Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Little Plying

I couldn't resist. I finally chain-plied the singles I finished several weeks ago. I love it! I will wash and measure the skein...sometime. Right now I'm just enjoying the feeling of having empty bobbins.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Fun Idea

I don't usually see a lot to inspire me at the Gap, but I love this raglan idea: plain front and back, patterned sleeves. :) This would be fun with colorwork or even a little lace.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another Great Card for A Knitter, Especially in March

I don't know where my mom finds these things, but isn't that just the CUTEST? They're handmade in the UK and have real wool (and really cute designs) on them. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope your mom sent you something fun. Yes, my mom still sends me gifts for just about every holiday. I'm a lucky girl.

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Love Minneapolis!

I mean, really, it's just too beautiful. It's all I can do not to just stop and stare at all of the buildings downtown. This is at Hennepin and I'm Not Sure in downtown. Just part of my drive home from work!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grow, Little Sock!

This is in Cascade Heritage Silk in Vandyke Brown. I'm actually testing to see if a sock pattern I thought needed a repeat of 8 stitches could work on a repeat of 4 stitches. The math works out, but sometimes you have to see something "in the wool" to see if it really works out. And, Dee deserves a few more socks. She's walked through a BUNCH in the last few months. Malabrigo, they all warned me about you, and you...broke my heart. Such soft delicacy wasn't meant for everyday socks, apparently. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I End Up With Some Weird-Looking Notes

I'm not always great at visualizing things completely in my head, so I often draw "maps" of stitches to figure out how many stitches are in-between decreases. This is for the shaping of a sock heel that I thought I figured out a year ago -- but it turns out I needed to know more about it, so away I went!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Yarn Bank in Taylors Falls, MN

I didn't take more photos because I got all shy when I went into The Yarn Bank on Saturday. It's a great little LYS that even has some spinning supplies in Taylors Falls, MN. Just an hour away from the Twin Cities, it really is in an old bank in the tiny downtown. If you go, don't miss a latte at the awesome Coffee Talk up the street and try to get there before noon on Saturday so you can visit the super-tiny library that is over 100 years old.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Kudos File

When I started my career as a journalist, I got some great advice. Keep a physical file of any notes you get from anyone that say you're doing a good job. It's easier to remember the bad feedback, for yourself. But, when you're not having a day that is full of whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens, you can bring out your file and cheer yourself up. 

It's a technique I still use today, although more often than not, I'm printing out emails to put in my file!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Verdict

My three-gauge socks fit like a dream and didn't fall down all day! That could have been because it is finally warm enough for me to not wear long underwear! Or, the thinner fabric on top of the socks might be better at keeping socks up. Time will tell when I wear my other socks and see how they perform.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

...And I Also Know This

Trekking 6-ply427 yards per 150 gram ball

The Blue Moon Fiber Arts is 100% wool, the Trekking is 25% nylon, which explains some of the difference in weight per yard. The BMFA is also just a tiny bit thicker, but I get the same gauge with both on #3 needles. 

So, if it takes me 79 grams of Trekking to make a pair of socks for myself, it should take me:

(427/150)*79 = about 225 yards

Multiply that by (198/350) = > 127.2 grams, or round to 128 grams, of BMFA to make a pair of socks. 

I have parts of two skeins of BMFA under the bed. Is it enough? 

--Quick check with the scale.--

YES! There are more BMFA socks in my future! Yay! 

Monday, March 03, 2014

A Bit of A Frankensock

In our rather small and cluttered apartment (one follows the other, I find), I'm really fighting stash. It would be great if I could knit through some yarn and have less to move when we get a house!

I made a pair of top-down socks with Trekking 6-ply in color #1801 (or, as I put it, a BIT More Pink Than I Thought, But It's Ok.)

When I finished, I weighed the socks - they weighed in at 79 grams - from a 150-gram ball! So, there wasn't quite enough to make a second pair from the same ball. 

To the stash under the bed I went! Here's the problem: I don't have a lot of yarn in that weight (although I certainly will get more now that I love in Minnesota!) So, I tried doubling Simply Sock Yarn Solids in Navy and started from the toe on #3 needles.

It made a VERY firm and thick fabric, but it would be pretty tough on the hands in the long term. I need to explore using doubled sock yarn on #4 needles. After the toe, I switched to the rest of my Trekking, weighing the leftover ball until it weighed only about 36 grams. 

I then wanted to switch back to the navy yarn - but I couldn't handle the feel of the double-thick yarn on that part of the sock. So, I increased from 50 to 70 stitches (k2, m1, k3, m1) around - and finished the top of the socks!

Dee thinks the deep color change makes it too obvious that I ran out of yarn, but I almost always wear socks with long pants, so who will know except for me?

I feel like I got the best of all worlds. A super-strong toe. Cool colors and a tough-wearing yarn through the body and heel. A thinner, more stretchy sock top for my, um, sturdy calves. We'll see how it wears, but for now I'm thrilled!

I promise I will write the pattern, eventually. I kept good notes on the heel, both top-down and toe-up. A 52-stitch or 48-stitch sock would have been a lot easier to work, but...live and learn!