Archive for the “bloo socks” Category

"What have you knit this year?" Pirate-Husband asked me last night.

A Cunning HatFirst there was the Jayne hat that I knit from Knitting Ninja's pattern for friend Otel. This was a quick project. I had to borrow needles for it, which have since been returned. Although I probably have enough yarn for a second hat, I need to get the right size needles before I can knit it up. Not that I know anyone who wants a Jayne hat... I already have one, and Otel is the brownest browncoat of all my friends.

With the Buttons Then a Baby Surprise Jacket for friend Gwen's second baby, a little girl. I loved the 100purewool yarn I used for this project; it is so soft and easy to work with! The pattern got tricky a few times, but with help from Ravelers I worked through it. I finished knitting only minutes before my deadline, but Gwen loved the sweater. It should fit on her daughter right about now; I'd love to get an 'action shot' from her to post.

Garter Rib Socks Something for myself, a pair of Garter Rib socks! The pattern is from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks". I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get the basics of sock knitting. These socks were knit up in Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Socks that Rock lightweight, and I was short by about ten yards. Fortunately a kind Raveler had some extra in the same colorway that she was able to send me.

swiffer_bottom Something for the house, a quick and easy Swiffer mop cover from Noelle's pattern. This project took about six hours, which is about my tolerance for knitting with cotton. I plan to make several more of these, with an additional pattern repeat so that when the cover curls, it goes over the edges of the mop instead of under. Pirate-Husband mopped the floors this past weekend and was disappointed to find that the cover I'd made had been used but not yet washed; he used one of the disposables instead and afterwards said that mine worked a lot better!

pirate-husband_socks3 I'd promised Pirate-Husband a pair of socks last November, and in July of this year I finally delivered. He has very wide feet and I was concerned that I'd run out of yarn, after my experience with the Socks that Rock, so I didn't make the socks very tall. I had a few yards left over at the end, so I guess it worked out just right! He wears them often, especially now that it's cold out, and I know he'd love to have another pair.

Baby M Blanket After I finished Pirate-Husband's socks, I cast on for the second baby knit of the year. This one was for friend Asa's second child, but as she hadn't chosen to find out the sex of the baby, I had to knit a gender-neutral blanket. Feather and Fan seemed fitting, as did these muted colors. Once again, I finished knitting the night before I needed to give the gift. Once of these days I'll break that habit.

bloosocks_complete I sure didn't break the habit with the Bloo Socks, knit in Trekking XXL for friend Michael. I finished these in the afternoon and gave them to him that very evening. I also didn't learn the lesson of splitting the yarn in half before beginning; I used more than half of the 100g ball on the first sock and had to frantically call yarn stores all over the country to find another ball in the same dye lot. I'll be writing this pattern up in the near future, as soon as I work out the heel and toe numbers in other sizes. There is a shortage of fine-gauge sock patterns out there. These were knit up at 45 stitches to 4" on US size 0 DPNs.

Silkie Glove 1 Mom's gloves will probably be the last completed project of the year. Her birthday present is knit up of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks that Rock in Ravenscroft. She'd requested a colorway that would go well with both her black wool dress coat, and her green winter jacket, so what better than a black yarn with subtle greens that glow in the sunlight? I am using Marnie MacLean's Hooray for Me pattern, just making full fingers instead of partial. I'm sure she'll love them; I just hope they fit!

Eight projects in 2008, not a bad tally! In other accomplishments, I read 23 books in the past year, and I learned to spin on a wheel. Pirate-Husband commented that I should knit more for myself, and I want to commit more time to spinning as well. Those will be my goals in 2009!

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Here are the completed Bloo Socks. I used Elizabeth Bennett's Perl Sock Program to start off, but had to make so many changes to it - first the number of stitches I cast on, then the ribbing, then the heel numbers, the decrease type, the toe... Enough changes were made that I feel comfortable writing up what I did as an original pattern. I will call them "Brother's Socks" and hopefully knit a test sock for myself before releasing the pattern in two sizes. The Bloo version will be the large at 96 stitches, and medium will have 88. Maybe I'll figure out the numbers for the heel and toe at 80 stitches for a small size as well. It'll probably be another freebie pattern, as I'm not sure it's complex enough to charge any money for. What do you think?

This is how far I got in three days of on-and-off knitting on the quick pair of toe-up socks I'm making for myself. It took a couple of tries to remember the trick of doing a figure-eight toe, but once I got all the stitches arranged on the needles it was full speed ahead! I got lots of comments about how fast it was going. That's the thing about stripy socks, at least for me. I want to knit as fast as I can to see how the stripes will come out! I had expected them to be narrower, but they're coming out at around five rounds each. When I start the second sock I'll do my best to start in the same place so they match. These definitely pass my "blue jeans" test for hand-knit socks, but I'm sure I'll wear them to work under skirts as well.

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After Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle's house with 21 people in attendance, I went back to Grandma's for the evening with my brother, his wife and daughter, and Pirate-Husband. We all stayed up late talking, and I cast on for a quickie sock.

It was too late and too dim to work on the toe of Michael's Bloo Socks, so I pulled out this Cervinia Forever and did a sixteen-loop figure-eight toe. Grandma watched as the stripes appeared, amazed that it was so neat and so even. Over the next couple of days I knit probably two-thirds of the foot. Compared to the Bloo Socks, it's going so quickly! But that's no wonder - it's 64 stitches compared to 96, and straight stockinette compared to ribbing.

On Friday morning I confirmed plans to see Michael that evening, and settled in to finish his socks. I should have timed it, but I knit while we were talking and I'm sure that slowed me down a little. Even so, it was a quick finish. I grafted the toe and sent him a picture, then that night handed them over. Action shots are pending!

I do have to write up the pattern for the Bloo sock and knit a pair for myself to test it out, because at 11.25 stitches/inch I'm not sure I'll have any takers for test-knitting. I think I may call it "Brother's Socks" or something like that.

Today I'm going to get back to work on Mom's gloves. I'd like to have them done before the next time I see her, which is in a few weeks for Chanukah.

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I decided not to ball up the yarn for Mom's gloves last night, because really what I need to do right now is focus on the sock. To that end, I meant to give knitting the Bloo Sock in the car another chance. It must be completed. But I was short on sleep, and had a bit of a headache to boot, and so the sock remained in my purse and didn't get any longer. This is no good.

Tonight I have to clean the house and run laundry and go to bed early, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to get any knitting done. Tomorrow I have to clean the rest of the house and run laundry and go to bed at least on time, if not early, so I don't know about knitting tomorrow either. Augh! When am I going to finish this thing?

Maybe just a few rows before dinner and the start of my housecleaning...

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I determined today that while I can knit the sock in the carpool, it's probably not a good idea. The stitches are small enough that I have to watch what I'm doing very closely, and I got a bit of a headache from not looking up often enough. Also, I purled where I should have knit and had to fix my error when I got home.

Anyway, less typing means more knitting, so I'm off to it! Perhaps I'll wind the yarn for Mom's gloves into a ball and knit a gauge swatch in the car tomorrow. Since it will just be stockinette and just a swatch, it won't matter as much if I mess up a little.

My friends' new baby girl is so tiny and adorable! They absolutely loved the baby blanket. Their expressions and appreciation made it all worthwhile. One joked, "you knit this in a weekend, right?" but when I said that it had taken about four months, they got much more serious about thanking me. Those are the kinds of friends for whom I want to knit more stuff! ...if they have another baby, that is.

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The second Bloo Sock is almost through the gusset decreases. I'd like to have it done before Michael comes to visit, so I have less than two weeks. If I don't finish by then it'll be okay, I'm sure; after all it's still a hand-knit pair of socks for him at some point! As a result of cranking away on the socks, I haven't made much progress on the baby blanket... and the baby is due this week! If only I had four hands, I could work on both projects at the same time.

One of the local yarn stores, With Yarn In Front, is hosting a "Knit and Flick" night every other Friday. This coming week they'll be showing Dr. Zhivago, and I'm deciding whether or not to go. I've never seen the movie before and I question my ability to knit through it and remember what happened. Maybe in a month or so when I'm no longer knitting to deadlines, I'll check it out. I think it's a great idea!

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This is Silkie Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Ravenscroft, a gorgeous black with hints of greens and purples. I'll be using it to make Mom's birthday present, a pair of gloves. Hopefully they go smoothly and quickly; I've never knit gloves before but I want to get them to her as soon as possible. Pirate-Husband actually bought this yarn, because I'm doing the knitting and the gift is from both of us.

On the left we have Cervinia "Forever" in awesome stripes. Forever was the yarn I used for my very first socks, which have held up quite well, and when I saw this colorway in With Yarn In Front last weekend, I had to have it. It passes the "blue jeans test" easily, that test being a single yes or no question: Will this yarn go well with blue jeans? On the right is some Universal Yarn "Ditto" that was on a serious closeout sale. It also passed the blue jeans test, and the price was too good to pass up! The cost of both was covered by the last of my pre-paid Visa, money that I'd set aside for yarn purchases, so I don't feel at all guilty. Even though I'm supposed to be on some kind of yarn diet.

I'm quite tempted to cast on for a simple, 64-stitch, stockinette sock... but I have deadlines to meet. The baby blanket is somewhere between 75% and 80% complete, depending on when I decide to stop. I finished the third skein of yarn yesterday. The Bloo Socks are halfway through the gusset decreases. Progress is being made!

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The Baby Blanket is about 65% done now; I'm well into the third skein of yarn. I haven't worked on it in more than a week due to travel and a lack of carpooling, but I'm going to get back into it this weekend. The baby's still due on November 1, but there's been no word of a shower so I think I have a little extra time to work. My thought is to get it done as soon as possible, and then go visit my friend after the baby is born rather than before. I'm sure that won't be a problem; what difference is it if she gets the blanket a few weeks before or a few weeks after the birth? She doesn't know if it's a boy or girl, thus the neutral colors. There's some blue in the blanket, but it's not enough to cry out, "this is a boy's blanket!"

A sad but funny story that involves these socks: Last week at the airport, I pulled out the sock to knit while I was waiting to board the plane. When I looked up, I noticed that the man sitting next to me was a double amputee, with both legs off above the knee and some really nifty-looking artificial legs (I tried not to stare). I had a sudden moment of horror - what if he asked me what I was knitting? I'm making socks! and he has no feet! I'd feel terrible! Then I decided that I'd say "armwarmers," since I'm not yet up to the heel and they *could* be armwarmers. Fortunately, he didn't ask. Anyway, I spent most of the plane ride *un*-knitting, and didn't recover my place until two days later. Now we're back in business. I would like these to be done before Michael comes to visit in November, so I'd better get to work...

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So I went to WEBS and had a wonderful time fondling all the yarns. Michael the Enabler, he for whom the Bloo Socks are being made, carried the basket and helped by saying things like "you should buy that" and "yes, that is soft" and "wow, this wheel spins for a really long time."

I didn't buy the wheel (it's wasn't a Sonata), but I did buy two new bobbins for my Traditional, three skeins of Silk Garden for a scarf, and one ball of stripy-jacquard sock yarn for fingerless gloves that will have flip-top mittens.

I'd like to go back to With Yarn in Front and test the Sonata they have there. If I like it, then I'm going to start up my savings fund for it. And if I don't, then I'll know and I can stop drooling every time a used one comes up for sale! Pirate-Husband asked me if I'd ever spin on the Traditional again after getting a double-treadle wheel. I said that I didn't know - maybe? and if not, I can sell it to someone else. It's a good wheel and there's no reason I can think of that I wouldn't continue to spin on it.

My new camera should be arriving today, so soon I will be able to take pictures of everything I've been working on! I made some progress on the Bloo Socks while I was on the airplane, in spite of having to unknit six or seven rounds to correct a mistake that I must have made while at the wine festival. No more drunken knitting for me! (I did try to drop the stitches down and pick them up in the right orientation, but that didn't work as well as I'd hoped, so I unknit.)

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Yesterday, Pirate-Husband and I went to a wine and bluegrass festival at our local vineyard. It was a lot of fun - we drank wine, listened to music, and were invited to join a group of people on a picnic blanket and partake of their grapes and chocolate. I had the Bloo Sock with me, and I pulled it out of my bag so that I could get a few rounds in.

Before I knew it, everyone was talking about my socks, how beautiful and amazing they were, and how they "used to knit but haven't in years," and did I ever sell my work? I laughed and gave the usual answer that no, I don't sell my knitted stuff, but I would be happy to teach anyone who wants to learn.

Maybe it was the wine or maybe the sun, but I didn't sleep well last night. I am not allowing myself to do anything fiber-related tonight, because I know that I am sleep-deprived and I know that whatever I do, I'll just have to undo tomorrow. This is especially disappointing because I can hear the spinning wheel calling to me, but I really don't want to mess up that fiber!

My new camera is on order and I should have it shortly. I can't wait to take pictures of what I've been working on!

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