Thursday, March 26, 2009

Warning..beware of the Sock Virus!

I have been procrastinating on updating this blog, because I haven't taken any pics of my latest projects...still no photos, so will add them later. But, I thought that I should attempt to update this blog on my newest obsession...Socks!

I should confess that when I first started knitting, I couldn't imagine why anyone would bother to knit a sock. Afterall, you can buy them at the store fairly cheaply and then they wear out pretty why bother? Frankly, the patterns looked many choices of how to do them...DPN's (tiny, pointy needles that remind me of the game Pick Up Sticks), or the fascinating Magic Loop technique, and some knitters just prefer to use two long circulars. Then you have the choice of patterns: toe-up or ankle down, but what really scared me was trying to figure out how to do the heel. What is a heel flap or gusset anyway???

Though, I tried to avoid getting bitten by the Sock Virus which seems to be everywhere, atleast where Knitters go to look for patterns or blogs, and even my favorite knitting podcasters are raving about their socks. Then at my weekly knitting group, the other members were showing off their socks. So, I finally got bitten by the Sock Bug and went looking for a really easy pattern. I found the
Training Sock at which looked like a pretty simple pattern for a new sock knitter like me. The designer, Kate Atherley Tangy, suggests that you use size 7 DPN's and knitting worsted yarn, but I think that for learning purposes, even a size or two smaller or larger would be fine. I did not have any DPN's at the time and was trying to master the Magic Loop technique, so used my Denise needles. Much as I like my set of Denise needles, I do think the thick cord does make it difficult to do small projects like socks easily as the cord is not very flexible. I did not care for the Magic Loop technique either...really thought that it was awkward, with having to always slide the stitches from one end of the needle to the other, but maybe it was partly due to the needles I was using. The socks, however, turned out really cute (and look just like the photo shown at the link above) and are about the right size for my youngest g/d's toy bear. I would recommend this pattern as a great way to try sock knitting without a lot of commitment, but I would use DPN's for the first time.

Anyhow, I think I have caught the bug, as I have almost finished another easy sock pattern which I will post about later, not to mention the DPN's and sock yarn that I have just bought...forgive me, if I have passed on this Sock virus and have become another Sock Knitting enabler!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Katelyn sweater FO, Socks & Ruana WIP

Well, I have finished the Katelyn Basic sweater with much trepidation about the final result. This sweater was intended for my older g/d, but she thought that it was too short waisted. This seems to be a common complaint with this pattern, but should be easy to remedy the next time. I am not too happy with the sleeves (too long for Gracie) or how I sewed them in, but as this is my first sweater, there is much room for improvement. I am thinking that I would like to do a raglan type sweater next fall. It is already feeling like spring here, so our winter is almost over and the mood for knitting sweaters is slipping away as well. I did make a matching pair of tube socks for Gracie as well...mainly as practice learning the majic loop. I liked how they turned out and am making another pair for myself. I am hoping to do a pair of socks that have a heel next and have bought some pretty DK yarn with that in mind.

I have also started a ruana,a Knitted Shoulder Blanket : using a pattern from Jo-Ann's and their Sensations Angel Hair yarn. The yarn is so soft & fuzzy & lightweight....just hope that I can finish it before the end of our cool weather.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Doing the Magic Loop, socks & sweater

Well, I have taken a break from the Katelyn sweater, as I found that my gauge is off at 17.5 st and 23 rows using the size 8 needles. Somehow, since the gauge swatch which I did do in the round, which was exactly 16 St's, 20 rows=4 ", my knitting has tightened up...and I thought that I was knitting looser. Thank goodness, it looks like it will fit my 8 yr old g/d just about perfectly. I am a bit nervous about doing the neckline, but am going to try to get up enough nerve to finish that soon. I am using the wonderful online knitting book at this site as my guide: -I highly recommend that every beginning knitter read this book as a good way to understand knitting basics and more.

While on my short break from the sweater, I have learned how to do the Magic Loop using the video at

The videos at this site are very clear and helpful in learning how to do new techniques such as the Long Tail Cast on, which I used for Bev's Really Quick Socks,, which are very easy tube socks that can be seamed up the back. However, I thought that this was the perfect pattern to learn how to do the Magic Loop and it was. I used size 10 circulars to cast on using the Long Tail Cast on, and then switched to the size 8's. I have completed one sock which is 12" long in the same knitting worsted, that I used for the Katelyn sweater and the sock fits Gracie's size 2 foot perfectly. It stretches to fit my size 8 as an ankle sock, so should fit most children or women. I will be knitting more of these as they are easy and quick to knit up. The socks are fairly thick due to using the knitting worsted yarn, so are probably best worn as house socks or bed socks unless the shoes are loose. I may try using wool yarn next.

Monday, December 8, 2008

WIP: Katelyn Sweater

This is my first sweater, a pattern called Katelyn Basic,, by Berocco. It was the simplest pattern that I could find that my g/d liked. I am knitting it in the round on my new Denise needles. So far, it is going well, as I am half-way done with the sleeves (not shown here), which I am doing both at the same time. I may try just finishing the top off for a summer top.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nov 23, 2008

I have only recently learned how to knit... began learning how this July when my 12 yr. old grand-daughter said how easy it was. (She learned how in an afternoon school program). As we were both looking forward to doing something together, I found some knitting needles and yarn stashed away from a previous attempt many years ago. This time, I succeeded through the help of several books, but mostly from several very helpful sites and videos that I found on the internet. I started out knitting headbands, which I found stretched like crazy. Then moved onto Grandma's favorite dishcloth using Peaches 'n Cream yarn...not a very easy yarn for a new knitter like me, as I started out knitting very tight. However, I learned how to do decreases and increases with this pattern in easy garter (all knit) stitch. I did several of those until I felt confident that I could try something more complicated.