DK socks and a spot of hand dyeing

I am supposed to be writing my CV (resume) but instead I thought I would share another pair of socks with you.

Can you believe that I have knitted these since my last post 3 days ago? No, me neither. Even more amazing is that I dyed the wool in that time too. Here is the dyed skein.

hand dyed yarn Kool Aid DK socks hand knitted

I already had this skein of West Yorkshire Spinners 100% Blue Faced Leicester Fleece wool DK (Ecru) that I brought with me from the UK. I always intended to dye it but never quite around to it before we left. So when I had a bit of time at the weekend, I googled ‘dyeing with Kool Aid’ and jumped right in. Actually, I used a cheap dollar store equivalent to Kool Aid so it will be interesting to see how the colours last. I used the microwave and didn’t stop to think about the colour application too much, I just made sure that I didn’t mix everything to make a yucky brown. Rather than making up liquid dye, I just sprinkled the powders on and mushed them into the yarn gently.

Here it is balled up  and ready to go.

hand dyed yarn Kool Aid DK socks hand knitted

And here it is knitted up as socks.

hand dyed yarn Kool Aid DK socks hand knitted Winwick Mum

The socks are knitted using Christine’s new DK sock pattern/tutorial over at Winwick Mum. This was an excellent use of one skein of DK yarn and I cannot believe how fast the DK knitted up.

As these are 100% wool they are super soft too but they might not be as hard wearing as socks with nylon so I shall look after them. As a caution I think I will set the colours with vinegar. The citric acid in the Kool Aid is supposed to avoid that but I’d be gutted if I washed them and they turned baby pink!

I’m glad I started knitting socks in 4ply then moved on to 6ply, then 8ply as I can appreciate the speed at which these knit up. I might not feel the same in reverse.

Quick sock and quick post.

x

 

Sock update

I last shared my sock making here with you back in March and since then we have moved to a new country, found work, a house and started to settle into a new community. We cannot believe it is less than 4 months since we started our new life in Canada.

During that time my needles have been busy knitting socks. Maybe because they are a small portable project, maybe because my brain can’t focus on anything more complex, maybe because I actually think we will need these socks once the colder weather arrives.

The first pair I am going to share with you were actually knitted just before we left the UK. My last few knitting lessons with Jen at the Wool Stop, Thornbury, learning how to knit toe up, two at a time socks using a magic loop. I used HiyaHiya sharp 100cm (2.5mm) needles for these socks.

knitted socks fish lips kiss heel arne carlos 3655 toe up two at a time

The yarn is Arne & Carlos Regia colourway 3655 and I love how the pattern worked up on these socks.

To start these socks Jen showed me the Turkish cast on method which is the most amazing way to cast on toe up socks! Have a look, it really is magic. I also learnt a new heel, the Fish Lips Kiss Heel (the pattern is very reasonably priced on Ravelry). I will be interested to see how this heel wears compared to the Winwick Mum heel I normally do. The other difference with these socks was the bind off, I used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off. I don’t like the frilly look that this bind off gave my socks but it is very comfortable.

In order to see if I could remember how to knit socks this way, I knitted another pair when we arrived in Canada. These were a gift for my Dad and were made with 6ply sock yarn and 3mm  100cm needles.

Boot socks Rellana 6ply 7045

The yarn is Rellana fancy sock 6ply colourway 7045. These socks weren’t supposed to match but they almost do.

As they were a gift I wanted to block them but didn’t have my blockers so I made one from a coat hanger, so easy.

DIY sock blocker coat hanger sock knitting

I also used one of the labels available on the Winwick Mum Sockalong Facebook group page.

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My next socks were for my boys. They are very specific about what they want! For these I used the handy chart on the Winwick Mum Sockalong Facebook page (it’s in the files section) as I hadn’t knitted little socks before. I used the regular Winwick Mum 4ply sock pattern.

hand knitted socks child drops fabel 522 winwick mum

The yarn for this pair is Drops Fabel 522 with an unknown scrap cuff, heel and toe.

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These were made from Lion Brand Sock-Ease in Teal Blue (4ply). I used my 23cm 2.5mm HiyaHiya short circular needles for both of these pairs. Little socks are quick to knit!

Next up is another pair of boot socks using the Winwick Mum boot sock pattern for my husband.

Boot socks Rellana 6ply 7040

Made with 3mm 25cm KnitPro needles and Rellana Fancy Sock 6ply colourway 7040.

Nearly there… this time a pair of socks for me. Yay! These socks are just right for wearing with trainers.

Rose City Rollers knitted socks Sirdar Heart & Sole 0165

The pattern is Rose City Rollers on Ravelry and the yarn is Sirdar Heart & Sole colourway 0165.

And last but not least, I have these on the needles at the moment. Another pair for my husband!

winwick mum sock knitting regia 4ply 4491

The yarn is Regia 4ply colourway 4491

Did I mention, I like knitting socks?

x

 

Vintage crochet

When we moved into our new home, just over a month ago, the very first thing I wanted to do was to crochet something for the house. I have been collecting vintage crochet and knitting patterns from garage sales and thrift shops, along with crochet cotton so a doily seemed a good start.

This doily pattern book is dated 1945 and is full of beautiful, finely detailed doilies.

vintage doily crochet pattern book

Here is the pattern I chose, the cotton (this is what I had left) and the hook (old size 10 or 1.25mm).

vintage doily crochet pattern book

And here is the completed doily.

vintage crochet cotton doily

I didn’t want to play ‘yarn chicken’ on the last round so stopped one row before the end. The whole thing only took a few hours to make and was a fun project. Blocking took a while, trying to avoid any pointy bits.

vintage crochet cotton doily

Oops, I can see a pointy bit, ignore that part 😉

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So little time

Where does the time go? I have another day to myself and it’s nearly time to pick the boys up! Looks like this will be another 10 minute blog.

I shouldn’t complain as I have achieved what I set out to today. I’ve been caught by the sewing bug and today’s mission was to sew myself a simple top. The weather is warm here and I haven’t got many lightweight tops. The one I wear a lot has definitely seen better days but I like the shape of it so I have made a copy of it (of sorts).

Firstly, I would just like to apologise to anyone who knows anything about sewing. I don’t, so have probably gone about this in all of the possible wrong ways. The good thing is that I am learning as I go along. What do you think?

Handmade top

Basically, I drew around my existing top, straight onto the fabric I wanted to use. I marked the darts and left a seam allowance and just leapt in with the scissors. The fabric was only $1 from a thrift shop so I didn’t feel too worried about anything messing up. Once I had sewn the darts, I sewed up the seams and then added bias tape to the neckline. The tape was wider than it should be but we’ll call that a ‘design feature’. Because it was so wide I didn’t use it on the armholes and just made a folded over hem instead. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it’s wearable as I have tried to show below.

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So that was my morning.

As you know we have recently moved to British Columbia, Canada. We live in a small town called Chase. It is in a beautiful setting.

These are from the deck at the back of our house.

Some of you may have spotted the train track that we live very near to. You get used to the trains very quickly!

Here is the view from the front of the house.

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Lastly, this is the Little Shuswap Lake, about 10 minutes walk away.

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Like everything on your doorstep, we don’t use the lake as much as we should. Then again it has been raining here a lot. A reminder of English summers.

x

 

Catching Up

It is hard to know where to start this post so I have given myself ten minutes to write it and that way I will actually post something! I have a new computer so bear with me, I appear to have set it to Canadian so have no apostrophes alas.

I have spent this morning looking through the photographs that have been taken since we arrived in Canada back in April and there are soooo many. So those will be shared over the next few weeks, but for now I shall share some from today!

This is my first day all to myself since we arrived. The boys are at a Summer programme day together and I have some precious time to catch up on the long list of things I want/need to do.

My main objective for today was to set up my sewing machine, a lovely birthday present in May. If all went well I wanted to make a peg bag too. The good news is everything is working and I made the peg bag as well. Hooray!

Here it is doing its stuff.

clothes peg bag clothespin handmade

I made it with some lovely fabric that I found in a thrift shop. There were lots of pieces so my sewing skills were put to the test piecing them together. I love that the fabric is faded in places already. The hanger is for trousers and has its original label, another lucky find.

clothes peg bag clothespin handmade

I have been busy knitting and crocheting since we arrived too but I will save that for another post.

x

My Victoria Shawl .. of sorts

What with all the sock knitting I have been doing, I must say I have missed crocheting. So when I saw that Sandra Paul aka CherryHeart had released a new shawl pattern, I could not resist.

Here is my version of her Victoria shawl.

CherryHeart Victoria shawl crochet DK

The pattern can be found on her site or Ravelry and is designed using 200g 4ply sock wool. Although I have a lot of sock yarn stashed away (an embarrassing amount, actually), I don’t have two skeins of the same colourway, so I used DK instead. This meant I had to use a 5mm hook in order to get a decent drape.

The green is James C Brett pure merino and I used nearly 200g for 7 repeats of the main pattern. The blue is an unknown yarn that I bought in a charity shop. Let this be a lesson to me. I thought it was just the same wool as the green but in  fact it was much thinner so I had to drop down to a 4mm hook on the border. I had to stop short of the complete pattern on the border as I was running out of blue and the other ball I had that I thought was the same was in fact a completely different.

CherryHeart Victoria shawl crochet DK

The pattern itself was so easy to follow and had clear written instructions and charts. It has links to tutorials too, which beginners would find useful. My shawl took about 3 evenings to make.  I think that the design would make a beautiful blanket too.

CherryHeart Victoria shawl crochet DK

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

x

 

 

My socks have pairs… finally!

I am feeling an incredible sense of relief. Not because I have packed up our house, have all our affairs in order and we’re ready to go to Canada a month early, no. I am relieved because I have finally finished three pairs of socks. This may go some way to explaining why we are no way near ready to move yet.

I shall start with my favourite socks.

Valentinesox knitted DK colourwork fairisle

These are definitely happy socks. Firstly, they are red. Secondly, they are my first stranded knitting ever. I am just a little bit proud of these socks.

I have been having an hour long knitting lesson each week with Jen, from my LYS (The Wool Stop) and before each lesson, I decide on what I would like to learn. Usually this is based on a rather ambitious pattern I have saved on Ravelry, as was the case here. Jen is the best type of teacher, patient and thorough. After an hour with her I really do have the confidence to go (rush) home and have a go (do nothing else all day but knit).

The pattern is called Valentinesox (a free pattern on Ravelry) and it has a stranded colourwork cuff (which should have a crochet edging but I haven’t done that bit) and heel. The rib on the cuff is a twisted rib, which I really like the look of and is so easy to do (just *knit 1 through the back loop, purl 1*. The pattern is an easy to follow chart followed by some interesting detailing where the cuff turns over. The colourwork on the heel flap isn’t in the round but it seems to have worked, I tried to make sure no gaps formed by twisting the yarns (a lot!). The rest of the sock is straightforward with a ribbing and stocking stitch. The toe was shaped using the same method as Christine at Winwick Mum uses in her basic sock pattern and is finished off with Kitchener stitch.

I made these on a 3mm x 25cm circular (KnitPro Symfonie) as the pattern suggested. For my chunky feet I probably could have done with another 4 stitches in the round after the cuff, if truth be told. The yarn is James C Brett (now Jenny Watson) pure merino DK  that I already had. As they are 100% wool these will be house socks (without the added nylon that sock wool has, they will be less durable).

The next pair of socks I completed were for my husband, following Christine’s pattern for boot socks. I found a useful chart from Regia which advised casting on 52 stitches.

Boot socks 6ply

My husband was very specific about them not matching! That meant I had to count rows rather than go by the stripes. It was amazing how quickly these socks worked up compared to 4ply ones, even though they were size 9. He says they are very warm!

The yarn is Rellana Fancy Sock 6ply Stripy (7046) bought from myfabrics.co.uk (based in Germany). Again I used  a 3mm x 25cm circular (KnitPro Symfonie).

Finally I completed another pair of socks for myself.

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This pattern is A Nice Ribbed sock and the yarn is Mondial Ciao (241), knitted on a 2.5mm short circular.

These were actually made two at a time but on separate needles and I am so glad as I did tire of the rib after a while (maybe because my Valentinesox had a rib too). I thought it would look neater too , which it doesn’t, even after blocking. I matched these socks up but the heels weren’t the same, strange. Edit: Looking at the heel flap more closely, I think they are slightly different lengths which would explain the difference.

I am now learning how to knit two at a time, toe up socks. I don’t mind knitting socks separately but I was suffering a bit from second sock syndrome with these pairs. When I met Christine last November, I bought a copy of her sock book and she signed it saying ‘May all your socks have pairs’. At the time I was on sock 1 of my first pair. I now understand what she meant!

x