Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sock Surgery Complete!

I was knitting a pair of socks for my Sister for her Birthday.  I finished the first one and for some reason I decided to weigh the finished sock and the remainder of the ball: 56g, 52g.  

Crap!  So I worked out approximately how many rows were in the sock and then how many rows shorter I needed to make the second sock.  For safety's sake I added a couple more rows and decided to make the second sock 12 rows shorter.  So I completed the second sock and if it were anyone but me, the one sock being about 2 cm longer than the other in the leg probably wouldn't have been a problem.  But it is me and the socks were for a present, so something had to be done.  There were two options at this stage: Frog the first sock back to the leg and remove 12 rows and reknit the heel/gusset/foot/toe, definitely a day or so's work and her Birthday was still 3 days away so definitely possible OR commit sock surgery, remove the offending rows and fix it all back together.  Fast forward a couple of hours and my sister calls and asks if we can come to dinner that night.  It was 2pm, dinner was set for 6.30pm.  Not enough time for a frog and reknit.  So sock surgery was required.

Take a deep breath, here we go!

I threaded my knitting needle through on the row I wanted to save and made sure I knew which way the yarn was running and CAREFULLY cut through a single strand half a round before the stitches I wanted to knit on from because I wanted enough yarn to be able to sew ends in, etc.

I carefully unthreaded the line of stitches.

Until the two pieces were separate.  Big sigh of relief at this stage: no disasters, yet.

I unravelled the extra piece of sock back to the cuff and then had to make a decision.  Do I reknit the cuff, it's 20 rows of 1x1 rib or do I graft the two pieces together.  In the end I decided to graft, figuring that if it failed I could always yank out the graft and knit the cuff if I have to.

I placed the cuff inside the leg of the sock, holding the two sets of stitches parallel.  I used the knitted Kitchener method to graft the two pieces together. I was lucky to have the 1x1 rib as the cuff, it didn't matter which way out to have the cuff.  If the cuff was different on the inside and the outside, care would need to be taken to ensure it ended facing out the right way when the two pieces were joined.  The round I joined was a knitting only row, so no tricky bits to get around.

Ta Da!  Sock Surgery complete!  I gave it to Jules to see if he could see where I had done it and he couldn't tell.  I could, but I know what I'm looking for.

Here they are ready to go with a few little magnets I picked up at the Ivanhoe Makers Market last weekend.

They were gifted and tried on and fit in the foot nicely.  They were a little loose around the ankle which was a surprise and if it becomes a problem I will endeavour to improve matters in that regard, somehow!

So successful sock surgery can now be added to the knitting bag of tricks :-)

Of course I am hoping I never have to do it again though!

Oh and just in case you wondering:  the one on the top left is the leftovers from knitting the second sock.  The one on the bottom right is the yarn removed from the longer sock.  I am very carefully NOT going to measure them against each other :-)

Edited to fix the bad maths at the beginning: 32+36= 68g.  It was a "100g" ball, so it had to have been 52 and 56g.  Sorry cutting my knitting must have messed with my head!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm about to commit sock surgery....

I will take pictures, I'm hoping it will work or I'm going to have a big disaster on my hands!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm not that bad......yet!

So, I just heard this

via the Knit Wits Podcast (hilarious and silly podcast by the way).  It's the theme song from another Podcast called Never Not Knitting (haven't listened to this one yet).  I found the Knit Wits via the Knitmore Girls Podcast which is also wonderful but I'm up to date with them so now I'm expanding to other podcasts :-)

I'd just like to say, despite being a knitter, as much as I can, as often as I can, I am definitely not as bad as in this song :-)


Monday, June 20, 2011

A quick update

Just to let you know, Jo's baby arrived safely on Friday at 35.5 weeks cooked and both Mum and Bub are doing well.  Mum will be out of hospital in a few days and bub will follow hopefully less than a week later.

With the weather we've been having, those hats are going to get a work out!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 FO #17 - Jo's baby hat #3

This is the third of the three hats for Jo's impending arrival.  This is the one we want the baby to fit.  It's a nice stretchy newborn size.  This time Patonyle which is lovely and soft knit up on 4 mm needles.

And the trio just prior to being delivered to the expectant Mama.

We don't know the sex of the impending arrival so I think these colours are neutral enough to cover either option.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  My Basic top-down hat: 56 sts.
Yarn:  Patons Patonyle 4 ply in dark red.
Needles:  4 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  June 5, 2011
Finished:  June 5, 2011
Mods:  Used the lifted leg increase described in the Brainless sock pattern to do the increases, really like this increase as it leaves no gap.
Comments:  This has ended up being a gorgeous little hat, modelled again on a small orange.
Ravelled here.

2011 FO #16 - Kerry's Fa Fa Fa socks

Another swap, knitting and payment yarn was Wollmeise again...can we see a pattern here?
These socks were knit for an elderly friend of Kerry who has been feeling the Canberra cold.  While the pattern was written top down, the job request asked to use up as much of the yarn as possible so I changed the pattern to toe-up and split the skein by winding it into a ball and then winding it again with the outside and inside ends held together so a double strand was wound.  This double stranded ball was then wound into two separate balls.  I know of someone who knits two at a time this way, but I'm not a two at a time kind of girl so I split it into two balls and cut the yarn.  In the end there was about 8 metres difference between the two balls, so not bad really.

The socks have a lovely easy cable pattern and ended up being close to knee high when they were done, the cable giving some negative ease so hopefully they will stay up nicely and keep cold footsies warm.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Fa Fa Fa Socks by Lois Leong and Wendy D. Johnson's Fingering Weight Toe-Up Socks with Gusset and Slip-Stitch Heel
Yarn:  Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in the Pesto colourway.
Needles:  2.5  mm Knit Pro circulars with Nickel tips, Aero 2.75 and 3.0 mm circular needles.
Started:  May 12, 2011
Finished:  June 5, 2011
Mods:  Instead of top down, I knit these toe-up with Judy's  Magic cast on, and the instructions from Wendy D. Johnson's Fingering Weight Toe-Up Socks were used as a guideline for when and where to shape. Did all of the foot then 5 repeats of the pattern on 2.5 mm needles on 64 sts , then did 2 repeats on 2.75mm and then 4 repeats on 3.0mm then 10 rows of cuff.
Comments:  Really pleased with how these turned out :-)
Ravelled here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 FO #15 - Jo's baby hat #2

The second of three hats knit for an almost here baby, this one used the leftovers from my Travelling Woman shawl.  It's a beautifully soft baby alpaca, perfect for a newborn.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  My basic top down hat: 48 sts in total.
Yarn:  Moggy and Me Baby Alpaca 4 ply in the Sir Walter colour way.
Needles:  4 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  May 31, 2011
Finished:  May 31, 2011
Mods:  None.
Comments:  This is so soft it feels like a cloud.  I'm hoping it is too small for the baby, there's a very small orange under that hat in the photo.
Ravelled here.

2011 FO #14 - Jenny's smoking hot cowl

Having only made one cowl before, I was very tempted by this offer in the Australia Will Work for Yarn Swap group on Ravelry.  It was a chance to work in gorgeous yarn: Wollmeise.  To make a pretty cowl: Silk Smoke ring.  And to get paid in pretty yarn: more Wollmeise.  The pattern is deceptively simple, just don't drop a k2togtbl, they unravel like nobody's business in this very smooth yarn.  A life line* on the 12th row: a simple k1tbl, p1 row, is essential for sleep deprived Mum's.   I only dropped a stitch once, but 7 rows of 180 stitches tinked (undone 1 stitch at a time) was enough to convince me life lines are a must.  And how do you block a cowl you might ask?  Well I got out one of the rolled up foam camping/yoga mats, tied it up at the right circumference and put the cowl over it then lay it down braced on my bed on one side and the window sill on the other 2 feet above a heating vent.  Perfect.  Jenny was very pleased with the results and her daughter may have placed an order for one for herself!

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Silk Smoke Ring by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer.
Yarn:  Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in the colour way Rittersporn (a beautiful blue/purple/black tonal mix, the name translates to Delphinium)
Needles:  3.5 mm, 80 cm Bamboo tipped circular.  ( I have lost the packet, can't remember the brand)
Started:  April 19, 2011
Finished:  May 26, 2011
Mods:  Worked until cowl reached 25 inches, longer than the original pattern, definitely works.  Changed the cast off as the one suggested felt too tight on the edge.  Used Jeni's surprisingly stretchy bind off instead.
Comments: This knit up so beautifully and the pattern instructions were put down after 1.5 repeats, and only referred to again at the cast off stage.
Ravelled here.

* A life line is a piece of thread or smooth yarn or in my case dental floss, which is threaded using a needle through the stitches of your row.  The idea being that if you manage to drop a stitch and can't recover it, it can't go past this point and there is a complete row/round you can go back to and pick up all of your stitches without having to worry about lost ones.  It does help if the life line goes through stitches which are all "normal" ie no yarn overs.  In the pattern described above there is one such row every twelve rows.  In "lace knitting" the return row is plain and can be "saved".  In true "knitted lace" there is no plain row and putting in a life line can be more challenging but often more necessary!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 FO #13 - Jo's baby hat #1

A friend at school has a medical issue which means that her babies all arrive early, so far she has delivered three healthy kids between 29 and 35 weeks of gestation.  She is currently pregnant with her 4th and after a two week stay in hospital between 31 and 33 weeks has reached 34.5 weeks and we are all crossing our fingers she can make it even further. The organisation involved in keeping track of 2 school age kids, one 2 year old and a prem baby is better put off for as long as possible!  So, knowing that the baby, when it arrives, is likely to be on the small side I decided to knit it some hats.  This is the first of 3 hats, knit with yarn  leftover after making a pair of socks.  This hat is what I'd call 3 month old size.  It will take a while, but baby is sure to grow into it!

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  My basic top down hat: 64 sts in total.
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fibre Arts Sock That Rock Mediumweight in the colour way Pride.
Needles:  4 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  May 21, 2011
Finished:  May 21, 2011
Mods:  None.
Comments:  Starting at the top and working my way down means I can keep knitting until I run out of yarn, perfect for using up all those sock scraps!
Ravelled here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 FO #12 - Olivia's Hip in Hempathy

A beautiful skirt for a little girl.  Made from Hemp yarn, it should be a nice skirt to wear through Spring and Summer.  This one took a while to knit but turned out very nicely.  The yarn was quite firm, both as yarn and as fabric, but it softened nicely once washed.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Hip in Hemp by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn:  Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy
Needles:  3.0 mm and 3.25 mm Knit Pro 
Started:  March 22, 2011
Finished:  April 18, 2011
Mods:  Worked this skirt with 8 rows of the brown yarn and 4 rows of purple and 4 rows of yellow-green.  Made it so that the waist band joined together at the front leaving a gap on the outside for a tie be put through.
Comments:  This was a real change of pace, 4 ply on 3.25 mm needles is pretty usual here, but not for the amount of yarn in this project!  Don't think I'll be making another skirt in such a small ply yarn again.  Nothing wrong with knitted skirts, just will use fatter yarn next time!
Ravelled here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 FO #11 - Zac's rainbow socks #2

Zac came to me and said he needed a new pair of socks.  Not just any socks mind you, no, he had a specific request in mind, "Can I have rainbow socks please Mum?"  The answer was "yes" and I decided to try toe up socks so I could make them as long as we wanted.  Little did I know what the next request would be..."Mum, I want them to come up to my knees."  Thank goodness he's only 5 :-)  This pair is his second pair of rainbow socks, he lost one of the first pair one day at his Grandmother's house, never to be found again.  It better not happen with these ones or he'll be making the third pair!

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Universal toe-up sock formula by Amy Swenson published in Knitty.
Yarn:  Cleckheaton Cocoon hand dyed by Lynne.
Needles:  2.5 mm Knit Pro circular with Nickel tips.
Started:  January 1, 2011
Finished:  March 31, 2011
Mods:  No mods as such, just calculations so that they fit him properly!
Comments:  He loves them.  The day after I finished them he wore them to school and had to show his teacher.  He was so proud and they are regularly on his feet :-)
Ravelled here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 FO #10 - Mel's Peaks Island Hood

This project was one that I completed as part of a swap.  Mel had some lovely dark brown hand spun which she wanted knit up into a scarf with a hood in the middle.  It turned out really nicely :-)

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  Peaks Island Hood by Ysolda Teague
Yarn:  Mel's hand spun in a chocolate brown colour way.
Needles:  6 mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  February  12, 2011
Finished:  March 22, 2011
Mods:  None.
Comments:  It was a bit challenging when I started knitting it because there was a bit of lanolin on the wool still, but every time I knit it my hands got lovely and soft :-)
Ravelled here.

2011 FO #9 - Kate's Hat

Earlier this year, a dear friend signed up for World's Greatest Shave, the Fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation.  And then the weather went downhill.  We've been having discussions here about it and the verdict is that we had 8 months of Spring, 2 weeks of Autumn and then Winter started almost a month early.  So I had a look through my stash and found a ball of yarn that I had recently acquired, one that although the colour is gorgeous, I couldn't see myself wearing any time soon.  It is gorgeous yarn and has become a gorgeous garment for a gorgeous woman.

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  One from my head, top down, starting with 8 sts and increasing every other row.  Nice simple stocking stitch.
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn, Silky Merino
Needles:  6mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips (I think, also possibly the 5's or the 5.5mm's).
Started:  February 26, 2011
Finished:  March 13, 2011
Mods:  None, bit hard to Modify something that just came out of your head!
Comments:  Love this hat, it's gorgeous and smooshy and perfect :-)
Ravelled here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 FO #8 - Willow's hat

Baby Willow arrived in early March and needed a hat to keep her little head warm in this odd Melbourne weather.  With the leftovers from my pair of Monkey socks I cooked up a hat that was well received and often used.  What more can you ask for?

Vital Statistics
Pattern:  One from my head, top down, starting with 8 sts and increasing every other row.  2x2 rib pattern.
Yarn:  Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in the Gazpacho colourway.
Needles:  3.25mm Knit Pro interchangeables with Nickel tips.
Started:  March 2, 2011
Finished:  March 10, 2011
Mods:  None, bit hard to Modify something that just came out of your head!
Comments:  Love this hat, the way that the colours showed up in the crown and then how they changed through the body of the hat.  It looks beautiful on Willow :-)
Ravelled here.


I've just been looking over the blog and especially the Finished Object section and have realised that yet again there is a back log of projects that have been finished but not blogged, so it looks like there will be a rash of Finished Object posts coming your way!

We've been out and about today at the park with the kids, I sat and watched and participated with the pushing of the swing for ages, we have a swing addict in our house.  Tyler has always been the kid that you can't get off the swing.  I don't see it changing any time soon :-)  When I wasn't pushing the swing or providing drinks or snacks I was knitting.  This weekend to next is recognised as World Wide Knit in Public Day/Week so I figured sitting in the park with tons of kids running around and their parental supervisors watching on was a pretty public space!  I'm hoping to get the Botanical Gardens next weekend for another dose of Knitting In Public as well as our usual Tuesday morning group in the local Cafe.  So quite a good celebration of knitting really :-)

Hope the Long Weekend is treating you well and that you get some down time and some knitting time (or other crafting time) I know I'm fitting some in !

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Brother is Awesome :-)

So I got a call last weekend and it was my brother who lives up in Brisbane.  He wanted to know whether 300grams of handspun would be a useful amount of yarn.  The answer was a resounding "Yes" and today I have just had a package come to my door and inside it was this:

Gorgeous coloured Merino handspun that is so beautifully soft to the touch and a soft brown colour.  It looks to ba about an 8ply.  I already have a vague idea of what I want to do with it.  The challenge will be to find a pattern or to make one up!

Thanks heaps little brother :-)

Sunday, June 5, 2011


In the past 6 weeks:

Zac broke his right humerus at the elbow, it has since healed and the plaster has been off for a week now and the arm is slowly straightening.  Oh and yes this is second broken elbow the other one was about 15 months ago on the other arm.  He was very frustrated by the pain the first week, broke the "back slab" cast twice in the second week and ended up in a full underarm to knuckle length plaster third time round which he pretty much shredded the hand section of in the 2 weeks it was on.  He was lucky it didn't interfere with his school work, he's a lefty, but he was seriously frustrated by the restriction of movement by the last week of his incarceration.  Now he's just frustrated by the whole "no monkey bars for another 3 weeks" statement from the doctor.

Hunter brought home a viral cold from school, fever for a few days followed by a head cold, which he very generously shared with me and now with Tyler who has ended up at the doctors this morning getting medications.  So far neither Zac nor Jules have scored that one and I'm hoping that is how it will stay.

I have bought a new clothes horse/airer and was shocked at how ridiculously expensive they are.  The theory being that one load of washing spread over three heater vents of the ducted heating would dry quicker than on the two we currently have.  We don't own a clothes dryer and I don't want to spend
Winter looking at clothes drying in my lounge room constantly so utilising the vents in the three bedrooms sounds like an awesome idea!

I have been amazed at the ingenuity of the cat who has convinced the three year old to feed it on demand.  Not only that but the determination of the three year old to get the fridge open and the cat food out so the cat can be fed!  Tyler gets a clean spoon out, feeds the cat and then puts the spoon in the sink when he's done.   The cat has him well trained.  As far as Jules and I are concerned this is ok, because it's one less time we have to feed the cat who likes to be fed 2 or three times a day and no she is not fat, just old and cold probably!

The knitting has continued apace, it's either that or go mental really.  I had about 12 hours at the hospital and another 5 or so at the Fracture clinic waiting for x-rays and assessments with Zac and now a week of feeling crappy with a cold, half of it spent with a cranky 3 year old in the same state sitting on my knee.

So over the past 6 weeks I have:
- completed the cowl, it ended up being a gorgeously long 18 repeats of pattern in an awesome colourway and I will blog it sometime soon.
- I also started and finished two small hats (one in the photo above) for a friend who is 33 weeks pregnant and is likely to have babe in arms within the next week or so.  A third is on the needles as we speak, the other two have been washed and are drying over an air vent right now.
- I finished a pair of knee high socks for a friend.  The pattern asked for top down but I flipped them to toe up and used up a complete skein of Wollmeise in the Pesto colourway for them.
- My Lorelei has also seen some exposure, the back is complete as is the left front and the right front is half way done.  This one is coming right to the front of the pile though as Bendigo is only 6 weeks away people and it needs to be done by then!

What with crappy throttling of internet speed and the usual everyday clothes washing, drying, folding and putting away, trips to and from school and kinder and doctors and hospitals, it's been a busy time.  I'm hoping it will slow down for a week or so so I can catch my breath, kick this cold and do some serious time on Lorelei!

Hope you guys have had a fruitful few weeks while I've been absent :-)