Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hedera Socks

I finally started and finished a pair of socks for me:

Hedera Socks

Pattern: Knitty
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential, Burgundy, 2 skeins
Needles: US 1.5 (US 0 for the cuffs)
Project Timeline: 1/11/07 - 2/18/07

I don't LOVE them, but they're all right. The pattern sorta grew on me, but the yarn isn't that fabulous. I had bought it back when I was still really new to sock knitting - I had wanted to build myself up to working with nice yarn and fancy patterns. Of course, Christmas knitting changed all that, but this was the pattern meant to go with this yarn, so I did it. Still, it's nice to have them over with, and a new pair of hand knit socks is still a new pair of hand knit socks.

Plus, most of the knitting was done on the T going to and from work, so it was a good use of my time.

Here's a close up of the lace pattern:

Hedera Socks

Monday, February 19, 2007

Charity Knitting?

One of the things I've been wanting to do for awhile is charity knitting - nothing too fancy, of course, but nice things made with decent yarn to give to people who need warm things. I just haven't really gotten around to it yet.

BUT! At my new job, they have this big United Way campaign every December. In addition to donating some time, participating in the charity poker tournament, and giving a monetary donation, I donated a custom knitted object to the silent auction.

My knitting only brought in $35, but hey, that's something, right? I had said I would knit either: a hat and a scarf, mittens or socks. Laura, who won the auction, chose mittens. When I asked her what she wanted with her mittens, she said she just wanted cream. *sigh* BUT, we did put a fancy cuff on them (though also in cream), and I do love how they came out. Plus, they were FAST! I'm now itching to make my own mittens in lots of pretty colors. :-)

Mittens with Fancy Cuff

Pattern: Knitty
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare - Superwash Worsted Weight, 1 skein, and Knit Picks Twirl, Cream, 1 skein
Needles: US 10.5 (I think), with Bare doubled, Twirl single
Project Timeline: 1/28/07 - 2/10/07

One thing I changed from the basic mitten instructions is that the cuffs are knit with the purl side showing - I really wanted you to be able to see the texture of the Twirl. I'd say I knit them in reverse stockinette stitch, but that would be a lie - I picked up the stitches (be forewarned: do this loosely, otherwise it takes away from the elasticity of the mitten) in a way that allowed me to knit the whole way. And I LOVED how the join between the edge of the inside cuff and the outside cuff turned out - I wish I had gotten a picture.

I've been trying to make an effort to package my gift knitting to increase the quality of the product - presentation tends to make a big difference with food and objects, it seems. At some point, I want to get a lizard stamp and stickers, but for now I've been making pretty handwritten cards with care instructions on them, and tying everything up with ribbon:

Mittens with Fancy Cuff

It's still not exactly what I want, but I do get to customize colors with ribbon and handmade cards, and hopefully it's appreciated.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I love them. I love making them. I'm not sure when it started, but I am now obsessed with making socks and sock yarn. I just can't get enough! Sometime last summer, after I had made myself two pairs of socks (simple stockinette with Knit Picks Simple Stripes - Vineyard, Jaywalkers with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock - Tuscany), I decided that I would make my whole family socks for Christmas. That would be 6 pairs for my mom, my dad and my four sisters! Yikes! Despite starting in August, I finished on December 23rd, which barely left enough time for blocking. Now I'm (slowly) working through friends.

There are two things that make me really love socks. The first is how perfect they are for knitting on the T - they are totally portable, so at whatever point I'm at, I can knit socks during my commute. The second is the hand-dyed colors. They look amazing, but I'm not really into the variegated sweaters or other things (scarves are good, but they bore me most of the time). Plus, that must yarn is expensive! So I get lots of hand-dyed sock yarn - Lorna's Laces, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Sunshine Yarns, Black Bunny Fibers, Fearless Fibers, The Spinning Bunny, Mind's Eye Yarns, Cherry Tree Hill, Schaefer, Mountain Colors... ahh, I love it all.

I don't have another pair of hand-knit socks, though, due to the family knitting project. But the yarn? I have plenty of that! In fact, I have enough sock yarn to make 35 pairs of socks, and that doesn't count odds and ends from past projects (including lots of single and not quite whole skeins of Lorna's Laces). I even joined TWO sock of the month clubs - Sunshine Yarns and Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Yes, that was a lot of money to put down in January (right after Christmas, yuck), but I hope it'll be worth it. Case in point - it's been nearly 2 weeks since I purchased yarn, but I got my first Sunshine Yarns package in the mail on Thursday! Look:

Sunshine Yarns Sock Club - January

The color is called Sweet, and Dani even included a little card with the definition of Sweet and a quote! So cute! It's not a color I would have chosen for myself, but I love it nonetheless. I can't wait until next month when I get my second Sunshine Yarns package AND my first BMFA package! Yay!