Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Canada Day :)

Flag Courtesy of StockVaultNet
What are your plans for the long weekend?  Mine will hopefully include outdoor activities, some wine accompanied by a fun read (been on an Agatha Christie kick of late) and some knitting (between socks and slippers, my hands are full--so to speak).  And if the temperature holds, I may even venture to the local beaches with my boys.

Whatever your plans for this holiday weekend, may the sun smile upon you and your loved ones.  Have a good one :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Watch It Grow

My "socky" grows and grows . .

At the Cuff on Toe-Up Sock

I'm on the cuff now.  It won't be long till its finished.  Then I'm gonna go through my sock stash (surely you remember me sharing a wee glimpse of it), but just in case you forgot:

Sock Stash

Sadly the Patons Kroy socks yarns have decreased in yardage (none too pleased about that).  Since I only have 2 of each colour, a toe-up sock is just the ticket.  I can knit and knit till there's no more yarn with which to knit. 

What colour shall I use first?  Hmmm . . . I'm partial to the darker shades . . . What do ya think?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Excited . . .

 . . . over a sock!?  Yup, its true.  I'm just giddy over learning how to work a toe-up sock.  You'll recall my most recent attempt ?  Well, that got frogged (it was just an experiment to "try out" the technique).

My search on the internet finally led me to the most amazing thing ever: Judy's Magic Cast-on.  Have you heard about it?  It truly is magical.  Initially skeptical, I perused various video demonstrations on You-Tube.  Then, I grabbed a pair of needles and some spare yarn.  I couldn't believe how easy it was!  And it looks great.

From there I attempted the Fleege Heel 'cuz I wasn't sure if I was ready to try my hand at a short-row heel.  This too was quite easy (you gotta try it, seriously).  In no time, I had a "sock" on my needles.
Sample Toe-Up Sock
Don't be fooled by my sample.  I wasn't following a pattern per se; I was just trying out the technique and pulling numbers out of thin air.  So my "sock" is too short in length and quite wide (I grabbed the 5mm instead of using 4mm or 3mm DPNs). 

Flushed with success, I found a pattern (Ravelry link) that uses both techniques.  The pattern is from Liat Gat (and you might want to check out her website Knit; it's got lots of how-to videos and some free patterns too).  Right now I'm in the process of making my first toe-up socks using my newly learned techniques. 
Beginnings of Toe
I know I don't need a pair of dusty rose socks, but that's not the point.  It was the closest worsted I could find in my stash that wasn't earmarked for any specific project.  And I thought it best to use worsted rather than fingering weight sock yarn.  Yes, I hear those wee balls of sock yarn calling me.  Be patient my little precious balls of colour.  I'll be looking to turn you into socks very, very soon.  :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Exploring Socks

Finished Worsted Socks
So I finally finished my second pair of ribby worsted socks (had the first sock done back in May).  I won't be able to wear them till the fall (of course with the finicky weather we're experiencing, I could be wearing them next week . . . ugh!). I really love the pattern--good basic ribbed sock and no fiddly kitchenered toes (although I must confess that grafting toes doesn't usually bother me; I've mastered the technique and have gotten quite proficient at it).  My only complaint is that I had some yarn leftover.  When working a sock from the cuff down, it's hard to gauge how long to make the cuff.  Afterall, who wants to run out of yarn? 

Sock Close-Up

So what's a gal to do if she wants to use up every last bit of yarn?  Me thinks the best solution lies in the toe-up sock.  The ubiquitous toe-up sock: oh, how I have resisted you at every turn!  The cuff-down sock is so comfortable and familiar.  Do I really have to learn something new?  To be honest, its a wee bit scary trying one's hand at unfamiliar techniques . . . but that extra yarn mocked me so!  After much searching of various patterns on Ravelry, I finally buckled down and gave toe-up construction a try.

The Toes of a Toe-up Sock

Not bad for my first attempt (at least I think so).  There are some holes, but I think if I try again, I can eliminate them (I messed up the ssp).  Rest assured this will not become a sock.  It was just an experiment to see if I could indeed follow the directions.  The pattern is called "Treat for your Feet" and its from the book Knit on Down.  Instead of wrap-and-turn to create short-rows, it uses YOs (although at some point I will attempt a pattern that uses wrap-and-turn).
See the holes?
Its a significant first step for me (no pun intended).  Here's hoping the second attempt goes better.  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To my own dad, you can never know the positive impact you've made on my life.  Your strength and perseverance in times of adversity still inspire me.
Mom and Dad
To my husband, you can never truly know how your support, strength and love have made me a better person. You are--and ever shall be--a rock in my life. 
Playful Hubby
And to all the other dads out there, you make a difference.
Enjoy your day with your family.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rockin' the Swiffer

Yeah, ya read that right!  Forget about the cushion cover or the second sock (or any other number of projects on my ever-expanding list of WIPs awaiting some finishing work).  I'm rockin' the swiffer!

Crocheted Duster for my Swiffer Mop

My quest was simple: how to dust my walls and ceiling without killing myself with the vacuum.  The solution was simple, yet elegant: a custom-made duster that I can pop into the washer and dryer.  As an added bonus, I used up bits of leftover acrylic and saved money too (no more wet or dry cloths to buy for my swiffer mop).

I found the pattern link over at Ravelry.  And the swiffer "sock" is reversible, so you could use the smooth side to quickly mop your floor (after you've dusted it with the fuzzy side). 

Smooth Side of Swiffer Sock
In fact, you could make a few of them and use one exclusively for your kitchen, another for your bathroom . . . well, you get the picture.  In fact, I'm already working on a second one.  Don't ya just love quick, easy practical projects?


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Is It Summer Yet?

I only ask 'cuz in my little corner of the world (on Canada's east coast), summer is sadly lagging.  Sure the grass grows and flowers bloom.  I need only look at my wee flower beds to see the evidence.
Corner by Front Steps

Front Flower Bed Overflowing with Life
Unfortunately the temperature has been unseasonably cool (and down-right cold a few days); there's been lots of rain and nary a sunbeam to bask in.  Sunny days have been few and far between.  Day-in and day-out of nothing but cloudy days can get a body down.  I need me some sunshine!  

Okay, enough ranting.  Hope its summertime where ever you are.  And if you could send some sunshine my way, I'd be ever so grateful. ;)
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