Random Socks

I must admit, once the shawl was done, I became very eager to finish up my first Skew sock.  I was left with only the short rows and the cuff to do, so after bringing it in to work, it was close to complete. Now, I must explain last evening to you, it was one of those nights that was particularly mild for February, and it was full of thunderstorms. This made me both happy and antsy, and I found that once I completed the skew sock, I wanted an entirely new project. So, I sat down with my tea, and whipped up a mini sock in white. Mom has been asking for one of these for her Christmas tree for quite some time, but I never have white yarn to make it with. I had just enough scraps to make one, and even managed to get it soaked and blocked last evening. Thus, today, I have two random socks without mates.


In other news, the mini sock was not enough for my case of castonitis, so I began a neck gaiter in Jojoland Rhythm. I’ll consider this a quick project I can use for one of my pay it forward 2012 gifts.

Iris-Goddess of Rainbow Shawl

So-this is my second sample project for dyeabolical yarns. To be honest, it probably isn’t a shawl pattern I would have picked on my own, but it is designed to show off the hand painted yarn, and it is very effective in doing so.

It starts with a little bit of a lacy border at the top, then moves right into linen stitch. The only other time I’ve done linen stitch is for the Rock and Weave socks. I enjoyed it then, and I enjoy it now. I keep thinking a scarf of this pattern would be fabulous, but I never get around to it. The shawl then moves into a drop stitch pattern that I was already familiar with, having used it for the waves on the Creatures of the Reef shawl. (Gosh that was a long time ago!) The next stitch pattern was this drop stitch cross over pattern, which was completely new to me. I enjoy learning new things, but these were quite a challenge, and forced me to play knit doctor regularly, dropping 2 or 3 stitches about 3 rows down in order to get the stitches to cross, but not cross each other. It was not exactly simple. But the effect is very interesting. There were a couple options for the final stitch pattern and bind off, I chose the lacy loops. I was worried about having enough yarn, but I just made it with what I had. I didn’t have to do any backtracking or fudging with the pattern to make it work.

I finished last evening, and thought about waiting to block it. But, in the end, (and despite the pain in my knees from my run that afternoon) I decided to just get it over with. It blocked out quite a bit bigger than I expected it to. I am amazed that, even having knit lace since 2007, I am still surprised at blocking. I figured that the linen stitch would be a bit tighter than normal lace work, and wouldn’t stretch as much. That was not at all the case. One more transformation complete!


And, I felt the need to show you that I was, indeed, cutting it a bit close in the yarn department. This is all I had left over. I’ve seen closer calls than this, but it sure made me nervous!

Another WIP

I am not yet ready to show you the shawl I’ve been working on. It is not quite off the needles, though I have just one row and a bind off to finish. It would be pointless to show you another in progress picture because it really doesn’t look any different than it did yesterday. So, instead I can show you a picture of the socks I’ve been working on for my mom. During Month O’Socks, I made the white then dyed brown pair. Since mom has grown to love her bright socks, I looked around for what might be the most garish sock yarn I possessed, so that this year I can make sure she has socks from both ends of the spectrum. To be fair, I didn’t pick this color. I lucked out on a work horse sock yarn destash, grab bags of 5 skeins for a super cheap price, and I believe I purchased 3 grab bags. Out of all 15 skeins, I only have 2 skeins left to knit. So, I think it was a pretty decent purchase. That is, IF you were to ignore my huge yarn stash. I have a soft place in my heart for stripes, another one for work horse yarns, and yet another for a good deal on yarn, so those grab bags were basically irresistible to me. This particular yarn is Opal’s Mexiko. It is bright! The pattern is my go to pattern for socks for mom, the Vintage Socks gentleman’s plain winter socks seem to fit her perfectly, and she likes the dutch heel. I’d like to get these done by the end of March, since she will be in town and I can hand them off without having to pay for postage.

Doesn’t look like much


I’ve been diligently working on this shawl since Valentine’s day. The baby sweater took priority, but this has been my other project. The shawl is interesting, composed of linen stitch and dropped stitches to show off the handpainted yarn. I love how it is coming out, but I suspect you’ll be able to appreciate it far more once it is done and blocked. I am on the last clue now, so it shouldn’t be too awfully long before I have a completed object.



Since I am in the midst of a row on my shawl, and not currently knitting on anything else, I decided to take a picture of the skew sock which I haven’t knit on in awhile.

The yarn is noro kureyon sock. I absolutely love the color. From this angle it is hard to see the skewness of it, but the other side is not nearly as long. This will be a project to complete once the shawl is done.


The baby surprise jacket really is brilliant. Looks fantastic!

In the end, I had to do a 3 needle bind off on the sleeves. I could not get them to seam nicely without it, and it left a sweater that had no place for a baby neck. So I just did what worked. The yarn is so so pretty! I would not have thought of using it in this way, but the colors blend so nicely. I am, in the end, rather proud of this one!

No Really….

It is a baby sweater. I swear!

This is the baby surprise jacket, which I have never done before. While I really didn’t understand the instructions, I also realized that Ravelry has like 16 thousand of these on the project pages, so I am assuming it can be knit if one just does. When I had about 6 rows left before the finish, I finally figured out how it was going to work.

I am so fortunate to have been chosen as one of the sample knitters for Dyeabolical. The yarn is her strong arm base I believe, and it really is a stunning color! This yarn actually knits up in a way I love to have wool yarns knit up. Firmly, with great hold and definition. Strong arm is a perfect name for this base!

Wardrobe Infusion

For a doll of course. Julie has a new outfit. I knit the fairy tale skirt, blouse, and apron for Julie. I started quite some time ago, as the skirt is a very long knit. All sock weight yarn, and enough stitches around for an adult sweater. But, just as soon as I blocked the skirt I realized what a fantastic end product it made, so I quickly cast on the apron and the blouse. I am super proud of this set. Yarn is knitpicks palette which was just hanging around in my stash.

I am not really sure how I’ll top this one for Julie!


As good as it gets…

So, it wasn’t so long ago that I featured these socks. Well, Mom said that if the dye pot was still out, I was to throw them back in. The majority of issue was on the inside of the sock, as well as in the ribbed areas. So I turned the socks inside out, and threw them back in the dye pot.

The result is more even, and certainly darker. However, the rib area still lacks dye. I really don’t think there is much I can do about that, unless I had a set of plastic sock blockers. Which I don’t, and see little reason for investing in them. So, this is the final product. They still look cool though, I am not displeased with them. It does make me think twice before dyeing an entire sweater though, at least with the equipment I currently own.

Black Magic Woman

Last spring I decided I just must learn to spin long draw. In fact, it was the real reason behind deciding to process my own fleece. I struggled with it, but I just felt it was a skill I should learn. Who knew that in less than a year I’d barely ever spin another way.


This is Enchanted Knoll Farm’s merino in Black Magic Woman. Spun long draw, a little thicker than usual. This is a 2 ply. It is light and fluffy, wonderful and subtle. I am very pleased. I have about 245 yards. Which means either there is a ton of air in there, or that was a very generous 4 oz.! This is out of my stash before I even set it down, as I spun it as a pay it forward gift. I think my next spinning will be exclusively for me!


A Story

Of Bug and the doll bed.

Julie, being the most spoiled doll in the universe, was in want of a bed. Bug seemed to realize the Julie specific bed was just going to be too costly for our budgets, and didn’t seem to mind. My parents agreed to find a hand crafted bed instead. After much deliberation, my parents settled on a bunk bed which is just gorgeous, and should live through a good deal of play. Bug and I came home to a flat package. Bug read the description and basically had it all figured out before we could even get my parents on Skype.

We were skyping with my parents while she opened the gift, and as soon as she saw the directions for putting the bed together, she was very interested in them. I warned her not to lose them because I would need them to put the bed together. I am pretty sure mom made some comment about how she was probably looking at them and figuring it out. When I went to put the bed together, I organized all the pieces and then tried to screw the first piece into the second piece, but it just wouldn’t work. At all. I tried the other side, but I was positive something was wrong, and I warned her that we might have to get help to put it together. After some frustration and me giving up she said “Mom, I just think you need to turn that one piece around, you just have it backward.

I got shown up by a 7 yr old. I should probably get used to it.

It really is a lovely bed!

In other Julie news, I’ve finished a skirt and an apron for her, and I am about halfway done with the blouse. It really is some of the prettiest items I’ve created for her yet, and very time intensive. The results are stunning! I can’t wait to show them off, though I really should be working on the sample knitting instead.

Complete or No?

So, I ran the white socks through the dye pot to turn them brown. I had no idea what effect I’d get, and I think it is really interesting how the dye didn’t strike in the ribbed portion of the sock. I think I can counter this effect by turning them inside out. However, I will let my mom decide if she likes the effect or if she wants them darker.

A Completion of Sorts

I’ve completed the beautiful pair of white socks for my mom. But, they aren’t truly completed, because the next step is to dye them.

In other knitting news, I’ve started a pair of skew socks in noro kureyon sock, and I must say I am really very addicted to them. I need to get a skirt finished for Julie, but I can’t seem to manage that with the skew socks on the needles!

Pay it Forward 2012

I’ve got so much to do this year for pay it forward! 11 projects. I am just not sure they will all be knit this year. I did manage to get one project done though, another headband. This one was done in cascade 220 I had about the house, the flower I made from noro silk garden.


These make such satisfying little projects! I really do love them. So much that it is tempting to keep this one for me!

More Progress

I am almost done, so close I can taste it!

The complicated portion wasn’t so complicated once I read directions. My first step was to graft the foot to the ace bandage.

Then I graft the leg to the ace bandage. All that is left then is to make the bermuda triangles, two of them per sock, knit into the sock incorporating stitches from the ace bandage as I go.

This is one bermuda triangle complete, it still needs the upper one.

I am hoping that these are done by tomorrow, though it seems hard to imagine ever being done with them!


Almost there!

We’ve had a big ol’ snowstorm here! Wet heavy snow that canceled all my plans today. Since I had intended to be out all day, and not get any knitting done, I was almost appreciative of the fact that I could now have a day to work on my fronkenshteek socks. I  must say, these days it takes a forced day in to get me to stay in. Sometimes I am surprised knitting gets done at all!

These socks have certainly been a lesson in patience and a labor of fascination. I wouldn’t quite call it love. Maybe obsession, intrigue, but not quite love. I won’t knit them again, but I am thrilled that I am knitting them. Or, as was the case today, unknitting, sewing, etc. I did a lot of pulling out of provisional cast on and picking up stitches, rearranging, etc. A little steeking, not much. But, I did photograph most of my journey.


First order of business today was to pick apart the cuffs that were knit at the same time. One long cuff becomes two.

Then on to the legs of the socks.

Both legs knit in one long tube, my job today is to steek the tube and then seam them into two tubes.


A few snips and I’ve got two legs.

Once seamed, I kitchener the cuffs to the tubes, giving me the leg of the sock.

This is where I left off, because the next part of the sock creation looks very complicated, and I am worn out! I did actually do one other task, which was ripping out two inches on each foot so that I am ready for the final steps of assembly. I decided that this evening I should work on something else entirely!

Fronkenshteek Socks

I put new batteries in my camera just so I could show of the latest progress with these crazy crazy socks. This is the ace bandage portion with the heels attached. The next step is for me to look through the 18 pages of pattern to figure out my next step!

I am loving the interesting and genius construction of these, so much so that I am thinking I will have to get a few more interesting kits to knit.

Fronkenshteek Socks

Or, knitting parlor tricks. Or, the most insane socks I’ve ever knit. Or, the most insane ITEM I’ve ever knit.

I’ve been making great progress on these lately. Partly due to Month O’Socks, and partly due to having finished each piece and wanting to get them assembled and completed. I did, after all, start them way back in July!

Now that I am on to the assembly portion, I am finding them to be a wonderful and interesting knit. I keep wanting to continue on them late into the evening. However, with darkness, poor lighting, and dark yarn, they are a little rough on the eyes. And they are very fiddly.

So, I did take some snap shots and have some explanations to go with them.

These are all the sock body parts complete but not steeked.

I decided to start with the toes. This bundle here is the toes and the heels. All knit as one. Two toes, two heels, one package. Amazing. So I had to cut it.

Now I actually do have toes and heels. So the first step is to attach the toes to the bottom tubes.

Which I did. I used a hot pink yarn as my stitching yarn, since it matches pretty well and why not go wild in color when making crazy socks?  Of note is the fact that my tubes are way too long. I probably should have started steeking and assembly before knitting the tubes so I had a better idea of how long the tubes should be knit. The “ace bandage” portion of the foot takes up a lot of space on the foot of the sock, and so I’ve knit the bottom tubes at least two inches too long. I’ll need to frog. Luckily, with the provisional cast on, I can do that. Now, I’d consider giving these away, but with all the sewing and steeking, I am not sure how hard wearing they will be, and better to allow myself to wear them around the house and let them develop holes than giving them away and it happening to someone else, much to their disappointment.

I’d have more pictures, but my camera ran out of battery last night. I need to get more and then I’ll have a few more pictures (and hopefully completed socks) this weekend. My progress last night included steeking the ace bandage portion of the socks, and sewing in the heels. The next step will be to pull out all my spare needles and start putting provisional cast ons back on needles in order to work the rest of the sock. I have one more steek to cut as well.

This has been more fun than I can even explain! I mean, who knits a sock JUST to do it? In fact, I find myself wanting to knit more of Tsarina’s sock designs simply for the challenge of it all!

Alpaca Spinning

I don’t do much spinning of alpaca, it isn’t my favorite fiber to spin. However, my friend Sparkeespud proposed a trade I couldn’t resist. She had some natural brown alpaca fiber she wanted spun into a sport weight yarn to match some lighter colored yarn she already had. With this, her intent is to make a colorwork hat.

So, I took the 3 oz. of beautiful brown alpaca fiber and did just that. 166 yards.  To be frank, I was a bit concerned as to how the fiber was going to spin. I spun it using a modified long draw, as quite a few of the fibers were quite short. It looked very uneven during the spinning. Once I plyed, it looked a bit better, but after a harsh wash and finishing, I think it evened up quite nicely.  There is still a fair bit of VM left in it, even though during both the spinning and the plying I was covered in straw. It also shed quite a bit, little alpaca hairs in my sink, on my hands, down the drain, etc. I am hoping, however, that I got the worst of them and that the yarn won’t shed too much once knit.

You really can’t go wrong with a chocolate brown like that! Colors in nature being sometimes more beautiful than what we can create.