Finished Ankle Socks

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!

Cassiy

Advertisements

Ankle Socks – Attempt?

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

Cassiy

Rose City Roller Socks

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.

Cassiy

Double Knitted Dishcloth – Square Play

The day after my double knitting class with Sockmatician I pulled out my needles and some cotton yarn from my stash and started to play. This is what I come up with.

I find it hard to just knit unless I am making an actual project. My mindset is that if I am spending time doing something I want it to be useful otherwise my mind thinks this is just a waste of time. Dishcloths are something that are very practical and are a good way to practice knitting or crochet skills or to test out a new pattern. If you have never used a handmade dishcloth I urge you to try them out they are magic.

To make this one I never followed a pattern as such. This is kind based on the swatch we made within the class with Sockmatician but with a twist. I have never written a knitting pattern but below is how I did it. I just made it up in my head. I did make 2 small errors in this one but fortunately they were both on the same side.

Cast on 25
Rows 1-5 – Double knit plain colour
Rows 6-10- Double knit 5 plain, switch colour for 15, switch colour for last 5
Rows 11-15 – Double knit 5 plain, switch colour for 5, switch colour for 5, switch colour for 5, switch colour for 5
Rows 16-20 – Double knit 5 plain, switch colour for 15, switch colour for last 5
Rows 20-25 – Double knit plain colour
Cast off

I used 10ply cotton so doubled up it is like 20ply and almost feels like a thin sponge. I didn’t weave in my ends on this one. To be honest I am lazy and if it is a dishcloth for home I mostly don’t weave in my ends I just knot them a few times. This was really fun to make and I easily finished it within a couple of days of knitting it only after work. I am still struggling with moving my yarns from the front to the back each time. I need to work on carrying yarn in both hands so that I can then increase my speed when double knitting. Think I may need to make a few more dishcloths to practice.

Cassiy

Favourites Page – Yarn Suppliers

I have decided to create a special page at the top of my blog to put links in for all the shops, suppliers, books and pattern companies that I talk about all the time but always forget to put a link too (bad blogger I am)

I have a few links on the page already but this week I thought talk about the yarn shops I mentioned.

Skein Sisters
They are located in the Sydney suburb of Dulwich Hill. If you can’t get to the store (and I strongly recommend that you do if you are ever in Sydney) They have a great website and the postage is pretty cheap.

Skein Sisters have a lot of international brands as well as local indi designers. They are a good place in Australia to get yarns such as Sweet Geogria, Hedgehog Fibres, Legacy Fiber Artz brands that are from the US and can be expensive to order. Also sometimes you don’t know what a yarn feels like so if you go to Skein Sisters you can squish the yarn and get to feel if it is right for you. Skein Sisters also great thing they do in which each month called “Sisters Spotlight” where they focus on a particular indi designer usually from Australia or New Zealand and showcase their yarn for the month. It is a great way to discover new designers, the yarn is available both instore and online for the month.

In addition to all the lovely yarn they sell they also run classes. I learnt how to knit socks thanks to Skein Sisters. The classes are small with only about 10-12 people and are in a nice little cozy room. I have done a couple of classes now there and am actually going to another class next weekend. They are fun classes to go to and it doesn’t matter that you don’t know anyone there. You can sign up to their newsletter to find out specials and events that they are having.

Bendigo Woollen Mills
I have only ever purchased from them online or over the phone but they do have a shop located in Bendigo which I hear is fantastic.

The best thing about BWM is that their yarn balls are 200g and the prices are great. I would call their yarn more traditional but there is nothing wrong with traditional. If you are wanting to make something in plain colours in either cotton or wool this is the place to go to. When I need to crochet up a blanket for a baby I order from them because they have a 100% wool yarn that is machine washable.

All their yarn is very soft. I have many many balls in my stash and have made a lot of items from it. Their cotton is great for dishcloths but I have also used it in a shawl. My recent Magician’s Cape was yarn from BWM. They do have woollen blends so it isn’t just one fibre. The best thing about BWM is that you can request a shade card from them with a sample of all the different colour yarns. Once you are on their mailing list you get a shade card each time they have new yarns or specials.

The Wool Inn
This is a little yarn shop located in the Western Sydney suburb of Penrith. It is a small cozy yarn shop packed with amazing yarn and accessories. The staff are super friendly and helpful.

I have purchased a lot of yarn and knitting / crochet accessories from them. Thanks to this little shop I now have all the sizes of the Clover Amour hooks I like as well as my interchangeable needle set. Yarn wise they have a lot of local brands as well as international brands such as Noro and Madelinetosh and lots others. You walk into the shop and it like a candy cave as you don’t know what to squish first with all the glorious wool. I consider them my local yarn shop as it only takes me about 30mins on the train to get there (it gives me knitting time) They also hold classes and special guest events so it is worth checking out their website to see what is on.

The Wool Warehouse and Love Knitting
These are 2 online shops based in the UK that I buy yarn from, I always get the 2 mixed up and forget which one I brought stuff from. I buy all my Stylecraft yarn from them.

The Wool Warehouse has a lot of kits put together by designers such as Attic 24.  Sometimes it is nice to buy a kit with all the colours already put together for you buy the person who designed the pattern. The kits are fairly cheap even with the conversion rate, postage is reasonable and super fast, I have received yarn quicker from the UK than I have from within Australia. Both websites often have specials so it good to sign up to their newsletters or follow them on Instagram to get discount codes. I know there are places in Australia I can buy Stylecraft yarn but these 2 websites have all the colours and different ply’s so it just a little bit easier to buy them from there.

So these are my favourite yarn related places. If I discover anymore I will add them to the links page.

Cassiy

 

 

 

Magician’s Cape

So whilst I haven’t been doing a lot of sewing the last couple of months I have been knitting.

Last year I think it was I picked up some Harlequin yarn on sale from Bendigo Woollen Mills, it was a merino bamboo mix. Instantly I knew I wanted to make some sort of cape with it. I brought 4 balls of the colourway Magician’s Hat. In May I finally got around to finding a pattern for it. The style I wanted was long at the back with a split front. On Ravelry I found the Beech Hill pattern and knew it was the one, it was the style I was looking for but had some slight detail running down the sides and centre back.

I didn’t realise at the time but there is a lot of knitting in this, it was mindless tv knitting so it didn’t feel like a big project until you saw it finished. Once blocked it measures 40″ x 66″ end to end. The front splits are 17″ x 31″ To block it I needed to purchase extra mats and it took up the entire length of my craft table for 4 days. It is fairly square so the only thing I wanted to fix was the centre fronts along the split as they rolled in. After blocking it still does roll a bit but not as much. Knitting wise this is a super simple knit. This was the first time I have ever split my work and left stitches on a cable to work later. I was glad to have my interchangeable needle set with all the extra cords and stoppers. At the split section I double the yarn to make it stronger, I got this tip from another on Ravelry who had made it previously.

I decided to do some outdoor photos in the local park for this. It was so much fun and I had no hesitation posing for photos as people walked past and my photographer (Mr StitchNSew) snapped away. I was proud of my new cape. Oh I have a new hairstyle. After years of wanting an undercut I have finally done it. Frugal me did it myself, I have been cutting our hair for a few years so it was easy for me to do. I now just need to re-shave it ever 2 weeks with the clippers. I’m saving money on haircuts so I can spend it on craft supplies!

The front section is a nice length, not too long but just enough to give you coverage. I think I knitted mine a little shorter than the pattern suggests but it is still well and truly long enough.

You have a several options on how you can wear this, wear it with a side over one shoulder, wear it open entirely or closed with a shawl pin. Personally I’ll wear it with shawl pin. For these photos I had it on for about an hour in windy conditions without issue. I got the pin from the craft show specifically for this shawl. I think the dark wood goes nicely with the black yarn. When I removed the pin it didn’t leave holes. 

If I wore it over one shoulder it would most likely fall off due to the way I walk. I have issues with things falling off my shoulders but if you don’t have that issue it would be fine. I could wear it open particularly if I am sitting at my desk at work, however I think the shawl pin would be my best option

I do love how this is fully open at the sides. I can freely move my arms which is perfect for work as nothing is getting in my way. I get hot arms and prefer just to have my torso covered with layers and my arms bare or with just a light shirt over them.

It wears nicely with the crutch I use to walk with. I recently got a new one and it is blue!! I have waited 20 years for a blue one.

The back length is great. It gives me the coverage over my lower back, I always paranoid about getting a chill in my lower back. Even though there is a lot of yarn in this it doesn’t feel heavy.

I found a boulder and tested out sitting. It is very comfortable, you don’t feel like the back section is pulling and choking you.

The pattern detail turned out great, it breaks up the look a bit so it doesn’t feel like a piece of flat fabric. The detailing was incredibly easy to do with only basic knit and purl stitches and is very effective. Stitch markers came in handy as I had them placed along each section where I had to switch between knit and purl stitches so didn’t have to keep count each row as I knitted.

This cape turned out the exact way I envisaged it would in my head if not even better. It is the biggest project I have ever knitted. I ended up buying a 5th ball of yarn to complete it but only used a small amount from it so I have started knitting a beanie to match it.

Cassiy

Calypso Shawl

I was going away overnight to a hotel located within a casino. I don’t do casino things (I was only staying there due to the location) I needed something to occupy myself and I hadn’t been sleeping properly so I wanted a really mindless knitting pattern. I think I searched Ravelry for like an hour or two trying to find the perfect pattern which had the combination of simpleness and yarn in my stash. I finally found the Calypso shawl which I came across last year.

I used a cake of yarn I won in a knit along last year held by Wool Gathering Australia. The challenge was trying new knitting or crochet skills. I was so excited to win this yarn as it is my colours blues and blacks. I wanted a one skein project and this was perfect for it. The yarn cake was so soft and squishy. It is a 4ply merino in the colour Midnight.

This is a really easy pattern to follow and is super quick to do too, I finished this in about 2 weeks. The pattern tells you how many sections to do to form the shawl and how to extend it you have extra yarn. I followed the pattern until I ran low of yarn which was in the extra section. To bind off I used the stretchy bind off that the pattern mentions. You are end up adding an extra yarn over as you bind off, it is much stretchy than other bind off methods I have used so I will be doing it again.

The only difference to the pattern I did was something I read on Ravelry that another knitter had done. Instead of doing a yarn over at the start of my increase rows I did a K1FB in the first stitch. It gave me a much neater finish then the yarn over did. Before I blocking it looked kind of tiny. You can see from the photo how much yarn I had left after I bound off, I may have been able to sneak in an extra row but I didn’t want to fall short.

 

I am not sure if there is such thing as over blocking but I blocked the life out of this. Blocking made it grow! For the first time I used my knit blocker pins. They are basically a plastic clip that has a series of pins attached, they are much easier to use than regular pins. I used 2 full boxes on this shawl and the 4 blocking mats I had too.

I am yet to wear this as I only finished blocking it last week. I have played around with it a little to see how it will sit around my neck. I brought the shawl pin at the craft show last month so I might use that on this. I am really liking this shawl, it was mindless fun knitting. After I finished it I was little lost and almost wanted to cast on another one.

Cassiy