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Marilinda Socks

I have a finished project to show off!

I started my newest pair of socks in June but set them down to work on other things.

These are Cookie A’s “Marilinda” from her book Knit. Sock. Love.

I bought the yarn, Casacade Heritage Sock, in Sitka, Alaska during the cruise I went on with the family three summers ago.

The pattern was actually easy.  I know it looks complicated.  Trust me.  It wasn’t.

I did have to frog the first sock when I was the on the heel because I realized that it was going to be too big.  I should know myself better.  I have a loose tension, and my gauge is always bigger than what the pattern says.  Size 0 needles are the way to go for me!

I turned these in for detention in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup forum on Ravelry.  I’m hoping to collect my ten points for the pair.  Woo hoo!

I think these are going be just perfect when the weather turns cooler, don’t you?

My BFF

Alert the media.

I have finished another knitting project!!!

This probably won’t surprise you, but I went for my favorite type of pattern…SOCKS!

This pattern is BFF, by Cookie A.  Yes, I am predictable, am I not?

The pattern can be found in her book Knit. Sock. Love.

For this pattern, I selected a skein of yarn I purchased in Seattle during my cruise to Alaska two years ago (props to the in-laws for funding that trip!).

The yarn is Happy Feet (total of 80 grams), and it was a joy to knit, frog, and re-knit with.

😀

I cast on June 2nd and plugged along just wonderfully…

…Until I turned the heel and tried on the first sock.

Ugh.

Too big!

Rats.  The sock was ridiculously big, so I frogged (ripped up the entire thing)…

I cast on again, going down to a size 0 needle.  I also switched from the Small sock to the XS.  There’s a cable in this pattern, and cables tend to stretch.

With those changes made, I began knitting again and knit the entire leg in one day.  I was on a mission to get this pair finished!

You can see that the fit was much, much better the second time around!

It wasn’t long before I was working the foot.

I love the evenness of the stitches!

It wasn’t long before I was casting on Sock #2.

I got a big head, though, and had to frog this sock after I finished the leg section.  Right before I began working on the heel flap, I discovered that I’d been doing the cable pattern on the wrong round!  Ugh!!

I got back in the groove, paid very close attention to every detail in the pattern, put on a movie (Snow White and the Swordsman…great movie!!), and finished the sock around 2am Tuesday morning…

Here are the photos of the finished pair!  Please forgive the lighting.  I have discovered that the afternoon light is the best when photographing my knitted items.  I got antsy and couldn’t wait!

BFF – A New Sock Project

My friend, Christina, and I are going to do a sweater KAL this summer.  I knit a gauge swatch yesterday and hung it up to dry.

Meanwhile, my idle fingers were itching to cast on my favorite type of project…

SOCKS!

If you’ve read my blog for a couple of years, you’ll know that I LOVE making socks!!!!!

I’m especially in awe of Cookie A’s patterns.

Sock yarn is something I have plenty of.  One could say that I’m addicted to it.

We all have our weaknesses!

😉

I perused my sock yarn stash first and finally settled on this…

The yarn is Happy Feet.  It’s a beautiful brownish/red color…perfect for fall!  I think it will pair nicely with the sweater I’m going to be making.

After seeing BFF on a Ravelry search earlier in the day, I pulled out the book, which I happened to test knit for…

Then, I happily cast on.  I completed the cuff and one pattern repeat before being seized with stomach fits…

The picture only shows some of the ribbing…not the pattern repeat.

I really shouldn’t have eaten garlic stuffed olives…as the second food introduced into my stomach after finishing my juice fast.

<insert sheepish grin>

Can you tell I’m in my happy place?

It will be even happier once Friday is over, and I’m really home for the summer!

Rhombus

Last week, during Spring Break, I found myself with a bit of time on my hands and a goal in mind…to finish a project I’d been working on since December

I had pulled, from my stash, the following yarn, which I’d purchased in Juneau during my cruise to Alaska…

It’s dyed right there in Juneau!

I had spent a couple of days with Chicky in October, and one of her roommates had asked me if I’d make her a pair of socks.  She’d been on Facebook admiring my handiwork.

Well, she was so sincere that I couldn’t say no.  I took her measurements, told her not to hold her breath as I was swamped with work, and then cast on a couple of months later.

I decided to use a pattern from Cookie A’s book knit. sock. love.  No surprise there, eh?  I’m probably one of Cookie’s biggest fans!

I used size 1 1/2 (2.5mm) needles to make the small size.  Once I got used to all of the increases, I flew through the pattern (“flew” is probably not very accurate…the pattern wasn’t difficult…finding the time to knit was).

Anyhoo, here is the finished project, in all of its glory.

I was so excited when I put these in the mail.  Chicky sent me the following picture of her roommate after she opened the package…

The socks are a PERFECT fit, and Chicky’s roommate is very happy.

Hence, I am happy.  🙂

I Heart the Hodgepodge

Wednesdays used to be ho-hum…until Joyce started hosting the Hodgepodge!  Whoop Whoop!  Join in…link up with Joyce!

1.  George Washington-Abraham Lincoln-Thomas Jefferson…who would you most like to meet and why?

Oh my…what a tough choice!!  I minored in history, so I’ve done a lot of reading about all three incredibly brilliant men!  Every single one of them would be a pleasure to meet!  I’d love to meet Washington and find out if, in fact, he was the humble guy some have described him as.  I’d love to meet Lincoln because I’ve read that he was quite the story teller.  I’d also like to warn him to stay away from that crazy woman he eventually married.  She was psycho, I’m telling you!  I’ve read a biography about her!  I’d love to meet Jefferson to chide him for not clarifying the whole “Separation of Church and State” thing.  Sheesh, but politicians have certainly made a mess of his words, now haven’t they?

Oh, what wonderful insights I’d get if I could meet any one of these brave, trailblazing men!

2.  What’s your favorite chain restaurant?

I’d have to say Panera, with its Black Bean Soup and fresh bread!  Yum!

3.  When you look back on your life, do you imagine you’ll think about the goals you failed to meet with regret? Or will you look at what you accomplished and say: it was good?

I will most definitely look back and see all I’ve accomplished.  I’ve worked very hard for everything I’ve gotten.  I was never given anything, including my education, which I had to work for and pay for myself (am still paying for it, in fact).  I can, at this time, say that every single goal I’ve set for myself has been realized.  Years ago, I dreamed of finishing college.  I did it twenty years after graduating high school.  I wanted to be a teacher.  Six years later, I am teaching.

Now, for my last goal…winning the lottery.

😀

4.  Grapefruit-take ’em or leave ’em? Given the choice between an orange and a grapefruit which would you choose? Would you prefer it served as is or squeezed into juice?

I love grapefruit.  What a yummy, sour fruit!  Honestly, I’ll take it however it’s served up!

5.  When was the last time you cleaned out a closet? Is there a closet in your home that currently needs cleaning? What are you waiting for?

I helped Rooster clean out his closet a few weeks ago.  I periodically “rearrange” the closet in my bathroom.  Really, aside from a bit of straightening, I think my closets are alright.

6.  You get to have lunch with three famous people…who would you like to see round your table?

Do they have to be dead or alive?  Is it the table in my house or a fancy restaurant?  Details, details.

heeheehee

Let’s see…famous people…hmmm…

I’ve gotta go with my knitting ladies…Stephanie McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot), Cookie A, and Anne Hanson.

I need to meet Stephanie so we can plan our children’s wedding.  I know this sounds stalker-ish, but it really isn’t.  See, we’re both from Canada, even if I am a naturalized U.S. citizen.  Her hubby hails from Newfoundland, where I was born, and everyone knows that Goofy Newfies, as we’re called, must stick together.  Thus, with so much in common, I find it quite natural that she and I discuss the wedding plans of our children.  See, I have this dream that Rooster will marry her daughter, and then we’ll have lovely get-togethers where I can sit under Stephanie’s wise knitterly tutelage and soak up all of the knowledge she has about all things yarny.

Did you know I found this on Wikipedia?? She's definitely famous if she's on Wikipedia. Wait. She could have put the information in hersel. Still. Nobody's taken it down yet.

Cookie A…well…she’s the queen of sock knitting, and I simply MUST meet her.  I test knit for her last book.  My name’s even in the back.  She’s brilliant, I tell you!

Anne Hanson is a divinely gifted pattern designer.  Her shawls are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s, and her blog posts are filled with beautiful pictures of the trips she takes, knitting, gardening, and cooking.

Oh yes, I like to party hard with the stars, do I not?  😀

7.  On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your ability to parallel park?

Hmmm…I’d say about a five.  Down in south Florida, we only had parallel parking in front of our house, and I was quite good, when I wasn’t gently tapping the fronts or backs of the cars in my way.

:::cough:::

No dents happened, I can assure you.

I’m a bit out of practice these days, but I’m sure it’s like riding a bike.

8.  My Random Thought

With yesterday being Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share photos of what I sent to my sweet Chicky-Poo, who is in her second year of college.

Before you scroll down, please keep in mind that I am the same mother who sent her soccer cleats after she left them at home during the holidays.  I included a “surprise,” which I blogged about here.

Um…yeah.

Valentine’s Day was gonna be fun.

First, she got one of those giant cards…the kind you get at Walmart.  Dang, but I took a picture but must have deleted it.  On the return address part, I put, “From the Ones Who Love You Most.”  On the back of the envelope, in LARGE letters, I wrote, “Someone cared enough to send the very best.”

Yeah.

The post office is across campus, and she had to walk all the way back to her room with that huge envelope.  She said that no matter which way she turned it, there were embarrassing words on it.

heehee

I also sent her a box with the following…

Isn’t that the cutest thing?  It does more than just sit there…

I purchased it in October when a vendor came to my school.

Also included in the box was this…

What?  Haven’t you ever gotten anti-itch cream for Valentine’s Day?

See, I found it under her sink the other day and thought that I’d send it along to her…just in case she got the itch to ditch school.  This will fix that right up!

heehee

I also threw in two boxes of yogurt bars, which I happened to spy on my one and only trip to the grocery store in the last couple of weeks.

All in all, I’d say she received a FINE package…

Thelonious Socks

While I was busy blogging about my fabulous trip to Alaska, I was also busy doing something else…

Finishing up the socks I had started during the onset of my trip.

First off, the yarn.

I don’t remember if I shared with you the story of my friend, Susan, who sent me a gift certificate for my birthday.  I used it to buy this skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silkie Socks That Rock.  The color is Hoofle Foofle…

It’s a glorious blend of merino and silk, so you can imagine just how soft the stuff is.

The pattern is from Cookie A’s newest book – knit. sock. love.  You might remember that I test knit for this book and have my very own autographed copy…

I cast on June 28th, originally using size 1 needles and going for the small size.  After knitting the cuff, I encountered a problem.

I was a little confused about the pattern’s instructions, which involved adding stitches to the ribbing.

I do not know why, but I could not wrap my head around how to knit those added stitches.  I guess it had been so long since I’d done any knitting that required thinking that my brain simply froze.

I headed to Ravelry for help, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I found this forum, posted my questions, and within hours had the answers that I needed.

After doing a few rounds, I tried the sock (the cuff) on and discovered something.

It was too big.  I knew this because of my sock knitting experience.

Rats.

I frogged and started over, going down to size 0 needles and down one sock size to the XS.

I am a loose knitter, and I keep forgetting this.  I’m glad I figured it out before I completely finished the sock!

Fortunately, the second cast on was much easier, and by the end of my vacation, I had made a lot of progress (check out yesterday’s post for that picture).

When I got home, I resumed my knitting in earnest, finishing sock #1 in no time flat.  I immediately cast on the second sock and knit it in its entirety in 24 hours…a new record for me.

I wound up using a total of 75 grams of yarn, leaving 25 more for repairs or some other random project in the future.

On to the pictures, which I’m sure you’re dying to see!  😉

This is the picture I snapped when I completed the first sock…

And here are the pictures I took during the little photo shoot I had the morning after I completed the second sock…

First, a teaser…

When I take pictures of my knitting projects, I always use the self-timer feature on my camera, which means I take a lot of crappy pictures before I get the camera zoomed properly and at the correct height.  The next picture is a little better…

This one is much better…

After this, there was no stopping me…

So, why do I pose for my sock projects?  Well, you see, I know that when I am working on socks, I often find myself stuck at parts or needing confirmation that my socks are turning out the way they are supposed to, so I go hunting for pictures of other peoples’ projects.  I really appreciate those that show close-ups.

Plus, if I’m looking for a new sock project to start, I like seeing good pictures of finished patterns.  Hence my hard work in taking good pictures.

Can you see how the ribbing continues into the flap?  Lovely, I tell you!

You can also see where I had a dilemma in the rib changes…

The pattern looks complicated, but quite honestly, it was one of Cookie’s easier ones, and it resulted in a gorgeous pair of socks that fit my feet perfectly!

I put more details on my Ravelry project page…just in case you decide to make yourself a pair of these socks.

So, what project should I work on next?

Well, I’ve already cast on and am about halfway done.

If you’re not on Ravelry, I guess you’ll just have to wait and be surprised!

A Cookie Delivery

The mailman nearly got tackled today when he brought me this…

Who was the package from?

Here’s a hint…

I gingerly opened the package.

Oh, who am I kidding?

I tore into it like a ravenous wolf, where I found this inside…

Uh huh…can you see what’s peeking through the wrapping?

In case you’re wondering, that’s more wrapping that is protecting the much-awaited and much-longed-for package.

Here it is in all of its glory…

Yep.  It’s Cookie A’s newest book…the one that I had the honor of test knitting for!!!!

Now, I was already walking on cloud nine, but when I opened the cover, I found this…

She even spelled my name right!!!

And her message…well, it is simply perfect!  My love for socks and sock knitting is always growing, even though I don’t have any time to do any of it right now (although I am wearing my precious knit socks now that the weather has turned cold).

One other neat thing (besides the patterns in the book) is that Cookie has an entire spread giving credit to the test knitters (that’s me, in case I haven’t mentioned it).  So, my name is now in one of HER books!

This ranks up there with one of the neatest things I’ve been able to do in my life (after giving birth to my precious babies, of course).

Although I’ve only had time to casually thumb through the book, I can tell that when I do, I am going to have a very difficult time settling on a pattern to make.  Every single one of them is simply divine…a work of art in itself.

I cannot wait for the summer to get here.  I am going to be doing some serious Cookie sock knitting.

Secret Project Revealed

Oh my goodness, but I have been sitting on a secret for several months and can FINALLY tell you about it!

It all started early last summer when I responded to an email requesting test knitters.

I eagerly responded and crossed my fingers.

Much to my surprise, I was selected, and the instructions and pattern followed shortly afterward.

What resulted was this…

So, I’ll bet you want to know more information, right?

Ok.  Hold onto your horses.

The test knit…

Was for…

Cookie A!!!!!!

Can you believe it?

Her new book, Knit. Sock. Love., is now available for pre-ordering (she has cleared me to finally post pictures and other info)!!  It has a whopping nineteen (19) patterns and comes out on November 20th.

Now you KNOW how much I love Cookie A. and her patterns.  To have the opportunity to test knit a pattern for her was, quite honestly, the experience of a lifetime.

I was assigned In and Out, and the pictures above were taken of the right sock that I was asked to knit.

I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock.  The colorway is Periwinkle.  I used size 0 needles, and the entire pair took me just over two weeks to finish…

If you’ve never been a test-knitter before, I highly encourage you to give it a try.  It was really interesting to work with other knitters and the designer (Cookie A.) as we worked out some kinks and fine-tuned the language.

This pattern was surprisingly easy, but then again, I love intricate designs…

You want to know what else is so cool about this experience?  Well, there are actually two things.

First, I get $10 off of her new book.

More importantly, my copy will be AUTOGRAPHED by her!!!  I hope she says something like, “To my sweetest, most faithful fan.  Love, Cookie A.”

heehee

I hope you’ll indulge me while I post a few (ahem) more pictures…

I should probably get my rear in gear and make lesson plans to take me through Christmas.  I want to have time to knit up the other patterns in her book!

BTW, if Cookie just happens to read this, I promise you (Cookie) that I am not a stalker.  I am simply one who appreciates brilliant pattern writing.

And don’t go asking the Yarn Harlot if I’m a stalker…just because I already have plans for her youngest daughter to marry my Rooster.

But, that’s another tale for another day…

Kai-Mei Socks

If I were Catholic, I might find myself needing to go to confession:

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned (against my blog).  It’s been three days since my last post, but I had a very good reason.  You see, I was working on a new pair of socks…”

These are called Kai-Mei, and the pattern is from Cookie A’s book, Sock Innovation.

The yarn was a gift from a dear online friend, Susan.  It’s called Socks that Rock, and the color is Jade.

She sent me the yarn for my birthday, and when I saw the label, I was psyched!  I’ve always seen patterns that used this yarn, so to actually get to knit with it…ahhhhh…sweet happiness!

Susan asked if I would be interested in knitting a Cookie A pattern together, and I happily jumped at the chance.  Susan is a wonderful sock knitter, so I thought it would fun.  I figured if we had any problems, we could bounce ideas off of each other.

I began this project on June 8th, and finished around 12:30am on June 16th.  Yeah, I know, but once I got going, I couldn’t seem to stop!  But see, the second sock was the fastest one I’ve ever knit…finished in just two days!!!!

I had to play around with the needle sizes a bit.  I originally started out with 2.5mm, but I freaked a little after trying on the sock after only eight rounds.  It looked way too large.  So, I frogged and started over on size 0 (2.00mm) needles.  I think this was perfect because my knitting is very loose.

So, let’s talk about the pattern.  Cookie’s patterns can seem intimidating, if you’re only looking at the finished product and not reading the pattern line-by-line.  This was a pretty easy one.  It’s true that the panel of lace stitches runs down the side of each foot, but once I understood this construction, I literally flew through those rounds.

Pattern Notes:  I completed 60 rounds of the leg, 20 rounds of the heel flap, and picked up 12 stitches on each side of the heel.  I finished by knitting seven rounds of the lace panel.  I used 115 grams of yarn.

The finished pair is very warm, thanks to a deceptive thick yarn.  These are going to join the other pairs of hand knit socks…perfect for cold winter days.

A shout-out goes to Chicky who endured flying, biting bugs in 90+ heat and humidity with a minimal amount of complaining to take these photos.  She did a great job!

Oh, and Susan, I can’t wait to see your finished pair!!

A Photo Shoot With a New Pair of Socks

It may have taken me two months to finish my last project, but it only took 12 days for me to complete the newest AuburnChick creation…

Hedera Socks, by Cookie A!

You guys…this was such a super-easy pattern, that had I not been obsessed with Bejeweled Blitz, I probably could have finished in a week.

The yarn is the Malabrigo Sock yarn I purchased on my birthday.  The colorway is #803, Ochre.  It is a medium mustard yellow – not too bright.  The yarn is kettle dyed pure superwash merino wool, so it’s soft but machine washable in cold water (dry flat).  I LOVED knitting with it!!!

I knit this pair on size 1 1/2 needles, and it only took 70 grams of yarn…not quite the entire hank.

The pattern was soooooo easy!  I quickly had it memorized and FLEW through the rounds.  I completed half of the first sock in one afternoon, that’s how much of a quick knit it is.

The socks and I had a photo session all by our lonesome selves…everyone else was out.  Thank goodness for the delayed timing feature on my camera!  I hope you’ll forgive me as I indulge in showing off a few more pictures.  I think I earned the right given that I suffered through the humidity just to get them!

On to my next project, which I already have picked out!

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