Monthly Archives: December 2009

Festive Footsies Finished!

My festive footsies are all done. :)

It’s my own pattern and I’m rather proud of them. They were perfect for this month, the stitch pattern was interesting but not so complicated that it wasn’t easily memorable and they knit up quickly.

Two socks!

Although the socks look great on blockers they don’t really show off the pattern that runs up the top of the foot and leg so here’s a picture of one on a foot.

Sock On and Off

I wanted to keep the leg simple and focus on the design running all the way up the sock, but I couldn’t resist putting a little bit of detail at the back:

Back of leg detail

All in all, I really like how they’ve come out. I’m not sure if I’ll end up writing up the pattern, the stitch pattern is quite wide which is perfect for my feet but probably not so much for everyone else! :)

DIY Sock Blockers

Socks don’t really need blocking. That’s what feet are for. However, few socks will need it, especially lace ones and if something squiffy happened while being knit that needs to be straightened out via blocking. Sock blockers aren’t too expensive, I’ve seen some at £14 and for a pair of lovely wooden blockers that’s a good price. My problem is that my budget isn’t grand and I could also spend that £14 on yarn and when the choice is between blockers that I can manage without and yarn well, yarn will win every time!

Now, however, I won’t need to manage without or buy less yarn!

I made my DIY Sock Blockers using the instructions found at CyberSeams: How to Make Your Own Sock Blockers.

DIY Sock Blocker

Foam sheets are recommended, however, I was foamless so I used cardboard (but I figure with enough cling film they too will be waterproof enough for damp socks). There are templates for a variety of different sizes and handy lines to indicate where you can either lengthen or shorten the blockers (mine are lengthened to 10″ which is why they look a little long in the picture!). Despite the range of diameters I still had to adjust the diameter slightly to get the perfect fit for my socks but that was easily done.

All I need do is finish the sock below and I can take my blockers on a test run. :)

Sock In Progress

Colour Combinations

HWB yarn

These pretty yarns are going to be my palette for my hot water bottle cover. They’re Rowan Pure Wool DK with a Classic Yarns Cashsoft Baby DK perched on the top. I can’t wait to get started!

The only thing stopping me is my WIP’s. I don’t know the exact number of my unfinished projects on the needles; I stopped counting at 8. Although I refuse to feel guilty about casting on even when I have many projects already on the go, I do love the satisfaction of finishing a project and being able to use it. I finished a sock last week (I’m about to turn the heel of the second too!) and I’ve almost finished my Ribby Baktus Scarf (Ravelry link), so surely that counts as finishing enough projects to cast on for a new one? Swatching doesn’t count as starting a project, does it?


No, I didn’t think so either. ;)

Stitch Dictionaries – A Knitter’s Must-Have

Stitch dictionaries are a staple for any knitters library whether you want to create your own designs or simply substitute one stitch pattern for another in an existing pattern. In my opinion, the Harmony Guides series is one of the best around. Good, clear photos, nicely compiled with easy to follow instructions. The 4 titles in the series are: ‘Knit and Purl’, ‘Cable and Aran’, ‘Lace and Eyelet’ and ‘Colourwork’. I’ve had two of them on loan from the library and thanks to Border’s Sale I now have my own copy of the Knit and Purl stitches but I plan on owning them all eventually. :)

Whenever I’m working on a new design but not too sure what stitch pattern I want to use I flick through these and mark with sticky pads the ones that catch my interest. This often results in a book with a fringe of colourful bits of paper! I found lots of stitch patterns in the Knit and Purl book that I’ve earmarked for future designs:

Pic for the blog

I’ve also got ‘Colourwork Stitches’ out of the library again as I’ve dug out my hot water bottle from the bottom of the drawer and decided that it definitely needs a new cover. I know what I’m trying to achieve and I’ve managed to whittle it down to three designs. The only problem is I should really finish a few things before I start swatching, but it’s all so new and shiny and exciting that the only thing I want to do right now is cast on for the cover!

Glitter With a Side of Knitting

Pretty Baubles

Only 25p each!  They were a part of a mangled, jumbled up heap at the bottom of a bin but with a bit of gentle TLC they were returned to their bauble shape.  Currently, they’re adding a bit of sparkly colour to my bedroom as there are no trees in the house yet (but they might just stay here anyway!)

On a similar festive note I watched ‘Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas‘ last night which is also on again tonight and tomorrow.  I loved ‘Kirstie’s Homemade House’ so I’ve been looking forward to this and it didn’t let me down. From blowing your own glass baubles to making Christmas wreaths to making salt dough ornaments with children. It doesn’t show you step-by-step how to do something but will inspire you to have a go, find a class or google a craft.

I find it annoying that the show portrays the idea of homemade being cheap (it can be sometimes but not often).  But I love Kirstie’s quirky character, her enthusiasm is contagious and I find the show full of inspiration. :)

My knitting is fairly monogamous at the moment which means the sock from my last post is nearly finished.  I’m really pleased with how well it’s turned out, photos will be coming soon!

Festive Footsies

The Solid Sock group on Ravelry is dedicated to all socks created using solid or semi-solid colours.  December’s colours are red, blue and green and as I could join in without buying new yarn (I found some lovely red yarn in the bargain bin at John Lewis last month) I couldn’t resist.

After searching through my queue (53 socks!) and finding nothing that worked with the colour or really appealed to the sock knitting mood I’m in, I decided to try my hand at designing my own. A frugal decision which is more than welcomed this month. I also used my new copy of Harmony Stitch Guide Knits and Purls, which was almost frugal as I picked it up on sale. In fact, I think these will the cheapest socks I’ve ever knit!

Swatch for new design

The design might not be festive but the vibrant red feels Christmas-sy enough to me so I’ve named the project ‘Festive Footsies‘. The picture shows just the cabled panel I swatched, and I’m really liking it so far. Intricate enough to keep me interested while being simple enough that I should easily memorise the repeat. The last socks I made were Ellington and while I loved making them they were a bit time consuming. I want faster socks this time!   :)

Welcome Post

I’ve been knitting since I was a child but it’s only since discovering Ravelry (an online knitting community) that I found a whole new level of inspiration and have gained the confidence to start seriously designing my own items.  I say seriously because I’m not counting modifications to existing patterns or the, er… colourful mittens that I had a good attempt at making when I was very young.

This blog will be all about my knitting, creativity and designs.  I highly doubt I’ll stay 100% on topic (this is probably a good thing) but you won’t find me sharing all aspects of my life here.  Just the creative side.  :)