Saturday, December 30, 2006

My baby's smiling Y'all

And I just can't resist bragging about my cutie pie. She's smiling y'all - and growing up so fast. She will be 7 weeks on New Years!!!

While on vacation, I finished socks...

I finished the Koigu sock, Regia Bamboo sock and Trekking sock while at Myrtle Beach. It was a family vacation, and not really a time to knit. But I fit some knitting in now and then of course! Now I have to start the 2nd sock for all 3 pairs. I don't know why I just can't finish one set and then start another. Too many yummy yarns I guess and I want to knit all of them at the same time. But I like each sock so much - I have to get started on the 2nd one. They all fit me great, and I think I plan to keep all of them versus giving them as gifts like the past few I made. I want to have some good fitting socks for me, most of the ones I have are the gift rejects, my first experiemental pairs. These all will be ones I will be proud to wear in public :)

I also made progress on Jada's sweater. Hopefully I will post the final product late next week - if I can resist starting another pair of socks!

I was in a LYS today getting a yarn swift b/c mine was broken. Or at-least I thought but I did get it to work after I bought a new one. I'm not dissappointed however, because I wanted a wood one and the one I had was a metal/plastic one. The new wood swift is much sturdier and able to handle bigger hanks much better. Anyway - someone asked the shop owner how many projects she had going - her reply was a grumpy "I don't know, maybe 30 or 40". I don't feel so bad now about my 10-15 projects......

Happy New Year everyone.....

Weaver's Wool Sox

I finally got around to finishing these socks. Too frustrated with the Kitchner - I took a note from my sister and did a 3-needle bindoff on the toe. I had wondered how that would work out and it's not too bad. A bit more bumpy, but not so much as to notice I think. I won't give them to a knitting perfectionist :) This pic is a bit blurry, but it's a lovely blue/purple mix. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's Woodsman socks pattern. Ribbing, heel and toe. I like it and will have to use this pattern again, it's fast and easy. I started this in the hospital while on bedrest and knitted them while in labor, so these have special meaning to me.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My new favorite socks

And I'm not done yet - but I love the colors. These will be my new favs!! The green is Koigu (my favorite sock yarn) and the toes and heel (once done) is Fearless Fibers Midnight blue (my new almost favorite sock yarn). The sock is done with a Garter Rib stich in the cuff and top of sock, and an after-thought heel. I have the hated kitchner's stitch on the toe, which I somehow managed to mess up a bit, but it's not too noticable since it is done with size 0 needles and a really really tiny boo-boo. As much as I love socks, I have got to get better with the kitchner's.

Baby Sweater - Peach sock yarn

And here is the beginning of a baby sweater for Jada made out of Fearless Fiber's Gentle Peach sock yarn. Fearless Fiber's is starting to be my favorite sock yarn. The colors are great, and it's super soft. I didn't think I'd like this color in socks - I'm not a pastel person. But it was part of a 3-color set I bought, so I decided to make a baby sweater with it. But after knitting it the colors are a lot stronger, almost coral, than it looked like in the hank. I think it would make nice socks. Hmmmm - I have another hank that I bought to make a bonnet and hat to match the sweater. But - who knows. Socks may be calling :)

Completed baby socks

I finally got around to grafting the final toe of her baby socks too. Man, I hate grafting. Probably because I'm no good at it. First I had to find a book to have a picture of the process because insert needle "knit-wise" or "purl-wise" was like french to me. The Purl Stich book by Sally Melville has great pictures, and finally I knew what it looked like to graft - but I'm still terrible at it. Perhaps practice makes perfect, but I'm very tempted to abandon a grafted toe and go to a round toe or star toe in the future so I don't have to graft :(

Completed Baby Bolero

I finished the baby bolero a while ago. The no-sew method worked great! It's the cutiest thing, and Jada can use it with a doll when she gets older. It's a good thing, because it's so small and she is growing so quickly she won't be able to use it for long!!

I used the Blue Sky Alpaca's Organic Cotton as recommened. Great yarn - butter soft, a pleasure to work with as usual. I have to make a larger sweater for her with this yarn.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sock Yarn Reviews

I have been reading some great sites reviewing yarn:,,,, - to name a few. So - since I am an absolutely lover of sock yarns (all yarns for that matter, but sock yarns have a special place in my heart). Here is my contribution to this discussion.

First of all - I love sock yarn because you can do so much with it. It is of course great for socks, but also hats, gloves, scarves, slippers, bags, sweaters, on and on. Most of the choices are superwash - with wool choices, cotton choices, and nylon or another fiber added for durablity. And my favorite feature of sock yarns is the wonderful color choices. I have seen colors in sock yarns that I have not seen in any other weight of yarn. Especially if you love bright, vibrant colors - you will love many sock yarn lines.

Here are some I have used:

Koigu KPPM
- This is my all time favorite. My feet are sort of big, so I probably dont' wear my socks as much as most people do because if I wore them in most of my shoes I would need an unslightly size 11 shoe!! I don't know why a size 10 seems reasonable and a size 11 is a road I cannot cross. Anyway - I say this to say I don't run into the usage issues that many have faced, maybe because I am not wearing them constantly in shoes but my Koigu socks are my favorite. I also have a super soft scarf in koigu. And I have also made a shawl that is not too light, but not to heavy in this yarn. I love the vibrancy of the colors and the mix of colors as well. I have not run into pooling problems either with the items I have made with Koigu. I'm working on a pair of socks in koigu right now. Great yarn, great results for me. A bit pricy, but worth it for an item you will treasure a long time and that will get lots of comments due to the unique and beautiful colors. For socks I have to use a size 0 needles with this yarn, but I am a loose knitter.

JK Knits:
I found this yarn online and it is very nice and soft. The colors are very elegant. Less vibrant than the Koigu, but very nice. I have a sock 1/2 way done with this yarn, so no experience wearing it. But it is nice to work with. I have both the sock and sport weight in this yarn, although I have only use the sock weight at this time. I am thinking about making a baby sweater with the sport weight (or the koigu, haven't decided yet). Using size 1 needles, but will probalby use size 0 in the future.

Mountain Colors Bearfoot:
I used this yarn for socks for my sister. It does have the often mentioned halo, which reminded me of sitting next to a fire in a lodge for some reason. With a nice, soft pair of socks on. The colors are rich with this line, I have some other skeins I can't wait to use. It is a bit pricy for socks, however. I can imagine using this with other projects, like a scarf or I have seen a lovely handbag in this yarn. But I have not used it for anything other than socks at this time.

MC Weaver's Wool: I made EZ's Woodman's socks with this yarn, partly while in labor with Jada!!!! It is nice to work with, soft, great colors. They are gifts, so no weaer or wash data.....

Red Barn Farms Sock yarn (bought on ebay): I like this yarn, although it is a bit scratchy. My original draw is the colors that Rose has used to dye her yarns with. The first one I have used is a lovely mix of purples and blues. I have in my stash some great yellow/orange and yellow/green/red mixes that are very unique. I haven't seen anything quite like it in other lines. Also a black cherry colorway. My first use of the yarn was a shawl, but I planned poorly and the shawl (crochet) was too small for my Mother-in-law. So I frogged it and am now making After-Bertha bed socks with it. And will have tons left over for gloves and other items. It's great to work with, and I am enjoying knitting it again. Which is unusal - I usually am to bored to use the same yarn, color way twice :) So many yarns, so many choices. But I love how the purples and blues mix together to make garment with depth and interest. When you first see it you think - purple, but the more you look at it the more you see. I have had lots of comments from people who see me knitting with this yarn, very unique and lovely to look at. But again, a bit scratchy although I have not washed it yet. Used size 1 needs, but will probalby use size 0 in the future.

Opal: I have several balls in my stash, but have not completed a sock with it yet. But it is highly mentioned on everyone's review so I look forward to using it. Great color choices again, very european! We are going to see family next year in the UK as well as I will probalby jog over to Munich for work purposes, so I am excited to get some nice european sock yarn that I can't find easily in the states next year!! For now - I get my fix on ebay. It's very hard to find in my LYS in North Carolina. Although I have found it in LYS in Redmond, WA while on business trips.

Regia: In my stash, but not used. Again, so highly praised I will have to try it. But I haven't been "moved" to use it. The colors are very traditional, and since I like bright, vibrant colors. I have been like a kid in a candy shop, attracted to other yarns first.... Maybe I have to be a more mature sock knitter to appreciatre Regia.

Ooops - forgot - I do have a Regia Bamboo sock yarn on the needles and that yarn is lovely. Very light and soft. Will have to update once the socks are complete and gifted! Using Size 0s.

Trekking XXL: Lots of great striping options and I like working with it. It is a bit splity, as I have read in other threads, but not overly irritating to me. The ball is huge (like the opal, Lana Grossa, etc). and I like getting 2 socks out of one ball). This is another yarn that gets great comments, I had a man on a plane (which is very rare for me to have a man comment on my knitting!) ask me what yarn I was using. He wanted his wife to knit him some socks with it! He said she knits a lot, but not for him - LOL. Using size 0s on my current socks with this, I have used size 1s in the past, but like I said. Too loose :(

Lana Grossa Meilenweit - Very nice yarn. Not splity like the trekking, and I loved the colorway I used (pink, purple, cream stripes). It was soft to work with, and while a gift sock, so I haven't washed, it looks like it will soften a lot in the wash. I have 2 more balls of the same color way left, which I am eyeing for a baby sweater. I used size 1s, which made for a looser than ideal sock. So - again - I recomend 0s for this yarn.

Knit Picks Simple Stripes:
I made my son socks with this, and am using the 2nd ball to make Jada baby socks. I found it OK to work with. Sort of stiff and scratchy but not unpleasant. It softened in the wash. Great for a kids sock b/c it's cheap and sturdy! Again (common theme!) used size 1s the first time, and size 0s now.

Lorna's Laces Shepard's Worsted: I made my daughter socks (slippers really) with this yarn. It is so soft and yummy to work with!! And they bloomed a LOT in the wash. I also used this yarn for a super soft scarf. I will definately use this yarn again. I used size 5 DPns/Circs for this yarn. BTW - I use DPs and Circs equally. No favorites, except I prefer circs when taking a project on the road. I have had my bamboo DPs break and my aluminum DPs poke throught everything. I'm also a bit worried my baby will get an unpleasant poke with my size 0 DPs, so I may swing back to circs when she is more mobile. I like not having to use stich markers with DPs :)

Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock: I have made 1 twisted stich sock with this. If you look back on my blog you will see the sad story of how I used to knit this way all the time as a self-taught knitter and realized my error on this sock actually when showing it off in a LYS and the owner commented on it. I've since corrected the error of my ways but I don't have the heart to rip it out and restart it. It was great to work with, the sock is lovely (although with a lot of pooling) and soft. But wasn't motivated to go down the same road againa this time. Used size 1s, but the stich is twisted so therefore tighter. Will probalby use size 0s.

Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport:
I have a sock I started with Aslan in this yarn. So, soft and nice to work with, but alas, not compelted. I used size 1s with this yarn, perfect for me in this weight.

Stahl Big Sock Yarn: I have a pair of footies in this yarn. Great house socks/slippers!! The colors I used are bright and fun. The yarn was a bit scratcy when using, but washed nice and soft. I used size 5s. I am knitting a 2nd pair for me. These will also be for the house and also the plane (I like to take my shoes off and wear handknitted socks on the plane to reduce swelling and discomfort.) I also bought some Big Mexico sock yarn as well for some really quickly knitted gift socks. On my 2nd pair - I am waiting for a book to explain the hourglass heel to me. I want to try it out on these quick to knit socks before trying it with sock weight yarn.

Gems Opal/Pearl:
I have some in my stash, but haven't used yet. I like having it as an option for solid colors but again - I'm a kid in a candy store and haven't matured enough to use my Gems - LOL :) I will probably use for the One Skein legwarmers before using for socks.

Brown Sheep Wildfoote: Started and frogged many items with the Rock n' Roll color way I have. So splity and just not very nice to work with. I like the Rock n' Roll colors, but haven't found the right project for it. Definately not socks. Did use another color way for a crochet scarf, it's ok to crochet with although it still splits :(

BS Nature Spun Fingering: I like this yarn for all sorts of things, including socks. I love getting in on the cone, a little goes a long way and it is affordable. I have made a shawl with it. Used as sock reinforcing yarn. Great selection of colors, and I like it for socks better than the wildfoote!

Marion's Sock Yarn: I was Seduced on ebay by this yarn. Lovely, soft colors. It's single-ply though and very, very soft. Will probably use for other garments not soft. When I started socks with it, it seems too soft and fluffy to make good socks. Could be wrong, however. But I frogged my sock attempt and will wait for a nice baby item or small project to use again.

Cider Moon Sock Yarn: Just ordered some, look lovely online!! Looks lovely when I got it in the mail. I can't wait to use it!

Lion Brand Magic Strips:
Made one of my first pairs with this yarn, and have a scarf in the potty room when I'm stuck for a long time and really bored LOL :) It has been in progress for quite a while!! LOL!! I also made a crochet shawl that I use at work with it. It is a bit scratch on the skin, but overall not a bad yarn. Fairly inexpesive for a pair of socks, but heavier wieight than most sock yarn. Used size 3s with it, but will probably use size 2s in the future. Good for kids socks.

Great Anirondack Soxie: Some in my stash, can't wait use it. But it looks too nice to use on regular socks!! I have to save it for something/someone special!!

Plymouth Encore: Not a sock yarn!! But used it for my first pair of socks knitted with the Knitting Pure and Simple WW sock pattern. My recommendation for anyone knitting their 1st pair of socks, helped me over come the fear of socks and got my started on my sock obsession. So I kept the socks for sentimental reasons, but doesn't wear very well. Wouldn't recommend for anything other than an inexpensive beginner sock. Knit on size 5 needles.

Cascade Fixation: I made 1 sock on this that was very small. Obviously, I had gauge problems. It was difficult for me to figure out a consistant gauge on this yarn, I'm not sure if I was streching it or what. It feels nice, if a bit thick. And the colors were nice in a Red/burgandy space dyed pattern. But I'm very leery of it given the sizing issues I had. Not sure if I will revist again - which means if so I will have to destash on ebay. Also- given that I like to use sock yarn for all sorts of projects, not just socks - I'm not sure what else I would use this for. Although my sister uses it for thongs. I'm just not a thong type of girl :)

Knit Picks Dancing:
I made scarf with KP Dancing. It was nice to work with, but I'm not a fan of elastic in my cotton/wool yarn. Just don't like the looks. so not sure how many dancing socks I will make, except I think it would make a good, cheap kids sock.

Given my note above, again, not my favorite looking sock yarn. But I did use it to make a light prayer shawl for a friend. It turned out great, and durable. It was also crochet not knitting. But again, not sure I will use the yarn again. I think I like bamboo as a ligher weight yarn, better than the cotton blends. But wool is my favorite.

Friday, December 08, 2006

And here are the JCs.......

I'm such a proud mama!!!!

More WIPs - Socks on 0s

I'm a loose knitter. I must embrace that fact and just learn to knit, very slowely, on 0s. Here are some of socks in progress that are finally, finally, finally tight enough to be a proper knitted sock. And not twisted!!!!

The baby socks are knitted with Knit Picks yarn, some yarn I had left over from socks I made earlier in the year for Jason, and passed down to Charmie.

The White and Red socks are knit from Regia Bamboo yarn. This is a lovely, lovely sock yarn. I will have to look into more bamboo sock yarn in the future. It is very lightweight, has a nice sheen, and I think I will really like these socks. They were intended as gift socks, but now I am not sure....

The Red, blue, Pink, etc. sock is Trekking yarn. I like the randomness of the strips and colors. Again, inteded as gifts, but will be hard to part with. The yarn is easy to work with, splits a bit, but works up nice for me on 0s. Very tight gauge. The Bamboo gauge is looser, which worries me a bit, not sure how they will last...

Bedrest and New Baby Project #14 - another cable muffler

Made with a clearance ball of Cestari Wool Yarn that I loved the color of but didn't know what do do with just one skein. It was such a different yarn than any other I had, I was afraid to mix it with anything. Thank you One Skein book!!

Bedrest and New Baby Project #13 - more socks get completed

These socks were started last spring perhaps? After I realized I was twisting my stiches, but before I realized that I need to knit most socks on a 0 to get a good gauge :( these are knit on 1s so they are a bit loose, but I like the yarn. It's a simple 2x2 ribbing that extends to the foot.

It's made with Lana Grossa Meilenweit yarn, pretty nice to work with. I have 2 extra balls that I'm not sure if I'll make a baby jacket for jada or a hat, or sell on ebay.......

These will most likely be gift socks.....

Not a fan of sewing.....

I'm just not a fan of sewing sweaters, so I don't make very many of them. I'm also a bit to lazy to really dig into some of the cool no sewing techique books that I have. But I wanted to make a sweater for Jada. But not invest a lot of time. I chose the Baby Bolero from the One Skein book, but alas. Sewing :(

However, having read some of the no sewing books, I decided to use some of techniques. Like 3 needle bind-off on the shoulders and picking up and knitting the sleeves.

It works. It's still in progress, but it is shaping up and it is a very, very quick knit. This is after 1 day of knitting with a new born. Which means lots of feeding and holding, very little knitting :) But that's all good, the knitting will wait. Little Jada is only going to be 3 weeks old once!

This is of course in between picking up my other WIPs every once in while...