New Pattern: May Day Flowers Socks

Did you get your copy of Cast On in the mail last week?  I have another new pattern in the Spring issue that just came out – a pair of socks, called May Day Flowers Socks.  look for them on page 16. I am really pleased with how these came out, and I almost didn’t want to mail them off to the magazine- I was so in love with them!  I’ll just have to knit myself a pair soon, I guess, yes? :-)

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These are very pretty and feminine, with a picot cast on at the cuff and a lovely lace pattern running down onto the instep.  The short row heels and toes use German short rows  (one of my new favorite ways to do short rows!)  The yarn is A Hundred Ravens Iachos in colorway Rose Tyler, and the yarn was a dream to knit with.

I’m quite pleased with these, and I hope you are too!

Happy Knitting!

PS – I know I’ve been unforgivably quiet – sorry about that!  It’s hard when all the things on my needles are secret projects!! :-)  I do have some more tutorial ideas that I promise I will blog about soon!

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Toe Up Socks: Judy’s Magic Cast On

When knitting socks toe-up you need to be mindful of how you start and end your socks.  Your cast on needs to allow you to have a small circular stitch count – which you then increase to form your toe, and the bind off needs to be stretchy so that you can get your sock on over your heel!  I’m going to do a series of blog posts on these items and others, aimed at socks specifically, but that can come in handy in other knitting as well.

This post will concern the cast on.  One of my favorite cast ons for starting toe-up socks is Judy’s Magic Cast On. It is indeed magical!

Here is a video showing how to work this cast on:

Another great use for this cast on is as a provisional cast on.  If you work the bottom stitches over a second circular needle and then leave the needle in place – or replace it with waste yarn- you can then go back and knit from those stitches in the opposite direction with no visible line in the knitting.

I hope this has been helpful!

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Socks: Afterthought Heels

Afterthought heels are heels that get knitted into a sock after the rest of the sock has been knitted. You can just knit a tube and then decide where to put the heel and cut out stitches and add a heel! I like doing what’s sometimes called ‘forethought’ heels. They’re afterthought heels, but you knit some waste yarn at the spot where the heel will be. Then when you’re done with the rest of the sock, you don’t need to cut any of your knitting in order to add your heel.

Here’s a video talking a bit about afterthought heels:

Afterthought heels are very much like knitting waste yarn for a thumb in mittens or gloves.  You have to know exactly where you want to place your heel when you use this method. Usually about 2 or 2.5 inches is allowed for the heel, so you would knit your toe-to-heel length to be about 2-2.5 inches short of your foot length.

Afterthought heels are great for self striping yarn,  and for ‘purse knitting’ projects, since you don’t have to fiddle with the heel while you are out and about – you can save the heel until you get home! :-)

I hope this explains afterthought heels – you should give them a try – they’re fun!

Happy Knitting!

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WiP Wednesday

So I’m finally getting around to posting about my SAFF trip, and my current WiP!

SAFF this year was loads of fun (I didn’t make it last year).  A group of 8 of us from my weekly knit night group rented a house on a farm nearby and stayed there from Thursday through Sunday.  It was so much fun!  We all went to SAFF on Friday, and then scattered groups of us hit SAFF again and went off to do other exploring the other days.  We had loads of fun, and way too much food (and drink!) ;-)

I entered my Master Knitter sweater and hat into the garment competition, and my hat won a first place ribbon and judge’s choice, and my sweater won a first place ribbon as well!

"First

First Place ribbon AND Judge's Choice ribbon on my hat!

I didn’t spend too much money (I have plenty of yarn stash already, I don’t need more! That’s what I told myself…) – but I did buy a few things… and some yarn. Oops!

My Friday haul.  I was very good.

My Friday purchases.

Sunday SAFF purchases

My Sunday purchases

 

I bought three skeins of Verdant Gryphon Bugga to do a Hitofude with (I’ll show you that in a bit):

Bugga in 'Fierce Snake' from Verdant Gryphon.

‘Fierce Snake’ colorway.

And one skein of Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in ‘Starry Night':

Starry Night in Djinni Sock from Dragonfly Fibers

Plus a SAFF tote bag and some Cherry Chocolate goat’s milk fudge. (YUM!)

Then I saw a few things my friends had bought when we got back to the house Friday night, and naturally determined that I needed to do some more shopping on Sunday when I went back to pick up my sweater and hat! ;-)

So I picked up some absolutely sumptuous alpaca/silk fiber from Copper Corgi:

Alpaca/silk fiber from Copper Corgi

And discovered that my ribbons came with cash prizes, so I splurged with my winnings and bought a skein of pure cashmere yarn:

100% Cashmere yarn!

Plus I got an oblong basket and a Big Bang Theory sock project bag. (That was a no brainer.)

That’s all I bought! :-)  And I didn’t come home with a fleece like I did two years ago, so that’s good – I showed some restraint. :-)

I wound up one skein of my Bugga on Saturday morning there at the house (several of us brought ball winders and swifts, of course) and swatched for my Hitofude right away.  Got gauge (yay!) and then casted on.

Here’s how far I am as of last night (it gets picked up here and there, but I have about two or three other designs I’m working on, so it’s not getting my full attention, sadly):

Hitofude in progress

Hitofude close up

Close up

I’m totally in love with the color of this.  It’s like a bark color from far away, but up close there are all these little flecks of bright colors that pop out at you – it’s amazing.

It’s a very interesting and fun knit!  I’m a bit worried I’m going to run out of yarn, even though I did buy plenty according to the pattern.  We’ll see.

So that’s what I’m working on (that I can show you) and what I bought at SAFF several weeks ago!

Also , there are still coupon codes left for my sock pattern, so check out my post from Sunday if you want a free copy of my ‘Not So Beginner’s Socks’!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

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Socks, socks and more socks!

Hello again!

I have some exciting news – my second third-party-published pattern (my first ever was my Lilah Shawl)  is out!  It also happens to be my very first print published pattern!  Check out page 24 in your copy of November 2014-January 2015 Cast On Magazine — see someone’s name there??  That’s my pattern!!  Squee!

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I’m really happy with these socks – they’re called Leaf &Trellis socks.  The yarn is Anzula Dreamy, and it sure was dreamy to work with!  These socks have a neat story.  They actually began several years ago, in 2008.  They were one of my very first designs – done during a ‘Design Your Own’ challenge month in the group Sock Knitter’s Anonymous on Ravelry.  The original design was a bit clunky and I wasn’t very happy with it.  I actually tried too hard and made them too complicated!)  So the design sat on the back burner for years and years.  I dug them out recently and refined the design and was just about to self publish them, when a Master Knitter friend of mine encouraged me to submit them to Cast On (this was just as I was finishing up level 3 myself.)  So I did, and they were accepted!  I was over the moon – and lots of lovely things were happening at the same time- like becoming a Master Knitter myself, and getting asked to serve on the committee, and they were all wrapped up in a lot of wonderful feelings. :-)  So, anyway, that’s the story behind these socks.  I hope you like them!

These aren’t quite as exciting, but I’ve also just self-published a pattern for some beginner’s socks.  These are called “Not So Beginner’s Socks” because they are meant to be a step up from my worsted weight Beginner’s Socks pattern.  The pattern is for a pair of plain cuff-down socks done in fingering weight yarn, with very helpful instructions and hand-holding as you knit them.

sock photo

You can find them on Ravelry, (and also listed here under my patterns for purchase page) they are $4.00 for the pdf download.  As a thank you to my readers, I’m going to give away 25 copies of the pattern!  Use the coupon Code ‘EasySocks’ during checkout via Ravelry and get it free! (Or click this link to go directly to the purchase page!)
(Coupon is good until end of day November 22nd, or until 25 have been used.)

 

 

I’ll post again soon to show you my current WiP – a Hitofude cardigan – I’m in love with it and can’t wait until it’s done!

Happy Knitting!!

 

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