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I finished them!

azureasockdone1azureasock2d

I have finally finished my Azurea Socks! In the picture on the left, that was the first sock in the pair. It was blocked in that picture. The picture on the right is both of the socks, one is blocked, the other one isn’t. Can you tell the huge difference that blocking this sock made? It opened up the lace pattern and made the yarn look better too.

For the particulars:  The pattern is called Azurea Socks. It is in the Interweave Knits Sockupied Fall 2013 issue. The sock pattern is for people who have wide feet and ankles because a lot of folks aren’t able to make socks that fit their wider feet and ankles.

Let me just say that I love these socks! They fit my foot so well! Perfect length, perfect width, everything is so cool! I don’t know what kind of heel this pattern had in it. The designer didn’t say or give it a specific name. I just need to remember how it was done so that all the rest of my socks will fit me this well too!

The yarn was MadelineTosh Twist Light in Flashdance colorway. It is a new yarn that MadTosh just released recently that has nylon in it for durability.

I used size 2.25 mm needles which falls between US size 0 and US size 1 to get a gauge of 9 stitches per inch. I used magic loop, one sock at a time. My next sock adventure will be 2 at a time toe up socks.

I found out that my foot is 10 inches long, that my foot circumference is 9 inches around so I need to make my sock 8 inches foot circumference so that they will fit snugly, that I needed to work from the toes up the foot for 6 inches before I start making the heel that equals out to about 4 inches long when it is all said and done. This gives me the perfect length for my socks. Previously, I was making the foot portion 7 inches long before the heel, and the heel was crawling up the back of my ankle towards my calf. That pair was so big! I am tempted to take those apart and re-do them so that they fit properly. I may just make another pair with the same type of yarn, only in a different colorway, which was the Lang Jawoll Atkion Yarn that I made my Southwestern Socks with. Those socks grow on my feet as I wear them, which means that I used a needle that was too large, and I made the foot portion too long, and that is why I have the problem with them moving around on my foot more than this pair. This new pair hasn’t budged since I put them on this morning!  I just LOVE them!

As this is the first patterned sock that I have done, I think that they turned out great. The other pairs that I have done were basic sock patterns that had no shaping. They just taught technique really. They showed me how to use DPNs vs. Magic Loop and top down vs. toe up. I think that I like the toe up best. Those seem to fit me better than the top down. I will have to make at least 1 pair of patterned top down to compare whether I like the top down or the toe up version better. I think I am gonna err on the side of toe up to be honest. I just like doing the toe up version.

I hope that all the rest of my socks turn out this good, and I hope that I get better with sock making as time goes on. I have to learn to tackle the gusset and the short row heel with the wraps and turns. I tend to shy away from any pattern that has those items in it, meaning the short row heel with wraps and turns, because I have had trouble in the past doing short rows with the wraps and turns. I need to conquer my fear of that technique, don’t I? I want to be making at least 1 pair of socks a month until I get a whole drawer full of them! How many pairs will that take? How many pairs of socks do you make each year?

Until next time,

Linda

lindahensens:

Wow! She nailed it so perfectly! I can so relate to her story. Can you?

Originally posted on hpwritesblogs:

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

View original 1,317 more words

Originally posted on Knitting to Stay Sane:

This past season I’ve had the chance to do a couple of LYS workshops on yarn substitution, which is a regular challenge for many of us knitters since we just have so much fantastic yarn to choose from in the 21st Century marketplace. One of the key steps in this process (which becomes much more intuitive, the more you do it, I promise), is to be able to read the labels (or ‘ball bands’) on your yarn. Because if you don’t know what weight the yarn is, you won’t be able to confidently use it as a substitute for the yarn called for in the pattern. You might not be able to use the original yarn in the pattern, but you CAN look for a yarn of the same weight (i.e. does it call for a fingering weight, DK weight, worsted weight, etc).

If you’re trying to figure out what…

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Originally posted on Knitting to Stay Sane:

If you are me, when you walk into a yarn shop you are filled with great desire to hug all of the yarn. Then, once the initial euphoria fades, you start doing a mental catalogue of yarn weights and colours on the shelves, vis-a-vis what kind of yarn you want to buy and what kind of project it is going to be for. (Or you might just buy yarn not knowing what you’re going to make with it. I hear that sometimes happens).

Dec11-NiTH
[These helpful picture frames hang on the shelves at Needles in the Hay, which is think is pretty much the darling-est thing ever.]

Every yarn store is a bit different in how they arrange their yarns, but one thing that is quite common is to see general arrangements by weight (all the sock yarns in one section, all the laceweight in another, etc), or…

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lindahensens:

Isn’t this just a beautiful sweater and cardigan pattern? I just love it, and I love that she used my favorite yarn maker, Tanis Fiber Arts, to make both the pullover and the cardigan.

Originally posted on Knitting to Stay Sane:

Happy Friday, knitter friends! I’m pleased after a couple of months of working away at this to be able to share my new sweater pattern with you. Fortuna is currently available on Ravelry and will also be available shortly on Patternfish and Loveknitting. (I’ll update those links as they become active).

Now that it’s done, I love it, will totally be wearing it in the warmer seasons (especially if I go back to spending more time in an air-conditioned office, but also they’re calling for a cooler summer again this year, so one never knows), and even though this pattern started life as a pullover I think I love the cardigan version even more. Hurray for light lacy sweaters!

June4-Cardigan2

June4-Cardigan6

The cardigan is shown in Tanis Fiber Arts ‘lucky penny’ colourway, which is just super, and when I went to find buttons these little clover ones were so perfect and exactly…

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Good Afternoon!

As my title suggests, this is part 2 of my adventure in knitting a patterned sock. This is the first time I have followed a pattern to make a pair of socks. The previous attempts at making socks were basic sock techniques that showed me how to make them. They didn’t fit like they should have. The instructions taught me top- down socks and toe-up socks. The socks that I called my Southwestern Socks were made with Liat Gat’s toe-up sock class using Magic Loop. Those socks grow on my feet. They fit a little loosely when I first put them on, but by the time that I have worn them for an hour or so, they have grown so big that they move around on my foot.  The heels do not sit on my ankles like they should  and I have decided that I will wear them until I wear holes in the heels and I will make some more that fit better. You know practice makes perfect, right?  If I keep doing socks eventually I will get them right and have a perfect pattern that works for me and that fits my foot correctly. That brings me to the socks that I have on my needles now, my Azurea socks.

For those of you that don’t know, these are toe-up socks that are designed for people who have ankles that are larger than the average ankle. I happen to have a fatter foot than most people due to having edema (swelling) in my feet and legs. That is one of the fit issues that I have. Not all sock patterns will work for me. I will most likely have to adapt any pattern that I try to do. Toe-up socks seem to fit my foot better than top-down socks do. Granted, I haven’t made a patterned top-down sock yet. I suppose I need to do that before I decide that top-down socks aren’t for me. I will have to give top-down a try with a real pattern first. I have heard many top-down enthusiasts say that they get a better fit with top-down sock patterns than toe-up socks. Right now, I am loving how this toe-up sock is fitting my foot. It is the perfect length, the heel turn was actually turned where my heel is instead of half way up my ankle!

I am using a 2.25 mm needle to make my socks. The needle itself says it is a size 1, but I think not. I think a size 1 is 2.5 mm. I switched to a 2.0 mm needle, US size 0, to make my toes and my heels so that I would have a nice fit there and the wear would be better. I am finding that I tend to wear out my socks on the toe portion and the heel part. I just realized that I wore a hole through the toe portion on a pair of socks that I had made for me from a seller on Etsy for Christmas! So, they lasted for about 5 months. I have to find a way to make socks that last longer than that! I am going to figure out a way to make a better fitting sock that doesn’t wear out so quickly. My commercially made socks have lasted me for years. Why don’t my handmade socks last longer? Am I wearing them too much? I am going to needle felt the hole in these socks and try to make them last longer.

Anyway, I digress. I am currently working on the leg for this sock. I am only making 1 at a time, so any mistakes that I made with this sock, I won’t make with the next one, right? Sure, Linda.. You will make other mistakes with the 2nd sock, LOLOL! I didn’t realize how much a difference of 0.25 mm in needle size would make either. The fit is tighter than my other socks. They fit without moving around on my foot, and I suppose that is the way that they are supposed to fit, right? The stacked tulip chart is making the socks look like they have cables in them, but it is just a series of SSK’s and K2tog stitch combinations made with strategically placed YO’s to create the tulip pattern. It really is pretty.

The yarn that I am using is MadelinTosh, Twist Light. I got it here:

http://www.simplysockyarn.com/mt-twist-lt-flashdance/

I chose the colorway called Flashdance, which is a purple yarn and it is just beautiful! I love how the yarn feels in my hands. It is a little bit splitty, not much, just enough to be annoying. I can live with that though. This yarn is a new yarn for MadelineTosh because they have added nylon to it. It is 75% Merino and 25% nylon

MT-Twist-Lt-Flashdance-swp10911_image1__85837.1428065088.1280.1280Here is the picture of it from the SimplySockYarn web site. Isn’t it just gorgeous? I have not taken any pictures yet of my almost finished sock. I am waiting until I finish both of them before I post pics of either of them.

I have never purchased sock yarn at full price before! I usually get my yarn from companies that sell them at reduced prices, like Little Knits. Most of my stash came from there, my LYS when they were having a sale, eBay, Paradise Fibers when I got a huge discount for buying yarn from them, that kind of stuff. I paid full retail price for this yarn, and wearing socks made from it is going to feel really good! I certainly hope that is the case anyway.  I am gonna sign off for now. I will talk to you again real soon! Have a great Memorial Day holiday with lots of good food and friends gathering around to have fun together!

I am editing this post to add a picture of the first completed sock. I know that I said I was only going to post when they were both done, but I changed my mind. I decided that I wanted to post this first sock, unblocked. I will wash and block the sock and show what a difference it makes later this week. I still have to wash and block the sock plus allow for drying time before I can post those pictures. I hope you enjoy the pictures!  The first one, on the left, is an up close look at the stacked tulip pattern with the lace. The second one, on the right, is the completed sock. Look for another post when I have washed, blocked, and dried this sock. I have started on the second sock this morning. It will be interesting to see how it changes from the first sock versus the second sock. I wonder if I will make the same mistakes that I made with this first one. I am guessing that I won’t, but I think I will probably make different mistakes. I can’t knit without making mistakes and I wind up frogging or tinking back to correct more mistakes than not. How many of my readers frog your project versus tinking back to the error to fix it so that you can keep going without having to frog the whole thing? I tend to put a lot of lifelines in, especially on a lace project, so that I if I do have to frog something, it is a minimal redo just back to the last lifeline so that I can continue on from there. It still hurts my heart to have to frog anything back to a lifeline or worse to frog the whole project and start completely over.

azureasockdonecloseup azureasockdone1

I am in LOVE with using my MadelineTosh Twist Light sock yarn seen here:

2015-05-01 11.57.42 It is a beautiful purple yarn with lots of different shades of purple interspersed all through the yarn. It is really soft and nice to knit with, too. I can’t wait to wear this pair of socks. :)

The pattern comes from the Sockupied Fall 2013 issue from Interweave Knits. There is an article in there about making socks to fit ample calves and ankles, which I have, and this pattern stems from that article. The lace portion will resemble a stacked tulip pattern, which I also love, and the back will be like that as well. I do have a concern about the pattern because it calls for a double YO to start the stacked tulip pattern on the chart. I don’t know how to do a YO one right behind the other without having a knit stitch to anchor the YO. I would think that will make the hole it creates quite large, but it doesn’t look large on the pictures. Here is a picture of the socks from the Interweave Store:

azureasocks

I can only point people to the Sockupied Fall 2013 issue if you want to get the pattern and read the article. Here is some of the information on the pattern itself:

“Knitters whose calves or ankles don’t fit into a standard sock size may have previously forgone the joys of sock knitting. With calves and ankles that can stretch to almost 150% of the resting circumferences, these socks give knitters with curvier legs a pattern that fits and looks great. A stacked flower pattern flows elegantly into the stretchy ribbed cuff.

Finished Size: 8 (8½, 9)” (20.5 [21.5, 23] cm) foot circumference, 9½ (10, 10½)” (24 [25.5, 26.5] cm) calf circumference and 9″ (23 cm) height from bottom of heel to top of cuff, and 9″ (23 cm) long from tip of toe (foot length is adjustable).
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy
Yarn Weight:
#1 – Super Fine
Needles:
U.S. size 1 (2.5 mm)
Notions:
Markers (m), tapestry needle
Gauge:
30 sts and 48 rounds = 4″ (10 cm) in St st
Originally Published:
Sockupied Fall 2013″

[URL]http://www.interweavestore.com/azurea-knit-socks-pattern[/URL]

I am making the 8 inch size because when I knitted up my last pair of socks at 64 stitches, they came out loose fitting. These socks are a bit smaller at 60 stitches, so I will see if they fit better. These are toe-up socks by the way. I had a friend tell me to run a lifeline before I start the sizing so that I can rip it back to there if they don’t fit me, and I have ran lifelines on both sides of the sock now. I am going to make the 8 inch size and see if that fits my foot better than the 9 inch size did on my previous socks. I will keep ya’ll updated on how they turn out. I am excited to be doing my very first “patterned” sock, meaning that this is the first real pattern that I am following to make socks. All the other socks that I have made have been from patterns that are basic socks that just teach the techniques but really aren’t a pattern to follow so to speak. At least that is what the people who designed the patterns say. I thought that they were patterns until I started reading this pattern. I found out that those were actual basic sock patterns to teach me technique and that was it. :)

Now on to another subject entirely… What do you listen to when you knit? Are you a TV listener or an audiobook listener?  I listen to TV in the background when I am knitting whether I need to concentrate on the pattern or whether or not I am just mindlessly knitting a stockinette or garter stitch pattern. I listen to audiobooks occasionally, especially if my favorite authors have a new book out.. Kristin Hannah has a new book out called The Nightingale, which is really good. It is historical fiction, and I am listening to it on audiobook now, and so far it is very good. I am about 2/3 of the way through it. I just purchased 2 more books by my favorite authors, Lisa Scottoline and Nora Roberts. I hope those books are as good as Kristin Hannah’s has been. Lisa Scottoline’s book is a psychological thriller about OCD and being a sociopath.. **Evil grin** and Nora Roberts book is called “The Liar” and it is about finding out that your spouse isn’t who he said he was all of these years and when he dies you find out all of the lies that he has told you for the whole time you were married. These are the books that are interesting me at the moment. What books do you like to listen to? What TV shows do you like to repeatedly watch when you are knitting? Do you watch a show that you have seen 100 times so that you don’t have to have your eyes on the screen or do you watch a new show that you haven’t seen before?

Until next time,
Linda

I finally finished them! My southwestern socks are finally finished! I used a US 1.5 needle for these socks, but I think I will use a size 1 for the next pair. These socks are
just a little bit loose so I don’t know how long they will last. I haven’t washed them yet, so maybe they will fit better after I wash them.  As I have said in previous blog posts, I used Lang Jawoll Color Aktion yarn. I lost the label so I don’t know the number of the colorway. The colorway knitted up like a southwestern theme with turquoise, purple, blue, beige, rusty brown, and white.

IMG_0142[1] southwesternsocks

I will be making my rainbow socks the next time. I have some indy-dyer sock yarn that is in the rainbow colorway. The indy dyer that made them named the yarn from My Little Pony rainbow pony. I don’t know the pony’s name, but her mane is in rainbow colors.

 

I hope that these socks turn out as nicely as the swatch showed up. The colors are very bright, almost a neon hue to them. I think it will be interesting to see how they turn out! I will be using a US size 1 needle with a 47-inch cable to do magic loop. I like doing magic loop even though it can be a bit tedious to execute, especially in the beginning when I am making my toe for the toe-up socks. I am used to using my Signature needles and I do have a US 1 in that needle, so I think I will use that to do my toes and the increases and then again when I cast off because of the stiletto tips on the needles. The rest of the time, I will be using the Addi turbo size 1 needle. The tips on the Addi’s are just too blunt to do anything like K2tog or make 1 increases or doing a YO and having to do a PSSO once I have done the YO as in Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I have to force the needles into my stitches and it is a pain to execute with the Addi needles. I guess that I have to force them because I am, by nature, a tight knitter. My stitches are uniform all across the fabric, so I keep knitting that way. :)

Oh, I just had a birthday this past Saturday, April 11, 2015. I turned 52 on Saturday. My southwestern socks were my birthday present to me! Now I am going back to working on the shawl that I am having trouble completing. I am planning on doing 20 minutes a day until I am done with it. I hope to get it completed sooner rather than later. I am tired of working on it, so it makes it that much harder to pick it up to finish it. I will get it finished, however.

Until next time!

Linda

I am working on socks again. I think that I am becoming a sock knitter! I like knitting socks because they are small projects that I can take with me everywhere I may have to wait for something, and they are also relatively quick projects so I get quick gratification when I finish a pair. They are also very time consuming in that they take so many stitches because of the tiny yarn that you have to use. I finally got the right needle size for the tiny yarn. I use a US size 1.5, 2.75 mm Addi Turbo fixed circular with a 47-inch cable, with Lang Jawoll Color Aktion yarn. I have the reinforcing thread to match this yarn. I didn’t use the reinforcing thread on my first sock. I plan to use it on the second sock to see how they wear. I have been told that the reinforcing thread makes the sock more durable. My gauge is 8-1/4 stitches per inch. I think the next pair I will use a US size 1 needle to get approximately 9 stitches per inch. I have been told that a gauge of 9 SPI will give me a very durable sock that will last and last. I am hoping that this pair of socks will last as well. They do fit my foot quite nicely but they don’t have that 10% negative ease that I have read about. They fit snugly but not really tight on my foot. I do wear compression hose every day to keep swelling out of my legs, ankles, and feet. The compression hose take up a good amount of room on my foot, and when I tried the sock on with the compression hose, it fit snugly. When I tried the sock on without the compression hose last night, it fit snug but not tight. I don’t know if the socks will stay put in my shoes or not. I guess I will find out when I get done.

At first, I was going to not worry about matching the 2 socks. I just wanted to knit 2 socks, ya know? But then as I was knitting the start of the second sock, I noticed that it didn’t start at the same place and the self-striping would be way off instead of just a little bit off. It started in the middle of the repeat and  I couldn’t stand the way that it was going to look, so I took it all out and wound the thread off the skein until I matched the beginning of the second sock so that it matched the first sock. I still think I wasted that yarn but others have said that it was okay to waste just that little bit. I matched the start of the second sock perfectly and the self-striping will be perfectly aligned with the first sock so that they match 100%. That makes me so happy! I want this pair of socks to be pretty, and I believe with the matching they will be. I am calling them my southwestern socks because of how the self-striping is working out. The colors are as close to southwestern colors as one can get. I am so excited to be almost finished with this pair of socks! I am at the point of starting to build the gusset. I am doing toe up socks, and the sock is almost to my instep. Maybe another 3 or 4 rows and it will be at the point where I start increasing to make the heel. See? Doesn’t that colorway have a southwestern feel to it? I think it does. It looks really good on my foot, too. J I will post again when I am done with the second sock and model them for the camera! I can’t wait to be able to wear a pair of socks that I made. Then I have to finish the first pair that I started making, the blue ones. I lost the second ball of yarn to finish the pair, but I have found it now so that I can finish that pair as well. Then I will have 2 pair of regular socks plus 2 pair of bed socks which are my ugly socks and my pretty in pink socks. I can’t believe that I have almost finished 2 more pairs of socks! Woo Hoo! It doesn’t take much to excite me you know? J Anyway, as I am going on and on about nothing really, I am going to close this entry. Until next time!

mysouthwesternsock IMG_0142[1] IMG_0141[1]

Good Afternoon!

I am working on my 2nd pair of real socks! The previous pairs that I have made weren’t from a pattern but from Silver’s Sock Class, and she writes on her page that these are not patterns just lessons on how to get a sock made.. So, I don’t count those in my sock pile. :)

These socks are being made with fingering weight yarn from the Lang company. The yarn is called Jawoll Color Aktion yarn. I don’t have the ball band any longer, so I can’t tell you the colorway. I think it was made back in 2007 given what I am finding on the internet for this yarn. I just bought it in January 2015 though. I bought 3 different colorways in this Jawoll Color Aktion brand name yarn because I liked the self-striping effect of the yarn when I saw another person’s socks made with this yarn. Stephanie Pearl McPhee, The Yarn Harlot, also loves this yarn and she talked about it on her blog this week here:

[URL]http://www.yarnharlot.ca/2014/01/sticking-with-colour/[/URL]

Anyway, I am loving how this self-striping yarn is knitting up. When I first cast on my yarn was purple with some blue, and it moved on through brown, rust, turquoise, white, beige, blue, deep turquoise, magenta, and on and on.  The color repeated itself quite nicely, and I managed to get my favorite part of this colorway, which was the turquoise and white section, on the heel of this sock. I tried them on this morning, and they fit so nicely!

I followed Liat Gat’s toe-up sock pattern on her website, KnitFreedom.com. I used size 1.5 needles to get gauge. This time, they fit me! I made another pair of socks that were way too big because the needle size that it took to get her gauge was a size 3 needle. Her gauge was 7 stitches per inch. I talked with some knitterly friends of mine and they said that I should go for 8 to 9 SPI in order to get a good fitting sock. The US 1.5 works wonderfully. I am doing Magic Loop and using a 47-inch cable to do it.

I love the toe-up sock construction. I find the top down sock hard to execute, especially the gussets and the short row heels. I like the no short rows option of toe-up socks. This pattern uses Fleegle’s heel, and that one is really easy to execute. I am not a fan of short row anything, although I will probably need to learn how to do it in the future. Does anyone have a favorite way to do short rows that you can share with me please? Right now, I love my new socks. Here is a picture of the one that I have almost finished.  I might go down another size to a size 1 with the matching sock to see if I can get just a little bit tighter fit. I don’t know if that will make the self-striping not match. I guess I will see, huh?

Until next time,
Linda

IMG_0141[1] IMG_0142[1]

 

I did it! I made my first pair of toe-up socks by Liat Gatt’s Worsted Weight Toe-Up Sock pattern! I have to say that I am really pleased with how they turned out. I have them on sock blockers at the moment, and when I blocked them they smoothed themselves out and became something that I am very proud of.

Since these are worsted weight, they are fitting very nicely, if a little loosely. The heel lines up perfectly, everything turned out so nice on these! I think I am going to be a toe-up sock girl. I like knowing that when I get to the heel and turn that bad boy that it is only a short matter of time before I am binding off and wearing my socks. I have such a hard time doing a gusset on top-down socks that I don’t enjoy doing them, and I can’t have that!

I have cast on to do a gauge swatch for fingering weight socks, and I wonder if I will have to wait until I can get a size 2 47-inch fixed circular needle.

It amazes me, I have all of these needle sets in all different sizes, but I don’t have a size 2 in any of them. I do have size 2 in DPNs, but I am enjoying doing magic loop a lot so I need a needle that is a size 2 47-inch fixed circular to make the magic loop work.  Off to my LYS I will go if I can’t get gauge with what I have!

I have to get a gauge of 7 stitches per inch, and Liat says she got it with a size 2 needle. I have tried size 1, and I am trying size 3 now because size 1 gave me 9 SPI. I don’t know if size 3 will be too big to bring it down to 7 SPI. I guess I will see.

I am using some really interesting yarn that is self-striping. This is my first try with self-striping yarn for socks and it will be fun to see how the yarn works out to create the striping. At least this time, the colors match each other so far and I haven’t seen any really bad colors in this group of colors. I don’t know if this fingering weight yarn will net a sock that fits my foot. I am making the largest size that she has on the pattern, so I am hoping that it fits my foot once I get to going with it. I know that fingering weight yarn is tiny, tiny yarn, and it will take me a LOT longer to get 1 sock done than it does with worsted weight yarn. Wish me luck! I will be back with a picture of the sock in progress once I actually cast on for that sock after I get gauge.

 

prettyinpinksocks

Good Afternoon!

I think I might have several ideas from my friends from one of my knitting forums, www.knittingparadise.com  I asked the same question about being in a rut over there and several people answered my post with how they bust the boredom and how I can finish this shawl sooner rather than later!

One of the things someone said was to set a goal to get so many rows done each day, and I thought that might work because the repeat comes out to be 8 rows. I thought I could do 8 rows per day, but realistically I know I might get 4 done before I put it away for the day.

The next idea that someone wrote was to work on it for a set amount of time each day. Her suggestion was 20 minutes, and I think I can do that!  I often follow the Fly Lady’s advice of cleaning for 15 minutes at a stretch, so 20 minutes seems to be a stretch that I can do. It isn’t long and drawn out, and I can do anything else once I am done with the 20 minutes. I think I am going to try that first and see how it works.

Still another suggestion was to alternate between projects and change up the yarn that I use on each. She has 5 lace projects going, can you believe that?  She uses maybe mohair on one, lace weight on another, worsted on another. You get the picture, yes?  She says that helps her to break up the monotony of repetitious work, which is what knitting can be. She doesn’t like stockinette stitch, either!  I thought I was alone in that!  I think that stockinette and garter stitches are the most boring stitches in the whole knitting world, and I have the hardest time completing anything that has lots of either stitch in it. It is mindless knitting though, so sometimes it comes in handy. Sweaters are made out of stockinette mostly, so I have to push through that boredom if I want to do a sweater.

Most of the responses leaned towards alternating between projects, which I already do quite often. I use the PDF Expert app on my iPhone to keep up with the place I am at in each pattern because I can put little notes on each pattern. My friend, Cheryl, told me about that app and I have been using it ever since. It really helps me to keep up with where I am at on any pattern that I have in the app. It doesn’t help me with patterns that I don’t have in the app and can’t put in there, like the Hey Teach pattern that I have to finish once I am done with this shawl. That is a paper pattern that I have to keep up with, which is another problem that I have!  Keeping up with my paper patterns is such a chore!  I keep them with the pattern, but in this case I didn’t mark where I was on that sweater, so I only know that I have to start with the lace pattern for the top and that is it. I don’t remember if I did the set up row before I start the lace pattern or not. I can’t see it, so I think I didn’t do the set up row. If I did, what is it going to look like if I do it twice?  I should  have written where I was at when I threw it in the corner! ::Groaning over here::

Anyway, I think I have a track to run on to get out of my rut. I think I can do anything for 20 minutes at a stretch, and even though that isn’t a lot of time to work on this shawl, it will get several rows done in a day, and eventually I will get to the point where I can bind it off and be done with it. I really appreciate all the help that everyone gave me to help get me out of this rut!  Thank you so much!

Until next time have a great day!
Linda

I am in a rut now knitting wise. I want to start a new project, but I feel compelled to finish the projects on my needles first. I know that a lot of knitters feel this way at least once in their knitting, but I don’t know how they handle it. Some of my knitting friends say to start a pair of socks to break up the monotony of working on the same project over and over, i.e. my MIL’s shawl. I have been working on this shawl for over a year, and I keep messing it up and having to take it out to start again at a lower point and redo everything again. I have had to do that 3 or 4 times now. I just don’t want to finish it, and I need to get over myself and finish this shawl! I know that this shawl will be beautiful when I am done with it, and now I am taking my time to do this shawl right this go round. As a result, I am working on it a few rows each day and I keep plugging along. I will get it finished!!

As for socks, I want to try toe up socks. I think that they might fit me better than the top down socks that I have made as some of my first socks. The heel doesn’t fit right on the top down socks. I am doing them with the Silver’s Sock Class web site but I have several other sites that show me how to knit socks too. I don’t know which one to choose. My knitting friends say just pick a pattern and go for it. I have so many sock patterns and they look SO hard. Yet, I know in the end it is just sticks and string like my friend says. If I mess up, I can take it out and re-purpose the yarn for something else. The only way that I will learn is to keep doing something over and over until I get better at it. Isn’t that the way that everyone learns how to do something?  What would my reader’s do? Any ideas?

As for the rut I mentioned above, how would my reader’s get out of that? I am open to any ideas that anyone might have. I hope to hear from someone soon!

Catching up with you!

Good afternoon!

My knitting adventures continue much on the same path. I am growing quite bored with knitting the same shawl but I need to get it done for reasons that I can’t go into on this blog. Suffice it to say that the person for whom it is intended needs the warmth that this shawl would provide. I think the reason that I am having issues with it is that I have been close to finishing it 3 times now and have had to take it all out only to start over again. I would have been finished with it long ago if that wasn’t the case. Sometimes trying to be perfect is a downfall. The mistakes that I have made had to be completely fixed which made it necessary to rip it back before the mistake and start over. I can’t seem to shake the need to throw it in the corner and pick it up another day.

I have the itch to cast on for a pair of socks! I want to start a new project, and I know I need to finish the previous WIPs. Someone tell me to finish the project on my needles instead of casting on for something completely different! What would you cast on if you were to start a new project? Would you cast on for an afghan, a pair of socks, a shawl, or something completely different?

I don’t think that I am a process knitter, but I think I hope to get there one day. There was an excellent article in the Interweave Knits Spring 2015 issue on this very subject. This author pared down his stash by selling, giving away, or donating his yarn stash over the course of 2 or 3 years. He taught himself how to become a process knitter instead of a get-it-done-yesterday knitter! He describes me in the first part of his article, and I think I want to teach myself to slow down and enjoy the process of knitting rather than getting it done type of knitter. That way, I won’t get upset when I have to tink it back or rip it back to before I made a mistake. Now, the author of the article only buys yarn for a specific project and when he was pairing down his stash, he put bunches of yarn together with a pattern that it was intended for, like creating a kit for each planned project. Then he did the projects one by one until he went through the kits and finished those projects. He also gave away a lot of his yarn, donated some of it, and sold some of it. I have 4 such stashes of large amounts of sweater yarn to knit a cardigan for myself and the pattern involved. However, I also have lots of other yarn, very expensive yarn to very cheap yarn. It depends on the project.

How would you pare down your stash or would you? I have more yarn that I will ever use. I bought it when I was upset because someone was staying in my house that I didn’t want here, so I impulse bought yarn by the hanks full, and now I have way too much to do anything with. I do have sock yarn, cashmere, yak and bison fibers, silk yarn, lace weight, etc. The 4 stashes for 4 different sweater cardigans, 14 hanks of one color in each stash plus more that I have will be put into kits for this very purpose. I am so ashamed at having so much yarn that I will never use. I don’t know what I was thinking. This blog isn’t meant for me to gripe on, but some days I look at my stash and I just go wow! What was I thinking when I bought all of this yarn? Why did I do it? Does anyone feel this way when they look at their stash? Am I alone in my feelings?

I hope to hear from you soon!

Linda

I have to say that setting goals for 2015, knit wise, is something that I have wanted to do but have not yet. I have decided that 2015 is the year of the socks for me, and I have finished 2 pairs of socks so far with one more pair on my needles. I have finished one sock and am about to cast on the 2nd one. Here is the start of the first sock:

bluesocksbluesockfits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made this sock with a short leg, sort of like a footie, because my ankles/calves are quite large and I am not at all sure how many stitches to cast on to accommodate such a large calf/ankle circumference. I just don’t know enough yet about sock knitting. So, until I do, I will make my socks like this. The sock fit my foot, and that was what I was going for.

For those who don’t know, I am a self-taught knitter, and I tend to take on projects that other knitters say are too complicated for a newbie knitter. I don’t believe them, and I do them anyway. Of course, I do a LOT of tinking and frogging and I use lifelines religiously, but I get the projects done no matter how long it takes me to do them.

 

My biggest plan for 2015, sweater wise, is to finish a sweater that I started back in 2011. I made it once, and it didn’t fit the intended recipient. It fit my then 4-year-old niece a bit better. I promised to remake it to fit the intended recipient, but I quickly grew tired of doing the same pattern and threw it in the corner to pick it up later. I never did. I got over half of it done before I did that, and I need to do the top of the pattern now. It is the “Hey Teach” pattern from Knitty.com:

[URL]http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer08/PATTheyteach.html[/URL]

Here is the one that I finished that didn’t fit my SIL:

stefssweater1

 

 

 

 

 

I think I am finally wanting to finish it. Don’t you think it is about time?  I am using Berroco Vintage this time, which is a wool, acrylic, and nylon blend. Still hand washable, lay flat to dry recommendations, but the colorway is gorgeous. I just hope that this one fits her. If it doesn’t, I won’t make it again. I may never make another sweater if this one doesn’t fit her. I did get gauge with this one though, so I think I have a better chance of it fitting her. She wanted it made longer, so I added length to the bottom of the sweater, and I also added extra ribbing at the waist, arms, and bottom to increase the length even that much more. I just hope she loves it.

The other project that I have to finish is my MIL’s shawl.

????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got so close to finishing it only to find out that I messed it up about 25 repeats down!  Somehow, I managed to knit a row that should have been a purl row, and that turned the whole thing around, making the front the back, and vice versa. I couldn’t say it was a design element. It just looked so bad!  So, off to my LYS I went. I had to get Emma to fix it by taking it all out down to about 5 rows beneath the row where I switched it up and put it back on the needles, help me figure out where I was in the pattern and start all over again. Thank God for my LYS!  I just watched in amazement as she took the work out without missing a beat, put it back on the needles perfectly, and she showed me where to start again when I got home!  I did a few rows when I got home with it, but then I realized that I just wasn’t enjoying having to re-do all of that knitting and I needed to put it away for a while. That was back in November 2014. I have just picked it up again last night to start again with row 1 and try to get this one finished this year.

Maybe I should amend my 2015 goals to say that I will get those 2 projects off of my needles and to their intended recipients this year.

In between, when I get bored, I can always knit more socks, right?  I want to get very good at knitting socks. I have, so far, only purchased hand knit socks because I thought I could not do them myself. A knitterly friend convinced me to try my hand at a pair of worsted weight socks. I did and I am fast becoming hooked on them. There is a picture at the bottom of this post of my first pair of worsted weight socks!  I call them my ugly socks because I don’t care for the green and gold in the yarn. It just doesn’t go with the other colors, IMHO. Hence, my ugly socks!  Maybe I should think about renaming them, just maybe. I use them as my sleep socks because they are wool, and I don’t know what would happen if I washed them with the regular laundry. They are rather big on my feet and could probably withstand felting and still fit, but I am chicken to try that. Anyway,  ya’ll have a great weekend!  I hope to post more often in 2015!  Please feel free to comment if you would like to do so. Thank you so much for reading this far!  Here are my ugly socks. :)

uglysocks

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