Monday, October 10, 2011

OK Cat Bordhi, you were right!

At Madrona last February, I saw Cat Bordhi and she told me she had come up with a brand new kind of heel, and that she thought I would like it. I asked her some questions, and she told me it was a variation on a short row heel, and I was skeptical to say the least.

See, I hate short row heels. I hate the little holes, and I know there are ways to get rid of them, but it's not worth it because the second thing I hate about them is that they don't fit my feet well at all.

I have rather odd feet. They're very small - by length I should wear a US size 5.5 to 6 shoe, but I usually end up going a bit bigger because my feet are also tall. Not wide, if I try on a shoe like a Mary Jane or similar style that doesn't go over the top of my foot, I can fit into a 6 no problem - it's just that I can't close the straps. (You can ask Shannon, we went to the Fluevog store after Sock Summit and she watched me try on 3 pairs of shoes that fit great if I left the straps hanging wide open.) Perhaps because of this tallness, or perhaps for other reasons, the distance diagonally from the back of my heel around the front of my foot is very large compared to the circumference of my foot (12" compared to 8") - thus short row heels are not a good option.

But enough about me. I saw Cat again at Sock Summit, after she had released her Cat's Sweet Tomato Heel Socks ebook. She told me about the heel again, and I decided to try it.

Why? Well, Cat is a genius of crazy sock construction, and she looked at my feet and told me she thought it would work, and promised me that there would be no holes. Plus, because I am an *ahem* rather experienced sock knitter, she said I would probably be able to figure it out just from the YouTube Video.

And so... I did. Really, what did I have to lose?

Pattern: my plain sock recipe with Cat's Sweet Tomato Heel
Yarn: Patons Stretch Socks in Cherry Sours
Started: 8/7/11
Finished: 10/5/11

I cast on shortly after Sock Summit and carried them around in my bag for in between knitting, so it took quite a while to finish them. Plus I couldn't tell you all about them until I wore them!

So here's the verdict. There are a couple little issues:

1. The back of the ankle is slightly baggy, but nothing to interfere with wear, and I know Cat has many variations and tweaks in her book, which I didn't use because I just made the most basic version. This is really a very minor issue.

2. The foot is slightly too long, but that is completely my error as I wasn't sure where to measure from to figure out when to start the toe, and I didn't try them on. (bad knitter!)

3. Though the first pick ups of the wraps look beautiful, somehow I didn't do them quite the same the second time around and they look slightly less beautiful (also completely a user error), but they're still much better than those awful short row holes!

Overall, they fit very well and I think they'd be an excellent option for me if I ever knit toe-up socks again. ;)

And a little about the yarn, since I hadn't used it before. It's a nice cotton/wool blend and though it was a little splitty, it wasn't bad to work with. The finished feel is really nice! Also it was dirt cheap - I threw it in my cart when ordering my rotary mat from Joann's because it bumped me over the limit and was cheaper than paying shipping.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Socks and Shawls

The knitting around here has been mostly secret, but I did manage to finish up a couple of public things...

Greek Isles Handspun Socks
Started: 7/27/2011
Finished: 9/25/2011
Yarn: Handspun sock yarn in Greek Isles superwash merino roving (Pigeonroof Studios?)

Unfortunately one of my larger sock blockers is hiding. I'm sure it's around here somewhere. I finished spinning the yarn during Tour de Fleece this year. The tag on the roving didn't say where it was from, but some Googling has lead me to believe that it was Pigeonroof Studios. I must have bought it in person or got it as a gift, though.

The other project is a little shawlette:

Pattern: Traveling Woman
Yarn: Stitchjones Glam Sock in Marine
Started: 9/10/11
Finished: 10/1/11

As you can see it's currently blocking. :) It's a very easy pattern, and a pretty quick knit too!

In other knitting news, yesterday I went to my LYS in search of a crochet hook for beading. I have some pretty little ones that I've used before, but this time my size 10 crochet hook (it looks like size varies between companies, but between 1 and 1.3mm) was just not small enough. Unfortunately, that's the smallest size they carry.

So after calling JoAnn's (no, they didn't have it either) I ordered sizes 13 and 14 online. (0.85mm and 0.75mm respectively). Hopefully these will be small enough. I honestly can't imagine how much of a hook they can really have at that size!

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Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs