DK Boot Socks

It’s not very often that my sweetheart requests that I make something for him. So, when he does, I jump to it.

A few years ago, I bought him a pair of snow boots. He wasn’t with me at the time, so he couldn’t try them on. As it turns out, they were a bit too big. But, he desperately needed the boots, so I didn’t exchange them. He has been wearing them, uncomfortably, with heavy socks. This has not been ideal.

He requested that I make him some boot socks. These were to be worn over the top of another pair of heavy socks (to help take up some of the slack inside the boots). He wanted them to be made from yarn that was a combination of wool and cotton (another reason they would be worn over other socks, is because he is sensitive to wool and can’t have it against his skin). He also said he wanted them to be made from “fluffier” yarn; he meant thick yarn, rather than sock yarn.

I had been looking for some yarn that met those characteristics and I found some. It was going to be rather expensive, but he’s worth it. Then, I was on Ravelry one day and I saw that a gal in one of my groups was destashing several balls of yarn that would be perfect (and for a great price). I swooped in, quickly!

The yarn is Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran. It is a DK weight yarn in the colorway Peacock (a lovely teal-ish color). The yarn is soft and squishy. It would be very comfy made into a sweater or something like that. If you can wear wool, I would suggest you get some of that yarn. The only bad thing about it is that it’s hand wash/lay flat to dry. I did a test to see how easily it felts… It felts very easily. But, these socks won’t really get dirty, so hand washing is fine.

The pattern that I used to make the socks is the Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks (Recipe). You can download the pattern on Ravelry or click here to go to her personal website.

Before I had made this pair of socks, I had only ever made two other socks (not a pair). The first one was a baby sock and the second one was made using the above pattern/recipe. It made a perfectly-fitting sock and I decided that it would likely be my go-to pattern for sock making.

My knitting tool of choice is a knook, so that’s what I used to make these. The yarn calls for a size 7 needle, but I wanted it to be a bit firmer of a fabric, so I went with a size 6 (4mm). It did make a firmer fabric, as I’d hoped, but it’s still not terribly stiff or anything. The squishiness of this yarn makes it very forgiving.

Each sock took one-yard shy of one ball of yarn. The socks are a bit shorter than he wanted, but they do the job that they were intended to do. They keep his feet much warmer and they take up quite a bit of slack inside his boots.

I did a crochet cast on. Primary stitch count was 40. The heel flap is a columnar slip stitch heel. I did 19 rounds of a K2, P2 rib for the cuff. And I did a Russian bind off. They fit perfectly. He says that he’s never had, in his whole life, a pair of socks that fit so well.

It took me a day to make one sock, but I’m a slow knitter.

Boot Socks 1

Boot Socks 2

I’ve started a pair of regular socks (using sock yarn) for myself. I’ll write a post about those, once they’re finished.

Knooking Entrelac

I did a google search for knooking entrelac and I got no hits. So, I decided to try to figure it out for myself.

Essentially, knitting entrelac is just making a series of rectangles, one at a time. One row of rectangles leans to the left and the next row leans to the right. It looks like a diagonal basket weave. It’s quite simple and fun to do.

When making it with two needles, you make your rectangles and slide them over onto one of the needles to wait, while you make the next one. I couldn’t figure out how to do this with the knook, because one is left with live stitches that need to be held until the next row of rectangles is made. And since our second “needle” is already in use, I didn’t know how to get it to work while still being able to work back and forth.

What I decided to do was use little pieces of ribbon to hold the live stitches on the waiting rectangles. This frees up my knooking cord for making the next row of rectangles.

Following this wonderful entrelac tutorial I made this:


Initial triangles:


First rectangle:


First row of rectangles done:


Working on the second row of rectangles:



I completed three rows of rectangles and then finished off.

This was an 8-stitch entrelac pattern, so it didn’t take very long cords to do. I found that I was cutting my small “holding” strips of ribbon (for the stitches that were waiting) a bit too short. As I was working those stitches, the ribbon would sometimes slip out of the stitches. Thankfully, this was Red Heart Super Saver yarn, so it was fairly grabby and I was able to get a locking stitch marker into them to keep them from laddering down.

When I finished a rectangle, I would take the little piece of ribbon out of the one below (that I just finished picking up the stitches on) and reuse the ribbon. So, it didn’t take very many pieces of ribbon.

Also, because you are working back and forth (almost like short rows) the knook cord doesn’t have to be very long either.

And that’s it!

I know this post is brief, but I just wanted to let you know that, YES! Knooking entrelac really is possible! And hopefully this little bit of instruction will help you be able to do this fun stitch, too!

As always, if you have any questions or need some clarification, please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help.

Yarn Clouds Blanket

Well, I finally finished and photographed the afghan! I haven’t yet blocked it, though.

I used the pattern for the Yarn Clouds Square (find it here), however I only went through 11 rounds.

I made 8 full squares and 6 half squares. I had intended to make 4 quarter squares for the corners, but I ran out of the purple yarn. Therefore, my corners aren’t pointed.

I turned the squares on point (with a column of 3 diamonds on the right and left and a column of 2 diamonds in the middle) and used the half squares around the outside to make the edges straight.

I used the Flat Braid Join (instructions here). For instruction on how to join the squares, halves and quarters, refer to this page at the same site (it’s a different afghan and a more elaborate join, but you’ll be able to see what order to do things). Also, at that site, you will see a placement diagram, my blanket basically consists of squares 1-8. My chain length for the braid was 7. For the corners, I put the join in between dc 4 and 5. On the sides, I put the joins in the 3rd dc of each cluster.

I finished with a simple single-crochet border. Again, this was practical, as I was almost out of the white yarn.

Unblocked, the blanket measures 3-feet wide and 5-feet, 1-inch long. Each square measures a little over 16 inches, point to point.

I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn in the colorways: Soft White and Wildflowers. My hook size was K-6.5mm.Half-square and quarter-square guidelines can be found below the photos.I couldn’t get the whole thing in the picture. The felines were bristling at the thought of being displaced. At the very bottom is a half square:Yarn Clouds 1Half-square:Yarn Clouds Half Square55mm lens cap for perspective:Yarn Clouds Lens CapThis one was taken at my desk, in horrible lighting, with my phone. The colors are absolutely not correct. But, it gives you an idea of the construction for the quarter square.Yarn Clouds Quarter Square

Since I have not obtained permission to recreate the Yarn Clouds pattern, I am just going to post my notes on how to alter the pattern to make half and quarter squares. You will need to refer to the original pattern to know how to work the stitches.

Half Square:

You will be changing colors with each row and you will not turn your work – keep the right side facing.

With purple, chain 5 and join to form a loop. Chain 4. In loop: 3dc, ch3, 3dc, ch1, dc. Fasten off. What you have here are two groups of 3dc, flanked by a ch1 space and 1dc on each end.

Join white, working into the ch1 space on the end, ch4 and then work 3dc into the same ch1 space. Chain 2 and skip the next 3dc. Working into the chain-3 space, 3dc, ch3, 3dc. Chain 2 and skip the next 3dc. In final ch1 space, 3dc, ch1, 1dc. Fasten off.

For the next 9 rows, you will be working the same way you do for the squares. The purple shells will be worked into the chain spaces (with the center ch3 space being treated as a corner). And the white will be worked as bpdc, with the same spacing as the original pattern. Again, as in the original pattern, you will work the apex the same as you would the corner.

The only difference, is in how you will handle each end.

At the beginning of each purple row, you will ch3 (1st dc) and then 3dc into the ch1 space left by the white. At the end of the purple row, you will work 4dc in that chain space.

At the beginning of each white row, you will join the yarn between the 1st and 2nd dc and then ch4 (this counts as dc and ch1 space). You will then work across the next purple 3dc, as in the pattern. To end the white row, you will work through the purples like you did at the beginning, ch1 and then dc between the last two dc.

Quarter Square:

Things are done much the same way. Working in rows, change color after each row, do not turn your work – right sides facing all the time.

With white: Chain 38, dc in 6th ch from hook and in the next 2ch. Chain 2, skip 2 chains, dc in the next 3 chains. Chain 2, skip 2 chains, dc in the next 3 chains. Continue this until you have 6 groups of dc. Join to end. The end loops constitute your dc and ch1 space.

Again, really, the only deviation from the original pattern is that you have ends that you are working (just like with the half square).

The purple ends consist of 4dc (ch3 and 3dc at the beginning) in each of the white ch1 spaces.

At the beginning of the white rows, you will join with back post stitch to the 3rd dc and ch4 (counts as dc and ch1). At the end of the white row, chain 1 and join with a bpdc to the 2nd dc.

You will do this until you have 5 rows of white and 5 rows of purple. One exception: on the top row of purple, you will work 8 dc into that center “corner” space, still putting 4 on each end. I did not make that white chain space bigger, you can if you’d like.

Now, you’re going to turn the whole thing 180-degrees. You will now be working over the original foundation chain. Keep it right side facing!

Join purple. You will be working similarly to the pattern, again. The only difference being the ends. Work 8dc into each end. Treat the rest of the row as you would any other in this pattern.

You will end up with a triangle with 8dc at each point. You should now have a total of 11 rows, 6 purples and 5 whites.

I’m really not a pattern writer, I’m afraid. And I hated having to be so vague. Hopefully these instructions make sense. If you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

Yarn Clouds Work In Progress

I found a really cute square on ravelry awhile back: pattern here. I decided to work it up, because it looked fun. Well, it was so pretty, I decided that I wanted to make a blanket out of it (incidentally, I’m not making all 12 rounds of the square). Autumn has definitely arrived in our neck of the woods and I really could use a small throw.

You may have noticed my last post, which was regarding half- and quarter-granny triangles. This blanket was the reason for that post.

For this blanket, I’ve decided that I want to turn the squares on point and orient them as diamonds. When one does this, if one wishes to have non-jagged sides, one needs to make half and quarter triangles to fill in the gaps between the squares.

This particular square pattern that I’ve chosen has a sort of nap, if you will. The back-post stitches give it a definite direction. Working the half squares was going to be straightforward. They are worked from the point out, just like the squares are worked from the center out. No worries there.

The problem was going to be for the quarter squares. These are the pieces that will go on each of the four corners. The orientation on these is that the points are actually going away from the center of the blanket. Therefore, working the pattern from the point, would orient the nap of the fabric in the opposite direction of the rest of the blanket. Cue facepalm.

Unfortunately, the tutorial that I linked to in my last post will not work.

But, alas, with some experimentation, I was able to figure it out! I wrote down my pattern for the properly-oriented quarter granny and I will share it with you when I post my tah-dah.

I have two more full squares to finish, six half-square triangles and three quarter-square triangles. I plan on using the flat braid join.

To be continued…

Crochet Quarter- and Half-Granny Triangles

I was having a lot of problems finding information on how to make a quarter- and half-granny triangle. The one and only place that the instructions were posted, was now defunct. I’ve been wracking my brain for days!

I was about to start experimenting. Sadly, I’m not very clever and those sorts of things never seem to work out for me.

A few minutes ago, I remembered the Wayback Machine! That was the answer!

So, if you’re interested in how to make a quarter- or half-granny triangle, click here. The link will take you to the archived post in the Wayback Machine.

I hope this helps!


Well, there’s not much news from around here.

My middle son (the one whose baby passed away) got married in August. I don’t yet have any pictures to share, at this point. It was a fun wedding and reception.

Also in August, my friend, P., had a birthday. I didn’t have her birthday written on my calendar, so I didn’t realize that it was her birthday until I logged on to facebook.

I had to scramble to find a pattern and make her a gift – quickly. I found the pattern for the Karmic Kitty and I thought it was very cute.

I used stash yarn to make it; he’s even stuffed with stash yarn! It took me about 7 hours to make the whole thing.

P. absolutely loves him and said that he will accompany her on all of her road trips, as he’s the perfect size for sleeping in the car.

Karmic Kitty

The OCD part of me does not like that the mandala isn’t lined up symmetrically. But, that’s just how the pattern worked out. But, my friend loves him and really that’s all that counts. Both sides are the same.

Another friend, B., wanted me to make her a pair of kitties, but she didn’t want them to be sewn together. She wants to use them as appliques. I made the first one, just like the guy you see above, but I used yellow for the eyes instead.

This little guy was made because B. loved a crochet afghan square that I made. Please excuse the poor photo, I took the picture at night – with my phone. Yeah, not the best conditions…

Karmic Kitty White Pink Black Gray

I had tried to fiddle with the pattern to make the circles line up with the ears better, but it didn’t work. There’s some math involved, I’m sure, and I just wasn’t up to the task.

Here is the afghan square that I based the above kitty on (the colors are much more accurate in this photo):

See How They Run 1

I believe I posted this photo in my last entry Hungry for Color.

We have a little elderly gal, J., that we help out. She doesn’t drive, so we take her to do her shopping. My sweetie and I both call her our mother in law. She is the sweetest little thing.

J.’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks and it occurred to me that I’ve made gifts for so many people, but I haven’t made anything for her! That oversight breaks my heart.

So, I decided to make her a hat and scarf set. I chose the Stonehill Cable hat and scarf pattern. They can be found here and here In the photo on the etsy page, it is the bottom left hat. I’m seriously considering buying her Mountain Range scarf patterns, too. There are no matching hat patterns though. Hopefully she’ll write some soon.

The Stonehill hat is finished, but not yet blocked and photographed. I’m working on the scarf now and have roughly a foot to go. I’m not going to make it the full 6-feet long, as the pattern calls for. She’s petite and won’t need something that long. I’m thinking 5 feet should be fine.

This is my first crochet cables (actual crossed cables) project. I’ve done some things with post stitches, but nothing like this and not a whole project. It’s been a fun experience for me. They eat a LOT of yarn.

I’ll post pictures once those items are finished.

Hungry for Color…

It took me the entire month of July to knit an eyelet curtain panel for my kitchen window. I had intended to make two. However, once finished, it was discovered that the one panel stretched across the length of the window.

I had used Red Heart Super Saver in white and my size I knook.

The pattern used was this one and I used the five-eyelet chart. I cast on 170 stitches, did 10 rows of garter on the bottom and 5 garter stitches on each side. The rod pocket was created by making 5 rows garter, 5 rows stockinette and another 5 rows garter I then sewed the last garter row to the first.

After hanging the curtain, it doesn’t perfectly fit across the width of the window. But, it’s good enough. I might make another one someday, but probably not for a while. It was a lot of work and pretty boring stuff.

Eyelet Curtain 1

Eyelet Curtain 2

All that white yarn made me want to work with some color. I joined a couple of knit-alongs and crochet-alongs on ravelry.

The first challenge was to make something related to the TV show Outlander. This show is based on some of my favorite books, which were written by Diana Gabaldon.

I decided to modify my MacLean Clan Tartan found here. I made a cowl. This was my first try at knitting with color and my first try using the Intarsia technique (for the vertical stripes). I made yarn butterflies to contain the lengths of yarn. It worked pretty well! I figured that since this was a Scottish clan tartan, it would qualify for the -along.

I cast on 65 stitches and used my size I knook.

MacLean Tartan Cowl Knit 1

Handsome model is my son.

Handsome model is my son.

The next -along that I got into was the August challenge in the Cowls group on ravelry. This month’s challenge: color work. I found what looked like a cute and simple pattern called Alba, by Greta and the Fibers. I believe it would be considered a Fair Isle technique, as you are only doing a few stitches at a time in one color, with two colors per row. Just so you know, the website is in Spanish, it is an unsecured site and they require a LOT of personal information before you can download their free patterns.

It was a simple pattern and I really enjoyed the stranded technique (another first for me) – much more than the Intarsia. I made several mistakes (that I didn’t notice until I was finished). Despite the fact that it is terribly imperfect, I love this cowl. I absolutely adore the colors. I knew from crocheting another cowl that I liked these two colors together. But in this cowl, I like it even better.

The pattern is simple and charted. It’s a 10-stitch repeat. I cast on 80 stitches. I used Red Heart Super Saver in Black and Macaw. I did a seed stitch border, which I’m really not happy with. I think I much prefer the look of garter borders.

Alba Cowl

The next -along I was involved in was on the Red Heart Lovers group on ravelry. It was the August Square of the Month. I followed the crochet pattern. It made a 12-inch afghan block. I used a K hook and Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink, Perfect Pink (I think), Gray Heather and Black. It is the pattern See How They Run, pattern found here.

See How They Run 1

The Alba cowl inspired me to work on another stranded knitting project. I downloaded the Spirit Cat chart a long time ago and had intended to work it up as a filet crochet project. I never got around to doing that. So, I decided to knit it in the same colorway as my Alba cowl. I’m about halfway done, at this point. To be continued…

Works In Progress…

Most of the animals are fine. The goats have had their coats removed. They always look so skinny when we take their fur off! And though they act like they were assaulted, I’m sure they feel much better. I now have a couple of bags of fiber and I do plan on sending it in for processing into roving. I can’t wait to see how it spins up!

Thumper is doing well – fat and happy as usual. But Billy Bob has been ill. He has a bad upper-respiratory infection. He’s been on antibiotics since Monday and is only just beginning to show improvement. He goes back to the vet on the 20th for a follow up. If he hasn’t had a drastic improvement by then, they will burn x-rays. The doctor was a bit concerned that he might have cancer. We’re really hoping that he doesn’t. He’s such a sweet little guy and he’s had such a hard, hard life. It would just be tragic if he died in the near future.

My son and his fiance (the ones who just lost their baby) came for a visit. They were here for a little over a week and left yesterday afternoon. It was nice to see them.

They knew that I was going to be working on Independence Day and the day after. And because my job requires that I get up at an ungodly hour in the morning – therefore I go to bed at an ungodly hour – they knew that I would not be able to enjoy any of the evening’s festivities. They were thoughtful enough to bring some fireworks. We waited until Monday night (I have Tuesdays off) and after the sun went down, we went out to a clearing on our property and shot them off. It was 9:30pm and though I could hardly keep my eyes open, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Thankfully they didn’t set off any firecrackers – I’ve always hated those things. I got to try not to catch myself on fire with a sparkler and they lit of a couple of really nice fountains. He tried to set off a bee-shaped thing that I think would’ve been dangerous if it had functioned properly.

I helped my future daughter-in-law choose a photographer for their upcoming wedding – that was fun.

Overall, they seem to be doing well. She is healing well and he seems to have pulled out of the depression that he went into after the baby died. I hope it continues.

They told me that my grandson had been wrapped in the blanket that I made for him from the moment he was born, until after he died (the only exception being when he was getting weighed and measured). For that reason, they decided that they wanted to have him cremated in it, too. That was the sweetest and most touching thing that I’ve ever heard and it made me cry. It’s making me cry a little bit now, even.

Since I don’t know of any more babies being born in the near future, I can take a break from working on baby blankets for a little while. I decided that I really need to work on kitchen curtains.

As you may (or may not) be aware, I have finished one curtain panel already. However, it’s a granny-square thing and just too lacy to be an effective curtain. I had fully intended to use my knitting machine to do them, but I decided that I wanted something with a little bit of lace. And that’s just not very easy to do on my machine.

I decided that I would knook them, so they needed to utilize a knitting pattern. I’m using a portion of this pattern. The part I’m using is the center motif. The holes are arranged to look like little flowers. The pattern is super-easy to memorize. It will give me enough lace to be happy and enough solid to make my sweetie happy. I’ve completed 10 rows of garter on the bottom and am putting 5 stitches of garter on each side. I’m currently on row 11 of pattern repeat 3. I’m not sure how long I’ll need to make it, but it will be wider than it is long. Hopefully, I won’t suffer from second-curtain-panel syndrome like I seem to often do and I’ll actually finish BOTH of them!

And of course, because knitting miles of white yarn is boring (and because I have project ADD) I am planning on making a Year of Weather something. I believe the original idea came from here. Basically, you work one row for each day of the year. In the link I provided, she is working on a scarf that reflects the colors of the sky. I am planning on doing something that reflects our daily temperatures.

The code I’ve come up with (but may change) is this:

  • Below 0 to 10 degrees = white
  • 11 to 30 degrees = baby blue
  • 31 to 50 degrees = turquoise
  • 51 to 70 degrees = light green (I’m thinking a bright, spring green)
  • 71 to 90 degrees = dark green
  • 91 to above 100 = yellow
  • For birthdays and days of remembrance I’ll use orange

Luckily for me, my neighbor up the road has a weather station. It sends data to weather underground. I was able to go there and find the historical data for his site. So, my scarf, blanket, whatever, will accurately reflect the temperatures very near me.

I went through today and wrote down all of this year’s temperatures through yesterday. It was interesting to see that since January 1st, we haven’t had one day that had a high temp that was in the teens or 20s. And though we are fairly sure that we reached triple digits a couple of times, we actually haven’t yet.

I tentatively plan on crocheting – rather than knitting – this project. I haven’t decided which stitch I’ll use. And I haven’t entirely decided that I’m going to crochet it, either. The bad thing about using crochet is that the thing will be very long. One gal crocheted a scarf – in SC I do believe – and it came out over 11-feet long! I’ve seen others split the project in half, because it was just going to be way too long to use. In the sky scarf, she is knitting and those stitches are smaller than crochet.

Maybe I’ll go ahead and make two scarves, in SC. I can give one to my hunny and I’ll wear the other. They’ll be different enough that they won’t match, but they’ll be similar enough that they’ll obviously go together. Hmm… Yes… I think that’s a good idea!

Grandniece Baby Blanket

My sweetie’s nephew (I claim him as my nephew, too) and his girlfriend are having a baby. Her name will be Kaylynn.

Kaylynn Blanket 5

I haven’t yet met her mama. But if my nephew loves her, then she is probably a sweet girl.

Kaylynn Blanket 7

Naturally, I had to make a blanket for the new arrival.

Kaylynn Blanket 6

Their nursery colors are pink and gray. I had purchased some gray ribbon to embellish this blanket, but I don’t think it would add anything.

Kaylynn Blanket 3

I’m thinking of making her a little cardigan, booties and diaper cover set. I think I’ll make that in pink and gray.

Kaylynn Blanket 4

For this pattern, I’ve used the Victorian Lattice blanket instructions from here.

Kaylynn Blanket 2

I improvised a border.

It is 43-inches square. The blanket was crocheted using a 5.5mm hook with Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn! in the Pink colorway. It took 3 skeins of yarn.

This was a fun project. I learned a new skill – the flat braid join and I really like that join. It takes longer to do than my usual join-as-you-go way of doing things, but I absolutely love the effect and will definitely be using it again in the future.

I hope mama likes it.