Hand Dyed Socks

Finished my daughter’s hand dyed socks just in time for Green Camel Gathering! She was asking about them as I worked on them and really wanted them done for the event. Just before bed I tucked in the end thread. Whew! What’s the closest to a deadline that you’ve completed a project?

Hand Dyed Socks for my Daughter

Projects! (Mostly nalbinding and a bit of knitting)

Last month and this month I finished my hat and a pair of mittens. I found the mittens unfinished in my project pile and they were just the project to work on while hubby reads another Ranger’s Apprentice book to the family.  (I’ll put the mittens up in the shop tomorrow.) 


Last night I started a pair of mittens in a gradient yarn I dyed. (The 2 skeins were dyed at once so the mittens match.)

Another project pile item I’d forgotten about was a pair of socks where one was done. Evidently this is the week I work on old projects! At knitting group – since it was brainless knitting, I got almost to the instep. I love Zauberball yarn for socks. The socks will be a pair but each will be slightly different because of the “fractal gradient striping effect.

What are you working on?

Knitting with Nalbound Edge – Take 1

The other day I tinkered with nalbinding the edge of my knitting. I’m not particularly happy with the results.

When binding off my knitting with nalbinding, I got twisted stitches.  When I went over the cast on edge, I got ridges.  I have ideas about how to deal with these problems: for the twisted stitches – I could turn the stitch or go in the other direction, for the ridges – just pick up the cast on edge differently and check after a few stitches.  I had also hoped the work wouldn’t curl, but it does.  So my experiment, needs more work.

Handspun Socks – Take 1 – Yarn and Starting to Knit

I’ve wanted to spin for my handknit socks for a long time, but I just never tried it.  So it went into my 13Skills list. For my first attempt, I wanted fun to spin wools.

A soft fine wool and a set of Moonrover batts were my choices.

I’d spun the wool quite fine, and found these yarns puffed up quite a bit then testing the ply. The yarn is quite a bit thicker than regular sock yarn.

I was really happy with the white plied with the darker variegated yarn after it was spun.  And now that I’m knitting up Gusset Heel Basic Socks (toe up), I love the gentle striping effect in the socks as I start to knit them.  I’ve had to modify the pattern to accommodate my thicker yarn and size 2 needles.  A decrease of 8 stitches in the overall number of stitches is working well.

A side note on patterns in Kindle books:  I purchased Socks from the Toe Up for the Kindle. It’s lovely to have my books with my all the time.  But I was at a loss at how make project notes. UGH.  After some tinkering, I found I could open the book in the kindle reader on my PC and take screen shots and print them.  Then I can make notes on the pattern to my heart’s content.  After more tinkering with the Kindle app, I found there is the ability to make notes in Kindle books.  But it’s just not the same as keeping track on paper.  PC notes are easy, but I don’t knit near my PC and notes from my phone are not easy.  Paper is faster and easier in this case.  I’ll scan my notes afterward to keep for future projects with the same pattern.

Back to the knitting project…

These socks are a blast to work on, but I think there’s not enough twist to make the socks last a long time. These will be squishy soft socks, but not so durable.

When I spin for socks again I’ll need to:
  • Use a higher ratio whorl on my wheel – so I get more twist in my singles and plied yarns.
  • Spin finer for thinner yarn.  This yarn is pretty thick for knitting the patterns I want to knit.
  • Consider using a 3 ply yarn – perhaps Navajo plied.
Fear not I’m not discouraged at all.  I’m enjoying the process and am already planning for more handspun socks.
Have you spun for socks?  If so, how did you like it?

Simple Garter Lacy Shawlette Pattern

Modifying a pattern to be a lace pattern was a push for me. I wanted my shawl to be neck down, but have the lace rows. Also I wanted to have a zen knitting or process knitting shawlette. I didn’t want to have to think much while I worked. I had enough to think through while I worked with many issues coming up in my life. (Good things, by the way.)

After several iterations at working through this, I can now present – the Simple Garter Lacy Shawlette. It’s a variant of the Simple Yet Effective Shawl by Laura Chau. And this variant has her blessing.

The variations are

  • I used a lace row.
  • It’s only knitted in garter stitch. (Because I don’t like purling.)
  • It’s meant to use a skein of sock yarn.
  • I add in stitch markers to it’s really a brainless knit, even with the lace row.
  • I don’t specify the bind off. I don’t see that a purl bind off would be of benefit here.

This pattern can be varied in size (depending on the amount of yarn you have) and in needle size. I used a single skein of sock yarn (Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock – 30 yards) for mine and size 6 needles). (Model is my youngest in elementary school. This is a good sized shawl for her.)

Starting Section

Cast on 5 stitches

(Right Side) K1, (place marker to mark right side) yo, k1, yo (place marker), k1(<- your center stitch) (place marker), yo, k1, yo, k1

Go to step 2 of the pattern below.

Pattern Section Notes

If you need to see an overall idea of how the pattern works. I divide up the yarn over groups into 5 sections:

  • the first yo that is an increase on every odd pattern row
  • the yo + K2tog (repeat) that make the lace pattern up to the center on the lace rows
  • The center yo, k1 yo for the lace line up the center
  • the yo, then k2tog + yo (repeat) that make the lace pattern after the center on the lace rows
  • the last yo that is an increase on every odd pattern row

So I grouped them in parenthesis for easy identification.

You’ll recognize increase rows because of the stitch marker that is just past the first stitch on your needle.

The Pattern Rows

  1. (Lace + increase row, RS) (K1, move marker, yo, k1), (yo, k2tog – repeat to marker), (yo, (move marker) K1, (move marker) yo), (k2tog, yo – repeat until you get to the last 2 stitches), (K1, yo, k1)
  2. (WS) Knit across
  3. (RS, Increase row) (K1, move marker, yo, k1) , knit to marker, (yo, (move marker) K1, (move marker) yo), knit to last 2 stitches, (k1, yo, k1)
    (WS) Knit across

Repeat rows #3 and #4 – three more times. (for a total of 10 rows in the pattern).

Bind off as you see fit when you find there won’t be enough yarn for another 10 row pattern.