Knit Pattern: Twists & Braids Socks

These highly textured socks use slip-stitch cabling to create flat twists and braids that are mirrored on front and back of the sock from the center. When worn the sock stretches to reveal the beautiful detail of the ribs.

Size: Women’s 5-9.

Pattern repeat: 31 sts and 12 rows.

Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) double pointed needles, set of 4.

Gauge: 15 stitches and 22 rows = 2 inches (5 cm) stockinette worked in the round (unblocked).

Yarn: Sock weight yarn. Approximately 296 yards. Sample knit in a fingering 4-ply – 175yds/50g

Instructions include full written directions, charts and unstretched sock measurements.

Available on Etsy for $3.50
Available on Craftsy for $3.50

Knit Pattern: His Simple Socks

This is a simple ribbed sock pattern knit from the top down and is designed to easily keep count of rows without becoming too monotonous. The ribs have a twisted knit stitch in the middle to help define the line of the ribs in the sock.

Size: Men’s Size 8-10.
Pattern repeat is 5 stitches and can be easily adjusted by increasing or decreasing repeats or rows.

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) double pointed needles, set of 4.

Gauge: 8 stitches and 11 rows = 1 inch (2.5 cm) stockinette worked in the round (unblocked).

Yarn: Sock weight yarn. Approximately 325 yards. Sample knit in a fine sock weight – 230yds/50g

Pattern includes written instructions, pattern chart and finished measurements.

Available on Etsy for $3.50

Available on Craftsy for $3.50

Knit Progress: Pillows

Good things come in threes! While my knitting has slowed down, I’ve enjoyed creating some simple double knit pillows that have allowed me to explore combining various yarn from my stash. Using the technique I picked up from a frogged project, I decided to use it to knit both sides of a pillow at the same time to avoid trying to line up color blocking or figure out the proper length and maintain clean seams easily. The only trick is to make sure you don’t miss a stitch and accidentally knit the  opposite faces together in the process.

Using multiple strands of yarn at once increases the chance of picking up part of an adjacent stitch, but the color variation is well worth it! Different strands of yarn come to the surface in each stitch, giving the fabric created extra depth and variety.

Here is my simple pattern for the pillows above (makes a cover for a 16˝ pillow):

I used 3 strands of yarn at any given time: worsted or bulky and sock weight.

US 10 circular needle

Long-tail CO 94 st.

P1, sl 1 for each row.
You will be working half of the stitches in each row, creating one side of a double-sided fabric.

Work in purl double knit until square.
BO 2 inches together
BO active stitches on the side, placing the “sl” stitches on a separate needle to create an opening until 2 inches from end.
Work in p1, sl1 to end of row.
BO 2 inches together and then BO remaining sts on second needle for second side.
Sew in invisible zipper to opening.

Enjoy your pillow!

Gifting Knits: Ladies & Literature Book Club edition

In addition to knitting, reading is one of my hobbies. A few years ago I met a great group of local ladies through a Goodreads group called Ladies & Literature. Since then the group has opened up to international members and numbers in the thousands. I am lucky to be one of five moderators for the group. One of my projects is the Annual Top Reader Competition that challenges our book club members to participate in every single “official” book club discussion for the year. That turns out to be 16 book discussions a year, one each month with a quarterly Classic book on top. This year we had 8 ladies complete the challenge. Of those 8, three win the big prize.

One of the prizes I supply is a custom knit piece. This year I worked with two of the winners to make a custom piece just for them based on my patterns. I love it when two hobbies can come together!

In addition to the prizes, one of our moderators is expecting her first baby, which was recently revealed to be a boy. After looking through patterns and inspiration, I decided to create my own version of a hooded blanket with bear ears. I had some Bernat Baby Blanket yarn on hand and was so pleased with how soft and thick a blanket it makes. You can get the notes for the blanket design here.

Happy Knitting and Reading!

Knit Progress: A visit to the yarn stash

After working on longer projects, I decided to visit the yarn stash and make some quick projects for the fall Arts Festival stockpile. I found some great yarn that I hadn’t used and some remnants from projects that would coordinate to create something unique.

Wine & Pink
I started with pairing a big ball of wine color yarn with some color changing roving in pinks and purples that was left over from smaller projects. I made a pair of herringbone fingerless gloves and liked the result. I still had a good amount left and decided to make an extra roomy version of my Meringue hat pattern. I especially like the way the alternating rows of yarn work in this pattern.

Orange & Silver
I found a bunch of bright orange roving that a friend gave me a while back and thought it went perfectly with the silver and gray yarn left over from a hat request. It makes a great hiking hat with the bright orange! The roving shows off stitches so beautifully I couldn’t resist continuing on with some chunky cabled fingerless gloves.

Smoky Jewel Tones
After that, I decided to make something on the delicate side with some beautiful handspun silk and merino yarn. It was thinner than expected, so I paired it with a charcoal gray sock weight yarn that let the beautiful color variations of the specialty yarn shine.

I have a few book club prize knits on the list to complete next. What are you working on?

Knit progress: Lace Cowl

After the holidays I slowed down on knitting projects and circled back to a little item I have wanted to make for a while: a thick cowl for winter. I was gifted two beautiful skeins of Knitting Fever KFI Luxury Roving in blues and thought this would be a perfect project for them. I also received the book Harmony Guides: Lace & Eyelets for Christmas. I am planning to use it as inspiration for a shawl. As I flipped through, I found a bunch of beautiful patterns and settled on the Pillar Openwork Lace stitch.

 

Notes on the Cowl:

Knit like a regular scarf  and bind off and then sew ends together after blocking

Needle size: US9
Pattern repeats: 16
Skeins: 2

I used both skeins a left a bit at the end to sew together the edges after blocking. This pattern is very easy and creates a nice thick fabric that has a bulky feel. It made cowl that can be worn as a single or double loop.

Knit progress: simple socks

Over the holiday break, I finally got around to knitting a pair of socks for my husband and had enough time left over to make a pair for myself! I bought a skein of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberwolle in a combination of navy, orange and purple to make something for him and decided to pair it with a skein of Lionbrand Sock-ease in orange to make the color transition throughout the pair more subtle. I alternated the yarns every other row and really like how it turned out.

I also experimented with some self-striping Patons Kroy Socks 4 Ply in Rust stripes for a pair of socks for myself. Instead of using it as-is, I knit the socks with two skeins, switching the yarn every row. I also started the skeins at different points in the repeat with the striping order reversed in one skein to create as much variety as possible.  It created a more textural stripe that I really like.

I went out on a limb and created my own simple pattern for these which I will probably release as a pattern. It includes a subtle basket weave texture over the ribs using an alternating 6-row garter stitch on every other rib. I’ll have to knit a solid pair of socks to make it more visible, but I like the little extra texture it adds to the socks.

Holiday Knits: Owl Ornaments

121613_owl_ornaments

I’m down to the wire this year finishing up my Christmas knitting. Part of the reason is that I keep adding projects! I’ve got two in the works that I plan to finish in the next few days, but I thought I’d share a few gifts that have already been given.

I was invited to my first cookie exchange party this year, which was a lot of fun! I still have a bunch of cookies around the house. We also did an ornament exchange and I decided that it would be a good time to create one of those cute ornament projects I’ve been eyeing on knitting blogs, pinterest and Ravelry. After perusing the options, I went with Owl Ornaments by Emily Kintigh – a free pattern on Ravelry. I liked the options for stitch patterns and the opportunity to play with color.

I made one for the exchange and enjoyed it so much I made a grouping to give as a present to a friend. The types of buttons you choose can really add personality to these little guys!

Have you made any ornaments for the holidays? Feel free to share any of your favorite patterns in the comments 🙂

Knits: Post Festival Round-up

Festival_booth

A few weeks ago we participated in our local Annual Arts Festival and had a great turnout! A lot of the knits made over the last year found new homes as well as some of the new prints created this fall. My favorite experience of the day was when a woman came up to the booth a pulled out a fingerless glove from her purse. She’d bought the pair from me at the festival a few years ago but had lost one. She liked them so much she wanted to see if I could make her another one and I was happy to accommodate the request–the gloves picture above are the result. It was fun to knit up one of the old patterns and I was even able to use a few new tricks I’ve learned since then to make them a bit better.

In addition the the gloves, the great sock race continues. Another two pairs are complete with another on the needles. The pair on the right is another pair of  Cadence Socks by Very Busy Monkey, this time in the festive Vanna’s Glamour in onyx. The other pair is the pattern Brigit by Monkey Toes in Premier Yarns Serenity Sock in Woodsy Green. This pattern is simple  but with twist that makes it special and the color turned out to be a nice match for the pattern.

Not much time left, but I have a few more pairs of socks I am hoping to finish by mid-December, then I plan to start working on some new patterns of my own in the new year.

Knit Progress: Socks and more socks!

I kind of got obsessed with socks and decided that was what everyone was going to get for Christmas this year – or at least as many as I can make in the short window of time left. I’ve made pretty good progress so far and have bought most of the yarn I’ll need.

I found a number of free patterns on Ravelry that I’ve really liked. The first shown above is  Paraphernalia by Taina Anttila. I’ve knit this pattern twice – they make a nice long stretchy socks with an impressive looking cable pattern that is easy to knit. I used Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering in the color Catholic Girls. The picture doesn’t do the yarn justice – it is a beautiful combination of deep jewel tones in blue, teal, purple, green and black. The second pair is in classic black Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Solids.

I also wanted to make some manly socks and found this pattern Escalator Socks by Sara Amoroso. It creates an interesting pattern and a thick fabric, great for socks to wear around the house in winter. I’ve taken a break and moved on to some other socks because I have more time to get those done than some of the others I want to do. I think they are coming along nicely.

The most recent pair completed is Effervesce by Purrlescent in Vanna’s Glamour in gold. This is a fun pair of socks that I decided to make with yarn that would match another piece I knit for the friend who will receive them. She has the personality to pull off some sparkly socks! These turned out great and weren’t too bad to knit despite all of the cable work. The fact that it changed over the course of the sock kept it from becoming too tedious.

Just a few more pairs to go!