Posts tagged ‘sock knitting’

Sock the Vote! Contest and Giveaway!

I blogged about Melissa at Single Handed Knits a couple of weeks ago. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed that little ravelry community. Melissa has a talent for organizing some very cool Knit Alongs (KALs) and other events, and the KAL that’s coming up is no exception! This next KAL will run during the last month of the election which nicely coincides with socktober. She’s organizing us into knitting “parties”. Everyone participating will order one of three different kits, and when you order one you’re committing to a “party”, the Toe-Up party, the Cuff-Down party, or the “Undecided”. You should totally go check out the KAL at her site and join! It’s going to be barrels of fun during a season that would probably be pretty irritating, no matter what your political philosophies are. That’s all I’m going to say about real politics since NO political chatter is allowed at all in this KAL!

Here’s where the contest comes in. I need help deciding which party to join. Here’s how you’re gonna help me out:

1.) Place your vote for which party I should join in the poll box below.

2.) Comment on this blog post with your Ravelry name and a link to the sock pattern you recommend. This is important, I can’t enter you in the give-away if you don’t comment. I’d prefer if it was a paid pattern since I’d like to take the opportunity to support an indy sock designer.

This is going to be a super quick contest. Since the kits go on sale Friday 6pm ET (noon hawaiian time), that’s when the EE polls will close. I’ll randomly select a winner from the comments and they’ll receive a sock pattern of their choice from Ravelry.

A couple thoughts to help you decide how to vote. Traditionally, I’m a cuff-downer, but I’m also up for broadening my horizons by doing something toe-up. Also, undecided can also mean a totally different, non-traditional sock knitting method. So if you want to suggest something totally crazy-pants, I’m all up for that too!

The race is on!


August 1, 2012 at 9:10 am 13 comments

A “Go To” Yarn Roundup

So I guess I sorta left the topic hanging yesterday. I gave all these criteria for my favorite yarns, now lets discuss what those favorites are!

Classic Elite Liberty Wool – $7.50/50g – 100% Superwash Merino Wool – Worsted

Ever since I first used this yarn about a year and a half ago this has been my favorite yarn to work with for any project requiring a smooth worsted wool. It has phenomenal stitch definition, is wonderfully soft, and has great memory. It was originally released in a pretty broad spectrum of colors, but it wasn’t until this year that they added some beautiful neutrals, thus solidifying it as my top favorite yarn.

Knit Picks Swish – $4.69/50g – 100% Superwash Wool – Worsted

Swish comes in at a close second. It has all the same features as Liberty Wool, but doesn’t seem to have quite the same quality. Which, as you can see, is reflected in the price. However, since it is cheaper, I do frequently consider it if I’m working with a smaller budget than usual.

Knit Picks Stroll – $4.69/50g – 25% Nylon, 75% Superwash Wool – Fingering

I haven’t found even a close competitor for this yarn. While there are other yarns that give stroll a run for its money either in the quality or luxurious feel of the yarn, none of them come close to the price. Every other sock yarn I’ve been tempted by is at least twice the price, and I really have a hard time spending $25 for a pair of socks on a regular basis. It does seem like there’s room in the market for a medium priced sock yarn. Knit picks will set you back around $10/100g, while every other brand costs $20-$25. I’d love to find some reasonably high quality sock yarn for around $15. If you know of any I missed, please let me know!

Knit Picks Gloss – $5.99/50g – 70% Wool, 30% Silk – Fingering

I love, love this yarn with no complaints. well, maybe one. It really should be made available in the stroll tonal colorways.

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes – $2.69/50g – 100% Peruvian Wool – Worsted

My favorite for any felting project. I haven’t tried Cascade 220 yet, so I can’t offer a good comparison. Anyone want to jump in on this one?

Berroco Lustra – $12/100g – 50% Wool, 50% Tencel – Single Ply – Worsted

This one is a bit different, but a lot of fun to work with. It has great stitch definition and the Tencel gives it a wonderful sheen.

Spud and Chloe Sweater – $15/100g – 50% Cotton, 50% Wool – Worsted

I like this one for baby knits that are intended to be a bit more heirloom quality. it’s incredibly soft, spun to be a bit hardwearing, and is thoroughly washable.

Berroco Remix – $10/100g – 30% Nylon, 27% Cotton, 24% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 9% Linen – Worsted

I was really surprised that I liked this one as much as I did. But I’ve now used it in three projects, and I always love the result!

I got a comment yesterday, but I’d love some other folks to jump in too. What are you favorite yarns? Why?

May 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Afternoon Musings on Choosing Yarn

Today I actually got a nap AND some knitting time! These last few weeks, it seems I’ve had to pick one or the other if I have any time to myself at all! But as I was working on little Elsie’s summer dress and listening to the Knit Picks podcast from last week about cotton yarns, I started mulling over my favorite yarns, the yarns I keep in my stash, and how I tend to choose yarn for projects. At one of my little brainstorming sessions for this blog, I envisioned doing monthly yarn reviews, discussing the pros and cons of a new favorite and exploring how it may or may not further ones desire to knit beautifully and frugally. But that idea fell flat in a hurry, and as I was sitting mulling over my yarn choosing practices, I finally put my finger on why. I am a really boring knitter when it comes to choosing yarn, I have a very short list of favorites, and it’s those favorites that tend to get revisited over and over again for whatever project I happen to be dreaming up.

All that being true, I find myself consistently trolling my LYS and the internet for yarns that have the potential to add to that short list, so maybe in time, it won’t be quite that short. So what criteria do I use? I thought you’d never ask. 🙂

1) Sensible Fiber Blends

I don’t tend to like super luxury blends. I like wool/silk blends, but that’s about as luxurious as I get. I have never owned a gram of cashmere, though if the right project/yarn combo came along I’d be open to making an exception, but I’m not likely to put that yarn on the Elegant Economy short list. I tend to favor your classic superwash wools as well as your merino blends and cotton blends.

2) Sensible Yarn Weights

I’m not a big fan of thick and thin, or other funky weights, much as I may drool slightly while in the store or at a festival. The projects that those yarns work well in are just too few and far between, so I don’t tend to buy a lot of it. Not to mention, if you’ve followed me for very long, you’ll know that I like the classics, and most of your funky yarn doesn’t produce classic results. I tend to stick mostly with fingering, sport, and worsted weight yarns. Fingering and sport for sock and baby knitting, and worsted for your hats, mittens, cowls, and sweaters.

3) Sensible Pricing

This is a very relative category. As I hope I’ve made clear in other frugally focused posts, I’m not really about knitting on a shoestring, I’m more about knitting with high-quality yarn, that doesn’t have an excessive price tag. Now admittedly, that still is pretty vague. What might be more concrete is how much I like to spend for different types of projects, and then I fit in whatever yarn matches that budget. So for a baby sweater, I like to spend between $10-$20. I think all the sweaters I made for the twins matched that budget. Accessories like hats, cowls, mittens and socks have a similar budget. For a sweater for me, I prefer the $60-$80 range. So depending on what the yarn is for, you’ll usually find me recoiling from a price tag if it’s more than about $15 for a 100g skein.

4) Good Color Selection

So a yarn may meet all the above criteria and make it into a single project. However, if it doesn’t have a broad selection of colors, it doesn’t really make my list of favorites, because I won’t find myself coming back to it for other projects. Also, it’s probably fair to say, that unless it has a good grey, a good beige, cream or other warm neutral, and a black, I probably won’t be putting it on my favorites list either. I LOVE my neutrals, and while a pretty purple, pink, or teal may catch my eye for a baby sweater or cowl, I probably won’t be using it for my socks or sweaters, since I like those to blend a bit more with what I would buy if I was shopping at NY&Co, or Gap, and I would never drop over $40 on an article of clothing that didn’t go with at least 40-50% of my wardrobe. So neutrals are an absolute must when I count a particular yarn line as a favorite.

So what about you? How do you decide what your favorite yarns are?


May 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm 1 comment

My First Convert to Knitting

So remember how I said I’ve never successfully taught anyone to really knit?

Meet my sister. She was well on her way to being a convert since Christmas, however, I hadn’t gotten to fully witness it.

If you’re observant you’ll notice she’s mastering a set of dpns.

She had turned her first heel by the end of the week.

Look at her knitting in public. She’ll be cranking out socks as christmas presents in no time. Right honey?? (hint, hint, hint) 😉

August 31, 2010 at 8:01 pm 1 comment

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