Tag: socks (page 1 of 4)

Easter Show Knitting

Easter Show Knitting: This year I set a record in finishing THREE projects for the Easter Show knitting competitions. I probably shouldn’t blog about them yet – because, you know, SPIES and whatnot – but I can’t be bothered. I never win anyway, so there’s no point in being coy. As you will see, I stuck to my customary themes of “Giant Cabled Thing,” “Non-Traditional Colours,” and “Toys Based on Australian Children’s Literature.” Oh, and this year I added a new one: “Disturbing Accessories.” I even freaked myself out.

Rhiannon SocksFirst, the Giant Cabled Thing in Non-Traditional Colours. It’s Cookie A’s Rhiannon Socks knitted in hot pink Wollmeise. Yes, really. Longtime readers will remember that I actually tried to knit these socks four years ago and failed miserably. There are some truly diabolical cable stitches in there (increasing four stitches while cabling at the same time, for example), but this time I cracked it. I knitted them both at the same time on my usual 2.75mm circs. This photo, of course, is from before they were finished. They were blocking for the past few days so I didn’t even have time to get a proper finished photo! Hopefully the Easter Show display monkeys don’t, like, cut holes in them when they display them. (If you want more details, check out the Ravelry page.)

Sam SawnoffNext is my toy entry. Two years ago I knitted Albert from The Magic Pudding, and this year I decided to knit Sam Sawnoff. Sam, of course, is a penguin and a loyal member of the Noble Society of Pudding Owners. I used the Norman Lindsay watercolour as my model, basing the body off the “Fairy Penguin” pattern in the “Cleckheaton Wildlife in 8ply” book. I actually used two strands of 8ply wool throughout to make him bigger, and I improvised the feet and wings a bit (since the pattern instructions were incomprehensible). His eyes are felt, and his trousers are calico. They turned out a bit more nappy-like than I wanted, but I don’t think it can be helped given the realities of penguin anatomy. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure Norman Lindsay never even saw a real penguin. Sam is WACK. (More details on Ravelry here.)

BokaclavaAnd now we come to DISTURBING: the Bokaclava. I’m not sure how I came across this free pattern, but somehow a few years ago I agreed to knit one for my colleague Sean. It sat hibernating for a long time til I was inspired to finish it. My goal, of course, was to completely freak out the Show judges. And given how much it freaked ME out every time I tried it on, I think I will succeed. I knitted it out of some random Aran wool that I was gifted, and the thing looks more like something you’d buy in a Newtown fetish shop than something entered in a country show. And really, that’s pretty much what I was going for! BOOYAH. (And the Rav page is here.)

And now to wait and see the results of the judging. Any bets?

Nanner and Boyfriend Socks

Nanner SocksNanner and Boyfriend Socks
Here are my final two pairs of socks for the 2011 “Super Special Six Pattern Sock Club”! First up are the Nanner Socks from wendy knits. These were knitted at the same time on a pair of 2.75mm circular needles. The wool is Knitabulous Yarn Ultimate Sock in “Sorbet”. If my socks look weird to you compared to the pattern photo, it’s because I knitted them incorrectly. I only discovered it when my friends at Sewjourn noticed the difference. It turns out that I had followed the charts exactly… and missed the bit of text that explained how you were to insert a row of plain knitting every other row. Oops. So my lace scallop repeats are only half as high as they should be. My only planned modification was to gradually add in an extra repeat on the leg portion, just to give a bit more room in the cuff. That worked out pretty well! My complaint about these socks is that they bias and twist really badly. I’m not sure whether that’s due to the pattern or due to my error in knitting them. More photos are available over on Ravelry.

Boyfriend SocksThese are the Boyfriend Socks from slippedstitch, which I only finished last night. They were knitted toe-up one-at-a-time on a pair of 2.75mm circular needles. The wool is Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett. The photos aren’t very colour-accurate; the green is a lot stronger in person. (This is probably my least favourite of the Kaffe Fassett colourways.) The pattern is interesting. From the photos I thought that the cables actually travelled, but they don’t. Instead when the pattern repeat ends, some knits become purls and vice versa. It’s weird at first, but you get used to it. I eventually had it memorised. I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the toe and knitted the heel as written in the pattern. I knitted 3.5 repeats of the cables, then did a couple P2tog so that it turned nicely into K2P2 ribbing. Then I just ribbed til I ran out of wool. They fit the Snook nicely. Again, more photos over on Ravelry.

And that’s it! Six pairs of socks done for 2011. I didn’t do any substitutions; I knitted all the socks as set out a year ago: Shur-tugal, Nutkin, Leyburn, Fox Faces, Nanners, and Boyfriend. I also used up quite a bit of sock yarn from stash, which is always welcome. Yay!

Fox Faces Socks

Fox Faces SocksFox Faces Socks
These are the fourth socks in the 2011 “Super Special Six Pattern Sock Club.” I’ve caught up! After the stupid Nutkins knocked me two months behind schedule, I’ve finally caught back up to everyone else. These Fox Faces Socks by Nancy Bush were a very quick knit for me, and I’m pleased with how they turned out. The wool is Knitabulous‘s “Ultimate Sock” (which I think has been discontinued) in a beautiful faded pinky-red. I knitted both socks at the same time on a pair of 60cm 2.75mm circular needles. I followed the pattern pretty much *exactly*, which is like a record for me. (I did do one extra repeat on the leg though to add some length.) The toe is a weird one, with three sets of equally spaced decreases rather than the usual two. I actually like how it looks on the top of the sock, with two of the decrease bands emerging perfectly from two of the lace columns. I’m not sure how the third band will wear on the bottom of the foot, but I guess we’ll see. These actually turned out a tiny bit short for me, and I couldn’t be bothered frogging to make them longer. (I was running out of wool too.) So these lovely socks will shortly be winging their way to Chicago to grace the feet of my awesome cousin. She hooks us up with episodes of True Blood; I knit her some socks. It’s a good system.

As usual, more photos and details over on Ravelry

Leyburn Socks

LeyburnsLeyburn Socks
These are the third socks in the 2011 “Super Special Six Pattern Sock Club.” I’m catching up! My sock knitting mojo has returned, it seems. These were knitted out of the Regia Landscape 4Ply sock wool designed by famous textile artist Kaffe Fassett. (It’s discontinued now, but I bought up a fair bit of it while I could.) I knitted them both at the same time on two 2.75mm circular needles. I modified the pattern quite a bit though. For the toe, I used Judy’s Magic Cast On. I actually knitted the heel three times. The first time I did a short row heel, but it was too short when the Snook tried them on. Then I tried this toe-up heel flap but found the gusset wasn’t quite deep enough. So I frogged it back and did the heel flap one more time, increasing several more times to make the heel deeper. That did the trick! I was so pleased with the heel that I forgot I was meant to do some increases afterwards, so I ended up having to do several increases all at once when I started the pattern on the bag of the leg. (I don’t think you can tell though.) I didn’t do any decreases for the cuff; I just switched to a 2×2 rib and knitted til I used up all the wool. (More photos and details over on Ravelry.)

Nutkins

NutkinsNutkin Socks
These are the second socks in the 2011 “Super Special Six Pattern Sock Club”… and I’m officially two months behind schedule. Yikes. These suckers just sucked all my will to knit. I HATED them! I knitted them on a pair of 2.75mm circular needles with Lang Jawoll Magic. The combination of pattern and wool just drove me nuts. The folded cuff was incredibly difficult to do, especially in such a dark yarn. (I ended up doing a provisional cast-on in a lighter yarn so I could see what I was doing.) I added in an extra 8 stitches to each sock (in the purl sections), and I still can barely get them over my ankles. They twist badly. The wool gets very fuzzy. I followed the pattern for the heel, but I just did a traditional decrease and graft for the toe. But whatever, they’re done now and they’re not too ugly. I’ll get some use out of them. Now onto the Leyburns! (More details over on Ravelry.)

Shur’tugal Socks

Shur'tugal SocksShur’tugal Socks
This was the first pattern scheduled for the “Super Special Six Pattern Sock Club” I’m participating in. The idea is that the group (which is now up to 200 members!) chose six sock patterns via a vote and throughout the year we’ll be knitting them with wool from our stashes. (You can read more here, here, and here.) I have plenty of sock wool in my stash, so in December I tucked away six special skeins for this series. On New Year’s Eve, I pulled one out at random: the Shibui Sock in “Pagoda” (a beautiful burnt orange) that I bought at my Mom’s LYS in Goshen. I wound the two skeins together into a center-pull ball and then I was off!

The problem is that I hated this pattern. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s really well-written. I’ve just found historically that I get really, really bored with tiny allover repeating patterns, especially those involving two-stitch cables. (Remember Conwy?) Plus I just could NOT memorise the pattern. Twice I picked it up at the wrong spot and had to frog back. I knitted both socks at the same time on 2.75mm circulars, and I did the larger size. It just seemed to take FOREVER. I was so thrilled to finally cast them off today and be done with it! They are pretty though. More details are over on Ravelry.

I will also admit to some irrational irritation with the pattern just because of the name. Apparently it has something to do with “dragon riders” and it’s from that book I hated.

Sam Socks

Sam SocksSam Socks
While these turned out great in the end, I always seem to have terrible issues with Cookie A patterns. I bought Sock Innovations last year and this was my first project knitted from it. I discovered pretty quickly that there were major errors in the printed pattern. It completely omits the ribbing at the top of the leg, and it also tells you an incorrect number of leg repeats. (If you plan to knit anything from this book, I highly recommend you check the errata. There’s a LOT of it.)

I knitted these on two 2.75mm circular needles. I could tell they were going to be tight around the ankle, so I cast on extra stitches so that I’d have a full extra pattern repeat around the leg. I knitted the heel exactly as written and just left the extra pattern repeat on the top of the foot. I usually like to knit my socks two-at-a-time, but that’s basically impossible with this pattern because you are constantly shifting the starting point of each round. So I was forced to knit each leg separately down to the heel, after which I knitted both socks together down towards the toes.

The wool is a single skein of Yarntini Mint Fizz Stripe that I received in a swap from Dancingman. It was lovely to knit with. The third photo (heel detail) is closest to the actual colours: spring green, aqua, and purplish-grey stripes. I had about 1.5m left over when I finished, which was perfect. I’m very happy with how these turned out! (More details and photos are on Ravelry.)

Absinthe Socks

Absinthe SocksAbsinthe Socks
I think I’m finally tired of knitting socks. Each pair is taking me longer and longer to finish. I started these on January 2nd! They’re pretty though, right? These are Absinthe from Knitty, a toe-up swirl of Art Nouveau cables and lace. It’s an absolutely perfect match for the yarn: Knitabulous Merino Sock in “Salwar Kameez” (from her Indian Summer yarn club). It’s the most intense blue-green, from teal to emerald to even kelly green.

I knitted both socks at the same time on two 2.75mm circular needles. Unfortunately my first attempt at the feet was too small, both in length and diameter. So I frogged them back from the heels all the way to the toes. Then I added in some more increases (eight extra stitches) and lengthened the bit before I started the pattern. That did the trick! When I got to the leg, I finished the five lace repeats and then knitted 2×2 ribbing until I got to the end of the wool. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind-off to finish. (Details also on Ravelry.)

Absinthe Socks   Absinthe Socks (Detail)

Socks!

Socks!

Biohazard Socks   Sheri's Posie Socks

First up are the Biohazard Socks I designed and knitted for Eileen. They were a gift for getting her Biology PhD, so I thought the biozard symbol was fitting. I took the symbol and turned it into a chart, scaling it to fit nicely around the leg of the sock. I also centered it so the motifs would continue nicely down the top of the foot. Other than that, it’s your basic cuff-down sock with a slipstitch heel. The yarn is Pagewood Farms St. Elias that I bought last year at Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica. It’s hand dyed Bluefaced Leicester and it’s GORGEOUS. I loved knitting with it. I knitted the socks one at a time on two circular 2.75mm needles. (Ravelry details.)

The second pair are Sheri’s Posie Socks from Socks from the Toe Up. (Thanks to Miss Fee for lending me the pattern.) I started them at Guild Camp last month but only finished them last night. I knitted them at the same time on two 2.75mm needles. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the “Sherbet” colourway, kindly gifted to me by Mary-Helen and Sandra. I was worried that the colours might compete with the lace, but instead I think it all worked together really well. The yarn is lovely to knit with and it really showed off the stitch pattern. There was very little pooling, and I ended up with heaps of it left over. I had some trouble with my initial cast-off being too tight, so I tried out Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which worked perfectly. (Ravelry details.)

Now, on to the next project…

Child’s French Sock in Citron Pattern and Diaper Knitting

Child's French Sock in Citron Pattern and Diaper KnittingChild’s French Sock in Citron Pattern and Diaper Knitting
Long name… for a fairly unsatisfying pair of socks. I dunno. I’m just not loving these. It’s mostly the colour, I think. The yarn is Wired for Fibre “Rita” merino sock in the colour “Opulent”. In the hank it looked like more of a semi-solid, so I thought it would be a good choice for this fairly busy pattern. Unfortunately when I started knitting it, the pink stripes really stood out and started to compete with the stitches. Not good.

Anyway, the pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks. I knitted both socks at the same time on 2.75mm circulars. Despite looking complicated, the pattern was actually very easy to memorise. I’m still not happy with my lace knitting though. (My yarnovers between two knit stitches are way smaller than my YOs between a knit and a purl. I fear this would be problematic in a larger piece.) I do like the way the diaper knitting continues down on the heel flap. I was finishing the socks at Morris & Sons on Sunday when Mrs Morris came by and admired them. “You like ’em?” I said. “They’re yours. Happy birthday!” At least they’ll go to someone who really likes them. (More pics on Flickr and details on Ravelry.)