February 22, 2014

Garden Gate Sock Pattern

It's here!

The pattern that became my Ravellenics 2014 masterpiece:  Garden Gate Socks!  

Because I know that so many people do not knit socks two-at-a-time, I've written the pattern with a separate set of instructions for BOTH single-sock knitting and two-at-a-time knitting.  I've also included leg and heel charts.

The great thing about this pattern, besides all of those gorgeous cables, is that the combination of cables and ribbing keeps the leg and foot snug so that you don't have that issue of your socks bagging around your ankles by midday.  (I just hate baggy socks, don't you?!)

The yarn that I used is my own hand-dyed Rocket Sock Medium in Green Apple.  I'm toying with the idea of knitting this pattern again (I foresee that I will knit this pattern again and again as a staple to my sock wardrobe--I'm that in love with it!).  The next pair you see may be a little more wild, though this green (the heel pic is a bit off in color and I don't know why except that Blogger likes to adjust my color as it sees fit) is pretty wear-your-sunglasses-to-look-at-your-feet bright.  Rocket Sock Medium is a 4-ply superwash wool in the traditional sense (it doesn't have the glossy sheen that the regular Rocket Sock has) and with a fantastic elasticity and stitch definition.

So, check out this pattern on Ravelry and Craftsy, as well as in the sidebar and my Etsy shop.  If you love cables as much as I do, and even if you don't, you're going to love, love, love this pattern!

February 18, 2014

Ravellenic Games 2014: Sock Hockey FO

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but …


Meet my Garden Gate Socks, also my Sock Hockey (green event), Cable Cross-Country (purple event), and Single-Skein Speed Skate (purple event) entry.  Two socks, finished, in  Cedar Hill Farm Company's Rocket Sock Medium (green apple). The medium required 380-ish yards, which is less than one skein, so I expect that the large can also be knit with a single skein.

The pattern for these socks was written by me about a day before the Ravellenic Games of 2014 began, so this pair is really my test-knit (in my size, of course!).  The finished pattern will be available toward the end of this week on Ravelry, Craftsy, and my Etsy Shop.  It is written for both single-sock knitting and two-at-a-time knitting.

Here's hoping that I filled out all of the "paperwork" correctly on Ravelry to medal. LOL.

February 10, 2014

Ravellenic Update #1: Slap Shot!

She flew through the defensive line of ribbing.  Here she comes, cabling down the ice!  Look at those needles fly! It looks like there's going to be a clear shot to the heel flap … and ooohh! She fanned on the puck!!

Don't you just hate it when you get one row off on your counter when you are cabling and have to count rows and rip back stitches?!  That's where I am right now. Ripping back a row and trying to figure out where the heck I am supposed to be on my chart.  I have 2 inches of ribbing and about 2 inches of leg completed for two socks.  That's where I'll pick up today.

These socks are so green that I think they might just glow!

In other Ravellenic Games news, the Pi Shawl, which has been entered in the WIP category, is coming along better than expected.  Thanks to a Saturday night hockey game (go LEAFS!!) and a few episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu last night, I've finished the 48-round repeat section and am an increase round and 2 additional rounds into the last stretch (94 rounds to go!! )   I don't know if I'll make it through 96 rounds.  I'm just going to be honest about that.  I'm dedicating 675 yards of Highland to this project, and then I'm done.  It's taken about 44o yards to get to where I am right now, so it should be close, anyway.

February 07, 2014

Ravellenic Games 2014: Let's DO This!

The Ravellenic Games of 2014 have begun, and here I am, casting on for a new two-at-a-time, top-down sock pattern that I literally designed yesterday.  On the one hand, I feel a bit guilty because my pattern looks very similar to, though not the same as, another pattern on Ravelry.  On the other hand, the Ravelry shop closed, the pattern is no longer available for sale, apparently, ANYWHERE, and my message to the Raveler, asking if I could still purchase her pattern from her, has gone unanswered. C'est la vie.  I'll write my own.

The yarn is Green Apple from my Rocket Sock Medium label.  I knew I wanted to use my own yarn for this event to knit a pair of socks. Oh, I hear ya: "Didn't you just finish a pair of socks yesterday and you are casting on for another pair today?"  Yes.  I am a sock-knitting addict.  Even if there were a 12-step program, I'd still be a sock-knitting addict.

The pattern, which I have named Garden Gate Socks is, quite obviously, in its test stage because, well, I just wrote it up yesterday afternoon.  But here's the thing: this pair of socks will be done before the end of the Sochi games (Feb. 23rd), so that means that so will the pattern.  I expect to have it up in my Ravelry and Etsy shops, maybe even on Craftsy, by the end of the month.

It has cables.

You're REALLY going to like it!

So, I will keep you updated as I knit to completion.  I have 17 days.  It's conceivable that I could knit this pair and a ribbed pair before then.  I'm tempted, yes I am! But, we'll have to just see how this first pair goes.

To be honest, I'm thinking that this year I am going to have the goal of knitting at least one, if not two, pair of socks per month.  That would give me at least 12 new pair of socks by Christmas and plenty of Christmas gifts.  I think that's a pretty good plan. ;)  Never mind how many projects I have in hibernation around here.

I hope that you will be joining me in the Ravellenic Games this year.  This is my first year, so I've joined a team:  Front Porch Friends.  I think this could be the start of a new knitting kinship.  Come join us if you are looking for a team!  Stay tuned!

And as a side note, I've decided that since I will have these socks finished with a week to spare, I might as well also compete in the WIP competition for the Games and finish up the Pi Shawl.  I can do it, right?  I only have about 118 rounds remaining to be knit!

February 06, 2014

FO: Boy Socks

After telling me that he really just wanted a new beanie for Christmas and really didn't want socks at all … the truth came out!  Within minutes of my having handed over the ribbed socks that I finished in January to Scout #1 (I can't believe he turned 17 this week!!!), Scout #2 was dropping very clear hints that what he REALLY wanted was a new beanie AND a pair of socks.

I started these on the 28th of January.  I finished them today, which gives me a 9-day completion time.  I feel like I'm slowing down with the sock knitting, but I do have the excuse of having been sick with an unpleasant respiratory thing.  (Cough, cough!)

These socks are pretty darned excellent!  I knit them in Malabrigo Sock (my very favorite sock yarn company next to my own) in Cote D'Azure (807).  I had purchased this yarn for this project before Christmas, so since I didn't knit the socks as a Christmas gift, technically this yarn came from the stash.  That means that I am OBLIGED to shop for more yarn because now I have to replace stash yarn, right?

Take a good look at these pictures.  I am confident that, shortly, these pictures will be all that remains of these very expertly knit socks.  After all, the recipient is a teenage boy.

Let me tell you what happened to Scout #1's socks. (Whimper!)

He FELTED them!  FELTED!!!  The first time he wore them ... FELTED them.  Did I mention that he FELTED them?

Apparently, the consequences of warm, wet wool--superwash wool at that!--being exposed to the constant friction of moving feet on a hiking trail in boots that must be a little too big over the coarse of an entire day eluded my son.  When I discovered the felted balls of what used to be 20,000 stitches worth of socks, my eyes actually welled up with tears.  My son, bless his heart, seems rather unconcerned about the whole affair.  I washed and stretched them back into something resembling socks, so he figures that the felting is no big deal and he'll just wear them like that.  (Sigh.)  He is, of course, on knitted gift restriction until further notice.

So, this mama will not be surprised if the younger brother has the same general disregard for 8 days of knitting and 20,o00 tiny stitches.  I guess that's part of being the mama.

February 05, 2014

Finally, Pi.

I've cast on for my first Pi Shawl.  I have admired the FOs of bloggers and Ravelers for years, but it has always seemed like such a daunting affair.  When Honey got me Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac for Christmas, and I discovered that the Pi Shawl "pattern" was smack dab in the middle of it, I knew that this was a project that I was fated to knit.

So I cast on Saturday before last Saturday between rounds of my Shurtugal Dragon Socks.  It was ugly (not the pattern, the attempt at the process of casting on).  The initial cast on was a little tricky because it was difficult to maintain a consistent stitch size from one new stitch to the next.  That was nothing compared to having to use DPNs for the first 6 rounds or so!  Either my DPNs were too long for the task, or my brain can't make my hands work with stitches divided over only 3 needles (5 needles I can do much easier).  It was a clumsy, fumbly mess of frustration that was ripped and begun again 3 or 4 times.  Finally, I stuck in a 16" circular and just worked the ol' magic loop until the darned thing was large enough to just work around the cable.

But now it's a breeze!  It's just knitting around and around and around.  I've dubbed this the official TV/Movies project since there are no purl stitches and I can knit with my eyes closed or on the screen on this one.  It's easier than a dish cloth.  I can't believe I haven't elected to do this one as a beginning circular project in the knitting classes that I teach.  I will save the more complex addition of lace patterning for another time--maybe a summer project with some alpaca lace from my shop. As of today, I am on round 28 of the 48 round repeat section.

Anywho … the yarn is my Flock 225 in Highlands.  I am loving the subtle mossy color changes in it, that's for sure.  I figure I'll work about 2 hanks for this project (450 yards) unless I lose my mind and actually knit through the 96 round repeat to finish the pattern, in which case it will take 3 hanks (675 yds.).  That should be enough for my small frame, I think.  Time, and how long I can stand knitting in a circle, will tell.


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