Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mini Stockings

I've been busy churning out the mini stockings I mentioned in a previous post. I'm nearly done adding all the fluff. Since I finally fine tuned the pattern (on the 11th one out of 15, of course), I thought I'd post it! I wrote it out but I kept putting off photos. Nobody likes a pattern without photos, but sadly I kept forgetting to get in progress ones this go around. I'd like to make more, so if I do I will take in progress shots for you. Ready to get started? Of course you are!


  • Small amounts of worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart Supersaver in Camo)
  • Size 6 (4.0mm) dpn needles (set of 4) or a needle that is 1-2 sizes smaller than what your yarn calls for. Gage really isn't necessary here, but you want a fairly snug knit. I knit loose, so I went down two sizes.
  • Small amounts of a novelty yarn or a contrasting yarn for a cuff (if desired)
  • Tapestry needle
  • Crochet hook if you prefer to crochet your cuff on (I used an H/5 mm hook, but it's all preference)
Cast on 15 stitches and divide onto 3 needles.
Work st st for 1 1/2"

Start heel:
This is where learning short rows comes into play. I use the wrap and turn (w&t) method for this. If you aren't sure how, or you want a refresher, use this link for an overview. (thank you, Purl Bee, for posting)

Knit 5. These stitches will remain on needle one, you'll be working on needles 2 and three. For me, it worked best if the remaining 10 stitches were all slipped onto one needle for the back and forth work.

K 10, w&t
P 10, w&t
K 9, w&t
P 7, w&t
K 6, w&t
P 5, w&t
K 4, w&t
P 7. 
Arrange back onto 3 needles.
Start rounds in st st again on needle 2. Pick up one stitch on either side of the heel flap (at the end of needle three and needle one) and knit two together to eliminate the gap. 

Continue in the round for 1", measured from the beginning of the heel flap.

Dec for toe:
K1, k2tog; rep around
K one rnd even.
K2tog; rep around.

Cut yarn, leaving a longish tail (6" is good) and draw through the live sts. Fasten off on the inside of your stocking. 

Now if you are like me, you might have a few gaps around your heel. This is where that long tail comes in handy. You can use it to tighten up any gaps you might have (I had a lot) to give it a neater look. Now you have a slightly misshaped stocking. Don't worry, give it a few tugs and pushes and you can shape it to look like a cute little stocking. I gave mine a bit of a nudge by the ankle and arch, slight tug at the top opening and pushed my toe in a little. Thats why I used a harsh acrylic, it tends to shape better than soft yarns. What can you do now? You can leave it, add a crochet chain or ribbon to hang it. Embroider an initial for gift tags or ornaments. Or you can add a cuff. I used some plushy novelty yarn I had and crocheted around the top of mine. Prefer not to mess with hooks? You can also pick up and knit a few rounds to give it the same look. Keep in mind that the inside will be folded down and on public view, so you might want to use either garter stitch or reverse stockinette. All a matter of preference, of course. 

Another idea of what to do with these, stuff those "fun size" candy bars or chapstick in them for gift ideas. My photo was cut off during rotation, sorry about that.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get ahold of me. Ravelry is probably your best bet, I check that constantly. I would love to see what colour combos you can come up with. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now with Pictures!

As promised, a photo update.

Booze Shark!
Stolen by Hubs and requested in pink by my sister, he turned out cute. Made the fin a bit too far forward to put the laser beam on his head. But I do like that he fits on a can of soda too. 

In other news, my darling sister enlisted me in helping provide little gifts for a unit who will be overseas for the holidays (as if I don't have enough to make, right?). I tried making a granny square mini stocking but it just was NOT working out. Looked more like pac man than a stocking. I'll figure out what I'm doing wrong later, in the meantime I'm working on a knit version. Short row heel, which I am horrid at, but it didn't turn out too bad for the first one. I can fine tune it for the second. I have until thanksgiving to make 12-15 of these (hoping for a more accurate number soon). So of course, instead of knitting I'm blogging. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Knits for Others

This is how knitters (and crocheters) are.

Also, how unfair is it that spellcheck doesn't recognize crocheters but lets knitters slide in?

Back on topic,

My sister texted me after I sent her a photo of my finished Booze Shark (next post will be photos, promise. They just aren't on my laptop). She said if I was bored, could I look up some cute baby sweater patterns for her. Newborn to wee baby sized, January due date means baby needs warm stuff.  That was all the information I was given, so I went with it. Found her 14 freebie patterns and shipped them off to her (thank you dropbox, awesome thing to look into, cereal). I decided to whip out a few things of my own for her. Mind you, I don't know this person. No name, what she looks like, or even if my sister personally knows her or is doing this for a friend. And yet here I am, working on a sweater in between typing and browsing patterns for hats and booties (even if the baby never wears them, they are cute as hell). That is how fiber artists work. We make for others, even if we never see them. We give out of our stashes, out of our day, out of our lives for these projects. Whether it be for charity, benefits, hospitals, shelters for people or animals, we do this. Another knitting friend of hers chipped in some completed hats she had sitting around and I'm sure if she gets the time, there will be more warm items piling up. This is why I love other yarn people. When I knit in public, I almost always hear from a fellow knitter (or crocheter) about what they are working on. And nine times out of 10, it's something for someone else. So please, next time someone gifts you a handmade item that may not be your cup of tea, please thank them. Wear it once or twice, even if its just for photos. They put a lot of effort into it, even if they say otherwise. Time is something we never get back, we can always buy more yarn, make that sweater again. But the time is never reclaimed. And with the holiday season approaching, consider buying local items. You will be helping someone provide for their own family.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Post Halloween Letdown and Holiday Angst Upsurge

Nice wordy title isn't it? And I didn't even have to spellcheck. Ok, update time! I like updates, fills a post well and I can always use it as an excuse as to why I havent updated. I'm lame that way. Right now, the Halloween photos!

Captain Spaulding, it's a bit grainy because it was shrunk so much. 

Mine turned out ok, I don't have the photo on my computer I'll have to update in ANOTHER post because why not drag it all out? His we stuck on with medical tape, which held up really well with the ridiculous wind and rain we had. Wasn't a total washout, just wind driven sprinkles. Mine was held with a small clip, again stayed fine. I ended up giving it to a friend to wear with her witches costume. Again, need to find pictures. I'm terrible at this.

Some radio stations are playing christmas music already. I get the whole "put people in the holiday spirit" but could you at least wait until after turkey day? Wait until we are bloated with carbs and then pounce, we can't run after that third helping of pie. I'm slowly making my way through the SS gifts, not helping that I made myself something first. Hand mitts! Love the Maine Morning Mitts pattern (free, click the name and it takes you right to the pdf download), fits every hand size I've tried it on and it stays put. Working on a hat to match, sort of. I did not want an entire rib hat, so I settled for a ribbed brim slouch. So, I went back to the Layne Slouch, just made it solid instead of the purl rounds. I've made it once before and set it aside as a keeper. I just wish my rib wasn't so sloppy. I do have a pic of the mitts, hat is still in progress:

Bright and cheery, hopefully nobody tries to snitch them.

I did make something for my SS gift, a bacon ornament! I swore I posted about it once, apparently not unless its stuck in the drafts. He turned out bigger than I expected, but still cute.

Happy Bacon!

I found this guy on pinterest, I did a zig zag stitch to hold down the white parts, hand stitched the sides. My sewing leaves much to be desired, but he is cute. If I made him again, I'd use cream felt instead of the white. Also, pay more attention seeing as I almost added my ribbon to the wrong side (which is why it is slightly off kilter there). Also planning on making the Booze Shark (ravelry pattern download). Hoping I can fiddle with the pattern and make it two pieces that are stitched together, I'm awful at carrying my yarn without mucking up my gage.

Has anyone started on their shopping? I mean really started, like having to hide multiple bags shopping. I've gotten a few odds and ends, but nothing big. Which stinks, because I have less than two months to prepare for a birthday and christmas. Who is the hardest person to shop for? My mother is the worst, she insists there isn't anything she wants but I can't NOT get her something. After all, the offspring likes to pass out gifts to everyone (she does have unselfish moments). The worst part? Stocking stuffers. Once you are officially out of childhood, stockings are a bitch kitty to stuff. Perfume? Do I smell? Body wash? Do I REALLY smell? Lotion? Saying I have dry skin? Chocolates? Am I bitchy? Gift card? I hate this store and I'm only worth that much to you? Blarg. Fyi, folks, the dollar store can be your friend when it comes to kid stuff. Those washcloths that reconstitute in water are almost always a hit. Next update? MOAR PICTURES! ..maybe.