Last year I first saw the Correa Wrap by Ambah O’Brien when Skein Sisters held a pop up shop at my Knitters Guild meeting. They had a finished wrap on show and I really liked it. I don’t normally like gradients but with the contrast colour in the middle breaking up the colours I really liked it.
Skein Sisters sold the wrap as a pack with the 4 skeins of yarn and the pattern. The sample on display was in the original colour way of orange. Not my colour but they had it in blue colour tone pack which was more me. I put it on my wish list and when Skein Sisters had a sale in February I purchased the pack. The colours are gorgeous. The pattern is a lace pattern. Lace knitting scares me. It looks fancy and complicated and there is counting involved. Normally I run from patterns like this but I got a taste for simple lace knitting in my Miramar cowl.
I’ve just finished my first Stephen West shawl which took me out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed knitting. This week I decided to bite the bullet and try the Correa. The pattern has both written instructions and a chart. I can’t read chart symbols yet. I can read basic colour charts but not symbols so I was following the written instructions of the pattern highlighting each row as I finished it. I have made mistakes and will take this off my needle and start again. One side of the stitch markers looks ok and I seem to be on track but the other side is too messy to continue with. I’m not beating myself up about having to restart it. The first few rows of the lace section were scary but the last few rows I knitted were a bit more easier. The pattern is starting to click in my head now. Lace knitting is just a serious of yarn overs, ssk (slip, slip, knit) knit stitches or k2tog (knit 2 together) when you break it down like that it isn’t so scary, it is just like knitting socks but you have more of the stitches. The shawl is done in 2 triangles that you then join. The first triangle I’m going to be following the written instructions but I will see how I go and maybe on the second triangle I might try and follow the chart. I’m actually enjoying knitting this even if I was a little tense at first. Instead of thinking of it as scary lace but just knitting stitches I know I can do it.
In February Wool Gathering Australia held their 2019 KangaKiwi KAL. It is annual knit along or crochet along where knitters/crocheters from Australia and New Zealand create an item with local yarns and patterns. The only rule is that both the yarn and the pattern must be from either Australia or New Zealand. I decided to join in this year for the first time.
Months ago when I purchased my Sock Ruler from Kathy’s Fibres I also added to my cart a skein of yarn. Silly me has thrown out the yarn label before I wrote this but the yarn was a merino/bamboo/silk mix. The colours in this skein really caught my eye, there was lots of grey, teal and white in it. I wear a lot of teal and darker colours so this really jumped out at me.
The pattern I used was Miramar by Sezza Knits. In 2017 I won a prize pack when Wool Gathering Australia held their It’s New To Me knit along and I got to choose a pattern from Sezza and this was the pattern I chose. Miramar is a suburb in Wellington in New Zealand, I have a family connection to that suburb so that is why I chose that pattern and also I really like the look of the pattern. I like the repetitiveness of the pattern of the lace sections, it wasn’t a messy looking lace pattern it was in line and consistent.
I will be totally honest I never thought I might actually be able to do this pattern. It was a lace pattern, lace knitting scares me. It sounds complicated and fiddly, there is counting and you need to concentrate. As I think I have mentioned before I am not good at counting in knitting and crochet projects as I like to do a lot of mindless tv yarn work which means counting is hard to do. Once I got started in this pattern I found it really it easy to do. Admittedly some areas were a little off in the stitch count and to be honest most times I was too lazy to go back and fix them but for the most part my stitch count was correct. This actually flew off my needles and I finished it within 2 weeks.
I love the stripes that the yarn has created within this. This colours in this actually match a lot of the clothing in my wardrobe so I look forward to wearing it this winter. I cast it on with 4mm needles then switched to 3.5mm needles, I have a very tight cast on so I did the trick that you do in crochet if you chain tight by going up a needle/hook size to chain/cast on then switching to the smaller size on the first round.
When I was planning my Frocktails outfit for this year I decided I wanted some soft of wrap or shawl for over my shoulders as I hate air conditioning. I had plenty of black cotton in my stash so I went hunting for patterns to make. On Ravelry I came across Seeds Of Roan. The border detail really stood out and I liked the look of it.
Knit wise it was fairly easy. I did stuff the border a couple of time in parts but it isn’t that noticeable and frankly I’m not that much of a perfectionist to care about it and go back to fix it. For the most part it was really mindless knitting. The pattern called for DK cotton which is what I thought I had in my stash. When I pulled my yarn out I discovered it was only 4ply so I used 2 strands to make it DK. This was the first time I’d ever knitted a project with double strands and it fairly easy to do. From memory I didn’t have any issues with it.
Wearing wise it was really comfortable. It gave me just enough coverage over my shoulders that I needed and didn’t feel too hot or cold. I was worried a bit that it might not stay on my shoulders and maybe I would need a shawl pin or something to keep it in place but I didn’t have any issues with it falling.
I call this my Seeds Of Bendigo shawl as the yarn is from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I got it a while ago maybe in sale to make another project but never did so it had just been sitting under my bed doing nothing. I still have a fair bit of the yarn left over as even knitting this double stranded it didn’t take up that much yarn. I will use it in other projects but it was good to use some of it up at least in this project.
I have a finished pair of ankle socks!!!
After all the trials and tribulations I went through starting these last week I finished my socks. Once I got over sock 1 I easily breezed through sock 2 knitting it within a matter of days I think or over a short period of time anyway. Writing my notes after sock 1 really helped. For sock 2 the only time I needed to consult YouTube was doing the kitchener stitch at the end. For sock 1 I did it from written instructions and got a little bit lost but there was only 4 stitches on each needle so not many to do. Looking at this picture I can’t tell which is sock 1 or 2 but for the 2nd one I decided to sit and watch YouTube, more to just familiarise myself with it again in visual terms as I am a visual learner.
Before I took this photo I did actually give my socks a good “testing” wearing them on a 35 deg day walking to gym then walking around a shopping centre. Now normally in regular socks by the end of all that I would be racing to get home to tear the socks off my feet as I get heat trigged eczema on the tops of my feet and my feet would be red and itchy. I wore these without any problem, not an itch. The yarn I used is by Twilleys of Stamford called Gorgeous DK and yes just my luck it is now discontinued. I found this out earlier this year and purchased most of the remaining stock that my yarn shop had of it so I know I will get a few pairs made. It is a bamboo / nylon mix. They have survived their first wash well although I haven’t put them back on. I must admit they look bulky but in my sneakers they were really comfortable. The yarn is a sport weight so a 5ply and gave a little bit of padding under my feet.
I have started a 2nd pair over the last couple of days but today had to take them off my needles this morning to start again as on the instep decreases I decreased too much on one side and my stitch count was off (this will teach me for knitting socks after only 3hrs sleep) They had a couple of gaps in other sections where I didn’t pick up the stitch fully so I am not too worried about starting them again. They are a quick make so I know once I get started and actually watch what I am doing I will get another pair done in no time.
My sock knitting bug has bitten again!
I mentioned in my Rose City Rollers post that I was going away last week and wanted to take socks to work on. I searched Ravelry and came across the Super Stretchy Sport Socks by River City Yarns. The pattern looked perfect, it was using exact same ply that I was using, the design looked just like what I was after. In my mind I thought I could easily get ankle socks made in a weekend so I packed up all the supplies I needed included a darning needle and written instructions on how to do the kitchener stitch. Well things didn’t go to plan….
I cast on my first sock knitting the cuff without issue. I knit socks magic loop when I started my heel flap I knitted on the wrong needle so my heel flap stitches were on the outside of my sock not on the inside. Ok start again this time I managed the cuff, heel flap and even turned the heel then it came to picking up stitches. The pattern is written for both DPN’s (double pointed needles) and magic loop but when it came to picking up stitches I got a bit confused in the pattern as to when I was meant to pull my cord through and pick up the next needle. I had way too many stitches on my needle and then I got confused as to where to place my stitch markers. I was frustrated because I have a very long sock “To Knit” list yet I can’t manage to knit a pair of ankle socks even though I have knitted a full pair of socks within 2 weeks before when I made my Pumpkin socks. I pulled the sock off my needles and then worked on another yarn project for the weekend, luckily I had packed 2 projects so I wasn’t left with idle hands.
Ok so I think I am on attempt 3 of these particular socks. I have done a 2″ cuff as I want a longer sock that sits high on my ankle, on one of my other attempts I only did 1.5″ and I don’t think that will be high enough. When it came to the gusset I watched Very Pink Knits Learn To Knit Socks Magic Loop Part 4 tutorial. I love watching Stacie’s knitting tutorials, she explains things very clearly. Whenever I search YouTube for knitting tutorial I always check to see if she has done one first. After watching the clip I knew where to pull my cord through for the magic loop and where to place my stitch markers. She has her needles set up differently to what the pattern for these socks say (well that’s at least how I interpreted the pattern to say) Once you pick up your gusset stitches you rearrange your stitches to effectively split your heel and cuff in half so the stitch markers for your decreases are in the centre of your needles, this is how I have knitted socks before and I am comfortable with the set up. I can go on autopilot now knowing depending on what row I am on if I have to decrease when I come to a stitch marker or not.
I have gone a step further than what Stacie or the pattern says and have placed extra stitch markers so I know when to stop decreasing for my gusset. I read the pattern to see at what stitch count I needed to stop the decreases and counted them out on my needles so I know when I get to the green stitch markers it is time to stop the decreases and just knit until I get to the toe section. Just had a quick look at this picture and my knitting and have readjusted my stop stitch markers as they were wrong in this picture. Also just discovered I am down a stitch on one side so when it comes to doing my decreases the side that has 2 orange stitch markers I’ll skip a decrease on that side to get my stitch count even. The extra decrease stitch markers will help with my autopilot knitting which I like to do. I am actually enjoying knitting the sock now. When I get to the toe section I will watch the clip in Stacie’s clip on how to set up my needles for that.
I have been making myself notes along the way. Sometimes I need to write things in my own words for them to make sense to me. On this page I have my notes about the stitch markers, on the first page I have notes on how long I have made each section so when it comes to making my 2nd sock I make them the same. In my notes I have even reminded myself I took a picture for Instagram of my set up so I can refer back to it and of course now I will have this blog post too.
To recap for myself for sock 2
- To measure for long tail cast on wrap yarn around the needle 8 times then measure that fold 7 times + tail yarn to cast on 56 stitches
- Knit 2″ cuff (16 rows in total)
- For gusset stitch markers need to be near cuff and not heel
- Place first stitch marker after 1st set of picked up stitches
- Place second stitch maker at start 2nd set picked up stitches
- Divide sock in half from toe and cuff to knit magic loop
- On row counter odd rows are decrease rows, even rows are knit stitches
Ok back to my knitting hopefully I will have sock 1 finished soon!
Update: Instead of skipping a decrease stitch on one side I did KFB in the cuff section on that needle to get my stitch count correct in that section
I started these socks back in April after seeing a friend make them a few times. I was looking for an ankle sock pattern so I thought I would give it a try. The pattern is Rose City Rollers and is free on Ravelry.
The pattern has 3 sizes to choose from. I first cast on the largest size then decided it was too big so I took it off my needles and tried again. The second time I did them I messed up a row in the heel pattern and didn’t pick up enough stitches when I did the heel turn leaving a gap which I wasn’t happy with. I thought third time lucky and cast them on again. That was back in May and to be honest I haven’t touched them since. I think the reason is that I am not really liking the style. I have been analysing my socks over the last few months (yes I do random stuff like that) and I have come to realise with my store brought ankle socks the ones I was wearing the most were the ones that were fitted around the ankle with a cuff. In this pattern there is no cuff it is just stockinette stitch that rolls over on itself, it is very lose around the ankle. My sneakers eat all my older socks where the cuff is stretched out and not snug around the ankle.
I’m going away later this week and I am looking at what craft projects to take as I am going to have a lot of time on my hands including a 6hr train ride home. I was going to take these socks but the more I think about it the more I know I am not going to like the finished product so I have decided to take these off my needles and know the pattern isn’t for me. The reason I wanted to make ankle socks is last year I did a 14 kilometre fun run/walk and I got really bad blisters on toes from the toe seam in my sock. With knitted socks I won’t have that toe seam but I need socks that are fitted around the ankle so they don’t move down into my sneakers causing me to keep pulling them back up.
I’m glad that I at least tried to knit these socks. They weren’t a waste of time as it made me think more about my feet and what my needs are. I want to make things I am actually going to wear so its ok to try thing and find out they are not for you.
Last week I finished a tote bag which according to Ravelry I started in December last year. The pattern is based on the bag Lucy (Attic 24) has on her blog. I say based as me being me did things slightly different in some areas. That is the great thing about making your own things you can improvise and make things as you wish.
The yarn I used was 2 Lincraft cakes. Lincraft, if you are not familiar with it is a chain craft store in Australia. When Caron cakes became really popular a few years ago Lincraft brought out there own generic version. The yarn is dyed to allow colour changes within your project without the need for you to physically cut yarn and change colours. Fibre content is an acrylic / wool mix. I was given a Lincraft gift voucher by a friend so I purchased 2 cakes of Clear Sky and they sat in my stash for ages before I finally decided to crochet this bag. I love the colours, it looks great.
The bag holds a lot. This size bag would make a great beach bag, project bag, shopping bag. It doesn’t look big when it is hanging but it is kind of like the TARDIS, much bigger on the inside. The pattern was really easy to follow and didn’t require a lot of thinking. I made my handles different to the pattern Lucy has. My handles are directly part of the bag and not joined on afterwards like Lucy has done. Also I haven’t done any flowers. The majority of the bag is done in UK trebles and from the part where I started making the handles upwards I have done in UK double crochet. Once the bag was the height I wanted I started doing a row of double crochet until I reached the area I wanted my handles to start then I chained a length of the stitches I wanted for the handles then joined them to the bag with a slip stitch. I then kept doing double crochet until I reached the other side of the bag and then repeated the set up for the other handle. Once I joined it to the bag I just double crocheted backwards and forward over the handle until it was the width I wanted. I then double crocheted back around until I got back the other handle and repeated the same steps. Once I was happy with the width I just kept doing row after row of double crochet going up and over the handles as if they were part of the regular row, The bit underneath the handles you never go over again. You can see it better in the picture below. I just kept doing row after row of double crochet until I rang out of yarn.
Ok confession as much as I love this bag I am probably never going to use it. I just don’t like the feel of the yarn, I am really sensitive to yarn and for me the wool in this is too scratchy. I am glad I used it in a bag pattern and not a poncho like I first considered. I could use it as a project bag but to be honest I already have enough large ones. This will most likely be used as one of my charity bags next year. I’m not upset by that, I have so many memories of this bag making it. I started it the day I attended a medical appointment with Mr StitchNSew. I worked on it Christmas day whilst spending time with my nieces. In January I did a 4 day work training course where I had to stay in a hotel and this was one of the projects I took with me to work on in my downtime. When Mr StitchNSew had a medical procedure done and I had to sit in a hospital for 8 hours I worked on this, his nurse actually gave me the idea of how to do the handles. As crocheters do she came up to see what I was working on and told me how she does her handles. There are a lot of memories in the making of this bag but I don’t need to actually have the bag itself to keep those memories. For me it wasn’t a waste of time making this bag – I tried out a new yarn, I made a pattern that I had been wanting to make for along time, working on this calmed me in stressful situations because I was doing something I was comfortable with and could focus on. If I can pass on this bag on to someone who needs it then it was worth every stitch.