Home Father’s Day

Adventures in Sock Knitting

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on June 8, 2009 ,
© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

So as I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts, my husband Lucas has not only learned how to knit recently, but we’ve both been working together, knitting a pair of socks for each of our dads for Father’s Day. As Father’s Day is coming up very soon, I thought I’d share where we are in the process and how it’s been going.

May 9, 2009: Cast On
Lucas just learned how to knit yesterday. Let me repeat that just in case you missed the significance – he learned how to knit  yesterday (May 8) and he is starting his first sock today, May 9. He learned the basic knit and purl stitches and practiced them by making a few swatches. He and I cast on our first sock for this project today — Lucas’ first project ever! I’m very impressed (and proud) that his very first project was something that most don’t attempt for at least a couple dishcloths. I’ve been knitting off and on (definitely, obsessively on recently) for nearly 3 years and I’m just attempting my first real sock that I will see through to completion. (Not counting the practice sock I posted about a few weeks ago.) We are using the free Lion Brand Men’s Grey Socks pattern.

Yes, they are inside out.

Yes, they are inside out.

May 22, 2009: Turning the Heel and Picking Up Gusset Stitches
Here’s a picture after we turned our first heel of our first sock together and picked up the gusset stitches and worked them. This was approximately May 22. My sock is on the left, and Lucas’ sock is on the right. Don’t worry that his sock looks a little bigger; Lucas is using a size 5 needle while I use a size 4 needle, so it’s to be expected. We only have one interchangeable set to share, so we’re making due however we can. Although I think using a size smaller needle than the pattern suggests may come back to bite me later. (Ack! See below)

May 31, 2009: I completed my first sock
I was so excited when I got down to the end that I just had to try it on, even before I grafted/Kitchener stitched the toe closed. My concern above about how the size 4 needle (when I should be using a 5) may come back to bite me later? Let’s just say the sock fits ME perfectly. Nice and snug. The problem? The sock is supposed to fit MY DAD, who has bigger feet than I. Oops. Maybe when we block them we can stretch them a tiny bit. *crosses fingers* Lucas is currently working the foot and is nearly closing in on finishing the toe. We had another (Our friend Michelle’s birthday) project that we were  trying to get done, so after doing that I went ahead and started my second sock and Lucas finished up the birthday gift project before getting back to socks. In fact, you can see the finished products (Batman soap and dishcloths) in the previous post! :) Happy Birthday, Michelle!

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

June 3, 2009: My pair is complete!
I have completed my second sock and am so excited that I have finished my first pair of socks! I know it seems like I did the second one very quickly in comparison, but to be fair, I had started the second one down to the heel turn already so it finished fast. The problem? I’m still concerned that they won’t fit my dad. Also, I’m a big loser — I did the toe wrong! You can’t tell in this photo, but I did the grafting the wrong direction. So you know how the seam should go lengthwise across your toes, from pinky to big toe? Mine goes perpindicular to that. I guess I didn’t think far enough ahead — I should’ve re-oriented the final 16 stitches on the needles differently before I started grafting in order to get the seam to lay right. This might’ve been due to the fact that the pattern we followed was meant for DPNs and it probably wasn’t mentioned because it would’ve ended up properly if we were doing it on DPNs instead of magic loop, but oh well. Chalk it up to a learning experience I guess! I feel a little silly, but it’s how we learn.

My handsome sock knitter

My handsome sock knitter

June 7, 2009: Lucas finished his first sock!
It looks fantastic and because of my mistake with the orientation of the toe seam, he is going to ensure he doesn’t follow suit. I don’t have pics of his yet, but we’ll get them up soon :) The great thing is that we’re pretty sure that Lucas’ socks will fit his dad – they almost fit Lucas, and his dad’s feet are smaller than his. Here’s hoping! I am so proud :)

It’s all going really well. I’m a little concerned that we may not finish 100% in time, but we’ll be close and I’m sure our dads will understand. (It’s our faults – though it seems like we’re going really slow on these socks, we’ve not been working on them daily like we should.) I’m a little worried that my socks may be a little small to fit my dad comfortably, too, if he can even get them on his feet. We’ll see. For our first socks, I think we’ve done great and there’s something really amazing about seeing all of the parts — cuff, leg, heel, gussets, foot and toe — all come together to form something so simple and normal that we wear every day. I don’t think I’ll ever look at another sock the same way again. I also know I didn’t want to take the sock off when I tried it on. There really is something magical about handmade socks. I think a pair for myself is in order soon, don’t you think? (With proper toe seams, LOL)


Happy Mother's Day!

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on May 10, 2009 ,

My focus this past week was on my feverish attempts to finish some Mother’s Day gifts in time to ship them out ASAP. As I mentioned in a previous post, Lucas and I spent a Saturday morning over at a do-it-yourself ceramic painting studio, where we painted three mugs: one for my mom in purple, one for Lucas’ mom in blue, and one for Lucas’ step mom in yellow and blue. Our moms will get quite the treat when the mugs arrive in the mail: each mug will contain a packet of tea (and coincidentally the teas we chose are packaged in wrapping that matches the color of the mug) and each mug will be hugged by a handknit coffee mug wrap by yours truly. It’s the same Coffee Mug Wrap pattern by DaniDo Crafty that I made recently for Lucas and I, only these have been made in (surprise!) coordinating colors to match the recipient’s mug, of course. Each have a little handmade tag attached to the handle (made from graphics I created myself in Photoshop) to let our moms know that we painted the mugs and knit the cozies for them to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day. I think the gifts will be well received :) They shipped out Tuesday, which was later than I wanted to get them out, so hopefully they’ll arrive soon.

We really had a fun time at the ceramic studio, even Lucas really loved the whole process and wanted to paint everything in sight. We saw lots of other people in the studio painting things for their moms and there were a lot of really neat painting techniques that we would’ve never thought of that produced some amazing results with the paint. One such technique was blowing bubbles! One person blew bubbles that were in a paint and bubble solution in a shallow bowl and the other person placed the ceramic piece against the bubbles as they were being blown, and when they popped they left a really neat painted effect on the side. Definitely something we want to try when we go back for other things. You can see all of the pictures we took of our fun afternoon at UB the Artist in Mackenzie Towne in our gallery. There you can also see more photos of the final mug sets all prettied up before they were shipped off earlier this week.

I recently realized that two of my co-workers knit, and so our conversations once we became aware of our kindred hobby have been most exciting. I was working this past week on  Daniella’s fabulous patterns for a Star Stitch Headband during one of my breaks at work, which brought us together. The headband turned out gorgeous, by the way! So gorgeous that I cast on another one last week for a friend’s upcoming birthday. One co-worker who really admired the star stitch has now encouraged me to try Fair Isle/stranding and cables — she swears each are much easier than I think! I’ve been itching to give both a try, but with Father’s Day (and Lucas and I’s wedding anniversary) gifts looming on the horizon with very real deadlines and knowing it may take us forever to complete our sock project, I may just hold off until they are finished. But you know how I am; the craft ADD will take over and I’ll find myself having to try just a little during a (hopefully) quick detour of finishing those projects. I haven’t even had time to play with my new drop spindle and roving kit yet! I’m sure I can sneak in a few minutes sometime soon ;) Hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!


Lucas the Knitter

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on May 9, 2009 ,
My handsome husband's first swatch. Note the garter AND stockinette stitches!

My handsome husband's first knitted swatch. Notice it contains garter AND stockinette stitching!

With Mother’s Day gifts finished up and shipped off earlier this week, I’m already thinking ahead to Father’s Day.  I’d been thinking that I’d love to knit up some socks for our dads this year, but I’m not the fastest knitter in the world so I’m not sure I can manage it in time.  I mentioned this time concern to Lucas on Thursday afternoon, who then suggested I teach him to knit so that he can help by knitting his dad’s socks while I knit my dad’s socks, and together we’d create knitted socks for our dads for Father’s Day.

My jaw dropped.

He then said, “If your new needles are there when we get home tonight, maybe we can spend the evening with them and you can teach me how to cast on, knit and purl.” (My KnitPicks interchangeable needles did arrive that night, woohoo!)

My jaw dropped again.

Not only does he want to spend the evening snuggled with me and my KP needles, he knew all of the basic terminology for the techniques he needs to know and wants to learn them!

swoon

Dare I say my husband may turn into a knitter?

My mind fast forwards to him having his own Ravelry account and uploading FO pictures and asking me what kind of yarn he should use for his next project. And shopping the LYS together. And how many more things we can knit for our future kiddos if there’s two of us knitting for them!

I think I just died and went to heaven.

Lucas knitting

Lucas knitting

When I came out of my daydreaming haze and picked up my jaw from the floor, I realized he was serious. Thursday evening I taught him the basics of knit and purl and he’s been doing really well!  We practiced again last night and I really think we’ll be able to attempt Father’s Day socks for our dads Magic Loop style. It’ll be a learning experience for both of us since I’ve only done socks with DPNs and only played with ML for the ribbed cuff of a sock before, but it can’t be that hard once I get to the heel, right?

Wish us luck! I don’t know about you, but I’m still in shock.