Tag Archives: socks

Stripes

16 Dec

So I came up with one more Christmas project. Aran weight, super simple socks in a women’s size, so why not. Socks whip up really quick when there are only 48 stitches in a round.

20131216_005732

These were quick even though I had to rip out the toe decreases. That was down to stupidity: I couldn’t believe the pattern I used which said to knit 20 cm of the foot before beginning the decreases. That sounded like a lot. So I decided it should be more like 18 or 19 cm.

Then there was a slight measurement error, and long story slightly shorter, when I finished the socks they were an absolute perfect fit for me. Unfortunately the person these are for wears a shoe size two sizes bigger than mine.

Oops.

But they’re all fixed now. I have to say, though, that the temptation to just keep them for myself was great. I really like these, and I should clearly knit more aran weight socks.

I used 7 Veljestä Raita from Novita, a self-striping yarn. And it was great. Look at these babies, all lined up perfect and nice. Normally I don’t care about matching stripes in socks but the color runs in this yarn seemed so even I decided to give it a go.

20131216_010218

It worked fine! Except for when it didn’t. There were four knots in this ball, which changed the color runs each time. By the first knot I was committed to getting the stripes just so, so I pulled out yarn to even out the color runs each time a knot happened. So what I ended up with is this: a bajillion ends to weave in where there should only be four. But by golly, at least the stripes look good.

20131216_005546

Better than Ever, I’m Back

15 Oct

So I realize I just broke my arm and then went away for, like, two months. But I forgive myself, because, you know, the broken arm turned out to be both a more and less dramatic experience than I had expected. Then I went to London for three weeks, alone, and that was something. When I came home, I and the boy packed up and moved house. Then I started writing a graduate thesis.

I am also the type of person for whom something like finding a secondhand couch on the local equivalent of Craigslist (except less seedy), arranging for transportation for said couch and then going to get it is a whole-day affair requiring all of my energy and concentration. And since moving house entails many such a stressful occasion, overly complicated by yours truly with fun things like being afraid of talking to people over the phone, I’ve had my hands kind of full.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t done any crafts, no sirree bob. I have my priorities straight.

Admittedly the three weeks in London went by without a moment for knitting or crochet – oops, no, I tell a lie: I did cast on for a pair of socks from the Socktopus books while sitting in a cafe waiting for my  silver ring making course to start (I’ll get to that). I guess those ten minutes spent knitting ribbing totally justified three weeks of carrying needles and yarn with me all around London.

I was crafty and cunning, and packed two easily portable projects for my trip. I decided to pick things that would be interesting enough to keep me entertained for a whole three weeks while still being easy enough not to require total devotion. I think I failed on that a little bit.

The sock pattern was fine. It’s a crossed stitches type of cabled sock pattern called Farmer McGregor from the Socktopus book I’m knitting through (that’s a great book o ‘ socks, btw).  I just had other things to do while I was there. I’ve since finished one sock of the pair (apart from grafting the toe), one weekend when nothing much else was on.

We can blame the wonky rib stitches on Pret getting me over-caffeinated at that point. (Honestly it’s fine.)

The bigger fail was the crochet shawl pattern I chose because it was gorgeous: Venus. When I read the pattern, I noticed that it would require I learn a completely new crochet technique, but instead of putting off doing the pattern (perhaps appreciating the extra challenge I was already facing crocheting with lace weight yarn) I congratulated myself on noticing this before I actually left on my trip. So I kind of learned the new thing (Tunisian crochet I believe it’s called, maybe).

There was a clear need to get a wooden crochet hook just so I could crochet on the plane, so in my pre-trip shopping frenzy I bought a pretty one disregarding both the price tag and the fact that I had a plastic one that would be just as acceptable to the airline. This was before I admitted that leaving at the damned crack of dawn would probably mean I wouldn’t have the energy to even think about crochet for the whole duration of my flight, anyway.

Turns out I was too busy fearing for my life on the first flight and then running through the whole Helsinki-Vantaa airport to catch my next flight to give too much thought to crochet. When I was safely seated on the next plane, I was barely able to keep awake until a nice lady brought me the best sandwich and cup of coffee I had ever eaten in my life (until I found the sandwiches at Eat – we Finns really don’t know anything about proper sandwiches), and then I slept until the plane was nearing Heathrow.

When I got there I was promptly so completely freaked out and overwhelmed by a city, which has a population of 1,5 times that of my entire friggin country, that I spent my first afternoon not acknowledging what lay outside my window, and also not feeling up to facing Tunisian crochet. It only got worse for the shawl from then on, but for very pleasant reasons. No regrets!

Later on I saw that the four rows I had crocheted at the airport here were entirely wrong anyway, ripped back and forgot about the whole thing for a few weeks.

I’ve since then gone back to it, but my results aren’t all that fantastic. Still, I’ll probably get this done at some point. Maybe.

So that’s me, back with a bang.

Mince Pie Mayhem

21 May

I finished my first pair of socks out of Socktopus: 17 pairs of socks worth showing off by Alice Yu: the Mince Pie Mayhem socks. Actually I finished them a couple of weeks ago, but anyway.

The result is pretty cool 🙂

I actually had some trouble knitting these because there was smaaall typo in the pattern. These are knitted leg down and you’re supposed to increase stitches for a gusset. The pattern says to turn the work, which makes no sense at all and doesn’t work – mostly because it’s supposed to be done in the round. Heh. Actually this got figured out just as soon as I went on Ravelry and asked about it in the group for the book. Someone suggested it was a typo and then the author herself came on and gave me advice! How awesome is that. When I get help so easily and the author herself is around to take care of her customers, as it were, I don’t even mind the typos.

 Also, now that I’m knitting another pair of socks from the book (Rumpled, Ravelry link) I just assume that if there’s anything I can’t figure out, it’s probably a typo. Nothing like that’s come up yet, though.

I used 1,5 balls of Garnstudio Drops Fabel with 2,5 mm needles for these socks, and it worked pretty well. I’m glad the stitch definition came out good even though the yarn is very soft and a bit fuzzy.

So far the book has been just as amazing as I had hoped. The patterns are different and interesting but not tedious. Even though there are a bajillion crossed stitches in these socks, for instance, these were a quick knit. The pattern was so easy to memorize and crossing stitches is easy and quick when done without a cabling needle.

Finished Brainless Panthers

20 Apr

This post is coming to you from my couch. I’m sick, so I’ve retreated here, taking my knitting and the tv remote with me.

This week I switched from a PC to a laptop, and the full benefits of this haven’t really dawned on me yet. For instance, I’ve been occupying the couch for a couple of days, but it only occurred to me today that hey – you can take the laptop *with* you (read this in a veerry clear and slow (inner) voice). But hey, I thought of it now, so I get to blog despite being kind of delirious.

Anyway, I finished my Brainless panther socks, and I quite like them. I’m so not going to block them though, because I’m sick and I don’t have to, so there.

Image

The plan was to use up the whole ball of Katia Olé Socks Panther, but frankly, I got bored. And I figured I had enough yarn left to knit another pair. That’s one clear benefit of having short feet.

So I bound off using Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, which is really stretchy…and only one short week later, I weaved in the ends. Like I mentioned, I used the gusset and heel instructions from the brainless pattern, and knitting up the leg I did two increases every two or three rows. I did them in reverse stockinette, to match the gusset, and thought I was pretty clever.

Image

I really like the feel and the stitch definition of this yarn. I just wish it came in less Panthery colors.

Brainless Panther Socks

7 Apr

I have a serious aversion to studying lately, and yesterday (Good Friday) I was a bit sad and a bit lonely and a bit tired, and felt like there’s absolutely nothing in this world I want to do. For a couple of weeks I’ve felt like I’d lost my knitting mojo as well.

I’ve been discovering the existence of knitting podcasts this week (via the majick of Google) and was wiling my time away listening to them yesterday, laying on the couch. Then I started noticing that there’s something missing from this equation… As in, why exactly am I not knitting while I lay here on the couch listening to knitting podcasts? I heard the ladies on my current favorite (The Knitmore Girls) mention knitting vanilla socks several times, and that started sounding like an awesome idea right now.

Whipping out a pair of simple vanilla socks might be just the thing to give me some sense of accomplishment. I went to my stash, knowing suddenly the exact yarn that’s meant for vanilla socks: the awful, beautiful yarn I brought from Germany called Olé Socks Panther (nomen est omen) from Katia.

I once tried knitting patterned socks with it, and… no. Just no. It’s been forgotten at the back of my stash for a couple of years, and I considered getting rid of it in my recent small stash purge, but no. Anything that comes home with me from abroad just has to become something or else stay with me forever as yarn.

I also knew that this had to be done toe-up and two at a time (so I could use up all of the awful, beautiful yarn and wouldn’t have to repeat myself).

I did a simple toe and was going to do a short-row heel, but then I was looking through my projects and remembered how much I enjoyed knitting the brainless socks (Ravelry link) last fall precisely because I liked their gusset & heel construction. So now I’m following the brainless pattern for those parts but skipping the cable pattern, because the whole point here was to do something that requires no attention and no counting.

Can I just say, I don’t mind asymmetrical socks, but somehow the fact that these are almost but not quite symmetrical bugs me somewhat. Huh. Obviously not enough to rip back, though.

I was sadly deprived of chocolate Easter eggs, so instead I’m making Russian candy. So before there’s a fire in our kitchen, I’m going to go see what’s going on with that.

Clessidra

2 Jan

I finished one of those works in progress I lamented earlier. I hadn’t realized this, but I began knitting these socks last March, soooo it only took me a neat 9  months to finish. If I recall correctly, I first took a break from these because they’re a bit on the complex side, and not what you’d call relaxing tv knitting… and then the break stretched on a bit.

Mostly, it says something nice about the pattern and this yarn that I eventually just took the time to knit the other sock as well.

The pattern is Clessidra from the 2007 spring issue of Knitty and I used almost 200 g of Sockenwolle (fingering weight, 100 g = 300 m) from Seehawer & Siebert. I didn’t feel like messing around with stitch numbers to make these bigger, so I used a bigger needle size than the pattern suggests. In the end, this of course forced me to knit fewer rows between calf shaping rows, and fewer rows in the heel flap… thereby completely defeating the whole point of changing the needle size in the first place. Hah!

Mm this color is delicious. I have absolutely no clothes that go together with it and I don’t even care. The yarn is lovely – gives nice stitch definition and is still soft. Instead of the usual acrylic to strengthen the wool, this yarn has some ramie in it. Ramie is, apparently, a plant. Weird! It’ll be interesting to see how well these hold up in use.

So… Now What?

28 Dec

Giftmas has been and gone. There’s a strange sort of emptiness that comes from suddenly having so much free time. For two months, a significant part of my free time has been used to knit and crochet presents, and now I suddenly have all this time to do something for myself.

Yesterday, I actually sat down and read! (Eoin Colfer’s And Another Thing.) But only after I looked up from this stupor that’s filled my brain, and saw the chaos surrounding me. The SO and I both go to our respective homes for Christmas, so there’s really no need to do a proper Christmas cleaning here. After doing other picking up, I went through the top layer of my stash, which consists of two big baskets of yarn I swear I’m going to use up real soon, any day now.

I came to the conclusion that I really don’t need new yarn. Especially since I was arranging  the stash to make room for the stuff I got with my Giftmas gift certificate to my favorite lys… 11 balls of Drops Alpaca (100% alpaca sport yarn) and two skeins of Drops Lace (YUMMY alpaca and mulberry silk in lace weight).

These are going to be a Zora cardigan and a Whisper cardigan, respectively… some day.

Last years This year’s (I keep thinking we’re already in 2012) challenge was to knit 11 projects, which turned out to not be a challenge at all. The next challenge could be to use or otherwise get rid of as much yarn as I can.

I’m a big believer in the principle that you should never tell anyone about your goals, because talking about doing something makes you feel like you’ve already done something about attaining your goal – even though you haven’t, and now you’re even less likely to do anything about it. (Watch this TED talk called Keep your goals to yourself, it’s eye-opening.) So that’s the last I’ll talk about this idea.

In another attempt to clear my head, I also went through my works in progress intending to either rip back or finish each one. Unfortunately, I think I decided to finish almost every one of them.

There are things that clearly have to be finished, like my Clessidra socks (over half way done),

my Thermal sweater (only missing 1,5 sleeves),

and my Entomology mittens (published in the book Knitalong, so no link, also over half way done). I’m not excited about knitting the other one, but I really want to wear these.

But then there are the more troubling projects. The only reason I haven’t already ripped back these Little Minx socks, is that the yarn does not react well to that. It would be totally ruined and it was a gift from my mom. But I’m also not looking forward to knitting the other sock because, to be honest, this was a bit boring to knit.

The same reason is stopping from ripping back these swan socks. I’ve already ripped back several projects done with this yarn – one more time and I would have to throw away that part of the ball.

I’ve also had a pair of hat heel socks on the needles for well over a year now… Unfortunately, them being hat heel socks and having separated toes, the yarn would come out in short bits.

I’m starting to feel better about ripping back my Space Invader Converti Mittens because I found a Space Invaders hat pattern and that would be even cooler than the mitt(en)s. I could use the yarn for that. And the mitts don’t fit that well, either. I could knit these later with a thicker yarn or otherwise in a bigger size.

And I’m pretty sure I’ll rip back my Wavy Feather’s wimple unless I find a better pair of needles for knitting it. The yarn is unsuitable for the project, as alpaca doesn’t show lace well, so even a more suitable pair of needles might not be enough to save this one.

So, right now I’d be willing to rip back 2 out of 8 works in progress. Well, who knows, maybe I’ll suddenly be inspired to finish these things.

All I know is, it’s definitely time for a clean slate knitting-wise.

%d bloggers like this: