Friday, 10 January 2014

Pair 27 - Lateral

This pair was made for my running buddy Charlene from Bushfield Joggers.
She  is a fab person who has been helping me at Parkrun overcome my fear of dogs and we have a great time running round together, putting the world to rights.

I thought she was worthy of a pair of my socks, so asked her to choose a yarn as I had this pattern in mind.

She chose a Flamboyance one- Box of Crayons which had been in my stash for ages.

The pattern is a Cookie A one, so I loved it anyway.

It was a really easy pattern to set and follow, although it did come out a bit baggy even on a 2.75mm needle.  I also used the magic loop technique on this pair which I am now converted to.

If I knit these again I will use a 2.5mm needle or even go down to a 2.25mm.

The colours are so vibrant and fun and pooled and spiralled in a pleasing fashion.

These were done after the Christmas distractions, so I could be back to some prolific sock knitting again.

Started 21 December 2013
Finished 10 January 2014

Pair 26 - Aquaphobia

This pair was a travelling pair and also a simpler alternative to other projects. 
They kept getting put on the back burner so took a while to complete.

The yarn was a fabulous Flamboyance one called Northern Lights which had been a sock club mystery yarn so I decided to use it for this pair for myself.

The pattern was a slip stitch one which created a very thick and cosy fabric.  The pattern was supposed to stop highly variegated yarns from pooling which it didn't achieve as the photograph proves.

The pattern was relatively easy to follow, but did need the odd tweak on the heel turn.

It isn't one of my favourite patterns for this reason.

Started 17 July 2013
Finished 4 December 2013

Pair 25 - Embers

This pair was knitted as part of the Knitting Army project organed by Easy kints- Jon Dunn-Balham.
The yarn and pattern was provided by Easyknits and I was also able to select an extra skein for my help:-) The finished socks and shawls knitted by volunteers will be photographed for a book he is publishing in 2014.

I chose a Lemon coloured one in the Twinkle range.

The yarn used was one of the Deeply Wicked range and was a pumpkin/orange colour which was a lovely vibrant shade.

The yarn wasn't so much of a pleasure to knit with. It kept splitting and untwisting which made knitting the socks less fun than other pairs.  I can only presume I had a rogue skein as I've had other yarns from this supplier and they have been lovely to knit with.

The pattern was relatively easy and straightforward to follow, consisting of 2 charts to follow simultaneously, but they had a shared number of rounds.

I was nervous knitting these and the socks were frogged several times in places if I felt they looked less than perfect.

They did use a lot of yarn and I was left with less than 2 metres at the end.

That said they did look fabulous at the end and I can't wait to see them in print:-)

Started 31 July 2013
Finished September 14 2013

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sock Innovations Project

In May 2011 my friend Shirley gave me the Cookie A book - Sock Innovation as a birthday present.  After perusing the designs I decided I would like to knit the entire book, so set out on an odessy to do just that.
Just over 2 years, 15 skeins and many hexipuffs later I finished the final pair in the book - Villai.
This pair was knitted for Shirley as I promised her the last pair in the book, she chose a yarn, but didn't know the pattern she was going to get.  I had decided on Vilai at about Pair 5-6 as I knew it would be a design she would appreciate.

The patterns were knitted in a random order to keep things interesting and because there were some I wanted to knit before others.

I found the book had a good mix of cables, lace and knit/purl patterns.
I particularly enjoyed knitting Angee as it was straightforward and easy to get set, Eunice mainly for the lovely yarn I used, but the cables worked so well on this pair. Kai Mei were interesting as a post op project as the cuff element was a straight rib, so low concentration needed and the sweeping foot pattern was straight forward and easy to follow as a pattern and you could see it moving across the socks.
My least favourite patterns were Devon and Rick, mainly because they involved a lot of open lace work and I felt my socks looked scruffy, some of this was due to needle size and at some point I would like to have another go at them on a smaller needle.  The heavy cable designs of Kristi and Bex were challenging but once I got used them the socks grew quickly.  Milo involved a lot of construction work and having to follow 3 charts in a special order, but the finished effect was stunning, especially the OXO design down the back of the cuff/leg.

More by accident than design I seemed to have knitted most of the designs in Laughing Yaffle Yarn, probably because I have so much in my stash as it is my favoured brand of hand dyed sock yarn.  Sunshine were knitted for my mother in some yarn I had dyed myself and Wanida and Cauchy were knitted in commercially available sock yarn like Regia/Opal.  Finally Bex were knitted in Wollmeise that I had purchased from a fellow online knitter.  This was a semi solid yarn which is what the very dense cable pattern required.

This project grew in April 2012 to the concept of 100 pairs of socks which is why I'm writing this blog!

The initial Sock Innovation project took a while, what with deviations for Christmas Presents, scarves and other minor distractions along the way.

It is the first time I ever felt inspired to knit an entire book and have enjoyed knitting every pair- some more than others! It has also got me hooked on Cookie A's patterns and I have been collecting them on Ravelry and they form a major part of my queue:-) I have sent a copy of the photo to her as I'm not sure how many people have done the entire book.

The next mini project, after some random pairs because I like the patterns will be the Cookie A Jazz Collection. 

It would be so cool to collect every pattern she has designed and knit them, but some are unavailable now so that may not be possible, but I will do what I can!

Pair 24 - Vilai

Here is the final pair of the Sock Innovations project - Vilai.
They required slightly more attention than first anticipated, but once the pattern was set was relatively straightforward to knit.
The pattern did involve the occasional use of 2 cable needles and an intricate lacy pattern for the sides of the socks.
This pair were knitted for my friend Shirley who bought me the book as a birthday present in 2011,
The yarn used was a Laughing Yaffle one - Wallflower which Shirley had picked out of my stash for the final pair in the book.
Started 22 June 2013
Finished 13 August 2013.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Pair 23 - Bex

This is pair 14/15 of the Sock Innovations sub-project.

It was a challenging pair to knit as it was another heavily cabled pattern a bit like Kristi ( Pair 19) Once I got going and finally memorised the various different cables going in all directions they grew quite quickly.
They were fun to knit, although seemed to take an age to start progressing.
The yarn I purchased from another knitting Fetch user - Velociraptor who was destashing. The yarn is a colourway called Palomino and by Wollmeise.
the yarn had a high twist and kept re-twisting and tangling slightly.

The socks had originally been started in O Tannebaum but the yarn was too busy for the pattern and ended up as Pair 20- Vanilla instead.

I only have one more pair to knit to complete Sock Innovations.

Started 19 April 2013
Finished 20 June 2013

Yarn used Wollmeise - Palomino

Monday, 3 June 2013

Pair 22 Dragonfly

This pair is one of my favourites.
The pattern can be found here
I started this pair as another alternative to the complex Bex ones which are still in progress at the time of writing this entry.

I also arranged to do them as a mini KAL with a Ravelry/Knitting Friend Leesa.

I was drawn to the pattern because of the name and the design.  When my son, Stirling passed away in 2005 we had the story of the Waterbugs and Dragonflies at his funeral and afterwards several friends kept spotting dragonflies in unusual places.  As a result the dragonfly became a sort of symbol for Stirling, so it would have been rude not to knit this pair of socks, especially as we approach his anniversary this week (6 June)

I set a target of that date to complete them and managed it with a week to spare.

The yarn is Flamboyance Pharos in the Circus Circus colourway, I don't often buy pastels, but thought it looked pretty and the pattern and yarn were a perfect match.

The pattern was pretty straightforward.  There is a discrepancy with the heel turn figures, I ended up with 18 sts after working all sts in the heel turn.

I particularly like how the yarn pooled to create 2 completely different socks and would definitely knit is pattern again.

Started 1 May 2013
Finished 29 May 2013