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Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

So it’s been a while. Stuff has happened. I went back to work, and that took my focus for a while. I had hoped to return to the blog last year, but as with many folks, last year was terrible for me. There were too many other things to get through, focus on and manage to hope to find the energy for blog posts. But, most of that is done, Spring is coming, so it seemed like a good time to start again. I’m still knitting and making stuff, that never goes away! I’ve been working on a new design yesterday and today, which is part of what inspired me to chat with you all again. Here’s where it all started yesterday.

Scrap socks

Scrap socks, oh yeah, nothing ever changes does it? Sadly, after some knitting, some ripping, some more knitting, I came to the conclusion that the colours I had were not working out. Not enough contrast. So I set it aside – always a good rule to follow when things are not going to plan. I had a little think about colours, had a little dig through the stash and today I’m starting over with this.

New sock pattern to be

I think it will work. I’m also going to fuss with my chart a bit as I wasn’t 100% happy with the way the pattern was going yesterday, so might as well start over completely.

So, what have you been up to?

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Ok, so I am a sucky blogger, no treats for me.

I’m still here, survived the long, long, LOOOOONNNNNGGGG OMGPLEASEMAKEITSTOPAUUUUGHGHGHGHGKILLITWITHFIRE winter. Seriously, we had over 6 feet of snow on our lawn and it only really went away about a week ago.

Yuk.

I’ve been doing a lot of socks lately. Here’s the most recent pair, just finished this morning.

Vanilla Stripes

I like these because I got the yarn on the cheapity-cheap from this bizarre little place (Cambridge Fibres if you happen to be anywhere near Cambridge Ontario). I had no idea what it would look like, but it was $3 and I’ve got loads left to make at least a scrappy pair or something. And they are crazy weird stripes, always fun. I’ve been stuck in some kind of ribbing rut. Not solid ribbing on every sock, but some everywhere. Not sure what that’s all about, but there you go.

It’s actually inspired a new pattern that I made for my friend Dennis, they are called (creatively) Dennis Socks (so creative Heather, way to pull out all the stops.) At any rate, it’s a free pattern, lots and lots of nice ribbing, including on the heels and toes if you are so inclined. Or not if you don’t want to. I’ve even done it in three different sizes, first time for that, let me know what you think ok? Good mindless stuff should you be looking for that kind of project. Also good for that really crazy coloured skein of yarn that you have that doesn’t go with any other pattern, you know the one I mean.

Dennis Sock

 

The yarn is Lion Brand Sock-Ease, the colour is called Taffy (really Lion Brand, where are you getting grey, yellow and orange toffee? Ew.) The cuffs, heels, and toes are just Paton’s Kroy, can never go wrong. Dennis really liked them, so yay!

Ok, kids, I’m going to be better about posting here. Really. Joey has some cool motorcycle stuff going on in the garage, so I’m going to go out and do some fun shots out there, you can see the new bikes and bike pieces. Assuming the sun stays.

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Last year, right around this time, I got to do something really fun. I designed a pattern for Indigodragonfly’s Smart-Ass Knitter’s Club. Club members get exclusive yarn colours and patterns over the course of the year. Many of the designers for Kim’s club have done very beautiful, elegant patterns.  For the October 2012 club beautiful and elegant went right out the window, and Joey’s House took over, full force.  Of course there had to be a monster for Halloween!  A  monster with not only a costume, but a secret identity!

Meet Nerwin.

Nerwin - he's nice

Nerwin is the mild-mannered accountant of the Training for Really Objectionable Zombies (TROZ) school. By day he crunches numbers, counts beans, and serves as the office POIT (President of Inter-office Tea Time).

Batmeanie - international candy thief!

By night, however, he becomes BATMEANIE! International candy thief, suspected serial ant killer and founding member of the criminal organization NARF (Nefarious and Really Fearsome).

Batmeanie action shot

Nerwin and Batmeanie belonged to the Smart-Ass Knitters for a year, but now Kim has authorized me to let him loose on the world! His pattern includes both the monster and his costume. It’s now available on Ravelry for anyone who dares to knit it!

Lock your doors and hide your sweets – something squishy this way comes…

Naked!

 

 

SALE TIME! From now until Sept 15 get $1.00 off your Nerwin and Batmeanie pattern! Just use the code moohaha at the checkout!

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You know I love, love LOVE using up leftover yarn to make something awesome. That was the plan with these striped socks I made for Joey.

I wanted to use two self-striping, faux-isle type yarns striped together. I figured that as the colours and patterns changed within each yarn I’d get some pretty interesting stripes. Here are the two colours I used, knit up as plain socks.

First toe up sock!

Fortissima Colori Socka Colour in 9095.

Joey Socks

Opal Rainforest in colour 4007.

I used my own A Study in Scraps pattern, with just a couple of changes. I did two row stripes instead of single row, just because I could. And I added a third colour for the cuffs, heels and toes (Lion Brand Sock Ease in Taffy) because I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough yarn to finish the socks otherwise. Plus I thought it would make a good contrast.

Here are the results!

Joey's scrap socks

I really love them, and they were so fun to knit up! If you are entertained when knitting a self-striping yarn, think how entertained you’ll be using TWO of them!

As I went I weighed my yarn, so next time I wanted to make scrappy socks I’d know if I had enough. If you want to make your own scrap socks, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1) My yarns were all fairly thin. You might want to check my weight/yard to your own yarn and calculate accordingly. Or do what I would and just add on a few grams for comfort.
2) Joey wears a size 8.5 men’s shoe. (yeah, that’s pretty small, insert joke here.) I cast on 68 sts for him with a gauge of 8 sts/inch. Bigger socks obviously require more yarn.
3) The cuff of each sock is 2.5 cm/1″ long. The leg length is 11cm/4.3″. Foot length is 19cm/7.5″ measured from the back of the heel when laid flat. If you are making longer/shorter socks plan accordingly!
4) I used a standard heel flap and flat toe.

Here’s what I started with:
Lion Brand (blue): 28 gr
Fortissima (blue stripe): 34 gr
Opal (orange stripe): 32 gr

Here are the amounts used for each part of the sock. Amounts are for ONE sock:

sock amt 2

Total amounts used:

Lion Brand: 11.5 grams (cuff, heel, toe)

Fortissima: 11.0 grams (leg, foot)

Opal: 12.0 grams (leg, foot)

Total yarn used for ONE sock: 34.5 grams.

(If that chart is too small for you click HERE for a bigger version)

I don’t know abut you, but I was a little surprised by how little yarn you need to knit each bit. 4 grams for a toe is not a lot of yarn, y’know?  So you can really get out the small balls of leftovers and still do something cool with them! Let me know if you conduct a similar sock knitting experiment – did you like the results? Did you use a lot more yarn than me? If you want to give me specific amounts for a specific size I’ll post them here for others to use too!

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It seems I have some knitting catch up to do here on the blog!
Guess what I’ve been making? Heh.

I showed you the beginning of a sock back in… oops… March:

Sock WIP

Which finished up look like this:

Spice man

These were toe-up socks for Joey using the Spice Man pattern. Just a plain foot and ribbed cuff, but what else are you going to do with that crazy yarn! It’s a good easy pattern if you’re looking to give toe-up socks a try I’d recommend it. The yarn is Lang Yand Jawoll Color Aktion, colour 132.0289. (Do you think they have 131 other striped yarns?) Not super soft, but very sturdy and very machine washable.

I got into the gift knitting spirit too. I often knit for Christmas and fall birthdays during the summer. I know some of you are cringing at the mere thought of winter holidays, and likely think I’m nuts, BUT! when I open that drawer in December that has all the accumulated knit presents in it? Don’t I feel awesome! Oh look, a whole whack of presents that just need wrapped! HA!

First up, socks for my mom!

Old Joe for Mom

This is the Old Joe pattern, knit in Indigodragonfly Merino Sock, colour West Side Story 2: Jumping the Shark. They are a very mom blue, I think she’ll like them. And if you like a sock with an easy to remember pattern that results in some nice texture then this is the pattern for you. Just knits and purls, not much counting; looks spiffy in the end.

Next, socks for Brenda. Brenda often asks for really crazy coloured socks, but as I was working on these I couldn’t help but think that they looked like something she would pick. That’s how it goes sometimes, right? Check out the awesome cables.

So many cables!

There are more on the leg too, little knots that drip around the leg as you knit. Hence the name of the pattern, Drip Drip Drop.
This was one of those patterns that I had know intention of making, but as I saw others working it up in a knit-along I just had to try the cables, they were so pretty. I’ve not done a lot of cabling, so it was a bit of a challenge, but not as hard as I was afraid it would be. The lovely green yarn? A Socks that Rock Rare Gem from Blue Moon Fibre Arts.

After two solid socks I was in the mood for some crazy coloured yarn. I’ve had this Candy Sprinkles from Studioloo in my stash for the longest time. I’ve tried a couple of patterns with it over the years, and never loved what I got. I’ve done this spiral idea on crazy yarns before, it always seems to work, and it’s fun to do. I ganked it from Cat Bordhi’s Coriolis socks – I didn’t use her construction, just the spiral.

Twisty Sprinkles

There is one other pair of finished socks, but they require their own post, as I have quite a bit of info to go with them. Scrap lovers keep your eyes peeled for the next post!

Currently I have two pairs in the works. A cabled pair for my mom that uses a cable I made up:

Moms socks

The yarn is Indigodragonfly Merino Sock, colour Grr… Arf! (Mutant Wheaten)

And of course, I needed a new project for camp!

Caterpillar sock

Bright socks against the trees of Algonquin Park. The yarn is Wildfire Dreams, which doesn’t seem to be available any more. The socks are inspired by  Cookie A’s Lateral – I thought the ridges might be good for the wild variegation. I’m loving how they’re turning out, and the texture is very squishy!

That’s it for the sock round up!

Tune in next time for… uhhh… another sock!

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Every year my LYS, Shall We Knit does something for Knit in Public Day (info for this year’s gala HERE). It’s always fun, there is always a fundraiser and there are quite frequently surprises.

This year they are raising money to help favourite dyers Indigodragonfly build a new dye studio.

And!

This year Joey’s House is one of the surprises. (MWAHAHAHAH!!!)

Kim, of Indigodragonfly has a bit of a thing with squirrels. So when I went in to Shall We Knit about a month ago and said “What’s up for WWKIP Day?” I was not too surprised by Karen’s request.

“We need squirrels.”

Of course you do.

However, they couldn’t be just any squirrels.

Obviously we need a Cute and Cuddly Courier Squirrel, and a Mutant Zombie Squirrel. Of Doom.

Cute and cuddly Courier Squirrel and Mutant Zombie Squirrel

How cute is this one with his little courier bag and wee skein of yarn?

Courier Squirrel

Ok, so Zombie Squirrel isn’t as cute, but he sure is fun to zombify. And he’ll guard your vegetable garden if you ask nicely.

Zombie Squirrel

Of course, the yarn is from Indigodragonfly – the Squirrels were knit in her MCN Sock in the colour People Are Particularly Stupid Today. I Cannot Speak To Any More of Them.

Which is why you need a Squirrel – so you don’t end up just muttering to yourself in a corner. Folks might get the wrong idea.

Zombie Squirrel’s red eye is from Closure Fine Fastenings, a wee little button shop located inside Shall We Knit. I promise, Lynn won’t look at you strangely if you ask for Zombie eye buttons.

For anyone able to make it to Shall We Knit they will be selling kits complete with the pattern, foam stuffing and eyes, andyou’ll be able to visit with not only the Squirrels tomorrow, but me too! Come by and say hi!

If you’re not in the area no worries!

The pattern is available now on Ravelry.

Happy squirrelling!

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I like to use safety eyes on my knitted toys. I think they look good (better than my embroidery heh), they’re easy to install, and not too hard to get hold of.  Eyes are the most important part of the toy – your knitting may be perfect, your colours inspired, your making up flawless, but if you put those eyes on crooked or in the wrong place that’s all anyone will notice. When I’m ready to put a toy’s eyes on I stuff the head first, then stick the eyes through the knitting and then assess. I move them around. I fuss with them.  When I finally have it right then I finally take the stuffing back out and attach the backs to the eyes.

Now, my toys either stay here – and Punky is old enough not to try to eat them – or go to yarn shops as displays. Also not a big worry that someone will try to yank the eyes out.  But I am always concerned about people with little kids – those of the everything-in-the-mouth age.  Safety eyes are so called because when you attach them to a piece of sturdy fabric (I’m talking commercial fabric here, not hand knitting) they are pretty difficult to get off. I’ve never had one come off a knitted toy either, but I really think that a determined enough toddler could do it, given enough time.  Hand knitting stretches, and if you yanked on that eye enough and stretched out the knitting, I could see how it might maybe one day come out. However, my test knitter for Ciel, the wonderful Val has come up with a very easy solution to this problem. Take a look:

IMG_20130217_135304

 

Brilliant!  Just a little scrap of ribbon, with a couple of holes poked into it so the eye posts can go through. The grosgrain type of ribbon that Val used is nice and sturdy, and in a light enough colour not to show through the pink she used as for the head. Turn it right side out, add some stuffing and…

IMG_20130217_143225

 

Cute! A lady bug kind of Ciel! Thanks Val for sharing!

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