love fridays

In the Yard

Although he missed “strengthen” on his spelling test today, this boy had a great week at school. So good, in fact, that he earned the title Student of the Week for next week. It involves sitting alone at a special desk. Yay Jerry!

I’ve been taking more frequent pictures of the kids, trying to get a good one of the both of them for Christmas cards. I like these from today, but I still haven’t taken the perfect shot yet. I’m running out of time!

In the Yard

In the Yard

In the Yard

In the Yard

In the Yard

Tonight

Tonight

As the kids wind down tonight in front of the television, I am sitting here contemplating how much a polaroid effect from picnik can make an admittedly awful photo bearable. I am also contemplating this whole NaBloPoMo thing, or in layman’s terms, a blog post each day of November. I’ve never been one to blog that frequently, but with two kids in school now things are different. I’m knitting regularly again, getting ready to go back to school, and now seems as good a time as any for a challenge. Consider yourself warned. Also consider this post #1 and picture #1. Because if I am going to try a post a day, I might as well have a photo from that day attached. Wish me luck!

The boy has socks.

Jerry's New Socks

I am seriously on fire with the socks. To be honest, I have been watching seasons 1-3 of Fringe on my computer (bought the instant videos on Amazon) and that leaves me with a lot of time for knitting that I can put on autopilot.

Do I even need to tell you what pattern I’m using? It is, again, Judy Gibson’s You’re Putting Me On Toe Up Sock pattern. And since I have a certain way that I do all the things in the pattern, I thought I’d give you some more details.

Jerry's New Socks

The Toe

I use a figure-8 cast on for the toe. It’s a little tricky when you first learn it, but it’s also really cool. I learned it first when I knit HelloYarn’s Top Down Bonnet for Maggie way back when (Oh my, that link has a picture of Maggie from 2007! You must click it!).

I’ve refined the way I knit the cast on. Here’s what I do. I loop the yarn around the needles (using two needles). Then I knit across each needle (now I’m using three needles). Most instructions will have you begin the increases on the next round, while also dividing the stitches between four needles. I do those things on separate rounds. First, I knit one round and divide the stitches evenly between four needles (so I am actually using five needles). Then on the next round I begin the increases. I find the work is less fiddly when I do it this way, and that makes me a happier knitter.

For the toe, I use a KFB increase. When the work is so tiny and fiddly at the beginning, the KFB is the easiest for me to handle, and it’s relatively quick. Here’s how I do it:

Needle 1: KFB, k to end of needle.
Needle 2: K to last 2 sts, KFB, K1.
Needle 3: Same as Needle 1.
Needle 4: Same as Needle 2.

The Bind Off

Getting a loose bind off at the top edge of a toe-up sock is crucial. I use the same one every time, and like Grumperina, the first time I used it was on the cast off edge of my Leaf Lace Shawl (again with the old knits! 2007!).  I don’t know what Evelyn Clark calls this bind off, but I’ve seen something called a Russian Bind Off that is very similar.  What I do differently is that I don’t slip stitches back to the left hand needle.

I described the bind off like this in the pattern for my toe up Celery Socks:

K1, *K1, insert L needle tip into the front of the 2 sts from left to right and knit them together from this position.* Repeat between *s until 1 st remains. Cut yarn and fasten off.

It is easy and effective. You need not change to a larger needle, either. If anything, you work this cast off just as tight as any other stitch. It’s naturally Very Stretchy!

Jerry's New Socks

The yarn I used for these socks is Cascade Heritage 150 and I loooooove it. It’s technically sport weight, but it’s on the thin side if you ask me. But the socks are cushy. I went back to the yarn store where I bought the yarn, to buy more, and they didn’t have any. And instead of the yarn being sold out because it was super popular, I think they didn’t restock it because nobody was really crazy about it. Oh, well.

Best part of these socks? Jerry loves them! He’s been wearing them around the house, and that makes this knitter very happy, indeed.

More info about pattern and yarn for these socks on Ravelry.

Since I wasn’t finished with Fringe when I finished these socks, I started another pair. Trekking XXL (one of my favorite sock yarns!) in pumpkiny colors!

Socktober