Monday, August 27, 2007

a quick brag

I started back to school today. The kids start on Wednesday so we teachers are busy preparing for their first day back. I'm teaching grade one this year. I've only taught grade one once before so I'll be busy.

I went to Yorkton SK dog shows on the weekend. I am exhausted and it was probably not the wisest move before heading back to work. However, Bentley had an awesome weekend! There were six shows in three days and between ten and twelve mini long dachsies entered at each one. Bentley and his sister Chloe split the Best of Breed wins between them (at the tender age of just barely nine months old), each of them also won a Group 4th placement, and Bentley won one Best Puppy in Group and Chloe won two Best Puppy in Groups! Bentley's breeder Daphne has a theory that Bentley wins in the mornings at shows and Chloe wins in the afternoons and it certainly held true for the weekend.

I have lots of pictures to sort through and am too tired and busy to worry about it today but I will post some in the near future.

Monday, August 20, 2007

In search of the perfect purled sole

I have sensitive feet and I also have diabetes. Most socks that have stocking stitch on the sole bother my feet because of the purl bumps. So I have been on the lookout for a way to knit the perfect purled sole.

I started by purling all of the heel turn, gusset and sole stitches on this sock, Baby Cable Ribs from Sensational Knitted Socks. I used 2mm needles with the Socks That Rock lightweight yarn.
It worked but frankly, it was a pain. I got tired of substituting SSPs for the SSKs and P2togs for the K2togs. SSPs are fiddly.

So then I tried this.
I decided to purl the heel turn and then gradually increase the purl stitches on the sole of this Monkey sock while keeping the gusset decreases in stocking stitch. It works but it looks kind of odd. I think that I'll frog it. Poor Monkey sock and I have had our issues and this is not the first time it has been frogged. Yarn is Lisa Souza's Delft colorway, also knit on 2mm needles.

Then I discovered Lynn H.'s Fast Florida Footies pattern. (Cascade Fixation on 3mm needles.)
The heel turn continues the slip stitch heel pattern, then one row of knit stitches are used for picking up the gusset. All but four of the sole stitches are purled (two on each side of the sole). Lynn is obviously a very bright person! It looks neat, is easy on the feet, and the fiddly gusset decreases are done in knit stitches.

So now I have used Lynn's technique on this vanilla sock in Skacel Trampoline Stretch (leg knit on 2.5mm needles, foot on 2.0mm needles).
I didn't use Lynn's No Purl Heel Stitch, just a regular slip stitch heel flap, then continued it through the heel turn. You can see the start of the gusset. All but four of the sole stitches are purled, then there is a marker between the sole and gusset stitches. There's another marker between the gusset and the stocking stitch instep stitches so that it's easy to remember where to do the decreases.

It wasn't easy to find information to do this technique. Most references are casual and just say to purl the sole stitches. I was a sock knitting newbie when I started looking for help to do this and was frustrated by the lack of information. Hopefully this little tutorial will help someone else. Thank you to Lynn H. for publishing instructions for her FFF pattern!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

more dyeing done

I dyed five more skeins of sock yarn yesterday and put them in my Etsy store. Please have a peek. This dyeing stuff is way cool fun!

Monday, August 13, 2007

another pair done

Regia Cotton Surf for me; plain vanilla pattern on 2.0 mm double points. I love how they look with my faded jeans.

(edit: I machine washed and dried these socks after taking these pictures and they are even softer now. Very comfortable, cool socks!)

Friday, August 10, 2007

I did it!!

I set up shop on Etsy! Please come by and have a peek at Dog Lover's Yarn shop.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

more yarn to dye for....

Nodding Violet



This picture doesn't do this yarn justice. It is mercerized wool and absorbed the dye beautifully. It has a wonderful lustrous sheen.

I'm happy with these. My results are becoming more consistent and I'm learning how to mix and combine the colors to my satisfaction. I'm seriously thinking about opening an Etsy shop when I have more skeins ready to go.

Geoff's socks

Geoff wanted short socks so short socks I made. They are the Socks That Rock yarn in the Monsoon colorway which was one of the STR club shipments from the spring made into a plain vanilla sock. I made them ankle length at his request but, as you can see in the top picture, he's even folding the cuff down on this length. The color does camouflage nicely in the grass. As usual, Bentley saw a person sitting and had to sneak in for a cuddle. We don't call him a love-sponge for nothing.