Frosty Evening Wrap

Woman wearing stripy wrap

Just uploaded my first pattern to Ravelry. Thank you all for the very kind comments. I’m so happy people like it. Can’t wait to show more work off.

For anyone wanting to try it – go to my patterns page or directly to Ravelry to download.

It’s a great pattern for any level. I liked doing it while watching TV – I got through a season of Deadwood doing this pattern. It is repetitive and easy enough to do in front of the TV while still being interesting.

I also loved running my hand along the fabric as it knitted up. It has a beautiful texture and the yarn I chose (Provincial Tweed from Knit Picks) has great shine and a silky feel.

How to make a sock – Part 2

Casting on a sock

I do all of my socks on DPN’s (Double Pointed Needles). I know alot of people swear by the magic loop method but once I got my head around using DPNs they just worked for me. Plus they are a useful item for in your stash. I use different sizes for socks, shaping the crown of hats and also they make really good needles for cabling.

If you are making a sock with fingering or sock wool you will likely have a pattern that tells you to cast on 56, 60 or 64 stitches. There are other sizes, but these are the most common. This is the stage that most intimidated me for the longest time, but if we break it down it becomes much easier! What am I supposed to do with all of these needles – I’m used to two needles – and then I’d give up. So the instructions below are how to get over that initial freak out.

All of the steps below are based on a 60 stitch pattern. You would add or subtract one stitch per needle for a 64 or 56 stitch pattern. I will be referring to the Needles as N1, N2, N3 and so on.

Step one:

Using two of your DPN needles, cast on 15 stitches onto N1. I use a long-tail cast on, but you can use any cast on that you are comfortable with. Right now it looks like normal knitting. You have two needles and all your stitches are being created on the left-hand needle. Once you have 15 stitches though you need to move onto N2. This is where things used to come unstuck for me. You need to continue on with creating new stitches, using the same yarn, but on a new needle. Pick up a new needle and cast on 15 stitches onto N2. You now have 30 stitches across 2 needles. Keep going until you have 15 stitches on 4 different needles.

Helpful tip:

You can cast on more than 15 stitches on N1. I often cast on 20 or 25 and then just slip the correct number of stitches across to N2 and continue on. If your DPNs are long enough you may want to cast all the stitches onto N1 and then slip them across the other needles until you have the correct number on each needle.

Step 2:

Carefully lay your needles into a square, making sure that all stitches are facing the same way and the yarn has not twisted over. N4 should be touching N1. We are joining our stitches in the round, just we would if we were using circular needles. The big difference is that it looks like a square rather than a round, but I promise you – it will knit a lovely round sock! Magic!

Once you have joined your square you are ready to start knitting your sock.

We’ll be looking at different sock tops in the next part of this series.

For the beginning of this series please click here: https://kororaknits.ca/2020/08/how-to-make-a-sock-part-1/

Test update

Painting of a knitting penguin

Nutmeg had her test today – It was fine, she was very displeased, but was feeling wretched as well. I think this is the only time ever where I have been pleased to hear that it is most likely Strep throat. So now we have lots of ice-cream and are at home and relaxing. The main lesson I learnt was that this is going to happen every time someone in the house gets sick. Normally we’d do the fluids, stay in bed, and get better. Now we have to get an appointment, get to the appointment, with masks, gloves and anything else you need to ensure other people’s safety. Then we wait for results. It is going to be really hard on the health care providers but also on families.

On a brighter note, I was hugely impressed with BC health. They were amazingly helpful and it was great how fast I was able to get Nutmeg her test and that the results will turn around within 72 hours.

Picture is one that Nutmeg did over the summer to celebrate my new ventures. It’s a very happy penguin!

Simple childhood illness in pandemic times

We are off for our first COVID tests today. Nutmeg got ill after attending a summer camp – which was great and they took lots of precautions – and it probably isn’t even COVID. But wow, dealing with a simple childhood illness, fever, sore throat, nausea etc. is really different in a pandemic. We need to get a test to make sure if it is COVID the camp is fully informed. We need to isolate her and be careful around her ourselves so we don’t get sick. Easier said than done. Also, she is scared now, we’ve been very reassuring but they know that we are hunkered down at home hiding from this disease and now she feels like she made a mistake by getting sick. It’s tough.

I was already feeling mixed emotions about going back to school but now I realize every little sniffle and illness that races through our school and our friend’s schools are going to really be a lot of work and isolating and time off for everyone.

So it has been a couple of days of realizing how much things will change/have changed in terms of how we deal with the ‘normal’ illnesses.

I’m knackered.

How to make a sock – Part 1

I used to be very scared of socks. I liked flat knitting – I loved blankets or rectangular shawls. Then I discovered knitting in the round. Loved it – no purl stitch – wonderful. But socks were still my fear. The number of needles, the tiny size of the needles, how do you do a heel and so on and so on. It was all very intimidating and so I was sure I was never going to be a sock person. But socks should be demystified. They are easy!!! They are fast to knit. You get just the comfiest thing you can have on your feet. They may be the best thing you can knit. After a facecloth I think they make a great starter project where you can get real pride from finishing a pair of socks and wiggling your toes in them once completed.

But many sock patterns really do require a lot of knitting knowledge to decipher and you think you need specialized equipment so they are off-putting. So here is a series on how to make a sock, with common pitfalls and ways you can adapt nearly any pattern you want.

Whitewater Wrap

So I made this in June 2020 for my mum. She was going to get it when she came to visit but we’ve now given up and it’s going in the post in a couple of days. The travel thing just isn’t safe right now. At least she gets this beautiful wrap. I wish it was my design but it’s by the very talented Amy van de Laar from www.baroquepurls.com. Its deceptively simple but incredibly effective. My friend G. oohed and aahed over this one and loves the fact that it has a moving pattern. So I’m adding it to the list of things I need to be thinking about and working on. A wrap that has two patterns in either a rectangle or triangle shape. I like the idea of half the wrap being simple garter or stocking stitch like it is here, but I’m also curious about blending two lace patterns. Could end up looking dreadfully muddled if done wrong though.

Blueberry processing

It was a mission but I think it worked out great in the end. You got your pies, your jam, your jam in progress and cake. More than one family was happy and benefited from the bounty. But it was an enormous amount of work and the kitchen looked like a bomb hit it afterwards. I’m still working on getting the pie tops on neatly and I think I need to increase the flour in the pies to make the sauce thicker after they are cooked. But the pastry is amazing!!! I don’t know why I wasn’t making pastry with shortening before. Much lighter than using butter

Blueberries & Peaches

It’s summer fruit season in BC and we have lovely friends who keep bringing us delicious mounds of fruit. I had a huge number of blueberries that turned into a massive project of jam, pies and really amazing blueberry muffin cake. The jam is particularly delicious but I need to work on getting it to set. I used a candy thermometer and added some grated lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. My sugar/fruit ratio was 3 cups sugar to 4 cups fruit and that’s honestly pretty sweet. It set, but only just and it’s quite runny Do I have to use pecthin? The next project are amazing looking peaches for deep dish peach pies and peach cobbler.

All the sock wool

No – it’s a lie. It’s about half the sock wool for my Christmas sock project. A bunch of Felici wool from www.knitpicks.com. I love their self-striping colourways and I love the fact that they update them regularly. my current favourite, which is sitting there waiting for me is carrot cake. I can’t wait to make that pair of socks. From this stash – I’ve done socks in everything you can see here

Socks for Christmas

Pair of handmade socks

Yes, it’s August, yes I’m talking Christmas things. I’ve set myself a goal of 12 socks for Christmas presents for people. I’ve finished two pairs and only have ten to go. By the time I’m done I’ll have this pattern completely and thoroughly tested.