Another Cool Ravelry Feature…

Okay, I’m already totally addicted to Ravelry, and now I find the books section. Here I am, all excited about my new Sensational Knitted Socks book. I think, “Gee, it would be cool if I could keep track of my knitting books in Ravelry. I wonder if I can.”

So, I go to Ravelry and sure enough, there is a books link in the sidebar. Now at this time, I can only add books to my bookshelf that are already in Ravelry. Fortunately, both of my knitting books are in there. I search for them, add them to my bookshelf. A little photo of the book appears on my bookshelf. I am happy.

Then I click on one of the books, expecting to have book info such as author. It does, but that’s not all. Clicking on the book pulls up a gallery of projects that Ravelry members have knitted from this book. How cool is that!!!

I love how useful this feature is.  I love what a great use it is of a database. What will they think of next?

picture-2.png

Advertisements

Socks Explained

Sensational Knitted Socks

I LOVE this book. It is Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. How do I love it? Let me count the ways…

  • The 28 page introduction to knitting socks, including sock yarns, sock anatomy, size charts, stitch tables, tips, techniques for casting on, increasing, decreasing, heals, and toes. It also has troubleshooting and an abbreviation chart.
  • Lovely patterns that I’d actually like to knit.
  • Photos of each pattern and variations of the patterns.
  • Each pattern has a difficulty level listed– us newbies can’t always tell at a glance what level of project it is.
  • Each pattern has directions for knitting it on 4 DPNs, 5 DPNs and on two circular needles.
  • Each pattern has lots of options and those options are integrated into the pattern directions.
  • A lovely, integrated stitch dictionary showing photos of a swatch of the stitch, written directions, and chart directions.
  • Good use of color to make directions easy to read.
  • A little beginner’s sock pattern that the author uses when she teaches sock classes. She recommends knitting it first, and then knitting it other times when you are trying something new.

    Beginner's Sock

I’ve started the beginner’s sock. It is small so it is going quickly. If it turns out, it will be a Christmas gift so I’m knitting it in a lovely shade of deep red, worsted wool. I suspect that I can knit quite a few little socks out of this skein, so there may be numerous Christmas gifts in it, and numerous opportunities for me to perfect my heel turning and toe stitching before diving into a sock using sock yarn. Life is Good.

One Slipper Down…

I’m happy to say my first spiral sock is done. Just one, not the pair. However, it is a new milestone; I made a toe.

DSC00628.JPG

I had already decided that the socks should actually be a slipper and so I was delighted to see that Beyagi, the yarn store near my home, has leather slipper patches that I can stitch onto the bottom of the sock to make it a slipper. I’d like to find a bigger patch that covers the entire sole instead of just a toe and heel patch.

DSC00629.JPG

Now I’ll be the first to admit that this sock isn’t great looking. However, it was my first attempt at using DPNs, and then halfway through it moved to two circular needles. I learned a lot, and it looks like the veteran it is. And since it is now officially a slipper, I have no worries that is it loose and slouchy; that is just fine. Actually, I think they look like giant baby booties.  They didn’t look like that in the book, but that’s how they look when I knit them.

DSC00630.JPG

I won’t be starting the other slipper instantly. I want to get started on more traditional socks, and I don’t exactly need wool slippers at this time of year.

Depth of Field Yarn Shop

Seems so crazy that I am here visiting all these amazing yarn shops when I’m such a newbie knitter. By right, those of you back in Singapore should be the ones here. You’d make much better use of this great opportunity. The best I can do is to continue to shower you with photos of the gorgeous yarns.

Friday, Heather and I went to Depth of Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Scads of delicious yarns.

Depth of Field Depth of Field
Depth of Field Depth of Field
Depth of Field Depth of Field
Depth of Field Depth of Field
Depth of Field Depth of Field

Despite being exposed to all that luscious yarn, I didn’t buy any. They didn’t have anything that’s on the Buy for Singapore list. I did buy some HiyaHiya circular needles. Louise says they are every bit as good as addi and cost about half the price.

Spiral Socks

I’m dabbling with socks and as a result, there are UFOs everywhere. My first attempt was from my spiffy new books, Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick.

DSC00501.jpg
I was drawn to the Spiral Socks pattern because it seemed like a good inro to DPNs, but with a worsted weight yarn so it would be a relatively quick project, and since it is a tube sock, no need to learn to turn a heel. The spiral design makes it a one-size-fits-most pattern. What could be better?

DSC00504.jpg

When I was visiting the Double Ewe, I picked out a machine wash and dry-safe worsted wool/nylon mix. I couldn’t wait to get started.

DSC00497.jpg

Getting started took forever. First, I had to cast on a bunch of times to get the tension correct. Then while dividing the stitches between the needles, they kept leaping off. After a seriously long time, I was ready to really start. That didn’t go so well either. The pattern in the yarn was so strong that I couldn’t see my pattern evolving. I kept dropping stitches, making sloppy joins, making mistakes. Finally I ripped it out and started over.

This next attempt wasn’t much better than the first, but I stuck with it and go to the sock to here, but I still wasn’t having any fun, and didn’t love how it was knitting up.

DSC00521.jpg

 

Finally, I decided to try a different yarn, since knitting something I didn’t like seemed to be a surefire path to UFO land. I stopped at Michael’s to get some Patton SWS for a friend and while I was there, I purchased two skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the Chestnut Heather colorway.

DSC00524.jpg

And soon I had this:

DSC00522.jpg

I like how the pattern is knitting up with this yarn, but I still don’t love the DPNs. I decided to switch to two circular needs and am finally making real progress. It is now about nine inches long. Directions are to knit to twelve inches and then I start to deal with the toe. It is a start. It won’t be a terribly useful sock to me living in Singapore, but I figure it will be a slipper when I’m home in Minnesota. Probably isn’t sturdy enough to be worn outside, even if it would fit inside someone’s shoe.

A Wednesday Night Knitting Group

Just home from a lovely time with a Wednesday night knitting group that meets at a Panera restaurant. I greatly enjoyed my time with them. They welcomed me in and then kept up a steady stream of interesting talk while I tried to learn to knit two socks at once on two circular needles.

I’m loving the project and the yarn is super soft so it should make comfy socks. However, as this is very early on in my sock career, I may need to backtrack and work on just one sock at a time.

Louise taught me a truly cool way to start the sock from the toe. Knitting the sock on circulars feels so much more natural than those pesky DPNs which seem to encourage the yarn to leap off when I’m not watching. I can almost hear their taunting, “C’mmon! You can do it! Are you chicken or what? Just jump!”

Louise is a talented, patient teacher. She’s been teaching this process long enough that it only takes her a glance to identify my new mistake and tell me how to correct it.

All in all, a most satisfactory evening. (The evening began with a visit to another LYS. Won’t write about that until I have time to download my photos.)