Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for the ‘Socks’ Category

Sadly Unfavorable Yarn Report

Posted by mtmom on November 20, 2010

Sorry to report that, having worn my new DK-weight kilt hose twice, as I prepared to wash them for the first time, I observed this:

yarn wear after 2 days

Can you see the shredding and pilling?

So sad!

And after it took me over 2 years (on and off) to knit them.

Definitely a good argument for buying the best yarn for the job, to save grief.

These were knit in Knit Picks Bare, 100% merino, DK-weight undyed yarn, 2 skeins of 100 grams each.  Very soft to work with, but, unfortunately, very soft when it comes to durability as well.  A more firmly-spun yarn would have been a better choice.

Perhaps you all can benefit from my experience.

Posted in Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Autumn Approaches and Kilt Hose are Done!

Posted by mtmom on October 7, 2010

First, the knitting:

the cuff on his favorite pair

cuff on new pair

I am pleased.

I very much hope that Robert will be pleased as well.

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Fall is definitely coming to the Colorado Plateau.

We expect our first overnight freeze of the season tonight.

The sumac has gone through it’s colors, and is getting rather bare.

14 September

21 September

1 October

3 October

7 October

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But the locust is just beginning to change.

7 October

Meanwhile, inside, the geranium and cactus are happily putting out buds and new “leaves”, respectively.

And this morning, we have the first snow on the Peaks!

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Nearly Done with Forest Green Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on October 3, 2010

Soooooo close!

I’ve bound off the first cuff with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off and am now about halfway through the second cuff.

I may try a different BO on that one (one developed by Susan Rainey), and see which I prefer — both for looks, for lying flat, and for stretch.

I also think I may decide to shorten the cuff by a half-rep (2 rounds) in the cabled area, as the first one turned out a bit longer than I’d originally planned.  Robert’s favorite pair have 3 3/4″ cuffs; but these are just over 4″ tall past the turn-over.  Close.  Still not sure.

Both will match when I’m done!  🙂

Perhaps I’ll also make a video tutorial comparing these 2 “stretchy” bind-offs. . . .

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DK Hose are Done!

Posted by mtmom on August 30, 2010

Just ends to tuck in. Tomorrow is drop-off day for the County Fair.  I have these hose, the ruffle-edged child’s hat, the practice-chanter sleeve, the orange hat with Bavarian twisted-stitches, and the neck-warmer with stranded designs (made during Knitters’ Olympics) to enter.  That makes 5, so I should get a one-day free pass to the Fair.

Meanwhile, in the yard. . . .

And so, it begins. Autumn is near.

Echinacea

The phlox smells lovely. We have white, pink, and purple.

Posted in Knitting, Socks, Yard/Garden | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Getting Near to Done with 2 pair Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on August 22, 2010

2nd pair for Robert

I’ve done all the (planned) increases on Robert’s forest green heather kilt hose.  The end is in sight!

The light bit of yarn at the top of the righthand sock shows where I worked one more pair of increases on sock #1.  Eventhough my ruler says 78 stitches is wide enough, and a slightly narrower 3-stitch knit-rib at center-back looks fine, I decided to try 80 stitches because it better fills out my ribbing pattern of (k5, seed3) around.  After another inch or so, I’ll be able to get better measurements of the girth.  I don’t have his legs available to try these on (he’s been to at least 2 countries since I saw him last), so I don’t know for sure how stretched — or not — these calves will be on him.  I’m really looking forward to finishing these and posting them off to him in County Derry.

And I still haven’t finished a whole ball of Wool-Ease in either sock!  Back when I was only able to purchase 4 balls of a single dye lot, I was concerned I wouldn’t have enough, but it looks now like 4 balls will be plenty — hurray!

DK hose for me

The second pair of hose that’s oh-so-near to being done is the pair for myself that I’ve been working on for just over 2 years.  I’m using Knit Picks “Bare” 100% undyed wool in DK weight, and had been knitting these 2-at-a-time on one very long circular until I got to the actual cuffs.  Now I can say I’ve done that (the 2-socks-on-one-needle thing), but I found it cumbersome and don’t plan to do it again any time soon.

I hope to have these complete before August 31st, the day to take County Fair exhibits over to the Fairgrounds for judging and display.

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Other projects in the meantime:

Red Cap in TLC "Amore" yarn

Red Seed-Stitch Scrap Scarf -- worked lengthwise

Swatching several "brioche" stitches

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, scarf, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Meantime Caps and 2-year-old Hose

Posted by mtmom on August 12, 2010

The deadline to file entry forms for County Fair exhibits came this past Friday, so I looked back through my Finished Objects page and old blog posts to see what I’d completed since last September 1st (and still have in my possession!).  If I enter at least 5 items, I get a pass for one free entry to the Fair.  I found I had several items Very Close to Done, so I set Robert’s hose a bit to the side — still working on it regularly, but not solely — and picked up a few UFO’s.  I may even knock out a dishcloth between now and Fair drop-off day.  We shall see.

tucked in ends

finished ruffle and tucked in ends -- (intended for a smaller child)

one cuff done, one to go; plus ends to tuck

It feels good to finish long-pending things, while not running out of project(s) I’m truly interested in.  I have finished all but the very last increase on sock #1 of Robert’s second pair, and sock #2 is over halfway through the increases.  It won’t be long until I get to the cuffs on those!  (Lord willing.)

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Oh, BTW, you might be interested in this post on the Lion Brand blog, about sweater-shapes that flatter different body-shapes.

Posted in Cap/Hat, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Halfway with Forest Green Hose

Posted by mtmom on August 5, 2010

Legs have surpassed 9 inches from bottom of heel, which is halfway to 18 inch leg-height goal.

Then the cuffs!  Since a cuff sort of equates to a foot for amount of knitting, I’m calling these “half done” — hurray!

Posted in Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Kilt Hose: 1 Pair Progressing, 3 more in the Wings

Posted by mtmom on August 1, 2010

That’s a lot to keep in my head, but I’m managing not to feel overwhelmed. . . at least, most of the time.  🙂

Forest Green Heather Wool-Ease for Robert Watt

Let’s see. . . .  There’s Robert’s 2nd pair on the needles currently, . . . then his 3rd pair brewing in my imagination, which will probably be a recreation of Eric’s pair (knit by Elsie W, Stuart’s Scottish mum back home, who encourages me to “take over the knitting” as it “seems to be a dying art” over there), . . . then his 1st pair awaiting new cuffs or else frogging, . . . and in the midst somewhere we have repairs to Aaron’s argyle hose and some design work for him as well.  Actions on these fronts this past week included lots of online and live shopping for appropriate yarns for Aaron’s hose idea and Robert’s 3rd pair, online correspondence with Elsie W in Scotland, and knitting on Robert’s Wool-Ease pair with the seed-stitch ribs.

I’ve progressed a few inches since this photo.  Both socks are now between 4 and 5 inches past the completion of the heel (marked with little pins), and I’ve begun the calf-shaping section.  I plan to increase more slowly in the lower portions, and more quickly in the upper sections of the leg.  For guidelines, I’m looking to Lady Veronica Gainsord’s Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings (Schoolhouse Press, 1995), Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts’ Simple Socks:  Plain and Fancy (Nomad Press, 2001), and Wendy Johnson’s Socks from the Toe Up (Potter Craft, 2009).

Outdoors, we are having LOTS of rain and pleasantly moderate temperatures.

Back yard Thistle -- pretty blooms, but VERY prickly

Posted in Celtic, Design, Knitting, Socks, Yard/Garden | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Revisiting Robert’s Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on July 25, 2010

2009 Satakieli hose

Longtime readers may recall the pair of green kilt hose I knit in fingering-weight Satakieli wool for Irish bagpiper Robert Watt last year. (He’s only in Flagstaff for 11 – 12 days each summer.)  —  —  –>

Well, he decided they were “too bright” to go with this kilt (they are, really, aren’t they) and asked me this year if I could remedy that, and also make the cuffs more snug.  Reknitting the cuffs I knew I could do, and I also knew that overdying the socks darker was possible — but I had never done such a thing before.  I told him I would try.

I mixed up some Jacquard acid dyes: some red and blue to tone down the yellow-ness, a touch of black and some more blue to go for a darker, bluer hue — more like the forest green yarn he liked in my long swatch.  And I overdyed those socks.

not an especially good photo of overdyed hose, 1 cuff removed

<– The lighting here is not especially good to see the color, but the next one shows it better.

It also shows an unexpected side-effect of dying a pre-knitted fabric that has RIBS. . . .

STRIPES!!!

The dye did not penetrate the recessed purl ribs nearly as much as it did the knit portions.  I can call it a “design feature” all I want, but I still doubt this will look good on his legs.  Arrgh!  Grimace!!  And anything more I do will likely only make matters worse.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll go ahead and reknit the cuffs and send them to him in Ireland, or just frog and reuse the (slightly dappled) yarn for something else.  Either way, I will charge him nothing for his second pair . . . and perhaps his third as well, if I don’t send back pair #1.

Speaking of pair #2, here is the current state of them.

Pair #2 for Robert

First foot has a turned heel — toe-up gusset heel, a la Wendy Johnson — and 4.5 inches of ribbed ankle.

Second foot is ready to begin the heel gusset.

After I turn the second heel and begin the second ankle, I’ll be ready to begin the calf shaping.

Yarn is Wool-Ease worsted weight, in color Forest Green Heather, on 3.75 mm needles (US #5).

Aaron’s argyle repair work and the white textured hose made by Elsie, Stuart’s mum in Scotland, continue to call to me.  I want to finish Robert’s pair first, but don’t want to wait so long that the others get “sour” in my mind.  (Perhaps I should set them more out-of-sight for the time being.)  In the meantime, Elsie and I have struck up a knitterly e-correspondence.  If she gives her permission, I’ll recreate her (flat) pattern in the round — in yarn and on paper — and then share them with you all.

Oh, I almost forgot to add:  When DD got her practice chanter and registered for Piping School, I crocheted a protective “sleeve” for the instrument in “royal blue” Wool-Ease sportweight (sadly, no longer produced), with  variegated drawstrings.

Posted in Celtic, Crochet, Design, Dying, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Piping, Knitting, and a Visual To-Do List

Posted by mtmom on July 19, 2010

It’s been a fantastic, though exhausting, 10 days of Piping School and Highland Games.  Our 10-year-old dd enrolled in the United States School of Piping, so we spent the week (8:30 to 5 most days, plus 7 to 8 most evenings, Friday the 9th to Friday the 16th) in classes and practice sessions and recitals and parades.  (I haven’t sorted through all those photos yet.  Will post some here later.)  Then we attended our local Highland Games and Celtic Festival, with competitions, vendors, and more performances and parades!

U. S. School of Piping, Flagstaff, Arizona, class of 2010

As one consequence, however, I have accumulated a potentially overwhelming backlog of personal and household tasks.

Some progress

Yet to tackle. . . .

The hall bathroom.

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The laundry.

One down. . .

. . . 2 more loads . . .

. . . another 1 or 2 loads . . .

. . . and several sinks' worth of hand-laundry. . . to go!

On the knitting front:

I showed Robert my long swatch of potential yarns, he selected one (later, also a 2nd), and I have begun work on his second pair of kilt hose.

Foot #1 for Pair #2

I have also garnered some kilt hose repair work.

Work ahead!

Ah, but what lovely subjects to work on!

Eric P's and Aaron S's handknit hose, by Stuart's mum and Debra Gilding, respectively

More on each of these pairs in future posts — stay tuned!

Posted in Celtic, Mending, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »