Tag Archives: magic loop

The joys of self-patterning sock yarn

I’ve been knitting socks again. There’s something of the small child in me. I get bored very easily. The nice thing with socks (I suspect I’ve said this before but it bears repeating) is that there are several parts to a sock and therefore a lower boredom threshold. By the time you’re getting sick of working on the leg, you’ve got the heel flap. When you get to the foot and you’re starting to think it’ll never end, you suddenly have the toe decreases.

Up until recently most of the socks I’ve done have either been in worsted weight (goes fast, big needles, thick yarn), baby socks (over in a sec because they’re so small), or on in fatter than normal fingering weight yarn and on size 3 needles. They have all been done with Magic Loop.

Until recently. I think the bloom may be off the rose for Magic Loop and me. I still prefer it as a method to start circular projects, but for the past two sock projects, I have switched over to dpns once I’ve gotten past the cuff. For whatever reason, it seems to go much faster with the dpns.

I’ve been using the 8 stitches per inch size in Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks book so below I present to you my latest projects:

8 stitches per inch by mlzafron
8 stitches per inch, a photo by mlzafron on Flickr.

Socks from Graham's yarn by mlzafron
Socks from Graham’s yarn, a photo by mlzafron on Flickr.

Now add self-patterning sock yarn to the mix and they seem to go a lot faster. I now have the joy of wondering what color will come up next or how the patterns will form. Hours of fun and entertainment!

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Second mitt syndrome – conquered

I went on a mild jag with the fingerless mitts. This is the project where it all started to go horribly wrong. The pattern comes from The Knitters Book of Yarn, a totally awesome book.  These are the Princess Mitts (Errata can be found here). So I made these for my mom out of a skein of the Sublime DK cashmere merino silk. It’s nice stuff to knit with.  Unfortunately it didn’t have quite enough yardage. The camel color stuff was the best I could do on short notice.

So first time with a chart and I’m totally nervous, but the first mitt? knits up fast. It is also the first thing I have ever knit that I didn’t frog a couple of times. Heck, the first mitt is totally virgin yarn. Then I got cocky. The second mitt, well, let’s just say that if Mitt #1 is a virgin product–Mitt #2 is slutty, slutty, slutty.

I finally finished them and my mom loves them!

Baby, it’s cold outside (and inside too!)

My most recent projects have been dictated by the fact that it’s impossibly cold.

I’m on a kick of knitting fingerless gloves or mitts. Why? Cause I’m sitting here in my office at home. The thermostat says 68F, but it feels like 55F due to the drafts.

So far the patterns I’ve tried lend themselves to magic loop very well. I knocked out 2 pairs of the Maine Morning Mitts, one for me and one for my colleague.  These were both knit with Noro Silk Garden.  I was curious to try out this yarn because I’ve heard so much about it. I had two skeins and it worked out well. I only had a tiny bit left over.

Let me be fair. The colorways are absolutely gorgeous. I mean, you do not come across this every day. I have no complaints about the colors and I can see why this might be someone’s dream yarn for a lot of different types of projects. But … well… I didn’t love it.

I’m not sure what I was expecting. Maybe it was just a case of something not living up to the buildup. It wasn’t as pleasant to work with as I’d hoped. It got a little splitty on me. Then I kept having to pick out bits of vegetable matter. The finished product is pleasant enough and I’m hoping that it will wash well.  I’m just not sure I would go out of my way to knit with this again.

But oh man, just look at those colors. They are gorgeous.

Then I happened across this pattern. I had to use a smaller needle size because the pattern is meant for a man. I used this really nice burnt orange aran weight yarn I picked up on clearance and made a few modifications for length.

And then most recently I started making the Princess Mitts for my mom. Thank god for Ravelry and errata or I would be in big trouble. Honestly, is it so hard to write a clear pattern? Don’t get me wrong, they’re coming out beautifully, but clear concise direction would have helped with this one. My first time following a chart btw!

Hedgerow socks

Why does the second sock go so much faster than the first? It took me about 3 weeks to get the first one done. Mainly because I kept putting it down. Finished sock #2 in a weekend. Anyhow, I’m quite proud.

Got the pattern from Knitters Review.  I had tried them earlier in a self-striping yarn (bad bad idea). I like the dark grey color, but I think the pattern would be even prettier on a lighter solid.  I did them with magic loop.

More pics of them here and here.

And then there were socks

Sock #1

Finally. I have knit not one, but two matching socks. Reader, I am a real knitter. As stupid as it is for me to put criteria on being a knitter, for me personally it has been the ability to create a pair of socks. Well, now I’ve done that. Granted these are worsted weight socks on size 5 needles, they are nonetheless actual wearable socks.

I did them using Magic Loop. Magic Loop is just a cool way of knitting small diameter objects with one very long circular needle. The traditional way to do a sock involves dpns (double pointed needles), which are poky, pesky, and disposed to disappearing into the crevasses of the sofa, heating ducts, the car, etc. My orphan sock was done on these. Although it looks okay, upon closer examination, the toe is totally hopeless. It is also pretty ugly. I have not the heart or the inclination to give it a mate.

These babies, however, I’m pretty happy with. Socks #1 and #2 respectivelyI bought the yarn awhile back at a chain store. Yes, I knit with chain store yarn on occasion. Sue me. They’re all wool and I liked the color and the price.

I doubt anyone could wear these under shoes, but they’re really not designed for that. Instead these are meant to be worn around the house or to bed. Luckily their future owner wanted them for that purpose. He has promised me a picture of his feet in said socks which I will post here as soon as I’ve received it.

I can’t tell you how jazzed I am to have completed two socks. This has been one of my desires and goals for a long time.

What’s even better–I did these all by myself.  I even managed to pick up the stitches properly. I turned the heel and I managed the kitchener stitch.

So there you have it. Today, I became a bonafide knitter. It’s a good day.