Friday, June 29, 2012

"Toe-Up Socks"

My first pair of toe-up socks! 

I have avoided trying to knit a pair of toe up socks until now.  I could not possibly figure out why this would be a better way to knit a pair of socks versus the top down technique.  After all, I've been knitting socks for years and I know EXACTLY how much yarn I need to get them finished so this reasoning that you don't have to run out of yarn seemed a little suspect.  But since I love to always be learning new things I figured what the heck.....let's try this. 

  Well, so far the jury is still out because even though I finished the first sock using the Turkish cast on at the toe, after-thought heel and used a variety of increases going up the calf (which I did not like the looks of any of them) and a longer ribbing I'm just not sold on this technique just yet!  I did learn a new cast off at the ribbing top that was neat using a yarn-over after every knit, then lifting the first knit and the yarn-over over the 2nd knit stitch (then repeat the process) and will probably use that again if and when I'm faced with needing a stretching cast off.  I now want to learn the Judy's toe-up cast on and will work a different heel on the next sock too.  They might not wind up looking the same but hey, who cares, since I'm the only one who will be wearing or seeing them in fur lined boots this winter! 

The heel looks a little "pointy" but actually it fits just fine as does the whole sock but I felt the techniques to be "fiddley and fussy" since you still have to do the Kitchner stitch on the after thought heel - I know, learn a different method, which I plan to do next for two good reasons - 1st you can't try the sock on (not that I really needed to but then other knitters might like to have that option) and 2nd you still have to do the Kitchner stitch (which doesn't bother me) to finish off the heel so that doesn't eliminate that step.  A small annoyance is the fact that you have to take into consideration that your rows start at a side seam rather than the back so you have to plan your designs carefully!   I'll hold my criticism about this method of knitting socks until I work through a couple more and then I'll let you know what I think about toe-up socks and whether I think they are any better to knit this way versus the top-down method.  

After-thought heel.

Turkish cast on with increases every other round.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Diamonds & Swirls" painted rug

"Diamonds and Swirls" 

To all of you who have seen this posting already - Err.....what was I thinking when I posted the title as "Triangles and.....?"  I must have been on automatic pilot because I certainly know the difference between these two shapes......put it up to old age!  Anyhoo, correction made and just another painted rug!   Sorry for the glare on the rug but totally impossible to get a shot w/o this in the photo because of the lighting in the room.  

This  rug is painted on vinyl rather than canvas.  I had a piece of vinyl available left over from painting a table cover so I figured why not give it a try for the floor.  I used latex paint as the base coat on the backside (smooth surface) but found that latex paint NOT to be as user friendly versus using gesso.  Pencil marks smudged, did not erase well and showed through first layers of paint.  To solve the covering problem I resorted to stenciling the paint into all areas.  Actually, the stenciling created a nice cover and gave an interesting texture which I actually liked better than the brushed on paint look.  This rug is located in my Powder Bath and I'm really pleased as to how it came out - nice look with the wallpaper and flooring.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"Raindrops" Socks


Second pair of socks from the yarns dyed on "Yarn Dye Day."  

When I knit socks I like to take the opportunity frequently to explore some technique or pattern I've not tried before.  In this particular pair of socks I tried the pattern you see above but I did not feel it was really showing up all that well so I switched gears after I had knitted one repeat.  

I have never knit bobbles so I was on to that next.  These were kind of fun so I played around trying a few different methods.  I counted rows and just knit them in where they worked out to be staggered with each other.  My husband thought they looked painful to have on a pair of socks even after I told him the knobs were  not on the inside.  He wasn't convinced and he also kept referring to the bobbles as "warts."  Funny, ha!  Anyway, you can see that I've started the 2nd sock so it should go even faster than the first.  The border at the top will just be a little added bonus out of sight unless one pulls their pant leg up.  These socks were also knit on 32" circulars #5's - my favorite combination. 

By the way, I also figured out, maybe others have too, how to eliminate the hole where the bobble is positioned.  Curious?  Then just ask and I'll post a description along with photos.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Bubblegum" Socks


I could not come up with any other name for these socks since every time I looked at them as they grew, I thought - bubblegum!  First of my knee hi's that I've knit from Knit Picks hand dyed "Bare" yarn (photos below).  Interesting color variations in these socks since both skeins were dyed in the same pot at the same time.  Simple plain pattern knit on a 32" circular #5 needle.  I did reduce the 64 stitches that were cast on down to 60 stitches during the first row of stockinet stitch and then knit approx.  4" to where I started the calf shaping.  I reduced one stitch every 4th row on the next to last stitch at the back until I reduced down to 50 stitches.  Knit until the correct length.