2022: Wk of 9/18-24; Socks, Sweaters, and More Favorite Things

HUBBY’S SWEATER UPDATE

I do love knitting with this cotton/silk Berrocco Summer Silk yarn. Just so soft! Since it’s all stockinette for 17″, it’s a nice mindless knit for TV watching now that the network series are starting their new seasons.

AUTUMN SOCKS

These socks are getting the majority of my attention since it’s already autumn. I want to wear them NOW! I think the fit is going to be okay. I’m making them a little shorter than normal to help pull in the extra width at the ball of my foot. I love this yarn too. (Seems to be a pattern). I’m ready to start the heels today. Orange and black are also the colors of our local football team so hopefully they will get to be worn into the playoffs.

BABY BLANKET UPDATE

My great grandson’s baby blanket got a little knitting attention and is going to need to get a lot more. I’ll be traveling back to Indiana in four weeks for my granddaughter’s first birthday so I need to have the blanket done by then. Hubby’s sweater will have to take a back seat until I can get the blanket finished.

FAVORITE THINGS – CHRISTMAS IDEAS??

A few weeks ago I posted how I like clear containers for all things knitting so that I can see what’s inside my “tin”, notions pouch, yarn “bin”, and even knitting tote bag. Another thing I like to help make knitting more enjoyable is “fun” stitch markers/progress keepers. These can range from cheap to somewhat expensive. Here’s some ideas to put on your Christmas list or as a gift to a knitter you know.

I love using my colorful o-rings that come in lots of sizes on Amazon. I bought small ones for my sock needles, medium sized for my Size 4-6 needle knits, and large ones for my Size 8 and up needle knits. These are available via Amazon. I like to place them every 10 stitches when I’m casting on and every 20 stitches while knitting. I like to use these on big projects where I use one color for the front stitches, a second color for the back stitches, a third color for the right sleeve, and a fourth color for the left sleeve. I also recently bought stitch markers from Katrinkles that literally say front, back, and sleeve for added clarity on what the heck I’m knitting at the moment.

I have numbered stitch markers from Twice Sheared Sheep that I also like to use while casting on or tracking my stitch count while managing increases or decreases. I love my M1R/M1L sweater stitch markers for top down sweaters although for my bottom-up sweater I’ll be using my SSK/K2T sheep stitch markers. These are both from an Etsy seller. Sadly I have found that the black printing wears off too fast if you don’t put a drop of clear nail polish on them to protect the printing.

Finally, it’s fun to have seasonal or just cute charms for progress keepers. I made these from charms and lobster clasps I picked up at Hobby Lobby. Etsy also has lots of cute progress keepers. I like to put a “fun” pair of stitch markers in the center of the top side of each sock and a square stitch marker in the center of the sole side of each sock especially when knitting 2 at a time socks. Helps me keep track of which sock is the “first” one and which side gets the heel.

Hope you have a wonderful week of crafting. This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts.  YOP started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for six years.

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2022: Wk of 9/11-17; Sock and Sweater Updates

HUBBY’S SWEATER UPDATE

I’m happy to report that the second time was the charm in not twisting my stitches on this bottom up pullover. Fingers crossed that the waist will not be too tight. The hem is knit with fewer stitches than the body. I figure worst case I’ll rip out the hem and reknit it straight from the body stitches. This is an easy knit now that I’m past twisting the hem so I’m getting lots of practice knitting Continental.

SOCKS UPDATE

What a surprise, I got a lot less knitting done this week at the beach than I thought. I did make a little progress on both my Fixation socks and my Autumn socks. The Fixation socks will now become my car knitting since I’m in no hurry to finish them. I don’t want to get caught again with no knitting in my car. Nothing like sitting for an hour waiting to get the oil changed with nothing to knit.

I’m knitting my Autumn socks Continental style and forgot how much looser my stitches are. The sock is too big!😲 With only 2″ before starting the heel, I’ve decreased the stitch count from 68 to 62 and I’ve added 2×2 ribbing to the bottom side. If it still ends up too sloopy, I’ll have to frog it.

WEDDING WEEK

What a wonderful week long wedding celebration. The weather was perfect. Way too much good food to eat. The bride and her family are happy but exhausted. This is the beach mansion they rented for the week.

Hope you had a wonderful week. I look forward to getting back home for the next two months!!

2022: Wk of 9/4-10; Cast-ons!!!

SOCK CAST-ONS

Between finishing my Autumn cowl and my Dragonfly socks recently, it was time to cast-on more projects. With a week of beach knitting coming up, socks were a logical choice. Both are going to be vanilla socks. The first pair is going to use the leftover variegated yarn (Deep Dyed Yarns) from my Autumn cowl. I think a plain pattern is called for to let the yarn itself shine. Plus the matching cowl is mainly vanilla stockinette. I may do a stripe of the pumpkin colorwork on the leg portion. The second pair is more of my beloved Fixation DK yarn which is great for knitting while walking. Since the bride and her maid of honor (her sister) are VERY health/exercise conscience, there will be a 5K as part of the wedding festivities. Plus my husband and I enjoy starting our mornings at the beach with an hour walk.

HUBBY’S SWEATER CAST-ON

Ugh! The reason I hate swatching is that it takes me so long!! 5000+ stitches takes a lot of time. I’ve used this yarn before and have swatched but unfortunately that didn’t help. I started swatching with a size 8 based on my previous swatch but I’ll be knitting Continental since it’s all stockinette. I ended up with a size 5 and still didn’t match gauge. I’m just going to knit a size smaller. I like the fabric and I’m already worried I’ll be playing yarn chicken so I don’t want to go to a smaller needle size. I’ll check my gauge as I knit and adjust accordingly. It will be easy to add stitches if needed. The swatch did allow me to try out different stripe patterns so my hubby could pick – alternating stripes of light grey, dark grey, white, and red or split up the red stripe so that there is a small stripe of red between each stripe of light grey, dark grey, and white. He chose the small stripe of red between each stripe. I totally agree. I’m using Berroco Summer Silk, one of my favorite yarns.

This is my first bottom up sweater. I will do my best to never knit another one!!! I have ripped it out already because I find it nearly impossible to keep from twisting the 250 stitches as I try to knit the first few rows! I did learn a new cast on technique since I needed a stretchy cast on. I used Tillybuddy’s cast on. I have also reviewed jogless striping videos. Fingers crossed I am successful on the second attempt or hubby has already agreed I will switch to a top down crew neck pullover despite his preference for a V-neck.

PROJECT BAG

With all the new cast-ons, I needed a new small(er) project bag. The fat square material I had bought over a year ago limited how tall I could make the bag. This one “is fine” but I’d probably prefer not as wide. I will do that with the next bag I make. I can get away with a small bag on my sock projects. This bag could hold 2 skeins and a small notions pouch. It’s actually a good choice for colorwork socks where I need multiple balls of yarn. One of my goals for the year was to make a project bag with some fabric inspired by local artist Charlie Harper. I didn’t use that fabric since I’m out of practice making project bags. I’m glad I didn’t use it since I would indeed make the next project bag different. I’m going to consider this new bag as meeting my 2022 goal of making a project bag even if it isn’t the Charlie Harper fabric.

Hope you have a wonderful week of crafting. This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts.  YOP started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for six years.

2022: Wk of 8/28-9/3; Autumn Cowl Plan B, Knitting by Candlelight, and Favorite Knitting Tools

HALLOWEEN/AUTUMN COWL

On to Plan B. After knitting a stripe of pumpkins and and the stripe of leaves (that I created by borrowing and modifying from a free chart I found on Ravelry), I realized that I did not like how the black background yarn of the stripes went with the variegated yarn I had used leading into the stripes. So I spent much of this week knitting the stripes, tinking back the stripes I had knitted, and reknitting stripes. I shortened the stripes so as to have less background and I didn’t like the green I had used as the pumpkin vine anyway. Now it’s just pumpkins. I had to redo the leaves chart to make it a shorter stripe. I added a section of variegated yarn between the colorwork stripes so that it would be less of a “block” of plain black background. I “oops” again figuring out when to start the leaves stripe so it’s a much bigger block of variegated yarn between the two stripes. I had planned to have a second stripe of pumpkins but that will make the cowl too long. I’m happy with it. It really shows off the variegated with the stripes playing a background role versus being the centerpiece of the cowl. Another change is that I decided to do a 3 row garter edge before a decorative picot bind-off. Unfortunately my colorwork is too tight (good lesson) so I can’t pull the cowl down onto my shoulders. Also not sure I love the picot border. I’m going to live with it a bit and then decide if I need to rip

I realized my next sock project is going to be using the leftover variegated yarn so that I have autumn socks to match my cowl!!

KNITTING DURING A POWER OUTAGE

Of course as I’m trying to pick back up the stitches from ripping out the colorwork stripes on the cowl, when the power went out this week!! On a beautiful day?? What the heck? Apparently there was a car accident that knocked out power from late afternoon until the next morning for our little area! So this is me knitting by candlelight since what the heck do you do at 9pm when you aren’t tired but have no power. Enjoyed listening to a podcast on my phone. Thankful I had my “brain dead” garter stitch baby blanket to work on. Perfect for a low light situation. Once again another reason I’m so thankful I learned to knit!! I’m about half way done with the blanket.

MY FAVORITE KNITTING THINGS

Not much else to share knitwise since I’m trying to be more monogamous-ish. Thought I’d include a bit on my favorite knitting tools as gift ideas for knitters. As you can see from my blog header photo of my knitting wall, I love clear containers for yarn and notions. Clear Cosmetic Zippered Bags (for Notions), Small Clear Bead “tins”(for specialty stitch markers), Clear Zipper Bags (Yarn storage), Clear Interchangeable Needle Case, and Clear Totes – Inexpensive. I love using clear “containers” so that I can quickly see what’s inside. I prefer clear “tins” to hold my stitch markers so I can quickly see which stitch markers are in which tin . Clear cosmetic bags to hold my notions so I can quickly find my snips or tape measure. Clear zippered “sheets” bags to hold my multi-skein projects, usually with the front page of the pattern I was at least initially planning to knit with the yarn. Even a clear tote to carry multiple project bags to knitting sessions with fellow knitters so that I can quickly find my notions pouch or the project I’m working on first.

Hope you have a wonderful week of crafting. This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts.  YOP started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for five years.