Knitting

Zebra Christmas socks

In an effort to make more Christmas socks, I decided to finally make a pair of socks for my husband.  This was my first attempt…and they fit him!  These socks, using yarn from Zebra Yarns, were a delight to knit…and it’s always a plus when gifted socks actually fit the person they’re intended for!  Now they’ll go into a drawer and hopefully my hubby forgets about them for several months! The Yarn I found out about Zebra Yarns from a few podcasters and when I saw this Christmas colorways, I knew it’d be perfect for gift knitting!  And when my husband saw it and liked it, I finally decided it was time to make him socks! The Pattern  For these socks, I used a pattern from Kay Litton, the Crazy Sock Lady, to knit these on two circular needles…so not Magic Loop.  I really do like the method of using two circulars.  And Kay has a great video to walk you through this technique.   Details Pattern:  Vanilla Socks on Magic Loop by Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn: ZebraYarns Merino Nylon Fingering in Christmas Color 2 Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  9 weeks I was knitting on several projects when I was working on these socks so they took some time.  And I also had to cast on many more stitches than my usual.  My husband likes tall socks so I had to keep knitting and knitting on the leg.  (I don’t like long legs on my socks and frequently make shorties.) For the cuff, heel, and a bit of the toe, I used a bare mini skein.  And I love how these socks turned out!  I used almost every bit of yarn and actually threw away the leftovers, which I usually hoard.   I guess there are advantages to knitting longer legs!  Less yarn waste!

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Zebra Christmas Socks

Sunshine Socks

I never get tired of knitting socks.  Especially when using amazing, hand-dyed yarn.  The colors, the speckles…they never cease to delight me.  Such is the case with a skein of yarn from Republic of Wool.  I knew I had to have it and yes, this skein made the most beautiful socks…. Here are the details! The Yarn When I saw Republic of Yarn’s colorway, Walking on Sunshine, last year on Instagram, I knew I had to have it.  And I’ve been wanting to cast on socks with it ever since.  When I decided to take a break from Christmas sock knitting, I finally turned my attention to this skein and it did not disappoint! To offset the speckles, I used an orange mini skein (from Chasing Rabbits) for the cuff and toes. The Pattern  I wanted to knit vanilla socks because they’re easy and the yarn just needed to be the focus of these socks.  So, I turned to my favorite, standard pattern for these. Details Pattern:  Basic Top Down Socks with Heel Flap by Charlene Schurch Yarn: Republic of Wool’s Walking on Sunshine; orange mini from Chasing Rabbits Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  1 month Since I’m loving the Eye of Partridge heel so much, I decided to use it for these socks – and it’s perfect.  For the cuff, I did my standard 2×2 rib.  And for the gusset….I added some extra knit rows between the decrease rows in order to get more stitches on the tightest fitting part of the sock These turned out perfectly!  And they’re ideal for summer! 

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Sunshine Socks

WIPs May

Happy Spring!….And I’ll be soon be saying Happy Summer!  Where does the time go?  I’m back to talking about WIPs already!  It’s very warm in Texas and I’m still not sure I can survive another summer here.  Though the summer is fast approaching, I’m amazed at how many projects I finished in May, though the month went by so fast.   3 Color Cashmere Cowl Why, yes, I’m knitting another Joji Locatelli pattern!  This one, I’ve been meaning to knit for a very long time.  Back in 2019, my friend and I bought a kit for this cowl from Sun Valley Fibers at the DFW Fiber Fest.  I’ve almost cast on so many times but, needing a break from socks this month finally led me to starting this project.  And I love it so far! Selbu Mittens I’ve finished the cuffs of these mitts, all the while following along with the Knitography Farm classes, which I’m loving.  I just need to keep working on these.  They’re a bit hard to work on while watching TV so it’s a challenge to find quiet time to devote to these.  I’m knitting a pattern from Skeindeer Knits, Vikvarvet – and it’s beautiful! Long Summer Cardigan Again, I forgot to take pictures of this project, which got a bit of love this month during some webinars.  I’ve finished the shoulders and joined them to the back so I now have one piece to knit on! Habitation Throw #2 I’m knitting my second Habitation Throw using my Advent from  Murray Wool Goods.   I’m still knitting one mini skein a week on this throw and I only have about 5-6 left!  Wow!  I hope to finish this in July! Battenberg Blanket Though I haven’t sewn many squares onto this blanket, I’m still making my granny squares and they continue to delight me! October House Cowl This cowl, based on the Crosshatch pattern from Purl Soho, is my go-to project for when I’m tired of everything else and need something mindless to knit.   FOs As I posted about a few weeks ago, I finished a Test Knit for the Rose Socks by Crystal Tea Knits.   These were a lot of fun and really tested my k3tog and p3tog skills (which I hate doing!) And yes, I finished a pair of Christmas socks, my Zebra Socks using ZebraYarns.  I’ll tell you more about these in the coming month. And last but not least, I just finished my Sunshine socks a few days ago!  These have been on the needles for a few months but I just couldn’t stop knitting this gorgeous yarn from Republic of Wool.  Look for a post on these soon! What’s Next I need to start some socks for The Crazy Sock Lady’s Summer Sock Camp….but I can’t decide which ones.  Christmas or other?  Hm… And Helen Stewart just announced a MKAL for a shawl! I loved her last one so I’m tempted to do this one, especially since it seems like I can use stash yarn.  What do you think?  Up for another MKAL?

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WIPs – May 2022

Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl

Somehow, amidst all the knitting, I forgot to tell you all about my Candy Cane Advent Shawl, which I finished late last year.  How could I let this beautiful shawl slip through the blogging cracks?!   Let me tell you all about it! The Yarn For this shawl, I used my 2020 Woolberry Fiber Co. Advent Calendar.  The yarn for this calendar was extra soft and plush, making it perfect for a shawl!  The colors of the yarn were mostly solid, which is usually not my favorite, but these skeins played very well together – a lovely  mix of both dark and light colors! My only gripe with this Advent calendar was that it did not contain 24 mini skeins.  On some days you had a surprise item instead of yarn. The Pattern  I saw Crystal Tea Knits’ Advent Shawl online and several podcasters mentioned it as a possible way to use those Advent skeins.  And the more I saw it, the more I liked it.  The pattern was easy to follow and had enough variation to keep you from getting bored. Details Pattern:  Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl by Crystal Tea Knits Yarn: Woolberry Fiber Co. Smooth Sock, 2020 Advent Calendar Needles: US 6 (4 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  7 months This was such a fun knit!  And perfect for your 30 minutes of knitting a day!  I always reached for this project while drinking my morning coffee.  The stitches are easy but change often enough to stay fresh and new. The only modification I made is that I added more rows to use up more of my mini Advent skeins.  I hate wasting yarn so I’d add rows here and there when I had a lot of yarn left.   The result is a lovely shawl that I reach for again and again on chilly mornings.  The yarn is very, very soft and I couldn’t be happier with this knit.  Keep this pattern in mind when you’re looking for a way to use up mini skeins!

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Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl

selbu knitting

Some time ago, I was listening to the Grocery Girls podcast and Tracie talked about taking a Selbu Mitten class.  I listened and was intrigued but it took seeing several Seblu Mittens before I wanted to knit my own pair.  And when I did, I went back to see from whom Tracie had taken classes: Knitography Farm. Now, as I’m in the midst of taking Knitography Farm’s Selbu Mitten course, I thought I’d share a bit about this amazing resource. What It Is Knitography Farm is led by Patricia, an American living in Norway.  Patricia is a trained shepherdess.  Since her time in Norway, she has studied the long history of Selbu Mittens and has mastered the techniques used for years and years…. Patricia leads the Knitography Farm Virtual Classroom.  She used to teach in person, but Covid forced her to move online and I am so glad she did!  And there’s more than just Selbu techniques.  Other courses include: Stranded Knitting, Selbu Sock Knitting, Kofte, Selbugenser, Norsk Kofte, and Advanced Kofte.   Selbu Mitten Course Though I haven’t finished the Selbu Mitten Course, I couldn’t be happier with how Patricia leads the class.  You learn the history of the mittens, how to knit them just like they did a hundred years ago, how to read historical patterns….  And you learn why the patterns are written the way they are.  For a history nerd like myself, this is all very fascinating! Conclusion These courses are not free…but they are very reasonably priced.  Patricia is a good teacher and I very much enjoy tuning into her classes.   If you’re looking to craft one of the skills that Patricia teaches, I highly recommend her courses.  And I can’t wait to show you my mittens!

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Knitography Farm

Rose Socks

Today, I have a FO to share with you!  As I mentioned in a post recently, I was invited to test knit a sock pattern, the Rose Socks, by Tara aka Crystal Tea Knits.  I had previously tested a pattern for Tara in January  and loved the design!  Therefore, I was only too happy to test her new pattern. I was a bit overwhelmed in knitting projects at the time, but I still managed to finish one sock in time for Tara’s pattern release, which was last week. I’ve now finished both of my Rose Socks and can’t wait to tell you all about them! The Yarn Since the Rose Socks is an intricate, delicate design, I wanted a yarn that would not detract from the beautiful design.  I went stash diving and finally settled upon a skein of yarn from Suburban Stitcher that I purchased in 2019.  I’d thought I would use this yarn for a different pattern, but quickly decided now was the time to use it. This was my second time knitting socks out of Suburban Stitcher’s Sock base…it’s not my favorite.  The yarn splits very easily and when I’m doing p3tog (hate that stitch), it always splits.   While I do like the subtlety of the La Boheme colorway (I adored it when I bought it!), which was part of Dianne’s Peach Collective, I wish the colors were just a touch more vibrant.  When I started knitting on these socks, the color wasn’t motivating me.  The more I knit with it, however, the more it grew on me.  While I adore my vibrant speckles, there is a need for subtlety sometimes.   The Pattern  Just like the Sophia Socks, Tara’s Rose Socks use a lace cuff that transitions to a delicate pattern.  This pattern is lovely and easy to memorize.   Details Pattern:  Rose Socks by Crystal Tea Knits Yarn: Suburban Stitcher Sock in La Boheme Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  3 weeks Just like with the Sophia Socks, I don’t love the lacey cuff but I have to admit that it softens the sock a bit and makes it much more feminine.  And while I really like this pattern, I’ll always try to avoid p3tog stitches.   This pattern uses a German Short Row Heel and this was my very first short row heel!  I love that something finally forced me to try a new heel!  It is such a better fit than the awful Afterthought Heel but I definitely need to perfect my technique: there are some holes at the corners.   Tara definitely has a gift for sock patterns.  While I think I like the Sophia Socks more, the Rose socks are definitely a good choice if you’re looking for a delicate pattern that is easy to remember. 

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Rose Socks

WIPs

April started out very focused, though I had two pairs of socks on the needles.  And then, I was thrown a monkey wrench.  Tara of Crystal Tea Knits asked me to test a sock pattern and to have it done by May 1.  I was so excited to be asked!  But I had to stop everything and focus on getting a sock done for her.  It was a fun knit and I’ll tell you all about it but it definitely increased my number of WIPs in April and meant that I don’t have much to show for  the month.  To add to that, I was traveling for work for most of this week and I was so busy I barely had time to pick up the needles.   Alas, here are a bunch of familiar WIPs for you…. Test Knit I learned a lot from this test knit.  My loathing for k3tog or p3tog was cemented and….I was finally forced to try a new heel.  For her pattern, Tara uses a German short row heel.  I had to watch a video to get the hang of it and it was quite fun!  Though I haven’t worn the one finished sock much, it feels so much better than an afterthought heel.  My one complaint…there are holes at the corners of the heel.  I know how to fix these with heel flaps and gussets….but not short row heels.  Yet.   Zebra Socks My Christmas sock journey continues.  I’ve made a lot of progress on these socks, for which I’m using Zebra Yarns, and am about halfway through the foot.  I hope to finish these soon! Sunshine Socks This colorway from Republic of Wool, Walking on Sunshine, makes me so, so happy.  But unfortunately, these socks have gotten little attention this month.  I hope to get going on them again in May! Long Summer Cardigan I’ve made a bit of progress on this cardigan, from Joji Locatelli.  I’ve finished both shoulders and am about to join them in with the back.  Yes!  Some progress! Habitation Throw #2 This throw, which will be a gift,  is using my Advent from  Murray Wool Goods.   Though I didn’t get to knit on this project this past week, while traveling, I’ve been  accomplishing my goal of incorporating one mini skein a week!   Battenberg Blanket My crocheted squares are still coming along and I’ve joined a few more into the blanket.  This month saw this project getting a little less attention, just because I was so busy. October House Cowl This cowl, based on the Crosshatch pattern from Purl Soho, got a bit of love on my travel days this past week, as it’s the perfect portable project! FOs I don’t have any FOs, though I have one finished sock.  I usually knit both socks at once, as you can tell from the pictures, but I wanted to finish a sock for Tara’s test knit.  I’m halfway through the second one. What’s Next I don’t have many plans at the moment, except to finish some of these WIPs! 

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WIPs – April 2022

DK Socks

Like most knitters, I learned to knit socks using fingering weight yarn.  And I love it!  I love it so much that I have an entire stash of fingering-weight sock yarn that could last me 20 years or more!  But as more and more podcasters started knitting socks with DK weight yarn, I decided to finally try it.   I had one lonely skein of wool/nylon DK sock yarn in my stash so off I went….   The Yarn Before Molly of a Homespun House moved back to Germany, I placed an order with her to get a few skeins of yarn before she left the U.S.  And one of those skeins just happened to be DK weight sock yarn.   And let me just tell you….  This DK merino/nylon blend is amazing. It is so incredibly soft…..  It reminds me of Euphoria Knits’ delectable sock base…but in DK weight!  I will definitely be getting more of this yarn! The Pattern  I didn’t want anything fancy for my first DK socks, so I downloaded a free pattern from the Crazy Sock Lady….because, who better than her!? Details Pattern:  DK Weight Vanilla Socks by Crazy Sock Lady Designs Yarn: A Homespun House Soft Sock – DK in Hawking Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) Made for: me    Time to Completion:  2 weeks I knit these socks in two weeks….and I was not being a monogamous knitter!   The pattern was super easy to follow and it was so nice not having to use such small needles!  If you’re knitting DK socks for the first time, definitely check out this pattern!  I cast on 52 stitches to get the right size for my foot and gauge. And as I said, the yarn is delectable.  I’ll be purchasing more, for sure! Molly is such an incredible dyer and her colorways are all so unique….  There’s always something to love in her shop!   Look for more posts in the future about DK sock knitting!  

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My First DK Socks

yarn

I love finding new knitting podcasts to watch while I knit or do other random things.  It’s always fun to see what other makers are knitting, what yarn they’re using, and what events they’re attending (especially now that events are happening again!).  As I’ve watched more and more podcasts, I’ve found more and more….  So many fun, talented makers are podcasting!   Let me tell you a few of the new (to me!) podcasts that I’m loving… Jonathan’s Days I happened upon Jonathan’s podcast not long ago and immediately enjoyed it.  Jonathan lives in Britain and is so much fun to listen to.  He knits a ton of sweaters and socks and uses some yarns that I would love to find in my LYS: wooly, British yarns!  This podcast definitely inspires me to want to knit sweaters!  Jonathan is so talented and I envy his sweater mojo! Skeindeer Knits Dr. Elli is the designer behind Skeindeer Knits and the same podcast.  She’s a Norwegian living in London and I adore her designs.  Ellie uses traditional Norwegian yarns and writes lovely Selbu and Norwegian-style patterns…..  She’s definitely inspired me to try more wooly yarns and knit Selbu mittens.  And I learn so much from listening to her!  If you love learning about knitting and the history behind it, I’d recommend this podcast! Knitting Traditions Inga is a doctor, I think, in Norway who loves to knit traditional designs made with wooly, Norwegian yarn.  I learn so much about yarn and patterns from Inga!!   She has so much knowledge about knitting that she learned from her grandmother…  I’m so jealous!  And there are sometimes videos of amazing Norwegian sights included in her podcast.   Conclusion There are definitely other podcasts that I’m watching but these are the ones I’m obsessing over at the moment.  And do you sense a theme?  Wooly yarns, traditional patterns…   I don’t know how long this kick will last for me, but I’m enjoying learning more about wool and yarn.   And Selbu knitting!  I’ve done a swatch for my first Selbu mittens and can’t wait to cast on!  What are you knitting these days?

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Knitting Podcasts

Sophia Socks

At the beginning of the year, I had the pleasure of test knitting a pattern, the Sophia Socks,  for Crystal Tea Knits.  In fact, this was the first time I ever test knitted a pattern and it was so much fun!   Tara, the designer behind Crystal Tea Knits, posted on Instagram about needing testers…  She and I had talked previously about her pattern, the Candy Cane Lane Advent Shawl so I was only too happy to test a sock pattern for her! The Yarn For this project, I wanted a lightly speckled yarn with just a bit of a punch.  When looking through my stash, I settled upon a skein of yarn from Plank and Stella.  The colorway, Twinkling Lights, was a Christmas colorway in 2019 (I think).   And it is lovely yarn!  The colors and the texture…this was a great choice for this delicate pattern. The Pattern  Tara of Crystal Tea Knits designed a delicate pattern that runs along the outer edge of the foot….so the socks are inverted in pattern.  The last time I knit such a pattern, I confused myself and then almost drove myself crazy…  But this one was super easy.  Tara’s pattern is easy to follow and I loved the design. Details Pattern:  Sophia Socks by Crystal Tea Knits Yarn: Plank and Stella 4-Ply Sock in Twinkling Lights Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Made for: me – maybe    Time to Completion:  4 weeks I truly love these socks and would like to knit another pair someday.  The only thing I’ll change is the cuff.  Tara has designed a lacey cuff that is very pretty but I just prefer a standard ribbed cuff, I think.  It’s just a personal preference.  The pattern of the sock turned out even better than I’d expected.  The speckled yarn does not detract from the stitch pattern at all!  If you’re looking for an interesting, fun, beautiful sock pattern, I highly recommend the Sophia Socks!  I’ll probably be knitting these again in a few months! 

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Sophia Socks