Once Upon A Sock: August Edition

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Hi All!

Did you enjoy my posts about Baby Rainy’s homemade gifts? If you haven’t checked them out, please do! You can find the links in the menu bar to the right. I would love your feedback. This year is flying by and this past month has been no exception. I didn’t meet my goal of finishing my socks by the 1 year anniversary of starting them; however I did finish them in the same month 🙂 I absolutely adore the pattern, fit and yarn…I guess I just love everything about them!

Ravelled Here: Smooth Operators by Susan B Anderson

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) magic loop

Yarn: String Theory Colorworks Inertia Self Striping in the color Putnisite

Started / Finished: July 10, 2016 – July 23, 2016 (Whew!)

New Techniques Learned: Afterthought Heels…this was new to me and scary as heck when I first started taking out the waste yarn, but now I love the method and will use it for future sock patterns. Especially for self-striping sock yarn!

I knit these TAAT and they took forever; however I’m so happy to be finished with them! They are super soft, especially after blocking and I know I’ll get a ton of use out of them.

Now, I just need to decide what I want to knit next. I’m leaning very heavily towards the Rose City Rollers or actually knitting the pattern from this months Yarnbox Sock Club, Call Me Ishmael. My yarn for the sock club just went in the mail yesterday, so I don’t know what color I will receive as of yet. Maybe I’ll wait until I get it and then decide. Regardless, I will have another pair on the needles again soon!

Me, and my fellow sock knitters, link up the first Thursday of every month to talk about our socks. If you would like to join us, let one of us know and we’ll be happy to add you to the group! I know that Stefanie from Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons is taking a social media / blog break for the months of August and September. Katherine from fiber and sustenance is currently on a cross country road trip with her hubby and I’m not sure if she’ll have time to post about socks this month; however check out her journey! She’s got some awesome pictures and lots of knitting!!! Finally, Kat from felinity knits has her sock post up for the month and it is an absolute stunning show stopper! Check her out!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

FO ~ Baby Footwear

Hi All!

In my last blog post, I talked to you about the cute little headbands I made for Baby Rainy. This time, we’ll talk about footwear. Now, you know that I already blogged about her tiny little Baby Mitten Socks a couple of months ago. What you didn’t know is that I also made her a pair of booties and a pair of flip flops! Let’s start with the booties first.

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Easiest Baby Booties Ever…free pattern on Ravelry

How freaking adorable are these? I decided to use the Sparkle White yarn I used for Rainy’s headbands, which was leftover from her Rainbow Honeycomb Blanket. These are quite the cool little construction. They look like a capital T before you fold the edges over and sew them together, then you turn them inside out to get the affect shown above.

I could have sworn I took a picture before I sewed them up so I could show progress pictures; however I can’t find them for the life of me. This is a free knit pattern on Ravelry titled Easiest Baby Booties Ever! by Gina Michele. They really are quite simple; however I highly recommend watching the YouTube video where she goes over construction and sewing together.

These can easily be made into larger sizes and seem like they will be a perfect fit without falling off of Baby Rainy. I did make the newborn size, so I may have to work on another pair for when she’s a little older.

 

I was able to find the in progress pictures for these adorable little flip flops. Again, I used the Sparkle White yarn that was left over from the blanket and some leftover yarn from the Tulip Stitch Headband. I thought they would look super cute together. This was another free pattern ($2.00 on Rav but free instructions on her blog) on Ravelry called the Baby Strap Flip-Flops by Bethany Dearden and is crochet. I’m so glad that I can crochet and knit 🙂 It makes it so much more fun when I see patterns and don’t have to worry about whether it’s one or the other.

These took quite a bit more time than the knit booties due to all of the sewing together; however they were still super simple. One thing that I would change is to wait to weave in the ends until the end. I wove them in at each step and I could have hidden some of the ends better if I had waited. She also has a YouTube video that helps out with instructions that might need demonstration. That’s how I found the pattern in the first place! Again, I made the newborn size since she will be born in August.

I cannot wait to see these on Rainy’s little footsies! To keep those footsies clean, I also included The Almost Lost Washcloth by Julie Tarsha. I’ve made this before; however this was my first time making a project using the Portuguese Knitting style. I really enjoyed the technique and hope to use it in future projects that are all garter stitch. I find the Purl stitch to be relaxing when using this method. The yarn was Lily Sugar’n Cream Twists in the color Squishy Twists.

I’ve now blogged about all the gifts that I made for Baby Rainy. Sweet Mama has promised lots of pictures of Rainy wearing / using everything once she is born and I’ll update my Ravelry project pages at that time. It was so much fun making stuff for a baby girl again after the rush of boys lately; however I’m super happy to be back to knitting for myself. I have more finished objects to blog about soon!

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

 

FO ~ Shell Stitch Baby Headbands

Hi All,

How many times can I start the beginning sentence for this blog? Apparently 20 times. Okay…enough of that. Let’s get on with it.

Baby Rainy is going to be one styling little chickadee when she is born. In addition to her Rainbow Honeycomb Blanket, she’s got some awesome new headbands to wear. The first headband I made for her was the Tulip Stitch Headband, which I blogged about last month. I wanted to create a couple more that had flowers attached and came upon this YouTube video for a Shell Stitch Baby Headband with Flower.

You know I immediately had to pull out my scrap yarn and crochet hooks to try this. There is no written pattern; however it’s easily pulled together just by watching the video. This makes it perfect for those that don’t know how to read a crochet pattern. I wish I could write it out for you; however the designer has it written out for sale in her Etsy store.

The first one I made, I measured until I had approximately 13.5 inches (leaving 1/2 inch for stretch factor) to fit a newborns 14 inch head. I decided to make it in all white, allowing it to go with multiple outfits. It used about 12 grams of the Caron Simply Soft Snow Sparkle yarn that I used to make Rainy’s blanket, along with a 3.75 mm (F) crochet hook.

The second one, I kept the white headband and made the flower red. I increased the size to 15 inches and decided to leave the ends hanging so Mama can tie them together and it will last longer. It used approximately 7 grams of Caron Simply Soft Snow Sparkle yarn for the headband part and 5 grams of Caron Simply Soft Harvest Red yarn for the flower.

They turned out super cute and Mama (and me) are excited to see them modeled on sweet Rainy’s head! Only 23 more days until her due date! (You can click on the images below to make them larger.)

Until next time, Happy Knitting (and Crochet)!

FO – Rainbow Baby Blanket

Hi All,

Mama (aka Megan) and the family have received their package, so it’s time to start blogging about everything I made for Baby Rainbow (aka Rainy). In case you missed it, here are the Baby Mitten Socks and Tulip Stitch Headband I made for her and blogged about in the past.

Let’s start with the Rainbow Blanket. I knew that Megan might like a rainbow blanket. The first thing I did was start a Baby Rainbow board on Pinterest and send it to her to get an idea of the colors she was drawn to. She really liked the natural colors of the rainbow versus the pastel palette that I liked so I’m really happy that I sent the board to her first. I did not let her pick the blanket itself because I wanted it to be a surprise.

Next, I had to decide if I wanted to knit or crochet. Knitting takes longer; however crochet uses more yarn. After thinking about it, I knew I was starting so far in advance of her due date that I could do either. After that it was a simple agonizing choice of which blanket. Guys…there are literally hundreds of thousands of baby blankets out there! I was very attracted to the Honeycomb Throw by Red Heart just because of the way it looked. While browsing pictures of others FO’s in Ravelry, I saw a rainbow one and was immediately hooked.

I knew that I was going to have to buy yarn, even though I’m on a yarn diet, because I didn’t have all the colors of the rainbow. A lesson learned here…I had Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Lemon and Pumpkin. When I went to the store, I bought Caron Simply Soft in the other colors I needed, plus the sparkly white for the cloud appearance of the border / honeycomb pattern. Don’t do this! I repeat…do not do this! Although everything worked out in the end, the Red Heart was a thicker ply than the Simply Soft, even though it was listed as the same ply and weight. It had me really worried the entire time I was making the blanket.

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One set of rainbow complete!

I swatched and didn’t like the fabric on the recommended needle size of US 10 (6.0 mm) so I went down to a size US 8 (5.0 mm). I also knew that I didn’t want it as big as the throw size from the pattern, so I had to do a little math to determine the proper size. I wound up casting on with 142 stitches. I needed 10 stitches total for both ends (the border is knit at the same time as the honeycomb pattern) and the honeycomb pattern itself was in multiples of 8 stitches + 4. My math was correct (yay me!) and the final blanket wound up being a perfect size of 32″ x 40″. She’ll be able to use this her whole life if she wants.

Also, this…for those who do not like finishing…this would be your worst nightmare. Look away if you must. Believe me, I was not going to wait until the end to weave in all those ends. I think if I would have waited, I would have never finished it.

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Ends Galore!!!

I washed the blanket in Newborn Dreft and then steam blocked it since it’s acrylic yarn. It turned out super soft and snuggly and smells so good. Normally, I would list out all the information, however I’m going to send you to my Ravelry link this time for the project because there is just too much yarn to list and too many notes 🙂 All in all, I really loved the pattern and would definitely make this again. The honeycomb pattern itself was easy to memorize and a lot simpler than it looks.

Without further ado…the FO!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Once Upon a Sock: July Edition

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Hi All!

I swear my blog is becoming only about the socks lately. I promise, I have been super busy crocheting and knitting…you can check out my Ravelry projects page if you want a preview. My last 8 finished projects are for Baby Rainbow and I’ve only blogged about 2 of them. I haven’t wanted to share everything because I want it to be a surprise for the new Mama. The package was delivered to my cousins house on Monday, so hopefully the family will visit soon. Then you’ll be sick of the blog posts…LOL

So, my socks. I was hoping to finish by this months post and it didn’t happen. I did get 15 more rows per sock (30 rows total) and I’m getting close to starting the toe. You can see in the modeled photo that it is nearing the edge of my toe. I have fat, long (2 inch or 5.08 cm) toes so I know that when I get to the bottom of the big toe, I am read to start. This makes me super excited as I am itching to get to my next pair of socks. These are the Smooth Operators by Susan B Anderson.

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Progress…as noted by the progress keeper!

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Almost ready to start the toes!

I’ve been very happy to have such bright projects to help me heal with grief once again. My little brother, Chuck, passed away on 6/10/2017. He was in agony every day from multiple hernias, kidney failure and liver failure due to Hepatitis C. I’m glad he’s no longer in pain. It makes me really sad that everyone I grew up with…my Grandma, Mom, little sister, and now my little brother, are no longer with us.

A week later, my nephew was shot in the stomach and is currently still in ICU. Luckily things are getting better and hopefully he’ll be able to go into a regular room soon. His feeding tube and catheter were taken out today and he’s allowed to eat a liquid diet. He still has a long road of physical therapy; however I believe he will make it through.

The day after that, one of my Meetup Knitting group friends lost her battle with cancer. I’m attending a Celebration of Life for her tonight. Believe it or not, I could go on; however I don’t want this to turn into a pity party. In addition to knitting, I decided to do something bold to help me deal with rampant emotions. It makes me smile every time I catch sight of myself in a mirror.

 

 

 

Have you seen my fellow sock enthusiasts posts lately? Why not hop over to their pages and show some love! And if you want to join us, let one of us know, post on the first Thursday of every month with the title “Once Upon a Sock” and link up! We would be happy to have you!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

Once Upon a Sock: June Edition

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Hello All!

Can you believe it’s June already? Where the heck did May go? I’m on vacation this week…a staycation; although it has been busy with trips to wineries in Saratoga, as well as Gilroy and Morgan Hill. We had a lovely barbecue with a great friend with some fantastic wine. We also took a trip to Monterey and went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tuesday and had a delicious seafood lunch on Fisherman’s Wharf. When you live in California, every day can be a vacation 🙂

Since it is the first Thursday of the month, it’s all about the socks! Have you guys heard about this craze that’s been going on for several years? You take your sock yarn (or any weight really) scraps and make a blanket out of it. I heard about it a year and a half ago and have been diligently saving my yarn scraps, as well as swapping and buying mini skeins. The pattern I’m following is free and is called The Coziest Memory a recipe for a scrap blanket by Kemper Wray.

This week I decided I have enough yarn to finally start. Well, I probably could have started a long time ago. I just got the gumption to do it this week 🙂 I have one square completed and although I have a pattern and have watched tons of YouTube videos, I’m still trying to determine how to add my next square so it’s centered the same way and I’m working on the “right” side (it’s all garter stitch). I think I have it figured out and will let you know soon! For my first square, I used the yarn from Baby Eric’s socks and I have the next ball wound up and ready to go. I’m using size US 2 (2.75 mm) DPN’s and the first square came out to 2.75 inches squared.

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In addition to the Cozy Memories Blanket, I’ve also been working diligently on my Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson. I started these on July 10, 2016. Isn’t that crazy? I hope to have them finished by next months post, which will make them a year long project. As my long time readers know, I was sidelined by a hand injury and it took a long time to recover. Luckily, I’m back in the groove, although taking it easy on such tiny needles so I don’t injure myself again.

Guys, we have heels! OMG!!!! Can I tell you how excited I am? I have never worked with afterthought heels before and it was extremely nerve wracking learning this new technique. After knitting 2 inches past the waste yarn, I picked up the stitches on both sides. With the first sock, I picked up the wrong leg on one side of the heel; however that was easily fixed by reorienting the stitches as I was knitting them. Since these are being knit TAAT (Two at a Time), I left the socks on the Magic Loop needles and used my 24 inch size US 1 (2.25 mm) needles to work the heels one at a time. Here’s a little tip for you…when knitting TAAT, place your second ball of yarn inside your second sock to prevent tangles. It worked awesome for me.

After finishing up the heels, I went back to knitting in the round and now I’m 10 rows into the foot. Like I said before, it’s been slow going; however, they are getting there!

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Have you seen my fellow sock enthusiasts posts lately? Why not hop over to their pages and show some love! And if you want to join us, let one of us know, post on the first Thursday of every month with the title “Once Upon a Sock” and link up! We would be happy to have you!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

FO – Tulip Stitch Headband (with Pattern)

Hi All!

In my last post I shared some finished socks for my friends Rainbow Baby, nicknamed Rainy. I’ve also finished a headband for her and am well into a Rainbow Blanket (more on that later!) I thought you might like to see my progress.

I was looking around at baby headbands since Rainy will be born in August and hats will be too warm (hrm…I just got to thinking about that and may look for a sun hat). There are a ton out there that are super adorable. While browsing, I came upon the Tulip Stitch. It is crocheted and gave me the chance to pull out my gorgeous Furls crochet hooks, which have been seriously neglected lately. I gathered some yarn I bought for another crochet project, for which I knew I would not need the full skeins, and followed a YouTube video that showed how to do the stitch in a blanket. Here’s the pattern I wrote for a newborn, which can be modified to fit any size. I couldn’t find a written pattern for a headband, so I wrote down exactly what the video showed me how to do, with my modifications:

Tulip Stitch Headband

Size H (5.0mm) Crochet Hook or size to fit your yarn
Approximately 5 Grams of Color A
Approximately 4 Grams of Colors B & C

I used size Medium (4) Caron Simply Soft Solids, which is listed as an Aran weight.

SC = Single Chain
DC = Double Chain
YO = Yarn Over
Cluster Stitch = YO, insert the hook into the next stitch, YO, draw the yarn through the stitch, YO, draw the yarn through 2 loops on the hook. Repeat the preceding step two times. You should end up with 4 loops on the hook. YO and draw through all four loops on the hook. YO and pull through the loop to set the cluster stitch.

Foundation Row:
With Color A, chain an odd number of stitches (divisible by three) plus two. It should be as long as the circumference of the size of head you are making but also allowing for a little stretch. For example, a newborn usually has a size 14 inch head. I chained 53, which is 13 inches with give to stretch to 14 inches.

Pattern:
SC into the third chain from the hook. I like to crochet into the purl bump created on the back of the starting chain. SC into each stitch across. You should have 51 SC. Break off color A and join Color B. (Used approximately 2 grams of Color A)

Ch 3. DC into the third chain from the beginning. Ch 1. DC into the same stitch. *Skip two chains. DC, Ch 1, DC into same stitch.* Repeat from * to * until last stitch. DC into last stitch. Break off Color B and join Color C. (Used approximately 4 grams of Color B)

Ch 3. *Cluster Stitch into space made by the V in the prior row. Ch 1.* Repeat from * to * until last stitch. DC into last stitch. Break off Color C and join Color A. (Used approximately 4 grams of Color C)

Ch 1. SC into first chain space. *SC into top of cluster stitch. 2 SC into next chain space.* Repeat until last stitch. SC into last stitch. Turn.

Ch 1. SC into each SC from prior row. Break off Color A. (Used approximately 3 grams of Color A)

Use the leftover yarn at each end to join together to make a circle; mattress stitch works well for this. Weave in the leftover ends.

Ravelled Here: Tulip Baby Headband

If you try the pattern, let me know how it turned out for you! I think this will look super cute on Rainy.

Since this post turned out longer than I thought it would, I’ll be back another day to share an update on the Rainbow Baby blanket. BTW, yesterday was my birthday and my hubby surprised me with an Apple Watch Series 2, a hilarious birthday card and an absolutely delicious dinner out. I had a great day with lots of messages from friends and family, as well as an hour long Facetime with my nephews. Here are a few pics from the day 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting (or Crocheting)!