Second Sock Syndrome Solution

I have Second Sock Syndrome.  I love to knit socks but after the excitement of finishing the first sock to see how it turns out – how the yarn looks knitted up and how it fits – I often times don’t feel like getting started on the second sock.  I’ve tried the two at a time on circular needle thing but don’t really like it very much – things get too tangled up and it’s hard to take with you.

So, I decided to knit the pair of socks I just started in stages. Do the leg of one sock, then start the leg of the second sock, then do the heel flap on one sock and then on the second sock, then turn the heel and pick up the gusset on the first sock and then on the second and so on.

Two Socks in Progress

Hopefully, this will solve my Second Sock Syndrome – I already have the heel flap done on the first sock and have the flap partially finished on the second. 

Knit 6 - Purl 2

This is going to be a very basic pair of socks, it starts out with Knit 2, Purl 2 ribbing and then changes to Knit 6, Purl 2 for the main part of the leg.   The Knit 6, Purl 2 leg is nice because there is enough plain knitting to show off the color of the yarn and enough ribbiness with the Purl 2 so the sock hugs your leg nicely. 

When using multicolor or self-striping yarn it seems kind of a waste to do a fancy pattern stitch because it doesn’t even show.  This yarn is Knit Picks Imagination , a blend of  50% superwash merino wool, 25% superfine alpaca and 25% nylon in the Frog Prince colorway.  It is very soft and really nice to knit with.  Even though the skeins are from the same dye lot, they aren’t the same color – one of them has more of the light green shade and the other one has more of the dark green shade.  I guess that’s how it is with any kind of hand dyed yarn. 

Since the beginning of the year I’ve really been in a sock knitting mood – which is a good thing because all my hand knit socks are getting worn out and I need new ones!

You can click on the pictures for a larger view.

Hat For Husband

This hat for my husband was finished a while ago, I have been meaning to write a post about it for a long time.

Ear Cozy Hat

It is based on a children’s hat pattern by Fibertrends – Ear Cozy Hat.  I did the math to figure out how to make it in a larger adult size.  It turned out really well and fits just about perfectly – it could stand to be a little bit longer so it comes down over his forehead a bit more.  When I was figuring out how to make it a larger size I went with the same proportions for the length before starting decreasing for the top.  I think with an adult head you need to make it longer before starting the decreases for the top.  Next time I make it, I’ll add another half-inch before starting the top decreases. Instead of pulling all the stitches together at the top, I made a little I-Cord stem.

Ear Cozy Hat For Jack

The wool I used to make this is Aurora Melange by Karabella Yarns, it is 100% Extrafine Merino Wool .  It is a dream to work with – soft, springy and it just feels wonderful.  It is also machine washable – always a plus for a hat.

My husband says he really likes the hat, it keeps his ears warm and doesn’t ride up on his head.  Whenever he wears a regular stocking cap, the hat always tends to ride up on his head and his ears aren’t covered.  I think it is much handier than the usual type of earflap hat that needs ties to hold the earflaps over the ears.

He wore the hat while he was cross country skiing over Christmas and said it kept his head and ears warm and wasn’t bulky and didn’t feel like it was going to fall off. 

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

Felted Pet Bed

The Pet Bed I finished knitting quite a while ago is finally felted.  Actually, the felting part was done a couple of weeks ago but I only got around to taking pictures today!

It got a LOT smaller – this is what it looked like before it was felted:

Pet Bed Unfelted

Here is how it turned out:

Felted Pet Bed

The sides got very short when felted and it is a much smaller circle.  The fabric turned out to be thick and cushy – the Knit Picks Bulky Wool of the Andes felted nicely. 

This was knitted using a circle made of 9 segments, increased every other row.  It seemed flat on the bottom before it was felted but after felting it was very difficult to get the bottom to lie flat.  One part of it would always bunch up, it seemed like it was one segment too big.  I really had to stretch and pull this when it was wet to get it to lie flat.

This is the second Pet Bed I’ve knitted.  The first one was knitted using a circle made of 10 segments, it was never felted because my dog likes it just the way it is.  However, it doesn’t even like to lie totally flat on the floor without being felted, it would probably really bunch up if felted.  Next time I knit one of these, I’ll start with a circle made of 8 segments and see how that works.  Also, I’ll make it much larger around and a taller on the sides.

A Bit Too Small

Even though this is too small for my dog, Gidget (a Cairn Terrier), to really stretch out and get comfy – she seems to like it.  It would be just the right size for a cat.

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

This, That and The Other

This blog post is kind of a mixed bag – definitely a reflection of how life has been lately!

EarCozyHatI started on a quick. new knitting project – a hat for my husband.  It is based on a childrens’ hat pattern – Ear Cozy Hat by Fiber Trends – I redid the math to make the hat in a large adult size.  I’ve made this pattern numerous times in the small sizes.  It is really nice because it covers the ears and keeps them warm – however, the ear flaps are much nicer than most ear flap hats because they are made with short rows and don’t hang down strangely and they don’t need ties to keep them in place.

JackHatBeg

Jack Hat Beginning

The wool is lovely, Karabella Aurora Melange – it is so soft yet bouncy feeling and is 100% extrafine Merino Wool that is machine washable, always a plus for a hat.

In other knitting news, I finished up the Pet Bed I was knitting with Knit Picks bulky, hand dyed Wool of The Andes in the Island Breeze colorway.  It took three skeins.  Now, I need to felt it and see how it looks.  I’m hoping the fabric gets a lot thicker and the sides will stand up on their own.

PetBedUnfelted

Pet Bed Unfelted

This is the second Pet Bed I’ve knitted – the first one never ended up being felted because my dog, Gidget, likes it just the way it is.  She spends a lot of time sleeping on it and hates me to pick it up off the floor. There’s a picture of that in this post:  She Likes It .  For the first Pet Bed, I used a felted bowl pattern and just made it bigger.  I wasn’t totally happy with the how the bottom turned out, so, for this bed I came up with my own pattern that has 9 segments to form the circular bottom.  It seems to lie nice and flat.  After I felt it and see if it turns out well, I’ll write up the pattern and make it available on this blog.

Yesterday, I baked some Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins, they are based on a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins that Mary Jo baked recently for our knitting night.  I altered them a bit to make them more cake-like by adding less oil, one more egg, more flour, more cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg and a bit of milk.  They turned out well – not very sweet but very good.

PumppkinCranberryMuffins2

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Finally, I wanted to share this picture of our two grandsons having an after school snack and playing Nintendo DS – they bicker so much that it was wonderful to see them cooperating with each other!  You can see how much they really do love each other even though they tend to bicker over everything.

BrothersCooperation3

Brothers Cooperating

You can click on any of the pictures in this post to see a larger view.

Taos Wool Festival – October 2009

Finally, over three weeks since the event, I’m writing this post about the Taos Wool Festival!  I took so many pictures, it took forever to go through them and decide which ones to use.

WoolFestival

Taos Wool Festival - October 2009

The Wool Festival seemed a bit bigger and busier than last year, it seemed like there were more booths around the sides and more in the middle area, too. Of course, last year it was rainy and cool for the Wool Festival and this year the weather was gorgeous – sunny but not hot and just a hint of a breeze.  The Ravelry Meetup was in the center area of the festival, there were quite a few people there – Mary Heather from Ravelry was there and I recognized a few others from the Ravelry Meetup in Santa Fe in September.  The highlight of the Ravelry Meetup was meeting Stephanie Japel and Paula from the on-line class with Stephanie for the Fitted Raglan Shawl.  You can read more about that in this post – Finished With Mirth . 

Ravelry Meetup at the Wool Festival

Ravelry Meetup at the Wool Festival in Taos

It is always fun to look at the various fiber producing animals – alpacas, llamas, sheep and goats.  Some of the goats are so tiny and cute. 

SoftBunny

Very Soft Bunny

This year there were also a lot of rabbits shown at the festival.  Some of them were so soft, it was a treat to stroke them.  Some of the rabbits looked like little, furry dogs.

FuzzyBunny

Fuzzy Bunny

There were many booths selling yarn – lots and lots of yarn in millions of yummy colors! 

Yarn1

Beautiful Colors

 It was really wonderful to see all this beautiful wool.  It looks like a cheerful yarn rainbow.

Yarn2

More Yarn

All this yarn for sale was just the tip of the iceberg.  There were also many booths selling fleeces and roving for spinning and spinning equipment as well.

Yarn 3

Even More Yarn

There were also booths selling finished goods made with wool – rugs, hats and many other unique things.

UniqueThings

Unique Things

Some of the booths I enjoyed from previous years were back – I love the knitted animals that are for sale in this booth.  The patterns are available, too.

KnittedAnimals

Knitted Animals

Lots of interesting people were there, too.  It was fun just to sit down and watch.

SpinningLady

Spinning Lady

One of the nicest things was meeting up with three young women from our La Jara Knitting Group and looking around the festival with them! 

NicJoaMJ2

Nicole, Joanna and Mary Jo at the Wool Festival

 Afterwards we went out to a late lunch and had a fun time looking around Taos.

JoaMJNic-TaosPlaza

Joanna, Mary Jo and Nicole at the Taos Plaza

My husband managed to maintain his patience while walking around the festival – he was even gracious enough to carry my lime green Namaste knitting bag for a while without getting (overly) embarrassed!

Jack_WF

My husband with my Namaste bag and our dog.

All in all, it was a very fun day.  It would have been EASY to spend a lot of money on all that beautiful yarn but I managed to restrain myself and only bought three skeins – one worsted weight, one DK weight and one sock/fingering weight.

YarnPurchase_WF

Purchased at the Taos Wool Festival

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

She Likes It

Well, I finished knitting the pet bed for my little Cairn Terrier, Gidget.  The pattern was for a felted bowl, I used a bulky wool yarn and worked more increase rounds to make it bigger.

Gidget's Knitted Bed

Gidget's Knitted Bed

Guess what?!?  She likes it………just the way it is!  It doesn’t even have the ends woven in yet and hasn’t been felted.   As soon as I finished binding off, I set it down on the floor to see how big it looked.  Gidget came right over and sniffed it and then stretched out next to it and put her head on it to see if she was going to get in trouble.  When she didn’t get in trouble for putting her head on it she proceeded to put her whole self on it! 

She really does seem to like it just the way it is- I’ve picked it off the floor several times when she’s gone outside to potty and the minute she comes in she looks for it and I have to put it down again.  I do need to get the ends woven in but, now, I don’t know whether I should try to felt it or not.  She has already put a couple of snags in it with her claws so I’m thinking that perhaps I will just felt it a bit – just enough to get the wool fibers sticking together so they won’t snag.

I think I’d like it better if it was felted very firmly – it wouldn’t look so floppy and messy when it’s on the floor.  Hmm, I just wonder which way it will end up in the end???

This week I have been so unfocused.  I wanted to get a post done with lots of pictures of the Taos Wool Festival but I took so many pictures I can’t even decide which ones I want to edit and put in a post.  On Friday, I have a summons to Jury Duty and I’m really not looking forward to that.  I’ve reported for Jury Duty several times and it involves many hours of sitting around while people are interviewed and a jury is selected.  Today, I tried to think of a simple, small knitting project I could start and then bring in a little bag in my purse to work on – I’m not even sure if you are allowed to knit.  I could see where it wouldn’t be a good thing during a trial but it shouldn’t hurt to knit during all that endless interviewing of prospective jurors.  Time will tell.

You can click on the picture for a larger view.

Finished With Mirth

The title sounds like I’m finished with being happy – but, actually, I’m very happy that I’m finished with my Mirth Fitted Raglan Shawl!!  In this previous post – On-Line Knitting Class – I talked about taking the on-line class given by Stefanie Japel for the Mirth Shawl she designed.  The class lasted for three weeks and I managed to get the shawl all finished during that three weeks.  It was really a good class, Stefanie is an inspiring teacher and I learned a LOT about knitting lace from charts.  I really like how the shawl turned out.

Completed Mirth Shawl

Completed Mirth Shawl

There was one minor glitch that almost made me unable to get the shawl finished during the three weeks of the class.  I ran out of yarn and had to order another skein.  Instead of sending worsted weight, the store sent me DK weight in the same colorway – so, I had to call and ask them to resend the worsted weight.  That meant there were four days with no knitting on the shawl – when the correct yarn arrived I really had to do some power knitting to get finished before the class was over.  It wouldn’t have been a big deal if I hadn’t finished within the time frame of the class but it was one of those things I’d promised myself I’d do.  Usually, I’m such a procrastinator that I never finish anything on time.  With this shawl, I made a concentrated effort to keep up with the class and finish on time.  I’m so glad I did!

One nice thing about waiting for the yarn to arrive – I received my ball winder from Knit Picks and got to wind up the last skein with a ball winder!  The Knit Picks ball winder is nice – it is just like the Royal Ball Winder (checked them out in two yarn stores) except less expensive.

Ball Winder from Knit Picks

Ball Winder from Knit Picks

The most exciting part of the Mirth Shawl Class was meeting Stefanie Japel at the Taos Wool Festival!  We had a Shawl Class Reunion type thing during the Ravelry Meetup on Saturday at the Taos Wool Festival – it was great meeting Stefanie and her family and Paula, who also took the class and with whom I had a lot of fun chatting on-line during the class!  Here is a picture of Mary-Heather from Ravelry, Stefanie, Me and Paula.

Mary-Heather,Stefanie Japel, Me, Paula

Mary-Heather,Stefanie Japel, Me, Paula

You can click on any picture for a larger version.  Hopefully, in a few days I’ll write more about the Taos Wool Festival.  It was really fun and busy this year.