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Posts Tagged ‘Socks from the Toe Up’

First up, the Lace & Cable Socks I started back on April 2nd as part of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL on Ravelry. They were the KAL sock for April… which means I was supposed to get them done in April (in order to be eligible to win any of the KAL prizes). Considering I was still working on Mom & Dad’s blanket and also some baby gifts for a friend (see later in this post) at the same I was working on these socks, I really didn’t expect to get them done by the KAL deadline. And even though I wanted to start something new as soon as I finished the baby gifts, I knew I needed to make myself finish the socks first, or else they would probably end up sitting around, neglected and possibly forgotten entirely. So here they are:

Melodic Lace & Cables

  • Pattern: Lace & Cable Socks by Wendy D. Johnson (from Socks from the Toe Up)
  • Yarn: Jojoland Melody Superwash, color # MS20 (a mix of burgundy and purplish-blue)
  • Needles: U.S. 0 (2.0 mm), plus U.S. 1.5 (2.5 mm) used for bind-off only
  • Techniques used: Judy’s Magic Cast-on; worked on magic loop 2 at a time; Russian bind-off (as described in the book, Socks from the Toe Up — I think there are at least a couple slightly different methods out there by the same name)
  • Started 4/2/10, finished 5/27/10
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

While I’m very happy with the finished socks, I’m mostly happy to be done with them! They weren’t a particularly fun knit for me, mostly because of the amount of concentration required. The pattern consists of a 5-stitch, 4-row cable pattern flanking a 17-stitch, 16-row lace pattern. Just a little bit more than I like to keep track of while knitting a pair of socks. The pattern is beautiful all knitted up, though.

The yarn was interesting… until I got to the heel, it almost looked like I was using two different colors of yarn. It’s a two-tone yarn that gradually shifts from mostly burgundy to a purplish blue, and it turns out I started each toe at different parts in the color gradation. So one quickly shifted into the purplish blue shade while the other remained mostly burgundy through the whole foot. Above the ankles the colors look more alike.

Next up, itty bitty baby knitting! A former coworker of mine is having her first child very shortly (like this coming week)! I’ve known since about December, and after much pondering about what to make, I finally decided on the Sock it to Me Baby! sweater and hat set. And then I just had to make some Stay-on Baby Booties. And I still had plenty of yarn leftover, so I decided to also crank out a pair of baby socks. (Oh yeah, I still have about a half a ball of Sockotta leftover. It’s going in the Sock Yarn Blanket.) These goodies have already been boxed up and mailed out, just in time for baby’s arrival.

Baby Sweater, Hat, Booties and Socks

  • Patterns: Sock it to Me Baby! sweater & hat; Christine’s Stay-on Baby Booties; basic toe-up socks with short-row heel and ribbed fold-down cuff
  • Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta, color #5618
  • Needles: U.S. 1.5 (2.5 mm) and 2.5 (3.0 mm) for sweater and hat; U.S. 1.5 (2.5 mm) for booties and socks
  • Notes: For the sweater, I worked the pieces in a different order. I started with the fronts, working them both at the same time on one long needle, matching the stripes. Then I moved on to the sleeves, working in the same manner. Lastly, I did the back, then sewed together and worked the collar and button bands. For the hat, I worked it in the round, instead of flat as in the pattern directions.
  • Sweater & hat started 4/23/10, finished 5/9/10; booties started 5/10/10, finished 5/14/10; socks started 5/14/10, finished 5/16/10
  • Ravelry project pages (login required): Sweater & Hat; Booties; Socks

Of course, I still have many more projects planned and not as much time as I’d like to work on them. I’ve started the KAL sock for May… just a few days ago. That’s another KAL “deadline” I will miss. I also have plans for this:

Classic Elite Firefly, color #7739 Cyprus
This is going to become the Fringed Scarf from Classic Elite Picnic #9109. And it’s for ME.

And I’m also looking forward to working with this:

Jojoland Cashmere, color #C251, turquoise
(And what it’s going to be is a surprise… to you, that is, not to me. I already know, of course.)

And there’s so much more… but I really gotta get back to my knitting. 🙂

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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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Shocking, I know.

OnHold1_XL

On-Hold Socks

  • Pattern: On-Hold Socks by Wendy D. Johnson (from the book, Socks from the Toe Up)
  • Size: Medium (66-stitch circumference)
  • Needles: US 0 (2.0mm), Magic Loop 2-at-a-time
  • Yarn: Cascade Heritage Paints, color 9872 (shades of blue ranging from dark slate to navy)
  • Techniques: Judy’s Magic Cast-on toe, slip-stitch heel, Russian bind-off (used US 1.5 (2.5mm) needle for bind-off)
  • Started 7/2/09, finished 7/21/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

This is definitely a pattern you need to pay attention to. While I didn’t have any major mistakes that required serious frogging, tinking, or ripping back in general, there were a couple of times when I had to either tink* back a whole row (or close to it) or pick up a stitch a couple rows down where I forgot to do a yarnover. Learning how to fix mistakes in your knitting without having to undo several entire rows is a valuable skill to have in your bag of tricks. Not something I’d want to do on a complicated, open lacework piece — because it would be really hard to avoid making it look totally awful — but for something small and less complicated like these socks it’s pretty handy.

Next on the list is some gift knitting, so no blogging about that until the items are gifted (and, um, I have to actually start them first). But there will probably be another pair of socks on the needles in August for the next monthly installment of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL. At least that should be bloggable!

*For my non-knitting, blog-reading friends, here’s a vocabulary lesson: “tink” is “knit” spelled backwards. Tinking is undoing your knitting one stitch at a time by un-knitting it, as if you were playing a video of your knitting in reverse. Oh, and “frogging” is when it’s so far gone you just have to “rippit”. Srsly. I am not making this up. These are Official Knitting Terms.

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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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I recently ordered the book Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson (blogmistress of Wendy Knits). The book features more than 20 sock patterns, all toe-up, along with several different toe, heel, and bind-off techniques. Choosing which pattern to knit first was a little tough, but I settled on Lacy Ribs. Within a few days after casting on, I discovered there’s a knitalong (KAL) group on Ravelry for the book… and it just so happens the first KAL sock for June is Lacy Ribs.

LacyRibSocks_XL

Lacy Ribs Socks

  • Pattern: Lacy Ribs by Wendy D. Johnson (from Socks from the Toe Up)
  • Size: Medium (64 stitch circumference)
  • Needles: US 0 (2.0mm), Magic Loop 2-at-a-time
  • Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock/Wool in the Woods, one of the “lottery” colorways (a mash-up of all the dyes from that day, so there are many varieties of “lottery” colors — this one is a teal/purple blend)
  • Techniques: Judy’s Magic Cast-on toe, slip-stitch heel, Russian bind-off (went up to US 2.5 needle for bind-off)
  • Started 6/5/09, finished 6/16/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

This was an easy stitch pattern to memorize — only 2 pattern rows alternated with ribbing. Easy, so it’s somewhat mindless knitting while watching TV, but just interesting enough not to be boring. I had originally started these on US size 1.5 needles, but I was afraid they were coming out too big (especially for such a stretchy pattern), so I ripped them out after finishing the toe and about 1.5 repeats of the pattern, and started over on US size 0 needles. They’re a bit on the loose side, but not too baggy. I probably would have been fine making the small size instead of the medium. This was also the first time I did Russian bind-off. I really liked it and will definitely use it again. I wouldn’t have needed to go up to a US size 2.5 needle for the bind-off, though — I would have been fine going up to a US size 1.5 instead. Still, just a little loose, not so baggy that they’ll fall down. (Plus, it leaves a little room for them to tighten up with washing.)

I’m definitely looking forward to making lots more of the patterns in this book — I love Wendy’s toe-up patterns, especially with the slip-stitch heel. Up next for the June segment of the KAL is Wendy’s Sprucey Lucy pattern (each month, there’s a pattern from the book and one of Wendy’s free patterns to choose from — or to knit both). For Sprucey Lucy, I’ll use one of the yarns I bought at Lamb’s Ear Yarns last weekend, Schaefer Nichole, in the Greenjeans colorway.

SchaeferNichole

Schaefer Nichole, Greenjeans colorway

Another brief crochet interlude…

The doily is finished as well. It’s a little wonky (yes, that’s a technical term) at some spots, but overall not bad for the first one.

PineappleDoilyXL

Petite Pineapple Doily (please excuse the blocking pins)

  • Pattern: Petite Pineapple Doily by Priscilla Hewitt
  • Size 7 steel crochet hook
  • Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton, #10, ecru
  • Started 6/12/09, finished 6/15/09 (even though Squeek got his hind leg caught in the loose thread and ripped out almost an entire round as he ran through the house…yikes)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

I also took a stab at crocheting a coaster…

Coaster1_XL

Quick & Easy Crocheted Coaster (why, yes, it was)

You can see something is not right below the center hole, all the way out to the edge. I think I forgot the ch2 at the end of the second round. But other than that, “Quick and Easy” is a good name for this one… it’s true.

I’ll definitely be making some more of these coasters — gotta keep trying until I get it right!

So that’s it for the FOs at the moment. You’re sure to see more socks here in the near future, what with the Socks from the Toe Up KAL going on, and Summer of Socks 2009 starting up this weekend!

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