Thursday, January 31, 2013

{NSSKAL} Sock It To Me

Ladies and gentlemen (do I have any gentlemen? Nate doesn't count since I just go up to him waving knitted items going, "looky!!") I have a SOCK.  

Granted, socks usually come in pairs.  But as I am knitting them one at a time, I am 50% done with my first knitted socks.  And I am already queuing up more patterns to try.  I think I am going to look into trying two at a time on my second pair.  With nicer yarn. And I might need to buy size 2.5mm needles.  

As I stayed home sick from work yesterday and today - well, I worked from home and only worked a half day each day - I had plenty of sickly knitting time.  As I watched my yarn skein rapidly dwindle I began to worry I wouldn't have enough per skein per sock.  Definitely could not get a whole pair from one skein that's for sure.  I kept trying my sock on as I went to and was very happy when it went from this:

to this:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{WIP} My Heel is Turned

A little while ago I was chatting with a knitter friend from college on facebook and mentioned that I want to start making socks but the whole heel thing confused me.  Earlier last week she asked me if I was free this past weekend and we made a plan to get together at my place.  

That was a Wednesday, and I had a whole lot of pre-sock knitting to do! I had to do some deep stash diving but finally found two skeins of sock yarn I would be willing to use for my practice socks that I had purchased at the Web's tent sale a couple of years ago (point 1 for Amy using stash!). This is my first time knitting with Classic Elite yarns, and my impressions on Summer sox are not great - it is about equal parts marino and cotton with a small amount of nylon mixed in but there is no give to the yarn, and I don't find it to be very elastic.  

Cuff and SSS bag
I then found an easy enough pattern on Ravelry - The Step-by-Step Cheat Sheet for Socks by the amazing Yarn Harlot herself Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It matched up with the basic instructions Siobhan gave me - CO 64 stitches for a gauge of 7.5 inches to the inch.  I didn't have any US 1.5 needles, so I went to a size 2 and was getting the correct gauge but the ankle was looking pretty loose (my mom has bigger ankles and feet than me, so congrats mom! You will be getting a pair of socks!) so I think I might need to buy a 1.5 needle for future socks.  Both the pattern and Sio said to knit the ankle for about 7 inches...well, by the time Saturday rolled around I only had a bout 4.5 inches knit.  Short sock it is! 

A heel! A real heel!
After chatting about life post college and knitting and oohing over socks of hers she brought the knitting lesson begun.  Sio had brought a sock pattern book with her and asked what type of heel I wanted to learn.  Now, I had a basic knowledge of socks as I have been looking through patterns for two years now.  I knew there was something called a gusset heel, an after thought heel, and a heel flap.  But as to how those actually translate? No clue.  So Sio narrowed it down to a flap heel and a short row heel for me and asked which one I wanted to learn. She showed me the flap heel on her socks and mentioned that they were not her personal favorite as she didn't like how the heel turned out. She also mentioned they involved picking up stitches and I pretty much was like, "Picking up stitches? Tell me more about this short row heel..." because we all know my love for picking up stitches is non-existent. So a short row heel is what I learned for my first ever heel and you know what? It was EASY.  AS. PIE.  And so cool to see my heel actually form as I was knitting.  Not only was this my first time turning a heel, but it was my first time doing short rows on a purl side and doing double wraps. Siobhan was a great, patient teacher.

Now I am working my way to the toesies and realizing I am going to have to repeat the whole process for the second one but I am definitely impressed with the fact that I am making an article of clothing that fits and looks like a real sock and yeah....I might have started queuing sock patterns and looking at self striping yarn and other fun things.  So many of my ravelry friends seem to have a knitting pattern in their mind for basic socks and I want to get there.  I also want to learn to knit them toe up. And two at a time. But first let me finish my first beginner sock.
Are you impressed? Cause I sure am
 Today is also my birthday. I have entered the last year of my 20s.  So Happy Birthday to me! As a present to myself I purchased the Doctor Who Bag of the Month club over at Slipped Stitch Studios.  Membership ends today, so Whovians go support a small business AND get an amazing, amazing project bag :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

{FO} Love Dove

Thank you all so much for your tips on the decreases for this little guy! It definitely came back to me as I was doing it, and the amigurumi quickly went from pink butt to pink heart! 

I think I am going to give this little cutie to my niece Anna for Valentine's Day.  She is five and I think she would love getting a cute new toy in the mail! 

This is the only Finished Object I have. Still working on my Hitchhiker Shawl from Wednesday's {WIP} post and I don't have multiple projects going on.  Although I might decide on another amigurumi soon :) I should probably try crocheting with something other than cotton.  Can anyone recommend a cute, easy (preferably free!) pattern? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{WIP} Hitchhiker Progress

Happy Wednesday! With this being a short work week, time is certainly flying by! I cannot wait for Friday to come - Nate is picking me up from work in Boston and we're driving up north to visit his sister and her husband, but more importantly we're taking our niece to Build A Bear and Friendlys for ice cream for her birthday! She doesn't even know what Build A Bear is yet and we think she will be pretty happy to discover she can make a new friend to bring home. But we are definitely going to have to lay down some ground rules.

Anywhoo - I have been working diligently on the weekends on my hitchhiker shawl (really, more of a scarf) and the repeats are starting to take longer due to the amount of stitches that have grown. Hard to believe it only started with just two stitches!

I have heard of a lot of knitters who have said this pattern is boring and they don't know what the appeal is. Granted, it is garter stitch so it is just a lot of mindless knitting with the occasional KFB and P1.  But, I think the fact I am knitting this with such fun, vibrant yarn is keeping it interesting. Plus, I feel accomplished when I get to the bind off row to make the teeth. I definitely have not been bored with this project.  What I have been is very tired when I get home from work and pretty much just plop on the sofa and watch TV.  We have entered the busy season for my job and it will continue to be busy probably well into April. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

{WIP} Big Pink Butt (or Heart)

I have a small WIP I've been working on this week.  I haven't picked up a crochet hook since my candy corn amigurumi so I was a wee bit rusty.  I met up with my BFF Jackie over the weekend and started a heart amigurumi.  The pattern is very cute and easy - here you go. 

Tonight while watching Brave with Nate I finished the body of the heart; once I remember how to figure out decreasing I will finish it.

I think it looks slightly inappropriate at this stage in its creation

Friday, January 11, 2013

{FO} - Hats for Boys

Hat knitting is very rewarding.  And addicting, especially when you should be getting ready to go to bed because you have work in the morning but one more set of decreases won't hurt...right?? 

When I was knitting Nate's Turn a Square I kept thinking I chose the wrong end of the Noro to work from, but in the end I am very happy with the end result.

I blocked this one and Nate let it air dry on his head. Mainly because he said it felt like it was going to pop off like a shriveled balloon.  

I am hoping to finish my Hitchhiker shawl soon :) More on that on Wednesday's WIP post.


Inside out

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{WIP} You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round

Nate has been nagging subtly hinting for a hat pretty much since I finished his scarf in September.  And then joking it will take me a year like his scarf. Well, jokes on you Nate -- I LIKE knitting hats. I don't like knitting scarves.

I had purchased some Noro a month or so back for his hat, and had leftover cascade from my Turn A Square.  So I  decided to make one for him! Not only is this a super cute pattern but it is simple as well.  

So there Nate. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

{WIP} Deja Vu?

I have a good feeling about 2013.  But, being the natural worrier that I am (seriously, if worrying was an Olympic Sport I would be the gold winner) I hope history does not repeat it's self.  One titanium metal plate is enough thank you very much.  With that first project of 2013 is....a shawl! Ha! Last year I had started my Multnomah Shawl before the dreaded car accident of 2012.  And this year I am working on the Hitchhiker shawl.  Although, the Hitchhiker is more of a scarf in my opinion. 

Technically, I started the Hitchhiker in 2012 but as it was in the last couple of days of 2012 I am counting it as a 2013 project.

This is such a fun and EASY knit.  I haven't had a good bit of mindless knitting in awhile.  That I enjoyed making (I did do a whole bunch of coffee sleeves the last month and a half).  I had forgotten how pleasing simple garter stitch is.  And the 8 rows that make up the pattern go by relatively quickly - the first ten teeth flew by but now that I have longer rows they are taking longer.  It's hard to believe that this project only starts with 2 stitches. 

The yarn I am using makes this a pleasure to knit as well. Seriously, if you haven't tried any of Tami's Candy Skein yarn you don't know what you are missing! The colors are very vibrant and the yarn is just so squishy.  It's fantastic! I will definitely be purchasing more in the future.