Friday, October 24, 2014

Sock Knitting Journey - Toe Up Socks

So for the first time ever I challenged myself to knit toe up socks earlier this year and this was only because I belong to a Facebook group of sock knitters. We had a KAL earlier this year and you could choose between cuff down or toe up and easy or difficult. So I decided on toe up, easy level as I had never done it before. 

You could choose from several free patterns on Ravelry and I decided on this one. It calls for magic loop cast on, so I checked that out on YouTube. I sat myself on the computer and told the kids "Do not disturb" and I sat and watched it several times. From there I got my yarn and needle and started to practice, every time I got stuck I paused and rewound, until I got it. It took a few goes but I really love this cast on. Once I got going I really loved knitting socks this way, no Kitchener stitch at the end. To get a nice stretchy bind off at the end I used Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.

My first ever pair of toe up socks and it wont be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I like the fact that you don't have any Kitchener stitch at the end. I also learned a lot from this, how to do magic loop and a stretchy bind off both were new to me.

Do you like setting yourself challenges?  

Happy knitting


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sock Knitting Journey - Using 2 Circulars to knit socks

So like a lot of people I started knitting socks using dpn's and a regular pattern. From their I found myself spinning and that got me interested in spinning my own yarn and dyeing it to knit my own socks. That then lead me to creating my own socks using my own yarn but I am getting off track.

So my next step in the journey was knitting socks with circulars. I found a book called " Socks Soar On Two Circular Needles"by Cat Bordhi. I couldn't quite get my head around using 2 circulars but with my knitting I've always told myself to just read the pattern and follow exactly what it says. So by doing that I started my journey using circular needles to knit socks. I have to say it is the only way I have knitted socks for quite some time.

This then lead me to investigate other ways to knit socks using 2 circulars. I also started using "Simple Socks Plain and Fancy" and in this book the heel and toe are done using the short row technique. This for me was another lesson I had to learn as I'd never done it before. I like to challenge myself when it comes to my sock knitting. For a long time this was the only book I used to knit socks.

When knitting my socks on 2 circulars I would always use 24"/60 cm. What do you like to use?

Happy knitting


Friday, October 17, 2014

Wildlife On The Back Porch

I was sitting at the computer doing some work last week when I heard this funny noise. I thought their was something wrong with Charlie the Cat or maybe a dog over the fence. I got up to investigate and what did I see but a baby Magpie at the backdoor. We could tell it was a baby as it had the fluffy feathers and of course it did not fly away.Hubs was outside in the garden but did not hear a thing. We discussed what we should do as of course it was squawking. I got some water and bread, I dipped the bread in the water and then put it close to the bird so it would eat. When Charlie came round we grabbed him and put him inside. He was none too pleased as he loves birds and not in a good way. 

I decided to ring our local RSPCA which handles animal rescues to find out what to do. I of course thought they would tell us who to ring to pick it up and take care of it. That did not happen, I was told that around this time of year the baby birds get kick out of the nest. This is the way they learn to fly. Apparently mum and dad stay close by and if we stay away and do nothing they will feed it. It can take up to 2 weeks for the baby to learn to fly, we did not know how Charlie would cope with this as he is an outside cat who only comes in at night. We were lucky though as we left the bird alone and it eventually left later that day. Much to our relief and Charlie's. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sock Knitting Journey - Using dpn's to knit socks

I started my sock knitting journey over 20 years ago, it was a friend at the time that got me interested. Back then Australia did not have many knitting shops and their was no internet. I remember buying a Patons pattern and yarn and I used that pattern sooo much that I actually wrecked it. I remember going overseas and being able to buy the yarn I needed and so I purchased more than was required, funny about that. Of course it has now become my obsession along with buying books on sock knitting.

So I don't know about you but when I first started knitting socks, it was with double pointed needles and of course I knew no other way. Slowly over the years though my methods have changed. I started spinning so then of course I had to learn to spin fine so that I could spin my own yarn for my own socks but that will have to be another story.

Because of my spinning I first started to design my own socks, I purchase Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts book "Simple Socks Plain and Fancy." I used this book for many years but I did not actually design my socks as such as I kept them simple by doing 2x2 Rib. This has lead me to take another sock knitting journey which I hope to share with you.

Happy knitting

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Crafting With Yarn

I am going to be blogging about all things crafty using yarn. I don't know about you but I love yarn and knitting is my favorite past time using yarn. I can crochet, lets just say that I am able to do the stitches but when it actually comes to following a crochet pattern something goes wrong. So I've decided that I am going to learn some new things and following a crochet pattern is going to be one of them.
I also want to look at other things we can do with our yarn, cause if you are anything like me you have quite a stash. I also know that if your anything like me it doesn't get smaller it some how grows? Of course I don't know how that happens.
So I hope you will follow along as I learn some new things and just maybe I will be able to pass on some tips.