Yarny Goodness!

Another super exciting fun knitblog

  • November Knit Goals

    I'm prone to being a scatterbrain, so I try to make a short list of things to accomplish each month (lest I have 27 different non matching socks).

    Same as last month: Sleep more. Study more. Knit more. Sleep more.

  • Sweater-a-Month 2008

    Cabled Hoodie: Cascade 220 - Needs seams

    Urban Aran

    Mariah: Ella Rae Classic


    Tubesque: Noro Garden + ???

    CeCe: Silky Wool

    Lucy in the Sky

    Rogue: Handspun - Needs seams

    Elizabeth Zimmermann's Bog Jacket

    Ribbi Cardi: Cotton Ease (Blue/White)

    Ruffled Surplice (spring 07 Interweave): Yard TBD

    Red Carpet Convertible

    Silk Corset Top: Alchemy Synchronicity

    Eyelet Rib Cardi (inspired by Spring 07 Interweave)

    Bella Paquita: Shelridge? Karabella? Sublime?

    A top down set in sleeve sweater (a la Barbara Walker)


    Vintage Pink (Raspberry) Cardigan - FINISHED!!

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Archive for the ‘socks’ Category

Knitted Socks East & West: Why isn’t anyone talking about this book?

Posted by Amber on January 6, 2010

Okay, I know, I’ve been a terrible blogger.  What can I say?  I put my nose in a book (where have we heard that before?) and whenever I wasn’t in a book I was nose to nose with da bunnies.  (Two more weeks and I’ll be head down in statistical inference. I’m going to try to be a better blogger this year, but no promises.)

But! This isn’t a bunny blog! It’s a knitting blog! And let me tell you about a book everyone needs to check out straight away!

Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner

(photos shamelessly stolen from MelanieFalickBooks.com; but not hotlinked)

The book begins with a nice intro about socks, Japanese stitch patterns, and all that good jazz at the front of a sock book.  Then: Techniques!  There’s a handful of stitches more common to Japanese patterns, that aren’t used often (ever?) in western books.  The written directions are excellent, as are the diagrams.  You’ll be doing a PKOK (peacocks!), 3-stitch lift, and fancy twists in no time.

Then: Patterns! 30 of them!  And such a great mix: there are slipper socks, knee socks, leggings, dainty relaxing socks.  They’re all cuff down, which doesn’t bother me – it’s what I’ve been doing lately.  But more on that later.  I want to make just about every sock in this book – I’m already on my 3rd pair, and I just got the book for Christmas.

Tsunami, p 77

One thing I really like is that on the cabled [shoe] socks (as opposed to [slipper] socks) – she doesn’t have you carry the cable down the foot, in order to have it be more comfortable in your shoe!  What a great idea!

Kimono, p 109 (in Fiber Optic Foot Notes)

I know some people say that they don’t like sock patterns that are pretty much just a stitch pattern slapped into a basic sock form, that is, if they’re paying for a book they want it to be innovative.  But I think it really works here (you’re more or less repeating a chart X times, and then keeping it on the foot or not) because some of the stitch patterns are so complex – adding funky shaping and what not could make it a little unreachable.  Plus, as my friend Judy says, sometimes those innovative designs are more works of art, and less something you’d want to make and wear.  These are all so wearable.

Not to mention, since the patterns are derived from Japanese stitch dictionaries, you probably haven’t seen them before (unless you’re a connoisseur of the Japanese books, and if you are, can you suggest places I might find of them for myself?).  I’d hate to spend $20 on a book, just to find that it’s basically straight from Barbara Walker or Charlene Schurch.

Bonsai, p 61

The other thing I like about the basic chart repeating X times down the leg is that you can adapt it really easily.  I’m never going to make slipper socks out of Thick & Quick Bulky (Sumo, p 133) – but I love the cable and I’m totally in love with the cable and I can’t wait to do it in a thinner yarn.  Likewise, I’m not really a knee-sock person

Karatsu, p. 81

I can’t wait to make these! Me! Bobbles! That’s how awesome the patterns are – the biggest bobble hater of them all is converted.  But I don’t really want to make a pair of knee socks, so I can take the main 16-stitch repeat and do 4 repeats around (for 64 stitches) and 2 vertical repeats (instead of 4).  See! Easy to adapt!

Ninja, p 31(in Dream in Color Smooshy)

The vertical repeats tend to be longish (most of them are more than 10 rows) but very fairly symmetric, and it’s easy to tell if you’ve gotten off course.  The other great thing about the symmetric repeats is that you could do most of the patterns toe-up if you wanted.

So in short: GO GET THIS BOOK!


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No more knitting for me.

Posted by Amber on August 26, 2008

No more personal knitting projects, that is!

The Stitch DC fall class schedule just went up — Georgetown is all me, all the time.  I guess now I should go make samples…

And to prove I have been knitting:

The Sock Family may not have won the socks on vacation photo contest, but click the picture above to see their exploits around DC.

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Why hello owls!

Posted by Amber on July 16, 2008

I started Spring Forward on Sunday night (with Hand Jive Nature’s Palette in Odd Duck). It is just FLYING off the needles! It’s the Monkey sock of SOS’08. I also had a plain stockinette sock going on that I started last Monday (the fourth start on that sock) … I just wasn’t feeling the stockinette love on the weekend – I guess it felt like bus knitting.

So just what am I doing up and blogging at 1:30 AM?

I had a horrible headache today, that got worse and worse as the day went on. And for some reason, even though I knew I was out of aspirin at home, I didn’t stop at the CVS in my office building at any point today. After two hours on the couch with a cold washcloth on my head, I decided I had to go to the drug store or else I was going to throw up on the couch. I picked up a box of Excedrin and took two … which is 130 mg of caffeine … almost as much as my morning latte. By 9:30 I was pain free … and completely wired. I’m still wired, can’t even think about bed, and yet I have to go to work tomorrow morning.

Wednesday is going to suuuuuuuuuuuck.

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While in Texas: Knit Purple Socks

Posted by Amber on June 9, 2008

A long, long overdue FO post:

Pattern: Anniversary Socks by Nancy Bush; from Favorite Socks

Yarn: Koigu KPM #3005; picked up at Stitches East 2007, Rosie’s Yarn Cellar’s Booth

Needles: US 1, Magic Loop

Mods: Decreased the entire sock to 60 stitches by removing some stitches from the stockinette panel. To keep the patterned portion on one needle, and the back & sole (plain) stitches on another I had something like 34 stitches on one side and 26 on the other side. But it worked out in the end!

Comments: Because there’s no patterning on the back of the leg, these are VERY quick to knit. Each sock took me about 2 days to knit (on a business trip to Texas). Now, those were typically a travel day and then a second day (where I got to knit in the airport; on the plane, and then while sitting around the hotel while waiting for coworkers to get ready for dinner — yay for business trips!) I did 5 repeats of the pattern on the leg, rather than I think the 7 or so the pattern suggested. I might have been able to get one more repeat from the ball.

I was a little surprised that there was no chart in the book – all written instructions. So I made my own little chart on a post it note (so could stick it on the seat back in front of me). Turns out – I didn’t need my chart, the pattern was super easy to memorize. And considering I couldn’t memorize the chart to my River Rapids socks, that says a lot.

Incidentally, the first photo is more color-accurate. Don’t you hate it when you just can’t get a color? I took like 10 pictures of a ball of green yarn, and spent an hour messing with the colors in Picnik and I STILL wasn’t happy.

The title of this post? On a different business trip to Texas, I knit some other purple Koigu socks that it seems never made it into a blog post:

Go With the Flow (by Evelyn Clark; also from Favorite Socks), also knit with Koigu (NR/No Repeat colorway), also from Rosie’s via Stitches (2006!). These were knit toe-up (thus being Go Against the Flow in my Ravelry notebook)

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FO: Stormy Weekend

Posted by Amber on May 13, 2008

Now that the rain has left DC for a minute, I can finally show you the socks I finished on my recent Texas trip!

Pattern: Rainy Day by Yuliya Sullivan; Originally from MagKnits, pre-implosion. Now available as a Ravelry download.

A 6 stitch x 4 row repeat even I can memorize!

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces, Shepherd Sock. Colorway: Ice Storm (January 2008 colorway from JimmyBeansWool.com)

Needles: Addi Turbo US 0; 32″ (magic loop!)

Time: March to May 2008.

Mods: Figured that since it was a 6 stitch repeat, I could just cast on more stitches to use some of my extensive collection of Lorna’s. So I went with 72 stitches (more stitches = more time to knit; therefore they weren’t so much a sock for a Rainy Day, but rather a Rainy Weekend). I also did an Eye of Partridge heel. I didn’t like it very much, although it is very pretty with the handpainted yarn–

I *heart* picots!

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We interrupt this radio silence to bring you a FO (and more radio silence)

Posted by Amber on April 30, 2008

Pattern: River Rapids [pdf] by Sock Bug; (River Rapids Ravelry Page)

Yarn: Shibui Sock

Needles: Addi Turbo, Size 1

Notes: Magic Loop, from the toe-up.  As seems to be my new norm, I used Judy’s Magic Cast On and the gusset from Widdershins.

I also modified the pattern, 64 stitches was way too big for my feet.  I dropped one purl stitch from each repeat, making it a  7 stitch repeat (56 stitches total).  The instep was a little wonky – I had to add a purl stitch to the end of the needle for the top of the foot, as well as move one sole stitch knit to the instep in order to prevent laddering.

It took me forever and a day to memorize this repeat.  I think somewhere around the middle of the second sock it finally clicked. 

I really loved working with the shibui – it was so soft and squishy.  However, I guess softness comes with a price: after ONE DAY wearing them around, the heel is totally matted.  I’m going to go to my happy place, where I think this means the heel will be more durable the next time I wear it.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

For now, back to statistics.  I have a huge project due Monday — but really due Sunday because I have to go to Texas for work on Monday (gone for 4 days).  The only thing I’m letting myself start between now and the time I turn in that project is the second Rainy Day sock (Rav link) – as much as I want to start Labyrinth (I even have the yarn all picked out), I’m being strong.  Of course since I’m not about to take a big raglan to Texas, I won’t really start that until I get back, so I guess there will be more socks in my future.

Posted in fo, socks | 3 Comments »

FO: Sweetpea Socks

Posted by Amber on March 6, 2008


Pattern: Sweetpea, by Melissa Morgan-Oaks, via Knitty Summer 2007

Yarn: Claudia Handpaint Fingering; Pink Posey

Needles: Addi Turbo US 1, 32″ (magic loop)

Mods: I wanted to go toe up (because I LOVE toe up!) but also wanted to try a toe up gusset, so I cobbled one together based on Widdershins.  However, both socks are different – on the first one I wasn’t really thinking and did 10 gusset increases, whereas on the second one I did 15 gusset increases.  So the heel flap is about 3/4 of an inch longer on the second sock.  (In the future, I think 13 might be a good number of increases for my foot.)

The 10 increase gusset foot

The difference between the two (however, they really are the same length, the one on my right foot is just a little slouchy)

Fun story (all my knits have to have fun stories!): I started these (cuff down version) on my first day at Stitch DC (June 2007).  It took three tries to cast on the right number of stitches (60), and I couldn’t get past the first repeat (kept loosing my place in the pattern, you’d think being so repetitive it would be easier).  Frogged and put aside until my last trip to NYC (November 2007), cast on again, but toe up.  Worked out much better for me!  Finished the first one and cast on for the second right away.  Took it to the new knitting group at my day job, and promptly screwed up the pattern (!! It’s a 10 stitch repeat!  I couldn’t manage to count to 10!).

They’re fun, beautiful socks, and I think the color/pattern/yarn go together perfectly.  But I’ve never been so glad to finish a pair of socks. 

Posted in fo, socks | 2 Comments »

FO: Drunken Bees

Posted by Amber on February 7, 2008

(You should be able to click that for a bigger, clearer shot)

Pattern: Drunken Bees by DomestiCat (man, she has a beautiful home)

Yarn: Koigu KPM, 2236; 2.05 balls.  That .05 ball?  Whole different dye lot.  All three were purchased from Purl – the first two in person in ’06, plus more online in ’08. 

Needles: Addi Turbo, US 1, 32″ – magic loop for the win!

Mods: I didn’t really change anything, but if I were to knit these again (and they were SO. MUCH. FUN, so I just might) I’d chart out the 6 stitches on each edge of the instep in order to continue the drunkeness all the way down the foot.  Instead I just knit the edge stitches in stockinette.  Nice, cozy, but less drunk.

I love these!  Warm, cozy, and so much fun to knit!  And fun to look at when you’re done.  And just all around awesome!  Go make some!

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Bees – Only two sheets to the wind now

Posted by Amber on January 14, 2008

Drunken Bee #1.  I’m using Koigu KPM (color 2236) that I bought at Purl a very, very long time ago.  I love the way the honeycomb extends down the heel:

Funny story.  (Funny shoot yourself, not funny ha-ha.)

Less than halfway through the sock, it seemed I was more than halfway through my yarn.  I started to panic because I only had two balls.  So I decide to find the ball band, see what color it was, and order some more – even though I didn’t think I could get the same dyelot, I could alternate skeins on the second sock or something. 

I have four ball bands from KPM, although I’ve only made 1 pair of socks with KPM before.  A bit upsetting, considering I didn’t think I had taken the ball bands off any other balls except this gray one (I bought it before I had a swift, so when they offered to wind I gladly said yes!).  I could rule out one band right away – it was color NR, and I had the good sense to write “Go with the flow socks” on the back.  One had no color.  One was color 3005, and one was color 2236.

I google and google, and I can’t find ANYTHING made with KMP 3005.  And 2236 is gray (but check out purl’s selection, 2290, 2400, 2425, and 1030 are also a nice gray with hints of blue and purple).  Also, I have some vintage koigu sitting around.  One of the labels had a price tag for $10.40!  Not on sale!

Finally, I realized that I bought some Kersti at the same time – and I own far less Kersti (only 3 colors, two of which are still in hanks with the bands), and the one kersti band I had in my box of ball bands had a specific style of price tag; and the KPM 2236 label had the same style of tag — so I’m reasonably confident that the unknown colorway was 2236.  Keep your fingers crossed for me until it shows up.


Of course, then, as I continued on the foot, I started to think I wasn’t going to run out.  I still had a bit when I was coming into the toe.  But in the end, I did need to tap into the second ball I already had in order to finish:

Now I’m just waiting for my new batch to come in (I ordered two more balls from Purl, thinking I was going to use like a ball and a half to make the first sock).  I’m going to make sock #2 out of batch 2 (the toe takes maybe, maybe 5 yards from the second ball) and then have two balls from different dyelots for future gray socks (toe up!)

Of course, now there’s the problem of what to work on until that comes…

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Gee, has it been a while?

Posted by Amber on November 26, 2007

While I haven’t been blogging, I have been knitting.  Some sort of anti Blog-Post-Month thing, I suppose.

I started Sweetpea (while still in NYC…):

Claudia Handpaint (Pink Posey).  I tried out the Magic Cast on – I really like it. Much more than the Figure 8 cast on or the short row toe.  And it just goes so much faster.

Then I started some Retro Rib Socks:

with Black Bunny Fibers (I got mine from Rosie’s Yarn Cellar @ Stitches this year; you can get yours from Black bunny @ Etsy ).  I’m going toe up in order to get the most from the ball – it reaches just below my knee! I’m using size 1 needles, and it’s very soft and plump.  Reminds me a lot of koigu – both the texture and color.

I also tried out the magic loop method with these socks – I’m totally hooked!   I tried it a while back with my Wicked sleeves, and it was so handy, just needing the one needle.  I haven’t been starting many sock because my needles were all tied up.  But now, much smaller investment in new materials.

I also started my first pair of plain old stockinette socks:

SpinningYarnsOnline.com fingering weight (neopolitan) – also available at Stitch DC (G’town!).  Good yardage (540 yards), but it feels a little off in my hand.  It feels sort of like it has nylon in it, which is odd, because it’s 100% merino.  Lorna’s Laces (with 20% nylon) feels more like 100% wool.  I’ll hold off on total judgment until I wash it – maybe it will nicely plump & soften up.

Thanksgiving at Chez Yarny was lovely, although nothing particularly photogenic.  For breakfast, I made Giada De Laurentiis’ Berry Strata.  Then, for dinner I made Barefoot Contessa’s (Ina Garten) Turkey Meatloaf (sans onions), and Barefoot Contessa Cranberry Fruit Conserve (a granny smith apple provides natural pectin to turn it into jelly! – and this year it actually set.  Two years ago it didn’t set, and we had pink, chunky gravy, last year I skipped the cranberries), along with your basic steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.  So instead of food photos, I bring you photos from the park in my backyard (early Thanksgiving morning, all the muggers, murderers and rapists were still sleeping):

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