B’s 2020 Birthday Socks

These socks in this form weren’t on my original gift list for this year. I was planning on making B socks or something for her birthday but with different yarn. Unfortunately that yarn is packed away so when I saw some yarn at Lincraft I went and purchased a ball.

I didn’t actually know Lincraft sold a sock yarn until I saw it advertised. It is 75/25 wool/nylon mix. It isn’t as soft as some sock yarns. To me it feels very similar to Regia sock yarn. It is a sock yarn that I would only use for socks and not hats. If you were a bit yarn sensitive I wouldn’t suggest this yarn. If you don’t have any issues with yarn I think it is a good little yarn.

These socks have a story behind them in the making. When I first started these socks I forgot the cuff was 1×1 rib and I did 2×2 rib. I magic loop my socks, if you are not familiar with the term it where you use one circular needle instead of using double pointed needles. I use 60 stitches for these and I couldn’t work out why my 2×2 rib wasn’t working out even when I finished my first needle. I cast these on twice after my 1st attempt was wrong with my stitch count so I thought. On my 2nd attempt I was still off so I just adjusted one needle with the extra 2 stitches so it worked out even in the end. It was only once I finished the cuff I discovered the pattern is 1×1 rib. No drama I just put it in my notes in Ravelry so I would make the 2nd sock the same. My next debacle was the heal flap. On the purl side I did the wrong pattern so I was slipping every 2nd stitch and wasn’t meant to, once again I put it in my notes to do the same 2nd sock. It was interesting to do that error as I discovered it meant the flap was very tight when I slipped every 2nd stitch. After I started the gusset I discovered I dropped a stitch. I pulled the sock off my needles and started again.

On my 2nd attempt at these socks I did go up a needle size to 2.75mm. I am a tight knitter and they just felt too tight using 2.5mm needles. I followed the 1×1 rib pattern on the cuff and had no issues with these. These flew off my needles once I got going. The pattern I use is a very basic sock pattern. It is easy to follow and I just noticed on the Ravelry notes it gives stitch counts for different sizes so you can adapt it to anyone really.

Between socks I forget how addictive sock knitting is, after I finish a pair of socks I start to get withdrawals. Sock knitting isn’t hard to do. Using a really mindless pattern means you can just knit away and relax. You do have to remember a few techniques but once you learn them and refer to your pattern to ensure you are doing the correct one it is simple.

Cassiy

 

Painted Yarn Blanks

I brought 3 blank skeins of sock yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills years ago with the aim to paint them. Late last year I finally got around to make the yarn up into basic shapes so I could paint them with liquid radiance.

I just did basic crochet shapes to make an easier surface to paint. Crochet is really easy to unravel and is super quick to do. I wasn’t really counting stitches I was just doing mindless crochet to make flat pieces.

I had no real plan with my colours when I painted these. I didn’t want anything too messy as I wasn’t sure how the paint would bleed on the yarn and on the chance it did I didn’t want just a big mess of colour resembling pea soup (or grey sewer water) Luckily the colours didn’t bleed too much but did give the yarn enough coverage (I hope) I left these in the sun to dry all day. I haven’t heat set the colour yet as I packed away all my liquid radiance instruction books before I did these and I can’t remember if you need to add steam when you heat set these or not. When I do heat set these I will use a pressing cloth and the Teflon cover to protect my iron so the yarn doesn’t melt.

I can’t wait to heat set these and then ball them up to see what the colours are like. I do have plans for these but they will have to wait.

Cassiy

Yarn Hits And Misses 2019

So I have done a recap of my sewing year for 2019 so here is my knitting year. I think I spent more time knitting and crocheting this year than I did sewing. Knitting and crocheting is something I can just pick up and do when I have a minute here or there.

My favourite item for the year was Daybreak. It was the first West Knits pattern I’ve ever done and I loved it. I wore it most of winter. The yarn feels so delicious and the colours went well together.

If I had to pick a least favourite which is bad to say but it would be my Groovy shawl. There is nothing wrong with this pattern I just got bored knitting it. It is really easy and mindless knitting but there was just something about it that lost me. It seem to feel very slow knitting it and maybe that is why it lost my attention.

My favourite pattern for the year was Knitted Bangles. Super easy and quick to do. You can make them with any yarn that you have. They make a perfect gift or can be made to go with different outfits. I am doing more of those next year.

I have enjoyed knitting and crocheting for others this year. The beanies that I made for B were relaxing knits. I am really proud of the virus shawl I made as a gift. I have also done a lot of knitting and crocheting for charity this year which is something I enjoy doing.

 

This year seems have been a year of knitting failures which I did blog about.  Some patterns were a little complicated some I don’t know what happened they just weren’t working for me. I’m hoping to restart them next year.

My day trip to Bendigo is my yarn highlight for the year. It was so much fun that day. After using their yarn for so many years it was fun to go and visit the actual shop. I haven’t made anything yet from the yarn I purchased but I will.

My yarn plans for 2020 really are just to start using the yarn I have in my stash which is a lot. I have decluttered some yarn I’m not going to use but I still have heaps. At this point I have one project that I know which is crocheted poncho. As mentioned I want to attempt a couple of the patterns I failed this year but I don’t really have a list or deadline for yarn projects. I will just go with what I feel like.

Cassiy

Off My Needles – More Knitting No More

Whilst 2019 has been a year where I have knitted some lovely items it has also been a year where I have had a lot of knitting fails. I’m not sure why but I have lost my knitting mojo this year at times. Do you call it knitjo? Needlejo? Yarnjo? Whatever it is called it seems to be lacking a bit this year.

I started my Correa Wrap which I just couldn’t get the pattern right after trying it several times without success the yarn is off my needles sitting in a cupboard waiting to be started again at some point. I really do want to knit this after buying the kit.

My next fail was a cowl I started using my most expensive yarn. It was a simple linen stitch pattern but when I dropped a couple of stitches by accident my project fell to pieces. I didn’t have the knitting experience to rescue the stitches and besides I wasn’t too happy with the size needles I had been using so it was another project that was taken from my needles to be started again in the future. This time I need to make sure that between knitting time on it I push my stitches down my needles so they don’t slip off. I’ll also try larger needles.

The latest projects to come off my needles are 2 sets of socks. I attempted to knit another pair of Rye socks. Rye socks were the first socks I ever made finishing an entire pair in 2 weeks. This time I just wasn’t happy with them. I used a different size needle on my cuff and left a longer tails yarn which left me panicking that I wasn’t going to have another yarn to finish the sock. Even though I was ¾ through finishing sock 1 I’ve decided to take them off my needles. My tension didn’t feel right overall. I split my front panel on my magic loop when I was doing the gusset and I know it isn’t terribly noticeable I can see the pattern looks slightly off and it is right in the centre of the foot. I will make them again but just not now. Earlier this year I started a pair of pink calf length socks for myself. These aren’t really a knitting fail but more a knitting not going to wear. Knowing my sock wearing style I don’t wear calf length socks anymore. I have taken them off my needles and will instead do ankle length socks which I know I will wear and I need to start replacing my store brought socks.

Yes it has been disappointing that I have had a few knitting fails this year but I’m not going to let that get me down. I know I can knit and when it feels right I will get all the above projects made.

Cassiy

Sockhead Hat V2

My friend is wearing the beanie I made her so much she hinted she could really use another one 🙂 No problems I can do that.

Picking the yarn was a little more simple this time. I sent my friend screen shots of Malabrigo sock yarn from the The Wool Inn and said pick a colour. Her first choice wasn’t in stock when I got to the store but 2nd choice was Zarzamora. This is the same type of yarn I used for her birthday socks so I have worked with this yarn before and it is lovely to knit with.

This beanie is a little bigger than the last one. Feedback was maybe a little more slouchy next time. I used 2.5mm needles for the brim and made it 4″ again. For the body of the hat I switched to 3.0mm needles and knitted to 9″ before starting the decreases. It has more slouch to the last one and I don’t think it is too big. For blocking I just laid it flat on my blocking mat to dry. To be honest it probably didn’t need blocking but I wanted to wash it just on the chance I had coughed on it.

I’m posting this beanie up north this week so it shouldn’t be too much longer before my friend gets it. She’ll still get plenty of wear out of this winter. This was an easy knit to do and I did have knitting withdrawals as soon as it was off my needles which happens after I finish a project.

Cassiy

Farewell Kath

A work colleague who was very special to me as I have worked with her all the years I have been at my work was retiring and I wanted to make her something special to show how much she meant to me and how much I appreciated all the chats we’ve had over the years. We work in a health institution and what better thing to make her than a Virus shawl… We all have a twisted sense of humour but you need it where we work.

I remembered that my stash I had 2 skeins of sock yarn by Revive Designs NZ. One was a darker green, the other a lighter blue/green. From memory I think they were called Taupo and Fox Glacier which are towns in New Zealand if you are not familiar with them. I have been to both places and loved them so really wanted to use this special yarn in a special project. They do have a nice contrast and I thought they would look good together in the shawl.

As it was some time since I made my Virus shawl I had to watch the Coco Bella tutorials again on YouTube to get my head back into the pattern. This pattern can be a little confusing but once it clicks in your head it is really fairly simple to do. I used a 3mm hook which I had to buy another one online as I couldn’t find my original one. I was counting each section as I was doing it but naturally the one time I didn’t count my stitches were off by 1 so I had to frog back to the missed stitch and continue. Crochet is so easy to frog back so it wasn’t that much of an issue. I kept going until I ran of out yarn before doing a simple treble boarder on the last row.

To block this I opted not to pin block it but instead just stretched it out flat on my blocking mats on my craft table. I left it for a almost a week to dry as I wasn’t using my table but really it only took a few days. I didn’t mind that the ends curved up a bit, it gives it a more organic feel. I left all my ends to weave in until the end but they didn’t take long to do.

I love the contrast of the 2 colours in this and am really happy the way it turned out. It was a special gift for a special person.

Cassiy

Knitted Bangle – White

This pattern was one of those patterns in your stash that you keep saying I must make that one day and when you do it comes together so quickly you think why did I wait so long?

Knitted Bangle - White

This bangle pattern is a free pattern by Amber O’Brein. I found this pattern maybe a couple of years ago and I finally got around to making it yesterday. It uses DK weight yarn but you could use any yarn by just adjusting your needle size. For this one I used some white Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton.

Knitted Bangle - White 2

I am clearly not a hand model. Depending how fast you knit you could make this in an hour. To be honest it probably took me longer to cast on the stitches using the long tail cast on method then it did to knit the entire bangle. I was trying to estimate how long to leave my tail by wrapping the yarn around my needle so many times then using that length to fold over the yarn to measure out. My first two attempts left me short of yarn, my final attempt gave me too much tail yarn which I just snipped down to a small tail to weave in at the end.

This will not be the last one you will see me making. This is the first in a set for an outfit for Frocktails hopefully but I’m also thinking of all this other yarn in my stash that would be perfect for bangles. Then of course make a smaller size and you have kids presents.

Cassiy