FO: Second Socks for Izzy

Let the kiddo pick out her own sock yarn at Michaels — the right price-point for a growing teen with a tendency to be extra tough on her clothes. I’ll give it to her: Izzy located a skein with cashmere in it.

Pattern: Yarn Harlot’s Sock Recipe
Yarn: Loops & Threads Luxury Sock (Ocean)

These socks also mark a first: major surgery. When both pairs were done, Izzy tried them on…only to discover that I’d made the foot too short. So I snipped apart the toes, ripped back to the start of the toe decreases, added a good 1/2″, and then finished them up again. Can’t tell you how clever it made me feel.

FO Parade: Blue Iris Rivercats

So that sock pattern that wasn’t quite right for the If a Tree Falls colorway I got at Yarnover? It was perfect for this OOAK lovely from Tanis Fiber Arts.

riverbed 2
Pattern: Rivercat Sock by Brenda Patipa
Yarn: TFA Blue Label (Blue Iris)

So success on that front, but I should have gone down a needle size. They’re a bit big inside shoes, but they will keep my feet toasty at home. Or be great layered over another pair for January outings. As you can see, they’re too pretty not to wear.

And this brings our FO Parade to a close. Hoping to keep up better in October.

FO Parade: If a Nutkin Falls…

Nothing like washing away the taste of an FO Fail with a great pairing of yarn and pattern, is there?

I got this lovely skein at Yarnover last April. My first choice didn’t work so well, but I knew to cut my losses early and frog before the heel flap. Love, love, LOVE how these turned out. The pattern is that perfect combination of interesting knitting but easy to memorize. Also, they’re clearly too big for Izzy, who’s modeling in the photos. Phew, that should keep them safe from sticky fingers.

Pattern: Nutkin by Beth LaPensee
Yarn: Vice Paradigm (If a Tree Falls)
nutkin 2

My current favorite socks. Sure another pair of these is in my future…

FO: Katniss Socks

I wanted to try socks with cables and this seemed the perfect gateway pattern — two simple braids running down the front and back centers. Just the toe of the second sock was left to knit when I packed them for the cabin. I finished them up that first night then blocked them the next day in the sun.

katniss socks 5
Pattern: Katniss Socks by Rose Hiver
Yarn: TFA Blue Label (Spice)

katniss socks1

Izzy (who’s a big Hunger Games fan) came up with the firepit backdrop, which I like even better than the kicked back lake shot we started with.

These were a really fun knit and I’m sure I’ll revisit the pattern sometime soon. Who’d have ever thought at the beginning of 2013 that I’d have four finished sock pairs done by mid-summer?

FO: Socks, Fully Groked

I went several decades without ever attempting a sock. In fact, in that time I don’t think I even considered knitting socks for a combined five minutes. Beyond that irrational fear of turning a heel, I had one other reason: I’m very particular about how my socks fit.

Yes, re-read that last line as I smack my palm on my forehead. It was only after I’d finished two pairs and taken that Yarnover Grok the Sock class that the full stupidity of that statement sunk in. Well Golll-ly, you can customize them to fit your feet exactly.


Pattern: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s recipe fully customized
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball (Arroyo)


These are pretty spot-on (despite the twisted toe that came while trying to photograph my own feet).

What surprise insights has knitting brought your way?

An FO and a YO

I got a bit more adventurous with my second pair of socks, but not so adventurous that I couldn’t get through them pretty fast. See, I had a goal with a nice, crunchy carrot dangling in front of me.

Pattern:Simple Skyp Socksby Adrienne Ku
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (Blue Violet)

Turned out it was a perfectly timed carrot, as well: My first pair of socks was too small (and went to Izzy) and this second pair was too big (but not so big, thankfully, that they don’t make good bed socks). In the quest for a “just right” pair, what better help could there be than the Yarn Harlot, herself?

Yesterday, I attended my first Yarnover, kicking off the morning with a Grok the Sock class taught by Ms. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It’s why I wanted at least two pairs of socks under my belt… Nothing motivates like potential humiliation.

My self-imposed deadlines and stress were definitely worth it. What a great class, and what a great teacher! Here’s my in-progress baby sock in the foreground, with classmates’ photo opp. in the background.


And here’s the finished baby sock, which I Kitchenered last night. And what’s that in the picture? Yep, it’s the start of pair #3, fully informed and on its way to that “just right” fit.


I had more time than planned over lunch since my friend Susan got a nasty bug and couldn’t attend at the last minute (no swapping of notes).  So for better or worse, I then took full advantage of the market. (A thank-you shoutout to my sister and brother-in-law for the birthday bucks that bought both sets of fabulous vintage buttons.)


I finished up the day with a Celtic Cables class by Melissa Leapman, where I managed to execute the following two swatches to my disbelief and pure joy. As you might guess from the book, I’m jazzed to bring on the cables in another project or two.



Except for the missing Susan part, a fantastic day. Already planning for next year.

FO: Fiddlehead Mittens

The good news? I can check off Fair Isle and mittens from my 2013 Knitting goals. (And when you add in those first socks, I’ve hit everything on my list by early April.)


Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Tupa (Tiger’s Eye) and Plymouth Yarn Kudo (49: Green, Teal, Brown), lined with After the Sheep Panda (Butterscotch)

fiddleheads2The bad news: They’re too small — I clearly overcompensated when I frogged the too-big third of the first mitt. So guess who got lucky?


Yes, Izzy really was that excited to claim them as her own. There’s that. And there’s the fact that they coordinate with the too-small hat she also claimed.

So after a brief mourning period, I did what any good knitter would do: I ordered more yarn. And since I enjoyed this further foray into colorwork, I’m excited to cast on another pair.

FO: First Socks

After the knitting-tweaking-reknitting cycle that was the first (keeper) sock, the second one seemed to fly off my needles. Throughout all that knitting, though, I was skeptical about the yarn. It had a slightly twine-like roughness, but thankfully became all fuzzy soft after a good soak.


Yarn: Opal Regenwald / Rainforest (Buffalo Bill)


I’ve been admiring the pair on the sock blockers for at least a week now — a bit scared to actually step on all that hard work. Maybe another week and I’ll give them a test run. Ever had a knit that you were afraid to wear? I’d love to hear about it!

"S" Is for…Sock!

As you’ll see, I was so happy to have this finished that I stuffed it onto the sock blocker before properly dealing with all the goo from the peeled off price label.


“S” Is Also for Sisyphus

What you don’t see is that this is the hundredth go at knitting my first sock. (OK, it’s actually the ninth. Just felt like the hundredth.) I scrapped the first try about half way down the cuff — couldn’t bear the ladders I was seeing. It was also a little tight. I cast on again with my trusty DPNs… And then ripped back.

I started reading anything and everything I could about how to avoid those tell-tale culprits. Yet, no matter how many times I went back to the ribbing and restarted, I couldn’t get it right. In fact, it got more wrong. Minor ladders became swinging bridges. I feared monkeys on the lookout for jungle vines were soon to be headed my way.

Knitting this sock became personal. In the worst sort of way.

Enter the sanity-saving 9″ HiyaHiya circulars. My fingers were cramped but those ladders were gone. Make that banished! Funny thing is, when I got to the instep shaping I used my DPNs and all was just fine. I couldn’t begin to explain why. Nor did I tempt fate with the foot, returning to the circulars.

With my first sock finished, I slipped it on my foot only to discover a flopping, too-long toe. Sigh. (OK, actually it was much cursing.) So I started and finished the second sock with the correct modification (shown above) and it fits. I feel like Cinderella!

Is “S” for Irony, Too?

The too-big first sock has been frogged and the yarn is now on its way to becoming my second sock. As I was working on it last night, a thought occurred to me:  “S” is also for slipper.

My tenacious Grandma would be so proud. (And this time, yes, I will make the pair.)