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Pippi Longstockings!

Here is a picture of my latest finished project:

I’m calling them my Pippi Longstocking Socks because they remind me of the old, old, old show’s main character.  She always wore the craziest socks.

The pattern is actually called Stornoway Socks.  The free pattern can be found here.

My friend, Rabbitrescuer, wanted to learn how to knit socks, so I offered to do a Knit-a-Long with her.  I let her pick out the pattern.  She picked a GREAT one too!

This pattern is written for Magic Loop.  It has a short-row heel.  You probably remember my victory over that battle in this post.

The yarn is Fiesta Baby Boom.  The colorway is Tutti Frutti.  The yarn is fabulous!  It’s soft and moved easily through my hands.  I used 100 grams (3.6 oz.).  The skeins have 2 oz each, so it was roughly 1.75 skeins of yarn.  Thank goodness I had bought two!

One of the main reasons why my friend selected this pattern was because it was written for worsted weight yarn.  This threw me for a loop because the yarn’s gauge is 6 1/2 stitches per inch with size 4 needle.  Let me tell you…my gauge was wayyyyy off for the pattern.  I really hate gauge.

Ugh.  I hate messing with numbers.  My brain struggled mightily with this dilemma.  I finally decided to use larger needles and make the smaller size sock.  Winging it.  Brave, eh?

One of my favorite things about this pattern is the cable that runs up one side of each sock.  Yes, there’s a left and right sock.  So, you have a different cable for each one.

Here’s where I learned a big lesson:  Never think you’re bigger than your britches.  I figured I’m so good that I could do the cable without a cable needle…and so I proceeded to work sock #1.  When I got to sock #2, I paused with the different cable, actually thinking my way through it.  And I made an interesting discovery…my cable on the first sock was backwards.  It was supposed to be running to the outside of the leg.  There was no way I was going to frog it, so I did the reverse cable on the other leg.  It’s not like it was an intricate pattern, and non-knitters would never notice.  Actually, I don’t think most knitters would either.

My pattern modifications (other than the unintended cable switch) were to knit the socks almost to my knees, thus adding five more pattern repeats that involved increases on the back of the leg, and adding 10 rounds of 2×2 ribbing for the cuff.  The pattern is easy to memorize, so it literally flew off my needles.  Had I not had to do the napkin rings for the church retreat, I could easily have had these done in two weeks (factoring in my work schedule, of course).  I had so much yarn that I figured it would be a shame end the socks calf-high.  Oh, and I worked the double rib invisible bind-off, my favorite, from the Fall 2008 Interweave Knits issue.  I’ve mentioned it before.

My only complaint is with the way the colors changed near the top.  I think it’s because of the increases I had to do for the calf (written into the pattern).  Perhaps adding more stitches threw off the color pattern and led to a looser and thus darker appearance?  Who knows.  You can tell, from looking at the heel in one of the photos, how much darker the stripes are there as well.


I love the socks.  I feel young and carefree when I’m wearing them.  They are extra warm, and they are the best fitting pair of socks I have ever made.

Cabled Napkin Rings

Ok…I’m finally getting around to posting details about the cabled napkin rings I made for the banquet.

If you didn’t see the picture in my previous post, here it is again.

Cabled Napkin Rings

Cabled Napkin Rings

I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.  The color is Cotton Ball.  This yarn is leftover from my second knitting project.  I was thrilled to find it in my stash.  The color is more of a cream.  Lovely, in my opinion.

I used size 4 needles.

Yeah, I know.  Kind of small, eh?  However, I’ve discovered that smaller needles make the stitches tighter and, hence, the cables “pop.”  You want the cables to stand out.  All of that hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed!

Now, for the fun part.  The pattern.

For such a small project, this proved to be one huge challenge.  I cast on this pattern first.  After completing a couple of repeats, I found myself unhappy with the pattern.  Maybe it was the size of the cable…just too big for my liking.

So, I went back to the drawing board and began the hunt for another pattern.  I eventually landed on this.  I cast on eagerly.

I completed one pattern repeat and made an interesting discovery.  The pattern was riddled with mistakes.

If you work the pattern as is, you’ll come up with a garter-style cable.  I also realized that I had to go down several needle sizes to obtain a tighter cable.

So, I sat down and rewrote part of the pattern.

A brief explanation of how the pattern works.  The rows begin and end with K1, P1, K1 so that you are knitting a pretty Moss Stitch border.  It’s the eight center stitches that you need to pay closer attention to.  The cable is worked on only one row…the last of every pattern repeat.

One other tricky thing was figuring out how I was going to seam the thing.  It’s not worked in the round.  I hate seaming but gave it a valiant effort on my first napkin ring.  The result was hideous.

So, I tried Plan B.

I used a Provisional Cast on, following Amy’s video on KnittingHelp.com.   After working the pattern, I tried a three needle bind off. Once again, the seam was not to my liking.

On to Plan C.

Once again, I cast on using Amy’s Provisional Cast On.  After working the pattern, I seamed it up using the Kitchener Stitch.

Voila!  Success!  You could hardly discern where the ends met.  This is, ultimately, how I completed the rest of my rings.  I had it down to a science, completing each ring in under an hour (per ring, I mean).

Here is the pattern as it should have been written:

Cast on 14 stitches, either using a provisional cast on or a regular one.

1.  K1, P1, K1, P2, K4, P2, K1, P1, K1

2.  K1, P1, K3, P4, K3, P1, K1

3 and 4:  Repeat Rows 1 and 2

5. K1, P1, K1, P2, C2F, P2, K1, P1, K1

Because you’re ending on a RS row, your next series of pattern repeats will actually total six rows.

1.  K1, P1, K3, P4, K3, P1, K1

2. K1, P1, K1, P2, K4, P2, K1, P1, K1

3 and 4.  Repeat Rows 1 and 2

5.  Repeat Row 1

6. K1, P1, K1, P2, C2F, P2, K1, P1, K1

Work the above six rows until you reach the length you want.  I worked a total of six pattern repeats in addition to the first five rows.

Seam up in your preferred method.

Knotty or Knice Socks

Woo Hoo!  These socks are FINALLY off the needles!

First, the pictures, and then the info…

Knotty or Knice Socks

Knotty or Knice Socks

Knotty or Knice Socks

Knotty or Knice Socks

The pattern is called Knotty or Knice Socks from the Fall 2008 issue of Interweave Knits.

I cast these on 9/28/08 and bound them off yesterday (1/3/09).  The main reason why it took me so long to complete them is because I put them down many times to work on other projects.  Yes, I am a one-project-at-a-time kind of gal, but I had obligations…Guy Friend’s Beanie, charity blankets, stockings for the soldiers…

Plus, the yarn was so thin that I had to use a cable needle.  Argh!  Once I got the hang of the way the cables worked, I flew through the pattern repeats.

The yarn is Trekking Pro Natura, colorway #1545.  I used size 1 (2.50mm) needles.  I knit these using two circular needles…my favorite method.  I worked five pattern repeats on the foot and five more on the leg.

If I were to change anything, I would have left more stitches across the toes.  I do not have pointy toes, and these definitely go to a point.  This is the neat thing about making your own socks is that you can customize them to fit your own feet perfect.

Ok…a note about the yarn.

I’ve gotta say that when I started working with it, I found it splitty.  The needles kept poking through the center of the strands, making it difficult to cable.  However, I got used to it and eventually didn’t have a problem.  I also found the yarn a bit rough.  The yarn is 75% wool and 25% bamboo.  After putting them on for the pictures, I have decided that they are going to be warm.  I’m sure they’ll soften up with a few washes.

Another thing I’ve decided is that I want sock blockers.  Sister, if you’re reading this, make a note of it for my birthday.  These are the ones I want (click on the link to go to the Etsy store to purchase):

Oh, and I just had to comment about the pictures of the socks.  Soccer Chick took them for me.  That’s her room.  We’ve taken a couple of pictures against the green wall before.  There’s just something about the green that makes for good knitting pictures!  She was so funny too!  She had to lie down on her stomach to take the pictures.  Every time she took one, she got up to show me.  Of course, something was wrong with each picture…the sock was wrinkled, my foot wasn’t positioned correctly…you name it, we did it wrong.  She was fuming by the end, claiming she was not a photographer.  She still managed to get some GREAT shots, eh?

Ok…I’ve just cast on for my next pair of socks.  I’ll post some pictures of the progress another day.

Palindrome Scarf

Woo Hoo!  I have another finished project!

I love, love, love this scarf! It’s the first time I’ve ever knit with Malabrigo Worsted, and it was simply divine!

This is Silver’s pattern, which you can find here. The pattern is SUPER-EASY! It took me one week to complete. I started it last Sunday while we were on a college recruiting visit for my daughter. I started what I hoped would be a project that would require little thinking (compared to another project I’m in the middle of). It did not disappoint!

It would be the perfect pattern to start on if you want to learn how to do cables.

The scarf wound up being almost 63” long and 4” wide. I used size 9 needles and completed 55 pattern repeats. I used 1.7 skeins of yarn and have approximately one ounce left, which I hope to use to make the 75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts.

For the bind-off, I tried something new.

The Fall 2008 Interweave Knits has an article that includes instructions for how to knit an invisible bind-off for ribbing. I used these instructions, finally understanding them after trying several times, and wound up with a clean edge. Here is a link for a p1, k1 bind off, which will give you a general idea of the concept.

On to the pictures!

I bought the yarn at Knitwitz, a store in Jacksonville. It is Malabrigo Worsted, and the color is Water Green. It reminds me of my first prom dress.


I’ve been rather busy the last few days.

On Friday, I left work early so that the family could travel to Ft. Myers to Florida Gulf Coast University.  It was Jr Recruiting Weekend, and Soccer Chick was invited to attend.

We arrived in time to watch the second half of the women’s soccer game.  The team is good, although the tied score did not reflect it.  Afterward, Soccer Chick was introduced to her host for the weekend, and we were invited to attend a team dinner.  The players’ parents were very welcoming, and the girls seemed to get along well.

Soccer Chick stayed with her host while we played house at a local hotel, returning the next morning for a talk with the coaches and a tour of the college.  We love the coaches.  The team is only in its second season, but it’s apparent that they have high aspirations.  The college itself is very small for a D1 school, but it has a great feel to it.  It has its own beach (can you believe it?!), and the athletes reside in apartments on campus.  We loved hearing about the way academics are stressed.  It is clear that their priorities are in the right order.

One of the neat things is that everything is almost brand new.  The team has a new field and its own building with a fabulous locker room and lounge area (see the windows on the second floor…that’s where we ate dinner on Friday night).

The only downside is that the school is a solid day’s drive away from home.  Of course, Soccer Chick likes this fact.  Duh!  She’s a teenager.

We ended the weekend by attending the women’s game on Sunday.  They won.  They looked good.  We thanked the coach, who told us he would love to have Chicky become part of the program.  Talk about making us feel good!

During Sunday’s game, I decided to start a new knitting project.  I had taken along my Knotty or Knice socks, but the pattern was too complicated for the car ride.  Thankfully, I had packed my Malabrigo and the pattern for the Palindrome Scarf.  What a great pattern!  If you’re looking for an easy cable project, this is it.  I completed 16 repeats before it got too dark.  The yarn is delicious too!

Malabrigo - Worsted - Water Green

So that takes us to Monday, which came way too fast after our late arrival home the night before.  After work, I washed a load of clothes and noticed water on the floor in the laundry room.

Uh oh.  Not good.  Last week, the same thing happened, but I attibuted it to hanging clothes up to dry above the washing machine.

Today I put on my grunge clothes and decided to investigate.  I couldn’t find water escaping from the hoses going to the machine.

I tried to get the cover off of the back.  No go.  I pride myself on being able to figure out how to take things apart.

Not today.

I did finally manage to get the front off of it.  Here’s what I’ve been looking at ever since:

Yeah.  A little intimidating.  At this point, I picked up the phone and called a repairman.  He’s coming on Thursday.

I’m still determined to fix this myself.  I have unplugged the machine after watching water drip inside it while the tub fills up.  I cannot figure out where the drip is coming from though.  Even my googling skills are not helping.


I hate spending the extra money.

Especially since I saved a whopping $55 last month by hanging up my clothes to dry on my new clothes lines in the garage.  My electric bill went down from $177 to $122.  Guess I’ll have to use the money to fix the washer.


Sorry for rambling.  It’s been a stressful few weeks, and my mind is jumping from one thing to another.  Maybe I’ll do another juice fast…pull myself back together.


Oh, and one last thing.  I got a boost yesterday when I discovered that Knitting Rose had mentioned me on her podcast!  Woo Hoo!  I feel like I’ve won the lottery (minus the money)!  If you ever get the chance, listen to her podcast.  She’s easy on the ears and knows her knitting stuff!  She’s also got a group on Ravelry!

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