It’s Fall Frenzy around here, aka October and November. Things are busy. I have so many projects to work on and the house currently looks like a tornado went through. Parts of projects, in various stages of being done, are all over the place.
The one thing I got finished though were my sweetie’s slipper socks. He asked for these specifically and I was all excited. He really isn’t a sweater wearer and heretofore has not particularly wanted to try my socks. Till now!
With trembling fingers I went looking for a simple sock pattern that I could use bulky yarn to make. And I found it. For anyone who want the pattern, go to Downsizer.net and type in “Chunky Socks”. The pattern is made from the top down on dpns and is a REALLY simple sock with very good directions.
It calls for using Aran or chunky wool on 5mm dpns for a medium to large adult foot, but my sweetie saunters around on aircraft carriers so I used size 6 dpns for an extra large sock. It fits him perfectly. I used Bernat Alpaca Natural Blend yarn. Its 70% acrylic and 30% alpaca. The yarn is sooooo soft to handle and knitted up easily. The picture doesn’t show off the color quite right, but they are dark forest green, his favorite color.
In the pattern it did not call for the tops to be cuffed down, but sweetie liked them lower. In the pattern it calls for 20 leg rows and I did 16. The next pair I’ll probably half that so it will still be shorter without having to be cuffed. I’d like to try this with worsted weight so he could wear them with his shoes. These are definitely too thick for that, though they are perfect for bed socks which is what he wanted.
The food dehydrating continues. I found a great deal on carrots today. The carrots were right from the farm (a local commercial farm) and were gorgeous. I got 11 bags of carrots for $5.00. I was pretty happy, but now I need to chop them all up and blanch them and get them drying. A dryers work is never done. LOL.
Making items for the big fair in November and soon as I get some of them finished I’ll put them up.
Talk to you all again soon!
Hiya all! I’ve been a little slack in getting this post up. Blame it on gaming… Guild Wars 2 came out this week and I’ve been playing that. <winks> I love games.
These are my first successful Toe Up Socks. Now that said… I think I like the wide toe. First time doing that kind of toe. I’ll see how it is in practice, but I think I might like it. Not crazy about this particular heel style. It’s almost like a fake heel. It’s just not the type of heel I prefer, but again, we’ll see. This is only my third pair of successful (meaning wearable <grins>) socks, so its not like I have a ton of experience in different styles. The first two socks I ended up giving away for presents. lol. This pair is mine. <grins>
I love the yarn I used. Its very easy to work with and VERY stretchy./ It’s acrylic and nylon and its self patterning. I got it actually in the baby section so its very soft. It feels really soft and luscious on the feet. All the wool knitters are feeling faint right now because I said the “A” word, (acrylic), but I really liked this particular yarn, so pfft. <winks> Fear not, I also have a number of balls of Tofuttsies and other more respectable sock yarns. lol.
I don’t have sock blockers, but I’m making two with some really thick cardboard tomorrow.
Oh and if you try this method take the time to learn that invisible, stretchy bind-off. I figured I could do a regular bind-off and just do it loosely, but it really didn’t work. I may try to take out that last row and fix it or just chalk it up to experience. They are a bit tight to get over my heel, but not impossible. Trust me… learn that bind-off. LOL
I think I like the toe up method. Definitely comes with a learning curve, though. I’ve done dpns, double circulars and now this. I think I’m probably going to use dps and this method. The only reason I didn’t like dpns was because I didn’t like getting one sock at a time done. But a friend came up with a solution to that, which is probably embarrassingly obvious to most of you by now, so we won’t belabor the fact that it never occurred to me. <grins> I also have only been knitting maybe 3 years and not experienced enough to translate patterns and since some of the ones I want to try are on dpns, I’ll use that method, too.
The next socks are a Scandinavian pattern from this book, Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks. I can’t wait to try these. Most of these are with a worsted weight and with a ww wool, these will be beyond toasty this winter. I’m going to try my first pair without a pattern since learning the pattern will be challenge enough. Time to pretty it up later. I really love the way these socks look, I have to say. So wish me luck!
What do these three have in common? They are all making appearances in my house lately! lol. Ok, it wasn[‘t profound, but I never claimed to be a genius.
We are, however, totally inundated with dragonflies lately. I don’t mean just a few flitting about. That’s normal. But SWARMS of them. It’s wierd to stand in your yard and having dozens and dozens of them flitting all around you. Sure am glad they don’t bite or sting! I keep trying to pin down what colors they are or what kind, but they move too fast to get a decent look. I read that having dragonflies means you have a healthy ecosystem. It also means there are a lot of mosquito and mosquito larvae about which is their favorite food. If you have had a lot of rain or have standing water or slow moving creeks you will find them scarfing down the mosquito larvae. A lot of people actually make small water features just for attracting them to the yard. We’ve had a drought most of the summer, but a LOT of humidity. Way more than usual. We finally started getting a little rain, but there must have been enough humidity in the air to make the mosquitos hang around. The dragonflies are eating like mad.
I just came in from painting my front door the same blue as my shutters. That door is scheduled to be replaced, but in the meantime it will match better with some paint on it. Not sure doing it in this heat was a great idea. You couldn’t hardly stand to keep your hand on the door and the paint was drying as I tried to spread it. I got one coat on though and hopefully the second coat will help a little. As I said, it’s going to be gone. so just trying to make a cursory change to hold it for now.
So there I was in Michael’s Arts and Crafts picking up various odds and ends that I needed. I just HAD to wander down the yarn aisle. Anyway, there was this gorgeous ball of yarn that positively screamed out at me. It was a super bulky wool, but it was so soft it was hard to believe it was wool at all. It had that really soft roving feel to it. The color was called Harvest and it was really lovely. It had a pattern for a cute hat and only took 1 ball of yarn so I got it. I couldn’t wait and did it up right away. The flower was my idea, not on the pattern. I’m still not very proficient with cables so I was really happy with how it came out. They sure don’t leave you much in the way of extra yarn though. It goes almost right up to the end. I was really sweating it. I may look for a little better flower but we’ll see.
I’ve been hunting down doilies and embroidery hoops at yard sales lately. Having found some I started working on another project I’ve been wanting to try. Dreamcatchers generally have more of a Native American feel to them, but I wanted these to have a little more victorian/country/cottagey feel to them. These are my first two. The first one has pearls, a small
pearl angel, a little glass bottle with fairy dust, a tiny glass teapot and pretty clustered beads. It also has a ribbon of pink woven into the crochet scallops around the outside of the ring. The second one has a square of taupe in the center which I attached at the center and around the bottom two sides. The tops drape down, giving you room to tuch whatever you want inside…flowers, vintage hankies, whatever. I put silk flowers into it. It also has a small pale pink square pouch in the middle which will have lavender in it when I get some lavender. The bottom is a simple fringe.
So whatcha think so far?
While I cool down from painting outside, I’m going to be working on mini-dreamcatchers to hang from your car mirror, or wherever you want something small and pretty. Photos will follow.
I knew that would get your attentions. lol.
Today I got to go to my knitting group and the woman who runs it brought a huge tote of free yarns. She used to own the LYS until she retired so I’m talking NICE yarns here. Here is the booty I garnered! Most of them are full skeins. A few are just shy of full. Not enough that it would matter to most patterns. The big blue ball is very thick and soft. It feels like roving and it pulls apart-ish and looks a bit like roving. I’m going to try using it like roving for something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile now. I hope it works! I also got a free pattern. Oddly enough the top right hat is exactly what I’ve been looking for. LOL. I want to make a version of that but felt it. I’m hoping all you far more experienced knitters can help me with that.
I also picked these up at a yard sale last week and thought I would show you. I think they’re really pretty. I like the patina on the metal and that the globes are glass. I’m going to put these for sale in the store I sell out of in town.
Types of Yarn Fibers
All types of yarn for knitting or crocheting are made from natural or synthetic fibers. Different types of yarn fibers have specific qualities — some good, some not so good. Often, manufacturers blend different types of yarn fiber to offset an undesirable characteristic.
When choosing a yarn type for your knitting project, consider the following:
- Wool: Wool (made from the fleeceof sheep) is the queen of yarns, and it remains a popular choice for knitters. Here are some of your wool yarn options:
- Lamb’s wool: Comes from a young lamb’s first shearing.
- Merino wool: Considered the finest of the fine breeds.
- Pure new wool/virgin wool: Wool that’s made directly from animal fleece and not recycled from existing wool garments.
- Shetland wool: Made from the small and hardy native sheep of Scotland’s Shetland Islands.
- Icelandic wool: A rustic, soft yarn.
- Washable wool: Treated chemically or electronically to destroy the outer fuzzy layer of fibers.
- Fleece: Examples include mohair and cashmere, which come from Angora and Kashmir goats, respectively. Angora comes from the hair of Angora rabbits.
- Silk, cotton, linen, and rayon: The slippery, smooth, and often shiny yarns.
- Synthetic: Including nylon, acrylic, and polyester. Straddling the border between natural and synthetic are soy, bamboo, corn, and other unusual yarns made by using plant-based materials.
- Novelty: Novelty yarns are easy to recognize because their appearance is so different from traditional yarns:
- Ribbon: A knitted ribbon in rayon or a rayon blend.
- Bouclé: This highly bumpy, textured yarn is composed of loops.
- Chenille: Although tricky to knit with, this yarn has an attractive appearance and velvety texture.
- Thick-thin: Alternates between very thick and thin sections, which lends a bumpy look to knitted fabric.
- Railroad ribbon: Has tiny “tracks” of fiber strung between two parallel strands of thread.
- Faux fur: Fluffy fiber strands on a strong base thread of nylon resemble faux fur when knitted.
Some novelty yarns can be tricky to work with. Others can be downright difficult. Identifying individual stitches in highly textured yarns is difficult, if not impossible, making it hard to fix mistakes or rip out stitches.
- Specialty: These traditional types of yarn create special looks in knitted items:
- Tweed: Has a background color flecked with bits of fiber in different colors.
- Heather: Blended from a number of different-colored or dyed fleeces, and then spun.
- Marled (ragg): A plied yarn in which the plies are different colors.
- Variegated: Dyed in several different colors or shades of a single color.
Yarn Weight (Thickness)
Knitting and crochet yarns come in different weights, or thicknesses. The thickness of your yarn (among other factors) has a huge impact on the look of your knitted or crocheted fabric — and certainly the amount of time it takes to complete it. Yarn weight determines how many stitches it takes to knit 1 inch.
Although there are no official categories for yarn weights, many knitting books and yarn manufacturers use common terms to indicate a yarn’s thickness and the size of the needle with which you work on the yarn.
|Yarn Weight||Number ID and Symbol||US Needle Size||Knitting Stitches Per Inch, in Stockinette Stitch||Common Uses|
|Super fine, fingering, or baby-weight||1–3||7–8||Light layettes, socks|
|Fine or sport-weight||3–6||5–6||Light sweaters, baby things, accessories|
|Light worsted or DK (double-knitting)||5–7||5–5 1/2||Sweaters and other garments, lightweight scarves|
|Medium- or worsted-weight, afghan, Aran||7–9||4–5||Sweaters, blankets, outdoor wear (hats, scarves, mittens, and so on)|
|Bulky or chunky||10–11||3–3 1/2||Rugs, jackets, blankets|
|Super bulky||13–15||2–2 1/2||Heavy blankets and rugs, sweaters|
The thickness of a given yarn is determined by the individual thickness of the plies, not by the number of plies. If the plies are thin, a 4-ply yarn can be finer than a heavy, single-ply yarn.
Phew! I know its been a little since I posted just a regular post, but things have been busy and I’ve just been keeping up with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I wanted to catch you all up on happenings here today.
On the knitting front, I’ve been trying to learn how to do socks Toe-Up but have met with problems. I just can’t get them to look right. I’ve knitting at least 6 toes and had to frog them all. I got a couple new books and think I will just go back to double circulars for now. I really need to make some socks. I found soooo much sock yarn while I was going through my yarn. lol. I’m excited about the books. I got Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet , Mastering Color Knitting , (I thought after my sisters hat I really better. lol) and Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks . I’m totally excited about trying these socks/slippers. Going to give the toe-ups a break for now.
I want to start working on my staircase. It’s a new staircase (put in by the owner before us), but never finished. I’ve been going back and forth on what I want to do and finally made up my mind. Here is a picture of what I had in mind for them. I’ve been trying to explain this to my hubby for a while now, but when I found the picture, I was so excited because now I could SHOW him what I had had in mind. I’m thinking that I might paint the tiles myself. They wouldn’t be that hard and it would add a special touch to them, plus the white tiles would be cheaper and I could work on them as I got time. I love those stairs though and will be looking for some nice rustic planks at the local hardware/lumber yard.
When we first moved into the house, I made my own shutters (the ones that had been on the house had been removed and never put back up. The house looked bad. It had no “face”.) Anyway, I made them out of 100 year old barn planks from the barn next door when it fell down. (obviously I used the good planks ) I painted them and they looked nice, but I want something with more… pop. I found exactly what I want finally. So this picture is what my shutters will look like hopefully before the end of the fall. I would love the greenery, too, but the sweetie says no to planting anything that would be using the house as its prop. I know it ruins the house, but I love how it looks. lol. I’m going to paint my door as well, but still undecided on the color.
My house is a wreck right now. I’ve been tearing into cabinets, emptying, throwing out, reorganizing and generally trying to spruce(clean) things up. Spring is here and the itch to clean has started. Thanks to the influence (blame) of some of you frugal gurus, I’m redoing a lot of my kitchen and starting to make my own mixes and such again. I used to do that years back, but got away from it. I don’t make that many of them because sometimes it really isn’t cost effective, but I do like some. I had to buy ingredients this shopping trip and that was a little painful. lol. It’ll be worth it in the end though.
In a couple weeks we will be renting a rototiller for the garden. Yes, I know, many of you have started your gardens already. We in the Northeast though, know better. I mean we had two hail storms 3 days ago. We still needed the woodstove on until the day before yesterday. ‘Nuff said. I also have to buy some potting soil for some container gardening.
Well, I have tons of laundry and some cooking to do today, so I can’t spend all day here working on this blog. Thanks for hanging out with me a few mins and have a great day!