Thursday, January 27, 2011

January Socks

Most of you know, I am a very proud and excited member of Ravelry. If you are a crocheter, knitter, spinner or dyer, you really should join the sight. There are discussion boards from A-Z. I joined a board that challenges me to knit one pair of socks a month and I have finished the January socks.

I have knit this pattern before and posted about it here. So I thought they would be easy the second time around, are they didn't fail to deliver! I love these socks because they fit and they look good. They are not too plain and not too girly.

Here they are! The yarn is Austermann Step. I used 2.75mm KnitPick nickel dpns. They are my favorite sock needles. So worth every penny.
Here is another view of the pattern.
Here is a really good close up of the pattern. Can you tell I love these socks?? I also love Austermann Step yarn. It is so soft and the yarn seems to wear well for me. So there they are...first completed socks for the year 2011. I have eleven more to go! Feb pair will be cast on shortly after I finish what I am working on right now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to Basics

Back to Basics
I haven't really been knitting very many socks this past year. I have forgotten some things so I decided to go back to some things basic about how I knit socks that fit my feet. I learned and completed one pair of toe up socks. During making those toe up socks I learned how to do an after thought heel.

Here is my first toe up sock.

I used Bare from KnitPicks because it was left over from this project. I really didn't see any need to waste perfectly good yarn. So I did the sock class in the Bare. I think I mentioned in the post about the Vortex shawl that this kind of Bare has been discontinued. So that the finished socks extra special.

Not only are the socks above special because of the yarn and the first time method but I learned something else. I learned how to make an After Thought Heel. It seemed pretty easy until didn't pick up a stitch with the waste yarn and had to pull out several rows on both sides of the waste yarn to fix it but it did work. I can say that I have worn them about four or five times, washed them and dried them and they are still together. So I guess I did okay.

Feeling all special about making the above socks I tried my hand at some other socks that I had knit before.

What a mess! The yarn is lovely, the color is lovely but the fit, well...I don't think that went as well as I had planned. One foot is longer than the other. I love the pattern, Spring Forward. I love the texture and the lace work.
So after getting a high from the top pair, being put in my place with Spring Forward I decided to go back to basics. My very first sock was a basic rib pattern. For this next pair I did the cuff in a 2X2 ribbing and the rest of the sock in a 3X1 ribbing all the way to the toe. I used 2.75mm KnitPick dpns with 64 stitches.
The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100g Uni/Solid. I guess I have had the yarn for a while or maybe it was given to me but I getting a color number from the label was rough. If you are a Ravelry member you can check out my project page under VAPurl. I hope the picture shows that the colors are a cream, blue/green and a navy blue with a touch of grays thrown in. I am not fond of blue but these are okay. Not so bad...for shades of blue, gray and green.

I knit basically two long ribbed tubes. At a certain point I had to use some waste yarn to hold my place to open up to insert the after thought heel. Once I did that and continued up to where the decreases were supposed to start. I got a bit nervous about how long the foot was after my last pair of socks. So the person who taught me how to do the toe ups told me to put the stitches for the heel on waste yarn and try the socks on so I could see where the decreases need to start for the toe. So here are my pics. So here is the beginning of putting the live stitches back on to the dpns and then they went on to a chibi with more waste yarn.
Here is the heel all on waste yarn and ready to try on.
Here are the socks that are just about ready for the heel and the toe. After trying them on I decided that I needed to rip the foot back about 5 rows and then will make the toe decreases. Having some basic sock knitting skills and no pattern is helping me learn more and more every time. I am getting better. What amazes me is that I still love making socks after all this time. I would give my eye teeth to attend Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon this year in July. I don't know if I could keep up but it sure would be fun to talk about socks to others who get just as excited as I do about them.
Here is the completed after thought heel. I believe I still need to tweak how many stitches I need for teh last row to kitchner. Right now it's 16 but I think I might try 20 next time. Below is the completed sock. Yeah!
So now it's on to the next pair. This pair was started in December so it's not my very first pair started and completed in 2011. The pair I am working on now will be the first pair of 2011. It's something I have knit before so stay tuned.

Friday, January 07, 2011

My efforts to corral my knitting supplies where I knit the most, are going well for my second effort. Along with the scrap booking bag that I purchased the other day, I snagged another organizational helper. It's another scrap booking tool but it's a great one as far as I am concerned. I have steadily been putting things into it and I am so pleased.

As you can tell from the photograph, I am not the only one with a clutter problem (on the other side of the carousel is where my husband's pile sits). While I was cleaning up I was having some tea as you can see. My Jennie the Potter knitting bowl has my latest sock project in it too (at the time this post was done there were bowls listed on her Esty shop). I was not kidding about having things handy. I don't knit in bed so this is really "Knitty Central" for me.

The Carousel has a ton of storage spaces for loads of things but they have to be on the smallish side. There are a few drawers but they are shallow. So far one drawer has a Burt's Bee Lip Balm and one green row counter. The other one has dental floss. See how small the drawer is. There are two in the carousel.

I decided that I am tired of getting up and down to grab another pair or needles when I need to change because I didn't get gauge so I brought all my Addis downstairs. I have Addi Turbos and Addi Lace Needles. Here is how I used to store my Addis.
I met a lady who said she used plastic pillow case holders to store her needles. They truly are the perfect size but I want to use a different method to store my needles. I had one pillow case holder for the Addis and one for the Lace Addis. When I was sorting through them to put them in the carousel, I found out I had duplicates of more needles that what I wanted to admit. I think that being disorganized I didn't keep track of what I had so I ordered more. Not good.
There are other things that I use on a regular basis that need to be handy that are now stored in the carousel.


Bobbins for color work and there are spare places for more things to be stored.

I store my knitting do-dads in little candy tins

Do Dads new home
And last but not least...a lovely picture of a friend's mini sock skeins for her sock blankie. I thought the perfect place for it was not in a frame but here where I can look at it every single day. It's lovely.

So it's onward and upward with organization. I still have to conquer the craft closet and the dreaded yarn bins. It might take me a bit before I work up the courage to organize those but it will happen this year. It has too!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sock Central

Sock Central
(part one)
This is part of my New Year's Resolution-Re-use, Recycle, Re-direct and Re-purpose. I hate to cut into my knitting time by cleaning but I have to do this or I might be on the Hoarder's shows. I know that things are getting out of control when I can't see my dining room table any more. I continually clean it off and then pile more stuff on it. This is a vicious cycle I am trying to break.

Not only has my dining room table become a problem, but so have all my knitting supplies. So in keeping with the 4 Rs I have decided to start with my downstairs knitting mecca. It's a total mess. I have a pile on the left side of my chair on the end table and a three drawer rolling cabinet the right side of my chair. The top of the three drawer cabinet is piled and needs to be purged, not to mention the contents of all three drawers.

I have decided to give attention to the task for two hours a day so maybe it won't wear me out mentally. I was hoping to have some modicum of control over the clutter. Today was the test run.

I went out this week to this place and bought two items that helped in the de-cluttering effort. This is the first item that I bought. If you are looking for one of these bags you can also find it here for a better price than what the other place sells them for.

It's for scrap booking. I could see the potential for my new idea. I signed up for two different groups on Ravelry. The first group was to knit one pair of socks a month for 2011. The second group that I committed to was knitting those items from my ever growing sock stash. So I needed a "Sock Central". Below is what I came up with for the new bag.
Sock reinforcement yarn pocket

Silver crochet hook roll, assorted sizes of dpns for sock knitting, and KnitPicks needle gauger, chibi, and darning needle

Daring egg, tape measures, row counter, tin containing needle points, stitch markers, and jump rings

Introducing the completed "Sock Central"

So all of the sock related items have a new home. I am so excited that it cleaned off the top of a three drawer rolling cabinet and one drawer of that cabinet. Not only did some things get tossed into the trash but I put items in a box to trade or get rid of at a friend's upcoming Recycle party. We are all fiber folks so there will be someone who wants or needs misc. items so they are going. Cleaning up and out wasn't so painful afterall. Stay tuned for part two of my de-cluttering efforts.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

First New Thing

First New Thing

I mentioned in my very first post of 2011 that I wanted to do some changes to my blog and today is the first one. It's a pretty small change and actually I have made two changes. One, I got rid of the counter that used to be on the left. I never kept up with it so it's gone. Two, I have added a new blog to the "Blogs I Read". I added a link to my old food blog, The Moveable Feast Food Blog. I hated that if I updated the blog to a new format, it would be lost forever. I had some good things on there that I really didn't want to lose so I just linked it to this blog. I really don't want to start another food blog so there will be posts in here that will be related to food and I will give them a tag of "food" so that if you are looking for the food articles you can find them. Nothing drastic but two small changes nevertheless.

I would like to add more knitting blogs and country living blogs to my side bar. I have been reading about ten new blogs and want to share those with you who love those kinds of blogs. Something else that I need to do is do a new post at least once a week or more. I have the time now and have got backlogs of photos that I have taken and have never posted. So consider this just a little update. Nothing earth shattering, just two little changes and one of them you can really look at. The rest will come as they may.

Fresh Peach Pie

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year 2011

I hope that everyone had a great time ringing in the new year with friends and family. My husband and I have always spend New Year's Eve together at home and this year was no exception. We managed to stay awake until midnight to toast the new year. This year we tried something new and it was yummy! We bought champagne and orange juice to make Mimosas but I got an idea at the last minute and gave it a try.

I remembered that I had frozen strawberries that we picked last summer. So if we were using orange juice, why not fresh strawberries? So I whipped out the little mini chop and dumped some red frozen clumps in the processor and pureed away. Each glass got a couple heaping spoon fulls and then we added the champagne. A quick stir and we were in business.
Oh, what business that was. We toasted the new year with the strawberries and champagne. The second glass was a mixture of orange juice and the strawberries. Even better!

I am not usually a drinker, but the combination of the bubbles and frozen love from last summer I was ready to say good bye to 2010 and hello to the new possibilities of 2011. I am planning to add some new things to the blog this year and will work on that all during this next year. I do have a one sentence New Year's resolution, so here goes. This is it for me in a nut shell and I will make it work as best as I can and not beat myself up when it doesn't.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Redirect. That's it. Pretty vague but I can still do this. I hope that each of you can make a resolution that you can stick to. Happy New Year everyone!