Hollywood Socks: Fixing it in Post Production

Ok, so you may recall that I made a nice set of beaded socks for Sock Madness that were a bit too long in the foot for me. Well during Sock Madness there are specific rules per pattern to help ensure that at least everyone knits a standard requirement.  For me, that meant my sock feet were too big. So technically they were finished, but then I needed to re-finish to make them wearable.

Mad About the Gals original finish

Mad About the Gals original finish

I did realize that my socks were going to be too long so I did put a stitch marker at more appropriate measured row for starting my toes and did not weave in my yarn tails, just tucked the toe yarn inside the sock.  So the first step was to un-kitchener the toe.

Here you can see my marker for the earlier toe transition point and I've unworked the kitchener stitches.

Here you can see my marker for the earlier toe transition point and I’ve unworked the kitchener stitches.

Since I have quite a bit to frog back, I decided to just pull back like one would frog the entire item, but by keeping a handle on how fast and far I was pulling, be able to re-pick up my live stitches at or around the row I’d marked.

Once you have your stitches picked up again, you just use your directions to re-knit them to the correct length.  Here’s a photo of the first sock re-completed stacked on top of the other sock in the original finish so you can see the foot length difference.

Sorry about the lighting... I was working on these while taking a drive to Oregon.

Sorry about the lighting… I was working on these while taking a drive to Oregon.

After you have finished the first, then you work the second just the same.

It was a beautiful day for a drive.  I still have some green toes, but not as much and the socks fit.. which was the most important part.

It was a beautiful day for a drive. I still have some green toes, but not as much and the socks fit.. which was the most important part.

In semi-related news.  I also finished my second Woodruff Sock, which is my first colorwork sock.  They are a bit roomy, but not too big I think if I were to knit them all over again I’d probably go down a needle size, but we shall see after the first real wear and block.  Here’s some beauty shots.

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Sock it to me!

We are now working past the 2 miles of knitting part of the year. 

Ok so this year in addition to getting married, and apparently resuming cookie baking, I also joined a sock knitting competition called Sock Madness.   Yes that’s right, the lady that whined about how bad her Second Sock Syndrome was in April of last year with the prior experience then of one pair of socks that took nearly a year to finish.  Well last year I finished three whole pair of socks, for a new total of four pair, and then pair five was the first project of 2015 so I was on a roll.
So first up, you had to make a reasonable effort in the qualifying two week round. Apparently I’m still sorting out gauging correctly, so the first pair were a bit large and now belong to Ben.

10 days, 2 socks, one at a time.

10 days, 2 socks, one at a time.

After that you get assigned to a bracket team, with people that should be approximately the same skill/speed as you are.  My team is Purl, and the first thing most of us commented on was how much we don’t like purling.  And then it was on to the competition rounds.

Round Two:  Fight!

The first pattern in the competitive rounds was top down and cabling.  Only 32 members of the bracket team would advance.  So while we did take a drive down to Oregon to see the Spruce Goose, I was knitting away the whole way.

Wanted to make sure these fit, so I tried them on a time or two.

Wanted to make sure these fit, so I tried them on a time or two.

The second sock, complete with the kitchener stitch toe (which was required so I actually did) was a bit tight in the leg.  So I knit the leg of the second sock on a bigger needle.  So my submitted socks were not exactly matched, but did qualify.

Sock one on the right, all size 0 needle, Sock Two starts with a size 1 needle on the leg.

Sock one on the right, all size 0 needle, Sock Two starts with a size 1 needle on the leg.

Of the two week timeline, I finished the pair in six days.  And then once I got the advancement confirmation I immediately frogged and reknit that first sock and so now I have a real matched pair, just had to knit three socks to get them.  (Wore them yesterday too!)

Round Three: Fight!

Next up, was a pair of toe up socks with lace.  These knit up so fast the round didn’t even take a full two weeks for 25 members of the bracket team to advance.

Spring Flowers for your feet!

Spring Flowers for your feet!

Round Four: Fight!

So here we are in Round Four… and I’m updating my blog when I should be knitting.  (Don’t panic I’m knitting right after this!)

This round the sock is top down, both cables and lace, AND BEADS.  Oh… and a different gusset decrease too.  Technically I am beading a bit more than required by going all down the leg, but this is shaping up to be some great socks.  I hope I’m one of the 17 from the bracket team that advance!

This yarn has some cashmere in it.  I'm going to feel like I have fancy feet!

This yarn has some cashmere in it. I’m going to feel like I have fancy feet!

Now how I convinced myself to do this whole madness was partially the pile of sock weight yarn in my stash, the prompting of a fellow knitter and the fact that I could really use more awesome socks.  (Though not necessarily for the TSA) Which was why I had actually finished the first sock in my pair of first colorwork socks just prior to joining in Sock Madness.

I have managed to cast on the start of the second sock between rounds, but this will probably take a bit as I’m still working on the wedding shawl, which takes priority since I’d like to take it with me when I go dress shopping. (Which is now just a few weeks away! WAHHHHH!!)  

I better get back to knitting. @_@

PS – A Word about Brackets Teams:  I was soundly informed that while Sock Madness calls them teams, because you are knitting against your team they are actually brackets.  I say… who cares so long as you can explain it.

The Stockings were Hung….

This morning I woke up a good hour early, and rolled over to peek out the window to gauge the time and…. snow!  Like a good inch or so, there was snow on the ground and the tree branches.  I was so excited I couldn’t go back to sleep!  I love snow… so much that relatives several states away will call to tell me when they get their first snows of the season.

But we were on stockings.  Ben and I have stockings… we hang ours on the knobs of the china hutch.  Its not that we don’t have a fireplace, with mantle, but we don’t have those stocking hooks… and frankly the way I try to stuff them its probably good that I can pull out the drawer below for added stability sometimes!

While I did not make quite so many stockings this year, Ben and I signed up for the Redditgifts Secret Santa Exchange this year and I knew I wanted to give our giftees some custom Christmas Stockings full of holiday cheer.

My giftee collects vintage hand fans.  So I thought a modified Grandmother’s fan design would be appreciated.

Stuffed so full I couldn't even fit that last gift in!

Stuffed so full I couldn’t even fit that last gift in!

Ben’s giftee really liked the Seattle Seahawks, which means I know have half a skein of “Action Green” yarn in my stash:

The Hawks are doing pretty good this year!  Up to 12-2

The Hawks are doing pretty good this year! Up to 12-2

And I did indeed make sure to put 12 feathers on the heel and cuff….

The back of the Hawk's stocking featuring the rest of the wrap around design.

The back of the Hawk’s stocking featuring the rest of the wrap around design.

I do hope they like all their gifts, and as with the last gift exchange,  (Which was Star Trek in case you forgot!) I will update this post with any response from our giftees.

Meanwhile, my Santa was really quite on the ball… she has already sent me a great new knitting book called Woodland Knits.

Thanks again my Santa!

Thanks again my Santa!

There are some adorable patterns in there to give me lots of ideas in the new year.  I say the new year because this week I was all about a pair of commissioned custom StarCraft2 Scarves.  And I’ve cast on the second of my sleeves on my Spoke Sweater.  So between the housekeeping and cookie making and early Christmas having…. I am knitting like a made fiend to see if I can’t get it done to wear Christmas Day.  

Here’s a quick preview of the main body so you can see how far along I am:

Just needs some seaming, sleeves and a good blocking!

Just needs some seaming, sleeves and a good blocking!

UPDATE!  My Secret Santa Giftee received and liked her gifts!

And so did Ben’s Giftee (who posted a whole album – click the title)  Ben also posted what he received here.

Double your Pleasure with Double Knitting Fun!

So several ages ago (also known as last December) I decided to learn how to double knit.  This is where both sides look like the stockinette or “v” side of the knitting.  You may recall a post in January or April on this project.

Well I’m pleased to report that I’m finally done!

Green and White is always Right!

Green and White is always Right!

A full nine snowflakes make up this baby!  There are 5 differently patterned flakes.  Two larger and 3 smaller patterns.

Like the force there is a dark side...

Like the force there is a dark side…

And a light side

And a light side

To me double knitting is very beautiful, but it seems like it takes so much more time, basically its like you are doing a 1×1 rib, but you also have to pay attention to the detail of which stitch in the pattern facing you and the edges so that the two sides are hooked together and not open at the edges.

From WIP to FO in 1 batch of extra determination!

From WIP to FO in 1 batch of extra determination!

And that’s one project that can go on the Christmas gifts completed pile!

Speaking of things completed… I also knit up a second Spring Thaw for a friend of mine who was admiring the first. I believe it is now presently touring part of Canada.

A shawl knitted for Sporks, but not on sporks.  (which might be possible but probably insane)

A shawl knitted for Sporks, but not on sporks. (which might be possible but probably insane)

 

Its Curtains for you, January! & January Project bag(s) round up

Ok so first things first….. as I mentioned in my What to expect in 2013 post, I am working on a master bedroom star quilt.  What I didn’t mention, was that this was a small part of a redecorating of the master bedroom… I managed to repaint it the aptly named, Restful (seriously… its a green).  This month… I tackled the curtains.  I was inspired by this fabric:

Nifty birds and branches!

Nifty birds and branches!

Which I then designed my own…. and used my left over quilt materials for my birds!  Which I just finished up today:

IMAG0973

And here they are!  (Note how restful my walls look! ^.~)

Earlier but better photo of my take

Earlier but better photo of my version.  

So I’m pretty pleased with myself about those.  They did take a bit more time than I anticipated, but there is quite a bit of detail work in there.  So its curtains for my curtains project!

And now for the second bit of the title…..

You know those various tote bags.. the cute ones with bugs that you receive as gifts, and the logo splashed freebies… I have a whole collection of those that I consider my project bags.   And its a good thing I have a decent collection…..

So first off… I made my own handbag this month!

Being modeled by my new dress form no less!

Being modeled by my new dress form no less!

The pattern is called Brea.  It came together rather quickly and personally I thought was a good use of some of my Chinese Yarn I purchased from Goodwill.  (That link is to the label, if you translate it let me know!)  I still have a few more balls of the brown, as well as some pale spring green and pale lilac.

I haven’t gotten terribly far on my double knit snowflake scarf project:

Green Side

Green Side

White side

White side

Double knitting seems rather interesting, but one of those things where you defiantly need to keep your mind on what you are doing, so it does tend to get set aside.

I mostly have this cross stitch done from a kit I picked up ages ago… I just need to tackle the backstitches and the french knots.  Its my first project using black aida cloth.

Four cute little Chickadees.

Four cute little Chickadees.

FINALLY…. I said I wanted to tackle a pair of sweaters this year and… not only did I finally pick out and order my yarn for the Ben sweater….

Future sweater in the raw.

Future sweater in the raw.

I’ve cast on and managed to work bout 12 inches of the back!  (This includes the 4 rows I had to pull out and redo last night from the evening before… -.-)

I'm now even further along, but will I finish it before winter finishes?

I’m now even further along, but will I finish it before  the end of winter?

(Lastly… if you have been eyeballing any of the remaining stockings… Please note that the coupons have been disabled, but the prices have dropped significantly if you are looking for a sweetheart gift in February!)

Shawl we get this over with? – And some philosophy

So you know that shawl I posted from my stash just the other day… well yesterday and this  morning… I finished it!

Fanned out and on display

This shawl has been in my stash for a very long time… it had two of the half fans that form the top border on stitch holders and just hanging out because I ran out of yarn.  It was the first modular design piece I decided to try.  Since it was a learn to do it project… I used stash yarn that I picked up… likely from the clearance section of the yarn shop, and didn’t have enough as it turns out.  So I ended up finishing it with a later not-quite match.

Here you can see where the new color row fits in with the old color

Now…. the philosophy ramble…. (skip to the end if you want the pattern link).

I don’t tend to worry about gauges when I’m testing out something to see if I can do it.  I don’t plan nearly as much as I probably should… but since I am in more of the beginner stage of knitting, I don’t think that is a bad thing.  I could see where this would be an issue later on when I want to make a sweater, or to get the right fit on socks and gloves, but for learning the principals of stitches and patterns on scarves and blankets  it really doesn’t matter.  If what I want to know is… can I figure out how to SSK/cable/double-knit something… it does not bother me in the slightest if its 30 inches instead of 36, or vise-versa.  No one else but me has any idea how its supposed to turn out anyway.

Sure, I could follow the recommended yarn brand, which would have cost me about $60, and it would probably be worth it… but the whole time I’d have started the project I’d be fretting about cutting up that beautiful and expensive yarn.  Or I can test out a pattern and not worry about the yarn for about $10 on the same project.

If you are learning and you see a pattern you like and want to try, don’t fret over having “Super-silk-cashmere-yarn-of-Amazeballs™” just bust open your yarn stash and get to work with what you have!  Learn something new… and find what you love.

And with that… here’s the pattern.