Sunday, April 21, 2013

Perfect Knit Socks

I am pretty much old school when it comes to knitting socks.  I am a die hard DPN girl and no matter how many times I try the magic loop sock method, I always give up mid way through.

Because I work each sock one at a time, I usually end up with one sock slightly different than the other due to missing a row or two. But, when I am diligent in keeping track of the rows, the pair will end up perfect.

The pair below is a basic stockinette sock.  I let the yarn give the pizzaz to keep the knitting simple.

Here are the tools that I use:

Double Pointed Needles
Fingering Weight Sock yarn
Note Pad
Sock Blockers
(not shown: darning needle)

I am totally in love with these DPNs that are named Darrn Pretty Needles, made in Vermont.  They are wooden and have the sharpest points and feel like glass.  These are size 2 and I prefer the 4 inch length for socks. 

I have found that if I diligently mark off each row when working each foot, the socks come out perfectly.  I use a notebook with grid lines, but any paper will do.  I like the note book as I can look back to previous socks and make sure I have the right size and stitch count for all my family members. As you can see, I have two sections for right and left foot:

I don't actually use a pattern, but I adhere to the 50/50 method (using half of the stitches for the heel and gusset).
Once they are done, don't forget to block them for that added look of professional knitting!
I knit this pair for my oldest daughter, Erin, who loves the outdoors. She goes hiking, trekking, snowboarding, skiing... and who needs to keep her feet warm! 


I know that the magic loop is very popular now and to knit both socks at once seems to be very gratifying, but there are still those of us that prefer the DPN method. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nolan's First Birthday Sweater

I absolutely fell in love with a knitting pattern I found on Ravelry for a sweet little sweater for a 1 year old.  And now that we have a wee baby in the family, I just had to knit it up.

Our youngest grandson will be one on Christmas Eve 2013, so how adorable would this cabled hooded sweater be on him! 

I'm one of those people that really has difficulty following directions (my high school teachers will attest to that). So when I sat down to get started, the pattern just didn't make any sense to me. It was to be knit in pieces, sewn together and then pick up stitches for the hood. So, I modified it to knit it in one piece from the bottom up.

I used the recommended yarn and needle size, but the gauge was coming out all wrong. I pulled out my calculator and started modifying the stitch counts and ended up changing the size of the needles as well.

I pretty much just used the photo of the finished sweater as inspiration and just did my own thing. Which, in the end made this a most enjoyable knit. Nothing to keep track of, just good old knitting till it looked right. 
Maybe I have become to rigid in my ways, but all in all, I think I did it justice.