Holidaze

So, Christmas came and went in a flurry of wrapping paper, sugar cookies and new toys.  It was joyful and fun, a little bit tiring (at one point during present opening, I hit my attention span wall and got a little loopy), and there’s still more fun to be had with family in town.  For now, I’d like to share with you some of my  holiday knitting, a pair of festive socks for my sister.

  • Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Pink Carrot Creations hand dyed merino
  • Needles: US size 2.5/3 mm
  • Mods: After thought heel, place 5 inches from cuff, decreased to 28 stitches before grafting closed.

These came about from a need for some simple travel knitting over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I wanted an easy, portable project that I could pick up and put down as needed and that wouldn’t require fussing with a pattern along the way.  I have knit these socks before, and the ribbing is just enough to keep your fingers busy while your brain can focus on other things going on around you.  For some reason I was feeling repelled by the idea of turning a heel at the time, and so decided to try my hand at an afterthought heel.  The hardest part was picking up the stitches, but after that I found the whole thing to be easier than turning a heel.

A quick overview:

First, you decide where you want to place the heel; I went for a shorter, 5-inch cuff as my sister is on the smaller side.  Then, I knit half the stitches with waste yarn, slipped them back onto the left needle and knit them again with the sock yarn.  This holds the heel stitches for later, and you simply continue knitting along as usual.

 

For some reason I used brown/grey waste yarn. A brighter color would have been easier to see!

 

When you’re ready to knit the heel, slowly start pulling out the waste yarn and slipping the live stitches onto your needles.  I used 2 dpns at this point; you’ll alternate picking up a stitch from the top and bottom all the way across until you have the same number on both needles.

Next, you can divide the stitches onto 3 or 4 dpns and start knitting just as you would for a toe.  I decreased every other row, ending when there were 28 stitches.  I slipped half onto the top needle, the other half onto the bottom, and grafted them closed using Kitchener stitch.  It was super easy, and I really like how it looks.  There was the small matter of a hole at each corner of the heel, but I used the tails of the red yarn to cinch them closed.

Since these socks were a gift, I can’t speak to how comfortable this heel is compared to my favored heel flap construction.  But I certainly like how it looks, and it seems like a nice way to use contrast yarn, or create an easy-to replace heel.  Same goes for using a second yarn at the toe, something I hadn’t done before either.  All in all, I am very happy with how this project turned out.  It met my knitting needs, and the colors helped me feel festive while we were together, even when I was racing against the clock to finish them in time.

For now, I’m off to eat another sugar cookie and enjoy the post-holiday down time.  I hope you are enjoying some quiet time too, with plenty of treats and knitting!

 

Step Into the Light

Neighbor #1: Hey, I saw some new people just moved in across the street.  Have you met them yet?

Neighbor #2: No, but I saw one of them doing something a little strange today.

Neighbor #1: Ooh, do tell!

Neighbor #2:  Well, I saw a woman walking around in the yard, taking pictures of…her feet.

Neighbor #1: …

I finished my socks!  And I have days to knit up my fiber festival hat (3 to be exact), so I am a happy knitter today.  I did have to walk around outside this morning, it was too dark in the house for photos!  It’s going to be a bit of a bumpy road finding the light in my new place.  We have some nice windows, but when it’s grey outside, there’s only so much light inside.  We do have a cool light tube, which helps brighten up a particularly dark corner of the living room, but doesn’t do much for lighting my knits.

Anyway, back to the socks.

  • Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C. (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in color 1702, about 3/4 of the skein (I had 30 grams leftover)
  • Needles: US 1 1/2 or 2.5 mm
  • Mods: I cast on 68 stitches and did a rapidly decreasing toe, mostly because I wasn’t paying attention and knit the 1st sock too long.

Just like the pattern name promises, these are a pair of nice ribbed socks.  The simple ribbing created enough texture to show off this wild rainbow of yarn and was just enough action to keep me engaged.  How about that yarn, eh?  I just love the colors, and they are blended together so nicely.  It reminds me of the skein of Noro Sock yarn I knit with previously, but in my experience the CZ was so much nicer to knit with.  It is soft and spun more consistently than the Noro, staying at a pretty even fingering weight throughout the skein.   There also weren’t any twigs or other vegetation spun into it.  The CZ was a bit splitty on occasion (I was also knitting with Addi Lace needles–super pointy), but not so often that it became a thing.  Mostly I just sat back and knit, happily watching the colors change.  Overall I would say this was a great yarn and pattern match up and would recommend either one very highly.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to cast on this hat and think about which yarn to choose to knit these socks!

Good Cheer

It’s been a busy and challenging few days around here.  It looks and feels like a tornado blew through our house: boxes, boxes, everywhere!  And the change that has blown through is tremendous.  My mind feels nearly as cluttered with debris as the house as I sort through feelings of excitement, anxiety, enthusiasm and uncertainty.  So to combat the stress and ennui of moving, I decided to cast on something unabashedly cheerful.  Socks for Sweetie:

Crazy Zauberball, A Nice Ribbed Sock

In looking at my Ravelry projects page recently, I noticed that I have knit 4 pairs of socks this year.  The balance is clearly off as I knit 3 of those pairs for myself and just one for Sweetie.  She picked this yarn out on a recent trip to Seed Stitch in Salem, MA.  Incidentally, I have been dying to knit up my own CZ socks since the fall when I bought this:

Similar color scheme, but mine should have more of a rainbow hue to it, whereas Sweetie’s socks seem to have an orange hue throughout the skein.  So far, anyway.  Who knows what surprises lurk inside that charming ball of yarn!