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Sunday, March 6, 2016

FO: Christmas Socks

I'm super excited about my latest pair of socks!  Aren't they gorgeous?  I really wish I had finished them in time for Christmas, but now I have them ready for next year.


The reason I love these socks so much is the fabulous afterthought heel that doesn't interrupt the stripe pattern on the sock.  I love working with self-striping yarn, but I have always hated how it gets messed up at the heel and gusset of the sock.  I've seen afterthought heels done in some Craftsy classes, but I never thought it would be for me.  I was wrong!  I'm hooked.

This particular heel is a little scary because instead of using waste yarn to set up the heel opening when you are knitting the sock, you knit the whole sock and then go back and snip a hole in it where you want your heel.  So cool!


After you snip the stitch, you just unravel and pick up the stitches from there!


This afterthought heel is worked exactly the same as the toe of the sock.  No short rows!  Yay!  And it fits like a glove.  Can't wait until next Christmas!

yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Jingle
Fingering Weight
Dye Lot 27940
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine wash/Tumble dry low
$5.49 per 50 g /218 yd ball

project details
pattern:" A Sock Surgeon's Afterthought Heel" by Emily B. Miller; available as a free Ravelry download!  And it has an accompanying YouTube video.
needles: size 2 wood dpns
gauge: 32 stitches 44 rows over 4'' in stockinette
yarn used: 324.8 yards - about 75% of each ball
size knit: CO 64 stitches
finished size: bottom of heel to top of sock - 9.5''; back of heel to tip of toe: 9.5''; circumference: 8''
duration: October 11, 2015 - February 28, 2015

Saturday, March 5, 2016

FO: TicTac Toes Socks

I was so excited the first time I saw these socks advertised on Knit Picks, so I bought the yarn and pattern immediately!  Then....  the supplies lingered in my stash for longer than I care to admit before I finally got the courage to start them.  I have never done a fair isle project quite this extensive before and I kept putting it off.  Anyway, in the end, it wasn't that hard at all and I love the result!  Yay!


I love how these have so many colors in them, but I only had to use two yarns: one solid and one variegated.  It looks so much more impressive and difficult then it really is.  (At least to non-knitters).  I usually don't like short row heels, but these ones didn't turn out bad.  Maybe I am getting better at them.  Usually mine are bumpy and holey and no fun.

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll in Black
dye lot 51529
fingering weight 
75% Merino 25% Nylon 
machine wash & dry 
231 yards / 50 grams @ $4.69 each

Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in Cartoons
dye lot 33511
fingering weight 
75% Merino 25% Nylon 
machine wash & dry 
462 yards / 100 grams @ $10.99 each

project details

pattern: "TicTac Toes"by Camille Chang, available for $1.99 on Knit Picks (great deal!)
needles: size 2 nickle-plated circs
yarn used: 101.6 yards Cartoons (0.22 skein), 272.6 yards Black (1.18 balls)
duration: August 1, 2015 - January 24, 2016

notes

  • I did these using the magic loop technique which was much easier than dpns when doing the fair isle because you don't have to let go and re-hold the yarn as often.
  • Only used one size needle throughout pattern, not larger needle on cuff as called for in the pattern
  • 2x2 rib in cuff - and made it 1.5'' instead of 3''
  • FYI: held black yarn in right hand and colored yarn in left

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My First Batch of Hexis

In my quest to shrink my stash, I have started a project to use up all my leftover sock yarn: the Beekeeper's Quilt. It is a blanket made out of a ton of little puffy pieces called hexipuffs.  They are so addicting to knit!  Here are my first twenty hexis.  Squee!  So cute!!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

FO: Rainbow Steps Baby Booties

I logged into facebook one day to see a "Surprise! I'm 8.5 months pregnant!" post from my old college roomie and one-time bestie, Erica.  I was super happy for her, but the knitter in me panicked because there was clearly no time to knit a baby blanket!  This surprise was a blessing and a curse: on the one hand, I don't exactly love knitting baby blankets, but, on the other hand, I like giving them to special people and Erica is definitely one of those people.  But I digress...  the point is, I had about two weeks to knit something fabulous for this baby.

I have had Saartje's Bootees in my queue for a long time and I figured I would make those, but when I started envisioning the project with yarn and buttons I had in my stash, I just wasn't happy with what I had available.  So I searched for more ideas and happened upon these Blue Steps Baby Booties by Regina Willer. A lot of people said they found Willer's original pattern hard to follow, so I used the re-written version by hellahelen on Ravelry.

I saw a few versions of these booties on Ravelry that were knitted in self-striping yarn and I fell in love with those... and I'm always happy any time I get a chance to pull out the Felici!  The Rainbow Baby Blanket I recently made my niece was such a hit that I thought I'd go with rainbows again.  How cute are these??


yarn details
Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow (24194)
dye lot 46549
fingering weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Machine Wash, Tumble Dry Low
218 yards / 50 grams @ $5.49 each

project details
pattern: "Blue Steps - Baby Booties" by Regina Willer (free on her blog); used the rewritten version by hellahelan  (on her project page on Ravelry)
needles: size 1.5 (2.5mm) wood dpns
yarn used: 0.34 balls (actually, 0.17 each of two balls - exactly one stripe sequence) -- total 74.1 yards used
gauge: in half brioche, about 4 ribs per inch
finished size: 3.25'' long, 1.75'' wide, 2.25'' tall (leg opening about 1.25'' diameter)
duration: December 21 2015 - January 24, 2016

notes
  • To add the bows, knit a 7'' 2 stitch i-cord, tie in a bow and stitch to front of bootie -- I added the bows to cover up the section in one of the booties where the color change looked weird in the garter stitch:

Lace Wars: Episode I

Love the title of this post?  I was being cute because the name of this shawl I'm working on is Skywalker.  See what I did there?  I'm knitting this shawl as part of Laura Nelkin's Craftsy class, Mastering Lace Shawls*.  I enrolled in it a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away), but it's taken me a while to get around to watching it and working through the projects.  It's a great class - the instructions are clear and Laura is so pleasant.  It's fun to knit along with her.

I'm really enjoying the "sampler" shawl she designed for this course.  The lace stitches start out very simple and then get more complicated as you work further into the shawl.  Here is a pic I took a few days ago:


I've made some more progress on that top section.  I'm now about half way through that chart:

The yarn I'm using is Capretta by Knit Picks.  It's a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend.  I originally bought it for socks, but then I realized that its not machine washable and that's a firm requirement for me when choosing sock yarn.  I was sad when I realized I had wasted my money on it, but now I'm happy that it was handy when I spontaneously decided to cast on for this shawl.  The yarn has really bad reviews on Ravelry.  Apparently it pills on a dime.  We'll have to see how it goes....

*That's an affiliate link to this Craftsy class, meaning I get some yarn money if you use it.  :)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

FO: Mini Pug Amigurumi

I wanted to make a little birthday gift for my friend Ivy who loves pugs, but I was also kind of short on time so it had to be a little project. I found this one on Ravelry and it was super adorable, so I went for it.


It was just an okay project for me - I don't think my pug was as cute at the sample one and it was kind of a pain to crochet at such a tight gauge (worsted weight on an E hook).  Anyway, Ivy loved it so that's all that matters.  :)

I just grabbed random acrylic yarn and felt from my stash... no details to share here. I used 8mm safety eyes instead of black beads, so I stopped halfway through and created the face before the decrease portion so I could attach the eyes. In retrospect, I should have made the felt eye pieces at least 2mm bigger because I used eyes that were 2mm bigger… D’oh!

And a note on stuffing: don’t wait until you are directed to stuff in the pattern - it is too difficult! Stop on the row before last and stuff there, then do the last row and add any last bits of stuffing you may need.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

RIP Blue Angel Shawl

Back in the summer of 2013 I was super excited to sign up for a mystery knit-a-long with Craftsy.  Well, the danger of mystery KALs is that you may not like what you are supposed to knit once the pattern is revealed.  That's the case here.  I tried to get excited about it because it would have been my first shawl, but there was just so much stockinette in the pattern and it was pretty boring to knit as the shawl started getting bigger.  Also, I hated the yarn in the kit with a firey passion.  It tangled and knotted on a dime - I was constantly putting down the knitting and trying to unpick knots.  Most of the time I had to cut them out and do a Russian join to keep going.  It was just not pleasant.

Here it is, along with all the tangled yarn.


Jump about 2.5 years into the future...  I was home sick today and looking at my Ravelry projects and I was like, "I really should finish that shawl."  I took it out and all those strong emotions came back to me about how much I hated this project... so you know what I did?  I yanked out the needles and unraveled it all.  It felt so good!!!  Take that you hell beast!

Also, I liberated these darling stitch markers!  It was a good day.