Two posts ago, I wrote about my brother requesting five pairs of socks this year. I made fun of him a little, because, seriously, he doesn’t know the time and effort put into just one pair of socks, let alone multiple pairs! I knitted one pair of fingering weight socks for him (thumbnail photo below) and delivered them to him after a day spent on planes. Oh, we also raided our snowbird dad’s sock drawer (with permission!) because Dad spends winters in Florida–brother gained about 6 pairs of handknit socks in this fashion.
Then, THEN, my brother told me a few important details about the socks that he wants. He said he only wears the socks to bed, making me think I could get away with knitting sport weight socks for him since he won’t have to worry about fitting thicker socks and his feet into his shoes. He also said he doesn’t need the legs of the socks to be as long. Bingo! Now I can knit a few more pairs for him at a larger gauge and almost fulfill his wish of 5 new pairs this year.
BONUS PAIR! I had two skeins—slightly different colorways—of this sport weight yarn, realized if I combined the leftovers, I would have enough for another pair of socks. Yes, I did! I used a helical knitting technique with the socks below. Maybe one day I’ll write up a pattern for a helical sock.
We flew the coop for Spring Break in a desperate attempt to feel more normal. We boarded a plane and went to visit kid #1 and hubby (and 2 doggies)…for once I only packed two knitting projects, a shawl and a pair of socks.
This shawl was a great traveling companion, easy and fast, especially on a size 6 (US) needle. It’s a great reminder of our family trip to Florida last summer! I dropped the kids off at the jet ski place (don’t worry, they’re adults LOL) and drove about 7 minutes to an awesome LYS in Ormond Beach, Florida, called She Sells Yarn. I’m always pleasantly surprised to find yarn shops in warm places. It was an hour well-spent—“spent” being the operative word!
The other project I brought was sock knitting for my brother. The last time I spoke with him on the phone he offhandedly said, “Hey, I need 5 more pairs of socks.” Ah, the uninformed comments and requests of non-knitters. I told him he could expect exactly two pairs this year, nothing fancy, no cables, twisted stitches, etc. So he’s getting (with love) plain pairs of socks.
This is always my go-to sock yarn, lots of colors and long-wearing.
The most ridiculous thing happened while I was trying to bang out a sweater before Spring Break. I ran out of yarn with only about 23 rows to go at the bottom of the last sleeve. I quickly ordered more, but the package came more slowly than normal. The postman was pulling up to deliver the yarn as we were wheeling our suitcases to the airport train about two blocks away.
I had a brainiac idea that I should check with my LYS to see if they actually carried the yarn, Berroco Ultra Wool, and yup, they did (egg on face). Would you believe that the yarn I got here at my LYS was the same dye lot as the one I ordered from a shop one state away! But the dye lot wasn’t critical because I was combining it with a strand of mohair type yarn, Berroco Aerial Color. I finished the sweater two days before the other yarn arrived. I guess the joke is on me! I’ll use the excess yarn to knit some hats or something. Here’s the finished cardigan:
It’s cropped, neutral yet slightly variegated and it was oh, so warm for when we traveled back to the cold humidity of the Midwest. Is Kansas City considered the Midwest? Not sure…
Have you ever banged out a sweater? Suggestion: use big needles!
Someday one of my kids will call and say, “You’re going to be a grandma!” I decided not to wait for that moment to start knitting some little baby things. I started with this blanket in a soft yarn that has excellent drape. It’s machine washable in warm water, but it will need to dry flat. That’s not too bad!
This is an easy blanket to knit, with a 24 row “modified basketweave” stitch pattern, 18 of which are just knit rows. The other rows of this basketweave pattern are a knit 3, purl 3 repeat across the row. It makes for nice texture and something a little more interesting than plain garter stitch. Oh, and the pattern is free! Click the link below!
The blanket measures 28″ x 32″ and should be easy to tote along for families on the go. I recall having a few blankets that were way too large to bring along, so I didn’t want to make this one too big.
For those experienced in knitting for grandkids, what do you suggest I knit next? Follow my blog and make a comment, and I’ll pick a winner to receive 3 balls of Brilliant Blues Universal Yarns Bamboo POP yarn! Winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 8pm MST. I will notify you by commenting on your comment, so stay tuned!
The last part of October gave us temperatures in the teens and twenties! Time to pick up the knitting game a little bit more to stay warm. I came up with these leg-warmers with cables and ribbing, both of which help to keep the leg-warmers in place. They’re a fast knit because there is very little shaping. AND if you know how to cable without a cable needle, you’ll get warm legs even more quickly! Enjoy this free pattern, but remember to abide by the rules of copyright.
A few years ago I bought a 6 skein set of gradient yarn at a fiber festival in Idaho Falls. Those skeins sat around and I admired them, but now in my motivated state to knit up the yarn that I have, I started to knit this yarn in a few patterns, but none of them seemed right. So I decided to just start knitting a sweater, without having a pattern. You can find the link below to this pattern. It’s really more of a formula for making a top down sweater.
New kitchen needs new placemats. But any placemats that I own are so large that I can’t fit 4 of them on our table or kitchen island without overlapping. So I went shopping for placemats, but they’re all HUGE! And I couldn’t find any that I liked. Additionally, they’re all pretty expensive (times four)!
In an attempt to solve this problem, and since I like the stuff that I make, I thought I would knit some smaller placemats. They’re 12″ x 16″ (as opposed to the usual 14″ x 20″). I have one placemat finished and three to go. I used Lily’s Cream ‘N Sugar yarn in Earth Ombre colorway. They’re machine washable too, unlike many I saw at the store. I like the ikat looking print that the variegated yarn automatically made.
I was in a thrift store a few years back and saw what I affectionately call an “oops” sweater. You know, the kind of sweater where someone didn’t believe the “dry clean only” directions?! In fact, I found three of them, so I bought them with the well-meaning intention of doing something fabulous with them. Several years later I am just getting around to working with them. Here are all the items I made with one sweater:
Much of the sweater body went to make a custom computer case with leather details (I also bought a leather skirt at the thrift store that day–smile). Actually, I finished this right after buying the sweater. The sweater sleeves went to make some water bottle covers and coffee travel cozies. And my feet are showing off the me-sized slippers. I modified a pattern from Purl Soho (here’s the LINK) by sandwiching some plastic canvas between the bottom pieces, blanket stitching it all together, and then adding a back strap. Instant warmth! Or, maybe several hours of sewing and then the warmth.
As for those sweet little baby slippers, I used another pattern from Purl Soho (Felt Baby Slippers). I cut out the pattern pieces with my pinking shearers, pinned them together, and then hand sewed them with sock yarn and a running stitch. Maybe 2 hours tops to complete. You can also check out this patternLINK for baby shoes.
Yeah, I’m not going to be doing this again, except for the baby slippers because they’re so cute! And to be honest, I feel like a super-dork in my slippers, but a warm super-dork!
Here I present the end of an era. It’s the end because I started this leftover sock yarn blanket in the fall of 2008. After almost 9 years, a lot of changes have happened. It’s inevitable. The kids grew up, we moved almost across the country, went from a house to a condo, and now we own e-bikes, for crying out loud! Change happens! It is time to knit other things. Or, finish other things, because of the way my year went, with teaching almost a full schedule at school, and then throwing teaching 3 graduate classes for SLC teachers on top of that! I have about 5 projects that are mostly finished, but need a little more attention.
Back to this blanket-afghan-throw thingie. I wasn’t sure how big I was going to make it; I was just enjoying the process. But 8.5 years later, I’ve decided to finish. And by finish, I mean, squaring it off, not adding any height or width to it, and most importantly, edging it in i-cord! The edging, you see, is like a stopper; it prevents me from adding more rows. Smart, huh? Done.
But at the end of this crazy-sock- leftovers-turned-into-a-blanket era, I have a crazy urge to come up with something else “scrappy” because I’ve still got a small tub of sock-yarn leftovers. Maybe in a year I will have a new pattern to show.
I briefly entertained the idea of putting this on Etsy for a ridiculous sum of money. I was thinking something over $2500, just to see if anyone would “bite.” But that’s cheap. Way too cheap. I calculated my labor at $10/hr (hey, I’m a skilled knitter!), 30 minutes per block which takes into account tucking in loose ends and knitting the i-cord edging. So, with 380 blocks @ 30 minutes per block, that’s 190 hours. Multiply that by the $10 per hour, and the labor cost on this blanket is around $1900. That doesn’t include the yarn. And it takes a lot of sock knitting to accumulate a great variety of yarn. (That was my excuse, anyway). So, the next time someone knits something for you, they don’t do it to save money or time. They do it because they LOVE you!
For now I’ll just sit on my balcony on cool mornings and enjoy the warmth of this throw.