Monday, October 31, 2011

A Princess of Yarnia

My Halloween costume this year really reflects my knitty alterego....a sparkly tiara for a Princess of Yarnia.  You know what I of the many who love to knit and love yarn, all yarn! Here's a sampling...

Red Heart yarn for Special Olympics Scarves 2012 project.  Great project that I have done with my daughter the past two years...can't wait to start this year in blue & red!

Pretty Lorna's Laces yarn....perfect for socks and shawls.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock....great colorways for awesome socks!

Sanguine Gryphon...more great colorways for socks and shawls.  And the reason for the missing tiara in the last two pictures?? I'm wearing it, of course!  Princess Yarnia is off to fill the trick or treaters' bags full of candy!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So, you’re getting ready to knit some socks for holiday gift giving and all you know is that your niece wears a women’s size 6 shoe and your brother wears a men’s size 10? How long should the foot of the sock be? I’ve been known to trace my kids feet so I know how long to make their socks but what if your sweet niece lives in Connecticut and you live in Atlanta? Such has been my dilemma. But not anymore. I found these great Shoe Size Conversion Charts at These charts will assist you in determining approximate length of feet in inches if you know someone’s shoe size. I’m sure they are going to help me knit perfect fitting socks this year!!! If not, I always can add a note to put those all wool socks in the dryer for a while if they are a smidge too big or explain how to block them a bit if they’re running a little small!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A New Pattern to Celebrate Socktober!!!

Effervescence Socks by iknit2purl2 on Ravelry
To celebrate Socktober, I designed a sock pattern to share with all of you! Effervescence is now available  as a free download on Ravelry.  It's an easy knit, using the mock cable stitch.  By utilizing yarnovers and slipped stitches, you create a pretty cable pattern over a 2x2 rib.  This sock pattern alternates the mock cable stitch between the ribs which creates a bubbly, effervescent look over the sock.  And did I mention it's easy? An 8 stitch pattern over 4 rows creates this fun look!

The yarn above is The Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Miss Spider.  At 450 yards, one skein of this fingering weight sock yarn is more than enough to make a pair of Woman's socks in size Medium.  For the pair below, I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Lightweight Socks That Rock yarn in Turquoise.  Again, one skein (360 yards) was more than enough for a pair of Woman's Size Medium socks.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FO - Hemlock Ring Blanket (and a Knitting Pictorial!)

Hemlock Ring Blanket - Pattern adapted by Jared Flood
 I just finished blocking my first-ever, Hemlock Ring Blanket. I have to tell you, once I started knitting it, I couldn't put it down. Really, it was much, much easier than anything I ever imagined! Nothing more complicated than yarnovers, SSKs, K2togs and PSSOs.

Fan and Leaf Pattern Detail
 I used about 1 1/2 skeins of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool in Antique.  This yarn comes in big, generous 478 yard skeins and is reasonably priced at about $20 skein.  I should have bought 3 skeins so I could make two!  I used size 10 needles because that is all I had (size 10 1/2 is recommended).  As you all know by now, I knit loosely and, even with the smaller needles, my finished blanket blocked to about 60 inches through Row 55 of the chart.

The pattern is great and easy to follow.  I'd recommend stitch markers to keep track of the repeats.  (There are only eight).  I can't wait to start another.  And another!

Crochet Bind-off
 I was so excited to finish the Hemlock Ring Blanket that I chose to do the crochet bind-off instead of the knited one.  It's much easier, I think, once you get the hang of it and, I think, a lot of the completed projects that I have seen on Ravelry used the crochet bind-off.  I had never used this technique before and, while I was able to find knitting videos online for a plain crochet bind-off, I couldn't find a video showing how to crochet through 3 stitches, then chain 7.  I fiddled with it a bit and this is what I came up with:
  • Chain 7 out of the last stitch ( I knitted through Row 55 and had 472 stitches, starting here leaves 471 stitches which is divisible by 3 and prevents any leftover stitches at the end).
    Chain 7 stitches
  •       Slip 3 stitches off of the knitting needle onto to the crochet hook. (At this point, there will be 4 stitches total on crochet hook)

    Slip 3 stitches to crochet hook
  • Pull yarn though the 3 stitches (2 stitches left on crochet hook) 

Pull Yarn through 3 stitches
  • Pull yarn through remaining 2 stitches
Pull yarn through 2 stitches
  • Repeat starting from Chain 7.
As far as blocking goes, you need a LOT of pins.  I pinned each loop from the bind-off.  If you did the math above, that's 157 loops! Plus the points of the flowers and the inner loops and, and, and!  I used my bathroom floor and my Alphabet Blocks when my husband was on away on a business trip.  And, I kept the door shut to keep the cats and dog out.  Too many pins to worry about!

Hemlock Ring Blanket - Blocking- That's a lotta pins!
I'm going to give this to my mother-in-law for Christmas.  I think I will knit at least one more as a Christmas gift and then, hopefully, one for me as well!