Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pin Striped Socks

I got this yarn nearly ago at the Interweave Yarn Fest in Loveland, Colorado.  The yarn is from Western Sky Knits booth, which was probably my favorite booth in the Yarn Fest market place.  The yarn is called "Twinkle Sock" and the color way is called "Rainbow Bright".  At the Western Sky Knits booth, this very yarn was knit up in a sock pattern called "Aquaphobia".  My friend, Belinda, and I both bought the yarn and we were determined to make the Aquaphobia socks (see pattern HERE).  Belinda finished her socks months ago and I frogged my attempt at the Aquaphobia pattern a month (or so) ago. The yarn looked great in the pattern but I found knitting the pattern too labor intensive for me. I had to keep track of the rows very carefully and I think every four rows, the pattern called for little two stitch cables. I figured out how to complete the cables WITHOUT a cable needle, but still I realized I was never going to finish the socks since I was not enjoying the knitting.

Belinda and I are off to the Yarn Fest NEXT WEEK; it's been so fun to look forward to this event for a whole year.  We kept saying we had to knit up our projects with ALL of our yarn purchased in the market place before going to the Yarn Fest this year.  The Rainbow Bright yarn is the last of the yarn I bought last year at Yarn Fest, so I got out my needles last night and cast on 64 stitches.

I intended to knit some plain old socks since the yarn is so colorful, but as I was knitting away on the cuff, I had a light bulb moment.  I went to Ravelry and looked up a pattern I've been admiring for awhile: Pin Striped Socks (you can see the pattern HERE).  As luck would have it, the pattern called for 64 stitches.  After I finished the cuff, I decided to try out the Pin Striped Socks pattern in my sock and, as luck would have it, this yarn and that pattern are an amazing combination.  The sock is looking so great, I am having a hard time putting it down.

Pin Striped Socks

You could adapt this pattern to any socks, regardless of stitch count (you would just have to alter the numbers).  It's a simple two row repeat:

Row 1:  Slip 1, knit 7; repeat to the end of the round.
Row 2:  Knit the round.

The pattern calls for an "afterthought heel", but I will probably complete a traditional heel flap, heel turn, and gusset. 

Okay, I better get back to my knitting to have these socks done in time for Yarn Fest!  I am sure I'll have my knitting projects packed before I pack my clothes. That's how I roll. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bremen Muster: Very cool and very quick socks!


My friend, Belinda, made socks with this pattern several months ago. The pattern is called "Bremen Muster".  Belinda's socks turned out really nice. 

Belinda and I went shopping at a few yarn shops in Colorado Springs several months ago and she pointed out the yarn she had used for her pair of Bremen Muster socks.  So of course I had to get some yarn so I could make cool socks, too!

You have to sort of be a contortionist to take photos of yourself wearing socks.  Ha, ha! 

Here you can see the yarn is called "Frolicking Feet" by Done Roving Yarns in Maine. 
The color way is called "Fire and Ice".  I love the combination of gray, red, white, and black!

I will definitely make this pattern again.  It's fun to look at the completed Bremen Muster socks on Ravelry.  The yarn you chose has a big impact on how the socks turn out. On Ravely, I see several pairs made from self-striping sock yarns such as Opal and Regia and the pattern looks especially great with these yarns.  It gets me thinking about yarn in my stash that would probably look great in the Bremen Muster sock pattern. 

These socks are a really easy pattern and go surprisingly quickly. I had these socks knit up in LESS than a week! The pattern calls for 60 stitches per round so you can make the cool looking bubble design. The bubbles look complicated but they are not.  When you get to a point where you need to make a bubble you just knit seven rows in stockinette stitch over six stitches.  

The Bremen Muster pattern instructions focus on how to make the bubble design in the cuff, presuming you know how to knit a heel, foot, and toe.  I used my favorite basic sock pattern to complete the remainder of the sock and you can find that pattern HERE.  I did decrease my foot portion down to 56 stitches (from 60 stitches in the cuff) to make the foot portion a little more snug. 

The Bremen Muster pattern is a FREE PATTERN; you can find in HERE on Ravelry.

I am sure you'll be seeing more Bremen Muster socks here.  I am also inspired to make a hat using the bubble design.  I think the bubbles would look great on a hat.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Socks: Done!

I finished up these socks today. 

Toe up, two at a time.  Fleegle heel. The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks FX; the colorway is "Slate Jacquard". 

The photo bombing dog is Brutus. Australian Labradoodle is the breed; the colorway is "Caramel". 

The socks warm my feet; Brutus warms my heart. I love you BruBru. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

That Square

Years ago, not too long after I learned to knit, I took a class where we made the Great American Afghan (GAA).  When I first started the class, I wanted to make every square in the GAA book. But as time went on, I was finding squares from the Great American Aran Afghan (GAAA) book and some other sources and I used them in my afghan instead of some of the GAA squares.  There was one square in the GAA book that was so complicated the course instructor would issue an Advanced Knitter Certificate if you could complete it.  That square is the knitted piece shown in the photo above.  Yep, I did it and it was so much fun!!!

Here are some close ups in black and white so you can see the details a bit better.

I think this looks like shafts of wheat.

This is just a rather cool cable; I think it resembles the cables folks knit to make owls.

This block looks like three dimensional blocks.

This one reminds me of flowers or buds on a tree limb.

I remember I gave up on this square when I was a new knitter; I felt like the pattern just needed more written instructions.  Now that I have more knitting experiences under my belt and I worked through this square, I get it.  This square is entrelac and is knit in 13 segments.  Below, you'll see a little diagram to show you the order in which the segments are knit.  First you make the bottom two triangles and then you knit the first side triangle on the right (labeled as #3).  Then you pick up stitches along the top side of triangle #2 so that you can knit the square labeled with a #4.  Pretty amazing, right?

The one thing that really boggled me about this square was the border around the square.  That is the 13th and final segment you knit.  I could not seem to pick up and knit as many stitches as directed along the top of the square.  Instead of following the pattern instructions, I winged it.  I used larger needles than what I used to knit the square, I used two strands of yarn held together, and picked up about 20 stitches less than what the pattern called for.  I also knit the border all at once on a circular needle instead of knitting the border in four separate sections.  I plan to use this square to make a throw pillow; I just need to figure out how to do that. 

The yarn I used for this is a mystery to me.  My best guess is that this is Plymouth Yarns Encore (worsted weight). 

I have not done much knitting this week.  I better get busy!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #2

Block #2 is complete.

I love how the photo above looks like something under an electron microscope (playing with the filters on my iPhone... again).

The color for this block is called "black currant"; I just love it.  I took this photo in the window in my craft room. I think it's going to be difficult to get good photos of blocks completed in darker colors.  I have not yet blocked this block.  This block is incredibly dense and knit up smaller than block #1.  And only 6 grams of yarn was left at the end of this block (so I used 94 grams for this block... killer math skills, right?).  I find it amazing that this block used nearly an entire skein of yarn!

Two photos; two slightly different angles.

This was a really fun block to knit.  I love that when I knit these blocks (so far), I find that I don't have to have my eyes glued to the chart as much as I thought I would.  There are four different cables in this block but two of the cables are repeated more than the other two cables.  Instead of thinking "what does the cable highlighted in hot pink" mean and "what does the cable highlighted in pale pink mean", you really can just look ahead at your knitting in order to see what cable needs to be completed next.  That is, one of the cables is worked over p1,k1,p1 and one cable is worked of three knit stitches.  So if you just look at the knitting, you just know what cable comes next. 

I had some struggles in the second half of this block; I am blaming knitting in poor light in the evening.  I had some instances where I dropped a stitch on the last row of the chart and never noticed it until a row or two later.  Yikes!  I got pretty good at fixing things by just isolating the stitches involved in the "cable gone wrong".  Yesterday, I was wanting to finish this square so I brought it to my Thursday knitting group.  I was working the very last row with cables on the final pattern repeat and I screwed up each and every cable. It was a disaster.  The cables were all in different directions; right, left, over, under.  I even had a place where I had held the yarn in the wrong place during the cable and there was a weird strand of yarn sort of hanging out on the front of the cable.  Lesson learned. Don't knit complicated cable projects and be a Chatty Cathy at knitting group!

I just looked ahead at Block #3 and it looks amazing.  I think I am using the colorway called "cracked pepper" for that square. I am looking forward to casting that on really soon. 

I have also been working on two pairs of socks.  One is a pattern we are calling "Jerri's Crazy Socks" and I'll post about that very soon. 

Today I have class #3 of my Building Blocks afghan series at my local knit shop. It should be a fun, busy day!

Happy Knitting!