Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Progress on Socks for Soldiers

Written by: Lindy

September 30, 2009

I am making progress on my first pair of “regulation socks” for Socks for Soldiers. It has been slow going. I had knitted about four inches in 2 x 2 ribbing when I decided that I had an issue with laddering. Usually when you knit on two circulars, you don’t have a problem with ladders developing between the needles – but there they were… I figured out that I was causing the problem by tugging too hard on the yarn when I knit the first two stitches on each needle. The Regia Stretch yarn is really stretchy and because I was pulling the yarn too tightly I had ladders. So, I made a trip to the frog pond and frogged the socks all the way back to the beginning. (Sigh…)

9 inches of sock leg.

9 inches of sock leg.


Well, I now have 9+ inches of leg done on both socks. The first 8 inches were knit on size US 2 (3.00 mm) circulars, with a stitch gauge of 8 spi. Following the directions of the official pattern, I switched to Size US 1 (2.25 mm) circulars, which have a gauge of 9 spi. The leg continues in ribbing until it measures 12 inches and then you begin the heel. I’ll post an update when I get to the heel.

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Time Out from Knitting – Sewing Project

Written by: Lindy

September 24, 2009

A few weeks ago, I took my MIL to the quilting store nearby so that she could buy some material for a baby quilt for the new grandchild expected in January. While she was selecting her fabric, I discovered a fabric printed with brightly colored shoes all over it. It was next to a tote bag that was on display along with its pattern.

Since my DD has a major thing for shoes – I decided that it would be fun to make up this tote bag using that shoe print fabric. I purchased the necessary fabric and took a copy of the free pattern. Last week, I worked on the tote bag project and took a time out from knitting.

3Totes
I actually made three tote bags. I picked up some other fabrics at Wal-Mart, so that I could do a prototype before I actually used the more expensive shoe print fabric. It was a good thing I did so – because my first tote bag was HUGH – much larger than I had envisioned – the tote has a 12” by 12” bottom and is actually larger than those reusable bags you can buy at the local grocery store.HughTote2

Erins_Tote1So, I revised the pattern and made it smaller. Hence, I did another prototype before I finally made the tote with the shoe print fabric.

Betsys_Tote1 I am happy with the final results and now have a tote bag for my DIL as well as my DD.

The Roomba Ate My Socks!

Written by: Lindy

September 17, 2009

Roomba
I have a Roomba – which is a small robotic vacuum cleaner. You are supposed to be able to contain it to a single room using little devices called “lighthouses”. I really like this little guy for frequent vacuuming of my kitchen. So, the other day, I turned it on and left it to run around the kitchen while I did some things in my office.

Well, it escaped the kitchen and headed off into the living room – where my two at a time socks using magic loop project was laying beside my recliner (I’d left them there the night before) …AND…the Roomba ate my socks!

I heard this weird little sound coming from the living room and went to investigate – and there I found the Roomba thrashing about entangled in my 40” circular needle and the yarn from one of the socks. (I was so traumatized that I forgot to take a picture.)

After turning the Roomba off, it took me several minutes to remove the yarn from around the various moving parts and then deal with the fact that the circular needle had somehow ended up wrapped around one of the wheels. Eventually, I succeeded in extricating my circular needle – but it was a close call, as I had begun to consider the possibility of having to cut the cable. (WHEW!) Fortunately – one sock was still on the circular needle. The other, however, was laying in the middle of the floor – off the needle and minus its ball of yarn. I tenderly picked up this wounded creature and set it aside to recover from all the trauma.

I discovered that the lighthouse that should have prevented Roomba from going into the living room wasn’t working (dead batteries). Once I replaced the batteries, the darn little thing worked just fine and stayed in the kitchen where I wanted it to be.

Socks_BackTog
Happy News! – I was able to frog the wounded sock back to a point that I knew where I was in the pattern and then pick up the stitches and reconnect the yarn to the sock as I reknit it back to where it had been before it was attacked by the Roomba. It is now back on the same circular needle with its brother.

Re-created Vintage Crochet Edging Pattern

Written by: Lindy

September 12, 2009

I have finished the first re-creation of vintage crochet edging. This really is a simple 3 row edging, which makes a lovely lace edge on a dresser scarf or other table linen pieces. The pictures in this post are of a placemat that I made using muslin fabric, measuring 16 inches by 21 inches. I did a very narrow hem and then hemstitched along the inside edge of the hem.

Once hemstitched, I then crocheted a foundation of single crochet using white thread around the placement edges – going through the holes created by the hemstitching. To crochet the edging, I used an aqua crochet thread. The result is a decent replication of the original edging.

Re-created Vintage Crochet Edging

Re-created Vintage Crochet Edging

Original Vintage Crochet Edging

Original Vintage Crochet Edging

I have written up instructions for hemstitching, along with the instructions for the crochet edging. The pattern is available for free. Vintage Crochet Edging #1 Pattern

You may electronically copy and print to hard copy portions of this pattern for the sole purpose of using materials it contains for informational and non-commercial, personal use only. Any other use of this pattern — including any commercial use, reproduction for purposes other than described above, modification, distribution, republication, display, or performance — without the prior written permission of Lindy’s Knits & Laces is strictly prohibited

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Socks for Soldiers

Written by: Lindy

September 9, 2009

I just joined Socks for Soldiers. This is a nonprofit group that knits socks for our military men and women serving in the Middle East and then distributes them. See this link for more information: Socks for Soldiers, Inc.

When you sign up for this group, you make a commitment to knit daily on the socks and to make 2 pair of socks plus 5 caps in a twelve month period. There are very specific requirements for the yarn that can be used to knit the socks and you are required to follow the “regulation socks” pattern. Since I like to knit socks, this seemed like a small way to give back to our service men and women who willing serve in our military and place themselves in harm’s way regularly. I just received my first shipment of sock yarn in the regulation color, so I am off to swatch on small needles to make certain I can knit my first pair of socks to the correct gauge. I need to be able to knit 8 stitches per inch and also 9 stitches per inch with the same yarn. Starting with size 2 (3.00 mm) and working my way down to size 0 (2.00 mm).

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Knitting Needle Sizes & Confusion

Written by: Lindy

September 6, 2009

Knitting Needles sizes are fairly straightforward in the sizes that one uses for DK, worsted weight and bulky yarns. (Size US 4 and up). But it is a much different story when it comes to small diameter needles used to knit fingering, lace and other finer weight yarns. This can be very confusing – I just discovered that there is a significant variation in the sizing labels for some of these needles.

Let’s start with the standard “US” sizing – which uses a numerical designation for knitting needles, from “0000” up to 35 – with the needle diameter increasing as the numerical designation increases. Seems like a fairly straightforward system – until you run across US size 1 & 2 needles that are different diameters. If you never use a knitting needle smaller than US size 4 (which has a diameter of 3.5 mm), this will not be a problem for you. IF, however, you get into knitting socks and lace using much smaller diameter needles – it may cause you to pull out your hair.

Fortunately, most knitting needles sold today also come with their diameter size stated as well as their US size. What I have currently in my assortment of circular knitting needles are as follows: US Size 0 (2.00 mm); US Size 1 (2.25 mm), US Size 1 (2.50 mm), US Size 2 (2.75 mm), US Size 2 (3.00 mm). These needles have all been purchased in the last 10 years. I have seen patterns referencing size 1.5 needles, so I am guessing that the size 2 (2.75 mm) needle may also be a 1.5, but it’s difficult to tell for certain. Just a word of caution to those using patterns calling for these US sizes of needles – make certain your metric diameter matches the pattern (if it’s stated) and BE SURE to check your gauge!

I found two websites that have charts comparing the US sizing to the metric diameter:
http://www.fibergypsy.com/common/needles.shtml
http://www.lionbrand.com/cgi-bin/faq-search.cgi?store=/stores/eyarn&faqKey=97

Point to remember: Gauge is the measurement of the number of stitches per inch you get with a particular needle – this is more important than using the size of needle stated in a pattern. Always do a swatch for gauge!

Works in Progress

Written by: Lindy

September 5, 2009

I have decided that I have too many projects in progress and absolutely cannot start anything else until I get at least three of them done: Not only do I have 5 knitting projects and 1 crochet project “in the works”, but have 3 more planned, plus a sewing project that must be completed in the next two weeks. I have always had the tendency to have several things going at once – but really, this is ridiculous!

Here are the knitting projects I must complete BEFORE starting anything else:

Knitted Bunny – ready for assembly.

Knitted Bunny

Knitted Bunny

Lace Scarf – this is a Christmas gift:

Lace Scarf WIP

Lace Scarf WIP

Cable Ribbon Socks – Guild Meet Up project.

Cable Rib Socks - knitting magic loop method

Cable Rib Socks - knitting magic loop method

Vintage Crochet Edging – just need to finish the write up on the pattern:

Vintage Crochet Edging -- WIP

Vintage Crochet Edging -- WIP

I plan to do the sewing project over the Labor Day Weekend and will post pictures when finished.

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