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Catching Up with a touch of Starter-itis

I’m working my way through a serious case of starter-itis with my knitting.  There are so many great patterns. I’m spending far too much time scouring the inter-webs for new ones, not to mention all the ones I already had in my queue. Every time I finish a really big knitted thing I start this panicked need   interest to have another big project on the needles. and a searching I will go. The starter-iris is not calmed by having new yarns to admire, and pet, and sniff, and cuddle, and KNIT! I added knew skeins last week and this week I’ve placed another order as well as a preorder. I really need to reign it in, I’m a bit out of control.

And, I blame think having used 7 skeins of my hoarded Wollmeise for the Find Your Fade shawl by Andrea Mowry that everyone (including myself and several of my friends) seems to making right now, created a definite shortage that had to be rectified! So….I’ve picked up several skeins of Wollmeise from The Loopy Ewe and a few more not pictured. DON’T TELL!

Lace-Orient, Die Autser, Pure- Allegria, Pithaya, & NO whales in CO

I started making the Shusui Shrug bySusanne Sommer. I like the challenge of the pattern. It’s far from
my usual style. But this yarn was completely wrong!! This stayed in thought process for less than 24 hours.  I knew I hated the combo. So, I frogged it, and restarted another project with the yarn and ordered different yarn from Knitpicks to try this pattern again.

Shusui Shrug worked through set up and first repeat section 

For the new project I started the Match & Move by Martina Behm. I made a slight adjustment using a yarn over for the increase instead of Knit into the Front and Back. I debated about adding a lace section similar to the Free your Fade by Andrea Mowry. In the end I decided to just stick with the garter stitch. It will be good Game of Thrones knitting!!!

Match & Move in Wollmeise Pure-Pinball Wizard & Potzblitz
I like so many of Martina’s patterns. The Nevum is one of the most worn shawls that I’ve knit. I knit it with a teal color Wollmeise Lace quite awhile ago and plan to knit it again with the Orient I just purchased.  I love the way the Nuvem sits on the shoulders, the unusual shape is like a rectangle with corners tucked into the short ends.  The ruffled edge is charming and feminine while not being fussy.
Nuvem Schematic from Martina Behm’s Pattern pictures on Ravelry

I have several other projects going now, too. I have two pairs of socks, and a scarf that I’m working on in conjunction with my classes.  Usually I like to have 3 projects. Socks for on the go, a complex pattern to challenge my mind and a interesting but simple TV watching project. 

The run down on my other current projects; 
I volunteer at the local Senior Circle. It is organized and ran by the hospital, Mountainview Regional,  here in Las Cruces. I have a class twice a week, it is an independent study style class. Everyone is welcome to work on any project and if they run into trouble or simply don’t know how to find and fix their mistakes, I help.  I try to teach not only how to locate the mistake but how to fix it as well, not to just fix it for them. 
I have seen much growth from this style class and think it is really special. In addition to working on whatever they like we have a sampler scarf going.  I have written out different stitch patterns with a mind to learning new techniques and stitches.  Each section is bordered with garter stitch, this enables the adjustment of stitch counts for the patterns to be made without showing.  The garter stitches also act as a frame, giving a nice cohesive look.

My Sampler Circle Scarf using a Quillin Fiber Arts bamboo-wool blend
I can’t remember the actual yarn, the label is long gone.
For my current On the Go Sock I’m using my Basic Sock Pattern. I added a few things for some flare. I will add more info on a future post about that flare! Here’s a sneak peek.
Knitpicks Hawthorne Fingering Multi in Happy Valley
The Last project on my needles is also a sock. This one is Kym’s Birthday Socks.  I used one of my favorite stitch patterns, rewrote it so it worked in the round and created the sock pattern from there. I really like the results. I find I did have to go up a needle size from my usual #1 to a #1.5.
FIberstory Fave in Lagoon
I couldn’t quite capture the color correctly

Whew, that was a lot! I have so many more things swirling around in my head though…..another day.

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My Basic Sock Pattern

I’ve finally decided to post the sock pattern I use for teaching. I use this pattern all the time to teach anyone I come across that would like to knit socks. I’ve tried to be very clear about each instruction, adding to it little by little to clarify as my students have asked questions.  I myself generally use this pattern for all my socks. I sometimes change it up by adding a pattern of some kind to the leg portion.


I’m going to include it here in my blog so others can easily access it. I’ve also added it to my Ravelry Designs if you would like to print from a PDF. I’ve included the Kitchener Grafting instructions for easy reference.

This pair I knit using Opal yarns

Basic Top Down Socks on Dpns
by Kym Hretz
Materials:
100 grams, 425 yards, fingering weight sock yarn of your choice
, Size 1 US (2.25mm) double pointed needles or size required for gauge
Gauge:
32 sts= 4 inches
Abbreviations:
CO= Cast On
K= Knit
P= Purl
S1= Slip 1 Stitch as if to purl
K2tog= Knit two stitches together
K2togTBL= Knit two stitches together through the back loop
SSK= Slip Slip Knit 2 together
Cast On
CO 64 (72) sts.using the Old Norwegian Cast On. (I always cast on over two needles for a bit more stretch.) Join and mark beginning of round.
Leg
Work in K2, P2 rib for 7 inches or desired leg length.
Heel Flap
Divide For Heel
, place one half of the stitches 32 (36), on a single needle. Leave the next two needles of 16 stitches each to work on later.  You will be working only on the 32 (36) heel flap stitches flat, back and forth. 

Round 1: *Sl1, K1 repeat from * to end.
Turn.
Round 2: Sl1, purl to end. Turn.
Repeat these 2 rounds till you have worked 32 (36) rounds (count the slipped stitches which should be 16 (18).
Work Round 1, one more time.
Turning the Heel
You are working in short rows to shape a little cup for the heel.
Starting on the wrong side.
Round 1: S1 then purl halfway across the heel flap plus 2=18 (20).P2tog, P1. Turn.
Round 2: Sl1, K5, K2tog TBL, K1. Turn.
Round 3: Sl1, P across towards the gap, stop at the first stitch before gap,  P2tog, P1. Turn.
Round 4: Sl1, K across to 1 stitch before the gap. K2togTBL  across the gap. K1. Turn.
Rounds 5-12: repeat rounds 3 & 4
Round 13: Sl1, P across towards the gap, stop at the first stitch before gap, P2tog. Turn.
Round 14: Sl1, K across to 1 stitch before the gap. K2togTBL across the gap.
You should have 18 (20) Stitches.
Picking up gusset Stitches
You will pick up the stitches on each side of the heel flap. By slipping the first stitch of each row on the heel flap, you have made a lovely chain edge which will be easy to pick up.
You should be able to get 18 (20) stitches on each side, but don’t worry if you get more or less than this, it’s more important to have no holes.
Knit across those instep stitches that have been on hold, or continue them in ribbing, then pick up and knit the same number of stitches on the other side of the heel flap. Knit one half of the heel flap stitches 9 (11) onto this needle. Mark the center as the beginning of the round. You should have approximately 84 stitches.
You are back to working in the round.
Gusset
Round 1: knit around
Round 2: Needle 1; Knit to 3 sts from the end , K2tog, K1. Needles 2 & 3; Knit across the instep sts. 
Needle 4, Knit 1st stitch, SSK, knit to end of needle.

Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 until you have 64 (72) sts again.
Knit all rounds until the foot measures 2½” less than your total foot length. Example; if your foot length measures (9.5” knit until sock measures 7” from heel.
Shape Toe:.
Round 1: K to 3 sts from end of first needle, K2tog, K1. K first st on instep needle SSK, knit to 3 sts from end of instep needle, K2tog, K1.
Last needle, K1, SSK, K to end.
Round 2: Knit around.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until you have 24 (28) sts (6 (7) on each of 4 needles.
Kitchener Graft Stitches
Thread blunt needle with yarn 3x width of your work. Have two sets of stitches you want to join on two needles, with wrong sides of work facing.
To start: Thread yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl, pull yarn through. Leave stitch on needle. Thread yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit. Leave stitch on needle.
  • 1:  Thread yarn through first st on front needle as if to knit.
    Slip stitch off needle.
  • 2:  Thread yarn through next st on front needle as if to purl.
    Leave stitch on needle.
  • 3:  Thread yarn through first st on back needle as if to purl.
  •     Slip stitch off needle.
  • 4:  Thread yarn through next st on back needle as if to knit.
  •     Leave stitch on needle.
Repeat these 4 steps. Until 2 stitches left (one on each needle) then repeat only 1 & 3.
  • 1:  Thread yarn through first st on front needle as if to knit.
    Slip stitch off needle.
  • 3:  Thread yarn through first st on back needle as if to purl.
  •     Slip stitch off needle.
Chant (Optional): “Front-Knit-OFF, Front-Purl-ON, Back-Purl-OFF, Back-Knit-ON” OR “Knit, purl, purl, knit”. You will find your own groove.

Weave in all ends and make another sock to complete the pair!!

Feel Free to ask any questions you may have. Otherwise you’ll probably find me off knitting on a pair of socks somewhere.

Posted in knitting

Rain Boot Love

I live in the Chihuahuan Desert so rain here is very limited, but when I saw these boots with the knit imaging on them it didn’t matter. I had to have them and my daughter thought so too because she sent them to me for Christmas! I’m so obsessed in-love with these I was compelled to knit for them!
I made this up because I couldn’t find any boot topper patterns that would add to the charming knit stripes on the boots themselves instead of being the main focus. I think this is a good compromise.  I’d say this is more a recipe than a pattern though.
I used Cascade 220 in assorted scraps.  Having used scraps I’m not sure of the yardage but both together weight 134 grams. (That weight is after I trimmed everything.) Size US #9 needle. Gauge is not important but I have about 4 stitches to the inch in garter stitch.
Here’s what I did:
Co 20 stitches, knit 4 rows of each color (=1 stripe.) Colors were chosen in random order and adjusted so they weren’t repeated too close. 31 stripes.  The 31 stripes were the right length for my specific boots.  I wanted the stripes to go completely around the boot top with out too much pull but also not be too loose. I cast off after the 4th row and cut yarn leaving enough to sew up the seam. Then seamed the 1st and last rows together with the mattress stitch.

I then picked up 96 stitches and joined in the round and knit 2×2 rib. You may want to pick up a few extra stitches to make sure you don’t have holes or gaps and then evenly around decrease them to a number divisible by 4. I did 29 rows then BO in rib. Of course if you want the “leg” part to be longer you certainly could add rows.  If you desire, weave in your ends, but I didn’t bother. I just tied 2 side by side ends together and trimmed them evenly around. Using the #9 needle for the ribbing means the ribbing will hug the inside of the boot and not my leg. You might prefer to use a smaller needle so they are snug to your legs!

Fold them over with the ribbing on the inside and wear with great pleasure!!
Posted in knitting, Ravelry knit projects

Patterns

I’m trying to be more adventurous on my life these days. I love knitting and even though Ravelry has an unbelievable amount of patterns, I can’t always find exactly what I want. So I improvise. I decided today, I should list a couple of such items as patterns. Who knows, maybe one of my patterns is exactly what someone else is looking for.

I’m starting with my Wee Hats. If the amount of comments and messages I received is any indication this will be a success. Hope you enjoy!

Wee Hats

I used an assortment of left over sock yarns. not much is needed. Less than 5 yards for each hat.

I used size US #0-#1 needles.

Cast on 24 stitches, join in the round for knitting. Knit 4 rounds in 1×1 (K1, P1) rib. Then knit 14 rounds in plain knit, stockinette. Decrease round; *k3, k2tog* around. ( I ended up with 1 extra stitch, I knit it. In the 3rd round this corrects itself.) Knit 1 round. Decrease round; *k2, k2tog* k1. Knit one round. Decrease round; *k1, k2tog.* DO NOT knit a round. Decrease; k2tog around. Draw yarn through the last 5 stitches to close and weave in ends.

I love these little hats, I hung them on my small Christmas tree along with wee socks and sweaters.

Happy Knitting!