I love socks, socky, socks, socks

Much like Ron Burgundy, I feel strongly about scotch, I mean socks.

Here at the end of October, I have made 12 pairs of socks already this year, the goal I set for myself back in January.

Now, I’m not one to give up when I’m ahead, so I’m going to keep going with the sock knitting pace I have set so I’m planning to make at least 3 more pairs (two patterned, one plain) before the end of the year.

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FO: Lettucefrog Socks

It’s on projects like these that my identity as a process knitter is  solidified, I preferred the look of my original pattern for this yarn, however I disliked knitting those socks, so I frogged, and in one of the quickest turn arounds on a pair of socks for me, I found one that was more fun to knit.

For me knitting is about the act of making the stitches and making the item.  I do really enjoy wearing my knitting, it is warm, beautiful and gives me a deep sense of pride, but the act of making it is far more important than the finished object.  I would not  have ever finished the first pair of socks, they weren’t something my fingers wanted to make, however, I found something that was a blast to knit and turns out look pretty awesome on my feet too.

So with this pair, I have finished five pairs of socks this year, so I’m still on track for my Sock of the Month plans.

– Details –

Project Name: Lettucefrog Socks

Pattern: Leapfrog Socks by Debbie O’Neill in Sockupied, Spring 2012

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarn, Tough Love Sock in Lettucewrap

Modifications:

  • Shortened Cuff and Leg: I don’t like super tall socks, my calves are too big for most sock patterns without shaping so I shortened up the leg and cuff to make these more wearable.

New Skills:

  • The stitch pattern was new to me, but for the most part I’m getting really comfortable with the base sock patterns so I’m going to have to go out of my way to try different constructions to expand my sock knitting skills.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: What can I say, I’m in Love with Tough Love!  A great yarn to knit the color is fabulous, it is mostly a solid but with some depth without seeming too multi.  And it washes beautifully, I machine wash and dry all my socks, and the socks are even nicer after a trip through the laundry.
  • Pattern: Overall, a good pattern. I enjoyed the Sockupied iPad format, although the patterns are stand alone PDFs that are linked to the app. But the app itself is really quite fun and takes advantage of the interactive nature of the iPad.

Re-Knit?: Nope, nice socks, but the 20 sock patterns in my queue are ahead of a remake on this pair, however I do like the way this pair fits.

Splashing in the Frog Pond

These used to be socks!

Most knitter’s know the sound that ripping back stitches makes.  Sometimes that sound makes you sick to your stomach as you are undoing so many hours of work, sometimes it is a freeing feeling, that you are being released from a burdensome project.

(Generally this activity is known as frogging, mostly because knitters are pun-ny and the rip-it, rip-it mantra is much like that of a frog.)

For me this time, it is a freeing sort of frogging.  I cast on my Pseud0-lettuce socks at the beginning of the month with the intention of them being my May Socks.  However, as the month wore on and I finished a pair of plain socks, a test knit lace cowl, two woven scarves,  crocheted cowl, and spun two yarns and filled 5 bobbins with singles I started to get the feeling that I was intentinally ignoring these socks.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t fibering (my new word for when I either knit, spin, crochet, or weave), I just wasn’t working on those, so maybe it wasn’t me, it was them.  So last night I made the executive decision to frog.

They were nice socks, but I just wasn’t enjoying knitting them.

Releasing myself from this project feels almost as good as getting my hair cut yesterday, there is something about starting fresh and with the new job on Monday (which I will have lunch breaks for knitting, unlike my last job), I’m feeling like it is time to free myself from unnecessary burdens.

P.S. If you want to watch the new pair from this yarn grow, they are going to be Leapfrog Socks (seems fitting considering how I came by the yarn for them).

FO: It’s Sunny Being a Kid

Ahh, plain vanilla socks, they are great knitting a comforting friend in times of stress and boredom and with with stripe-y Felici they become something greater than just vanilla socks.

I have been enjoying working with Felici, I have made 2 other pairs of Felici socks (Groovy and Recess) and I wore them all winter.  While I have enjoyed the pattern I was working, I wanted to try different heels, and when I ran across the garter short-row heel of the Up + Down Socks in Simply Sockupied eMag (which as a side note is a great publication for learning basic sock stuff and a great format) I was sold.  However it has a short-row toe and wasn’t designed to be two-at-a-time so I decided to hijack the heel and act like old Frankenstein and make myself a hybrid/mutant sock.

I think this, with a modified slightly more roomy heel that I just figured out yesterday, might be my new go to vanilla sock.

In addition to being awesome, these are my May entry to my Year of Socks. I have a pair of patterned socks on the go, but with my lacy test knit cowl (that I hope will be released soon-ish), a crocheted cowl, some handspun yarn and two woven scarves, I’m only on the leg repeats of the patterned socks right now.  So these will be my May socks and hopefully I will get my patterned pair done for June.

– Details –

Project Name: It’s Sunny Being a Kid

Pattern: Proto-Casserole Socks (a plain sock pattern I have been designing), but are a hybrid of the Up+Down Socks and the Kid Stuff

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici Sport in Sunny Day, a 2011 Color

Modifications:

  • Well, these are hybrid socks, so I took the toe and leg from the Kid Stuff and the heel from Up+Down Socks.

New Skills:

  • Short Row Heel: LOVE IT!  I find that the arch/instep fit more tightly than a heel flap sock.
  • Garter Short Rows: LOVE IT TOO!  I’m finding myself more and more in love with Garter Stitch, I may feel differently about Garter Short Rows after I make my own Color Infection Affection Shawl

Feedback:


  • Yarn: Felici Sport is one of my favorite yarns, it makes for interesting plain socks and is so soft and wonderful. No knots or big jumps in this one, so that is a good thing.
  • Pattern:  I want to make the heel cup bigger, and I have my proof of concept so my next pair will have deeper short-row garter heels.

Re-Knit?: Yep, next pair is already on the needles and I have an impressively large stash of Felici.

Check-in on Year of Socks

April, January and February

So back in January I committed to making 12 pairs of socks this year, now that we are in April, 1/4th of the way through the year I though I would check on my status.

With the completion of the Staked socks a week ago I have managed to finish three pairs of socks, however, not quite by the end of March.

I do have two more pairs on the needles and one of them should be done by the end of the  month. But both are nice plain socks, after the tiny twisted cables on the Staked socks I need some nice easy socks.

April Fancy & Purse Socks

So I am on track, with the latest pair of purse socks and fancy socks, I should be fine, but my list of patterns have been blown completely out of the water with the release of such amazing sock patterns all winter, like The Knitter’s Curiousity Cabinet by Hunter Hammersen and also discovering the trove of sock patterns hidden away in the nooks and crannies of Ravelry.

At the rate I am making socks, it would take me 4 years and 7 months to get through all the patterns I have in my queue (and not counting plain vanilla socks) .  And to knit all my superwash fingering weight yarn into socks would take about 3 years.  Yikes!  I guess I need to get knitting.

FO: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Isn’t it amazing when a pattern and yarn comes together in a perfect storm of knitting perfection.  For me the combination of a sock designed with a vampire slayer in mind and a yarn that is delightfully bloody in color (if not in name) was just perfect.

It does seem fitting that I use one of the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color club yarns with a Glenna C. pattern to make socks, as it was the March 2011 shipment of the club that inspired me to finally make socks.  When the Marching On Socks, which paired Glenna C.’s fun bobble-y sock pattern with TFA Purple Label in a color that is perfectly named Clover arrived I realized that socks weren’t lame (and so ridiculous as SmartWool socks were the best thing going), but rather totally awesome little canvasses to try out amazing stitch patterns and to wear art every day.  I remember reading Glenna’s blog post over a year ago where she talked about how her sock drawer was filled with handknit socks and how happy it made her, and I thought, how silly why would anyone want handknit socks when you could have a drawer full of SmartWool socks.

Now I know why.  And I look forward to wearing my handknit socks every week, and at the rate I am going I will be replacing a good number of my SmartWools with handknit socks, which is very exciting.

– Details –

Project Name: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Pattern: Staked by Glenna C. for the Indigodragonfly: Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Cranberry (YIC November 2011)

Modifications:

  • Shortened the leg, my calves are really quite large and I would rather err on the side of too short rather than too tall (and not able to stay up)

New Skills:

  • One at a time Socks – And I need to get a second set of needles so I can at least work on them in parallel, getting one done and then having to start the second so didn’t work for me.
  • Cable without cable needle – Not the first time for this skill but this one really solidified the skill for me.  My fave tutorial is Glenna’s which you can check out here.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As always TFA Blue Label is TFA Blue Label, a good yarn in a great color.  No pooling and a touch of attractive striping that doesn’t distract from the knitting.
  • Pattern: A great pattern, there is a bit of a hiccup in the size L left foot chart but if you follow your gut (decreasing on the inside and increasing on the outside) everything works out exactly as it did for the right foot. I understand there are new charts in the works, so don’t be discouraged, just patient.  I appreciated that Glenna had done a proper set of charts for each size (rather than greying out stitches to knit or not depending on size) and the full page of stitch info (including on how to cable without a cable needle).  The file was quite a few pages but they all seemed useful.  Also she made it for both Magic Loop/2 Circ knitters as well as DPN knitter, the best of both worlds.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not, so many socks so little time.  When they wear out and I have gone through my queue they may pop up again.

In like a lion …

I finished the brown sweater to the left and cast on all the projects on the right.

Yesterday the weather seemed to sure be following the old adage, the winds were whipping the snow/rain was sideways and it felt like winter and spring were doing battle.  In honor of that miserable I decided that I turn my weekend in to a knitting retreat and I managed to finish and block the brown baby sweater and cast on the blue one.

This image was just too cute to not share.

I also cast on my March Sock, and fought with some double points as I cast on a Comfy Chubby Chirp, my attempt to finally free myself from the last of my baby blanket cotton/acrylic.

Oh an on Friday, because I knew I was headed to a boring seminar in the after noon I cast on a pair of plain vanilla socks like my just finished Recess pair.  These are intended to be purse socks and bonus to my Year of Socks scheme, so we will see how quickly they get finished.

So not only is the weather coming in like a lion, adding all these new March cast-ons to the Brick Cowl I have been working on since the TFA KAL in January, I have a heckuva month of knitting ahead.

FO: Knitting is Recess for Adults

Me + Felici Socks = Love

I guess I am getting the hang of this sock thing, because I have managed to finish my second pair of the year by Feb 12th.  I don’t have much to say on these socks, they are stripe-y and fun and awesome to wear to bed.  I have one more set of Felici sport from 2011 and they will get turned into vanilla socks and I will be checking out the 2012 Felici colors to see what I will be picking up in the spring.

I couldn't resist wearing these the instant they came off the needles so you can see signs of wearing, which only makes me love them more. Also I ran the stripes in opposite directions so that I wouldn't have to worry when the stripes didn't line up perfectly, like in my first pair.

For those who aren’t familiar with Felici, they are the super soft sock yarns that KnitPicks gets in limited edition colorways.  Each spring they release 8ish fingering weight and about 6ish sport weight colorways and when they are gone they are gone.  The yarn is coveted not only for its softness, but also because the colorways are so hard to come by.  This past fall KP released some of the most popular Felici fingering colorways, and I must confess I picked up a few of them, including the Time Traveller colorway, designed to resemble the famous (infamous?) Doctor Who scarf  and the Rainbow colorway, which will most likely get turned into baby knits and some Swedish Fish socks.

I do like how Instagram filters can help the colors pop, which isn't exactly how they look but rather how they look to me because I love them so much.

The next socks on the queue are Staked by Glenna C, made out of TFA Blue Label in Cranberry the November 2011 Year in Color colorway.  I may have to alternate fancy and vanilla socks, because I am loving the speed at which I am finishing socks.

– Details –

Project Name: Knitting is Recess for Adults

Pattern: Kid Stuff by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici Sport in Recess (2011)

Modifications: Knit at way tighter than gauge to get some firm socks that don’t sack after the first wearing.

New Skills:  Nothing really, these are getting to be my vanilla, no thought required, socks

Feedback:

  • Yarn: Felici is great! It is soft and wears well and doesn’t do anything funny in the dryer.  I just wish the Sport weight would come in as many colorways as the fingering.
  • Pattern: Clean, tidy and it works, what more can a person ask for, other than a digital copy so that I could keep it on my iPad rather than having to haul out the book when I need to remember how to turn the heel.

Re-Knit?:  Yeppers, I have one more set of Felici sport in my stash and they are probably going to slip into the queue after the cable heavy Staked socks.