Sunday, May 15, 2016

Circus Socks

My legs are all dressed up!

Sock knitting is one of the few areas where I'm totally content following a pattern. I don't get bored and decide it needs some of my own flair as I often do, as long as it's a visually interesting pattern like Outside In by Janice Kang. I instantly fell for the traveling rib pattern, and I love how the heel shaping is attractively worked into the design. Best of all, it's a free pattern available on Knitty.

I knitted my socks with Lion Brand Sock-Ease in the colorway "Circus Peanut." It's a fun color and I like how a solid color yarn shows off those glorious ribs. That being said, the pattern designer used an attractive variegated yarn (Panda Superwash in "Violets"), and the result looks fabulous.

Love that purple!

The pattern is slightly complex, as any traveling design will be, but I found I only needed to consult the charts for the first repeat, only glancing back at it occasionally as I knitted. The flow of the rib is easy to read and you generally just "know" how the row you're working will go.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is how the design goes all the way out to the ends of the toes and down to the bottoms of the heels. It's not something most people will see unless you're out and about in your stocking feet, but I still really enjoy the look of it. And, no matter what shoes you wear, there won't be any unnattractive or unfinshed-looking parts visible.

Knitty classifies this pattern as "piquant," which they define as "something for the seasoned knitter." They call this class of patterns "daring but not exhausting" and "probably not tv knitting." I definitely knitted a good bit of this with some TV happening, but you might miss a bit of the action because though I found the pattern easy to follow, you do have to keep an eye on your stitches. There are no long stretches of stockinette where you can zone out, but the result is definitely worth it in my opinion. 

I wore my "rugged" heels

I did suffer a bit from the second-sock-slump, but I can't blame the pattern for that. Getting that first one done is so satisfying and then you have to start all over again before you can actually wear the things. After a hiatus to work on some of my other projects, I dove back in and found the second just as fun to knit as the first. All-in-all, I found this a fun and satisfying project, and a fabulous design considering it's a free sock knitting pattern.

Next up, a yarn review! Sock-Ease is a budget friendly sock yarn, so I'm eager to see how it holds up after a few more wears.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Flowers for Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day and I've been neglecting my baby—this poor little blog! Since it's rather late in the game to start knitting or crocheting anything for mom, I thought I'd give you all a big bouquet of flowers. Or, at least a nice collection of 10 free crochet flowers patterns.

Crochet flowers are great stash-busters, and you pretty much always have time to make one.  If you want to make one (or more) for your Mom, try attaching them to pins, crocheting tiny ones to glue on earring backs, or sticking them on a handmade card just like elementary school. Moms love those!

1.  First up is this bright and cheery Crochet Orchid.  I love how the different layers give it real dimension, and the colors are pretty fun too. 

Flower Photo

This version is made it plarn! If you wanted to get fancy in the kitchen, you could probably use it as a scrubby.
Flower Photo

2.  Can you believe these Carnations are crocheted? I love this presentation, but wouldn't these be great as part of a permanent corsage or boutonniere?

3.  These colorful Pansy Flowers could really make a statement. They lay a bit more flat than many flowers and could be good for embellishing things like clothing or afghans.

Pansy Crochet Flower

 4.  These Brilliant Crochet Blooms are just that. I love how the petals curve up into little cups, and the color combinations are lots of fun too.

5.  A lot of crochet flower patterns take some liberties with nature, but this Crochet Daffodil could almost be picked right out of a garden.

Flower Photo 

6.  How sweet is this Lily of the Valley? I think it would look fabulous on a lightweight cardigan. 

Lily of the Valley 

7.  I adore these Puff Stitch Crochet Flowers.They're so bright and cheerful, and have a real retro charm.
6 Petal Puff Stitch Crochet Flower
 8.  For the true flower lovers out there, a whole afghan of flowers! This Floral Fiesta Afghan is a garden in itself.
Floral Fiesta Afghan 

 9. For a classic, Victorian style, whip up this Iris Rose. The lacy background makes it something truly special.

10. Finally, for the utiliarians out there, try these adorable floral Jardain Crochet Coasters. I wouldn't mind resting my cup of coffee on those.

However you're spedinging the day today, I hope you enjoy yourself, and take the time to kick back and relax with some crochet!