Category: purple socks

Finished my first pair of socks!

I’m so happy!! I finished my first pair of socks. What do you think? I lucked out and almost matched the stripes.

On to new projects… I started the 2-at-a-time socks on the plane, but the circular needles I have are too short for it to be convenient. I think I’m going to pull it out and and start over. So, I’m relegated to working on my scarf which seems much easier to work on now that I’ve finished with these socks.

I’m enjoying the rain and thunderstorms here in North Carolina with Katy. We had a whirlwind shopping and eating day, it was wonderful. I’m going to introduce her to the Flight of the Conchords tonight – YAY!

North Carolina here I come!

I fell short of my lofty goal to complete this entire sock by today. It’s ok though. I’m going to bring it on the plane as back up… I have a feeling they are not going to let me get on the plane with my metal circular needles anyway. I have to bring my self addressed envelope just in case!!!

The lego creation was by my son and my mom. He says it’s WallE 🙂 And behind that are some seedlings that we are growing for our garden this year. Hopefully I will have time to drop some off at Marisa‘s before my flight. We have a ton of pumpkins, cucumbers, green beans, egg plants, carrots, basil and peppers!

Gusset Done!

I’m not going to finish this sock by tuesday, but I made some really good progess. I’m now on the tedious part of knitting the knit stitch over and over again until I reach 7 inches. Hopefully I can avoid laddering this time.

I ran across this beautiful lace scarf that claims to be easy and made up of all of the same stitches that I’ve used in these purple striped socks so far. It’s called the Checkerboard Lace Scarf and is available at Purl Bee’s Blog. Perfect for my first attempt at lace. I’m adding it to the next-on-my-list of projects – after the toddler socks of course. Christopher, my darling son, has been wearing around my one purple striped sock and was very excited when I told him I was making him a pair of his very own socks next. I will miss him so much on my trip to NC!!

I just checked to see if I will be able to bring my circular knitting needles on the flight and it’s really going to be up to the security officer checking me in. The Transportation Security Administration recommends that circular needles be bamboo or plastic (not metal like mine) and no longer than 31″. I’ll have to bring a self addressed envelope just in case!!

Heel flap done and turned!! I’m a knitting machine!

That’s right folks, I knitted the heel flap and turned it in one night. I have no life. It was Friday night for goodness sake. Technically I watched Twilight at the same time, but watching a movie and knitting is more like listening to a movie and not watching it at all.
Anyhow, I am so proud of the heel colors lining up nearly perfect. That was a sheer (no pun intended) accident. I had fully intended to check the beginning yarn and start at as close to the color I started with on the first sock (that’s important if you are using striped thread and want to stripes to match the other sock) – but I completely forgot to do that. Luckily it turned out damn near close. I don’t think I could have planned that if I tried. I’ll have to call these my lucky purple striped socks from now on. All those mistakes in the first one really did pay off!!
Maybe I’ll get a chance to start the gusset while my 2yr old is sleeping. I am really trying to finish this by Tuesday, and if I do, I will be seriously amazed with myself.
Fun Fact #3: Wool fibers have scales on the outside called serrations, they may overlap at the edges or entirely encircle the fiber. They cause the felting quality in wool which doesn’t exist in any other fabric.

Purple Stripe Tube #2 Done

Wow, the curse really has been lifted. I worked on the tube of this sock during lunch yesterday and at night, and again during lunch today and a maybe an hour after work today and I’m all ready to start the heel flap tonight… I haven’t had to pull any rows out yet! (knocking on wood right now). I really want to finish this by tuesday so that I can focus on my toddler socks during my trip to NC. Fun fun!

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.

Heel is turned & Gusset is taking shape

purple socks 012
Originally uploaded by SharonTroia

I am thoroughly entertained with this yarn. The stripes are very fun to work with and change their thickness with each different knit pattern. I’ve successfully turned the heel and began working on the gusset.

Since my last post, I discovered that I have been doing the knit stitch the wrong way this entire time. I know, it’s completely nuts! I wasn’t doing it wrong enough to tell the difference, but basically I was inserting my needle in the back instead of in the front… so that’s why it didn’t matter which way I slipped my stitch. You can kind of tell if you look closely at the first couple of rows on the gusset part of the sock. The v’s are slightly twisted. I learned the right way to do it a few rows in and you can see that the the v’s are nice and flat. And it turns out that knitting the right way is a lot easier and faster 😛

The destiny of these socks has been fulfilled… I now know the proper way to knit a stitch. The curse has been lifted! (at least that’s what I’m telling myslef – we shall see!)

Heel Flap…. Check

Ok, I completed the heel flap last night… phew! Slip 1, Knit 1, repeat (right side) and Slip 1, purl the rest (wrong side). It looks really cool. I actually like the way this turned out better than the striped ribbing on the tube. By the way, the curse of the purple socks reared its ugly head for his portion of the project… I dropped a stitch and made several other mistakes along the way, but every mistake is a learning opportunity right? I’m finding comfort in one of the posts on ravelry about mistakes being good luck… and if there were no mistakes it would look machine made. Trust me, this sock DEFINITELY looks home made and is probably increadibly lucky by now 😉
Here’s a question that maybe Quilt Otaku or some of her knitting buddies can help me figure out… why is it so important to which way you slip a stitch? I’m following Silver’s Sock Class and she spells it out in capitol letters to slip AS IF TO PURL. Why does it matter? Doesn’t it slip the same either way you do it? I find it easier to slip as if to purl, but does it really make a difference on the stitch? I don’t see that it does, which leads me to wonder if I’m doing it wrong.