Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Celery and tomato Anklets

Celery and tomato anklets

I have written the pattern for these anklets and it may be found here. Let me know your comments...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March SOck Madness

SO as I am working on sock #5 for my 2011 personal sock challenge , and I started to think of all the socks I made these past 6+ years of knitting socks, which ones have worn the best and or which do i like the best. First let me say I have always knit top down until this past Christmas when I ventured int o the toe up. It was ok but I am just not comfortable yet. I knit socks because it is somewhat mindless( I usually use a k3, p1 rib pattern mostly on sz2 DPN bamboo needles), they are portable, . and they always fit when I am done, and I wear nothing else on my feet at this point. I knit socks for my mom and my niece. I have a stash of sock yarn about 12 skeins most of which ar e high end handpaint such as cherry tree hill , lorna laces . I ALSO HAVE SEVERAL SKEINS OF SELF STRIPING YARNS.


So to begin, some of my first socks were done with a variety of the OPAL brand. The far left was zebra, and the far right was lady bug the middle 2 were self stipers. I use a siz2 needle, cast on of 60 stitches and follow the Yankee Knitter generic sock pattern. The skein yardage was plentiful. Most of these are 4 years old and even older. They have held up well, retained their color and shape , and no special washing. They feel nice. Initially the yarn was rough but after intial wash they were great. The purple skein had a not and since this was one of my first socks I did not handle it proeprly; I know better now. . I may have paid in the 10-20 range per skein at the time. I like this yarn and would defintley use it again...Even better if I can find it on sale. I may try the 6ply dk weight sock yarn.....

The middle and right sock were my first 2 socks made form Regia yarn. They are still goin strong and show no sign of heal thinning or color loss. I used the same k3p1rib sz 2 bamboo DPPN. I believe I used 2 skeins and each was around $7-8. While there are certainly more spectacular handpaint colors etc. These socks really cant be beat. It is a good yarn .
The left sock was a cotton wool sockyarn I believe by Sockotta that I used a k2p2 rib on a siz 1( I read somewhere that cotton socks should go down a size. I like these but have not warn them as much; I prefer the wool . The yarn seems to be non pill and the color o still vibrant. I dont know if I would buy much cotton sock yarn s once the weather gets warm ... And I still prefer wool for cold weather wear. But if you were looking for a cotton wool blend, I would recommend this.

The third batch of socks features yarns from Cherry tree hiLl. This usually retailed for 24-26 and the yardage was ample.; I found no knots The colors were nice. BUT. Usually within one washing the yarn began to fuzz or halo. There has been some loss of color. A pair made for mom wore through within the first season. This yarn always has a good feel as you are knitting but just doestn seem to hold up well. No one is looking at my fuzzy socks but since I paid more money I naturally expected them to wear better. I suspect its because they have no nylon in them and and the quality of the wool itself may be a factor. I will not buy any more of this brand.

The final 2 socks: The left is made from 2 skeins lorna laces in a free pattern . These are several years old and have washed and worn well. I loved the color and the feel. However, I have made a 2nd pairin the past year from this lorna laces in same pattern and hasve had halo and a hole develop where the yarn was thick and thin. I dont think these socks will last as long. I wonder if hte change in ownership has affected their quality....This yarn is pricey and i think a pair runs 25-30. I would have to think twice before using this yarn agian. I still have one coloraway in mystash so we will see.... The right sock was just finished this january using the toe up, my first. I used MAdelinetosh fingering which cost about $28, getting pretty pricey. I loved the color and the feel. But after the first washing I saw they began to get the halo or fuzz. I like the feel and love their colors but that is too much money..

SO in summary what have I discovered. While I love the colorways and the intial feel of the more expensive yarns I am not convinced that the quality is there to warrant the extra cost. I f I add to my stash I will look at Regia and Opal and perhaps stay with choices that have some nylon in them Pleaase forgive my photography sklils. I will work on this....

Monday, March 21, 2011

More March musings

Well, it's Monday and we just got back from 3 days at my 16 year old daughters state swim meet championship. Meets are always a whirlwind and this one was no exception. When I got home I had a long awaited package from a fellow knitter in England that we had arranged swap. I gave her yarn that I no longer wished to use and she gave me finshed items from her etsy store with same or similar yarn. Wow was I so excited to get the packages. Not only were the items packaged so lovely but the items are gorgeous. They are boas/ scarfs whatever you want to term them but they are gorgoeus. Very glitzy. My photography does not do them justice. The trek across the ocean may have taken 6 weeks but it was worth it. Thank you Julia

I have been knitting for probably 40 plus years and I cant remember when someone bought me or gave something actually related to my hobby. I request, drop hints but most dont take the time to follow through(including hubby, I understand) ) I have given many items away but have always wondered and more recently felt that in general most people do not apppreciate and sometimes do not want handmade items .some that require special care etc. . SO I tend to not waste my time making gifts for family members unless they have asked for something. So getting the boas was for me in many ways a gift ; one very appreciated .

I did get one anklet started at the swim meet. I must have researched ravelry for hours trying to find something which would use one skein of claudia sport yarn @225 yds. In the end I devised my own pattern, which is totally new to me. I have been knitting socks for some 6 year so really it should not be that bad. So far I am pleased and have listed them on ravelry as sock #5 of 2011. I call them my celery and tomato anklets as the colorways is very springlike . I have started the 2nd and we will see hopefully that I dont run out of yarn. If this works I will write up instructions and post. And quick make a 2nd pair because I have one more 225 yd skein in my stash.

I have been doing good, if that is what you call it, about buying yarn. Low cash flow will certainly do that for you. Plus I recognize at my age that I do have some very lovely stash yarn and might as well use it up. I know it doesnt help my LYS but I can still buy needles and books right.

I guess I should mention that my daughter did very well. She came home again a state champion which for state of PA is impressive as we are a tough state. She broke her own state record set last year in the 2IM, and broke the record in the 100 free as well . Unfortunatley there were 2 girls and .13 separating her and first place. It was an excellent race which was what she wanted.(will post video at some point) There is more swimming on the schedule this week but I must stay home and get some taxes done. The grass is starting to grow and my house is mess. But I really want to knit!.......

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March musings

Well almost halfway through MArch, and one month of tax season to go. I finished sewing the mya cardigan on Sunday but havent tried it on yet. It is pretty heavy so I really wont wear it much yet this year. It looks lovely and some nice buttons will finish it off I hope. If easter were early I could wear it as an easter sweater!

I have been hearing many geese flying north as well as the sound of birds so I know spring cant be too far behind. With that will come grass cutting and outside work. while I love to look at a well cared for yard and garden I dont seem to have much patience for it myself. I saw they began work on our community outside pool which is always a welcome sign of spring .

My daughter has the state swim championships this weekend and I hear the weather is to be warm. I will need to pull out a new project , most likely socks. I have a skein of Claudia sport but fear it may not even be enough for a pair of anklets. I have found a pattern9after spending 2 hours on ravelry), ruffled lace anklets from interweave but I dread the idea of getting to the toe on 2nd sock and run out of yarn. I will do a gauge swatch and see how many stitches and go from there.

I read good news that my daughter's swim coach had great news re his leukemia. latest bone marrow biopsy came back all clear of leukemia blasts. This is so wonderful; coach is very young ,27, and has been battling this for 4 years. All the while, he has never complained publicly . I hope his recovery continues on the positive note!