Monday, November 17, 2008

Cold Feet, Warm Heart...

I have been knitting up a lot of socks this year for myself, as well as for gifts. The latest pair, Eclipse Socks were requested by my DD, Cheyenne. She is OBSESSED with the Stephanie Meyer books in the Twilight series. These 4 books are about star-crossed lovers, one of which just happens to be a vampire. Normally, I have absolutely no interest in vampires, I found Anne Rice to be just too blood-thirsy. But, I loved these books, after Cheyenne started reading them, I devoured all four books (excuse the pun). So when I found a sock pattern that had the cover of one of the books, I knew she would love it. She asked me to make her a pair in time for the 1st book's movie premier. Twilight is premiering this Friday, Nov. 21st and I just FedEx'd her the socks this morning. That should get me some good Mama points.
I ordered KnitPicks Essentials superwash wool and really liked working with it. I learned several new techniques with these socks, I did a twisted rib at the top which I love the look of and will definitely use in the future. I also did an afterthought heel. This was a major nerve-wracking experience. The first one I did in the LA airport and an elderly Vietnamese woman even went and bought me a bottle of water after she observed me concentrating so hard on this! lol I did much better on the second one, especially when I used my Ott lamp and a magnafier. That black yarn and tiny stitches are heck on those of us with reading glasses! I also learned how to do Intarsia in the Round! The pattern called for duplicate stitch on only one sock after the sock was finished but I was afraid it would be hard to see (see above blindness note! lol). I made the legs of the socks longer than the pattern, so I had to repeat part of the ribbon pattern. I also made them a bit slimmer as DD has a fairly narrow foot. The heel and toe in the pattern go down to 16 stitches, but I modified it to 24 on the toe and next time I think I would do 24 on the heel as well. I think they turned out awesome and very trendy looking as well. I hope she WOWs everyone at the theater.

I wanted to also show a pair of cute self-striping socks that I made this summer as a Christmas gift. I knit them toe-up on 2 circulars and ribbed all of the leg with a 3 to 1 ribbing. I tried a different increase at the toes that was supposed to make a rounder toe but I don't really like it that well so I probably won't use that again. This is a super-wash wool from Skacel but it is tons scratchier than the above KnitPicks or lots of other ones. I love the pattern but I plan to wash them at least one more time before I give them as a gift so try and soften them some more. I also seem to have a rather tight bind-off on these so I may re-do that before they go to their new home.

The third pair of socks are a pair of Cascade Fixation Ankle Socks from the stretchy cotton-blend fixation yarn. I actually knit both socks from a single 100 yard ball of that yarn and I wear a 8.5 to a 9 size shoe! I literally had about 2 feet of yarn left. I love the color but wish they were a bit less pointy. I used a size 3 circular needle and didn't really have any tension problems working with this yarn.

Finally another type of foot covering, a delicate pair of Crocheted Mary Janes for a newborn. I like to do some quick projects in the middle of a pair of socks or a more challenging project so one night I whipped these up. I think I may put them up for a future grandbaby as I don't think I can bear to part with them. Aren't they adorable?? I made these with some aqua blue sport yarn that my Mama got at an estate sale. Unfortunately, I think this yarn had been rolling around in a box of razor blades. Every 2 to 4 feet, there was a cut in the yarn. ARGhhhh! After I finished these booties, I tossed the rest of that skein and another one just like it in the trash! It goes against my frugal grain to throw away yarn, but that was ridiculous!

Well, more later, I have to get some work done...

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