Victory. Sorta.

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I conquered the short-row heel. Mostly.

Due to an unfortunate yarn choice, I can’t really gauge the quality of my work. It appears that there are no giant holes. Apologies for the photo as it is late at night and I wore the sock, collecting a cat hair or two!

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THIS…

… is becoming this

Haruha Scarf (MadeByMyself)

I was concerned that the blue would be a problem, but it is blending in and minding its manners.  Not sure about how the edges are turning out, but blocking will be the only way to know for sure! The colors are off in both photos.  We have only glaring sunshine or darkness here in Louisiana at the moment. 110 F here again today, whew.

Twitter-d

I’ve been reading updates from Sock Summit for days.  That looked like a lot of fun.  Perhaps if there is a next time, I’ll plan on being there! I finally buckled and created a Twitter account to follow what people are saying about that, among other things. You can see the Twittery stuff on the right hand side of this page.  How interesting (well, I guess it depends on the topic.  How do you like knitting? That is all I can talk about lately.)

I never thought THAT would happen.

At the moment, I’m getting back into the “getting ready for school” haze of terrible tasks to be completed. Errands and doctors appointments and shopping punctuated by tears and fights and kid-sized stress.  It makes me want to cast on a dozen new projects like

Veronik Avery’s Warm Shawl.  Looks soothing…

Adia by Norah Gaughan

and there are always socks.  Twin Oaks by Kate Gilbert. wow.

One I already have on the go, and eager to finish: Viking Socks by Lykkefanten.  If I could get the children to stop shrieking at me (and each other) long enough to count and follow the pattern, I could get these fantastic socks on my feet where they belong.

Wish me luck!

Socks vs. Stress

Life happens.  Around here, we were thrown a few curve balls.  We dodged this time.  I will tell you, though, that I will never take health (my own, a loved one’s, anyone’s) for granted again.  Big scary disease processes can snap you out of your complacency very quickly and thoroughly.  He’s fine. So,  I’m fine. I can move forward, and therefore, I can catch up where I left off with this space, knitting, and watching the children grow like weeds.

I just counted up my projects for the last year.  Of the 60 0r so completed, there are 18 pairs of socks.  It somehow seems like it should be a larger number, and at the same time…wow, 18 pairs of socks.  I love them.

We shall call them “Brain Surgery Sox”.  There’s a bunch of stress in those stitches.

I made them ‘not-matchy’ for my good friend who sat with me for 2 days straight and kept me from leaping off the Cliffs of Insanity.

Berroco Sox knit up into the plain sock recipe from Knitting Rules.  I’m so happy that I can churn this from memory now.  Thanks YH!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’ve been knitting a lot of washcloths to go with the soap I’ve made.  I wanted to make a soap pocket/soap saver for myself, without going to a pattern.  I modeled it after a sock and came up with a stitch pattern that I like, and just went to it.  I wrote it all up, because I liked it so well.  Not that I think that it was difficult, but because it was satisfying and I like to share. It’s soft, lathers the soap like crazy, and I think it’s nice to look at.  Enjoy.

Simple Seamless Soaper

(Perfect for luxurious handmade soaps!)

By honeysuckleblue

This is an easy knit for those just starting knitting in the round.  It does finish up with Kitchener stitch grafting, but I’ve included detailed instructions.  It makes for a slightly less bulky bottom. Everyone wants that, right?

Size 8 DPNs (or 7, or 9 , it matters little)

Worsted cotton yarn, 50 yards or less

Tapestry needle

Crochet hook or smaller DPNs to make tie for the top.  A ribbon of your choosing could substitute nicely.

Cast on 32 (small) or  36 (larger) stitches using whatever method you’re comfortable with. I use long-tail method.

Divide between 3 of your DPNs.

Round 1: join, being careful not to twist. Knit around.

Round 2-4: knit

Round 5 (eyelet for cord): *(YO, k2tog), * repeat to end of round

Round 6: knit

Round 7: *(p3, k1),  *repeat to end of round

Round 8: repeat round 7

Round 9: *(p1, k1, p2), * repeat to end of round

Round 10: repeat round 9

Repeat rounds 7-10 until your total project measures 5 inches (or as long as you desire).

When it is long enough for your satisfaction, do one round of plain knitting so it is easy to graft at the bottom, forming a nice flat surface.

Place 18 stitches on each of two needles.  The working yarn needs to be at the right end of the back needle.  Make sure you can work through the next section without distraction.

Grafting:

Cut yarn, leaving at least a foot with which to graft. (Remember, your yarn is hanging off of the back needle on the right side).  Place on a blunt tapestry needle, and thread through the right most stitch on the front needle as if to PURL. Do not take this stitch off.  Leave it where it is.  Make sure the yarn does not loop over or around either needle, then pull up the slack in the yarn.  Then put the needle through the right most stitch on the rear needle as if to KNIT.  Do not take this one off either.  Pull up the slack in the yarn.  After these two steps, you are ready to start removing stitches.

Since the front needle has KNIT stitches facing you, you will KNIT the first stitch, let it drop off the needle, then PURL the next stitch on the top (nearest you) needle and leave it on.  Pull up the yarn. PURL the rightmost stitch on the back (furthest from you) needle and let it drop off, then KNIT the stitch next to it, allowing it to remain on the needle.  So, it is top (knit side facing you) needle: Knit Off, Purl On, and bottom (purl bumps facing you) needle: Purl off, Knit On.  Continue by going back to the top needle and Knit off, purl on, then to the back needle to purl off, knit on.  Continue until you have one stitch on each needle, then knit the top stitch and drop off the needle, purl the back stitch and let it drop off the needle.  Check over your stitches and snug up the yarn before continuing. Then poke the needle through the corner you just made to the inside of the soaper, where you can weave in the end invisibly.

Weave in the other end(s), and make a crochet chain or a small icord, 8 to 12 inches, to loop through the eyelets.  Place your favorite handmade soap inside, cinch the top and lather up!

You can find the soap deck/dish pictured on Etsy by crochetgal.  Good stuff.

Photography for this dummy

I took the liberty of making myself a little light box in which to snap some better photographs.  The tutorial is here.

Thank you Darren!

Because I’m a bit slow with scissors (well, a utility knife this go ’round), it took a couple of hours to make it.  I even ironed the fabric for the sides and top.  This is remarkable, since I have only ironed a couple of times in my life (that’s 4 decades now, thank you very much).  I failed to burn myself, which is a bonus.

Here are a few of my photos from the trial session.  I think I need to bump up the lighting.  I am very open to constructive criticism!

 

 

 

 

Those are a couple of hand dyed yarns (‘berries’ and ‘rainforest’ at top and bottom) with a some socks that I’m working on (another hand dye without a name).  The colors, they make me smile.

Wow.

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The new year seems to have sucked the life right on out of me.  I have no idea why.  Oh, wait.  Did I just turn 400 40?  Yeah.  That’ll do it.

Did you know that they have an eHow article on how to turn 40?  Seriously! I didn’t follow anyone’s advice on anything.  However, I did take a couple of days ‘to myself’, which is also known as good knitting time and maybe some reading and some video games.  What can I say? I live on the wild side.  I may have hung out with my cats and kids also.  Wooo!

For Valentine’s Day, it is pretty low key around these parts.  I made some Felted Clogs for my honey.  He seems very appreciative, and that makes me think he’s a wise man.   Photos forthcoming.  Right now they are still a bit damp and I am still too lazy.

Here’s a picture of  the throw (Hemlock Ring throw) that I finished.  I tried blocking some pointed edges.  I may have to rethink that.  This is the plain version.

This is the version with cats.

Return

We are back and in action around here.  School is in, and I love me the sound of a school bus in the morning!  We vacationed in the Rockies, visiting friends, playing in the snow, and skiing.  It was truly wonderful.  And it looked like this:

The knitting looked like this:

So, remember way back then?

I finished the autumn colorway socks for my daughter.

She has been the picture of patience.

I cast on for these in September.

I am ashamed.

I also took some crimson sock yarn with me to start a Multnomah.  It didn’t turn out well for me, so I frogged and started a Winter Flame.  It went wonky also, so I decided to let the yarn be something completely different.  It wanted to be a tiny sweater all along.  Who knew?

This pattern is Maile.  I still love both of the above mentioned patterns, and I will try them later with a different yarn.  This one? This yarn was stubborn, but it turned out pretty cute, so you can’t stay mad, right?  Still have to get the right buttons and sew those on, but I feel it’s not a bad sweater for the first try for a sweater.  I was expecting much, much worse.

Last thing.  I found my hands so cold indoors in Utah (-4 degrees F plus windchill outside, darn right it’s cold for this Georgia girl).  I bought some Berroco Vintage in a dusky lilac color and turned it into something for myself.