Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gingerbread Hat

I did this for a KAL and really liked the idea I got from another person who made the hat to knit a ribbed liner for it. I had some RH Holiday in a burgundy color and thought it would look nice. But I had NO idea what torture it would be to knit with. That stuff is awful! Hurt my fingers....nearly impossible to see any mistakes (which, depending on your situation, might not be such a bad thing), and the texture distorts the cable pattern. But I got through it. I used RH Soft in an off white for the liner.....

Gingerbread Hat

One thing I learned quite by accident is that when you are doing a provisional cast on, make sure your first row is a knit row. If you make knits and purls, you wont be able to pull the chain out. Because I did a k2/p2 rib, I had to cut each individual chain out...that was a PITA. However, I was happy with the hat...it fits nice. Its supposed to be a gift but I really like how it looks so I may just keep it... bwahahahaha!

Its a VERY thick hat, being 2 hats in one, really. It wasn't hard but I will never use RH Holiday again. 

As Ever,

I Am Kneedled

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Catching Up

Well, I finished the toddler socks and am pretty pleased with them....they went pretty quickly. Here they are....

Lillith's Socks
I gave them to Lillith yesterday and her mom tried them on her. The are about a half inch or so too long but other than that, look great! The color is cool on her, too. She will be getting more socks from me!

My success meant I felt I was ready to move on to grown up socks for myself. I found a hank of Ella Rae Lace Merino in my stash that I bought YEARS ago for the sole (no pun intended) purpose of knitting socks and the size 2 lace needles that I used for the toddler socks and got started. I originally looked for a cuff down pattern like the toddler socks but I kept reading how much easier it is to do toe up socks. But, in order to do that, I really needed to master Judy's Magic Cast On, which, to be honest, intimidated me. But I figured what the heck? So I gave it a try....

It took me 2 tries (the first time I turned the stitches the wrong way and had a purl row in the begining) but I did it, as you can see. YAY!! No grafting! No Kitchener Stitch!

After that it was a matter of simply increasing enough to cover my toes. But I didn't take into consideration that the work flares out as you work so I ended up with a toe that was like an inch too wide! Grrrr...

I frogged back and took out about 8 increases and tried again. And AGAIN it was too wide! By then I was starting to get really frustrated so I frogged back again and took out another 8 increases which brought me down to 48 sts. That seemed close to perfect (Why did I never see anyone telling you when you should stop increasing after you cast on when I was making this sock? I just found out that you increase until the work is just starting to touch your pinky toe...I thought it had to cover ALL your toes. So now I know for future sock making). After that, it was simply a matter of working in stockinette till I got the foot length I needed, trying it on every once in awhile to check the length. When I got it as long as it needed to be, I had to find some instruction for the heel and gusset. I found a pattern to follow, which pretty much got me through. It was SO nice not having to pick up stitches! That part always caused me grief. Then I decided to do a rib stich leg and cuff and my sock was finished...

Now this isn't to say that everything went perfectly. I am not used to sock yarn and lace needles and I was dropping stitches right and left! A couple times I was in tears because I just couldn't seem to get in a rhythm because BANG...I would drop another stitch! I had to frog the heel completely when I screwed up an increase and I tried laddering back and I dropped a stitch and....well, that had me in tears. I put the damn thing aside for 3 days and didn't touch it till I was ready to give it another try. Second time was the charm. And the second sock did go a lot easier since I was now familiar with the procedure.....

There were 2 things I really wasn't happy with. One was the cast off. I used the one from Silver's Sock Class but it wasn't really stretchy enough. Thankfully. its enough to get over my foot and up my leg, as you can see bu that's about it. Next pair I will find a more stretchy cast off method that I can use with Magic Loop. The other thing was the yarn itself. That stuff cost me $25 and it had a cut in it and TWO spots that were actually frayed, which I had to cut out and reconnect! Not acceptable for a yarn like that.

But I DID IT! I made myself a real pair of socks...not slipper socks...not worsted weight yarn socks......but something I can wear with shoes. This was what I wanted to learn to knit for! Now its just a matter of refining my skills and getting more comfortable with the method. But I know I will be making socks for many years to come. Only wish I had learned sooner and not let it intimidate me.

As ever,

I Am Kneedled