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: Simple Socks

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Sometimes a simple pair of socks is all I really need! While my knitting pattern library is stocked with beautiful socks, I’ll often gravitate towards a plain sock that uses no more than two stitch types. This is especially true after a long writing session or a tough day at work.

After finishing my Retro Rib socks, I put away my needles and pulled out my KB sock loom. I wanted to make something easy, familiar, and fool-proof. My sock loom and some Paton’s Kroy Sock yarn fit those requirements perfectly!

I set the sock loom to 52 pegs, which always seems to make a snug, yet comfortable sock, (approx 7.5″ foot circumference).  The pattern is a simple K3,P1 rib that I adapted from a needle pattern (Ann’s Go-To Socks).

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Ann’s Go-To Socks, Paton’s Kroy Sock Yarn in Blue Stripped Ragg

Adapting basic needle patterns to a sock loom is actually very easy. As long as the peg count matches up with the repeated pattern stitch count, the pattern easily transfers from needle to peg. The toe and heel are turned with the usual loom short row method.

As for gauge, it’s just a question of matching the stitch count as close as possible to your preferred peg count. The only tricky part is choosing a yarn that gets close to gauge. Ann’s Go-To Socks called for a 52 stitch cast on, so that matched up perfectly to my preferred 52 peg count with Paton’s Kroy yarn, (in addition Paton’s Kroy Sock had a gauge very close to the pattern gauge).

When in doubt, choose a yarn with a gauge that is close to the pattern gauge or use a yarn you’ve used before so you know how to plan your peg count. At the same time, remember that there’s a lot to be said for experimenting. Sometimes you’ve just got to try a few yarn/peg combinations until you get the fit you want.

I love how my simple ribbed socks turned out! They are so comfortable and match my Spider-man t-shirt perfectly.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Retro Rib Socks

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I’ve been bit by the sock knitting bug, again! This time I pulled out my trusty needles and made some simple, yet really fun to knit socks. The inspiration for “simple” came from realizing my sock drawer is full of brightly colored socks and very few neutral colors. I needed some socks that go with anything and everything without being boring.

I found the perfect pattern in one of my favorite knitting books, Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs From Interweave. The Retro Rib Sock is just a simple rib pattern, but it mixes stitches up enough to give the rib a little kick.

Considering I choose a very plain yarn, Patons Kroy Socks in Flax, it was important for the stitch pattern to create a nice texture. The Retro Rib definitely gives this otherwise boring yarn a boost with wonderful ridges and valleys.

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Even plain brown socks can be pretty!

To achieve such an interesting texture, the pattern calls for knit and knit-through-back loop stitches that alternate between rows. Luckily, the pattern has a nice rhythm and that makes it easy to memorize when to knit a stitch normally and when to knit through the back loop.

While this is a rather easy pattern, it does call for a kitchener stitch on the toe which can be a little daunting for a beginner. I find it to be a rather easy method to use (thanks to Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks), but it’s easy enough to knit the toe using another method, (such as the star toe).

Overall, I love these socks! They are toasty warm and they match everything in my closet.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Arrow Bracelet

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Sometimes being a fangirl is what gets my muse inspired. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I love Arrow (see 10 Reasons Why Arrow is Awesome), so it was only a matter of time before my crafting skills would apply to this obsession.

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While wandering through the bead aisle at my local craft store an idea hit me. Hmmmm, I wonder if they have a charm in the shape of an arrow? Within five minutes I found one:

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Vintaj Straight Arrow Charm

Now came the serious job of brainstorming how to turn this little charm into a piece of wearable art. I settled on creating a bracelet because I still love my compass necklace way too much to give it up. Instead of the usual chain or bead combination, I decided to make something a little different. I went into the leather crafting aisle and found the perfect thing! A leather snap bracelet with stitching holes along the side.

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Darice Leather Snap Bracelet

To fill in the stitching holes, I went straight to the cording aisle. After much contemplation, I settled on some thin green hemp cording, (green is Arrow’s signature color). Not only is it strong stuff that doesn’t fray, but it’ll give the bracelet a rustic look.

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Hemptique Crafting Cord

When I put it all together, I ended up with a great Arrow Bracelet:

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Arrow Bracelet

Here’s how I did it:

First, I split the hemp cord into a 2-ply string instead of 3-ply.

Then, using an embroidery needle I backstitched the cord into the pre-punched holes on the leather strap.

I left the ends long and then tied them off in a square knot. To hide the ends, I wove them into the stitches (just like a knitter!).

To attach the arrow, I took a leftover single strand of hemp cording and wrapped it twice around the base of the arrowhead. Then, I used a needle to pull each strand through the bracelet holes. I tied the ends into a square knot and wove in the ends.

I repeated the same process at the base of the fletching.

Lastly, I slightly bent the arrow charm to follow the natural curve of my wrist.

All told the whole process took about 30 minutes. How’s that for some awesome fan art!?

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015