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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.

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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

Originally posted on I KNIT FOR JUSTICE:

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My version of Knitty’s Everlasting Bagstopper.

MATERIALS:

  • 350-400 yds cotton or hemp yarn (I recommend Lily Sugar N Cream)
  • US 5-7 needles (circular – 24″)
  • US 10.5 needles (circular – 24″)

With smaller needles, CO 19 sts.

Knit 2 rows.
Row 3 (RS): k1, kfb, k to last 2, kfb, k1
Row 4 (WS): knit all sts

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 55 sts.

Begin decreasing.
RS: k1, k2tog, k to last 3, k2tog, k1
WS: knit all sts

Repeat these 2 rows until you are back to 19 sts.

With RS facing, pick up and knit 19 sts along each side of your base. You will have 114 sts total.

You should now be working in the round. Knit 5 rounds.

Change to larger needles and knit 1 round.

Begin mesh pattern:
Row 1: *YO, k2tog* around
Row 2: k all sts

Continue in mesh…

View original 102 more words

Originally posted on :

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Be honest–how many times have you watched the first episode of Outlander??? I’ve been watching on repeat since STARZ made the premiere episode available on their YouTube channel at midnight! (BTW: It’s also available via On Demand, STARZ.com/Outlander, and the STARZ Play app.)


One of the things I love most about this series is the beautiful music, especially the song playing during the opening credits. If you haven’t paid attention to the theme song, check out the video below and give it a listen:

Just gorgeous–right?! Composer Bear McCreary created the music for Outlander and this song, the Skye Boat Song featuring Raya Yarbrough, is now available for download at the iTunes Store! Make sure to grab your copy, and you’ll be able to take a piece of the Scottish highlands with you when you’re not binge-watching the series!

View original 30 more words

Long time no see!

I know it has been a long time since I last posted to this blog. I have been very busy working at a new job. One, unfortunately, that I could not keep in the end because of the 1-1/2 hour drive each way, as well as the content of the documentation that I was transcribing. It just became too much for me. So I left the hospital. I start a new job tomorrow, 08/06/13, and I am really excited!  I realized that I need to work from home for a myriad of reasons, but the most telling is that I need a very quiet environment to work. It seems that the older that I get, the more outside noise distracts me. I cannot work as efficiently or produce enough to make a decent paycheck if there is noise swirling around my head day in and day out. Thankfully, I won’t have that issue any longer, and I am super pumped to be working from home for a company that has a very good reputation for treating their employees like they matter and their opinions and skill set matters to the overall morale of the company itself. I won’t get on my soapbox about that today. That is for another blog and another time. This one is focusing on my knitting adventures.

I have started a new project, my very first afghan!

 

080514_1732_Longtimenos1.jpg 080514_1732_Longtimenos2.jpg

 

It is called the Cromwell Court Afghan, and it is found on the Lion Brand web site. Here is the link to it: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90331AD.html?noImages=

I am using acrylic yarn because it is going to be given to my stepmom, and she needs something that she can throw in the washer and dryer to keep clean with ease. The yarn that I am using is Vanna’s Choice, and I
have decided to use white, burgundy, and charcoal gray as the color way choices. I have a bit more done than the pictures above depict, and I am at the point where I am trying to decide if I want to make the center of
this afghan all one color or if I want to continue using all 3 colors. I am leaning very strongly towards doing it in all one color and making the ends like you see above with the 3 color choices. I am doing 5 repeats of
white, 3 repeats of burgundy, and 4 repeats of charcoal gray on the ends, and I have repeated that pattern 4 times to make a decent finished edging to the blanket itself. If I go with the solid color in the middle, I will
have to commit to that change because I won’t take it all out to re-do it if I don’t like what I have done. The piece is already big enough to weigh a good amount, so I have to decide to commit or to keep using the 3
colors like I have already done. If anyone has any opinions, please feel free to share them with me. I am really trying to use up my acrylic stash, and I have a good amount of all 3 of these colors. Your opinions would
be greatly appreciated.

The other project that I am working on is my mother-in-law’s shawl, the Rose Leaf Trellis Shawl. I have written about this shawl before, but for those who haven’t read my blog since the beginning, it is a paid pattern through
Ravelry, and it can be purchased here:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rose-leaf-trellis-shawl-wrap

I have been working on this shawl for a long time, but that is because I get bored with it and pick up something else to break the monotony up. Then I pick it back up again when I get tired of working on the other
project(s). However, now I am getting towards the end of it, and I have 11 more 8-row repeats to go before I am done. The project has been daunting but enjoyable, and I have made some serious mistakes that made it look really
horrendous. I have had to take it to my local yarn store, Yarn Tree Studio, in Raleigh, NC to get my favorite yarn guru to take it out below the mistake, put it back on the needles, and start again from that point. I have had
to do this twice now in the past few weeks. One time I worked short rows that should not have been in the shawl at all, and the other time I dropped several stitches and didn’t realize it until I was 12 rows above that and I
stuck my finger through the hole that I created with the dropped stitches. This shawl has lace work on both sides, so trying to pick up the stitches and fix the error wasn’t possible and I had to watch her rip out the 12 rows
plus another 8 rows to get under the dropped stitches so that I could start AGAIN!  Frustrating is what I called that, as anyone who knits would understand!! So, I am back to the spot where they took everything out, and I
have gotten back to the point where I am pulling the yarn out of the center again. I counted my repeats last night, and I have 45 repeats done, which means I have 9 more to go to reach the 54; however, I think I will do 11 more
repeats just to make sure it will be long enough. The pattern has 54 repeats, and row 1 is halfway through the motif, so I have to work 12 rows to see the full motif.

I have been told to multiply 30 x 12 divided by 8 to come up with how many repeats that I have left. Math is SO not my strong suit, but according to this math, I have done 45 of the 8-row repeats, which means
I have 9 more to go. However, the shawl just doesn’t look long enough to me. Here is the shawl as of today:

080514_1730_Longtimenos5.jpg 080514_1730_Longtimenos4.jpg 080514_1730_Longtimenos3.jpg

 

How long do you think it will stretch out once it is blocked? I just don’t think it will be long enough. Having said that, I have never blocked a full size shawl before. Any opinions?  I will be back on the blog once I have completed
this shawl. At the rate I am going, it won’t be too long. I am getting pumped to see it finished now!

Until then take care, and please give me your opinions!
Linda

Enter Martine’s contest to win a free ebook!

Teaching Knitting

There are some really good tips here! Enjoy Martine’s take on teaching someone to knit. Please feel free to add any of your own tips in the comments.

I promised in my last blog post to put up other pictures of what I did in 2013, and update you on where I am with Grietje’s Rose Trellis Shawl. Honestly, I have put that aside to work on my first afghan that I am making for my step-mom, Rachael.
She asked for one in early January, so I started researching available projects, and I found one that I think she will love. I am making the Cromwell Court Afghan from the Lion Brand website. I will be alternating between Grietje’s shawl and this afghan for
the foreseeable future. They are both huge projects, especially for a novice knitter like I am. I have aspirations on being a master knitter, but I don’t expect that will happen within the next few months, LOL.. Are any of you master knitter’s? If so, how long did
it take you to get to that status?

You can find the free pattern here:

[URL] http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90331AD.html[/URL]

SKILL LEVEL:  Intermediate (Level 3)

SIZE: One Size
About 46 x 54 in. (117 x 137 cm)

I am doing it in 4 different colors that I have in my stash. I have quite a bit of acrylic in my stash that I have purchased for baby patterns, etc. So, I decided to make it with acrylic worsted weight, and I used Vanna’s Choice, Red Heart (eek!), and Lion Brand Pound of Love baby yarn. I am using a snowy white, burgundy, charcoal, and olive green in the blanket, but the main color will be white. This is an excellent use of my stash and it will allow me to use up some of the partial skeins that I have or the odd skein that I didn’t use in another pattern. In my mind it is going to be very pretty. I am doing 5 repeats of the white, adding a color and doing 2 repeats of whatever color that I am using at the time, and then 5 more repeats of the white, etc. until I get it the length that I want it to be. This pattern is very easy to memorize as well. All of the yarn is a nice thick worsted, although not the yarn called for in the pattern. I dislike working with bulky yarn, so I had to add more cast on stitches than they called for to make it the size I needed for it to be. I imagine the weight will cause it to stretch beyond my imagination as it is already getting stretched out and I am only into row 33 or so into it.

I am liking the pattern, and on the plus side I am not bored with it yet. That is saying a lot because I get bored very quickly, which is why I change patterns so very much. As it is now, I will probably pick up the shawl and go back and forth between this pattern and the shawl just to keep things interesting.

Speaking of shawls, last year was the year of the shawls. I made my SIL a pink simple shawl, and I wanted to show ya’ll what it looked like. It was a simple stockinette triangular shawl with added fringe. It was made with 100% mohair, and she loved it. OF course, Katie has taken over possession of it because it is pink and it is for princesses according to Katie. J

Until next time!
Linda

I worked on a few projects in 2013, all of which I am very proud of. Several of the items winged their way to the Netherlands when my husband’s family came to visit and took their gifts back home with them
when they left in September 2013.

First up is my father-in-law, Wim, modeling his cable scarf that I have talked about previously here on the blog.

 

Here is the scarf that I made for my brother-in-law, Joram. It is a deep red alpaca yarn that was used. This picture doesn’t do the scarf much justice. This is my brother-in-law, Joram, and my mother-in-law, Grietje. The picture of the scarf that I made for Joram is below this one.

 

This scarf was a LONG knit. Joram is 6 feet 3 inches tall, and this scarf is as tall as he is! I can’t believe that I had the patience to work on it for that long!

Next up, is my mother-in-law, Grietje, modeling her collar, hat, and scarf that I made for her, along with a close up of where I am at with her shawl. I didn’t manage to get it finished before she left to go back home, and it is still on my needles being worked on.

 

Okay, so the hat is WAY too big for her head. I didn’t have her actual head measurement when I made this, but this hat will not fit anyone’s head that has tried it on to date. So, I think I will remake it to fit her head as she loved it and wished that it fit her head better.

The shawl is in progress. I still have about 40 repeats of 8 rows before I finish this shawl. Of course, I may make it shorter than the original pattern called for. I don’t seem to have the patience to make something really long, but I am trying to keep on knitting on this one for the simple reason that I want to see if I can do it, AND I want to see what it looks like when it is fully aggressively blocked and finished. I still have to take some pictures of it in its current state. However, it looks a lot like what I have previously posted, except it is longer.. J

I finished a shawl for Katie, which is pictured here:

 

Here is of closeup of the lace pattern. The pattern is the 198 yards of Heaven that you can find for free on Ravelry.

 

 

Here is a picture of my darling Katie wearing her shawl and the sweater that I made for her this year.

 

A chance to catch up

Good Morning!

I wanted to take a few minutes and update my blog. I know it has been a long time, and if you are still with me I thank you. It has been a rough few months, getting over losing Chewi and trying to train the new pup. We both still miss her so very much, and I am not sure that will ever lessen. The puppy is very smart, but it is hard to remember that she is not Chewi, she is Sasha. She is all over the place, getting into everything, so I have to be diligent in keeping my shoes off the floor, making sure my knitting is out of her reach, making sure the door is bolted because she has gotten big enough to be able to open the door by herself if it is not dead bolted. She is a very smart puppy! Here she is at about 8 weeks old trying to carry a Frisbee in her mouth. J

 

Here she is about a week ago laying on my foot. J See how much she has grown? She is so big that I can’t crop the picture enough without cutting off one of her body parts in the picture! She is growing like a weed, too! Look at those feet!

 

When we went back to Sparta, NC to get her spayed on December 23, 2013, she weighed 25.6 pounds at 3 months and 18 days. Now she is up to approximately 30 pounds at 4 months and 7 days today! She has already wiggled her way into our hearts from the first night.
She is helping both of us heal from the pain of losing Chewi. I pray that she is around for a good long time. I do wish that Nikki would warm up to her. That has yet to happen. Here is a picture of our cat, Kiddle, checking her out when she first got here! She was about 8 weeks
old in this picture. Kiddle is about 4 years old here. She is a Russian Blue kitty that we rescued from Safe Haven for Cats. Isn’t she beautiful? You should see her chasing Sasha around the house, giving her a right hook to bring her in line. It is so funny! Sasha barks a lot at Kiddle,
as well as Nikki, so that can be a bit nerve wracking at times. When Kiddle gets tired of it though, she puts her in her place really quick!

 

 

So this is where Sasha is right now, and I will write a 2nd post to talk about knitting. Thanks for sticking with me! I really appreciate your patience!

Until next time,
Linda, the girl who knits and purls!

Where to begin? Most, if not all of it, has nothing to do with knitting, but I hope you all will indulge me please.

Three weeks ago tomorrow, we lost our beloved German Shepherd, Chewi. We lost her to gastric volvulus, which in layman’s terms means that her stomach flipped
on itself and cut off her blood supply to both her heart and the rest of her body. She died within hours of this happening. We have been very heart broken over our loss, and we are trying to get past it. It isn’t easy, as anyone with a pet can tell you. Just in case any of my readers have a large dog, let me tell you what my vet told me about how to avoid having this happen to your dog. If you have a large dog, something like a German Shepherd, Lab, Retriever, border collie, etc. Any dog that will grow to be over 50 pounds… Think about having this done when you spay or neuter them. I say then because they already have them on the table to spay them, and it is just a very simple fix to their stomach and causes no additional pain while they are healing from being spayed or neutered. Have your vet tack their stomach to their abdominal wall. This will prevent their stomach from flipping like Chewi’s did when they get older. Chewi was in a lot of pain according to our vet, and when we get our next puppy spayed in December, we will be doing this procedure to avoid this for her. I don’t think that I can go through this with another dog. I don’t know why it happens with the larger dogs and not the smaller ones either. The vet did a necropsy on her, which means that they determined the cause of death after she died. They told us it was gastric volvulus, and that Chewi was in a tremendous amount of pain. They told us that they could not have saved her without surgery to flip the stomach back, and even then there was a very good chance that she would not make it anyway. That is when she told me about the procedure above to prevent it from happening with the next GSD that we get. I will be doing that for sure.

 

Here is a picture of Chewi when she was a puppy. This was taken the night we brought her home from the rescue organization that we got her from:

 

She was 8 ½ years old when she died, and IMHO that was too soon. She still had a lot of life in her. She was just starting to get a tiny bit of gray in her muzzle. I will miss her for the rest of my life I believe. My husband, Arno, took her death extremely hard. I told him that we had to get another pup and sooner rather than later. I was surprised to hear him say okay to that. I thought he would not want that to happen for a good long time, and I wanted him to know that I wasn’t willing to wait a long time. It so happened that I was surfing around that same day and I saw that a shelter in Sparta, NC had just received a litter of German Shepherd mix dogs that were about 6 weeks old. I called the shelter to verify that they were still there, and we took off to Sparta the following Saturday. When we got there, they had 2 of the litter of 10 left. Both of them were little girls, and we decided to adopt both of them that day. We gave one of them to my friend, Therese, who had lost her GSD to hydrocephalus just a few weeks earlier. Here are the pictures of both of them. Our pup is named Sasha, and she is the first dog you see in the pictures. The 2nd picture is of both of them, with Sasha on the right and Cinda on the left.

 

 

 

Are they not the cutest pups you have ever seen? Yeah, I am a little bit biased over here. Sasha is very smart, and she is quite the loving little puppy. She has bought a lot of joy to our lives and started the healing process for us. Nikki, our Shih Tzu, is not a fan of hers yet. I believe that Nikki and Kiddle, our cat, are still grieving over the loss of Chewi. They both keep looking for her to show up around the corner or down the driveway. It is heart breaking to see Nikki go down the driveway looking for her friend only to find that her friend isn’t there.

The second thing that has happened in my life is that I got a new job! I am working for a company that makes me happy to go to work each day. I am working full time for the first time since 1998, and I am once again loving my career! YIPPEE!!

I hope that the feeling continues and that they don’t decide to sell to one of the multi-conglomerates that are gobbling up all of the smaller MTSOs in the nation as fast as they can manage to do it. I think that I will get out of the industry should that happen to this company. I am doing psychiatric transcription, and that is my passion. I love every single word that I type, and I love it every day. I have yet to get bored with working on these accounts. The work is fresh every time a new report comes on the screen. YES! I am a happy camper!

That is my news today. I will get back to writing about my knitting as soon as I can. I have a couple of projects in the works for Christmas presents, and I have to tell you about my new Jordana Paige bag that my husband bought me for our anniversary, too! It is a beautiful bag! Until then, take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

Good Afternoon!

I am finally getting around to writing about Sock Innovation by Cookie A! I chose this book to review because of all the beautiful sock patterns in it. I thought that it would be a nice book with pretty patterns and some instruction but not a lot. However, that could not be further from the truth. Cookie A goes into a LOT of detail on how a sock is constructed, how heels are done, stretchy bind offs and how to accomplish that, the different types of textures that she uses in this book and how to create them, and THEN you get to the patterns themselves. The socks are beautiful! They are all done top down, and I prefer to do toe up because of how big my feet are. I like being able to try the sock on for fit as I go. I am not sure that I will do any of these patterns due to the fact that they are all top down, but being that I have yet to try a top down I may try it just to see if I like it as well. I have knitting friends who swear by doing socks from the top down, one at a time. I aspire to do 2 socks at a time, toe up, on one circular needle so that I don’t suffer from second sock syndrome. I get bored very easily, and I believe that if I have to do 2 socks on DPNs or a small circular needle that I may not ever get to the 2nd sock. How many of you suffer from this syndrome? Is it easy or difficult to get past?

I know that the sock patterns in this book seem complicated when I first looked at them, but as I looked again and again they are just like all the rest of the knitting patterns I see. Knitting and purling in ways to create the texture that the author is going for with the design of a particular pattern. If you know how to knit and how to purl you can do anything, right? LOLOL! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Can you see the texture in these socks? The picture didn’t import very well, and I have a lot of these types of pictures from the book. As I said above, she discusses basic sock construction, biases, designing, gussets, heel flaps, how to avoid the pesky holes in the gusset, and she has a lot of the stitches explained with pictures at the back of the book. I think this book will please sock enthusiasts as well as teach newbie sock knitters how to knit their first pair of socks. I believe it was well worth the money that I spent to buy this book, and I think it would be a good book to have in anyone’s knitterly library!

Linda

http://girlwhoknitsandpurls.com

Good Afternoon!

I have my fingers in a lot of pots right now, and I am currently working on another shawl/shawlette for my niece, Katie. I tend to make a few things for her each year, but only because she is so cute wearing what I make for her. She is 5 years old, and she is a total fashionista! She loves hot pink and just about any variation of it. So, when I was looking in my stash for the perfect  yarn to make this shawlette for her, I came across some Cascade 220 Superwash in hot pink. I knew that was the yarn that I was going to use to make this shawlette for her. I will post a few pictures of it soon. I have had to frog it completely because I didn’t follow the chart correctly. I knew that the shawlette wasn’t showing the lace correctly. I just didn’t know why and I could not seem to figure it out.

Off to the yarn store I went. Where else would you get help from when you can’t figure out something in a pattern, right? I talked to the resident knitting/weaving/spinning guru, Rachel, at my favorite yarn store, Yarn Tree Studio in Raleigh, NC. Let me give a shout out to Lynn and Rachel over there!

Rachel showed me how to read a lace pattern correctly. See, I thought that you would work across the row from right to left and then return to the right and work the pattern repeat box until you got through with the yarn on your needles. WRONG!

She explained that you work through the row from right to left; however, when you get to the center stitch, you would simply go back across the row from left to right because you want the shawl to mirror what you did on the right side of the shawl! Talk about a light bulb moment for me! DUH!

So, I took it all out last night and started it over so that this time the stitch counts would be right, and everything would mirror each other and look like the pictures here. These pictures are from http://www.ravelry.com and they belong to the the original designer. I am only posting them here as a reference point so that when I post my pics of my shawl for Katie, my readers will be able to see how it should look vs. how it really looks. I hope that it turns out okay. It is a fairly quick knit, at least it is right now because I don’t have that many stitches to work across. By the time I am finished, there will be approximately 139 stitches on my needles and that may take a minute or 2 to work across.

I am making this for Katie so that she can wear it like a shawl now while she is little, and as she grows up into a young woman, she will be able to wear it as the designer intended, like a shawlette, so that means that she can wear this for most of her life if she wants to. Originally, I was going to use Malabrigo yarn to make the shawl and I had this beautiful hank of pinks that I was working with, BUT there wasn’t any hot pink in this hank so I frogged it and I went with the Cascade 220 Superwash that was all hot pink instead. Let’s see, that makes 3 times I have frogged this pattern to start over. By the time I am done, I will know this pattern inside out and all around!

I think it is a beautiful pattern, and if you are interested in doing this pattern  yourself, (it is free on Ravelry) here is the direct link to it:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/198-yds-of-heaven

198yards

198yards1

Good Morning!

I am working up my book review for Sock Innovation, by Cookie A. I took pics this morning of the sock patterns that you could knit in the book, leaving out any pattern instructions so that you have to buy the book if you want it.. :) I thought that the patterns in the book don’t seem to be that complicated, even though they look very complicated with the cables, twisted stitches, and lacey socks patterns.  I am a very newbie sock knitter, but these patterns look as if I could do them without pulling my hair out or making me go completely gray while trying to do one of the patterns! The stitches are ones that I am familiar with, so I can figure it out.

From what I can tell so far, Cookie A really goes into the construction of a sock from the toes all the way up to the top of the sock. She shows you the different toe types you can knit. She shows you the basic stitch patterns, as well as the harder ones. She explains about the different yarns one can use to make socks, along with the needles needed to do the same. She speaks of the construction of the charted pattern versus the written one.

I found all of this just flipping through it this morning when I got up. I will post more about the book once I have a chance to get into the meat of it and read it through. I think that I will FINALLY be able to get the gusset and the heel and how to prevent that little hole between the 2 as she addresses that.

On a totally different subject…

I am now on to  figuring out how to do a proper YO when you are purling the stitch behind it. That is not addressed in this book review, but I need to learn how to do it. When I do a YO, it is normally on the right side of the work right before a knit stitch that normally follows the YO. Of course, when I purl back on the wrong side of the work the YO is purled to create a nice hole for my lace work.

This pattern, however, calls for YO on both sides of the work, and the YO before a purl stitch is stumping me. I am working on 198 Yards of Heaven, free on Ravelry, for my 5-year-old niece, Katie. You can find the pattern here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/198-yds-of-heaven

She loves pretty, feminine things, you know. She loves pink, especially hot pink. This is a shawlette for adult women, but on her it will be a shawl for a long time before it becomes a shawlette or scarf she can wear when she grows up. I am hoping that she will grow to love wearing it as much as I loved making it for her. Anyway, if I am needing to make a YO on the knitted side of things, I simply bring my yarn forward as if I am going to purl and then I knit the next stitch, which puts the required YO right in line where it is supposed to be. With the next stitch being a purl, I can’t do a YO that way. Any ideas or links you could offer to explain this to me would be most appreciated!

Thank you for reading this post. A much longer one is to follow later in the week. Someone told me recently that she likes to read my blog because even though I write long posts they don’t bore her!  LOL!! She just doesn’t know.. LOLOL!!!  I am sure I will succeed in boring her to tears at least ONCE. ;) Hey, Latasha!

Have a great day everyone!  I am off to work now, even though I would SO rather be knitting. :)

Linda

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