Archive for the “Summer of Socks 2007” Category
The Summer of Socks comes to a close tonight at midnight. I’m very happy to report that I accomplished most of my goals. Here are the 7 pairs that I was able to knit during the three months:
Denmark is pictured twice just because I like them so much.
I exceeded my own expectations on number of pairs. I did one more pair than last year, which I firmly believe was only possible because of the amazing job done by Beth and all the other blog readers. I didn’t have to worry about that part of things *at all* and that was a huge relief for me with all the other administrative things I had to do.
The one thing I didn’t really do was get to all the patterns I had wanted to try. Part of my goals were to knit all the patterns from Knitty that I hadn’t done yet and wanted to try. There are still several in my cue, but at least I got the list narrowed down by four.
In the end, it seems that some people enjoyed the along and things went pretty smoothly for the most part. As always, not all 500 people that signed up really participated. Actually, I’m kind of thankful for that! Life happens, people get busy and that’s just the way things go. Running something like this is a *lot* of work. I think I may have gone under if everyone actually had participated.
People have already asked if this will happen again next year or expressed some interest in another go. At this point, I honestly can’t say. I have no idea what my life will look like by next summer. Will I have time to do this again? Who knows. Will I want to? I also don’t know. There were times this year that I was ready to throw in the towel. I think it’s very easy for people to write accusatory and hurtful things in an e-mail, that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to say to your face. It also seems to be really easy for people to assume the worst about others in the world we live in right now, even in something so trivial as a sock knitalong. I was shocked at some of the e-mail I received this summer. It is so easy for someone to write something without thinking about how its tone will be read on the other end before they click ‘send’. And it made me very sad at times.
On the other hand, there were a lot of good things too. I’ve made some new “blog friends”, I’ve had a few laughs, I’ve learned a lot and been exposed to new things. And there have been several people who have even taken the time to say Thank You, which really means the most. And just look at all the beautiful socks everyone made! There are going to be a lot of happy feel this winter!
In the end, I’m trying to focus on the positive. There is still a lot to do. The people behind me in line at the post office tomorrow are going to hate me! I hope to finish things and sit back to rest this weekend knowing that I did a good thing and made some people happy.
And speaking of rest, I’m pretty tired and I need some time to recoup. I’m declaring next week a personal “computer holiday”. I sit in front of a computer all day at work and when I go home next week, I will *not* be turning one on. The pretty much means no blogging for me next week. But don’t worry about me! There are sweaters to finish and yarn to spin. I’ll find something to do. See you in a week!
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Ok. Not really. The only place I’m going today is upstate NY to visit the folks for the weekend (and to meet the new doggy!). But you could say I’ll be Knitting on the Road (well… ok… technically *rail*) with Nancy Bush. Previously I told you how I had started this pattern but it was a bit small.
I’m not familiar with the yarn the pattern calls for, but since it is supposed to be knit on size 3 needles and I’m using size 1s, this result wasn’t entirely surprising. The pattern does have a good deal of stretch though, so I thought I might be able to get away with it. No such luck.
The ribbing area seemed ok though so I pulled everything back to the row after the nupps. In this case the nupp stitches are actually little wraps around two stitches that make an interesting beginning to the cabled parts.
Since there are three cabled areas on each side of the sock separated by a couple of purl stitches, it was very simple to purl one of those stitches in the front and back on the next row to increase my stitch count. I ended up doing that in each area of purl stitches. Doing the increase as a purl in the front and back makes the increase nearly invisible when surrounded by the purls of the stitch pattern.
This was a perfect solution for me and the resulting stitch count fits just fine. If you ever need to modify a pattern like this, look at the sequence of stitches and see if you can add or subtract stitches in areas between pattern repeats. If you choose the right type of increase, it may not even be all that visible. It’s an easy solution to a fit problem so you can continue with a great pattern.
At this point the first sock is done and just waiting for a mate. But I’ve got a few more things on the needles at the moment which I’ll be showing you soon.
If you are in the US have a great holiday weekend! And if you aren’t, have a great weekend anyway!
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I seem to still be catching up on things that I just haven’t gotten around to and cruddy commuting conditions haven’t helped much as of late. So please allow me to indulge in some very belated thank yous.
First, both Sasha and Stacey have named me a Rockin’ Girl Blogger!
I’m very flattered! I think we all rock in some way, so if you’re reading this, considering yourself nominated!
Next, remember back when I told you all about how lucky I’d been in some blog contests? Well Jessalu’s package arrived while I was away and I was totally blown away when I opened it. Check this out:
Not only did she sew the bag herself (which still blows my mind. It even has a zipper!) but look at that gorgeous handspun yarn!
I absolutely love everything. She included some chocolate as well which I just about had to beat HWJF away from or he would have eaten it all himself! Thanks for the great package Jess!
So are you wondering what’s on the needles now? Well, when the books that I ordered from the Interweave Hurt Book sale arrived last week they brought me a great solution. I really had wanted to make CableNet with the Wollmeise yarn that Kristy gave me, but it just didn’t work out. The colors were too dark to really see the cables and there was no way I was going to do all that work and not be able to see them! Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road to the rescue!
Sorry for the crappy Treo pic.
This is Denmark. Or I suppose I should say this is my first attempt at Denmark. I found out at this point that it was a bit snug, (like cut off my circulation and barely get over my heel “snug”) so out it came. The second time around I added some purl stitches to increase the stitch count without distorting the pattern too much. More about that next time.
Have a great weekend!
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While I was in Maine I did manage to get in some sock knitting. I even finished two pairs!
Gift Socks #1 – Summer of Socks Pair #4
Pattern: Plain stockinette toe up sock.
Yarn: Austerman Step (No idea on the colorway)
Needles: Size 1 addis
Yes indeed, I am already thinking about Christmas gifts and that is exactly what these will probably end up being. As you can see, these are definitely not my colors, but I think the recipient will find them to their liking. This is pretty much my usual pattern, which has gotten a few tweaks as of late.
Incidentally, I really loved working with the yarn. Maybe the whole deal of it being infused with Jojoba oil is a crock, maybe it’s not, but it is soft and strong and really lovely to work with. As you saw in the last post, I bought three more skeins, so it definitely grew on me! Now if only I had paid more attention to the stripes, maybe they would have matched. Ah well… I think they will still be appreciated.
If you really want to know who these are for, you can check my page for the project on Ravelry.
Purple Herring – Summer of Socks Pair #5
Pattern: Red Herring from Knitty.
Yarn: Tess supersocks and baby. 1 ball purple and 1 ball of black
Needles: Size 2 addis for the colorwork, size 1 for the foot and heel.
My first top down socks of the summer. I really enjoyed doing this pattern. It was interesting enough that I had to pay attention, but intuitive enough that I was able to memorize it for the second sock.
I modified the pattern slightly by using a size smaller needle to knit the foot. I prefer a sturdy fabric for my socks and it was just going to be too loose if I stayed with the size 2 needle. I switched needle sizes just a few rows after I put in the waste yarn for the afterthought heel.
I’m still not crazy about this type of heel, but it’s about the only way to get the heel to be a different color in the manner that the pattern calls for and I do like the use of the different color for the toes and heels. I think the toe came out quite nicely as written.
And I must say again that I absolutely loved working with this yarn. It has a good bit of stretch and is soft and oh so nice to work with. The dyeing is quite nicely done as well. You can see some slight variations in the purple in the picture of the cuff and while some might call that a flaw, I actually like it. I’m also a big fan of the yardage. After knitting this pair, I may almost have enough to do a second pair just like them if I reverse the colors. Not sure I’ll do that any time soon, but I always like to have plenty of yarn. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t secure some more while I was in Maine. I could get some at Stitches East, but I’m seriously thinking that I probably shouldn’t go to that considering it is the weekend before Rhinebeck (anyone want to bring back some sock yarn for me? ). Then again, can you really have too much of a good thing? Like socks?!?!
This puts me one pair away from my goal of 6 for the along. Not bad considering it feels like I’ve been very busy and distracted this summer. These will also qualify as my August submission to Sock a Month 4 (which I joined a while back and have yet to mention, much less get the button on the blog). If you haven’t had a look at that group, please do! Many beautiful socks being shown over there! I do of course have another pair (or two!) on the go again already. But you’ll have to wait for another day to see them.
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Seeing as Clessidra is off the needles, I had to find a new sock to knit. Or two perhaps. I always have a plain stockinette sock going for those times that I just can’t concentrate on anything else. Now is no exception. I started a sock during my last sock class, but realized that it wasn’t going to be enough stitches for the intended recipient. So I ripped out and restarted and can now count this toward my SOS totals:
The first sock is done already as you can see. It is resting with our homemade mojitos (recipe courtesy of Cookie) that were whipped up this weekend. I can’t remember who it was, but whomever warned me that our mint plant would totally take over, you were right! The drinks were an attempt to quell the beast!
The sock is being knit in Austerman Step yarn, the one with the jojoba oil in it. I definitely feel the difference and hope the recipient does too. This sock and it’s mate have been knit mostly while reading this:
I’m a bit behind the rest of the world, but thanks to Juno’s generous loan, I managed to catch up this weekend. No spoilers here in case I’m not the only one a bit behind, but I will say that it was definitely a well crafted ending. And I’m finding myself at a bit of a loss to think that there won’t be another book about Harry and the gang’s adventures to keep me company on many long train rides.
You’ll also see next to it that there is another sock in the making. I can’t read while doing colorwork so it’s been going a bit slower. This is the Red Herring pattern from knitty. I apparently had another insatiable craving for colorwork that could not be ignored. I’m actually using the called for Tess yarns, which I picked up at Maryland this year and I can already say, I’m in love! The yarn is soft, squishy and beautifully dyed. What’s not to love? HWJF and I are going to Maine next weekend and we may be going to the shop to procure some more if possible.
You might also notice something a bit shocking there. I’m doing a sock cuff down! Alert the media!
Sometimes, you just don’t want to use the brain enough to mess with the pattern.
I’ve been doing plenty of spinning lately too, but let’s save that for next time.
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Clessidra – Summer of Socks #3
Pattern: Clessidra from Knitty.com
Yarn: Regia Silk – 2 balls
Needles: Size 1 addi lace
Mods: I made these toe up with a flap heel and significantly shorter than knee-high. You can read about the modifications I made here and here.
It hasn’t taken me this long to knit a pair of socks in quite a while, but it was well worth it. I love the look of this pattern. While the miles of seed stitch were a little trying at times, the look of the texture, especially in the lovely Regia Silk yarn, I think is really beautiful. I’m really glad I took the time and went through the trouble of converting this pattern to toe up. I was able to make these more than long enough to suit me while using the yarn until it was almost completely gone. That alone was satisfying! If I were to knit these like this again I think I would put the big cable down the front of the leg instead of the back. I really felt like I didn’t get to do that patterning as much as I would have liked and while I still love these, I think it might be even more striking at this length with the pattern down the front.
I rarely knit with silk yarns. My Tweed Pullover is my first time working with a silk blend and these socks are the second. I think I may now be officially spoiled! These feel incredibly good on my feet and even though they are fairly thin, I think they’re going to be quite warm. A quick try-on in my air conditioned apartment (not to mention the photo shoot outside in 90 degree weather) proved that! The yarn was great to work with and I’ll be very interested to see if the silk content has any effect on how long they wear. I also am quite impressed with the yardage per ball. Despite all the patterning in these socks and my size 11 feet, I was able to get a very good sized sock out of one ball for each foot. Every time I thought I was going to run out of yarn, I just kept knitting and the yarn kept coming! Always a good thing for those of us with
huge ample feet.
Overall, I’m quite happy! Were I not on a mission to knit patterns that I haven’t tried before, I would totally do these again. And should I come across more Regia Silk in a must-have colorway, it may very well be going home with me.
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Clessidra has been progressing and doing a bit of traveling around with me lately. She got to meet Ben Franklin when HWJF’s parents were here:
It took a bit of figuring, but I managed to get past the heel turn and got up to the point where I had to increase in preparation for the big cable in the back of the leg.
You can see the increases just above the orange marker. Figuring out the stitch count here wasn’t easy. I kept going back and forth to the pattern and the pictures on the web (I never print the pictures when I copy something off of knitty to save paper. This time, I wish I had!) trying to figure out just where I had to go with this next. Once the stitch count was figured out, putting the pattern into the right place was also a bit of a challenge. In hindsight, I probably should have worked those increases into the seed stitch pattern, but I think I’ll probably be the only one to notice.
Once the pattern placement was done it was pretty much smooth sailing until I got to the point where it was time to finish off the sock. The big cables were just not going to flow into the ribbing nicely no matter where I increased or decreased to force them to do my bidding. I think we all know who is in charge with these types of things sometimes! The sock, not me! This was of course, caused by my need to do them toe up instead of top down, but we just won’t talk about that. I decided that the solution would be some kind of frame around the big cable in the back.
Click to bigify.
I think it kind of works. I’m well on to the second sock already and should have a finished object post for you on Friday. And you remember how I bought an extra skein of the yarn because I wouldn’t have enough for one sock. Yeah. Didn’t need it.
Anyone want a lone skein of Regia silk?
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…and the leaves are already falling!
Pattern: Falling Leaves
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – Icehouse colorway
Needles: Size 1 addi lace
Mods: After the first toe I did my own short row toe. I also used my usual heel flap and gusset and bound off again with the same bindoff used here.
Another pair of socks in a week! Good thing I had some travel knitting time or it wouldn’t have happened. I’ve already described my issues with the toe, so I won’t go into it again. I’m just not a fan of short row heels (fat ankles I guess) so I took that out too. But other than those two things I think this is a really attractive pattern and a fun knit. I like the way the yarn did funny stripy things in each sock, and I don’t think it obscures the pattern too much. I really love how each repeat of the pattern comes together and meshes so nicely. Not all lace patterns do that, and I certainly appreciate it when it happens!
I’d like to knit this pattern again in a solid color, because I think it would be equally appealing. There aren’t too many patterns you can say that about either! Another thing I like about this one, it’s written for toe up! I always like it when I don’t have to bend my brain too much and still come out with a pretty FO.
This was also my first time using Lorna’s Laces yarn of any type. If you think that’s heresy, what I’m about to say will really shock you. I think it’s ok, but it certainly doesn’t make my top 5 favorite yarns list. It reminds me a lot of standard Regia and Opal, just a little softer. I’m still reserving some judgement because I really haven’t worn these much just yet (considering our current temperatures in this neck of the woods, I should think not!), but once I do perhaps I will be more enamored with them.
Speaking of socks, me latest toe up sock class ended yesterday and I just had to take a pic of my students with their socks.
Madelyn, C. and K. pose with their socks!
I’m very proud of all of them. They all learned new things and come through with flying colors. Thanks for a great class ladies!
I’ll be teaching this class again in September along with a couple of others. Keep your eye on the sidebar for updates if you’re interested.
My next sock project is Clessidra. Here is where I’ve had to bend the brain a little because I’m doing them toe up (of course) instead of top down. More about that next time!
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I am totally confused. I went to work on Monday, which was kind of like Friday because I didn’t have to go to work on Tuesday. Then I had Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off, which kind of felt like a long weekend since it was three days in a row and, well, I didn’t have to work! Then I go back to work on Friday, which felt like Monday since I’d just had a long weekend afterall and now I have to work Saturday which I suppose is kind of like Friday then since I have Sunday off. But then I have to go back to work on Monday which will feel totally wrong and well… HELP!
So yeah, I’m a bit confused by what day it is at the moment. Hence the odd weekend post. We had a great time with my folks this
weekend week though. Watching the parade was fun
(and we managed to get my grandfather through it all without getting too wet or too tired) and I also managed to get some cleaning done (I had no idea I had saved so much junk in my old room!) and some knitting and spinning in. The weather didn’t allow for a barbecue on the 4th so we did it the next day and we managed to convice everyone to pose for a picture.
(Hey Kim! Does my Mom look like she did in your dream? ).
How’s that for a motley crew?
In between cleaning and parades and whatnot I finally sat down with my Dad and figured out a solution to my plying woes. While I do love my woolee winder that HWJF gave me for my wheel for my birthday, the darn bobbins don’t fit on the Lendrum lazy kate properly and when you get toward the end of a bobbin they stop turning. As you can imagine, this is quite infuriating when trying to get some plying done! After seeing a couple of different ideas, I asked my Dad (who has always been handy with power tools) if we could make something. Make something we did!
It’s a fairly simple wooden box, big enough for three bobbins. The bobbins spin on plastic covered metal rods (salvaged from an old clothes drying rack) which go through holes on each side of the box.
The rods were bent on the ends so they wouldn’t slide through and I would have something to grab when putting them in and out. It isn’t perfect, and I really haven’t given it a try yet, but it is already WAY better than what I had before!
I also managed to do some sock knitting while we were away. My second pair for the Summer of Socks is Falling Leaves.
I’m doing them in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, a yarn that I haven’t used before now. It was a gift from HWJF the first Christmas he was living in NJ. Considering that was 2.5 years ago, I thought it was about time it got used! I’m sure some wouldn’t like the funky striping that’s happening with these, but I think it’s kind of neat. The one thing I didn’t like was the toe as the pattern was written.
It uses yarnovers instead of wraps for the short rows and I think it made an icky, loopy mess. I can already tell you that I did my own toe on the second sock and I like it much better.
If I ever figure out what day it is I’ll be posting a finished object (like you can’t guess what that would be!) next time! Enjoy your… well… enjoy whatever day *you* think it is!
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Because it just flew right off my needles!
Almost Monkey Socks – SOS2007 #1
Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: STR Mediumweight – Midsummers Night colorway
Needles: Size 2 addi turbos
Mods: I knit these toe up using my usual formula with the exception of changing the toe to the one from Wendy’s pattern and this cast off that Jody blogged about here. I turned the chart for the lace upside down and took out one pattern repeat worth of stitches to make it fit my foot.
It’s not like you need me to tell you this pattern is awesome since you’ve heard it enough times by now, but it really was fun! It’s fairly easy to memorize, the directions are given in written and graph form, and it’s just a pleasure to knit. I did, of course, turn this Monkey on its head, but I don’t think it minded too much.
I also don’t need to tell you what a joy the yarn was to work with. It really is a pleasure to come back to STR over and over and still love it. I think this colorway worked really well with this pattern. It wasn’t too variegated so as to obscure the lace, but it did lend some interest. Although after looking at the SOS Flickr group you’ll see that a whole lot of variegation can work out pretty well with this one too.
The new-to-me cast off I tried really worked out well for these too. I love the EZ sewn cast off, but I wanted something a little quicker this time around and after reading about Jody’s experience, I gave it a shot. And I love it! Fast, simple and knitted instead of sewn. What’s not to love?
The Monkey pattern is just a great knit and if you haven’t already tried it, you really should!
I’m already on to my next pair and I’ll tell you about them soon. I have another busy weekend planned and some more fiber fun to share with you next week. Have a great weekend everyone!
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