Decadent Feet

Beautiful Mohair Halo

On January 20th, 2000, I purchased a bag of yarn at the local thrift store for only $2.92, after tax. What the bag contained was 7 small skeins of vintage mohair. Contessa 100% Real Mohair Made in Italy. 40 grams, color 72, dye lot 1585. Sole distributor, M.H. Yarn Inc., New York.

Contessa 100% Real Mohair

Since then, only two skeins have been used in a couple of scarves. The rest have been in hanging out in my stash, waiting for the day I find a good use for them. The problem is, I’m allergic to animal hairs, so making something for myself was never an option.

I was thinking last year to use the yarn to make the Abbondanza Wrap designed by Nicky Epstein in her book “Knitting In Tuscany”. But, no matter how hard I tried, I just never felt motivated to start the project.

Then last night, as I was looking at some knitted sock porn, I stumbled upon these Angora Baby Booties by Joelle Hoverson, (Photo Credit- MsKhofhinn):

These are some truly decadent booties. So why not make my own decadent socks? I’m swatching up right now to see what gauge would work best with this yarn. I’m thinking of making it knee-length with maybe some lacing in the back.

So, I’m wondering, what is the most decadent yarn you ever used to knit / crochet with?

 

Sunset In Sedona Two Needle Socks

 
Sunset In Sedona Two Needle Socks
 
Finished sizes about: 6 ½- 7 (7 ½, 8, 9, 9 ½)” foot circumference.

Yarn used: 1 skein of Aslan Trends Natural Luxury Yarns Santa Fe 1334 yarn from their Kettle Hand Dyed Collection. 50g / 1.75 oz. 85% Merino Wool / 15% Polyamide. Approx: 180 yards / 165 meters

Needles size: One pair of straight needles size US 0-3 (2-3.25 mm) or whatever size is needed to obtain the gauge of 7 stitches per inch in St st. (Personally, I used US size 5 needles to obtain gauge, but I‘m just weird that way).

Other supplies: Some stitch holders or scrap threads to hold stitches on. You may find a row counter to be helpful in keeping track of rows while knitting the heel flap.

Special skills you need to make this sock: Flat seam (aka- Bickford seam)

Leg Portion
 
 Cast on 44 (52, 56, 64, 68) sts. Work a 2 x 2 rib stitch for one inch or until you‘re tired of knitting it.

Now, working in St st, continue to knit until the sock measures 4 inches from the top. (And yes, I know what you are thinking, “It’s just a freaking square. I wanted a sock, not a wonky dishcloth. WTF!” Just hang in there with me, its about to get interesting.)

Dividing Section
 
 First row: Knit the first 11 (13,14,16,17) stitches. Place these stitches on a stitch holder. Now continue knitting to the end of the row.

Next row: Knit 11 (13, 14, 16, 17) stitches. Place these stitches on a stitch holder.

At this point you should have 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) stitches left on the needle. These stitches will become your instep or top half of your foot. *(Please note- it is from this dividing point that you will measure for your foot length.)

With 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) stitches now on your needle, continue in St st until the piece measures 1 ½ to 2 inches less then your desired total foot length. (You are going to start the next row with the right side facing you. You have been warned!)

Touch Your Toes
 
 Row 1: (RS) k1, ssk, knit to the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.

Row 2: Purl

Repeat these two rows until there are 11 (13, 14, 16, 17) stitches remain. Ending again with right side facing you.

Row 3: (RS) k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1

Row 4: P1, p2tog, purl to last 3 stitches, p2tog tbl, p1.

Continue these two rows until 6 ( 7, 7, 8, 8 ) stitches remain.

Place these stitches on a stitch holder. Cut yarn leaving a nice tail for weaving.

(See, that was painless. Now for the fun part!)

Take the stitches that have been hanging out on the other two stitch holders, and with both right side facing you, place these stitches onto your needle.

Knit one row. Then purl the next row. (I know, amazing instructions there, right?)

Heel Flap Time
 
 Row 1: (RS) *Sl 1 pwise with yarn in back (wyb), k1; rep from*

Row 2: Sl 1 pwise, with yarn in front (WYF), purl to the end.

Repeat these two rows until a total of 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) rows have been made. (And yes, the number of stitches you have on the needle right now is the same as the number of rows you knit for the heel flap. It was a total freaking mind-blowing epiphany when I realized that!)

Let’s Take This Heel For A Turn
 
 Row 1: (RS) K13 (15, 16, 18, 19) stitches, ssk, k1, turn your work.

Row 2: (WS) Sl 1 pwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.

Row 3: Sl 1 pwise, knit to the 1st stitch before the gap made from the pervious row, ssk using the 1st stitch before the gap and the 1st stitch right after the gap, K1, turn.

Row 4: Sl 1 pwise, purl to the 1st stitch before the gap, p2tog using the 1st stitch both before and after the gap, p1, turn.

Now repeat rows 3 and 4 until all the stitches have been worked. Do NOT freak out if you find that you can not end with a k1 or p1 in your repeats. Depending on your initial cast on number, you may end that last repeat with a ssk or a p2tog. Make sure to end with the right side facing you.

Guess What? It’s Gusset Time!
 
 For this gusset, you will be picking up one extra stitch at the selvage edge corner. This will help eliminate that nasty hole at the base of the gusset. Don’t you worry, you will make these extra two stitches disappear shortly after both sides of the gusset in done.
 
(Of course you can knit this section without the two extra stitches and it will still turn out just fine. I just have a bit of a pointy ankle bone, so those two extra stitches keep my ankle from looking like its trying to escape.)

Now, using the needle that your stitches are already on, pick up 12 (14, 15, 17, 18 ) stitches along the salvage edge. Now knit across these stitches and the stitches that were already on your needle.

Once you reach the end of the row, with the same needle, pick up 12 (14, 15, 17, 18 ) stitches on the other side of the salvaged edge. Now, purl across all stitches. (Your stitches will feel and look a bit bunched up on your needles, but don’t fret. Things will start to loosen up in a bit here.)

Knit 11 (13, 14, 16, 17 ) stitches, ssk, knit across heel turn stitches, k2tog, then knit the remaining 11 (13, 14, 16, 17 ) stitches.

Next row: Purl

(See, I told you that you would send those two extra stitches away!)

Row 1: (RS) k1, ssk, knit to last 3, k2tog, k1.

Row 2: Purl

Repeat these two rows until 22 (26, 28, 32, 34 ) stitches remain.

Now continue in straight St st until piece measures 1 ½ to 2 inches less then your desired foot length.

Toe Time!
 
 Row 1: (RS) k1, ssk, knit to the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.

Row 2: Purl

Repeat these two rows until there are 11 (13, 14, 16, 17 ) stitches remain. Ending again with right side facing you.

Row 3: (RS) k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1

Row 4: P1, p2tog, purl to last 3 stitches, p2tog tbl, p1.

Continue these two rows until 6 ( 7, 7, 8, 8 ) stitches remain.

Gaft these stitches with the others you have sitting on the stitch holder.

Now you have some hand sewing to do. No moaning allowed. It’s not as hard as you think.

To seam the sock we will NOT be using the mattress stitch and I will tell you why. *Stepping up on top of soapbox* The mattress stitch subtracts rows from the sides of the foot and the back of the leg. Also, it leaves a bulky seam that, even after you steam it down, can still be felt.

Instead, we will close the seams by using the Flat Seam, also sometimes called the Bickford Seam. It makes a flat, clean seam that is almost invisible when done correctly.

The Bickford seam is one of those things that you have to see to understand, so please stop right now, go check out an online video on how to do it, then return to your sock and seam it up. (I’ll still be here waiting when you get back. I promise.)

Once you seamed up your sock, maybe you should seriously consider knitting the other one. Socks are usually better in pairs. (If you just want to relish in your one sock glory, I’m cool with that too.)

So, you’ve got both socks knitted and seamed. Guess what? You’re done. Yup, that’s it. You’re finished. Now make like a hockey stick and get the puck out of here!

Knitting Hand Me Downs

 

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I do love how our society just assumes that if you are old with grey hairs, then you must spend your days knitting blankets for babies and crocheting slippers for your other elderly friends. This is the case for my grandmother-inlaw, Ann, and her sister, Wanda.

Every so often, they are given piles of yarn, knitting books and other needlecraft accessories from kind-hearted young people who feel they are doing a great community service by providing such articles to Ann and Wanda. Well, neither of them knit or crochet. Wanda dabbled in crochet for a little bit, but much prefers to do needlepoint. And Ann? Well, her gift is with a rolling-pin and cookie sheet, not yarn and knitting needles.

However, Ann and Wanda are far too kind to turn down such thoughtfulness. So they graciously accept these gifts knowing full well that even the finest skein of mink and cashmere blend couldn’t  convince either of them to pick up needle or hook.

So, I end up being handed down these items, usually along with the same comment, “Now if you don’t need any of this stuff don’t take it. I don’t want you thinking you have to take home this junk.” (As of the day of this posting, I have yet to turn down any knitting ‘junk’ they have offered to me.)

Do you have any knitting ‘suppliers’ among your family? Anyone that knows you well enough to think of you every time they come across yarn?

Just Checking My Sbemails

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So here it is, my Valentine’s gift to my hubby- Strong Bad!

This is a picture a friend took of Strong Bad in my husband’s office. He got high-fives from several of the guys when he brought it in to work.

If you haven’t heard of Strong Bad, he is an online animated addiction. Strong Bad spends much of his time checking his ‘sbemails’ and trying hard to get the sexy ladies or just kill Homestar Runner. Strong Bad also has two brothers, Strong Mad & Strong Sad, as well as some bad-ass friends. Adult humor at its best and apparently a favorite among sailors!

You can find him and his crew at http://www.homestarrunner.com

Strong Bad is crocheted with a felted face. The pattern for Strong Bad was designed by Aleta Fera, (aka, Knittin’ Smitten). It is a Ravelry download and can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/strong-bad

A Super Gift

I am currently crocheting  a bad-ass gift for my hubby. I can’t tell you what it is just yet. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. However I will show you a picture of what it looks like so far. I’m sure there are some of you who will be able to guess. It’s a pattern I found on Ravelry.

I plan on giving to my hubby for Valentine’s day. I’ll let you know about it and post a complete picture after the Valentine’s day.

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