Friday, May 15, 2015

Sock Blank Socks

I am still plugging along on my sock blank socks. I am working on the socks two at a time on two sets of dpns. The heels are done and I am racing toward the toes.  I am officially tired of these socks and ready to cast on a new project but it will be great to finish both socks at the same time. 

No "second sock syndrome" for me!

Here's a photo of the sock blank if you missed that prior post. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Knitting from a Sock Blank

A few posts back, I told you about my recent trip to Interweave Knit's Yarn Fest in Loveland, Colorado. They had a nice Marketplace at the event and of course one always has to buy some souvenirs at an event like this, right? One of the things I was hoping to find in the Marketplace was a "sock blank" to knit some interesting socks.  I had seen sock blanks at the Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon, a number of years ago, and also just recently, I saw Susan B. Anderson writing about knitting from sock blanks in a post HERE on her great blog.

Sock blanks are machine-knit rectangles of yarn that have been dyed.  You un-ravel the knit fabric and knit your socks directly from the rectangle.  The sock blanks I have seen before were knit up with one strand of yarn; as you can in the photos, my sock blank is knit up with two strands at a time.  As a result, I am un-raveling the two strands and knitting them directly into two socks at a time.  I am using two sets of 2.50 mm dpn needles (I cast on 56 stitches per sock), but this would be a great for folks who knit socks two at a time using Magic Loop on a long circular needles. 

The sock blank I found was from Eugene Textile Center out of Eugene, Oregon.

On Susan B. Anderson's blog, she is using a sock blank from a GREAT looking Etsy shop and you can see that shop by clicking HERE. 

I am really enjoying knitting these socks.  Sometimes I struggle a bit since the yarn is a crimpled up but I would definitely knit socks from a sock blank again.  Seeing this dyed sock blank got me looking into dying yarn myself at home!  I know I have to try that at least once.  On the Knit Picks website, I found bare yarn wound into hanks and also bare yarn knit up into sock blanks.  The sock blanks are rather expensive (about $20.00 for 100 grams), but the yarn wound into hanks is rather reasonable (about $7.50 for 100 grams).  I might just have to give hand dying yarn a try!

Bare fingering/sock weight yarn from Kniy Picks. 

Bare sock blank from Knit Picks. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Autumn Leaves Necklace

"Leaves": a design by Petra Breakstone
This pattern calls for about 40 yards of fingering/sock weight yarn and some small beads.
The pattern link can be found HERE.

What a fun, rewarding knit!  I hurried up and finished up some socks Friday night so I could reward myself with a sweet pattern and a new little project on a Saturday afternoon.  I had this knit up in no time. The only thing difficult about this pattern is keeping track of rows.  I used a sticky "Post-It" note to keep track and that did the trick.  I did have to rip out one leaf because I lost track a few times.

For this project, I used a leftover bit of Zauberball yarn in the Burnt Almond color way.  I used the rest of the yarn for an Infinity Cowl which you can see HERE.  As you can see, the color does change from deep red to a rusty orange in this yarn, although it is not as noticeable in my Leaves Necklace. 

I've already been digging around in my yarn stash and I found some great yarn for another Leaves Necklace.  The beads I used were clear beads but the holes in the beads were painted with gold metallic paint.  I think they go nicely with the yarn but it's hard to tell in photos since the beads are rather small.

This project would make for a great last minute gift for someone special.  I did block my necklace with pins on a blocking mat and spritzed it generously with water to flatten out the leaves a bit and also give the leaves a bit more definition.  I think in future Leaves Necklaces, I'd like to figure out how to add a few more beads to each leaf for a little more bling. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Autumn Leaves Necklace

Leaves Necklace: Knitted Wearable Jewelry

A few weeks back, I noticed a pretty shawl on Facebook. I read the comments that other folks wrote. I just don't get rude people on the Internet. One woman wrote:

"Why would anyone BUY a pattern?  There are so many free patterns available."  

How rude.  What a negative thing to say! My mom always told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. 

I was so ticked off that I bought the pattern as if to tell the designer that I think the shawl is great and understand the value of everything that went into creating the design and the pattern. I look forward to casting on the shawl some time soon. I have the yarn ready to go. It was a gift from Belinda who bought the yarn for me on a trip to New York!

The shawl designer and I are are now friends on Ravelry and Facebook. Last night, she posted a photo of a knitted necklace. I bought the pattern and madly worked on finishing my Fruit Stripe Socks on Friday night so I could make the necklace my Saturday knitting project. 

I had this knit up in nearly one sitting and it was a super fun knit. 

My Autumn Leaves Necklace includes beads and I used a bit of leftover Zauberball yarn in the Burnt Almond color way. The project is blocking and drying right now. I'll post a photo soon. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fruit Stripe Gum Socks

Do you remember this yummy gum?

These socks remind me of Fruit Stripe Gum!  This is Diversity Yarn, which I've used a number of times before. I love that I am focusing on one project at a time. I am enjoying finishing up some works in progress. 

I have a small project to make tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to share that project soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Funfetti Socks

Funfetti Cake?  Pretty cool looking, right?

At the Yarn Fest, I was particularly drawn to the Western Sky Knits booth. Belinda and I bought some black and neon colored yarn there so we could both make a pair of Aquaphobia socks just like we saw knit up in the booth. 

I also saw a pair of socks knit up in a knit 3-purl 1 ribbed pattern and I just loved the look of them.  I did not buy the yarn but I kept thinking about THOSE socks knit up in THAT yarn. I kept calling the yarn "cupcake yarn". I think the yarn reminded me of Funfetti cake batter like the photo at the top. 
When Belinda and I were sitting and knitting in our hotel room the night before our sock class at the Yarn Fest,  I asked...
"If we went home right now and did not re-visit the Marketplace before the left, what yarn would you regret not getting?
For me, it was easy.
That "cupcake yarn" was calling my name!
I bought a skein of it on Friday 
So pretty...

It's funny how yarn looks so different when wound up in a hank...

...compared to wound up in a ball...

... compared to on the needles...

I was a good girl and knit up a gauge swatch on 2.25 mm needles. I got 8 stitches per inch so I cast on 64 stitches and am making one of my favorite patterns called "Ribbed Socks for Bigger Feet" by Susan B. Anderson.  The pattern is not for BIG feet per se; it's just adapted from Susan B. Anderson's child-child sized ribbed sock pattern.   

After knitting dozen or so rows on my Funfetti Cupcake Socks, I remembered I had another pair of socks in progress so I am going to try to finish up those socks before knitting much more with newly acquired yarn. The other socks I am knitting are a funky striped socks in fruity colors.  For the striped pair, I am trying to master a short row heel I've tried before.  I'll post about those socks soon. I just finished up turning the heels on both socks so now I am racing toward the toes. 

Until next time... Happy Knitting!