Wednesday, 31 October 2007


One finished sock for probably the present basket and one pair for the youngest grandchild. He's not long turned two, but already has a bigger foot than his three year old cousin. I've made this pair very big, but he'll grow. They are intended for next winter, so hopefully they will still fit then. I've now quite an accumulation of browns, bones etc and some green as well. I can see a stripey pair for little Finn on the list of projects.

The other single sock is called "Ashes" and I found the pattern in the list at Knitting Pattern Central. It's a ridiculously easy pattern to do and the fabric pulls in nicely to be snug but will easily stretch to a much larger size. In fact, the rib pulls in so snugly that the rest of the foot looks enormous after it. I cast on for the second sock today and am about a quarter of the way down the leg.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

it's wet in the frog pond

Well, success at long last! This is the fourth time today I've tried to upload photos. I could choose them but upload? Not at all, even though I waited for over five minutes at one time. This is today's Saturday Sky, very pale at first light, taken very early this morning, not long after 5:00am and a few minutes after sunrise. The sun is just touching some flowers on my bottlebrush tree. Clicking on image will give a (much) bigger picture where the flowers can be seen clearly. Tomorrow morning it will look like that but at just after 6:00. Clocks go on an hour for daylight saving. It will be nice to wake up at 5:00 am, instead of 4:00am. Well, who am I kidding? I'm sure that won't last. However, next week is the last week of the academic term for me. There are a couple weeks more of stuvac and exams, but that's it for me till some time in February.

This wool lost its battle with me. I won. After my earlier post about it being extremely twisty, I cast on and knitted slowly and carefully for some anklet socks for me as I wear a lot that style. I have to wear "closed in" shoes (i.e jogger type) at work by OH&S regulations. I turned the heel and had tiny, even stripes in white and granny smith apple green. Heel stripes matched up reasonably well. Then I noticed the pooling starting on the front of the sock. Why should it do that now? So I've ripped it all out and climbed out of the frog pond. I'll put the wool back in my stash but have no idea what i will do with it. Perhaps a scarf, although it would look pretty as as bolero or shrug for one of the granddaughters. Still, I knitted them all shrugs last Christmas as part of their presents.

The top picture shows the even striping and the reasonable match of colours on the heel. I've pulled it off the needles in preparation for ripping it out. The bottom picture is the sock, looking at the instep and front of the foot. The pooling can clearly be seen and it was continuing every row. Same number of stitches, same needles. What a nuisance and I really liked the wool too. I have the seller's email and website. I am not sure whether to get in touch with her or not. I suppose I'll put it down to an unfortunate experience. 200 gm in the ball too.

In the last couple of days, I've made pair of socks for Master Two who has bigger feet than his cousin, Miss Three. Dark brown with pumpkin heels and toes, made big enough, I hope for next winter. No pictures as yet taken.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

frog, frog, sob, sob

A question before the whine...can anyone identify these needles? I was hoping to buy needles from a particular vendor at the Spinners and Weavers Day. However she wasn't there this year. Two years ago I bought some vintage needles from her, small dpns. As I walked down Burwood road a couple of weeks ago after leaving the Open Day, I saw these needles in a tin in the local Vinnies. There were eight of them, five yellow and three pink. They feel quite bendy and flexible and I wondered how they would go. They weren't dear at all so I bought them all. To my surprise, I really liked them. They are too long and I'll have them cut down, but they feel good to use, almost like my favourite casein needles. They look oldish plastic, have quite a bend to them but knit well. These are equivalent of 3 mm.
Now I bought this wool at the Open Day. it says 5 ply crepe. Certainly crepe finish but I think it resembles the thickness of Lion Brand Magic Stripes more than 5 ply. That would make it 6 ply, American sportweight. The needles shown are 3.0 mm and the fabric is very firm.

This is the spring green colour I wanted when I made the brown Zokni socks. I loved it and bought it immediately I saw it. Not expensive, but not cheap either. 200gm in hank which wound well. I tried two different patterns but frogged them both as the design did not show up well. I decided to let the colour speak for itself.

Now for whine #1. The wool is splitty, no matter what needles I use. It's as bad as the Wildfoote luxury sock yarn which makes beautiful feeling fabric but splits constantly. I've done several pairs of sock in Wildfoote and vowed never again.

Whine #2. I could sort of put up with the splitting of the wool, but I have another problem. It seems to be badly plied. If I hav more than about a handspan of length of wool between needles and ball of yarn, that length immediately folds up on itself and twists as if making a twisted cord for a belt etc. If I disregard it for a few stitches, it seems to easily fall into a knot, or if I pull at the two sides of the twist, another knot forms. I need more yarn than 9" to work with an even tension. Is this a problem with the plying? I'm not a spinner although I do have a traditional Ashford wheel and did some many years ago.

Is thre any way of fixing this or of handling the yarn in a particular way so I can use it? Or do I jsut put it down to experience and put it back in the stash. It might work if crocheted but I'm not about to try that in a hurry either. I have the seller's email and a webpage on Ozemail so I could contact her about the wool, but thought I'd ask here first for ideas.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

combubble socks. or another convert to handcrafted socks

I gave Miss Just-Three the first of this pair. They were made for next year so I made them long in the foot and they were also a bit loose in the leg. Her eyes lit up and she said, "Grandma, these are real combubble (comfortable) socks." She did not want to take it off.

The first sock was a product of three hours on the train last Friday along with some time waiting for connections. The second sock is actually a few stitches smaller. Same foot length, but just a bit snugger around the leg, although the leg length is good. I still have enough left of the two colours to make a pair for her cousin in reverse colours to these. He's a year younger, but takes a larger shoe size than she does. Takes after his dad, my son, who is 6'5" and wears an Australian size 14 shoe. I don't make socks for him or his brother who is same size.

Not bad going for 100 gm of two different colours. Two pairs of adult socks, one child's pair and another to come.

Friday, 19 October 2007

crosshatch socks all hatched!

Crosshatch socks all hatched and ready to sit in present basket. I really enjoyed doing this stitch and will do it again, I think. This is done in Hotsocks sock wool I bought last Saturday at the Spinners and Weavers Open Day. I've actually been quite busy at work all week, but the business has been in spurts. There were times when I could sit and knit and the eight rows of this pattern go quickly. It's from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. I have both these books and think the info contained is great. Lots of variations to suit needles, tension, yarn, size foot etc and lots of useful information about knitting. However, I think I like the second book more than the first. Just personal preference, but I like the stitch patterns more. I have several stitch dictionaries, but don't seem to have most of these stitches.

Wool here is HotSocks knitted on 2.5 mm Brittany Birch needles which I bought from Daphne at the Knittery.

Why the mints tin? I was sitting looking at the empty tin the other day while knitting and thinking there had to be a use for such a tin. Wool and darning needles sprang to mind. Just perfect, and a good, tightfitting snap lid too. Such needles have been rattling around in my container of stitch markers for quite a while. Now they have been transferred.
As can be seen, there was a surprising amount left of the HotSocks wool. The dark chocolate Essential Sock It to Me sock yarn from Elann goes well, so this will be another pair. Possibly for one of the grandchildren. It's my day off today, I work Monday-Thursday but DIL has asked me to do some emergency babysitting this afternoon. That means an hour in the train each way for about three hours child minding till my son arrives home. More knitting time. I'm also minding the other lot tomorrow afternoon and evening while their parents are at a wedding. I doubt I will get much done then.

Monday, 8 October 2007

mosaic sock

One mosaic sock finished and shown with a bad photo. Coulours are really quite intense and deep. However, it was late afternoon when I took the photo and I seem to have also taken it on a funny angle. The sock has 2x2 rib across teh top of the foot and it's hard to see that here. Purple should be really deep, roay purple. Unfortunately, the pattern on the sock has also been scrunched up a bit. That's not there in real life.

The mosaic from More Sensational Knitted Socks was easy to do. 28 rows in the pattern but only 14 needed counting. the others were repeats of the row before.

It was fairly quickly done, made quicker by my sitting with my foot up all day yesterday and doing nothing but knitting. I was babysitting on Friday and Saturday at Woy Woy. Just before DIL was due home, we started tidying up. I turned and put my bare foot down, right on the solid grader blade of Master Two's handcrafted wooden tractor. Ouch and a lot more too. I stumbled and there was absolutely nothing to grab so I fell full length on the loungeroom floor. Lots of bruises and a very sore foot, bruised underneath on the ball of the foot.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

zokni socks

Here are the Zokni socks finished. They were an easy knit and very quick to do. The pattern was ten rows long. so I tried to not leave off knitting in the middle of a pattern repeat. Of course, once I was on the foot, there were only two needles involved in the pattern, so it went extra quickly. Brittany Birch needles from the everhelpful Daphne at the Knittery. The sock wool is some I bought a couple of years ago from Elann, Essential Sock it to Me. It's not super-luxurious but knits up nicely and wears really well. Other socks from it are machine washed regularly and often thrown into the dryer. No problems.

I changed the pattern slightly. 2x2 rib instead of single. Why? Couldn't really say, except that I just did it, for a change, I suppose. I also did a different toe, a star toe and saved the trouble of grafting. Not that I really mind Kitchener stitch, but usually have to look it up to make sure I get it right. This one I can do off the top of my head.

I've also cast on for another pair. This chevron mosaic is from the second book, More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Scurch. I started mosaic socks once before and found the pattern dead easy. However, I could not work out number of stitches I needed to allow for the tighter knitting of the mosaic pattern. Thanks to the great tables in the book, I think I'll be OK with this pair. I'm doing the leg on 2.75 rosewood needles and will go down to a smaller size for the foot. Pattern is a 10 stitch pattern, so 60 stitches works just fine. Some more Elann wool. These needles make me feel that I'm knitting with curtain rods. The Brittany Birch needles are 5" long. I love the rosewood but the length feels odd after the short ones.

I don't know how many have this book but here is a link to a list of corrections for it. Six pages of them.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007


I've finished this sock for the KAL. Now for the second one. I used the little row counter with a sheep's face right through the pattern. My other one seems to have disappeared and I found this one useful. It came as a freebie with Simply Knitting. Which reminds me, It's more than time for Yarn to have appeared in my letter box!

I was planning on trying two socks on two circulars, but realised I have nothing smaller than 3.)) mm in circ, so will have to have a look around. I'm fussy about the joins. Do Knitpicks make them smaller than 3 mm? will have to have a look next time I'm in the city.

So what comes after this pair? I'm now considering a mosaic pair from More Sensational Knitted Socks.

Must fly, am back at work this week and I need to get ready. Will give KAL's URL later today.