Easy Peasy

When I don’t feel very well, easy knitting is the only knitting that I can do. So I have a new pair of socks! 🙂

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My own pattern in Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennet Romance with Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Sock Eggplant toes. Ravelry Project Page here

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This is my super easy made up sock pattern. I can just churn out socks mindlessly following my little formula (written out on the Rav project page if you’re curious).
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This yarn comes in 50 gram skeins, but I like the contrasting toes, so I don’t mind running out of colorway before the end of the sock.

I have already started the next pair. I can work on it in the evenings when I am so exhausted that all I can do is stockinette in endless circles. Plus, we are watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy this week (it takes us six days with the extended version!) and I need something to keep my hands busy while the good guys slaughter orcs!

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Why Do They Call it Morning Sickness When it Lasts All Day Long and Late into the Night?

And where did the lie that it will be better in the second trimester come from?

And why would an ailing body that is trying to build a new baby constantly crave awful things like Coca-cola and Cheetos?

And why can’t I feel like knitting while I lie on the couch for weeks at a time?

These are a few of the questions that have plagued my mind over the last five and a half months as I have suffered through yet another difficult pregnancy. But with the arrival of spring relief has come and I am slowly coming back to life. I have even taken the kids to the park this week. Sure, I was nauseous and weak for the rest of the day, but it was nice to get out of the house.

I am knitting again, too. The first project that I tackled when the knitting fever came back over me was to finish The Man’s christmas present. Poor guy only got one sock in his stocking with a promise of another to come. I don’t feel too bad about it, I mean I am making more offspring for him, after all. And the one sock was a heavenly merino/cashmere/nylon blend that is fit for kings. His foot was swathed in luxury. Sure the other one was left in the cold, but I thought I would remedy that in January. Well, better late than never, and I whipped out the second half in March.

IMGP8312Regular Guy Toe Up Socks in Handmaiden Casbah Ebony Ravelry Page here . Pictured on my feet, so a little baggie.

Pardon the horrible photography. I still don’t feel like getting off of the couch very much!

Three things about this knit –

1. The yarn is fantastic! I have already knit socks for me in it and it is fabulous. Hard wearing, unbelievably soft, and gorgeous colors. Well worth the price.

2. The pattern was free and easy. I didn’t do the short row toes as instructed, but preferred to use Judy’s Magic Cast On. More details on the Ravelry page.

3. The man has long feet, but at least they are narrow. One hundred grams made a nice, long, skinny pair of socks, leaving a very small ball for darning when needed.

There has been progress on other things as well, but I have got to save some things for later. I don’t know if I am back completely, but I sure hope so. I miss my friends in bloggyland and look forward to getting back into the swing of things here as well as in real life.

And, just so you don’t think I have been faking it – here is my progress on Encore Baby so far:

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Knitting a Rainbow

Three things I learned from knitting this pair of socks.

1. You can’t stay blue when you’re knitting a rainbow. Try it. I dare you. Just staring at this riot of color is an amazing mood enhancer. And they make me happy when I wear them, too. Feeling blue? Knit a rainbow.

2. Don’t let too much time pass before knitting the second sock. Especially if the pattern is all improv and you aren’t taking good notes. It’s a bad idea. Ask me how I know. How do I know? Oh, I am so glad you asked. I was knitting the simplest of sock recipes with a very basic stitch pattern and I had to rip the second sock out twice because it wasn’t looking quite right. But now they are identical. Mostly.

3. When you have fat feet, 50 grams of sock yarn isn’t enough, even if you are only doing short-legged socks. Hence the yellow toes.

 

Another pair of socks for the sock drawer. It is still funny to me that I am knitting socks now. I never thought I would. I am so glad that I do.

Socks of my own design in Shibui Knits Sock Spectrum. Rav project page here (where I did eventually write down what I was doing).

 

Highlights

The first camping trip of the summer was a fabulous success. I want to remember…

… when we pulled into the campground and The Munchkin said, “Is this Dinky Cweek?”

… The Fraggle aquired a whole new color – dirt.

… we played at the creek in the icy water and the warm sun.

… s’mores! (we also tried a new campfire treat. It was way yummy and definitely a new tradition for this family. Check it out here.)

… glow stick Ninja with the Bigs.

… waking at sunrise to the happy crew and eating breakfast in the cold morning air.

… all the happiness of just being together.

… cramming back into the car to go home.

As good as it was to get home and take a hot bath and sleep in my cozy bed, I can’t wait until our next camping trip! Oh, and I almost knit an entire sock while we were out, too! See?

That’s my boring sock formula with sport weight on size 3. The jury is still out on if I like it or not… The yarn, however, is awesome! It is Family Pendragon Spellbound Limited Edition Sport in the May 2012 Club colorway, Heartwood with teal trim. love(1000)

Every Stitch An “I Love You”

When I knit something for someone, I spend hours thinking of her, imagining her smile when she sees what I have made, hoping she will love it. A knitted gift is so much more than a mere pair of socks or hat or sweater. It is “I love you” said tens of thousands of times – one “I love you” for every stitch. But even a pair of socks cannot contain enough stitches for my mama.

My mom’s birthday was yesterday, and I was so excited to give her these socks (project page on Ravelry here). They are Esther Socks in MacKintosh Skye Sock Yarn Twilight.

Three things about this knit –

1. This pattern is so gorgeous. It was easy to memorize and turned out lovely. That said, there were a few quirks. The cuff is a bit tight and hard to get over my heel, and the difference between the small and the large was a whole ten stitches! I had to choose between too small or too large, not an easy choice for a gift. I chose too small hoping to stretch them a bit when I blocked them. It worked, but I was a little unsatisfied with it. Also, it was originally written in German and the translation is a little awkward. I relied pretty heavily on the Ravelry notes of those who had gone before.

2. I made some modifications (big surprise, I know). I only did one repeat of the pattern for the cuff before diving into the heel. As for the heel, I used my new love, the sweet tomato. I also switched the direction of the cables on the second sock so that the two socks would mirror each other. Mom will probably never notice, but it pleased me greatly to do so. 🙂

3. This yarn is a bit normal. Nice, but not fabulous. It knit up normally, it felt normal on my feet. The color is nice, but not fabulous. Maybe I am just still reeling from the amazingness of the Casbah, I don’t know. It is good yarn. It is a pretty color. Not every ball of yarn is going to knock me over, I guess. That said, I would buy more in a heartbeat!

Another happy pair of feet wrapped in knitted love. My job is done here.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Green

The Boy’s Green Sweater

Driftwood Cardigan in Dream in Color Classy, Emerald Darkness

With matching hat of my own design.

My boy wasn’t too comfortable modeling, so we went the silly route. 🙂

Three things about this knit.

1. The pattern was less than great. First of all, I made the mistake of assuming that it covered the size that I needed (it didn’t), but that was a minor thing. Being top-down, I just made it big enough with no problem. Secondly, the pattern was written as if it were just notes taken while someone knit it. It felt very unorganized and incomplete. I had to rely on my experience to make it out and I felt that for a written pattern it should have been better. Once I got the gist of the thing, I stopped following the pattern at all and just winged it. Not exactly what I spent $6.25 for.

2. This is not the first time I have used this yarn and my opinion of it hasn’t changed. It isn’t very luxurious and it isn’t my favorite to use, but it wears wonderfully and is machine washable, so it is a good choice for The Boy, who tends to be hard on his clothes. Another good thing about this yarn is the yardage – a full sweater and hat made from less than four skeins of yarn. And the color! Oh the colors of this brand are so amazing!

3. I got some really spiffy ebony buttons from this Etsy shop. They look awesome. I had played with the idea of using snaps and ribbon, or even a zipper, but the buttons won in the end. I am happy with how it looks.

Getting The Boy to model for me wasn’t hard, but he sure was glad when it was over. Look at him go!

I am glad this one is done, too. Time to knit a sweater for me. I already wound the four balls of Malabrigo Sock needed for it, but confess that I am on a sock knitting kick that doesn’t seem to be letting up.  See?

Socks of my own design, Shibui Knits Sock, Spectrum

Simple Pleasures

Handknit socks in Handmaiden Casbah. No pattern, just mindless knitting and amazing results.

Three things about this knit.

1. The pattern – I cast on 64, worked a 2×2 rib for about 1 inch, and immediately went to the heel. I was really excited to try out the sweet tomato heel and I was not disappointed. It is awesome. I worked 3 wedges of the sweet tomato heel, then knit the foot to 2 inches short of the length of my foot (maintaining a 6×2 rib over the top of the foot) and finished off with a regular toe and a kitchener graft over 10 stitches at the very end.

See the heel? Cool, huh?

2. The yarn – heavenly. The colors are splendid, the cashmere is so soft, this yarn is amazing. I could gush for pages but I will just say this one thing – get some. You’ll love it. Oh – and this little pair of socks used less than half, so I still have a good amount left over! Yippee!

3. The next time – This was the first time I have ever attempted to knit socks without a pattern and I am pleased with the results. Next time I need to remember a few things. One: knit a longer cuff. Two inches at least. Two: do something prettier than 6×2 ribbing. Three: Well, I guess that is it. These socks are pretty close to perfect.

Oh, and one more thing. After knitting and wearing several pairs of socks I have discovered that I tend to wear holes in my socks on the balls of my feet. I tried a new trick to reinforce these socks in that area and I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

Randomly Speaking

A few thoughts –

1. I knit this adorable little something but I can only show you a tiny peek. My niece is turning one this weekend and I have a lovely gift made just for her. I can’t wait to give it to her. And now all my girls want one, too (it always works that way, you know).

I’ll show you more later.

2. “Mama,” The Boy said to me the other day, “I know you already know this, but I just can’t believe it. Anneli is your sister, but that is just too crazy because she is so young and you are so old!”

3. I found a use for this.

Handmaiden Casbah in Blackberry

I am making some super simple, extra lovely socks for myself. I am halfway through the second sock and will be wearing them in no time. I can’t wait! This yarn is definitely my new favorite. It is fabulous!

4. I have more yarn on the way. I have to say that Eat. Sleep. Knit has an amazingly genius business strategy and I keep getting sucked back in. I make an order, and with it comes a lotto ticket worth five dollars. I save up a few of these and mail them in. The $15 credit calls to me day after day. I dream about my free yarn (what will I choose?). I let it linger and ferment in my brain until one day, at long last, I go on a shopping spree and buy all the yarn!!!! I need $75 to get free shipping! I need 1200 yards to get to the next marathon milestone! I need the odd skien of _____ just because it is worth 200% for the marathon! I got off easy this time (I will show you what I got as soon as it arrives). But we all know that in that box that is on it’s way is another yarn lotto ticket waiting to start it all over again. Genius, I tell you. Those folks are geniuses!

5. It is cold in my house. Sunny and warm outside, but I am freezing. Time to go sit in the sun. And knit. In the sun. Oh, yeah.

6. One more thing. This blog will be turning two years old on April 8th! It’s party time all next week. But more on that later….

DNR (Christmas Countdown Day 17)

There I sat darning my socks. Again.

I have breathed new life into these, my first pair of handknit socks, many times now. So many times, in fact, that I have run out of the original yarn and now use some other remnant of purple sock yarn.

I love these socks. I wear them three days a week, minimum. (hence the constant need for repair) I would hate to give up on them and throw them out. But, how long can I keep this up? When is enough enough? When do I sign the “do not ressusitate” order and let them die a natural death?

These are the tough questions. And the sad answer is that, while I could probably go on darning these till doomsday, this is going to have to be the last time.

Because I just finished another (better) pair of purple socks. And I am a sock knitter, now. There are so many more beautiful handknit socks in my future, why should I hang onto the past?

Nutkin (Christmas Countdown Day 15)

Hey, look! I finished my socks!

Nutkin in Done Roving Frolicking Feet Wild Blue Yonder

Three things about this knit:

1. This is the yarn from Wonderful Mother in Law. I love it. The colorway is gorgeous, the wool feels lovely running through knitting fingers, and my feet are loving it, too. Bonus – these socks only used 52 of the 100 grams! I am seriously thinking I could make those Turkish Bed Socks with it….

2. This pattern shows off this yarn perfectly. Plus, it was well written and easy to memorize and it flew off the needles very quickly. My only complaint is the short row directions, which leave holes. On the plus side, by the time I got to the toe of the second sock, I was proficient at it.

3. When one looks up this pattern on Ravelry, one reads a lot about the holes I mentioned above and that the socks twist. Yes, my socks twisted a little, even when I took great care to prevent them from doing so. Fortunately, the twist doesn’t bother me one iota.

So, another pair of happy feet.

Who would have thought I would become a sock knitter?