When Centre Pull Goes Bad…

It REALLY goes bad…


This is the current state of a ball of sock yarn.  I’ll likely turn the heel before I get this mess sorted out!

Every knitter has a preference, centre pull or outer pull; I tend to prefer centre, that is until the above happens…

The yarn is Opal Classic, and once the mess is sorted out, the pattern I’ll follow is Harvest Festival Socks.  They will eventually become a Christmas present, here’s hoping I can knit them fast enough!

The Most Common Question I Get Knitting with 9″ Circulars

I love my 9″ circular sock needles. I bought them over six months ago and haven’t looked back since.Because they aren’t a common tool for knitting, people tend to be curious about them and ask me questions. Commonly, people ask how on earth I knit with such tiny needles (you get used to them), and even more common, how do I knit the heel flap and turn the heel? To best answer this question, I took pictures as I knit my latest sock project

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Here is my sock, leg completed, ready to start the heel.

I use the circular needle to hold the instep stitches, and use DPNs to work the heel.

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Working the flap with the DPNs and the circular is behind with the instep stitches
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Another view, just after the heel has been turned. You can see, I’m ready to start picking up the gusset stitches.
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So I transfer instep to DPN, and then transfer heel to circular which means I’m ready to start work on the gusset and foot!

Perhaps people think there’s some magic I’m able to ONLY knit the socks on the circular. That is not the trick. The trick is being prepared and having enough tools to get the job done!

And in case you’re wondering about the stunning yarn, it’s madelinetosh Tosh Sock, Robin’s Egg colourway, and the pattern is Devil’s Snare Sock by Erica Lueder.

Stash Busters

How do you use up your left overs? You know what I’m talking about: those little part balls, left over from that pair of socks or sweater you finished months ago.

I’m very much a Type A personality (or as a friend says, Type A++), and I’m super organized, so having these odds and ends kicking about my very precious yarn storage space drives me nuts.  When you have a quarter of a skein left, what do you do? It’s not enough to make anything of true substance… but sometimes it’s just enough.

I’ve been on a stash busting kick, trying to clear away those part skeins and odds and ends.

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A few odd balls of DK acrylic are quickly becoming a simple triangle shawl. I may need to buy one more ball to make it a good, proper shawl length.

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The left over Diamond Tradition from the Soper Creek Yarn Challenge are becoming a quick seed stitch cowl.

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Finally, those odd sock ends are becoming squares for a sock yarn blanket. I am ultimately pondering if I make it a true sock yarn memory blanket and only make one square with the yarn, or do I keep busting that stash and just make as many little squares with the yarn that I can. Decisions, decisions.

Happy knitting!

When the yarn makes you look better than you are

I’m making very fast work of my latest pair of socks. Like, much faster than I normally do.  I brought this pair to a few knitting circles last week, and at both, I kept receiving compliments that I’m not sure that I necessarily deserve, for the yarn truly makes me look better than I am.
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Isn’t is just gorgeous?

The yarn is Regia Viva Colour, and if you’ve read any other posts of mine, you know I love teal and other bright and bold colours.  It’s self striping (well, patterning with bold stripes), and the stripes and colours truly make the sock.

The yarn and its colours are the stars, I’m just helping them shine.

Happy Monday everyone!

*If you’re curious, the pattern is called Petty Harbour – as a HUGE Great Big Sea/Alan Doyle fan, the pattern name really appealed to me; the fact that it’s a beautiful texture is an added bonus!

Mindless Knitting

This weekend, I cast off my Sockhead Hat, and I am so happy with it.  A friend through my knitting circle has made several of these, and I can understand why.

Firstly, it’s comfortable and oh-so-cute. I’ve worn it every morning since completing it.

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Secondly, it’s a mindless pattern. Four inches of 2×2 ribbing, then nine inches of stockinette.  The pattern describes it as “great TV, travel or zen knitting,” and it is. It is a wonderful project for picking up when you want to turn the brain off. The ribbing did get tedious after a few inches, but once the stockinette section started, it was round after round of good ol’ knit stitch.

The yarn I used is Manos del Uruguay Alegría in the Night Sky (402-A) colourway. If you haven’t knit with this yarn before, go now and buy some! It’s soft and gauzy, and the company is a non for profit organization, created in 1968 to provide with jobs to the rural women in their hometowns in Uruguay.  The tags tell you who dyed your yarn.  My ‘Yarn Artisan’ was Graciela. A fabulous yarn going towards a fabulous cause. Win-win.

I’m already itching to cast on another hat, one that could be gifted away, because the pattern was just that great of a knit. It’s a simple hat, simple pattern, and a great go-to project.

What’s been keeping you busy these days?

Christmas Round-Up #3 – 504 King West

I love this project as much as I love the story behind it.

My sister has recently moved back to the suburbs after living in Toronto for two years, not a decision made lightly. She loved her neighbourhood, from the convenient location to transit, to the quirky little shops located a few blocks away, her favourite coffee shop, and her favourite bar.

For Christmas, I knew I wanted to make her a shawl. I bought a stunning skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegría; I grappled back and forth with the choice to be selfish and keep this beautiful yarn all to myself, or do I use it and make something just as stunning for someone else. Gifting won out, and I’m so glad it did.

I spent some time perusing on Ravelry for just the right pattern. I wanted a pattern with fingering weight, that was asymetrical, and one that was ideally free. And then I saw 504 King West.

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Being honest, it wasn’t the pattern that sucked me in but rather the name. 504 King West is the name of a streetcar route in Toronto, one that I have taken a handful of times with my sister, a streetcar route that ends around the corner from her place in TO.  This pattern was designed by the Knit Cafe, a LYS in Toronto that I’ve visited with KT. It’s the same LYS she texted me about after exploring her neighbourhood and finding it. As a non-knitter, KT has as little interest in yarn shops as all non-knitters do, but she found this shop, texted me about it, and we visited it on one of my weekend visits.

With this connection to her neighbourhood and its name rooted in Torontonia, I knew immediately this was the shawl for my sister. (Yes, I just made up that word, Torontonia, but if Canadiana and Americana exist as words meaning concerning or characteristic of the country, its civilization, or its culture, then Torontonia can totally be used in the same manner!)

I started 504 King West and worked a few rows while on my cruise. One beautiful thing about this shawl is that it is made with several complementary colours, and I made this one the same way. The variegated Manos is colourful and bright, and it pops against the black Cascade Heritage I bought for contrast. For edging, I was able to use what I have in my sock yarn stash, and I used a self striping yarn; I love that this is the same self stripping yarn that I bought months before at the Knit Cafe.

This shawl was a part of her gift, which also included craft beer from the brewery in her neighbourhood, as well as a photo collage of her neighbourhood favourites and the stunning street art found on Dupont. She might not be physically in her neighbourhood anymore, but now she has a piece of her neighbourhood with her.

Thank you Knit Cafe for publishing such a great pattern with a fantastic Toronto-centric name. It’s a wonderful pattern if you’re looking for a shawl, easily memorized, and very transportable.  Please visit their blog post to check out the pattern and to read the story behind the inspiration for 504 King West.