knitting

Socks, Socks, Socks…

The last few weeks, I’ve had nothing but socks on my brain. With the Sockcal2018/sockalong2018 running throughout October, it was the perfect opportunity for me to try and grasp sock construction. I’ve also used this month to get my head around knitting in general a little better, seeing as one of my new year’s resolutions this year was to improve my knitting. Anyway, here’s a really quick blog post to show you what I’ve been up to…

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As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, and on my Instagram, I tried to fly the flag for crochet and make crochet socks… but I failed. I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind, used the best pattern for my troll feet or chose the right yarn for what is most likely going to be yet another pair of sacrificial crochet socks… That is until I get to grips with the construction of crochet socks. I think crochet socks will have to wait until next year. I have a suspicion that the reason I am finding it so difficult  to make a crochet sock that fits – is because I haven’t quite got the full understanding of sock anatomy yet. I’m hoping that once I’ve knit a few, I will understand the construction better.

I have however finished a pair of socks for Katie using a Backyard Fibreworks MCN yarn in the colour way Trading Post that Claudia kindly gifted to me at Valentines. I used a short row heel for these socks as this is the heel I used for my first knitted socks I made last year. This yarn is delicious. It is so soft! And Katie says it’s 100% toastie.

I have now started making Katie a pair of Christmas socks in West Yorkshire Spinners ‘Holly Berry’ using Winwick Mum’s Simple sock pattern yet. I wanted to learn how to do a heel flap and gusset even though it terrifies me. But with Christine’s easy step by step instructions, I’ve managed it! Now I just need to carry on with the foot and toes…

I do have a few sock WIPs lined up for the future though, and I am trying to learn something new (and a little more advanced) on each of them.

When I have finished Katie’s Christmas socks with the heel flap, I want to make myself some Christmas socks with contrasting heels, cuffs and toes… therefore learning how to change colour when knitting.

Then I would like to make the Vanilla Latte socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes learning to put a bit of a pattern into the sock.

Eventually, I’d like to make Fay’s Mini Mania socks, and then attempt to learn some simple colour work, I’d also like to learn how to make a few different types of heel to see which one I prefer. Although the short row is an easy heel to knit, I feel as though I do not execute it well, and even though there are no holes, it is a bit to gappy (is this even a real word?) for my liking. Although my recent socks are a lot less holey and baggy as my first pair of socks which I made last year.

Eventually, I would like to start knitting shawls and I feel that by learning these skills in socks I will build myself up to shawls. I still have no desire to knit garments or to learn cables… but a few years ago I had no desire to knit anything – so who knows! Crochet will always be my first love – but I am enjoying learning new skills and techniques.

At the moment, sock knitting is absolutely addictive! I am really enjoying the speed, and size of the project, and how transferable they are. I love that I can do a few rows on my lunch break, and each small sit-in amounts very quickly to a sock.

If you know any beginner sock patterns that you think I would enjoy please share in the comments or Instagram or even find me on Ravelry – lovecharlieblog 🙂

Love Charlie, Xx

crochet

November WIP Progress…

It’s getting very chilly here in Cheshire, and to keep myself warm, I’m surrounding myself by woolen bits and bobs! The last few months I have used lists as an exercise of productivity and motivation; and November is no different… In fact, I have a new notebook to tick off crochet goals.

I have only one thing left to tick off for my November goals, and I’ll have to crochet like mad tonight to finish… I have 6 stripes left! I best get cracking (or should I say hooking?)

Here is what I’ve been up to…

#BWPhotoChallenge

Firstly, I took part in the #bwphotochallenge on Instagram. This challenge consisted of uploading a black and white photo everyday with no description or explanation. I found this quite difficult as I didn’t crochet everyday; but I hope I am glad in a way because it was an opportunity to show my followers a side that I don’t always want to photograph and upload. Some days were literally a photo of my lunch… or the box of Strepsils I was nursing through a cold.

 

Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl

I managed to start and finish a complete Butterfly Stitch Prayer Shawl in November. This is a free pattern on Ravelry by NJ Sharon & Debi Adams, and this one was commission for a work colleague. They liked the grey colour in the King Cole Galaxy DK from the  Mars colourway (which is grey & cream) I managed to find 3 balls f the Mercury colourway, which is sadly discontinued now, but is all grey. This is my second Butterfly Stitch shawl and I can’t recommend the pattern enough – it works up beautifully!

#Backtoschoolsweatercal – Movie Night Cocoon Cardigan

Although I made most of the progress on this Cardigan in October, I finished it in November. I love this cardigan! It is the first garment I’ve ever made, and I am very thankful to Tamara and Helen for hosting the #backtoschoolsweatercal as it encouraged me to finally get this from my library to finished objects on Ravelry. I used just over 5 balls of acrylic yarn I bought in Aldi earlier this year… if not last year… and it worked up lovely. It’s burgundy which is my favourite colour, and I have barely taken it off. It is a free pattern on Ravelry by Alexandra Tavel – Click here for the pattern.

 

 

School of Wizardry Scarf for Katie.

After the #AutumnWAL17, I changed my target for this scarf. Now I want to get it finished for Christmas. My goal for November was to get half way (An easy thing to measure as I’m using two balls of Caron simply soft) and I have done it and joined on the second ball. I am loving this scarf and the stitch I’ve used. I will publish the pattern when I have finished the scarf. I love that it is easily recognised as Harry Potter themed. I was inspired by the Gryffindor House colours, and am thinking this will be a great pattern for those that love Harry Potter like Katie (Who is currently on the last book… after re-reading the entire collection for the third time).

Fruit Salad TV Blanket

My goal was to edge 20 squares, and I have edged 25. I am going to set the same target for December… and next year I want to get this finished ASAP. This has been an ongoing WIP for a long time, and I think it will be nice to finally have this finished so I can snuggle under it. I also want to make a charity blanket in the same way – and I don’t really want 2 granny square blankets on the go at the same time.

 

 

#Fridayisdyeday – 24th November

Last #Fridayisdyeday, I used Avacado dye to susccessfully dye some cotton. This month, I dyed some wool (That didn’t take the Avacado dye) with Wilton Icing Colourants (that Fay of the Crochet Circle Podcast kindly lent me). WOW! I had so much fun! I am definitely going to be doing this again… I used two techniques to dye two different skeins of wool. Both from Laxtons, one BFL Sock yarn and the other 50% Merino 50% Silk DK Blend. For the sock yarn, I laid the soaked (in water & white vinegar) yarn out on a cling film wrapped table and used paint brushes to paint sections of the yarn in different colours which I’d mixed in an artist’s paint palette before hand. The second yarn (the silk/merino blend) I pooled different coloured dyes into the lid of a large palette… (Although any tray would work) then I laid the yarn across it. I then used a paint brush and used more concentrated dye mixes to add a few stronger patches of colour.

The first technique worked well and I am happy with the result, although because I painted only one side of the yarn, there are a lot of undyed patches. I like this effect, and I was aiming for this in some respects – although if you don’t like this look then maybe this technique wouldn’t work for you.

The second technique was a lot quicker and due to the larger quantity of liquid, and there are less undyed patches (if any at all?) Although there isn’t as much control with this method.

Overall I am very happy with my Icing colourant-dyed yarn. My next adventure is going to be a sock blank… I think 🙂

 

Amigurumi Baby Sloth & Ragdoll Sloth

These two were both commissions for a colleague. I loved making these pair! They were great stash busters, easy to make, free patterns from ravelry. Both designers had written up the patterns very well and the instructions were easy to follow. I recommend both patterns. The Amigurumi Baby Sloth is a pattern by The Twisted Crocheter, and the Ragdoll Sloth is by Spin a Yarn Crochet. Go and check them out – they are adorable.

Cotton Coaster

Things have been crazy at work over the last month. We seem to have been busier and more hectic; and a lot have things have changed. (Although I have a new desk now which is great 🙂 One thing that happened was the employment of a few more members of staff. All of the girls in the office have a crocheted coaster so when the new receptionist started I of course had to make her one. I made a pink coaster using DMC Natura Just cotton in the colour way Rose Layette. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo before taking this into work… but it was very pretty. I used this free pattern by Bella Coco.

I have had a busy month and I’m really happy with the number of FO’s I have.

I’ve also worked on a couple of other things through November which weren’t on my goal list.

  1. A hat for Katie’s Nan (pattern will be published in the next few weeks)
  2. A hat for my sister-in-law to put on the dog – let me know if you want the pattern…
  3. A knitted scarf to develop my knit & purl skills
  4. Stitch Markers

 

 

Love Charlie, Xx