Monthly Archives: October 2010

Update on Sock #2

I’m really beginning to hate this stretchy sock yarn! I don’t think I’m nearly as bad at knitting in the round on dpns as the laddering on these socks seems to show – in fact someone mentioned to me that they noticed that problem with this yarn too. That made me feel at least a little bit better.  :)

The good news is that the sock is really coming along. Now that I have a little better understanding of what I’m doing, I’m working away steadily on it. And I’m not working on any other projects right now either – until I have a pair of socks that I can wear.

I’d show pictures of the sock – but it really looks exactly the same as the first one did. And there’s not much to look at on the needles and inside out. I’m hoping to finish it this week so I can wear them on my birthday next weekend – we’ll see if I’m able to meet that deadline or not. Today I finished up the top portion, made the heel flap, turned the heel and picked up stitches for the gusset. I’m working on the decreases for the instep and then will just have the foot and toe left to do. It’s definitely do-able, I think!

It’s interesting to try and match the sock size – I’m basically using the first sock as a model to make sure that the top ribbing, sock length and such all match as closely as possible. Oh they won’t be totally identical, but hopefully at least close enough that nobody will notice the little differences. That’s one reason though why I’m really curious to learn more about the methods for knitting two socks at once before I try another pair.

And yes, there will be at least three more pairs of socks after this one – all three of my girls are already asking for some. I’ll stay away from the stretchy sock yarn next time though – and I think I’ll try a heavier weight yarn in general. Between that and making socks for smaller feet, the next few pairs shouldn’t take very long. But we’ll see.  :)

All about hats

Some of the very first projects that I worked on after I first started knitting were hats. After squares and scarves, anyway. They were my initial foray into knitting in the round, and last fall I proudly knit each of my girls a hat to wear during the winter.

The first hat that I made was strictly to pattern size, mainly to see if I could do it. The hat was from the book, “Big Book of Knit Hats & Scarves for Everyone”, called the ‘Quick & Easy Roll Brim Hat’. It was a one-size-fits-all pattern, intended for adults. I was going to give the hat to Hannah, my 7-year-old, if it fit – thinking that it might be a little bit big.

It didn’t fit – but it wasn’t too big. In fact, it fit my 4-year-old, Becca – perfectly. So that was the hat she wore last winter.  :)

SnowDay-Feb10_063

For my second hat attempt, I changed several variables in order to obtain the gauge that I needed for the hat to fit Hannah. I used bulky-weight yarn (as the pattern called for, and which I hadn’t done on the first hat). I also added a couple of sets of pattern stitches. And I tried to knit more loosely – or at least not quite as tightly. In any case, it all worked – the hat fit Hannah. Phew!HannahsHat_003

When it came time to make a hat for Abby, she picked out another bulky-weight yarn, but of a different material. I was a little unsure as to how well chenille would work for a hat, but I gave it a go. Using the same amount of stitches as for Hannah’s hat, I realized early on that the hat would be big, but since Abby has a large head anyway, I figured it would probably be ok.

I was wrong – about more than just the hat size. Chenille stretches – and the first hat that I made for Abby was huge. It looked like she was wearing a hat meant for a giant. Abby thought it was pretty cool anyway, but I didn’t want anyone seeing her in that hat, so I quickly knitted her up another one – back to the amount of stitches that the pattern called for. And it fit – at least at first…

AbbyInNewHat

But within days of wearing the hat, it stretched so much that it lost its shape and looked almost like a beret when Abby wore it. Nevertheless, she loved the hat so much because I’d made it for her and she wore it all winter.

SnowDay-Feb10_140

Yes, I think that by the end, only her glasses were keeping the hat from falling down over her eyes! When she lost the hat near the end of the winter, Abby was heartbroken (I, not so much though) – so I promised that I would knit her a new one for this winter.

This week, I made good on that promise. I wanted a break between socks anyway, and we’ve had a few mornings lately that were cold enough for me to consider breaking out the hats and mittens for the girls. I wanted to get Abby’s hat done – before she really needs it. So I headed to the LYS (local yarn store) and found a really nice, soft worsted-weight yarn on clearance. And a new hat pattern – since I can’t find my book that had the previous pattern in it.

I started the hat last Tuesday, and it’s a very, very simple pattern – just round after round of knitting until the decrease rows at the end to shape the top of the hat. It also has a roll brim at the bottom. This time I was smarter about size – the pattern is meant for a 20-inch head, so I measured Abby’s. Her head measures 22 inches, so I figured out the amount of stitches per inch for the correct gauge and added to the pattern accordingly.

Initially, I was slightly worried as I tried the hat on her, once I thought it was big enough to test for size…  ;)

AbbysHat2010_008

But when I got further along, it seemed to fit very well.  I finished the hat tonight and it fits her – perfectly.

AbbysHat2010_005

So for the moment, I think we’re good, hat-wise anyway. Becca’s hat just barely fits now though, so I have the feeling that in a few months I’ll be making her a larger one too. I don’t mind – it was nice to have an easy project where I didn’t have to count stitches or worry about pattern. I could just sit and work while watching tv, at Hannah’s soccer practices, or while listening to music or podcasts on my phone.

OTN: Next up is to make the second sock. I’ve already got it cast on and have done a few rows of the top ribbing. I am determined to finish this pair of socks using dpns – then I really want to learn some of the other sock-making methods that I’ve heard are much easier.

And… we have a sock!

Only almost exactly a year after I first began working on it… It was my first try at knitting on dpns and I have to say that after a year, I haven’t gotten much better at the whole laddering issue. I try to pull the first couple of stitches as tight as I can, but they’re still always too loose – as you can plainly see on the sock. But, considering it was my first try at dpns and at making a sock – and I know I made several pattern mistakes as well… It looks like a sock, it fits (!), and is actually rather comfortable even.

FirstSock-done_001

FirstSock-done_002

Here’s how it looked before I grafted the toe – it’s inside out in these photos:

FirstSock-almostdone_002

FirstSock-almostdone_001

The laddering isn’t nearly as noticeable when it’s inside-out – if I’d thought about it, I probably would’ve woven the ends in on the ‘right’ side and just worn it inside out. Then again, who sees the sock underneath the shoe anyway… It’s cozy and comfortable.

Now I just need to knit the second one. More opportunity to work on the whole laddering issue at least! I’ll start that one tomorrow.  :)

I found a new set of very helpful videos when finishing up this sock – check out VeryPink.com – or you can view the videos directly on YouTube.

Fun knitting links and patterns – Aug/Sept 2010

Although it’s been a little while since I posted one of these here, I’ve been busily collecting links to interesting sites and other knitting-related stuff for the past couple of months. A few of these are local to Grand Rapids (Michigan) but I wanted to share in case there are any other local knitters out there. By the way, if you are a local knitter – let me know, I’d love to meet you!  :)

General Links:

  • Knitmap – a searchable catalog of yarn stores from all over the world.
  • eHow Video Series: Knitting Socks – these videos have been so helpful while I’m learning to knit my first sock.
  • Lands’ End FeelGood National Knit Out – Facebook photos from the CBS Early Show highlighting this event in NYC.
  • Speaking of which – visit Lands’ End to find out more about their FeelGood program and how you can help!
  • Have you seen these cute knitting-themed products at CafePress? I wouldn’t even know which to choose – they’re all so cute and funny…

Here are some of my favorite local yarn shops (LYS) in town – if you know of any others, please leave a comment!

  • Country Needleworks – Knitting/crocheting plus beadwork, jewelry-making, cross-stitch supplies and gifts/novelty items.
  • Threadbender – Knitting/crocheting plus weaving.
  • This one is no longer a LYS, but still offers classes and events that look very interesting – City Knitting.

I think I’m going to keep this post on a monthly schedule, so check back to see what I discovered or came across in October…  :)

Happy Knitting!

My kind of Sunday afternoon…

Last weekend a phenomenon occurred that hasn’t happened in my life in quite some time. Namely, I found myself with a Sunday afternoon where I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, and nobody who needed me on an immediate basis.

That was a feeling – of bliss.

Oh we were all at home… But Ron was ensconced in front of the television all afternoon watching football. And the girls occupied themselves quite nicely as well, playing inside or outside or I’m not even sure where. They were around, but are old enough now that they generally don’t need us to supervise them every second of the day.

So what did I do with my peacefully open afternoon? Here’s a hint…

SundayAfternoon

I’m way behind on listening to my favorite podcast, so I stuck my headphones in, grabbed my knitting bag and curled up on the couch to work on my sock for a while. It’s actually coming along rather nicely too – I’m into the ‘foot’ section where it’s simply round after round of straight knitting. Which is perfect for a lazy, podcast-listening Sunday afternoon. I’m hoping to finish the sock over the next week – we’ll see how it turns out. And how much knitting time I get in. I don’t know if lightning can strike twice or if last Sunday was an isolated incident. I’ll try my best to duplicate the circumstances though – and we’ll see.  ;)

Then of course, once I finish the sock, I get to start all over again. Because socks come in pairs… Hopefully the next one won’t take me a year from start to finish!