Monday, July 31, 2006

You had me at "you spin me right round baby"

RPM Socks
Harvest Moon Socks That Rock RPM Sock

Pattern: RPM
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Harvest Moon (mediumweight)
Needles: KnitPicks double point needles size 1
Start Date: July 25, 2006
End Date: July 30, 2006
Comments: I'm a sucker for the 80's. Maybe some of the fashion was bad and the politics left a lot to be desired, but the music. Oh, the music! So when I read the lyrics "you spin me right round baby" in the RPM pattern description, even before I knew this pattern was written by one of my favorite bloggers, I knew I would love these socks. And boy do I!

I went ahead and knit these on double points as that's my preferred method. Once I got into the rhythm of the pattern these socks practically knit themselves. I know for sure that I will be knitting this pattern again. This is the first time I successfully knit a short row heel too. The instructions in the pattern are practically fool proof.

This completes my crazy six sock pair knitathon. Here's a little picture and recap of what I did this month.

Six Pairs of Socks in July

From top left, clockwise:


Friday, July 28, 2006

Ogres are like onions

*Sorry for the screwy photo placement...Blogger photo uploading is not cooperating, again.

Parfait Basket Weave Rib Socks
Parfait Basket Weave Rib SocksParfait Basket Weave Rib Socks

Pattern: Basket Weave Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Parfait
Needles: KnitPicks dpns size 0
Start Date: July 18, 2006
Finish Date: July 26, 2006
Comments: I say it about so many socks, but these really may be my favorite pair. This parfait color is the first Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock I ever purchased (Can you tell what may have inspired the new colors on my blog?). I am so thrilled I waited until I found such a great pattern for it. I think the Basket Weave Rib works really well with the color repeats and I just tore threw knitting these socks as I couldn't wait to see what they would look like once they were finished. They look pretty darn cool:) I used the garter edge heel flap from Sensational Knitted Socks (I knit the same heel flap for the Shamrock Basket Weave socks and the Openwork Rib socks) and I think it looks neat with the basket weave effect.

Harvest Moon Socks That Rock RPM SockHaving completed my first successful short row heel there was no stopping me finishing up the first RPM sock (Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight in Harvest Moon). This heavier weight yarn just knits up so quickly and the pattern is so easy to follow. (The heel has no blue in it...the camera just really wanted it to be that color and I couldn't fight it). Just over 3 days left to complete one more sock in my July six sock pair crazyathon... Nothing will stop me now!

4-8-15-16-23-42 Yarntini Sock YarnAnd here's a little something that I just got in the mail yesterday. It's Yarntini's self-striping yarn in the color 4-8-15-16-23-42. For those that don't watch Lost, those numbers won't mean much. Matt and I only are halfway through the second season, but we really like the show and I've heard great things about Yarntini yarn so it was a perfect match! Jessica (Yarntini) also included some lovely little soaps and a nice note. You have to love great customer service:) (I believe she's updating her etsy store today).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A little Wednesday progress

Last night I fully intended to finish up the final Lorna's Laces Parfait sock, but after a little while I couldn't resist the lure of casting on for the final pair of socks necessary to complete my crazy July sockathon.

Here is the start to the penultimate sock of July. I was going to knit a different sock with different yarn, but when the new Knitty came out and I saw the RPM pattern, I knew I had to knit it right away. Here is the beginning of RPM in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight in Harvest Moon. Around and around and around...this pattern is addictive.

I also have swatched for an upcoming August project. You didn't think I would only ever knit socks, did you? ;) I'm not going to go into details right now, but I will say that my first impressions from swatching this Jaeger Shetland Aran is that I'm going to like knitting with it. And now that my swatch has dried I like it even more. It has an excellent loft and stitch definition. I grabbed this bag for a great price on ebay at Janette's Rare Yarns Ebay Store.

***Knitting GROUP is tonight at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any knitter is welcome!***

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tip Toe Through the Poppies

Elongated Corded Rib Socks

Pattern: Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Poppy
Needles: KnitPicks dpns size 1
Start Date: July 17, 2006
Finish Date: July 23, 2006
Comments: These are some pretty snazzy socks. The pattern was a lot of fun. It's very much like the openwork rib I did last so I cruised right through knitting these. The poppy color was a little intense at first, but as I knit it I really began to enjoy it more. This is the 4th pair of 6 for this month...3.25 single socks to go!

On Friday I received my July Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club kit. The color this time is just dreamy- its name is Peaseblossom (like the character in Midsummer Night's Dream). Like last time, I'm not exactly enthralled by the pattern. It's a mesh summery Birkenstock type ankle sock. That pretty much is the exact opposite of everything I like. I don't like mesh. I don't like summer. I don't like Birkenstocks. I don't like ankle socks. I know part of being in the Rockin' Sock Club is to try new things, but I love this color too much to knit a sock pattern that just does not make me happy. To try to stay in the spirit of attempting new things, I think I will still do something outside of my comfort zone. I think I will knit toe-up socks (I have never successfully knit toe-up socks). Next month. Not this month. I think 6 pairs in July is doable, 7 pairs? No way:)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday July Madness Progress

My July Six Sock Pair madness is nearing an end...I'm 4 1/3 single socks away from victory! Here's a picture of the first socks of two different pairs: On the left is another Basket Weave Rib sock in Parfait and on the right is the Elongated Corded Rib sock in Poppy. Both patterns are from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks book and the yarns are Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.

At first I wasn't too sure about the Poppy color, but I've really come to enjoy it as I knit along. As for Parfait...that is the first Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock I bought. I've been simply savoring saving it for ages so it's a real treat to finally be knitting with it. Something about the colors just makes me want to keep knitting for hours (which I do!).

Other happy news includes the arrival of my new knitting bag! It's a Namaste Messenger Bag. I ordered it the second I saw the review in Knitty as a present to myself for my one year smoke quit (Diva Knitting has a great price on the bag and if you register as a new customer you'll get a code for an additional 5% off). It is quite roomy and very stylish. Even though the Peacock color was gorgeous I went with Chocolate since it won't show dirt as much and it's a little bit more understated. The chocolate color is warm and rich.

The pockets are plentiful and the whole bag can be expanded by just doing a quick unzip around the base. It can hold a lot, even when still zipped. For scale, there is a couple hanks of Socks that Rock in the bag (I'm trying to decide between knitting Knitty's RPM in Citrine or Harvest Moon for my next -and final- July pair) This bag can easily fit a couple medium sized projects, yarn, a couple books, your wallet, is very roomy (perfect for shopping at Stitches Midwest in a couple weeks!). Good thing is that it doesn't look super huge or bulky. I'm very impressed with this bag.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Shamrock Basket Weave Rib Socks

Pattern: Basket Weave Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns by Dani in Shamrock
Needle: KnitPicks size 1 dpns
Start Date: July 8, 2006
Finish Date: July 17, 2006
Comments: These socks were a blast to knit. The pattern really works well with the short color repeats and the yarn itself was a pleasure to knit. Unfortunately this particular yarn is not superwash, but, happily, all of Sunshine Yarn's new sock yarn is now superwash. The yarn itself is very much like Vesper. In a blind knitting contest (which may be a little difficult) I would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Here's a quick comparison of Vesper and Sunshine Yarns:
  • Vesper can be difficult to get; Sunshine Yarns is available rather regularly.
  • The yarn textures feel very similar.
  • Vesper self-striping yarn is not superwash (though I think Vesper is now coming out with some non-self-striping superwash sock yarn); Sunshine Yarns is entirely superwash now.
  • Vesper's color combinations are very cool (Strange Little Mama is hot); Sunshine Yarns has been coming out with some terrific colorways of her own (not to mention her Harry Potter inspired colors).
  • Both have self-striping colors as well as variegated.
  • Prices are equivalent.
  • Stitch definition appears to be the same with both.

My final conclusion is that if you don't have the patience or luck to get your hands on some of the Vesper yarn, Sunshine Yarns is definitely worth a try.

***Knitting GROUP is tonight at the Borders' Cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake & Skokie). We meet from 6:30 until 8:00 and any knitter is welcome!***

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bittersweet Symphony

Openwork Rib Socks
Pattern: Openwork Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet
Needle: KnitPicks size 1 (2.5 mm) dpns
Start Date: July 10, 2006
Finish Date: July 15, 2006
Comments: I should have known that a color named Bittersweet might cause me a few emotional moments. As you may have already read in an earlier post, this yarn started out as a completely different sock, but due to unforeseen dislike, I frogged that sock. I couldn't be happier with my decision. The Openwork Rib really shows off the colors to much better advantage than the Peak Experience pattern did. Plus, it's a very simple pattern repeat so it made for great mindless knitting (the best kind in the middle of a hot July). So, to summarize, it's the 17th day of July and I have two pairs completed, a couple more single socks on the needles - 6 pairs this month? I think I can do it:)

In other news, our poor Toyota Highlander was hit while parked in front of our house yesterday evening:( Matt had just arrived home from the lab and was walking up our front steps when some stupid kid smashed into our neighbor's car and then ours! Apparently the kid (17) had stolen his parent's car and decided to drive around even though he doesn't have a license. He fled the scene, but luckily another driver chased him. The cops were very responsive and the kid will be charged with multiple misdemeanors. What an idiot. Arghh!! I am so thankful Matt wasn't in the street when that kid came through! 20 seconds later and he would have been hit. No one was hurt, but our neighbor's car is pretty messed up and ours isn't looking good either. The kid's parents have insurance (lucky) and our insurance company is handling the claim very quickly (Yea! Progressive). Luckily, about a month ago I added rental car coverage. Who knew I would need it so soon. Oh well, cars are cars and at least no one was hurt, but geez!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

One Year Smober

This post is mostly unrelated to knitting, but I have to brag. A year ago today, just past midnight, as we purchased our copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Matt and I quit smoking. We have not touched a cigarette since then and we will not ever smoke again. Initially I put on some weight - we used the nicorette and unlimited cookies approach:) 6 months after we quit I started eating healthier again and now I'm officially weighing in at what I was before we quit. We feel great and healthy.

Knitting was an excellent distraction whenever cigarette cravings occurred. I would just tell myself to get through the next row and then the next and then the next. So the secret to my successful quit- don't worry about the weight gain, don't ever touch a cigarette again, and focus on how great it is to be free of the physical, mental, and financial burden of nicotine addiction. Yea! Smoke-free!

In honor of not smoking approximately 7000 cigarettes thereby saving somewhere in the neighborhood of $2000 (not to mention making my lungs (and mom) so happy!) I splurged a little on a couple gifties for myself. As I've sold a bit of my regular yarn stash on Ebay, I don't think it's unreasonable to add a few new items to the yarn stash. Here are my new treasures:

It's Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Fluorite and Pebbles and Sock Candy in Cherries Jubilee and Pebble Beach. Melissa at Blue Moon was very patient in helping me pick out some colors of both the regular Socks that Rock and the cotton Sock Candy. I've been petting and admiring them since they arrived. I love me some new yarn!

I also ordered a new knitting bag, but unfortunately it hasn't come yet. I'll post pictures once it arrives.

Here's to a smoke-free knitting-filled life:)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Story of the Green Cable Rib Socks

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my Carol Green Cable Rib Socks just needed a toe and they would be complete. Ah, but that's not the whole truth. I ran out of yarn 10 rows from the end. I was like Icarus flying too close to the sun, confidant in my thinking that with my size 10 feet I too could still have an 8 inch leg. As I started decreasing, around and around, I knew I wouldn't make it. I had barely made it through the first sock's toe. Rather than shortening the leg of the second sock I stupidly boldly went forward. The moral of the story- nope, I can not have a toe on a sock if I want an 8 inch leg section.

Despondent, I debated using some scraps from the random leftover Lorna's Laces I have, but I knew I wouldn't be happy. So, I started thinking about ordering another skein, but I couldn't bring myself to pay for a whole hank when I just needed a few yards. Then I got silly. I blogsearched for another sock knitter who had used this yarn with hope that there would be someone out there with some scraps I could buy. I found someone. I left a hopeful comment and she wrote back a few hours later. My hero! At no cost, she sent me enough for me to finish my sock! Wow! Thank you so much, Adrienne/Skwerl Girl:) You saved the day...

Cable Rib Socks

Pattern: Cable Rib Socks from Interweave Knits Spring 2005
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Carol Green
Needle: Bamboo double point needles, sizes 1 and 0. Gauge of approx. 9 stitches per inch on the 0's.
Start Date: June 14, 2006
End Date: July 12, 2006
Comments: I adore these socks! They fit perfectly, they feel incredible, and they look fantastic. I adjusted the pattern slightly as I was knitting at a smaller gauge and I have a bigger foot so I increased the cast on. Unfortunately, I did get a little overconfident (8 inch leg, 10 1/4 inch foot...) and barely had enough yarn for the first sock. On the second sock I somehow ended up with not even enough yarn to finish the toe (not sure if the skein was slightly smaller or I knit a little looser - we may never know). Luckily, Skwerl Girl saved me! Hooray! May the knitting gods always smile upon you:)

*As a side note, these socks will not count towards my six sock pair insanity for July as they were part of my June goals.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It may seem reckless to some, but it had to be done. I'm in the middle of my six sock pairs crazy frenzy knitting challenge thing-a-ma-bob and I frogged a partial sock. The Peak Experience Lorna's Laces Bittersweet sock just was not doing it for me. So, after knitting about 4 inches I frogged it and I then turned to my handy dandy Sensational Knitted Socks book. I picked out the Openwork Rib pattern and here's what I've got so far.

I'm way happier with how this is looking. I'm not quite sure what I didn't like about the Peak Experience pattern. Perhaps it was that the yarn was just not being shown off and the pattern itself was just so similar to Broadripple which I found to be a little tedious. Oh well, knit and learn:)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Basket Weave Rock

Here's my nearly completed Basket Weave Rib sock (pattern from Sensational Knitted Sock) in Sunshine Yarns Shamrock. The sock has actually knit up very quickly, but unfortunately I fell a little behind on my knitting this weekend.

Friday night we went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie (great!) and then out to dinner. Saturday, being muggy and hot, we ran errands most of the afternoon and then went out to dinner again (The Celtic Knot in Evanston - great little Irish pub). Sunday was my big knitting day since it was the World Cup final, but as it was again so hot and humid I only knit off and on through the day.

I'm still ok for my goal of finishing 6 pairs this month as long as I don't get distracted:) I have the Peak Experience socks in Lorna's Laces in Bittersweet on the needles still and I made some progress. I'm going to switch out the needles now that I got my second set of dpns from KnitPicks and that should speed the knitting along. I really love these nickel-plated double points!

Friday, July 07, 2006

One Pair Down

Vesper Strange Little Mama Socks

Vesper Strange Little Mama Socks
Pattern: Generic sock pattern with picot cuff from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (2 inches for picot edge, 5 inch leg, 10 1/4 inch foot)
Yarn:Vesper Sock Yarn by Knitterly Things in Strange Little Mama
Needle: KnitPicks double pointed needles in sizes 1 and 0. Gauge of approx. 7 1/2 on 1's, 9 on 0's
Start Date: July 1, 2006
Finish Date: July 7, 2006
Comments: I'm not sure which I enjoyed more, the striping colors or the needles. Overall, I really enjoyed knitting with the Vesper Sock Yarn. The only drawback I see, apart from its availability, is that it is not machine washable (a price you sometimes pay for 100% merino wool). With so many fantastic machine washable yarns on the market now it's a little frustrating to end up with handwash-only socks, but it's a small annoyance when I consider how truly fun this yarn is to knit. The colors are rich and the self-striping action was definitely amusing.

I was surprised that I almost ran out of yarn at the end. Everyone at knitting GROUP can attest to the fact that as I started my second sock it appeared I had plenty. Well, after I finished up the last sock all I have left is one section of the red and then most of a full repeat of red, pink, and black from when I had to find the starting point for the second sock. Yikes! That was a close one!

Now that they are finished, I may not be clamoring for any more of this yarn until it comes in superwash (I still have one skein in the stash), but I will say that this sock practically knit itself it was so enjoyable.

The yarn shouldn't get all the credit for the great knitting experience - the new KnitPicks double pointed needles are wonderful! I was really surprised I liked knitting with them as I always thought the reason I liked bamboo was because of the flexibility. Apparently that's not as important to me as a fantastically sharp tip and a wonderfully smooth, but not too slick, surface. My only wish is that they were 7 inches instead of 6 as I have larger hands and the non-working end of the needle would lightly rub against the outer palm of my hand. That wasn't enough to stop me from ordering a second set of the 0's and 1's earlier this week. These needles are now officially my favorite double points. A great start to my Month of Socks...Five pairs to go!

Congratulations to Aija! Her super sock pattern -RPM- was just published in the new summer Knitty. To celebrate she's having a contest with some great prizes. Be sure to check out the pattern here and then take a gander at her contest here:)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July! I hope the barbecues and fireworks are wonderful wherever you may be:) No big plans for Matt and me, but we will go see the Evanston fireworks tonight with some friends. I love fireworks!

And here's a little knitting progress...the first sock of July is complete. Sock. Singular. It's a start:) The details: Vesper Sock Yarn in Strange Little Mama. Plain sock pattern with picot cuff using Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

Knitting GROUP is meeting tomorrow night at the Borders cafe in Wilmette (corner of Lake and Skokie) from 6:30 until 8:00. We're weekly now!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

July is Sock Month!

June's goals are all essentially met: both bags need to be lined and assembled, but I haven't had a chance to go to the fabric store, so they'll be finished in a little while and the Shaped Neck Tee is busy drying in this lovely July heat - pictures soon! The green Cable Rib Socks just need one more toe and their ends to be woven in then a quick wash- again, pictures coming soon:)

So now we are on to July. I'm going to be a little kooky here and make July Sock Month. I know. I knit socks each month, but I usually have other big projects going on. Not this time. July is all about socks. As you may have noticed in my last post (and thank you everyone for your happy comments), I've got a bit of sock yarn so I thought it would be fun to see how many pairs I could knit during July - 6 pairs is my overall target!

1) Fiber Trends Peak Experience Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock -Bittersweet
2)Plain Sock with Picot Cuff in Vesper Sock Yarn Strange Little Mama
3) Basket Weave Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks in Sunshine Yarns -Shamrock
4) Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock -Poppy
5) Basket Weave Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock -Parfait
6) Daisy Socks Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock -Desert Flower

Here's the start to the Peak Experience Socks. The Lorna's is knitting up beautifully, as always. I just love the Bittersweet colorway! I had considered knitting the very popular Jaywalker pattern with this yarn, but with my size 10 feet I was concerned there wouldn't be enough give to get the sock over my heel. The Peak Experience pattern is very similar to the Jaywalker, but I think it might have a tad more stretch plus I added a repeat. Now I have an uneven repeat count so when it comes time work the instep I'll have to work something out...

In the spirit of sock month, my other project on the needles is another sock (I mean, I've got two sock bags from Trek, right? So I need to use both of them...). Here is the start of my first Vesper sock. The color is Strange Little Mama and I am thrilled with this yarn. The colors and texture are fantastic. I'm using my brand-spanking new KnitPicks double point needles - these tips are sharp! So far, I'm enjoying the nickel-plated needles which surprises me a bit. Before using these, my preferred double point needle was bamboo (Crystal Palace are my favs), but I am really enjoying the point on these needles (I may even order another couple sets).