Posts categorized "socks"

Never Ending Plying

I've been getting back into the groove of spinning these last few weeks.  The current goal is to make sock yarn.  Good, solid sock yarn.

I've spun up the singles--pretty stuff Lisa Souza superwash merino in the Mardi Gras colourway.  As advised by Molly my spinning sensai I'm over spinning the singles and over plying the whole thing to get a strong sproingy yarn. (Sorry about the iphone photos--I figured it was better to do this then not blog at all, but you may disagree!)

Never ending plying

I'm also spinning up 8oz instead of the usual 4 because I'm not sure if I'll be able to stretch out the 4oz to make socks on my first try.

I must say, the whole thing is taking forever...

Well, the singles went fast enough, but the plying is never. going. to. finish.

I've had a few glitches along the way.  First is time--I thought I could do it in an evening and well it's been the usual craziness here so "in an evening" really means, in a few minutes I get between activities.

Then the big drive band that makes the treadles go broke.  I'm not sure why, but there was a moment when the whole thing felt like I was biking up the big hill on my street and then wham!

The Little Gem doesn't have a traditional treadle system with footmen, but instead uses a big elastic to make the treadles spin the drive wheel.  Like this (the lower green band):


I tried MacGivering a few things that didn't work, but then managed to trim and burn the ends enough to melt the drive band back together until I can get another one.

Yesterday, drive band intact, I got going again only to realize I put the band on the wrong way and so was plying  in the wrong direction.  Sigh.  It took a few minutes to figure out what was happening, and a lot longer to fix it.

Last night (me and the wheel needed some time away from each other) I got in the groove and went back to plying pretty sock yarn.

Never ending plying

I still have at least another evening to go.  I definitely need a smaller whorl to make this go faster and perhaps a bigger wheel. I'm jonesing for a Matchless.  I love my Little Gem, but really see how a big wheel goes faster without as much work from me.

Happy Feet

I finished Xander's socks on the weekend. 

Xander Socks 2

He loves them and I'm very glad that he loves them.  The IndigodragonflyMCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) was so nice to work with.  The colour, Self Elm0lation was so pretty and that little bit of black FI kept it interesting.  Unfortunately, the stranded part on the first sock is a bit tight and it's a bit harder to get on, but my kid won't let me rip it back so let's hope it stretches out a bit.

Xander Socks 2

This was my first try with a toe up gusset heel and I'm SOLD.  I love it.  Easy to do, elegant in it's construction and no stitches to pick up.  Nice on the foot too (remember, these socks fit me and I expect they will be handed down to me at some point).

Xander Socks 2

I have a happy kid with happy feet.  And sheesh, he looks so grown up at 9 compared to this photo from June 2008 (his feet were smaller too!)

Happy Pirate Kid

Spring Cleaning for my Knitting

I know there's been a bit too much blog silence lately, I'm hoping to get back into the habit since I enjoy writing regularly and I enjoy reading blogs too.  I still really like Twitter but I'm trying not to use all my blog mojo there.

If you do follow my Tweets, you'll notice I haven't been feeling all that great.  Just Spring stuff--colds and fatigue, but I think most of it is behind me now.  The good thing about being under the weather, but not too sick is that I have been doing a fair bit of knitting.  

The first priority project is an extra secret project.  I'm the first designer for Kim's Indigodragonfly Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 skein club.  The pattern and yarn will be sent to club members in June so this sneak peak is all I can show you.



I'm having a great time designing and I stretched myself with this one in the fancy construction department. That part was fun.  Ripping out 150 rows of garter stitch when I got my geometry wrong wasn't as fun!

The pattern is mine to release some time this summer; I'll keep you posted.

Next up are Xander's socks.  I have one done and on the heel for the second one.  His feet really are growing while I look, so I need to get these off the needles.  So it's the couch, Firefly and socks for the next few nights.



I also have some abandoned projects on deck that I want to finish because I have a LOT of things I would like to start.  I consider this spring cleaning for my knitting.  I'm on the last piece of my Nantucket Red Cardi--mine is Calmer Blue.  So that's an easy finished object.  

I also have not so much done on the Hanami stole.  I really love the idea of this shawl, but can't get my head around the basketweave pattern.  I'm hoping I can get my head down and just knit those last repeats (or even cheat and skip one) and then get to the cherry blossom part which I'm sure I can get my head around.  I'm using kidsilk haze which is rather unrippable so I'm going to give it a good solid try.

What's up after that?  Some baby clothes for my knitpal Keri who is due in July, perhaps a summer top for me and then, I'm not sure...only because I have tons of beautiful stash yarn and I want to knit it all.

They grow so fast

Poor Xander wore his favourite handknit skull socks right out (Seen here when they were done 2 years ago). 

Happy Pirate Kid

I noticed they were small because the heel was under his foot and he was having a really hard time getting them on.  So I suggested he put them in the give-away bag for his cousins and I'd make him a new pair.  He wore them that one last time and well, they didn't survive the day.  His feet busted out and we had to toss them.

While he wanted another pair "exactly the same" I decided different.  That's because I had Indigodragonfly yarn I wanted and this gave me the perfect opportunity.  He is my baby afterall.  And, seriously, I had no semi-solid or solid yarn in the stash to do a FI skull pattern.  There was a skein of Malabrigo sock but Xander didn't like the purple and there wasnt't enough contrast with the planned black skulls.

I just got started with Self-Elmolation and it's fabulous.  I've never used an MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) yarn for socks.  I now can't envision socks in anything else.

Xander's Socks

The other good part?  Xander's feet are just a hair smaller than mine (I *know*!  He's 9 and wears about a woman's 8.5, I'm a 9 to 9.5).  If I make these with a bit of room to grow (and I will), I might get these back as hand-me-downs.


Skew Socks are done!



And they're great.  Very fun to knit (evil the Magic loop wasn't awful) and the pattern was very easy to follow--even when I had no idea how the heck the heel was going to go.



Nice fit too.  Those heels crack me up.  But they're hard to photograph (especially on your own feet).



This was my first knitting with Claudia's Handpaint and it worked great--no pooling.

Now, the big question.  Do I do a second event?  I'm going to sleep on it.  I have something in mind and might have the time to get them done.  I'm no Clara Hughes of knitting, but I am having fun.



Olympic update

I love long weekends; very good for the knitting. I did a whole lot of nothing but knitting and finished the first sock last night.

The Skew pattern was easy to follow and letting the rows just happen is the secret to success, especially at the heel when you look and can't figure out how the heck this is gonna work.

The fit is great and the Claudia's Hamdpaint yarn is very nice. I'm not going to show too much until I'm finished them both just to keep you guessing (hence the crappy iPhone photo). 

Olympic Sock 1

 I immediately started the second sock and was knitting on the way to work. Going for gold here!

Knitting Olympics

I'm not a big fan of the Olympics.  I think the human drama of sport (mediated by TV) can be very captivating, but the Olympic industry is a big, corrupt, corporate phenomena that sells a lot of messages I don't support.  

Knitters, I like. A lot.  And I like the idea of the Knitting Olympics--taking a challenge and seeing it through. In Toronto, a knit happening town, there are a bunch of knitting olympians having a good time and this year I decided, the non-corporate, big, good knitters are people I could support; so I'm playing too.

My project?  Skew--the Knitty Winter Surprise.  I like the pattern and I have some Claudia's Handpaint in the stash.  I never knit pattern socks; especially architecturally challenging socks and I never use Magic Loop (I'm all dpns, all the time) so this made for a challenge.  

Socks might not be a challenge for some of you, but I have a full-time job, a bathroom that still needs to be finished, two kids and my mother is recuperating from a broken upper arm at our house.  The next two weeks are busy enough without having plans to start and finish a pattern I have to pay attention to.

So far, it's coming along okay.  



It's a long weekend and I had one of those cocky moments where I thought I might get these done a little early.  That should bite me in the butt later...

Are you participating?  Let me know your challenge--I'd love to hear it.

What's Steph Knitting?

Really, even though the blog is pretty silent (work is mostly to blame), I'm still doing a bit of knitting.

I finished a beret last week.


Chevron Lace Beret (Ravelry link) using Manos Silk Blend.  I really like it, but the colour looks horrible on me. It's going into the Christmas gift pile.  I've started a cowl to go with it.  Probably won't keep that either.  Sigh.  The yarn was very nice to work with and I would like some more in the future.  Silk really does make everything better.

And I'm working on the ugliest socks ever.  I'm pretty sure the yarn is a STR Rare Gem (can't find the label) and it was my mom's choice for her curling socks (she has a hot pink vest to match), but the pooling is making for some serious ugliness from my vantage point.  Perhaps the sight of her ankles whizzing by will distract the other team.  


She'll like them because she's my Mom (and very appreciative of my knitting) and they're fine to knit (just plain old socks) but man, they're ugly.  Too much yellow I think.

The Bohus continues.  Kim practically dared me to have this done in the next three weeks, and I'm up for the challenge.  Hopefully my life will make way for my need to get this sweater done.  I'm itching to cast on a new sweater (something aran weight on big needles) and I told myself I have to have Grey Mist done first.

Last thing I expected to get me out of a slump

A funny thing happened on Friday.  I was procrastinating at work taking a break and looking at Ravelry, when I noticed Emily's very beautiful Hanami stole.  I peeked at the pattern, saw many other beautiful versions and decided that I needed to make one for myself.  Immediately.  I went through my stash (I totally *heart* Ravelry for making this so easy) found a few possibilities, bought the pattern, and when I got home from work, decided on the yarn (need to touch it to be sure) and casted on.

Less than 10 days earlier I was trading away laceweight yarn for boat shuttled because I realized that I didn't like knitting lace.  And here I was spending the weekend getting through 38 rows of a not-so-intuititve (for me) lace pattern.  Huh?

In this case, I'm not fighting it.  Knitting is supposed to make me relaxed and happy.  I'm relaxed and happy and loving the KSH springy pinkiness (it's kidsilk spray in vino).


Time for a knitting update post

Sorry I've been gone for a while.  Things have been unsettled at home and work has been busy and, and... you get the picture.

We survived Emma's first slumber party. It was made easier by Xander going to Cub Camp for the weekend (he had a blast at his first away-from home, not with family, nights away) and by the fact that the two girlfriends of Emma's are charming, polite kids.  They watched 4 of 6 Star Wars movies (starting with the originals--also showing their good taste), ate pizza and cookies and popcorn, giggled (but not too much) and didn't sleep much. 

I, on the other hand, sat with Craig in our bed, read, knit, played Scrabble and struggled to keep my eyes open long enough to go downstairs to tell them it was light's out time.  Then I crashed and didn't hear a thing. 

I also have had some time to knit (whilst watching Colin Firth brood in Pride and Prejudice).  I finished a warmer tam for myself.  I know Emma has it on--I had really bad morning hair and had her volunteer.  She's not getting it though.  She has enough of my handknit accessories.


It's Three Tams and it was a nice, quick knit.  I find that the tam isn't floppy enough for me, so I didn't over  shape it and it's a usable hat.  The yarns are Paton's Classic Merino and Noro Kureyon (124?); I'm really pleased with the colours.


I would like to do another FI beret that is more like my Gretel (in shape), or knit one of Gudrun's beautiful new designs.  I also might do a striped one using leftovers from my earth-stripe wrap, but don't think that's windproof enough for our current weather.

Things are progressing with the Drops Cardi.  I finished a front piece and started on the back.  This has been my easy knitting.  And it is good.


And my TIFF socks are back in the works again.  Since the Film Festival was in September I should call these something else.  Emma has claimed these ones and is hounding me to finish.


Bohus is back in the basket.  I hope to get back into it this week, but so far haven't had the brain-power to consider where I'm at with the pattern and where I'm going.  I am not following the pattern as written (doing it in the round instead of flat, added waist shaping and will fit it to my body as I go) so it's not just a sit and knit thing.