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Posts Tagged ‘Sock Madness 2’

Just so you don’t think this is turning into a spinning blog, I do have an old FO to show you. It was started and completed within two days in the month of April. Behind a bit with my blog posting? Me?

I made it through three rounds of Sock Madness 2, and these are the last pair of socks I knit. By the way, I did make it through this round, I just chose not to continue with Round 4 since I was on vacation. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Pattern: Slippin’ Stripin’ Socks by Tina Lorin (Ravelry)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow: (1) skein Juniper, (1) skein Vineyard
Needles: Knit Picks Circular size 2.75 mm / US 2

Raveled Here

The yarn is laceweight. Yes, laceweight. There’s no cast on of 130 sts and size 00 needles because you are knitting with 2 strands of yarn held together, which in essence makes it fingering weight. The brilliance of the pattern is that you’re constantly changing the colorway of the 2nd strand of yarn. Not only does this give you great color variations, but will also hold your interest and attention. At least, it did mine.

For example, the ribbing is knit with 2 strands of colorway A, but for the next few rounds, you knit with one strand of colorway A and one strand of colorway B. After a few rounds of that, you drop the one strand of colorway A and add a second strand of colorway B. It goes on like this throughout the pattern and you have to pay attention to get the color sequences just right.

To make things easier on yourself, I recommend splitting your yarn skeins in half, although you can use the inside and outside strands of your skein to eliminate that extra step. Since I was knitting both socks at the same time (because I’m crazy like that), I had to split each of my skeins into these cute little yarn cakes. If you keep each socks yarn in its own plastic bag, it makes everything semi-manageable.

The designer was kind enough to release the pattern as a free Ravelry download, so I’m going to highly recommend you check it out. In fact, I may be knitting this again in the future and experiment a little with adding a 3rd or fourth color. I may even do it with handspun.

And before I forget, I’d recommend weaving your ends in as you go. I’d say trust me on this, but I think this photo speaks louder than words.

Even though I participated in Sock Madness for only 3 rounds, I must thank Carole and Hillary for putting together such a great competitive knit-along. Sock Madness 3 is scheduled to happen next year, so are any of you up to the challenge?

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A few weeks ago, my wonderful friend Carole surprised me with a package of rovings and a sweet card welcoming me to the world of spinning. The roving I noticed immediately was this one:

Hand-Dyed Wool Roving

This is 100% Wool (label doesn’t say what kind of wool) from Knit One Spin Two. Although the natural BFL I showed in my last post was easy to spin, the bright green color of this roving could be seen clearly which makes it perfect for the beginning spinner. I know personally how much it helped me spin more consistent singles. I’ve only spun one bobbin of this and I think I may use it a practice to try Navajo Plying.

Bright Green Singles

Also included in the package was 4 ounces of this amazing merino/bamboo fiber hand dyed by Spunky Eclectic. The colorway is Walking on the Sun, and it’s even more beautiful in person. I haven’t spun it up yet, because I’m not sure how different spinning the bamboo fiber will be. I’d like to have a bit more practice with the BFL and Corriedale I have in my fiber stash so that I don’t waste a bit of this.

Merino / Bamboo fiber

Since the first day, I have been inspired by the stunning yarn that Micki has been spinning on her Lendrum wheel. She has been enabling helping me by making recommendations of where I can purchase beautiful rovings to spin. Within the matter of a few days, my doorstep was no longer being graced with packages filled with yarn, but with packages of rovings from Paradise Fibers, Wolly Treasures, and Crown Mountain Farms. I’ve already started spinning the fiber from Paradise Fibers, which is 4 ounces of this beautiful Ashland Bay merino top in the Forest colorway.

Merino Top fiber

Photos of the other rovings will be shared as I spin them, but for those of you who don’t want to wait, check out my Flickr Spinning Set.

I know it’s hard to tell, but lately there has been more knitting going on around here than spinning. The problem is, I can’t show you everything I’ve been knitting. The only project I can show you is the beautiful blue blob which is another test-knit for my friend Laura. The project doesn’t have a name quite yet, and there will be two other knitters joining in, but since I was waiting for my sample knit pattern to arrive, I cast on and knit this as quick as I could. I’m only halfway through the stole, not including the border, but I have to stop now and work on the sample knits so it will look like this for a few weeks I’m afraid. By the way, this is Malabrigo Lace yarn in Taureg, and it’s every bit as soft as the Malabrigo worsted in my stash. Do you know how tempting it is to knit lace undergarments in this?
(No Name)
The knitting items I can’t show you are my sample knits. I met the designer at TNNA and told her I’d be thrilled to test or sample knit for her and after some email correspondence that followed, she agreed to send me a sample to knit as a trial to see how well we worked together and more obviously how well I could or couldn’t knit. When she received the first sample knit she said she loved it and asked if I could do two more for her this month. I feel so flattered and lucky to have this opportunity, and it has given my “cute knitting hobby” some credibility with family and friends since now I’m being paid to sample knit. Unfortunately for you, there will be no photos until the designs have been released.

So currently I have two sock samples due by the end of this month and I’m trying to get them both finished before next Friday when I leave on vacation for 10 days. I’ve also made it to the next round of Sock Madness and the next round starts tonight. In fact the email with the pattern should be arriving in my inbox at anytime. Oh crap, that reminds me, I’ve got to go wind those skeins of yarn which might take a minute or two or twenty since this round is a pair of socks in laceweight yarn in two different colorways. Yikes! Don’t even get me started on how much house cleaning, vacation preparation, emails, and voice mails that are being neglected. Aren’t you surprised I found time to squeeze in another blog post so soon? I’m still in my pajamas though if that gives you any clue as to what got skipped today so that a blog post could be written. You’re all worth it.

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I’d missed out on Sock Madness last year so when rumors of Sock Madness 2 started circulating, I signed up immediately. I thought that my sock knitting skills had vastly improved over the last year and that I knit socks fairly quickly and felt pretty comfortable with any difficulty level. One thing I’d recommend though to anyone who decides to take on something like Sock Madness is to arm yourself with lots of movies for entertainment and motrin for the inevitable pain.

Movies, Madness and Motrin

Pattern: Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles designed for Sock Madness 2
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock lightweight in Obsidian
Needles: 2.0 mm / US 1 Knit Picks Circular Nickel (2) 24″
Ravelry Links: GuiltyPleasures and Sock Madness
Started: 3/13 11:00 am; Finished: 3/15 8:30 am

Zombie's Rock

Thursday morning at 10am as I sipped my morning coffee, I did as I do most mornings at that time and checked my email. There it was. The sock madness email I had been anticipating. As I sprung from the sofa and into my office / craft room, I started up my office PC and printed out the sock pattern while searching for my swift and yarn. Normally there would be no searching, but the craft room is in the midst of a remodel and so things aren’t in their usual places. Hubby came into the room to see what all the bustle was about, and in my best panicky voice I said: “I can’t find my swift, I can’t find my swift.” As he holds his coffee in one hand, he reaches over to the top of my double wooden filing cabinet and calmly says: “It’s right here”. I gratefully smile at him as I grab the pattern from the printer, my needlecase, the yarn from its container, and rush to the dining room table to turn my yarn hank into a ball.

Zombie Madness (legs)

I quickly read through the pattern. Zombie Socks. Sounds interesting enough. I cast-on and after the necessity of the ribbing was completed, I excitedly began knitting the stitch pattern. I was definitely thankful that there were no jobs, or children to get in the way of my knitting time, and although I miss hubby while he’s at work, when he walked out the door at 2 pm I was anxious to knit all evening until he returned home at 1 am. I had the stitch pattern memorized immediately and since there are dropped stitches, I wondered why the instructions didn’t have me knit through the back loop (ktbl) of the stitches before and after the dropped stitch to reinforce them. Then I finally realized that since Zombies are a bit on the disheveled side (although I’ve not personally met one), and by not reinforcing the stitch, it makes it look less “neat”. Besides, I’ve already knit the “neat” version of this pattern before. It’s the Tangled Up In Blue pattern by Judy Becker. You know the one .. Judy of Judy’s Magic Cast On. There were a few minor differences, in Judy’s pattern but overall I kind of felt like I was knitting the same sock pattern twice.

Zombie Madness

During that day I was able to complete the leg of both socks, and at bedtime I was grateful that I had a bottle of muscle relaxants in my medicine cabinet. The next morning as I worked on the heel flaps, my body told me that it needed a day off to rest. As I opened the bottle of Motrin I told my body to be quiet since there was no time for rest and things would be fine. As I continued to knit, I noticed my knitting was quite labored and slow. I also noticed that the pain had not been helped by the Motrin and when I finished the heel flap on the second sock, I noticed that things weren’t lining up. Riiiiiiippppp. I recounted, I repositioned stitches, and started again. I then realized my problem was that I was trying to watch new tv programming, and new-to-me movies, so my concentration wasn’t focused enough on the socks.

Zombie Madness (heel & leg)

I glanced over at the 100+ DVD’s in their dilapidated shelving unit and figured that this is the ideal time to re-watch movies I know and love so that I can more fully concentrate on the project at hand. I knit and knit and knit and when hubby arrived home at 1 am, he found me in the same position as when he had left that same afternoon. He could tell I was in pain since non-stop knitting and fibromyalgia are not a great combination, and he highly recommended I go to bed. I assured him I wouldn’t be up much longer, and whether he believed me or not, he must have been too tired to argue with me and put himself to bed. I doubt he was surprised much when he woke up at 7 am and found a completely exhausted wife sitting on the sofa with socks in hand working on the toes.

Zombie Madness (toe)

By 8:30am hubby was off to work and I had finished knitting, photographing, and uploading my sock photos to Flickr. I sent off my email to notify the Sock Madness maidens that I had completed my socks, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I gathered up my finished socks, the bottle of Motrin and the strewn about movies, put them in a pile on the table and went to bed.

Zombie Madness

One final note, it’s now 4 days later and in my division only 23 people have completed their socks. Since the top 40 people continue on to the second round, I was obviously a little over-zealous with pulling an all-nighter to complete my socks. Damnit.

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