Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Chicago Socks

Chicago Socks

Just in time. These socks are done!
These socks are for my baby boy who will be 19 years old tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be the first time I've not seen Zach on his birthday.  I went up to visit Zach at college last September, but Ron has not visited the campus yet.  So tomorrow Ron is driving up to college for a visit and will bring a little care package, including these socks.

Below, I am trying to take various measurements to know how long socks need to be for Zach.  His feet are Size 12. The measurement here is 6 1/2 inches from the edge of the heel flap to the beginning of the toe decreases.  After the last gusset decrease, I knit about 52 rounds before starting the toe decreases.

I sent Zach off to college with a similar looking pair of socks.  That pair was made in Wisdom Yarns "Seattle" (primarily dark teal green with lots of decorative stripes and designs in varying colors).  Those socks were knit two at a time, from the cuff down, on size 2.25 mm needles.  I definitely struggled to get the fit just right. I knew I had this other ball of Wisdom Yarns in my stash, so I figured I could adjust a few things and hopefully finish a pair of socks for Zach while he is away and they will fit a bit better this time around.

This color way is called "Chicago".  I cast on 68 stitches for this pair (the Seattle pair was knit with 64 stitches).  I still used the size 2.25 mm needles (40 inch long cable) and also knit these two at a time, from the cuff down.  I do have a confession to make though.  When I got to the heel, I took the socks off the long circular needle, and knit the heel flap, did the heel turn, and did all the gusset decreases on double pointed needles. These socks were languishing in my UFO pile because I DO NOT LIKE TO KNIT HEELS TWO AT A TIME FROM THE CUFF DOWN ON ONE LONG CIRCULAR NEEDLE.

When I knit this kind of heel on one circular needle, I find that I really struggle with the heel.  You just end up with so many stitches on the heel side of the circular needle after you pick up and knit stitches on both sides of the heel flap.  I find myself wrestling with it all too much as I work on the gusset decreases.  No fun!  Otherwise, I am a huge fan of knitting socks two at a time on one circular needle.

Recently I've heard about a heel called a Strong Heel.  It sounds as if it is very similar to the Fleegle Heel that I've used in TOE UP socks and you do not have to pick up and knit stitches. The Fleegle Heel is great when knitting socks two at a time on one circular needle from the TOE UP so I need to try a pair of socks from the CUFF DOWN, two at a time, using the Strong Heel. 

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snow Day Knitting

It's a very snowy day in Southern Colorado. Great knitting weather. We got new windows installed in the house last week. Good timing before the snow. 

My craft room is no longer cold and drafty thanks to this beautiful new window. I have a futon in front of the window and I sit with my back to the window. 

But the puppies sure enjoy the view. 

Today we went for a great snowy walk down at the river. Here are a few photos. 

Now that we are warm and cozy I am madly knitting these socks. Ron is going to visit Zach up at college later this week and I'd like for these to be done by then. Knit, knit, knit. I am racing toward the toes. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Zipper Pouch

I made a little pouch with a zipper. I thought it might be a great place to store knitting notions such as darning needles, stitch markers, etc. I know I have gobs of stitch markers and darning needles but they seem to have gravitated to other project bags. So a special case to keep things in one spot would be a really good idea for me. 

This pouch matches a draw string bag I made not too long ago. 

The pattern I followed is on and is called "The Night Before School Starts Pencil Case". I struggled a bit with the zipper. I think this may have been the first zipper I've sewn in since 1986. Seriously. 

This pouch is pretty small. It would easily made larger for more storage. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Knitting Project Bags

Snoopy lined with red batik fabric. 

Barnyard fabric with a peachy yellow lining. 

Knitting Sheep lined with a great red print. Looks as if there is white yarn all over the red fabric. 

I've been sewing up a storm. I am enjoying making these drawstring bags. They are great for storing small knitting projects such as socks and hats. I am experimenting with various lining materials to give the bags a little structure. So far I've used quilt batting, featherweight iron on interfacing, and medium weight iron on interfacing. Personally the bag I like best is a bag I made with no extra lining material. 

Here it is.   

This one is lined with a pretty blue batik fabric. 

I especially like how the bottom of this bag turned out. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rainbow Fish Socks

This is what I am focusing on this week. 
Previously I was calling this project my "Funfetti Socks". I thought the yarn looked like Funfetti Cake. 

Now I am calling these socks my "Rainbow Fish" socks. The colors remind me of the illustrations in a children's book. 

I found a tutorial on line the other day. I used this technique and it really helped prevent holes in the gusset, which seems to frequently be a problem. Here is the video link:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Socks in a Flash

Hot off the needles!  I finished this pair of socks in just under a week. I am loving knitting socks two at a time on one long needle (Magic Loop) and the Fleegle Heel is the best. 

I keep thinking the Fleegle Heel should work in cuff down socks. I need to read up on that a bit more. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another Pair of Toe Up Socks

I am madly knitting another pair of two at a time, toe up socks. This time I am using Diversity yarn by Plymouth Yarns. 
The color way is bizarre. I was knitting these during some NFL playoff games so I kept calling these socks my "Denver Broncos vs Detroit Lions" socks since the colors in the yarn remind me of those teams. 

I wound this yarn into two balls a LONG time ago. I think I was going for stripes going in opposite directions. Last week, when I cast on these socks, I just cast on. I did not care about the socks matching. I just wanted to make a better fitting pair of toe up socks. The last pair was a bit long since I stared the heel a bit too late. 

The pattern I have for toe up socks was not well written so I found myself reading Fleegle's blog to better understand the Fleegle Heel. 

The heel is amazing. I am attaching some helpful links so I can keep them all in one spot. If you want to try out toe up socks with a Fleegle heel, maybe you'll find these links helpful as well. 

Judy's Magic Cast On:

Fleegle's Heel:

Fleegle provided additional information to ensure there are no holes in the heel: 

Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off: