Finally finished footwear

This pair of socks has seen me through a house move and the first month of a new job. I’m very pleased to complete them and move onto something new. The pattern had just enough interest to keep me going. After the fourth time through knitting the main chart I can almost figure it out without reading every square.

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These will be making their way to their rightful owner as soon as they’ve had a Soak.

In other news, here are a few little goodies from Christmas.

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The yarn is the laceweight I got at Harrogate and received for Christmas from my lovely in-laws. It is from Eden Cottage Yarns. I’m thinking of using it for some sort of shawl or stole. Any ideas gratefully received.

The book was a surprise, since I’d completely forgotten it was on my Amazon wishlist. I haven’t had much time to read it yet, but it looks interesting. It does seem to rely on having a large amount of each yarn since the projects are mostly garments rather than socks, so I’m not sure whether it will help with using up my sock yarn. I do have another book for that, so it doesn’t really matter.

Slippery

A while back, I knitted some slippers.

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They are cunningly made from a handful of mitred squares, but they were too big and too floppy. They didn’t stay on my feet, so were a bit rubbish in terms of their intended function. I decided to keep them in case I ever figured out what to do with them.

As I read more about knitting, I realised that they are made from 100% wool (Colinette Hullaballoo), so are candidates for felting. I wasn’t sure how to go about felting them, so just ignored them for a while. This week, my current pair of slippers fell apart and my feet were cold, so the need was urgent.

I tied the knitted slippers up in a pillowcase (I’ve read the Yarn Harlot – I do not want to block the washer pump with stray fibre), added Ecover laundry liquid and put them on for a 40 degree normal wash. They came out significantly smaller and much more rigid. Just as I wanted. A few hours drying on a radiator and they were ready. I think I shall get some non-slip stick-on bits for the soles, although I quite enjoy skating round on our hard floors.

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Finished and unfinished objects

The previous post, while full of news, was somewhat lacking in pictures. Let’s see if we can change that.
Man Socks
Here are the socks that I finished for Mr H. These are full of firsts: the first socks I’ve knitted for him, and in fact the first socks intended to be worn by a man. They are also the first socks with calf shaping that I’ve knitted and the first socks I’ve designed, although they are a fairly simple design.

The cast-on is JSSCO, which matches JSSBO in looks. I have to say that I am not a huge fan of this cast-on. It is very clever and does the job nicely, but is a real faff to get right. It is constructed using slip-knots and I was never completely happy with how it turned out on the needle.

Calf shapingThe main part of the sock is in 2×2 rib. The calf shaping was constructed to make the most of this and I’m fairly happy with how it turned out. I put a cable down the outside of each sock, just to add some interest to what promised to be a very dull pair indeed.

The heel construction is my usual heel-flap and gusset, using eye of partridge on the flap. The cable just skirts the heel and continues down the foot. On the first sock, the cable merges a bit too much into the plain sole so I added an extra purl column to separate them on the second sock.

First sock
First sock
Second Sock
Second Sock

Socks for Anne

Onto current projects. These are the Sapient Pearwood Socks from last year’s Knitting Goddess When Granny Weatherwax Knits Socks club. They are nominally my January socks, but look like being my February socks as well, thanks to the new job and sundry other distractions. When complete, they will go to Anne, who requested a pair of knitted socks. Great pattern, with twisted stitches and mini-cables. I’m now charging up the second sock since I’ve memorised most of the pattern. Really nice toe-up construction that looks like a top down heel-flap. Can’t actually remember how it was done, but I liked it!

I’m knitting these on dpns just for a change. I tried some of the very short (10cm) dpns, but they don’t suit my style at all, just poke me constantly in the thumbs, so I went back to my trusty set of Knit Pro Harmony dpns.

Finally, here is the start of my swirl. Doesn’t look like much of anything yet, but it is growing slowly. I’ve had to order a replacement cable for my interchangeable needles after a pulled one apart while trying to move the stitches round the needle. If this cast-on was twisted I will be very cross indeed. I’ve checked it and checked it, but can’t be sure since I can’t see it all in its non-squished-up state. I do now have cable connectors (from the lovely people at Sanday Spinners) so I might put it onto a much longer needle to check it out.

Swirl[edited for slight inaccuracy]

In brief

It has been a busy couple of months. Here are the highlights, because I guess it is better to write briefly than not at all.

  • I finished my old job just after a very hectic Christmas
  • We’ve moved house
  • There was trouble with the kitchen floor (but I’d really rather not talk about it in detail and it is all ok now)
  • The little girl started walking on moving day
  • The little boy has settled into a new school with very little fuss
  • We had snow and snowmen and sledging in our lovely new garden
  • There are still cardboard boxes, although not many of them now (and I’ve done nearly all of mine)
  • I started my new job this week
  • I am excited, apprehensive, overwhelmed and loving it all at the same time

So, that’s what has been happening outside the knitting world. You can understand why knitting progress has been slow. It has not, however, been non-existent.

  • I finished the socks for the Mr in time for Christmas (no photos yet since it was a close-run thing and he only found them in a box yesterday night)
  • There was a lot of knitting goodness in my Christmas present pile, but I’ll come back to that
  • I have knitted two thirds of a sock and I’ll come back to that too.
  • I have cast on a Swirl. 545 stitches. Oh boy. At least I knew the trick of using two ends of the ball for a long-tail cast-on. Imagine getting to 544 and running out of yarn. Don’t expect this to be finished any time soon.

Now, in an exciting turn of events, let’s move beyond knitting.

  • A friend of my Mum spent an evening teaching me to spin on a spindle.
  • She gave me the spindle and some Icelandic wool to practice with
  • Then she lent me a spinning wheel for a while. It’s (or are spinning wheels, like steam engines always referred to as ‘she’?) an Ashford Traveller
  • Last week, someone from one of my new parishes rang me out of the blue offering babysitting and asking if the rumour was true that I was a knitter. She then said she was a spinner and would I like to try it.
  • There is also a spinning group that meets once a month in an adjacent village. I met the lady that hosts it while taking my daughter to a toddler group. She noticed the hand-knit jumper that J was wearing (thank you again to J’s lovely Godmother).

I think that’s enough for now. I’m determined to have some of the evening with the needles and something relaxing on tv.