Vista Mare: A cry for HELP!

June 30, 2007 @ 11:33 am
posted by kris


Vista Mare front

Detail of heel

I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but I’m designing a sock for the infamous Billy Reid. It was conceived in the Cinque Terre in Italy and everywhere we went, we saw signs advertising rooms for rent. And almost all of them said “vista mare”, which means seaview. Since this sock looks kind of aquarium-y, I thought it was appropriate. But I also wanted Billy’s name in it because it’s HIS socks. So the full name is “Vista Mare aka Billy Reid socks”. It is basically a bunch of patterns thrown into a toe up sock.

So, here’s my cry for help. It is currently 72 sts around, knitted in a 9sts/in gauge. The foot fits perfectly, on my husband’s test foot. Where the problem comes in is in the heel/leg. I did a heel flap and increased for the gusset (+32 sts), and that part actually fits ok. It’s when I’m done with the heel and I’m doing the leg part that’s really tight on the instep. I don’t know if my husband has a freakishly large instep or what. I can get it onto *my* seemingly tiny foot, it’s a little snug, but it’s ok. I know that if I continue, my husband won’t be able to get it on at all. What to do, what to do? If I increase the sts, it would make the foot part too big. If I change needle sizes, I think it would make the pattern look wierd. Any suggestions??? I don’t think making the gusset bigger (increasing even more) would help…or would it?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Hopefully I won’t have to frog the whole sock. But if it’s meant to be, then so be it.

Comments (11)

Finished Tabi socks

June 28, 2007 @ 10:05 am
posted by kris


Mom’s tabi socks

Woo hoo! TWO FO’s in one day! I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. Well, I did the toe on the last day, but still. TWO!

These socks are for my mom. I keep wanting to knit for my family but because they live in Hawaii, it’s hard to see them wearing wool socks. Even in the winter. So, I was throwing out ideas, and then my mom said that she would like tabi socks! Woohoo! I ran out and got some wool/cotton blends (scoured every yarn store in Munich with Elem). But I still thought it would be too hot, then Elem mentioned that he had the Panda Cotton that was given to him from fabz. He didn’t have plans for it, so it came home with me!!!

My mom really likes these socks, but I made them a tad too short. It will still work, but she has to keep pulling them up for the heel to be in the right place. She wasn’t around when I started to do the toe decreases. And I assumed the stretchiness of the yarn would make it ok.

I did the pattern myself. A simple 3/1 rib with a complicated Japanese short row heel. The heel was actually fun to do. Gave the sock more interest to me. I actually hated doing the separate toe (or maybe I just suck at it). But I will get my practice in because she has requested more socks! I think next time I’ll do a heel flap. I also had a hard time with the yarn. Because it is so stretchy, I had to knit with less stitches than normal. The normal pattern/gauge planning does NOT apply. I had to make it 4 stitches less. And the yarn was quite splitty, especially after a few frogs. But I loved the feel of it and it’s perfect for the hawaiian warmth.

Pattern: My own tabi sock pattern. cast on 56 sts, 1/1 rib for 10 rows, 3/1 rib for the rest, japanese short row heel.
Yarn: Crystal palace Panda cotton Cinnamon colorway, gift from fabz
Needles: Knit Picks US2/3mm classic circs
Started: June 12, 2007
Finished: June 25, 2007

Comments (6)

Finished Zokni’s

@ 9:53 am
posted by kris


My Italian Zoknis

Detail of EofP heel

You know, I posted pictures a couple of days ago, and didn’t have the energy to post a post in my blog. How sad am I? This pair of Zokni’s has seen so much of Italy. I did one complete side while in the Dolomites with my family, then did the heel and gusset in the Cinque Terre. I was sad that I wasn’t able to complete the 2nd sock in Italy, but oh well. It was too damn hot to knit. I don’t know how you guys in warm climates handle it! I had to keep washing my hands because the yarn would stick to my hands because of all the sweat and salty water.

I made these socks with an eye of partridge heel, since short row heels don’t really fit me. I love the eye of partridge heel, but I’ve never used it with anything colorful enough that it really sticks out. Also, this is the first of my Knittery merino cashmere skeins and it’s not as soft as I expected it to be. I think it will soften up after washing a few times. But I’m thinking because the Australian merino is much more rough than normal, that even adding some cashmere in there won’t soften it up!

Speaking of cashmere, all this time, I never knew where cashmere comes from. Is it even wool (yes, I am that stupid)? So I had to look it up and it comes from a goat! How awesome would it be to have one of those and pet it every day? Get one of those, get an angora bunny and there you go! Hobbledehoy Liz has one and it is SO CUTE! Of course, I am too damn lazy to take care of such lovely pets. Even if it is cashmere…

So, without further adieu, here are my Zokni’s!

Pattern: Zokni Socks by Pepperknit. I used a 7sts/in gauge and did an eye of partridge heel.
Yarn: The Knittery Merino/Cashmere sock in Passion Fruit colorway
Needles: Knit Picks US2/3mm classic circs
Started: June 10, 2007
Finished: June 25, 2007

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Zokni does the Cinque Terre

June 25, 2007 @ 1:36 pm
posted by kris
Filed under: socks


Our first stop, Riomaggiore. We parked our car here (20 euros a day ack!) and just walked through. We didn’t like the lower parts of the town, but the upper parts were really nice.

Manarola, the 2nd town that we visited. We stayed overnight here and didn’t like it hardly at all. People were very rude and it was so damn hot!!! But it sure was pretty at night and there is a really nice playground here that our boys would’ve liked.

Manarola in the evening. It’s a gorgeous city on the outside.

The 3rd town, Corniglia, that we visited. This is the cat town and I’m so sad that we didn’t stay here. This is the cat town where at 5am all the cats come out and roam the town. The shops all had a cat theme, so cool! The people were friendly and we discovered foccacia sandwiches here. So yummy!

Ah Vernazza, the heart of the Cinque Terre. It is a really picturesque town and friendlier. AND it has internet woohoo!!!

We hung out on the harbor until 11pm and it was so romantic!

Our last stop, Monterosso. It was very resorty and expensive and way too many people. We had the best foccacia sandwiches here though.

So I brought my knitting with me and lugged it all across the Cinque Terre. We hiked through the whole way and stayed in Manarola and Vernazza. We’re so glad we did it, but it was way too touristy for us. Inspired by Linnea and her Jaysock, I decided to do the same with my Zokni. I didn’t get much knitting done, I just basically did the heel and the gusset. It’s so funny because after I finished the eye of partridge heel, I found out that Pamela also did the same!!! If you remember, I picked this pattern because of her and it turns out ours are going to be similar. How weird is that? Weird in a good way, of course. Knitting when it is hot sweaty is no fun. I had to frequently wash my hands because the sweat and saltiness(?) made the yarn really stick to my fingers. I’m sure people probably thought I was so weird to be knitting a wool sock while it is so freaking hot. I am really shocked and kinda sad that there were no other knitters on vacation there. I was hoping that another knitter would come up to me and we could talk shop. But, sadly, no. The good news is that Zokni is almost done…can’t wait to finish!!!

Comments (11)

I’m baaaack!

@ 2:25 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

I’m back from vacation. Some parts were good, some parts were bad. I’ll tell ya all about it later. We’re happy to be home where it’s not so damn hot. Basic story: Cinque Terre is a very unique place with lots of magnificent views but it is riddled with TONS of tourists, mostly loud, snotty Americans (me included). Well, I don’t think I was snotty, but it might’ve seemed that way since I didn’t even try to speak Italian. I felt really bad. We stuck out like a sore thumb and was so out of our element there. We’re “mountain people”. You could tell the locals can’t stand the tourists because they were mostly unfriendly and just rude. It really sucks that we don’t know any Italian at all. We eventually learned “parla inglese” and that helped. I was trying to search my mind for ANY phrase from our trips in 2001 and 2002, but all I was grasping was German. My German seemed fluent compared to my Italian!

I’ll write more later and post pics of my Zokni socks and their adventure through the Cinque Terre.

Comments (2)

I met an angel today

June 21, 2007 @ 1:01 am
posted by kris
Filed under: misc

Today I met with an angel in Heidelberg. She took pity on me and my canned chicken crisis and basically took me to shopping heaven, where I immediately had a heart attack around every turn. I can’t go into more details here, but let’s just say I now have 12 cans of canned chicken and then some. In return, I brought her some Lorna’s Laces sock yarn – she had a hard time choosing between the Lorna’s Laces and the Fleece Artist Merino, both of which she has never seen before. She’s not a huge sock knitter, although her Jaysock has seen more of Europe than I. I’m working on her though, and I’m hoping by year’s end, I will have turned her into a sock knitting machine. We had some interesting adventures. For example, we sat in her car in a parking lot waiting for the “besetzt” light to go off so that we can go in. We thought about going to another parking lot, but figured it would be easier to wait. I think we sat there for about 15 minutes before we could go in. And then finally we were able to go in we were so excited like we won the lottery. Linnea screamed “YAY! We got a ticket!!!!” really loud, it was too funny! We ate at a Lebanese place, where she coolly ordered in Arabic and I in my best American accent “I’ll have the number 31!”. I think she may be a spy of some sort. And she knits, I think that’s her cover. In addition to knitting, she also spins and dyes too! I picked her brain about spinning, but it’s kinda something you have to see in person. Sadly, the visit was oh so short and I had to return to my overheated boys and parents. Which by the way, it was a horrible journey home filled with missed trains and a screaming toddler.

I am off to Cinque Terre this weekend with Michael ohne Kinder!! Woohoo! Will probably be unplugged until Monday.

Comments (8)

Hank Wanking and other thoughts

June 17, 2007 @ 12:50 am
posted by kris


Which one looks better?

Perfect fit!

So Elem and I were chatting on Skype and he saw the picture of where I rehanked a skein of Sheepaints yarn. I was just bored and wanted to see what it would look like. Elem has rehanked some skeins too and it seems like ever since he got his swift and ball winder, he just does this all the time. He like hanks instead of balls (get your mind out of the gutter), so he turns all of his balls into hanks (yes, that means you). So he got me started doing this. I really like the look of reskeined skeins because the colors mix together and it gives you a closer representation of what it would look like knitted up.

Being the weirdos that we are, we decided to name the group “Hank Wankers” and immediately got censored on flickr (woo hoo, we’re THAT risque)! I know we’re going to be the only ones putting up pictures, but I think it’s a great idea. I know I would like to see other people post pictures of rehanked skeins! Or I should say hanks that have been wanked!

I mean seriously folks, don’t you think the yarn looks better reskeined? A lot of german dyers don’t do it that way. I guess it’s a waste of time that they could use to dye. So, here we come to the rescue! :)

I also had a great idea while chatting with him. I was thinking of putting together something called “a taste of germany” and it would include one skein of sock yarn (or lace or whatever) of all the indie dyers that i know of in germany. That’s maybe 10 dyers. So it would be maybe 100 – 120 euros + shipping. I guess that is quite a bit. Maybe rotate dyers – like 5 instead so it would be 50 – 60 euros + shipping for 5 skeins. I know *I* would like something like that! And then I could have it themed like “blues” or “reds” or “sunny” or whatever. You know what I mean. The handpaints in Germany are cheaper than in the states (even with the euro conversion and shipping), and there’s some good stuff out there that is basically unseen in the US knitting world. I don’t even know if there’s anyone interested in something like that. So if you are, please leave a comment and maybe I’ll look into it further. I wouldn’t get any money from it, it would just be a service that I would pass on to fellow US knitters who want to “taste” germany. I could see it being useful to the dyers getting their yarn seen and the customers getting lots of different yarns!

Anyhoo, enough of my rambling! I finished one side of the tabi socks for my mom. It fits her perfectly and she likes it a lot. After I got the stitch count right, it was really quick. Even the toe part wasn’t that bad. I am up to the heel on the 2nd sock, should be done in a couple of days. It’s so weird to see the big toe in it’s own separate cover, kind of lobster like, especially in that red/orange color!

I so desperately want to cast on for another sock, but have been good and resisted temptation.

By the way, broke the yarn diet again, this time I have no excuse. Well, when the Yarn Pirate says she’s having a sock club, I mean, c’mon!!! Can’t say no, right? Even when signups are at 3am German time. It’s the Yarn Pirate!

Comments (20)

My Secret Pal is awesome!

June 16, 2007 @ 11:33 am
posted by kris
Filed under: secret pal,yarn


What could this be?

Woo hoo!!!

How lucky am I?

I just got another package from my secret pal! This time, she sent me some hand-dyed yarny goodness!!! She said that it was inspired by the blue parrot socks that I made as well as my recent dive into bright colorful things. Isn’t it an amazing skein??? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Thank you so much SP10, whoever you are! BTW, I still don’t know who she is. I haven’t gone searching for her, but she hasn’t really slipped up yet. She doesn’t put return addresses on her packages, and usually they have a Natural Dye Studio return address…hmmm….either she’s affiliated with NDS or she orders a ton from them! I’m guessing this yarn is merino superwash 75/25? Please correct me if I’m wrong!

She also sent more Green&Black’s chocolate, going to be gone in 10 seconds. I already tore into the almond one (my favorite) and it’s almost gone. Can’t blame the kids or husband. Horrible, horrible. But G&B is something that I cannot resist. It’s like yarn. Must. have. more.

She also sent me a cute notepad with little sheep with numbers on them and at the top it says “it’s sheer vandalism”. Haha! Too cute!

Thanks a lot SP10, I really enjoyed this package! Now off to plan what to make with the yarn….Ravelry to the rescue!

Comments (3)

Too many WIPs!!!

June 15, 2007 @ 9:41 am
posted by kris


Zokni and Springrass

Tabi socks for mom

I have cast on waaaay too many socks and not finished them. I guess it’s 2nd sock-itis. Here is a rundown on what I have going on.

So, the first WIP is my Springgrass socks. I talked about them in another post, so I’ll just post the picture update here. I am done with one sock and I’m not sure when I’m going to do the other because I CANNOT FIND THE BALL OF YARN! Yes, I know that sounds like an excuse to not finish the other side but I swear it’s the truth. Really. OK, I didn’t look super hard, but it wasn’t in the normal places. I’ll probably find it soon since I have to organize all my tax papers to send.

Next WIP is my Zokni sock. I got the idea to knit this one from flintknits. Hers is just gorgeous! I did it in The Knittery merino/cashmere sock in the Passion Fruit colorway. Love those colors! The leaf pattern doesn’t show up as well as if I did it in a solid, but I love it anyway. The warmth this sock generates is pretty amazing! Even with the lacy holes!!! I did it with a 7sts/in gauge. I did it with 8, but it was way too small. 7 fits perfect! I also did an eye of partridge heel that turned out really great. I love this heel style!!! I started this one on the train to Italy. And the next day I already had one side done!

Next WIP is my mom’s tabi sock. My first non-wool sock! I started this one because I have to finish it before my mom leaves in a couple of weeks. I wanted to make her socks but Hawaii weather and wool socks just don’t go together. So I got some Panda Cotton in Cinnamon colorway from fabz (well, actually fabz gave it to Elem and I stole it from him). I really like how this yarn feels and I do like how much it stretches. But because of that, I had to frog it a couple of times because it was too big, even though my gauge and sts were correct. And because I frogged it a lot, the yarn became unplied. It really does unply fast. That’s the only complaint I have about it. For the heel, I did a japanese short row, and it turned out great.

That’s all the knitting updates I have for now. I am going to cast on for yet another pair of socks, this one is going to the famous Billy Reid!!! Well, he’s famous to me! :)

Comments (6)

Gentleman’s Fancy Sock

June 9, 2007 @ 9:32 am
posted by kris


Finally done!

I managed to finish Michael’s Gentleman’s Fancy Socks right before we left for our family vacation. They are obviously from two different skeins, but neither of us care. I’m just glad it’s done. Michael remarked to me the other day that he’s happy he has so many hand knitted socks because now he doesn’t have to care when/how much he wears them because he knows he’ll always have more. After I knitted his first pair of Jaywalkers, I forbade him to wear it all the time. Now I’m hoping he does so that he can wear all these new socks that I’m churning out. Too bad he refuses to wear lace patterns because then he would have a WHOLE LOT of new socks.

Pattern: Gentleman’s fancy socks in Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Blue Parrot colorway
Needles: Knit Picks US2 classic circs
Started: May 18, 2007
Completed: June 9, 2007

Comments (6)

What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.