Sunday, March 30, 2014

I recently discovered a group called "Socks for Soldiers".  They have been around for 8 years now and pride themselves on the hand-knit socks that they make which are then shipped in care packages to deployed soldiers.  I think it's an awesome idea.  Especially since I am a veteran myself.  The yarn that is used is a specific type of yarn and the pattern and color both comply with military standards.

I cast on my first pair of these socks yesterday.  It's a pretty simple pattern so I'm hoping that it knits up fairly quickly.

Here's a picture of my progress so far.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

MIL Socks

These socks were supposed to be a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law last year, but I didn't get a chance to get them to her.  They became this year's Christmas gift.  She loves them!  Or at least that's what she told me.  haha.  I'm sure she does though.  The only problem with them is that they are a little loose at the top, on her legs.  I need to do some looking into what can be done about that.  I don't know if you can stitch some elastic into them or if after the fact, it's too late since I didn't knit elastic into them when I was working on them.  We'll see what I can come up with.  I'll have to do some follow-up work on them next time we visit them next month.

The yarn was great to work with.  It was Cascade Heritage yarn.  I didn't have any problems whatsoever with it.  These were also an awesome learning experience dealing with cabling without a cable needle.  Granted, these weren't large or complex cables, but it was good practice nonetheless.

This marks sock pair #2 completed for me.  I've got another pair for my wife that I need to finish up.  I have really enjoyed knitting them (using Malabrigo yarn), but they keep getting placed on the back burner since my A.D.D. mind can't keep focused on one project for any extended period of time.  I've got one sock completed and need to start on the second.

I also want to start a pair of socks for myself, but instead, I think that I'll get working on a pair for each of my sons.  That'll provide me with quicker instant gratification with them being small projects.  I say let's see if I can follow through with that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Too Many Projects

I'm sure this has never happened to any other knitters before - too many projects at one time that need to be worked on. It doesn't help that I consider myself to be somewhat ADD so keeping my focus on one project long enough to see it through is tough sometimes. Let's see what I've got right now that needs my attention. 1. A baby blanket that I was supposed to have completed for one of my best friends whose wife had a baby girl 10 weeks ago. So much for thinking that I had "plenty of time" to get it done. I started in April, I believe. And now here it is November and I still haven't finished the blanket. In my defense though, it's not necessarily an easy blanket to get done. It requires quite a bit of concentration; especially with the portion that I'm working on right now. Here's my progress on that blanket. I'm almost halfway done with it. Maybe by her first birthday, I'll have it completed. Actually, I'm hoping to have it done way before then. But then again, I was hoping to have it done before she was born. Damn my attention span and sense or urgency can be a pain! My progress thus far. I give you Baby Blanket Latvian Garden. It's a pattern I found on Ravelry. It's my first attempt doing something of this scale and difficulty level. Not bad huh?

The next project that I have is a pair of socks that I started about a week ago. I have yet to knit something for myself, so that's what the socks are. Finally something for me. No, they're not as important as the other things that I have started, but they're the easiest to knit. Just simple, plain old socks. Here they are right now. I'm doing them two-at-a-time. I'm about to start turning the heel of the first sock. That's going to be the slowest part of this whole process. I hate having to do purls across an entire row. I'm not nearly as fast doing that as I am when I'm just simply knitting.

Next on the list if a scarf that I promised a very good friend of mine, Heather. She's one of my best female friends (aside from my wife) that I have. I met her in college and we have been there for each other through quite a bit. I promised her that I would make her a purple scarf. I started it, and the pattern is pretty simple, but I set it down for a little bit and moved on. Yes that makes me a bad friend. And yes, I need to just bust it out and get it taken care of. Of all the projects I have for other people, it's probably the easiest. Winter here in Texas doesn't last long so I need to get it finished and sent to her before winter is over with. Quit being selfish and work on that first! Talking to myself helps motivate me sometimes. Here's my progress on the scarf.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mitt Alongs

My group on Ravelry, The Colorwork Challenge, is getting started with its first knit-along.  After changing my mind a couple of times, first on the project to do, then on the colors to use, I have finally settled with doing the Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang.  Everyone says it's a great starter project, so I figured I'd give it a shot.  The wife isn't too crazy about the colors, but I think they're great. So if she doesn't like the final product, then I'll give them to a good friend of ours who lives in Connecticut.  Surely she could use them up there.

I have to admit, that even though I have this pattern grouped in the "Advanced" section for projects for our members to choose from for this first KAL, it really isn't that difficult.  I've made it through the Italian tubular cast-on (twice, since I had to start over after deciding on a different yarn/color choice), the cuff, and one pattern repeat so far.  I haven't had any problems at all.  In fact, row by row, it's getting easier and easier to deal with the tension issues.

These seem like they're going to knit up pretty quick.  Which is good because I'm a very impatient person.  I need to see results, NOW!

I will post more progress as I make more.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

My first attempt with stranded colorwork

As I mentioned earlier, I started a group on Ravelry called The Colorwork Challenge.  What this group is going to be is a place for newcomers to colorwork, whether it's Fair Isle, simple stranded colorwork, intarsia, entrelac, etc.  People seem to be pretty intimidated by doing colorwork, and therefore don't ever give it a try.  But what I have found by starting this group, which has 190 members now, is that once people see others in the same boat, they're all of the sudden not so intimidated any more.  And they're more willing to give it a shot.  So we're going to build this group as a place for people to launch into the world of colorwork.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I've got a lot of work to do to get organized with it though.  Thankfully, a bunch of people have stepped up to the plate to help out and to be part of the growing process of the group.

I wasn't going to attempt anything related to colorwork until after we decided on the first project to do as a group.  But, I just couldn't resist.  Well, that, and I'm one impatient dude!  I found a pretty simple patten on Ravelry that looks more complicated than it is.  Here is a picture of my progress so far.

All in all, it hasn't been that bad to work on.  It's actually knitting up pretty fast.  The only real problem is trying to find my rhythm and to get comfortable with holding two yarns at one time. I still can't figure out if I want to do one in each hand or both in the left hand.  Normally I'm a continental knitter, so that's the easiest for me.  For now, I think I'm going to continue with one in each hand which is what I've done for most of the hat.  The hat was supposed to be for my 5 month old son, but a good section of the middle of it ended up way loose, so the hat is coming out a lot bigger than it was charted as.  It might end up being my 3 year old son's hat.  Hell, it might even fit me.  Who knows.

It's been a good learning experience though.  As with most new colorwork folks, the tension is what gets you.  I'm sure it just takes practice to learn how to get that just right.  It's kind of a pain in the arse getting used to how tight or loose things need to be.  But not a pain enough to not continue on with it.

My goal for this year is to succeed in knitting a Dale of Norway sweater, either for me or for one or both of my sons.  Once I get the hang of the two yarns at one time deal, then there really shouldn't be anything preventing me from being able to bust out a Dale sweater, right?!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Colorwork Challenge

While posting in and perusing the Sock Knitters Anonymous group that I've been participating in, one of the members mentioned that she wanted to learn to do colorwork.  I agreed with her and told her that I wanted to learn it as well.  I told her that we should challenge each other, come the beginning of the new year, to learn colorwork.  She accepted my challenge and suggested that we start a group on Ravelry.  I took it upon myself today to get a group set up.  It's called "The Colorwork Challenge".  I set it up, thinking that it would be me, her, and maybe a few other people.  Well, here I am at the end of the day looking at the group and it's got 42 members already! Wow, that was quick!

It looks like this is going to be a bigger experience than I initially anticipated.  But, I'm excited about that.  The more the merrier!  I'm really looking forward to learning a new aspect of knitting.  Some good ideas have already been offered up for projects to start out with.  And, we've been collecting a list of resources (website links, video links, books, etc) for our members to have access to.  I think this is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully a tremendous learning experience.  Not to mention, I'll be meeting people from all over the world.  There's already at least a half a dozen countries from around the world represented with the member of this group.  How awesome is that?!

Of course, as this thing progresses, there will be pictures to post, updates on progress and just random sharing of whatever comes to mind.  Time to get some sleep now.  Let's see what tomorrow brings.

As The Heel Turns

Last night I stayed up until 3AM working on my MIL's socks.  Well, one of them, to be exact.  I stayed up late because I was trying to get the heel flap done.  It knits up pretty fast.  I planned on stopping there, but the turning of the heel tempted me to continue on.  I don't know what it is about turning the heel on socks, but I love it!  It fascinates me how it turns out when you do it correctly.  And it's not difficult to do either, so long as you're paying attention for the gaps on either end so you know when to SSK or K2tog.

I've got the heel turned on the first sock now.  I compared it to the other sock which is still not ripped back yet.  It's still knit in the needle size that the leg of the sock was knit with.  When comparing them side by side, I see that going for the smaller needle size on the foot is definitely the right choice for these socks.  Big difference!

I'm going to set a goal to have that first sock complete, or most of the way complete by the end of this weekend.  Christmas is looming and I need to get it done.  I may not get it complete by this weekend, but hey, it doesn't hurt to have goals!