Magic Minis

On Sunday, I taught a Magic Loop sock class at Dog House Yarns &  More.   I wanted a wee sock that even a novice knitter could cobble together in the span of one afternoon class, so I reached out to a friend who had written up her own mini sock ornament pattern, and received her permission to turn it into an anklet and re-write the pattern specifically for Magic Loop.  We’ll be releasing the pattern soon… we need a cute name for our joint designing efforts.

The variegated model is the one I whipped through Saturday, just to be sure the concept would work.  I knitted it in 20 minutes, not including the times I stopped to let the dogs in or out or back in, nor the time it took to edit the pattern from dpn ( double pointed needles) language to ML (Magic Loop).  I even kitchenered the toe closed (a very specific grafting method that is well-suited for socks knitted from cuff to toe), but decided I like a mini sock with a rounder toe, the kind produced when you just break the yarn and “sew” the toe closed with a needle.

November 2010 004

The foot of the blue one is a little short, because I started toe decreases when the students were ready, even though I hadn’t done enough rounds.  I also crocheted the little loop on the back of the blue one, so it could be a little ornament if I’m so inclined.

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One well-protested anklet, summer 2010

They’re quite tiny.  I should have dropped a quarter or something in there for reference, but Gretchen could wear them if we didn’t have a deal that she doesn’t EVER have to put anything on her feet again.

While we’re talking about Dog House Yarns, are you going to the Lawre’s Laine trunk show on Saturday?  (11-6)   Lawre’s added magnetic closures to her fabulous bags, so come with your own fabric or just an idea of what you want in your dream bag, and you can place a custom order, or walk away with one of the pre-made samples… if you’re lucky.   Follow the link to Lawre’s website to see samples and styles.

Oh – and I’ve almost finished Sabriel.  I need to assure I can download the rest of the trilogy on my Nook ASAP.  I very well could finish it tonight.  Pardon me…  I need to go look into that right now.  Otherwise, after I vote, I might have to go to town and buy paperbacks!

Please don’t forget to vote if you live in the US and haven’t done so already.  A lot of women truly suffered greatly to assure us that right, so don’t take it lightly!  Be an informed voter if you do go to the polls…

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Picot-Jay!

Knitting is happening, in between letting the dogs in and out and in and out…  They’re currently sacked out on opposite sides of the room, cooling off and recharging after a hard morning in the warm sunshine.

Pattern:  Newborn Toe-up Jaywalkers.   I really enjoyed these little beauties.  I tried hard to make a matched pair, but was about a foot or so off.  I think they’re cute, and hope the new mom will too!

I did have a few modifications.   Most obviously, I did a picot bind-off, to make them a little more girly.  The pink appeared more dominant in the skein – anyone else frequently fooled by their yarn, from the skein to the knitted appearance? 

Since socks are generally mindless knitting for me, I don’t count rows; I measure.  So, the heel was started after 2″ of foot happened, and the leg got 1.5″ of the pattern, measured on the back side.

The other small modification may be due to my inattention, but I had to do one more decrease on the first round after the heel was complete to get the right number of stitches. 

Oh – and this is a new heel for me.  The designer called it a Fleegle heel.  Has anyone used said heel in an adult sock?

Yarn:  Red Heart’s Heart & Sole in Watercolor Stripe.  I have to tell you…  I liked this yarn, much moreso than the ONline I used on my Cinderella socks.  It is really a LIGHT fingering, which is my favorite sock yarn, and I guess that touch of aloe made it nice.

Needle:  Addi Turbo Lace #1 US, 40″.  Magic Loop has become my method of choice.  That lace tip made the knit front and back part, which is critical to the pattern, a breeze.

Verdict:  I love ’em, and am looking for a 150- yard “footie” sock pattern for me so I can use this skein up.  Again, I should be embarassed to love such a cheap yarn so much, but I’m not!

Well, it’s beautiful outside again today, so I’m going to hit “publish” and go enjoy the warmth and the sun.  I hope your weekend is going well too!

FO Woe

Look pretty enough, don’t they?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Pattern:  Um, there really wasn’t one.  I used the cast-on from Knitpicks toe up, two at a time instructions, then let Gaylen talk me into trying the afterthought heel, and that was that.   I intended these to be house socks for someone, but I’ve learned that if you’re wearing support hose when you try on the toe-up sock, you might make the sock a little narrower than you want.  I was ready to get these socks off the needles, so shorter legs were better!

The blue/green lines are the waste yarn for the afterthought heels

The blue/green lines are the waste yarn for the afterthought heels

Yarn:  OnLine Supersocke 100.  I know some of you like this stuff, but it was tough and rough going through the fingers.  I loved the colors, and the self-patterned thing was fun, especially at the onset.  I do have a couple more balls by this manufacturer, and they’re softer to the touch, and the yarns seem more pliable.  This was like knitting with a little rope!  I did pull from the inside for one sock and the outside for the other, so they don’t match, not at all.

Needles:  #1 Hiya Hiya, 40″ length.  I liked the needle just fine.  The cord was very loopy though, even after several weeks.  I did use #0 dpns to unknit the stitches on the waste yarn, but then knitted back onto the #1 circ on the first round.

Verdict:  I like the afterthought heels.  The socks are almost too narrow for me, so I haven’t worn them, but I do have a pair with afterthought heels in them that Gaylen gifted me, and they feel great!  I do want to try some of the other self-striping yarns in my stash, but this one will be headed to a new home next time I ship packages.

In all fairness to these socks, you must know that I cast on in the mountains of West Virginia, through tears on September 11th, en route to a funeral.  They were my travel project when I went to see Auntie the last couple of times, and then I worked on them to and from another funeral in January.  So, I’m hoping they’ll fit someone else, and if not, I’ll wear them around the house once in a while and say a prayer for all the dearly departeds they’ll make me think about, which isn’t a bad thing after all.

Now I’m only one finished object report behind.  Phew!

Coming up Roses

Weeee!  This is a hang on and enjoy the ride couple of weeks.  I wish I could remember the snarky cliche my great aunt used, but the gist is that without the manure, roses don’t bloom so nicely.

Tonight,  I have stuff to do around the house, including closing out my last August Pampered Chef show.  Tuesday night is the last shot at cleaning before Anita arrives.  Wednesday night is a meeting at the firehouse.  Thursday, Anita arrives and we have a meeting at the firehouse, but I’ll only be there for a few minutes.  Friday, Anita and I head north to meet up with Michelle and Amanda.  Saturday, we have Knitters Day Out and then the return trip home.  Sunday, Anita will head home, the Knight has a meeting, and Sissy will need some TLC.

Monday, Ruth and her husband are in town.   We’ll do lunch, and then see what kind of adventures we can have!  There will be lots and lots of photos and posts to share, but for the rest of the week next week, y’all will have to entertain me until Saturday.  Then, the Knight, Sissy and I will head to OBX for a few sweet days of nothing.  I haven’t even told our friends down there we’re coming.  I’m not sure how the beach without Mugsy will be, so we’re keeping our calendar open.

There will be LOTS more of this though.  We’re hoping that the warmer waters will be more to Sissy’s liking, and she’ll enjoy the ocean.  The Knight loved playing fetch with Mugsy in the surf, so keep your fingers crossed that the ocean will be more to the Princess’s liking this time!

Knitting is all but on hold right now.  I started some very basic socks Thursday, and knitted along on them as I rode here and there over the weekend.  I’ll take them along this weekend, but in the meantime, I need to whip out a children’s hat as part of my KDO registration.  I’m enjoying the self-patterned yarn (started from opposite ends of the ball so they won’t match, but who cares?!).  I think I need more of this kind of yarn.  It seems I can indeed just do stockinette into infinity when the yarn’s changing constantly…

I also made it through the first skein and separated the sleeves on my Blue Heaven Plath Cardigan, but no updated photos there.  I’d hoped to finish it for this weekend, but I can see now that ain’t gonna’ happen.  Instead, I’ll wear my Stardust.  (Ravelry links.  My apologizes to those not Ravelrizing.)

I’m already planning my beach knitting.  I hope to have the Plath finished by then, but it not, it’s top of the list.  Then, Fredfoot.  It just seems right to work on that at the beach.  Then, my nearly forgotten should be all but done by now RCK KAL lace.  The travel sock (above) and the Chevron scarf yarn will also make the trip.  There’s no way I’ll finish all of it, but that’s the whole point, right?  Plus, I’ll have to stop in and see what’s new at Knitting AddictionIronically, I’ve knitted up all but one or two skeins of yarn I’ve purchased there, so that’s a great place to buy more for my yarn library.  (I’m thinking sweater, if anyone down there is reading…)

Did I Do That?!

There I was, minding my own business, headed home, when Lexie suddenly lurched to the left, and then to the right, and I found myself in a yarn shop.  Stacey and I have been talking about Noro’s Taiyo quite a bit, and I decided I had to have some.  While I was snatching up the colorway of my dreams like a starving dog on a bone, I somehow snarfed up some Matsuri too.  It’s cotton and wool, and just lucious.  On the top there is Plymouth’s Happy Feet.  It actually feels rough compared to the Matsuri.  I’m still no fan of the Noro staple, Kureyon, but evidently, I’m a sucker for their softer yarns.

 

Just look at it.  I am.  Heck, this post could have been done ten minutes ago if not for the pauses to admire and pet my new yarn luv.  There’s 220+ yards of self-striping softness there, yearning to become a shrug of some sort, I think.

That’s the Bamboucle I failed to photograph yesterday.  You needed to see it.  I mean, if I’m suddenly gahgah about a boucle, that’s worth a look, no?

I promised an FO too.  It’s a hat for Ann’s Sublynnmal Healing Campaign.  (Join us please, for some knitting that will truly make a difference.)

Pattern:  Delite Hat  

Changes:  Quite a few.  There’s an error in the fourth row of the lace pattern.  The K2 should be K2tog, I do believe.  I also opted to keep the twisted rib going through the decreases, even knitting the K2togs through the back loop.  Then, I feared I wouldn’t have enough yarn, and indeed, I would have been a few yards short, so I grabbed some of that nearly edible Malabrigo for a fun, bold pink stripe.  I like it, and I hope Lynn will too.

Comments:  While it’s such a cute hat that I’m having a hard time telling it buh-bye, I doubt very seriously if I’ll ever knit it again.  All that twisted rib made me crazy, and slowed me WAY down. 

Yarns:  Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran (blue) and Malabrigo Chunky (pink stripe).  I will say that the knitting went faster with the wool, rather than the slightly fuzzy, slippery stuff.  I love both yarns, but it’s another lesson in fiber substitution.

Needles:  My new Knitpicks Harmony Options, size 6 tips, 40″ cord, so I could magic loop my way through the whole thing. 

Still with me?  I hope so, because the best is yet to come. 

Remember the little wager Anita and I had, to urge us both on with our wraps?  Well, I finished my clapotis first, so I was waiting to see what yarn she would send.  As usual, Anita outdid herself.  Look at that!  (Just scroll down for close-ups.)  There’s a lot more than a hank of great yarn there, but I know you want to see it all, so just keep going. 

I do have to note that Gypsy Knits was kind enough to include a special treat package for me too, as Anita had mentioned some of her purchase was a gift.  You know I love that kind of attention to detail and customer service…

 

 

First, the yarn, from Gypsy Knits.

It’s called Apple Valley, which is way cool, as I love apples, and my state has an apple blossom festival coming up soon.  The colors scream spring, and I’m looking forward to casting on. 

The bag is one of the best designs I’ve seen.  Check out the drawstring, the elastic loop to stay on your wrist if you choose to walk and knit, and a wee caribeaner so it can hook onto most anything.  It’s roomy enough for a medium lace project, and even for two socks at a time!  It’s also from Gypsy Knits, and I was CRUSHED this morning when I saw its twin on Anita’s blog, and couldn’t find another for me.  Sneaky, sneaky, and I love it!! 

Of course, being the thoughtful gal that she is, Anita dropped in a couple of her own cute clay stitch markers.  Here lately, I’ve been thinking Anita and I are like two peas in a pod, but she said she chose these because they’re sweet peas for sweet me.  Ha!!  It’s great to have friends getting to know me pretty well but who still think I’m sweet! 

I know this has been another long post, but I had so much to share!  Now, to Ravelry to find a few patterns for my new yarns so I can knit away during House.   The new episodes are a few weeks out yet, but that’s okay.  I’ll flip back and forth between House and the NCAA basketball finals.

Twins!

Two socks, cast on and off at the same time, on the same needle.  Wee! 

Details: 

Pattern: Pedicure Socks  My second pair, but these were done via Magic Loop, two at a time, courtesy of 2-at-a-time SocksI did jump off track and do the heels separately, so the next pair, I’m going to follow one of her patterns to a tee.  Then, I hear there are variations on the 2 socks on one circ theme, so if doing it her way doesn’t seem absolutely perfect, I’ll search out more. 

Yarn:  More Wick.  Can’t get enough of this soy blend.  This is colorway #565.  I really like named colorways better, just in case any yarn makers read my blog.

Needle:  Knitpicks Options Harmony #6, 40″ cable.  I can’t imagine doing two socks on anything shorter than a 40″, but I might have to, because Addis only go down to a #1 that I can find, and KPs only make their tiny sizes in a 32″ cable. 

I cannot tell you how much satisfaction there is in pulling a PAIR of socks off the needle at the same time.  I also didn’t mind all the pushing and pulling as much as I did with my first pair of ML socks – my very first socks EVER, done one at a time.  I think it is comparable to the pushing and pulling with two circs, so I’m now sold on Magic Loop. 

I love this colorway, and hope my friend will too.  It just goes to show that there are no absolutes for me on colors.  I say I don’t like yellow or orange, but they’re both in there, and look great!  I think if I could name this colorway, I’d call it Spring Garden. 

I had another package yesterday.  While chatting about Magic Loop and socks, Ruth offered to trade her 40″ Addis for some 32″ Knitpick metals.  Most of you know Knitpicks are slow shippers, so I hope Ruth doesn’t have to wait too long for my end of the trade!  You’ll see she also included some teas for me to try.  The lavender certainly has my attention, and I think once I hit “publish” here, I’ll try a cup.  Thanks Ruth!  Hopefully soon, we’ll both have sock needles we like.

The weather and Sissy finally cooperated.  There are my first (and only so far) dropped stitches.  After seeing the finished Clapotis yesterday, I’m glad Grace suggested that I do fewer repeats for a summer wrap and to assure that I have enough yarn.   I think I’ll spend the afternoon with Clappy.

That’s just about one skein’s worth.  I don’t think you can see the purple in there, but it’s there.  Blue, yellow, tealish green, and a bright purple are the colors twisted in with the base of blue to form the stripes.  Seeing the completed project yesterday has motivated me, so I think I’ll get to knitting while I’m so inclined. 

One Little, Two Little…

…socks at the same time!

I lied.  I went back to the Wick, because I think there’s nothing like it for pedicure socks.   I’m getting the hang of the pushing and pulling, and really, it isn’t as bad I recall.  Of course, two socks take up more space on a needle than one does, so there might actually be less pushing and pulling when Magic Looping two socks on one needle. 

There’s a shot of the whole set-up.  I thought I’d show my mess, so those of you still trying or contemplating trying two socks at the same time could be inspired.  The yarn on the left is in a sandwich baggie, with one bottom corner cut off, so the yarn can flow through.  That’s sock #1’s yarn, and it rests by my left hip when I’m actually knitting.  The darling “crochet” marker is my visual cue for the start of sock #1. 

The naked skein on the right belongs to sock #2, and rests by my right hip when knitting.   The remains of my long-tail cast-on mark the start of sock #2. 

Since photos are what I think most books lack for two socks at one time, I’m going to share a couple more.

That’s right after finishing a round, which is really a round on each sock.  Note that the stitches are still somewhat on the point on the right, while the point on the left isn’t quite in position to start knitting on sock #1 yet.

Now, I’ve shifted things around so that once I pick the needles back up, a wee nudge and I’ll be ready to knit.  I’ll slide the stuff on the right around until the two socks almost touch,  then I’ll have a nice working length of “naked” cord to receive the freshly knitted stitches.  Personally, I wouldn’t want to do two socks on anything shorter than a 40″ cord.  I’ll have to look back, but that might have been part of my disillusionment with Magic Loop last year; I do believe I did my first sock on a 24″ cord, which required a lot of shoving and pulling, and holding of the hands in awkward positions. 

I hope that helps some of you understand whatever is holding you back from knitting two socks at a time.   After my last attempt on two circs, I somehow knew that Magic Loop was my best bet, and thankfully, it has indeed “clicked” for me this time.  Now, someone distract the Knight while I order all the wee sizes in the Harmonys in 40″ lengths…

While I have your attention, please scoot over and wish Nancy well.  March is off to a rotten start for her, and her poor Reggae is ailing.  I know too well what it’s like to wait on the unknown, fearfully wondering why a beloved pet is sick, and I hope Nancy gets good, treatable news soon!