Tag Archives: knitting

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DOPPELGANGER

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So this happened. I was doing this:

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And watching this:

marge knitting

It was like looking into a cartoon mirror.

So secretly, if I ever wanted to be famous, my own standard to really ‘making it’ would be to guest star on the Simpsons. I think ideally it would be as myself, so that I could achieve a form of immortality, but I can also see a lot of appeal in voicing a new character. Who am I kidding? I gotta play me.

I’ve been watching The Simpsons for about 20 years now. It’s one of the few things in my life that I don’t feel jaded about. That and knitting, pure, pure knitting. I’m kinda determined to never sell knitting, because I did that with sewing and I turned it into a job, which honestly trades some of that creativity and excitement for efficiency and tons of practice. I still really enjoy sewing, but it is so not a hobby anymore, and I want to keep knitting as a pure refuge from the whole ‘needle for hire’ lifestyle.

My husband’s been out of town for a few days, and I work from home, so I always get really chatting and confessional when I do get a chance to talk to someone. And yet I still can’t manage to get my act together for some good blogging! There I go again.

You can watch the episode on Hulu  (Pay Pal, season 25, episode 21).

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FRIENDSHIP SOCKS

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As soon I saw these orange and fuchsia skeins of yarn, I knew they were destined for greatness and friendship. Coordinating socks, one pair for me, and the other for my truly lovely friend Gigi. Gigi and I once had coordinating purple pants, bought at H&M when we were living in rural France, so there is a precedent for these socks. The fuchsia pair is for my friend, and the orange pair is for me.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

Here are Gigi’s footsies:

friendship socks, made by Julianne

And mine:

friendship socks, made by Julianne

Oh dear, they really do look tight. Perhaps I should re-knit the heel, working 3-4 rounds before starting the decreases.

These are my first worsted weight socks, which are obviously much faster than fingering weight! I used Cascade 220 superwash, one ball of each color to make both socks (and the tiniest bit left over). Cascade was easy to work with, the colors are deliciously vibrant, and affordable at $12 each, but there were about 4 snags in each skein.

Once again I used Liat Gatt’s tutorial for socks, but these socks were knit two at a time. I really loved this technique, and will be using it for all socks from now on! I remembered this tip on keeping simultaneous balls from getting tangled, which I added onto by lining the yarn opening with painter’s tape (this let the yarn slide smoothly across the zipper lip).

I tried short row heel, but after three attempts and increasing frustration I returned to the afterthought heel. My main reason for avoiding afterthought in the first place was Kitchener grafting. This stitch gets a lot of grief, and I’d struggled with it before. With a sigh, I threaded my tapestry needle and prepared for 20 minutes of annoyance. And then… I remembered all the steps without looking up a tutorial, and it turned out perfect. Kitchener and I are friends now.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

So it looks like afterthought heels will be my go-to, as I simply love the contrasting heels. I still need to perfect my corners, but that will be an easy adjustment. Also, I think I should have created a wider opening for the heel (I did 5/9 opening, a little less than 2/3). Next time!

The twisted ribbing is knit 1 through the back loop, purl 1, which creates a very neat ribbing. I bound off with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, because it’s easy and works great, and I really don’t care about binding off in the rib pattern.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

Gigi has tiny feet, so I hope these will fit! And they were only a few days late for her birthday.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

Any readers have any tips or preferences for heels they’d like to share?

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ANOTHER SHOPPING BAG with pattern

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I promise I don’t post every single one of these! I do enjoy making them though. Bags like these are super easy to make, especially while doing something else. Because gauge doesn’t matter, I can switch between whatever needles or yarns strike my fancy. And they are useful gifts!green knit shopping bag, made by Julianne

This bag uses more chunky acrylic yarn for the bottom, and leftover worsted acrylic for the body. I’m slowly making my way through my stash!

green knit shopping bag, made by JulianneKeep reading for instructions to knit your own.

Continue reading →

I wanted to use a concentric garter stitch for the bottom of the bag, and this is basically how I did it:

CO 6 stitches, placing a marker between each stitch, with a special marker for the beginning of round

row 1: *slip marker, increase 1 stitch, repeat from * (I used kfb, but I think this would look neat with a YO)

row 2: purl all stitches

row 3: *slip marker, work 1 increase, knit to marker, repeat from *

And then you work rounds 2 & 3 until the base is as big as you want.

I continued until I had 12 stitches between each marker, then worked a couple rounds alternating between all purls and all knit stitches without increasing. To conserve yarn when I switched to my worsted, I knit 2 rounds in the contrast color, then worked the third round as k1, k2tog. Round 4 and up was all knit.

Next time I make a bag, I will skip the k1, k2tog row, and just knit all the stitches for the body of the bag (or make the base smaller).

During my last bag, I got burned out on YO, k2tog mesh. Though I like the look, I can never get into a rhythm with that pattern. This time, I knit my worsted weight on size 10.5 (6.5 mm) needles to get an open fabric, and this project was finished in a flash!

The light green top is 4 rounds of garter stitch, and the handles are i-cord.

If anyone uses this pattern for their own bag, I’d love to see the results!

 

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SELF STRIPING SOCKS

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Hand-made socks were a major motivator in learning to knit, and I really love making them (which is a relief; I was afraid that it might be too tedious). It’s a simple and compact project that I can carry everywhere I go.IMG_8260

Although my first pair of socks took about 3 months to complete, this second pair was finished in 4 weeks. And they are much longer! I did a basic calculation, and estimate that each sock contains about 12,000 stitches. Sock knitters, does that number seem correct? It makes me dizzy.

I used 47″ #3 Addi Turbo Lace needles, and followed Liat Gatt’s pattern for toe-up socks on magic loop. The self-striping yarn was donated to and from the Boys & Girls Club (I used to volunteer as a sewing teacher, and still pop in when I have the chance. The coordinator of the sewing program is an amazing lady. Thank you to Donna for supporting my growth as a maker, and for fostering that love of craft in so many children.).

self-striping socks, made by Julianne

As a designer, I usually want control over colors and stripes. This was my first time working with self-striping, and I am definitely a convert. It was exciting to see the colors and stripes emerge, and the pattern helped me track my progress as well as hide any flaws.

I have several balls of donated self-striping to get through, and then I can’t wait to select new yarns for myself! I keep window-shopping (or more accurately, browser-tab shopping), but I think I will refrain from online shopping and instead pick up future pairs of socks on trips. The idea of seeking out a local yarn shop, in foreign localities, and creating my own souvenir is so… romantic! This is not a word I use regularly.

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I love the contrast cuff, and will integrate contrast toes and heels in future socks. This aquamarine yarn is a bamboo-nylon blend. It’s definitely thicker than the fingering-weight, and so I did the ribbing on #1 needles. I was concerned about the weight discrepancy, but I think it totally works for the cuff.

I live in LA, but luckily I have icy feet, so handmade wool socks will actually get worn this winter. But future sock yarns may be more of the bamboo persuasion.

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TWINKLE winner! (and a cat gif)

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Twinkle Knits book giveaway, made by Julianne

Congratulations to Francisca for randomly winning the Twinkle Knits book giveaway! She entered by liking MADE by JULIANNE on Facebook.

Thank you to all who entered my first ever blog giveaway. I’m planning on hosting a few more giveaways in the coming year, with more de-stashing prizes as well as handmade goodies. You can find out about those by checking back here or liking the aforementioned Facebook page.

For those who didn’t win this time, here’s a consolatory cat gif:

catsewing

It’s my homepage. Happy knitting Francisca!

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