Sunday, December 30, 2007

January Sock of the month (SOTM)

January Sock of the month (SOTM)

On Monday, January 21st at 6pm-7:30
Liz will teach us how to make the beautiful Figheadh McGuinness Branch sock. Techniques include lace & cables.

The cost is $35.
Students will receive the pattern, 2 skeins of Panda bamboo/wool sock yarn & 1.5 of class instruction to learn the technique.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New pathways For Sock Knitters

Book One

by Cat Bordhi

I made the very first pattern out of this book. The book starts you off by making a baby sock so that you can get some experience with the techniques. This was fast and easy and gave me the satisfaction of having an immediate result. Then I made a sock from the Sky Pathway called Bartholomew’s Tantilizing sock. I used some Dream In Color “smooshy” . Now this being pretty much my first sock making experience ( I once tried to crochet a pair of socks, but we won’t talk about how that turned out!!!)

I was a little intimidated. I really shouldn’t have been. I really think that especially for a first sock, a book is the way to go. There is room in a book to explain all the details that can’t be explained in a single pattern. And what knitter doesn’t want more thorough information on how to turn a heel?

Upon opening the cover of this book you will find on the title page:
“8 forms of sock architecture
28 individual designs
8 master patterns
and all the elements needed to empower you to knit with freedom and joy in a new world of sock knitting”

The basic premise of the book is this: the majority of sock patterns have been written in two different ways: either with a heel flap or a side gusset. Cat absolutely throws this on its ear by moving the increase stitches everywhere!

All patterns are written for two circular needles (which can easily be converted to one long circular needle) and Double pointed needles.

This book is so well written and easy to understand that I knit my very FIRST SOCK EVER from this book with no problem! There are so many amazing tips and tricks: 38 different techniques are explained. There are panels highlighting special information making it easy to find that one technique you might need to review.

This book has already sold out of its first printing and is back ordered on the second, although we do have a couple of copies that just came into the shop.

This book uses yarn from 12 different yarn companies, showing 24 different kinds of yarn and is a generous 136 pages long. I was just amazed to see all the socks done in different kinds of yarn. I really enjoyed getting this "sampling" of sorts.

There are 8 master patterns, one for each type of sock architecture. The beauty of the Master patterns is that they enable you to customize each architecture for any foot, yarn, or needle in sizes ranging from infant to large adult.

There will be three books in the series. How else can she revolutionize the sock knitting world? I myself cannot wait to see what else Cat Bordhi has in store for us. But for now, I will definitely be poring over this one and will most definitely wear it out!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Dream In Color “Smooshy” Sock Yarn
WARNING: I will probably use too many ecstatic adjectives in this review, but I just can’t help myself because I LOVE this yarn soo much. So please bear with me, and just skip over some if they start to bother you.
I could start with all the technical details like yardage, weight etc, but we can get to those later. First I have to talk about two aspects of this yarn that really distinguish it from other sock yarns: Color and Twist.

Dream in Color (DIC) has a great description on their site of what they call their Veil dyed yarn. Or if I can steal a quote from their site:

“Inspired by the play of light in nature, our veil dyeing process brings depth and life to color, giving garments a subtle, dramatic shimmer and shine. While veil dyed yarn has all the unique character of other hand-dyed yarns, it will not “landscape” or “pool.” The result? A magnificent, flattering garment every time!”

Still, this does not adequately describe the absolute loveliness of the colors as you make every stitch. This is only something you can feel once you experience it for yourself. Photos just cannot do the colors any justice. I made a little baby sweater entirely out of the Smooshy sock yarn, it was slow going only because I could not stop staring at the beautiful play of the colors.

Now for the “Twist”. DIC has aptly captured the characteristic of this yarn by naming it Smooshy. It seems to have extra twist that makes it sproingy (maybe it’s not a word, but still a good description of its characteristics. Kinda like an onomatopoeia: a word or a grouping of words that imitates the sound it is describing.) Some people have referred to it as the “smoosh factor” The yarn lives up to it’s name and is very stretchy, springy, and elastic, making it perfect for socks, and a joy to knit/crochet with.

Allright, here come the technicals:
  • Yardage: 4 oz and 450 yards ( Most generously enough to make an adult pair of socks!)

  • Gauge: 6.5 – 8 sts per inch, US 1 - 3

  • Content: 100% Superfine Australian Merino. Spun from 22 micron 100% Australian merino wool, whereas most traditional wool is significantly coarser - around 28 microns and higher. This makes it incredibly soft and never itchy.

  • It’s SUPERWASH! Meaning machine washable (delicate cycle, cold water) and can be tumbled dry on low heat, making it a perfect choice for socks, baby things or anything that requires frequent washing.

  • It comes in 18 different colors.

  • Online shops cannot keep this stuff in stock!

I used some DIC Smooshy to make a sock from the book “New Pathways for Sock Knitters” by Cat Bordhi, (that review is coming soon). When I put that sock on, it was giving my foot a hug. That was enough to make my day a little bit better.

I have never heard or read anything even slightly derogatory about this yarn. So take my word, and get some of this, you won’t regret it; in fact you will get in line to thank me. I will be waiting… and I also accept hugs of gratitude. ~Stormy