Thursday, December 27, 2007

First Campanula Complete

Merry Christmas everyone. With all the Christmas knitting, my Campanulas have been languishing in my knitting bag for a while - but I finished the first sock and I love it - this is Bernat's Cool Cotton and I love the stitch definition - and they are really soft and comfy. I can't wait to finish the second sock - Our Walk for the Cure will be in April - so I'm sure they'll be finished by then...


This is posted over at http://campanulaforthecure.blogspot.com/ and you can still get the pattern there...

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Hedera Done!

(also posted on my blog)



Yes, I finally finished the first Hedera sock. I had trouble with the lace pattern in the beginning and I think that put some bad vibes into the yarn and kept me from working on it as much as I should have. (Bad vibes? Did I really say that?) Anywho, the sock is done and it fits wonderfully, I can't wait for the second one to be done so I can wear these babies!

The yarn is Crystal Palace's Maizy (82% Corn Fiber - 18% elastic nylon), the fabric feels great and it was nice to work with except when it came time to kitchner the toe. Oh how the yarn fought me! But I still love this yarn and will be continuing to collect it and pack it in the sock yarn box like a squirrel. Oooh, and there are going to be some new colors for Spring, I'm really excited about "stormy purple" and "earth."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Twinkletoes

I made the twinkletoes - I needed some new slippers and I happened to have some leftover black yarn - you don't even need a whole skein for this pattern.

It was fun and easy and I had a new pair of slippers in an evening...

My only changes were to add a little triangle of stitches to the strap...


Saturday, November 17, 2007

They DON'T Need To Match

If someone says that socks need to match, they are wrong. I knit these with my favourite cheap acrylic yarn Satu with 4mm needles. My pathetic little "balcony" (basicly just a door ventilate my apartment) is for some reason my favourite place to photograph socks.

Pretty cool pajama pants, aren't they? I bought them for myself as a birthday present. There are bats in them, and the eyes and teeth of the bats glow in the dark. Sweeeet!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cascade Elite cotton socks!


I received a lovely skein of colorgrown Cascade Elite Nature's Palette cotton from Ellie along with a pattern for a lace rib sock, and lovely Brittany needles. I normally prefer to use two circs but this time I decided to use all the materials she'd given me (including lovely sock stitch markers) and follow the pattern exactly. I'm onto the foot of the first sock and I love how the rib lace looks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First ever Toe-Up Heel

I turned the heel on my first toe up sock and I think it's a pretty neat heel - I'm really happy with it and this soft comfy cotton yarn too...

I think I'm going to have plenty of yarn for this sock and it's mate - I wish I had done the Monkey's as toe up socks - then they could have been a shorter version and all matched. Oh well...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Campanula progress

I'm still working on my first ever toe-up socks - and I'm just about to turn the heel - YAY!
You can still get the pattern at http://campanulaforthecure.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

FO - Monkey

The Monkey socks are finally finished - I had 2 birthdays and a friend's new baby to knit for in October - so they've been languishing in my knitting bag for a few weeks. I'm calling the yarn shortage redesign a "reinforced toe" hehe - sort of like my son's 'gold toe' socks.

...and another sort of funny thing - I'll be back in Bismarck this weekend and could get more yarn - we'll see if I want to bother ripping back and completing with the 'right' yarn...

I like them a lot - they're comfy and they fit well and they look good with blue jeans - I think they'll be nice with shorts next summer too...

Now it's on to the Campanula socks - remember I wanted something nice and lacey for the Bernat Cotton - I think the pattern is still available for a donation...
http://campanulaforthecure.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spiral Boot Socks

Ok, my first post in this KAL. These are from Interweave Knits magazine, Summer 2007 issue. The yarn is cotton sock yarn from The Black Stitch, so not available anymore. The pattern is pretty simple, looks more difficult than it actually is.


Sorry for the crazy pictures, really hard to take a picture of one's own legs :)


All in all, I'm really happy with these socks. They are a bit too big but otherwise fine. The yarn is nice and shiny, not very stretchy (100% cotton).

Monday, September 17, 2007

So...What Puked These?


Remember the Blueberry Puke- socks? The Puke-socks series got a sequel today when these got knit. Though it's still not clear what puked these up. I used the same yarn as in the Blueberry socks, except naturally not the same colour. 100% acrylic. They took me two days to knit. Not bad.

One Monkey off my back

I finished the first Monkey sock and I'm pretty pleased with it. You can definitely see the color change at the toe - but the weight and texture of the substitution are pretty good.




Now - on to sock #2...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yarn Substitution

You remember that I was going to run out of yarn for my Monkey socks - and you may also remember that the 'flash' yarn I was using was three distinct strands in different colors - so while I was at 'Stuff Mart' the other day - I walked past the embroidery thread display and noticed the many many colors they have. Hmmmm I thought - I bet I can match my sock yarn with that. So I went out to the car and got a piece of yarn(I rarely go anywhere without my knitting bag) and chose three colors which I thought closely matched. The little skeins are about 9 yards each and I think I only need enough for about the last inch or so of sock.

and at 10¢ each - I will spend about 60¢ to finish my sock.

I have an old drop spindle and I plied the yarn - it's a pretty close match - but in natural light I can see that the blue is brighter and the olive is darker than the original - the lime is still a good match. I shouldn't have tried to match under 'stuff mart's' flourescent lights.

Stuff Mart = walmart - if you watch the Veggie Tales Madame Blueberry - that's the store she gets all her 'stuff' at - so we've called it that since the Man-Cub was little - very appropriate...

Friday, September 7, 2007

FO: Pink Socks!!!


Whooo hooo I just finished up my pink fixation socks! I made them using the 7 stitches per inch formula in Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks. I tweaked the pattern a bit for the toes though. I used US size 3 needles and 2 skeins of Cascade Fixation, I still have a ton of yarn left on each ball though because I like short socks.

Friday, August 31, 2007

We Have Winners!!!

Congratulations to Anna and Vegan Knitting, you are the winners of the Maizy sock yarn! I will be e-mailing both of you shortly with prize details. Thanks so much to everyone who entered, the reviews where great!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Black Stitch Yarn


Ok. This is totally unfair as this Hibiscuitsgirl is no longer making this yarn. But I loved it so maybe I can get a few tips from her on where she got the yarn to dye.


The Black Stitch yarn was a fingering weight 100% cotton sock yarn dyed in several colorways. Pictured above is "stronghold" which Hibiscuits girl was kind enough to send to me free in exchange for trying it out since it was new.

I knit some basic ankle socks using a mock cable pattern for the leg and a stockinette top of foot and reverse stockinette on the sole.


This yarn is shiny and soft to the touch. It is very smooth so at times using the Addi Turbos was trying but it would have been great on bamboo needles. It does not split easily at all - the plies were very tight and held together well. I made the socks for my big fat size 10 feet with just a few yards leftover from a single skein, which at $12 normally was a great deal. I'm very sorry I didn't order more while she was still making it.

Monkey Sock Update

Oh No - I'm going to run out of yarn - I already know this because I just turned the heel of the first sock and ran out of the first skein (and I only had 3 skeins). I'm going to contact the nice lady at the yarn shop in Bismarck and see if she'll send me another one - but just to be sure I cast on for the second sock and started it - then I'll divide the third skein and then if I have to substitute on the toe - at least both socks will be the same...

Good thing I never wear socks with sandals...

Bernat Cool Crochet - One more Review

I bought this yarn back in the spring when I was looking for some cool cotton to make summer socks - and as you can see I have yet to knit any cool summer socks - but I will - I think something nice and lacy...

This is Bernat's description:
Cool Crochet
All Shades (161074)
Tension
26 sts - 36 rows = 4" (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle
3.75 mm, US - 5
Suggested Crochet Hook
3.75 mm, US - F/5
Care
Machine washable. Lay flat to dry.
All Shades (161074)
Content: 70% Cotton - 30% Nylon
Put-up: 1.75 oz / 50 g, 3 Balls / Package
Length: 200 yd / 182 m
http://www.bernat.com/product.php?LGC=coolcrochet

The yarn is very soft and has a slight shimmer - it glides on the needles - which is nice after the stiff Baby Denim...

I swatched on size 2 needles and the shimmer is not so apparent in the stockinette stitch - but still a very nice drapey fabric.

So - if you know of a nice lacey summer sock pattern - send it my way...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Contest Reminder

The contest deadline is finally creeping up, you must post your entries by 6pm us central time on August 30. Thanks to everyone who has posted such informative reviews so far (Michelle, Anna, Affectioknitter, and Torrance). There's still time to post reviews and remember, you can post a review of a yarn someone has already posted about. Again, there will be 2 winners who will each have their pick of any 2 skeins of Maizy sock yarn. Thanks!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Pick-Me-Up Socks/ yarn review: Rowan RYC Classic Bamboo Soft


Here they are. Didn't take too long. Not suprinsing when your knitting with 4mm needles, and most of the time only have 44 stitches per row.

I made these with the wonderful bamboo yarn I bought yesterday. (clicking the link will also explain why these are called pick-me-up socks)
The yarn itself was so lovely I just wanted to make a simple pair of toe-up socks. These socks will probably be something I sleep in.

A little review of the yarn added later on:
On this review I'm going to use the highly technical pro/con-list. Try to keep up ;)
(yes, sadly I am trying to be funny)
Rowan RYC Classic Bamboo Soft
100% Bamboo viscose
50g/ 201 m (112 yds)
25 sts x 30 rows= 10cm/4inches
3,75mm needles/ size 5 US
+ just feel the yarn! it is so soft you'd want to run the skein on your
cheek over and over and over again
+ it comes in fabulous (a little metallic) shades of colours. too bad my
LYS didn't carry the darker grey..
- as a fan of cheap things I wouldn't mind if it would cost a little
less. (my LYS selss it for 4,45€/skein)
+ knitting with this yarn is almost dreamy. it slides through your fingers
like a little river of satin.
- it splits into strands a little too easily to my taste
+ since it is so thick knitting socks with it does not take too long
- I don't think it'll prove to be the most durable sock-yarn
+ wearing socks knitted with this yarn will feel like your feet would be
surrounded with kittens
+ most importantly the yarn and the socks succeeded in their task of providing
me the pick-me-up I needed!
*
(There will most likely be some odd spelling, just try not to mind. English is not my native language)
*

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bright Pink Comfy Sock




Whoo hoo, I got one sock finished! They're a little bigger than usual so they are extra comfy for wearing in bed or around the house. They are made with Cascade Fixation and size 3 needles.

Classic Elite FLASH - Yarn Review

While we were on vacation I got to go to 'real' yarn shop - Yippee! We have no such thing in my tiny town...


I was pleasantly surprised - the shop owner came over (of course) to see if she could help me and when I told her that I didn't use animal fibers - she graciously switched gears without even batting an eye and steered me over to some cottons - then she left and came back with a sample book and offered to order anything that I wanted...

I explained that I was on vacation and appreciated the offer - at least with a sample book you can touch the yarn and see the colors - as opposed to internet shopping - but I chose Classic Elite Flash in the Gulf Green colourway - this is their description of the yarn:

"fiber: 100% Mercerized Cotton gauge: 4.5 - 5
manufacturer: Classic Elite yards per skein: 93
recommended needle: 7 machine washable: yes

This soft tweedy multi color cotton that is perfect for any spring or summer project. Flash is made up from 3 strands of different colors. Great for kids-- it is machine washable."

The Gulf Green colourway is three distinct strands - olive green - lime green and sea blue...

As soon as I finished the tennis socks as cast on for 'Monkey' socks at Kala's suggestion http://vegansockkal.blogspot.com/2007/07/opinions.html

I've only completed the first pattern set - but I love the yarn

It has a silky feel and a little shimmer - but it does tend to split pretty easily...

Yarn review - Schachenmayr Bambino

I'm still searching for the perfect sock yarn. It doesn't help that the ones that look most promising aren't available in Finland.. HINT HINT (I want to win)

Anyhow. One I loved to knit with was this wonderful baby-yarn I'm now reviewing.
110m/25g skein
60% cotton, 40% acrylic
30 stitches x 42 rows = 10cm (4 inches)
knit with 3mm needles
*
I bought this yarn a little before my cousin/godson was born. (I think it's so weird I have a godson.. I'm not even a member of any church anymore). It was on sale at the time. I think I bought 3 or for skeins of the blue for 1,50€ each, then the rest of them (4 of the white and one of the orange) for 0,75€. I like cheap yarn.
*
I was a little afraid 'cos the yarn felt just a little rough to touch. And I thought that's very weird for something that you're supposed to make stuff for babies with. But when I started knitting with it I understood: the knitted fabric was way softer. Nice! I think the yarn is durable, and sturdy enough, while still being soft. And I love the little bits of colour in the otherwise solid colour yarn. They look great when knitted, just look:
(winning would be nice)
Aren't these cutest? I think I knitted these with 2,5mm needles. I made just basic socks for my godson last october, a little after he was born. And I love the result. And so did his mother. I don't think (for as long as they fit him) the child went anywhere without them.
*
I still have all the yarn in the first picture. I'm just hoping someone I know would get knocked up, so I could make cutesy baby bootys or socks with it. I think I would have enough of the white yarn to make me sock, but I think I'll save it for someone cuter.
(did I mention I wanted to win this?)
*
*
*
P.s If you think you found some hidden little messages in this text you are obviously going grazy, and should contact your doctor immediately ;)


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tennis Socks - Finished

I finished the tennis socks while on vacation - lots of driving and pool time...

...a couple of bad light hotel room photos...


...and here they are with shoes...

...nice and soft... comfy...

Aunt Lydia’s® “Baby Denim” Yarn Review



This is the Coats and Clark description of the yarn:

Super-soft worsted weight 8-ply crochet thread. Ideal for babies, toddlers, apparel, and home d├ęcor. Versatile 75% cotton/25% acrylic blend medium weight thread. 8.64 oz / 246g / 400 yd / 366m ball. Machine wash. Imported. Knit gauge in stockinette stitch, size 8 (5mm) needles: 20 sts and 25 rows = 4" (10cm). Crochet gauge in single crochet, size H-8 (5mm) hook: 20 sc and 25 rows = 4" (10cm).

and at $5.75 US for a 400 yard ball - it's quite a bargain.

When I chose this yarn for the tennis socks I was hoping for a sturdy, soft, absorbent yarn - and I think that this yarn meets all of these requirements...

I found the yarn a little bit difficult to work with as it's sort of stiff - and I wouldn't recommend using less than a size 3 US needle. You can see the 8 plys of cotton thread and it does have a tendency to split. The finished sock certainly seems sturdy (the pair is finished and I'll post pics later) and after washing and wearing they are very soft - I have not played tennis in them yet - but I think they will hold up well...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Yarn Review: Rowan Calmer

If you read my blog you probably know I'm obsessed with Rowan Calmer, a 75% cotton, 25% microfiber yarn. The swatch pictured above is the color Coral, though it is more of an orange-red and was captured as more magenta-y than it is in person. The microfiber lightens the cotton considerably and gives stretch, making it pretty much the most comfortable yarn I've ever knit with. I haven't made socks with it yet, but I think it would make some wonderful arch-hugging and cushy socks. Normally this yarn knits at 5.25 sts per inch on size 8 US needles, the stretchiness means it can be knitted on bigger needles and come out with a tension similar to DK. The Rowan Calmer Collection book has a pattern for socks (called Mood, pictured below) knit on size 6 US needles, achieving 6 spi, or a 48-stitch sock. Each 50g ball is 160m/175yds (check out that ratio, I'm telling you this stuff is very light, not like pure cotton at all). Even though the ballband says to handwash, I've had success machine washing and drying an item I made with this yarn.

The only thing I don't like about Rowan Calmer is that the microfiber content makes achieving an even tension difficult, my purls come out much looser and on flat knits I've had to go down a needle size on the WS. However, knitting a stockinette sock in the round would avoid this problem entirely. A pair of socks would require about 2 balls of this yarn, and unfortunately it retails $10-12 per ball. There's an awesome seller in the UK, though, called Jannette's Rare Yarns who is selling some of the older colorways at US$6.25-6.50 and shipping to the US (which is by air, i.e. fast) is $4 for the first ball, $1 for each additional. You might be interested to know there's a cute pattern for ballet slippers called Twinkletoes using Calmer, which is kind of pushing the definition of socks but hey they're footwear so I think it's relevant. :)

Bernat Sox Yarn Review

Bernat Sox is an acrylic/nylon mix which can be knit on 2.25mm needles making it pretty useful. The yarn information says a 3.25mm needle but having used this yarn I'd say that was far too big. Apparently it's been discontinued by Bernat, but it's still coming up on Ebay and you may find it on sale somewhere while they clear out stocks.

It's available in plain colours and variegated (links are to the Yarndex pages of the yarn). You can see the Sox Multi projects on Ravelry here and the Sox Plain projects here.

Examples of Sox socks:






There are 203 yards per ball meaning that you will need 2 for an adult pair of socks.

Some people like acrylic yarn, personally this yarn makes my teeth itch and I only used it as the variety of vegan sock yarn a few years ago was terrible. I do like the socks I've made with it and they appear to be lasting forever, but I won't be buying any more.

Anna in Liverpool England

Elann Esprit Yarn Review

Elann Esprit is almost exactly the same as Cascade Fixation bar the lower price, it's details are:

Fibre Content: 98.3% Cotton 1.7% Elastic
Made In: Brazil
Care: Hand Wash/ Dry Flat
Gauge: 25 st/4 inches 4.5 mm (US 7)
Yardage: 91m/ 100 yds (relaxed) - 170m/186 yds (stretched)
Size: 50g (1.75 oz) ball
Price: $2.75 USD

It's available in plain colours and prints.

Again the needle size is a bit big for socks I think, and it knits well on 3.25mm needles which is what most Fixation patterns call for.

Having used both the Esprit and the Fixation I really couldn't tell much, if any, difference between the two and the Esprit wears and washes as well as the Fixation does. If Elann didn't have such stupid shipping rates to England I'd be stocking up on the prints for sure!

Examples of Esprit socks:





Anna in Liverpool England