the “almost matching” socks

The other day I showed you a photo of the latest sock project.

Knitting with a ball of Lang Yarn Super Socx in “Caipirinha” (their cocktail range) and following a pattern by Alex Parker Mooney (available for free download on Ravelry).  Many hours (and days) knitting later, I have my first pair of adult sized socks. And they almost match – yay!

I say almost . . . yarn colour changing seemed to do something a little different by the time I got to the toe of my second sock, despite having managed to get colour sequences more or less lined up throughout.

Colours were (strangely) less vivid in some places on the first sock (one on the right) . . . but I’m probably the only one who will notice.

And toes didn’t match. But honestly, who will see the toes when I’m wearing shoes or slippers?  I’m really pleased with how they turned out.  I cast on 72 stitches on 2.5mm DPNs and each sock took 44g of yarn.   This yarn is 75 wool, so a little warm for the summer weather on its way. I think I’ll cast on and knit another pair in a cotton mix!

on a roll

I’d been eyeing up some ideas for storing knitting needles, namely double-pointed needles.  Saw a couple of nice rolls on-line, and used photos as inspiration to design my own.  The nice thing about taking up knitting after having learned how to sew is that something like a needle roll is a very quick & simple project.

It was a stash-busting project.   Using a couple of small pieces of cotton print from the drawer.  Finished size when rolled is 10″ x 3″ and approx 1″ thick, so it’s not too bulky.  It’s for my 20cm DPNs.

The husband came up with an idea, when I was unrolling to show him my finished project (and needles almost fell out onto the floor – you’ll see why later) so I added a couple of poppers to the finished pouch.

When unrolled, it looks like this

And the poppers, on either end of the flap stop needles from sliding out if I hold the thing upside down.

I made 8 little pockets, for 7 sets of DPNs and a wider pocket for my needle gauge.  I don’t actually have a set of 2mm needles in 20cm yet, but thought it was sensible to provide a pocket in the eventuality I need to buy some. My sewing machine has embroidery options, but no decimal point.  However, the numbers embroidered are good enough for me to know which needles should go in which pocket.

In case you’re wondering whether I’ve been doing any knitting of late . . . yes I have!

 

repurposing curtains

I’ve been doing a huge amount of Spring cleaning and sorting in our house, and one of the jobs was having a tidy up in the veranda.  The covers I’d made for bench seats several years ago had faded because of the sun, so I had a rummage in my fabric stash to find something suitable.

I came across two floral curtains (approx 135cm x 190cm each) that came either from MIL or SIL’s home, not sure, but they definitely weren’t mine.  They really are very flowery, but the fabric is lovely quality and I hope it stands up to direct sunlight better than the cottons I previously used.  Anyway . . . I had a measure up of what I wanted to make covers for, including two old chair seats, that have been covered countless times in the past.

These were the chair seats in question.  Disgusting!!!!!  But no longer!  I pulled all the old staples out binning the grotty fabric.  And after playing with the staple gun, they look like this.

What a difference!

So, those two chairs all pretty!  Then I made two square covers for two folding chairs (photo of just one here).

More measuring & slicing went on as I had 3 rectangular foam cushions to cover, that go on the bench seats.

And just enough left over to make a quick cushion cover and add a bit more floral to my grotty old armchair that also lives in the veranda, and doesn’t match anything.

 

 

stash-busting bag

I didn’t send out any un-birthday gifts this month, but I did have need of a special home-made something.  We were invited to new neighbours’ house for dinner, and I never like to turn up empty handed.  So . . . time for some stash busting.

Not actually sure how long I’d had this fabric, nor who gifted it to me but . . . in my drawer I had two printed cushion panels.  The band with smaller prints was actually a vertical band down the side of each panel.  For bag purposes, I sliced it off and sewed it along the top.

I didn’t have any dark grey fabric, like on the original panels, so I made straps in plain black.

I also attached a small strip of black and a button so the bag can be rolled up, but forgot to take a photo.  Anyway, the bag was well-received and dinner was yummy!

never say never

Back in January 2021 I couldn’t resist nabbing some sock yarn when I saw it in Lidl.  5.99€ for a pack of 2 x 100g balls of a cotton mix.

At the time, I said I had no intention of trying sock-knitting and bought this yarn, with a view to knitting some doll clothes.  However . . . my motto is: never say never, and this month I took the plunge, diving down the sock rabbit hole.  After some searching on the internet (on Ravelry) I printed out several free sock patterns . . . and decided to cast on to make a toddler-sized pair, to give myself practice not only with DPNs but also in understanding the anatomy of a sock.

The pattern is by Shaina Scott: “Basic cuff-down kids socks” and I cast on to make Toddler size.  I used 2.5mm needles which gave me the correct gauge, and off I went.

I’ve heard so many knitters talking about “turning the heel” without knowing what on earth they meant. Now I know!

“Gusset” was another alien term of sock anatomy . . . but thanks to the well-written pattern, I managed that successfully.

I was knitting in Toddler size to make a pair of socks for my 92cm toddler doll . . . so at this point, I slid sock onto her vinyl foot to make sure all was good.  And to check how long I needed to make the foot.

And after many hours of knitting, plus as many hours of learning, I had my first ever sock!  In no time at all, I cast on to make the second one.

Which makes a matching pair.  And, oh what joy, to see how well they fit (sorry about the dirty floor – too busy knitting to do the housework!).

 

And what else can I say?  except that I think I’ve now caught the sock-knitting bug!!!!  Because I immediately cast on, using the same pattern by Shaina, but for adult sizes . . . and I’m knitting a pair for myself in colour-changing pink.

3 dresses from 100g

Knitting needles are smoking!  Not only have I finished the little blue doll dress I started.

but I treated myself to a new knitting pattern on etsy.

and knitted version 1 twice.

Pattern was written for DK yarn, but I was on roll with my 4ply, so I experimented with tension and different needles to knit one dress for a 44cm doll, and then one for a 48cm doll.

And last photo, proof that I finished the first blue dress for my little 34cm doll. Having such fun with my needles . . . I’ll be casting on to knit more doll dresses.  Where I was pleasantly surprised:  it only took 2 x 50g of my self-striping 4ply to make these three dresses.  So looking in my yarn stash, I will be able to enjoy many more hours of knitting for dolls.

As always, for the squeamish, I’ve cropped heads. If you want to see the dolls looking all pretty in their new clothes, just click here.

keeping hands busy

I’ve been a bit quiet here. Like many others, no doubt, very preoccupied with what’s going on in Ukraine.

A couple of photos today, because I have been trying to keep my hands busy on something that doesn’t require much concentration.

One doll dress for a new red-headed doll.  Photo cropped here – don’t want to scare you. But you can see my little Mia doll (Nines d’Onil) in full over on my other blog: here. 

And another one dress in the making.

This is a pattern I’ve used several times before, and find it’s easy to adapt to different doll shapes/sizes, by changing yarn, needles and lengthening/shortening either the bodice or skirt part of the dress.

 

a bit of this & that

A little bit of this & that, as we almost come to the end of February.

First . . .

A little parcel, sent & received, to wish Yvonne a very happy un-birthday in February.  An Isabelle Vautier xstitch kit and a pair of fingerless mittens, crocheted in Stylecraft DK “duck egg”.  I followed the pattern by Loopy Mabel but added thumbs.

A belated birthday present for yours truly, from SIL.  She treated herself to a super dooper embroidery machine recently and has been having fun with that!  So two pretty embroidered coasters in green, and a bottle of perfume.

Some bargain buttons!  We have a shop locally called Noz.  It buys up old stock, from shops all over Europe ( including groceries, clothes, toys, books interior decoration, DIY and craft supples).  You never know what you’re going to find.  I always love to rummage, and on our last visit, came across a big box of old haberdashery supplies, including some rather “vintage” looking buttons.

They weren’t terribly exciting colours but they were being sold only 59 centimes for the tube – and there are 49 buttons in each tube plus one attached to the screw-on lids.  How could I not buy any, at that price?

I’ve also been playing around with patchwork fabric.  I pulled out a bunch of FQs and printed panel, gifted to me by my sister on my birthday 8 years ago.  And decided it’s time to start doing something!  As usual (for me) I jumped in with both feet, without really having a plan, and cut the FQs into as many 5″ squares as I could get.   Only then did I begin thinking about layout.  The difficulty being that I want to include the printed panel in the centre, but build up a much larger quilt for a double bed.

It’ll be a QAYG project, and I’ll be able to leave myself wiggle room with outer sections by adding a border to the panel.  For the moment, I’m toying between two different ideas. Squares and rectangles of prints sashed or

just squares, but with more light solids scattered about.  I’ve thrown a few other matching fabrics in the mix, and plan on adding more greens but the original FQs and panel are from the Benartex “tea house” collection, so very Japanesey (not the purple FQ at top of photo).

I need to draw a couple of sketches and do the maths before I go any further.

with this ring

Today I can reveal the top secret project I was working on last month because, our daughter (aka Lindashee) and partner tied the knot and my little fabric gift was part of the ceremony.

I made them a little ring cushion (respecting the chosen colour palette of ivory, blues & gold) – here the cushion before posting, so NOT with the official rings tied in place.  And, because the husband and I had trouble finding a wedding card we liked in the shops, I made a card.

Due to Covid, and continuing travel restrictions, we did not make the journey over to England.  You can imagine our frustration!  Not being there to hug our daughter or be beside her on the big day!  However, we were able to follow the ceremony thanks to one of the groom’s family who was in charge of filming and live-streaming . . . and our son, Mr Viking, who recorded the live-streaming for posterity.

pink “Shavo” happy dance

In November of last year, I downloaded and started knitting the free “Shavo” sweater pattern by Berroco, in grey, size XL, for the husband.

using DMC Magnum on 5.5mm needles (4mm for the neck ribbing).  That was finished just before Christmas.  Then, because I enjoyed knitting this pattern so much, I cast on again, following size M to make a pink version for myself.

Happy dancing today, because it’s finished – yay!  and it’s lovely and snuggly and warm.

I knitted mine also using a DMC Magnum yarn, which is an acrylic/wool mix.  Also using 5.5mm needles and 4mm for the neck ribbing.  I followed the pattern to the letter but should maybe have altered sleeve length slightly.

They’re probably a good inch too long, and the cuff is rather wide, slipping down over my lady’s wrists & hands.  Since it’s a men’s sweater, I should (on hindsight) have decreased a little more for the cuffs. But not to worry – it’s a lovely big slouchy sweater and will keep me nice and warm.  The grey version for the husband used approx 670g of yarn in size XL.  The pink version required 600g.

Last photo to show the back neck, and the lovely texture.