TARDIS scarf made with fingering (sock) weight yarn.
I was inspired to design this, my first for-sale pattern, when I found a really nice, free shawl pattern with TARDIS motifs. I was going to make that pattern because I had the perfect color yarn, but I didn’t have quite enough. I thought about making it 2 colors but ultimately decided I really wanted only one color. So I set about modifying that shawl pattern to make it just a scarf.
That’s when I decided that I really wanted to make the TARDIS very differently than what the shawl had. And the next thing you know I was searching for TARDIS pictures online and starting to piece together my own version. Because I hate color work and weaving in ends, I decided to use beads for the white touches. For a while I couldn’t get it exactly the way I wanted it – I think I unraveled that first TARDIS about 16 times. But eventually I realized this was intended to be my representation of the TARDIS, not an exact picture and that took a lot of the pressure off.
I’m really happy with the end result and looking forward to wearing it. The yarn is a wool/silk blend so it is super soft. It will be a pleasure to have this around my neck.
A stitch counter & a variety of markers. Note how some of the markers open and some do not.
As I mentioned in my last post, I really enjoy knitting socks. As I know you will, too, I thought I’d share with you the contents of my sock knitting kit. This is something that has evolved over the last year of knitting socks and now it has everything I need to knit socks most of the time.
First off, start with a bag which is made of cloth. I know, you’d think you want a knit or crocheted bag but the needles for socks are so small they will constantly stick out of anything that has holes. So I have a cloth drawstring bag (I got mine from Knit Picks) to hold all my sock materials. It’s big enough to hold 2 balls of sock yarn and 2 pairs of socks, but that’s only about 6″ x 10″ or so.
Obviously your kit then stats with the yarn, pattern and needles for your socks. After you have that, add:
A tape measure
A few colors of sock weight yarn in small amounts. This comes in handy whenever your pattern calls for scrap yarn (like for an afterthought heel).
A small crochet hook. You can use this to help you pick up tiny dropped stitches. I like a C size, personally.
At least one stitch marker. Almost every pair of socks wants you to mark the beginning of the row with a stitch marker. If you have a few (5 or so) you’ll be prepared for most patterns.
A pencil to mark your pattern as needed.
A pair of scissors which won’t stab you. You can do a pair of folding scissors, a pair with a sheath or a pair with rounded tips. Mine are on a cord so I can wear them around my neck.
A row counter of some kind. I have a small one attached to the cord for my folding scissors. You can also use your phone to count stiches, in which case you can skip this.
If you are knitting on DPNs, you may want a holder so that your stitches don’t come off the needles.
That’s it! If you build a kit with all those things, you’ll be prepared for almost any sock making contingency.
Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments what you keep in your sock making kit.
Ever since I knit my first pair of socks, I’ve almost constantly had a pair of socks on my needles. I resisted sock knitting for a really long time, partly because they look hard but mostly because I figured that was a lot of work for something that would only be on my feet and not seen very much. But now that I’ve knit a few pairs, I love to knit socks!
Reasons Socks are Great to Knit
Knitting socks will make you a better knitter! Knitting socks is a great way to learn a variety of intermediate & advanced knitting techniques fairly easily. Sure you could knit a sweater, but that’s a big investment in time AND yarn if it doesn’t turn out well. With socks, you can learn to do short rows, increases, decreases, cables, ribbing, lace knitting… pretty much any technique. And its a lot less investment than a sweater.
They are very portable. I can stick a pair of socks in my purse and take them with me anywhere. Most people I knit with have a small project as their “purse knitting” and socks make a great choice.
They don’t take very long. I can usually finish a pair of socks in a few weeks if I work on them as my main project.
Hand made socks are soooo comfortable.
You can make them exactly like you want them – plain, fancy, lacy, striped, fuzzy, multicolored… whatever makes your perfect sock you can knit for yourself.
They aren’t as hard as they look. And there are TONS of resources online to help you get started.
Please share your sock knitting experiences in the comments. Do you have a favorite yarn? Favorite sock designer? I’d love to hear about it.
It’s tricky finding a balance between helping the people in your life and hurting them. You don’t think of it as trying to hurting them, of course. You think of it as striving for a better life: helping. But there is a continuum between help and hurt and its circular with hurt leading to helping and helping leading back to hurt. The two are inextricably linked because often, its been my experience, hurt is helpful. Captain Kirk was right about pain: he needed it. We all do. Even with physical pain there is often help underneath it (surgery, exercise). I’m not sure if all pain teaches. Maybe sometimes it just hurts. But I think the greatest lessons in my life have come from the greatest pains.
Anyway, now I think that we all make the happiness we feel we deserve. All of us. Sure, our circumstances matter to how easy it is to be happy, but they are obviously not the only factor. We’ve all heard examples of the person with some horrible physical limitation or illness who has found great happiness. Or the person who is poor who isn’t miserable. Likewise, we all know of people who seem to have it all from a physical sense but are miserable. We may not understand why but we aren’t really meant to. A person’s happiness seems to me to be an intensely personal thing.
No one can make another happy. We can help, but that’s not always an active thing. Or a quick one. Sometimes the best thing we can do to help is just to keep being ourselves. That’s because we all have parts of life figured out. I am blessed to know so many people who are so wise about so many things. Each has lessons to teach me that I try to learn. And I hope I have lessons for others as well. But I don’t think its my fate to know which parts of life I have figured out. I’m not sure anyone can really see that about themselves clearly. I suspect we can only see it in others. In fact I would argue that often, when I think I have something figured out, that’s when I am the most danger to those around me. I have to remember that I can’t force my “wisdom” (if it even is wisdom) onto anyone else.
Ironic topic for a post.
Bottom line: my belief is that there is not one “true” path for everyone on this earth. We all have to find our own path to our best selves and the divine for ourselves.
First few rows of the project knit with the moss stitch. As you can see, the color changes are very muddy. Click to embiggen.
As you know from my previous post, I picked out the colors to use for my temperature scarf and ordered them. Well once I finally got all the colors in (I forgot to order one in my original order). I was getting a bit stressed that I was falling behind on the project so I got started knitting the day it all came in.
To start with, I used a moss stitch and about 84 st across. I knew this would give me a scarf about a foot wide, which sounded good. But when I started knitting, 3 things became obvious really quickly:
The moss stitch is not very good for color changes that are crisp. Mine were very muddy.
I was going to have a LOT Of ends to weave in at the end of the project. Like about 730 of them (the beginning and ending end for each day). Ugh!
I was going to have to sacrifice one of my favorite sock needles for an entire year!
The Temperature Scarf so far (just the month of January) with a sc ripple stitch. Click to embiggen.
I thought about a knitting stitch I could use instead, but they all would either curl a lot (like stockinette stitch with garter stitch borders) or make the scarf skinnier (like ribbing) or make it even harder to weave in ends (like lacy stitches). So I started playing with crochet stitches. I wanted something tight so that I could weave in my ends as I went and so it would be warm. I wanted something about 6 feet long and I wanted to be able to see the color changes pretty clearly. But I didn’t want it to be boring. After playing with it a LOT, taking gauges, ripping out, and playing more, I came up with a single crochet ripple or chevron stitch and I really like the way its turning out. I do know that I will have to wash it & lay it flat when its finished, however, because it will get a bit wave-shaped as I go.
Row 1: sc in 2nd st from hook, sc 2 tog in next 2 st, *1 sc in each of next 3 st, 3 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, sc 3 tog in next 3 st** repeat from * to ** 7 times, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, 3 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, sc 2 tog in next 2 st, sc in last st
Change colors as indicated, weaving in ends as you go. Block.
Now I’m trying to decide if I should make this scarf reflect the weather in one place (Omaha, NE) or make it reflect the weather around me. For example, I’m going on vacation in April to somewhere warm: should I do the colors of my vacation or the colors of Omaha while I’m gone. Let me know what you think in the comments or the poll below.
About each other. We were and are a herd species. I think we aren’t meant to know all the problems of the human race. But thanks to our news outlets we do. It’s too much to bear every day. It hurts us and cripples us. It makes us hurt ourselves with alcohol and food. Add that to the devil on our shoulder, the one who looks like all the cool kids (while the angel looks like a total dork) and all our dark, depressing parables where we add even more guilt to the mix, and its no wonder drug addiction and obesity are such a problem. I’d like to live somewhere with less cultural guilt, please. But without have to leave the United States.
The colors of Palette yarn I selected for my Temperature Scarf.
I got an idea for a “Temperature Scarf” from Bernat’s blog. The idea is that you knit every day of the year and the color you use is based on the temperature of that day. I loved the idea immediately, although I admit it seems like a pretty big commitment. But it also seems like a way do make something that would be tedious and annoying if you did it all at once. The pattern calls for moss stitch after all (klp1 for one row, then p1k1 for the next row). That is not a really fun stitch to do in any great quantity. But if you did a bit every day its manageable.
The problem with the pattern as it’s written, however, is that it calls for worsted weight yarn. Based on the ball band and the number of rows the pattern would be (784), the project will result in an 11 foot long scarf. A bit much. Plus, I don’t really want to work in that much acrylic. So, my solution was is to do the project in sock yarn instead. I estimate this will result in a scarf about 6 feet long. Still huge, but more reasonable. I ordered from KnitPicks.com and their Palette line of yarns (which has an amazing array of colors). I haven’t gotten the yarn in yet so hopefully the colors work together as well as they seem to from their online pictures. But we all know that online pictures are not the most accurate when it comes to color.
I created a spreadsheet, which I’ve put on my phone, to keep track of the high temperature each day. I figure if its on my phone, it has the advantage of being with me no matter where I go. I also figure that if its not perfect to the degree each day, its not a huge deal: its just a scarf after all. So I’ve been adding the weekly forecast to my spreadsheet a few times a week so that if I miss a day recording the temp, I’ll have something pretty close.
The completed socks – check out how nicely the striping worked out!
I’ve been continuing to knit socks since I completed my first pair and I get better at it all the time. I find socks are a great project for summer because they don’t heat you up. And they are wonderfully portable. Plus, everyone loves socks! You can even make them for the hard-to-knit-for people in your life!
So with that in mind, I decided to make a pair for my brother. He is all about brightly colored socks, so I got to work with some great, colorful yarn. The last thing I made for him was a crocheted sweater. It was at least 20 years ago, and the sleeves are 2 different lengths. He’s a sport, though – he still has it! Even though he never really wears sweaters. But because of that project, I decided that the most important thing about THESE socks is that they had to be the same length!
I made these socks from the toe-up. I’ve worked both kinds of socks, now and I like the toe-up for several reasons:
You can try them on as you go.
You can use up all your yarn if you wish (that’s hard to do with cuff-down socks).
All the hard parts are closer to the beginning. By the time you get to the cuff, you can just cruise.
Pattern:Supporter’s Sock by Linda Parkhurst (free pattern on Ravelry.com). I really just used this pattern for the cuff/ribbing. It’s great for striped yarn and makes a really stretchy sock. Basically, whenever the color started to change in my yarn, I knit one row. Then, on the next row, I reversed the ribbing. So, if I started with k2, p2 then, after the knit row, I would do p2, k2. At the end of the cuff, I did an inch or so of 1×1 ribbing, and then I cast off with the tubular cast off (its the Kitchener stitch). I LOVED the result! Stretchy and very attractive!
The afterthought heel is a great way to go whenever you are doing striped socks because it keeps the stripes looking great. Without this heel, you usually have a place at the front of the sock where the stripes are not right because of all the yarn you used for the heel. The instructions for this are here.
I love using circular needles to make socks (the magic loop method). It is so much easier than DPNs!
When you are doing an afterthought heel, be sure to make the cuff about 2 inches longer than you think it should be. Something about this method shortens your cuff. I thought they were the perfect length, but I finished them and and I wished the socks were a bit longer.
An afterthought heel is exactly what it sounds like – one that is done after the rest of the sock is completed. The entire sock is created from top to cuff (or vice versa) and a placeholder is put in for the heel. Then, after the rest of the sock is completed, the heel is inserted. Normally, in this case, the heel messes up the stripes on the front of the sock (see image). But with an afterthought heel, the striping is maintained perfectly and even the heel is striped.
This is an example of a sock done with self-striping yarn but without an afterthought heel. Notice how the dark purple stripes are not regular – the purple is really thin right opposite of the heel.
Here is a sock with an afterthought heel and self-striping yarn. Notice how the stripes in the front are even and uninterrupted?
How to Create an Afterthought Heel
Knit your sock, either from the top-up or the cuff down.
Shows a sock with waste yarn in purple (right below the ribbing)
When you get to the part of the sock where you would normally put in the heel, knit the 1/2 of the sock with waste yarn. If you are using Magic Loop, you would knit one needle with waste yarn. If you are knitting with 5 DPNs, knit 2 needles with waste yarn. Simply drop your working yarn and start knitting with waste yarn, leaving a tail. Then, when you get to halfway around the sock, pick the working yarn back up again, leaving a bit of slack and cut the waste yarn.
Knit a few more rows with stockinette stitch at the back, then change to your cuff pattern all the way around. Finish your cuff and cast off.
Use your needles to pick up the stitches along the waste yarn.
Pick up the stitches on both sides of your waste yarn. With Magic Loop, one side of the waste yarn is on one needle and the other on the other needle. You are going to knit these stitches in the round. The stitches (if they are stockinette) will form a “v”. Pick up the ONE of the 2 legs of the stitch. Generally if you have the work facing the same way it will be when you knit it, you want to pick up the right leg.
Using a yarn needle, pick out the waste yarn, leaving the stitches on the needle. You can start from either end.
Using a needle, pick out the waste yarn.
Here’s what it looks like when the waste yarn is being removed.
Start knitting the heel in the round. Knit 2 rows.
Start decreasing. Using the decrease method of your choice, decrease 4 times on every other row just as you would a toe in cuff-down socks. Be especially carefulto keep your stitches tight between needles. This part is especially prone to laddering! On magic loop, I did as follows:
Row 1: On each needle, k2tog, knit to last 2 stitches on needle, ssk.
Row 2: knit all.
When about 1/2 the stitches remain on the needles, start decreases 4 times on every row. Do this for 4 rows.