Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sock Yarns

I ordered some more yarn from Lazy Perry Ranch, and it came today. All I can say is wow.
Rainbow Sock Yarn. Seriously, the color? SO much more amazing than I could even imagine. Their picture did NOT do the yarn justice. You can see the listing here. Their picture, as you can see, doesn't do the yarn justice AT ALL.

Now, since I get an awful lot of sock yarn, I've been noticing there's a vast difference between thicknesses of brands. For example, Lion Brand Magic stripes is really thick, and Opal can be a little bit on the thick side as well. Koigu is a bit thick too, and KnitPicks sock yarns are at what I consider the "Perfect" thickness. Now, there are some sock yarns that are very thin. I don't know what base yarn the people on Etsy are using, but there seems to be this 2 ply sock yarn (I'm pretty sure it's all the same yarn) that is really loftily spun, so when you knit it into socks it stretches out quite a bit and becomes quite thin. Even just by ball winding. Now I thought it was just thin, but today when my yarn came from Lazy Perry Ranch, I realized that it's loftily spun, and not inherently thin.

Different sock yarns & their thickness
From left to right: Koigu PPPM, KnitPicks Sock Memories, SunnySide Ellen sock yarn (she has now switched to Louet Gems for her base yarn, so she is using the same base as koigu), Rainbow Sock from LPR after winding, Rainbow Sock from LPR pre-winding, KnitPicks Shimmer (lace weight).

Now, as you can see.. there are some discrepancies. Now, the thinner sock yarn- I knit these sock yarns from some from LPR- it's not so bad. It still makes decent socks, and for some people, it might even be better for them because the socks fit better in shoes. But a difference of 10 stitches/inch with the thinner to 8 stitches/inch with the thicker.. that's actually a big difference in knitting time and number of stitches, etc. So I'm kinda stuck. But we'll see. I'm going to wind the Rainbow Sock from LPR really loosely and see if that helps at all. having it in a ball wound on a ballwinder seems to make it stretch more because those are more tightly wound. So we'll see. But it certainly is curious.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap TWO

OK everyone, you probably remember my participation in the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap, right? Well, that's almost over. I got my kit, my partner got her Kit, and everything is peachy. So I'm left a little bored.

What do I do? Sign up for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 2.

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Now, you guys, you've got ONE day left to sign up, so if you're thinking about it... DO IT. Seriously. It's fun, and it's actually a super-simple swap. All you need to do is assemble ONE package for your pal including the following things: Sock yarn (in house colors), a bag (knitted, sewn, whatever), a set of house-related stitch markers, a set of sock needles, and a sock pattern. You can then add in whatever goodies you want- I put in some candy for my pal, and my pal sent me a mini sock needle case as well as some Harry Potter candy goodies. (if you want more details on what I got see my previous blog post on what I got.

I actually really love this swap because it's not as involved as Secret Pal. You just send 1 package, and you have a ton of fun making it, and that's it. It's also a tad cheaper. So if you're wanting a swap to do, you love harry potter, or your maybe not up to doing a whole secret pal.. seriously, check this out. It's easy to sign up and there's ONLY ONE DAY LEFT!

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PS: You can view my livejournal blog here. I'm going to be trying to keeping the posts on both blogs current so take your pick.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Extreme Rainbow Socks

As you all know, I've been working on the 2-in-1 Socks from Knitty for quite some time, and have finally finished them.. this is my official FO post. Enjoy.

Rainbow Socks
Here we have an innocent looking sock toe...

Extreme Sock Knitting
But there is a hidden secret.. there are actually 2 socks!

Extreme Socks
And here we have a photo after the heel has been turned.. Still going strong.

Unfinished Objects: Rainbow Extreme-2-in-1 Socks
Unfortunately.. the socks stagnated at this point for several months. More than half a year, actually.

But now.. they are finished:
Rainbow Extreme 2-in-1 Socks

Rainbow Extreme 2-in-1 Socks

Rainbow Extreme 2-in-1 Socks

Now I'm not going to post the photo itself behind the cut, but while my fiance and I were outside taking the FO photos of the socks, we ran into the cutest kitty that stopped for a petting session and to roll around at our feet.

Pattern: 2-in-1 Socks from Knitty
Yarn: Superwash Merino Sock from Lazy Perry Ranch- note on this yarn: it is a bit THIN. Compared to Koigu or the Knitpicks Sock yarn or even like Opal or similar it's quite thin. I wouldn't even call it sock yarn, but.. it made a pair of socks so it was fine.
Needles: US 00 (because double-knitting tends to knit up looser than normal)
Notes: The pattern was modified to be toe-up, which means that I had to knit the toes separately. This may be considered "cheating" but I didn't feel the need to make this any more 'difficult' than it already was! On the technique of double knitting.. I don't really find it that difficult, but I probably will not knit another pair of socks like this because doing it on small needles in a small round is a total pain in the butt. You get into a rhythm, but it's still a pain and you have to constantly check to make sure you haven't crossed the yarn. In short, doable, something I'm proud to have done, but something I probably won't do again. Also, I wish the rainbow "stripes" on the yarn were more gradually color-changed (it's just an abrupt switch) or maybe in shorter repeats. I still like the socks, however.

Anyway, as a word of encouragement to anyone wanting to do double knitting (I'm an expert now, what with these socks and this headband and the number of other things I've double knit just for the fun of it)- It really is not that hard. Not something you want to try when you're just learning to knit and purl but if you have those two things pretty much grasped and you can hold the yarn in front and in back of your work as you go- just follow the instructions and I promise it'll work. Great beginner project would be the hoover baby blanket. Double knitting DOES NOT have to be done with 2 different colors, or even 2 yarns, so don't let that deter you. It really is super easy- just a bit tedious at times.

edit: as an add-on, I did indeed have to use the fix detailed in the 2-in-1 Socks pattern/article. It basically involves dropping back rows of knitting and then knitting them back up uncrossed. There was also a false start when I crossed the yarn in the toes. But I consider myself an expert in fixing mistakes several rows back so I was OK. Should you take on these socks, just follow the instructions in the article and make sure you haven't actually SWITCHED the two yarns (inside sock and outside sock). If you switched the yarns no amount of tinking back will help. You'll have to rip.