I have completed my first month of the ravelry sockdown with flying colors. This pair of socks was completed in 11 days, with ends woven in and everything! You can't tell from the picture, but these socks are pretty darn close to being twins, as the splotchyness occurring after the heel is happening on both socks. All in all, I like the socks, though the yarn is a bit thick for my tastes. I'm glad to be done.
Next month's challenge is underappreciated patterns, holiday stockings or socks designed by Hunter Hammersen. I'm anxious to see what patterns fall into the underappreciated pattern category, but I'm really leaning toward knitting up a holiday stocking. Last year, before our wedding, I bought yarn to make the New Ancestral Christmas Stocking from the second Mason-Dixon book. I really feel like that will be a fun thing to knit - more so than just a pair of socks. However, my yarn stash, which just keeps getting bigger, really is begging to be knit down. There is no law that says I can't do both, but what about Christmas presents? Seriously, shouldn't there be more time to knit in the day?
I've turned the heel on my first sockdown sock. More challenging than I expected. I haven't done a heel turn in quite a long time! Looking over my Ravelry projects, it seems that the last sock with a heel flap and turn was knit in March of 2008. I like my short rows, but since I'm knitting a patterned sock, I'm trying to follow the pattern. Usually, when you knit a heel flap, it consists of two rows.
Row 1: *Sl1, K1* repeat across entire row. Finish with K1.
Row 2: Sl1, Purl every stitch in row
This heel flap however, added two extra rows.
Row 3: Sl1, *Sl1, K1* repeat across entire row. Finish with K1
Row 4: Repeat row 2
It was hard to keep track of which odd numbered row I was supposed to do. The heel flap looks pretty cool, though.
A few more decreases on the gusset and I'll be nearly done with the first sock.
Last Wednesday marked the Akron SnB's third annual birthday swap. We decided to celebrate everyone's birthday once a year, and gave each lady a spoiler and a spoilee. I organized the swap, simply assigning partners by picking names out of a hat, and Martha was the first name I picked. She became my spoilee. For her birthday package, I purchased a few items while on vacation in Myrtle Beach. No vacation to Myrtle is complete without a trip to Broadway at the Beach, and while Chris and I were there, we stumbled upon the cutest (qtest?) shop called Too Qt. Chris might not have been as enamored of it as I was, but I found lots of goodies there. For Martha, I purchased an adorable necklace and bracelet - no picture of the bracelet sadly.
I also picked up a fun little magnet at the david and goliath store. If this weren't a family friendly blog, I'd totally post a picture. However, we'd like to keep things safe for work (and my mom).
If that wasn't enough, I was able to make Martha a flower pendant before time crunched down on us.
Yarn:Diakeito Dia Tasmanian Merino Atelier, I bought it in Hong Kong
Pattern: Plethora of Petals
Needles: US4, 3.5mm
And the final piece, the best piece, of the package was the shawl. I saw the Coquile shawl on knitty at the end of July. The moment I saw it, I knew it was for Martha. I headed over to my LYS (which I don't hit up very often as I have far too much yarn!) and they only had two balls of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi. It was the perfect color, but... I needed at least 3 balls. That's what the pattern calls for for the small size, and doggoneit, that's what I was going to get. So I ordered the yarn from Paradise Fibers. I flip flopped about the color and finally decided that Martha is an autumn color kind of girl, so she was getting the Autumn Rainbow colorway. I regretted my decision immediately. As soon as I received the yarn, I cast on, and continued, to knit knit knit with this color that I thought was going to be all wrong. Andi attempted to convince me Martha would love it, but I was not convinced. I finished the shawl in 9 days. I decided half way through to knit the larger size, and got a little worried about the amount of yarn I had, but I knew I had some extra from a previous project I used this yarn for. I used far less than three balls for the large size (which is unheard of with this pattern). Just goes to show what a tight knitter I am!
So here's the finished product.
Word on the street is that she loves it! I actually do too! It's perfect for Martha, and I'd love to knit another.
My swapper was Devona. Seeing as how she's super crafty, I was super excited to get my package. A few weeks before the swap, though, poor girl broke her collar bone. She still pulled through with flying colors! She purchased a book off of my Amazon wish list, Sew Retro. I haven't had a whole lot of time this week to sit down and read it, but perusing it as I pass it in the living room, I can tell its going to be something I love. It has some sewing history in it and some great looking patterns! She also purchased me a cute little necklace from Toony Jewelry.
And finally, broken shoulder and all, she was able to make me this fantastic pillow!
How cute is that! She said it was initially going to be a lap blanket, but once the shoulder broke, knitting wasn't so much an option. She turned it into a pillow and it looks great in my office!
Last week, I was reading Andrea's blog. She mentioned how she was knitting her first true pair of socks for herself (congrats!) and that she joined a ravelry group, Sock Knitter's Anonymous. Her motivation behind this group sign-up was to join their annual SOCKDOWN challenge, a monthly knit-along for sock knitters. Now, I've belonged to the Sock Knitter's Anonymous group for a while now, and I've been trying very hard this year to stick to a "pair a month" plan for whittling down the sock yarn, however, I've never really, truly tried an organized knit-along. I've wanted to, but clearly, my motivation is highly lacking, as I've never really signed up. Oh wait, I take that back, I did a Jaywalker KAL several years back (and even won a prize), but since then, I haven't even tried. So after reading what Andrea, an amazing knitter of only one year, was planning on doing, I figured I should get off my lazy arse and get in gear. So I signed up. And amazingly enough, I have nearly half of a sock done.
This sock represented a gigantic challenge for me, as I'm not a big fan of the Mediumweight Socks That Rock and I really don't like THICK socks. I'm used to knitting socks with true fingering weight yarn on size 1 (2.25mm) needles. I like my socks to be knit very tightly and turn out rather thin. This sock is a definite stray from my norm, but I'm enjoying it. Whether or not it will make the cut to be a cute sock with some Mary Janes is yet to be determined, but for now I'm enjoying the speed with which this sock is coming together. And I'm digging on the stripes, which is why I fell in love with Socks that Rock in the first place.
I've also completed a few projects since I last blogged, but since this a sock post, I figure I'll just share the socks. Like I stated above, I'm attempting a self-imposed sock club (ala the Yarn Harlot), which is somewhat working, but I'm just coming out with boring, plain vanilla socks. I love them, but I need a bit of a change. Here are my two latest endeavors in the vanilla world of socks.
Pattern: My own sock formula, CO 64 stitches, Yarn-Over short-row heel
Yarn: Scout's Swag, Sis' Boom Bah' (not seeing it on her site, but it was awesome to work with!)
Needles: US1, 2.25mm
These have been off the needles for a while. I got this at a stash sale that Andi, Mary (and Mary's daughter) and I went to last year. Super great deal and an awesome day! Mary's daughter found a trampoline and was jumping on it calling it a Jumpoline. Just about made my year. I can't look at a trampoline without calling it a jumpoline.
Pattern: Same as above, CO 64 stitches, Yarn-Over short-row heel
Yarn: Regia Canadian Colors, 4737 (can't remember what Canadian city it corresponds with)
Needles: US1, 2.25mm
These clearly aren't completely off the needles, but I'm done knitting them. They've been done for about a week, but sometimes that Kitchener stitch just alludes me. Not meaning that I have issues with it, I just sometimes don't feel like doing it. They'll keep on those needles until its time for hand-knitted socks, which doesn't have to come any time soon!