Categories
FO Spotlight Tips

My First Afterthought Heel

There are a few things on my knitting bucket list from brioche to toe up socks and one of the techniques on that list was an afterthought heel on a pair of socks.

If you’re not familiar with the afterthought heel technique, basically you knit a sock tube with a cuff and toe, but no heel. Then when you’re done the sock you go back to place your heel by picking up stitches and…cutting into your knitting!!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The idea of cutting into your finished work can be kind of scary, in the whole afterthought heel process that’s what worried me the most. But after I learned how it’s done I saw it’s really not that scary at all!

About my socks!

Before getting into the technique, I want to share a bit about the yarn that I used for these socks.

I used Lion Brand Mani Pedi which has been in my stash for FOREVER in the colour Boot. I only used one 50g skein and I was expecting these to end up being shorter than they turned out, so I’m please how much leg I actually got out of just 50g.

I actually didn’t want the stripes to match on these socks, I was just aiming to use the full skein and so I didn’t care if they matched. And they ended up being exactly the same practically down to the stitch!

For the cuffs, heels, and toes I used Lion Brand Sock Ease in the colour Grape Soda which has also been in my stash for a while. I’ve used this yarn for cuffs, heels, and toes before.

Tutorials

I looked a quite a few tutorials and how-tos when I was preparing to start these socks and also when I was figuring out where to place my heel and how to pick up the stitches and cut my knitting.

The resource that I used most is this video tutorial from KirbyWirby. She takes you through the whole process of how she does her afterthought heels. I watched this video before I started my socks and then I watched it as I did the afterthought heel completing it step along with the video.

I watched the tutorial from KirbyWirby during the entire process. it was a huge help!

I also referenced these blog posts/articles about afterthought heels while I was trying to figure out where to place my heel.

Process

Because I knew I wanted to use as much of this 50g skein as possible, I weighed my skein as I knit. Once I was about 25g through the skein I started the toe on my first sock.

I did about 28g left to make sure I wouldn’t be cutting it too close I ended up with enough yarn leftover to put a square in my Coziest Memory Blanket (Ravelry link).

I knit both of my tubes before starting the heels so that when I measured and placed my markers I could be certain it was the same on each sock. I definitely didn’t want a pair of socks with different foot lengths!

For the heel I really just followed all of the steps from KirbyWirby’s tutorial.

For placing my heel I followed KirbyWirby’s instructions for measuring. My foot length is 9.5 inches (women’s size 8) and so I subtracted a quarter of an inch for a snug fit because you want some negative ease in your sock.

The toe of my socks were 1.75 inches. So 9.25″ – 1.75″ = 7.5″ from the tip of the sock toe to placing the heel.

Right after cutting and undoing the stitches in my first afterthought heel!

Once I knew where I was putting the heel it was pretty easy to count the stitches down the socks and place my markers. Although I have to admit my eyes were a bit sore after from looking at the tiny stitches for so long. Especially because I double and triple counted to make sure it was correct.

Challenges

The hardest part for sure for me was figuring out where to place the heel. I agonized over this part it probably took me longer to actually place the heel than it took to knit it LOL.

But I ended up following KirbyWirby’s instructions to the letter and it worked perfectly!

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Measure your foot from toe to heel – I also compared to my shoe size and how many inches it should be based on that to know my measurement was correct.
  2. Subtract a quarter inch to make sure you have a snug fit.
  3. Measure your sock’s toe from tip to start of decreases and subtract the length of your toe.
  4. Measure that length from the tip of your sock and that’s where you put your markers for your heel!

Would I do it again?

YES! Here’s what I love about the afterthought heel:

Compared to a short row heel it’s much cleaner especially if you follow the tips from KirbyWirby’s video tutorial for keeping the corners tight.

You can see in the picture above which is a short row heel done with the wrap and turn method that the heel is not as clean and there are small holes at the corners.

The afterhought heel has cleaner corners and no holes along the side.

The thing I love most about this method is that you can can just knit and knit and knit a tube without worrying about when you have to do the heel.

It’s great for knitting during movies or on the go. I’ve taken socks with me when I go camping and trying to do the heel while talking with friends or in the darkness around the campfire is the worst! But with afterthought heel I could easily knit up two sock tubes and not worry about heels at all.

Working on a heel flap during a camping trip last Summer!

And thirdly, because you’re knitting the heel in the round you can have a striped heel! When you do a short row heel or a heel flap your self-striping yarn won’t really follow the pattern in this area because it’s a smaller amount of stitches, so it ends up more colour blcoked than striped.

But with the afterthought heel you’re knitting the heel in the round, so you can get a fun self-striping heel. I’m planning to do this on an upcoming pair so follow my Instagram to see those when I knit them!

Categories
Free Patterns Knits of Steele Designs

Hazelnut Latte

I started this hat in late 2019 or early 2020, I’m not really sure because I ended up putting it down at some point and leaving it dormant for a while! 

My inspiration for this hat was something really squishy and cozy to wear in the early spring and late fall. The perfect hat for that chilly transition weather. A simple style with just enough detail to keep it interesting. 

And the name….well I bet you can guess what I was drinking when I thought up this design 😉

I used Red Heart Chic Sheep by Marly Bird for this hat in the colour Linen which is such a soft and cozy shade of white. This yarn is so soft and squishy. It’s the perfect yarn for a cozy and simple hat. You may recognize it from the Hacked Hat pattern that I put out on this blog earlier in 2020. 

I settled on reverse stockinette, knit inside out to avoid all that purling, with knit stitch details along the decreases to create the illusion of a seam. 

One of the most challenging things to figure out for this design were the decreases. I’m used to decreasing on the right side using a knit-two-together and slip-slip-knit to create paired decreases, but this design is knit wrong side out so it required decreasing in reverse. 

So I ended up using purl-two-together and -slip-slip-purl. The slip-slip-purl was a new technique for me and it took a little while to get used to. You can find a tutorial on Very Pink!

I almost gave up and just left it at a purl-two-together on each side, it didn’t look quite right but it would be “good enough”. I’m so glad I took the time to figure it out. It took a little trial and error but I finally got it! And it was totally worth all the extra effort. 

I put this project in hibernation again after that, but the cool weather sparked my desire to finish this cozy hat.

Hazelnut Latte has been a staple in my wardrobe this fall and I love it so much. I hope you feel the same! You can download Hazelnut Latte FOR FREE on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hazelnut-latte

Save it on Pinterest!

Categories
Monthly Round UP

October 2020 Round Up

Welcome to my first monthly round up post! I wanted to start this post series as a way to capture all of my projects as well as share some other things I’m into at the moment like snacks and what I’m watching on TV.

I decided on starting this category because it was just too much to share all of my projects through FO Spotlight posts. Especially because I’ve been doing so much knitting this year (thanks COVID…), I’ll still be doing my FO Spotlight posts for certain projects. Especially when I have some interesting notes to share about the process. And with these posts I can give you an update on my current WIPs!

I also wanted a place to share what I’m reading, listening to, and watching because I’m also doing more of that these days (also thanks to COVID). And share any other fun things like snacks or drinks I’ve been enjoying.

Works in Progress

I though I was going to have more WIPs at the time of writing this, but I’ve managed to finish off a couple of things so those will be further down in the FO section.

For Fox Sake Sweater

I’ve got about 20 rows to go for the yoke of this sweater. I’m enjoying the colourowork, my first time doing three stranded colourwork, but I also can’t wait to get to the mindless stockinette stitch in the body!

Wrap & Cuddle Blanket

Be prepared to see this one on the WIP list for the next little while! I have quite a bit of time to finish this one so I’m just working on it here and there.

Finished Objects

Afterthought Heel Socks

These were my first afterthought heel socks, I’ll be writing up a separate post sharing more of my experience.

I used Lion Brand Mani Pedi and Sock Ease. And although I wasn’t aiming to make the stripes match up they came out exactly the same!

City Limits Sweater

If you were following my Insta stories at the time you know this sweater caused me a lot of of issues with gauge and yardage and i had to rip back a decent chunk of the yoke.

It didn’t turn out quite how I expected, it’s a bit tighter, but I’m happy with the fit and the way the colours are working together. If I made this again there are a few things I would do differently starting with my yarn choice.

Falling For You Cowl

I had the privilege of testing this cowl pattern for Leslie’s Lake Life (Ravelry Link). It was an absolute joy to knit and I can’t wait to make another one, and then maybe a third one and pay more with different colours.

The pattern comes out November 3rd so make sure you keep an eye out for it.

Pātikitiki Cowl

I just can’t get enough of cowls lately! I had this in my queue for so long I just needed to find the right yarn and I finaly did!

I used a unique dyelot from Sweet Georgia that’s been in my stash for a little while and Campfiber Yarns Eeyore colourway from the Winnie the Pooh collection.

Reads of Steele

I used to do a story highlight on Instagram called Reads of Steele where I posted about books I was reading and gave a bit of a review when I finished. I’m so glad to be resurrecting Reads of Steele and including it here in my monthly round-ups!

A Blade So Black

I really enjoyed this novel that puts a twist on the story of Alice in Wonderland. It was a quick read partly because it was so good I couldn’t put it down at some points.

The Witcher

This is another book that took me a little while to finish, but I was finally able to complete it this month. I watched The Witcher series on Netflix and little while ago and I wanted to give the book a try.

I really enjoyed it. It’s written as a compilation of short stories and reading most of the book before starting the series really helped me track the timeline and plot.

Artemis Fowl (graphic novels)

Artemis Fowl was one of my favourite book series when I was a kid. I started reading the graphic novels by getting the e-books from the library.

I’ve read the books quite a few times so this is a nice way to revisit the story in a different format.

Knitflix

Ratched

I just wrapped up watching Ratched this past weekend, it took me about a week to finish it. I wasn’t sure I would like this series, but I was looking for something to watch so I figured I would give it a try.

I found the story really intriguing, the acting was great and I was happy to find that familiarity with the story of One Flew Over the Cuckoos next was not required.

Scream

I’m watching this movie now while writing this post, in preparation for Halloween. This is my favourite scary movie I watch it every year around Halloween and sometimes the sequels as well. I don’t even mind watching it alone, probably because I’ve seen it so many times i know exactly what to expect!

If you’re looking for some scary movies to watch for Halloween you can check out my Halloween Knitflix Guide!

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Matt and I recently finished this series earlier in October, and although we didn’t enjoy it as much as it’s predecessor The Haunting of Hill House it was still a pretty good series. It wasn’t necessarily scary, but it had some serious creepy vibes.

Listens

And That’s Why We Drink

I recently discovered this podcast (check out their website here) and I have been loving it. It brings together two of my favourite things, true crime and paranormal stories/investigations.

The Hidden Djinn

I’ve been enjoying listening to this podcast which delves into folklore and history related to the djinn. Like most people I’ve heard of djinn, or genies, but I didn’t know much about them. The history and stories in this podcast are fascinating!

It’s hosted by Rabia Chaudry who is a well known figure in the true crime world, so that’s how I discovered this podcast. She is an excellent host and really brings a lot of depth to the history and folklore that she shares.

Extras!!

We carved pumpkins for Halloween! I made a cat-o-lattern. Garfield was mostly interested iwth eating the discarded pumpkin guts.

Categories
Knitflix and Chill

Halloween Knitflix Guide

Halloween is just around the corner, are you ready to get into a spooky mood?

I love Fall, I love Halloween, I love scary movies…and I love knitting of course! Here’s a list of some of my favourite spooky movies and series for a Halloween Knitflix!

I’ve given them all a jack-o-lattern emoji rating 🎃 from one: not scary at all, to five: bonechillingly terrifying. And I’m a huge baby so you can count on those ratings to be generous towards the terrifying side! 

Scream 🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: R

Let’s start off with a classic! This movie is great for knitflixing if you’ve seen it 1,000 times like I have. Scream is mandatory Halloween viewing in my opinion so if you haven’t seen it then grab your project and press play. 

This movie is not too scary, it’s just scary enough, and you’ll have your knitting on hand to distract you from the gory scenes. If you’re in the mood for a marathon you can watch all 4 of the Scream movies in a row. 

With all that knitflixing not only will you be in the Halloween spirit you’ll make a lot of progress on your knitting. So pull out that large project you haven’t touched in a year and get to work! 

Nightmare Before Christmas 🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: PG

Now there is some debate on if this is a Halloween or Christmas movie. But the movie’s director Henry Selick settled this debate saying that it is indeed a Halloween movie

The easy to follow plot means you won’t lose your place while you work on your WIP (work in progress). 

The best thing about the Nightmare Before Christmas, in my opinion – remember I said I’m a huge baby – is that, despite its name, it will put you in the Halloween spirit without giving you nightmares! Dynamic characters, catchy songs and some dark humour make this a great pick for your Halloween Knitflix marathon. 

The Haunting of Hill House and/or The Haunting of Bly Manor 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

I’m lumping these two series together and giving them an average of a 2 jack-o-lantern scare rating. However, Haunting of Hill House is closer to a 3 while Bly Manor is closer to a 1, or maybe 2, depending how easily scared you are. 

These are two entirely independent stories so you can watch only one or both and watch them in whichever order you like! The Haunting of Hill House is a truly chilling tale and much closer to a horror movie in a series with plenty of jump scares. While The Haunting of Bly Manor is a bit slower, less startlingly scary and has more of a creepy vibe rather than horror. 

The Fourth Kind 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: PG-13

Okay, now for a scary one! I would have given this five jack-o-latterns, but when I saw the rating it made me feel like a huge scaredy cat that it’s PG-13!

This alien mystery thriller left me with that creeped out feeling for DAYS after watching it for the first time. That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s filmed in the “this is a true story” style which adds to the scare factor. 

This movie is well suited to knitflixing, it’s a bit of a slow burn plot-wise. But by no means boring, you’ll definitely be able to get in a few rows. And you’ll have something on hand to distract you when things really get going! 

Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix Reboot) 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

Here’s one for the documentary lovers who like a real life true crime/scary story. Netflix just dropped the second collection of episodes for their Unsolved Mysteries reboot that came out earlier this year. 

Depending how scared you get by true crime this could be a 1 or a 2 (or even a 3) for you. And it’s all in the name these are unsolved cases which adds to the creep factor for me. 

I haven’t watched the second collection yet, but I binge watched the first season in one day when it was released. With a WIP in hand of course!

If you want to watch the OG Unsolved Mysteries it’s streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Halloweentown 🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: G

Here’s a classic everyone in the family can enjoy! Just because this movie is a one jack-o-lattern rating doesn’t mean it’s boring.

There’s the coming of age plot line, magic, and some great costumes. This movie is perfect for knitflixing because the plot is easy to follow so you won’t lose track of the movie or your knitting. And it’s not super scary so it’s just right to get you in the spooky spirit without spending the whole time with a blanket over your eyes!

Halloweentown is also a series, there’s four of them, so if you’re working on a big project plan a movie marathon!

Ratched 🎃🎃

Image credit: IMDb

Rating: TV-MA

Here’s another creepy series for Halloween knitflixing. Full disclosure at the time of writing this post I haven’t finished watching this series, I’m half-way through the eight episodes. 

The lead character of this series, played by Sarah Paulson, is based on Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’ve never seen or read it so I can safely say it is not a prerequisite for watching Ratched the series. 

This show is not necessarily scary, it has more of a creepy feel, but it certainly is gorey and has some disturbing moments. I was watching it last night and found myself saying “oh my god, that’s messed up” except messed is not the word that I used 😉.

The Conjuring 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Image Credit: IMDb

Rating: R

I love The Conjuring, and all of the movies in the franchise actually – they’re so well made, but I will not lie it scares the pants off me every time! 

Having a WIP on hand while watching this movie helps distract me from the total terror that is taking place on the screen. And gives me something to do with my hands other than hide my face! 

It’s also nice to be able to get some rows done during the lighter plot points. 

Are you planning to watch any of these movies this weekend? Leave a comment to let me know and give me your spooky rating 🎃! 

Categories
Musings

Finally Fall

I’m so glad it’s finally Fall! Through August my knitting mojo was seriously suffering, and my motivation for pretty much anything was also suffering. I was stuck in a loop of work, plopping on the couch, going to sleep, and more work. My guess is that this is the typical COVID-19 lockdown cycle for most people! 

Doing nothing certainly can be draining. 

But the cool weather has brought me a dose of extra energy and excitement. I love Fall and if you ready my post from last week you know this and all of the reasons why!

One of the reasons I love this season is sweater weather and really just weather for knitwear in general. It’s time to pull out the shawls, hats and sweaters that have been packed up all summer long. 

As I’m getting all my knitwear ready for the season I thought it would be fun to give you a round-up of some of my favourite knit patterns for Fall. 

Hacked Hat 

A young white woman wearing glasses and a grey knit hat smiles at the camera
Put on your new hat! And don’t forget to share a photo on social media

This is one of mine, hope you don’t mind a little self-promotion (this is not the only one in the list LOL) but this had is great for Fall when you just want a simple light hat to cover up your ears on chilly days, without overheating. 

Find the free pattern here

Coffee Shop Wrap

This cozy shawl by Two of Wands is perfect for cuddling up in on a cool day. I knit mine with a Caron Big Cake and let the yarn do all the striping for me!

I keep mine at work, which means I haven’t seen it in a while and don’t have any recent pictures. Oh well!

You can find this pattern for free (amazing!) here or you can buy a downloadable version from Two of Wands. 

Halloween Heart Sweater

This sweater is designed by Meghan Regan of Bad Wolf Girl Studios.

Full disclosure – I haven’t knit this, but it’s been on my “want to knit” list for forever! I really thought 2020 would be the year I knit this for Halloween, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen. 

This sweater is so perfect for Fall because it’s got all things Halloween in the colourwork yoke, and Halloween is one of the reasons that Fall is so great. 

You can see the pattern here on Ravelry.

Twister Mitts

Fingerless mitts are so versatile, you can wear them when you’re out and about or even inside if your hands get chilly like mine. They’re perfect for chilly offices or other workplaces because you can still have full use of your fingers for typing or other tasks. 

A white woman holds her hand on her chest showing knit fingerless mitts
These mitts have been my favourite accessory for the transition from Winter to Spring.

This is another Knits of Steele original. I’ve already worn these a few times, without even leaving home. My home office while I’m working from home is in our our bedroom and it’s been a bit chilly. I’ve kept my Twister Mitts in my desk drawer and pull them out if my hands ever get cold. 

Find the pattern here on Ravelry.

Trickster Hat

It’s another one of my designs, but I couldn’t resist including it here because it’s one of my favourites.

Young white woman wearing an orange knit hat poses in front of trees with yellow leaves
Let’s be friends!

This is one of my first knit designs and I still love it so much. The squishy faux cables are great for Fall and who can resist a giant pom pom?!

It hasn’t been quite cold enough here in Toronto yet to need a hat this heavy, but the time is coming to take this knit out of the closet. 

I think this hat is especially great for Fall because of the colour I knit my sample in, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Spice

This is just a quick look at some of my fave knitting patterns for Fall. There are so many more than would fit in one post! What are your favourites?