Adventures in Sock Knitting
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Posts Tagged ‘twin socks’

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Twists and Turns Twins


As some of you may remember, MJ and I have this twin sock thing. We get the same yarn, we knit the same socks (seriously, down to the number of repeats or rows of cuff ribbing!) and then we wear them 2002 miles away from each other. I Google mapped it. One time our twin socks even got to meet!

Well, here’s the latest pair:

May 4

Pattern: Twists and Turns by me!
Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock in Sky
Started: 11/16/09
Finished: 5/3/10

This is only the second time I’ve knit this pattern – the first one was, of course, for the sample in the book. I still like it. :)

I finished them at knitting group last night, which I think may be the first time I’ve ever finished a project there. I was forced to pull out my backup project – it was great!

So now that these poor neglected socks are done, it’s time for the next pair of twin socks. These ones were unintentional, since I got the yarn from a club and MJ got it as a gift, but it is indeed the same yarn, so why not twin socks?

I think most knitters have had a yarn that just wouldn’t work. You couldn’t find a project, or when you did it never worked out, or maybe you just hated it… Well, I love this yarn. The color is lovely but the past two projects just haven’t been right. First I tried to make Reversai for Sock Madness in April 2008 – the yarn and the pattern were just a bad match, so I frogged them.

Then they developed a new destiny… the Anastasia socks, which I still want to make… someday. They were just too big and I’m really not a fan of knitting socks toe-up.

But there’s no motivation like MJ, so now they’re going to begin a new life as twin socks, with a twisted 1×1 rib cuff and otherwise just stockinette. Hopefully this one will stick.

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Socks and Winners!


Well, it’s time to announce the winners of my contest!

The first prize goes to MJ, who guessed 20 pairs worth of sock yarn – which is exactly how much I bought! She’ll be getting the Toe-Up book.

There are two runners up who guessed 21. This is a “more correct” answer than 19 because I actually came home with 21 pairs worth of sock yarn, just one of them I didn’t buy and I realized the question for the contest was how much I bought, and also one of the 21 is not for me. This question was more complicated than I realized!

So Tece and Dawn are the two runners up – I’ll email you copies of Falling Up. (Tece, I need your email!)

In the past few days I’ve also finished a couple pairs of socks.

blackhearted blues

Pattern: (Black)hearted
Yarn: Dream In Color Smooshy in Night Watch
Started: 8/1/09
Finished: 8/21/09

twisted flower

Pattern: Twisted Flower
Yarn: Dream In Color Smooshy in Wisterious
Started: 3/10/09
Finished: 8/25/09

Sorry for the blurry picture, the beautiful twisted stitches don’t show up with flash and I apparently couldn’t stand still enough.

I started the Twisted Flower socks so long ago as twin socks with MJ, but I got distracted when I hit the heel flaps. Also, there is a 38 stitch by 49 row chart for the foot, and that requires a bit more attention than my usual knitting situations allow. But the past week or so I decided I’d go for it and put on an audiobook and just did it. And I’m so glad I did!

Listening to: Heaven Beside You ~ Alice In Chains

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Horcrux Twin Socks!


Way back in March, right before moving away from Salem, I started making twin Horcrux Socks with Eloise in our Harry Potter Draco yarn from our mini yarn crawl to Twisted. And today I finally finished them!

Horcrux

Pattern: Horcrux Socks
Yarn: Opal Harry Potter in Draco
Started: 3/1/09
Finished: 7/4/09
.26 miles for a total of 2.29 in Sock Marathon

Although the Harry Potter yarns are an exciting idea, I didn’t really like most of the colors. But blues and greys, though a bit boring, aren’t bad. One weird thing was that after my psycho efforts to match the stripes exactly, they get all wonky after the heel. But there wasn’t a knot! Just all of a sudden the order of the stripes changed! Strange but true.

So I’ve joined Summer of Socks, because it’s summer and I’m planning to knit socks as I usually do. I’ve decided that my first goal will be to finish all my sock-WIPs this summer, this is 1 of 9 1/2.

Listening to: Kimdracula ~ Deftones, Evil In a Closet ~ In Flames

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Lots of ends


When Snarfy and I bought the same brand of yarn at the Superbowl sale, we decided to make fraternal twin socks. One night at knitting group – just before I moved up to Seattle – I wound off some of my blue for her and some of her green for me, and the Snarfytwin socks were born.

snarfytwinfin

Needles: 2.25mm
Yarn: Newton’s Yarn Country Happy Feet
Started: 3/3/09
Finished: 4/26/09
.24 miles for the Sock Marathon, 1.46 miles total

These socks were a long time in the making, mostly because they kept getting pushed to the bottom of the bag as I knit other more time-sensitive projects. But they were the perfect socks for a few rows of bus knitting in the morning, and when I got to the toe yesterday I figured they should be finished. Of course, knitting socks with contrasting bits gives you lots of ends… I have to remember that next time I think about doing contrasting ribbing, heels, and toes in my socks.

Secret knitting still continues, so the blog might be quiet for a bit longer. Of course, deadlines for being able to show you some of these projects are coming up so the blog will soon be full of things I finished already. :)

Listening to: How Soon Is Now? ~ The Smiths, Dose ~ Filter

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Sock Camp Part II… and more!


The third day of sock camp, I had a class in with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (that would be the Yarn Harlot) on lever knitting. It is much more charming when said with a Canadian accent. 😉 I was very excited to learn this because, as a more-or-less “continental” knitter, purling is a pain. I am actually quite happy with my speed when knitting stockinette in the round, or even garter stitch, though I rarely knit flat. But ribbing is practically the bane of my existence.

Well here is my very first lever knitting swatch, I started out with garter stitch and moved to a 3×3 rib.

leverswatch

We were told that we were basically going back to our knitting infancy, and would probably (temporarily) have the same problems as we did when we were new knitters. Though I picked up the technique pretty quickly, I was indeed a very very tight knitter all over again. But I picked up a set of long straights to practice with.

That afternoon we had a group scavenger hunt which proved to be a lot of fun and a lot of work! Here are a few of the photos we needed to obtain…

Our group, doing a yoga pose:

groupyoga

A glass with the bottom covered in rainwater (we brought our actual rainwater) and a photo of a team member collecting it:

rain

A very brave team member mouth-siphoned it out of a puddle with a straw. And look at her gorgeous sweater! Of course, later on it started pouring.

And our entire team in a (my!) bathtub:

bathtub

This is what sock camp is like. We are all nuts. It’s great fun, but you have to be prepared.

Friday morning we had our last class, with Cat Bordhi. She taught us a new and top secret sock architecture which I can’t share, but here’s a picture of my skeined up dyed yarn from the first day. I used it to start the sock in her class.

skein2

Friday we had our last dinner and shared our homework. The assignment was to knit a crab or other sea creature, and I knit a nudibranch. Oh, and apparently a lot of them (including the ones pictured at the link) are toxic. I’m not sure if that’s true of the ones native to Puget Sound, but since some have bright orange ruffles it probably is. Here’s my little guy:

nudibranchdone

My goal this year was not to get attached to my homework, since in past years we’ve given them away, but this year we got to keep our own. Although mine was small and didn’t take too long to knit, it turned out really cute but it was a pain to make the ruffle! I was going to write up the pattern, but I don’t know if anyone else would really want to go through the hassle.

This morning we had breakfast and then headed home. I was sad to leave, but I really needed a nap! Sock camp is so amazing and educational, but also exhausting. This is most of the knitting I got done there:

snarfytwin

I started the heel flap on my Snarfy-twin socks on the ferry home. And when I got home I found Wendy’s new sock book, Socks from the Toe Up, which I won in her blog contest. I looked through it and it’s awesome! Plus, it came signed.

wendybook

I’ll definitely be sockin’ on.

Listening to: Muzzle ~ Smashing Pumpkins, End of the Beginning ~ 30 Seconds To Mars

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Dear USPS,


Today I got a lovely card from my Valentine’s Day swap pal.

vpanda

Isn’t that panda adorable? It’s a pop-up card! She says hi and tells me that there’s more to come – I can’t wait. 😀

I also received a second envelope from the USPS:

envelope

Click to embiggen if you can’t read it.

Now, I see two problems with this situation.

#1 (noted in red) – The collection envelope states there is 34 cents postage on the envelope, when there is very clearly $1.

#2 (noted in purple) – My SP went into the post office and had a postal worker weigh and put the postage on this envelope – that is apparent from the kind of label which is on it. I know, I spend lots of time at the post office, and even the label from the APC is not like that. So even if there *is* 34 cents postage due, that is not my fault and not my SP’s fault!

Sorry USPS, you’re just going to have to eat that 34 cents since it was your own mistake. After being incredulous, I was actually quite amused by this. Thanks SP for inadvertently giving me some extra amusement today.

Now, let me say that overall our postal system is very good. I know that, and I appreciate it. Sure, packages get lost. Sure, they keep raising the rates. But on the whole we have an efficient and affordable postal system, and I’m glad it works as well as it does. But this? This is just silly! 😛

And yes, this post is only very tangentially related to knitting. Sorry. Um, look, socks!

sdd

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Polly Jean


mjcake

(Yes, I faked the MJ part, but it’s really her cake.)

It’s MJ’s birthday today, and she has a fabulous new free pattern out which I was luckily enough to test knit this spring – Polly Jean. I highly recommend it.

mjsocks2

Pattern: Polly Jean by MJ
Yarn: JKnits in Virginia
Needles: 2.5mm
Started: 3/5/2008
Finished: 5/6/2008

mjsocks4

There are a couple more pictures on my ravelry project page and quite a few more on MJ’s blog linked above. Now everyone go tell her how awesome she is. :)

Today I’m headed off on a yarn crawl with some of the local knitters – to a bunch of shops I’ve never been to. Should be exciting!

Listening to: Standing on the Edge of Summer ~ Thursday, The Hollow ~ A Perfect Circle

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A story about gauge…


Most knitters know about gauge. It’s that evil monster that has something to do with numbers and makes your projects not come out the right size!

In all seriousness, I don’t mind a little math and I’ve been lucky so far to not have encountered a gauge-related knitting disaster. And, really, I still haven’t. But in the last couple days I had a very interesting and visually apparent issue with gauge… so I’ve decided to share it. Because I’m all for admitting my mistakes obsessive tendencies.

A couple days ago I posted the progress of my Space Dust Diamondy “twin socks” with MJ and it looked something like this:

sdd1

MJ’s sock, on the other hand, looks like this:


MJ’s Space Dust Diamondy Socks
Originally uploaded by nerdcoop

I liked her socks better. I admit that I have issues with pooling – it’s not that I mind pooling necessarily, I just want it to pool a certain way. I realize this is crazy. In fact, even after knitting four lace repeats on two socks, I still liked her socks better. The problem was as follows:

The pattern calls for a size 2.5mm needle and 8 stitches / inch gauge. I wrote the pattern and that is what I did the first time, but with a slightly thinner yarn. I checked with MJ, her gauge was exactly 8 stitches / inch. I checked my gauge again, and it was off by less than 1/4 stitch per inch. The socks would have fit just fine, but I didn’t like the way the colors were coming out. I debated ripping them out and starting over with a true size 1 (2.25mm) needle, but I wasn’t sure it would make that much of a difference.

We debated. We looked on Ravelry and saw that – as one expects with a hand-dyed yarn – there were finished projects with more yellow than our skeins had. In fact, our skeins weren’t bought at the same time, so who knows if they’re even in the same “lot” so to speak… Maybe they would never look the same!

I decided I was going to rip the socks, since I knew I would never be happy otherwise. I did, and I started over using the smaller needles. The ribbing is the same, I didn’t rip it out – we’ve already discussed how much I love knitting that ribbing…

sddtake2

Uh… wow! Even I didn’t expect it would make that much of a difference – I mean really, it’s a .25mm difference in needle size, less than 1/4 stich per inch difference in gauge… Wow.

In other fibery news…

loom

Yep, it’s a loom. No, I didn’t buy it, I’m borrowing it from Stephania. And I didn’t warp it either, it came that way. I’m excited to figure out a bit about the loom – I figured I’d use the exisiting warp for a bit of a practice to figure out how to get it working and then warp it. So… anyone have any suggestions about places online for info for a very beginner weaver? Is there a knitty of weaving?

P.S. Today I registered for Blue Moon’s Sock Camp. I can’t wait. 😀

Listening to: Lightning Crashes ~ Live, Pale September ~ Fiona Apple

 

Rockin’ Socks


As I mentioned in the last post, MJ and I are making Diamondy “twin socks” in Space Dust. It’s not really my colors, but since it was my camp name I had to get some. MJ is knitting way faster than I am, and I feel like the mother of a small child telling myself in my head “This is not a race!” Do you hear that MJ? Twin socks are not a race!

sdd1

Of course, I’m consoling myself with the fact that, since I’m knitting two at once, I already have the whole horrible 1×1 twisted rib section done. I HATE knitting 1×1 twisted rib, but it is so pretty when it’s done! I couldn’t believe I had put it in this pattern, but I did and so I knit it. I was complaining to MJ on IM too, but really I only have myself to blame.

I also got my first 2009 Rockin’ Sock Club package today. I know there’s a big issue with spoilers, so here’s what I did… I posted the photo to my flickr, but if you go there you wouldn’t see that. To see it you have to click the links below, which is a “guest pass” to the photo, which is marked as private. Hopefully this is a good solution to not spoiling (even accidentally) while still letting people see it if they want to. Let me know if it won’t work or something.

the whole kit

just the yarn

I won’t say anything spoily either, but I will say that I really like this kit and intend to make it soon so more spoiler links may be in order.

Listening to: Moth ~ Audioslave, Breath of Water ~ Cave In

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I can’t leave it alone


The Nutkin sock pattern was mentioned as being a quick one on the Yarn Harlot’s blog, so I decided to have a look. It’s a lovely pattern, and the color pictured reminded me of a skein of Tiny Toes I had hanging around, so voila! a gift was born.

nutkin

Pattern: Nutkin
Yarn: Interlacements Tiny Toes
Needles: 2.5mm
Started: 1/20/09
Finished: 1/27/09

nutkinclose

The yarn is very nice stuff – knotted in the center of the 100g skein so it winds into two balls, which I’m beginning to enjoy. It’s a soft any springy 2-ply with a fairly tight twist – kind of similar to Socks That Rock but less… shiny if that makes any sense. I think it’s the looser twist and fluffiness that does that. I really have no complaints about this yarn other than the fact that there were occasional fuzzballs (little bits of fluff that make a spot in the yarn thicker and more fuzzy) attached to the yarn, but they were pretty easy to remove so it wasn’t really an issue.

As for the pattern… well I just can’t leave these things alone. It is a very nice pattern, and the fact that I have certain personal obsessive tendencies is not a criticism of the original pattern at all – just to be clear. I knit these socks more or less as written – I started with ribbing to avoid the picot edge since they’re a gift and I don’t have accurate leg measurements, and I knit my usual heel and toe so I’m not sure that they’re the same as the pattern. However, while I was knitting I kept thinking of things I could change…

The socks bias slightly due to the decreases that form the pattern all going in the same direction – it’s not a problem and was mostly gone after blocking. Perhaps they’ll swirl a bit when worn, but that’s ok. But combine this fact with my love of mirrored symmetry? I’m going to have to make another pair of Nutkin-inspired socks for myself with a mirrored mod on the swirls and a couple other changes… I had a thought about the toe shaping as well but I haven’t crunched the numbers in my head yet.

What’s next? Well, lots of things. But MJ and I have started a new pair of twin socks – Diamondy in Socks That Rock colorway Space Dust. The first year at BMFA sock camp my nickname was Space Dust, so of course I had to buy a skien although it’s not my usual colors. Even though I designed Diamondy over a year ago, the original socks were a gift so I still don’t have my very own pair. But if MJ’s progress is any indication, I will soon!

And one last thought:

Last week I read on the knittyBlog about “slow stashing”. It’s certainly not a new idea, in fact I’ve been following a slightly more structured version since sometime in 2007. In summary, what is described there is not a dead stop to yarn buying, but an approach to carefully consider each skein purchased. In my case it’s a plan to decrease the stash by using more yarn than I acquire. Similar to an actual food diet – I use or destash more grams of yarn than I bring in and my stash, slowly but surely, loses weight. I think it’s more reasonable than declaring that I’ll stop buying yarn entirely – that’s unlikely. 😉

Listening to: Almond Beauty ~ Sculptured, Fireye ~ Viada

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