Category Archives: Knit-Alongs

Done!

The Opal X-Large socks are finished!

Opal Socks

Actually they’ve been done for almost a week, but I wasn’t able to get a picture of them to post.

Opal yarns were all the rage ten or so years ago, and I even knit a few pairs, but the only option was sock-weight and 72 stitches per round on US #1 needles is not something I can knit quickly – I never fell in love with it. I much prefer thicker socks that can be knit in a few days. Or less. I’m an Instant Gratification sort of gal when it comes to my socks 🙂

Lemme just say that Opal X-Large is a delight to work with. The colorways are lovely and who can resist a yarn that makes its own patterns while the knitter cruises along, knitting on auto-pilot? It’s a little splitty, but nice and soft to knit. If it wears as well as the original Opal it will have been a great investment. I’ve already bought yarn for the next pair and am contemplating some sort of simple allover texture pattern to add a little variety.

I’ve always loved a plain stockinette sock for my own use and because of that generally save sock knitting for those times I want a “mindless” project, but lately everyone around me is knitting something a bit more…fancy isn’t quite the word I’m looking for, but you know what I mean – something more than Plain Vanilla socks, and I can feel the tide of peer pressure lapping at my toes…

I’ve left the socks at Knitty Gritty on display for the moment along with some hats until more of the Regulars get swatches and items knit up. I imagine it will be a rotating group of items for a long time to come.

ChainLinkIn other sock-related news, the first of my “old” sock patterns has been updated and is now for sale on the website and on Ravelry – I’m SODesigns over there if you want to add me to your friend list 🙂

Looking over the “old” designs it’s clear that some of them will need to be knit again so I can take better photographs – what seemed Just Fine then is Outdated and Boring today. A few of the ladies at Knit Night have volunteered to knit samples for me and I guess that means I can procrastinate no longer – gotta get moving on that project.

Keep an eye on the Knitty Gritty Class Schedule if you’re in the area and looking for classes – I’ll be teaching sock knitting, chart reading, knitting lace and maybe a hat class or two.

What class would you take if you could take anything your heart desires?

Sock Knitting 2014

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve jumped on Knittingsarah’s  KAL for 2014 – to knit on a sock every day all year long, starting January 15. For those of you who have forgotten:

The goal of this KAL is to condition ourselves to incorporate sock knitting into our every day lives.

I was working on a sock when I joined and had a sock class scheduled, which went very well – both students knit a pair of socks with worsted weight yarn and were happy with their new skills. Last Friday the next class started (delayed a week because of snow) and Kristin is motoring along on her DK weight socks. Both classes elected to knit both socks at the same time rather than complete one and have to worry they would forget the techniques for the second sock and forever suffer from Second Sock Syndrome – that dreaded condition whereby a knitter only ever completes the first sock of the pair. I don’t understand, myself – the whole point is to knit a pair and wear them – anything else is just an educational exercise and wastes good yarn 🙂

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Dirt brown DK weight socks. Nothing interesting here – only practical

There have been a few days that I did not knit on a sock, but I have knit most days of 2014, completing five hats (one of which disappeared completely* two of which were ripped out and re-knit because of design flaws that could not be overcome) and three socks so far.

Last week after class I was wandering around the shop, Knitty Gritty, looking longingly at the new Opal yarns Maurine had ordered, when I spied a single ball of something unique: Opal X-Large (the link leads to the exact colorway right at the top of the page – LOVE!!!) Hmmm…I love the colors and patterns of Opal yarn, but it’s fine and requires 72 stitches per round on US 0 or 1 needles and they simply take foooor-eeeveeeer to knit so I tend not to make fine socks. I buy my shoes a half size larger to make up for my sock knitting laziness, in case you need to know.

But this X-Large stuff is DK weight – only 56 stitches – totally do-able! I snatched up the ball and headed home to do some chores.

Over the weekend, I knit both Opal socks to the heel flap (can’t go farther until class, where I’ll use them to demonstrate the flap and heel turn for Kristin) and then picked up another bit of Stash** yarn and started a third sock. Last night I knit the forth sock of what is starting to look like a series in DK weight yarn to the heel flap and picked up the second sock of the most recent worsted weight pair, which is almost ready for the heel turn.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhew! That’s five socks on the go – a new personal record, I think. I’m usually monogamous with my sock knitting but the Opal has inspired me to get my sock drawer filled up before nicer weather drives me outside for the season.

So far the socks I’ve knit have been plain stockinette, samples for an upcoming pattern, but I’m feeling the draw towards a new cabled design, or maybe something with a simple all-over pattern suitable for beginners. It looks like my Knitting Mojo may have found its way home 🙂

* I suspect the cat has hidden it somewhere, along with a couple of single socks. I haven’t yet found his hiding place, which boggles the mind as we live in a 30-foot travel trailer and I’ve been re-arranging furniture for well over a week now. It couldn’t have just vanished into the ether, could it?

** There is quite a bit of nice wool yarn in The Stash and a rather embarrassing amount of handspun suitable for socks that should be used before buying any more yarn. Space is at a premium and I am determined! The Plan was going so well, four pairs of socks with the boring cream Phildar, the DK socks in dirt-brown that was originally marked for a sweater but refuses to even swatch properly, even the Opal bought I don’t even know how many years ago – yarn into socks, no money spent. This new Opal X-Large has totally de-railed my stash-busting plans. And last night Maurine told me that she’s ordered more…

Sock Knitting in 2014

The knitting blogs are all atwitter about the hottest trend for 2014 – Sock Knitting. I’ve been knitting socks for years, and at last I’ll be on the cutting edge of a trend!

Knittingsarah has proposed a KAL for 2014 – to knit on a sock every day all year long, starting January 15.

The goal of this KAL is to condition ourselves to incorporate sock knitting into our every day lives.

Now that sounds like a resolution I can keep! There was a time when I had a sock project with me at all times and I knit at least a pair of socks a month. When did that change? My sock drawer looks nothing like Susan B. Anderson’s and I hope to remedy that this year with pairs and pairs of wonderful new socks.

I’m sure there will be many popular sock patterns and separate KALs for them, but I will be strong and design my own patterns. There are three or four in the queue at the moment, so inspiration is near at hand, as is a pretty good supply of yarn.

Coincidentally, I will be teaching my first sock class at Knitty Gritty this afternoon. It’s been some years since I last taught. It’s like riding a bike, right? The patterns are printed and all I have left to do is put yarn and needles into a bag of some sort and get cracking!