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Posts Tagged ‘magic loop’

Just off the needles, a Double Heelix double feature!

Double Heelix socks, first pair

  • Pattern: Double Heelix by Jeny Staiman (from Knitty, First Fall 2011)
  • Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Socrates, color #1019 & #3018
  • Needles: U.S. 1.5 (2.5mm), used magic loop technique
  • Size made: Medium (64-stitch circumference after instep decreases)
  • Started 7/9/11, finished 7/22/11
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

As you can tell by looking at the photo, these came out too loose. Not surprised, since 64-stitch socks on 2.5mm needles always come out too big for me. But I took a chance since the heel is a unique construction and I was expecting these to be tighter around the ankle (but for me, they weren’t). I alternated the two colors in single-row stripes on the toes, and the last inch before the cuff. Each cuff is a different color. Also switched up the foot and leg colors from one sock to the other. (Yeah, it will look like I’m wearing mis-matched socks. Heh.)

Double Heelix Socks, second pair

  • Pattern, yarn, needles same as above.
  • Size made: Small (60-stitch circumference after instep decreases)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

Even though I scaled down to the small size for the second pair, these are still a little too loose. But not unwearable by any means. Hard to tell in the photo, but I alternated each color in single-row stripes on the foot and leg. Each cuff is a different color.

I really enjoyed knitting this pattern (obviously, since I did it twice). It can get a bit fiddly at the beginning when you’re working the heel, since there are 4 strands of yarn going. But just pause once in a while to detangle, and you’ll be fine.

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So, my camera hadn’t been cooperating very well lately. Rather, it wasn’t cooperating at all. But now that we have a new camera, I can catch up with some FOs that needed photographing.

Mad Color Weave Socks in Araucania Ranco

  • Pattern: Mad Color Weave by Tina Lorin
  • Yarn: Araucania Ranco, color #303
  • Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs, size U.S. 1 (2.25mm)
  • Started 7/5/10, finished 8/15/10
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

I lovelovelove these socks. First of all, the pattern is gorgeous – looks way more complicated than it really is. The slip-stitch pattern works really well with handpainted, hand-dyed, and variegated yarns. I also really love this yarn. My former LYS (when I lived in PA) carried lots of this yarn for a while. It was all so beautiful, so I ended up buying several hanks in multiple colors (and even bought the same colorway twice, unintentionally). The yarn is especially beautiful with this pattern.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks – in Kollage Sock-A-Licious

  • Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
  • Yarn: Kollage Sock-A-Licious, colorway Blue Mist
  • Needles: Addi Turbo 40″ Circular, size U.S. 1.5 (2.5mm) – magic loop 2-at-a-time
  • Started 9/3/10, finished 10/23/10
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

This was the second time I knit socks using this pattern. However, this time I switched to knitting them toe-up instead of cuff-down (I followed Wendy D. Johnson’s Toe-Up Socks with Slip-Stitch Heel pattern for the sole and heel). And, since I knit them 2-at-a-time on magic loop, I used my Addi circs, which are exactly .25mm larger than the size U.S. 1 DPNs I used the first time. Which means these came out huuuuuge. Plus, the yarn is part silk. Makes it feel really, really nice… but the socks stretch out and don’t snap back as well after washing as wool socks with no silk in them. But they’re great for winter when I need to wear two pairs of socks to shovel snow. I still love them, though.

Seeded Rib Socks – in Zitron Trekking Maxima

  • Pattern: Toe-up Socks with Slip-Stitch Heel by Wendy D. Johnson; added my own seeded rib pattern made up on the fly.
  • Yarn: Zitron Trekking Maxima, color #902
  • Needles: Addi Turbo 40″ Circular, size U.S. 0 (2.0mm) – magic loop but one at a time
  • Started 10/27/10, finished 2/12/11
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

After finishing up the second pair of Hermione socks, I needed a new pair on the needles for a travel project. I wasn’t sure which socks I wanted to knit next from my Ravelry queue, so I just started something plain and winged it. Ended up with a very nice seeded rib. This pattern would be great for men’s socks – actually, this yarn would be great for men’s socks as well. Like other Trekking yarns, it’s a good workhorse yarn with some nylon content for sturdiness. Very comfortable, and the seeded ribbing is very stretchy.

I’m knitting on several other things right now, but nothing I can share yet since they’re gifts.

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First off, I finished 2 pairs of socks recently.

Hopped Up On Catnip Socks

  • Pattern: Catnip Socks by Wendy D. Johnson
  • Yarn: Cascade Heritage Paints #9824
  • Needles: U.S. 0 (2.0mm) Addi Turbo 40″ circular (magic loop 2-at-a-time)
  • Started 5/27/10, finished 6/13/10
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

I had been waiting a while to make these! They were part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL on Ravelry; since it’s one of Wendy’s free patterns, it took more than a year for it to get enough votes to be the free pattern of the month for the KAL. (And yes, I voted for it EVERY. FREAKIN’. MONTH.) And they worked up pretty quickly, too — just a little over two weeks. Not too shabby. I chose an all-too-appropriate green yarn… and it reminds me that I miss the catnip plant I had when we lived in PA. Hopefully our former neighbors’ cat is enjoying it (or maybe their dogs have eaten it by now?!).

Everyday Gecko Socks

(Well, look at that… more green socks.) I spotted this pattern several months ago, right around the same time Carin of Round the Twist started knitting it. I was looking for something simple, but with just a little bit of texture. Some of the handknit socks in my drawer are a little too “3-D” and I needed something a bit flatter. The yarn is one of my purchases from the 2010 NH Sheep & Wool Festival. The photo on the Holiday Yarns website appears to be slightly different than the skein I got — on the website, it seems to have more contrast between a darker green and a yellow shade. Mine appears to have some more subtle shading and an overall lime-green tone — which I like better than Holiday Yarns’ photo. Since this pattern is worked cuff-down, I broke from my usual 2-at-a-time method and knitted these one at a time on double points. These were so quick to knit (less than 2 weeks! woohoo!) that there was no risk of second sock syndrome (which is something I don’t normally have a problem with anyway). I’m very happy with how they turned out.

Also recently finished is the Firefly fringed scarf… but I really need to wash and block it first before taking photos. Right now it’s just a hot mess with the whole unraveled fringe thing going on.

So, those are the socks (and mention of the scarf). What about the secrets? Well, I also recently finished test-knitting 2 hats. “And that’s all I have to say about that” (for now). Pictures and info to come later this fall. Oh, and the other secret is gift knitting for a friend… which I really need to pick back up and work on once I finish the other pair of socks I’m a little more than 75% done with.

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I finished these back on October 7th, but didn’t get around to taking a picture until today, when I wore them for the first time. These are the Diamond Gansey socks from Wendy D. Johnson’s book, Socks from the Toe Up, and I started them as part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL on Ravelry (they were the KAL sock for August – sheesh, took me a while!). I love the yarn — Aussi Sock from Oasis Yarn (there’s a koala on the label, how can you not love that?). The only drawback to the yarn is that I chose the charcoal gray color… so I had a bit of a time trying to see what the heck I was doing with the crappy lighting in our house. It’s a beautiful gray, though.

diamondgansey

Diamond Gansey Socks

  • Pattern: Diamond Gansey Socks by Wendy D. Johnson
  • Needles: US 0 (2mm), 40″ circular needle (magic loop technique, 2 at a time)
  • Yarn: Oasis Yarn Aussi Sock, WS05 Charcoal colorway
  • Started 8/4/09, finished 10/7/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

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Wow, it’s been nearly 3 months since my last update! Well, I do have some FOs to report. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

DadSocks

Dad’s Socks (Birthday Gift)

First up… I made my Dad a pair of socks for his birthday. I never know what to get him for gifts, and I have even less of a clue when it comes to thinking of what to knit for him. So I figured I’d take a stab at knitting him a pair of socks. They’re too thick for him to wear with his dress shoes, so they’ll be “around the house” socks for him.

  • Pattern: Gentleman Socks by Kristi Schueler
  • Size: Men’s Large
  • Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm), Magic Loop one at a time (didn’t do 2 at a time because of the number of stitches)
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy, Flax colorway
  • Modification: I didn’t do the eye of partridge stitch on part of the sole as the pattern directed… mostly because I totally missed that instruction
  • Started 7/22/09, finished 8/4/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

I also made another pair of footies for my Mom for her birthday — same as the first pair I made, but in solid purple (sorry, no FO pic). For those on Ravelry, here’s a link to my project page.

Just last week, I finished a new project I started as car-knitting in September: my Clown Barf Scarf.

ClownBarf

Clown Barf Scarf

When we took a trip to Pennsylvania the weekend after Labor Day, I needed a simple project to work on in the car. I’ve had this yarn in my stash for quite a few months now, earmarked for this particular scarf. So I cast on and worked a few inches to get started a couple days before we left. It’s finally finished — I used 3 skeins of yarn, but wish I’d bought a fourth. It’s just barely long enough, and I would have preferred it a little longer. But it’ll work.

  • Pattern: My So-Called Scarf by Allison Isaacs
  • Needles: US 8 (5.0mm)
  • Yarn: Mirasol Hacho, colorway #300 (muted rainbow hues)
  • Modification: The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn and US 11 needles; the yarn I used is more of a DK weight, so I used smaller needles and cast on more stitches (45, I think).
  • Started 9/9/09, finished 10/6/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I’m calling it clown barf because I admired the yarn on several trips to the yarn shop, but held off buying it because I wasn’t sure if the colors were too bright and “clowny”. Turns out the colors look a bit more muted, especially when knitted up, but I already had the name in my head so that’s what it is!

And finally, I was able to knit something for my husband. He’s always warm, so there’s no way I ever need to knit him a sweater. And forget about socks, a scarf, or gloves. But his head is practically shaved, and now that we live in New England he needed a warm hat for winter.

AutobotHat

Transformers (Autobot) Hat

  • Pattern: Transformer Inspired Autobot Symbol Chart by Nancy Fry (not really a hat pattern, just a chart for the graphic); referred to Seaman’s Cap by Brenda Zuk for sizing/stitch count only
  • Size: Mens Large
  • Needles: US 4 (3.5mm) for ribbing and US 6 (4.0mm) for body of hat, Magic Looped
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted, Black and Coast Grey colorways
  • Started 10/7/09, finished 10/12/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

In hindsight, I probably should have used smaller needles. The hat fits fine in the circumference, but it’s just a wee bit tall. The motif takes up quite a bit of space. I think you’d have to use a lighter weight yarn to use this motif on a child’s size hat.

I also finished another pair of socks for myself… but haven’t taken pictures of them yet. So that will be a finished object post for another day!

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I decided to kick off my Summer of Socks 2009 knitting with Kaibashira. This sock pattern has been in my Ravelry queue for a year and a half, and I’ve had the TOFUtsies yarn in my stash for just a little over a year. Knitting these socks was certainly long overdue!

They look so very complicated, but once you get past the first couple rows of the cuff, they’re far easier to knit than you would think. There’s really only one “pattern” round in the 12-round pattern repeat, and everything else is just strategically placed rows of all knit or all purl stitches. Kaibashira is a surprisingly quick knit, as well. (Of course, I have had an unusual amount of free time for knitting lately, so YMMV.)

Kaibashira1_XL

Kaibashira Socks

  • Pattern: Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner
  • Size: 66-stitch circumference (approx. “medium”)
  • Needles: Cast on and worked first few rows using US 1.5 (2.5mm) circular needle, Magic-Loop style; then switched to US 1 (2.25mm) DPNs
  • Yarn: Southwest Trading Co. TOFUtsies, colorway 792 (Feet in the Sand)
  • Techniques: Cable cast-on, slip-stitch heel, kitchener stitch toe
  • Started 6/23/09, finished 7/2/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I’ve already started my next pair of socks that will do double duty for the Socks from the Toe Up KAL as well as Summer of Socks 2009 — On-Hold Socks by Wendy D. Johnson (pattern is from Wendy’s book, Socks from the Toe Up). The yarn I’m using is Cascade Heritage Paints in colorway 9872, which is a dark blue in subtly varying shades from deep slate to navy. I’ll be knitting the On-Hold Socks according to my preferred MO — 2-at-a-time on Magic Loop, from the toe up.

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Wow, finished these in record time!

Sprucey3_XL

Sprucey Lucy Socks

  • Pattern: Sprucey Lucy by Wendy D. Johnson
  • Size: Small (58-stitch circumference)
  • Needles: US 0 (2.0mm), Magic Loop 2-at-a-time
  • Yarn: Schaefer Nichole, Greenjeans colorway
  • Techniques: Judy’s Magic Cast-on toe, slip-stitch heel, Russian bind-off (using US 1.5 (2.5mm) needle)
  • Started 6/17/09, finished 6/22/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I knitted these socks as part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL I mentioned in an earlier post. I loved working on these — loved the pattern, loved the soft and squishy yarn. For the bind-off, I had first tried tubular bind-off (even used a slightly larger needle, US 1.5 (2.5mm), for the 4 prep rows before the bind-off). It looked great… but it was so tight, I really had to force the sock over my heel. And once I got the cuff over my heel, I couldn’t pull it up past my ankle. And I had already bound off both socks and wove in the ends. So I strung some scrap yarn through the cuff several rows before the bind-off, undid the bind-off and ripped back. I redid a couple more rows of the cuff and then finished up with Russian bind-off using a slightly larger needle. Ta-da… perfect fit! Absolutely, perfectly snug. These are probably the best-fitting socks I have right now.

I can’t start the next KAL sock until July 1, so in the meantime I’ve started a pair of socks for the Summer of Socks KAL I’m also participating in. I’ve chosen the pattern Kaibashira (that I’ve had in my Ravelry queue since January 2008) and a ball of TOFUtsies yarn (that I’ve had in my yarn stash since May 2008).

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Recently, I had several projects coming off the needles at nearly the same time. Here they are in all their glory. Click any of the pictures to embiggen.

marysweaterfront_xl

marysweaterback_xlUp first, a baby sweater, made for my friend Cheryl’s new (and first) baby granddaughter. Once I found out her daughter was expecting a little girl, I seized the opportunity to make something girly (since there are no wee baby girls among my closest friends and family at this point), especially since Kim was having a clearance sale on this nice cotton yarn at the time.

  • Pattern: Ballerina Top from Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits
  • Size: 6-12 months
  • Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Porto Cervo, color #45 (fuchsia/pink)
  • Needles: US 1.5 & US 2.5, 40-inch circulars
  • Started 12/26/08, Finished 1/3/09
  • For those on Ravelry, here’s my project page.

Since I had some yarn leftover (and I still do!), I made a hat to go with the sweater. I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while and I’ll definitely be using it again for some charity hats for the Reading Hospital nursery.

maryshattop_xl1

  • Pattern: Star of the Day by Susan Pierce Lawrence
  • Size: Newborn
  • Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Porto Cervo, color #45 (fuchsia/pink)
  • Needle: US 3, 32-inch circular (knitted magic-loop style)
  • Started 1/3/09, Finished 1/4/09
  • For those on Ravelry, here’s my project page.

maryshat_xl1The top of the hat is the cutest part. But the i-cord bindoff that gives oomph to the rolled brim is pretty damn cute, too. The hat is worked from the top down, and it’s a really easy pattern to knit — looks way more complicated than it is. Just yarnovers to make the eyelets and decreases to make the star points and swirls.

And, finally, a pair of socks! Yes, it feels like forever since I last completed a pair of adult-sized socks! These took me the longest to make so far. Not because the pattern was difficult (it wasn’t), but because I also worked on 16 — yes, SIXTEEN — other knitting projects over the same period of time. So these spent a lot of time in the knitting bag, waiting to be picked up during a free moment. I present to you my Fearless Monkeys.

fearlessmonkeys_xl

I so loved working with this yarn. Sooooo soft, like petting a kitten (without the claws prickling your skin). They are my “Fearless Monkeys” because the pattern is called “Monkey”, and the yarn is by Fearless Fibers. Plus, I fearlessly knitted them two-at-a-time on one circular needle (not the first time I’ve done that, but the first time I did that cuff-down instead of toe-up). Seriously, the yarn is gorgeous. I had been working on the socks in not-such-great lighting in my living room most of the time, but one day when I took them into work and knitted over my lunch break at my desk, with all sorts of sunlight streaming in the huge windows, I could see all kinds of shades of brown, tan, olive, and even a pink the color of a kitten’s nose all blended in the yarn. Absolutely beautiful.

  • Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A. (from Knitty, Winter 2006)
  • Size: as written in pattern, length of foot sized for ladies size 9 shoe
  • Yarn: Fearless Fibers superwash merino wool sock yarn, Thoroughbred colorway
  • Needles: US 1.5, 40-inch circular
  • Started 8/10/08, Finished 1/4/09
  • For those on Ravelry, here’s my project page.

Currently, I only have two projects on the needles. First, a pair of socks (for me, of course) that I’m knitting cuff-down and one at a time — a drastic departure from what seems to be my preferred method of toe-up, two at a time — and second, a classic, v-neck sweater (yeah, also for me), which thus far seems to not be turning into a disaster like the first one I made for myself something like 9 years ago. More to come on those two projects, once they’re finished.

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I have just been dying to blog this one, but had to wait because it’s a Christmas gift for my nephew who just turned 1 year old on Christmas Eve.

billysweater_xl

Not a particularly attractive pic… hopefully I’ll have a modeled shot to add once Billy actually grows into it. This is the “Striped Top” pattern from Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits. I cheated a little and used a self-patterning yarn (Trekking XXL sock yarn) instead of two shades of solid yarn alternating for stripes. The whole project went a little faster than I thought it would, considering it’s a seamed sweater and I had to reknit the neck/shoulder shaping on the back because I missed the “work on these stitches for 9 rows” part… twice (left and right sides). Plus, there were times when I had to let it sit to finish up other projects. And let’s not forget that I left it on the spare bed with blocking pins stuck in it for a whole week before I seamed it up all in one afternoon/night.

This is the 24-month size. Had there been an 18-month size in the pattern instructions, I would have made that. But it went right from 12 months to 24 months. And when checking the pattern measurements (of the finished sweater — and mine matches that) against Craft Yarn Council sizing standards (actual body measurements, so you need to allow for negative or positive ease, depending on what the item is), I think this is sized a bit large for 24 months. Granted, several of the photos in the book show the various garments looking a bit oversized on the kiddie models, but this one looked more normal. Anyway, CYC states the actual chest measurement of a 24-month-old child (for clothing sizing purposes) is 20 inches. The chest measurement of this sweater is 29.5 inches. I think nearly 10 inches of ease on a toddler garment may be just a wee bit too much, no? Well, at least the bright side is that he’ll eventually grow into it. Better that than make something he’s already outgrown!

billysweaterbuttons_xlI was also very happy to find just the perfect buttons for this. It would be a great sweater with jeans or olive/tan/brown pants, and the buttons (not sure if you can see it that well in the photo) have sort of a denim-y look to them as far as color and texture.

For those on Ravelry, here’s a link to my project page for the sweater.

billyssweatersox_xlSince I had about half a ball of Trekking left over, I made a pair of socks to match the sweater. I decided to keep these on the larger side, too, in anticipation of him possibly wearing the sweater next fall/winter as well. These are just simple toe-up socks knit two at a time on magic loop, with a stockinette stitch foot, short-row heel and ribbed leg. Made the leg a bit long so they could be worn with or without a folded cuff.

Up next… I’ll be knitting a sweater (Ballerina Top from the same book as the sweater above) for a friend’s granddaughter who was just born last Friday. And I’ll finally be starting an adult-sized sweater for me as well. Hopefully that will turn out better than my first attempts at adult-sized sweaters!

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As promised, here’s the pattern I used for the class I taught on toe-up socks 2-at-a-time on magic loop!

  • This pattern is written for knitting 2 socks at a time on one long circular needle (magic loop). I recommend a needle at least 32” long – but I prefer a 40” circular needle for magic loop.
  • Pattern features a stockinette stitch foot, short-row heel with no wraps, a short ribbed leg, and rolled stockinette cuff. Pattern assumes you know Judy’s Magic Cast On (or other toe-up cast-on) — or follow the link provided to learn how.
  • Two sizes are offered for circumference: 0-12 months is approx. 4” sock circumference, unstretched; 12-36 months is approx. 5.25” sock circumference, unstretched. (The pattern calls for Cascade Fixation, which is very stretchy; the pattern is designed to work with the stretchiness.) To further adjust the fit of the sock, a sizing chart is offered in the pattern, listing child’s shoe size, approximate age, and suggested sock foot length.
  • Notions: long circular needle with a flexible cable (size US 5/3.75mm), stitch marker(s), darning/tapestry needle

If that sounds good to you, and you’d like to make these, go ahead and download the pattern (PDF format). Enjoy!

P.S. Here are the other two pairs of socks — the sample pair I had partway done for the class (blue), and the pair I started during class (pink).

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