Saturday, 10 March 2018

Random Socks

Having done a bit of research into patterns for vertically striped socks, I did actually find a pattern that looks really interesting. But the fickle nature of teenagers, meant that my daughter had now changed her mind and decided that she would like horizontal stripes. Phew! But the socks had to be "random".

Hmmm .... so just a bit of a mix of colours? NO, they had to be totally random, random width of stripes, random choice of colours, and each sock had to be totally unique. So, can I at the least make the cuffs, heels and toes match, so they at least look like a pair of socks? NO. Random

Why did I find this so difficult to do? I am not a particularly tidy person, but now I think about it I was the sort of child you would arrange her colouring crayons in a pleasing order in the tin. When I was a teaching assistant, and had to wash coloured plastic cups every morning, I would always take them back to class stacked in a pleasing rainbow effect. 

So I did really try to be "random" with these socks. But a little bit of order crept its way in, as I did stick to the same colours for the second sock, and you might notice that I also matched the width of the stripes. Hoping daughter won't notice. 

I wouldn't particularly recommend knitting socks like this, as there were far too many ends to run in. But I am going to have a go at the vertical sock pattern for myself, and I will find a nice self-stripe wool for them.

Just a reminder that we are getting through March but there is still time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ginx Woolly Linx Party March

Once again you have made it extremely difficult for me. So many beautiful projects, that it has been very hard to limit myself to just four favourites. 

Marjan of Atelier Marie-Lucienne designed and made this wonderful crochet coat. It is so stylish and well-made she must get compliments everywhere she goes.

Sandra of Hakelfieber has made this adorable Pinnochio doll. You can just see the cat from next door trying to get into the photo shoot. 

Cathy of Nanacathydotcom has made this curvacious dragon. What little girl would not love a pink fluffy dragon called Belinda?

I am in awe of Deborah of Raindrops on Roses Blue Moon doily. She says they have no practical use, but just looking at something this beautiful is inspirational.

If you were featured then please post the "I was featured" button if you wish, and if you were not then don't be downhearted, maybe next month. Please remember to visit each other, and call back throughout the month to see who has joined in the party. 

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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Direwolf Socks No. 2

Here they are, the reworking of my previous Direwolf Socks, and also probably the product of half-term and too much time watching the Winter Olympics. But I am delighted that I have finally managed to knit a pair of socks for my son.

These socks have been very much improvised. The following notes may only make sense to sock-knitters. I started knitting the top leg section flat, as this seemed the easiest way to incorporate the direwolf motif. Once again I used a chart from Direwolf Mittens by Carly Hill. Much happier with this part of the sock, as I have the wolves facing forward and properly on the side. So for this top part of the sock there is a seam at the back of the leg. 

The plan was to continue knitting the heel flat, and then when I got to the foot to knit in the round. But by the time I got that far, I realised that I was possibly going to run out of the grey wool. So I decided to knit the sole in navy blue and top of the foot in grey, which I hoped would mean I would be able to eek out the grey wool. To do this I had to continue knitting flat. To be extra careful that I had enough wool, I stopped knitting sock 1, and decided to knit sock 2 to the same stage, so I could more accurately see how much wool I had left. Then there was the trip to the kitchen to weigh the grey wool, and divide it between each sock! Again I was running out of wool, which is why the feet had to have stripes of blue on the top of the foot, to conserve the small amounts of grey that I had left. So the foot section is also knitted flat, and there is a seam on one side of the foot, where the navy and grey meet. Alas, I was still running out of wool, so you will see I then had to make my stripes of blue wider, and strangely although this was only to conserve the wool, it is my favourite part of the socks. 

So perhaps there is a reason why most socks are knitted in the round. I am a little worried that the seams will mean the socks are not quite as structurally strong, or comfortable as a sock with no seams, but we will see. What I thought was good about the method I used is that the seams are not on the sole of the sock. 

I am thinking I may have another go at a pair of socks knitted flat, but this time accurately write down what I did. I am sure there must be people who want to knit socks, but just don't like knitting in the round, doublepoints or magic loop?

I think I mentioned that my son, although being dyslexic, so liked Game of Thrones, that he has read the books in the series. He even persuaded me to read the first volume, and although I enjoyed it, the second one is sitting on my bedside table. He has just read The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov, and I have begun the first volume. Is there inspiration for a pair of socks there!

But before that my daughter has said that she would like a pair of socks. She would like them to be colourful striped, ... but she would like the stripes to be vertical. Aaargh .... 

Just a reminder that we are getting through February but there is still time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party. Click on the photo below or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Most Personalised Mini (so far)

This is probably the most personalised mini I have ever seen. Isn't this photo of the car great? It was quite a challenge to make a knitted version. The purchaser, from Wales, was OK with me not making the roof rack.  A shame, as it is part of the look, but I think would have needed wire etc, and I like to try to just use wool.

This knitted version was bought for the owner by his girlfriend for Christmas. I wonder if I will ever get a more personal mini to make? I very much doubt it, but who knows.

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for February. Click on the photo below or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Sunday, 4 February 2018


At Christmas I watched a brilliant documentary called "Hotel Armadillo". David Attenborough is just such a great guy. When my daughter was fairly young she wrote a letter to him, and he replied an ink-written letter, properly answering all the questions she had asked him. What a legend. Anyway I digress a bit, but while watching those cute armadillos (yes that is the correct plural) - the texture, the nine stripes, the joints - I found myself thinking "I could knit one of those". I find myself thinking that quite a lot.

So here is my new pattern - Armadillo. It is knitted with 4ply wool, and the finished armadillo is 16cm long from tip of tail to end of nose. I use quite a few of my usual techniques. Pieces are knitted flat, and there are some short rows to get the curve of the back, moss stitch to get the texture, and icord knitting on the tail and legs.

I think I prefer him beige, but I also had a go at making an armadillo with a sock wool with a hint of pink. Not quite sure about the result, so I am still looking out for the perfect armadillo wool.

The pattern for Armadillo is available on ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy, and will be on LoveKnitting later today. Also many thanks to Jennifer, who super speedily tested and checked the pattern.

Just a reminder that I have opened my Ginx Woolly Linx party for February. The party will be running all month, so you can join in at any time. Click on the photo below or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Ginx Woolly Linx Party February

Firstly can I thank everyone who joined up to my new link party in January. I was a bit anxious, will anyone join in? (Perhaps this is why I don't hold many real parties.) But you came and I really enjoyed looking at ALL your projects. I am hoping that my link party will grow organically, but stay small enough that you have time to visit and comment on each other's projects.

Picking my features for last month was been tricky. I had to rope in my daughter with the picking, and helping me put these photos together. So many beautiful projects. Congratulations if you were picked, and please display the "I was featured" button on your blog. (I found making the buttons and codes really quite difficult, so do let me know if you have any problems with this.)

Sandra of Wild Daffodil has made mandalas that are little works of art.

Lalka Crocheta has cleverly made a motorcycle keychain. I have a bit of a thing about vehicles made from wool.

Julie of Sum of their Stories has adapted a mitten pattern to make a colourful Twinkle Star Glasses Case. 

Handmade by Amalia has made a trio of beautiful baskets with handles from T-shirt yarn. Such beautiful colours, I just love this sort of useful storage - you can never have too many baskets.

You will probably notice that I have slightly changed the name to "Ginx Woolly Linx", as the previous name seemed a bit too close to another party. Projects don't have to be made of wool, but should be knitting or crochet, or other crafts that involve wool/yarn. Show me what you have been creating this month. You can link at any time in the month, so remember to call back to see who has joined the party.  

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Direwolf Socks (learning by my mistakes)

There is only one member of my family now that I have not knitted socks for - my son. So I decided to give this a go, as part of my Christmas car knitting. I like to have some knitting to do on our travels at this time of year. 

He really likes "Game of Thrones", and it would be nice to knit him something related to that. There is a pattern on ravelry for a Game of Thrones blanket, and although I have thought about making that for him, it would probably mean I would have to devote a year to it and nothing else...

But I found a really nice pattern for some Direwolf Mittens by Carly Hill, but he is not really a mitten-type of person. (He is a bit like his Dad, who seems to think that real men don't need gloves, however cold!) So I thought I would use the direwolf motif from this pattern, but on a fairly standard sock pattern.  I used Favourite Socks by Voolenvine.

Mistake Number One. I pretty soon worked out that I could not just knit the direwolf motif, as I was knitting in the round. But that was a problem I could overcome, and so I decided I would have to also include the background pattern to get the wool to go the whole way round. (The only other way I suppose would be to find a sock pattern that is knitted flat, with a seam. Does such a thing exist?) I decided to have a patterned section, and knit the rest of the sock plain, but with an alternative colour for the ribbing, heel, and toe.

Mistake Number Two - Just don't try knitting from a chart in the car. I tried all sort of techniques: pinning the chart to the dashboard. But the car movement and my eyesight just made it impossible, so I had to be satisfied with just doing the plain sections on the road. I hasten to say that I am a passenger, not driving.

Blocking on my homemade cardboard feet

So all seemed fine. I thought if I knitted the largest size of sock it would all work out. Mistake Number Three. The first sock was nearly done, and I thought I would get my son to do a try on, to make sure it was the right foot length. But my poor son was a bit like an ugly sister trying to get into the glass slipper. Because of my patterned section, it was just too tight to fit him. 

Good news! - They fit me (Miss Cinderella) perfectly. 

Mistake Number Four. The next thing I realised was that although I had planned to have the direwolves facing in different directions, I had placed their faces fairly near the front of the socks. I think it would have been better to have put them slightly further to the sides, but too late for that now ....

I am still determined to make him some Direwolf socks. (He tells me that grey and white would be more House of Stark.) I think perhaps the best way is to incorporate the motif into a seamed sock. A seam on the foot might be uncomfortable though, but I wondered if I could knit the foot section in the round, and the leg bit flat with a seam. I would welcome any advice. Have you knitted any socks with a motif on the leg, or a flat-knitted seamed sock? Does anyone know of any patterns with the foot in-the-round and the leg seamed?

There are still plenty of days left in January to join my new monthly Ginx Yarn Linx party and share your woolly projects. There is a link to it in at the top of the righthand column.