Archive | February, 2011

Look what came in the mail…

28 Feb

Berroco Comfort Sock in Cosmopolitan (hers) and Dunedin (his)

Sometimes I think I’m a fast knitter, and other times I think I’m very slow. So now I’m going to find out, just exactly how long does it take me to knit a pair of socks? I won’t change my routine, will continue to watch TV and drink tea and do all those things that really slow down the knitting process, but I’m going to time myself on my simple ribbed Cosmopolitan self-striping fair isle socks and see, am I a fast knitter or a slow knitter.

 

I’m putting my money on slow.

Advertisements

El Fín

27 Feb

Finished Blue Eyes Socks

Dad won’t be here for a week, but they are done, with a teeny bit of yarn left over.

Blue Eyes

23 Feb

My father is the only person in my family with blue eyes (with the exception of some of his relatives, whom I never interact with). The rest of us have brown, hazel or green eyes.

Aside from being the object of my mother’s eternal affection, these blue eyes are the standout feature I always think of when I think of my dad. They’re very pale, often gray, and look even better now that his hair and beard are silver.

When I first starting looking for yarns to make Dad a pair of socks, the Hari Hari colorway of Berroco Comfort Sock jumped out at me. The self-striping blend of ocean gray to sky-through-an-icicle blue just screamed “DAD!”

So, I’m now about 1 1/4 ways into the Blue Eyes Socks for my parents’ upcoming visit (10 days and counting…).

As you’ll see, there is a rather small ball of this yarn left to complete this sock in the alloted time and I’m not convinced it will happen. The yardage assures me there will be enough, the weight of the ball and the completed sock continually pass my “hold in separate hands with eyes closed” measurement system – but I’m just not sure. Following the example of the Yarn Harlot, I will knit the rest of the sock very fast and try to outrun the yarn.

IF the socks are finished by the time my parents arrive, I’ll have to decide between holding them to Dad’s eyes or feet first.

 

Beginnings

10 Feb

This heel uses the Eye of the Partridge technique, a bit more feminine, but just as sturdy as the standard flap heel.

I have been, over the years, an unsuccessful blogger. I don’t even know how many blogs I’ve started with the same zeal I begin a new gym routine that will be sure to get my into bikini shape within weeks, only to fall out of posting and caring, along with skipping the gym.

However, this time I think I might make it work. Though I am a knitter of limited resources and can’t buy all the thick, soft sweater yarn or even afford to make scarves very often, a single skein of sock yarn is often within my budget.

After months of wishing and hoping I would someday acquire the knitting skills to take on socks, I launched into my first pair as a gift for my mom. (The fact that they are a gift was sure to keep me knitting, rather than adding another UFO to my already crowded shelves.)

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that – along with some good beer and encouragement from the Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee), knitting socks isn’t that hard. Not only is it not very hard, but it’s addictive and rather exciting. Turning a heel seems like a giant accomplishment, though after waving my sock around for awhile explaining to my husband that he should be very impressed, I began to feel more humble about the act. After all, I did use a pattern.

The pattern was chosen after the yarn, and the color after the pattern, which worked out better than could have been expected. I love lace and had access to Berroco Comfort DK (DK/Sport) at my favorite local yarn shop, Loopy Knit/Crochet. After searching Ravelry for appropriate – and free – patterns, I decided a nice purple would work well with the natural, water-type theme of the socks and my mom’s personality. The socks are River Rapids by Sockbug.

I learned several things during my first foray into sock knitting:

  1. My Barnes and Noble Nook stores pattern PDFs wonderfully and paper is so 20th Century.
  2. Magic Loop may not be as elegant as DPNs, but is extremely easy to learn with the help of some YouTube videos and turning a heel on two needles beats the hell out of three or four.
  3. Turning a heel is exciting and gratifying.
  4. Grafting a toe with kitchener stitch is about the only thing more exciting and gratifying than turning a heel.
  5. It is possible to love an acrylic/nylon yarn.
  6. It’s so possible to love than yarn, that you buy more to make yourself a pair of socks next.

Completely done, with Nook light in the background. River Rapids sock pattern by Sockbug