Aaron’s Socks Are Done!

Aaron socks 4I finished Aaron’s socks! He’s been asking for black and red socks for quite awhile and I’ve been stalling. I didn’t want to knit socks for growing feet. That’s senseless!

I have knit him socks before: tube socks knit from Red Heart Super Saver yarn. As you can imagine, they are indestructible. I swear I still see him wearing them once in awhile. They will grow old with him. They will survive a nuclear disaster!

Aaron socks 3Once I found black and red sock yarn at The Fold in Marengo, I got his socks started. There were a few false starts. It had been awhile since I had knit a pair of socks so I was a bit rusty. Luckily it all came back to me!

I knit socks toe up, two at a time on one circular needle. I used Opal sock yarn for this pair. I started with 12 stitches, cast on with Judy’s Magic Cast On. I leave a long tail and knit the first round with the working yarn and the tail. Then I knit each double stitch separately in the next round to get a nice rounded toe.

Since learning Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel, I do nothing else. It looks great. It’s easy. You don’t need a hundred stitch markers. There’s no flap. If you haven’t tried this heel, get her book and learn how. Trust me, you will love it!

These are just plain socks. I knit plain until the heel is complete, then knit a 2×2 rib. Aaron only wanted 4″ ribbing and that’s what I did.

I have enough yarn to make Jim a pair. I’ll be whipping those up soon. I used 2 skeins so I could pull from the center of each as I knit. The Opal wasn’t very cooperative though. Every time I went to pull, there was yarn barf. I manage enough yarn snarls on my own without the yarn contributing to my mess! Plus the yarn doesn’t have a nice feel to me.

But Aaron loves them and that’s what matters! I’m off to work on the summer vest/cardigan I’m knitting for a knit-a-long!

I Won!

String Theory, a local yarn store, held a contest this summer and I entered. I had to use a skein of Pediboo yarn and knit something. I designed a cowl and I won! I am so pumped! I had absolutely zero expectations of winning, so this is extra great!

When I get the cowl back I will be writing up the pattern to sell. It will be my second in my line of pattern designs. Then I’ll be working on the third. I have an idea for a baby hat…

By the way, the Pediboo yarn was a dream to work with. I loved how it felt and it knit up like a dream for me. I have another skein in lime green…what to do what to do…

My Wendy’s Summer Solstice KAL Shawl is Done!

Yay, I finished! I didn’t finish right on time, but I got it done during summer. That counts, right? I mean, it was even the right year!

I added some width (about 20 extra inches according to the pattern notes) and a little to the depth. It’s definitely big enough. But it’s really really wispy and will only be good during the hot summer days! There should be a few more of those this year though, so I’ll get to use it.

This was knit with Knit Picks Gloss Lace. I really like the yarn. Luckily, I have some more in a nice lavender color. Oh what to knit!

Let me know what you think!

I Made A Podcast! Episode 1 Is Live!

I’m so excited! I managed to create my very own podcast! Episode 1 is alive on itunes. Just search for playwithsusie and subscribe if you want!

This week I talked about the Ravellenic games and my current WIPs. I have so many! Ugh! I promised links to things I mentioned, so here you go!

By the way, on Ravelry I am QusieSusie!

Judy’s Magic Cast-On video by KnitPicks

Handshake Mitten

Malice in Wonderland KAL


Cast On, Bind Off

Wendy Johnson Summer Solstice KAL

Cool Knitting Blog & Catching Up

Completed the Sabrina A-Line Sweater by Vera Sanon in a KAL in the ravelry group, The Curvalicious Sisterhood

I came across this website, Rhythm of the Needles, and thought I would share it with you. Apparently the site’s URL changed and the owner is trying to get the word out. Go visit her!

I finally finished my Sabrina A-line sweater. It’s a Vera Sanon design and was a KAL through the Ravelry group, The Curvalicious Sisterhood. I like how it turned out.

I’m still knitting my second wingspan. It’s become my knit-away-from-home project, so it doesn’t get a lot of work.

I also am knitting Wendy Johnson’s summer shawl for her knitalong. I was all caught up…then fell behind! I’ll catch up this weekend. It’s gorgeous and I’m using a really pretty blue yarn.

I designed a cowl and took it to String Theory Yarn Company in Glen Ellyn (IL) for the Pediboo contest. It turned out really cool and I’ll be writing up the pattern for it. I didn’t get to take pictures, so it won’t get done until I get the cowl back in mid-September.

What have you been up to? Anything crafty? Tell all!

Wingspan Shawl Complete

Have you seen the free Wingspan shawl on Ravelry? You’ve got to check it out.

I had some sock yarn that didn’t feel like something I would want socks made out of. It was stiff, a little rough. But the colors are great. So I whipped it up into the Wingspan! This was the fastest thing I ever knit! It took me 5 days!

The pattern is intuitive, so once you get the rhythm down, you can roll right along. I liked it so much I cast on another ball of yarn to make another. This time I making some adjustments, adding stitches to the cast on so it’s bigger overall. I also have two balls so I can make it as big as I like. I’m not knitting as fast as before because I have some other projects on the needles.



Mini Me: My Duct Tape Dummy

I’m trying to post more regularly here! But it’s hard maintaining two blogs! In case you’ve found this by accident, I also have Motherhoot. My goal is to post here on Wednesdays for the near future. I’ll run a Wordless Wednesday post on Motherhoot and post here about crafting.

My BFF Kelly helped me make myself a duct tape dummy. Why, you ask, would I need a duct tape dummy? Because I am tired of knitting sweaters that don’t fit correctly. Supposedly, this will help me create garments that actually fit me. I heard about this years ago, but I’m taking a class at Craftsy that walked you through the process. Still it took several months to get it done.

Of course, we chose the hottest day of 2012 so far to do this. My advice: have lots of water handy and a fan. Because being wrapped in duct tape is like a sauna!

Here are the things you need:

  • duct tape (it took almost 2 rolls for Mini Me; taping the holes closed took a lot more tape than I thought it would)
  • contrasting/decorative duct tape to mark your waist line and any other points you want to reference
  • old t-shirt
  • willing, close friend
  • good scissors to cut through a t-shirt and several layers of duct tape
  • stuffing (I used a 5 pound box and a large bag)

Here’s how you do it:

Part 1: You Need A Friend

1. Put on the old t-shirt. Wear a good bra under it like you would under a knitted garment. I chose a long-sleeved t-shirt because I could tie off the sleeves when I was done.

2. Have your taper get started. Kelly did the first layer with shorter strips that she molded around my bumps and curves. Then she did a second layer taping vertically with longer pieces of tape. The third layer was done horizontally with longer layers of tape. By longer I mean nothing more than 10-12″ long.

3. When the base layer was done, she added the contrasting tape (see my zebra belt!) to my waist line.

4. Cut the duct tape suit off, being careful to avoid skin and the bra strap. I cannot emphasize enough that you need strong scissors for this. The ones we had (I had to rummage through drawers and closets to find a single scissors in my house!) were pretty crappy and I thought I was going to be stuck forever!

5. Let the duct tape suit air out and dry if you manage to sweat like I did. I don’t normally sweat but I did that day!

Part 2: You’re On Your Own

1. Carefully tape up the seam of your duct tape suit. It’s not hard because you can match the tape lines of the suit and the contrasting tape lines. Remember, the suit is flexible, so you can mangle it around in this stage to get it taped back up. I made sure that my zebra waist marking was complete around the suit.

2. Tie up the arms or tape the arm holes shut.

3. Tape the neck carefully, trying to maintain the shape.

4. Start stuffing from the bottom. I had a hard time getting enough stuffing into my boobs!

5. Carefully begin taping up the bottom. I bought a piece of foam core to use as a base, but didn’t need it. I think I lost some of the correct shaping, but the measurements are close to ones taken a few weeks ago.

6. When you have most of the bottom taped closed, add more stuffing. Add and add and add until you get a stable piece. Honestly, I think I could have stuffed all day because the stuffing really compacts when you shove it in there. I read somewhere that you could use the spray expandable foam insulation to fill it. That might have worked better.

7. Tape completely shut. Stand back and admire your work.

Tips & Techniques

  • Be prepared for your taper to get intimately close to The Girls. You need this to get an accurate casting!
  • I cannot stress enough how hot and uncomfortable this got. I couldn’t even sit toward the end because the tape was down to my hip line. My legs wouldn’t bend!
  • Repeatedly tearing duct tape from the roll wreaks havoc on the hands. Kelly actually lost skin when the tape got stuck.
  • By the end, I thought the duct tape had a weird smell. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation!

I can’t wait to use this for a garment. I’m in the middle of knitting a mystery shrug! Hopefully it will look great on Mini Me!

If you’ve done this or even thought about it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!