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Posts Tagged ‘sisc2011’

Deadlines

I hate them. Who doesn’t? Sometimes they can be useful to maintain a sense of structure – other times they’re just a pain in the butt.

I have decided, that as useful as it has been to this point, the deadlines I’ve set myself for my Self-Imposed Sock Club are now making me feel anxious and paranoid about not finishing things on time. Particularly as the next three pairs of socks are meant to be knit in less than six weeks each!

So, once I’ve finished the current pair of socks, I’m going to call it a day. Not to say that I won’t knit any more socks this year, because I might! I’ve already wound the yarn for my next pair. But I have other things I want to knit, like the hoody and cardigan that have been in progress for many months now, or the laceweight cowl with the kidsilk I bought from Knit Nation. Or a funky pair of gloves for my baby sister.

What I don’t need is for knitting to feel like pressure on account of a self-imposed deadline.

But instead I will focus on what I have achieved – soon to be six pairs of socks finished this year – double what I knitted in 2010 and plenty to tide me over during the winter.

I will hopefully now be able to knock out a couple of sweater/cardigan projects that I have in my queue! I shudder to think what progress I could make on a sweater with the number of stitches knit into a pair of socks for my wide, long feet – but once I get used to using thicker needles again, hopefully things will just fly by.

For me this learning to say “no” to myself is a big step forward. Knitting is meant to be my hobby – the minute it starts to feel like a hassle it’s time to change something.

Bring on the change!

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Making Monday 2

Wow has it really been a week since I last posted? Whoops. I guess it’s been crazy busy at work so I haven’t had time to do a whole lot of crafting, but I’ve been off work since Friday so I’ve been able to get some stuff done!

I have finished the first of SISC2011 pair number #6 – the socks are 2LuvCrew from last year’s Knit Love Club:

2LuvCrew - First Sock

I’m making mine in the large size on 2.25mm needles – 88 stitches per row means they’re taking a little while – but I love the way the little heart pattern is forming. I also love the Channel-Island Cast On – which gives a little picot edge around the cuff to start from. They should look even better after a good block – I’m about a third of the way down the leg at the moment.

I made Trev some new Tawashi – the original ones I made him over a year ago have gotten really grotty and since they’re his favourites I made him some new ones! They don’t take long and I might whizz up a few more over the next few weeks, so he has a healthy supply.

More Tawashis

If you’ve never used tawashis, I can heartily recommend them. They clean dishes brilliantly – and when you’re done, you just chuck them in the laundry! Clean and eco-friendly.

The patterns I tend to use are below – both free – but the first one requires you to know or be able to understand Japanese crochet symbols and the finishing instructions are a bit fiddly.

Spiral Tawashi
Scrubbie Dots – I tend to make two of these and then slip-stitch them together to make thicker, double-sided tawashi.

Together with knitting on a long-overdue lace scarf (present for the mum-in-law) I have at last finished off some handspun! I started spinning in March (whoops) and finished the plying and skeining yesterday. It also got a bath and has now been safely packed away in the handspun box. Here we go:

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

I spun the singles on my Gripping Yarn Rose in Black Palm:

Camelbunny Silk - WIP

I spun the first quarter/half of it up quite quickly and then stalled. Slowly got the rest of it done, finishing up the singles during the Tour de Fleece this year:

Camelbunny Silk

Camelbunny Silk

Camelbunny Silk

From this I wound a 2-stranded plying ball and began plying it on my Bosworth Maxi Sumac:

Camelbunny Silk - Plying

I’ve ended up with a perfectly balanced yarn – although I’m not too keen on how some of the colours have come out together. It’s very soft and lofty and from 56g of yarn I’ve got about 300m – making a heavy laceweight/light fingering weight yarn.

For next time I’d love to be able to spin a thinner, more consistent yarn. There’s a few little snarls where some yarn has got tangled up too. My problem is getting a little fed up with projects sometimes and just wanting them to be done. Must develop more patience! But here are more finished pics:

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

Ixchel Camelbunny Silk FO

Hopefully it will look good knitted up! Now to think of a project!

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Making Monday

Natalie at the Yarn Yard has instituted a wonderful idea – a day for blogging about things we make or knit or sew or bake. And call it Making Monday. Previous making Mondays can be found here, here and here, with roundups here, and here.

I’ve made the fatal mistake in previous weeks of getting my blogging done at weekends so I’ve not been including in Making Monday so far but not this week! This week I have been busy sewing and have been picking up lots of new skills. And going back to the haberdashery and buying more fabric!

Last week you’ll remember me posting about the sewing cover I made Grace and the vinyl fabric we’d bought to line some drawers with. Because we’ve got loads left, I figured I’d try and make a box bag to store a knitting project in on the move. I keep seeing all these photos on Anne Hanson’s blog that including awesome-looking box bags and after digging out a few tutorials, decided to make one.

As I wanted to make lined bags, I toddled off to the haberdashery and bought a little roll of fat quarters from one of the bargain bins and a couple of zips:

Fat Quarters

I planned to make a second bag from the oilcloth I used for Grace’s cover and perhaps third and subsequent bags from the vinyl, but seeing as I had so much it was the perfect “test” fabric. Most tutorials recommend using interfacing to stiffen the bag – but as the vinyl is a stiffer fabric anyway I didn’t bother with this step.

I used this tutorial from Dragoknits which was extraordinarily simple and very clear – with lots of pics and good instructions. I’ve already admitted to omitting the interfacing – the only other thing I did was make a shorter, narrower handle – as I didn’t want to cut a new piece of fabric and just used a bit I had laying around.

And this is what I ended up with:

Knitting Project Box Bag

Slightly wonky top-stitching by the zip! On the next one I’ll also add a little tab of fabric that you can hold on to when pulling the zip closed:

Knitting Project Box Bag

Pretty chuffed with the handle and folding of the fabric though (you can’t see how wonky the left corner is here – it slants HORRIBLY but I’ll try a new technique on the next one and see what happens):

Knitting Project Box Bag

Funky lining:

Knitting Project Box Bag

Nice, relatively neat edges and seams:

Knitting Project Box Bag

Top-stitching!

Knitting Project Box Bag

They hold a reasonable amount – in this pic I have my little notions case, tape measure, row counter, most of a sock and a ball of yarn:

Knitting Project Box Bag

Going to be perfect for sock projects on the move. The sock project in question about is the July SISC2011 sock – one of my socks from the Knit Love Club last year which I’ll blog about when I finish it. Going pretty quickly despite the teeny needles and stitch count of 88.

Next up will be a black and white bag made from the oilcloth and then as many as I can make from the leftover vinyl. They are totally person-powered – being made on my 1948 201 hand-crank Singer sewing machine. So no fancy stitches – just a bit of straight stitching and a reasonable amount of cursing on my part 🙂

Singer 201 Hand Crank

Depending on how many I’m able to get out of the vinyl, I may even put a few up for sale once I can do them without wonky edges, if anyone would like one?

Yay for Making Monday!

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Meandering Along…

I love that word, meander. On a day like today, where I feel like doing everything slowly, it just feels very appropriate!

So, time to report on another FO. It’s a pair of socks I started way back in May – that were meant to be a bonus pair for my self-imposed sock club (SISC2011). They are called, appropriately, Meandering! I used this scrummy yarn:

The Knitting Goddess Luxury Sock Yarn

Luxury sock yarn by the Knitting Goddess – it contains some cashmere and is in a lovely semi-solid heather colour. The pattern is Sinuous by Rockandpurl.

It’s the second pair of these socks I’ve made. The first time, I didn’t do the patterned toe, so this was an interesting experience!

When I started the socks, I was quite poorly with tonsilitis and was off work for several days. As a result, I flew through the first sock:

Meandering - WIP

I ended up knitting the whole of the first sock in just three days (which is pretty good for me on a patterned sock!). And then promptly didn’t knit anything for over a month. Very strange because I love the pattern, particularly in combination with this yarn.

I eventually finished them on the 31st July, so instead of making them as bonus socks, they’ve acted as my June/July socks and stopped me falling too far behind. As long as I finish my next pair by mid-September, we’re all good!

Here are some of the sock specifics:

  • 13 rows for the cuff.
  • Picked up and knitted the gusset stitches, rather than purled.
  • Knitted 9 total repeats of pattern down the whole sock before getting to the toe.
  • Knitted the patterned toe, however grafted toe shut after decreasing to 24 sts total as this was enough for my foot.
  • Sock #1 took 41g of yarn.
  • Sock #2 took 42g of yarn.
  • 22g of yarn remaining!

And now some pics:

Meandering - FO

Meandering - FO

Meandering - FO

Meandering - FO

Meandering - FO

Yay for socks!

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Oh So Perfectly Pink!

The below skein of yarn is now all grown up into a finished object:

Sweet Clement - Smitten French Pink

Isn’t it a glorious pink? It’s a skein of Smitten yarn that I bought from Sweet Clement a little while ago and I’d planned to knit the second parcel of my Self-Imposed Sock Club (sisc2011) with it – the pattern chosen was Sinuous by Rock and Purl. I wasn’t supposed to start them until March 15th, but as I’d finished my pair #1 in ten days, I raced ahead and cast on on February 27th. I sped through the first sock… getting down the leg, knitting the gusset and doing most of the foot in a few days.

And then promptly didn’t knit anything for almost two months.

Having the house move and lots going on at work meant that I didn’t feel too much like knitting – and when I did, I felt guilty and wanted to work on my Melomelo scarf, which you can see finished in the last post.

So on Wednesday last week I was able to speed through the last two repeats for the foot and the toe. Sock #1, done.

On Thursday, we were up hideously early (4am) to get a hideously early train (5:30am) train to Peterborough to spend a few days with my family. The nice thing about family visits is that they often leave me lots of time for knitting, so I managed to do most of the socks by Saturday morning. I finished the last bits off yesterday and so finished pair #2 more or less on track only a day late. That’s not too bad right?

And since the socks don’t exist without pics, here you are:

Sinuous - FO

Sinuous - FO

Sinuous - FO

Sinuous - FO

Sinuous - FO

I am pretty impressed at my ability to take semi-decent photos of my feet MYSELF, but I may yet be persuaded to invest in a pair of plastic feet to stave off the need for any yoga-like poses.

Being an idiot, on the first sock I forgot to repeat rows 1-7 after knitting my 4 repeats of the chart. I called it a design feature and repeated it on the other sock.

Because I get cold tootsies, I was a wimp and knit the toe plain, rather than in pattern.

I grafted the toes shut after decreasing to 20 st round, as this was enough to accommodate my foot.

They’re a nice relaxed fit – most of my socks are very snug, so it’s nice to have some slightly looser socks as house socks.

(Ravelry link here.)

I’ve already cast on for pair #3 – which will be another pair of Spice Man socks, although of course as they’re for me they’re technically Spice Lady socks. And I’m using this yarn:

Spindlefrog Merino Sock Yarn

I used it before for a pair of Firestarter socks, but had such issues with my gauge that I gave up. Will need to do some maths to get the fit right this time round, but nothing too complex hopefully.

Yay for socks!

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Back On Track

Well I know the year didn’t get off to a good start in terms of my Self-Imposed Sock Club (sisc2011) but I am pleased to report that I am back on track! After finishing my Sin Miedo socks the other week I have sped right on and finished pair #2 (which didn’t need to be finished until March 14th)!

I wanted to give myself a break and knit some simpler socks, so the pattern I went for was Spice Man – to make some more socks for Trev. I also wanted to use up some recycled yarn. I bought my first skeins of Koigu in September 2009 from Socktopus:

Koigu KPPPM

These skeins are part of the same dyelot, but you can see how different they look. Any socks made from these will be more fraternal twins, rather than matching. And so it became the first time I knitted up these socks – as a late anniversary present for Trev.

Trev's Koigu Socks

They were the second ever pair of socks I knitted – and they used a short row heel and a 64 stitch count. It became clear quite quickly that these were too tight for Trev’s feet both around his foot and in terms of his instep – he had REAL trouble getting them on and off. When he had to tug them so hard to get them on that the bind-off came off, I knew it was time to frog them, rather than have him not wear them.

So the yarn sat in a drawer for over a year, in which time I’ve learned more knitting techniques and more about my gauge and how to knit socks that FIT. So this time, when I started the socks, I got cracking on the toe and stopped to count my stitch gauge a few rows in.

Trev’s feet are 9.25 inches/23.5cm around and I was getting 8 stitches per inch on a 2.5mm needle. Taking off 10% for negative ease, I came up with a stitch count of 68. So for stitch gauge I was dead on compared to the pattern, but I was getting 44 rows every 4 inches, rather than the 42 called for.

This was quite easy to adjust, as you knit to a set length before starting the gusset – and I knew in my case I’d have to add in an extra 2 rounds on the gusset anyway to make up for having 68 instead of 64 stitches. As the gusset is less than 4 inches long, that worked out perfectly.

So I knitted approx 45 rows for the foot before starting the gusset, where I then added 17 gusset stitches on each side. When it came to turning the heel, I wrapped 8 stitches on each side as per the pattern and left 16 in the middle, rather than the pattern’s 14. (I had 32 stitches on my sole needle, rather than 30, and 36 on the top needle, rather than 34.)

On the leg I knitted 35 rounds before adding 10 rounds of 2×2 ribbing. I cast off with Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.

I also managed to finish these super quickly. I cast them on last Sunday (the day after I finished Sin Miedo) and finished them the following Wednesday. Quickest socks ever in just 11 days! (Rav link here.)

Spiced Koigu - FO

They look really different this time, don’t they? The socks are obviously a touch shorter since I lost a little yarn when frogging, but it’s amazing the difference the 4 extra stitches round makes to the length and also to the pooling! Instead of those almost stripes I had before, these have some really funkiness going on.

But the main thing is these fit Trev really well. I feel like I’m still learning so much with every pair of socks that I knit – my last few pairs have been cuff-down, and this was my first toe-up pair with a gusset and heel flap. Trying to accomplish that along with modifying the pattern was a little nerve-wracking, but I’m very happy with the results.

This might be the only pair of socks Trev gets this year (he still currently has more than me, with three pairs vs my two), but if I get on well with my sock club I might be able to squeeze some more in. The remaining seven pairs this year, should be allll mine. The next several pairs will be far more complex, but now I’m back on track and have six weeks per pair to finish them, it should be all good.

Between now and March 15th when I’ve decided to cast on Sinuous, I’m going to try and knit as much of a Central Park Hoodie as I can. I was going to knit it all in one piece, but after this very compelling blog post by Rock and Purl, I’m going to do it properly in pieces, as per the pattern and seam it. Not sure how much I’ll get done in a fortnight, but let’s see how I go.

And to end, a pic of the yarn I’m going to use for Sinuous:

Sweet Clement - Smitten French Pink

Sweet Clement Smitten in French Pink! Trev won’t want these socks, that’s for sure!

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Fearless Socks!

Yay I’ve finished my Sin Miedo socks!

Sin Miedo Socks - FO

So glad to have got these done. I’m also steaming on with my next pair of socks, so I’ll be back on track with my Self-Imposed Sock Club (sisc2011) before you know it.

Just to recap some of my specifics on this sock:

Cast on a total of 80 stitches as I wanted to add some extra stitches to the purl columns on stitches 4/5 and 14/15 as Ruth recommended on her blog to give me a bit of additional room on the leg.

These were then decreased on the final row 6 before the transition chart to get me back to the “normal” stitch count for the foot.

Knitted 13 rounds for the cuff.

Knitted 2 full repeats of the foot chart and then knitted until row 8 before starting the toe chart.

Sin Miedo Socks - FO

Sin Miedo Socks - FO

The first sock took a week, and the second sock (when I got around to it) only took a little longer than that when I actually got on with it.

In total I used about 140g of Wollmeise Twin Turkise Markise. If you only have 100g of yarn to use and your feet/calves are large like mine, removing one leg repeat would save you yarn, but I’m not quite sure if it would be enough. Not adding in the extra stitches on the leg that I did would no doubt improve the yardage as well, but it’s hard to know by how much.

I love them! They’re so warm and I had to make a real effort to take them off once we took the photos as I wanted to keep them on and our current house isn’t really handknit-sock-friendly. I will wear them once we move in a month as a moving-in present to myself!

There’s several other people working on the socks and a few are taking part in a KAL in the Rock and Purl group on Ravelry. Come and join us!

One of my next bloggy posts will have some very overdue pictures of lovely spindles (and a special guest appearance, sortof)! But before I go, I’ll share some pictures from the weekend of Trev’s dad coming up, along with his new wife Gina and her granddaughter (Gina is her guardian). So yay! New relatives to get to know. I wasn’t able to make it to the wedding before Christmas, so it’s lovely to be able to have finally met them and spent some time together.

We lent Britney one of the Ripley hats as it was cold as hell here (it snowed all day Saturday!) and she needed it. Isn’t it annoying how much cooler handknits look on kids?

CIMG7294

CIMG7299

I feel huge next to her and Gina (who has also been gifted the handknit hat you see here)!

CIMG7300

Finally, a charming, and not-so-charming couple of photos involving my darling husband and his dad:

CIMG7303

CIMG7304

Guess it helps being a little loopy when you’re married to me!

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