How to be a more Productive knitter

Have you heard words like Area 51, UFOs and PHDs?

Are you tired of being stuck in Area 51 (your stash) with all your UFOs (unfinished objects) and PHDs (projects half done)?  I’ve put together a list of ways for you to be more productive and organized with your knitting.

Keep Your Stash Under Control

We are all guilty of having too much yarn. You know what I mean. We leave the house and find ourselves in the yarn aisle at Michaels or our favorite LYS, and we just buy. It’s pretty, it talks to you, the shop gal tells you it’s the perfect color for you. Guilty! Why not start buying for a particular project and keep your Area 51 from growing out of control. Whew…done!

sock yarn pile

Choose Projects that you are serious about

Ravelry is the perfect place to spend hours, literally hours, searching for that pattern. You all know what I’m saying, I’m sure. It’s down the rabbit hole you go. But again, it will keep you from having to add on to the house for additional yarn space. *smiling*

Have 2-3 projects going at all times

I know what you’re thinking, “but Deb, you said not to buy yarn just because and I might not have the yarn in Area 51.” I gotcha. Here’s what I propose…you search through Ravelry, find 3 patterns that you’d like to make. One that is super easy and can be done while knitting with friends, one that is a bit more complicated and will take a couple months to finish, and one that makes you excited every time you think about knitting on it. Maybe its a new stitch or some part of the pattern you can’t get enough of. If you have more than 3 projects going at any given time, it will cause you to put them away and forget.

entwined2
Entwined Blanket Pattern
vanilla socks1
Free Vanilla Sock Pattern

Choose a podcast or listen to an audiobook

My favorite thing to do is to watch a knitting podcast or listen to an audiobook while I knit. Even if its a bit more complicated, I find myself able to concentrate on the pattern, yet listen at the same time. Weird, I know. But, it’s also a great use of your time. A couple of my favorites can be found on Youtube: Brooklyn Knitfolk, By the Lakeside, and Grocery Girls.

Take your knitting with you (always)

Remember the one project I mentioned that is super easy and can be done while knitting with friends? Yea, that one. That’s the one you grab on your way out the door in case you’re stuck waiting somewhere, or you are done running errands and just want to find a nice cup of coffee and sit. I do it all the time and love it. Make sure it’s in a cute project bag. Just ‘cuz.

me knitting

What’s your next project?

It’s ok to take breaks. Ravelry is a great place to go to. You can assign yarn and projects. You will find yourself back there, I’m sure, so why not have a list of yarn (in Area 51) that you’d like to knit with next. Assign that along with a pattern for future projects.

With these ideas, you will soon find yourself organized and productive; actually ticking things off that list and getting rid of UFOs and PHDs in your Area 51.

How exciting is that? Please share with me your plan, your new pattern finds, and of course your UFOs and PHDs. I have many myself.

(note to self, go through Area 51 and take your own advice.)

Knit On, friends!

Deb

 

 

 

 

How I make my "Vanilla Socks"

(Photo is “Opal” Sock yarn.) 

Hi Knitters,

I have had countless people ask me how I do my easy peasy “vanilla” sock. Now, you ask, what do you mean by vanilla? 

Think of vanilla ice cream. Plain, nothing fancy. Just. Plain. It’s perfect for those beautiful self-striping yarns. 

That’s what I mean by vanilla sock. A simple ribbing, stockinette stitch for leg (knit all rounds), a simple heel flap and gusset, and more stockinette stitch down the foot. I finish with easy toes.

FREE for you! So print away. I didn’t create a PDF for this. Feel free to copy and paste this text into a word document and create a pdf of your own, simply print it out or add it to your favorite app on your ipad. Mine is Notability. 

Click here for the Ravelry Project Page on How I make my “Vanilla” sock. 


Deb’s Vanilla Socks
by Deb Buckingham/Dishcloth Diva

Abbreviations
ssk – slip 1 stich knitwise, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit both stitches together through the front
P2tog – purl 2 stitches together
K2tog – knit 2 stitches together

Materials
1 skein of your favorite sock yarn, fingering weight
US #1 double pointed needles (dpn’s) set of 5 
Yarn needle
Scissors
Tape measure to measure your foot and the sock

Gauge
This is one thing that people question me about again and again. I do believe it’s important so you get the right fit. Though, my sock will fit the average size 7 1/2 -8 1/2″ foot. 

Measuring Your Foot
This is used for the foot part of the sock. You want to make sure you get the right length so when you’re finished it won’t be too short, therefore causing it to be too tight around the toe.
Here’s what I do: take your tape measure and measure the length of your foot, or the foot of the one you’re knitting for, by starting at the bottom of the foot, from the end of your heel to the end of your longest toe. You will subtract 2″ from that number and stop knitting at the point. You will then begin your toe decrease.
Example: Mine measures 9 1/2 inches so I stop knitting at 7 1/2 inches. Then begin my toe decrease.

Cuff
CO 64 stitches, divide onto your 4 dpns, and join to begin working in the round.
Work a k1, p1 (or 2×2 (k2, p2) if you prefer) ribbing for 1.5″ 
If you forget to stop ribbing, that’s OK. It will be just that much longer.

Work Stockinette stitch for 6-7 inches or desired length. 


Heel Flap
As if you were starting a new round, *sl 1 purlwise, k1; across first needle. Using the same needle, continue working in this way for needle 2. You will have 32 sts on your 1 needle that you have done a (sl 1 purlwise, k1) 

Make sense? 

You will now have 32 stitches to work the heel flap with. You will be working back and forth on just this one needle.
Turn work:
sl 1 purlwise, then, purl each stitch to the end of the needle (still 32 stitches)
Turn work and continue working these 2 rows a total of 16 times each or 32 rows total:

Row 1: *sl 1, k1; repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: sl 1, purl to end of row
Work Row 1 once more

Yay!! You still with me? 

Turning the Heel
You should have just completed a right side row. This is where you’ll continue to work back and forth on just this one needle. It will seem awkward, but just do as each row says, it will work out in the end. You will end up with 18 stitches.

Row 1: Sl 1, p16, p2tog, p1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 2: Sl 1, k3, ssk knitwise, k1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 3: Sl 1, p4, p2tog p1, turn to work back in the other direction
Row 4: Sl 1, k5, ssk knitwise, k1, turn  to work back in the other direction
Row 5: Sl 1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn  to work back in the other direction
Continue in this manner until 18 sts remain on the needle. DO NOT TURN.
(You basically work until 1 stitch before the gap, then ssk or p2tog. Don’t forget your p1 or k1 stitche before you turn)

Fantastic! You got this

Gusset
You should have the right side of your work facing you. 

Step one: With an empty needle, pick up and knit 16 stitches in each of the slipped stitches along the heel flap. You may have to grab another stitch in the corner to keep from having a hole in the gusset.

Step two: using a new needle (or empty needle), knit all the stitches across needle 2 then needle 3. These will be your foot, or instep stitches.

Step three: Using an empty needle, pick up and knit 16 stitches in each of the slipped stitches along the opposite heel flap. Again, you may have to pick up an additonal stitch in the corner before beginning to pick up stitches all the heel.

Step four: Knit 9 stitches on the the needle from step 3. Then slip the last 9 stitches on to needle 1.

Needles 1 & 4: 25 (ish) stitches each (you may have more or less stitches depending whether you  picked up 16 or 17 stitches)
Needles 2 & 3: 16 (ish) stitches each 

Stick with me!!

Gusset Decrease Rounds
Round 1: knit all stitches
Round 2
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitchs, k2tog, k1
Needle 2 & 3: knit all stitches
Needle 4: k1, ssk knitwise, knit to end of needle

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 a total of (10) times OR until you have 16 stitches remaining on each of the 4 needles.

You are now back to the original 64 sts!! You got this!!

Foot
Continue knitting until your sock measures approximately 2″ from the end of the foot. (refer to Measuring your Foot above)

Toe
Round 1:
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 2: k1, ssk, knit to end of needle.
Needle 3: Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 4: k1, ssk knitwise, knit to end of needle
Round 2: Knit

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until 8 stitches remain on each of the 4 needles.
Repeat round 1 only until 4 stitches remain on each of the 4 needles.

Closing the Toe
Now, knit the 4 stitches from needle 1 onto needle 4. Slip the 4 stitches from needle 2 onto needle 3, or visa-versa. It doesn’t matter, as long as there are 8 stitches on each of the 2 needles.

Cut the yarn, leaving a 10 inch long. Thread it onto your tapestry needle, and use the Kitchener Stitch to close the toe. The video link is for the Knit Witch. A favorite of mine. 

That’s it! I hope you make many socks. Don’t ever get, what we call, the second sock syndrome. 

Quickly cast on sock #2. Like Now. Have fun with color. 

So, for now, knitters,
{HUGS} and Knit On!

Deb

Not So Crazy Sock Pattern



Diva Knits and Photographs On!

Just when you think your to-do list is done…well, it’s NOT!

Sigh…

So, I decided to procrastinate a bit longer and show you what I’ve been up to…

Taking pictures is my secret pastime. I love to find that perfect angle, with the perfect lighting. You like?

My daughter is always looking for a hat to wear outside when she takes her class out for recess. This is too stinkin’ cute not to make. So, I’m making one for each of my girls. Everdeen Beanie in the Weekend hats book. Made with Ella Rae Classic Sport Yarn. Super cute, huh?

And last, but now least, more socks. My hunny asked if I would make him a pair. Of course. This is made with Online Supersocke 100. I have to be honest, it isn’t the softest yarn to work with, but it sure washes up and softens nicely. Very durable.

I obviously could go on and on, but I MUST proceed to my to-do list. I MUST!

So, come visit me on Facebook, check out my Ravelry Store, or perhaps you Love Etsy as I do.

Knit On!
Deb

Book Review: 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share

I always enjoy getting the emails from Interweave asking if I want to review another fantastic book.

This one is no exception…

  • Beautiful photography
  • Clearly written instructions
  • Nice Variety of Patterns
Author(s): 25 fantastic designers
Paperback: 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share
Publisher: Interweave
128 Pages
It sells for $22.99.


These 25 patterns are interweave favorites. Cozy patterns designed by incredible designers and brought together all in one book. All knitters, beginner to advanced, are invited to knit these timeless projects that include: colorful mitts, scarf and hat sets, lace shawl, socks, embroidered bag, headscarf, boot socks, and more…

Let’s have a peek…

Of course, I’d start with a sock. I love socks. Toe-Up Travelers. This one in particular is designed by none other than, Ann Budd. It has a traveling-stitch pattern found in a Japanese book of stitch patterns. Worked from the toe up, with an added stitch pattern at the sides of the leg. A short row heel along with a stretchy bind off makes this the perfect knit. Don’t you think so? 

I, however, have not made a toe-up sock, yet, but believe me, I will now. 

I was so excited to see this one in the 25 favorite patterns. The Wanderer cap, designed by one of my favorite designers, Jared Flood. I had knit this one last year for my favorite barista down at Poor Richards, here in Colorado Springs. He’s since left the coffee shop, but from what I hear, still wears it. Proudly, I might add.

This cap is knit with a rustic tweed yarn. It features a zig-zag pattern that adds a simple, yet bold detail. A definite mans hat, in my opinion. Starts with a ribbed band and flows seamlessly for a very finished look. I loved knitting this hat. I will be making these for the men on my Christmas list this year.

Shhh…don’t tell them, if you know who I’m talking about. 

The third of my favorite projects in this book are the Teak Bittersweet gauntlets, designed by Laura Irwin. You love them too, right? A panel of continuous color changes that include both stranded and intarsia, creates a modern looking design. A simple seed-stitch band completes the look. Did you notice the cute button? How many do I have in my stash? Too many to count. I will be making these. Soon.

Designers that you will find in this book are: Kristin Omdahl, Mags Kandis, Veronik Avery, Kate Gagnon Osborn, Jaya Srikrishnan, Gudrun Johnston, Melissa Wehrle, Connie Chang Chinchio, Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, Jennifer Burke, Courtney Kelley, Melissa LaBarre, Ruthie Nussbaum, Laura Irwin, Nancy Bush, Lucinda Guy, Jared Flood, Ann Budd. 

Wow!

I totally recommend this book. It’s full of great photography and well written patterns. 

Again, It’s published by Interweave, the name of the book is 25 KNITTED ACCESSORIES to wear and share, and all the sorted details can be found at this link. Please click over and see for yourself how beautiful this book is. I wouldn’t steer you wrong, I promise! You know me, I love a knitted, well designed accessory. 


Also, check with your LYS. It’s a perfect addition to your library. I’m so glad I now have a copy too.

So, with much love knitters,

I bid you farewell for now. I ask you to review this book for yourself and report back. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts and maybe even see some finished work from it.

Knit On!

Deb