Delilah Socks – Pair # 56

Delilah socks is another gorgeous pattern from the book The Sock Drawer by Verity Castledine. I would highly recommend this book if you’re an avid sock knitter as I am 🙂

With its simple four row repeat and the added interest of twisted stitches, Delilah is a wonderful introduction to lace knitting.

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Who’d have thought that a simple four row repeat could create such a lovely pattern.

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The yarn I used for these socks was the second batch I solar dyed using Queen food colours. I used the Knit Picks Bare Hare undyed as the base yarn.

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There are two sizes you can knit and I chose the larger size. If you wish to knit these socks in the larger size, here are a few errors that were spotted that you’ll need to take note of:

Delilah Errata:
For the larger size cast on 72 sts and not 70. The pattern repeats are 12 sts.
To turn the heel
sl 1, k19, ssk, k1, turn (for large size only)
Heel
Turn, and work on the next 36 st leaving remaining 36 unworked on your needle (for large size only)

This is quite a popular pattern in the book with some knitters making more than one pair and I can understand why 🙂

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So, if you’re after a new sock knitting book, this is the one for you. Beautifully photographed with interesting patterns that are easy to understand.

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To finish off, here are some of my latest Opp Shop bargain buys 🙂

ANZ money boxAvon sheepLamb

This next framed picture is quite different. The wording on it says “1st prize RAS Wolverhampton Shropshire Ram”

Shropshire Ram

Although this mug is not sheep related, I loved the Parisian pictures and it’s made of porcelain and is so light as opposed to some quite heavy and chunky coffee mugs that I own.

Paris mug

And finally…..I treated myself to some ChiaoGoo Interchangeable needles in the small sizes (2.75mm, 3.25mm, 3.5mm, 3.75mm, 4.0mm, 4.5mm, 5.0mm, small ended cables in 35cm, 55cm, 75cm, set includes small cable connector, stitch markers, small end stoppers, keys and a needle gauge). I absolutely love them!! The tips are nice and pointy which makes it so easy when stitches can get a bit tight and the steel is a matte look but still lovely and smooth. These came from my local ChiaoGoo dealer: Chantelle from Fiberific. Super quick postage was an added bonus!

Chiaogoo Interchangeable Needles small

That’s all my news for now! I’ve just volunteered for another sock knitting pattern test knit so I’d best cast on!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

Suvena Socks

I bought this gorgeous sock knitting book called The Sock Drawer from the UK recently. It has some beautiful sock patterns and the photos in the book are quite stunning. As you know, I do love knitting socks and when a new book appeared in another knitter’s Instagram feed I was immediately intrigued and sought out the book.

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I certainly wasn’t disappointed. After reading through the book I decided on the Suvena socks.

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I was really quite intrigued at how the cable pattern moves across the front of the leg in a spiral. Slowly twisting across the from top of the socks, this travelling cable is inspired by a fish tail braid. Its name comes from the Indian word for ‘braid of beautiful hair.’ The six row repeat is memorised quickly and the travelling element deceptively simple to master.

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It’s quite beautiful isn’t it?

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I knew exactly what yarn I was going to use. Remember the solar dyeing I did not long ago? I think this yarn was a perfect selection.

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I love the shades of orange and yellow; they’re such fresh colours.

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I must stress here that I did find a couple of crucial errors in the pattern which would cause some angst to those quite new to knitting socks. I made the L size and here are the corrections to the errors I found:

Errata: large size only

To work the heel:
Working across 36 st,
WS: sl 1, k2, p4, k4, p4, k6, p4, k4, p4, k3
RS: sl 1 wyif, p2, k4, p4, k4, p6, k4, p4, k4, p3

To turn the heel:
With RS facing,
sl 1, k19, ssk, k1 turn
sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn

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There is a Facebook group called The Sock Drawer KAL where more errata can be found for some of the other patterns. It is such a shame the patterns weren’t tested by a number of knitters before being published as this is the only thing that lets the book down. The presentation of the patterns and the photographs are beautiful and it really is a great addition to any knitter’s library. I am so glad I own this book 🙂

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I can see these socks are going to be a favourite not only because of the pattern but because of the colours too 🙂

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I have since made another pair of socks from the book which I’ll show you very soon.

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So, if you are on the lookout for another sock pattern book to add to your collection, I would highly recommend The Sock Drawer by Verity Castledine but do check beforehand if there are any errors in the pattern and if you do come across something that doesn’t seem quite right, post a comment in the Facebook KAL as someone else may have a solution.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Sassenach Socks – Pair # 53

These beautiful socks are the latest pattern test knit I completed for Dana Gervais who is the most prolific sock pattern writer! The detail in these socks amazes me and they were an absolute pleasure to knit.

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I used a solid colour to ensure the pattern was highlighted as much as possible. I bought this yarn from a Facebook destash and it had no tag on it but I believe it could be a merino/alpaca blend. It’s very soft and was a pleasure to knit with.

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Inspired by the book and television series, Outlander, Sassenach socks are designed to be a mix of both masculine and feminine while being modern and distinctly argyle.

Worked cuff down, this fun sock pattern uses cables and lace to create a contemporary argyle pattern down the front of the leg and on the top of the foot. The heel features an eye of partridge heel flap and half handkerchief heel. The sock ends with a wedge toe that is grafted closed with Kitchener stitch.

Instructions are given to knit the socks in narrow, medium, wide and extra wide widths.

sassenach-24It took me a while to get into the pattern rhythm but by the end of the first sock I was well into it.

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I read the pattern once however by the time I reached the toe section in the first sock I just assumed you knitted the pattern until it was time for the toe decreases which resulted in this look.

sassenach-04What it should look like is this.

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Now, I’m a bit torn as I quite like my look!

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Seeing as my socks will be covered by shoes no one will notice the difference anyway! I’d be interested in what finish you prefer. That just goes to show that some mistakes actually look okay!

As I mentioned, there’s lots of lovely detail in the pattern which shows off so well against a solid colour.

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I’m on a bit of a sock knitting roll at the moment after having purchased this book.

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The book is beautifully presented with some lovely patterns but be warned, if you are fairly new to sock knitting there are some errors in some patterns so make sure you join the FB page which itemises some of the errors. I’m on my second pair of socks using the yarn I solar dyed not long ago. Will show you them very soon 🙂 And I will also note any errors I found.

I can’t leave before I show you some of my latest Opp shop buys 🙂

What do you think of these cute sheep (or should I say, ram) slippers?

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They were only $3 a pair and they’re both size L which fit perfectly 🙂 As one of my friends said, one pair for upstairs and one pair for downstairs 🙂

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Plus this lovely sheep mug with black and white sheep on it.

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I actually bought this mug at a chemist. Couldn’t leave it behind could I?

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And lastly, one of my friends was cleaning out her jewellery box and found this brooch which she believes is about 30 years old. I was the first person she thought of 🙂 Isn’t it gorgeous? I wore it to Knit and Knatter last Saturday.

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That’s all my news for the time being. I hope, if you live in Australia, you’ve managed to keep as cool as possible as this awful record-breaking hot weather hits the country.

Until next time…

Melanie

Solar Dyeing with Queen Food Colours

With all the hot weather we’ve had lately in Brisbane, I decided to use some of the sun’s heat by doing some solar dyeing using food colours.

Now let me warn you, I am not an ‘exact measurement’ dyer when it comes to mixing the food colours and water. I found half the fun was actually putting about a cup of water into a jar (I had a nice collection of old jam jars) and then adding a few drops of the dye until I had a colour I liked. When the mixture ran out, I’d just add some more water and dye and made another shade. It’s really fun!

Before I started I soaked my skeins of wool overnight in a 3 parts water / 1 part vinegar solution. The vinegar helps the yarn grab the dye more quickly. Plus, if your yarn is scratchy, it softens it up quite nicely!

There is lots of information on the internet about dyeing and I would suggest you read as much as you can so you understand what you are actually doing!

Chantelle from Fiberific has made a fantastic YouTube video on basic dyeing with food colours although she uses steaming to set her dye. This video is very informative and I’d recommend you watch it if this is your first foray into dyeing. She shows you how to lay out your plastic Glad Wrap and wrap your skeins in the sausage shape.

Here is the result of my dyeing:

This effect was obtained by randomly squirting drops from a pipette all over the skeins. It will be interesting to see how it knits up.

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For this effect I simply alternated between an orange dye and a green dye.

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Once I had ‘painted’ the dye onto the skeins, I just rolled them into a sausage shape in plastic Glad Wrap and placed each sausage into a black garbage bag on the pavers out in the sun. Once the colour has been absorbed and any liquid is relatively clear is when your yarn is ready to rinse and hang out to dry.

This is my favourite colour which is a combination of yellow and yellow/orange.

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I have used this yarn to make a pair of socks and they are coming along nicely 🙂

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So if you are interested in dyeing some yarn using the sun’s heat I would highly recommend it. All my skeins are OOAKs (one of a kinds) as I didn’t measure the drops of colour I used. I find this is less stressful and it’s always a surprise to get a unique skein.

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Don’t these skeins look amazing!!

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And here are caked skeins

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Have fun solar dyeing with food colours 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Away From the Lighthouse Socks – Pair # 52

Another another sock pattern test knit is completed!! This pattern, called Away from the Lighthouse, is by Penny Schumers. This is my second test knit for this designer, the previous was for the Down the Hourglass socks.

Because they are constructed to withstand powerful storms, lighthouses are frequently depicted as symbols of strength, shelter, protection and peace. This stitch pattern reflects a strong pillar accented by two twisting “waves”.

away-from-the-lighthouse-11I love all the details in this pattern, particularly the cables.

away-from-the-lighthouse-10Despite the fact I was using a cable needle and not twisting the stitches as I knitted them, these socks were surprisingly quick to knit.

away-from-the-lighthouse-16I absolutely adore the beautiful and gradual colour changes in this sock yarn but I wasn’t overly impressed with the yarn itself and that’s mainly because it’s a single and tended to split a bit. The yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Fingering which is a 70% wool / 30% nylon yarn.

chroma-fingering

Having said that, I bought two different balls of the Chroma Fingering so I’ll have to be extra careful when using the second ball. Luckily, the colour changes are so lovely, they override the singles aspect of the wool 🙂

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My favourite part of the of knitting socks is ‘turning the heel’ and making sure there are no little holes when picking up the stitches along the heel flap.

away-from-the-lighthouse-13I would highly recommend this pattern but make sure if you do decide to knit these socks you select a relatively solid colour and not a highly patterned yarn.

away-from-the-lighthouse-05away-from-the-lighthouse-07away-from-the-lighthouse-08away-from-the-lighthouse-14Until next time…

Melanie

Heliotrope Socks – Pair # 51

It’s been a while since I’ve shown you a pair of completed socks but I have still been knitting them! This pair was a test knit and I’m embarrassed to say, I finished the first sock in April and the second sock only recently. I’ve just been so sidetracked over the months either knitting other garments, spinning or weaving. Heliotrope socks were created by a very talented pattern writer: Dana Gervais whose patterns can be found in her Ravelry store.

Dana lives in Canada but no matter when I post a question or comment on the forum, she always responds so quickly! Her attention to detail is amazing and I can highly recommend her patterns. I also follow Dana on Instagram.

I love this pattern! The sock is worked from the cuff down, features a delicate cable pattern, heel flap and gusset and a toe that is grafted with Kitchener stitch.

heliotrope-socks-01The pattern really pops against the purple sock yarn don’t you think?

heliotrope-socks-02heliotrope-socks-03heliotrope-socks-04The yarn I used is Waikiwi by Naturally.

naturally-waikiki-purpleLove this yarn as it’s easy to knit with and doesn’t split. I’m not usually a purple fan but I rather love the richness of this royal purple.

I’m really quite pleased with how my sock knitting has progressed. I no longer get that little hole which sock knitters will know about 🙂

heliotrope-socks-05This heel is called the half handkerchief (v-shaped heel).

heliotrope-socks-06The pattern is created by these two stitch cables. I used another needle which was fiddly to start with but I soon became adept at it!

heliotrope-socks-07I have just finished another pair of Dana’s socks for another test knit. This time I made sure I finished the second sock straight away. I’ll show you them very soon.

I wish you all a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous 2017 that is filled with lots of yarn and fibre 🙂

Even though it is quite hot in Brisbane today, I will be sitting down to finish off another pair of socks! What do you have on your needles?

Until next time…

Melanie

Spinning Tales and Wheels

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging about any knitted garments recently and that’s because I’ve been quite busy spinning. Yes, I’m in the spinning mood and have four wheels on the go with different spinning projects. Plus, of course, I do have a number of knitting projects on the go too!

I’ve recently finished this Ixchel Bunny Fibres‘ blend called Don’t You Want Me Baby. It’s plied with a beautiful gold metallic thread and I’ve made a gorgeous shawl with this yarn which I’ll show you very soon.

Dont You Want Me Baby 01 Dont You Want Me Baby 03This stunning Ixchel Bunny Fibres’ blend called Peacock in a Pear Tree is currently on my Sickinger wheel. I love the glitz that Charly adds to her blends as they make each spinning project ‘pop’.

Peacock in a Pear Tree 01I recently sold this Black Bunny Tops from Ixchel Bunny Fibres to a friend who is going to use it in a weaving project. It’s plied with a grey thread.

Black Bunny Tops Silver Grey 01This is 100% merino in the colourway Desert.

Desert 01I absolutely love this Ixchel Bunny FibresMagic Bunny blend!

Ixchel Blue Green Apricot 076And here it is plied, skeined and in a cake 🙂

Ixchel Blue Green Apricot 01 I’m knitting a shawl with this beautiful rainbow blend. I’ve had to take a few photos so you can see all the lovely colours.

Rainbow 05Rainbow 01 Rainbow 02 This next colourway is not usually one I would select, however, the red and orange were so vibrant I couldn’t resist. It’s another Ixchel Bunny Fibres‘ blend called Sunset on Mars.

Sunset on Mars 01Sunset on Mars 02I had a sliver of red merino so I spun it and plied it with the Sunset on Mars and it looks a treat!

Sunset on Mars 05 Sunset on Mars 06Stunning isn’t it?

Sunset on Mars 13 Sunset on Mars 16So as you can see, even though I haven’t been showing you many knitted garments lately, I certainly haven’t been idle 🙂

I’ve also been visiting the Opp Shops a bit and managed to acquire a few more goodies which I’ll show you soon plus I’ve just picked up another two spinning wheels. One is an Ashford Traveller. I sold my previous one but when I saw this one on Gumtree for $50 I couldn’t resist. It came with some books and the red sliver of merino. It’s just missing two bobbins which I can easily pick up 🙂

Ashford Traveller 06 Ashford Traveller 07 Ashford Traveller 08The other spinning wheel I picked up is a Sleeping Beauty Thumbelina but I need to get a part made before it is functional.

Well that’s all my news for now!

Until next time…

Melanie