How to Match the Colour Pattern on Fingerless Mitts and Socks

“Could you please tell me the best way to match the yarn for the second sock so you have a lovely matching pair?”

This is a question I am asked quite regularly.

KnitPro Karbonz Double Pointed Needles

I am busy knitting fingerless mitts for my niece as part of her Christmas present. I’m using Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett in colour 3773 and 2.75mm KnitPro Karbonz double pointed needles (which I really love using). [Read more…]

Summer Holiday Knitting – What to Knit?

We are going on holiday this year to County Kerry and Connemara National Park in County Galway. So, of course, a multitude of ideas for summer holiday knitting projects are swirling through my mind.  What should I knit? Size of project? And the big question – how many projects?

Rainforest Socks 12

For me the ideal holiday project is easily picked up and put down – easily left in mid-round. Can be worked on while travelling in a car, sitting on a rock or stopping for lunch and doesn’t require me trying to hold a pattern down with nearby rocks to stop it blowing away in the wind. [Read more…]

Graft your Sock Toe with Kitchener Stitch

Grafting the Toe

Grafting or Kitchener Stitch is an excellent way of finishing the toe in a smooth neat way. But if you prefer, you can miss out the grafting stage and gather the remaining 8 stitches, pull them tight, and sew in the end firmly.

Set Up for Grafting

To graft you need to do a set up stage first.

[Read more…]

Unravel A Sock & Rejuvenate the Yarn

When I buy the gorgeous Opal ranges for the Knitting Squirrel’s Yarn Shop, sometimes, in the bottom of the box there is a sample sock. Usually, I glance at the sample sock and set it aside for later. Today, when the new Gallery and Best Friends Opal ranges arrived, there was a sock in the bottom of the box, machine knit using one of my favourite colours in the Gallery sock yarn range – Blue Whale in the Red Sea – isn’t this a cool name for a gorgeous colour combination? I’ve always felt there was enough yarn in the sample sock to make it worthwhile unravelling the sock and rejuvenating the yarn for using in a new project.

Opal Gallery 8887 Blue Whale in the Red Sea Sock

So today, later... finally arrived for the sample socks in these vibrant yarns: Gallery – Blue Whale in Red Sea, Play – Chase, and Beachcombing – Driftwood. [Read more…]

Frogging Frees the Mind

I love to have several projects in progress at the same time. At the moment, I have 9 WIPs that I am working on, most need to be finished for Christmas. But there are also the projects that are on the Back Burner and they seemed to be growing in numbers and preying on my mind.

The Back Burner projects seem to have been growing over the last couple of years. So a while ago I lifted out all of my back burner projects and looked at them lying on the table.

  • Alpaca bunny
  • Snowflake Fingerless Gloves
  • Fingerless Texels
  • Lattice Scarf
  • Rilievi Scarf
  • Hub of Fashion Socks
  • I Love Gansey Socks
  • Reina Socks
  • Sunshine Socks
  • Vorticity Socks

I decided to divide the projects into 3 groups: Love This; Hate This; Keep as Sample;

Alpaca Bunny

Alpaca Bunny

This will be the Bunny Girl in a Dotty Dress designed by Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. I’m using Artesano Alpaca for the bunny. Love the slightly fuzzy texture. Okay, I haven’t touched this project in a while but I still want to finish this gorgeous bunny! Definite “Love This” work in progress. [Read more…]

What is Utilitarian Knitting?

I have been pondering a comment that was made to me at a knitting group recently. While I was knitting a sock I was asked the question

“What are you knitting?”

“A sock” I smiled.

She looked at me took a sip of coffee and said,

“I don’t do utilitarian knitting, it’s a waste of time.”

I nodded and went back to knitting my sock.

Utilitarian knitting 3

I have been contemplating this small interchange for a few weeks since it happened.

So is life too short to spend my time doing utilitarian knitting? [Read more…]

Reknitting a Hand Knit Sock Toe

So is it worth the effort and the time required to reknit the toe of a hand knit sock?

Should I just accept that the inevitable has happened and a favourite pair of socks has worn out for whatever reason? Because they were a favourite pair of socks they were worn more often. Perhaps the yarn wasn’t really appropriate for knitting socks.

Can we really expect our hand knit socks to last forever when nothing else really does?

Reknit-toe-1web [Read more…]

When to Give Up and Frog It

When is it time to consider the worst?

When the project that you were so excited about after casting on months and months ago has been neglected. When, despite all of your good intentions it fell by the wayside.

I look at my blog post “Starting the Sky Scarf” and I just know that there isn’t going to be a finished Sky Scarf for me to be photographing, writing and posting in the near future.

Unfortunately, the words “RIB IT… RIP IT… RIP IT” are shouting in my head every time my eyes fall on the offending project box. You know the one… It’s the one that makes me feel guilty. Makes me feel like I failed.

[Read more…]

How to Do the Jogless Jog

When knitting stripes, as for the Yellow Rainbow Socks below, you can end up with a little step up or colour jog at the colour changeover. This is because when knitting in the round, you are really knitting a spiral. There are several ways in which this can be camouflaged but the first one I read about was the Jogless Jog described by Meg Swansen in her book Knitting published by Interweave 1999. I have continued to use this one because it is just so easy to work.

Jogless-Jog-7web

The Yellow Rainbow Sock has solid areas of knitting which are joined together by a series of 3 row stripes. I used the jogless jog to hide the change over of colour in the stripes where you would otherwise have a colour jog. Using the jogless jog gives you nice even stripes when the socks are viewed from the back. [Read more…]

Wrapping Your Hand Knit Gift

Some people are absolutely amazing when it comes to wrapping their beautiful hand knit presents. They are inventive and creative. Wonderful papercraft artists.

I do not profess to be one of these tallented people. But, having said that, it is worthwhile making an effort when wrapping a handmade gift, to make the experience of giving and receiving extra special.

Gift-Wrapping-1web [Read more…]

Fixing Split Wooden Tips on DPN’s

Are you having a problem with your wooden needles snagging on every stitch that you knit?

This problem had developed with a few of my birch wood needles. They not only snagged the yarn and prevented the rhythm of my knitting but also gave me a blister on my finger.

Fixing Wooden Double Pointed Needles Tips

This issue seems to affect my wooden double pointed needles rather than my bamboo ones.

I needed to solve the problem or else it would mean replacement needles.

I bought a fine emery board in the Chemist and a block of beeswax (used for waxing quilting thread).  I ran my finger along the point of the wooden needle to find exactly where it was split and snagging the yarn. Then used the emery board to smooth the blemish away. Sand with the wood grain, taking care not to cause the point to become too sharp or one sided in the process.  Then I rubbed the sanded point of the needle on the wax and buffed it up using a spare buffing cloth for my reading glasses.

This method has been very successful and I don’t notice which needles have been fixed when I am knitting with them.

Knit Both Socks at the Same Time

Knitting the first sock is fun… Knitting the second can be less so…

Watching the pattern unfold while knitting the first sock is fascinating. However, knitting the second sock can seem to take longer than knitting the first sock and feel like more of a chore.

Knit-both-socks-same-time-1web

Hence ‘onesockitis’ or ‘second sock syndrome’ can strike even the keenest sock knitter, mainly because you can’t wait to see how the next sock pattern will look.  The answer is to Knit Both Socks at the Same Time.

If this is your first pair of socks or if you intend trying a new stitch pattern, heel or toe technique you will find this a particularly useful way of knitting a pair of socks, although, you’ll need two sets of double pointed needles. [Read more…]

Sock Blockers

What are sock blockers and how useful are they?

Sock blockers are great for shaping a pair of socks that you have knit as a gift for someone. Or if you need your newly finished socks well shaped for photographing. But I honestly can’t say that I block the socks I wear and wash on a daily basis.

These sock blockers made by Whorl Drop Spindle are an excellent choice. [Read more…]

Explorations in Brioche – Craftsy

Craftsy-Brioche-1web

Explorations in Brioche is an interesting Craftsy class. Have you discovered Craftsy yet? It’s an interactive learning platform, that I first came across in June. With an excellent choice of classes and knowledgeable teachers, many of them have also written books, like Nancy Marchant who teaches the Explorations in Brioche Knitting class. [Read more…]

How to Wet Block a Lace Cowl

Why Wet Block a Lace Cowl?

Wet blocking, although time consuming, is essential for some lace knit projects as it is the best way of bringing out the beauty of the lace knit patterns. Alternatively, some people like to steam block a lace scarf.

Wet-Block-Lace-Cowl-1web

The elegant “Robyn” cowl is designed by Anniken Allis and was published in Lets Knit Magazine.

I knit the cowl as a birthday present for mum.  I used Zenith, one of the lovely hand dyed sock yarns made by Flamboyance Yarns, that I had in my stash.  The colours are subtle and I loved how they drifted into each other.

The cowl has a pretty shaped edging which needs to be wet blocked to create the sharp points.

[Read more…]

Knitting Needle Size Chart

A comparison chart for Metric, US and the Imperial UK needle sizes.

Knitting-Needle-Chart-1