Sometimes socks turn into mittens

mittens-2These mittens started out as socks meant to match my recent sock project.  I planned on making tube socks (no heels), but as I counted how far the stripes were taking me, I knew socks wouldn’t really work out.  My second plan was to turn them into mittens.

I used this pattern for inspiration.  It’s written for a different weight, but I used the basic format.  Instead of using waste yarn for the thumb and closing it up later, I cast on 4 stitches and increased into each stitch with kf&b’s for two rows to increase to 16.  Then I knit to the length I wanted and joined with the body before the gusset decreases.  Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 7.19.58 PMI did that yesterday with the orange thumb shown above.  The yarn was a bit thicker and seemed too long, so I did this: IMG_20140626_130851then this: IMG_20140626_131137and some unraveling, IMG_20140626_131243and some picking up. IMG_20140626_131559Please excuse the poor pics.  This was a lunch time operation.  I’m happy with the result.

mittensAnd Z can wear the mittens!  I might need to make the thumb a smidge longer. She’s wearing a swimsuit and sandals in this pic…

Socks I have not forgotten

Today is my dissertation defense at 2:00pm!  I’m nervous, excited, and so ready to be done! Think good thoughts for me, y’all.  There is power in the collective unconsciousness…

As for knitting content, while I’m working on larger projects, socks that I’m working on often get set aside.  I always have at least one pair of stockinette socks going, and sometimes many pairs of socks of varying styles.  They’re excellent knitting projects for traveling, commuting, knitting in the movie theater, and reading.  Right now, I just have a pair for me and a pair for Matt on the needles, but there is always more beautiful yarn in my sock yarn stash calling to me.  It’s hard not to cast on 10 pairs right now.

My pair is made with Juliana’s Lucky Star Sock Yarn in Truly Outrageous.  This yarn makes me happy every time I work on the socks.  It’s so ridiculously bright, and has just a hint of sparkle.  To keep from interrupting the stripe sequence, an afterthought heel would be best, but I really like the feel and security of the slipped stitch heel flap that I used.  I got lucky with this yarn and the stripes weren’t altered too badly.socks

If you’d like to know more about this heel flap, check out my sock patterns.  You can see what it’s like for free on Earlybird and Summer Slice if you just want to quench your intellectual curiosity.  Basically, going toe-up, I start the flap under the heel and continue the pattern to wrap around the back of the heel too.  It makes for a nice cushion on the heel and adds some durability.

Matt’s socks are made with Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in Fiddlehead.  This color is so perfect for many things in his wardrobe, in case he ever wants to match his crazy hand-knit socks to things.  There are a ton of colorways in this yarn, and many of them would work well for fellas that like their socks to be both fun and slightly conservative.  Matt is fine with wilder socks like this pair, this pair, and this pair.  I’m very happy about that, because the wilder self-striping yarns are so fun to knit!socks-2

It would be incredibly hard for me to pick just one favorite kind of sock yarn, but out of the ones that I have tried I love Koigu KPPPM, Tosh Sock, Hazel Knits, and Colinette Jitterbug for amazing colors, Regia and Opal yarns for amazing durability and crazy fun self-striping yarns, and Anzula Squishy for it’s maddeningly soft cashmere-induced coziness.  I’ve used other kinds of sock yarn, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind and will be brands I’ll go back to often.  What are your favorite kinds of sock yarn?   I always love learning about more kinds of sock yarn to covet!

My anniversary lovelies

I fell in love with some gradient kits from Black Trillium Fibres awhile back, and Matt was sweet enough to give me a couple for our anniversary. I LOVE them. The first is called Shire:black trilliumEach skein has 127 yards of fingering weight yarn, for a total of 635 yards altogether. This one is called Terra Cotta:

black trillium-2They are so unbelievably gorgeous to me that it’s hard to imagine exactly what I’m going to make with them. I think I might make a dress for Z in the Shire set. Really, I just want to display them in vases around the house like captivating flowers. She has lots of great colors in the gradient kits, and beautiful yarns in general. I think I found a new addiction.

Oh, you pretty things!

Happy Wednesday! That video is of one of my very favorite David Bowie songs. I thought I would share it. That’s basically how I feel about this yarn:gynx bfl

EEEEEEE! I’ve definitely been on a purple kick lately. See evidence here and here. I read about this yarn on Susan B. Anderson’s blog. The yarn is Gynx BFL Sock in the colorway Extra. It was dyed to be part of a kit in celebration of the book Extra Yarn, which is possibly my favorite children’s book to read to Z.

An Etsy shop called Little Skein in the Big Wool has Happy Again kits with the yarn, a pattern specially made for the yarn, a stitch marker, a project bag, a sweet treat, and the book if you like. I couldn’t splurge on the kit (but it’s gorgeous), so I just got some of the yarn. I’m so in love with this color! It will be available from the shop until November 30, then possibly as a custom order from Gynx Yarns. I’m seriously considering getting more already.

Even though I should be working on NaKniSweMo and Matt’s sweater, I couldn’t help but cast on this yarn, almost immediately. It came in the mail on Saturday and I cast on the toes that evening. I’m just a little bit into the toes. Though the pattern created for this yarn is adorable, I think I’m going to make myself some Prufrocks. I gave away the sample pair I made.  I like how the yarn looks in this pattern: prufrock

I’m also excited about this yarn because I don’t think I’ve ever knit with BFL sock yarn before. It’s superwash, though I will wash it as I wash other socks that aren’t Opal and Regia yarns (soak in washer with Eucalan for an hour, spin out water, hang to dry). It’s not as soft as a merino, but I think it will wear really well. There are 438 yards on the skein. According to my rough estimation, I think I will be able to get a pair for me and Z from this skein. It’s not buttery soft like merino, but I need that in some of my sock yarns because the buttery soft ones are always the first to get holes, and I get sad when socks die. This yarn feels like it’s made to last.

Ok, ok. I should probably go back to being a slave to the sweaters for NaKniSweMo, but I couldn’t help but squeal over this yarn a little bit.

New yarn!

I got a lovely little skein of yarn for my birthday from my friend Kathleen. It’s gorgeous and delicious. Of course, it’s merino/cashmere/silk…so why wouldn’t it be?

vice-2It’s from an indie dyer, Vice Yarns. The color is Corpses Christi and the blend is called Carnal. I’m looking forward to turning it into some wild socks, or a baby garment. Kathleen also got me a bat house:

viceI’m hoping it will help encourage bats to roost and in turn keep the mosquito population down.

Summer is still flying by. I’m meeting my dissertation goals, knitting as much as my hands can take it, and going swimming with Z as much as possible. Kit is blocking right now! I put the blocking board in the shade outside in the heat to speed things along. I may have altered the dimensions of the tank a bit through the blocking process, pulling the length a little and losing some of the width. We’ll see the results soon.

Anyone seen Orange is the New Black? It’s a Netfix original series. I LOVED it and binged on it and killed the first season in a week. Oops. It was great. I want more now. 

Hope everyone is having a great summer. 

Fraternal twins.

I have had these socks on the needles since the beginning of December. I was perusing WEBS for some hard-wearing self-striping yarn for another pair of socks for Matt, and I stumbled upon (or went looking, rather) for more yarns for me, since the yarn I found for him was half price. That’s a reason to buy more, right?

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This hasty phone pic doesn’t do the colors justice.

I had never knitted with Zauberball Crazy yarn before, but I’ve seen it in a few yarn stores and I’ve been tempted. When you see a whole page of gorgeous colors staring you in the face, it’s really hard not to resist. I got the skein for this pair of socks, and color 1660 (Brown, Green, Blue) as well.

This yarn has long stripe repeats. I intended on trying to make them match up when I wound the skein into two balls, but it seemed like I would have to cut out a large chunk to be able to do so. You can see from the picture that it would have been about 2 inches of knitting lost. The yarn has generous yardage (460 yds), but I just couldn’t bring myself to cut it down.

The socks are fraternal, rather than identical, twins. In a way, this is relieving and allows me to only think about the knitting (or not have to think about the knitting). Sometimes when I get really matchy matchy with the socks, like on this pair, I end up getting a wee bit obsessed about making them match perfectly and I end up thinking about the matching on almost every round, trying to knit a little looser or tighter on one sock to even out the colors. Yeah, I’m a little bit obsessive-compulsive sometimes.

I also decided that these should go to my mom, because I found out over Christmas break that she wore a hole in the heel of the first socks I ever gave her. They were out of some delicious Koigu yarn and had a short row heel. That was my first and last time to use a short row heel. I just don’t believe they will be strong enough. She repaired the socks, but I still felt like she ought to have another pair, so these will be hers. We are both size 9’s, so it’s easy to turn a pair for me into a pair for her. I’m mostly knitting these on the bus or in movie theaters, so it’s a bit slow going, but I’ll make her model them when I finish. That’s my price for gifted socks.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Last night I was beginning to catalog my stash on Ravelry. I was taking Fridica’s suggestion and I wanted to get started because I knew it was going to take quite some time.I was deeply into the sock yarns, grabbing them out of my plastic bin, laying them on the coffee table, and taking quick pictures, barely looking up from the camera.

I took many pictures. Then I came upon this skein.

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I didn’t exactly remember buying it. I had admired it in my LYS many times while working there and after. It was a familiar yarn. I shrugged it off for a second.

Then I grabbed this one. This color was also familiar, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t purchased it.

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And then my fingers stumbled upon this one. It was only vaguely familiar, since it was one Cynthia purchased after I stopped working at the store.

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What was going on? Clever Matt decided to slip my Valentine’s Day presents into the container of yarn without me noticing. It’s all lovely, with excellent yardage and I can’t wait to make something out of it. The yarn is Pagewood Farms Chugiak in the colors Teal, Army Girl, and Maple Leaf. They are each 460 of superwash merino wool. Hello shawls or socks!

I hope you all are having a lovely Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with love.