Category: fun fact

Ruffle is done – ready to decrease

This newborn baby girl ruffle hat is coming along nicely. The ruffle is finished and I’ve sockitnette stitched about 3.5″. I’m ready to begin decreasing. The ruffle wasn’t nearly as complicated as I thought it would be. It’s just two rounds of knit two together (k2tog). Knitwtich has a very clear video demonstrating k2tog in addition to just about any stitch you would want to learn.

When casting this on, I thought I had miscalculated for sure. I used 288 stitches! But, after the first row of k2tog the number of stitches was halved and then halved again on the second row to a much more manageable 72 stitches. Good thing I powered through it even though I had my doubts and recalculated the number at least 3 times, just to make sure.

My current dilemma is what yarn and color to use for the crochet flower. Right now I am going back and forth between a neutral medium brown, or a creamy soft white ivory. There is a subtle variation in the pink color where it fades to very pale pink, it almost turns ivory, which is why I’m drawn to that. But, I also think it would be very sophisticated for little one to have the chic brown and pink color palette. Some times I also think a little pop of green would look nice too. I don’t have any cashmere yarn left either (boo hoo), so I’ll have to make due with what I have. I’m sure I’ll be making several flowers to test them out… maybe that can be a feature… pin on your own bow 😉

Oh decisions, decisions… what color for the flower detail? Brown, Ivory, Green, Black – help!

Fun Fact #3: The average sheep yields its entire coat in one piece with very little protest. And there are about 8 to 10 lbs of wool that comes off each sheep. A good shearer can shear from 175 yo 200 sheep in one day and the method has not advanced with technology. That’s nearly 1 ton on average!

Finished my first sock!

I’m doing the happy dance right now in my first ever knitted sock. There’s only one problem, my other foot is very cold and jealous. Oh it is bittersweet to be “finished” but really only be 50% done with a pair of socks. I’m incredibly temped to jump to my toddler sock project… but I haven’t done it yet. I found some nice yarn at Beverly’s and at 30% off which is perfect for first-time projects. I’m on yarn buying lock down until I use all the Beverly’s yarn up. Then I can go nuts at Purlsoho on more expensive, but immensely beautiful yarn.

I’ve learned a great deal doing this sock that I will take with me on the, bound-to-be superior, companion purple striped sock. Here are some of the things I learned:
  1. Knit slip vs Purl slip and why it matters. See comments in my “Heel Flap…. Check” blog post. Thanks again Paula and Marisa for helping me solve that little mystery… which leads me to #2.
  2. How to do a correct knit stitch 🙂 My V’s were upside down prior to this unbeknownst to me and my previous projects.
  3. I have to make a conscious effort to pull tighter between the needles to avoid laddering. This sock has a long ladder in the sole. Theresa from Knitty gives some great tips on how to avoid the dreaded ladder that I’ll be using on my future DP work.
  4. Count early and often! I didn’t realize I was two stitches shy on my tube until I was down to the bottom… the two stitches would have made the tube just right, it’s a little stretched as it is (I did not pull it out and restart).
  5. Knitting anywhere and everywhere (including during the stoplights in my car – I swear I put the needles down when the car is moving!) makes progress quick which is great for a busy mom, as long as you can live with a few mistakes.
  6. Sewing the toe is difficult. I got the hang of it after I botched the first half of the toe, but I’ll remind myself next time with this… Front: knit, slip then purl & pull… Back: purl slip, then knit & pull.
  7. This was the first time I did an SSK (slip, slip, knit) stitch. I was wondering what the difference was and found this great explanation with pictures and videos of decreases and how they are different from each other… she also shows an “improved” SSK that lays flatter!

I’m going farther into the knitting rabbit hole with every project and it has been very delightful so far. I look forward to stoplights and waiting in line now. I am looking forward to sitting on a plane for hours – I might just be able to complete a pair of toddler socks in that time… assuming they let me on the plane with two pointy metal sticks connected by a wire, great for stabbing and strangling. Hmmm… I better check American Airlines website before I pack my carry on bag. We’ll see how far this rabbit hole goes. There is some beautiful $50 a skein cashmere yarn that I can’t afford, but if I buy a goat and make my ownok ok, I’m not going that far… yet. 😉

Fun Fact #2: The first sheep arrived in this country were brought to Jamestown in 1609. George Washington imported the best grade of sheep and experienced spinners and weavers in 1776 in order to encourage the woolen industry and in 1800 the first Merino sheep were smuggled in from Spain! (and 209 years later, here I am using beautifully died Merino yarn for my chevron scarf!)

side note – Yes, I did paint my toenails a coordinating color specifically for this photo.

Getting Closer!

The sole and instep are coming along nicely. Only about an inch to go before I start working on the toe – Yay! This part is getting a little tedious because it’s just knit, knit, knit, knit… Then I will have to start all over again to match the pair. On the next one I may make the ribbing a little bigger in the tube… we’ll see how this one comes out.

My dear friend Marisa over at Quilt Okatu gave me an awesome book for my birthday called 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. I’m so excited to learn to do 2 socks at once on circular needles!! They have some really cute patterns in there as well. The first example is a pair of toddler socks, perfect for my little 2 year old! I am resisting jumping to that project rather than finishing out the pair of purple socks. My sister-in-law and I are going over to Beverly’s today to shop their 30% off all yarn sale… hopefully I don’t find anything too great because I don’t know if I can resist jumping projects 🙂

I have this old book called The Complete Book of Progressive Knitting by Ida Riley Duncan, copyright, 1940. My mom got it for me from a yard sale a long time ago… well, it turns out that it’s a collectible! I looked it up on amazon and it’s selling for $30-$40. I’m sure she paid about 25 cents or so. Not a bad investment. It’s a pretty cool book with lots of illustrations and basics of garment construction and measurements as well as a history of yarn and knitting. I’ll sprinkle in some fun knitting facts from her book.

Fun Fact #1: There is NO country in the world that does not have knitting as part of their textural work! The earlest knitting example she sites is a Peruvian band of humming birds belonging to the Prato-Nasca Culture dating before 200 A.D.