Thursday, January 28, 2010

Socksposé! The livable.

The second in my series about sock yarns I've loved (or not), these are the socks that aren't really "loved" but are definitely still usable. I'll give my explanation as to why each of these fits in here rather than with the lovables.

First up: Strawberry Monkeys:


Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns* Panda Cotton Print + some extras
Why they're only "ok": I actually really liked the yarn, even though I'm not a big cotton fan. And I love this pattern (evidenced by the fact that I have 3 pairs of monkey socks and would make more if I didn't think it were a little ridiculous already)... but the problem lies in the toes. I have small feet. (Seriously, like size 6.5-7 depending on the shoe maker.) I usually have tons of yarn left over after making a pair of socks for myself. But yeah, I ran out of yarn only a few rows from the end of each toe. (Panda sock yarns come in a "one ball per sock" sized skein).
All that said, I still wear these on a regular basis and the yarn has held up well. The toes were finished up with a couple single strands of bamboo held together, which is actually not wearing as well as the actual yarn. But worst case scenario, that can be easily replaced.

Next: Jaywalkers:


Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Company Anne
Why they're only "ok": Well, one problem is the pattern. Since making these I've heard a lot of people talk about how tight the stitch pattern is. And it is. Again, I have small feet (see above), and these are EXTREMELY hard for me to get over my heel. I think there has been a small amount of felting, since the yarn has 25% mohair, but I would definitely recommend making the larger size in this pattern, even if you don't think you need to. As for the yarn, I think it's BEAUTIFUL, but probably better suited to shawls, etc than something you're going to put on your feet.

Finally: More monkeys!

Photo 80.jpg

Yarn: Crash Into Ewe Merino Sock
Why they're only "ok": I love these socks. I wear them all the time. But the skein (which, I don't fault the dyer for but rather her supplier of undyed yarn) had a TON of knots in it (I can't remember the exact number but I'm pretty sure it was close to ten). I've also had to repair both heels, one one time and the other twice. So, while much loved as socks, I'm a little disappointed in the strength of the yarn itself.

*Crystal Palace contacted me yesterday after the first post (as a comment on the previous post, so it's right there for all to see if anyone is interested) and I replied via email. I do sometimes throw socks in the dryer, if I think the yarn can handle it. I know, I know, I'm probably killing the lifespan of my knitted socks, but I still feel a little ridiculous hanging socks to dry. However, with the mini mochi I was a little more skeptical and tried my best to wash them in cold water and keep them out of the dryer. No knitter is perfect, however, so I can't say for sure that they *never* made it into the dryer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Socksposé! The hated.

I've been brewing this post in my head for a while... I wanted to write up a review of the sock yarns I've used and loved... and hated. I don't know if it'll do anyone any good, but you never know, right?

I've also spent a long time trying to figure out how to order them... chronologically? By love/hate ratio? So today I bring you the hated. Socks that have not held up under relatively normal sock conditions. Socks that felted or fallen apart. I'll do my best to give the details that explain why I think things went wrong and how you can avoid a similar sock fatality.

First up: the Lacey Rib Anklets:

lace ribbed anklet

Yarn: Knit Picks Memories (now discontinued)
What went wrong: Well, first of all, this was the first time I attempted socks aside from the ones I made in a class and I decided to make a pattern up myself. Which was fine, but I only had one ball of this yarn (which was 220yds/skein) and so I had to make them fairly short in order to make a pair. So as it stands they were barely anklets anyway. After a few washes (and yes, probably runs through the dryer) they started to felt. In the end I couldn't even keep them over my heels.
The outcome: Garbaged. Sad but true.

Next: Socks on Fire:


Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid
What went wrong: FELTED. Within a couple of washes I could barely get these on my feet, let alone see the pattern.
Outcome: Garbaged. I really liked these socks too.

Rainbow socks:

rainbow socks!

Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi
What went wrong: I'll give you a guess. YUP, felted. I even had a feeling when working with the yarn that it had that potential... single ply, lots of halo. I still love this yarn though, I think it's gorgeous and want to use the worsted weight to make another noro-like scarf. Just DON'T put it in the washing machine.
Outcome: Guess again... thrown out. I kept these as long as possible but by the end they were maybe 1/2 the size they should be and there was no way they were stretching over my feet another time. Sigh.

That's it for the hated. Look for posts about the "livable" and the "loved" over the next few days.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


suéter profundo, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

The pattern for my 3/4 jacket is FINALLY finished and has been posted on ravelry for purchase. Click here for the pattern page or here to purchase for $5.00.

From now until the end of February, 50% of sales will be donated to Knitters without Borders for their relief efforts in Haiti.

Friday, January 1, 2010

one more gift

gloves, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

and a horrific picture of me.

These were made for the boy (yes, there is a new(ish) boy...) so they're a little big on me. They also have a special design feature... the index finger on the right hand has conductive thread in it so he can use the touchscreen on his phone without having to take them off.

Pattern was made up on the fly, yarn was Cascade Cash Vero DK.
Conductive thread is available on several websites but usually comes in large cones. If you just want to get a small amount I got mine here.