Knit Socks- a basic pattern/recipe

I’m back into knitting socks big time and giving them as presents. I can whip up a pair in a few days (or a trip from Florida to New York.) I don’t make them fancy and I’m back to the point where I don’t need instructions.

A simple pair of toe up socks is more like a recipe than a pattern. It’s easily modified to go bigger, smaller or adjust to yarn weight.

For my latest socks, I’m using sock weight yarn on size two circular needles.

Using magic loop, cast on twenty stitches (10 each needle). Knit first row. Next row knit 1 make 1 knit to last two stitches on first needle make 1 knit 1. Repeat on second needle. So you’ve added four stitches. Knit the next row. Repeat this until you have 22-26 stitches on each needle or 48-52 stitches total. Continue knit to the ankle bone or about 7 inches for a woman’s size 8.5 foot.

Start heel

Slip 1 knit

Slip 1 purl

Continue for half the number of stitches on food. (22-26 rows)

Start short rows

Row1: Knit half the rows stitches (11/13) knit 2 together, k1, turn

Row2: slip one, purl 2, purl 2 together, k1, turn

When you’ve knit all the stitches, pick up the heel rows (slipped stitches) usually 11-13 stitches on each side of the heel.

Ankle:

Row1: knit

Row 2: knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to end of other side of heel, slip 2, knit together, knit rest or row

Repeat these two until you are back to 48-52 stitches (fewer of you have skinny ankles)

From here you can add ribbing, create a short ankle socks or add more design.

I’m trying to write this on my phone, so I’ll update it later.

It’s worked for the last six pairs of socks and I’ve added a different design feature into each, including ribbing and seed stitch.

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Continuing the blanket and socks

This week we gave two pairs of socks and had time to work on the blanket in between wrapping presents and packing for our upcoming trip.

The socks were a hit and another pair was requested. I have plenty of driving time to whip them up.

We are approaching the end of the blanket. Finally!!! Thank goodness. I still love the yarn and the feel. I already bought brown yarn for a second blanket.

Knit Socks – ‘tis the season

So with my travel knitting, I decided to make a few people socks as Christmas presents. I’ve finished three pairs of socks in less than two weeks. I knit simple toe up socks with short row heels on two circular needles. I can do anything but two at a time socks. Seriously, that magic loop method has my brain scrambled. I’m looking at Pinterest for new twists on the simple socks.

Projects

So, I am a little more than half way through with my blue sky shrug. I really do love this pattern. It is so simple to follow but it is taking more time than I would like to finish it. I thought I had less yarn than I do and I’m already wondering what to do with the leftover homespun. Of course, I’m not as thin as the model below, but I’m looking forward to wearing this. Here in Florida, alpaca is used sparingly. Today is cold and my cats are continually sitting on my work in progress.

 

This weekend has been especially lazy. I have zero motivation. I’m even having trouble getting enough energy to surf through pinterest. I did manage to finish my chocolate homespun yarn. I bought the batt at the Florida Fiber In back in September but haven’t really had time to sit and spin it until recently. I tried to create a thicker yarn this time and it worked. I used the navajo plying technique to create a three ply and I can’t wait to use it. I’m not sure for what yet, since I don’t have that much.

Finally, I started a bobbin of what will become my cotton candy yarn. I also bought this at the Florida Fiber In back in September. I’m going to pair it with a gorgeous hot pink. I’m thinking socks for this two ply yarn.

 

Food and Diet

What did the recently former vegetarian say when the doctor told her to go on a high protein, low carb diet?

Uh oh.

There are a few things you should know about me. 1- I was a pollo-vegetarian (vegetarian who still eats chicken but no other meat products) for a few years in my early twenties and a true vegetarian for about a year when I was twenty-two. I stopped because I was severely anemic and sickly. Vegetarianism only works when you eat correctly. I pretty much only ate pasta. 2- I was a true vegetarian (no meat but cheese and eggs are okay) for over three years until recently. I’ve been sick, stressed and too broke to do the vegetarian thing right. I’ve never been a big fan of meat, so giving it up has never been really hard for me. I truly believe that we as a culture eat entirely too much processed meat and the animals are not treated properly or even processed properly. Even as I write this, I am rethinking my decision to continue eating animal products.

So how to I go low carb? I am probably the only person on the planet who has never tried or even researched a low carb diet. I love pasta and rice and potatoes but most importantly PASTA! I have been craving sugars constantly lately. I don’t know if it a stress reaction or a health reaction but I feel like I cannot survive without something sweet entering my mouth. I used to be a health freak and in the last year have gained a bunch of weight and has lost all self-control.

I think I can regain self-control soon. Once my classes are over, hopefully I can go back to normal. I have other stressors, many of which have been especially bad in the recent months, but even those have to go back to normal sooner rather than later. I haven’t had time to knit lately and I wonder how much that has to do with not being able to center myself. I finally finished a pair of socks and started a new pair for myself despite all the Christmas knitting that has to get done way too soon.

If anyone has any low carb ideas for a former vegetarian who doesn’t want to eat meat 24/7, please let me know. I need advice!

Product vs Process Knitting

I remember hearing in a blog about product vs process knitting. There are two types of knitters, those who knit to get something out of it such as a pair of socks or a sweater and those who do it for the love of knitting itself and learning new techniques. How can you tell which type you are? Do you have a million unfinished objects laying around your bedroom? If you do, you are likely a process knitter. Do you get bored easily and move on to the next thing? Process knitter. Do you work as fast as possible on one thing and only feel happy once it is finished? Project knitter. I like small projects like socks and accessories because I love finishing that special something and showing it off. I get frustrated easily though and have given up on a lot of projects lately. Plus, if I have more than one thing on my needles, something gets thrown aside and never pulled out again.

2010-03 I-pod Cozy

2011-03 I-Pod Cozy

 2011-03 I-pod cozy

 

A few weeks ago I cracked the screen on my I-Pod. Thank goodness I had a warranty and was able to get a new (refurbished) one. However, I realized that my cover was not good enough. I had an idea of what I wanted but it was only last week that I was truly able to envision it. This is knit with my own homespun, but it is a sock weight yarn. It is a simple pattern but looks fantastic and knit in wool, will protect your I-pod from minor damage as well as getting wet.

Gauge 7 stitches 8 rows = 1 inch with size five needles or appropriate with gauge. (this is knit in homespun. Do a swatch. My I-pod is 2 ¼ inches by 4 ¼ with the case on it.)

Cast on 30 stitches.

Row 1 : Knit

Row 2: Knit 1 Purl 1

Repeat until it measures 5 inches long.

Do a second rectangle as above.

Cut a piece of cardboard out that is 4 ½ inches by 5 inches. Fold this in half and stick under a book for a few hours so it stays folded.

Using a whip stitch, seem together the two rectangles, with the cardboard in between.

 

Then fold this over and using the whip stitch again, seem just the top and bottom edges, leaving enough space for the I-pod.

Create a 2 ½ inch 3 stitch I-cord with double-pointed needles. Sew these into the inside of one side of the I-pod cozy. Sew a button onto the front of the cozy and use the I-cord to keep the case closed.

 2011-03 I-pod cozy

Frustration and Imperfection Spinning and Socks

I have been chock full of ideas in this last week. I’ve ignored the housework and have been focusing on fiber related projects. I spun up a skein of white alpaca and yellow wool plied together. This came out perfect and I’m really happy. However, I had some left over potluck wool on one of my spools so I decided to try navajo plying, which is spinning one ply into a three ply by creating loops with one hand and controlling the twist with the other. It took a little bit but I caught on and can’t wait to try it again.
I have some wool/mohair mix that friend gave me and I decided I would try a few new things that I’m looking forward to. It spins up real easily. I started this yesterday and then the hubby and I went to a neighbor’s party. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but if I have more than one drink, I can’t sleep! So, I wake up repeatedly this morning and finally around 6 am I give up. With a glass of water and a cup of coffee, I sit in front of the spinning wheel.The rest of the wool/mohair mix spins up quickly and I go to navajo ply it. I try and try and try but I can’t get the flyer to pick it up. The yarn keeps breaking. I was really looking forward to navajo plying and then dyeing it with food coloring. Uh well.  I finally give up and pick up my socks that I’m making with my homespun.

SOCKS.
Filled with frustration, I rip out what I’ve already done. I’m using Judy’s magic cast on for toe up socks.  I love the book, Socks from the Toe Up.  I think toe up socks are easier to do and better for someone like me who tends to drift from the pattern and think, “I know how to do this.” You can try it on as you go along and can fix problems as they come up. The problem I have with the Judy’s Magic Cast-on is that it is easy to create a whole in the toe area if your cast on/knitting is not tight enough. I had tried this twice before and decided to switch to smaller needles. I am a simple sock maker and wanted to try something a little nicer. I try different patterns on the top of the sock and can’t seem to get anything to look right. The yarn is variegated (or closer to muddled) so it should be a simple pattern. I’m now on my fifth attempt trying a seed stitch pattern. Oh, and I don’t like how it looks. Sigh.

2011-02 Baby Headband with Pom-Pom

This is really just a larger version of the other baby headband that I posted with a pom-pom on top instead of flowers. This is worked with Caron Simply Soft Acrylic Yarn on size 5 needles.

Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch 12 rows = 1 inch

Cast on 10 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K1 P8 K1

Row 4: P1 K8 P1
Continue this pattern for about 12 inches (Newborn) 13 inches (0-6 months) 14 inches (6-12 months) 15 inches for (12-18 months), and 16 inches (18-24 months). Bind off. Seam together.

Take 2 different colors yarn and create a pom pom.
Pom Pom instructions:
Cut two circles from cardboard. Hold together. Wrap yarn around (inside and outside of ring). Then cut inbetween the two pieces of cardboard. Tie around center, securing the small pieces of yarn together. Attach to headband.

Isobel Skirt, Socks, Slippers and Spinning Wheel Bag

While I have not been updating my blog nearly enough, I do assure you that I have been busy. In the last few weeks, while juggling school, housework, intense summer classes and the usual drama, I have been knitting and spinning in the few and far between spare moments.

1- Finished the Isobel skirt. While this is not as pretty as I hoped, it is comfortable and a bit bigger than I would like. I sewed in elastic around the waistband so it would stay up and cinched it in by putting the buttons further from the edge than the directions called for. The good news is, if I gain another thirty pounds, this baby will still fit. I may try again with wool later on.

2- I knit this pair of small socks for Grandma with a worsted weight sock yarn that is no longer sold. I believe it was made by Paton a few years ago and discontinued. These are tight on my enormous feet but knit up in a few days. I used the toe up technique used in Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits. This is a great tool that should be in every sock knitters’ library.

3- As I mentioned before, I had asked my grandmother what she wanted for Christmas with the stipulation that I was handmaking her gift as usual. She said, “Those slippers that you made me before, you know, before. . .” One day my mother decided to teach me to crochet. I could not sit still or even pretend to listen to her. She went away for the weekend and when she returned, I had created slippers. The funny part was my mother’s dumbfounded reaction. “But you didn’t even listen to me.” Have I mentioned that my mother is the type that needs specific instructions to do anything and I’m more of the color outside of the lines- I’ll figure it out on my own type. Ha- sorry Mom! Basically, I made slippers for everyone I knew over the next few months and soon forgot how to do it. This is my attempt at making them years and years and years later. They aren’t the prettiest things but they are done.

 4- Finally, the spinning wheel bag. I was tempted to make this a pattern, but it is too simple. Basically, I cast on 51 stitches of Caron Simply Soft. I then alternated between the knit stitch and knit 1 purl 1 rows. I used about 10 rows of purple, then 14 rows of pinks, and ten more rows of purple. Once finished, I folded the panel in half, right sides together, and sewed both sides. I flipped it out so the finished side was outward and used regular string to attach it to my spinning wheel. Now I can leave my oil and other knick knacks where they won’t be lost.

Best Knitting Blogs

I was surfing the net, trying to get an idea about what to write about and found a list already created of the 50 Best Knitting Blogs. Now, I know everyone who reads this would be stunned to find out that Knitwerks was no where on the list. I’m sure I’ll get at least a dozen comments on this. Interweave knits puts out this list and I recognized a few. I fully expect that everyone will continue to read my blog (please) but here are 50 others you may want to take a peak at in between updates.
http://www.onlineclasses.net/best-knitting-blogs

Craigslist, not just for elicit activities

Llama

I have decided to become more creative in finding fibers to spin. While I may not have a lot of time to devote to my crafts, I still want to work on learning more. One way to do this is to post an ad on Craigslist (without personal information!!!!) asking for fiber. My post in the free category, requesting Wool/Alpaca/Misc Fibers to Spin has already gotten many responses despite the fact that I live in Southern Florida where sheep don’t thrive. So far I’ve received an offer for Llama fibers. I did some research and found that it is very similar to alpaca. There are not the same natural oils as in Sheep’s wool, which makes it cleaner to spin but not necessarily easier. I haven’t tried it yet so I will have to let you know. I also received an offer for trade. I would provide spinning lessons for Alpaca fibers. This I am especially excited about. It will be nice to work with someone although in the interest of full disclosure I did let her know that I was still inexperienced. Craigslist is a great way to get in touch with people from your area for supplies and lessons. However, remember to be careful in who you give your information to. I just wish I lived somewhere colder where there were more sources of fibers!

Another Day, Another Project

Along with working full time, going to school and juggling the ever present drama of my life, I am working on my newest project. I’m currently over half way through with the Isobel Skirt found in the Winter 2010 edition of Interweave Knits. I know, isn’t it odd that I’m working on a winter skirt during Florida’s spring, otherwise known as the Summer part I. Instead of using the Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend as recommended in the pattern, I decided to try it out with Berrocco Comfort, which is a Nylon/Acrylic blend. I had this around for another project that was never started. The problem with making clothing is that different materials lay differently. There is a proper term for this, but I cannot remember it for the life of me. I think this pattern would work better with natural fibers than with man-made nylon/acrylic yarns.  The other recommendation would be to avoid increasing next to the knit rows. It only throws off the lines in the pattern slightly, but my eyes are drawn to those small deviations.

I love this skirt and I have to have it, even with my imperfections. As of right now, it remains a mini-skirt but I’m working along fast enough. The seven hours I spent on the airplane helped.  This is a great simple pattern that will be fun to wear and show off, even in Florida’s summer weather, I hope.