May update

May marked my 11th year of blogging. It just seems like yesterday when I published my first post. I need to do some housekeeping and clean up some of the headings and pictures.

Well, the Bamboo socks are finished. I l-o-v-e them.

These are my first ever toe-up socks. I started to knit a different pattern and after the first several rows, I realized that I didn’t like it so chucked that pattern and found this bamboo sock that was also a toe-up sock.

There are pros and cons to toe-up vs. top-down socks.

Toe-up Pros: No picking up stitches at the gusset.

Toe-up Cons: Starting the toe. Loosely binding off. Plus it is new to me.

Top-down Pros: Easy to cast on. Familiar to me

Top-down Cons: Picking up stitches for the gusset. Kitchener stitch for the toes.

I’m not sold on the toe-up construction but I’m willing to give it another try. The cast-on for the toe was a killer so if you have any suggestions or techniques to help, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Details: Needle size US #1. Used 68 grams of hand-dyed yarn. Bamboo Sock pattern.

Since my sock needles were empty, I decided to knit a pair of shorties with some ribbing around the arch. I have a pair of commercial socks with ribbing around the foot. They really support the arch and make my feet feel good.

I’m making this up as I go so once finished, I’ll decide whether or not to knit the second one or rip out this one.I’m carrying the pink up the ribbing section so I can rejoin that color for the rest of the sock.

The last update for May (and I don’t remember if I did this in May or April) is a sewing project. Our front porch furniture needed new cushion covers. I made these covers in 2014 and the fabric faded and just would’t get clean. The print was large and busy.

I tried to order some new fabric in June of 2020 but with all the craziness happening in the world, my order was cancelled in August and wasn’t available anymore. Mr. Aitch suggested a solid red. I like the color but the fabric is slippery and was very difficult to sew. However, I think it will hold the color and clean up well. And the hummingbirds like the color, too.

Oh, one more thing… Brood X cicadas arrived about 10 days ago. We’ll be listening to their lovely (?) mating song for about another month. Then we won’t see nor hear them again for 17 years. This one is sitting on my giant-leaf hosta and is about 1.5 inches long with red eyes.

More next week…

Patti

Spinifex

The newest pattern in Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society is called Spinifex, named for a sturdy Australian grass that appears as a starburst when looking down on it.

(c) Helen Stewart

No yarn in my (growing) stash would work so I gathered a bare skein of Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight yarn, my Crockpot, vinegar, and food coloring for another dye session. This time I used green, yellow, and black for some soft greens that turn into deep greens. The yellow happened with one or two drops directly onto the hot yarn in the dye bath. The black broke into red and purple and added a nice contrast to the greens. I don’t really follow a recipe for the colors as I only dye one to two skeins at a time and it’s so random that I’d never be able to reproduce any of the colors again.

This pattern has a toe-up construction and that is new for me. All of my socks have been knit from the cuff down. But I was interested in learning something new. Judy’s Magic Cast-On took me over two hours to get right while reviewing written instructions and numerous videos and another hour to knit the first round! Of course, I was using double pointed needles and not circulars as suggested but I used what I had.

Not bad for my first attempt, well, my first foray into this technique as I attempted it many, many, many times!

Then came the actual textured pattern that is on the top of the foot and up the leg. After two pattern repeats I’m not liking it. Not liking it at all. The “star” in the reverse stockinette area just looks like a mess to me. And it’s lumpy.

I don’t think these would be comfortable to wear with the lumps even though they are only on the top of the foot. Several others mentioned that as well.

The inside (wrong side) looks better.

The bottom is beautiful. I love those greens!

I’m not going to rip out that three-hour toe! I will ladder down to the star stitch on the front and do some other stitch that isn’t lumpy or bumpy. Just as soon as I figure out which stitch to do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Patti

Weekend yarn dyeing part 2

As long as I had the dye materials out, I hand-painted a skein of yarn myself.  I used the leftover teal dye my granddaughter used along with green and yellow.  The green had a few drops of yellow added to it and the yellow had two-three drops of McCormick’s Neon lime green food coloring mixed in.  I also dropped some right-out-of-the-bottle yellow down the center of the yellow sections and random drops of the neon green elsewhere just because I wanted less white yarn showing.  Could I repeat the process?  Absolutely not!blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

The dye was not placed in even sections around the oval on purpose.  It took a lot of rinsing to get the water to run clear.blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

I’m loving the end result.blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

I have 100 grams/462 yards of this fingering weight yarn and no idea what to make with it.blue, green, yellow hand-painted yarn

My winter coat is yellow and a triangular or crescent-shaped scarf/shawl would be a welcome addition to brighten up the dreary winter days.  Or maybe socks?  Or possibly gloves?  I’m just not sure…

Patti

 

Jayne’s sock

After last week’s yarn dyeing adventure, I balled up the yarn and began the Dorsal Fin socks for my granddaughter.

The yarn was pooling a bit in the cuff area but I soldiered on and the colors sorted themselves out on the leg.

The detail that runs up/down the back of the leg is not as visible because of the colors but it might stand out more when wearing.

The heel is turned and the gusset is almost finished. It’s just plain old knitting the rest of the foot and toe. This sock will be finished this week and the second sock started.

My progress was slowed down last week as I was digging and moving some large rocks around the deck and my hands ached too much to knit.  But that’s another story.Patti