A successful day all round!

Last night I sat down to carry on with F’s socks whilst he watched the rugby. I tell you, I nearly binned those socks. I was at the point of turning the heel and there is something about short row shaping that I struggle with. I don’t know what it is, but it is probably my biggest challenge with knitting. It made me quite grumpy!

It took a couple of attempts, but I did manage to do turn that heel and knit a few more rounds in the end. I tried it on F’s foot and it does seem to fit well, so I am relieved. Now I have to work out a cable pattern to do on the sides.

Today, after a successful shopping trip, I spent the afternoon at my parents, and whilst F watched more rugby with my Dad, I did some sewing. Mum taught me how to do foundation piecing and I did a log cabin block.

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Log Cabin Block made with foundation piecing

Mum’s only recently tried this technique herself but has been raving how neat and accurate her blocks were with it and she loves it.  I wasn’t sure about it at first. It took me  a bit of time to get my head around what I had to do, but I think I got it in the end and I was really surprised at how quick it is to put a block together. I will definitely give it another go.

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The back of the block, where you sew on the lines in order.

 

Once I’d done that blog, I started to make a cushion using a Sunnyside Mini Charm Pack. I’m so ready for Spring and Summer to arrive, that I wanted to make something fresh and summery, and this charm pack really fits the bill.

The front of the cushion is made and if I get time tomorrow, I will get grab some fabric from the shop for the back and then make a piped edge. We’ve got friends coming for lunch though, so I’m not sure if I’ll manage to do it or now.

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FO: His socks

I kept a knitting project at my fiancé’s house for the weekends that I stay with him. A small sock project would be good, I thought. Little did I know how long it would take me to knit these socks for him. I just don’t do much knitting at his house!

But I finally got these finished and gave them to him at the weekend.

I wasn’t sure I could make them a matching pair, but it turns out I would have had enough yarn to start the second sock at the same point in the pattern repeat. I would also do the toe a bit differently for him. It is a bit pointy.

But they are done, they fit him and he’s now asked for another pair, this time in some chunky wool with a cabled pattern which he can wear as slipper socks!

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Sock Knitting for beginners

Found this website (via Ravelry) with step by step instructions for knitting socks. Have found it helpful to remind myself of certain parts so thought I’d just mention it here.

Silver’s Sock Class

FO: More socks

I finished this pair of socks last night for my best friend’s Dad.  Medical treatment means that his feet have swollen so he needed them to be larger than normal.

I used some Regia 4 ply we had in the stash and each sock took pretty much a whole 50g ball.

He’s very pleased with the colour of them and they are large enough.  The only thing is that the ribbing at the top might be a bit tight for him, so I’m going to look through other sock patterns to see if there is a way of doing the top slightly differently.

Also looking at getting some Crystal Palace yarns for the shop, as an alternative to Noro, which I think is so scratchy and rough that I’ve never wanted to knit with it.

Next up… not sure… Got some things to finish off.  Knit and Natter starts again on Wednesday so I need to have something to take along.  Perhaps I need to make some serious attempts to finish the scandinavian blanket.

More sock knitting tips

I write this, as a note to myself more than anything, because twice in the past couple of days I’ve heard mention of this casting off technique for stretchy tops of socks (when knitting toe-up)

Jenny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off – http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall09/FEATjssbo.php

I will try this when I do my first toe up sock.

Learning the theory of sock knitting

I’ve only ever made two pairs of socks in my life – a pair last year for me (which were a little bit big if truth be told) and then a pair for my brother for Christmas.  Both times I followed the simple sock pattern exactly and it is so clearly written that I just did what it said and it worked.

However I’ve been asked to knit a pair of socks for my best friend’s Dad and they need to be larger than normal, which means I have to modify the number of stitches of the pattern.  Now the pattern author has been helpful in that she adds some notes at the end explaining that the heel flap is knitted using half the total amount of stitches, and the stitches picked up for the gusset is always a quarter of the total.

I came a bit stuck though, when trying to shape the heel.  There was no note about how many stitches to work before turning on the first row of shaping.  Fortunately a kind person on Ravelry explained that it is half the number of stitches plus 1.  This was quickly followed by another tip from another Ravelry member that the number of rows worked in the heel flap is usually the same as the number of stitches in the heel flap.  I hadn’t asked about this, but she saw my question and added it as a useful note.  That’s why I love the Ravelry forums.  There are so many helpful people!

So the “theory” of sock knitting is finally starting to click.  In fact I’m really enjoying sock knitting right now.  I discovered last night there are all sorts of different ways of doing heels and toes and knitting from the the toe up is very popular too.  So I might try a different pattern at some point soon.

Christmas knitting is finished

My brother is due home for the holidays this afternoon and I finished the socks I was knitting for him at lunchtime!  Phew.  They’re all ironed and wrapped now.

socks for my brother

For these socks I used an odd ball of Opal sock yarn that was in the stash.  I didn’t get anywhere near the tension in the pattern for some reason and initially the socks started off too large.  I started again and am just hoping they’ll fit now.

There’s one little fault on one of the socks where, after knitting the heel flap, you have to pick up stitches to turn the heel.  There are two small holes.  On the other sock it’s better because I picked up the stitches slightly differently.  But the rate my brother goes through socks they probably won’t last him all that long anyway!

FO: My first pair of socks

Here are my first pair of socks. A tiny bit on the large size for me, but still very wearable. Everyone I’ve been showing has been fascinated by the way the yarn changes colour. They think I’ve been very clever until I tell them the yarn is self striping!

first pair of hand knit socks

My first sock

Well tonight I started my first ever sock! I was given a ball of sock yarn last Christmas but still hadn’t given it a go. When I’ve used DPNs in the past I’ve not been very good. But a lady at Knit and Natter is a prolific sock knitter and I know she’ll help me if I get stuck turning the heel or whatever.

For those readers who’ve no idea about how to knit a sock, here’s what I’m doing:

I have four 2.75mm double-pointed needles (DPNs). I cast on 60 stitches then divided the stitches evenly between three of the needles. I put a marker on the first stitch so I can see where the row/round starts. Then with the fourth needle I knit the stitches on the first needle. This needle then becomes the empty one and so I use it to knit the stitches on the second needle. And you keep doing this round and round and round so you are knitting a tube. When you get to the marker each time, you know you’ve completed a full circle.

It can be quite tricky trying to handle all these needles but I found I got into a rhythm.

Made fairly good progress tonight. I have to move the changeover stitch around because when I start knitting on the next needle, the first stitch was quite loose even though I pulled the yarn as tight as I can.