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.
I had a three balls of Fixation left and I knitted 3 more pairs of Goodbye Summer Socks. Of course I sent two away before I took photos…one for daughter’s birthday, another for coworker who was recovering from medical treatment. Here’s the one that I did take pictures of:
Have you tried it yet? Got a spare ball of Fixation or DK yarn hanging around? Go over and get the pattern on Ravelry. It’s only $1.00!
I’ve been knitting through these quiet days, but I haven’t finished as many things as I thought I might. Yes, there has been knitting in the evenings, but also sewing, stitching, and general peaceful projects to try my hand at.
First, I’ll mention that I bought an embroidered wool skirt at a second hand store (4 years ago?!), not because I wanted the skirt, but because I wanted to turn it into something else. I finally settled on turning the skirt into a bucket bag. Wow! That’s a change, huh? Check out the pictures:
OK, so I cheated and bought some leather handles from Amazon ($15) even though it took a week for Amazon to ship because everyone was obsessing about toilet paper in March.
I knitted some socks too. Two pairs. From 100 grams of the main yarn. To squeak out two pairs, I used some contrasting yarn for the cuff, heels, and toes for the larger pair. I just made a stockinette stitch leg and used the Arne and Carlos afterthought heel to show off the yarn and to just get this yarn out of my stash! Someone at church passed this yarn on to me. Thanks!
I hope you have found some peaceful quiet times during this pandemic to relax and work with your hands!
I want red socks. That’s one thing. Every time I go to my handknit sock basket, I notice that I don’t have any red socks. And I need some. Desperately.
Another thing: I wanted to try the FlexiFlips double pointed, needles so I ordered some.
I started knitting on the size 3.00mm (US Size 2) using Heritage Sock yarn (a personal favorite for plain colored socks), but that yarn was too thin on this size needle, and the fabric was fairly floppy (alliteration intended). Then I remembered that Patons Kroy seems to be a thicker yarn, slightly heavier than fingering, but maybe not quite a sportweight. So, yeah, I ordered some of that too. It’s really working well with these needles!
Therefore, this February, in addition to banging out a sweater (maybe more on that next week), I am knitting red socks (Thing 1) on my new FlexiFlips needles (Thing 2).
The pattern I’m using is Octoberfest Socken by Susan Dittrich. Check it out on Ravelry…for free!
About 15 years ago, I came to the happy realization that I was equally comfortable with purling as with knitting. I’m not sure why it took so long. But I remember as a child I would always finish with a purl row if knitting stockinette stitch, so that the next time I picked up the project, I would do so willingly because I would be on a knit row. Every project was subject to this rule. Hated purling. Doesn’t everyone, at first?
But lately I’ve begun to realize how beautiful the knit stitch looks as it travels along in a field of purl stitches. Texture. One of the features that makes this craft of “knitting” so beautiful. Perhaps I should call myself a “purler” instead of a “knitter”!
It’s raining and my back hurts. I guess I’ll blog.
Knitting has been a bit rough lately because my back is aching. The good news is that I’m on the mend, after many physical therapy (brutal!) sessions, and now visits to a chiropractor. I am now able to sit and knit for a bit. Sigh…
But the little knitting that I have been doing has been creative! I test-knit a pattern for a friend, and I’ve come up with a simple design for a checkered heel and a stripey toe. Even though I only have one sock finished, I think you’ll get the idea about what’s happening. And I’m not the type of knitter to leave a sock unknit. I want to wear these! I used Brown Sheep Company’s Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn (75% Washable Wool/25% Nylon), color: Licorice. Love it!
For the checkered heel, I grabbed some contrasting yarn and knit the first 2 heel flap rows, slipping every other stitch on the right side and just purling the wrong side. Then I changed back to the main color for the next two rows. The heel flap is about 28-32 rows long. At the point where I turned the heel, I used the main color only.
For the stripey toe, on the decrease rows I changed to the contrasting yarn, and used the main color yarn for the other rows. Except I did the first decrease on needle 1, and then I started the contrasting yarn on (what I refer to as) needle 2, so that the woven-in-end wouldn’t be on the bottom of the sock. This made for a perfect end with the kitchenered main color.
Wouldn’t it be fun to use up lots of crazy sock leftovers doing this? I think it adds a bit of charm.
I haven’t blogged in a while, having come off a very difficult year of teaching. Don’t get me wrong; the kids were great. So read between the lines about the “not great” part. (Yeah, 75% of the teachers in my hallway yelled at the students constantly. ) But that year is done. I have changed positions, schools and districts, and I’m ready to start tomorrow! Here’s a picture of my 3rd Grade Knitting Club. The kids learned a lot, and I got them off to a good start. We only learned how to do garter stitch, but most of them had someone in their lives who could add to their needlework knowledge, either crocheting or knitting. I’ll miss them so much. They were fabulous! They’d come to club saying things like, “Oh, I can help her do such-and-such because I saw a YouTube video on that last night!” Oh, my heart, isn’t that sweet?!
80 Stitch Sock Pattern
And now, on to my new sock pattern. I am going to be putting out free sock patterns that are named according to how many stitches you need to cast on. If you are familiar with fingering yarns and how many stitches you need to cast on for, say, men’s socks or women’s socks, then these patterns will help you. The patterns are usually just plain ribbing or a simple cable thrown in. So just grab a Stitch Dictionary and make your own design! This first pattern is called 80 Stitch Sock Pattern-update. Enjoy!
For once I finished my Christmas knitting way ahead of schedule, or so I thought. BUT then I remembered the socks I needed to finish for my mom and dad. I had one and a half socks knit for each of them, having just turned the heels on the second sock for each of them. So, crazy knitting ensued on December 18. Actually it wasn’t too bad because that was all I knitted on for a few days, and then they were done Yes, done by December 21!
These gray ribbed socks were for my dad, but I decided to give them to my dear husband.
My dad got a pair of tan cabled socks from me.
The socks below are for my mom:
And then I knitted these scarves for my nieces:
And I couldn’t forget my sweet little great niece (whom I rocked to sleep on Christmas Day because she was all tuckered out)! So I used this great yarn from Jojoland called Rhythm Superwash. It’s super spongy and has a ton of memory. I’ve used it on socks too, and it’s great. This pattern is called “Cute Little Buggy” and is free here on my blog!