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So, I Read This Book Today

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Review: How to Knit Socks That Fit by Donna Druchunas #KnittingSocks #SocksThatFit #Crafts

Remember when you were a kid, and your socks were always falling down around your ankles, then slipping down so far they bunched up around your feet in your shoes? I do. Yuck. Even when I got older, finding socks that I actually liked was, well, interesting. Sports socks had good elastic in the top and cushy bottoms, but coming in black, white and gray was so boring. Cute socks, with wild patterns, cartoon characters, and bright colours (my favorites!) wear out in no time flat, as they are made with thin, easy worn-through yarns. All of this is why I first started knitting socks.

Jitterbug -- Hand dyed  Superwash Merino/Nylon (80/20) Fingering weight, Sock yarn 100g, 400 yards -- Color:  Radioactive RainbowSock yarn is so much fun! Colorful, often stretchy, always lovely to knit with, what is called sock yarn is a finer weight yarn than worsted, and makes absolutely luscious socks that are a treat for your feet. Of course, you don’t have to stop with sock yarn. I have knitted for my feet from heavy yarns to make slippers and even boots! Knit the boots up, felt them, add a leather sole, and you can wear them all winter. High top, low top, it doesn’t matter. You knit, you enjoy!

Of course, making socks isn’t cheap – good quality sock yarn can run upwards of $30.00 per skein, and require two skeins to make a pair. No, I don’t invest that much – I like bamboo and merino that runs me less than $5.00 per skein, but one day I might go crazy and go for the really good stuff, like yak or bison. Who knows? I would just have to remember that those socks are for laying around reading and knitting and not walking out in the yard (yes, it’s a habit. . . )

But the old problem of knitting socks that truly FIT is still the question. When I first started knitting socks, I had the same problem as with purchased socks. Ankles too tight or too loose. Tops as well. Feet too large or too tight. So, how do you do it right every time?

This Storey BASICS Title is a wonderful way to start your sock knitting journey. Donna Druchunas holds your hand and leads you through everything from the beginning. What fibers are good for socks and what fibers will drive you made and turn out a bad product. Why the “twist” is important in your yarn, and how to decide what weight yarn to choose. She then continues to what type and size needles you need for your particular socks and why the material the needles are made of is important. Then you get to the good part. How to fit the sock to your foot so they turn out comfortably every time. Then there is whether you want to knit “top down” (knitting the cuff, then the foot) or “toe up” (starting with the toes). She explains the differences that each knitting style makes in the overall construction and fit of the socks, and why a beginner might want to start with a cuff down style. My personal preferences? The yarn depends upon what I want my final product to be, of course. But I use circular wooden or acrylic needles and the toe up method for a couple of reasons. One, I lost a double pointed needle on a bus trip in Scotland and had to put away my knitting – bummer. The double points are pretty scary for a newbie, as you are working with five needles at a time. I like the circulars so that my work is continuous and I am not working with those fiddly double points! I work toe up because, let’s face it – I get distracted. By starting with the toe and paying attention to my toe, instep and heel, I can then let my mind wander and ‘play’ with how I complete the tops. Cables? Simple knit two purl two? I can make up my mind when I get there – and then just knit until I am out of yarn. And by knitting two socks at once on my circular needles I don’t suffer the dreaded “One Sock Syndrome!” Besides, you can even spin your own sock yarn!

Hand dyed Merino Wool Roving, Combed Top -- Radioactive Rainbow -- 100% Merino spinning fiber, Felting Fiber, Felting woolThe directions for making socks are simple, well-illustrated, and allow you to start your sock knitting journey with a very basic sock – something that I still knit for everyday use – even if I do knit them in wild, hand painted colours! Starting here you can grow your sock making skills before you branch out into the wonderful world of colour and texture that makes up the world of sock yarn and patterns.

 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. This is a really great book for the absolute newbie, but I also found neat little tricks and tips for my own sock knitting. Recommended.

 

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Cute!

I went to my local yarn shop’s Fleece Day Market the other day. Fun had by all, and lots of beautiful fleeces!

There were also goats, sheep and llama there – my favorite was one particular llama:

https://i1.wp.com/recycledlamb.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_2037-1024x768.jpgLook at that FACE!! They were so cute, all the little creatures, but it would be fun to have this little girl in my back yard, I have to tell you…. These babies are so spoiled – the best food, the best living space and handling. They are nearly as spoiled as my dogs 😉

A Story From Fiberygoodness

Randi Winters
Photo courtesy of Fiberygoodness.com Other beautiful yarny photos available on the site!

For the last several months I have been enjoying “Fibery Goodness” with Arlene (Spin Artiste) and Suzy (Woolwench) on fiberygoodness.com.

There are wonderful things on their site, including courses like Journey to the Golden Fleece Creativity in Fiber Certificate, a Fibery Art Gallery of student creations, and other ‘pretties’.

On the blog today they posted Stories!, including a Fairy Tale by Randi Winters. You should flip over and read it – it is a beautiful tale, with gorgeous yarn and spinning photos. Besides, if you are into yarn, this is a site you must not miss!

 

An Easter Post

 All sorts of Pretties for Easter!! Have a wonderful Easter!

colorsheep
Pretty! Freshly dyed sheep run in view of the highway near Bathgate, Scotland. The sheep farmer has been dying his sheep with nontoxic dye to entertain passing motorists. Thanks to Vogue Knitting for the Photo!!!

 

 

A flock of orange dyed sheep brighten up the Isle of Mull
Click the photo to read the story!  One desperate farmer has given his flock a coat to dye for in a bid to thwart sheep rustlers on the Scottish islands. With the help of non-toxic orange dye the farmer has given the sheep the bizarre makeover as a result of ever increasing thefts

 

yelow
They call me Mellow Yellow!
coshp
Have you ever wondered how they make plaid? Well, this says it all! LOL

 

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Here, chicky chicky chicky!! Check out the original photo by clicking on the photo!
bunny
Love to spin Angora? Well, this is a lop, but she is already dyed for spinning! Check out the photo, and others, by clicking the link!
neonsunset
If you love spinning, you can’t go wrong with the spinning yarn rolags, and other items from my good friend Holly at Blue Barn Fibers! Check out her Etsy site by clicking the photo of her Neon Sunset rolag! Aren’t the GORGEOUS??
uke eggs
Aren’t these Ukrainian eggs amazing?? Thanks to Nancy Sproull for the photo! Check out her Pinterest page by clicking on the photo!
natural-dye-easter-eggs
Click on the photo to go to Sonya’s site to see how she coloured these amazing Easter eggs. The blue one is coloured with RED cabbage leaves. How cool is that? Photo courtesy of radmegan. All Rights Reserved. Please click the photo to check out this and other wonderful information and photos on Sonya’s site!

I am neck deep in a huge editing/publishing project for a wonderful author (all very hush, hush right now, but just WAIT until the book comes out! It. Is. AWESOME!) So I won’t be writing much for a bit.

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Back to the bottom of the jacket. Starting the top over again. If I would occasionally pay attention, I wouldn’t have so many UFO’s lying around!

Just a couple of updates. I messed up the Baby Albert and had to take out a lot of stitching. Sigh. That is what I get for getting so involved in my book I wasn’t paying attention to my stitches!) Now I am back to this. Oh, well. I like my new idea for laying out the colour blocks for the top better anyway!

jester
Photo courtesy of Morgan at Morganised Chaos.

I was working away on the Jester Tea Cozy, but got to end of the ball of Noro Kureyon that I was working with (aren’t leftover bits-and-bobs wonderful?) and ran out of the 102 I had in my knitting basket.

art_kureyon274
I like the 274. It went into a purse I sold a year or so ago.
art_kureyon319
The 319 went into the same purse. It turned out beautifully and sold immediately. Need to make some more of those I guess. . .

I went looking through my “ends” box and couldn’t find my other 102 that I “know” I have somewhere, so I dug out what I do have. Hum… a bit of 274, several yards of 319. I also have nearly a whole skein of 185.

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The 185. Ugg. WHAT was I thinking???
Well the purple and orange and rust bits
looked good – until I unwrapped it! UGG!

The problem is, I hated the 102. Still do. I should probably tear it apart and dye the pieces and re-spin it, or maybe just re-dye the whole wad of it, but I just have too much on my plate. Most of the Kureyon is beautiful, and the 102 I had purchased purposely for a purse that I was making. The thing is, when I started knitting with it, it turned out, (how can I say this nicely?) BORING. . . Noro does that sometimes. Mostly, their colour ranges are lovely, but sometimes, as with everyone I suppose, a particular colour goes flat. And 102?

Noro Kureyon 102. I actually hate this colour. Maybe if I over dye it?
Noro Kureyon 102. I actually hate this colour. Maybe if I over dye it?

Ugh. Here, take a look. I had thought the blues/peaches/lavenders/golds would make a good base colour for the Dream Coat that I fell in lust with from the book Dazzling Knits by Patricia Werner. I mean, Look at this coat! Stunning, isn’t it???

dazzling knits
The Dream Coat. Yep, it is a dream all right. . . a Dream I can’t seem to make come true!

I started it right before I started my cancer treatments, so it went into a drawer and got forgotten until just now. (Short attention span, anyone? Oooh! Shiny!)

Anyway, needless to say, I haven’t finished the coat. I do have several triangles made, and some of the stripes, but I had bought quite a bit of the 102 to balance things out, and instead it just washes everything out. So, this is what I have now . . . as well as some closeups.

The 102. It looks brighter and more cheerful in this photo . . .
The 102. It looks brighter and more cheerful in this photo . . .
It is actually dull as used dishwater
Leftovers. The 185 looks Much brighter in this pic than it really it. It. Is. DULL.
Leftovers. The 185 looks Much brighter in this pic than it really it. It. Is. DULL.
Gag me. The 102 is by the gray.
Gag me. The 102 is by the gray.
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These two skeins are actually a LOT duller than they look in the photo.
This is what comes at taking photos in the kitchen at 3:30 in the morning.
Artificial light. Yuck.
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You break the yarn into these little, teeny-tiny sections….
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Sigh. A lost of my work got pulled apart and used for other things. This is what is left. The stuff I thought was salvageable!
I actually like this piece quite a bit.
I actually like this piece quite a bit.

Anyway! If it sounds like I am goofing off? Yep. Just got up an hour ago (it’s 3:34 AM – yes, I sleep weird hours!) but it is time to get to work now, so here I go . . here I go. . . Yep. I am moving. Getting up. . . really…………….

 

coconut coffee
YUMMERS!!!

 

 

Yawn. Coffee! Yeah! That’s what I need! I just got a bag of COCONUT Coffee! I have been trying for ages to find a good quality Coconut flavouring to add to my coffee when I brew my beans. Dunkin’ Donuts ROCKS!!!

OK cold leftover Chinese food (fried rice, shrimp and peppers and some kind of chicken thing) and now, I am ready to work!

I Knit While I Read

I admit it. I am one of those crazy people who can’t function unless I am doing something with my hands.It used to be, when I only read print editions of books, that I had to figure out a way to hold my books, turn pages, and knit or quilt at the same time. Now, with my Kindle and Nook (yes, I have both, what can I say?) I can prop up the book and knit at the same time. How cool is that!

Plymouth Yarn Company has new Encore line colours out that are NEON!

NEW 476NEW 477NEW 478NEW 479

I bought the yellow, green and pink (and wish I had bought the orange, but my budget is sooo tight) and paired it with the 0848-Navy Blue.

06110848

I am making the Infant size Einstein Coat, better known as the Baby Albert, from Sally Melville’s The Knitting Experience Book 1:The Knit Stitch, Inspiration and Instruction.

51uw-X0rU3L

einstein coatThanks to Kaleidoscope Yarns in Vermont for the photo of a completed child size sample of the Einstein Coat. The coat I am making is the Baby Albert Coat, the infant size. As you can imagine, mine is going to be quite a bit different!

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The stripes of the completed portion are for the bottom portion (running up-and-down). The top portion and sleeves are sketched out, and will be quite fun, I think! Hang in for a look at it as it goes along! I will sell it when it is done (one can always hope!) on my Etsy page.

My Etsy Banner.
Cick to go to my Etsy Page!

The tea cozy is me grabbing bits and pieces of fiber out of my ‘leftovers’ pile, spinning them up,then plying them into a two-ply, nubby yarn, then knitting them together. The top is simply a heavy piece of left over yarn woven into the top and pulled tight.  Boom! My take on one of Loani Prior’s ‘knit-flat’ tea cozies from Wild Tea Cozies and Really Wild Tea Cozies.wild

really wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jester Thanks to Morgan at Morganised Chaos in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia for the photo of her Jester Tea Cosy. I am working on mine from bits and pieces of Noro Worsted Weight yarn. When it is done, I will post here.

 

 

 

And yes, before you ask, I am as scatter-brained about my knitting as I am about everything else! I have more UFO’s, both knit, quilt, and stained glass, than I like to admit!

The Heather Hoodie is almost done, I am just getting ready to put the button band on, but it has been so hot, and by now the flippin’ thing is so heavy and hot to work on, that it is in a drawer until the weather cools down! Will post a photo when I pull it out again……..

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