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Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm moving!

My blog is moving. I just couldn't wait one minute longer to use the beta blogger and I needed to cure my split personality of two blogs.

I hope you will join me here at the new Fiber Star - Confessions of a mother who crochets and sometimes reads too much.

I plan to keep this blog here for now and slowly move some if not all the posts over to my new blog.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My WIPS and WIMS Wednesday

WIPs - Works in Progress
UFOs - Unfinished Objects - They were WIPS at one time but have not been touched for a very long time
WIMS - Works in my mind

I have very few wips right now as so many of them turned to UFOs recently.

Sushi pattern testing

UFO's that really need to move back up to WIPS
*Mary Werst doily for a gift
**Irish and brugges lace crochet doily
* Nova star Afgahn - I really want to finish to enjoy it this winter.
*freeform doll blanket - finish for my daughter
freeform bag or possible a shawl
freeform tea cozy for me
finish sewing a rabbit doll and embroider the face
weave in ends on a hat
**hemp tote bag
small purse - need to finish shoulder strap and write up the pattern
*embroider face and finish weaving in ends on rabbit
a scarf out of lace weight yarn

Many of these need to move up to a WIP soon because I need to make them for gifts!
WIMS: lot of these are for gift this year:
**a few more small doilies
**Several bookmarks
**cases to hold the kids gameboys and a game or too
**crocheted doll clothes
**purse for dd
butterfly lapghan
butterfly shawl
Sweet Sweater on Crochet Me or a Shrug from Interweave Crochet
a shawl idea using some Paton's Divine I inherited from a friend and possibly submit somehwere
another pair of socks!
a crocheted skirt - I have seen several that I want to do
Sweat Pea Shawl in the Happy Hooker
**make ornaments for the ornament swap on crochetville

Destined to be frogged:
a scarf - I decide I did not like the colors
a poncho that just didn't come together - not sure it's even worth frogging
a sweater I started at the end of winter using some lionbrand homespun - I will either use the yarn to make the Sweet Sweater, shrug or maybe a shawl. I can't decide. I could even break down to make a small lapghan too.

What I need to do is make my to do list for the holidays and get hookin' I am behind!

More Socks

I think I am addicted to socks. I want to learn to knit too just so I can make even more socks.

Yesterday, I finished my 4th pair of crocheted socks and I am fairly pleased with how they turned out. I still have some kinks to work out to make the perfect pair.

I used the toe-up sock tutorial here on crochetville. I'll take you through the steps and share my insights so you will able to make the perfect pair of socks for your feet.

Step One - Foot measurements:

I added a few xtra measurements because the socks I have made in the past were tighter as I got to the arch and knew I was would need to vary the stitches needed for proper fit.

Ball of foot: 9 inches
Arch: 10 inches
Ankle: 91/2 inches
Length of foot: 10 inches

Step Two- Gauge Swatch
I didn't worry about row gauge so much as my stitch gauge. I used Knit Picks Essentials in purple and a purple D hook- 3.25mm (it is not mandatory to use the same color hook as your socks but I found it appropriate if not a bit confusing at times)

I did a pretty slack approach, I only crocheted for an inch in length(rows) and 4 inches wide. I plan to do a bigger swatch piece next time and do it in the round as well to get a more accurate gauge.

My gauge was:

6+ stitches/inch

Then I took the 6sts-1st=5sts

5sts x 9inches = 45sts - added one to make it 46sts for my purposes.

Step Three- Crocheting the Toe and Foot

I used sc and sc back loop only for the foot.

I chained 9 then followed the instructions for the most part to complete to reach the 46st required. The tutorial suggested a 3 stitch increase in one stitch I did one sc increase on each side. I am not sure if this is a problem or not. It did take me 14 rows to get to the 46 sts required before I worked even. Other toe-up patterns I have done did 2sc increases on each side for a total of 4 increases each row.

1- Purple Toe Up Socks

When I reached the 46 sts I marked the sides of the foot and centered 20sts on what I considered the top of the sock. I worked sc around, when I reached the 20sts area I crocheted in the back loop only.

2a - Purple Toe-Up Socks

I like how it looks but I am not sure if I will do this again using sc. I did want to add some pattern to my sock. I might try this again with extended sc. I want expand my pattern repretiore especially for socks.

Step Three - Arch - (I added this to ensure proper fit)

Using my measurements it suggested I should increase to 50sts. I increased to 52sts and still think I needed more. I started increases at 30rows(of back loop pattern-44rows total) which was about 4 or more inches of sock.

I worked 2 increases (one on each side), worked even, increase, even , increase etc. The end result is still a bit tight around my arch, even though I did more stitches than my gauge suggested. I think there are several factors adding to the tightness. I needed to start increases sooner. The stitch pattern I was using, sc back loop only, is not very stretchy.

I continued the pattern rows until I reached the recommended 3in from the length of your foot. I think I needed to go a bit longer maybe as much as 2.5 inches from the end of my foot.

WIP: Toe-Up Socks

Step 4 - Short rowed heel:

I can't be much help here. I found the short rowed heel a bit tricky. I added stitches which ended up being a helpful thing! I could not figure out how to do the short rowed heel to get the same number of stitches I started with. When I finished my heel I ended up with 64sts. I decreased those stitches to 58sts.

WIP: Toe-Up Socks

WIP: Toe-Up Socks

Step 5 - Leg:

My plan was to continue with the sc back loop pattern up the leg but it was painfully slow going so I gave up and worked alternating rows of sc and extended sc. I really like how that looks and plan to use it for the foot and leg part in future socks. As I worked up the leg of the sock I decreases to 54sts total. I worked the decreases in the sc rows. I started those after I had worked 2inches or so of the leg pattern.

After I worked 4plus inches of the leg pattern I slip stitched to join then ch2 and dc around. Then did 3 rows of front post dc all around. I did a ch2 for the beginning of each round instead of a ch3. I joined to the ch2 slip stitching around.

Wove in my ends and put my socks on!

2 great iPhotos

I love how they look and feel when they get on but they are a bit tight to get over my heel. I seem to have that problem with toe-up socks and I don't have it with the top-down sock I just made.

I may end up being a top-down sock maker after all to ensure I can get my foot in my sock easily. I have not given up hope yet. I may need to crochet longer before I start the heel and use a stretchier stitch pattern throughout. I think that yarn choice might be a factor as well. Knit Picks Essential has less stretch than Patons Kroy. I don't want to give up on Knit Picks yet because I love the solid colors and the reasonable price tag. I only needed 2 skiens to make my bit higher that ankle length socks. Yeah! They are sooo soft too.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A belated blog thanks to my Autumn Secret Pal

Secret Pal Swap
Originally uploaded by sammimag.
I received a lovely package from my Secret Pal on crochetville.

She sent me chocolate and licorice - Yum!
Paton's Kroy sock yarn and a sock pattern book. I'm new to making socks so this is perfect!

Cotton yarn for making dishcloths and a sweet little teddy that was a hint where she lives.

If you've been keeping track, I have already made a pair of socks from the book.

Thanks Pal :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sock Yarn Reviews

My views are from the standpoint of someone who makes a crocheted socks. My socks are only a few months old so I can't attest to wear a tear. I'm pretty hard on my socks so I think all of my socks are doing well so far.

Patons Kroy:

Patons Kroy is a superwash/nylon blend. It's a soft yarn that feels very comfortable as a crocheted sock. Not sure about wear a tear so far. As I have not washed them. I found the yarn difficult to work with. It splits easily and if I had to go down to hook size smaller than an E-3.50-3.25 mm. I'd quit! The sock I made is stretchy too. I needed just over 2 skeins to make the socks I made here. I'm disappointed there are few solid colors available in this yarn.

I have washed them once and they came out fine with no noticeable piling and they "shrunk back to size" a bit as they had stretched out some after being worn.

Sockotta by Plymouth:

I like my Sockotta yarn socks. The yarn is spun well so the yarn does not split. Yet after making the other socks I wonder if the tightness in my afterthought heel has some to do that it is a cotton/wool/nylon blend. The cotton does not lend itself to stretch much and since crochet is less stretchy than knit that may be a problem. I still want to make one more pair of socks with this yarn using a short rowed heel and see how the yarn performs.

I like how these feel on my feet. One skein can make a pair of med-large ankle size socks. I'd need a few grams from another skein to make taller socks. You can see the socks I made with this yarn here and here.

I enjoy the colors available yet again there are few solid colors available in this sock yarn and seem to be hard to come by online or at my LYS.

Knit Pick Essential Solids:

Review to come soon when I make pair of socks! I love the colors that are available. If you haven't figure it out. I want some solid colors socks! I have green and purple. The purple is on my hook right now.

Easy Does It - Socks

Thanks to my Autumn Secret Pal I got Crocheted Socks! and some Patons Kroy yarn. So I made these socks.

Easy Does It
All done and the feel great.

I had to do lots of adjusting to the pattern to make them fit me which has me wondering about pattern sizing. I like socks that fit on the snug side. All the finished sizes for this book are the same size as my foot so that would make a pretty big sock in the end don't you think?

Anyway by the time I was done with the sock I was using stitch count for a small sock rather than a large sock. I will probably adjust the pattern around the leg for the next pair of socks I make.

I still think the book is useful for ideas and a starting point. Just try on your socks as you go! Even better do a few socks using the free toe-patterns on line to give you a sense of the gauge you need to get your a socks on and off easily then making these socks will easier.

Top Down Socks
Here I am wearing another pair of socks I made. It was cold in the house! I have just finished the cuff of the sock and started on the leg.

Easy Does It
The leg is almost done and I am ready to do the heal flap and heel turn.

Easy Does It
They look good in my shoes too.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tea Cozy and more! - Thank You!

Tea Cozy
Originally uploaded by sammimag.
A package in the mail yeah!

It was a lovely surprise after a long day exploring a Lewis and Clark celebration in Atchison, Ks.

She not only sent a me a lovely tea cozy but some yummy coffees and raspberry flavored black tea, and some biscuits all the way from New York City. The raspberry tea came in the a little tin too. I just love little tins. She also made me a hot pad to rest my tea pot on too. This makes it perfect because I can brew up a pot of tea and keep it right next to me in the living room where I crochet and read.

Thanks swap partner. I love it all. Yesterday, I enjoyed a pot of Cinnamon Coffee. The weather has cooled off quite a bit so I plan on brewing up a pot of the raspberry tea today. I wish I could see New York City again someday. Last time I was there was when I was 19 years young.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tea Time Freeform Style

I made this Tea Cozy as for a swap on crocketville this month. I asked my partner if she would like a freeform cozy and she did. I love getting a chance to make something doing freeform crochet.

So off I went and bought some spiral instructions I have wanted to purchase for a while now. I was a bit disappointed in the the quality of the instructions but they did help me figure out how to do bobble spirals and other spiral techniques. In the end I think they were worth it because my partner likes her cozy - phew!

Freeform Tea Cozy

Freefrom Tea Cozy

A few more pictures you can check out they are clickable.

Freeform Tea CozyFreeform Tea Cozy

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Originally uploaded by sammimag.
These are the pair of socks I did as a part of a Sock CAL on the CGOA members email list. I made these to fit a bit more snug than my first pair but I have still have some learning to do.

My next pair I plan on doing what's called a short rowed heel which will eliminate the chaining around the ankle which always give me this tight feel and doesn't offer much give around the ankle.

I finished these a few months ago just when t he temperatures soared up to the 100's. I didn't even want to put them on to take a picture!

Today they were the perfect thing to keep my toes warm on this cool fall day.

I used Sockotta sock yarn. I love how it feels.