Monday, February 28, 2011

How my sock knitting is coming along

I finished my second ever pair of socks!!!
This pattern is called Syncopated Rib Socks from I Can't Believe I'm Knitting Socks by Cindy Guggemos for Leisure Arts.  It is a super easy pattern for a beginner like me.  It was just enough to challenge me but not so overwhelming that I got frustrated and quit.

Updates on the next two pairs of socks I've started:

I am doing a third pattern from the book  I Can't Believe I'm Knitting Socks.  I do have other sock books but I love the way this book is written.  My coral/pink pair has started out to be the little arrowhead lace socks (on pg. 50) but it doesn't look quite like the picture in the book.

The pattern is a little more complex so I need complete concentration (which does not happen with a two and four year old) and I need to be fully awake which is debatable after 8pm.  I haven't given up on it yet but trust me I've thought about it a few times. 

I think the reason why I haven't given up on my third pair is that I have picked a super easy pattern for my fourth pair.  Remember I said I always wanted to be working on two different pairs at the same time, one difficult and one easy. I found this pattern on Ravelry and it's called Thuja by Bobby Ziegler.

(I will post a picture in the next few days).

The designer is a man and the sock is really a man's sock but I'm using smaller needles.  The reason why I picked this pattern is because the pattern on the leg is carried down all the way on the top of the foot.  If you've noticed on my first two pairs of socks it is just the basic knit stitch once you turn the heal.  I'm challenging myself a little bit more each time and working my way up to the more difficult ones.

I had not planned on mentioning this book in this post (because it deserves a whole post all to itself) but I'm working my way up to this book:
It has some of the neatest designs!  I'll just share one with you in this post because it may be the first one I try from this book.  Again I emphasize MAYBE.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One hitch...

the way I knit.

Up until yesterday I had decided that in order for me to knit more intricate sock patterns I needed to knit on circular needles instead of DPN's.

Yesterday I moved my coral socks (see previous post for photo) onto a 40" (same size 4) circular needle.  I am still at the ribbing stage of these socks so after I moved them I knit one more round to get a feel for circular sock knitting.

Extremely awkward.  Why?  Because of the way I knit.  A few years ago when my mom taught me how to knit I just couldn't hold the needles in both hands.  It felt awkward.  Hold one needle in one hand and the other needle in the other hand.  Control tension by wrapping your yarn around one finger... and that's the finger you'll use to wrap it around the needle.  My mom was a very good teacher and showed me more than one way to knit.  We tried the continental and English method.  I couldn't get it.  I understood the mechanics of the knit and purl stitches but my fingers just weren't cooperating.  I was in my 30's.  

Finally I said "Couldn't I just hold one needle between my legs?"  My mom looked at me kind of strange and then said something like "whatever works".  And I've been knitting like this ever since.

This picture was taken on Monday while knitting in my car (no I was not driving):
 My work is in my left had and my yarn is to the right of me.  My needle is being held between my legs and my right hand, which was at the moment holding the camera, controls the tension.

Therefore it's almost impossible for me to knit with circular needles because I can't hold the right needle between my legs.  Like I said, I knit one round of the coral socks holding both needles with my hands but my tension was off and it took me forever to do just one round!

I went on Ravelry last night specifically looking for DPN sock patterns and they are out there.  So I transferred my coral socks back onto 4 DPN's and knit 2-3 more rounds to get the tension right again.

So again stay tuned for the development of my coral socks!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Knitting, knitting and more knitting

I have found that of my many hobbies knitting is something I may be staying with for a while.  Why?  Because with a two and a four year old knitting is something that I can pick up and put down easily.  I have decided that I will probably always have two different pairs of socks going at once: one with an easy stitch so I can work on it when I'm with the kids (a lot of starting and stopping) and then a more challenging one for after they go to bed (so I can devote more intense concentration to it).

For Christmas my sister-in-law gave me a gift card to Knit Picks.  I bought a lot of great stuff but my favorite purchase was this large clear knitting bag:  
I love it!  I can see everything at once and don't need a flashlight to see down into it.
So today I decided to gather up all of my knitting books: 

And then I decided to separate out my sock knitting books:
And my favorite one for an absolute beginner like me is:

I have knit almost two pairs of socks now and this book has guided me through every step.  My first pair I finished about a month ago:

And hopefully I'll finish my second pair sometime this week:

And now that I have two pairs "under my belt" I feel like I can take on more challenging patterns.   So I started my third pair and when I got to the pattern on the leg (after the cuff) it seemed almost impossible on DPN's.  I needed it on a circular needle because there was going to be a lot of moving stitches onto different needles so I could SSK (slip slip knit).  I have now cast on for two new pairs of socks but am not sure what patterns I'll be knitting them in.  I think I'm going to try to move one of them to my circular needles and attempt a challenging pattern.  Note, in the first pair I am using another gift purchase from Knit Picks called Harmony Needles.  They are absolutely wonderful!  BUT I have noticed that knitting with a lighter color yarn is much more easier on these needles than a darker color yarn.  I found this out when I cast on a gorgeous purple yarn but couldn't see it!

So stay tuned to see what these two new pair of socks will end up looking like.