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Spinning, cat, socks December 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in kidlet, knitting, spinning.
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Spun some Shetland top and navajo plied it.

Shetland top


Finished kidlet’s socks. He loved them so much he immediately wore them to school.

Kidlet's socks

Kidlet's socks

Kidlet's socks

My Ravelry project page: Socks for The Boy
Pattern: Child’s Sock Pattern by Lucy H. Lee (Ravelry link) | (non-Ravelry link)
Yarn: Regia Color 4-Ply, color #4737 (Ravelry link) | (non-Ravelry link)

The socks are knit toe-up so the heel is just a flap with a gusset, only the stitches are being picked up along an extended sole instead of the heel. It’s wicked easy and looks nice. Kidlet’s feet are bigger than the pattern allows for so I came up with some modifications as I went. They’re listed on my Ravelry project page but in case you’re not able to make it there here they are:

1. I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the toe because it’s awesome and I love it.

2. From the toe I increased to 44 stitches total instead of 40.

3. I started the heel flap at 4″ as instructed, but then because my son’s feet were bigger than I remembered and too big for a 6″ sole I went to 8″ before starting the heel shaping.

4. This made the heel gusset larger so I picked up 16 stitches instead of 14 for a total of 64 stitches – it worked out to picking up every other row along the flap.

5. I then decreased back to my original 44 sts for the cuff.

6. I used the Elizabeth Zimmerman Sewn Cast-Off which made a nice stretchy cuff.

I got them to match as kidlet didn’t want tall socks, and the height he specified just happened to end the first sock right before the pattern repeat for the skein, so it really was serendipity. I may even have enough of the skein left to make a wee little pair for Margaret :)

Judy’s Magic Cast-On is so totally worth learning if you knit socks. It makes a perfect, beautiful toe that requires no seaming. I hate seaming. You can even knit your loose end into the first row so you won’t even need to run it in – just snip it when you’re done! Couldn’t be simpler. The cast-off is extremely easy, too, and worth it as I always tend to pull too tightly.

I chose this pattern as I was looking for an easy, basic sock pattern in childrens’ sizes that used fingering weight yarn. This was deceptively difficult as there are tons of wee baby socks made from fingering yarn, or childrens’ socks made from sport or worsted weight yarn. Perhaps if I ever became a knitwear designer I could find a niche in the 4-to-11 year old sock arena.


A few things December 11, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in knitting, spinning.
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A new cabinet! For my fiber studio. Right now it won’t fit in the actual room so it’s in the dining room. Marden’s got a huge shipment of furniture from that Crate & Barrel fire in Boston, so I got this at an amazing salvage price. There are a few dings on it and the glass needs to be cleaned up, but otherwise it is perfect and well worth the money. I’ve put a couple of skeins of yarn into it just to see how they look. :)
Things that make me happy.

Someone asked me what I’ve been knitting and I actually have been knitting, though it’s going painfully slowly. I am very nearly finished a pair of socks for kidlet.
Socks for the boy

Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Color 4-ply /4-fรคdig, Color 4737
Pattern: Childโ€™s Sock Pattern by Lucy H. Lee

I am extremely pleased that the striping worked out just so.

Attack of the bebeh socks! January 31, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, knitting.
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Here are the socks I’ve been working on. The first one took me a couple of evenings to get down pat, but now that I have the eyelet pattern memorized the second one has sprung into being nearly in one evening – I plan to finish it tonight.

I had some good sunlight coming in the front window so I decided the heck with setting up the lights. It captured the very slight color variation in the yarn perfectly. So far I really like this yarn, it’s going to be perfect for springtime and the knitted fabric feels great.

Hunca Munca Baby Socks (by jeninmaine)

Hunca Munca Baby Socks (by jeninmaine)

Yarn: Tess’ Designer Yarns Super Socks and Baby
Pattern: Hunca Munca Baby Socks (PDF)

Remember that Pixie Hat, the one that took forever due to the ribbing? I’m trying so hard to finish it. All I have left is the tie that’s about two feet long and will be attached to the bottom edge of the hat.

Koigu Baby Pixie Hat - well, sorta (by jeninmaine)

Oh my GOD this is the most boring thing to knit, ever. I keep picking it up, knitting ten rows or so, then putting it away. I don’t even want to think about attaching it. I’ll get it done one of these days!

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Color 204
Pattern: Baby Pixie Hat pattern by Crystal Palace Yarns

Keeping busy with bebeh-to-be January 14, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, knitting.
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I have been working on this and that, I just haven’t had a lot of time to talk about it.

First, I’d like to show off a much better picture of those baby socks I completed for bebeh-to-be:

Koigu Baby Socks (by jeninmaine)

Pattern: Just Your Basic Baby Socks from p2designs.com
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Color #204

I really like the way the striping came out using the Koigu. It’s very different. Part of the reason I’m so pleased with how they look is because they look similar to the newborn baby’s socks in the childrens’ homebirth book Welcome With Love (a fantastic book by the way):

Kidlet especially liked the page that showed the little boy holding the socks on his fingers because they were so small so I’ve made these to give to him while I’m in labor. I’ve told him that his job will be to hold on to the socks for the baby and when she’s born he can put them on her feet. To say he’s totally psyched about this job would be an understatement.

I’m also working on a matching hat using the Crystal Palace Yarns Pixie Hat pattern, which in fingering weight yarn is taking just short of an eternity. I get bored with this really easily but I’m making good progress:

Koigu Baby Pixie Hat (by jeninmaine)

Pattern: Pixie Hat by Crystal Palace Yarns
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM Color #204

I’ve been alternating the Pixie Hat with another project for a coworker of mine who just had her baby in November…I have a number of hanks of some great fingering weight yarn from (unfortunately) a now-defunct Etsy seller and I’m in love with the colors.

I started a baby beret and have gotten a good ways into it:

Baby Beret (by jeninmaine)

Baby Beret (by jeninmaine)

Pattern: Baby Beret from knitlist.com
Yarn: Handpainted fingering yarn
Stitch Markers: Spindle Cat Studios

However now that I’ve actually measured the band I’ve had the sinking realization that it’s far too small. Damn. I think the pattern’s calling for “baby” yarn means sport and not fingering weight. I’m currently trying to come to grips with the fact that I’ll be best served frogging this whole thing and using this yarn for another pattern that’s a bit bigger as I have no patience to actually sit down and convert this one to a larger size.

I’m not totally heartbroken as I’ve been sort of on the fence about how much I’m liking the color pooling, anyway. Onward!

Last but not least, look what came in the mail!

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock - Black Purl (by jeninmaine)

Well…what I picked up. I got these from a destasher on Ravelry and she sent the parcel Certified Mail, which means someone has to sign for it in person. Being that we both work all day no one was ever home to accept the durned thing so I had to truck it over to the Post Office on Saturday morning before they closed at noon. So it’s actually been in the area for a week but it’s great to finally get my hands on it.

As previously mentioned this is slated for Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks as soon as I get some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Charcoal and Natural to use for the other bits. I have some other sock weight yarn that I could have used, but I’m glad I didn’t as the Lorna’s seems a bit thinner than I expected so the gauge wouldn’t have worked out at all.

Rice and fabric and yarn. December 31, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh-to-be, Etsy, knitting, sewing.
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I didn’t get a whole lot of crafting done this weekend – pretty pathetic, really. I’ve been feeling more tired and run-down as I close in on The Ninth Month. It’s almost hard to believe that likely within the next three to seven weeks our daughter will be born! She had a big growth weekend so I’ve been feeling it, just tight and huge and ugh. I vaguely remember this feeling with kidlet so it’s not unfamiliar, just uncomfortable.

All I accomplished was making a teensy bit of progress on beanbags…my only plan at the moment for all this vintage-y fabric is to make as many sets as I can just to see if I can do it, then plunk them into my Etsy shop and see if they actually sell. I timed the different parts of the process (ironing, sewing, filling, and soon to be seaming) so I can come up with a formula for how much to charge. I also played around to decide how much rice filler to put in a beanbag around 4-1/2″ square so it would be fun and not dangerous.

So, not terribly exciting, but here’s one batch of 1930s reproduction fabric I got from eBay that I ironed one night, then stitched up and filled this afternoon. All that remains is seaming them and them using some fat quarters I got from the same seller to make bags.

Beanbag Project (by jeninmaine)

I also discovered that my shiny new iPod Shuffle is quite awesome. I filled it with music when I was at work last week and I’ve been using it while working at home as it cancels out the noise of people talking, the radio playing, kidlet running around, the dog snoring, etc. It also makes sewing a breeze as I can groove along to the music instead of listening to the drone of my sewing machine. So far a big, big thumbs up, and of course the best part is I didn’t have to pay for it. I’m going to see how I like it for knitting, woo!

Speaking of filler, the last time we were at the grocery I bought a 20# bag of rice as it was pretty much the cheapest bulk grain I could find that wouldn’t turn a beanbag into a rock, or a bag of rocks. I was tempted to save a few bucks and get the 50# bag, but realized I should see if this beanbag thing has momentum before committing myself to that much rice.

Mmm, rice. (by jeninmaine)

After I finished filling, I took some more fabric I had already cut from my stash and ironed it in preparation for sewing. I had all these coordinating fat quarters I collected before my son was born with these bright ideas of making blankets with them – I think this will be a much more fun incarnation for them.

Beanbag Project (by jeninmaine)

Just so you don’t think I’m not knitting any more, here’s another Warm Heart Woolies plain diaper wrap I started recentish-ly and have been carrying around in my bag for a while. I just haven’t been all that jazzed to work on it as it’s kind of a boring pattern. I’m also kind of eh about the Cascade 220 Quattro I chose for it – stranded it looks really cool, but actually knit up it’s not all that exciting. I’ll admit I was disappointed.

I guess the baby’s just going to be peeing on it so it doesn’t make that much difference, but still.

Warm Heart Woolies Diaper Wrap (by jeninmaine)

I mentioned starting that baby sweater, so here’s what I have done so far – the back and about a quarter of the left front. So far I’m enjoying knitting with Crystal Palace Bamboozle yarn though it takes a little getting used to – it’s all separate strands so it comes apart easily at the ends but the bamboo/cotton/elastic nylon blend makes a really nice-feeling, slightly sproingy fabric. This sweater will be perfect for the early Autumn.

Bamboozle Layette Sweater (by jeninmaine)

I was surfing around looking at yarn, eliciting some comments from Teh Husband about being addicted to “yarn pr0n” (intentionally misspelled so as not to attract any wayward Googlers donchaknow). What can I say, I drool over particularly lovely skeins of yarn and bundles of roving. It doesn’t matter how many 90-gallon bins of yarn and shelved totes of fiber I already own, I can’t help fantasy shopping and wishing I had more time/money.

Anyway, I really love sock yarn though I don’t really love knitting socks. I’ve tried a few pairs and have just sort of pooped out on them – sort of like the one pair of mittens I’ve knitted, which incidentally is made up of two different mittens as I finished the first and said, “meh.” I’m a very short-attention-span kind of girl.

However, I found this Very Rad Pattern for Jack Sparrow’s Favorite Socks by Pamela Northrup (she also has a rad blog) that I have absolutely fallen in love with and it has re-energized my resolve to make a pair of socks, dammit!

Photos absolutely used with permission by the creator:

PirateSocksModeled (by trillian42.rm)

Aren’t they the coolest?!


SkullClose (by trillian42.rm)

It’s funny that Black Pearl happens to be one of my favorite Lorna’s Laces colorways, and when I bought it I immediately thought of Pirates of the Caribbean (it was one of the draws to get it, in fact). Of course the cake I have here at home is worsted weight, so now I am on the prowl for two sock weight skeins. I think I’ve located some on Ravelry, but I shall keep you posted.

All right, it’s late, I should be in beddy-bye.