Spirit Lifting Socks

Pattern: Learn to Knit Toe-Up Socks Pattern + Instructional Videos by Staci Perry/Very Pink (my project: Spirit Lifting Socks)
Yarn: Bernet Mosaic
Colorway: Fantasy
Fiber: 100% Acrylic
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) 40″ circulars
Dates: March 16th to April 1st

Notes: Okay, these socks are super easy and awesome to make. Staci Perry’s patterns are awesome, the videos are super helpful and it doesn’t hurt that they’re done in worsted weight. I always recommend Staci’s sock tutorials to newbies looking to do their first socks and people love them. It takes the mystery out of sock construction whether its cuff down or toe up; on dpns or circular needles; or one-at-a-time or two-at-a-time. Annnnnnd you get the whole instant gratification awesomesauceness feeling because they work up super quickly with worsted weight yarn. Needless to say, I totally recommend this pattern or any of the Staci Perry’s sock patterns with mucho amounts of zeal.

However, I totally screwed these socks up. I’m very aware that I’m a loose knitter and I should have totally gone down one or two needle sizes. But I didn’t. And not doing this totally caused a bunch of problems.

First of all, the toe area is too big for me. I think this problem stems from not using the right sized needles and the toe area being a little too square for the shape of my feet. I loved making the toe she teaches you and I love the way that it looks (seamless without having to fuss with the whole kitchner weaving crap), it just doesn’t fit my feet.



I love the method that this pattern uses to turn the heal but it gives you tiny holes up the side of the heel of the sock. I think it would look great when done either on the correct size needles and/or not in worsted weight yarn. However, my holes are big. Boo.


The ribbing isn’t tight enough because, again, wrong needle size. This also makes the recommended bind-off SUUUUPER stretchy and gives it a SUUUUPER loose edging. No bueno. So I tried two different bind-offs instead: a regular bind-off (far too tight) and a crochet bind-off (not so bad but not the best option for socks).


Even though these socks are not the best FO, they were a great learning project! I’ve never done toe-up socks before and I’ve been very wary of them. But now, I’m totally looking forward to trying another pair!!!

Stupid guage.

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Just A Few Good WIPs

Since my post about living a monogamous knitting life I’ve tried extremely hard to concentrate on only a few projects at a time. I’m doing okay…ish…

Minus my two blanket projects that I haven’t touched in monnnnnnths, I only have three projects on the needles/hook:

Solid Granny

Solidan (pattern > Solid Bottom Bag Crochet Tutorial): This is going to be a project bag – hopefully a knit night type bag. You know, something that can hold a couple of project bags and a small notions bag and be thrown over the shoulder. I’m working it up in a fairly tight gauge because as we all know, cotton S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S something fierce and I want this to be a large bag but not a LARGE bag. The combination of a US F hook and a shit ton of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn seems to be producing a nice and tight stitch – so far, so good.


Pascal (pattern > Arrowhead Socks): After multiple (soooo many) sock patterns were bought and downloaded, I finally found a pair of socks to make for the 2013-2014 EpicKALCAL. This pattern hit all of my requirements for this project DK weight yarn, easy lace pattern and top-down construction. I busted out my MarigoldJen DK yarn for this project and magic! I love the way it’s working up! Please note that this is like the 3rd freakin’ project I’ve tried with this yarn…so glad I found a good pattern for it…freakin’ finally.

I also used this project to try out the ever so popular Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I don’t really like a heel and gusset because it doesn’t fit my foot well. It makes my socks bunch up in the back of my shoes and spill out. Not a good look. I like this method much, much better. Not only does it fit better than the usually heel, it works up like gangbusters! No counting stitches, holes or picking up stitches down the side. ANNNNND the stitch count never changes and you can use it on any stitch count. LOVE IT.


Kittyhawk (pattern > Yellow Dwarf Shawl): This project is kind of a thing. Okay, soooooo at first this was the Metallurgy Shawl. But that pattern made me its bitch and I didn’t like working on it. There was just too much back loop this and don’t back loop that and the lack of true rest rows took its toll on me…about 10 rows in. Which is sad because it was reallllly pretty. But one day I was cruising around Very Busy Monkey’s pattern pages and noticed that she’d started another shawl series called ??? that included a pretty shawl called Yellow Dwarf Shawl. I was like “Oh that’s cute! I should make thaaaaaaaaaaa…OMG! That has the same body as the Metallurgy Shawl!!! Maybe I could turn the Metallurgy into this shawl!!!”

*buys pattern and notes that bodies are the same and I can easily switch from one pattern to another…gives self high-five*

So after a lot of stitch counting, frogging due to dropped stitches, additional dropped stitches being fixed by a friend while watching football, my Metallurgy Shawl is now officially the Yellow Dwarf Shawl! Progress is being made! PROGRESS DAMNIT!!!

My plan is to wrap up my bag first because I have lots of free time this week and I have the Superbowl on Sunday. PRIME CROCHET TIME.

I want to start the Washington Square Cardigan and Steven West’s Garter Squish NOW NOW NOW but I will show some self control…maybe. Don’t judge me.

Must knit all the projects!!!

Attempting A Monogamous Life

For the most part, I’m not a monogamous knitter/crocheter. I usually have noooo problem working on a million projects at one time. Just a yarnie project ho.


Right now I’m at 5 works in progress (WIPs; and no the craft room doesn’t count). But trust me, this hasn’t always been the case. I’m not saying I let it get crazy but it’s been more than I’ve been comfortable with more often than not.

Recently, my friend Eve (over at pandorra7) came across a post over at lladybird.com where she talks about how she gets sooooo much done. Now if you don’t know lladybird you need to get your ass over to her site. SHE’S AMAZING. She’s cranks out beautiful work and in mass amounts (sewing and knitting). All of her stuff is so cute and so is she. I read her post titled “How Do You Find The Time To Sew So Much.” Although this post is jammed packed with good advice that applies to all crafty folks, one of the points really stuck with me: She’s doesn’t have any UFOs (unfinished objects). She starts something, then she finishes it.

Crazy freakin’ talk. This is the complete opposite of my usual M.O. > Start all the shit all the time. Clearly this isn’t working for me, total productivity killer. I start all the stuff and I never get anything done.

Time for a change. I’m still going to start stuff, but I’m going to start focusing on what I’m working on and finish the stuff I start beeeefore starting something new. I’m thinking maybe one (monogamous living) or two projects at a time.  I know two at a time doesn’t qualify as monogamous, but its a start!!!

To do this I figured I had to get my WIP count dooooooown. First I had my friend Eve frog my Modern Garden Cardigan.


Trust me, this is a lovely knit. Easy, fast and gives wonderful results, but I simply wasn’t inspired to finish it at all (it’s been on the needles for over 2 years!). I’d been debating frogging it for some time and I finally just handed the incomplete project over to Eve one night and said “It needs to be done. Can you do it for me? I just can’t bear to rip out all of that work.”

And rip it out she did!


Second, I wrapped up my Sockhead Hat (notes on it here):


Now I’m working on my Elise Shawl (my project > Raisin in the Sun):


To be honest I have nooooo idea why I stopped working on this months ago. I’m making it out of Malabrigo and its freakin’ amazaballs. Soft, great color and just a sheer pleasure to work with. Secondly, this shawl is done in crochet and moves along at a fairly decent clip. Hopefully I will have this finished by the end of this week (I’m slow moving due to a cold and just being worn out by work).

I’m not sure what I want to work on after this shawl though. I’m debating between polishing off my Hug Me Socks or my Metallurgy Shawl. I love the Metallurgy Shawl but the lace pattern is very complex (for me at least) and each row of lace takes a ton of concentration and time for me. The Hug Me socks are a little boring to work on but the finished project will be awesome – you can’t beat a merino wool/cashmere/nylon sock!

Sokkies

Pattern: Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley (my project: Sokkies)
Yarn: Red Heart Heart & Sole with Aloe
Colorway: Rustica
Needles: Clover US 2 DPNs and then a 48″ circular
Dates: January 23, 2011 to February 16, 2013
Skills: knit, purl, long tail cast-on, picking up stitches, short-rows, ssk & k2tog decreases

Notes: Love these socks. Not the softest or prettiest yarn, but I love them nonetheless (I love the random magenta stripe!). Nothing fancy here for theses honeys, 3×1 ribbing and basic sock construction. A great first sock and a great and fast knit up for a last minute gift.

I started these on DPNs and knit up most of the first sock on them. But then I put them down for a year and change. During that year I learned how to knit socks using the magic loop method on one giant circular needle by doing the VeryPink.com magic loop tutorial and pattern (my project: It’s Like Magic Y’all!!!). Changed my life y’all. When I decided to finish these I promptly went to Joann’s Etc and picked up the longest US 2 circulars they had and moved them over to them.

Booooooom!

New socks.

Now that I’ve completed my first pair of socks on circulars with actual sock yarn I feel like the (sock knitting) world is mine! Which is good, you know, seeing how I have a shitload of sock yarn stashed away in my closet.

WIP Walk of Shame

Ughhhhh…WIPs…They’re haunting my dreams these days!

A few nights ago I pulled out all of my works in progress the other night and it was just shameful. Afghans, socks, sweater, shawls…SHAMEFUL!!!

*no photo because it’s just shamefulllllll*

So *deep breath* I’ve decided not to start any new projects I wrap up or frog a significant amount of my WIPs.

Yeah, I said it. No. New. Projects. Yes, a harsh line to take but it must be done.

So with that in mind, of the projects that I have languishing around, these are the three I want to wrap up by the end of February.

1) Basic Ribbed Sock (my project: Sokkies)


Original Start Date: January 23rd, 2011

Notes: Seriously, two years to make one pair of socks? TWO YEARS? And still on the first sock? Really? It’s not like this is some complicated sock pattern. I mean really, 90% of the sock is 3×1 ribbing with the rest of it being stockinette. Ugh. Gotta wrap this shit up.

2) Modern Garden Cardigan (my project: Garden Party)


Original Start Date: February 15, 2011

Notes: Creeping up on two years its two year anniversary. Hopefully I can knock this out fairly quickly. The majority of the body is done and it just needs sleeves and a yoke. Seriously, its bulky yarn on US 15…this should have taken a couple of weeks.

3) Elise Shawl (my project: Raisin in the Sun)


Original Start Date: January 8, 2013

Notes: Granted I started this a few weeks ago, but I’ve half been working on it. You know, a row here, a row there…whatever, some people have knocked this thing out in a couple of days. I’m already kissing the month mark and I’m not even halfway done.

I gotta wrap these projects up. Like ‘chop-chop’ style.

(I must admit, I secretly want to wrap up the Modern Garden Cardigan so my needles will be free to make Stephen West’s Garter Squish – it looks sooooooo squishy and it will totally eat up some of my stash – which is a whoooole other post…)