nice hat

private

I was able to take the swatch from yesterday and turn it into a hat that is blocking right now on Maggie’s bed. Although I did spend some time searching my notes, I was not able to find out/remember what needle I used for that swatch. Instead of knitting another swatch, I dove right in with the needle that seemed most likely. Not a very scientific way to go about it, but whatever. I’ve got a new hat and it turned out Very Nice. It will be a pattern soon. It feels right for my first pattern after a big break to be a simple but sweet hat. Getting my toes wet, if you will.

 

a swatch to remind you

groove

I have many theories about why I stepped away from pattern writing for almost a whole year. One big one is that I kept being blown away by great patterns that were coming out, and I’d think, “I wish I could do that!” or “Why didn’t I think of that!” It was silly, really, and also self-destructive. I was beating myself up for thinking I wasn’t good enough.

But the patterns I’ve written are good. And although I didn’t believe it for a long stretch there, I think I’ve still got more good ones in me.

Yesterday my messy desk got the best of me. The pile on the floor collapsed as I was searching for my DPN case, which led me to clean up the pile, which led me to find snippets of sketches and pattern ideas, which led me to a file I keep in my filing cabinet called “pattern writing ideas”, which led me back to this sweet swatch that has been hiding in my closet for at least a few months.

I am going to try to jump back in. This swatch could – nay, should – become an awesome hat! Let’s see if I’ve got it in me!

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