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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Maxi- cozi Blanket

I started a simple but beautiful blanket pattern a few months ago for my soon to be five year old. I used Woolf of the Andes superwash wool from Knitpicks. Then I finished it! Finally! I trimmed the loose pieces and sewed in bits. I had to wash it because when we returned from our road trip it was covered in cat hair and had dried cat vomit.

I put it in the washer machine carefully. I set it to gentle and came back a few hours later. I was hanging it over the banister and I saw a huge hole right smack in the middle. I walked away and cried and cried. When I told the husband I had destroyed $180 of yarn and months of my time, he asked if I knit it too loosely. ūüė°

When I woke the next day, I posted it in a Facebook group and they suggested I knit bottom up and graft it in. It worked.

I will never wash it again!!!!

Traveling while Knitting

I had a conference in Arizona and had to come up with a travel worthy project. I seriously considered bringing my blanket but it would have taken up the entirety of my backpack and just think of the looks I would have gotten. On second thought, the flights to Phoenix were pretty chilly. It’s day 5, and I’m in Houston International. I’m currently working on the foot of sock #4. I pulled out some yarn I bought in December of 2011 in New York City for the first pair. I can’t remember the name but it was something sister. . . Twisted sister?While in Phoenix I took the light rail and then walked to Tempe Yarn. The shop was cute, the people were crazy friendly but everything was so expensive. I picked one skein of sock yarn that were the colors of the desert (but I wanted so much more.) They also had roving for spinning and felting as well as a loom.

So I kept it simple. I ate some good food. I didn’t care so much for Phoenix downtown but loved Tempe. I rode the light rail from end to end. It was probably the friendliest area I’ve been to with some quirky but nice people. I went to Papago Park early Saturday morning and walked up to the left most peak. All in all, I loved Tempe and Phoenix area and if it weren’t for the lack of water, I’d be pressuring hubby to move. But the drought is extreme and with today’s climate changes, unlikely to improve.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Despite the long weekend, I don’t get as much done on the blanket as I hoped. After thanksgiving we pulled the Christmas decorations out. My mom passed away last year and this is my second Christmas without her. I have so much Christmas decorations given by her, made by her and inherited from her. It would be impossible to post them all, so I’m going to share a few favorites. I am floored at how beautiful the stockings and pillow are. She had no idea how truly talented she was.

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes superwash and the next blanket

In case you haven’t figured it out, I spend quite a bit of time knitting blankets. Big blankets, small blankets, they are familiar and useful here in South Florida. I want to knit my kids things and they’d fry in wool sweaters.

I knit the last few blankets in inexpensive acrylic yarn and I’m not happy with the quality or the outcome. My cables in the pink blanket look terrible.

I purchased 11 skeins of Knitpicks wool of the Andes superwash – which will be not even close to enough yarn ūüė≠. Nobody tell the husband what that actually costs. I usually use a seed stitch or blocks but I really like this pattern on Ravelry for the Maxi Cosi Blanket. It’s a simple pattern which I find easier with big blankets.

So far it’s easy and looks great.

https://www.knitpicks.com

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/maxi-cosi-blanket

3 Kids, a CPA and a working Mom

It’s been two years since I’ve posted. The last time I posted, I had finished my Masters in Accounting, passed all four parts of the CPA, gotten my license and was working on getting my foster license. I had made so many baby hats, sweaters, blankets and toys that my head spun but was completely unprepared for the two year journey of fostering and adopting three young children.

I have yet to knit a sweater for any of them, but have a few blankets and now three scarves and a hat.

Blankets & Catching Up

Living in Florida has not helped my knitting will power. I’ve found that I’ve lost all motivation to knit more than socks and blankets. More so blankets. It doesn’t help that I seem to be consummately busy which makes focusing on complicated patterns more difficult. I have not posted in several years and I’ve been averaging a blanket a year. So here we go again.

I did make a Baby Dress two years ago. This is my go-to pattern for new baby girls. This is the second (maybe third?) dress I’ve made. The bottom is a pain but it looks gorgeous.

I’ve been knitting basic basket weave blankets.

One was a baby blanket for the kid pictured above. I guess I didn’t take a picture of it.

The second was a queen size blanket made of Bernat Cotton – which is more comfortable in Florida.

I knit the majority of this during a time of personal emotional turmoil. For about two weeks, I would knit row and row in a fury trying not to think. We survived and it’s not easy focusing on a 350 stitch row one after another.

I started blanket number two a few months ago with the intention of giving it to baby above – which I decided against because all of a sudden we don’t have enough blankets in our home. It’s the same pattern but flecked with pink and purpose instead of green and orangish. This one fits a twin size bed easily and I finished it 1 year from the date I finished the queen size blanket (thanks TimeHop App!).

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Super Bowl Sunday

So here we are on Super Bowl Sunday. In between cleaning the house, studying for my test, reading up on Micro Economics and cleaning the mess of gasoline that spilled on the garage, I am getting ready for the Super Bowl. My husband worked last night and this morning, so we’re not too eager to go out today. Despite the fact that I am not a football fan myself, I do look forward to this game. While I can let you know my affiliation, I think it is best if I remain neutral in the matter.

Isn’t it funny how family affects us? I grew up in a certain area with two teams for each sport. My mother and uncle were the ones who determined my teams. I remember when I told my mother I was dating (my now ex) a new boyfriend, she was more concerned that he was a (deep breath) Mets fan, then anything else.

My uncle passed away in May. He was the biggest sports fan in the family. He lived in the basement of my grandmother’s house and many times I passed the staircase to hear him yelling. I’d jump or react only to realize he was yelling at the tv, whether it was at the offending team or toward his own. He was the one I remember going to live games with. He had a passion for his teams like no one else I’ve ever met. I wish he was here today to see his team one more time.

Enjoy the game, be safe and if you can manage, knit something pretty as well.

Naples Knitting and Spinning Retreat Idea


Last week, my friend and I were hanging out spinning away and talking about ideas. We were talking about knitting and spinning events and retreats. Neither one of us have much money and now we’re both more concerned with Christmas presents but we would love to go and learn at one of these events that take place all over the country. Well, why not have one here? We joked about it and moved on to other topics of conversation.
And I keep thinking. . . why not?

Why not?

Of course there are some things to consider.
1- I’ve never been to a knitting/spinning/ fiber retreat.
2- I love to knit and spin but am certainly no expert.
3- Southwest Florida doesn’t have a lot of knitting shops in the area and no spinning fiber whatsoever.
4- I do not know how to plan events.

But on the plus side.
1- Naples is a great destination with natural beauty and wonderful weather during the winter.
2- It might be a lot of fun.

Would anyone be interested in this? Does anyone out there have any experience planning these things? Let me know. This is just a thought at this point.

Christmas Knitting

It was about this time last year when I began posting daily Christmas patterns. As much as I’d like to do that again this year, it would be difficult to do without repeating or referring to ravelry. As I mull it over, I am happy to announce that I actually worked one of the patterns that I posted last year. Mom, if you are reading this, close the window NOW!

A year later, there were a few patterns that really stuck in my head. As for the umpteenth Christmas in a row I am broke, many people are getting knitted gifts. As I don’t want to be¬†“that gifter,” I have to change up¬†the routine. Grandma (who is not internet savvy) is getting three pairs of socks and hopefully a pair of mittens/gloves (time is getting shorter). Mom and Lee are getting matching Candy Cane Twist Stocking Caps from Polar Knits. The pattern is awesome and so easy to make. I used a generic JoAnn’s bulky yarn but if you can afford it, buy¬†the Polar Knit Yarn. It looks amazing just on the website. I purchased¬†the bells from the Dollar Tree. Please forgive the picture below. I know it looks awful, but I was too chicken¬†to ask someone to take the picture of me. The only problem I have is that I hold the yarn too tightly in colorwork so there is some puckering. I brought one hat into work with me and no one noticed.

Cap.pdf”>http://www.polarknitpatterns.com/Candy-Cane-Twist-Stocking-Cap.pdf

2 Years

I’m happy to announce that I have renewed my domain for the third year. That means I’ve¬†already been posted for a whole two years!¬†It is a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve been sharing¬†my adventure in knitting and spinning. While I still feel like a beginner, I’ve learned a lot and hopefully taught others something as well. While I do have patterns up, creating new patterns is as much a learning experience as a teaching one. These are not advanced patterns that you would find for sale in a knitting shop but more of “a look what I can do and you can too” shared knowledge. I hope that I have sparked some interest to try something knew.

I was about 16 years old when I first started¬†knitting. My high teacher thought it would be good teach a group of us who were hyperactive and overstressed. I remember sitting in the TAG room at our school with the old metal knitting needles. We three girls didn’t really listen so much as kept yacking away. I didn’t pay attention and as usual, chose to do it myself my way. A few scarves later those needles went under my bed into the mess of assorted objects.

At 18, I wound upstate in college with a roommate who knit scarves. Before I knew it, I was at Wal-Mart buying yarn and a new set of metal knitting needles. Drama ensued and after a tumultuous year at college and transferring to a closer one to my home, I was still knitting away. My grandmother told me she used to knit and also mentioned that she hated scarves. (Months after I gave her one for Christmas.) The knitting needles went back under the childhood bed.

I was 23 when a trip to Wal-Mart¬†brought me back to knitting. I can’t remember exactly why I picked it up again but do remember that it was a difficult time for me. I made scarves for everyone I knew. In fact, I used to sit at work when it was slow and knit away (I miss THAT!) I met my now husband and remember sitting in his kitchen, talking all night long, while I knit away. We recently found the old scarf I had made for him so many years ago.

We moved to South Carolina¬†not long after. I had stopped knitting but wound up out of work far from anyone I knew. I was tired¬†of scarves. With the internet at my fingertips, I found a pattern for socks. I found straight knitting needles at Wal-Mart¬†(again.) I still have those red heart, red and green, acrylic socks. They weren’t my best socks but they are my best-loved. I have been knitting ever since, learning step by step. I’ve had my spinning wheel for almost a year now and am enjoying a new adventure.

Spin, Dye, Knit

My Ashland Bay Blue Face Leicester Top BFL¬†Undyed Spinning Fiber arrived from Paradise Fibers and I had one goal for this weekend. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been keenly interested in Navajo plying. I sat down Friday night, finished a bobbin of one ply yarn for the above wool. It was so easy to work with. I’m actually having to overtwist¬†it so it doesn’t unravel on me. Then I took it off and started navajo¬†plying. I have a few issues with this technique. 1-¬†Starting it is difficult. I kept loosing it when trying to get it to take on the bobbin. Finally I made a knot onto¬†the starter yarn. 2-¬†I’m getting a lumpy yarn. I think when I’m plying, I’m loosening the fibers and creating bumps. 3-Breaking. As I was plying, it kept breaking. The finished yarn came out unbalanced and different widths but I decided to dye it anyway.

 

This is my first time dyeing. I used the instructions on the knitty page. http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/FEATdyeyourown.html

I read this over and over and over. First I soaked the yarn overnight in 1/3 cup of vinegar. Then, I woke up early and put the yarn in the crock pot with 1/2 cup of vinegar and just enough water to cover the yarn. I wish I had put less water in. After a little over an hour, I mixed my dyes with hot water and began covering the yarn. I was really going for a blue and orange yarn with spots of green, but the colors muddled a bit. This is really a clean process though. I had no spills or stains. I added more dye, not liking that the colors were so light. I believe this is why I got the muddled colors. By the end, there was too much water in the crock pot.

I used tongs to pull the yarn out and hung it first on my kitchen faucet over the sink. Once it cooled off, I rinsed it, and hung it outside to dry. I was a little impatient. I didn’t even wait for it to dry 100% before winding it on the homemade nostepinne. Okay, it was a size 15 straight needle. I think I did a great job for the first time using a nostepinne (Knitting needle!)

So below is half of the final product. The colors weren’t what I was trying for, but all in all, I think it worked out very well.

Podcasts

I’ve recently been introduced to knitting podcasts. I never knew there were people out there that took an hour of their time¬†and talked about knitting. I have an i-pod and decided to download some of these. The first few I chose were mostly disappointing. The Knitpicks¬†episode I listened to was informative but slow. I had to stop listening if only for the fact that they were talking about weaving and I cannot afford another hobby. Yes, I was feeling that itch of I want a loom!!! The angel on my shoulder said, “No Tracy, you have enough crafty hobbies. You don’t have time or money for another.” Then the devil on my other shoulder said, “Hehe, I want one. Credit cards are proof God loves you.” Then my boss came in, the i-pod went off and a stack of work was pushed my way.

A second podcast was quite disappointing. The girls were advanced¬†knitters¬†who were complaining about all the people who post patterns on Ravelry¬†using different terms. Then they continued complaining more, interjecting apologies every once in a while¬†in case¬†they offend anyone. I may be biased, but isn’t it a good thing that people can learn and share on this vast resource known as the internet?

A third podcast was filled with talk of expensive yarns that even the devil on that shoulder just shook her head and said no. Sigh.

Finally, I found two thanks to good advice from new knitting/spinning buddy. Stitch It is from the same person with the website The Art of Megan. I learned to spin on my first spindle from her. Of course, she doesn’t know this. I liked listening to her talk about her garden and her house. The second was the The Knit Wits. They were hilarious! They are a married couple who moved to Oregon. I love how they communicate and the fact that the husband interjects his opinion with the crafty, knitting, spinning wife. I relate to both of these two more than the others I’ve listened to so far. I look forward to downloading lots more episodes.