Crossing the Finish Line

Last week I’d posted about Ravellenics on Ravelry.  I’d joined the Sock Hockey event with plans to create a pair of socks using the yarn Darling Hubby brought back from Northern England.  Well, I’m happy to report that after going for the gold for a week I finally crossed the finish line this morning (after shoveling out from the Valentine’s Snowpocalypse of 2014!)

We got at least a foot of snow, but since I’m not 100% sure of that exact measurement I’ll just say we got a metric butt ton of snow.  I say this because I shoveled it…not once, but twice.  I wouldn’t have had to shovel this morning except the half of the snow blower auger broke (a shear pin broke off and was lodged in the bar) and it took Darling Hubby 2 hours to do a passable job on the driveway (and I say passable as you could pass the car from one end to the other and get out into the street) and most of the day to fix the auger (he even stayed home from work to get it done since he didn’t know when the plows were going to go back through refilling the driveway.)  We are under a state of emergency now so all cars need to be on the other side of the street so the plows can come fill us back in sometime between 8pm tonight and 8pm tomorrow.  I’m sure it will be right before I need to leave to go to the grocery store…

Anyway, here are my Vanilla Latte Socks in Wendy Roam Fusion sock yarn in the colorway Moor.  I haven’t worn them yet, but I can tell they are going to be warm.  I think I’ll wear them tomorrow.

Ravellenics Socks

IMG_4928

As for the pattern I did enjoy it.  My standard go to sock pattern is just a plain vanilla one with a short row heel and a standard toe.  I did a little combining of that pattern with this to come up with something I love.  I used the ribbed pattern for the cuff and the top of the foot, the short row heel from my vanilla pattern and the wedge toe from the latte pattern.  I have to say I really enjoyed that toe.  I think I might start using it for other socks.

The ribbed pattern does spice up a plain vanilla sock, even with variegated yarns like this one (I usually don’t do fancy patterns because I love striped socks and funky variegated yarns and this is just enough pattern to be noticeable and not so fancy that it is either lost in the color or takes away from it.)  It’s mindless enough that I can work on it while holding a conversation or watching TV, but gives me just a bit of a brain workout in that I have to occasionally count and take note of what row I’m on.  It was also nice that I could make the 2nd sock exactly the same as the first by counting the number of purl repeats.

As for my other entries, I’ve been plugging along.  I worked through this weeks intermediate clues for the Downton Abbey Shawl Mystery Knit-along hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool.  I believe we will get the final week’s clues with enough time to finish it before the 23rd.  It only took me a couple days to do the 6 rows for this week, so I’m hopeful.  I only hope I can make the time since my oldest will be off from school next week for winter break and when both he and his little brother are in the room together…nothing can get done!  lol

I also found some time today to work on my sock hop sweater.  I sewed the shoulders together and picked up the stitches for the turtleneck.  I have to work 6 inches and bind off and then sew on the sleeves.  I have hope that I can get that done this week, too.  I’m kinda disappointed in how the shoulders look because my color change happened right at the bind off for the back and it made a single “row” of teal on the black so when I sewed them together it was just noticeable.  More so on one shoulder than the other.  Hopefully it will be on the top and not so noticeable to everyone else.  Fingers crossed.

As for the Olympics themselves, I haven’t watched very much.  I caught a bit at Craft Night last Monday and watched a little at home on Tuesday, but that is pretty much it.

So, there you have it.  I’ve been plugging away on my knitting and I even blogged twice in 2 weeks!  I’m hoping to keep the blogging up, so be prepared for random ramblings from me.  I know I can be a bit wordy!

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Fraternal or Identical?

I finished another pair of socks in record time this week.  I cast on Monday night at Craft Night (because I was tired of making hexes and because I was at our agreed upon stopping point for the Carousel sock and wanted something else to work on) and had both socks completed by Sunday afternoon…less than a week.  It was kinda a belated birthday present to myself, since my birthday was Friday.

This pair (number 6 on the sock counting tally) is made with Berroco Sox yarn in color 1476.  There’s lots of purples, pinks, blues and white in this yarn.  I love doing plain vanilla sock patterns and using a self-striping yarn. I don’t have to think about what stitch comes next and it’s great for when I want a quick traveling project.   This yarn was super fun because the stripe pattern was random and I never knew what color would show up next.   I just wish the yarn was a bit softer.  It feels almost stiff in a way, even after washing and drying it.

When I started sock # 2 I didn’t have the same starting point in the yarn as the first one, so my stripes don’t line up the same, but that’s ok because I love the colors and the random differences.  Someone on Ravelry pointed out that my socks are not Identical twins, but Fraternal Twins.  I like this line of thinking!  Even though they come from the same ball of material, they are each their own unique entity.  🙂

So, I hereby present pair of socks number six (pair number 3 for me) – Berroco Sox in Purples and Pinks.

Berroco Soxs

Fraternal Twins

Berroco Sox 2

Love the random stripes!

I also finally finished Bug’s Red socks.  He was so excited for them that I didn’t want to disappoint.  I finished them at Craft Night on Monday and didn’t even have the chance to wash them because Bug wanted to wear them to school the very next morning.  The pattern I used was A Thousand Kisses and it’s a good pattern.  I didn’t have a good contrasting color yarn, so I left off the X’s and O’s and make the heel, toe and cuff the same color as the body.  I’ve found that I’m just not a fan of the heel flap and the gusset.  I much prefer the short row heel.  The heel flap is great for when I don’t want to think about what I’m doing and just work back and forth, but I love the simple look of the short row heel.  I think for the next time I make Bug a pair of socks, I’ll use the same pattern, maybe with the multi-colors this time and do a short row heel instead.

Now presenting Bug’s Red Socks:

Bug’s Red Socks

I can’t wait to start working on my next pair of socks.  I’m thinking of a pair for Darling Hubby (whether he wants a pair or not!  lol)

I Love Knitting Socks

I have a new knitting love!  I love knitting socks!  I love that they are easily transportable.  I love that I can work on them standing up while just waiting in line to pass the time or at the park while my son plays.  I love that (once you get the hang of it) they are a quick, almost instant gratification, project.

Ok, I’ll admit that I’ve only completed one pair of socks, but I’m already hooked!  They are so comfy and better than those mass produced, machine made, store bought socks.  Yes, they are a bit more expensive (the yarn alone for my first pair cost me probably around 7 bucks and I could probably get 3 pairs of machine made socks from the store for that price), but they are handmade and well worth it!  I wore mine all afternoon yesterday!  I went out Saturday and picked up some more sock yarn (some of the good stuff like Heritage Paints and Berroco Sox) and I picked up some more of the Deborah Norville Collection’s Serenity Sock yarn in red to work on a second pair that I’ll, if they come out well, give to my mom for Christmas or maybe even Mother’s Day.  I started them during the last half hour of The Walking Dead last night.  lol

So, here’s a picture of my first sock.  Pretty, isn’t it?

I made them out of Deborah Norville’s Serenity Sock yarn in a colorway called Chili that I initially bought with plans to attempt to crochet socks, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Socks, in my opinion have to be knit. Oh, and everyone was so surprised that my first pair of socks had stripes.  They thought I was changing colors!  I had to admit I was using “cheater yarn” that makes the stripes for you.  lol

I started with a cuff down sock rather than toe up since I wasn’t comfortable with the magic loop method of knitting, using circular needles.  I just can’t get the hang of it.  I probably just need more practice.  I do have the book Two at a Time Toes Up Socks, so now that I know how the whole sock process works I may have to give it another go.

Since I did cuff down, I had to learn, what I thought of initially as a daunting task, the kitchener stitch.  After looking on You Tube, I found a great video (Kelly’s Sock Class – Kitchener Stitch) that walked me through the whole process and it was amazing just how stupidly simple it is.  There’s nothing scary about it at all!  I made a couple mistakes my first time doing it, but it’s not noticeable unless you are looking directly at the toe of my first sock and lets face it, who’s going to see it when I have my foot in a shoe?

I’m gonna admit that they aren’t perfect and I made a few mistakes that I had to fix, like tinking 10 rows at the gusset where I misread the pattern and forgot to knit every other row (I did my decrease rows one after the other – oops!)  The second sock is a smidgen longer than the first and has a slight pink tip, where the first doesn’t – oh well.  I made sure I measured multiple times to make sure they’d be the same length, but apparently my measuring skills need some work.  lol  I slid the first sock on my foot and measured, but didn’t do that for the 2nd…Guess that will probably be my go to technique when making socks for myself.   The first sock has a couple stitches on the toe where I purled off when I should have knitted off for the kitchener stitch…but, what are you gonna do?

So, there you have it, my new knitting love!  I hope to keep making more socks as they are fun to make…I just hope I don’t start having “second sock syndrome!”  That would be the pits!