You’ll have to excuse my few days of absence. Last week was one of those weeks where all you want to do is hide from life on the couch with a big cup of tea and some really good knitting, when you want to give hugs to everyone you know. When you’re feeling pain and sorrow, nothing can snap you out of it like a good sock. Of course, those rough weeks are also the ones that keep you too busy to sleep let alone get some stitching in. The end of summer has been hectic for my family and I was hoping that it would begin to settle down after Labor Day weekend. I was wrong, I’ll leave it at that.
I still feel dizzy with all of the work that I left unfinished over the past few days, there’s just so much to catch up on, and of course, there are plenty of deadlines looming. But I’m excited to say that I’ll be filling up my month with lots of great projects. It’s going to be a heck of a ride and as much as I stress, I love the feeling of importance that comes from one too many commitments.
Anyway, where did we leave off?
I finished the first sock just before the holiday weekend and immediately cast on for the second. I had so much time in the car and having a drink that by the end of Labor Day weekend, I’d already turned the heel and was working my way towards the foot. It all happened so fast. It was like an inverse second sock syndrome. The second sock just kind of happened like magic.
I finally turned to my knitting Friday night, just exhausted and drained, and was so happily surprised that I had just a few more inches to go before my sock was complete.
Together, they are so soft and comfy. These are definitely my new favorite sock and I look forward to purchasing more yarn from Jill to make a second pair. Maybe those will be gifted. Maybe.
Knitting, my friend’s mother (a fellow knitter) told me in college, is something that control freaks love to do. We love being able to preside over every inch, manage the perfect fit, and obsess over tiny stitches. Sometimes when life becomes that blur, when things happen that we can’t change, when we are thrown those proverbial curveballs, it is huge therapy just to sit down with needles, to make something as perfect as we need them to be, and to feel that peace that comes with completing a pair of socks.
Did you finish your socks? Don’t forget to post photos! Judging starts tomorrow!
Today is my birthday! So let’s talk about socks!
Well, first I want to talk about brunch. And we will because (did I mention) it’s my birthday! I had a really lovely brunch at my place over the weekend with a bunch of my best friends to celebrate (and also as a very belated housewarming). I just felt super lucky to have so many people that I love there and FINALLY being able to have a proper party since we decorated a bit. It felt kind of grown up and lovely! My friend Holly made me a birthday cake which was so super special. I think that as long as I’m surrounded by awesome friends and family, this is going to be a great year!
Anyway, you’re here for the socks. I’m pretty happy with the way my first Hermione sock is turning out. It’s been a few months since I’ve worked on a sock, boy, I love sock knitting! Did I mention that before? I just love the tiny little needles and the shape. They’re so simple yet so complex!
Speaking of complex, I ripped out the heel flap four times before I was happy. I think that I was reading the pattern wrong but I ended up knitting the WS on the RS (kind of wish that the pattern had specified which rows were which) a few times and then I was worried that it didn’t look right. I was thinking that it should look like a regular slipped stitch heel (so, more like a faux ribbing) than the eye of patridge (more of a dimple texture). Jill and I chatted about it and she set me straight. I was just over-complicating things.
I’m not much of a top-down sock knitter. I really love my toe-up socks. But this pattern is starting to sway me. The garter stitch edge to the heel flap makes picking up gusset stitches seamless. Everything looks so neat. I absolutely love it! I will be making all of my heel flaps with garter stitch borders from now on, thank you very much.
Now, I want to talk about turning the heel. Turning a heel is just like knitting magic. It’s like turning a boring tube or a flat piece of fabric into a three dimensional object. I mean, it was always 3D, obviously, but I mean something that goes from being just a blob of stitches to being an actual recognizable garment. It’s like origami with needles. Is there any other knitting technique that is as satisfying and simple yet clever and ingenious!? I’d love to hear what you think. I don’t really know how to explain it but if you’ve done it before, you know what I mean.
The best comparison I’ve got for you (and it’s not very good but, hear me out) is that moment when building a ship in a bottle (I’ve never done this but I’ve seen it on TV) when you pull the string and the whole thing stands up and you’re like, “Yay! Look it’s a ship! Magic!” That’s what turning a heel feels like. (Yes, I Youtubed ships in bottles. It’s my birthday, you cannot judge.)
Long story short, I hope you’re all uploading your sock progress to Kollabora! I want to see more sock photos! I demand sock photos! My birthday wish is more sock photos and world peace and to eat a piece of chocolate cake for dinner. Three birthday wishes!
How are your socks coming along?
ps. Since we’re talking coupon codes, turns out Bristol Ivy and I have the same birthday! I must encourage you to buy one of her gorgeous patterns since she’s having a birthday sale! 28on28 for 28% off! Happy birthday, Bristol!
Tags: birthday, brunch, discount, eye of patridge, hand dyed, hand knit, heel, heel flap, hermione's everyday sock, Jill Draper, jill draper makes stuff, knit, knitalong, kollaboar, kollabsockalong, ship in a bottle, slipped stitch, sock, sock knitting, sock splendor, turn heel
I’ve already cast on for my KAL Hermione socks and I’m making good progress. It’s been a few months since I’ve knit a sock and I’ve forgotten how fun they are! I really love love love working with small needles although my wrists aren’t so happy about it anymore. I guess it’s time to break out the support gloves! (Do you guys use those? Do they work?)
I used this tubular cast on for the socks. It’s a really clear description To be completely honest with you, I don’t use tubular cast ons as often as I ought to. They’re a lot of work and I always manage to screw them up. That being said, there’s something so satisfying about the clean, finished edge it leaves. It’s definitely worth using for socks.
Of course, I was very busy watching Ghostbusters and totally stopped paying attention to the stitch pattern and screwed everything up. This always seems to happen to me when it comes to knit/purl patterns. I can knit huge cabled insanity and eye-straining faire isle without batting an eye. But P1, K3 needs extra attention from me. After about 1/2″ of wonky stitching I realized that I was reading half of the chart backwards and the other half forwards. I know. Like, the pattern is so simple it doesn’t even merit me reading a chart.
Anyway, I ripped back to the ribbing and now everything is beautiful. And knitting with Jill’s yarn is absolutely amazing. It’s fab.
How’s your sock coming along? It’s not too late to cast on!
New York has been wonderfully cool this week. The weather has me day dreaming about big comfy sweaters and apple cider. And socks! I can’t think of a better occasion than this autumnal preview to announce this knit-a-long! I really love making socks and I want to make them with you!
So here are the details I’ve been promising! We’ll be knitting the Hermione Everyday Sock pattern which is available for free under that link. The KAL begins Monday (August 19th) and will end around September 9th. Jill will be helping to select her favorite executions and there are prizes! Three winners will receive Jill’s newest yarn Esopus, a hand dyed fingering weight 100% superwash merino at 500yds/4oz.
I’m really excited to have Jill involved in this KAL. Her yarn is absolutely gorgeous and filled with love and she is just lovely. She recently announced some big changes to her brand and I think it’s going to be wonderful. All Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarns will be entirely sourced and spun in the US. Hooray for keeping small farms and the American textile industry going! I must say that I highly recommend casting on for this with some of her yarn. (Check the update below for ordering info!)
To participate, upload your Hermione socks to Kollabora. It’s really that simple. Be sure to post WIP pictures, too! Go crazy, make them your own, and have fun!
And, dear lurkers (hello!), if you’re maybe nervous about starting a sock for the first time but possibly ready to take the plunge maybe! Kollabora has just added this really cool feature for those of us in need! Besides WIP and FO statuses, if you’re having trouble, you can mark you projects as “Stuck” and the lovely people and community at Kollabora will lend you some advice. I am totally loving this feature. It’s such a fantastic way to encourage online knitters to help each other out and hopefully to get those that are tentative to dive in! We’ll be your life jacket!
I’ll also be doing some sock-centric posts along with WIP photos in the upcoming weeks to help you along so check back for more!
So, will you join us? Tell your friends!
Quick update! Jill is offering free shipping in the US for KAL-ers with coupon code KOLLABORATION13. Do it!!!
So much going on! I hardly have time to write. Summer is here and everything is happening. I feel like I haven’t sat still in weeks but there’s lots of fun stuff going on that I will be able to tell you about in the future. Until then, there are some cool things that I’m ready to report. So listen up!
I recently had the honor of appearing as a guest on Kollabora’s new web series Nora Meets the Maker. The series is great, featuring lots of different crafters and cool projects. I’m really excited for more episodes to come out! My episode features a cool i-cord headband that I designed. It’s a really cute and simple project with tons of options for embellishment. I hope I have time to make a few more of them, actually, because I really feel like the possibilities are endless.
It was tons of fun shooting with Nora and the rest of the ladies at Kollabora. They are always such a treat to work with! The green screen concept is so great to play around with. It’s very silly in a public access TV show kind of awesome. I’m awkward as all goddamn but you can see my Poolside top in action! Nora cracks me up.
Check out the free pattern for the Libby headband on Kollabora and take a look at the other episodes!
Are you following me on Kollabora yet? Let’s be friends!
I’ve been trying to come up with some fast and fun knitting patterns that are light on the pattern side and heavier on the personal creativity end. Stuff that you can really customize without worrying too much about doing big adjustments. Something that I’ve been doing a little bit of experimenting with are i-cords. They’re quick and easy to knit but I feel like they can be used so many other ways than for drawstrings.
Check out the endless i-cord possibilities (completely with tutorials) in this guest post for Kollabora!
How was your long weekend? I basically did nothing but knit and switch between Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica while drinking beer and eating bacon jam. I actually feel guilty about how awesome it was. But I can’t show you much of what I’m working on because (!!!) it’s a design for Holla Knits’ Fall/Winter collection! Isn’t that awesome? You’re all going to love it.
Between long stretches of knitting, I gave myself a break to check instgram (I have an addiction) and play a game that I’ve become totally obsessed with called Tiny Sheep. I decided to just come out and write about it here because I like to remind you that I am still a 15-year-old girl on the inside and I’m especially shameless when knitting is involved even in the slightest.
Tiny Sheep is an iPhone game (also available for Android) in which players run a sheep farm. It’s time-based so things grow and work while you’re away from the game. It’s a lot like those other annoying games that I was crazy about for a week and then completely abandoned. (I’m looking at you, Farmville. Guys, I played Farmville for a while. It was not the coolest thing I’ve ever done.)
But this time I can be a shepherd on my phone with pink sheep. Pink sheep!
I’m fertilizing grass and sheering sheep and spinning their wool into sweaters and Ugg boots (yeah, I don’t know). It’s pretty addictive. I’m pretty sure that this free app was developed entirely for my own amusement. Like a game of my dream life if my dream life were a game. I’ve never been interested in playing a game where I virtually knit things. I’m not really big into gaming in general because it takes my hands away from knitting. (I do love to watch other people play while I knit, though. Seriously. And when I do game, I get carried away.) But I like that this is a game of management and a lot of patience instead of marathon playing. And I like to dream about being a shepherd even if I have to be one on my coffee breaks at work.
Did I mention there are pink sheep?
ps. The final set of instructions for the Michelle Collar are up on Kollabora! If you were waiting for the whole thing, feel free to cast on now! What are you waiting for?
I feel like a broken record but this week I’m getting started on two knit-a-longs! And today I want to invite you all to join me!
I’ve been going crazy over accessories recently. I’m usually a sweater girl, it must be the weather. I whipped up a pattern for a cute little collar for spring. Collars are big this season and this one is the perfect piece to add a little feminine touch to any look. It’s crazy simple to knit. The hardest part will be picking out the perfect button!
The collar is knit with Kollabora’s Like a Rolling Stone silk and baby alpaca yarn. I’m so in love! It’s super soft and delicate and the colors are great for spring. (I’d love to knit a summer top with it! Hmmm…)
Check out all of the details here including the free pattern! I’ll be updating with more instructions next Monday so there is a bit of suspense! But cast on and check back. You can find all of the supplies on Kollabora but this would make a perfect stash-busting project. Make a bunch for all of your friends!
You can join in on the fun by clicking the “Make” button on the project page. I’d love to see what you make!
How will you customize your collar? Embroidery? Buttons? Ribbons? I’d love to hear about it!
What will we do when the weather warms up? That’s what we ask ourselves when spring starts to shine out from behind a harsh winter.
I am not a seasonal knitter. I knit all damn year. I’d knit on the beach if I went to beaches. I am certainly guilty of knitting poolside. A lot of non-knitters laugh when I buy yarn in July. It seems like prime time to cast on a cardigan to me. In fact, I feel the need to rush when I have an opportunity to wear what I’m making so there’s a little less pressure on summer knitting. But if a sweater is finished early, I can wear it to the office to fight off overzealous air conditioning. Of course, there’s nothing like the first cool breeze in October to really make my heart ache for wool socks on my needles. But I certainly don’t slow down when the mercury rises.
Now, when it comes to my other crafts, those are certainly seasonal. In colder months, I can’t bring myself to embroider when there are sweaters to be knit.
I picked up sewing last summer but once the weather turned, I began to neglect my sewing machine. I plan on doing more sewing this summer and I’d like to continue teaching myself into the fall but first I have to learn how to sew sleeves. I don’t see myself making tank tops in December.
What about you? Are you a seasonal crafter?
When Kollabora asked me to create a project using their yarn, you can imagine how excited I was. First of all, I’ve been creating my own accessories for a few years and I was ready to share with the rest of the knitting world.
Second, I got to dive into a giant box full of yarn and pick whatever colors I wanted. (I warned them ahead of time, this was a dangerous move.)
Well, here it is!
The mitts are knit in the round with Kollabora’s Alpaca au Natural and Nora’s Pantry yarns. The yarn is super soft and yummy. (The alpacas are raised in cold temperatures in the Andes!) I love the colors of the Nora’s Pantry yarns and, you know me, I can’t say no to an undyed alpaca! Making this was a lot of fun!
Coming up with a beginner/intermediate pattern was actually a bit of a challenge for me. I didn’t want to make something so simple that it had been done before or so easy that it was boring. But I definitely didn’t want to over complicate it. I realized that it’s difficult for me to gauge what is easy and what is “hard” (or, let’s say ‘advanced’) after so many years of knitting. When it comes to knitting, I am fearless; it’s just combinations of one stitch and it’s mirror, if you will. But newer knitters can easily be intimidated and patterns can quickly begin to look like complex calculus formulas.
Colorwork was something that I wanted to do when I first started knitting. So I thought that it would be a fun project. Also, it involves knitting in the round which is my favorite thing to do!
The pattern is available for free on Kollabora! You can even buy all of the supplies you need through their shop. I’d love to see your fingerless mitts!
Have you worked with the Kollabora yarns yet? What do you think?