Hanks


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Project: Hermione Socks for me
Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Indiecieta
Needles: US 1 1/2 (2.5 mm)
Started: April 5, 2015
Finished: May 27, 2015
Modifications: I made the cuff only 15 rounds. I knit these on dpns instead of circular needles. I treated needless 1 and 2 as the pattern needle 1, and 3 and 4 as pattern needle 2. It was not a hard conversion.

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This yarn is so soft. It is so lovely to knit with. I understand why people love it. It is like butter! This pattern is also so wonderful! It is easy to knit with just enough to be interesting. The texture is lovely and the socks are my most comfortable. This pattern may become my new go to pattern!

I was originally worried that the texture was lost on this yarn, but it isn’t lost at all. I think this pattern would be fantastic for a pooly yarn.

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I finished these socks on Easter Sunday, but needed to wash and block them. That didn’t happen until yesterday. So here are the details.
Pattern: Time Traveler
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Franklin’s Panopticon
Needles: Knit Picks nickel plated dpns size 1 (2.25 mm)
Started: March 5, 2015
Finished: April 5, 2015

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When we left for vacation, I was only part of the way up the foot. In the car, I finished the foot. I also started the gusset. That night, I finished the gusset and turned the heel. This is Saturday morning. I worked on the leg all day. That evening, I started the cuff, but Easter Bunny duties prevented me from finishing. On the car ride home, I finished the last 5 rounds of the cuff and wove in the ends.

A month for a pair of giant socks is not a lot. My husband sees me knitting, but didn’t realize the time commitment of doing a pair for him until he really watched the progress last weekend. Now he really appreciates them!

I swear that socks just must really be out to get me.  I ended up casting on for my husband’s socks 4 times before I finally managed to make him a pair of socks!  They are finally finished. Here is a sneak peek. I am going to block them and make them look pretty and then do a big post.  I actually considered ripping the first one (left) out because I liked the striping on the second sock (right) so much better, but I am afraid of what will happen  if I have to cast that first sock on again!

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Last night, I decided to cast on a pair of socks for myself. I am making the Hermione’s Everyday Socks in Malabrigo Sock. I have had the yarn in my stash since early 2009.  I bought it at Hanks (which is now closed).  I did my cast on, joined in the round, and started my first row.  I got half way through when I noticed it…

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Do you see it? When I joined in the round, I was super careful not to twist my round. I did not pay attention to where my yarn was. It is on the inside instead of the outside.  It kept tangling on my needles.  So, I decided I would tink back. In trying to tink back, I managed to lose a stitch.  So, I ripped it all out. I am going to cast on again tonight.  I think it is just that I should expect that my first cast on is just for practice!

I do have to say that I really love this yarn. It is so soft.  I am not sure how well this yarn will wear, but it is a dream to work with (even when I have to rip it all out and start again).

 

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My sock yarn blankie is 100 (blocks)!!  Isn’t it pretty?  The more I look at it, the more I think that I might want it to be a few blocks wider. It is 38 1/2 inches wide, so a little over 3 feet.  It just seems a bit narrow.  I may add some width to it. I am trying to decide before making any big decisions.

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So, here is a run down of the new blocks.  The first is from the yarn that DH’s socks are being made out of. I bought three skeins of this yarn.  I wound two of them. The first sock did not use a whole skein, so I took the leftovers and made a blankie square. I have enough to get another square from it at least.  Plus, I will have a whole other skein with leftovers. I am going to make socks for one of my boys out of the remaining skein.

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Next up is one of the yarns that I got in my swap. It is pinks and purples. If you look at what is left in the ball, I can do a whole new square with the same yarn that will have yellows and oranges too. It will probably look like a whole new yarn! I am going to wait a few rows, but it is very exciting to get two totally different blocks from one yarn.

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This is another square made from a swap yarn. This is another yarn that looks like I will get two totally different squares from the same yarn. The square starts out chocolate, then navy, then a sandy color with flecks of gold and blue, and then a cream with more flecks.  The ball has white and brown dashes, yellow, purple, and blue coming up!  Again, I will probably wait a few rows before adding it, but I think it is pretty neat!

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And here is block 100!  This was also a swap yarn. It is really silky feeling. It started out a dark purple, and grew gradually lighter. The color change was gradual enough that I didn’t really realize it was happening.  What is left in the ball is even lighter. This is another ball that will make two completely different blocks.

If I do decide that my blankie needs to be wider, I may that these little balls and use them to add on to the side of the blankie since they will be several rows below their other blocks.  It makes a compelling argument for widening the blankie! The only problem will be how to connect blocks that are above and would have used picked up stitches.  I will have to think about it some more and see if I can find a good way to do that!

I am so happy with this swap!  I hope that other people will want to trade some of their sock scraps for my cotton bonbons!  I did make a square with one of the cotton bonbons (and apparently forgot to mention it last week).  Here it is:

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A nice little solid block to help break  up some of the craziness of the patterned and multicolored blocks!

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I am currently knitting socks for my husband’s birthday.  They are the Time Traveler pattern with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the old Franklin’s Panopticon colorway.  I feel like this yarn may not want to be socks for my husband.

Way back in early 2009, I bought this yarn at Hank’s (my LYS that no longer exists). Lorna’s Laces was doing limited edition colorways to honor various knit bloggers.  One of the ones they chose was Franklin Habit’s Panopticon blog (if you don’t follow him, you should).  I had knit my DH a pair of socks before. It is a complete labor of love as his feet are huge!  I decided maybe it would be easier with a snazzy colorway like this.  He approved of the color, so I started knitting the MonkeyMen pattern. It was a test knit for the designer. I finished the first sock only to discover that it was much, much too small (there was a reason it knit up so fast).  I tried several times with larger and larger needles.  The socks got closer to fitting, but the fabric would never have held up to wear.

So, I decided that I wanted to learn 2 at a time, toe up socks on a really big circular needle.  I had gotten the book (which was new way back then) 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  So I cast on just the Classic Sock from the book.  It was slow going. I hated how the stitches moved on the circular. I kept tangling my yarn (and occasionally knitting from the wrong skein).  I gave it the old college try. I did not love it. I did not love it so much, I put them away for years. I decided that I was going to tough it out one more time just a few weeks ago. I pulled them out of time out (yes, after nearly 6 years in time out).  I knit a round and decided that 2 at a time socks was just not for me.  I frogged them, and went looking for a new pattern.

My criteria for the pattern was that it had to be something with some interest (no plain, vanilla sock with miles and miles of teeny, tiny stockinette for me).  It had to meet my husband’s criteria for “manly”.  It needed to be something I could knit on DPN’s (the pattern is written for a circular, but is easily converted).  I also still wanted to try a toe up sock, so I wanted a toe up pattern.  The Time Traveler pattern fit the bill.

I did a quick gauge swatch and decided to start with the size 0s.  I did all the way up to the end of the toe increases and realized that it was no where near big enough. My gauge was suddenly very different (I think because my quick swatch was knit flat, but who knows…I could have just measured wrong or something).  So, I pulled it back out. I went up a couple needle swatches. Did another swatch (this time in the round). Decided it was good, and cast on again. If you are keeping track, this is the fourth time casting on with this yarn.

They have been going swimmingly. They fit beautifully. They are interesting enough and are knitting up super fast.  Today, I had just a little bit of the cuff left (like 5 rounds). I am doing a 1×1 twisted rib cuff.  I have seen it on project pages and thought it looked nice, so I decided to try it.  I figured, “5 rounds, I can easily knock that out at lunch”.  I want to be done with the first sock so that I can get to a good point on the second that I can take it on vacation over Easter.  So, I ate my lunch quickly and pulled out my sock. My hands were shaking (my food hadn’t hit my bloodstream yet, and breakfast was apparently not enough today). I knew I should wait, but I just kept thinking how quick I could knock it out.  Big mistake. I ended up dropping a bunch of stitches when I dropped a needle and fumbled for it. I think I dropped about 8 stitches. I then fumbled some more and they dropped down a couple of rows.  I do not have the right size crochet hook with me.  So I had to pick them up with a cable needle. It took me my entire lunch break to pick those stitches up in a twisted rib pattern with a freaking cable needle.  Guess who still has 5 rounds left?  This girl!  I didn’t make any progress!

I will try again tonight, and hopefully have a finished sock to show for it (as I knock frantically on wood)!

It is September. That can only mean one thing this year.  That’s right…all Christmas knitting all the time.  I am in the Christmas spirit. I have been working on Christmas dishcloths, Christmas tribbles, Christmas laundry soap, Christmas blankie squares, and a Christmas scarf!  I have gotten a couple more dishcloths done. I have also gotten a couple of tribbles done. These will go in baskets with some “kitchen” goodies (measuring cups, hotpads, etc).  I also found a great recipe for laundry soap, so I have been making batches of that to give away in pint jars!  My laundry soap is 1 Bar of Kirk’s Castille soap finely grated, 2 c. washing soda, 2 c. baking soda, 3 c. Borax, and a small amount of fragrance (about 30 drops).  It smells wonderful and cleans better than anything I have ever tried. It is also diaper safe (a big deal in our house).

In working on the Christmas blankie squares I have learned a new skill.  Cabling.  I haven’t just learned to cable, but I have discovered that I hate cable needles.  I learned to cable without a cable needle!  I feel so daring!  The May square was my first attempt at cabling. I decided that I was not brave enough to cable without a needle.  I fumbled with the needle for two really badly done repeats. I decided that there had to be a better way. I had only ever seen cabling without a needle where you drop the stitches you would normally put on the cable needle, knit the others, and then pick up the dropped stitches. I decided I just wasn’t that daring.  Then I saw some reference to doing it the way that is described in the Confessions of a Knitting Heretic.  Well, I just got the book. I looked up how she did it.  Taking the example of a 4 stitch cable, she takes the first two stitches and slips them to the right hand needle. Then she knits the next two stitches. Then she puts her needle into the two slipped stitches (into the front if the stitches were to be held in front or into the back if they were to be held in back). She then slips all four stitches off of the right needle.  The two slipped stitches are now on the left needle. The other stitches are “dropped”. You then pick them up on the right needle.  They don’t hang out there. They are only off of a needle for a few seconds. That didn’t seem so dangerous.  I tried it out, and discovered that I love to cable that way!  For some reason, it is much neater and easier for me.  Not to mention that I don’t risk losing the cable needle. I ripped the first cables I tried and started over. The square came out great.

I have now done three cabled squares without the cable needle. It is making me feel so clever and daring (and as you know, that always makes me love a technique…when it makes me feel smart)!!  I am so glad I waited to do the May and July squares until after I bought that book.  I am thinking of writing an ode to Annie Modesitt since she has so transformed my knitting (or maybe that would just be weird)!!

I also got a great present in the mail, which made me think it was Christmas for a day!  I got my package for the Reducio 7 swap.  Included were a lovely little Hufflepuff sock, a travelling bag (which is lined and has a little bumblebee sewn into the lining…my pal’s patronus to protect against lost items), a train whistle, and some candy. It also had the Ribbit pattern, yarn, and a tennis ball to make a cute little frog!!  She did such a fantastic job on the package!!

Saturday was WWKIP day (or at least one of them). There was an event at our local mall.  DH agreed to watch the two boys (something he never does alone) so that I could go.  It was great.  I worked on my Shawl that Jazz. I got to the beginning of the ruffle on it. I am still on the first skein, so I am going to do the extra ruffly ruffle.  I might also make the ruffle a bit longer.  I learned that there is a local group that meets 2 Sundays a month.  I am going to start going to that. I am pretty excited. It is hard for me to go to group in Gainesville because the drive is so long. A 2 hour knitting group becomes a nearly 4 hour trip.  This avoids all that travel time, so I am able to go more often!  I am pretty excited.

We also had the option of making a donation and getting a goody bag.  The goody bag was great. There was a skein of yarn. It was Classic Elite.  It came with 2 soap sweater patterns. I love these things!  I can’t wait to make one.  I think my first one will be out of this yarn for my mom. I bought her some handmade soap at Hanks for her birthday (in January…yes, it is still in my house). I think I am going to put a sweater on that yummy soap!  The bag had all kinds of coupons and adds for local crafty places. There was some wool wash and lotion, a needle gauge, a ruler, and a button too.  It was pretty fun!

While I was there, several people were knitting 2-at-a-time socks toe up.  I have been thinking about knitting toe up socks.  I promised myself that I would not cast on any socks until I finished DH’s socks.  I had gotten to the toe decreases and realized I was still on my first skein of Lorna’s Laces (this was about 6 weeks ago). There is no way I should be able to get a whole sock for DH out of one skein of LL.  I had that sick feeling that the sock was too small. Naturally, I did what any good knitter does…I put the sock in a drawer hoping it would grow on it’s own.  While watching everyone knitting socks, I confessed that I had DH’s socks in timeout.   I was told to get them out, frog them, and cast on a toe up sock for DH out of the yarn.  I decided this was a fantastic idea as it kills two birds with one stone.  I have decided that I will not only do a toe up sock for DH, but I will go ahead and do it 2-at-a-time (on one circ).  I have an extra 47″ cable, so I just need some tips. I am going to make a Knit Picks order tomorrow and will add those on.  I ordered 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes today too.  I think I am going to ditch the Monkeymen pattern for know. I think I am just going to do a ribbed sock.  So my knitting disaster that I have been avoiding has turned into an opportunity to learn something new.  So, I celebrated WWKIP day by frogging a nearly complete sock!

I have also finished the second April Square. I have one more April Square to do. Then I have to do the May and June squares!  For some reason, I don’t love knitting the April Square. I haven’t been working on them. I am excited to try the May one. It is a cabled square.  I have never done cables.  Even that has not gotten me moving like it should.  Once I get this last April Square done, things should pick up on the blanket making!

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