Sunday, January 20, 2013

Exactly one year!

Well, well.... what a coincidence that I decided that my poor blog needed some TLC today!  It’s been exactly 1 year ago that I last posted!  A couple of times in the past year I’ve thought about just shutting the damn thing down, but lucky I didn’t because I wouldn’t have somewhere to record this pattern for posterity.

These socks were born of the need to cast on something quickly and have something simple and mindless to knit.  Halfway through, I decided that I didn’t need another plain pair of socks and wanted to do something fun at the end.  I think these would look adorable with another 1 or 2 rounds of ruffles picked up around the ribbing.. I might just have to make another pair!

Reasonably Ruffled Socks - for those times you just want to knit something basic to begin with, but want to finish with a flourish!

gauge: 32 stitches per 10 cm

yarn: 4 ply sock yarn.  I used Hawthorne Cottage  4 ply sock.

needle: 2.75mm needle

size: for reasonably average/large sized feet 40 EU/8 1/2 AU

c/o 64, join to knit in the round, and knit 1 x 1 ribbing (k 1 tbl, p1) for 18 rows.

change to stockinette and knit for approx 60 rows ( 12 − 14 cm)

knit heel flap on 32 stitches as follows:
RS: sl 1, k 31 to end
WS: *sl1, p1* repeat to end

Repeat both rows 16  - 20 times according to taste, or until it measures 5 − 6 cm ending with WS row.

turn heel as follows:

sl1, k17, ssk, k1 turn
sl1 p5, p2tog p1 turn
sl1 k6, ssk, k1 turn
sl1 p7 p2tog p1 turn

Continue in pattern working one more stitch each row until all heel flap stitches have been worked and the stitch count has decreased to 18.  K9 stitches to centre of heel flap and place marker or indicate with needle placement for beginning of round.

K9, then pick up one stitch in each slipped stitch along right side of heel flap (I picked up 20), place marker (or indicate with needle placement) knit across 32 instep stitches, place marker, pick up one stitch in each of slipped stitch on left side of heel flap (again I picked up 20), k9 to beginning of round.

row 1 (decrease round): knit until 3 stitches before first marker, k2tog, k1. Knit 32 instep stitches. k1, ssk, knit to end of round.
row 2: knit

repeat these 2 rows until you have decreased back to the original number of 32 stitches on sole of foot.

Continue in stockinette until foot measures 4cm less than required length.  For my foot this is nearly covering my little toe.

Remember that beginning of round is centre of sole.

row 1 (decrease round): [k until 3 stitches before marker, k2tog k1. slip marker. k1 ssk]* repeat once, k to end of round
row 2:  knit

repeat these 2 rounds until there are 14 stitches on each of sole and instep ( total of 28) graft the 2 sets of 14 stitches closed.

Now for the ruffly bit!

Pick up 32 stitches at the base of the ribbing -  I slipped the right leg of each k1tbl stitch onto a needle until I had 32.

Round 1: kfb all stitches - 64
Round 2: kfb all stitches - 128
Round 3: k all stitches
Round 4: k1, yo* repeat until end - 256
Round 5: p all stitches - 256
round 6: k all stitches - 256
bind off all stitches.

Easy Peasy, but so cute!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I haven’t forgotten the blog entirely, but have been a terribly slack blogger in the past year. I don’t foresee any great improvement on that front either unfortunately . I often don’t have the energy to write a post or the content to write about!

The thought of losing the blog entirely though is sad. I like to look back over the past years and see what I’ve produced, and the progress I’ve made with my crafting skills. One of my favourite blog things to write about is the re-cap of my knitting over the past year and list my goals for the year to come. I didn’t do it last January, and was sad when I couldn’t tick off any of my goals because I hadn’t written them down.

So here we go:
2011 Retrospective

Socks - 8 pairs, focusing on texture in the first half of the year and colour in the last half.
shawls - 3, all towards the last part of the year and focusing on geometric blocks of colour
cardigans - 3
vest - 1
toys - 4 - fussy fiddly, multi-piece adorable toys.
blankets - 1 - my gorgeous noro blanket I blogged about in June.
hats - heaps - I knit many hats for gifts and didn’t keep track.
baby stuff - a couple of cardigans and a couple pair of booties.

Sadly it seems my knitting output was quite low in 2011. I focused on using bright colours in combinations I wouldn’t normally chose, but didn’t really learn any new techniques.

So for 2012 I have some big goals:

* knit true lace - patterned on both sides.
* design something and write down the pattern
* learn to double knit.
* knit a full size mens aran jumper (for my average sized Dad, not my humungous husband)
* more fairisle and steeking

I’m already working on the fairisle and steeking, with the fabulous pattern Rams & Yowes.

I hope to have this finished in the next month or two! I’ll make sure to report back then, or with luck, maybe even sooner!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I love Noro!

I’m always surprised by how Noro yarn divides knitters. Anyone who has spent anytime on the Ravelry forums can attest to the fact that there are probably even numbers of lovers and haters.... there are those that dislike it - the coarseness of the fibre, the jarring colourways and the sometimes ridiculous amount of knots in a single ball, but I’m in the other camp.. the Noro-love camp. I love the rustic-ness of the fibre, the bits of vegetable matter that suggest it hasn’t been overprocessed, the slubby nature of the yarn and the amazing way that unlikely colours are mixed together in a wonderful riot! The knots, I am not so fond of, but found in my last project, which took 19 balls of Noro, probably only 4 balls that contained knots at all! A very low hit rate! So here is my latest and greatest Noro project; The Noro Paintbox Log Cabin. A brilliantly simple, yet effective way to maximise the best of Noro.
Despite it’s size, this was a fabulously portable project. A ball of Noro and a 4.5mm circular, and I could knit the road with nothing more in my knitting kit. Of course putting it together at the end was a bit of a marathon, but an incredibly rewarding one!
I’m so glad I have finished this just in time for our cold weather, it’s very warm and wonderful to snuggle under.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Hi Blog!

Poor neglected blog. I’ve tried several times to write an interesting and entertaining blog post in the past 5 months, but nothing has been forthcoming. Even the annual end-of-year wrap-up and review post for 2010 was missed (Actually I started it and it’s still sitting cold and lonely in my list of drafts).

What I can tell you about 2010 was that it was a Big Year. I turned 40, my youngest started school and my oldest finished primary school. I started back work after 6 years and had surgery in the latter part of the year which made me feel older than my years. I lost 10kg and found 5 again, did a few months with a vegan diet which was wonderful, and now I wonder why I stopped.

From a crafting perspective I learned to weave, which I really enjoyed, and true to form I have short and passionate trysts with every couple of months. I also achieved all of my goals I set myself in my 2009 retrospective!

So far this year, socks are my current fixation. Just as well because my hand-made sock stash is starting to show signs of natural attrition and requires replenishment. So here is what I’ve been doing with myself for the past few months:

Of course there have been other things being made, but today it’s all about the socks.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Time to Knit!

Some health issues lately have meant that I have had a heap of time for knitting, and starting and even finishing some things!

I finally finished my Aeolian Shawl, which I cast on over a year ago. This was a very slow going project due to the beading required. The process of placing the beads is time consuming itself, but I also had a few months where I could not obtain the beads at all, and of course motivation issues can sometimes raise their ugly head too! Frustratingly, the photos don’t even SHOW the beads, but TRUST ME they are there! This was knit in Knit Picks Gloss Lace in the Raisin colourway and I used 1.5 skeins (about 660m). I totally lost track of how many packets of beads I used - maybe about 5 packets of 6gms?

Apart from some other bits and pieces, I also knit these 2 gorgeous little rompers for a dear little baby that is due to makes its appearance next year. The mum isn’t keen to find out the sex of the bub, so I am left guessing what colours and styles of knitwear to make for her. I decided that I would make something teeny-tiny, which I understand realistically will only get worn once or twice, but who doesn’t love making teeny-tiny-baby clothes? I also made 2, which I hope covers the bases in terms of gender! I reckon the purple one could even be unisex! I must admit that I am one of those people who love pink for girls and will no doubt be thrilled to make something totally pink and frilly if it is indeed a girl, and after a run of 4 boys in the family, a little girl would be lovely! (Of course any baby will be loved equally, but I wanna make THIS!)

I wrote the pattern down as I went, due to the fact I wanted to make at least 2, so I am sharing this with you, but be warned that this has been neither test knit, OR actually tried on a baby! The blog is as good a place as any to actually store the information for myself anyway, so if anyone wants to give it a go, I’d love to hear if it actually fits a real baby!

Size 000 Top Down Seamless Romper

Needles: 4mm 40cm circular

4mm dpns or other small circumfrence knitting options

yarn: approx 150g of 8 ply yarn

gauge: 22 st per 10cm

28 rows per 10cm


K - knit

P - purl

K2tog - knit 2 together

ssk - slip, slip, k2tog

p2togtbl - purl 2 together through back loop

LLI - left lifted increase

RLI - right lifted increase

slpm - slip marker

pm - place marker

c/o - cast on

dpn - double pointed needle

skills req: knit, purl, increase, decrease, grafting, short rows, picking up stitches.


Cast on 40 stitches

1st row - p6 pm p6 pm p16 pm p6 pm p6


2nd row - * k to 1st st before marker RLI, k1, slpm, k1, LLI* repeat 3 times, k to end.

3rd row - purl to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until there are 20 st on each front, 44 on back and 34 on each sleeve.


Next row - k 20, remove marker, c/o 2 pm, c/o 2, slip 34 stitches for arm from left needle onto scrap yarn, remove marker and knit across back 44 stitches. Remove marker, c/o 2, pm, c/o 2, place arm stitches on scrap yarn, then knit across left front 20 stitches.

Work in stockinette til back measures 15cm from cast on edge.



Next row (RS) - knit to 1st marker, slpm, K1, LLI, knit to st before marker RLI, knit to end

Next row (WS) - purl

Repeat these 2 rows 2 more times (6 stitches increased over 6 rows)

Continue to work in stockinette until back is 20cm from c/o edge


**K to first marker, slpm, knit to 6 stitches before 2nd marker, wrap and turn

P to 6 stitches before marker, wrap and turn

K to end picking up and working wrap as encountered

P to end picking up and working wrap as encountered

Work 4 rows in stockinette*

Repeat once from **


Continue to work in stockinette until front measures 24cm


All rows will now be knit - no more purling! We are now joining to work in the round. If you aren't using the 40cm circular, you will need to switch to that now.

Next row - K to end, slipping markers as encountered. Place new marker; this will be the start of round marker. Next round - c/o 6, pm, join to knit in the round. K to side marker (side markers can now be removed when encountered) K24, pm, K6, pm, K24 to next marker and remove. K to end of round.

There are now 4 markers in place - 2 in the front and 2 in the back. These are the markers that will be used for working the gusset.

Work in the round for 2cm, slipping markers when encountered and finishing at the beginning of round marker (first front gusset marker)


Row 1 - slpm, RLI, K to next marker, LLI, slpm, K to next marker, slpm, RLI, K to next marker, LLI, slpm, K to end of round

Row 2 - K to end

Repeat these 2 rows until there are 14 stitches between the gusset markers at front and back, ending with row 2 at the beginning of round marker.


Slip the next 14 gusset stitches onto a dpn (removing markers). The following 46 stitches will form the left leg. Slip these stitches onto a 2nd circular or scrap yarn.

Slip the next 14 gusset stiches onto a 2nd dpn. The remaining 46 stitches will be worked in the round for the right leg.

Graft the 2 sets of 14 stitches together


You will need to use your preferred method of small circumference knitting (dpns, magic loop etc).

Join in yarn at beginning of left leg. K 46 stiches, pick up 1 stitch along gusset, pm, pick up 1 stitch along gusset and begin working in the round for 3 rows ending at centre leg marker.

Next row - K1, K2TOG, K to 3 stitches before marker, SSK, K1.

Next row - K

Next row - K

Repeat these 3 rows until leg 28 stitches remain. Work leg in stockinette until measures 10cm.

Work 2 x 2 rib for 8 - 10cm

Cast off loosely.

Repeat for Right leg.


Place arm stitches back on needles for working in the round. You will now need to use your preferred method for small circumference knitting (dpns, magic loop etc).

Join in yarn at beginning of arm. Knit around to last stitch. Pick up 6 stitches along cast on edge, placing a marker after picking up 3. This marker will be the beginning of round marker. Knit 2 rows.

Next row - K1, K2TOG, K to 3 stitches before marker, SSK, K1.

Next row - K

Next row - K

Repeat these 3 rows until 28 stitches remain. Work arm until measures 12cm.

Work 2 x 2 rib for 5 cm.

cast off loosely.

Repeat for other arm.


Join in yarn at right edge of placket, pick up 6 stitches along cast on edge and place on scrap yarn.

Pick up stitches along right front edge - approximately 3 picked up stitches for every 4 rows. Ensure that amount of picked up stitches is divisable by 4. Work 6 rows of 2 x 2 rib. Cast off loosely

Transfer 6 placket stitches from scrap yarn to DPN.

With RS facing and beginning at neck of left front, pick up the same amount of stitches as for the right front.

Row 1 (WS) - Work 2 x 2 rib beginning with either p2 or k2, depending on which will ensure that your last 2 picked up stitches will be k2

Row 2 (RS) - work in 2 x 2 rib until last stitch, work last stitch and 1st stitch on dpn as a SSK

Row 3 (WS) - work next stitch on dpn and 1st stitch on button band as P2togTBL, P1, K2, K2TOG YO. Continue working button holes by K2tog YO, evenly across row to end, keeping rib pattern

Row 4 (RS) - work as per row 2

Row 5 (WS) - work next stitch on dpn and 1st stitch on button band as P2togTBL, P1, work 2 x 2 rib as set.

Row 6 (RS) - work as per row 2

Row 7 (WS) - work as per 5

Cast off.


Pick up stitches along top of button band and neckline to other button band. Work 6 − 8 rows of stockinette and then cast off loosely.


Sew down the bottom of the right button band to the placket.

Weave in all ends


Sew on buttons

Dress baby in snuggly new romper suit.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Metrosexual Man

My poor hubby. He’s getting a bit thin on top, and I decided that he needed a new hat to keep his poor noggin warm. I made him a plain black beanie in some Jo Sharp Silkroad a couple of years ago, and he still wears it, but it really does make him look like a thug. I imagine that any service station attendants seeing him approaching their booth on a cold winters night would feel a vague sense of unease.

So my idea was to make him something modern, colourful, funky and dare I say it, a little bit trendy. Urbanista seemed to fit the bill nicely, even the name evokes images of street-side cafes and Sunday brunch.

The pattern itself was a joy to knit, in fact probably my first real foray into intarsia. There were lots of ends to weave in at the end, probably around 100, but this sort of finishing doesn’t really bother me. From start to finish it took 2 days, and I didn’t begrudge one moment of time I spent on it.

The final verdict? I love it! I think it is very cool and funky. Hubby’s verdict? Too metrosexual. I guess he likes the thug look.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The rest of the vests

As promised, here are the rest of the vests! The first is knit in Jo Sharp Classic 8 ply and the pattern is Ms. Marigold. Long time readers might remember that way back in 2007 I made this same vest in the same yarn. Jacki did also! After we'd finished, we swapped our leftovers and obviously the leftovers marinated for years in my stash. With the current vest-mania going on around here, I dug out the ol' Jo Sharp and remember how lovely it worked up into Ms. Marigold and being the unimaginative sort, I decided that it could be another one! I'm very happy with it, and it does work up so very quickly.

My other vest is not quite ready yet. Actually all the knitting is done and it nearly looks done until you look on the inside and see how many ends I need to weave in.
I'm sorry that I didn't add waist shaping to this, it's a little bit boxy, but I'm sure I'll still wear it proudly. In-action photos still to come!