Once Upon a Sock: March 2018

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Hi All! I know I say this every single month, but seriously…where did this last month go? This is two months in a row where the 1st of the month has landed on a Thursday and you know what that means? It’s sock time! For those that would like to join along, we post about our sock progress (or lack thereof) every month on the first Thursday, with the title of Once Upon a Sock. We then link up to our other blogger friends who love to knit / crochet socks. This month, we have two new bloggers joining us! If you would like to too, please let one of us know and we’ll keep adding to the list 🙂 So, before we talk about the progress on my socks, let me introduce you (all blog links will be updated throughout the day as others post their sock post):

Kat at felinityknits has super cute shorties to talk about this month, but shhhh…one set is a secret. Seriously…they are gorgeous!

Stefanie at Stefanie Crafts with Wool Paper Fabric has a new domain and blog name (so old links from posts may no longer work soon…she was Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons); however she’s still with us knitting socks! She has a little progress on her Harry socks, so go check them out! And if you want some serious yarn envy, check out her post on Stitches West 2018.

Katherine at fiberandsustenance has a new look and feel to her blog; however still the same link and name. I’m sure we’ll see something beautiful soon on her blog. As soon as I hit publish, Katherine’s blog post appeared! We must have been writing at the same time 🙂 She talks about her sock progress, new sock needles and is knitting with some seriously beautiful yarn.

Our newest bloggers are:

Steph at My Making Do Adventure has joined in with gusto! Her first sock post is up and they are absolutely gorgeous! Learn more as she ventures into the fun world of sock knitting.

Liz at Knitting from the hip also has her first sock post up! She talks about her sock yarn blanket, baby booties and shortie socks. And maybe a little naughty sock yarn purchasing? Tee hee!

Also joining this month is Kathy B from CompassionKnit.  I’m sure she’ll have something soon too and I’ll edit here as soon as it’s up.

Edited to add: In breaking news, we have another sock knitter joining us! Wow, this has never happened before! Please welcome Reanna at Knit, Reanna, Knit! who is bravely learning all about socks and the multitude of techniques that can be involved. She is one courageous lady! I remember trying each of those techniques…one at a time!

Ok…now on to the socks! I’ve been a busy little bee this month. I managed to complete the cuff, leg, heel and get 13 rows into the foot of the second sock. No Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) for me…Woo hoo! I really wanted to get the whole thing done and move on to a new pair; however we’ve been super busy on the home front too. I’ll tell you more about that next month. Just keep your fingers crossed for us. I know, so vague 🙂

I’m sure the rest of the sock will fly by, just like this month will and I can hopefully start a new pair or at least think about what I’m going to knit next and let you know about it. Sorry for the lighting in these pictures. It’s raining here (it’s so exciting! Seriously…I live in San Jose, CA and we received barely any rain at all this winter) and so I’ll just have to live with it.

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BTW, just a reminder. These are Mina’s Vanilla Sock Recipe by Knitting Expat Designs and I am using Yarn Carnival High Wire 3 Ply in the colorway Austin Equinox. I’m knitting them with size US 1 (2.25 mm) circular needles. I wish I would have gone up a size, 72 instead of 64 stitches, or increased my needle size as these are just the tiniest bit tight. However, I know with experience that they will loosen up while wearing them.

In other news, my poinsettia has finally decided to start changing colors! I received a humongous poinsettia as a gift in 2016. In early spring of 2017, I severely chopped it back and it has grown into this gorgeousness since then. It almost makes me sad to have to chop it back again. I also should have pinched some of those leaves; however I didn’t have the heart to do it. This is the way it grows in the wild, right? Maybe I can be a little more ruthless this year. We’ll see! Anyhoo, it seems that we’ll have another sock knitter joining up as we post on April 5th next month. If you’d like to join too, just let one of know! We’ll get the word out.

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Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Paula

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FO – Freedom and Cables Test Knit

Hi All! How’s your February going? It’s going pretty fast for me. Things are super busy at both home and work. I did take the day yesterday to catch up on some shows and knit on my cardigan. And this weekend, hubby and I had a picnic at one of our favorite wineries and then did a wine and chocolate pairing at another of our favorite wineries. It was so gorgeous. Being out in the fresh breeze sipping wine was nice and relaxing.

Recently I read a post by my fellow sock knitter, Kat from felinityknits, and fell in love with the hat she had knit. Come to find out that it was her own pattern. I let her know that if she ever decided to write up the pattern, I would gladly test knit it for her. Lo and behold, a few days later, she sent over the pattern. There were very minor edits and overall it was very well written and easy to follow.

There are two versions: one color and two colors and you can see both on Kat’s blog post about them. I decided to knit the one with one color. I definitely recommend going by her yardage, as the skein I picked out had about 20 less yards and I lost at yarn chicken when I only had 6 rows to go. I even deleted one of the cable repeats thinking it would be enough.

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Yarn Chicken Fail

Luckily I found some yarn that had the exact same color in it and only needed 2 grams to finish it off.

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Two grams of beautiful perfection…don’t you love how the cables continue until the very end?

Once I made the pom-pom out of the same yarn and added it to the top of the hat, you couldn’t even tell I had run out. Before I show you the finished hat, check out how much this yarn bled! It is a discontinued colorway called Cherry and the base is Madelinetosh Tosh DK. I bought it back in 2015 so it was awesome to knit from my stash. The yarn I used to finish it off and make the pom-pom is Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. The colorway is number 3109 Woodland DK and it’s also been in my stash for awhile.

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Seriously yarn bleeding

Oh, here’s another thing. Do not aggressively block your hat! This thing was humongous on me after I blocked it and it fit perfectly before hand. Turns out you should lay it flat to dry instead of trying to stretch it over a great, big balloon or let it drag itself down on a styrofoam head. Ugh. I had to reblock, praying that it would shrink back (it shrank 1 1/2 inches both ways), and now it fits perfectly! When adding the pom-pom, use a large button to stabilize it and make sure you tie it in a bow so it’s easy to take off when you need to wash it again.

Didn’t it turn out gorgeous? I have gotten so many compliments already and it’s coming in super handy with the very cold weather the past couple of days. My project notes can be found on Ravelry here. Kat’s pattern is up on her blog (linked above) and is also on Ravelry as a free pattern. If you have never made a hat with cables, or worked with cables at all, or you love cables and weren’t sure what to make next, check out her pattern! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Once Upon a Sock: January 2018

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Hi All and Happy New Year!

I have a little bit of progress on my socks this month, although not as much as I had wished. I fell down the rabbit hole of testing some new patterns for designers in the month of December and didn’t accomplish as much as I wished. I also messed up on my short rows and had to rip back to the leg and start over.

When we last spoke about socks, I had 20 rows of the cuff and 28 rows of the leg complete. Now, I’m happy to say that I finished up the leg with 60 rows, completed the German Short Row heel, and have three rows of the foot completed. I know the lighting is not the best on the image below; however it’s been dark and dreary here…no perfect light for photos. This is a 64 stitch sock, using Mina’s Vanilla Sock Recipe, and it was soothing to work on it while binge watching shows during vacation.

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I’m excited to see what the new year brings in terms of socks. I know I have a lot of patterns queued and can’t wait to see which ones spark my interest next. I also want to make more socks this year than last year…so I need to get knitting!

While you’re here, go check out my fellow sock knitters. Every month, we blog about our sock progress, or lack thereof, and link up with each other. If you’d like to join us, leave a comment for one of us and we’ll add you to the list! I will update blogs as they come out; however I can tell you that Kat has some awesome plans for socks this year over at felinity knits. And she just recently finished an awesome pair of Rainbow Socks too! Also, check out Katherine’s new cast on with freaking gorgeous yarn at fiber and sustenance,  and Stefanie’s  at Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons. She has also cast on with freaking gorgeous yarn and has some awesome progress. I can’t wait to see what they are up to! Both of them are knitting socks concurrently…I should have thought of that too so I don’t get second sock syndrome 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

FO’s – Neck Wear

Hi All,

Can you believe it’s already New Years Eve? I am absolutely amazed at how fast this year has flown! I have three final projects to end the year with you. I’ll try to write up a recap tomorrow as I reflect on this last year of crafting. It’s been a pretty good year for that with lots of big and little projects.

First up, a crochet project. This one was gifted to my dear friend Emmah for Christmas this year. I happened to be scrolling through the Free Testers Group on Ravelry and saw this test request. I knew I had yarn that would suit it perfectly and I wanted to make something for my friend to put in with her presents. This is a beginner pattern and would be perfect as a first project. It took me an hour for the original pattern, and then I decided to finish up my skein and it took me another 40 minutes.

Ravelled Here: Wintergreen Cowl by Rachel Counts

Started / Finished: 12/15/17

Hook: US K (6.5 mm)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Metallics in the colorway Poinsettia

A couple of days before Christmas, the Designer reached out again for another crochet test. I would classify this one as an Intermediate level. This was my first time using the Foundation Single Crochet (FSC) and the stitch patterns were more than a beginner would know what to do with. The pattern has a 6 row repeat and it definitely takes some concentration at the beginning. After the first section, it’s kind of easy to see what you are doing and moves a little quicker.

It took me about 8 hours to complete this one, over two days; however another tester took 4 hours total and another said it only took her a couple of hours. They both classified it as an Advanced Beginner pattern. I guess it depends on your skill level and I thought I was pretty advanced. This one hasn’t been published as of yet, but will be soon. As soon as it is, I will link up my project. I just finished blocking it and blocking really opened up the pattern.

Ravelled Here: Autumn Leaves Cowl (Test)  by Rachel Counts

Started / Finished: 12/26/17 ~ 12/27/17

Hook: US F (3.75 mm)

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Fingering in the colorway Weather Vane

Techniques Learned: Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)

Last, but not least, is a project that’s been on my needles for quite some time! Everyone knows the Hitchhiker pattern from the designer, Martina Behm. She sells that pattern, along with three others in an ebook called Hitchhiker – A Trilogy of Four Patterns. I chose Trillian as my first knit out of this collection.

It all started with one of my fellow knitters in the group I attend every Thursday showing off a shawl she knit in Miss Babs Yowza yarn. I went home that day and purchased two skeins, Morticia and Beachglass. A couple of weeks later, one of my other fellow knitters was talking about the Trillian pattern. We decided to start it at the same time. She finished hers within a few weeks.

Unfortunately, I wound up with some hand issues and then some emotional issues and this got put away for quite awhile. I’m so happy to have it finally completed, blocked and final pics taken.

Ravelled Here: Trillian by Martina Behm

Started / Finished: 8/5/16 ~ 12/9/17

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 10 (6.0 mm)

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza in the colorway Beachglass

I want to wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year! We are going to a dinner party and then playing games with friends, while sipping on delightful champagne. I hope your evening is just as fun, no matter where you are or what you do. Happy New Year!!!!

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

 

FO – Yes, I’ve been knitting!

Hi All,

I’m back again and am not sure I’m going to make it to the end of the year with all the catching up; however am trying my best 🙂 Next up on the plate is a hat that I blogged about earlier this year.

I’ve made several Sockhead Slouch Hats throughout the last couple of years and always have one on the go since it’s a super easy take a long project. Earlier this year, I decided I wanted a super quick option and decided to work the pattern in Worsted Weight. It turned out super snuggly due to the yarn I used and I thought it would be another hat for me. Turns out my Aunt Karen loved it and I gifted it to her while I was in Indiana. She’s definitely knit worthy 🙂 Here are the details:

Ravelled Here: Sockhead Slouch IV (Worsted)

Started / Finished: 7/20/17 ~ 10/12/17

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios in the colorway Arco Iris

Modifications: Since I used Worsted weight yarn instead of Sock weight yarn, I cast on with 104 stitches. I tried to do the Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast On; however twisted the stitches when joining in the round and decided the time wasn’t worth it to try again. I will try it again in the future.

Next up, is another quick hat by Purl Soho. I wanted to make another purple hat for my cousin that would keep her super warm on those cold Indiana nights. She has Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension so she is always super cold. It helps to have things to keep her warm and toasty. This one I started right before I left for Indiana…worked on the plane going there and finally finished a few days before Thanksgiving. It was a super easy pattern and would have been quicker to knit if I hadn’t been distracted by the goodness of hanging out with Rainy and the family 🙂 I made no modifications to this pattern. The gorgeous flag behind my head was made by my cousin-in-law, affectionately known as CIL. His company is called Our Old Flag.

Ravelled here: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho

Started / Finished: 11/7/17 ~ 11/20/17

Yarn: Lion Brand Heartland in the colorway Hot Springs

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

And last, but not least for this post…my Aunt Karen asked for a warm pair of gloves that she could also use when she wanted to play her games. This called for some serious hunting. Thank goodness I purchased the Chilly Podsters pattern from Glenna Knits! These are fingerless gloves and mittens all in one. Be still my heart! The only thing is that she wanted them in black. Do you know how hard it is to knit with black yarn in the winter? If not, please don’t try it. I persevered and finished these on Christmas Day. I also got them in the mail today, so win for me!!!

My Aunt Karen will be enjoying these in no time! They are a wee bit large, as I made the large size; however my Aunt Karen wanted them like that. There ain’t no shame in that game. BTW, she’s also requested a fingerless pair of mitts that match her hat in the same yarn. Since she’s knit worthy, I’ll make that happen.

Ravelled Here: Chilly Podsters by Glenna C

Started / Finished: 11/21/17 ~ 12/25/17

Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in the colorway Black

This was my first time actually making fingers on gloves. I’ve made thumbs before…just never fingers. What a rush to actually complete each glove 🙂 And how cute are my knitting jammies? I got these last year at Target and they are super comfy!

We’re almost finished with this year and I’m almost finished catching you up! Tomorrow will be three more FO’s that may cause ring around the collar? Hint, hint 🙂

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

FO – Baby Leg Warmers and A Unicorn!

Hi All,

Yes, I’m back again! I’m rushing to try to get you all caught up before the end of the year. Today, I get to share with you some baby leg warmers and a Unicorn Lovey that I worked on for Iris, aka “Baby Rainy”. Some of you may remember the Rainbow Baby Blanket, headbands, footwear and Baby Mitten Socks I made for her. I’m so excited that I also get to share pictures of her with these new items, as I got to see her reaction in person.

First up, the Baby Leg Warmers. They are so freaking adorable! Rainy is very long and most baby pants that fit around her waist are not long enough for her little legs. Therefore, leg warmers to the rescue! The pattern is free and fit her perfectly. They were a really quick project and I need to make more for her so her legs don’t freeze this winter. Here are the details:

Ravelled Here: Essential Leg Warmers by Jemma Helliker

Started / Finished: 9/7/17 ~ 9/9/17

Needles Used: US 6 – 4.0 mm and US 8 – 5.0 mm DPN’s

Yarn Used: Red Heart Gumdrop in the colorway Cherry

How adorable is she? Awww…

Next up is her Unicorn Lovey. Those that follow me on Instagram saw some In Progress pictures of this and were probably wondering what I was making. It almost looked like a little owl face when I combined the horn and eye parts together. This project came about because of the Unicorn Blanket from yesterdays post being too big for Rainy. At least until she’s a teenager 🙂 I knew I wanted to make her something Unicorn and that led me down a rabbit hole, once again, on Ravelry. This is another project in Crochet and I’m so glad I have the skill to pull something like this off.

The blanket part of the lovey went pretty quick, as did crocheting most of the individual pieces. What took the longest? All of the assembly! There were a lot of pieces that had to be put together and lots of sewing involved but she turned out so flipping cute! The pattern was very well written and included photos for the trickier bits. I highly recommend it if you are looking to make something like this.

Ravelled Here: Unicorn / Pony Lovey Security Blanket by Joni Memmott / BriAbby (paid pattern)

Started / Finished: 10/14/17 ~ 10/23/17

Hook Sizes: 3.5 mm (E), 4.0 mm (G), 5.0 mm (H)

Yarn Used: Caron Simply Soft in the colorways Grape, Snow Sparkle, White, Blue Mint, Black and Times Square

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Until next time, Happy Knitting / Crocheting!

FO’s – Unicorns Galore

Hi All,

Back at the beginning of December, I had high hopes for lots of blogging to show you some of the items that I had to keep secret as they were gifts. Now, it’s nearly the end of my three week vacation and I’m wondering where the time went! I’m going to share a couple of items with you today, just to get things moving again.

First up, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some “In Progress” photos. Several months ago, my cousin and a friend saw a Unicorn Blanket pattern that both wanted dearly. I found the pattern on Etsy (later realizing I could have bought it on Ravelry) and printed it out. It took me a little bit to purchase all the yarn I would need as several stores would have 1-2 skeins of it…I needed A LOT!

I learned a lot with the first blanket. I had never crocheted in the back loop only before and found that it creates a look much like ribbing with knit. I used office supply binder hooks to hold the hood and the blanket together for placement and sewing. I learned that I should use a much smaller hook with the yarn for the horn as it came out way too big. I also learned that since the stitches were larger, white fiberfill does not look as good. Although the horn is secure, it is not as firm as I would have liked. I also learned that gauge really does matter when you are trying to make a toddler size blanket. It turned out to be sized for a teenager. This was originally for Iris aka “Rainy”; however I gifted it to her Mama instead.

Ravelled Here: Unicorn Blanket by Keri Palbicki

Started/Finished 9/12/17 ~ 9/23/17

Yarn: Blanket used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the color Celebration; horn and hair used Lion Brand Landscapes in the color Boardwalk Promenade

Hook: Size US P (11.5 mm)

Final Pictures:

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I called the second one, Unicorn Shlanket since it’s a hybrid between a hooded shawl and blanket. I incorporated all of my learning from the original blanket, although I knew I wanted to make this a special fit for my cousin Nichole.

I made the hood with a size US M/N (9.0 mm) crochet hook, which made it much smaller. I also used a size US I (5.5 mm) crochet hook for the horn. I bought black fiber fill off of Etsy to stuff it with and it made a world of difference! I also made the mane much fluffier than the first by using a ton more yarn. I decided to make the hood first so I could maximize the amount of yarn used in the shlanket part and this turned out to be a wise decision.

The shlanket itself was made with a US P (11.5 mm) crochet hook and I decided not to add the fringe since it was so long. Unfortunately, I do not have finished pictures of the full shlanket because I forgot to take them before shipping this off to my cousin (hint, hint!) and she has not gotten back to me with final pictures. I do have picture of the hood however, and I think you’ll agree that it turned out much better! Also included is a picture of the “In Progress” shlanket part. I used the same yarns; however the shlanket is in the color Fisherman instead of Celebration.

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Until next time, Happy Knitting or Crocheting!