Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Cotty FO, Hey Teach, TDF Day 2, and Thoughts on Socks

Today I have an FO to share with you! I finished the Cotty socks yesterday and was able to get a few decent pictures of them despite our lack of lighting in the house. We have 7 actual light fixtures and 2 lamps for a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, house with living room, dining room and den. The 7 actual fixtures are in the downstairs hall, upstairs hall, bathrooms (2 full, 1 half), kitchen and dining room. We have the two lamps in the bedroom and office. Neither give much light. We need to go on a light buying spree! I’m getting a little tired of the lack of light in the house in the evenings. Anyway… I got the best pictures in the dining room which seems to have the most light aside from the hallways and downstairs bathroom. (Have I mentioned I love this green paint we picked? I really do and green usually isn’t a color that appeals to me!)

This is my first WIP down for WIP Wrestling and my 4th pair of socks for the 52 Pair Plunge III.

Cotty, Complete
Oh, hello, we are ready to wear now!

Pattern: Cotty by Irishgirlieknits (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 26, 2009
Completed: July 5, 2009
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock mediumweight in Dreidel (gifted to me by Laura)
Needles: Knit Picks US 2 DPNs
Notes: I made some intentional and unintentional modifications. The pattern is written for top down with picot edge. I’ve really fallen in love with toe-up socks and short row heels, so I decided to modify the pattern to toe-up with a short row heel. I’ll admit I’m too lazy to bother with a picot edge on toe up socks because that means I can’t just do a provisional cast on and then knit the folded edge over when the time comes and that I’d have to sew it down instead. I don’t trust that I could sew it down loose enough to be able to still fit, so that went out the window and I did 1×1 ribbing instead. Those were my intentional modifications. My unintentional modification ended up being from my lack of really reading the pattern. Once you do the leg, you are supposed to have 4 repeats of the lace (two columns on each side of your leg). Well… I didn’t notice that until after both socks were done!! So, instead, I just have two repeats of the lace on the front half of the leg instead of four. Whoops. It’s alright, though, because I love them all the same! I think that if I hadn’t moved recently, these would have gone a heck of a lot faster, but there were other things that needed doing first 😉

Cotty, Complete

Yesterday I got in an hour of spinning time and ended up filling my bobbin. This time I drafted all my fiber before I started spinning instead of doing a little at a time like I did on Saturday. This made it a lot easier to keep the flow going! I noticed that it was coming out a lot more consistent this time and less super bulky/not so bulky/super thin like it was. I’m still getting bits that are really thin and a bit thicker, but nothing like it was. It’s so great to see improvement already!! It’s been keeping me motivated to keep at it.

Tour de Fleece, Day 2
Getting better!

Yesterday we went over to Matt’s mom’s to do some laundry. We did get the washer and dryer set up, but the dryer requires a gas hook up, which Matt’s dad needs to install. We were running low on clean clothing, so we brought two loads to his mom’s. Since she only has one washer and one dryer at her apartment, it took a while to do. I’m sure you know I did some knitting while waiting, right? Since I’d finished my Cotty socks by then, I was working on the back piece of Hey Teach. I got really close to being done with the back piece while there. When I got home I just had to put the 35 center stitches on a holder and knit the little shoulder bits. This didn’t take long to do and now I have a finished back piece.

Hey Teach, Back Complete
Back piece of Hey Teach complete!

Today I cast on for the left front. I think this will be the only thing I’m working on until it’s done, so I’m hoping it goes by quickly like it did the first time I knit it. I’m hoping it will be WIP two down for WIP Wrestling!

Hey Teach, Left Front
Small beginning of the left front

I’m sure many regular readers have noticed how many socks I knit. You can pretty much bet on the fact that I’ll have at least one pair on the needles at any given time. Did you notice something else? I always use DPNs. ALWAYS. I just prefer them. I did try magic loop once and hated it. Since then, I’ve never gone back to try it again and really don’t find the thought of giving it another go very appealing. I have to admit, though, that since I’ve been helping mod the Socks from the Toe-Up KAL on Ravelry, I’ve noticed I seem to be a minority! Well, I’ll also admit that this seems to be the case with most sock knitters I know, too. They all seem to prefer magic loop over DPNs. I know loads of people who think DPNs are fiddly and I’ll even admit that they can be (especially when you first start out a toe-up sock, but this doesn’t seem to deter me at all), but I just don’t get the magic loop love. I’m sure I’ll have a number of comments from folks that love magic loop and I know that many wouldn’t be knitting socks without having discovered it and I’m happy for all who love it so much – really, I am! 🙂 It just makes me feel a little “out of the loop” for not being in on this magic loopin’ love. I’m considering giving it another shot. I mean, let’s face it, had I not given socks another go, I wouldn’t be knitting as many as I do now!

Speaking of which, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about my first sock attempt here. I don’t even have the socks anymore and I’m fairly certain that they were lost in the move from Connecticut to Ohio, but good grief they were AWFUL. I was maybe 6 months to a year into knitting and I was seeing people all over the internet going crazy over knit socks. I wanted to knit them too! This was at the point in my knitting that I really didn’t know what an LYS was and I was getting all my yarn from Big Box Craft Stores. So, not knowing much about yarn weights still and thinking I could us any old yarn I wanted, I went down to AC Moore, picked up some US 2 DPN’s and two skeins of TLC Cotton Plus yarn. For those not familiar with TLC Cotton Plus, it’s worsted weight yarn that is 51% cotton/49% acrylic. Yeah… and I was going to knit socks with it on size 2’s!! Can you guess how my attempt turned out? The socks were knit at such a tight gauge that they were like iron. They did fit, but they were incredibly difficult to get on and once they were on, they were almost painful to move around in! Talk about a knitting fail – this is probably my biggest one! Of course, at the time I had no idea what I was doing and was just blindly leading myself into something I wanted to do, just like when I first started sewing and later when I started knitting.

That first pair was so awful, I thought all sock knitters must be crazy to spend time to knit such an uncomfortable thing that I put them away in a box and decided to never try that again. Then I kept seeing all these lovely socks. I learned about yarn substitutions, found an LYS in my area, and learned a load more about knitting. So, I tried again and I found the second pair to be much better then the first since I’d used fingering weight yarn (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock) and I think size 1’s. It took a little while longer to really get hooked on sock knitting, but if I’d never given it another go, I wouldn’t be knitting socks now. Knitting has been one big learning curve for me and continues to be. I love that about knitting!

I think the next pair of socks I knit, I’ll try magic loop again. I have a pair of plain socks on the needles right now and once I finish those, I’ll cast on for another plain pair trying it magic loop. I can’t promise I’ll like it or even finish the socks, but trying it again only seems fair. Just because it didn’t appeal to me before (and I’ll be honest, it still doesn’t), doesn’t mean I won’t like it when I try it again! 😉

What sort of knitting or crafting thing have you tried, found you didn’t like, then tried later and loved? I’m curious – leave a comment and let me know 🙂

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Author:

I’m a thirty-something who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Crafting, for me, started young - I can’t even recall a time I wasn’t crafty in some way. My first foray into yarn was doing plastic canvas embroidery and making Barbie doll furniture. Not long after that I learned to crochet from a book my grandmother gave me after asking to learn what she was doing (she crochets, afghans mostly these days). After that, I took up counted cross stitch and then came sewing when I took two fashion design classes in high school. My mom had a sewing machine from my great grandmother and I taught myself to sew from patterns on it. I still use this same sewing machine today! I started knitting in 2004 when a co-worker was pregnant with her first child and I wanted to make something for her. I bought a “learn to knit kit” from Lion Brand for a baby hat and booties set. I did make the baby hat and booties (with very few problems) and ended up gifting them to the co-worker. I wanted to make a blanket, but I wasn’t quite able to get that done in time since it took a lot longer then I’d imagined! It wasn’t until the end of 2004/early 2005 that knitting really took a hold of me. Now I love knitting and almost always have a project with me, even if it’s just something small when I’m out and about. I like a wide range of projects depending on my mood. Sometimes I like a good challenge knit and other times I enjoy a lot of stockinette or garter stitch. I love Ravelry for keeping track of my projects and for finding new things to knit - I feel like I’m always spending time on there! It’s also a great place for getting to know other knitters, crocheters, and various fiber enthusiasts. In the fall of 2008, I purchased a spinning wheel from someone on Craigslist. It’s a Babe Fiber Starter, single treadle wheel and after a bit of trouble getting used to it, I’ve managed to spin up some fiber. In January of 2012, I found someone local that was selling their Lendrum DT and it came to live with me! The Babe now lives with Jen (aka piddleloop) and she’s learning to spin. I’m still trying to find time to spin along with knitting, crocheting (occasionally), and whatever else is going on, but I work it in here and there. I’m sure there’s something I might have left out here, so if there’s anything else you want to know about me, just ask :o)

5 thoughts on “Cotty FO, Hey Teach, TDF Day 2, and Thoughts on Socks

  1. Awesome socks. 🙂 Your spinning is coming along great! Pre-drafting really helps when you are teaching your hands what they need to do.

    I never thought I’d be a sweater knitter after my first attempt (can you say 14 foot long sleeves?!?). But look at me now! 😉

  2. I will be the first to comment about Magic Loop love! muahahah!

    I love magic loop!

    But to be fair, I don’t hate DPN’s. I just enjoy not having to worry about having so many sets of needles when I can pretty much knit anything on my one set of Options with a 40″ cable. I knit all my ‘in the round’ knitting with DPN’s for a while and had no issues with the technique.

    I think you shouldn’t worry for one second about whether you enjoy knitting ML or DPN style, because you are a fabulous knitter, you knit the socks that make the whole world rock, and who cares what kinda needles you use as long as you are happy?

  3. i love me the magic loop and can’t stand dpns for in the round knitting BUT THAT’S JUST ME. i’m not about to tell people what to do. suggest? yes. but not TELL

    i can so relate to understanding the difference between michaels and an lys. michaels is awesome but…you understand. as soon as i read tlc i was like OUCH!! haha

    your socks look aweomse and so does hey teach. it’s amazing what predrafting does, doesn’t it? hehe plus if you’re spinning with something you’re not all that excited about how are you gonna get better when the fiber is all “meh” good thing you have that fiber you just love.

  4. I had a very similar first sock knitting experience as you! I got this awful fingering weight cotton yarn and didn’t even make it to the heel turn on a cuff down sock before I decided that anyone who really enjoyed knitting socks was completely out of their tree!

    About a year and a half ago I gave socks another chance, and I’ve never looked back! I am a toe-up devotee like yourself, but I am completely in love with the Magic Loop method. I knit my first few pairs on DPNs, then tried out the two circs method and liked it so much more. Magic loop is functionally the same as two circs for me but without the extra needle ends dangling.

    I would definitely suggest trying magic loop again, if for no other reason than to re-affirm why you love DPNs so much! =) I am currently knitting a pair on DPNs, just to make sure I still can and to check that I still prefer Magic Loop.

    Great job with the spinning! I’m a beginner myself and it has only been a very short time since my spinning has started becoming more consistent. Keep it up!

  5. OH! Loving the stitch definition on the Hey Teach. It’s going to be wonderful and fit you perfectly!

    Also, my first socks are wearable, but I can introduce you to a tee that likes to stand up on its own…… he he 😉

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