This is my mood board for my next pattern–the beautiful, bright blooms of rhododendrons. I love creating these mood boards and they really help me focus on the important elements of the design.
I did it.
I designed something other than a shawl.
My socks are worked from the cuff down with a heel flap and gusset construction. The leg and the toe have a zig zag stranded colorwork pattern, and the toes and heels are worked in a contrast color.
These socks are relatively simple if you’re familiar with knitting socks. The colorwork pattern is only a five round pattern and uses two colors per round and would be a great introduction to stranded colorwork.
The socks take their name from the Gauley River in West Virginia. Every fall, the Army Corps of Engineers releases water from the Summersville Dam into the Gauley turning the river into wild rapids. The zig zag colorwork pattern in the socks reminds me of how the river zig zags all over the place during Gauley Season.
If you’re an avid sock knitter, you can purchase the Anzula Sock booklet for $18. Five patterns for $18 is quite a steal. If you just want to knit these socks, the pattern is available for individual download for $6.
Finished Size 7.5 (8.5)” foot circumference and 9 (9.5)” long from back of heel to tip of toe: foot and leg length are adjustable, however, adjustments may change yarn requirements. Socks shown measure 7.5”.
Yarn Anzula Squishy (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 385 yd 352 m/4 oz 114 g): gravity (MC), storm (CC1), avocado (CC2), 1 skein each.
Needles Size 1 (2.25 mm): set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Marker (m); tapestry needle.
Gauge 30 sts and 44 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch.
Juliana requested a pair of socks well over a year ago. She picked out the yarn from my stash, and it sat waiting for me to get around to it. When I *finally* cast on a pair of socks for her, the yarn did that up there in the picture. It was cut in multiple places which resulted in multiple small balls of yarn, pieces that were almost felted together, and well, it was a mess. At first I thought it was possibly moth eaten. I mean, how can a skein of yarn, be so badly damaged? It didn’t show any other signs of mothiness, and the rest of the yarn stored with it is absolutely fine. So this was just one very bad skein.
She chose another skein of yarn from the stash.
This is Tess’ Designer Yarns sock yarn that I bought way, way back in 2006 at Maryland Sheep and Wool (I think). Juliana chose the Longjohn Socks pattern by Anne Hanson. Juliana wants socks that have a pattern but don’t have lace or cables.
One sock is done. The second is ready for me to start. These socks make a great “waiting for dance class to be over” project.
The only other project on my needles is a new shawl design.
All that’s left for this shawl is for me to decide what kind of bind off it needs. Doesn’t lace just look so, well, crap, before it’s blocked?
Here's a quick little project that I knit for our guild's Christmas in July program.
Pattern: Bells on My Toes from Heartstrings Fiber Arts
The yarn and beads were part of a kit so I'm not sure where they're from, but the yarn was fingering weight. This project could easily be worked up in an hour or two.
And…if you're a knitter in the Cincinnati area, please come to a guild meeting. We're the Flying Needles Knitting Guild of Southwest Ohio, and we're a very welcoming bunch. We meet the second Thursday of every month in West Chester on Tylersville Road, right off I-75. We have an educational program every month. We've talked about dyeing yarn, slip stitch knitting, entrelac, basic crochet, and knitting with beads. We'd love to see you there!
Saturday evening, we went to one of our local parks to hear our local suburb's symphony. This was supposed to be a Down syndrome outing, but since we were the only ones to show (boy, do I have some thoughts about this) it was just a family outing. Because it is so close to the Fourth, the symphony played patriotic pieces and marches.
We brought a blanket and listened on the lawn. This allowed the kids to run around without disturbing anyone.
She wanted to sit on my lap whenever she wasn't running about.
There was clapping.
There was dancing.
There was cuteness everywhere.
The other thing I did this weekend was cast on for a new project. I have a raging case of startitis right now. I'm trying to keep it under control until I get something else finished, but I couldn't resist the socks.
More knitting!!! Remember the post where I talked about joining the Rockin' Sock Club for this year? I had some pictures of the gorgeous yarn for the January shipment? Here are the almost finished socks.
See? An almost finished pair of socks. For the first sock, I did a total of four instep pattern repeats, a 16 round repeat, before I started the toe. On the second sock, I finished the third repeat last night. One repeat to go!
Yes, I am purposely hiding my toes in this picture. See? Really, truly, I'm almost finished. When I finish them, I'll have a proper post about this pattern and my thoughts, but I am in love. Hopelessly, madly in love.
…Flame Wave, Fetching, and my favorite four letter word.
I’m working on the Flame Wave socks from Interweave’s 25 Favorite Socks. I really love this pattern and the way the socks are coming along. It doesn’t hurt that I’m using US 5 and US 4 needles.
The first sock is finished, and I’m 2 and a quarter inches into the leg of the second sock. It’s worth mentioning, even though you can’t tell from the picture, I Kitchenered the toe! I normally do a 3 needle bind off for my sock toes, but I tried grafting and it worked and looks halfway decent. I’m so proud.
The yarn is Cascade Fixation. One word of warning here: the pattern says you’ll need 2 balls for both socks. I have tiny feet, and I was extremely worried I was going to run out of yarn from the first ball before I finished the first sock.
I didn’t knit the foot as long as I normally do, and that’s all I have left. So if you want to knit this pattern, be aware that you may need 3 balls to do both pairs.
I finished the Fetching mitts about 2 weeks ago.
I used some Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran that I picked up when we were in Rochester, NY, a few years ago. Yummy yarn. I used one full ball and a little bit of a second to finish the pair.
I’m not big on cabling, but I loved how these turned out. It’s definitely taken away my extreme dislike for cables.
Overall, though, I’m not too fond of the mitts. First, the pattern calls for a picot bind off. Maybe I’m totally lacking in picot skills (I don’t think so, see my Shoalwater Shawl), but it looks terrible.
Also, they’re WAY. TOO. BIG. for me to wear.
somewhat maybe mostly my fault. I never knit a gauge swatch. Had I done so I would’ve seen that US 6’s would be too big and I should use US 5 needles.
I’m going to rip these out and redo them. I’m going to use the 5’s and not do a picot bind off. Hopefully, that’ll cure my problems. It’s a perfectly lovely pattern otherwise.
To prove to you that I still knit, I present a finished object.
The first sock was cast on sometime last year. When I was about 6 months pregnant or so, my doc didn’t want me to drive anymore. Very short person (who needs to drive with the seat as far forward as it will go) with a very big belly equals a disaster if the airbag would’ve ever deployed. Doug started driving me everywhere. I typically finished work around 3:30 or 4. He usually finished between 6 & 7. See where this is going? I needed something to do while sitting around waiting for him to pick me up. Sometimes I read, sometimes I knitted. I finished the first sock shortly before Liam was born. I think that first sock is the one on my right foot.
Because I knit one of the socks while waiting for Doug, I’ve named these socks my Godot Socks (Waiting for Godot. Get it?).
The second sock was finished in the car during our trip to New York last month.
No, they’re not identical socks. I like them this way. I may never knit another matchy self-striping pair again. The pattern is a generic cuff-down pattern. One inch or so of 2×2 ribbing at the cuff. I bought the yarn at Lambikin’s quite a while ago; I have no idea what it is as the label is long gone. The needles were US1 Crystal Palace bamboo DPN’s.
One of these days, I’ll show my Nina cardigan. I’ve only frogged it three times, the last time was last night. Hmm, I think I’ll leave my issues for another post.
It is with deep regret that I inform everyone of the passing of Pomatomus. A beautiful sock it was turning out to be, but it’s life on this Earth as a pair of my socks just wasn’t meant to be.
The first sock was nearly complete. The heel was turned, and the gusset picked up. The gusset was being decreased. The reason for the demise of Pomatomus is this: It’s too damn fiddly (knits through the back loop, yarn overs, purls, purls through the back loop) of a pattern on yarn that is splitty, and it looks like Crap (with a capital C!) on my foot. The pattern is extremely well-written. Do not let my experience with this sock prevent you from knitting it. Pomatomus, the yarn, and I just do not get along.
As for the yarn (so soft, so silky, so splitty), it will go back into the stash to be used for socks that require nothing more than knitting every round. Maybe Jaywalkers. Maybe.
Surprisingly, I’m not feeling too bad about Pomatomus’ demise. Life is too short to have handknit socks that won’t get worn, ya know?
The Monkey socks are done. I finished them a couple of days ago, sometime last week.
Pattern Mods: None except I did a 3 needle bind off on the toes instead of Kitchener.
I did the 6 pattern repeats for the leg as specified and did 4 repeats for my foot. I had a ton of yarn leftover.
I really loved this pattern. I had the pattern repeat memorized after a few times. The pattern is extremely well written and even though it’s lace, I think a beginning knitter could handle it. I will probably knit a few more pairs of these. I think I like these better than Jaywalkers.
My job is done on Sunday. I did it. I’m a full time stay at home mom now with a lot of yarn to start dyeing.
Other things: Thanks to those that have sponsored us for the Buddy Walk. It is much appreciated. Much!! I have put up a link to the details of how to sponsor us on my sidebar. Please pass the word along cause we still have a ways to go to reach our fundraising goal. Currently, we are in 5th place out of about 20 teams. I’m sure more teams will be added.
Here is the first Monkey. I finished it Sunday evening and cast on for the second sock Monday evening.
I am still extremely pleased with both the yarn and the pattern. I guess I should link to the pattern, in case someone out there doesn’t know where to find it. Find it here.
I’m ready to move on to the next item in my knitting queue. Over at Ravelry, you create a knitting queue of all the things you want to knit. This is where Ravelry is bad. My queue is getting bigger by the day. I see all of these gorgeous things knit by others, and I add it to my list. If you don’t have your invite yet, go over there anyway. They’ve posted screen shots so you can see exactly what Ravelry has to offer. And, they’ve given an explanation of why it’s taking so long to get everyone invites in case you’re getting antsy.
I’m still working on the announcement/contest. I’m waiting for someone else to get the web site ready for us to set up. Hopefully, that’ll be up this week.
Remember how I said I was going to be a monogamous knitter? I’ve been fantastically monogamous since saying that. I have a new pair of Jaywalkers (wearing them now), and I’m speeding through the first Monkey.
I am loving this pattern, and I’m loving the yarn. It’s the Tamarack colorway that Tracy and I dyed. It is fantastic, truly variegated with no pooling or flashing. The yarn itself is super soft. I think that’s because we gave it a nice soak in Eucalan to countereffect any of the scratchiness that dyeing can sometimes cause.
Sometime very soon, I am going to have a big announcement/contest. It will involve prizes and goodies; all for a good cause. I’m still working out the details. I know the knitting community is a very generous one, and I’m hoping everyone will support us on this one near and dear to our hearts.
I’ll start with knitting. I cast on the Monkey socks 2 days ago. I’m halfway through the leg. I’ve read that these socks go fast, and they do. It’s an 11 row repeat, and 3 rows of the repeat you knit every stitch so it’s fast. You do the repeat 6 times for the leg. I can easily get a repeat done a day. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot for me. The pattern is pretty easily memorized too. I only have to refer to the chart every now and then to make sure I’m on the right track.
I am knitting with the Tamarack colorway, and I’m liking how it’s knitting up.
Time for baby stuff now. Yesterday, Liam saw the PT. We aren’t doing any private therapy since he’s been doing so well. We’ve only seen the Early Intervention PT once about 6 weeks ago. Her assessment: He’s beautiful. I can’t ask for anything better. I did ask her about his lack of rolling. She said that he can roll. He just has to want to roll. Some kids don’t like to roll so they don’t. What does he do that evening? Roll. From back to belly. He rolled over in his crib this morning before his first bottle. After his morning nap, I caught this.
Seems he’s figured out that he likes to roll.
He’s excited. I’m excited too. That means when we re-evaluate his IFSP next month, we can cross off all the goals set on the last one and write all new ones. Sitting is obviously going to be a goal for the next IFSP. They about fell over when they saw him sitting on his own. We see the OT and ST next month for the first time. I’m anxious about this. I know I shouldn’t be since he doesn’t seem to have any issues, but I’m afraid they’re going to find something or tell me I’m doing something wrong. Especially in the case of the ST. He’s eating fine for me, but I have no experience feeding a baby so I have no idea if he’s doing something "not normal". I guess this is the way it goes.
Here is a shot of the Jaywalker in progress. I’m a little bit further along than the picture shows. I knit on the sock while we were traveling back from my mom’s house Easter weekend, and I’ve knit on it a bit this week. I am at the toe. I think I just have to knit a few more rounds before I start the toe shaping.
The fit of this Jaywalker is a little different than the ones I knit last year out of Lornas Laces. This sock is looser. I’m using the same needle size as before but different yarn. It still will fit great, just different than the others. I guess I should say I rarely, if ever, do a gauge swatch for a sock. I’ve never had an issue with a sock fitting before; I seem to have a good sense if it’s going to work for me or not. Just watch, I say that now and I’m going to get slapped by the sock knitting goddess for my smugness.
I’m going to warn you now. Hide your credit cards. I heard about this new shop on the most recent LnV podcast. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw some of the yarns for sale here. Woolgirl.com–I drool. And, I’m not going to share my favorites with you. If I decide to buy anything, I want it to still be there. I’m selfish that way.
I mentioned previously that I had started a new pair of Jaywalkers. Here is the progress so far.
You can’t really see from the pictures, but I did a picot edge instead of ribbing as called for in the pattern. It was my first attempt at picot, and I am pleased at how it looks. It was a bit fiddly to do, but it’s so pretty. With the colors of the yarn, the picot edge just makes the socks overly girly, which I happen to like. The yarn is a purchase from Maryland Sheep and Wool. I can’t remember the name of the yarn, but I do like it quite a bit. Good thing I have about 7 more skeins of it in the stash, different colorways of course.