Catch Up

This may have been the least relaxing summer of my life. I don’t know that I had a single day in the whole month of July to do exactly what I wanted and nothing else. I didn’t completely realize how busy it was until today when I did only things I wanted to do. It was heavenly.

I did squeeze in some things that were fun though.

This was Jack.

This was Liz (deciding she was tired of me taking pictures)

They were some of the best kittens we have had since Cutty. Hopefully they have already found forever homes.

I baked a pie.

It was made from fresh peaches and blueberries from the farmer’s market. I used a tutorial I found on The Pioneer Woman’s website for homemade crust. It was fabulous.

I tried my hand at knitting two socks at a time on two circulars. At first it seemed to be taking forever to make any progress because I was doing everything twice.

But then at the end it was totally worth it because when I finished them I was finished with BOTH of them! I will definitely do this again.

Then I made a pair of socks and coordinating hat for baby J and my friend AO’s baby shower. I totally failed at taking pictures. This is the only one I have of the set. I did my first crocheting in a long time to make the bear. I used a pattern for the socks and hat but the bear I made up as I went along. It is truly one of  a kind. (and this was my first time working with Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and I am in love with it)

There were cookies at the shower, too. They were the first ones since the graduation. Maybe I have lost my cookie mojo.

I also found some new blogs. This one (fieldwonderful) inspired me to make these Kalajoki socks. You can see the river pattern starting on my first sock. I chose a blue green since the pattern is based on rivers- original I know. But I truly love what fieldwonderful did with the yellow. Plus she is a fellow Kentucky girl! Yay!

I am branching out and have decided to have two projects going at once. This is different for me because I usually make myself finish one before I start another. However, I wanted something simple and mindless going while I was trying to read a charted pattern for the first time so . . .

I cast on for a shawl called pendulum last night.

So how am I going to end my hectic summer? By starting grad school in 10 days. You know, ’cause it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Something Awful and Something Awesome

I have been toying with the idea of knitting for a while now. For some silly reason I thought I would be a crochet traitor if I took that next step to learn knitting. I actually tried to learn knitting some 15 years ago before I started crocheting. It was awful and awkward and boring. However,  I kept reading Alice’s posts at Crochet with Raymond about her beautiful socks (and there are many more fabulous posts where that came from). I tried to crochet a pair of socks, but they just weren’t the same.

Then I heard about knooking and gave that a shot. It did produce fabric that looked like knitting. . .but again not quite the same. About a month ago a read this game changing post by the amazing Stacy at Freshstitches. Basically she showed me that what I wanted to do –  knit a pair of socks – was not going to happen until I learned how to knit.

So I did.

I am not a huge fan of crocheting blocks and rectangles so I figured I wouldn’t be a fan of knitting them. I just couldn’t bring myself to knit a scarf for my first project. Fortunately Matt and Dennis told me about a really fantastic knitting resource, Staci at Very Pink. I could not have gotten started without her help! She has the most amazing tutorials and tips.

Hubby has already claimed this hat (even though it is something awful and full of newbie mistakes).

Apparently some people wait years after learning to knit before they attempt a pair of socks. The whole reason I was learning to knit was for socks. So I thought why not make it my second project?!

These are a pair of socks knitted on size 5 DPNs with Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn. I again turned to the fabulous Staci at Very Pink and used these videos and accompanying pattern. Stacy at Freshstitches (confused yet?) also has a great beginners sock pattern that I did not find until after I was halfway through this pair. It is totally worth checking out as well.

Now that is something awesome!

I love them.

A lot.

I have already finished my next project (because I have become a knitting fool), but this post is long enough. I’ll just go ahead and let you know it involves cables. . .

socks

I really love to crochet. I haven’t really been interested in learning to knit. . .until I started looking for patterns for socks.  Most patterns for socks that are crocheted end up looking like doilies on your feet.

This is a perfectly fine pattern if this is the look you want.  I’m not knocking it, in fact here is the link if you want the pattern.  http://www.freepatterns.com/members/download.html?code=FC01263

I just wanted a pattern that looked and felt like real socks. I know there are some challenges with crochet, the fabric can be bulkier and the stitches more open, but I just knew someone else had wanted real crocheted socks, too. I finally thought I had found what I was looking for at www.crochetspot.com. The site is run by Rachel and you should see some of the fabulous patterns she has! I know I will be doing more shopping there in the future (disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Rachel, I just really like her site and designs)

So I bought the yarn.

I decided to make the first pair for Brandon and he was super excited (and tolerant because the pattern calls for multiple measurements so I had to keep interrupting his homework to put the half finished sock on his foot) When the first one was finished I was very happy to see that the fabric was thin, had nice give to it, and looked like a real sock!

Brandon wanted an ankle sock so that made finishing it even easier (the pattern has lots of room for personal adjustment, which is awesome). I was happy! I had found a great pattern, and finished a sock. Then Brandon told me he needed two socks. I thought it was a lot to ask, I mean I had worked really hard on the first one and was ready to move on to another project. I had already found a lot of other patterns I wanted to try, maybe something for myself this time. I told him he could just alternate the sock back and forth between his feet. He wasn’t too thrilled, so I started on the second sock.

Here it is finally! It took a few months because I just didn’t have the same motivation with the second one. However, Brandon was thrilled so I guess they are a success.

I don’t know that I will crochet many more socks, I find that a project that requires two of the same thing is kind of tedious. I did like working with a yarn that made its own stripes, so I might look for more projects that would look good in different colors. I did really like the pattern, but it is still pretty obvious these socks were not knitted. Maybe I will learn how to knit (although it makes me feel like a crochet traitor)