Heather Knits

Where Heather waffles on about knitting and anything else which crosses her mind.

Monday, February 19, 2007

More Christmas socks

Well, it is the middle of February and I am still catching up with blogging about Christmas knitting!

These are the other pair of socks that I knitted for my Mum for Christmas. The yarn is Lucia , 30% cashmere, 70% merino, 4ply weight from the lovely Dee at Posh Yarn. The colour is Feather .

The pattern is my basic sock pattern again, with a 3 by 2 rib at the cuff, narrowing to a 3 by 1 rib for the leg, short row heel with gussets in the leg and foot, and a stocking stitch foot. I know a lot of people don't like colours in hand painted yarn to pool, but I actually rather like the effect on these socks. I love the way the stripes of colours are different in the different sections of sock, and the way the different colours look depending on the number of stitches there are in the round, and so which colours end up next to each other.

I found this yarn more suitable for socks than the 100% cashmere 4ply yarn I used before . The merino gives the yarn greater elasticity although the cashmere is still luxurious. The big difficulty with using inelastic yarn for socks is the shape of a foot means that the sock has to stretch to get over the heel when you put them on, but you don't want them to go baggy and fall down. Although I'm not sure about doing any more socks in 100% cashmere I do think this yarn would make a great shawl or scarf where the drape of the yarn would really benefit the pattern.


I think the coloured Denise needles are a relatively new thing. The pink cables were a breast cancer awareness special edition, and the rainbow needles are dyed specially by Knitting Help.


Saturday, February 17, 2007


Last week I treated myself to some little goodies, and they are so beautiful I have to show you. Apologies for the dark photos, it was rather gloomy here yesterday when I took them.

First up rainbow coloured Denise needles from Knitting Help . Fiona (sadly blogless) from the Ash knitting group brought her set to the January meeting and it was love at first sight! They are just beautiful, a really interesting marbled colour, and useful too. Now I will be able to easily see which size needles I have picked up, and also to see whether I have got matching points or have accidentally picked up one of each size. They also of course will fit with the set I already have giving me two circulars in each size, always handy. I have started knitting with them already and the tips and cables fit together well and are very comfy to knit with.

Secondly a little parcel from Blue Moon Fiber Arts . This is three skeins of their lightweight Socks that Rock. The colours, are from the top: Chapman Springs, Sunstone, and Fire on the Mountain. I'm afraid my photography doesn't do justice to how beautiful the yarn is. I am really looking forward to knitting this, although I haven't yet decided whether to go for a fairly plain sock or something with a bit of pattern. I think I will go for a bit of pattern with the Sunstone, because that is a semi solid and the colour doesn't vary very much, I am still undecided about the other two. Any ideas? recommendations?


Thanks Sandie for the needle recommendation. I have some of the Knit Picks needles, my sister brough them back from a business trip, but I haven't used them very much yet. So far I really like them though.

We usually have snow about twice a year here but it rarely ever settles and if it does it is usually only an inch or so and is gone in about a day or less. Something to do with being on the edge of London probably.

Thanks for the nice comment on the avatar! The photo was taken by my husband on our honeymoon in the Loire region of France. We were looking round a maze in the grounds of one of the chateux and he thought it greatly amusing that although he could easily see over the tops of all the hedges, due to my height (or lack thereof!) all he could see of me was the top of my hat.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Alpaca left-over socks

As you may have noticed I have bitten the bullet and finally gone over to the new version of Blogger. I'm not sure if this will make much difference to you as you read. If there are any problems, let me know and I'll work out how to fix them.

The snow has nearly all melted today and we are having a rather gray day. A perfect day for some nice indoor sock knitting! In the best Blue Peter tradition, here are some I made earlier:

These are made from the same yarn as the bullet proof socks, alpaca blend sock yarn (60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon) from Alpaca Plus , and using the same two stage cable pattern.
I knitted the brown sock first and then discovered that it weighed 65g which didn't bode well for getting two socks out of a 100g skein, which explains the choice of a green foot for the second sock. This is very robust yarn and I actually snapped the tips off two of my Brittany birch sock needles while performing the cables!

Talking of birch sock needles, I have been having a think about sock needles generally and was wondering which were your favourites? I like to knit on 2.5mm needles and because I have wide feet and so quite a lot of stitches on the needles I prefer the 20cm long needles rather than the little short glove-type needles. I think my current favourites are Susanne's ebony needles bought from Scottish Fibres (I notice this size is out of stock at the moment), with the Susanne's rosewood needles a close second. I have a set of Brittany birch needles which really I am not that keen on, even though lots of people seem to like them. I have a pair of straight Brittanys in about a 6 or 6.5mm and I quite like them, they just don't really seem suited to my way of knitting socks. I recently bought the Susan Bates pretty coloured set of small metal needles, and while I love them, they don't come in a 2.5mm so they are not favourites. Also lurking somewhere I have a set of Inox bamboo sock needles but it has been so long since I used them I can't remember whether I like them or not! So what do you like? I am a total sucker for needles of different sorts and would love to have recommendations for different ones to try.


Thursday, February 08, 2007


This is the view from my computer this morning before I went to work:
Its quite exciting because we don't get snow often. I think we had about an inch or two, which is about as much as we have seen since we moved here 6 1/2 years ago.

I've just popped home at lunchtime and it has nearly all gone now, it was snowing when I left home this morning, and it is now gently drizzling (a lot less interesting), and there is slush everywhere.

It would be a great day to be inside knitting but alas the day-job calls. Speaking of which, I had better go back.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bullet-proof socks

While having a bit of a tidy up on my camera I discovered these pictures, and realised that although I finished these socks before Christmas I hadn't actually blogged about them.

The yarn is alpaca sock blend (60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon) from Alpaca Plus in Canada.

I ordered 3 skeins (100g each), one in dark green, one navy and one brown. Unfortunately I discovered after making one sock in the brown that one skein would not be sufficient for two socks, so decided to make a pair with green legs and blue feet, and another pair using the left overs from the first pair, and the brown.
The pattern on the leg is a kind of cable, over three stitches and 4 rows. On row one you cable the right most stitch over the centre stitch. Rows 2 and 4 are plain, then on row 3 you cable the centre stitch over the left most stitch. A cable in two stages. It doesn't pull in as much as cabling two stitches over two would, and I like the look.

This yarn is very robust and a lot more rustic than I had really been expecting, and the socks have come out practically bullet-proof. They are very good for cold days though and I am wearing this pair today.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Whew! and Weird things

Well it has been a busy few months! A little over a week ago I finished editing the patterns for Issue 2 of Yarn Forward Magazine , and now I am also up to date with the other job that I do from home. The job I do in the office is also a bit less manic now so I am starting to calm down and get back to some serious knitting!

As you can imagine not a lot of knitting has been done over the last couple of months, although I do have a bit to show you, I'll get the pictures sorted out in the next day or so. First of all Annie , I haven't forgotten that absolutely ages ago you tagged me for the weird things meme, so here we go:

Six weird things about me:

THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

Of course I think I am perfectly normal and that it is the rest of the world that is weird, but I enjoy playing along anyway :-)

So 6 weird things:

  1. I am a total creature of habit, and always get up and ready to go out in the morning in the same order. As I am not a morning person at all I have found that this is the quickest way of getting out of the house without having forgotten anything essential, like trousers.
  2. I hate it when it is so dark that you can't tell whether your eyes are open or not. I would rather sleep in broad daylight with the lights on than sleep in pitch blackness. Luckily where we live there is a streetlamp right outside our bedroom window so it is never very dark.
  3. I have more qualifications in computing than my other half, although his job is as a programmer, and mine doesn't really involve much technical computing at all. He knows a lot more than I do but just didn't get round to doing the exams.
  4. Following on from 3, I am a total education junky. Give me a course and I'll go on it. I absolutely love learning new things and actually don't mind exams (although my degree came close to putting me off my love of exams!). While I was at school I took about 30 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams altogether I think. I have also just started a City and Guilds in Hand Knitting with Fiona Morris - great fun, more on that in another post.
  5. With some circular knitting patterns, despite being circular and so you could just stop and start anywhere, I find I always like to leave my knitting at the end of the day at the same point in the round. I think this is so that I will have more of a chance of remembering what I was up to when I come back to it. My other half finds it a little weird that even though I am knitting in the round I still have the "after I finish this row" problem.
  6. I have weirdly very wide feet. My other half jokes that they are as wide as they are long. When trying to buy shoes as a child the shoe shop assistants, after measuring my feet, would often check that I had only 5 toes on each foot, and would often suggest that if I chopped a toe off I would stand a better chance of getting shoes to fit (not entirely sure whether they were kidding or not. Since we used to shop at the same shoe shop each year for school shoes the assistants got to know us, and after a few years of the same routine in which they would measure my feet then find that actually they didn't sell anything that fitted me, they would all make a bee-line for the back of the shop as soon as they saw us coming).

I tag anyone who would like to be tagged (is there anyone who hasn't done this already?). If you do then drop me a comment to let me know to come and read.

So there you have it, as you all suspected I am completely normal (no sniggering there please).

More pictures of knitting soon, I am off to see if my camera batteries have finished charging.