Category Archives: swatching

There are good socks and bad socks and I’m getting to know both

First, the bad socks…. crocheted. Okay, so I’ve only made one. And I LOVED the pattern. But the yarn was *meh* at best. And it was NOT stretchy at all… Sammie’s assessment after putting them on – “They itch and they don’t stretch and they are too big.” *sigh*

sock

They are super cute, aren't they? This is the same pattern I was using for my other (now frogged) sock.

But I think it’s just the nature of the best – crochet is just not very stretchy compared to knitting. And that’s what has got me VERY intrigued with knitting!

In the last 3 weeks, I’ve gone from knitting poorly to knitting okay using the American way. To knitting poorly trying to make my wrist feel better using the Continental method. To actually knitting pretty well for a beginner!

So I decided that tackling a sock was going to work! I pulled out the #2 needles and just about fainted. But went on…. Then I stitched up a little sample in the pretty pink yarn I wanted to make a sock with and measured it out – perfect! And I fell in LOVE with the resulting fabric and went to town on the socks!

knit sock

Okay, went to town is an exaggeration. It took me at LEAST 5 days to get to this spot! Yikes! I was worried that it would take a month to finish!

problem

There are definitely some problems in the fabric that I don't understand! With crochet, I can tell what is up. With knitting, I have no clue! (I'd love an feedback on what this hole is caused by. Twisting?)

I even had my first needle catastrophe.

needle

Bamboo is very breakable. Luckily I only need 4 and I had 5.

And when I got frustrated at how FREAKIN’ long it was taking me to knit up that sock, I pulled out some #7 needles and some worsted weight (or heavier? Not sure.) yarn and whipped these out in about 5 days. (They could be done in a day if I had more knitting time. They were surprisingly easy, despite several learning curve issues.)

fingerless

I'm SUPER happy with how these turned out! The first one had a few minor issues - didn't bind the thumb properly, as you can see, and a hold where the thumb/hand met, which I fixed in the second one. They are actually both done now!

bindoff

I found a wonderful super stretchy bindoff and actually really like how it looks, too! (LIke my manicure - my 6 year old did it!)

The gloves are a little large for me and I have big hands…. But I have the perfect person to give them to!

Back to the socks…. I can’t believe how much FUN I’m having knitting a sock! I’m actually about 80% done! And I’ve been bad about taking photos, but the heel is turned and the gusset is done and the sock is ADORABLE and I can’t WAIT to do another one!! Yay!

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Filed under fingerless mitten - knit, knitting, photography, sock - knit, swatching

Uh, oh! I may be in trouble… I think I have a new obsession.

Well, I ordered a huge load of DPNs (double pointed needles). They didn’t cost much and I’m sort of intrigued by socks…. (I’ll post my foray into crochet socks when I get a chance. Busy weekend – hubby is away on business and Sammie’s party is this weekend and Ellie is sick again so it may not be until next week.) And, while I’ve found some sock patterns that call for two needles, I don’t really relish the idea of sewing up the sides – I like the thought of knitting in the round. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

I checked out a book at the library – The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits – and found it most helpful! The illustrations are clear, the explanations are easy to understand and their patterns are nice and simple. It’s a perfect beginners book! But I have to say, after doing some basic things, I’m ready for something more challenging and all their patterns are very simple.

I found a cute and simple hat pattern in it so I decided to downscale it and try it out for giggles and grins. Thinking I was making a small baby sized hat, I ended up with bug sized hats. Not real bugs, just my girls’ stuffed bugs. LOL! I’m seeing that it’s hard for me gauge knitting.

But I just LOVED how the little hats turned out!

lucky

This is Lucky, Sammie's third buggy that looks like this. He wanted a hat so I gave him the first one. It's knitted on two needles and the seam is sewn up. Simple and easy on a small hat like this!

goofy

This is Buggy. He... I mean she has been around for a long time - since Ellie was 2 and she stole Buggy from Sammie (who was 4 months old). Ellie loves to wear goofy hats. So of course, I fixed up Buggy's hat to be a little goofy! (Those are supposed to be antenna since Buggy's fell off years ago.)

spiral

I just love how clean knitting looks - and how this spirals up. Sure, most knitted hats do that, but I still love that mine actually turned out well! LOL!

After two buggy hats, I thought I was ready to tackle and adult hat! So I set to work and cast on the appropriate stitches on the proper needles….

adult

Adult hat in the beginning

Unfortunately, my little design embellishments turned into some horrible ideas. I did the decrease and then an increase (YO) to spiral it up with little holes – pretty cute where I actually did it right – and then I decided to add some crochet. Not a good idea. The hat is also WAY too small for an adult! Even Sammie looks a little odd wearing it. Looks like some serious swatching is in my future for knitting projects! LOL! I definitely need to understand gauge better.

On a happier note, since this failed adventure (actually, I’m happy overall even though it’s not that wearable), I’ve taught myself how to knit Continental style. I was having pain while I was knitting American style (remember “Love, American Style”? LOL! Sorry – that song just went through my head). I may have been doing it wrong, but it felt like it was too much movement regardless. Now that I’m knitting Continental style, my wrists are MUCH happier and I feel like I’m started to knit looser, too. I think my gauge has been way too tight – like for that hat.

Next on the list – trying out some kids socks! That little pattern seems to be SUPER easy to follow and very well written out. And since they are kids socks, hopefully they’ll be more forgiving. I’m off to do some swatching!

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Filed under Crafts, hat, knitting, photography, swatching