Category Archives: Knitting

Miss Margaret Socks – newly released!

Introducing:

little Miss Margaret!

Miss Margaret is my latest pattern. She was released yesterday for Three Irish Girls’ Sock Yarnista club. She’ll be available for purchase for non-club members shortly at Three Irish Girls.

She is a cuff down sock with an easy to remember spiral stitch pattern. I’ve added beads for a little “bling” but she’s just as pretty without. The spiral pattern melts into a cabled heel flap and is framed by prettily cabled gussets for a great fit.

The pink sample is shown in Scarlett O’Hara by Yarn Love, colorway: Petal.

Intermediate difficulty: pattern assumes familiarity with cables and charts. Bead work is done using a small crochet hook, so you don’t have to pre-string the beads.

Materials:
• 4 oz/410 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in Yarn Love’s Scarlett O’ Hara. Color – Petal.
• US size1 or 2.25 mm needles (2 circulars, 5 DPNS or 1 long circular for magic loop.)
• Taspestry needle
• Stitch markers (optional)

Extra notions:
• Small gauge steel crochet hook – size 14
• Seed beads size 6 or 8 (You will need 60-80 per sock depending upon how long you knit the cuff.)
• 2 small cable needles (You may cable without cable needles if you prefer.)

Techniques:
• Beading (explained in the pattern)
• Cables
• Short rows

Notes:
• The heel flap, gusset, and instep st patterns are given as charts only for clarity.
• You may pre-string the beads if you prefer.

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Filed under Finished Objects, Knitting, Patterns

Where are they now?

KnitCroBlo Day 6: Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted.

Fiddlehead Mittens

I actually don’t know exactly what these mittens are up to now. They were for a swap partner, and I hope she is getting lots of use out of them!

I knit them from the Fiddlehead Mitten pattern. The yarn is Andee dk from Henry’s Attic, that I hand dyed for this project.

They were so much fun to make, and are super dense. I had to go down to a 000/1.25mm needle to get gauge, so I opted not to line this pair. I need to make some for myself but like most things, I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Bowl Full of Cherries Socks

I designed these socks for the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous July 2009 challenge. Right now the original pattern (released in 4 parts for the challenge) is available for free.

I loved designing these socks, but they were a challenge. I had a total of 3 weeks to design and publish the pattern. (The designer they had lined up had to decline unexpectedly.) They were my first colorwork design. There are two versions – a 2 strand and a 3 strand – and they’re available in two sizes.

By the time I got done knitting both socks, I was pretty much (happily!) exhausted. It was a whirlwind tour and I had a million ends to weave in. My mom fell in love with the socks and offered a trade. She would weave in all the ends if she could have the socks. Done! I love seeing the fraternal twin socks on her feet. It’s as satisfying as completing the pattern and finishing the knitting.

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Where do you indulge?

KnitCroBlo Day 5: Where do you like to indulge in your craft?

Since I am generally designing while I knit, I must have at least a piece of paper and pencil handy….but often times my laptop, too. I’m hugely into charting when designing for visual simplicity and ease of error checking (via KnitVisualizer) so it’s nice to have the computer around for quick changes. Practically speaking, I always knit at home and I’m either sitting at my kitchen table or on my couch. I try to save the majority of my design time for when my kiddos are in bed. Theoretically this allows me to concentrate and make fewer mistakes. But it didn’t stop me from ripping out the instep of my newest (and still TOP SECRET) sock design 5 times last week.

I have knitting/designing/dyeing stuff in various places throughout the house, so you’ll find me doing yarn related things in the kitchen, spare bedroom/storage space and basement. These yarn related activities are usually not knitting, but generally dyeing, packaging, yarn prep, yarn washing, and business related etc.

It’s a good thing we have a pretty big house.

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Filed under Dyeing, Knitting, Life

What would you like to learn: knitcroblo 4

KnitCroBlo Day Four: Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day?

I want to learn how to chart crochet! I’m fairly proficient with knit charting. I even have a really nifty program that helps me out. (KnitVisualizer is what I’m running. There’s a new program, much less expensive from Intwined Studio that’s getting rave reviews. It checks in at $44, instead of $185 for KnitVisualizer.) Since I love charts for knitting as I can see immediately how stitches line up with each other, I’d like to be able to do the same thing with crochet.

When I learned to crochet charts were not commonly available in crochet patterns. Which meant that you crocheted along, checking the picture and sometimes you could be rows past a mistake before you realized it. With charting, it’s harder to do that because stitches are lined up and you can look down a column and see the previous stitches which are the foundation for your current work.

I recently found the StichinCrochet font by the talented Adriprint. If you download the True Type font (TT font) and own KnitVisualizer, you can import the Stitchin Crochet font into Knit Visualizer & use the crochet symbols within the charting software. All you need to do is use the Create Custom Stitch function, select the symbol you want to use, enter in directions for completing the stitch, save and you’re ready to go.

I’m so excited about the possibilities. I have a lot to learn about charting crochet, but I’m chomping at the bit to chart out a lovely crocheted edging along the cuff of a sock….or the edge of a sleeve.


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An Influential Knitter – Norah Gaughan

KnitCroBlo – Day 3: Write about a knitter whose work you enjoy.

I have to say Norah Gaughan is amazing. Her designs are both stylish and unique. By unique I mean off-beat and slightly quirky but loveable *not* weird. It’s as if Norah designs for a world that’s so pretty, I’d like to live there. She now works for Berroco, and every time they release a new Norah pattern collection I’m consistently drawn to the patterns. Her asymmetrical motifs and unique construction never fail to draw me in. One day when I grow up, I hope to make patterns as pretty as Norah.

Find more Norah Gaughan’s designs at www.Berroco.com.

Norah blogs at: http://blog.berroco.com/

Go check out her work. It’s beautiful & worth your time. Ideally, I’d post pictures of her designs here, but I don’t want to infringe upon Berroco’s rights by using their photos on my blog……

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Knitting Needle Conversion Chart

Let’s be frank. I like to knit socks on tiny needles. And I like to know both the US size (000) and the metric (1.75mm) but most knitting needle conversion charts don’t list these sizes. So I’ve made one for myself & decided to post it here in case you could use it, too.

Knitting Needle Conversion Chart  000-000 – 50 or .7mm – 25mm


Metric (mm)

US

UK/Canadian

.7

000-000

1

000-00

1.2

0000

1.5

000

1.75

00

2

0

14

2.25

1

13

2.75

2

12

3

11

3.25

3

10

3.5

4

3.75

5

9

4

6

8

4.5

7

7

5

8

6

5.5

9

5

6

10

4

6.5

10.5

3

7

2

7.5

1

8

11

0

9

13

00

10

15

000

12

17

16

19

19

35

25

50

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Filed under Knitting

How did you get started?

It’s the first day of Knit/Crochet Blog week! (And I’m a day behind already, but shhh! it’s still early in the morning so it almost counts as yesterday.

I started knitting and crocheting when my mom taught me. I was pretty young – 7 or 8. I strongly preferred crochet and for many years only crocheted. This may have had something to do with the fact that my mom knits very oddly. She was taught by a woman who was about 9 months pregnant and consequently, my mom holds her needles like T not an X. Her right arm is held up horizontally, while her left arm is relaxed and parallel to her side.

I didn’t start knitting in earnest until many years later. I was expecting the twins and wanted to make them soakers (knitted wool cloth diaper covers) and there just weren’t many crochet patterns out there. So I started knitting again.

Soon, I was getting many requests to knit other people soakers, which got me started designing. I needed to design a soaker pattern for my own use, so I could sell the finished pieces. Soaker knitting also got me started dyeing yarn. I got many very specific color requests that could only be filled by dyeing the yarn to order. It took a while to get both sides of the business up and running as Yarn Love today, but that’s how I got my start!

That’s it for knitcroblo1 – day one. I’ll see you tomorrow! (or hopefully later today)

~katie

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Filed under Knitting

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week Plus Googlewhack

To get me back into blogging with a bang, I am participating in Knitting and Crochet Blog week. That means I am going to make my best effort to post on a predetermined topic for 7 days in a row, starting April 26th. I hope to do well. If you’re interested in reading other participant’s responses all you need to do is Google search the term: knitcroblo1 for the first day, knitcroblo2 for the second, etc. We’re pretty sure that the term/tag “knitcroblo” is a googlewhack. Ok, technically it’s not two words, and you’ll get hits from all the blogs participating, but the main point is all the results will be participating blogs!

You may be wondering what in the world could prevent Katie from blogging everyday? Well, Nick and I decided this morning upon an impromptu visit to his grandmother. We’ve been wanting to for quite a while and finally have booked our trip….we leave 9 days from today and we’re taking all 3 kids with us.

On a plane.

1500 miles away.

You see my point. I shall endeavor to participate as much as possible….while secreting wondering if I am indeed crazy. Wish me luck & see you the day after tomorrow!

~katie

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Killer Poppies

The socks are turning out to be a bit of a nightmare. Not a full blown one, mind you. Just the kind where you knit half a sock, run into an issue and spend the next 5 days redesigning it. You may already have guessed it, but the Poppy/Sunflower socks are turning out to be Killer Poppy Socks.

I hit the first snag on Wednesday night. I’d forgotten to take into account the increasing that needs to happen between the heel of the sock and the calf. Now you might not realize it, but there is a significant increase in leg circumference over the length of a typical sock cuff. Since stranded color work has so much less stretch than regular knitting, you can no longer rely on the intrinsic stretch of the fabric to bail you out.  You must design them in.

The second snag I should have anticipated, since I ran into something really similar on my Grecian Goddess socks, but I didn’t. Anticipate the problem, that is. I certainly ran head long into it. This problem being that I am anal, and I want my pattern to reach a certain place on the colorwork chart at a certain place on the foot. Which isn’t a big deal, right? I mean seriously, you just start at the toe and stop knitting when the sock is long enough. Well, that works very well with a minor amount of wrangling when the designer is knitting for their own foot. Considering that not the entire world has the exact same foot size as I do means that the pattern would essentially be usuable (in it’s best form) by only me. So all of you reading this would be out of luck pattern wise. I am a nice person, and I want you to enjoy the pattern, too. So back to the drawing board.

Once I discovered these issues all knitting came to a screeching halt. I didn’t even have an auxiliary project on the needles to help me out. Sure, I was 50% of the way through another pair of socks, but one sock was fully done and the other wasn’t even cast on. Casting on was just way too much work. So I sat around restlessly for two hours that night trying to figure out what to do. So I thought….and thought…….and thought………….for 5 days before I worked it out.

The good news is that the pattern should work. I’ve completely redone the charts – so now the stitch count is correct and it should fit me at the calf area. The bad news is that I’ve changed the starting point of the sock. It originally was a toe up and now we’re going cuff down. That means the 50% of a sock that I have done right now is going to be ripped out. Completely.

So I just ripped out 2 weeks of design/knitting work in favor of the last 5 days worth of brain wrangling.  And just in case you think that I have magic fingers, and knitting charts just flow out of them without effort I’ll leave you with this. It’s essentially an unedited chart “doodle” which was created during several design brainstorm sessions. Doesn’t it make you truly appreciate the clarity and cleanliness of a finished pattern? (And these are just the most recent changes/charts/doodles….several iterations were already erased/doodled over.)

Just so those of you who are waiting for the pattern don’t lose hope – here’s a picture of all the component yarns for the new redeisign: (Colors are: Marigold, Violet Vale, Ancient Forest)

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Filed under Creativity, Knitting

Pretty Poppies or Sunflowers?

Forward progress has been slow, but it is happening on the Pretty Poppies Socks. But they are now no longer poppies. Why? Mostly because the word Sunflower just looked so much better charted out as opposed to poppy or poppies. So here are what the socks look like currently:

More progress would have been made if I hadn’t ripped out the original heel. The first go ’round continued the Salt & Pepper pattern from the foot. But it was too tight and thick. The shaping was dumpy and I was unhappy. Heels are a pressure/rub point for nearly everyone and you have to get that part right or the socks stink to wear. So I switched to a two color garter. You can see it in this shot:

I’m still not happy with the heel, though. Not because the shaping is wonky this time around (Although the ssk row isn’t as straight as I’d like it to be due to the color changes. But that should block out.) This time I think the combination of the instep pattern, the gusset stripes and the striped heel are too overwhelming. There’s no where for the eye to rest. Luckily, you can work the entire heel in one color and end up in the same place you started from (Beginning of round, where the other working yarn strand is waiting.). So the next sock is going to have a plain green heel. That should clear things up substantially.

I will try to get more knitting done this evening….right after grocery shopping, present shopping, dinner and applying the first clear coat to my kitchen table legs. It’s going to be a busy night!

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Filed under Creativity, Knitting