Tag Archives: knitting

A Tale of Two Socks

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Over the last couple of months, I have finished knitting two socks. As you can see from the photo above, they are not from the same pair. Some knitters like to knit their socks two at a time to avoid this exact scenario. I prefer knitting them one at a time because it makes the project more portable.

The sock on the left is Strie, Top Down, from the book Sock Architecture. This is my first sock with a flap and gusset heel and the fit is perfect!

The sock on the right is Cableship by Michelle Hunter. It was her October mystery knit-a-long, which is why I started it before finishing the Strie pair. I can’t resist a Michelle Hunter knit-a-long!

I can’t decide which pair of socks to finish first.

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On one hand, the Strie sock fits perfectly, and I love the colors, so I can’t wait to start wearing the finished pair. But the sock is kind of boring to knit.

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On the other hand, Cableship is more interesting to knit. Also, it has a couple of fit issues, and I am anxious to try a few things on the second sock to see if I can improve the fit.

I guess will just have to wait and see which one I am inspired to pick up and knit!

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Finding Time

Like any hobby or extracurricular activity, finding time for my knitting can be a challenge.

I often enjoy knitting in the evening after my daughter has gone to bed. I can visit with my husband and watch TV. But ever since my daughter started middle school we have to get up really early, which means I have to go to bed early, which means I have less time to knit.  And sometimes I’m just too tired to knit at all!

One of my favorite times to knit is in the waiting room while my daughter has her therapy and social group appointments. A nice chunk of time all to myself! Sometimes I wonder if the other parents think I am obsessed with my knitting (I’m not) since I’m always doing it. They might not realize it’s one of the few times I have to knit without The Other Things I Should Be Doing hanging over me.

Regardless of where, I manage to find enough time in bits and pieces to actually make progress on some projects.

When do you find time for your hobbies?

Here are the projects I am working on right now:

Ambiguous Cowl:

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This is the January 2016 Progressive Needles knit-a-long. I’m way behind because I focused my energy in January and February on my Downton Abbey Shawl.

The project is a long cowl. It’s a two-color project using the Fair Isle technique. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Michelle Hunter’s knit-a-longs because I always learn so much!

This one is going to take me a LONG time to finish. It takes a lot of concentration and is not a good project to take with me to my daughter’s appointments. I manage to get just a few rounds done each week. At this rate, I will be lucky if I have this done in time to wear next winter.

Edith’s Secret:

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I have been working on this shawl for over a year now, but I’m on the home stretch. It is the Downton Abbey KAL project from LAST year. I really love the way it’s turning out, and am focusing most of my knitting time getting this one finished. Hopefully I will be sharing the finished project soon!

Strie Socks:

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As you can see from the photo, I am not very far along on this pair of socks! This project is kind of on the back burner right now. I started it as a nice, easy project to work on during my recent trip to Seattle. Also, I like having a started project waiting in the wings. I am sure these socks will see more action once my Edith’s Secret is finished.

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A Grand Finale

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What did you think of the Downton Abbey series finale? I loved all the happy endings, even if it was a bit predictable. The series ended with a smile on my face.

I have been a knitting fool the last couple of months, working on the final Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-Long (MKAL) hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool. I have done all four of the Downton Abbey-themed knit-a-longs and they have been so much fun! (We won’t discuss the fact that I haven’t actually completed last year’s project yet…) They stretch my skills and produce beautiful garments.

This year’s project was a shawl. I really don’t need another shawl in my wardrobe, but what can I say? I enjoy knitting shawls. I’m slowly learning how to wear them.

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Because it was the final MKAL and because I loved the colors, I sprung for the yarn that was specially-dyed for this project. It is called “Yorkshire Skies”, and I think it really does look like sky when it is knit up.

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This was a super-fun project! The construction of it was quite unique (at least to me), which kept us guessing what the final product would look like (remember, this was a mystery, with small sections of the pattern released over 8 weeks). I think this might be the prettiest thing I have ever knit.

My head got cut off on this photo, but it was a good one of the shawl, so I went with it:

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Project Details:

Pattern:  Downton Abbey MKAL 2016, by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich.

Yarn:  Lorna’s Laces Solemate, in Yorkshire Skies

Ravelry Project, with additional notes and photos: Karen’s Project

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Convertible Mittens

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These mittens wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the movie, Your Sister’s Sister. We watched it with my parents over Thanksgiving weekend. One of the main characters wore a pair of cute, red convertible mittens throughout the movie. As a  knitter, I noticed and admired the well-fitting mittens.

The next morning at breakfast, my Mom asked if anyone had noticed the red mittens. It turns out she wanted a pair. After some online searching, we concluded she would not find what she wanted ready-to-wear, so I offered to make her a pair of mittens for Christmas.

I selected the pattern Red is Best, by Jane Richmond. I liked this pattern because it had a clean design and came in multiple sizes, one of which looked like the perfect size for my Mom.

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My Mom loves her new mittens! I haven’t seen them on her, but she reports that they fit her perfectly.

This was a great pattern! Very well written and fun to knit. I highly recommend it! I have plans to make a pair for myself.

Details:

Pattern:  Red is Best, by Jane Richmond.

Yarn:  HiKoo Simpliworsted. I used color Seattle Sky.

Additional project notes: Ravelry Project Notes.

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Closure

It’s been a long time since I shared any knitting projects with you. I have several finished items that I’ve been meaning to show you for months. I need closure!

Since there are quite a few projects, I will just give a quick comment and a photo for each one. I will link to my Ravelry projects if you would like additional information about the yarn I used or how to get the pattern. Often I will have additional photos and details there as well.

Oh, and before you get all impressed about the number of projects I have completed, this represents about a year’s worth of knitting. Some people knit this much in a month or two. Still, I am pleased with my output.

Yellow Hat

My daughter does not generally like wearing hats, but she does love the color yellow, so I thought, “Why not a yellow hat?”. She will wear this hat when it’s cold out (success!), but it tends to fall down into her eyes a bit. That means it has growing room!


Ravelry Project: Yellow Hat

Namesake Cowl

This was a fun mystery knit-a-long hosted by Michelle Hunter (Knit Purl Hunter). I like the way the cowl drapes and I wore it quite a bit this past winter. I had hoped to get a picture of me wearing it, but it hasn’t happened yet, so here you go:

Namesake Cowl

Ravelry Project: Namesake Cowl

Fingerless Mitts

I had a small amount of yarn leftover from my Corkscrew Hat, so I made some matching fingerless mitts. I had to modify the pattern a bit so I wouldn’t run out of yarn. I am happy with the finished product, and like wearing these when it’s chilly, but not cold.

Roku Mitts

Ravelry Project: Roku Mitts

Endgame Scarf

Yet another mystery knit-a-long project put on by Knit Purl Hunter. I do love her KALs! This one went to my sister for her birthday! I had fun making the cables, and I loved working with the yarn. I might need to make one of these for myself.

Engame Scarf

Ravelry Project: Endgame Scarf

Kaika Socks

My very first pair of socks! And another Knit Purl Hunter KAL. I just finished these a week or so ago so I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet, but I am very pleased with the fit for a first pair of socks.

Kaika Socks

Ravelry Project: Kaika Socks

There you go! I have a few projects in the works that I hope to share with you soon. One of them is probably another Knit Purl Hunter KAL (I just can’t resist them! And doing a KAL helps me actually finish projects. And the mystery part is so fun!)

Have a great week!

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WIP Wednesday: Shades of Gray

It’s been a while since I have shared my knitting projects with you, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting!  I have an unprecedented (for me, anyway) three projects going right now. Each of the projects is very different, except for one similarity:  they all use yarn in some shade of gray.

Project 1 – Socks

CoBaSi - Gun Metal Gray

First up is a project I actually started over a year ago.  It’s my first pair of socks, Focus Pocus by Michelle Hunter.  As I said, I started this one a year ago, but I didn’t like how tight the cast-on edge was.  It was hard to get over my heel, and it felt a little tight on my calf.  So I ripped it out.  I put off starting over for several months.  The cast-on and knitting of the first few rows is quite fiddly and stressful and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I finally braced myself and cast on in November.  To address the too-tight edge I used a larger needle for the cast on, then switched back to the smaller needle when I began knitting.  This not only helped with the tight edge, but it seemed to make the whole process go a little easier.  Now that I am well into the knitting, I am enjoying this project!

Focus Pocus Socks

I am about halfway through the cuffs of these socks.  This project is temporarily on hold while I work on some other projects, but I am looking forward to getting back to it.

Project 2 – A Mystery!

I can’t really tell you much about this next project, because it is super secret!  I can show you a picture of the yarn I am using:

Kenzie Yarn

And here is a little detail photo:

Mystery Detail

I will tell you more about this project when I finish it in a few weeks!

Project 3 – Downton Abbey

Lastly, I couldn’t resist participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-long hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool again this year. I have had so much fun with it the last two years, and so far this year is no exception.  As always, Jimmy Beans created a specially-dyed yarn just for this project.  While I liked the pink and brown colors of the special yarn, I couldn’t see myself getting much use out of a shawl in those colors, so I went rogue and chose these pretty colors:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. The color on the left is called “Fifty Skeins of Gray – Anastasia” and the color on the right is “Kerfuffle”.  I love these two colors together!

I am running a few weeks behind the knit-a-long (the group is on clue #4 and I am on clue #2).  Here is a picture of my shawl at the end of the first clue:

DA Mystery Shawl Part 1

I can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

What projects are you working on?

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FO: Corkscrew Hat

Corkscrew Hat

I mentioned a while back that I would be participating in another Progressive Needles Knit-a-Long, hosted by Michelle Hunter.  This is the hat we made!

I had been wanting to make myself an interesting hat (I only had one boring, plain one) and this one fits the bill perfectly.

Corkscrew Hat

I always learn a lot from Michelle’s knit-a-longs.  This was my first time doing stranded colorwork, but her instructions made it much easier than it looks.  She encouraged us to learn to knit with one color in each hand.  It felt very awkward at first knitting with my left hand, but I got the hang of it by the end of the hat.  Learning a new technique like that opens up so many possibilities for new patterns to try!

Corkscrew Hat with Button

The yarn we used for the KAL was HiKoo Simplicity.  This is a great, all-purpose yarn!  It is made from merino wool, acrylic, and nylon.  You get the warmth from the wool, but rather than being itchy, it is super-soft.  I liked this yarn so much, I chose it for the yellow hat I am making for my daughter.

The next Progressive Needles Knit-a-Long starts October 2!  I will be participating again, and we will be making a cowl.  We have 3 lengths to choose from.  I will make the shortest length because I have discovered that I prefer short cowls rather than longer cowls or scarves.  The yarn we’re using is HiKoo Simplinatural.  I chose the color “First Press Olive” to coordinate with my new hat.  Will you be joining in the KAL?

Hat with SimpliNatural

Details:

Pattern:  Corkscrew Hat, by Michelle Hunter.  It is available as a free download on Ravelry.

Yarn:  HiKoo Simplicity.  My colors were “First Press Olive” and “Framboise”.

If you are on Ravelry, you can check out my project here.

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WIP Wednesday: Lessons Learned

I am still working on the two projects I told you about a few weeks ago: a hat for my daughter and fingerless gloves using leftover yarn.  I have learned a few things while working on these projects.  In no particular order:

1. I prefer DPNs instead of magic loop.

Until I started working on my Roku Mitts, I thought I preferred magic loop, even though I have used both DPNs (double-pointed needles) and magic loop successfully.  I chose to do my mitts with magic loop mostly because I didn’t own any DPNs in the correct size.  But I discovered that I particularly dislike magic loop when there are not many stitches on each needle (32 total in this case).  I spent more time fiddling with the needles than actually knitting.  After I gave in and bought some DPNs I was knitting much faster!

Roku Mitts on DPNs

Roku Mitts on DPNs

Both methods have their uses, but I will no longer shy away from using DPNs!

2. Gauge is important.

I know, I know.  I already knew this.  But I was playing around with different gauges to adjust the size of my daughter’s hat and I gained a little more understanding about how gauge affects finished sizes.  My first hat attempt was WAY too small.

3. Trust pattern sizing.

My daughter has a small head.  And I want her hat to fit well and not be too big.  So even though I measured her head, and the pattern designer listed finished hat sizes, I started knitting a size smaller than I should have.  And guess what?  My second hat attempt was too small.

Yellow Hat - the correct size

Yellow Hat – the correct size

Third time’s a charm, and I am now making the size hat that matches my daughter’s measurements.  And wouldn’t you know, it fits!

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FO: Larch

Larch

I finished my Larch shawlette last month. I love, love, love it!  It was really fun to knit, I love the yarn I chose, and it was very satisfying to make.  This would be a great pattern for anyone wanting to try lace for the first time.

I will probably mostly wear it like this:

Larch as Scarf

I am finding myself drawn to shawl patterns lately.  I have never been much of a decorative scarf wearer, so I have to make sure I will actually wear my shawls before I make any more.

Can we talk about the yarn?  This was my first time using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light and I am in love.  I love the subtle variations in color.  The photos really don’t do it justice.  I keep thinking about new projects I can make with it, and occasionally peruse the color options over at Jimmy Beans Wool.  Right now I am considering a sweater using the Mandala colorway.

Details:

Pattern:  Larch.  It is available as a free download on Ravelry.

Yarn:  Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  I used the “Alizarin” colorway and used pretty much the entire skein.

If you are on Ravelry, you can check out my project here.

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WIP Wednesday: New Beginnings

Welcome back to WIP Wednesday!  I recently finished two knitting projects that I am very excited about.  I will be sharing them with you soon.  In the meantime, it is time to start thinking about what I will knit next.

I have a bit of yarn left over from one of my recently finished projects.  Enough to actually make a little something.  In a fit of frugality (or something!), I became determined to use it right way rather than stick it away in the stash and never look at it again.  I found a pattern for fingerless gloves that looks like it should fit the bill.  It uses two colors  and close to the amount of yarn I have left.  As you can see, I am not very far along:

Roku Mitts in Progress

I am making Roku Mitts in a size small.  This is a risky project because I might not have enough yarn. And I won’t know until I finish the first glove.  The suspense might kill us!

Here is a photo of me using my new ball winder for the first time (well, I’m not actually in the picture, but I’m sure you can imagine me standing right there winding my yarn):

Winding Yarn

A few readers who are related to me can guess that this yarn will be used to make something for my daughter.  I had such success with her fingerless gloves last year that I thought I would see if I could get her to wear a hat made in her favorite color.

Caked and Ready to go!

I am using the Knitted Hats for the Whole Family pattern.  It should be a quick and easy knit, perfect for taking with me to my daughter’s weekly OT appointments.

What do you do with your leftover yarn?  Do you use it right away?  Does it ever get used?  Please share!

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