Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My own socks

Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes, brown/blue pattern
Pattern: My own basic generic sock pattern, loosely based on Knitty's Universal sock pattern.
Needles: Size 3 dpn

I did these as a toe-up pattern, cast on 32 stitches with a provisional cast-on, then did the toe as a short-row toe. When the toe was completed, I continued working in the round, K4,P4, for four rows, then switched to P4, K4 for four rows. I alternated between K4P4 and P4K4 every four rows until I reached the proper length for my husband's foot, then did a short-row heel (as per the knitty pattern), then resumed the K4P4/P4K4 alternation every four rows, for 60 rounds. Then I did a K2P2 rib for twenty rounds, bound off with a circular bind-off.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Not-So-Fair-Isle socks

It's been a while since I made these, but I never actually posted them... They were my first socks ever... Let me recommend to anyone else out there who is beginning on socks, don't start out on these. ;)

Yarn: Knit Picks Essentials in brown, and Knit Picks Essential Stripes in "Sunny Day" colorway (I think, I don't remember the exact colorway name, and it's no longer on the website).
Needles: Size 4 dpn.
Pattern: Knit Picks Not-So-Fair-Isle socks (also no longer on website, since they no longer have the essential stripes)

Okay, for never having done socks before, I don't think I did too badly... This is a fair isle type pattern, done with two different yarns (I had also never done fair isle before, go fig). It's a top-down pattern with a short-row heel and six even decreases for the toe. It took me a little while to get my tension right for the fair isle (some parts are tighter than others), but it wasn't too bad, they at least fit! :) Also, there's a hole on both socks where the short-row heel starts... I'm starting to figure out how to get rid of that problem, I'm about three pairs of socks later nowadays.

Because it's self-striping sock yarn for the carry yarn, it made for some really nice pattern and color changes without having to change the yarn! I still haven't figured out the jogless join, so the backs of these socks are a little funky right at the change in pattern, but all in all, I can't say they turned out too badly!

Not too bad... Although wearing them over the summer is something I'd rather not try, they're kind of thick, being two strands of superwash wool.

Because of the pattern, and the way the fair isle was being stretched in the bottom half of the sock, this sock actually gives kick-ass arch support! :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fiber Trends Felted Clogs

Fiber Trends Felted Clogs are a quick and easy knit... You can easily make a pair in a few hours, not including drying time. Give yourself a weekend. I used Lamb's Pride Worsted Wool in Raspberry and Deep Charcoal, two stranded.

Stitch types you need to know are your basic knit and perl, plus SSK and K2tog. They'll show you how to make a stitch (m1). When they tell you to make a stitch, it's not your standard increase by stitching twice in the same loop, they have you effectively pick up from inbetween stitches.

Okay, so I don't have pix of the ones I did recently... But I do have pix of the ones I made a few months ago.

This seems like an odd pattern, because what you wind up with is this HUGE shoe:

However, when you're done? The results are *just right*. Throw these puppies in the wash on hot for a few minutes, and it's like a shrinky dink!

Things I learned in doing the second pair:

1. If you use smaller needles, the length will still be the same, but the width will be narrower. So if you've got narrow feet, use a size 11 needle instead of a size 13 (this was done in a fit of desperation... I could *NOT* find my size 13 Addi Turbos, so I had to make do with a size 11 Susan Bates. Since my first pair was slightly large, I figured there was no harm done to use a different sized needle. All it did was shrink the width, not the length).
2. SWATCH FIRST. Just because Lamb's Pride felts at one rate does not mean the equivalent Patons wool will felt at the same rate. If you're doing two-color, make a two-color swatch. My first pair wound up being just a bit large.
3. These are incredibly comfortable, but you need to wear them while still wet in order to get them to mold properly to your foot. If these are a gift for someone else, tell them to throw them in the wash first (INSIDE A PILLOWCASE, so they don't make a mess of their machine), take them out while still wet, and mold to the feet from there.
4. You *CAN* let them spin dry, but only if you're *at* the washing machine at the time they start to spin... If you can position them so the soles are facing the outside of the machine, the washing machine will do the rest and take out most of the water, so you have less drying time. If you let them spin dry without positioning them first, they may fold over and you will get funky bumps in the soles of your new clogs.
5. DO NOT FORGET TO USE A PILLOWCASE. I cannot emphasize this enough. While the Patons yarn I used the second time didn't shed as much as the Lamb's Pride did, it still left a mess all over the pillowcase. If you don't use a pillowcase, you will have yarn fuzzies wrapped around the inside housing of the washing machine, and after a few times of doing this, you'll have to buy yourself a new machine.

These were a nice, quick, easy knit. If you're a beginner looking for something other than washcloths, these are a nice alternative. They're easier and MUCH faster than socks, but they start to give you the idea of what shaping can do.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The project that never ends...

So, as I said before, I'm working on a set of kilthose for the husband. I'm about halfway up the calf on the first one. It's a combination of Knitty's Clessidra and John Anderson Kilt Hose. If I could remember to bring my camera with me when I take a picture of my hubby's foot trying it on, I'd let you see it. ;)

Thing is, it's taking forever. I've already had to stop and make a pair of Fiber Trends Felted Clogs because I needed to take a break from these socks. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of those, since I promptly gave them to my mother-in-law as a present.

I was in Disneyworld in May when I started them. Got all the way to the heel before realizing that it wasn't going to fit my husband... It was just fine until putting the heel on, and that constricted it enough to keep it from slipping over his foot. So I had to unravel the whole thing and start over again.

Then, I started with the right width, but about halfway up the foot, I realized I'd screwed up ON THE FIRST CABLE, and done it in the wrong direction. *sigh* Frogged almost the entire thing, just left the toe unfrogged.

This will teach me not to do this when on line at Disneyworld and being distracted enough to forget where I am when I'm cabling.

So now I'm actually halfway up the calf. This is good. However, it's getting frustrating. I used to take the bus to work, so I had plenty of time to knit each day. Now I drive, new job. So I'm only getting a couple of minutes here or there to work on it. I've only gone about an inch in the last week. At the rate I'm going, it'll be next year before I finish the first sock, let alone the second.

And of course, working on tiny needles and doing all of that cabling, I'm getting mighty frustrated mighty fast.


I'm going to a wedding this weekend. I think I'm going to take that sock with me on the plane and see what I can get done (not that I wasn't planning on doing this anyway). But I may have to put it down for a while and do something fast just so I can get the "completed object giddies" out of my system.