Spins A Good Yarn

Archive for the ‘Sock Knitting’ Category

On With The Show!!!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted to this blog and I apologize to anyone who has been reading and has become frustrated with my non-bloginess. My life blew up last November and I’m still trying to find my place in this new world. My husband decided he didn’t want to be married to me anymore and the whole thing has left me quite unsettled, to say the least! I’m trying to move on and thought getting the blog going again would be a great place to start.

I’ve been knitting quite a lot. I joined a group on Ravelry which is titled the “Year-Long-Gift-Along” and I’ve been knitting gifts for Christmas as well as all the smaller ones that occur through out the year. Here are some of the gifts I’ve knitted so far:

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These socks were for Meagan’s birthday in March. The pattern was “Sailor’s Delight” from the book “2-at-a-time Socks” by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. The yarn was Misty Mountain Farm Jubilee in the Sandy Foam colorway. She really liked them and they were really fun to knit. I knitted them on dpn’s instead of one long needle, but I am going to try the one needle technique soon.

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I’d never knitted a lace shawl before and I always wanted to, so when I found this Calypso (be sure to scroll down) pattern at the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, this spring I had to buy it and make it. It used two skeins of Aussi Sock yarn in the colorway Faded Valentine. The colors remind me of melted chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. I loved knitting this shawl and want to start on another one immediately. I made it for my mom for Mother’s Day. It fit her perfectly!

I have discovered that I LOVE knitting lace!!! I started the Icarus Shawl, but don’t have much knitted on it yet. I’m using Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace in the “Old Rose” colorway and the yarn is knitting up into a lovely and very soft fabric. It is SOOO very nice!!!

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I’ve finished several smaller projects and have stashed them away in my “Christmas Box”. What a great idea to have gifts already knitted up and ready to give to someone if a present is needed in a hurry. Not to mention the less stress at Christmas when gifts are already knitted and all ready to be wrapped. I knitted a prayer shawl for my aunt who has lost two of her children in the last four years. I gave it to her for Mother’s Day because I knew she would be missing her sons a lot. She really liked it and uses it often. I want to knit up another one to have on hand for someone who may need it in the future. I like the idea of prayer shawls and think they are a real comfort to anyone who is going through a hard time.

I’ll leave you with a picture of two of my new little friends. Hope you enjoy!

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Christmas Knitting!

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Christmas came and went and all the presents were wrapped, unwrapped and enjoyed by their recipients! Here are some of the gifts that were knitted:

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This is the sweater that I knitted for my mom. The yarn was Silky Wool and I used a #5 Harmony circular needle from Knit Picks. I used a “pattern suggestion” from the book “The Sweater Workshop” by Jacqueline Fee. You do a gauge swatch and determine the stitches per inch, then using measurements from the intended wearer, you work off percentages of a key number which is the waist/high hip measurement x the stitches per inch number. I had never done anything like this before and was a little nervous because I jumped right to the back of the book, skipping the basic sweater, basic cardigan and onto the V-Neck Cardigan. I was a little worried, but all went very well and (except for running out of buttons and almost not being able to get any more) the sweater turned out very nice and fit my mom just perfect. Like it was made for her, LOL!!! She knew about it as I kept having her try it on as I was knitting it. I will certainly knit another sweater or two or three using this wonderful book!!!

The underarm seam was joined using the kitchener stitch and was the last thing to be finished. It was not hard and looks great!
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I made two pair of socks for her birthday, also, which is in December. This first pair is made using Wendy Johnson’s toe-up feather and fan pattern and the yarn is from Ellen’s 1/2 pint farm. It is a blend of wool and tencel and is very soft. I had to knit the first cuff twice as it was too small the first time. GRRRR! This pattern was really fun and easy to knit!
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The second pair was knitted with Zitron Lifestyle yarn, toe up with a short row toe and using the slip-stitch heel with gusset pattern which was also written by Wendy Johnson. I got the yarn at the Summer Gallery at Chautauqua, NY, where I taught knitting this summer. Wonderful yarn!!!!
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I made Marcus a hat which spells out “H-A-T” in binary code. I used this pattern for the basic hat and charted out the three 8-unit letters of the code. I may make some more even though I used Red Heart yarn which was not my favorite to knit with. It did have the perfect colors, though! And it fit and he likes it, yay!!!!
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I gave Meagan a pair of socks from the 2007 Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Club. The colorway was “Monsoon” and she just loved them. I knitted them in February and saved them for her until Christmas. She was so happy!!! I forgot to take a picture of them. Sorry!!!

I made Meagan some little mini socks from the Keychain Sock Blocker Sock pattern by Debbie Jennings (purchased at the Loopy Ewe of course!). They turned out really cute and she just loved them, but neither one would fit on the mini sock blocker that comes with the kit. I have to seriously knit looser!!!!! Each one only took about an hour. Both pair were knitted using the leftovers from socks that I had made her as gifts before.
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It was a very sad and strange Christmas. My life will be changing forever soon and is a scary place to be right now. Time will tell what will happen and I am keeping my faith in God and am very thankful for all my friends and their wonderful support!

Here’s a picture of Meagan and Marcus’s little yorkie, Alyssa. She is always dressed up for the holidays in all her finery!
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I will leave you with a darling picture of my little dog, Tiffany. I had some Christmas stuffed animals “decorating” my bed and she just blended right in. She is SUCH a cutie and very photogenic!
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Alphabet Markers & Koolaid Sock Yarn

Friday, September 28th, 2007

As you know, I have been happily knitting along on my socks from Cat Bordhi’s book, “New Pathways For Sock Knitters, Book One”. Did you know that there is a Knit-A-Long set up for this book? You can find this KAL here! I am sure there are a LOT of folks who would like to be a part of this KAL. There are many nice photos and posts there already from some very busy sock knitters.

I have been making sets of the alphabet markers to be used with the book. I am going to be selling them at some of our local yarn shops as soon as they get in some of the new books.

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I had quite a time trying to figure out how to display these. Any opinions on how you think they look? Leave me a comment if you have any suggestions. I’d be ever so grateful!!!

Here is my story about some UGLY sock yarn! If there could be such a thing, LOL! I purchased a very soft skein of pretty sock yarn at a shop about two months ago. After I got it home, I realized that the ball band was missing so I didn’t have any of the “particulars” of the yarn. So, the next time I went to that shop, I wrote down all the pertinent information and brought it home to be put with the yarn. I kind of like to know these things! Well, when I looked at the yarn again, I realized it was quite an odd color, to say the least. It was mostly cream with little splotches of dark brown and some peachy/coral stuff going on here and there. When I turned the skein over, the dyes hadn’t even gone all the way through. I couldn’t figure out why I had bought it. Maybe the lighting was bad in the store, or MAYBE the yarn fumes were getting to me!

Anyway, here I was with this very strange looking yarn (did I mention it was very soft?!?!?) that I knew I would never knit into ANYTHING! So, I was feeling rather adventurous and decided to dye it with some Kool-Aid! I mixed up two packages of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade with one package of Arctic Green Apple in a bowl of water and plunked that into the microwave and cooked it for 2 minutes on high, turned it over and cooked it for 2 more minutes and then poured the water off and finished it up with 2 more minutes. Take a look at it now!!!

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Tah-Dah! A beautiful skein that has my very favorite color green as the background! I LOVE it!!! Who knew?!?!?!

Clapotis Update and Weave-It Afghan

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I have been working right along on my Clapotis and have reached the 11th repeat in the straight section. I added two repeats in the increase section, so I will have to work two more repeats in the straight section before I can start on the decrease section. I want this shawl to be quite large, so I am guessing as to how big to make it since this is the first one I’ve knitted. You know how the first time you knit something, it is quite experimental. I am very happy with how it is looking!

Here’s a new photo:
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I received my Harmony needle set today from Knit Picks. I was hoping they would come today when I was home and not tomorrow when I’ll be working. I switched the Options tips for the Harmony tips (size 8’s) and started knitting away. They are very nice! Not too slippery, but very smooth. I HAD to knit several rows to get a good feel for them, you know! LOL!!! I tried to get a picture of the set, but the plastic case is very shiny with my flash. The needle tips are very pretty. I like how they look with the raspberry yarn I’m knitting with!

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I wrote all the sizes on pieces of paper and slipped them in the needle pockets so I’d know what size the needles were. I did this in my Options set, also. Might look a little primitive, but it works for me!

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I finished another 2 oz. of spindle spun sock yarn singles. I want to ply them, but am trying to hold off. I have another 4 oz. or so to spin. Lovely fiber!!! And a closer look of the Harmony needles just waiting for me.

Back in June, there were some garage sales on the street where my mom and dad live. We were selling some stuff, too, and I had to check out the other sales that were close by. At the house next door I found this beauty:
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It is made up entirely of 4″ Weave-It squares. There is a crocheted edging all the way around it, also. Some of the yarn is acrylic and some is wool. The wool squares felted after being washed so the blanket is a little wonky in certain places. I paid $3.00 for this blanket and it is one of my favorite things in the world. It is very large and smooshy. I use it ALL the time. I have some weave-it looms of my own and know how much time must have gone into this blanket. I am glad that I was given the opportunity to save it from being a dog bed and to appreciate the person who took so long to make it.

And to finish off this post, here is a picture of Tiffany!

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She is JUST that CUTE!!!!!

Feather & Fan Socks

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I just finished the Feather & Fan socks that I started in MARCH!!! Quite a long time for a pair of socks, don’t you think?!?!? They sort of got set aside and then many other projects took their place and there they were, buried! I only had to do the second leg, so it really didn’t take too long once I got started back on them. They are a Christmas present, so shhhh!!!

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I used Wendy Johnson’s free pattern and Regia Stretch yarn with 2.5 mm Knit Picks dpn’s. I got 9 stitches per inch with these needles. This pattern is knitted with a short-row toe and heel.

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Here’s a close-up shot of the feather & fan pattern on the leg. It was really fun to do.

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I used my beaded row marker that I made to keep track of the four-row pattern. It worked quite well!

I am planning on making these socks again, although I would like to start the feather and fan pattern after the toe section and continue it up the foot and then the leg. I’d also like to use a little thicker yarn as this yarn was very thin. I guess I’d better get back to knitting as I still have five more pairs of socks waiting for me to finish them up!

Socks and More Socks!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I have been working on my several pairs of socks out of Cat Bordhi’s new book, “New Pathways For Sock Knitter’s, Book One”. I’ve now finished three of the baby socks, and a pair of Coriolis socks.

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Here is the “Charlie’s Wiggle Sock!

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And here are the Coriolis Socks all finished. I used Trekking XXL, Color 100, and held two strands together and got 7 stitches per inch using two 3.0 mm 24″ circular needles.

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I read somewhere that the socks from this book look a little funny until you put them on your feet. This is very true! I have taken some on the foot and off the foot pictures so you can see what I mean. These socks fit so well, though, after you put them on. It is very easy, after you learn the architectures of the various socks, to customize each pair to the person you are knitting them for.

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I am working on the leg of the first sock of the Woven Ridge Socks with a strip of linen stitch going up the top of the foot. I’m using two 2.5 mm fixed circulars and getting 7 stitches/inch. This yarn is from the Sheep Shop Yarn Company and is 30% silk and 70% wool. It is very soft and has a beautiful sheen.

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And… I started a pair of the Philosopher’s House Socks (5 sts./” on 5.0 mm circulars) and am up to the arch expansion on the second sock. I just can’t help myself!!!!! These are so much fun.

I am finally getting a pretty good handle on the technique and don’t have to have the book right there with me at all times. There are some errors in the book and a page of corrections can be found on Cat Bordhi’s website. Most of them aren’t that big of a deal and you catch them after you know how the patterns go. Hope you enjoy the pictures!!!!! The socks are a dream to wear!

Cat Bordhi’s New Sock Book!

Monday, August 20th, 2007

I’m in love again with a new book! It’s Cat Bordhi‘s new sock book: New Pathways for Sock Knitters – Book One. This book is tremendous. My employer at Art Fibers gave me a copy for an early birthday present this past week. I had borrowed her copy and had to reluctantly give it back to her and the next day the shipment of books came to the store. I am so happy that I have been bringing it back and forth to work with me rather than leaving it at my house during the day. I knitted the first two baby socks that she has you do to learn the new techniques and here they are:
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These little socks were SO FUN to knit and I cannot WAIT to start on the next one!!! I have a couple of other socks in the works for now, but may begin swatching for the Tibetan Socks on page 56 just to get started! This book has some fantastic instructions for left and right leaning increases and wonderful short-row directions. I have used her techniques already in my knitting classes at work. This book would be great for non-sock knitters, also, because of the great tips and techniques that are given. Cat Bordhi sure knows her stuff and explains everything so very clearly. Can you tell that I LOVE this book?!?!?!?!

Well, I’ve been on this computer all morning and need to get some knitting done, not just read about it!

New Handspun Sock Yarn!

Monday, August 13th, 2007

These are my newest skeins of handspun sock yarn. I purchased the fiber at a fiber festival at the Lake Farm Park in Kirtland, Ohio, this past June from the Wooly Knob.

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I spun the burgundy skein on my Lendrum double treadle spinning wheel that I have had for about 3 1/2 years now. The greyish skeins were both spun on my brand new Louet Victoria wheel that I also purchased at the fiber festival in June from French Creek Fiber Arts. I was trying to spin for socks (I like to get about 8 stitches per inch or more for my gauge) and the skeins in the top photo didn’t have enough yardage separately, but have plenty if I use them together. Now I just need a lovely pattern! The bottom skein ended up having 355 yards so I should have plenty for a pair of socks. I love to knit toe-up socks, especially with my hand-spun, so I don’t have to worry about running out of yarn before I am finished with my sock. I usually use one of Wendy Johnson’s toe-up patterns from her site, Wendy Knits. She writes great patterns and has some new free ones that she has graciously posted on The Loopy Ewe’s website.

Here is a picture of a pair using her toe-up pattern which has a slip-stitch heel. I love this pattern! life-style-pink-socks.jpg
These socks were knitted on 2.75 mm KnitPicks needles using two skeins of Zitron Life Style yarn in color 1862, Lot 6605. They were very fun to knit because the colors and patterns changes so often. I don’t usually use self-patterning yarn, but I’d knit this yarn up again in a minute.

Next time I’ll have some pictures of the latest stitch markers that I have been making. Bye for now. 🙂