Update with flowers and bread!

I still haven’t felt inspired to do any more than work on my sock(s). Though I have got beyond the heel now! sock latest

I would have got a bit further but when I had got about this far I realised that I had dropped a stitch a couple of rows after finishing the heel and the only safe way to sort the problem was to undo back to that point stitch by stitch!

Not much to show, so I thought I would share a few more of the highlights of my week with you.

Now a few weeks ago when my daughter came down she brought me a bunch of flowers. At the time I was still pretty weary and my granddaughter kindly put them in a vase for me. The flowers lasted well and when they were all gone I rather fancied buying some more but I have been shopping with a back pack lately and flowers would suffer in a back pack.

But then on Tuesday my brother came to visit me and brought lots of flowers! This time I felt up to arranging them myself, not that I have any special skill at this, but they looked so lovely in the vases that I decided to take some photographs.

I don’t have an ideal place to take photographs and by now it was the evening, so don’t expect something exceptional.

First I took some pictures on the dining table.

There were enough flowers for two vases!flowersand similar flowers to the above with roses and ?. flowersThe roses are much redder than this but, as someone very colour conscious, I frequently bemoan the ability of cameras to capture colours accurately.

I then took the flowers upstairs to the study to take against a more neutral background but this was taken at ISA 800 by artificial light so I adjusted the colours a bit to restore a green tone to the walls! flowersand flowersThe flowers were much more open on Friday so I took a picture of the first vase from above. flowersThe other flowers didn’t make an attractive picture from above so I just photographed one of the roses. roseI was also making some more bread: a white loaf this time, so I photographed that. bread

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My latest project.

I have finally decided what to make to get back to crafting – socks!

I chose socks because apart from the toes and heels they are just so easy, perfect for ‘Crafty Coffee’ mornings, watching TV and totally not stressful or challenging. I don’t feel up to challenging!

So what socks?

Years ago when I was wanting to make the first pair of socks for myself, I fell in love with some really soft looking sock wool called Mini Mochi and bought enough to knit two pairs of socks. Now my favourite of course was the darker rainbow one but I didn’t want to risk making a mess of knitting it up, so I used the pale rainbow one for that first pair. Now the socks are indeed the loveliest softest socks imaginable and still are, but they do lose their looks a bit when you wash them. As you can see in the above picture. (several years later).

I hand washed them at first but found that they were no worse for being tossed in the machine. (Maybe this is a comment on my hand-washing abilities!)

After this I tried out lots of different types of sock wool (again as you can see in the above picture) but was sort of saving the darker rainbow wool for when the light ones wore out.

Well they haven’t worn out but I can see that the area around the heel is getting a bit thin and I wanted something really soothing and delightful to knit so I decided that now was the time.

The wool I am using now does seem more even in thickness than the earlier ones but maybe I am just not remembering very well.

I wasn’t aiming to make matching socks so I just picked up a ball and started with the end of the yarn – a dark orange. Starting with orangeWith a short row toe this is the underside of the sock.

I am almost back to the orange! I love the way the colours change!

Looking back on 2017

Not having started any more knitting and crochet as I am not sure what to choose, I thought that I would share what I made in 2017.

This was very much the year of Celtic crochet.
I started by devising some plaitwork bookmarks and published the best pattern. I also then made some Celtic cross bookmarks, though this time I included all versions in the pattern.

Later I moved on to seeing if I could design a hot pad and made two: one with extra chunky cotton from my original coaster pattern and one in chunky cotton to a new design. I also worked out how to make a larger version of my coaster pattern to create a table mat to match a coaster and later used this idea to create the cushion cover you can see.

I devised some new Celtic coasters and a modified version of these will be published when I am feeling up to  it.

Of course I also crocheted some other things. The teddy was from someone else’s pattern (and I also used patterns I found to make a pot holder and fold up shopping bag – not shown).

I made a pattern for a spray of orchids to put on the kitchen windowsill and I didn’t think the pattern was good enough to publish but they give me a lot of pleasure.

I did share a pattern and tutorial for a ‘beginner coaster’. The first free one for a while.

I also published an angel pattern and my ‘real snowflakes’ pattern. The multi-coloured angel was made from my angel bookmark pattern but in #20 cotton instead of #10.

The blanket used my ‘sea and sand’ colours and introduced a symmetrical version of my granny ripple pattern that I called ‘smooth granny ripple’.

Towards the end of the year I devised a new cup cosy for my breakfast mug and a new larger dishcloth.

As always I did some knitting but not as much as my crochet.

The Womble was a Christmas present for 2016. The socks on the right plus the blue hat and the cowl and hat were all given to my eldest daughter. The other socks were for my granddaughter and the two plum coloured hats for seamen.

One of the first things I finished was my 2016 ‘temperature scarf’ and it has proved to be very warm and I love the extra length.

The only other thing I made was to try to see if I could create some ‘planned pooling’ from some yarn I had. I have now redone this in a more useful shape and when I get round to making a lining, I will share it with you.

My latest make

Unfortunately, I am feeling less well than I did last Monday but I still felt that I wanted to share what I had intended for today.

The only creative thing that I have completed since I have been ill is a pair of socks for my younger daughter’s birthday.

I had finished the first sock and was about a third through the second when I went into hospital. I thought at that point I had plenty of time to complete the pair but in the event it was a bit of a struggle to finish them off just in time to put in the post. socksThe yarn was Regia Galaxy. An interesting pattern in the colours I thought!

What was I doing on Saturday?

I met up with my eldest and family and had a couple of meals and had fun in an Escape Room. After we escaped!

Although this is not my photograph and therefore I do not own the copyright I am sure the Escape Plan guy won’t mind as this can be considered  an advert. He was keen on us passing on the word.

The Escape Room is located in SE London in Iliffe Yard.

We had great fun. We had been there previously for a Second World War prisoner themed escape and this one if anything was even more fun.

If you are interested in learning more here is a link – https://escapeplanltd.com/ Highly recommended.

I also took with me the socks I had made for my granddaughter (which I have shown you previously). socksand the hat I made for my daughter. hatMy camera really didn’t like this yarn. The colour is much more of a vibrant peacock blue. Imagine the above but brighter and a little darker. The above has been edited by me for colour but nothing I could do would get it the correct shade.

Here is another photograph of the hat standing up. hat in the roundIt is alpaca and merino wool, wonderfully soft.

The pattern for the hat came from Debbie Bliss and here is a closer look at the stitches. knitting stitchesThe hat was very popular and my daughter put it on immediately!

Socks and a Blanket

This is all I have for you this morning, I am afraid.

Still doing less knitting and crochet than normal but have managed to do the small amount of knitting and crochet to finish the socks for my granddaughter and complete the main body of my Symmetrical Granny Ripple blanket.

I am going to add the pattern for the blanket to Ravelry when I have finished it but am not sure what to call it. My original Granny Ripple blanket is called “Soft Granny Ripple” though that name was not chosen by me but the lady who persuaded me to let her put it on Ravelry.

So here are the sock for my granddaughter. Short ones, as requested. socksThe yarn is Regia (One of my favourite makes of sock yarn). Nothing much on the ball band. Colour 0525 which I have found on-line called Papillion. I think I must have picked it up in Hobbycraft as my other sock yarns seemed a bit dingy for a teenager.

And here is the body of my “sea and sand” colour blanket body of blanketbased on the four times fourteen rows that form almost half of the blanket I made for my daughter. Completed sea and sand blanket

Stylecraft Special DK in the following fourteen colours:-

White, silver, parchment, camel, mocha, turquoise, sherbet, aspen, teal, royal, bluebell, denim, aster, cloud blue.

selection of yarnsAs with my other sea and sand blanket, I am not going to fill in the ripples, but have not finally decided on the edging.

A Sock addiction

Well I’m not really sure that I have a sock addiction 🙂 but I haven’t made any socks for a long time and from time to time I get a craving to make some more.

I normally force myself to resist this temptation because I have enough already but recently I discovered that both my daughter and granddaughter have the same size feet as myself and would both love me to knit them a pair of socks.

So!

I have a stash of sock wool because of some that has been passed on to me for free, Yay! so I offered my daughter a choice of yarn. Two balls of sock yarn

and she said that she preferred the one on the left.

Here are the pair I made her. A pair of socksIt’s hard to get socks to look good when lying flat which is why when I knit them for myself I also photograph them being worn!

I have actually bought some more sock wool to make a pair for my granddaughter New sock yarnand when I know how long she would like her socks to be, compared to her mother’s (her mother wanted fairly short ones!), I will start a pair for her.

I could have used the wool to the right in the picture at the top but I thought maybe it wasn’t quite her sort of colours.

I do like Regia sock yarn!

Photo Challenge – Socks

With a topic like socks (don’t think it was I who chose that one) what could I do but take a photograph of all the socks I have made. photo-challenge1646-socksSeven knitted pairs and one crocheted. The rainbowy pair at the top were the first that I made, in merino wool, and you can see they have got a bit bobbly but are still oh so comfy! The grey pair are my summer ones in cotton with a bit of lycra for stretch. The red, orange, green, blue ones (two pairs) have bamboo viscose as the synthetic component and are quite lightweight. The pair on the right I managed to make matching as with the green and red pair. The bluey grey ones were made from wool I was sent as a giveaway, the browny ones are my crochet socks and the blue, green, purple ones the only ones where I knitted in holes.

I do still have a few balls of sock wool (some given to me) and would love to make another pair but all the socks above are wearing really well and so I don’t feel I need any more at present.

Photo taken in my bedroom on an only moderately bright morning – 400 ISO, 3.5 aperture and 1/5 sec, hand held so I was pretty pleased with how it came out!!

Crochet socks – a sort of challenge!

Finished socksLast June when I posted about my latest knitted socks an interchange with Sharon of Creativity and Family about her desire to knit some socks and the fact that I had never crochetted any led to her saying “If you crochet some I’ll give knitting socks a go !! 😉 ”

We were relaxed about time scale and I fitted in crochetting a pair over the summer and Sharon knitted some in the Autumn.

Sharon wrote a blog about her socks here – https://creativityandfamily.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/yes-yes-yes-ive-done-it/ – Aren’t they lovely!

This is how I made mine.

I had a few balls of sock wool, some bought and some given to me that had been taken to a charity shop. I decided to chose this ball. Sock woolNo label but I think it might be Regia sock yarn.

I looked at patterns for crochet socks but in the end, in my normal impatient and self-opinionated way, I decided to work up my own, based on my normal toe-up method of making socks. (I kept notes so I can make the same again if I want to!) .

However I did learn a lot from here – http://quiltfixer.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/step-by-step-crocheted-socks-crochet.html (I didn’t agree with the way she increased for the toe but I did copy the heel method fairly closely.)

I decided to do the toes and heel of the sock in simple dcs (US – scs) and started at the centre of the toe and I used a piece of red wool to keep track of where to make the increases. Sock toe increases I decided that making the whole sock in dcs would be just too boring! so I decided to use trebles (US – dcs) and after a bit of experimenting decided to use this for the main body of the sock. Sock patternI used plain trebles on the underside of the sock to keep the rows level and the bottom of the sock smoother.

For the heel I decreased until the width wanted, then increased joining in at the end of the row. This was the trickiest bit.Sock heel And then for the final row I decided to make more of a scalloped edge by using three treble instead of two.Top of sockSo here they are worn by me! Socks seen from aboveand Wearing socks

What do I think of Crochet socks compared to knitted?

  • Making them with the trebles meant they worked up more quickly maybe even twice as fast.
  • They are definitely thicker than knitted ones, that is really no surprise, so tighter in the shoes.
  • The basic fabric is stiffer than knitted ones so they are slightly less comfortable but are less likely to slip down or wrinkle. (Again, no surprise really.)
  • I really like the way they look and creating a patterned sock is much easier than knitting.

So will I make any more?

The jury is out on this one, as they say. Maybe one day, but the next pair of socks I make will be knitted.

I did start a pair in some wool I had that I had found impossible to knit with because it was such a dark colour and fluffy. Other sockI got this far, didn’t like the plain dcs (the difference between the blue and purple seems to show much less in real life (or my eyes)). I then tried a slight texture on the top but it didn’t gel with plains dcs on the bottom and so I have given up for now.

Matching socks finished!

Matching socksWell they almost match! If you look closely you can see that the fairisle imitation part has knitted up slightly differently in each sock.

These socks along with at least one other project have taken rather longer to reach completion than I envisaged originally. As far as the socks are concerned this is because at one point it hurt so much to knit them that I had to give up. Not sure why later it didn’t hurt any more but glad to discover that I don’t have to give up knitting socks! 😀

It is always hard to photograph one’s own feet but here are a couple of pictures of me wearing the socks.

This was the easier one to take!Socks from above
and holding the camera out in front.
Socks from frontHere are the ones I made earlier.Original socksThese were meant to match too which is why both pairs are shorter than I normally make socks. (I can now calculate that 100g of this particular yarn should contain eight repeats of the colour sequence.)

The reason the original socks don’t match can be shown in this photograph.Comparison of both pairsCan you see the arrows? I made the original sock (labelled – first sock) and when I got to a colour repeat I cast off.

You can see that the second sock starts with perhaps a little more of the dark blue (as I didn’t know exactly how far into the blue I was at the start of the ball – I knit toe up socks with short row toes so I start under the toe).

Then the bad bit! There was a join not long after the end of the blue. I have now worked out that there was quite a length of yarn missing from the colourway sequence as shown roughly by the piece between the two arrows. So of course that mucked things up!

Luckily there were no more joins so I was able to make a matching pair with the rest of the yarn.

This means that I have now managed to make four socks out of one 100g ball! At £6.39 a ball which is £3.20 a pair that isn’t too bad!

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For the geeks among you, you might like to know that I didn’t cast off the first of the matching socks before I finished the second one. I calculated that there should be enough to make the second sock by weighing the sock and comparing it to the weight of the remaining yarn but just to be safe I left them joined by a length of yarn so I could undo a bit if the second sock didn’t get to be as long.

However there was enough for the second sock with just a tiny bit of yarn left over!

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It is worth noting that these socks are made with Rico Design Superba Bamboo which has only 50% wool and then 25% viscose, which I have been told is where the bamboo comes in. This makes them lighter and cooler than the other wool socks I have made so they are quite good for summer along with the cotton ones I made.

Now the heels!

With the second pair I experimented with a new way of doing the heels as I showed you here. New style heel(Original post including link to pattern here:- https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/a-new-sort-of-heel/)

I am not likely to use this method in future because I don’t like the way it looks, at least when I use it, (The second heel was not much better,) though it does have one advantage which is that if you make a mess of the second part of the heel (as I did on the second sock) you only have to go back to half way instead of redoing the whole heel. (I normally make a short row heel.)