Friday Update

Amy P of Dyed in the Wool has a goal of making 2 pairs of socks this summer. The first pair is for her Mum, using Sock it Too Me Puzzle yarn, and using a slightly modified version of the Tropicana pattern from June 2006 Magknits. She’s also working on Boudica socks by Miriam Fulton.

Amy over at Blue Thing Pie is roaring to go! You really need to peek at the colors she chose for her sock yarns, they’re just lovely. And while you’re there, sit back and get to meet Anastasia, the lovely sock she’s working on. Lime-ish green is awesome!

Amber of Amber Waves of Pain is also ready and has her gorgeous yarn picked out. Look at her progress thus far! I think I want a pair of knee-high socks, too! …Amber, could you make meeee a pair??

Hi, my name is April [exploring pandora’s (yarn) box] and I crochet socks. I’ve had a bit of a rocky start this summer, I am sad to say. First off, I started crocheting my first pair of socks ever, only to change my tune, frog them, and start on a totally new pair. That pair also did not make it, and I started on a third pattern. Here I am, crocheting away.

Abby at Ever Decreasing has started her socks. She’s using the Vog On Pattern from the most recent Knitty. You totally have to check out the colorway. Love it!

Amy over at Sticks n Mud cast on the most beautiful Victorian Lace sock. You need to check it out. Really. I mean it. She’s not so sure about the color, but I think it’s pretty dang hot. Don’t you agree?

Ali from Skeins Her Way actually forgot she had signed up for the Summer of Socks 2007. I posted a comment on her blog about it, and it jogged her memory. Yeah! I love when things come full circle like that. I can’t wait to see what she wows us with.

Are you looking for a nice chuckle? This obscenely hilarious tale from knitter Jen at Knitting Sutra will leave you in stitches. Let the Summer Olympics begin. This year it appears they are held in Germany, and you can get some photos of the competition (or should I say “practice competition,” Jen?) here.

Adelle of Girl Is Crafty began her SOS socks with Socks that Rock Yarn. They say crocheting is faster than knitting, but after seeing her progress, I’m starting to second guess that! And kids, let me tell you something about Adelle. This girl is crafty. And thoughtful. Why, you ask? You’ll just need to see for yourselves.

Allison at Odd Ball and Skein is knitting some heelless sleeping socks, using this lovely yarn. I’m really intrigued by the title of the pattern! This is the only pair of socks on Allison’s plate right now.

Deb recently blogged about her sock yarn stash, and I’m glad she did. You totally need to check it out! I think you’ll be just about as jealous as I am.

Speaking of jealousy, the other Deb in our group got to spend the day with the one and only Jessica, our superstar leader behind the Summer of Socks, last weekend. How unfair is that? They look like they had a great time knitting the morning away in Princeton with Deb’s dog, Chappy, and her Mom. Lucky ladies!

Alison over at Alianne Knits started these great looking socks this week. The striping effect is fantastic, and from the sounds of it, these socks will be heaven on the heels.

Amanda may call her blog “a little fuzzy,” but one thing is perfectly clear: her socks are coming out great! All you knitters out there may want to check out flame wave socks from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks.

Anastasia has been co-blogging over on knit-n-gib about the Summer of Socks. She opted to use a simple pattern to highlight her ever-so-delicious handpainted yarn. And wow, you need to check out the color. She very truthfully said that the colorway is “violently green.” It makes me violently happy.

Andrea of Always Knitting has a great new pair of socks on the needles. I seem to see a pattern here of many summer knitters making green socks. They’re looking great, Andrea, and I can’t wait to see how they come out!

Alexis at YARRRRRN is the second sock-crocheter-extraordinaire in the group (hook on, baby!). She’s started working on her sock and ended up finishing it pretty quickly. I am sad to report that she is less than thrilled with her Bernat Sox yarn, though. Anyone have any good suggestions for a cotton sock yarn with absolutely zero wool in it? Check out her blog and give her some suggestions if you have any.

Angeluna over at PurlsBeforeFrogs received her Rockin’ Sock Club yarn (Everyone has this yarn, I love the Firebird colorway!) and is making some gawgeous socks to pass the time in the Texas rain. Check them out!

Well, Anne of Sittin ‘n Knittin was sitting and knitting fo’sho’. She’s working on two pairs right now and, again, one of them is using the Firebird colorway. It is so yummy.

Adrienne is knitting in the bellybutton of California (no, really, I mean it), working diligently on a Sidewinders pattern. She’s even designed her own pattern, and you can read about that in a previous blog entry.

If you want to see something pretty cool, check out Anna’s Summer of Socks Countdown Ticker on her blog, Anna’s Yarn Mansion.

Is that a pineapple, or is Acornbud just happy to see us? And look, amongst the fruit I see a monkey!

I won, I won!

Deneen hosted a little blog contest a week or so ago. We entered to win Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend. Well, I won, and it arrived yesterday! I can't wait to start reading this book. I'll have a lot of spare time at the hospital next week, so I probably won't take too long to finish it. I figured when I was done that I could pay it forward and pass it along to another blogger.
Thanks again, Deneen!

Yeah, I know, but...

I'm using my third pattern now for the Summer of Socks. I don't know why I keep changing patterns. I think it's because I've been kind of down lately, and not really wanting to have to think too much. The pattern I have now works top-down, so I'm mindlessly working on the leg/ankle section in a simple SC pattern. Mindless. Having to count stitches or think about what I'm doing or keep looking down at a pattern to make sure I'm doing alright, or moving stitch's all just too exhausting. Isn't that funny? Sad? Oh well. It is what it is.
Anyhow, check out yesterday's post to get a glimpse of what I'm doing. I'm using a free pattern from Sue's Crochet and Knitting, found here. This is the only men's pattern I've found, though truth be told I haven't looked that hard.

My Eyes, I'm Blind!

No, I'm not being dramatic. The paleness of my skin hurts passers-by. I actually just about caused a car accident the other day when I was walking in my cute little outfit with my cute little bathing suit beneath it. A man stuck his head out the window and yelled to me, "Nice Taaaaaaaaan...." as he just about collided with a vehicle parked on the other side of the street.

Anyway. In an effort to rectify this dangerous summer affliction of mine, I sat outside and worked on me socks.

And look. I went fishing last night and saw these little guys. Cute, huh?

Get Your Sock On

Hey everyone. This is the first update I'm sending off to the SOS Blog (Hope it's alright to post it here, too). If you are not involoved in the Summer of Socks, check out these gorgeous ladies' work anyway. Some of the socks will, well, knock your socks off.

(Blog group, don't forget I write these up Thursday evenings, so anything you send me after about 6 pm on Thursday won't show up until the following week. For the purpose of updates, our week runs Friday-Thursday).

Amy P of Dyed in the Wool has a goal of making 2 pairs of socks this summer. The first pair is for her Mum, using Sock it Too Me Puzzle yarn, and using a slightly modified version of the Tropicana pattern from June 2006 Magknits. Mum seems to have larger feet, so Amy cast on 77 stitches instead of 55.
She’s also working on Boudica socks by Miriam Fulton. Check it out here !

Amy over at Blue Thing Pie is roaring to go! For her first project she’ll be using some merino yarn from Creatively Dyed Yarns, which she got at the Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival in Virginia. You really need to peek at the colors, they’re just lovely.

Amber of Amber Waves of Pain is also ready and has her gorgeous yarn picked out. She’ll be casting on at night on June 21st. Go Amber!

April (that’s me!) of exploring pandora’s (yarn) box has started on her first ever pair of socks, only to then frog them after deciding to work on a differnt pair. I think this may be the first pair of crocheted socks for the group.

And finally, Abby at Ever Decreasing has started her socks, too. She’s using the Vog On Pattern from the most recent Knitty. You totally have to check out the colorway, it's insanely gorgeous. Love it!

And So It Ends

First off, shame on you silly bloggers for not noticing what I just noticed. My sock cuff...see how it's uneven? It looks like I dropped myself a stitch. I will count as soon as I get home. I didn't even notice this morning when I was sleepy, but I was sleepy. Need I say more?

I've decided to scrap the socks anyway. I was going to have to modify this pattern just slightly. And I've never made socks before. I found a free pattern that I won't have to modify, and I'm going to make these instead. I really abhor their colors though. Oh well. I'll use the green/blue Paton's I am so fond of.

I'm IN!

I've spent all of five minutes
here and I'm already in awe, in shock, in love. I want Ravelry to have my baby.

I'm on there as April7. Barely put anything up, I think that will be a work in progress.

And So It Begins

I started on my first ever pair of Socks. It's from a book I purchased a while back aptly titled Crocheted Socks! The pattern is called Tutti Frutti. I am not using the appropriate colorway though, but I don't care. I like this colorway. What you see above is my teeeeeeeny progress on the cuff. I've got 14 rows. I need 56 or something like that. I wanted so badly to cheat and start on this last night, but I waited until this morning. I work at 11 on Thursdays so instead of sleeping until 9 like I normally do, I decided I'd drag ass out of bed to start crocheting.

I've heard from I think 25 of my 30 bloggers for this along. Still hoping the remaining 5 email me. I'm have a link to everyone's blogs, but I would really like to have email addresses, too. Oh well. I need to stop being so OCD about this. It will all work out in the end. I just keep thinking, if they don't email me, it's because they didn't read the SOS blog, and if they didn't read the SOS blog, they don't know how the updates are going to work, and if they don't know how the updates are going to work....and so forth. It will all work out in the end. It always does.

Here I am, Bustin' Some Stash

My friend Sara came over last night for another installment of Crochet Wednesday. We get together (or at least we try to) each Wednesday in order to (stealing a phrase that is totally not mine) stitch and bitch. I made one Marvelous Mary Jane. Again with Wool-Ease Chunky. I haven't found another yarn that I like more for these babies than the WEC. I still need to add a button.

I finished this the other night. Or I thought I did. I started making the pda in the SnB book. The colors are not the same, but they're close. This was me bustin' stash. I think it looks cute, just not on me (because of the colors specifically). I began the earflaps and then realized that I put them in the wrong spot somehow, so I frogged them back. For a few days I thought maybe I'd keep it as is, but I think I'm now back to my original belief that it does, in fact, need the ear flaps. The hat is pretty short. I even went up a hook size because my guage was way off. It won't cover anyone's ears, so it either needs to be lengthened or the ear flaps are a must.

What do you think? The earflaps would be in yellow and there would be a big ol red button on each of them.

Attention Summer of Socks 2007 Blog Group

Hey ladies. As you know, I am in charge of reading your blogs each week, and posting weekly blogs on the SOS website each and every Friday. I'm sending out an email to each of you explaining how things will work, once I've heard from you when you check in with me for the first time. I thought I'd post another brief overview here, just in case we don't touch base via email.

Basically, I have 30 blogs to read and update on each week. That's a lot of blogs, but I'm so happy to be doing it. I'd like to ensure that no one's SOS-related post gets missed. In order to do this, I need your help. Please email me at aprilmagnuson [at] gmail dot com each time you update your blog to reflect SOS-related stuff. I will need you to draw my attention to your posts. But don't despair, I understand how blogging and knitting and crocheting sometimes gets the better of you, so if you accidentally forget to email me, I will be working hard to read each blog on a daily basis. I have spent the morning viewing each and every blog assigned to me (31 in all!) and subscribing to them through bloglines. [On an aside, If you haven't used it before, I suggest you check it out because it's pretty dang cool.] It will notify me each time any one of you updates your blog. If you take a look on my side bar under "Blogroll" you'll see a whole section of blogs that are listed as "SOS .....whatever..... " This is a complete listing of all of our group blogs, so please check them out and keep up with our fellow group members' progress. One blog is not shown on the side bar, however. Amy J, your blog, Knitting in Public, did not have an RSS feed to subscribe to, so I've simply added it to my favorites and will manually check your site each day.

So if you can remember to email me, and I check your blogs each day, between the two of us we should get to your blog update on a weekly basis.

Now, the updates. I'll be posting to the SOS main page each Friday. That post will be a summary of what has happened in our blog group during the previous 7 days. For the purpose of our updates, our week will run from Friday through Thursday. That means anything you post between Friday and the following Thursday will get into Friday's posts. If you post late Thursday night, your post probably won't show up in the update the next day, it will likely show up the following week. I do need to sleep after all! :)

If at any time I miss a post inadvertantly and you don't see it in my weekly update, please shoot me an email and I'll be sure that it shows up first and foremost in my next weekly update. Like I said though, with your emails to me and my subscriptions to your blogs, we should be all set.

I'm toying with a fun idea, but I want to run it by Beth and Jessica first before I say anything. But...if they're okay with it, how would you feel about having our own group contests? Might be a fun way to liven things up.

I'm really looking forward to the next three months and getting to know each of you. I feel pretty lucky to have 30 new blogs to check out, and 30 new people to communicate with. I hope you all feel the same!

And maybe when this is all said and done, one of you knitters can teach this crocheter how to work with needles?

I'm a Winner!

I seriously never win anything in my life, so when I got to work this morning and saw an email in my inbox from
Deneen that said "You Won" I just about died!

I won a great book called Hit By a Farm. I'm definitely excited to read it.

Because you should always pay it forward, I plan to post my own blog contest when I've finished reading the book so that someone else can share in the farmy goodness.

Thanks Deneen!

Weekend WIPs and FOs

Between barfing and other fun activities associated with stomach flu (woohoo), I managed to do some mindless crochet. Mindless is always fantastic when you're not feeling up to a lot of counting and concentrating. Love easier patterns during times like these.

First up is the Fun in the Sun hat by Annette Petavey and in the Spring 07 Interweave Crochet.

Second, we have a pair of MaryJane's for my mama. Paton's Rumor, which has some Alpaca in it, and is so, so warm. I love the color, too. These silly little sunshine buttons were stashed inside my Grandma's knitting bag and I inherited them when she passed away. I cannot resist putting them on my and my mother's slippers. They've got that funky 70s allure to them.

In my haze I thought maybe that blue and paprika red would look good together. Um, not so much. I only made one, and you can see why. This was with Wool-Ease Chunky.

And I decided to play around with some Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. Ugh. No thank you! I used an L hook which isn't exactly too large for this yarn, but the finished product looks like I used a much-too-large hook. My pinky toes pop out between the stitches. These will be frogged and turned into a hat or something. Either that or if I get too lazy I'll wear them around the house with socks in the winter time.

Here we have a little monkey face. Could you tell I was sick and bored? This was from SnB. Can you also tell I was sick by the fact that I totally screwed up the pattern? Look closely, there are a few boo-boos in there. Well, also about an hour before I took this photo I found the Monkey in my cat's mouth, so perhaps she is a little to blame for it being misshapen. Yes, we'll blame her, not my inability to concentrate on a pattern!

And I decided I'd make a fridgie. This is from a free pattern that I found on Crochet Pattern Central, but I cannot recall the link. This also ended up in Marley's mouth, and the head is stretched out, some whiskers are missing, and the eyes are now crooked, the tail is frayed, and most of the woven=-in ends are sticking out of the back now. Sigh. I mean, it was such a huge project and it took so many hours to complete, and it just killed me when she ruined it.

Okay. Kiddng.

And finally... Here's the beginnings of a shrug out of Homespun. Don't recall the colorway. Renegade? Something with an R. It's a pretty color. Reminds me of Rainbow trout.

I guess that's not too bad for someone who was sick all weekend. Just wish I could have gotten outdoors at some point other than to sit on the balcony for a few minutes. I tried to go for a walk but had to, um, run back to the house, all the while praying, that my stomach would make it in time. Double sigh!
I'm glad that's over with now. Other than being ridiculously tired, I feel much, much better. I climbed into bed somewhere in the vicinity of 8:15 last night and didn't have to get out of bed until just about 7 am this morning, so in theory I should be fine. But I'm not, my eyes don't want to stay open. I'm going to just assume it's all part and parcel of having been sick, and my body just isn't ready to be up and about this much after almost 4 complete days of watching TV and sleeping and crocheting. And, well, all the other unpleasantries associated with the stomach flu.

Summer of Socks 2007, Etc.

3 days until the sock-along starts! I signed up to be a blog reader and will check on 40-50 blogs per week to see if there are sock-related blog posts, and then report back to the main SOS page. I can't wait! I have my first pattern picked out and I'm anxious to start on them.

Never been in any -along, so this should be fun.

I have some photos to post and will do that this afternoon. Been making a few small odds and ends crochet-wise.

Last Thursday I only worked for 2 hours. Felt off, and in a bad way. Had a nasty earache (what adult gets earaches??), and general cold symptoms. By 7 pm that night it had moved into my stomach, and I proceeded to have the nastiest, most miserable stomach virus ever. I have never had a stomach bug for 4 days straight, put it that way. I stayed home Friday and spent the rest of the weekend on the couch, basically. It's now Monday morning and I don't feel well rested after the weekend, and quite frankly I feel cheated out of a few days off, since I mostly laid around moaning and groaning!

Tons to catch up on at work but I'll pop in later with some pics.

Marvelous Mary Janes!

This isn't so much a pattern as it is a tutorial or guideline! If you follow the guidelines below you will create a mary jane that fits my foot. That may not be what you want to do! So adjust as needed to fit your own foot. This was a trial and error project, and one that I frogged a few times before I found the perfect fit. Don't be discouraged if you need to do the same.

Marvelous Mary Janes

This pattern works perfectly with my very wide 7 ½ size feet. If your feet are larger or smaller, wider or more narrow, it is very simple to adjust this pattern to fit your own feet. You will simply need to try the Mary Jane on a few times while making it to determine what adjustments, if any, need to be made. Adjustments will mean increasing or decreasing the number of rounds and rows used to create the shoe.

Materials Needed:

K hook

Lion Wool Ease Chunky, or any bulky weight yarn.

Gauge is not important, but if your feet are especially wide you may wish to add an additional round after the [2 hdc in each hdc round] in order to create a wider Mary Jane. To do this, ch 2 and hdc in same st. *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in next st. Repeat from * all the way around. Join with sl st and ch 2. OR you may wish to increase a hook size and keep the pattern the same. This pattern can be altered in many different ways to increase or decrease the size of the Mary Jane.

The Mary Janes are stitched in one piece, with a strap added afterwards.

Toe Section:

ch 3 and join with sl st.

6 hdc in center of ring; join with sl st; ch 2

2 hdc in each hdc around; join with sl st. ch 2

hdc in each hdc; join with sl st. ch 2*

*repeat for a total of 6 rounds, or the number of rounds needed to achieve desired toe length. 6 rounds works well for my size 7 ½ feet. You may find that you need more rounds or fewer rounds to comfortably (and aesthetically) fit your own foot. I've been told I have short, stubby toes, so perhaps the average gal will need more rounds!

Sole Section:

hdc in next 14 hdcs. Ch 2 and turn.
Note: 14 hdc = the number of hdcs needed to fit the width of my feet. I have wide feet. If your feet are narrow to average, you will need fewer stitches. If your feet are very wide, you will need to increase the number of hdc stitches beyond 14. It is important at this point to slip the Mary Jane onto your foot and see how you like it with 14 hdc across. Adjust accordingly.

Repeat across, back and forth, to create the sole. Repeat until desired length is achieved.
Note that you want it to be very snug since the yarn will stretch a great deal once worn, so make sure that the sole just barely reaches your heel.

With right sides facing, sl st sole together, or sew with a whip stitch. Fasten off.

Attach yarn at heel (same color). Sc around top of shoe to finish off. If you want to make the Mary Jane a little more snug, hdc2tog at each corner where the side sections meet the toe section. Sl st to join last sc with first sc. Fasten off.

Decide where you would like your strap to go. I prefer it to be in the second or third sc from the corner. Attach yarn in desired st. Chain 10 (or number of chains needed to snugly cross the top of your foot). Attach with a sl st on opposite side, being careful not to twist the chain.

sl st into next sc on side of Mary Jane. Turn.

sc across chain. Attach with a sl st on opposite side. Fasten off and weave in all ends.

Turn Mary Jane right side out. Add a decorative button if desired.

1. After you sc around the top of the Mary Jane, attach a second color yarn at the heel and sc in each sc around. Join with sl st and fasten off. Make strap in either main or second color yarn.
2. When you start to crochet the sole, hold two strands of yarn together for added strength.
3. Instead of using a chunky/bulky weight yarn, hold two strands of worsted weight yarn together and either a K or L hook (just be sure to measure as you go to determine number of rounds, rows, etc. to get the proper size)
4. Using the basic principles outlined in this tutorial, substitute yarns of different weights, and different hook sizes. With a worsted weight yarn and, say, an H hook, crochet a small round, and then create a sole in the very same manner as outlined in this pattern.
5. Hold a strand of Eyelash yarn with the Wool-Ease Chunky to create funky Mary Janes.

The possibilities are endless!

Last night I set out to make a second pair using Paton's Rumor, which is an Alpaca blend. I love this yarn, it's so soft and lovely. Also using a K hook, I made sure to increase my toe round by one row (so that there were 3 increase rounds, not 2), and then I had to do 7 hdc rows to complete the toe section. I made the sole section just a teensy bit more snug anticipating that this yarn would stretch a lot. Once you understand the basic Mary Jane shape, it's super easy to adjust the guidelines to fit with various yarns and hook sizes.



Last week I got an itch for yarn Mary Janes. I searched high and low for patterns but didn't really find anything that struck my fancy. So I decided to create my own pattern and just make it up as I go. This is the way I tend to do things when I am making something. I am not good at design per say, but when it comes to simple items (a basic triangle shawl, hats, scarves, basic bags and pouches, etc.) I think I do alright. So I decided to give these a go.

Well, after making one that was enormous (and I mean so insanely enormous), a pair that just suck because of the choice of yarn/hook, and one that is too narrow and long, I think I finally got a pair that I like.

I took pics but I did not upload them, so I will post my pattern tomorrow. It's very simple, just make a basic round and then stitch half-way around said round to create the heel/side portions, stitch the back closed, and add a strap. They are freaking adorable.

I'm Not Homeless!

I'm sorry everyone. I've had so many emails and what not about being evicted, and it would have been nice of me to update you all and let you know it's all okay. I'm sorry, I'm so stressed and scatterbrained lately.

Turns out they credited my rent to another apartment. They were rude to me through the whole process, until I talked with the property manager. She was utterly embarrassed at how her staff handled it, and she was very professional and courteous the whole way. They sent me a letter of apology outlining that I was not evicted and that I have an excellent payment record. Phew. I knew it would get fixed but it was annoying!

I have to run, more later. Sorry and thank you everyone.


So Mark just called me. I'm working til 9. He calls because there is a flippin eviction notice under our door. What the hell is wrong with these people? On the 1st I handed them in person an envelope with 2 checks in it. One from me, one from him. We do it this way every month. The 1st was Friday. Come Monday, Mark's check for half of the rent has already cleared. They already have his money. Come Tuesday they are evicting us, citing NO CHECKS were received. Nothing. Then how come half of it is already in your account? It freaking pisses me off, let me tell you. Now I'm all in a tizzy and ready to fight, only it's 7 pm and there's nothing I can do about it until 9 am tomorrow, when I will again be at work. I'll fax them over the copy of Mark's bank crap that shows that his rent check cleared, and I'll have to keep checking throughout the day to show them that mine has as well. So friggen irritating.

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