Archive for the ‘FOs’ Category

I knit some socks.

It seems that entering my ninth month of pregnancy has sapped most of my energy, creativity, and general brain power. J really hopes that pregnancy brain reverses itself shortly after having the kid; he’s starting to worry.

So that explains the decidedly lackluster post title, but it is no way a reflection upon how I feel about these socks. I love them. The purple is so purple, the green is so green and together they make my heart sing.

The colorway is called “Crocuses”, and that’s exactly what they remind me of.

Pattern: Diamonds in the Fluff by Leslie Comstock

Yarn: A Million Stars Oenone in Crocuses

Needles: US1.5/2.5mm

According to my Ravelry project page, these took me exactly three months. I think it’s worth noting, however, that this was the first time I didn’t immediately cast on the second sock after finishing the first. Consequently, it took me almost a month to do so. I think I can count this as my first, albeit mild, bout of second sock syndrome.

I do believe this is the second-longest-to-knit pair of socks I’ve done yet. The winner of that dubious honor, J’s last pair of socks, had nothing to do with SSS and everything to do with first-trimester pregnancy. Ah well, with a little one on the way I feel certain that WIPs will be languishing left and right going forward…

Have I mentioned that I love everything about these socks? The pooling in the feet doesn’t even bother me too much. The pattern was fun and engaging without requiring too much brain power – just what I needed.

Now that I’m thinking about it, another reason these took me so long was because I essentially knit 2.5 of these socks. I originally cast on the smallest size, since the stitch count was close to my usual. I failed to take into account the decreased stretch in slip-stitch patterns, and after I had turned the heel and tried it on I realized it was too tight.

Normally I would have chucked the yarn into the farthest corner of my stash, or at least switched to a different pattern, but I liked the combo of this yarn with this pattern so much that I decided it would be worth starting over. So I did, in the middle size.

I’ve packed these socks to take with me to the hospital. J will be given strict instructions to either remind me to take them off or else take them off himself if I’m not able to when things really get underway.

I want pretty socks to wear while I’m in the hospital, but I don’t want to risk ruining them the first time I’m wearing them!


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Show me your teeth.

The Hitchhiker has long since been finished. Before the Rainbow Socks, even. I could have made it much longer, but I liked the idea of stopping at 42 teeth. And let’s face it, I was over the garter stitch by that point anyway.

Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock in 800 Tiziano Red

Needles: US4/3.5mm

I almost wish I had just sucked it up and made it longer/wider, but I think I will use it enough as is. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. No modifications. I probably would make another, but likely in a variegated yarn to give it more interest.

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Pocketful of Sunshine

More like a shoeful of rainbows.

I did take baby steps, not miniscule ones; these have been finished for almost two weeks. There have just been quite a few things happening these last couple weeks here at Chez Knitastic. Good things. Fantastic things, even. But they mean that I only just got around to snapping some sock pictures this past weekend, in the midst of our first (and hopefully last) real snow of the winter.

Pattern: 72-stitch stockinette sock with Star Toe and (afterthought) Heel

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow

Needles: US1/2.25mm

I was worried about cutting my knitting, but it was really more of a snip than a cut.

Still, I feel like it’s a good first step in the general direction of steeking a sweater. I’ll get there someday.

It was smooth sailing from that point. I’ve done a couple other afterthought heels using a Wedge Heel since that is my go-to toe, but I decided to try a Star Toe with these, and knew I would hate the socks if I didn’t do a matching heel.

I know it looks like it should be uncomfortable, but it fits great on my heel and I don’t feel the decreases at all.

I think I prefer it to the Wedge Heel, actually, plus I like the look better. Initially I felt that the Star Toe was a bit roomy but I’m coming around to it. I may not use it again on “regular” socks, but I definitely will for self-striping ones.

I really wanted to have matching stripes, so I measured out where I started each time so I could get as close as I could. I think I ended up being only a row or two off. I’ll take it.

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New Year, New Sweater

I technically finished the Lodi Cardigan well before the new year (I count 4 days as being well before), but “Old Year, New Sweater” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. I’m happy with how it turned out, and I anticipate getting a lot of wear out of this one. I couldn’t even wait to get pictures before I started wearing it, so when I finally got around to taking some, it has that decidedly “lived-in” look to it. But I’m ok with that.

Pattern: Lodi Cardigan by Tanis Gray

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Solstice in 2306 Buff

Needles: US5/3.75mm and US7/4.5mm

This is the first sweater I’ve knitted that changed needles sizes to incorporate shaping instead of increases and decreases. It made me realize how much I look forward to doing something different when I get to the body of a top-down sweater, especially when it’s in stockinette.

I did make a couple modifications. I shortened the sleeves by 1″ and bound them off fairly tightly to try to avoid them “belling” out. Also, since I’m pretty short-waisted, I worked the purl ridge detail at the waist at 7.5″ from the underarm instead of the 9″ the pattern called for. This puts it pretty much at my natural waist instead of below it. And then, because I do like to camouflage my lack of torso whenever possible, I lengthened the body to 13.5″ instead of 10″ before starting the garter-stitch hem.

My only slight disappointment with this cardigan is that while I can just button it all the way down, it tends to pull and gap more than is flattering. I call this a slight disappointment because I think that it looks good unbuttoned, so I know I’ll still get a lot of wear out of it. But it did bum me out a bit, because I was fairly certain I had allowed enough ease to be able for it to function as a fully-buttoning cardigan. I think where I went wrong was not stopping to consider that buttons spaced 4″ apart are not flattering to a busty girl; I just blindly followed the pattern in that respect. I will keep this in mind with the next cardigan I knit.

My one of my favorite parts of this sweater has got to be the buttons. My best friend’s mom gave me a whole shoebox full of buttons this summer, and these are from part of that stash. I love the little pop of color they give to the neutral yarn.

And my very favorite part of this project? My finishing work, to be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever woven ends in so nicely, and I backed the buttonband with grosgrain ribbon and used backing buttons for the first time. I’m ridiculously proud of how even and how almost invisible my stitches are (if I do say so myself).

I didn’t back the buttonhole side, but I think I might eventually to keep it from stretching out of shape. I did some preliminary research into this, and it seems some people will use their machines to put buttonholes into the ribbon itself. I don’t think I’m that ambitious. My first thought was just to back the sections in between the buttonholes themselves, to make sure they still have enough stretch to accommodate the buttons, and I think that’s still what I’ll do if I ever get around to it.

And just to prove that I do actually wear my knits, not just model them on my dress form, I present a “Lodi in the Wild” picture.

The wild being my backyard.

I don’t get out too much in the winter months. I prefer to stay in and knit.

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I do like me some stripes.

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden in 274 and 304

Needle: US7/4.5mm

This took me forever to finish, because it was boring as all get out to knit, but I’ve been wearing the stuff out of it ever since.

I really lost steam about halfway through. That’s when I finished the first two balls and matching up the colors on the next two seemed too much of a bother. Then the glaring color change started to bother me.

I tried to tell myself that that would just mark the dead center of the scarf, and besides, I could tie it in such a way as to hide that part. I don’t think I ever truly convinced myself, and the last half was a real slog. When I finally got to the end, I had to cut it short by two rows due to running short on yarn. It bothered my perfectionist side that the color change wasn’t going to be dead center after all. I know, I need to let this kind of thing go.

But holding it up, the second half is actually a bit longer than the first despite being short two rows. You can see it in this picture, which is the way I typically wear the scarf (please also notice the glaring color change being situated front and center. Sigh.) I changed to the Continental way of knitting over the summer and figured it was just a scarf so any change in gauge wouldn’t be disastrous.

Fortunately, my happiness in stripes far and away exceeds all of these complaints. I love this scarf, and the colorful stripes are just the thing to brighten up those gray and cold winter days. We’ve lucked out this winter, and have actually have had sun and 40 degrees but I have a feeling that “real” winter is going to come sooner than later so I will appreciate even more this warm cheerful scarf!

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Pattern: Colorful Wristers by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Mermaid Lagoon

Needles: US1.5/2.5mm

I was pretty close; it took a little over an hour altogether to get both thumbs knit up and the ends woven in. I can’t wait to give them to my best friend. She’s so sweet that she’d oooh and aaaah over anything I gave her, but the whole time I was knitting these I kept thinking how “her” they were and I hope she agrees!

I lengthened the cuffs to 6″ but other than that stuck to the pattern. Also while knitting these, I planned a pair for myself in some purple stash yarn, with a  Sockhead Hat using the 3×2 rib so they’d match. But due to a recent windfall of VISA gift cards, last night I ended up ordering some Shibui sock yarn to make these fingerless mitts instead. Why I think that that precludes the previously planned pair, (Ha! I love you, alliteration!) I do not know…

I’m still knitting on the blanket a bit but progress has significantly slowed. So this week I picked up another languishing WIP, the Noro Striped Scarf.

I’m so close to finishing it, and is my goal for tonight. I have approximately 5 hours before I have to leave to pick J up from the airport (lucky duck got to go to San Antonio for work while it’s been freezing in Omaha this week, and it snowed today. Boo.) and I have no purse project going right now so chances are fairly good I’ll also be casting on a pair of socks.

Speaking of socks, I finished the pair I designed for J. I’m super pleased with how they came out, but less so with my ability to take a decent picture of them.

This has kind of thrown a damper on my excitement to work up the pattern. However, I think it’s a pretty decent pattern for variegated yarn, and I have a skein (only my second ever!) of Socks That Rock that I might use to make myself a pair. I’m a much more willing handknit model than J is, so maybe there will be hope of a decent picture with those.

Pattern: I’ve taken to calling these the Zigzagular Socks

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage 150 in 9876 Olympic Forest

Needles: US2/2.75mm

I’m always on the lookout for a pattern that puts variegated yarn to good use, because although I love it in the skein I don’t generally care for it knitted up. Stockinette socks are good, but get so freaking boring, especially in a man-sized sock (although I’m lucky that J has relatively small feet for a dude). I think this jazzes things up a bit while still letting the yarn shine.

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The Doors’ song might seem strange to have stuck in one’s head while knitting a pair of plain stockinette socks, until you learn the name of this particular colorway. Then it makes perfect sense. Really.

Pattern: Just a plain ol’ 72-stitch stockinette sock with an afterthought heel.

Yarn: Three Ewes Twisted in Fiber Blue Ewe in Light My Fire

Needles: US1/2.25mm

Yep, Light My Fire. And they did. They really really did!

This is my first pair of honest-to-goodness self-striping socks, and I can’t believe how well the stripes matched up. Sure it took a bit of finagling, but not a terrible amount. I just measured how far from the beginning of a red section I placed my slipknot for the cast-on and made sure I put it in about the same spot on a red section for the second sock.

Things were lining up beautifully until I got to the foot of the second sock. After putting it down for a day or two to sulk, I decided to maintain the stripe sequence and just shorten the foot by a few rows. At first it made my anal retentive heart hurt (since I always keep careful count of exactly how many rows go into each leg and each foot of each sock I knit to make them exactly. the. same. always.) but I quickly got over it once I cast off and put them on.

I honestly can’t feel the difference between the “short” sock and the “long” sock. And I’m not just humoring myself either. I’m not saying I’m going to give up my anal retentive ways; I’m sure I’ll still be counting my rows and taking meticulous notes. But it’s nice to know that I can throw caution to the wind when I need to, and walk on the wild side. Heh.

And can I just say this yarn is fabulous? This yarn is fabulous! I picked it up on a whim when I ordered some of the Three Ewes Candy Hearts, where I got to pick the colors of my stripes. Reds and oranges aren’t usually my bag, but I couldn’t resist. I will admit that I had some doubts as to the colorway when I started the socks, but I love love love it now that they’re done.

I’m saving the Candy Hearts for a bit as a special treat for myself, which is silly since I can (and should and most likely will) order more. They are currently on vacation until July 7th, which is just as well since I’m trying to be good and limit my yarn purchases. And I already have a couple other orders I’ve been daydreaming about…and should be able to place soon.

I kid you not, J actually asked me today if I ever ordered the yarn I’ve been yammering about (ok, he didn’t use the word ‘yammering’.). I told him I was trying to wait until the end of July, trying to be good, I don’t “need” more yarn right now. He looked at me like I was off my rocker (and ok, I was surprised when the words came out of my mouth too) and said that I don’t need to wait.

I’ve been talking about wanting to try Woobu from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (for a Vergennes Pullover), and a couple more skeins of Socks That Rock while I was at it. I finally got myself some for my birthday this year, and I’ve been coveting more ever since!

Then earlier this week I made the fateful decision of finally checking out the Unique Sheep’s Gradiance colorways, and fell in love with both the Midnight Delight colorway and the In Dreams shawl, so I mentioned that I would eventually like to buy a kit.

It just occurred to me just how much he really does pay attention when I talk yarn…I always thought he just figured out the timing as to when to nod and making non-committal noises. “Uh-huh” and “Mm-hmm” being among the favorites.

Anyway, to try to make a long story a little shorter, we had made a deal a month or so ago that we both could have a some walking around money to treat ourselves, since we’ve done so well buckling down and paying off all of our miscellaneous debt. His big purchase for himself was a hoist to take the top off of his Jeep and store it. We found out I’m pretty much useless in that regard last summer, right after we got it. It wasn’t so bad taking it off as it was trying to lift it up high enough to get it back on. Let’s just say he has a small scratch and minor dent on what had been my side from where my arms couldn’t hold it high enough for long enough. He also got stuff for several home improvement projects. Including a ceiling fan for my craft room/office. Nothing like someone being completely and totally selfless to make you feel like a yarn-grubbing heel, you know?

I’m trying to stick to my guns and not order anything until the end of July like I was planning up until about 5 hours ago, but now that I know he expects me to get the yarn, how can I not? Sigh. So much for being good. Any bets on how long this self-restraint will last?

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