Favorite Thing Friday: Lace and Rib Socks

Standard

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!

100_5148

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!

– – –

What’s your favorite thing this week?

– – –

c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Soft Baby Blanket

Standard

Somewhere in between making Christmas wreathes, wrapping presents, and making fudge, I found the time to do a little knitting. A friend of mine is having a baby, so I decided to make her a blanket to go along with a sloth stuffed animal I got her for the nursery (long story short, she LOVES sloths).

91sq8E37daL._SL1500_

Every baby should have a sloth.

On Pinterest, I came across a beautiful, yet simple baby blanket, (Cuddly Soft Baby Blankie). What drew me to the pattern wasn’t so much the ease, but the yarn that was used in the sample. It was gorgeous and looked so soft! Luckily, the pin lead me to a link that had both the pattern and a full description of what kind of yarn was used. A quick stop to one of my favorite online yarn stores (yarn.com) and I was all set.

The texture of this blanket makes it a little more interesting than a typical baby blanket. The bumps and ridges add a “squishy” factor to the blanket, while the lace row creates a little eye candy. While the texture creates a nice look, the super-soft quality of the yarn is what makes this blanket special. As per the sample project, I used Ella Rae Cozy Soft Prints in colorway 09 (variegated blues, grays, and purples).

IMG_6206_medium2

Funny story – I forgot to take a picture of the blanket I made, but I found a shot of one on ravlery.com.

The pattern itself is a 15 row repeat that uses four stitches: knit, purl, yarn over, and knit 2 together. It’s perfect for the beginning knitter that has mastered the stockinette stitch and is looking for a new challenge.

I love how this blanket turned out and was quite tempted to keep it for myself (I have two furkids that would love to snuggle up in it!). However, I was very happy to give it as a gift to someone who really loved it.

 

– – –

What’s your favorite thing this week?

– – –

c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Embossed Leaf Socks

Standard

I never thought knitting a pair of white socks would be any fun, so I surprised myself when I decided I needed a pair of white socks for the days when what I have to wear doesn’t match up with the socks in my drawer. This happens a lot at the end of the week or when I slack on getting the laundry done!

Thus began the great white sock pattern hunt! I wanted something simple, yet pretty to make my white socks anything but boring. As soon as I saw the pattern for Embossed Leaf Socks, I knew I found exactly what I was looking for. While the pattern looks complicated, it only uses five stitches. If you can knit, purl, knit 2 together, knit 2 together (through back loop), and purl 2 together you can make these socks!

100_4627

Embossed Leaf Socks – These are definitely not boring!

The pattern itself is extremely well written insofar as it does a really good job of describing what stitches go on what needle. Needle knitting socks can be tricky as you’re usually fiddling with three or four stitch needles and one knitting needle. Sometimes patterns assume you know how to move stitches when splitting the heel flap and adding gusset stitches. This pattern, however, is very specific and assumes nothing!

One of the things I really love about these socks is the toe. Instead of a plain stockinette stitch, purl stitches are peppered throughout the toe to create a petal pattern that nicely compliments the leafy lace of the sock.

I made one adjustment in that I chose not to do the twisted rib cuff dictated by the pattern. Instead, I went for the easier 1×1 rib. This was mainly because I started these socks on vacation and it’s tough to learn a new technique when I’m not in my usual craft space.

While I now have a pair of white socks that go with everything, now I have the problem of being afraid to wear them! They are so pretty and I don’t want them to get dirty! I’m sure I’ll get over it as I always do.

With my socks done, I’m now busy knitting baby blankets. Two of my friends are expecting – one in September and one in January. At first I thought about making a baby sweater for each, but then I realized we live in a desert and the kid will outgrow it before he/she can wear it. So, I decided a lightweight blanket is both universal and practical. Perfect.

– – –

What’s your favorite thing this week?

– – –

c.b.w. 2014

 

 

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Straight Needle Socks

Standard

Let’s get the knitter confession out of the way: I hate knitting on double-pointed needles. They are pokey and I never know where to put my fingers to work the stitches! I deal with them to make hats, but I’ve never been able to get past my double-pointed needle issues to make socks. Hence, my obsession with the sock loom.

I love my sock loom (and everybody knows it), but there is a severe shortage of sock loom patterns available. Furthermore, it’s tough to translate a sock pattern from one loom to another, (try as I may, it never works out quite right).  For a while now, I’ve been looking for a solution for both the double-pointed needle aversion and sock loom pattern deficiency.

Lo and behold, I found the answer at my favorite bookstore. While perusing the knitting books, I came across Knit Your Socks On Straight by Alice Curtis. This is my new favorite thing!!

Curtis has come up with an ingenious method of knitting socks on only two needles. The trick lies in creating a flat seam along the side of the sock using a simple crochet stitch that mimics a three-needle bind off. Putting the seam on the side means no uncomfortable bump on the top or bottom of the foot!

Fate was truly on my side as the first pattern in the book called for yarn I already had sitting in my yarn basket (2 partially used skeins, no less!). With stars aligning like that,  I put my Christmas gift knitting aside to learn how to knit these socks! Curtis gives fantastic instructions that are clearly enumerated and easy to understand. Better still, visuals accompany each set of instructions so it’s impossible to get lost.

Within a few hours, I had the leg knit and the heel turned:

100_3986

My first turned heel on needles!

The only major challenge for me was reversing the flat seam instructions from righty to lefty. While I managed to successfully create the seam, my process needs a little refinement. The stitch isn’t as flat as I’d like. I think I pulled it too tight.

Two days after picking up the book, I had a beautiful pair of straight needle socks. And just in time for the first “chilly” day of fall, (chilly in Arizona means it dropped below 60°).

100_3992

My first pair of straight needle socks.

After I get done knitting Christmas gifts, I’ll be jumping right back into this book. There are some gorgeous socks patterns I can’t wait to try!

– – –

What’s your favorite thing this week?

– – –

c.b.w. 2013