Thursday, November 05, 2009

More Socks

As you can see from the percent bars to the right of these posts, I really like the Tadpole sock pattern. It's very easy and fast-especially on two circulars doing both socks at the same time.

My latest pair is being done on #3 dpns with Bernat Baby sport yarn in a white/blue/green colorway. It's a huge ball of yarn and I know I can probably get two adult pairs of socks out of it and still have some leftover. Looks like they're going to have blue/green speckles all over them, I think I'm going to like it. Anyway, I'm doing these on dpns this time because I don't have any #3 circulars. I can still do the pair sort of at the same time since I have two open sets of dpns and raided another set to get two sets of five so I can start the other sock once I get going on the first one. Then I can just alternate socks after each pattern repeat and have the pair done practically at the same time. Now I'll get to see if it's easier with the dpns or circs.

I know, people probably frown on using acrylic yarn for socks, but I have very little money to work with so I get what I can afford, and acrylic baby yarn is very soft nowadays. Maybe not as soft as 100% merino like Knitpicks Palette or Knitpicks Essential sock yarn with nylon, but it's soft enough not to irritate my feet.

Anyways, I never worry about what other people say, I just do what I like within the law and purists can make a face-just hope it doesn't freeze that way ;)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Crochet Ribbing

I'm sure 99.9% of crocheters know about the sc ribbing-work back and forth in sc, working in the BLO of each stitch. This does make for a stretchy piece of fabric, but sometimes it doesn't seem to be stretchy enough, or it loses its stretch.

I was reading online somewhere (I'm sorry, I can't remember where, or what pattern) and the person was using a SS (yes, slip stitch) ribbing. I thought to myself, "How ingenious". It's basically worked the same as the sc ribbing, only you use ss, still only crocheting in the BLO. This ribbing-although it's more tedious-is far superior to the sc ribbing, IMO. It's very stretchy, looks almost exactly like the k1, p1 ribbing of knitting. The only thing you need to look out for is accidentally not crocheting all the sts, and to keep your tension on the loose side. If you tighten the sts too much, it will be very hard to do the next row-believe me, I've had to rip back when I wasn't consciously trying to keep my tension a bit looser than normal. And it really isn't too tedious if you keep your tension slack, it goes fairly fast once you get going.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this information to any crocheter out there who would like to try this for sweater, sock, mitten or fingerless glove pattern-it really is soft and stretchy.

Edit: I found it-it was a free pattern for crochet socks that I found and saved.

This is a pdf file, so you'll need either the Adobe reader, or some equivalent to be able to read it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

'Nother Capelet

Here's a not-so-good picture, it doesn't show the colors well at all:

It's from the American School of Needleworks book titled Crocheted Collars by Mary Thomas and the pattern is Pretty Pineapples. Book number 1047.

Instead of thread and steel hook, I used Bernat Soft Baby yarn-one blue and one green held together-and a size J hook. I repeated the pattern six times and it just fits around my neck and the capelet just covers my chest.. I also only ch-5 for the button loop and made a button with a size F hook and the blue yarn.

Hope you like it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I lied...

I said I didn't have anyone to model my capelet...

Meet my granddaughter, Kadi. I put the capelet on her and she decided she liked it. When I got the camera down and got on her level to get the pic, she squatted down too, so the capelet actually comes down to about her belly. But isn't she cute???


I got the picture of my finished capelet. I didn't have anyone to model it so it's hanging by the door. I hope you like it.

I made it using two colors of Red Heart Super Saver yarn. Since they were partial skeins, and didn't have wrappers, I'm not sure what the exact colors are. One is pink, the other varigated-fiesta, I think, since it has the festive colors of Mexico in it.

Anyway, the pattern can be found here. I hope you enjoy making it, it only takes a few hours. And if you wash and dry it afterwards if you use RHSS yarn, it will come out soft and fluffy, especially if you use fabric softener. I haven't washed mine yet, so it's still a bit stiff and doesn't drape right, but I am going to wash it before I wear it.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I figured out how to get the capelet a bit smaller and still use an N hook. Use smaller stitches. I've also changed the pattern up enough that I'm going to post it on my pattern blog in the morning when I can take a picture of the capelet I just finished.

Using the slightly smaller stitches at the beginning brought the neck in so it fits great and doesn't stretch out so it slides off one shoulder. I hope you guys like it as much as I do. I'll add a picture tomorrow, it's bedtime for me right now, I just thought I'd put this up before I head off to bed, I just started my monthly this morning and I feel really icky right now.


In this post I wrote about copying a capelet from a picture of one for sale. I had written down how I did it in notepad, but since have lost it. At least I still have the one I made and can extrapolate from that.

Actually, I'm going to change it up some and probably use a bit smaller hook since the original one does go off the shoulder some, and I don't want that. I'm also going to add some rounds of sc between the other rounds to make it a bit longer and give it a bit more body. I might even put it up in my patterns blog if it turns out all right. It's really very simple, and only 6 rounds as done now, so you could make one up in no time. I really want to make some in some different colors to go with different dresses that I wear to church since they usually keep it quite cool in there and my shoulders get kind of chilly during services.

Anyway, stay tuned, cause it might be awhile-I want to make one and take a picture before I put the pattern up and I have a few things I want to finish up first, as shown by my progress bars over to the right.

Just FYI, the original is a pattern for sale, so I'm going to work on mine to make it significantly different enough to post and still be a nice, airy capelet.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Triangular Striped Shawl

I was experimenting with some acrylic yarn I've had, like, forever, and using a typical diagonal dishcloth/baby blanket pattern-except, instead of increasing by using YO, I simply increased by KF&B of the second stitch of each row. Then I decided to try changing colors for stripes. I think I'm going to continue it out and make a shawl instead of making a great big square.

It should be very colorful by the time I'm done:

Monday, June 01, 2009

Left-leaning decreases

Left-leaning decreases

This lady has compared seven types of decreases which lean to the left. As you can see, there are only two of them that look fairly decent-#3 and #7, which is her own creation.

However, on socks-when you're making the toe-you decrease on every other round, and I've noticed on that round that the left-leaning decrease (most use ssk) is bigger than the stitch on the following round, which makes that side look-well-slightly wonky compared to the other side, which looks neat and tidy.

I'm trying #7 now, which is a bit involved-but not too, and I'll see if it comes out any less wonky than using ssk or skp. I wish I could find a left-leaning decrease that will match the right-leaning decrease when you're only decreasing every other round.

And, rather than call it that long name that she calls it, I'm going to call it Nona's xk2tog-which stands for Nona's crossed stitch knit two together.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


I wish I had more money than I do-I really like Knitpicks, especially for sock yarn-the merino is so soft and they have such pretty colors, and the price is at least half the price of the lowest-priced comparable yarn that I've seen anywhere else. I guess selling your own brand, over the internet, and cutting out the middleman helps to keep the price really low so those of us who love the soft, natural yarn can afford to buy it-as long as we don't mind waiting for about a week after putting the order in to get it. That's just using regular FedEx, but really, I don't mind waiting, I have other things to do.

Anyway, I've loaded my cart up again, this time with some different Essentials-the multi and tweeds, plus added in a couple of #1 (2.5mm) circs and a couple of #3 circs while I was at it so I could try out some other patterns I found that call for those sizes. I decided on the larger of the two sizes of #1s, mainly because the difference in mm (.25) to me, is negligable and I have a slightly larger foot than normal anyway, and I don't like my socks to be too snug. Of course, with other people, YMMV.

So, I haven't placed the order yet, I've just loaded my cart up-I have to wait until I can also load up the prepaid VISA card, and I don't have $63 right now ($60 + $3 fee) I should have it within a month though, and it may be awhile before I can order more stuff, so I might as well get it while I can. I do like being able to load my cart up with what I want, and seeing what it will cost, so I can know how much to put on the card and the stuff will stay in the cart until I either place the order or remove the stuff.

So, anyway, I think I'm through rambling about how much I like KnitPicks-for now.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I feel like rambling

For absolutely no reason. I guess I can keep some crafts in it to keep it on topic because this is a crafting blog, but Friday has not been very good yet. My truck had a flat on it that my husband aired up for me last night. This morning it was still up, so, silly me, I didn't look to see if the other tires might have needed to be checked too. I got out on the highway and immediately started fishtailing, so I slowed way down and pulled over into the median and checked-sure enough, I had a flat on the back. Just so happens-just in case-my son left his little air compressor with me just in case the front one went flat on me. I managed to get enough air into the tire to get it home. I called Ricky and asked if he'd aired the back one up and he said he didn't even think to check it, so I told him it was flat too. Then I flipped the air compressor on-nothing, the breaker was thrown. I got the tire aired up and went and did what I was going to do in town anyway and came home.

Now, onto crafts, sort of. You noticed the little percent bars off to the right of my posts? Wonder why each is a different color? No? Well, I decided to make the color showing my progress as close to the color of my project as I could, cause I'm mostly a colorful person and like to be different. I just put mine and my mom's socks in there to keep track of their progress. I'll probably finish hers first since I promised her a pair and she lives in a completely different state from me, so I'll have to send them to her.

Okay, my friend from England finally got home and buzzed me, so I'll see you guys later.

Which method do I like best?

For knitting socks? Well, let's look at all the different ways.

1: One at a time on DPNs: This is all right for the person who is organized and keeps track of all changes they might have made as they knitted, and for the person who is going to turn around and make the second sock immediately after knitting the first. I'm notoriously slow about finishing anything so this method would only work if I keep track of what I'm doing.

Another way to do this is to have two sets of needles, work a bit on one sock and switch to the second-which is the way I would do this, it works better.

2: Two at a time on DPNs: Done by DKing. A perfectly valid method of knitting a pair of socks at the same time on the same needles for those who love their DPNs and can't imagine knitting socks on anything else. The only flaw with this is crossing yarns and tying your socks together. I may use this from time to time, if I had end protectors to put on my needles to keep the loops from accidentally slipping off the needles if the project is moved around. It's quite tedious to cast on and get the first couple of rounds going, but after that it goes pretty smoothly-as long as you aren't knitting and getting distracted, or you'll probably cross your yarns at some point.

The downside to this is that you can only do plain, ordinary socks using this method-no lacy patterns and no cable patterns.

3: One at a time on a circular needle: Done by the Magic Loop method. Not one of my favorite methods, but perfectly fine for Magic Loopers. Again, the knitter would have to keep track of how she did the first sock so the second sock would match.

4: Two at a time on a circular needle: Again, done by the Magic Loop method. Better for getting the socks to match. For both Magic Loop methods, it's best to have a really long needle-I would recommend a 40" one for doing a pair and no shorter than 32" for one sock at a time to keep from straining your needle ends.

5: One at a time on two circulars: Why? You'll already be using two circulars-why not do the pair on circulars, there'll be plenty of room and you'll get the socks done at the same time and they'll match. I would recommend two needles of different lengths to avoid using the wrong end when knitting the socks-a downside to this method as I've already done this at least once-but was able to fix pretty simply. The other downside would be tying the socks together by not dropping the first yarn and picking up the second-which I've also almost done at least once.

But if you'd rather still do one sock at a time, this would be the way to go, in my own personal opinion.

6: Two at a time on two circulars: I think this is my most favorite method for several reasons-some of which I outlined in the above paragraph. The most appealing reason is that I can drop the socks down to the middle of the needles when I'm not working on the them and I don't drop any stitches. The only thing I really have to watch for is tangling the yarns together, which calls for extra vigilance and not pulling too much off the ball at one time.

Yes-I've tried each of these methods at least once, which is why I can pick my favorite. I don't have anything bad to say about any of them since each knitter is different and will have their own favorite method, I'm just outlining my favorite. I don't like people who dismiss methods simply because they think it's only for showing off, and not even trying it before saying they don't like it. Some methods take more than one try to get the hang of, and I did try some of the methods more than once just so I could figure out how to use them and find out if I wanted to use them again. Since I've found my favorite I'll stick to it, just like I expect other knitters to stick by their favorite method and not tell me that my method is wrong, or too hard, or grandstanding or that I'm only doing it to show off-I don't show off, I'm merely knitting in my favorite way and if you don't like it, find something else to look at.

The only method I haven't tried is doing two-needle socks-you know, knitting them flat then sewing up the seam. I see no reason to make a pair of socks in this manner unless you absolutely cannot knit in the round using any of the methods above. I have nothing bad to say about this method, just that I don't particularly care to have to seam a pair of socks when I can knit in the round perfectly well.

You can also do the pair in this manner by knitting both socks on the same pair of needles-just don't forget to drop the first yarn and pick up the second when knitting so you don't tie your socks together.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I posted a few posts ago that my mom wanted me to knit her some socks. Well, come to find out that, when I got ready to go get some sock yarn, my LYS had shut down. I'm not sure how long it had been shut down since I don't go downtown very much, nor do I buy yarn from there very often because I just don't have the money.

Anyway, since Wal-Mart doesn't carry sock yarn, I went to KnitPicks and ordered some of their Essential sock yarn in Glacial and Terrain Twist to do mom some socks in. I also ordered some of the Options fixed circular needles, some Palette yarn and Gloss yarn to get my order to over $50 while I had the money and could get free shipping.

Since this was the first time I've ordered from KnitPicks, I wasn't sure what I would be getting, I just knew that they had the most reasonably priced yarn and needles that I'd ever seen. When my yarn and needles came in, I was pleasantly surprised-the Essential yarn is exactly what I wanted: soft, snuggly and cushy and washable. My mom is diabetic and I wanted something really soft, yet still washable. When I started knitting them, the needles, to me, were as good as Addi Turbos at about a third of the price.

The pattern I decided on while waiting for my yarn to come in is a free one from Knitting Pattern Central-Tadpole Socks which I'm doing in the Glacial, and they're coming out very well. As soon as I can get a picture, I'll show you-hopefully.

I also started me a pair of socks out of one of the Palette yarns I ordered, and am doing it in the same pattern. Now, while the yarn is pretty soft, it's not nearly as soft as the Essential, but it will do for me since I'm not diabetic and the price is right-I'll just have to hand wash them. Not sure yet what I'm going to do with the Gloss, but I really like how soft it is-probably make more socks for myself since it isn't washable either.

All in all, I'm going to order more Essential for myself sometime-next time I get another $50 or more to get free shipping, and make me some washable socks-and I do like handmade socks better-mostly because they're unique and I can make them to fit me instead of the one size things in the store.

I'll keep you all updated as I progress-the pattern is easy, I had the lace part memorized after the first repeat.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Well, that was fun...

I finally got both heels on my DK socks turned. I had to frog the outside one once more because it still wasn't coming out right. I'm not sure how the rows weren't coming out even, or even where the error occurred, so I simply frogged and started back over and it came out right-finally.

Now I've tediously put all the heel stitches back on one needle, I'm ready to start on the foot and close the little gap that always occurs with short row heels. Hopefully the toes won't give me so much trouble, I'll do them when I'm not being distracted.

Anyway, so far, no Knitpicks order, so I guess I'll have to wait till Monday to see how my yarn looks and get started on mom's socks.

Now, I'm going to go back to some mindless round stockinette ;)

Edit: Well, just as I had given up, in walks my son with a box........*Happy Dance!

Rambling on about socks

In this post I outlined the different ways to knit a pair of socks at the same time. I focused on DKing with DPNs because I was trying it and had posted about it at a community on LJ and got several negative responses touting it as grandstanding. Perhaps it is-but, as I also said-it's a perfectly valid option for the DPN lover who wants to make a basic pair of socks and doesn't like/can't use circulars.

Anyway-slow to finish things that I am, I've finally reached the heel. Now, rather than try to do the wrapped short row heel and do them both at the same time, I decided that, since I prefer the YO short row better, that I would get an extra needle, seperate the two heels and knit them seperately. This would really work if you had a five-needle set and only used four, saving the extra needle for the heel (and toe-I'm doing a short row toe as well). Me, I happen to have several four-needle sets in the size I'm using, so I just borrowed a needle from another set. I've finished the inside heel with one small unseen error and am working on the outside heel. I would already be done, but I've somehow made an error that I can't work around, so I frogged the heel all the way back, carefully put the stitches back on the needle and have started the heel over again.

Anyway, that error had nothing to do with DKing, it had to do with me not watching what I was doing.

It probably won't be the best pair of socks in the world since I'm practicing with some Bernat Soft Baby yarn but I'd rather practice my technique with cheap acrylic, then move on to nice sock yarn once I know what I'm doing.

Speaking of sock yarn, in this post I said my Mom asked me to knit her a pair of socks. Well, my LYS downtown had closed by the time I could afford to get any yarn, so I did the next best thing and went to KnitPicks and ordered some yarn for her socks, plus some circulars, and more yarn for me (so I could get free shipping). The order came out to almost the $60 I put on my son's prepaid credit card to be able to order, so I'll also be doing me some socks using the two on two circular method that I've also been practicing with some cheap yarn.

Anyway, that order should be coming in by Monday at the latest (Hopefully today) and I'll get to see if the good stuff I've been hearing about KnitPicks is true. If it is, I'll probably start ordering more yarn from them as I get extra money to. The prices are very reasonable for the yarn content compared with other well-known brands, and I'm one of those who likes to hang onto her money ;) (who doesn't?) and I just don't have the money to be able to try all those others that cost upwards of three times the price of KnitPicks for, what I can see, is the same yarn.

Anyway, I'll let you know when the order ges here. And if I can figure out the camera on this new phone, I might even include a picture.