Knit: Simple Handspun Socks

Simple Handspun Socks

Simple Handspun Socks
Pattern | Adapted from Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman
Yarn | Simple Scarves Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach
Needles | 2.75 mm & 2.25 mm DPNs

After nearly a year of no sock-knitting, I decided to cast one my first pair using my own handspun. To count for the thick yarn, I decided to continue using 2.75 mm needles as I have always and also increase the stitch count from 64 to 68. While the resulting sock fits just alright on the foot, it was a little baggy on the leg. If you look closely, you can see that I waited too long to start the gusset, resulting in a little crinkly action going on on the instep. O’well…the socks still fit and they’ll do for home wear.

If I had to change anything, I would knit these in a smaller size around the leg and then drop another size (2.25 mm like what I did for the cuff) for the bind off. The Russian bind-off works like a charm and the cuff is a definite improvement compared to my previous attempts. The only snag in the whole thing is the length of the leg. I underestimated the yardage; had thought I was going to run out of yarn so I bound off the socks sooner than needed.

This project has inspired me to come up with a goal – to knit at least one sock a month starting from September (when I started) till June or July next year. This should help me destash all that fingering-weight yarn that I have lying around. I do foresee one thing though. With all this knitting action going on, I’ll have less time for my quilting project and winter knitting for the kids. Hm, time to manage projects again!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Socktopia: Simple Handspun Socks (WIP)

Simple Handspun Socks: Progress

In conjunction with the annual knitting craze called Socktober (guess which month knitters hold this event?), I’ve decided to run a little thing of my own; a goal of some sorts. For the next six months to a year (I haven’t exactly decided), I’ll be knitting socks on top of the other things I have to work on. My plan is to at least churn out four to six socks – most for myself with a pair or two for the hubs despite his complaints about it being too warm (the socks that is).

To start off, I’m been working on a simple pattern to suit my feet. The previous “standard” patterns don’t seem to fit me very well – they are usually too tight around the heel which probably means the foot length and circumference is off. So I’ve come up with a basic toe up, gusset heel pattern and have been diligently making notes on just about every modification I made. My current issue is with the gusset heel – it doesn’t seem to line up nicely with the instep stitches so that needs a little bit more work, especially if I were to incorporate cables into the picture.

But for now, this sock will do…can’t wait to finish the pair. I reckon it’ll look downright cherry for winter!

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Knit: Citron

Citron off the block!

Pattern | Citron by Hilary Smith Callis
Yarn | Simple Scarves Silk-Wool Laceweight in Electric Blue
Needles | 4.5 mm circulars & 4 mm crochet hook

This was a simple knit – knit, purl with plenty of increases and decreases to get the ruffles. I made a crochet edging to finish off the shawl and instead of the recommended number of repeats (five), I made seven (or was it six?) repeats, resulting in long tedious nights of stockinette stitches and mindless knitting in front of the TV/laptop.

Blocking this was a challenge – I think I overblocked towards the bottom of the shawl which resulted in the last section of ruffles disappearing. I’ll have to keep in mind not to do the same the next time I put this in the wash.

Other than that, I’m loving the yarn and colour despite how “noisy” it seems. It’ll go perfectly well with solid tops or dresses – I can see it being showed off prettily on a simple black number. The silk in the yarn gives it an added shine and like my Jaali, I cannot stop molesting it. If I were to ever go back to dyeing, this would be one yarn base that I would hold onto simply because it’s amazing to knit with!

Now that I’ve cleared this, I’ll be gearing up for a cardigan KAL as well as the upcoming Ravelympics 2012 (and more reviews on medical scrubs)! I don’t know what possessed me to sign up for a KAL (Knit-A-Long) and the Ravelympics but hey, I figured I might as well hang onto my knitting mojo while I still have it! Hehehe.

Citron off the block!

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Knit: Hooting!


Pattern | Owelet by Kate Davies
Yarn | Cascade Yarns Eco+ in Summer Sky Heather
Needles | 6 mm & 6.5 mm circulars

I never really got around to making any sweaters for Eva until last year when I began to clear all my WIPs or newly started projects. I decided to take advantage of this love and plunged into uncharted waters – sweaters! To make things simple and easy, I decided to use a pattern that called for bulky or aran weight yarn, figuring that I might finish it faster.

I settled for Cascade Yarns Eco+ because of the price. Originally, I wanted something along the line of teal but they ran out and I didn’t want to wait so I settled for a lighter shade of blue. At first Nil sounded skeptical when I told him that I couldn’t get my hands on teal but when he saw this colour, he gave his okay.

I made this in Kids Size 2 (age 5-6) but an unfortunate glitch saw me knitting the sleeves in 6mm instead of 6.5mm and skipping out on three stitches. While Eva could still fit into it, it is rather snug so it meant some serious blocking for the sleeves. The width and length – as you can see – is ample so I didn’t really block this to death. I figured that in time, if I need it to be wider, I’ll block it then but for now, the sleeves need more vigorous blocking than the other parts.

Now that this is done, I’m contemplating between finishing my entrelac shawl or starting a lacework piece in one of my handdyed yarns. I miss knitting lace!

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Noah's new pompom hat

Pattern | Pompom Bear by Amanda Keeys (0-6 mths)
Yarn | Merino Worsted 3 ply in Blue & Bluish
Needles | 6 mm circulars
Ravelry project page here

Noah’s current hat is getting a little tight around the ribbing and he has long been unable to fit into his Bluey Hat so I decided to make him another (blue) hat! I didn’t want to start using a fresh ball of yarn so decided to go with whatever that was left. This plus Koolhaas ate one entire skein so I’m a happy camper – no more bits and pieces of yarn to deal with.

Definitely a fast knit (I finished in under two days but you could do it in less than a couple of hours if you didn’t have other distractions) and a great way to use up all that leftover yarn! Can’t wait to get him in it tomorrow when we head out to buy some fruits.

In the meantime, the Malaysian group of knitters have decided to start a group project – a granny square throw – for a fellow member as a wedding present. Each person is supposed to crochet two 8″ squares in lilac or pink. While my stash has some of these colours, they are mostly in wool or non-machine washable yarn. I ended up selecting my handspun yarn for the squares. Figured that since the skein is too small for any other project, it should give me two nice squares. We’ll see how it goes.

The yarn for a group crochet piece

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Knit: Nil’s Quick Beanie

Nil's Quick Beanie

Nil’s Quick Beanie
Pattern | Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Yarn | Merino Worsted 3 ply in Blue & Bluish
Needles | 4.5 mm & 5 mm circulars

I finished this in the beginning of the month but never got around to blogging about it due to all the excitement with my soaps as well as going through salesforce reporting assignments.

I must be frank – I have never knitted much for my hubby. Every time I offered to knit something, he would declined. If I made something on a whim, I end up being the one to wear it like that blue entrelac scarf I made a few years back. So it was not surprising that whenever I do knit something for him, I either take ages or…urm, I just don’t do it. Hehehe.

This time around, *he* asked for a knitted item but only because his trusty beanie sported a hole and stank to high heaven. It was something his late grandma made for him and I could see that he cherishes it. He continued to wear it year after year and only recently when his dad bugged him to get a new one, did he finally ask me to make him one. But true to form, he gave me a pretty tight deadline and was quite picky with the colour.

“Nothing too bright” (when I suggested a nice red)
“Nothing too small or weird” (when I suggested a pattern)

The pattern he originally picked was…well, complicated so I got tired and settled on Koolhaas which I had done before for my brother. I knew it was a forgiving pattern which allowed for plenty of stretch. In the end, Nil was quite happy with the knit but not so happy with modelling it for me (as you can see in the picture).

I still have half a ball of yarn left so will either chuck it away until I need it for something small or…make another hat with it?

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Knit: Brown Meret

Brown Meret

Brown Meret
Pattern | Meret (Mystery Beret) by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn | Noro Kureyon in 149 and 242
Needles | 5 mm circulars

Finally, a knit for myself! With the awful weather and my last hat being a lousy fit (it’s more suitable for Eva than for me), I decided to start work immediately on a beret with some Noro yarn I bought last year when I wanted to knit a hat for my mum. Beanies don’t really look great on me with my round face so I thought why not a beret. After scouting around, I decided to stick to a pattern that I was familiar with. (Perhaps I should be more adventurous and try something different next time!)

Unlike the one I made for my mum which had four repeats, I made this extra extra slouchy by adding another repeat giving it a total of five repeats. I also blocked it over the largest plate I could find here at my father-in-law’s place – that really help bring out the shape. In terms of the dramatic striping that you need here, well, that’s because I split the two separate balls into half – meaning I knitted the brim in one colour (149) and then the other colour (242) and then 149 again before ending with 242.

I should take an action shot – perhaps tomorrow when the weather is better and we’re out AND I’m done weaving the ends. Hahaha.

Brown Meret

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Only one left for the year?

The year 2011 in craft

As we get ready for the coming Christmas and New Year holidays, I’m taking stock of my craft work this year and am glad to report that I finished a cool 23 projects. Out of the 23, three of them were from before I had Eva!!!!!! The oldest was my Ivy cardigan which I casted on in 2007 and will not care to mention again (not very happy with it – hmpr).

I discovered the joys of knitting two socks on two separate DPNs, thanks to Lois, who decided that this would be best to combact my SSS – Second Sock Syndrome. It was also the same project in which I knitted with my plied handspun and discovered that uneven spinning makes for uneven finished yarn which will affect the outcome of the sock. These were gifted to my mum as I decided that the measurements and stitch count that I have always been using was not exactly suitable for me. I reckon in 2012, one of my knitting goals would be to knit myself a sock that will fit me decently!

Anyway, as we get ready for the end of the year, I find myself looking at one WIP that is nearly finished – Eva’s cardigan – and one that I would probably finish next year – my entrelac stole. I am beginning to see why some people are monogamous when it comes to knitting projects and after having read other people’s account of the dreaded startitis (the habit of starting but not finishing projects), I’ve decided to have a maximum of four WIPs in queue at any one point in time. This would include other crafts like weaving, spinning and crochet work. That way I reckon I can organize my time better, especially seeing how needy Noah can be.

So yes, all in all, a good crafty year! Now back to my hunt for some funky address plates – I wonder how for address plaques works out.

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