January 2011

Off to a Good Start With Sock Finishing

by Kristin Longacre on January 31, 2011

Knit One Crochet Two Socks

Knit One Crochet Two Socks

Well my year of socks is definitely off to a good start when it comes to finishing pairs of socks. This pair officially makes pair number three! I cast these socks on as something to knit for the new Harry Potter movie when it came out in November when my friend Laura and I decided that the only way to see it was a midnight showing.

These socks very quickly became “purse knitting” because they were in plain stockinette stitch. That’s okay that, I love having a pair in my purse.

I decided to make just my regular number of stitches for a cast on (68) and worked my way down the cuff. Eventually I decided to do an after thought heel on these socks because I really wasn’t sure what the yarn was going to do next.

On the 21st of January I had my wisdom teeth out so I made sure to get the second sock to a point where it would be good “recovery” knitting since they didn’t require a whole lot of thinking.

I bound off the second sock and did the heels on the 23rd of January! I was kind of in shock that I was able to make them match so closely!

Yarn: Knit One Crochet Two Tye Dye
Needles: US 2
Dates: November 18, 2010 – January 23, 2011

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A Handspun Hat

by Kristin Longacre on January 28, 2011

A Tree Hugger's Wife Fiber

A Tree Hugger's Wife Fiber

Back in August my parents went on a trip to Alaska. While they were there, they visited a yarn store and bought me some fiber. It was from A Tree Hugger’s Wife in the colorway Wild Violets.

I went ahead and spun up the yarn and it came out pretty even, which I was surprised because in the past my spinning hasn’t been all that even. There was about 250 yards of it so I set it aside knowing that at some point I wanted to make a hat. The next step was the quest for the perfect hat. This would be the first item completed with my handspun that I’d actually show in public.

I came across a “Cabled Beanie” pattern on Ravelry and went ahead and cast on. One of the problems I find is that I always want to wear beanies, but so rarely are they made to fit a woman’s head. Usually they fit the guys better. I wound up modifying this one a lot, mainly because it really was made for a man, but also because it seemed like it would be way too big either way. Now it fits just the way I wanted it to in the end so I’m happy with the result.

I will say as a side note, for paying $4.95 for a pattern, I really expected it to be written a little better, it was a little confusing.

My Hippie Hat

Aaron calls it my "hippie" hat.

Yarn: Handspun – A Tree Huggers Wife Fiber -Wild Violets
Needles: US Size 4 and US Size 5
Dates: January 19 – January 27, 2011

I’ve also been working on my first sock design. I’m just about done with the first sock and cleaning up the pattern to send off to test knitters next week. I’m excited about it and can’t wait to show everyone!

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On a Sock Kick

by Kristin Longacre on January 18, 2011

Devon Socks

Devon Socks

No pun intended.

I’ve been on a roll in finishing socks lately. At the very end of December I cast on the Devon Socks from Cookie A’s sock book Sock Innovation. Initially looking at these socks I didn’t think they would be all that lacy. Now that they’re done I realize they’re going to be great summer socks, but not so much winter socks.

Overall the pattern was fairly easy to keep up with. There weren’t any major surprises. The only modifications I made was going up to a US size 2 because 60 stitches on a 1 will not fit around my ankle.

One of the things I was excited about was knitting with Wollmeise again. I knit a pair of socks with 100% a few years ago and they unfortunately got holes very early on in their wearing. I have since fixed the one hole and still need to fix another. I wanted to try the 80/20 to see if they would hold up a little better. I got the colorway from someones destash on ravelry. It was a joy to knit with.

Upclose Look at the Devon Socks

Upclose Look

Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Fluffy colorway am kalten Polar
Needles: 2.75mm (US 2)
Dates: December 29, 2010 – January 17, 2011

It has been nice wearing a new pair of socks two days in a row to work. Too bad I don’t have a new pair for tomorrow!

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Starting Out the Week With a New Pair of Socks

by Kristin Longacre on January 17, 2011

Orange Trekking Socks

Orange Trekking Socks

Back in August I was running around like crazy every weekend. At that point in time I knew I needed a new pair of socks to keep in my purse. The Knitmore Girls had been talking a lot about self-striping sock yarn so I went stash diving in search of something good. I came across a skein of Trekking XXL in the wonderful descriptive colorway 145.

I had bought this yarn back in 2007 when I first started knitting socks, originally knitting it on size 0′s I was determined to make it work. I never really liked the fabric it was making so it went back into the stash.

3 years later I now understand how to adjust the fabric and size. I cast on 80 stitches with five size 1 dpns and started with a 1×1 ribbing. The leg of the sock is knit to be 60 rows long. I used a regular heel flap decreasing down to 72 stitches around for the foot and did 65 rows.

The sock went with me to Stitches midwest in August and I made my way through the first sock. Then they sat.

I finally picked them back up and was determined to finish these socks as part of my one pair of socks a month knit along. This past weekend I had to do some AdWords training and spent a good deal of time in front of a computer. For me, that means a lot of plain knitting time. My brain works so much better when my hands are busy, plus the best way to start out a new week is with a brand new pair of socks.

Yarn: Zitron Trekking XXL – Colorway 145
Needles: 1
Dates: August 14th, 2010 – January 16th, 2011

What’s your favorite thing on Monday mornings?

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There’s Something About January…

by Kristin Longacre on January 12, 2011

There's Something About January

There's Something About January

Here’s the thing about knitters (and crafters in general). For those of us who have the insane idea that we need to make gifts for people, our time and sanity pretty much disappears from September – December (months subject to change from person to person). Not to mention throughout the year as our friends get married and have children.

Now the holidays are over, the running around has stopped and the insane amounts of knitting have stopped, I’m finding that I’m knitting even more than I was before the holidays. It made me stop and think for a little bit. Something about January brings up this urge to cast EVERYTHING on. Then Yarn Harlot posted her “News Item” the other day and it got me thinking… After the crazy of the holidays it’s nice to sit back with no deadline and just knit.

Don’t get me wrong, I love knitting for other people, I really do! If I only knit for myself I’d run out of places to put the hand knits. I knit for a lot of people for Christmas this year. My final count was:

  • 3 Christmas Stockings
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 2 pairs of slippers (3 if you include an early January birthday
  • 1 hat
  • 1 blanket

I’ll probably do it all again next year. That’s the joy of knitting… there is always something new to knit.

One of my favorite podcastsers once said “January is selfish knitting month.” Thinking back to the last few January’s, I realized that couldn’t be more true. In the midst of resolutions, there’s the urge to start fresh. All of the projects we’ve been building up since September that we want to knit for ourselves can finally be started. Normally that would sound like a good thing… until you realize just how much is on the needles and how many projects are really in your queue.

I really want to finish things this year, instead of continuously casting things on. So far this year I’ve finished a scarf (half knit in 2010 half in 2011), knit an entire pair of felted clogs, knit half of a mans hat and knit a sock and a half out of Cookie A’s first sock book.

We’re only 12 days into the year. I thought I was doing great, until I came up with an idea for a sock.

While looking up plane tickets to Vegas the other night I charted out the sock. Shortly after that, when I went to look for a pair of needles I picked out yarn for the sock. Then I paused to think about how badly I wanted to start this pair of socks. At the moment I don’t have a ballwinder so without an hours worth of winding these socks would need to be put on hold. I have a pair of socks and a hat to finish.

This year is about finishing… right?

Now if only USPS takes their time delivering my ballwinder I’ll be all set.

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Some HGTV Inspiration

by Kristin Longacre on January 10, 2011

I’m not a huge sewer. Generally when it comes to making something I’d prefer to knit it. For my birthday my parents got me a sewing machine, so I’ve been re-learning to use it. While the pot holders I really wanted to make are turning into a fail, some other things have turned into a win. Not only have I been able to make some more knitting project bags, but I’ve also been recovering some pillows and making pillow cases.

For me, this is a big accomplishment, even if it means just sewing rectangles together! It’s harder than it looks!

NewOld

We’ve had some pillows floating around the house that were either destroyed by some puppies or ready for a makeover. Instead of just throwing them out and buying new ones, my extensive HGTV watching paid off and I decided to “simply” recover them.

This first pillow was the victim of a dog at some point or another. The stuffing inside of it is really soft and still in good shape. The cover, not so much. While waiting for fabric to be cut for pillow cases (for the bed) at Walmart I noticed some Chicago Bears fabric sticking out of the discount sale bin. There wasn’t much left, but enough to fix this pillow and possibly get a baby pillow out of it. When you can find “team” fabric for $2… definitely worth it!

OldNew

These pillows came with Aaron’s couch and have seen better days. The inside was still in decent shape so I just made new covers for them. Again, enjoying the discount bin of fabric, I found some black fabric that was just enough to recover both pillows.

We now have a roomful of pillows!

While sewing will definitely NOT replace my knitting, I’m trying to slowly ease into new things with it… Next stop PJ Pants! Wish me luck!

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The First Finished Object of 2011

by Kristin Longacre on January 5, 2011

Boston Terrier Modeling Ribs and Ruffels Scarf

Wrigley Modeling Ribs and Ruffles Scarf

I mentioned briefly before New Years that there was some soft squishy blue yarn that was catching my eye. I cast on the Misti Chunky Ribs and Ruffles Scarf on December 29th, 2010. As soon as I started to go with it I knew it was going to be a quick knit.

I worked on it through the Notre Dame bowl game on New Years Eve, and started working my way through it as we waited for the ball to drop.

New Years Day I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Don’t worry it wasn’t the champagne, it was the makings of early strep throat. In between new years day naps I finished up the Ribs and Ruffles scarf.

Once the scarf was finished, something inside me decided to cast on the Devon socks from Sock Innovation. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best idea when you’re exhausted. More about that another day.

This scarf is so amazing. It’s soft and fluffy and warm. The pattern had two rows to memorize, and they were almost identical. It was a quick knit and I will definitely knit this pattern again.

While her daddy was working late tonight, Wrigley graciously offered to model my scarf so I could get some pictures taken of it. All she needed in exchange was a treat. In other words, I was looking for someone or something to model and Wrigley was sitting right by me hanging out and I decided she makes for a great scarf model. Shush don’t tell her dad ;).

Ruffles

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Brush Paint
Needles: 10.5
Changes: I cast on 92 stitches instead of the recommended 60.
Dates: December 29th, 2010 – January 1st, 2011

What will your first finished object of 2011 be?

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2011 Knitting Resolutions

by Kristin Longacre on January 1, 2011

Looking back at 2010, I didn’t think straight when I wrote those resolutions… Somewhere in there I decided 2010 was the year of knitting for ME! I didn’t factor in the friends with babies or the weddings that might appear.

So while I declare 2011 another year of knitting for me, I’m keeping in the back of my head that there will be some knitting for others… and that’s okay. This years goals are a little different. Instead of saying “I want this project finished” I have some different goals, this year’s knitting resolutions are as follows:

  1. Finish a pair of socks a month – I did this in 2008 and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be… The general rule, the socks have to be complete by the end of the month. I don’t necessarily have to START them that month, just finish them, in other words catch up on the 4 pairs that are on the needles… BRING it on 2011…
  2. Finish a lace weight shawl – I have two on the needles and I just want one of them done!
  3. Finish a blanket – I have a few going and it would be nice to finish one. Who was I kidding when I said I would finish four last year? I don’t knit blankets!
  4. Finish a sweater – I have one started and four more that I want finished yesterday… will it happen?
  5. Enjoy what I’m knitting

So many times this year I found myself frustrated with my knitting because I was knitting stuff I just wasn’t liking. This year instead of focusing on the finished objects (in specifics) I want to focus on enjoying what I’m knitting. If I actually finish the mitered blanket this year that would be sweet, but if I decide to finish the cotton one instead no harm done. I just don’t plan on finishing four.

In case you’re wondering the mitered blanket has 11 finished squares (that’s two more than was pictured at the start of 2010… I know, keep dreaming).

So as 2011 has officially begun… what are your knitting resolutions?

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