Favorite Thing Friday: Seascape Melody Socks

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After the challenge of knitting lace socks, I decided to go the simple route for my next project. I pulled out my trusty KB sock loom and got to work on Seascape Melody Socks (via Loom Knitting Socks by Isela Phelps).

Hiding in my yarn stash was a gorgeous skein of ONline Supersocke in Ocean Color, Colorway 1577. How perfect given the name of the sock pattern! I got this yarn while on vacation a couple of years ago and I was so excited to finally find the right pattern for it. Sadly, however, I think this yarn is discontinued.

The yarn is self-striping and mixes solids with heather effects. Beautiful shades of pink, blue, brown, cream, and green pull together to make a simple alternating ribbed pattern something really special.

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Seascape Melody Socks

Seascape Melody uses only knit and purl stitches. It’s basically an interrupted ribbed pattern. As usual, the heel and toe are worked using the short row method with a series of wrapped stitches.

I worked this sock over 56 pegs on the original fine gauge KB sock loom. I arrived at this peg count because the yarn I used had the same gauge (28 sts = 4″) as my favorite sock yarn, Paton’s Kroy. Experience has taught me 56 pegs with a 28 st gauge makes a perfectly fitting sock for my 8″ diameter foot.

My goal this summer is to clear out my sock yarn stash, so more sock posts are on the horizon!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Veil of Rosebuds Socks

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Sometimes I’m looking for a challenge when I pick up my knitting needles. After knitting some relatively simple ribbed socks, I decided to try a lace sock pattern called Veil of Rosebuds, (via The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Anne Hanson). I’d been drooling over this pattern ever since I got the book last year.

A fancy pattern deserves fancy yarn, so I dug through my stash and found a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Arco Iris. This fabulous merino wool is soft, sturdy, and a joy to knit. The best part, however, is the color scheme – gorgeous shades of green, brown, dusty pink, and golden yellow.

A great pattern + beautiful yarn = awesome socks!

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Veil of Rosebuds Socks in Malabrigo yarn (Arco Iris)

The pattern is extremely well written, which I’ve come to expect from The Knitter’s Book of Socks. The pattern stitch is written out both in list form and as a chart, (it’s nice to have a choice!). In addition, detailed instructions on stitch counts for each needle made it so easy to follow each phase of the sock (i.e. leg, heel, toe).

It’s tricky to keep track of lace stitches on the needles because of constant stitch increases and decreases. One missed yarn over can screw up the entire row!  To keep better track of stitch count, I placed markers at the end of each 14 stitch pattern repeat. After each 14 stitch repetition, I counted stitches to make sure I had the required 14 stitches for each section between the markers. If I don’t get the right number, I know I missed something and I don’t have to unknit an entire row to find it.

This sock marks the first time I’ve knit a short row heel on needles. I’ve done countless short row heels (and toes) on a sock loom, but never on needles! It’s quite a different experience. It’s a lot harder to spot wrapped stitches. Again, I used markers in front of the last wrapped stitch so I didn’t get lost. Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out and loved the absence of a gusset (picking up stitches is a pain!).

The last fun part of these socks was the arrival of my new sock blockers. These plastic forms allow me shape socks for photographs and maintain the shape of socks that try to shrink during washing (I’ve got a pair that partially felted and this should fix those right up size wise!). I love them!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Letting Stuff Go

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We all have that one closet. You know, the one that hasn’t been opened in months for fear of an avalanche. Such a closet lurks within the clean exterior of my guest bedroom. For years, I’ve been slowly filling it with scrapbooking supplies, beads, buttons, ribbon, fabric, tools, glue, paint, and about a million other things.  Yup, my avalanche closet is the craft closet. Every time I open the door, I wonder if I should have worn a helmut. How scary is that??

Every crafter has the same problem. Where do you put all the little odds and ends left over from a project? Or the supplies you bought for a project you’ll make in the future? What about the half finished projects you’ll get around to finishing later? Before you know it, an entire closet is filled from floor to ceiling.

My craft closet may classify me as a pre-hoarder. For the last 15 years, I’ve saved everything craft related because I kept thinking there would be a project down the line where a thingamabob would be useful. On top of that, I inherited a bunch of stuff from my grandma’s craft closet. Saving her craft items went beyond possible future use. In many ways, holding onto her things helped me hold onto her.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that saving a mountain of objects to preserve an emotional attachment to a loved one is not healthy. Nor is it a good idea to hold onto five different colors of unused raffia for ten years. There comes a point where it’s time to clear things out and let them go.

This week, I started the grueling process of pulling out boxes, sorting items, and organizing. Despite my practical attachment to useful items, I’m finding it surprisingly easy to discard items I no longer need, (no matter how good it is). Some things end up in the trash, while others go in a donation box. I found a great little thrift store that accepts gently used craft items. Boy, are they in for a windfall donation when I get done with this closet!

While the clearing out process has been invigorating, there are moments of struggle. Yesterday, I went through all of my paper crafting  supplies and rubber stamps. Making cards and scrapbook journals were projects I did with my Grandma and many of the items I have belonged to her.

As I sat with two giant boxes of stamps and stacks of decorative card stock, I thought about a conversation I had with my mother. She reminded me that I don’t have to hold onto every little thing my Grandma owned in order to remember her. The memories are always going to be there, even without the stuff. And you know what? My mother is 100% right.

I kept a few things I know I’ll use, but I got rid of the rest. Another donation box is full and I have a feeling my Grandma would approve. As more things leave my closet, so does the weight of keeping all of that stuff. What a nice feeling it is to be so light.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Simple Skyp Socks

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Leave it to me to knit wool socks in the summer! For this project, I decided I wanted a pair of neutral colored socks that can be worn with anything. Most of my socks are very colorful and that can sometimes make it tricky to find a pair that matches what I’m wearing.

Paton’s Kroy Socks yarn in Grey Marl is a perfect neutral. Instead of just a flat gray, it’s slightly variegated to make it a bit more interesting. I paired it with a great little (free!) pattern that adds some great texture – Simple Skyp Socks – to make what would otherwise be some very boring socks into super awesome socks.

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Simple Skyp Socks in Paton’s Kroy Grey Marl

These socks were great fun to knit, but I would recommend them for knitters who have some experience. The Skyp stitch involves passing a slipped stitch over both a knit stitch and a yarn over. While a relatively simple maneuver, new knitters might find it a little daunting to work with a yarn over within a three stitch sequence.

The combination of the Skyp stitch with a ribbed pattern creates a beautifully textured sock. There is nothing boring about alternating ridges of knits, purls, and the Skyp stitch! (Okay, maybe it is for people who are not obsessed with knitting socks.)

My next sock project is a little more complicated. Instead of the usual ribbed pattern, I’m going with a lace pattern, Veil of Rosebuds. To make them extra special, I’m using a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo merino wool. This is fancy yarn, so it deserves a fancy pattern!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Lace and Rib Socks

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When I bought a skein of Noro sock yarn, my mission was all about finding the perfect pattern to make a special pair of socks. Noro is special yarn, so it deserves the right pattern to showcase it’s color and texture.

While paging through a Noro knitting magazine I spotted Lace and Rib Socks. These socks have a beautiful lace pattern on the leg and a simple rib pattern on the foot – the perfect combination of complexity and simplicity!

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Lace and Rib Socks, Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn

The lace pattern looks complicated but it only requires a couple of stitches beyond the basics. If you know how to knit 2 together and a yarn over, you can make these socks!

Overall, the pattern is written extremely well. Reading the chart, however, can be tricky for beginners. The concept of a “no stitch” box can be confusing at first, so it might be a good idea to read up on the subject before casting on, (check out this link for a great tutorial).

The contrasting textures really help to accentuate the color palette of my skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock (Colorway S268). I bought this skein because I loved the neutral colors, as well as that bright pop of blue. One of my favorite things about these socks is how each sock has one bright stripe of blue – it keeps things interesting!

I seem to be on a sock streak because almost immediately after finishing these socks, I picked out some new yarn and starting knitting yet another pair of socks!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015