Categories
Monthly Round UP

May 2021 Round-up (and a life update!)

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since I posted on the blog. I didn’t have much of an April 2021 round up as I only worked on one project for all of April…if you can believe it! So there wasn’t much to talk about.

But May was a little different and I have a bunch of FOs and WIPs to share with you.

Another reason I skipped April, is because it was a pretty busy month for us because we were house hunting! So we spent our weekends in April attending viewings out of town as the city we’re moving to is about an hour away.

We found the perfect little townhome and we’re moving at the end of July 🙂 We have quite a bit of packing to do of course, and that includes packing up (and de-stashing) some of my yarn. I might write a post about my process of organizing and packing my stash, would you be interested? Let me know in the comments!

Please note some of the links in this blog are to Ravelry, links that direct to Ravelry are noted with “Rav link”.

Finished Objects

Mom’s birthday sweater

Pattern: Pure Comfort Cardigan a FREE pattern from Biscotte Yarns

Yarn: Berroco Vintage DK in Oats

Before getting into the details, I have to say the fact this pattern is free is amazing! I didn’t use Biscotte Pure DK for this project, but I have some of their sock yarn and it’s beautiful so I’m sure the Pure DK is the same.

As the title implies I made this sweater for my mom for her birthday, I knit a lot for mom she’s very knit-worthy! In fact I’ve written a whole post with the projects I’ve knit for her 🙂

This sweater was a little late for mom’s birthday…her birthday is April 20th and she still doesn’t have it yet – but it is finished! This was an enjoyable knit, but oh man did I underestimate how long that applied fisherman’s rib collar would take.

One (heel-less) sock

Pattern: Plain old vanilla with an afterthought heel (check out my afterthought heel post)

Yarn: Pattons Kroy sock yarn

I guess this is technically a WIP as it’s not even a full pair being heel-less and all. But I need to round out the FO section a little LOL!

I’ve got a nice green mini set aside to do the heels and I’m making them shorties. The last pair of shorties I made came out a bit longer than I had wanted, so I’m making this pair even shorter. 80 rounds instead of the 94 rounds I did on my last pair.

You can see that pair of socks here (Rav link).

Works in Progress

Cross stitch

I haven’t been cross stitching lately, but my cross stitch mojo came back this month and I’ve been working away on my Vintage Expresso Machine designed by Happy Sloth Patterns.

There’s also matching vintage coffee grinder and stand mixer patterns, I may need to complete the set!

I have my next two cross stitch patterns lined up and my “to stitch” list is growing recently as my cross stitch motivation has returned so I definitely want to finish this project up soon. I’m aiming to be done by the weekend I just have a little bit more to go.

Here’s a sneak peek of the floss for my next project, any guesses what it is?

Cozy memories blanket

Pattern: The Coziest Memory by Kemper Wray (Rav link)

I don’t write about my cozy memories blanket in every round-up post because this is a long-term WIP. I’ve been working on it since August 2019 and I’m not half-way through yet so I anticipate it’s going to take me until 2023 to finish.

But I reached a pretty big milestone this month: square #100!! 140 squares will be halfway and I expect to make it to that point this year.

Scrappy triangle hexagon blanket

Pattern: Bernat Knit Triangles Hexagon Blanket from Yarnspirations (free pattern alert!)

I’ve been watching Bernadette McLaughlin’s podcast (you should check her out!) and she’s been working on a couple of blankets, well that got me in the mood to knit a blanket.

Of course I don’t want to buy any new yarn until after we move, but I also had the challenge of what to do with all the super bulky bits I have in my stash. I didn’t really want to take them with us, but I also didn’t want them to go to waste.

I was sifting through pattern options when I came across this free pattern from Yarnspirations and it gave me the idea to make it a scrappy blanket with my super bulky left overs and some worsted and bulky weight yarns held together.

The plan is a blanket so hideous it’s cute!

Ripple crop top

Pattern: Ripple Crop Top by Jessie Maed (Rav link)

Yarn: Dragon Hoard Yarn, Velaris; Bar à Tricot, Blue Horizon; Plank & Stella, The Belcher Family

This is a dream project for me and I’m so happy to have finally cast it on! I started with the Plank & Stella yarn and was on the lookout to find two other yarns to make a nice fade.

I just have the back panel and the sleeves to go and I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out. I don’t love the fit of my first Ripple Crop Top (Rav link) because I knit it in a different needle size and knit quite a few sizes up.

I didn’t get gauge for this one either, but it seems to be turning out much better!

I’ve started posting a monthly round-up video on TikTok so if you’re on top of the TikTok trend head over there and follow me to see those videos and more! I am definitely not a TikTok superstar, but I have a lot of fun making videos.

Reads of Steele

Here are the books I’ve been reading/read in May! Links are to Good Reads.

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide – I didn’t finish this one and it had to go back to the library so you’ll probably see it on the Reads of Steele list again!

A Court of Silver Flames – if you’ve seen the recent rise in popularity of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series in the knitting community, you can blame Kate of Red Door Fibre Studio who started reading it and inspired a trend! This is the fifth book in the series and now I’ll have to wait until the next one.

Knitflix

Here’s a quick list of the shows I’m watching right now (or did watch in May). All of them are re-watches as I haven’t been in the mood to start anything new. Although the last time I watched Sailor Moon I was a child so it feels familiar and new at the same time!

Deathnote

Fairy Tail

Angel

Schitt’s Creek

Sailor Moon

Thanks for checking in on my knitting adventures 🙂 Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see my daily updates!

Categories
Monthly Round UP

January 2021 Round Up

Hi everyone! We made through the first month of 2021. I know this round up post is coming a little bit late, but I was really focusing on the tips for knitting your first sweater post and it was a beast!

That post ended up being so much longer than I originally planned, but I really hope that anyone who wants to knit their first sweater will find it useful.

January 2021 works in progress

I’m still working away on my For Fox Sake. I knit the sleeves this month, sometimes I like to do my sleeves first! I’m so ready to take on the rest of the body. Mindless stockinette is my go-to for knitting while reading and I have been doing a lot of that lately!

I’ve also been making progress on this baby blanket, I was trying to work on it for 30 minutes a day this month. I’ve been slacking recently, but I just need to do two more pattern repeats.

In February I’m setting a goal to knit a row a day and hopefully I’ll be finished by the end of the month.

January Finished Objects

I was so close to not having any Fos this month, but I finished my vampire vibes socks on January 31! I started these on Halloween and this has been my other go-to project lately for knitting and reading.

There were new cast ons in January!

Unless you count….

New design sneak peek

I have been working on a colourwork hat design for the past couple months! This is the Brigand hat. It uses worsted weight yarn and has a cozy double brim.

There are instructions for three sizes baby/toddler, child, and adult. By the time this is posted hopefully this pattern will be in testing. Keep an eye out for this pattern release sometime in February!!

New yarn!

I did some shopping this month!!! I don’t want to go too wild with buying yarn this year, however, I want to buy more yarn this year, specifically buying form indie dyers and local yarn stores.

Breaking Yarn

I won a gift card for Breaking Yarn from a knit-a-long hosted by Knitty Natty. Definitely go give Breaking Yarn a follow on Instagram. And the dyer just started a new podcast, so you should check that out too.

I picked up a skein of worsted and a sock set (showing significant restraint might I add because sooo many beautiful colours). As soon as I saw this yellow I knew I had to have it. It’s going to be a hat, I’m thinking something with cables.

Dragon Hoard Yarn

I am obsessed with the A Court of Thorns and Roses book series by Sarah J. Maas (more on that below) and Dragon Hoard yarn has a Sarah J. Maas inspired collection.

This is Valeris and it’s one of the mystery colourways from January. As you can see it’s beautiful, I will definitely be ordering more yarn from Dragon Hoard Yarn in the future (like maybe I already have some in a cart lol).

Shirley Brian Yarns

When I saw this this adorable knitasaurus bag from Shirley Brian Yarns I could not resist! I love a good dinosaur pun and while I was there I had to buy some yarn. This is Aperol Spritz on the slub base. I have been planning a faded sweater using slub yarn and this just fit right into my colour scheme I had to have it.

Reads of Steele

I have been reading a ton lately. At the end of December I read the whole A Court of Thorns and Roses series and it really brought back my love of reading. Here are all the books I’ve read this month (cheating a bit to include some I read at the end of December).

This is more books than I’ve read in the last two years! I used to love reading as a kid I devoured books, but lately reading didn’t hold much interest for me, which made me sad. I’m so happy to have my love of books back!

What’s my secret to knitting and reading? Ebooks! I read ebooks on my tablet propped up on a stand so it’s hands free, I just need to lift a hand every now and then to flip the page.

Knitflix

I was getting so bored and running out of things to watch, but I’ve re-discovered an old favourite and started some new shows with Matt.

  • Gilmore Girls – I started a re-watch of the series and it’s so nice to remember how much I love it. The early seasons are so fun! I’m halfway through season 3 now.
  • My Hero Academia – Matt and I were in need of a new show so he put this on the other night, he’s seen it before, and I was surprised by how much I got into it.
  • Marvel movies – we’ve been watching a lot of Marvel and other superhero movies lately. It’s a phase!
  • Wandavision – and of course with all the Marvel we’ve been watching we had to start this new Disney+ original

Thanks for reading the January round up! And as always you can follow my day-to-day knitting adventures on Instagram. I’d love to connect with you 🙂

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!