Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Entrelac Socks: No. 1 is FINALLY Complete!

Entrelac Socks
Knit from the Cuff Down

A really, really long time ago, I took an Entrelac Sock Knitting class at my local yarn shop.  I started the socks over a few times. At first I did not like the yarn combination I had chosen.  On the second go around, I realized the foot had way too many stitches in it (the sock was too big).  So I ripped out the portion after the entrelac cuff, and the project sat there lingering... FOREVER.

I resumed knitting on this sock within the past week and just finished up sock no. 1. The fit is pretty good so I am determined to cast on sock no. 2 very soon before I forget what I did.  I altered this pattern a lot. It's a pattern by Vicki England and I can't seem to find it on Ravelry. The green yarn is Knit Picks Stroll and the colorway is "Peapod" (yarn from my mom's stash... Thanks, Mom!). The colorful yarn is yarn from Western Sky Knits... leftover from another pair of socks. 

I was really trying to figure out when I took the Entrelac Sock Knitting class so I would know how long this project has been sitting around.  I looked on Ravely and figured out I took the class in February 2015.  Crazy, right?

Yesterday, while I was at the knit shop working on this sock, we had a horrendous rainstorm with lightning and thunder.  My husband texted me this photo of Sandy.  He said he had to go looking for her during the storm; she wouldn't come when he called. He found her in the bathroom hiding under the shower curtain. Poor thing!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

PAIRfect Socks No. 2: Complete

PAIRfect Socks No. 2

I've been on a mission to complete partially finished projects and it sure feels good!
Here is my latest completed project. 

I don't ordinarily block my socks but my knitting in these socks got a bit wonky here and there. I think it's a problem with my tension.  I blocked these socks by soaking them in a little tepid water with a tiny bit of Eucalan, and the knitting looked much better.

I was reading a pattern recently. It's a sock pattern called Rolled City Rollers; I will make this pattern soon.  The pattern author indicated she knits her socks with five needles (the sock stitches divided on four needles and then knit with one needle) because she felt it helped her keep her tension more even; I ordinarily knit my socks with four needles (the sock stitches divided on three needles and then knit with one needle).  This was a "light bulb" sort of moment for me because I do notice, when I have a larger number of stitches on one needle when knitting socks, that is where I notice my stitches getting significantly looser.

In these socks, I used a "Strong Heel".  You can read more about the Strong Heel here:

To me, the Strong Heel is just like the Fleegle Heel.  I have not studied them well enough to know the difference but they sure seem similar to me.  The only difference being that you use a Fleegle Heel when knitting socks from the toe up and you use the Strong Heel when knitting socks from the cuff down.

The Strong Heel is not ideal for this yarn.  The yarn I use is Schachenmayr Regia "Pairfect" Design Line by Arne & Carlos.  You can see, in the photo below, that the socks are designed to end with pink at the toe.  When you knit a Strong Heel, you use more yarn than with a traditional heel flap, heel turn, and gusset.  This happens because, when you knit a Strong Heel (and also a Fleegle Heel), you continue to knit the instep stitches WHILE you work the heel. When you knit a traditional heel flap/turn, gusset, the instep stitches are placed on hold (unworked) for a while.  I used up all my pink heel yarn and then had to use some of the pink yarn intended for the toe in the heel.  I made it work but it meant I had to fiddle with the yarn in spots to get the right color where I wanted it.  And the beauty of the Pairfect Design Line yarn is that you should be making two perfectly matching socks without having to work so hard at it.

I have one more pair of PAIRfect socks to make.  But I need to finish up more unfinished objects before casting on.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bamboo Socks

Bamboo Socks

I visited a yarn shop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a few weeks back.  It's called Wooly Works.  Everything was on sale (15% off) so I did a little shopping. A colorful ball of sock yarn caught my eye and I had to have it, despite the fact that I already have a ton of sock yarn.  I also found some Cubics knitting double pointed knitting needles.  Cubics are made by Knitters Pride and the needles are actually square shaped, not round like most knitting needles.  I already have lots of knitting needles but they were on sale so I just had to have them, too.  My friend, Belinda, got some yarn that she wanted to get wound at the store, so while I waited, I cast on the sock with the new yarn and the new needles.  I did not need to start any new socks... I have SO many pairs of socks in various stages of completion in my craft room.

After I finished up one of my Building in Color panels this past Saturday, I loved the feeling I had from actually finishing something. So this weekend, I buckled down and finished up this pair of socks.  Ta Dah!  Another completed project.  I love it!   As I was finishing up this pair of socks, I was thinking about what unfinished objects I have in my craft room.  I think I'll tackle another pair of unfinished socks and try to work on them until they are done.  Sometimes having so many unfinished objects or works in progress makes me feel kind of overwhelmed. 

Off to work on those socks... and maybe some laundry.  The lawn needs to be mowed but it rained last night so the grass is too wet for mowing right now.  The bathrooms probably needs cleaning, but this girl has her priorities!

Oh! In case you are wondering about the fun yarn I used for these socks, this is On Line Supersocke 4-fach Bambus-Color (it is a German yarn).  The fiber content is 50% superwash merino wool, 25% viscose, and 25% polyamide/rayon from BAMBOO.  I am thinking the "Bambus" in the yarn name must be German for Bamboo.  The yarn color way is #2109.  I sure love the summery colors in this yarn.  For these socks, I cast on 60 stitches and I used my new Knitters Pride Cubics needles in 2.5 mm size double pointed needles. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Building in Color: Panel #5 Complete

Building in Color: Panel #5

This is Building in Color Panel #5 and it is finally complete. I've been getting very behind when it comes to these panels. I am also working on Panel #6 and Panel #7 at this time.  I am teaching this class one panel each month and there are a total of 10 panels.  It's July so we just started #7 yesterday.  I told myself I had to get #5 (May's Panel) done by Sunday. I got it done just in time!

This panel was a slow knit.  The skills learned in this panel include Make 1 Purl (M1P) and a Star Stitch.  Make 1 Purl is an increase and the Star Stitch makes something that I could call a cluster.  To complete the Star Stitch, you knit three and then cross the first knit stitch over the second and third knit stitches.  The Star Stitch results in a decrease of one stitch.  This panel's design results in a really nice, dense fabric.  It's a fun panel to knit but just seemed to grow rather slowly. 

If you'd like to see my other posts about the Building in Color afghan project, click HERE.

Getting Crafty with My Sister!

Happy Colors Baby Afghan

I went and visited my sister last week. We had a great visit and we got crafty... very crafty. She has been interested in crochet for awhile now.  We went to Michael's craft store and we found this free pattern on a bin with yarn.  The yarn is "Ice Cream Big Scoop" by Lion Brand and the pattern is called "Happy Colors Baby Afghan".  This yarn comes in a big skein; this is DK weight yarn and the skein contains just over 1,100 yard of yarn.  So for this project you just start in the center and just keep crocheting until you run out of yarn. It's a great beginner project.  I learned the basics of crocheting from my mom when I was still living at home and I've learned more over the years from trying to figure out various patterns. I feel as if I lack confidence teaching others to crochet or how to work through a pattern since I am not the most experienced crocheter, but I got my sister started on the project.  She was pretty addicted to working on this project by the time I left for home.  My sister selected the Ice Cream Big Scoop yarn in the "Lemon Meringue" color way.  My color way is "Cookies and Cream".  I love the names of those yarns. Kind of makes me hungry for dessert.

While visiting my sister, we also took a quilt class at a JoAnn's Store. What a fun time we had. My blocks are the top two; my sister's blocks are the bottom two.  You can definitely spot a difference in the two blocks on the left hand side.  The block on the bottom is correct.  My block on the top is wrong.  Oh well!  I learned so much in this class. I might just become a quilter yet.  If I lived nearer to a JoAnn's store, I would be tempted to take more classes there. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Building in Color: Panel #5 in Progress

Here's a sneak peak of Building in Color Panel #5. I adore the look of this panel but it is very slow to grow.  I keep telling myself that I must not work on any other projects until I finish this panel! But I keep picking up Trillian Shawl No. 2, and I cast on another pair of socks, and I started a Granny Square Baby Blanket.  Terrible!  Just terrible!

Maybe I should set a deadline for myself. If I make that deadline public, maybe that will hold me accountable?

Okay, my goal is to complete this panel by Sunday, July 30, 2017.  But first, let me work on that heel on that sock I am knitting. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Building in Color: Panel #4 Completed


Building in Color: Panel #4

I've had this panel done for a little while now but it took me a bit of time to get around to blocking it. Then my computer died.  I was not a fan of this panel. It was a good technique to learn.  In this panel you learn the skill "stitch one in the row below". I did not find this to be a difficult technique, but I thought the panel looked a bit sloppy on the Right Side.  I actually like the look of the panel on the Wrong Side a little bit better.  Below you can see a close up of the panel on the Right Side and, at the very end of this post, you can see a photo of the panel on the Wrong Side. I guess it will be my choice when I sew all the panels together. I can chose to make the Wrong Side the Right Side if I prefer.

I am also slowly working on Panel #5. I love panel #5 but is slow to grow. I've also started Panel #6 but have not worked on it much since class one month ago. Tomorrow I will be teaching class on Panel #7 so I guess I better get busy!

Above (Right Side)

Above (Wrong Side)