Thursday, October 23, 2014

How I make my "Vanilla Socks"

(Photo is "Opal" Sock yarn.) 


Hi Knitters,

I have had countless people ask me how I do my easy peasy "vanilla" sock. Now, you ask, what do you mean by vanilla? 

Think of vanilla ice cream. Plain, nothing fancy. Just. Plain.

That's what I mean by vanilla sock. A simple ribbing, stockinette stitch for leg (knit all rounds), a simple heel flap and gusset, and more stockinette stitch down the foot. I finish with easy toes.

FREE for you! So print away. I didn't create a PDF for this. Feel free to copy and paste this text into a word document and create a pdf of your own, simply print it out or add it to your favorite app on your ipad. Mine is Notability. 

Click here for the Ravelry Project Page on How I make my "Vanilla" sock. 


Deb's Vanilla Socks
by Deb Buckingham/Dishcloth Diva

Abbreviations
ssk - slip 1 stich knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit both stitches together through the front
P2tog - purl 2 stitches together
K2tog - knit 2 stitches together

Materials
1 skein of your favorite sock yarn, fingering weight
US #1 double pointed needles (dpn's) set of 5 
Yarn needle
Scissors
Tape measure to measure your foot and the sock

Gauge
This is one thing that people question me about again and again. I do believe it's important so you get the right fit. Though, my sock will fit the average size 7 1/2 -8 1/2" foot. 

Measuring Your Foot
This is used for the foot part of the sock. You want to make sure you get the right length so when you're finished it won't be too short, therefore causing it to be too tight around the toe.
Here's what I do: take your tape measure and measure the length of your foot, or the foot of the one you're knitting for, by starting at the bottom of the foot, from the end of your heel to the end of your longest toe. You will subtract 2" from that number and stop knitting at the point. You will then begin your toe decrease.
Example: Mine measures 9 1/2 inches so I stop knitting at 7 1/2 inches. Then begin my toe decrease.

Cuff
CO 64 stitches, divide onto your 4 dpns, and join to begin working in the round.
Work a 1x1 ribbing for 1.5" (K1, p1)
If you forget to stop ribbing, that's OK. It will be just that much longer.

Heel Flap
Knit next 16 stitches from needle 1 to needle 4. You will now have 32 stitches to work the heel flap with. You will be working back and forth on just this one needle.

Row 1: sl 1, purl to the end of row.
Row 2: *sl 1, k1; repeat from * to end of row.
Row 3: sl 1, purl to end of row
Row 4: sl 1, k2, *sl 1, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1
Work rows 1-4 a total of 8 times or 32 rows

Turning the Heel
You should have just completed a right side row (row 4). This is where you'll continue to work back and forth on just this one needle. It will seem awkward, but just do as each row says, it will work out in the end. You will end up with 18 stitches.

Row 1: Sl 1, p16, p2tog, p1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 2: Sl 1, k3, ssk knitwise, k1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 3: Sl 1, p4, p2tog p1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 4: Sl 1, k5, ssk knitwise, k1, turn  to work back in the other direction
Row 5: Sl 1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn  to work back in the other direction
Continue in this manner until 18 sts remain on the needle. DO NOT TURN.
(You basically work until 1 stitch before the gap, then ssk or p2tog. Don't forget your p1 or k1 stitche before you turn)

Gusset
You should have the right side of your work facing you. 

Step one: using the same needle as you have been for turning the heel, pick up and knit 16 stitches in each of the slipped stitches along the heel flap.

Step two: using a new needle (or empty needle), knit all the stitches across needles 2 and 3. These will be your foot, or instep stitches.

Step three: using a new needle, pick up and knit 16 stitches in each of the slipped stitches along the opposite heel flap.

Step four: Knit 9 stitches from needle 1 on to needle 4. The beginning of the round is now in the middle of your heel.

Needles 1 & 4: 25 stitches each
Needles 2 & 3: 16 stitches each

Gusset Decrease Rounds
Round 1: knit all stitches
Round 2
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitchs, k2tog, k1
Needle 2 & 3: knit all stitches
Needle 4: k1, ssk knitwise, knit to end of needle

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 a total of 9 times or until you have 16 stitches remaining on each of the 4 needles.

Foot
Continue knitting until your sock measures 2" from the end of the foot. (refer to Measuring your Foot above)

Toe
Round 1:
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 2: k1, ssk, knit to end of needle.
Needle 3: Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 4: k1, ssk knitwise, knit to end of needle
Round 2: Knit

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until 8 stitches remain on each of the 4 needles.
Repeat round 1 only until 4 stitches remain on each of the 4 needles.

Closing the Toe
Now, knit the 4 stitches from needle 1 onto needle 4. Slip the 4 stitches from needle 2 onto needle 3, or visa-versa. It doesn't matter, as long as there are 8 stitches on 2 needles.

Cut the yarn, leaving a 10 inch long. Thread it onto your tapestry needle, and use the Kitchener Stitch to close the toe. The video link is for the Knit Witch. A favorite of mine. 

That's it! I hope you make many socks. Don't ever get, what we call, the second sock syndrome. Quickly cast on sock #2 right away. Have fun with color. 

So, for now, knitters,
{HUGS} and Knit On!

Deb

Not So Crazy Sock Pattern



















Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories


  
I'm in love with knitted accessories. From mittens, to hats, to scarves, and oh yes, socks! 

We all love projects that are 3 skeins or less. Think of the investment when it's more than that. That's why when I was asked to review this book, I jumped on it. Sweater in 3 skeins or less, bring it on. A cowl using 1 or 2 skeins, oh yes!

Author: Tanis Gray
Paperback: 3 skeins or less Fresh knitted accessories
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 143 Pages
Retail Price: $24.99


I'm going to show you some of my favorite projects in the books. The photography is spot on. There are 25 glorious projects for you to knit. 25 designers. 

This book opens with an introduction by Tanis herself about how magical the process of knitting is.

Here we go:

Of course I'd start with a hat. Melissa LaBarre designed this Little Vine Beret. It's made up of knit and purls, increases and decreases. Complete with a chart. I truly love this beret. It's knit with Quince and Co yarn.



Another favorite design of mine is the A Case of Lace Socks. Though, it's a bit intense with its cabling detail, the end result will certainly leave you feeling satisfyied. 



My third favorite design is the Right Round Mitts. Truly a quick knit. The lace repeat is easy to memorize and mirrored. 



What do you think? 

My overall impression is: 

1. You should go out and buy 3 skeins or less FRESH knitted accessories. 
2. You need to know if you are NOT a chart person, this book may not be for you. It it filled with them on most patterns. With that said, there is a great selection of patterns that do not have charts. 
3. This price point for this book is great at $24.99 with 25 patterns. That $1.00 a pattern. 
4. Christmas is coming and I'm sure theres someone on your list that you still need to knit for, right?

It's an accessory book that will keep you knitting. The photography is beautiful, the color choices in yarn are beautiful. 


So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb

Monday, October 20, 2014

Knitting For the Season

Don't you love this time of year. It's the season where we begin to dig out our handknits, to include hats. It's the time where the leaves are beginning to fall, the temps are dropping just a bit, and the days are shorter.

My latest design is spectacular. Well, I'm told that anyway. I have this thing with creating a simple design that the beginner will enjoy knitting on, as well as a design that the advanced knitter can have done in just a couple hours times.

The Abby Hat.

A great gift idea! From Grandma/Grandpa to mom/dad, to sister/brother/ to just about anyone. This hat has 3 sizes to choose from. Small, Medium, and Large.



I believe hats are the in thing right now. This one is slightly slouched through the crown so it doesn't feel as though circulation is being cut off. It's knit with a bulky weight yarn.

I took a dishcloth pattern, my favorite rolled brim, and combined them to make this adorable hat. I’m pretty sure Abby will be your favorite go-to hat pattern. Fashionable, simple, yet sophisticated; a great hat to put on while walking the pup.

I'd love for you to head over to my Etsy Shop where you can read all the sorted details. You will also find several more fun hats there. 

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: Brioche Chic 22 FRESH KNITS for women & men

How many of us have always wanted to learn the Brioche stitch, but was too intimidated to try?

*raising hand*

Well, let me tell you, this book leaves you fearless when it comes to the ever-so-intimating Brioche stitch.


Author(s): Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Paperback: Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for women & men
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 152 Pages
Retail Price: $26.99

Let me give you a virtual "tour" through the book:

The book opens with Brioche Basics. Ok, here you go...non intimidating step-by-step instructions that will leave you feeling as though you have worried for nothing. I, recently decided to break out my yarn and needles (shocking, huh?) and get to work on this stitch.

Magic!

It IS a bit of extra effort, but the minute you see the texture appear and your piece come to life, it will seem quite obvious.

Helpful tips along the way to ease the "pain" a bit. Go slowly! That's what they suggest and that's what I suggest.

Next appears the beautiful 22 patterns. The photography is awesome, with colorful yarns and simple textures. Everything from a basic Brioche scarf, to an Arrow Yoke Cardigan. 



Arrow Yoke Cardigan


Other projects in this book are pullover sweaters for both women & men...



A beautiful pair of mittens. It has a matching hat. So love this.


And this Star-Crown Beret is a definite in my que.


My love for knitting cowls is endless. I adore this project. It's a Reversible Scarf, loop, circle. Wear long or wrap twice to create YOUR favorite look. 


What do you think. I've only given you a hint of what's in this book, so you'll run right out to your LBS (Local Book Store), LYS (Local Yarn Shop) or Interweaves website to get your hands on it. 

I give this book a *thumbs up* for photography, original design, creativity, and choice of projects. I feel it's worth the buy and a chance to try a stitch you may or may not have tried. 

So, I bid you much love knitters, and encourage you to take a peek at this book. You won't be sorry. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Knit On!

Deb




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Diva Knits and Photographs On!

Just when you think your to-do list is done...well, it's NOT!

Sigh...

So, I decided to procrastinate a bit longer and show you what I've been up to...

Taking pictures is my secret pastime. I love to find that perfect angle, with the perfect lighting. You like?




My daughter is always looking for a hat to wear outside when she takes her class out for recess. This is too stinkin' cute not to make. So, I'm making one for each of my girls. Everdeen Beanie in the Weekend hats book. Made with Ella Rae Classic Sport Yarn. Super cute, huh?




And last, but now least, more socks. My hunny asked if I would make him a pair. Of course. This is made with Online Supersocke 100. I have to be honest, it isn't the softest yarn to work with, but it sure washes up and softens nicely. Very durable.




I obviously could go on and on, but I MUST proceed to my to-do list. I MUST!

So, come visit me on Facebook, check out my Ravelry Store, or perhaps you Love Etsy as I do.

Knit On!
Deb

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Your Knitting Gauge

Hey Knitters,

I can't tell you how many emails I get, shout outs on Facebook, and just general, hey Deb, I have a question, kind of thing.

Sometime you may feel gauge should be a 4-letter word, am I right?

As Knitty States, "From time to time, advice is offered to a knitter who wants to tweak the sizing of a pattern: "just knit it at a tighter/looser gauge to make it smaller/bigger." While it's true that altering the gauge of a knitted fabric will alter the size of the finished piece, it doesn't always mean that you'll get a finished garment that will fit -- or feel -- as expected. Some people get the relationship between "tighter" and "looser" and increased or decreased stitches per inch mixed up. Others assume that gauge is the answer to all yarn substitutions: if it matches, it must be all right. And a bigger gauge (fewer stitches per inch) doesn't always mean easier to knit. Gauge might be a frustrating concept, but it's also misunderstood."

It's super easy, once you have the basic skills to figure it out. I promise. 

I hope this is helpful...

Yarn A-Recommended yarn for pattern
Scenario: Your pattern calls for THIS worsted weight yarn, and a size 8 needle, and you want to use a different worsted weight yarn. 

Yarn label (ballband) for your intended pattern states just that. Notice the knitting needles? Under that is the US 8 needle size. The BIG number "4" indicates the weight, which is a worsted weight.

Now, looking up at the picture, we will figure out the gauge...stitches per inch for your finished object using a different yarn. To the left of the needles in the picture, you see the 4 x 4? that tells us their swatch was 4 inches by 4 inches. The 17S tells us it's 17 stitches per that 4 inch swatch. 

Clear as mud so far? Good!

The way in which you calculate stitches/inch is by dividing the 4 into 17. 4 divided by 17 = 4.25 sts/inch. I personally would round to the nearest whole number. 4. Though, you could easily make the case to round to the 18, which would be 4.5. I would make this decision based on how tight/loose you knit. If you knit tighter, go up, if you knit looser/to gauge, go down.

Let that sink in a bit before you continue reading.  *tick-tock tick-tock*

So, for this worsted weight yarn you will get 4.25 sts/inch on a size 8 needle. Again, I round to the nearest whole number, which in this case is 4 stitches/inch. 

Now for the fun part...I'll help you see a clear picture (my hope anyway) of what a substitution looks like.

Step 1: You will substitute with a worsted weight yarn for the best results. Now, that's not saying you can't use a different weight, but honestly, in MY opinion, I wouldn't do it. You will have an entirely different finished object just by that, and besides, you would have to do a WHOLE LOTTA math to get the same gauge.

Step 2. Look at the yarn label (ballband) of YOUR chosen WORSTED weight yarn, Yarn B. This is where you will figure out how to match the gauge of the recommended yarn to the yarn you want to use.

Ok?

This is your new yarn label.


Yarn B-Your Yarn

Step 3. Notice the needle size is 7. The stitches/inch is 5. (remember, you divide the 4 inch into 20 this time.)

Step 4. You then look at the pattern recommended label and compare, Yarn A. You have 2 stitches/inch difference, right? (more to come on that) That can make or break your finished outcome of your project. Making it too small in this case.

*Go up a needle size when you want to make your garment bigger and get LESS stitches/inch, go down a needle size when you want to make it smaller and get MORE stitches/inch.* 

You need to go from 5 stitches/inch to 4 stitches/inch. That 2 jumps down, right? 5 sts/in to 4.5 sts/in to 4 sts/in.

You still with me?

We're close.

Step 5. In remembering your pattern wants 4 stitches/inch on an 8, to get the recommended size it states, you must go DOWN 2 needle sizes with the new yarn to get the same 4 stitches/inch.  For new yarn: 20 sts on a 7 (5 sts/inch), 18 sts on a 6 (4.5 sts/inch), 16 sts on a 5 (4 sts/inch) Each jump is 2 sts. 

*refer to blue asterisk again

SummarySo, in order for you to get gauge for your pattern by substituting your worsted weight yarn of choice (in this case), you will need to use a size 5 needle. That seems like a huge jump, but all worsted weight yarns aren't the same. This yarn will appear a tighter gauge as it's on a smaller needle, though your stitches per inch will be exactly the same, therefore have a garment/scarf/cowl/mitts/gloves, etc that fits as you had intended per the pattern details.

I have a passion for teaching others the basics of the nitty-gritty "stuff". I'm always happy to answer questions. So, if you feel this was helpful, I'd love a comment below or a shout out on my Facebook fan page that I did a good job. That tells me, you understood and I can continue to give my reader/knitters what they need.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Sockupied 20 Knit Projects to Satisfy your Sock Obsession

They used the word Obsession in their title!

Oh My Gosh! This book is for every Lover of sock knitting. 20 Knitted Sock Projects with many different designers included in this book. You will NEED this book in your library. 

Author(s): Hunter Hammersen, Cookie A, Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi, and MANY more
Paperback: Sockupied
Publisher: Interweave
Pages: 168 Pages
Price: It sells for $24.99.

These 20 knit sock patterns are the perfect on-the-go project. This book contains patterns that show diversity of the first 10 issues of Sockupied eMag. You remember? An interactive publication that showed pop-ups, slide shows, and videos. Now, they have taken this to a new level by providing a print version. 

It showcases cables and lace, handpainted, as well as solids, toe-up, and top-down. You will find articles pertaining to sock knitting fundamentals that include techniques designed to help tweak patterns to suit YOUR feet and YOUR knitting style.

Let's dive in...

The Divas first impression: The cover is intriguing to me. Well styled, shows diversity in designs, and the color palette works!

I randomly opened the book and the Speed Bump socks, by Deb Barnhillstared me in the face. Self-striping yarn is what she, as well as others, refer to as "Comfort Food." Wouldn't you agree? And what else I love about this pattern, is she uses a yarn that can be purchased at any of your big box stores. Patons Kroy Sock yarn. Using a simple pattern makes this sock a definite go-to for me! Can't wait to begin...


One of my favorite (sock) designers is Cookie A. Passerine socks. So, when I happened to stop at this pattern, I was instantly in love. Looking at it, I couldn't really tell what the design was, until I read her description. Of course!! Feathers with sleek vanes and quills coming together. See it? A twisted stitch pattern on the cuff is my very favorite way to begin a sock. This delicious sock is knit from top-down. My style of knitting socks. Oh how I love thee...these will be on the needles SOON. That's how I roll...


Ok, let's ALL be honest, we love a well written pattern from Hunter Hammersen. Right? Definitely. Cataphyll socks. This pattern is unique with the leaves trailing down the leg and split in two. She chose a fingering weight yarn by Plucky Knitter, a fiber I've been dying to get my hands on. (making a mental, or maybe a written note, so this 50-year-old mind doesn't forget) Again, knit top-down. This pattern is filled with charts. If you love them, you will be in heaven, if you don't, sorry... you will just have to find a way to love. Because this sock is well worth the effort. I'll be making these. 

I'll post my own pics in the near future of these fantastic socks.


This picture shows the socks that caught my eye on the cover. Our Paths Cross socks. Lorilee Beltman packed a punch with this design, yet kept is very simple. It's a toe-up design with a stockinette stitch. The strands are carried vertically making this knit anything but plain. Again, using a Plucky Knitter yarn, this sock will be fun, quick, yet simple. I will knit this sock too.

Sockupied

Have you counted how many of these socks I'll be putting in my que. All. Of. Them. Oh boy. If I just had enough hours in the day, I could work these up super quick. I was told that sleeping was overrated anyway...sigh.

This was fun, right? Was I able to enable you enough to go buy this book? It's only $24.99 and you get 20 patterns. That's just over $1 a pattern. Ok, I'll do the math. Please hold...You still there? 

$1.25 per pattern. That's a steal! I don't even sell MY patterns for that cheap. 

I give this book a thumbs up for originality, photography, well-written instructions, and the well thought out group of designers. Their yarn choices are fantastic. I hope you'll step out a bit of your own stash and experience some of these. I know I will. 

Again, this book is published by Interweave, the name of the book is Sockupied 20 Knit Projects to Satisfy your Sock Obsession, and all the details can be found at that link. I encourage you to pop over and read more about it. I've only given you a little bit, there's much more over there. 

Also you may want to check with your LYS. I'm sure they'd be happy to accommodate. 

So, with much love knitters, I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back (as usual). I'm anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even share a few pics. 

Knit On!

Deb