Premmie Hats and Two Socks at Once

Hello!

I’m back from Minnesota and back on GMT+8 just in time to return to work tomorrow. I’ve actually managed to do some knitting over the holiday.

First, I finished the Morehouse head warmer. It was too funny for words. I looked like a blue worm in it. It was promptly frogged and a bit of the yarn became a door knob warmer for my parents’ house. It is getting far more use in that format that it would have seen as a head warmer.

Next I gave Dad his scarf. He isn’t wearing it. Bummer. I thought it was really pretty. I wish I could take it back and give it to someone who would wear it.

A quick stop to BeYaGi in Little Canada, Minnesota had me stocked with square needles for my friends here in Singapore to try out, and a pattern and ball of Sockotta to be turned into little hats for premature babies to wear. We are knitting them for the premature babies at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota to wear.

The first pattern made too big a hat for a premmie so my mom’s bear is now wearing it. Since then, I switched to a pattern you can find here: www.k3tog.typepad.com
which has worked much better.

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However, using the same sized needles (US #2), the same yarn (Sockotta) and the same number of stitches (CO 64) look at how different the sizes are!

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I guess my gauge is all wonky again. Good thing premmies come in many sizes. I think I can get at least one more hat out of this skein.

My copy of Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham arrived while I was home. I love it. The directions are really clear and it has good photos.

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On the flight to the US I had figured out how to actually knit two top-down socks and once, but I only had one skein of yarn. I was pulling from inside and outside and it kept turning into a tangled mess, so I gave up on it then. Now I am using two skeins of Cascade 220 and it is going well. On the flight to Singapore I turned the heels but wanted to wait until eyes were less tired and light was better before picking up the gusset stitches.

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Well, when I finally made time to pick up those stitches, I turned to the next page of directions and found that after turning the first heel, I was supposed to pick up the first edge of gusset stitches before turning the other heel. I wasted more than an hour trying to make it work, and then finally gave up, ripped out past the heel turn, and did it correctly.

At that point I thought I was home free, but I wasn’t. I could not get my brain around how to pick up the last two edges of gusset. I read, reread, and dearly wished for a photo of that step. Finally I sorted out what the directions were saying. It was a bit akward, but it worked and now I’m working on the gusset decreases. Next time it will be easy now that I have my brain around it.

basic sock with heel and gusset
I am loving knitting both socks at once. It feeds a portion of myself that likes to be productive. Of course, it helps that I’m using such a heavy yarn. With sock yarn this would be a much slower project and more difficult to see.

I like many of the patterns in this book. Next I’ll try “Anne’s Magic Stripe Sock” from this same book. I’ll knit my next sock from the lovely sock yarn Louise brought us.

Sock yarn from Louise view# 2

She hand-dyed it using Kool-Aid and I’m eager to try it. After knitting that, hopefully I’ll be skilled enough to start knitting socks for Kent! Too bad he won’t want socks out of these fun yarns.

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7 thoughts on “Premmie Hats and Two Socks at Once

  1. Thanks for knitting the hats. My co workers will be in Singapore from 20Jan until 01Feb so they can be dropped off at the Singapore Post Centre Northwest office for Joyce Landgren C/O Me.

  2. Hi June,
    I have not learned the Magic Loop method of knitting. You may want to drop by your local yarn shop and see if they offer and classes on that method. I have heard many knitters raving about it on knitting podcasts. They love it.
    Good Luck! Let me know how it works out for you.

    Susan

  3. So co-incidental…I work at United Hospital station 2200 and commute from the brainerd-lakes area to saint paul…7 days on and 7 off…I have several skeins of sockotta so I will try the preemie hats..I need to find out if Children’s is accepting them..I am knitting the basic socks from Knitting Circles Around Socks and I am having trouble picking up the second set of stitches on the heels… everything up to this point has been fine… I’m definitely at a roadblock here…I hope you can help me…Also an M.D. I worked with at United has recently relocated to Singapore with his wife..Dr. Mike Mercer

  4. Wow Walleyegirl!
    What a strange coincidence that you found my blog! The Minnesota/Singapore connections we share are surprising.

    Do try the hats. That yarn is a fun choice and they knit up quickly which is rewarding.

    I shared your difficulties with the second set of stitches. It was really strange how I had to squish the sock to start picking up the second set of stitches. It looked weird and was awkward for the first few stitches. Good luck!

  5. You got back to Singapore none to soon. It is bone-chilling, take your breath away cold and a fierce wind blowing also. Do you think that it is the 16″ needle that is causing the difficulty? That is my problem, also squishing the sock up the cable

  6. Hi Walleygirl, hi Ssedro,

    You’re right! Picking up the second set of gusset sts is rather weird…let me try to explain.
    After you’ve turned the heel and picked up the first set of gusset sts (each sock is worked separately!), you should be able to turn your work and knit across both sets of instep sts. Then turn your work again. The heels are facing you. Cover both tips of the 24″ needle. Only the tips of the 16″ needle are exposed. Slide the sts of the first heel flap to be worked close to the corresponding needle tip. Then take that heel flap in your left hand. With the right hand grab the other needle tip and bring it around the front to the heel flap you’re holding in your hand. You should be able to begin and pick up the second set of gusset sts, this time starting with the corner stitch and working your way up the side of the flap.
    Once those are picked up you can easily knit across the heel and down the other side of the flap. Then you’re once again set up to pick up the gusset sts of the second sock, beginning with the corner stitch.

    Hope this helps!
    Happy knitting!!
    antje

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