Beginner Socks at The Sheep Shop

Last weekend I took part in the Beginner Sock class at The Sheep Shop with Louise Tilbrook. I’ve had a crack at socks before, and by that I mean I started a two at a time top down magic loop method. It’s crazy, I always jump right in and whether I’m capable or not and try the most interesting looking thing. You can see my first, and as yet unfinished, attempt here.

I wanted to really get a handle on proper socks. With all the lovely 4 ply yarn I have, I have never made a pair of knitted socks. I also wanted to get to grips with double pointed needles. I was aware of the theory, but have never been brave enough to try. I picked up some needles and some rather uninteresting but hard wearing yarn the week before. I wanted yarn that I could undo and redo many times as I was sure I was going to do that in class. I mentioned the yarn in this post, it is the first yarn I talk about.

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The class was wonderful. Just the right number of people. I managed to drop my needles about every 5 mins for the whole 3 hours. At various points I ended up with less needles in the project than I should have had. It was like a yarny game of kerplunk.

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Through all that I still managed to produce a smaller than toddler sock, but the main thing is that it included all the techniques needed to make a full size sock. We decided my miss formed sock was more of a cat/dog sock than a toddler sock. I was going to try and get Cleo to model it for you, but I don’t fancy my chances.

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Of course I came straight home and cast on some proper adult size socks. I’ve managed to get past the heel turn so I think that in it’s self confirms that the class is a success. It looks like Louise is doing another class in April, so if you are interested I would highly recommend it. I’ve also just noticed she is doing a toe up class in May, I shall have to sign up for that!

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Finished Object – Short and Sweet

It’s taken me a while to write this post. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m already excited and making other projects or because this one went a little wrong.

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Ta dah! The Short and Sweet cardigan. I made the length and sleeves a little longer than the pattern called for. As you can see it’s being modelled on a mannequin at The Sheep Shop rather than on me.  That’s the hint on what went wrong. It’s too small!

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I had the sneaking suspicion as I was making it that it wasn’t going to be quite big enough to sit right. I was hoping that because it is a cardigan that is designed to be small, that was just how it was going to appear until I was finished. No such luck! I checked my gauge when I was done (yes, yes I know I’m supposed to do that at the beginning) and that was fine. I can only assume I picked a size too small. Also the size I made was designed not to close at the front, leaving a gap, which I wasn’t keen on. Never mind! Some lovely person who is smaller than me will receive it in the future, I’m sure.

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All the details of the yarn used etc is in my WIP post if you are interested. I really enjoyed using the Bamboo Cotton mix. It has excellent drape and I think the cream colour suits the project very well. I’m already planning another go at this one. The next size up is designed to close at the front, a quirk of the pattern repeat, which I much prefer. I always like a cardigan to be big enough to wrap around me. I’ve chosen some brilliant 100% llama yarn from my recent Sheep Shop haul. It is a wonderful variegated grey and black colour, is soft and snugly and seems to have wonderful drape. This means the cardigan will be more of a Autumn/Spring wear, which suits me fine as it will probably be Autumn before I start!

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Finally, a funny thing I noticed as I tried it on the dummy. The pattern from this angle kind of looks like little skulls. Really angry alien skulls, but skulls none the less. Is it just me or can you see it too?

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WIP Wednesday

So it seems to be a theme with the first two posts on my blog that WIP Wednesday is the most inspiring day of the week for me. As discussed in my last post I have a lot of them, so I suppose it would make sense that they are where I start!

Today’s WIP is something I started on Monday. Owing to the summer weather I have been wearing a lot of dresses (if you know me that is a very shocking thing!). I can’t stand not wearing something to cover my shoulders and upper arms as the bingo wings seem to be getting larger no matter how many calories I burn while crocheting. I’ve been wearing a very cute little cardigan I picked up from BHS a year or so back. I really love wearing it as it is so pretty, but always feel great shame doing so. Here I am, a person who is reasonably proficient in crochet, wearing a cardigan that was mass made for a chain store. It’s just not right!

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I chose some new yarn on the spur of the moment with no plan in mind. I knew I wanted to make a top much like the one I have been enjoying. I’ve wanted to try a bamboo/cotton mix for a while, as I have been hearing good things about it. I purchased 4 100g balls of DK King Cole Bamboo Cotton in shade 543 ‘Oyster’ from my LYS, The Craft Basket, in town. I bought 4 because I wasn’t sure exactly what I was making and wanted to be sure that I had enough.

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Once home I decided that I didn’t want to try and copy the cardigan I had or try to design my own. I wanted something quick and easy that I could be wearing in a week or so, not something that would take months to get through. I’ve only ever made one crochet garment to wear, it was a shrug for a friends wedding. I had lots of positive comments on it, but I was not overly happy with it. Mainly because I think I made it too small (revenge of the bingo wings yet again!). I really want to get into making and eventually designing crochet garments, but I figure walk before you can run. I paged through the many wonderful crochet and knitting books I received for my birthday and found the Short and Sweet in Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker. It looks perfect for what I want.

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I’ve managed the upper back section and started on the right front so far. The construction confused me a little to start off with, but I have the hang of it now. I love the lace pattern, though I’ve found it really odd to work a lace pattern in such a heavy weight yarn. I’ve been working mainly with 4 ply or lace weight in my crochet for a couple of years now, so this was a bit of a change. It is certainly going to crochet up very quickly! I hope I can just keep my short attention span under wraps long enough to get it finished!

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My apologies for the quality of the photographs. I really must sort out a spot and set it up to take better pictures. Perhaps a little research into that area is in order…