Indie Designer Giftalong!

Posted on October 31st, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

In coming back around the knitting world and rekindling my relationship with my inner designer, I started lurking in the designer forums on Ravelry again. And when this amazing idea spun up into something spectacular, I jumped at the opportunity to catch even a small piece of it all by joining as a part

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So, for Nov 1-15, use the coupon code giftalong to enjoy 25% off the 3 paid patterns I’m offering, and come play along in one or several of the KAL/CAL threads in the Ravelry group through the end of the year. Its going to be an amazing, crazy, epic ride!

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Two New Patterns!

Posted on October 28th, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

I’m back in the design game!

Introducing my TWO new sock patterns:

Strikingly Striped Socks

and

 

Strikingly Textured Socks


These are companion pieces. I couldn’t find what I wanted in a vertically striped sock, so I pulled together the chart. Once I saw it work so well in two color stranded work, I, as a lover of seed stitch, had to also play with it in texture. So, the two patterns are siblings. Similar in design with a few features that make each unique.

Similar:

Sizes! Both are sized for the whole family in 1 inch increments from 5″ through 10″ foot/ankle circumference.

Both are cuff down, with a heel flap and turn for the heel.

The charted pattern is easy to memorize and easy to “read” on the needles.

Unique:

Strikingly Striped is obviously color work, but it’s simple color work suitable for an adventurous beginner who has some familiarity with sock construction. The pattern is easy to memorize, so the knitter can focus on technique without having to put a whole lot of thought into following a complicated chart. The cuff, heel, and toe are all done in a single color, so there’s no need to do colorwork in anything other than plain stockinette. The only decreases in the color work are on the gussets.

Strikingly Textured is textured. The seed stitch is king of this pattern. It’s continued down the sides of the heel flap and incorporated into the gusset with the decreases moved to avoid interrupting the pattern. The panels lend a vertical feel to the sock.

I’ve had so much fun playing with both patterns, I can’t wait to see how they are interpreted by other knitters. And I’ll be knitting up a bunch more of each too!

Right back where I was

Posted on October 15th, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

I finished the two pair of socks I was working on this weekend.. I also have another finished pair from a week ago I haven’t blogged yet.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks in Socks That Rock Silkie

Embossed Leaves in  no idea what this yarn is

And a pattern I was working on before I stopped knitting, in Claudia’s Handpainted Yarns – Honey colorway

As I was finishing this sock, which I remember loving while I was designing it, I was dreading knitting on it. I think now that I’m removed from it and have come back to it, I was putting too many eggs in the basket. There’s a texture at the cuff, a design down the front, another down the back, another down the side that splits with the gusset and continues down the heel flap. The three don’t all line up with each other, so it’s a mess of charts and even though I was just finishing the foot on the second sock, where admittedly there was a lot less of it all going on, it just still felt like too much. I do love the finished socks, but there’s just so much going on. And while I was thinking all of that, the budding designer in me who pulled this design together was able to step back and look at them more critically. And from this one pair of socks that have so much going on with so little to show for it, she re-planted her design seed in my brain and started disecting it to find the elements I do like, and to pull them out and simplify things. This one-off thing I pulled together on paper 5 years ago just sent me right back down the rabbit hole and has spun off at least 4 other pattern ideas in my head, the first two of which have now taken over the needles free’d up by finishing two of the pairs above.  

I haven’t decided yet if I want to write up the socks that I knitted, especially because the pattern doesn’t show very well in that colorway and to do it properly, I’d have to re-knit them in a more suitable yarn *blech*, but I’m loving the ideas that were spun off and they will definitely be finding their way into writing. In fact, I’m already halfway through a new sock and got a first draft of it’s pattern written up. I might even dive back into that ideas folder I left languishing on my computer and see if there are any gems in there.

Some things never change

Posted on October 12th, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

I had a sock problem before, I always had several in progress and lots of needles in use.

I have started to develop the same problem this time around. I want to knit all the socks and I want to knit them now. Plus, I keep digging through old project bags and finding the ones I didn’t finish before.

So, this is 4 of the 5 pair on the needles now…

3 of the 5 pair OTN, are legacy… pairs from before my knitting break. The golden colored ones on the left were a pattern I was working on designing when I stopped. They are on the foot of the second sock. I’m debating whether to also write up and release the pattern.

Second from the left are the Embossed Leaves socks I started before I stopped knitting. They are also on the foot of the second sock now.

The third is a new sock I cast on when I finished the last pair that came off the needles, They are Archery socks from the Indie Dyer book.

And the fourth are the Katniss socks now just past the first sock’s heel turn.

The fifth pair in progress is the odds n sods socks that are on the foot of the first sock. They’re hanging out in the bag with all the yarn scraps and the blanket starts and I put a few rows on the foot here and there when I remember.

So, I’m trying very hard not to cast on more right now and my plan for tonight is to round robin the four in front of me until the first two pair are done and some more progress is made on the other two. Once those two sets of needles are free, though, all bets are off and it’s highly likely there will be 2 more pair finding their way into a cast-on state…

Indecision

Posted on September 29th, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

So,  I’m kind of known for being indecisive.  So much so that I kinda just froze for a few minutes trying to decide what example to use in describing my indecision.

Anyway, I’ve been eyeing the two prevalent sock yarn leftovers blankets for a while (Shelly’s miters since years ago, and Tiny Owl’s beekeepers quilt since I started knitting again last month) and couldn’t decide which one I wanted to make.

The beauty of this decision is, it’s all on me and it really doesn’t matter which one I choose. But, I still couldn’t decide as I like the look of both, they’re both a ton of fiddly little work that will take forever and they’ll both accomplish cleaning out the scrap basket.

So, instead of making a decision, I chose both and started knitting mitered squares and hexi-flats last night.

 

They’re like potato chips.

So far, I’ve done six for each.

I prefer the knitting on the mitered squares, they seem to go a little faster because it’s all decreasing all the time.

But the hexi’s are fun too if a little more fiddly, especially at first. It’s obviously something that won’t be done for a very long time, but the first half dozen of each have been a fun diversion.

It also makes me want to finish the socks I have OTN, so I can see those yarns knit up in miters and hexis.

So, lots of miters and hexis and miters and hexis are in my future for a long while.

Still plugging away

Posted on September 28th, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

It’s amazing how much stuff gets finished when I don’t post for several weeks!

I’ve been back to work part time for the last week and start full time with some days onsite next week. Physical Therapy finally starts next week and things are starting to get closer and closer to normal around here every day. The doc said I could stop wearing the boot in the house, but still need to wear it when I leave the house, so I’ve been walking around in normal shoes for most of the last week. I’ve even finally started showering standing up instead of using the chair setup we had in there. So, lots of progress!

I’m also still spending the rest of my free time with needles in my hands.

The FLS is done! I still haven’t gotten any modeled shots of it, but it’s been off the needles for a couple weeks now and I love how it came out.

It got a good blocking and some pewter leaf buttons and fits wonderfully. Hopefully I’ll get some pics of it in action soon… it should be easier to get shots of me wearing it once I’m dressing for work and leaving the house a little more often.

In addition, the plain stockinette cotton socks are done.

I have some other literary socks on the needles with a pair of Hermione’s favorites on the second sock

and a start on a pair of Katniss socks

And, once I finished the FLS, I dove right into another sweater that is progressing quite nicely.

I’ve added most of a sleeve since I took that photo. It’s using the same raglan math I used for my first sweater. One of my favorite commercial sweaters is a duster length sweater that’s gauzy from a light weight yarn on a bigger needle. The commercially made one is machine knit, but I went with the same general idea for this one. It’s a dk weight yarn knit on 10 1/2′s, so it’s been going really fast and isn’t using much yarn at all. I did the raglan increases with yarn overs, and added an 8-stitch lace pattern down the center of the back for some added interest, and I’m still debating how I’m going to finish the edges. I’m leaning towards a crochet edging with a button hole or several down the front. It only took 2 balls of yarn to get it just shy of waist length and about half a ball to do the sleeve, and I have 9 balls of this yarn, so I’ll likely let this one keep going to mid-thigh or even knee length before binding off and edging. I’m really liking how it’s coming out so far, and it’s been a really quick and satisfying knit.

Since my last check in…

Posted on September 7th, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || No Comment

I found a cord that didn’t break.
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I finished the second ribbed sock.

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I started some lace.

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I started some new socks.

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And I finished the body of my February Lady Sweater!

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Still waiting on paperwork and HR, so lots of time means I’m getting lots done. I’ll start the sleeves tomorrow… At the rate things are moving, I may have the sweater done before I’m permitted to work again.

An exercise in futility

Posted on August 28th, 2013 in sweater by bethtoons || No Comment

I was all gung-ho about going back to work next week until my doctor burst my bubble. I’ve been making progress, conquering stairs in both directions, showering almost entirely by myself and even leaving the house on occasion. So, when I went to see him yesterday to talk about going back to work, I was sorely disappointed that my version of “easing back in” and his didn’t gel at all. He’s cleared me to work remotely part time for the next few weeks. I was all ready for full time with a day or two in the office to get used to the long hallways on crutches. So, if a month of on the couch with the laptop for half a day is all I get, I’ll take it (and after stopping by the office to pick up the charger for my laptop so I can do the whole work from home thing, I’m more inclined to agree with him that I’m not quite ready to wander the building on crutches just yet).

Also disappointing is this.

That is a February Lady Sweater that I started sometime after the pattern was released but before I stopped knitting. I didn’t post about it here, didn’t post it on ravelry at the time, so I have no idea when I actually started it.  However, it is testing my nerves. Well, the knitting isn’t the needles are. You may be able to tell in the picture, it’s getting a lifeline. Not it’s first lifeline either. It’s 5th.

That, is the stack of Knitpicks interchangeable cables that have decided that for whatever reason, the way I knit is too aggressive for them and have committed suicide. The first one, I was sure was a fluke… the second, ok, they’re 5 years old and plastic parts that have been sitting around unused for most of their life, that’s fine  too. The third one, maybe it’s me. Maybe if I knit on this thing like its made of glass and will shatter if I move the stitches around too much, I’ll keep the cable alive for more than two rows. The fourth, F*** You, KnitPicks. The fifth.. no, really. F*** YOU, KNITPICKS.

I’m going to go take the 20-minute trip upstairs on my crutches to find a different set of needles made by a different manufacturer that can take the weight of a ball of yarn or two and movement and stuff without pulling apart every 10 stitches. And yes, I’m familiar with the definition of insanity, and I’m well aware that not learning this lesson until after I pulled 5 cables apart falls squarely into the “insane” bucket.

Still here, amazingly

Posted on August 22nd, 2013 in Uncategorized by bethtoons || 2 Comments

A week later, and the grand return hasn’t slowed. Monkey socks, finished.

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Baby sweater in need of a sleeve. Finished.

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New pair of socks started, and half finished.
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I’ve also found and picked at a couple other old WIPs that I don’t have pics of yet. So, it’s back.

On the broken leg front, I’m gradually building up to weight-bearing now. In a boot instead of the cast and working on rebuilding my endurance so I can navigate work at least part time in a couple weeks. I’ve been up and down the stairs every day this week without scooting up but still scooting down.

5 years later…

Posted on August 12th, 2013 in personal, socks by bethtoons || No Comment

I still exist, doubt anyone but the bots or spammers wander over this way much anymore though.

When I stopped knitting 5 years ago, I abandoned it with as much suddenness as I started. Not really sure what all prompted that, a little overwhelmed, a little tired, other interests stealing my time away, life, etc. But as my husband and I have been going through the yarn room this week trying to make it a little less like a dumped-on junk room, I realized that I walked away and left it much like one of those abandoned houses you see on the crime shows. Where instead of leaving a half-eaten dinner on the table, I left a nearly completed baby sweater in need of one sleeve.  And a pair of socks that just needed an inch of knitting and a toe on the second sock. And an arm-less sock monkey. A bunch of stuff that was really close to being done but never quite got finished.

And yet, there is still a “yarn room” in our now-lived-in-for-two-years house where all the dead projects and boxes and boxes of stashed yarn are stacked in the closet and piled up on the shelves. So, I don’t know if this resurgence is an almighty return, or a little walk down memory lane or just some way to pass some time while I ride out the last few weeks of my recovery before I go back to work.

I’ve been holed up in the house for the last 6 weeks with a broken leg. We went to visit a friend and see their new baby at the end of June, and I missed the step in their garage, fell hard and my tibia and fibula snapped. It required surgery to put a metal pin in my leg and I’ve been given a bit of a summer break from work while I heal. I go back to the doctor next week to see if I can start weight bearing and physical therapy, and if all goes well, the plan is to return to work on Sept 1 and wrap up PT by the end of the year.

After 5 weeks of sleeping on the couch, I was ready to burn it, so we managed to scoot me up to the second floor last week. The bed is more comfortable, but I got bored, so I’ve been hopping into the yarn room and we’ve been working on getting it better organized and cleaned up. And in doing so, I re-found all those nearly done projects I abandoned 5 years ago. So, I finished the socks that needed just a little knitting and a toe. and found another I had started, frogged it, and started over just to see how good my memory is.

It didn’t take too much work to jog my memory on most things. One work through of the lace pattern and I had it re-memorized, a couple rows of turning the heel and it made sense again. I even relearned kitchener on my second try. And I just bound off a whole new sock and will start it’s mate shortly.

So, I have a sock. I don’t know what it means, but it exists and it’s enough.

(And the irony of me knitting socks with a broken leg is not lost on me either.)

 

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