Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Pre-Apocalyptic Roundup

I joined, perhaps in a state of optimism, a small thread on Ravelry dedicated to finishing 12 knitted items in 2012.  Pff, thought, I (optimistically) 12 finished items in 2012?  A piece of p*ss, as they say.  12 months later, (almost) and I have barely scraped through...  I am in hope of finishing a 13th item, but boy, I'm cutting things fine.  I'm aiming for Christmas for this 13th item, though, so I'm perhaps not cutting it fine for 2012.  Unless, of course, 2012 ends on Friday.  Maybe I'll have the item blocked by then.  It would be a shame to go out with unblocked items lying around.  What would extra-terrestrial archeologists of the future think of us, when they find caches of unfinished items of the knitted sort, languishing on bent and battered (and by then, ancient) needles.  That the the human race never finished anything?  That we lived by a code of ooh-shininess?  


But, they are done.  Huzzah.  And they're not 'just' socks.  No-hoh.  There are 3 - count them - THREE shawls in this.  (Meh, okay, so they're shawlettes, but there's still an astonishing amount of stitching going on in them.)  Maybe even 4, if you count the neck-shoulder warmer I finished last week.  Them's a lot of knitting, eyellhavyoono. 

From the top, we have Dellezig, which is basically a zigzag neck/shoulder warmer with a ribbed neck, by DROPS designs.  I'm not going to link to the pattern, because I find it ridiculously badly written.  The item itself is pretty, though, and should do a fine job of keeping my Mum nice and warm! I used Eden Cottage Yarns 'Fantasia' in Delle.

Next is a very pretty shawlette I worked on as a test piece for the designer.  The Samaras Shawlette is a pattern by Nancy Totten, and a very quick knit for for such a pretty little shawl.  It should have a nice scalloped edge, but I didn't have enough pins.  It does, however, still block nicely with a more traditional spiky edge!  I used Malabrigo Yarn 'Sock' in Violeta Africana.  

Following on are my dear Hippie Hippie Socks, using Noro 'Kureyon Sock' in 256.  (You can find a whole post about this pattern in the links to the right.)

Oblique and Acute socks (mine again) are close behind the Hippies.  Oblique uses Munchkin Knitworks 'String of Pearls Plus' in Hodgeberry stain, and the Acute socks use King Cole 'Riot' in Riot.

I go back in time for the next project - another version of my first ever pattern 'Traffic Island Socks'.  Aw, bless! This time I used Eden Cottage Yarns 'Tempo' in Bit of a Goth.

Another of my new 2012 patterns - this time Cherry Garni.  I made these using Araucania 'Ranco Solid' in PT485 and a touch here and there of The Yarn Side 'Walker Merino' in Red Lentil Evenings.

I volunteered for another test shawl earlier on in the year - this time it was a Stepped Laceline Shawl by Venita Kidwai.  Very pretty, slightly boring to make, but the end result is worth the monotony

My sister gave me the yarn for the next project.  She wanted socks.  Who was I to not indulge this adorable trait?  I made a mistake choosing the pattern, though - Kalajoki - it was fiddly to make over 3 needles, especially considering it was a DK pattern.  I ended up changing the toe structure to something that didn't break my fingers.  The yarn is Stylecraft 'Life DK' in Honey.

Doornroosje came next - a pretty shawl pattern by a real-life friend (as opposed to all the ones in my internet).  I made it with King Cole 'Mirage' in 874 Oslo.  I gave it as a birthday gift to a singer friend of mine, who uses it as a 'throat-warmer'!

My tragic 'Where Corals Lie' bag comes next in the collage.  Ah, I had such high hopes. You can see the full story here and here.  I used what I thought was Noro 'Kureyon' in 196, but it appears to have been a bag of knock-off fake Noro.  Sad, sad, sad.

Finally there's Rambling - a great semi-improvised pattern for a scarf.  I made the mistake of not making it wide enough, even though I knew I was using acrylic and I'd never get it to block.  Cygent '100% Acrylic Aran' in 185 Denim, to be preciseIt is, however, still being used by the person for whom it was made, so not a disaster by any means!

I'm kinda hoping we're not going to suffer the Mayan prophecy of doom, because I've just started a Wingspan shawl, and I'd really like to be able to wear it in the not-too-distant (non 999 degree apocalyptic) future.

To be continued...  Hopefully with a 13 for 2013 (optimistic) goal...

Friday, 23 November 2012

Turducken Sale

It sounds fowl (heh) but legend has it the Thanksgiving 'treat' of a turkey/duck/chicken roasting hybrid is beyond delicious.

I on the other hand, not being of a Thanksgiving celebratory nationality, have decided to commemorate this long weekend instead with a mini sale of all the House of Socks patterns.  

Indeed.  You can get 10% off any and all House of Socks patterns from now until the end of Monday 26th of November by using the coupon code TURDUCKEN in the checkout page.  (You see - there was method in my title madness!) The patterns are in 2 different currencies - the latest ones are in euros, the earlier ones in dollars - so you need to check to see if you're mixing and matching as otherwise you'll get Bob's 'crappers' problem page.  If you need to go to the checkout more than once, don't worry - you can use the coupon code as many times as you wish!  :)

In other news, you may be thinking to yourselves 'what's all the sudden emphasise on 'House of Socks'?'.  Well, that's a very good question, and I thank you for asking it.

A few days ago I bowed to popular (more than 4 whole people) demand that I make a facebook page for the patterns.  I did, and saw that it was good.  I had been thinking about changing the name to something a little more grown-up, but decided in the end to stay true to my adult-but-not-grown-up persona.  What wasn't so good was, it must be said, the rather lame profile picture.  So, after looking online for sock fonts (more prolific that you'd imagine) but rejecting them as really just replacing one lame with another, I decided to get my socks and camera out for the boys.

This was the result:

I have to admit that I *may* have had a lot more fun than expected photographing the socks in these different letters.  I may, if I have some more spare time, (hah, if, she says!) do the rest of the alphabet! You never know when a TRUE sock font will be needed by the masses.  

Or just by me, even.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Hippie Hippie...


(earworm free of charge)

I've had this idea playing around in my head for a while now, thanks to owning some Noro Kureyon Sock yarn for which I couldn't quite find a place.  You know know how it is; they have great colourways, wonderful splashes of eclectically mixed hues (unless you get lucky and find one that's mostly all greens, or russets, or some such anomaly) that call holler your name in strangely hypnotic shrieks.  And so it was thus, with colourway 256.  A cheeky little number with what was originally thought to have a pleasant mixture of pinks, purples and blues, but with the discovery of a golden mustardy yellow and an altogether more in-your-face orangey-yellow, the cat was set amongst the pigeons.  Or the tigers amongst the macaws, if you will.  

But thus the paisley/60's-inspired Hippie Hippie Socks were brought into imagination.

Or, indeed, Flower Power, man! 

The Hippie Hippie Socks give you a daisy-chain coronet and a paisley frock, and, in keeping with the free-and-easy attitude of the 60's, you have a choice of four different paisley patterns for the main part of the sock!  You can use them all in any combination, or choose your favourite and just work that one for the whole sock!  But no matter how you make it up, this sock is absolutely perfect for those brighter shades of Noro or slow-colour-changing yarn! 

Psychedelic, dude!

Starting with Heidi Bear's 5-stitch picot cast-on, the base of the daisy chain is a simple 1x1 twisted rib.  I had originally started the sock with a turn-down cuff with a bed of daisy stitch, but  soon decided it was too fussy if I was going to add the bigger flowers on top.  A good move in the end as the i-cord daisies take all the attention anyway!

To try and imitate some of the paisley designs I've seen I decided to make four different paisley patterns for this sock - two with eyelets and two with teeny bobbles, to be used in any combination.

The heel is a peasant/afterthought heel, as when it comes to yarn like this, I like (if at all possible) to see fluency of colour from one end of the sock to the other.  Of course, as you can see, Noro does like to play tricks, the little scamp.  Using the 'Crayola 64' method of colour naming (circa 1958), we start with a warm Red-Orange, then slip daintily into Tickle-Me-Pink, touching on my very favourite, Periwinkle, then moving swiftly on to Magenta.  And then WHAM!  Goldenrod is in da house. Subtle as a brick to the temple.  There are hints of the yellow beforehand, but nothing really to prepare you for tactless  introduction of such disparate colours.  Yes, yes, I know the colours themselves are hardly shy and retiring, but at least one colour usually merges gracefully into the next without causing the need to administer emergency sunglasses.

But now, as I'm on a roll...  From Goldenrod, we smoothly transition into Salmon (see? SEE? Smooth transitions can be done with PINKS and YELLOWS!), which in turn melds into Orange-Red, Yellow-Orange, Vivid Violet (okay, so I cheated and used an un-hippie 1998 colour...), and finishing up the graft on the heel with a touch of Blue-Green. (You'll note that the second sock had a much kinder transition between the Magenta and Goldenrod.  Noro: the Mercury of the yarn world.)

(That was fun!)

Anyhoo...  The foot is worked the same way as the leg, with another couple of sets of paisleys and the toe is worked quite simply to continue the last part of the pattern of the foot.  Should you wish to do a plain foot, you need to add some stitches to bring the circumference stitches back to a usable 16 or 17 stitches per needle, as the beginning and end of each paisley block is a smaller 13 stitches per needle.
But go with the flow, man!

The daisies are very simply made, either using a hippie French knitting dolly (the method I used) or by working an i-cord.  Either way, you need approximately 15 inches of knitting per flower.  I waited until the end of both socks before continuing with the daisies, but you can very easily make half the flowers before the second sock, or even choose a contrasting yarn for the daisies, afterthought heel and toe, for example. They're made by pinning the cord out into a 5-petalled flower (as shown in the photo below) and joining up the edges with one of the cast-on/cast-off tails. They are simple to attach by sewing the tail onto the cuff in the configuration you prefer  Try five per sock, or ten, or even just one - the sock equivalent of a flower behind the ear!

You can find the Ravelry pattern page HERE (available to anyone, not just Ravelers) or you can click the button below to buy the pattern now for just €3 (or £2.40 or $3.87 at the current rate of exchange).

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Right Angles Are So Passée

acute and oblique - new patterns by yours truly

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an acute angle is an angle less than 90°. The same source states that an oblique angle is one that it not a right angle, nor is a multiple of right angles.  

According to RedScot's Dictionary of Made-Up Words (OUP 2018), an Acute ankle sock is a very simple pattern that creates three very sharp less-than-90° angle points. An Oblique calf-length sock, on the other hand foot, uses the same basic pattern to create four very sharp angle points that aren't right angles, or multiples of the same...

My sister is again responsible, in kind, for the advent of these super-cute new patterns, as she keeps supplying me with DK wool in a myriad of colours and types for which I can never find a suitable sock pattern.   This time it was King Cole Riot DK in the 'Riot' colourway, a 'self-patterning' yarn that was crying out for some sharp zig-zags to show it off.  But there was nothing more pointy that my own Traffic Islands pattern to choose from, so I set about making a new and even spikier pattern.   And because I loved the first one with DK so much, I set about making a version for fingering-weight yarn, using Munchkin Knitworks String of Pearls Plus in 'Hodgeberry Stain'.

Thus Acute and then Oblique were born.   Instead of a nice, calm 2x2 ribbed cuff, I thought it much more interesting to start off with some sharp angles, and to keep it from rolling down, made sure that there were some purl rows thrown in the mix.  3 points for Acute, and 4 for Oblique.

The heel-flaps, once these sharp chevrons had continued down the leg, were at once calming for Acute - a simple eye-of-partridge heel stitch was all that was required, but Oblique intended to be a little more cunning and the angles continued through to the heel-turn...  Not just because the stitch count needed to be brought down to make sure the sole wasn't too wide.

Cunning?  Oh yes, I think so!  

The angles continued down the upper of each sock and they both finished in a simple star toe.

I made the small size of Acute, for they may just be for someone whose fault they came into existence anyway (and my medium sock blockers were a tad on the large size for them, really...) but I made the Oblique in large for myself, and was so pleased with them I had to wear them as soon as they were blocked.

Both these patterns are being sold together as a pair, so you can make some angled socks for your selves whatever type of sock yarn you have!

Click HERE (Oblique) and HERE (Acute)to find the pattern pages on Ravelry (you can access the same pattern set from each page), or just click below to buy them now!  Oh, how much?  well, dang, but because they're so fast to knit up, I couldn't ask for more than a euro the pair! (Or £0.79 or $1.29 or AUS$1.23 or ¥100 or ₪5.05.)

(It says just 'Oblique' in the invoice, but both patterns are there!)

The whole world needs this kind of cute!

Mair Bloag Weejits

Footerin' Aboot

Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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