Tag Archive | knitting

Happy Socks

This might be the fastest pair of socks I’ve ever made: a week from start to finish! These were the project I worked on 90% of the time last week, and there were concerts and other things where I could sit and knit while listening. Plus they were totally mindless knitting, which is perfect for me right now.

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I did my usual 64 stitches, a 1″ ribbed cuff, then 3 plain rows before going into a simple slipped-stitch heel. I was using up two scrap balls of sock yarn and the only tricky part was trying to use the variegated (Hedgehog Fibres in Medusa) evenly between the two socks.

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I failed, because I wasn’t clever enough to weigh the ball before I started. Next time I’ll definitely do that. These aren’t evenly balanced; there’s a bigger green (Madtosh in Sea Glass) toe on one than the other. But that doesn’t bother me too much. I think I’ll still love wearing these. I especially like having the bright colored accents, which makes me think I need more solid colors in sock yarn.

Today will be spent on a brand-new lace shawl project and then I’ll pull out a sock WIP that’s been languishing (poor sock monkey socks) for this week’s travel knitting. Happy Sunday, friends!

Finished: Supernatural Kindness Shawl

This was a quick little shawl to make! That might be because so much of it is stockinette stitch which goes quickly for me, but it might also be because I loved the project so much. For someone who says they don’t like orange, I loved this yarn! There’s something about pink and orange together that just makes me happy, and the green balances it out and makes it all springy, reminding me of flowers. Then there’s the thread of sparkly stellina and I do love a good sparkle.

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I also liked the two kinds of lace. It made it fun to knit and interesting to look at too.

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I did have a couple of hiccups with this project. First, I ran out of yarn before I could do the three rows of garter stitch at the end and I should have done an edge with another yarn because even after blocking, it wants to curl. I suppose I could pick up and knit an edge if it bothers me. Second, when I blocked it, I discovered a dropped stitch in the stockinette section. Once I recovered from the initial panic, I let it dry and then picked up stitches until I got to the first lace section. I had a bit of yarn leftover so I threaded some through the stitch and wove in the ends, hiding and securing that loose stitch. Given that shawls typically get light wear and don’t get washed often, it should be fine. Today is slightly cool and the girl has a flute recital, so I might just have to debut it today!

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Pattern is Kindness KAL Shawl (and I just realized I didn’t block the scallops into my shawl! Dang it!)

Yarn is Supernatural Yarns Gryffin Sock in the color Listen, Dammit! Love their yarns.

Mother’s Day Recap

This is very belated, but that seems to be the norm for me lately: did all you moms out there have a lovely Mother’s Day on Sunday? I hope so! Mine was quite nice, I have to say. The kids got up early to have breakfast with me (waffles and bacon cooked by the husband, yum!) and we hung out at the table and talked for a while after. It’s funny; when my kids were very little I just wanted alone time for Mother’s Day. Now that they’re older and don’t see me/need me very much, I do want that time with them. And then some alone time, right? Anyway, then we opened gifts (yes, I got yarn, which I’d picked out, but I also got chocolate and some fun colors of ink cartridges for my fountain pens). I even got gifts and cards from both kids! I felt very loved and appreciated and it was the perfect morning.

But the highlight of the day came in the afternoon: the girl’s graduation from high school!!! Everything went well: we got decent seats and I managed to save enough for everybody and I got good photos and I cried a little (I think the husband even teared up a bit). The girl was calm and composed and gorgeous and I’m so proud. And relieved, to be honest. Relieved to be past all the end-of-year concerts and meetings and deadlines and this and that and the other thing and ohyesdon’tforgetthat! Relieved that now we can focus on the exciting going off to college bit.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, I did have knitting time over the weekend, especially while waiting for graduation to start. I finished my Nebraska Roller socks and cast on a new pair of socks immediately. I know I said I was going to do some skimmer socks next but I lied. I cast on for another pair of shorties, this time with a ribbed cuff, and I pulled out some gorgeous little leftover balls that coordinate perfectly. The green is the Madtosh in Sea Glass and the blue/green variegated is Hedgehog Fibres in Medusa. Fingers crossed I have enough Medusa for two sock bodies.

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Finally, I also had a good chunk of time to devote to my Supernatural Kindness shawl. I bound it off last night, sooner than I anticipated…mostly because I ran out of yarn too soon to do the three rows of garter stitch. I thought about having a solid colored edge, since the garter would help prevent curling, but mostly was too lazy to find the right yarn. I was ready to be done! I think blocking will help immensely. With any luck I can get it washed and pinned out tonight, and then I can take pictures to share over the weekend!

Graduation Season

This week has been low on posts, I know, and I’d like to say I’m sorry but really I’m not. As you may remember, the girl is graduating high school this year and this week has been busy with ALL the things. We had the last band concert (I cried a little during the senior video but that was all). These are her BFFs (best flute friends).

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Then we had Baccalaureate…

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Last night we had the choir concert. Choir is second only to band in her life, and I love that music is her passion. She sings beautifully and had a short solo last night, which was a delightful surprise to me. (She swears she told me about it, but I really think I’d remember something like that!) I didn’t really get emotional until right before the senior video, when I looked around and spotted her across the room, and she saw me and we just made a little funny/happy face at each other and it hit me that I won’t have as many of those little moments anymore. And then the video was showing a baby picture and a senior photo of each kid and the photo of my cute little toddler popped up and bam, there went the tears. (This is her choir director. We love him.)

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Anyway, please forgive me for not having the time to blog this week. Today I’ll show the proof that I have definitely been knitting at all of these events, though! I finished my beautiful beautiful Girl Power socks.

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Yarn is Show Me Yarns Bootheel in color Girl Power and I love everything about it. I mean, I haven’t worn them yet because it’s been 85 degrees here for days upon days and I can’t stand the thought of wool socks on my feet but somehow I know that they will wear beautifully too. And I’m almost done with my Nebraska Rollers too!

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Tomorrow is Graduation (EEK!) so I fully expect to get these done by the end of the weekend. These I might actually be able to wear sooner, since they’re shortie socks. Next I want to make these skimmers to try with my flats!

 

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all who read and commented on the post for the Kraemer Yarns giveaway! Last night I pulled up a random number generator online and it picked my winner for me…

Number 9 is Rachel, who writes the blog From Bad to Worsted. Congratulations, Rachel! Check your email!

If you didn’t win but want to try out Kraemer Yarns, here’s a shop finder so you can see if your LYS carries it.

Thanks again to all who entered, to Stitchcraft Marketing for giving me the opportunity, and to Kraemer Yarns for sponsoring the generous giveaway!

Supernatural Kindness

So I cast on a new skein of sock yarn last weekend. It’s beautiful sock yarn, pink and orange and green with a thread of sparkly stellina throughout. In fact, it’s so beautiful that I thought it could not become socks. As much as I love socks, this yarn was too pretty, too sparkly, to go on my feet.

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I browsed through shawl patterns on Ravelry for ages and nothing looked right, so I went to Instagram and asked for suggestions, and got a good one right away: the Kindness KAL Shawl! It had lace, which I wanted, and it’s free, which is always good. I haven’t had as much good knitting time in the evenings as I’d like, but I’ve gotten most of the way through the stockinette/eyelet section.

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Such pretty colors! (Yarn is Supernatural Yarns Gryffin Sock in color Listen, Dammit!) And it’s so lightweight and airy, especially knit with the size 6 needles. I have no idea what I’ll wear it with…maybe I need to buy a shirt just for this shawl. That’s not weird, right?

Giveaway: Kraemer Yarns

My wrap is done, and it’s gorgeous! I love it! If you love it too, read on, because I have a giveaway for the yarn and pattern!

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A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Stitchcraft Marketing about a review opportunity. Of course I jumped on the chance, and agreed to review Kraemer Yarn’s¬†Perfection DK. I could choose from a selection of patterns; I chose the Mother Earth Wrap because I find shawls and wraps so marvelously wearable, plus I love the comfort of knitting garter stitch. It was so exciting to get the box in the mail, and I loved the presentation. The yarn was wrapped in red tissue paper closed with a charming sticker which had my name hand-written on it. It’s just the kind of touch you don’t see very often any more, and it made it feel like a gift!

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The pattern is a new one called the Mother Earth Wrap by Beth Aidala, and I think it’s meant to be a shawlette-sized wrap to wear around your neck. Mine is…not that, but that is only through fault of my own. Let that be a lesson to you: always check your gauge if you care about fit! Thankfully, this is the kind of piece that fits fine regardless of size. It would be marvelous to wrap up in when I’m feeling chilly. You could choose any six colors and I loved the bright colors they used for the sample: Bright Blue, Cobalt, Puddle, Spring Rhyme, Sprout and Flora. But of course three of mine had to be purple. I picked Jelly, Evening Song, Shy Violet, Sky, Tweet, and Elegant Gray.

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The Perfection line is 70% acrylic and 30% wool. I cast on immediately and right away I was struck by the feel of the yarn: it felt like wool to me, not acrylic, and I liked that a lot. As I’ve progressed in my knitting obsession, I confess I’m a bit of a yarn snob, and I don’t always like the plastic-y feeling of some acrylic. I didn’t get that from the Perfection. It wasn’t as soft as some of the merino I’ve used, but it felt good in my hands as I knit. I liked that tiny bit of texture that made it feel woolly. When my needles slipped out of stitches, I never dropped any; I could pick them up without a problem.

Even though I was only doing garter stitch, the yarn is crisp enough that it would have great stitch definition, making it a solid choice for intricate details like cables. At $6.99 for 260 yards, it’s extremely affordable when you need a lot of yardage. Also, it’s available in 71 colors, so this would be a great staple yarn for your stash. I could definitely see myself using this for sweaters and blankets.

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Another benefit to this yarn is that it’s machine washable. Mine went in on the gentlest cycle, then in the dryer on the lowest heat for a gentle tumble dry, and it came out beautiful. The stitches didn’t shrink or get floppy, the yarn came out soft and cozy, and the wrap, while still extra-large, retained its shape.

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My only minor issue came with the pattern; it stated to knit each color for 12″, but it wasn’t clear to me where I was supposed to measure. One of the sides? Up the middle? I got conflicting advice from knitter friends, so I measured based on how I interpreted the pattern’s instructions. Instead of measurements of 72″ by 16″, mine is 104″ by 22″. However, my gauge is also not 15 stitches and 30 rows = 4′. It’s more like 16 stitches and 36 rows = 4″. So I should have done the swatch first. Otherwise the pattern is simple enough for new knitters, and makes for relaxing TV knitting. I would just like to see the pattern have more than one photo, including one showing where/how to measure, and some that show the wrap laid out, or otherwise fully extended.

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Okay, so my wrap is done, and I’m gifting it to a good friend who’s been admiring it as I worked on it. Now it’s your turn! I have a complete set of the yarn identical to what I used, plus a color pattern, and I’d love to send it to one of you. It’s been in the box, wrapped in tissue, safe in my craft room since it arrived, so it will come to you in the same condition it came to me!

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TO ENTER: Leave a comment below telling me if you’ll be keeping the wrap for yourself or giving it to a deserving recipient, and if so, who is that person?

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 6 pm CST on Wednesday, May 9th. All entries must be submitted on this blog. Winner will be announced by 10 am CST on Thursday, May 10th. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone. If winner does not respond within 7 days, I will draw a new winner. Shipping via USPS first class. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. US residents and APO/FPO only please.

A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Kraemer Yarns who sent me six skeins of Perfection DK (retail $41.94) plus the Mother Earth Wrap pattern ($5.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.