Monthly Archives: November 2014

Ever Onward

In spite of having a cold and feeling rather yuck, yesterday was a productive day. Trinity’s socks are finished and have gone home to live with her; she’s happy. Ethan’s slippers have been worked on and, if I do say so myself, are looking pretty good.

slippers1

The colours work well together and, being a Bev Galeskas pattern, the knitting is going well. Bev’s patterns are well-written and, as long as you can read, are easy to follow. I’ll probably have one slipper done today and the second will be started.

I don’t know how well you can see the needles in the picture but they’re square. I’ve never worked with square needles before. Here’s a close-up.

Square

 

They are (blast it, lost the packaging already!), if I remember correctly, Knit Pro needles, size 6.5 mm. I’m still not sure whether I like them or not. The price was right and I needed them so I bought them and will use them for the slippers. Will I use them again? Time will tell.

We’ve had company this week and Zelda brought me a gift… professional bread pans. She knows I like to bake bread. And when I say “professional”, I mean bakery bread pans professional… old.

Bread pans

This is one half of a 4-loaf set and I absolutely love them! I had the time and desire to put them to use.

rising

That’s one batch of Halifax County White Bread. That’s the title in the book… why it’s Halifax County White, I don’t know; it’s nothing more than a basic white bread, really.

baked

I am more than happy with the results. The consensus around here, from Ethan on up, was that the bread is delicious and tastes like more! As soon as Ethan walked in the door, with the scent of freshly baked bread permeating everything, he complained about being hungry. I think he had four slices!

As a thank you, I gave Zelda & Ian one of the loaves; there’s about a quarter of the other loaf left. I’ll be baking another batch later today… for the freezer.

texture

 

In case you’re interested, the recipe is from a little book I picked up years ago, “Great Bread Every Time” by Marilyn Barbe. As I recall, every recipe I’ve made from that book has been a success. I am finding, though, that I don’t need nearly the amount of flour that the recipes call for. That probably has to do with our elevation. I’ve made enough bread in my life, though, to know when the texture is just right. For example, the above recipe called for 9-10 cups of flour; if I had used all of that, the bread would have come out as hard as a brick. I only needed 6-7 cups of flour to get the right consistency and elasticity required.

After yesterday’s success on the bread-making front, I think it may be time to start a batch of sourdough bread again.

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Categories: Baking, Blogging, Finished, Knitting, Slippers, Socks | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

And Now It’s Two Down

Well, as of this morning, Trinity’s socks are done! Even though we’ve had company most of the week, I’ve been working on her socks every night; it’s only been a few rows while watching a TV show on the computer but it was progress. When I compared sock #2 to sock #1 this morning, I only had two more rounds to work and then the cast off.

I think she’ll be happy.

Trin socks1

This was sock #1 after I gave Ethan’s his pair earlier this week. And this morning?

Trin socks finished

Done! Off the needles. Packaged up and ready to give to Trin.

Hmm, I purposely didn’t make them match but they do come close, don’t they? (And the little string bow at the top is only there to tie the socks together.)

Now, what next?? Ah yes, the slippers!

Categories: Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

One Pair Down

I am pleased to report that Ethan’s socks are off the needles, finished, ready to be slipped on to (not so) little feet. I’m feeling very productive and rather pleased with myself, to be honest.

Ethan_sock4

Not only are they finished, they even match! I don’t normally go out of my way to make socks match when I’m using self-striping yarn but I thought that, in this case, I’d see how closely I could get them to match. They’re pretty much identical, right up to the cast off edge of the cuff (one half yellow, one half blue).

EthanTrinsocks

Trinity’s socks are coming along nicely, too. This was taken yesterday morning, before I’d finished Ethan’s socks. Trinity’s are further along now as well; I’m about halfway up the cuff. My goal is to have the first sock finished today and cast on for the second one by tonight. If I can get the toe done, it’s mindless knitting up to the heel.

I have to say, I’m pleased with this pattern/method. To call it a pattern is something of a misnomer. It’s really just a collection of its parts; I used the directions for the round toe, the directions for the Fish Lips Kiss heel, and then the directions for Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I will put links to all three on the “On The Web” page ( Jeny’s SSBO is already there).

Yesterday, I took Trinity and Ethan out for lunch and afterwards, we stopped in at Kelowna Yarn & Needlework. I wanted to pick up another long circular needle so I can work on two pairs of socks if I want to. While there, Trinity noticed a pair of gloves knitted with a self-striping yarn that was predominantly orange. She was instantly smitten, looked at me and asked, ever so beseechingly, “Grandma, can you make me a pair of gloves like that? Pleeeeeeease?”

I may be knitting gloves again. Sigh! (Really, they’re not that bad. As I said to John later, they’re nothing more than 5 little tubes and one larger tube… just fiddly.)

We had our first snowfall of the year this weekend. It wasn’t much but it sure was fun to be able to reveal to Trinity and Ethan the first snow they’ve encountered here in Kelowna. They were watching a movie when I opened the door and showed them that there was snow on the ground. After we finished dinner, they went out to play in the wet, slushy snow and even tried to make a snowman. By Saturday, it had frozen over and the kids spent a lot of time “skating” (sliding) on the driveway and sledding down the pile of sand (at the back corner or the yard). I was amazed at how much time they spent out there.

snowday

 

As for me? Snow on the ground means knitting time!

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Knitting, Socks, The Weather | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Can’t Resist Another Update

It’s Tuesday morning; I should be getting ready for work. So why am I blogging??

Well, I’m just kind of excited about knitting these socks, that’s all. You’ll probably be sick of them before I’ve finished knitting them but… oh well.

001

Ethan’s second sock is now ready for the heel, a little further along than in this picture. Since I still need to concentrate on what I’m doing with the heel, and it is not conducive to TV knitting, I decided to start on a pair of socks for Trinity.

After John went to bed last night, I knew there was no way I could sleep yet, so I pulled out yarn and needles and cast on the toe of her sock. I thought about doing two at a time but let’s take this one step at a time. Besides, if I knit one sock from one end of the ball and the second sock from the other end of the ball, they’ll end up being completely opposite in pattern from each other. That would drive me (and probably her) crazy. And, at 10:00 p.m., I wasn’t about to pull out the digital scale and divide the yarn into two equal balls of yarn. That was simply beyond the scope of my capabilities at that time of night.

001

As of this morning, the toe is complete and I have some straight on TV knitting… until I get to the heel.

It feels good to be back in the world of the knitting!

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

And Now For the Finale

It’s getting colder here. This past week, the temperatures have dipped down to a very chilly -12ºC (about 10ºF) with the daytime temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. Apparently, at the college, almost all the leaves are down, with a few stubborn holdouts (mainly the London Plane trees). There were even some swirling snowflakes yesterday; a sign of things to come? Winter is definitely here.

With the cold comes the need for “warmies”; I’ve started perusing mitten patterns for the kids (nothing fancy as I’m sure more than one pair will go missing before winter is over – they usually do). They’ll be needing them for sure! I’ll likely stay with an old tried and true basic mitten pattern as they knit up quickly and the pattern is a familiar one. And the slippers need knitting up very soon. Sooner rather than later!

In the interim, though, Ethan’s socks are coming along. I’m ready for binding off the first sock and the second has been cast on (that little bit of yarn on the needles perpendicular to the cuff.

Ethan_sock3

Don’t mind the table cloth; it isn’t dirty. The streaks are old paint stains; this is my crafting tablecloth. I’d rather have spills and stains on it than on my nice fabric tablecloths – I should get a new one, though. This one’s rather ugly. I digress.

This is where the title of this post comes in. The finale would be the bind off. I’ll be using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which originally appeared in the Knitty Fall 2009 issue.  There is also a You Tube video of the technique, by Cat Bordhi, for those who would prefer to see the bind off process in action.

Now, all I need is a foot to try the sock on. After that, it’s working towards the Grand Finale… a finished pair of socks!

Edited to add: IT FIT!!! Perfectly! On to sock #2!

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

FLK… Almost One Down

Just a quick, short post today. Yesterday, being November 11, I spent the day indoors, working on the Fish Lips Kiss socks for Ethan (in addition to some laundry, dishes, and general tidying around here while John was at work). Progress was definitely made. All I need now is one of Ethan’s feet so I can see how it fits him.

Ethan_sock

This was taken around lunch time, after I’d started and frogged the toe three or four times I wasn’t happy with how it was coming out. For this one, I used the toe pattern suggested by the Sox Therapist on her Ravelry page. For the cast on, I used Judy’s Magic Cast On, which I like quite well.  As you can see, I’m knitting a very plain, “vanilla” pair this time, stocking stitch for the entire foot and knit/purl ribbing up the leg.

Ethan_sock2

I took this around dinner time, just after I’d finished the heel but not the one inch of stocking stitch above the heel. As of bedtime last night, I’d finished about 1/2″ of the ribbing (it’s difficult to knit ribbing while watching The Voice!). The foot was all done on two circulars but I’ve switched to double pointed needles for the leg. I’m simply more comfortable with dpns than with two circulars.

The heel came together very quickly and looks pretty good, if I do say so myself and I LOVE that there is no gusset, no stitches to pick up, no wraps, none of the usual sock stuff. I will admit, though, that I’m leery about starting the second sock until I can see how this one fits Ethan’s foot. It fits the cardboard form perfectly so I should be okay but I’m sure you’d agree, I don’t want to do all the work just to have to frog two finished socks (or give them away).

When this one is on his foot, I’ll be sure to take a picture. Then I’ll start the second sock.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fish Lips and Octopus Legs

It feels like I’m “under the sea”, as the Disney song says. I’ve downloaded a pattern with the lovely title of Fish Lips Kiss Heel and I’m working with two circular needles; yes, I know an octopus has eight legs but knitting with two circulars feels a little like knitting with legs dangling all over the place. It’s easy to lose count.. four, eight… when it’s ends of needles, who can tell?

fishlips

This has become my very own personal challenge. I’ve been following the directions in the pattern/technique I wrote about on Sunday, the Fish Lips Kiss heel. Thing is, you start at the toe and the directions are for the heel. I’ve only ever made one pair of toe up socks and they are NOT my favourite socks, by any stretch.

Patty-Joy has you make up cardboard templates for each person you want to knit socks for (as you can see, I’m starting with Ethan – he has the smallest feet in the family around me) and work from that template. Last night, I had almost three inches of sock knit up but, when trying it on the template, it was on the big side. I’ll keep you informed as to how it all goes.

Herein lies the reason for today’s post (incidentally, don’t expect a daily post – I just happen to be on a roll and remembering how much fun blogging can be). Those of you who knit socks from the toe up… do you have a favourite toe? A favourite cast on? The one pictured is Judy’s Magic Cast On (there’s a link to it on the “On The Web” page (up at the top right of this page), which I quite like. I’m just not that familiar with starting at the toe.

Point me in the direction of your favourite toe pattern.

Please?

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

And They’re Done!

Part of yesterday was spent rooting through my yarn stash, hunting for that ball of grey yarn I just knew was hiding somewhere. After going through every single tub, every box, every bag, I found some. It was in the cedar chest, at the very bottom. At least, I found it.

I’ll let you be the judge… can YOU tell which sock has the little bit of a different yarn?

007

 

009

 

I’ll give you a hint. It’s the one on the right. I don’t think anyone will ever notice that there’s a slightly different yarn in one sock. John is happy and I’ll be moving on to other projects now, thank you very much.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Socks | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Fish Lips and Felted Slippers

Well, the knitting bug is back. I’m not going crazy but I certainly am back to enjoying the process. I’ve just cast on a pair of slippers for Ethan, my 5 year old grandson. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that our suite has ceramic tile floors. In the summer, that is a definite bonus as the floors are always nice and cool. In the winter, however, the floors are always freaking cold!

The kids are very good about taking their shoes off when they come in but with the floors as cold as they are sometimes, I don’t like the thought of little feet getting frosty. Hence, slippers must be had.

A few weeks ago, I took Trinity and Ethan to our local yarn store, the Art of Yarn, and went through a book of slipper patterns. Both agreed that the Fiber Trends felt boot slipper pattern (CH-7) would be perfect. We looked at the appropriate yarns and they each chose their colours. Last weekend, I picked up the yarn and needles and last night, I cast on for Ethan’s slippers. This morning, I realized I had started on the wrong size so I’ve frogged the little bit I’d knit and started over.

004

I’m really looking forward to the felting process, which I intend to do when the kids are here. I think they’ll enjoy the process.

Now, in the matter of John’s socks. I’ll be going stash diving in a little while. I know I have other grey yarn that’s similar to the yarn I used.

Sandie left an interesting comment on yesterday’s post and I’ve followed up on  it. She referred me to the Fish Lips Kiss  Heel… try saying that three times real fast!… and I looked it up on Ravelry. It looked interesting so I splurged. I spent a whole $1.17 cdn and have downloaded the pattern, all 16 pages of it! Wow! That’s a lot of description.

I will definitely be trying that pattern/method. I think I’ll start with a pair of socks for Ethan before going big and making another pair for John. I’d rather knit a pair of socks for 7″ feet than for 12″ feet, especially since it’s a new-to-me pattern. When they arrive later today, I’ll start following the directions for measuring Ethan’s feet; we may even go stash diving together to see if any of the sock yarn I have meets his exacting standards.

If you’d like to check it out, you can find it on Ravelry. Just click and you should be taken directly there.

Categories: Blogging, Knitting, Slippers | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

I Hate When That Happens

First…. hi! I know, it’s been almost forever since I posted. I’m still around, just very busy. Between work, grandchildren, home and summer, there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for me. That seems to be changing a bit now that winter is just around the corner. With the cooler weather and earlier evenings, knitting just seems to be the right thing to do.

I have almost finished a pair of socks for John. They’re looking really good, if I do say so myself. I try to make at least one pair of socks per year for him and this pair has taken a while to make. I’m finally down to the finish line on them.

002

 

 

004

That’s it, that’s all that’s left to knit… about an inch left on the toe.

So, anyway… a few days ago, John asked me if it was possible to knit socks from the toe up. Right out of the blue, he asks this? I want to know why that thought even crossed his mind, why he would even think about it? He said something along the lines of.. “Well, if you knit them from the top down and you run out of yarn, you’re screwed, right?” The man’s a thinker, apparently.

Then he continued, “But if you could knit them from the toe up, you could make the leg part shorter if it looked like you might run out of yarn.”

He’s right, of course. I could knit from the toe up but then I’d have to learn a new pattern. I have this one memorized. And I know that one 100 gram ball of sock yarn is enough to make one pair of socks for him with very little left over.

Usually.

Not this time.

Sigh.

003

That bit of yarn? The one with the end showing? That’s it. That’s the last of the ball. That little bit will not stretch far enough to knit that last one inch of sock with enough left over for the kitchener stitch at the toe.

The yarn, Online Supersocke 100 in the Vintage Color is 100 grams of yarn. The first sock weighs 48 grams. That should leave me with 52 grams of yarn which should have been enough to finish sock #2. I am not impressed.

Maybe John’s right and I should try knitting from the toe up.

Maybe.

 

Categories: Blogging, Knitting | 6 Comments

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