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 – Baby Boy Blanket & Hat

Hi All!

Now that Mama & Papa have received their package, I can finally reveal all the yarny goodness I sent to them for the newest baby boy. You’ve already seen a hat I made, using the MJ’s Hospital Hat pattern. What you didn’t know is that the hat was way too small. I checked with one of knitting group friends who recently had a baby and she said it needed to be 14 inches around. I measured and the hat was only 10 inches unstretched and 11 inches stretched. Oops! So, I donated the hat for a Preemie. I’m sure some little one will get some use out of it.

You’ve also seen the Baby Mitten Socks that I highlighted in my monthly Once Upon a Sock post. What you haven’t seen is the new hat and baby blanket! I’ve made this hat pattern before for my great nephew, so I knew that I needed to make the Newborn size instead of the Baby size so he would be able to wear it home from the hospital. I love the rolled brim on this and it should fit him for a little bit. Here are the details:

Ravelled Here: Simple Baby Hat
Started / Finished: 4/6/2017-4/8/2017
Yarn Used: Caron Simply Soft in the color Blue Mint (35 grams)
Needles Used: US 5 (3.75 mm)
Size Made: Newborn (14 inches unstretched)

The other item finished is the baby blanket! It felt like I whizzed through this, taking it with me on my trip to Hawaii, and finishing it up at home. I love the feature of the garter stitch square and edging and Mama loves how soft it is. I washed it in the washing machine on Delicate using Newborn Dreft, partially dried it in the dryer on Gentle, then hung to finish drying. I didn’t have to steam block as everything fell into place from patting it into place as it finished air drying.  It is a free pattern from Tin Can Knits called Malt and was super easy. I highly recommend for the beginner knitter or for the more advanced knitter who wants something easy for tv / talk knitting. Here are the details (You can click the images to see larger pics):

Ravelled Here: Malt
Started / Finished: 2/16/17-4/5/17
Yarn Used: Caron Simply Soft in the color Blue Mint (399 grams – 2.35 skeins)
Needles Used: US 8 (5.0 mm)
Size Made: 31″ x 36″
New Technique Learned: Icelandic Bind Off (Perfect bind off with Garter Stitch and stretchy too!)

That’s one baby boy down and one baby girl to go! Stay tuned for updates on her gorgeous Rainbow Blanket, pink socks and headband! *Check out my Instagram for sneak peeks 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

FO – MJ’s Hospital Hat

Hi All!

I feel really bad that I haven’t been blogging as much as before. I guess just like there are ebbs and flows in life, there are in blogging as well. I noticed that I’ve only had four posts in the last few months. That makes me sad. The good news is that I am 100% healed from my Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and am back in the knitting groove.

I talked a few days ago about a baby hat I recently finished and it’s absolutely adorable. It is in the same color realm as the Baby Mitten Socks I made for the same Mama and in the exact yarn that I am using for the baby blanket. It is truly a newborn hat and won’t fit him for very long; however Mama wanted something for him to wear home from the hospital. I will make him another hat at a later date since he will be born in May and won’t need one for awhile.

I was really sick (am slowly recovering on some strong antibiotics) when knitting the hat and misunderstood the decrease instructions. Note to self: when you see something within a set of asterisks that says repeat, you should start over again at the beginning of the asterisk. LOL. I don’t know how I read the instructions as * K2tog, K10, SSK, K10, K2tog, K10, SSK, K10 *. It was supposed to be *K2tog, K10, SSK*.  I’m such a dodo head. This resulted in a pointier, elf like hat. Since it had that type of look, I decided to finish it off with a 3 1/2 inch i-cord, which I then tied into a knot.

The designer saw my project notes and reached out to me to let me know how I had read the pattern wrong. She also, rather graciously, said that she liked the way mine had turned out. I will be knitting this pattern again for a girl baby that’s being born a little after this boy baby, so I’ll have another chance to do the pattern justice.

Ravelled Here: MJ’s Hospital Hat

Started / Finished: 2/23/17 (Yes, it was fast!)

Needles: US3 (3.25mm) and US4 (3.5mm) DPN’s

Yarn Used: Caron Simply Soft Solids in the color Blue Mint (22 grams)

And here’s the finished baby hat! Isn’t it adorable?

Also, a quick side note. My hubby and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on Friday. We were really sick so we didn’t get to do anything; however he sent me the most gorgeous flowers! The fifth anniversary is wood so he bought me a gorgeous cherry bookcase and I got him a really nice guitar speaker box (something that you put a speaker in that projects the sound).

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

Once Upon a Sock: Baby Mitten Socks (FO)

It’s the first Thursday of the month so it’s all about the socks! First, I would like to welcome Kat from Felinity Knits to our little band of sock knitters! She has an awesome sock post this month and I’ll link it below.

I was able to finish the baby socks that I talked about last month! They are so adorable and so teeny, tiny. I’m hoping they fit a newborn, as most socks I make don’t fit until 3 months or longer…at least for babies. I was also able to get a couple of more rows done on my Smooth Operators; however again, not enough to show a new picture. Even though I haven’t gotten in much sock knitting, I have actually been knitting a lot! I’ve made a baby hat and am working on a baby blanket that I will blog about at a later date.

So, let’s talk about these baby socks.

Ravelled Here: Baby Mitten Socks by Barbara Prime (Free pattern)

Started / Finished: 1/26/17 ~ 2/18/17 (I was taking my time; however these are easily a 1-2 day project)

Needles: US 1 (2.25mm) DPN’s

Yarn: Kat’s Kettle Toes Etc. in the color Mana Pool (16 grams)

I did have a little snafu while working on the first sock. Why is it that although I find Kitchener Stitch easy, I can never remember it? I had to look it up on a YouTube video. Unfortunately, I was looking at a video for using the Kitchener Stitch to graft together two squares (wrong sides facing). So, I turned my itty bitty sock wrong side out and happily went on my way. I decided to turn it right side out to check my work before weaving in the ends…needless to say, I figured out I did it wrong. I had to remove it and start over. Argh! That was a pain that definitely needed daylight and a lot of patience…check out these progress pics! I put each stitch on an individual stitch marker, then I used cable needles to make sure they were oriented in the proper way before finally placing them back on the needles. I felt so accomplished when I finished it successfully!

And now for the final pics. Mama is super happy with them…at least pics of them. I will pack these up with the hat and baby blanket for a sweet little gift.

Would you like to join me and my fellow sock knitters? We post on the first Thursday of every month with the title “Once Upon a Sock” and link up with each other. Just let one of us know so we can add you to our list! Here’s my partners in crime and their most recent sock posts.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Knitting Updates & Low Carb Cooking

Hi All! You may have noticed that I haven’t really had a lot of knitting posts recently. That’s because I haven’t been knitting much. I’ve gotten a few rows knit here and there…however most days are spent not knitting. Yep, the CTS flared back up and since I work full time on the computer, knitting has once again been put on the back burner.

I did sign up for a Craftsy class called Knit Faster with Portuguese Knitting by Andrea Wong and tried my hand at it this past Saturday. It’s a very interesting technique and will take awhile to master; however seems like it might be easier on my hands and wrists once I can figure out the proper technique.

I have to remember that when I first started knitting, my tension wasn’t great and it also took time. My stitches are extremely tight using this method and I need to figure out the correct way to hold the yarn to maximize tension. I’ve worked on the same swatch over and over…pulling it out as I get frustrated and then re-casting on. The cast on and purl stitch are pretty easy…like I said, it’s a matter of getting the tension right. Does anyone familiar with this technique have any tips or tricks? I do have a knitting pin that I’m using instead of wrapping around my neck.

In other news, I have been trying out some new recipes that I wanted to share with you. I’ve gotten a few from Whole 30 and some from South Beach (low carb) that have been really delicious. With this post, I’ll share what I made last night.

Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper by Kalyn’s Kitchen

My hubby is on a low-carb diet, which makes finding new recipes a must to keep things interesting. He does not like eating the same thing every week. I often find myself heading to Kalyn’s Kitchen to source new recipes because almost everything I’ve tried from her has been delicious. This was amazingly full of flavor and also hubby approved. He has requested that I make it again and since it made four servings, we are having it for dinner again tonight. I can easily see this being a side dish to a low-carb beef and broccoli stir fry. Even if you don’t like cauliflower, I urge you to give this a try. It’s that good!

I will warn you that this is a lot of prep because you must have everything ready to stir fry before you begin cooking. I made this exactly as the recipe states; however used raw shrimp, which I deveined and removed the outer shell. I left them whole instead of cutting into bite sized pieces and cooked directly after the onion / cauliflower rice. BTW, if you like caramelized garlic and ginger…don’t throw the pieces away after you flavor the oil. My hubby is Italian and loved the addition of the whole garlic cloves to his bowl.

Sorry for the not so great lighting on the images. These were all taken with my iPhone, which doesn’t take the best pictures at night. Either that, or our lighting really sucks in our kitchen 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Cooking!

 

FO – Sockhead Slouch Hat 2

Hi All!

I’ve been promising a post on my latest finished object and here it is! This hat is something that I’ve been working on for over a year. A whole year, you might ask? Yes, an entire year. Why, you might ask? Well, because it was a take-a-long project! That means this was only worked on when I was out and about.

It’s been to quite a few places and could tell a few tales. We’ve been together on flights to Indiana, Florida and Hawaii. We’ve been to Carmel-by-the-Sea, Monterey, San Jose, Livermore, Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, Campbell, Cupertino and Oakland…all in California. We’ve been together in dentist offices, periodontist offices, doctors offices and hospitals. We’ve been together standing in line waiting to get into concerts, as well as multiple wineries, book club meetings, parties and other sundry events. We’ve been together for a lot of passenger side car knitting.

I’m going to miss knitting on her and can’t wait to gift her to my cousin, Nichole. She’s been waiting a long time! I have since cast on and am working on another one. I’m hoping this one doesn’t take over a year to complete. Here are the details:

Ravelled Here: Sockhead Hat 2 (Free Pattern called Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure)

Started / Finished: 7/31/15 – 9/26/16

Yarn: Patons North America Stretch Sock in the color Grape Gumball (62 grams / 1.25 skeins)

Needles: US 3 – 16 inch Bamboo Circulars and US 3 DPNs

Modifications: Cast on with 136 instead of suggested cast on amount as my first Sockhead Hat was a wee bit too big. Since I cast this on, the pattern has been updated to state that as long as you cast on in multiples of 8, you are good. I think this is a good size for a large head.

And here are some pictures with the brim folded and not folded! I love the way this yarn knitted up and have gotten a ton of compliments on it whilst out knitting at all those places.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Once Upon a Sock

Hi All!

It’s Thursday and it’s usually All About the Socks…notice the name change for this post? That’s because there has been a little behind the scenes discussion about weekly sock posts for our merry band of knitters who have linked up to post about socks. Posting every week is kind of hard because, let’s face it, you don’t always get a lot of progress done in one week. Especially if you have a deadline for another project. So, we have decided to change to once a month posts about our sock progress on the first Thursday of the month. In addition, we thought a name change was in order so we could be consistent within the group. We tossed around several ideas and then decided on “Once Upon a Sock”. Pretty catchy, huh?

So, you guys know that I am recovering from cubital tunnel syndrome. Last Thursday I finally started feeling well enough to start knitting again. I even finished one of my WIPs…more about that in another post. I thought that if I knit a minimum of one row (x2 since I’m working TAAT) per day, I would make some serious progress on my socks. What have I knit since last Thursday? Exactly one row. Yep, one row. At least it’s progress! I’ll show you a picture of what it looked like the last time you saw it as it’s not worth taking another picture for just one row.

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Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson

If the thought of posting every week about your socks stopped you from joining up with us before, maybe you’ll think about once a month? All you have to do is post about your sock progress on the first Thursday of each month and link up to the other sock knitters participating. Just let one of us know in the comments section. Let’s see what kind of magic we can make happen between now and the next post on November 3, 2016! BTW, I will be out of town that week for my BFF’s 40th birthday; however I will still post.

Before you go, please check out our current sock knitting group…Maggie at Project(s) in Progress and Katherine at fiber and sustenance. I’m sure you’ll be delighted with their offerings.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!