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Candlepower Socks

My strategy for getting lesson plans finished before the weekend is beginning to reap dividends.

Yesterday, I finished another project!

I present my Candlepower Socks…the second pair of three proposed socks for this term’s OWL.

It took me thirteen days to complete this pair.  I could have done it in a week had it been summer (aka no responsibilities).

The yarn is Gypsy Girl Creations, Transitions, and the colorway is Evening Solitude.  I used 316 yards (almost two skeins) and size 0 needles.

This pattern was less tedious than the pair I finished a couple of weeks ago.  The pattern was easy to understand and just made sense, if you know what I mean.

The only thing I wish is that I’d gotten to the yellow part of the yarn.  I had envisioned starting with this color but didn’t wind my yarn that way.  Oh well.

I have one more pair of socks to complete before the end of November and hope to cast on sometime this week.  It may be the weekend, though, because I know how zombied out I get during the week…especially with me working so hard early on to make my lesson plans…staying up into the wee hours of the night to meet my goal.

Stay on the lookout though.  You know I’ll share!

Things That Have Kept Me From Blogging

It would seem as though, despite having much more time to blog, I have chosen, instead, to do other things.

A pictorial explanation follows…

Did someone say World Cup?

Shout-out to my main soccer squeeze for helping the U.S. advance to the round of 16!

My OWL (three-month project)…halfway finished…

A return to the gym…

Zombiesrun.com – GREAT way to keep my Zombies Run C25K app synched (that’s the playlist I used one day this week)

Best workout app ever (former iFitness)!!!! Sure beats carrying around a notebook, which I used to do to keep track of my reps!

Sixteen cans of tomatoes…for about thirty cents each after BOGO and a $1.00 off of four coupon (shout-out to Coupon Queen for sending me extra coupons!!)

Infinity Cowl

Two of my loves…

Southwestern Socks – A quick, five-day project!

Southwestern Socks

Online Shopping…courtesy of shophopes.com

Another shophopes.com dress! Please excuse the hair (freshly washed and, obviously, unfixed) and the background (must invest in a full-length, over-the-door mirror)

Teacher Training

Tweeting with one of my favorite authors…and feeling star-struck when she followed me…

Chatting it up with one of my favorite shows (please note that THEY tagged ME in this conversation!)

What’s kept you busy of late?

Hermione’s Everyday Socks

On Saturday, I finished another project.

These are Hermione’s Everyday Socks.  The pattern is free on Ravelry.

The yarn is Austermann Step.  I don’t know the colorway because I lost the label.  It’s probably been in my stash a long time, which is why I’m thankful for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup, which is giving me a reason to knit often and from my stash.

I selected this pattern because it looked easy.  I needed something quick to knit because I have a goal of knitting up to three projects that total 750 yards.  I’m trying for extra bonus Quidditch points.

This project used 390 yards!

The yarn is self-striping.  I desperately wanted to make each sock match and pulled out a bunch to try to get to the same starting point for sock #2.  I think I accomplished what I wanted.  They are pretty much dead-on.

I used size 0 needles…oh so small but necessary for my loose gauge.  I knit these using my favorite method…two circs.  If you’re not familiar with this, Google it.  It’s the quickest way to knit things in the round.

The yarn was not soft and a bit itchy to knit with; however, when I have the socks on, my feet are toasty warm, and I don’t notice an itchy feel to the socks.

In case you’re wondering, I am the sock model.  I took my camera outside, set it on two books, turned on the timer, and ran back and forth to set up each shot.  I’m sure I was quite the sight.

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?

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!

Lacy Ribs Socks Fit for a Czar

Last summer, I had the good fortune of taking an Alaskan cruise and finding yarn shops at every port.

While in Sitka, I came across a hobby store that had a few skeins of yarn in it.

That’s when I spied this…

I fell in love with the rich colors.  Despite the hefty price tag ($29.50), I splurged.  The yarn is Bear Feet, and the colorway is Jewels of the Czar…fitting given that Alaska was owned by Russia way back when.

I finally got the chance to cast on a project with this yarn, so after much searching (choosing patterns is DIFFICULT work), I decided to make Wendy Johnson’s Lacy Ribs Socks from her book Socks from the Toes Up.

The pattern was super-easy.  In fact, I memorized the lace pattern after only a few repeats.  I used size 0 needles and made the small.  I began the project on March 15 and finished on April 27.  I would have finished sooner, but as you know, I have a hectic schedule.

I should have stuck with the medium size I started out making, but I was concerned that the socks would be too big.  They’re not too small, but a medium would have been just right.  This project only took 90 grams of yarn to complete.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the yarn stripe.  I do like striped socks.  In fact, I went through a knitting spree when I bought tons of striping yarn.  heehee

Something very bad happened, though, after I turned the heel of my first sock.

The yarn stopped striping and started pooling.

Oh my goodness.

It was ugly, and I considered frogging.  What happened was that at first, the patterning only ran across one needle…the top of the foot (these were made toe up).  When it was time to start the patterning around both needles and, thus, around the entire leg, the length of yarn required for each round increased, throwing off the striping pattern.

I was not happy.  I figured this would be the ugliest pair of socks ever.

I persisted, finished the first sock, and began working on the second one.

Something really strange happened.

After turning the heel, the striping resumed.

Great.

Now I really do have the ugliest, mismatched pair of socks ever…

Oy.  This will probably drive me nuts every time I wear them.  I’m that anal.  However, I am not about to go back and reknit that sock.  No way, Jose.

So, I think I’ll stick with my mismatched socks.  It won’t matter once I pull a pair of pants over them.  All people will see are the lower legs and feet.

Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

Oh, and for the record, yes, the pictures are a little off-kilter.  I propped my camera on a small box, and I didn’t realize that it wasn’t sitting evenly on the concrete.

Oh well.

The socks are off-kilter too.

It’s just par for the course.

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.  🙂

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…

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