Beautiful Knitting

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

Posts Tagged ‘knee socks’

Lots of Kilt Hose goin’ on

Posted by mtmom on July 27, 2008

Master Knitter-ing has been supplanted (temporarily) by kilt hose knitting, mostly due to all the bagpiping going on around here lately! — see previous post

I’ve been determined to improve upon my previous prototype (the green with blue) by adding all-over ribbing.  Being a bit impatient to know how they’ll turn out, I’m using DK-weight yarn and working a variation of my thoroughly-tested Godmother’s Socks pattern.  (Ravelry download available here.)  When I got to the heel, I decided to re-think the turn:  a short-row heel a la Godmother, or a flap/gusset arrangement.  I checked several designers’ versions of toe-up heels and decided to try something new-for-me that I didn’t see in any of my collected patterns:  a regular flap, but on the bottom of the foot instead of behind the heel (‘cus that’s where *I* wear out my socks and these are for me).  I added in wooly nylon and worked Eye of Partridge on the flap and around the turn — all the back-and-forth parts. 

I was particularly pleased by how the gusset decreases lined up with the purls to continue the knit3 rib along the side. 

Since these photos were taken, I’ve progressed a few more inches up the ankle and should soon begin increasing for the calf.

Once I finish these, I plan to cast on for Lord Scott’s pair, in fingering-weight merino/nylon.  Those will take longer, but I hope to have at least the foot portion done in time for him to try them on in mid-August.  That’s when the We Make History folks come up to Flagstaff for the Highland Ball and picnic, including the traditional Football in Kilts.  (Hoo-hah, what fun!)

After *that* pair, I get to start work on a replacement pair for these: 

This is piper Robert Watt, he of the Flying Fingers!, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, playing the “small pipes” and wearing his favorite handmade hose.   I don’t know who knitted them, but they’re quite an act to follow, having lasted 10 years in regular use.  My mind is abuzz with sock-possibilities!  These will need sturdier yarn than I’m using for mine and for Lord Scott’s, and I want them to fit well and be wonderful.

One sock-related trend I spotted at this year’s Celtic Festival is that of topping plain (even store-bought) knee socks with a sewn-on decorative cuff.  I didn’t get a photo [bad blogger!] of Wicked Tinker Warren’s interesting pair: purple and black entrelac cuff over plain yellow/gold sock-body [sounds wild, but matches his kilt nicely].   Dixie Ingram [no link, and also no photo 😦 ] and his whole band wear white socks with a white-white rayon cuff in Trinity stitch, or something similar.

I did, however, get a shot of an anonymous leg in a sock during the parade. 

Witness the flashes (ribbons hanging from elastic garter under the cuff, to help hold up the hose) and laces which continue up the ankle (a knitter better not add much texture there).  All things to take into account when designing kilt hose!

*Then*, after/among all these socks, . . . . Designing for Sock Madness 3 !!!

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

8-Trick Pocket Hat is done! And more Beginnings.

Posted by mtmom on March 28, 2008

Spring is proceeding.  Remember the shot of daffodil leaves, a week or so ago?  Well, here they are again, only bigger.  daffodil shoots

We also have tulips coming up.  tulip shoots

I finished the 8-Trick Pocket Hat!  Here it is, just before I grafted the top shut.  8-trick hat, pre-grafting 

This hat has been FUN to knit!  The back-join (see TECHknitting — link in sidebar)continued to give me problems, eventhough I had 4 yarn-changes to practice it on, so I varied it for the last stripe and it worked better for me that way.  Went ahead and darned the ends in more securely than specified. 

I, of course, immediately cast on for another project.  This will be, I hope, a new colorway for my 3-Color Spiral Cap pattern (available free in PDF here and on Ravelry).  I’ll try for truer colors in future photos; this is navy with medium green and light turquoise.  “We’re in the Navy now…!  La da da di dat ti dah.”  top of maritime cap

[BTW, see if you can spot signs of my Little Helper in each of these knitting photos!]

On the sock-design front, I have 2 sock-tops in progress:  one as the beginning of a sampler to show Lord Scott some possibilities. . .  purple sock top

. . . and one for my next pair of knee socks — gotta beat the sag!  gold apple pie sock top

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

All Accesories, All the Time.

Posted by mtmom on March 23, 2008

Hats and socks.  That’s the tune at MountainMom Designs these days.


I’ve been enjoying using leftover sock yarns in my 8-trick Pocket Hat, from TECHknittingband 4 of 8-trick pocket hat

Each yarn has a story.  Band 1 is yarn I used to make my first-ever handknit socks; dd still loves them.  Band 2 came from an EarthFaire kit in which I learned lots of beading techniques from Sivia Harding.  I remember really liking the feel of this yarn; Ellen told me it was Louet Gems, either Opal or Pearl — soft and strong enough to carry pre-strung beads.  Band 3 is Arial from Twisted Fiber Arts on etsy, colorway “Firefly”, a fun-looking mini-skein that came along with an order of her hand-dyed yarn.  Meg gave me some advice toward beginning to hand-dye on my own.  Band 4 is some Wool Socks for Summer yarn in Tonal Apricot that I got in a co-op purchase from my cousin Angeluna‘s friend Grace.  This is the yarn I used in my super-secret Sock Madness 2 design.


Speaking of Sock Madness, Round 1 is winding down and Round 2 is scheduled to begin around the end of next week.  No one but the coordinators, Hillary and Carole, know which design will come up next!  But, not mine yet — so no photos yet either.  Talk about an embarrassing case of Second Sock Syndrome!  I knit a prototype in spare yarn, then tested the written pattern in a first sock in “real” yarn (i.e., I had enough for an entire pair in that yarn).  But I got bogged down on the second “real”/third actual sock.  Only finished that one this past Monday, eventhough I sent in the pattern (on deadline) over a month ago!  One cool thing about working this last sock:  my teen-genius son took videos of some of the techniques I used, and we hope to post those to YouTube when my pattern goes out.  I will most definitely let you know!

I have also cast on for another pair of knee socks.  I’ve been thinking about them alot, and as I design them, I keep flipping between these 3 books:  3 sock-knitting books 

I plan to use Apple Pie Yarn in “Pot o’ Gold” (CC) and “Arizona” (MC) colorways. beginnings of apple pie socks

Posted in Cap/Hat, Design, Knitting, Sock Madness, Socks, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Knee Socks Finished!

Posted by mtmom on March 8, 2008

The knee socks are done! — and they match, too, this time.  top view of knee socks

Ahhh!  crossed knee socks

Now, it’s just the . . . ends to tuck in

. . . um . . . well, you know.

Posted in Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

A Tale of Two Gauges

Posted by mtmom on March 4, 2008

Did you miss me?  I had 2 sick girls in the house, and then came down with cough, aches, and fever myself.  Haven’t felt up to writing — sure you understand.  Thanks for coming back to read today!

While I have been ill, and eagerly awaiting the next installment of TECHKnitter‘s 8-Trick Hat Knitalong,  (BTW, here’s how mine looks after completing the first stripe:  1st band of 8-trick hat  Happy!). . .

. . . I worked on my knee socks.  See the nice increases fanning out from the center back of the lower calf?  back of calf inc line 

(the coilless safety pins mark increments of 10 rounds, for ease of later counting)

After working the same number of rounds on the second sock calf as on the first, I began the decreases for the calf-top and then paused to try them on.  Something was fishy. . . .  trying on the 2 knee socks 

I should be ready to start the blue ribbing, but. . . .  Do you see a bit of a discrepancy in the height of those 2 socks?!  [My teen-genius ds says they lack “gauge symmetry” and that that’s a physics joke.  He turned quite red laughing.  Ah, well.]

I ripped back to the last increases and added another pair.  Unfortunately, the having-been-ripped (what kind of past-participle is that?) yarn was less full and springy, and my stitches continued to be a bit skimpy.  I’m hoping the eventual washing will make things better and not worse.

So now, I’m going by inches instead of by round-count.

And look, I’m nearly done (again)!  2 cuffs 

And my tensioning finger — I use the left forefinger for most of the action — is sore.  Taking it a bit easier for a while.

Posted in Design, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Scottish Deadline Reminder

Posted by mtmom on February 18, 2008

This past week, I got back in touch with my dear, long-lost Pipe Major, Lars SloanLars & 2 other pipers before competition 

[Yes, “my” Pipe Major:  I played in his band in my mid-/late-twenties.  This is me, circa 1987-88, enjoying the Texas Renaissance Festival from a different perspective.] Hamilton Pipers & me at TX Renaissance Festival

Lars is an incredibly skillful piper, and I was not that good a drummer, but what does all this have to do with knitting?

— It reminds me that a knitting deadline is coming up!  I have been hoping that by July I would have made significant progress on my kilt hose knitting.  Several bagpipe teachers will be coming to Flagstaff in mid-July, followed by the Northern Arizona Celtic Heritage Festival on July 19-20, and then the Highland Ball/Football in Kilts in August.  [NB:  I’m the 3rd adult from the left in the “Clan Flagstaff” photo on that page, along with DS, DH, and one little DD all to my right.]  I’ve promised Lord Scott a pair of customized kilt hose, and I want to have them ready enough to show other kilted gents at the piping school and festival. 

That’s a while off yet, but I have alot of work to do!  I need to:
(1)finish knee socks,
(2)compare socks-that-fit to leg-measurements to see about ease,
(3)construct a cuff sampler to show Lord Scott for his perusal,
(4)knit the actual hose for him, & that by July so that I can…
(5)show hose to other pipers and see if they want some too!

Here’s the current state of the prototype socks:  knee socks as of Dec 2007

I have finished the Spectrum Square-topped hat, but that will have to wait for a later post — I’ve gotta get back to “work”!   TTFN.

Oh, P.S.  Check out the new link in the sidebar Blogroll:  “Live Webcam”.  That links to the camera on top of my next-door-neighbor’s roof and gives you a live picture of the San Francisco Peaks (if it’s daylight).

Posted in Celtic, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Done! and Begun.

Posted by mtmom on October 24, 2007

Well, I’ve (finally!) finished the “Mad to Dance” socks from round 5 (April) of Sock Madness 2007.  They fit rather well, alone or in slippers or even in shoes — even with the patterning on the top of the foot and the back of the heel.  I think the fit might have been improved if I’d begun the decreases a bit sooner , but definitely good enough to enjoy and not to frog.  side view of Mad to Dance socks

What a relief!  I feel much better now — more room to think about . . . other projects.  It’s a shame I didn’t enjoy these more, toward the end, but I was confident that finishing them would be A Good Thing.  And it has been.  front view of patterning on Mad to Dance socks

 ‘Cuz now I have the emotional “space” to begin the second member of my first pair of custom knee socks.   (Hurray!)  toe of second sock now done

Also, the completion of the “Mad to Dance” socks has freed up the residual yarn (31 grams) from that skein to begin a sampler of kilt hose tops.  You see, the turn-down cuffs on such stockings can be decorated in myriad ways, and constructing a sampler is an old tradition.  The tube can serve as testing ground, reminder, and demo!  [I hope, Lord Scott, to have something to show you by early in the new year.]

Sock details:

Pattern:  “Mad to Dance”, by Treesa. 
Yarn:  KnitPicks “Bare” merino-silk blend, undyed, 100 gram skein. 
Needles:  US sizes 2, 1.5, and 1 (2.75, 2.5, and 2.25 mm).

Pattern:  my own; toe-up with wedge-toe and short-row heel and lots of shaping. 
Yarn:  Briggs & Little “Regal” 100% wool, Quoddy Blue and Meadow Green, 4 oz./113 gram skein each. 
Needles:  US sizes 5 and 4 (3.75 and 3.5 mm).

Kitty update.

Still no name finalized.  [Suggestions?]  She’s definitely a climber and percher — loves to hang out and even nap on a Big Person’s shoulder.  kitten on Michael  kitten on mama

Although an elbow is apparently just as cozy.  kitten on M's arm

“Just hold still a litttttle bit longer. . . .  I need my beauty sleep.  This getting-to-know-you stuff really takes it out of a girl!”

Posted in Cat, Celtic, Design, Knitting, Sock Madness, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lots of different stuff

Posted by mtmom on October 7, 2007

I have really been enjoying Ravelry this past week.  (I’m known as “mtmom” over there too.)  Uploading pictures, describing patterns, yarns and needles . . . it’s a bit like blogging in short-hand.

Well, I’ve been working on my Master Knitter program.  I seamed up two pieces of k2-p2 ribbing, and I think it turned out rather well!  I’d been particularly concerned about the evenness — or lack thereof — of my edge stitches and their immediate neighbors, since seaming hides some features of my stitches but highlights others.seaming double rib

Here’s my swatch-in-progress (also, swatch-in-hibernation  — ha!) for the Argyll/Argyle sock project, also a requirement for Level 2.swatching argyle patterns

And, did I tell you?  I finished the first knee-sock!first knee sock is done

I’m quite proud of this shaping — especially given all the ripping back I did to get it just so.  Still, I think I’ll do the second one just a leeetle bit differently:  add one more pair of increases before the instep/arch and begin the post-widest-point decreases a tad sooner.first knee sock, on leg

This was my first time to use a tubular bind-off on double rib.  I followed Montse Stanley’s (Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook) directions, except that I separated the knits onto one needle and the purls onto another to make it easier to see what I wanted to do.  Went pretty well; I’d do it again — and plan to, on the second sock.

I bought some new needles.KP harmony needles

Aren’t they pretty?  I’m not as blissed-out as Tsock Tsarina perhaps (hi, lisa!), but I do like them.  Using them already.  In this:Moebius Mini Wrap, 2/3 done

Just started this at Knitting Night on Wednesday.  Isn’t it cute?  My first moebius.  Meant as a neck cozy.  A bit of a foray into the land of “get it done”.

And I’m still considering what large project/garment to start, in the wake of finishing the Neapolitan Ice Cream Sweater.  Perhaps this (for me):pattern and yarn

Or this (for dd):yarn and pattern

The latter is more product-focused — she wants a long skirt; the former, more process-focused — I want to try the new-to-me shaping techniques.  I fear I’ll become impatient with the skirt quickly, eager to move onto something more interesting.

And, speaking of interesting:  I saw this in a book last image of Fair Isle jacket

[“Lady’s Jacket”.  Sarah Don, Fair Isle Knitting:  a practical handbook of traditional designs, St. Martin’s Press, 1979; also recently reprinted by Schoolhouse Press]

I find the gingham-look areas, combined with higher-contrast patterns, intriguing.  I wonder what it is about this pattern that attracts my eye?  What makes it look “comfortable”?  Do I like the open front?  What could I incorporate into my own wished-for Fair Isle jumper design?   Hmmmm. . . .

Posted in Knitting, Master Knitter | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »