youtu.be/eQgxMypJlXA
  • Want to make sure the socks don’t get holes? Reinforce them! https://youtu.be/OJPZVswnVxQ. And this will come in handy so that I don’t have to knit another pair so soon.

 

It’s still in the early hours of knitting these little follows, but I’ve come a lot further in a much shorter time with a little help from Staci.

Too Proud by a Half!

For once a timely sweater!

Just in time for Fall, I finished a Fuchsia Lillian to go over my Fabulous Fitted Fuchsia Funnelneck. And yes, it is a bit matchy matchy, but I love it; one, because I can wear the shell a bit longer, and two, because it is another of my funky modified sweaters—I made it my own.

It hardly resembles the Lillian cardi that it is based on, yet other than changing the stitch pattern it is the same sweater. So it just goes to show how little you have to do in order to create a completely different look.

I did 3×3 rib instead of the garter starting at an empire waistline for the same number of rows as the shell. In the body I only did a little “needle size” shaping. The collar/band is 3×3 ribbing as well, not the 2×2 in the pattern. I also ribbed the sleeves at the same point as the body.  If I were to do it again, I would not use a ribbed band—but have gone with garter or some other stitch because I notice that even the original (as you can see in the photo above) the bottom of the band tends to scrunch up because it is so broad. Maybe after a good blocking it won’t be so bad. Fingers crossed!

The yarn is a vintage cotton/linen blend—Bernat Panama, so it will breathe when the weather is fine and it considerable warmer than wearing the shell alone. In fact, it’s so snuggly, after I finished it I put it on and nodded off to sleep.

A Logo — Finally!

Being more technical than artful—an odd thing to say about a crafter, but I’ve always felt it to be the case—I was trying to work with various graphic artists on a logo. Since these folks were also friends, it just never seemed to rise to the top of their “to do” list, even though I was a paying customer.

Well, I finally took it upon myself to create my own. I’d love any feedback you might have!

OrcasIslandKnitsLogo

The Replacement

I love the pattern for the 16 Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles. And I mean LOVE at first sight atop a colleague’s head at work. What makes it so nice is the cabling is poofy and adds a bit of bulk to my otherwise child-sized, fine-haired head. I knew it would be a great hat for because the person wearing it has similar head issues.

Enter my husband’s youngest, but not smallest daughter. I may be just a little taller and wider than her, but with size 11 shoes and her father’s brain box, at 15 I doubt she’s done growing. She’s slender, but very muscular as well. And the hat? It looked perfect on her.

Nick_n_Nikita

Coming from Florida, she didn’t bring warm clothes and was constantly saying in the Puget Sound summer, “I’m cold!”, before she and my husband took off for a hike I placed the hat on her head and it looked great. Bye-bye hat. ☹

I had another skein of Malabrigo Yarn Rios in Azul Profundo, so I told myself I could make it again in a matter of hours and it is true I could, but it didn’t fit right. And I really missed that hat—which on chilly nights I would don before bed (though never have it in the AM).

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Malabrigo in Azul Profundo. I had the lighter colored one left after knitting the other hat

I followed the directions and finished in four hours flat. The only thing was when I was done it was a bit snug. That’s when I opened up the project on Ravelry and discovered I’d gone up one needle size from the pattern After a month of fighting it, trying to block it I tore it out and took the last few miles of my Eclipse Viewing trip to Oregon to make it a new. And now?

I have MY hat back.

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