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  • knitting1105 11:16 am on October 26, 2018 Permalink
    Tags: germane short row heels, striped socks   

    Striped Socks 

    Has yarn ever spoken to you?   For several years these skeins of sock yarn, from JaWoll, sat there and I wanted striped socks.  I think that they reminded me of my favorite summer dress as a little girl that was blue and white striped.  So, in my recent sock frenzy I took out these skeins and decide to knit them up.

    JaWoll by Lang is absolutely my favorite sock yarn, it is consistent, high quality, comes in many colors, and has its own reinforcing thread in each skein.  These are the go-to sock yarns for me, and my husband has socks knit up with this yarn that are 20+ years old!  And he does wear all of his socks.

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    And using my newest favorite revision of the tubular cast on (Japanese tubular cast on), I started with 24 towns of twisted rib.

    Then, I wanted to try a new type of knitting to reduce the dreaded jog in yarn color changes.  Here is the technique that I have tried in the past.  And there is a good tutorial video here:

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    Trying this technique for a few rows, I was not happy with the result.  Even though it does show the rows the same height, I was not happy with how far it had traveled over in just a few short color changes.  I am a nut for symmetry, and this would have always bothered me.

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    And here is another tutorial on just using a straight slip stitch.  I like the way that this looks better.  I tuck my yarn in as I carry it though:

    So, the finished socks came out beautiful, and look like I had hoped.  However, I decided to put these in the gift pile for now.  I just knit up a pair of socks with Fiber Optic yarn, that I think I want to keep for myself instead.

    Does anyone else notice the color difference in the blue skeins?  I ordered them online years ago, and in the skein they looked the same, but when knit up, the bottom one is definitely more grey in tone.

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    I made a short row heel for these socks, but with a twist.  I first made a small increase gusset prior to getting to the heel portion.  Then, I knit the short row heel, and decreased that gusset down again.  In the process of doing the short row heel, I added stitches by picking up at the end of the short row segments.  And using the German short row technique in the process.

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    This makes for a better fitting short row, in my opinion.  Myself, I have a high instep and between the mini gusset and the increases in the short row, these pull over my foot without stretching out at that point.  I also think that striped socks work better with a short row heel.

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    And, I finished off with a traditional toe decrease.

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    Now, I knit these socks at separate times, and there were a couple of vacations in between (these were knit on my beautiful signature dpn’s and I did not want them confiscated by TSA).  To keep track of my decisions on socks, since many of them are my own “designs” or improvisations, I have taken to the habit of writing down my instructions on small pieces of paper and inserting them into the leg of the first sock as I knit is up.  This helps when coming back later to finish the second sock.

     
  • knitting1105 12:32 pm on September 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Japanese stitch dictionary, Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival   

    Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Revisited 

    Finally, after a 4 year hiatus, I was able to return with Dan to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival (why do people always want to get married on this weekend?!).  We drove up and back in one day, something that we are not going to repeat, it is so much more enjoyable to stay overnight and not have the nighttime driving.  It was a long day, but fun.

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    Sheep judging, interesting as always

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    There was a different sheep shearer than we had seen in the past.  Amazing how docile the sheep get when put on their backs.

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    And we got to see a new sheep breed being introduced to the US, Valais Blackness, a breed from Switzerland.  Look at that fleece!  Apparently it is a coarse wool, I wonder if it is like Churro sheep.  This was the hit of the fair for breeders.  They are so cute also.

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    We also watched the sheep dog trials, which is so fascinating.  I am not sure how they train the dogs so well.  My photos were not great of that event.

    And then, on to the market.  The first year that I went to this event in 2010, the market overwhelmed me.  I was a brand new spinner, taking my first class up there, and picking up my first wheel, the Ashford traditional.  That didn’t stop me from ogling over other wheels at the fair.  There were several vendors selling wheels, and so many with big bags of beautiful fleece and roving that you could buy in whatever quantity you chose.  By the next year, I had my eye on a Jensen wheel that was on display at the fair, and finally got it that winter,  I still love my Jensen.  The Traditional was sold right after I got the Jensen, and I still have my Ashford Joy for traveling, both great wheels.

    The market, while still occupying both of the large barns, was different.  There were the weaving and knitting and dyed fleece, but much less emphasis on spinning and I only saw one vendor with 2 big bags of roving.  That was a bit of a disappointment for me.

    Fiber Optic, my favorite dyer for roving was there, as they have been for the last several years.  I hesitate to admit how much of her roving I have in my stash waiting to be spun up, so I was not looking at that.  However, I have never knit with her sock yarn, and this seemed like a good time to purchase it, especially after my Clown Barf experience.  The owner, Kimber Baldwin, has a degree in Chemistry, and a great sense of color.  Plus, if you don’t like the outcome you can call her and return it!

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    Their yarn seems to be more popular now than the roving.  One day I will make it down to her shop, which looks amazing.  I purchased yarn for 3 pairs of socks.  the deep red/brown color is what Dan chose for himself.

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    I have already wound up the multi-color.

    My purchases also were for my Ravelry birthday twin, and then a new book for myself:

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    It is a lovely book, and I looked through it thoroughly.  Happily adding it to my stitch dictionary collection.

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    • salpal1 7:02 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, this post post makes me nostalgic! I went to this show for the first time last year – drove all the way out there (2.5 days each way) for a Ravelry meet up. We had a blast, and I got a Fiber Optic braid which spun up beautifully! I am glad you made it back and had fun, got some goodies!

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 10:20 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Even though it was a quick trip, it looks like you had fun!

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:44 pm on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clown barf   

    Clown Barf 

    Clown barf, this term was illuminated to me by both a reader of this blog, and a fellow Stitch ’n Bitch knitter, when I expressed dismay at how these socks had been knit up.

    They look nothing like what I thought they would, nor nothing like how they were described.  This was from Bumblebee Acres.

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    I bought this yarn, and others at the local Indy dyer yarn fair, Yarn Con, that I have been attending for years.  This year, I bought 3 skeins of sock yarn, only 1 pleased me, and that was from Lorna’s Laces.

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    I loved these socks, and they were gifted to my DIL.

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    So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to tackle the last of the YarnCon purchases.  This is what the yarn looked like before being wound. From Mode Knit Yarn.

    Let’s just say, that I was sorely disappointed with the results when knit up.  The only reason that these even got finished is that I wanted my beloved signature needles for my next project.  Amazing how you can knit fast just because you hate something so much and want to finish it.  I find the colors combination awful, dreary and poorly thought out.  How is that for a non-reccomendation?

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    I am done with kitchen sink dyers.  Tomorrow, I will post my newest sock yarn purchases which I am sure will please me.  Staying with the tried and true.

     
    • tonymarkp 6:12 pm on September 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing how taste can differ from knitter to knitter. I love how your second pair of socks came out with the colors in the Mode Knit (I had never heard of this yarn, so thanks for talking about it.) The textured pattern still shows up pretty well. The title of your post reminded me (and made me crack up laughing) about when I was a teenager and it was cool to say “doing the technicolor yarn,” like if someone got sick at school.

      Like

    • salpal1 6:50 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t agree about the yarns! It might be that the patterns you chose didn’t work well in your eyes… I find that with this kind of yarn the number of stitches really matters. Too many and the striped don’t line up. Often two more or fewer will make all the difference. Note the heels, and see if you like how they striped, then next time do a bit of swatching to get the magic number.

      Like

  • knitting1105 7:47 pm on September 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hand knit socks, simple sock patterns,   

    Socks again 

    After a summer of not posting (where did all the free time go to?), I am back again and determined to make this a more regular occurrence.

    In all of my travels this summer, I was making socks and a shawl (details on the shawl to come later).  I accomplished 3 pairs of socks, in addition to the travel shawl and finishing some projects over the summer.  Alas, no spinning or weaving though.  All of these socks were orphans most of the summer, as I started something new for each trip, not wanting to get caught without a project in hand.  Both of these socks were knit with yarn that I purchased from a fellow knitter’s destash.  The price was definitely right.

    The first pair of socks was knit with JaWoll (my favorite sock yarn), this time in a cotton blend.  this is a simple 1×1 ribbed cuff, with a K3, P1 for the body.  I love how this sock hugs your foot.

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    I used an army green superwash wool for the heels, and mixed the red and green for the toes. These socks make me happy.

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    My next pair of socks was a simple 1×1 twisted rib.   This yarn was not fun to knit with and I persevered with the second sock, determined to finish them.  The yarn was very splitty and difficult to knit with.  It does have a nice hand to it, but I will not be purchasing this in the future.

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    Heels and toes were done with a dark green yarn to accent the colors, I was nervous about having enough yarn, and I was correct in adding the contrasting yarn.  Not to mention that it looks much better.  I do like the variegation, and how the socks match, but not really.

    I have never seen this sock yarn in a local store, but will make a note to myself not to purchase it.

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    • Deborah 5:14 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Your socks are very pretty. I like the contrasting heels and toes. I am also knitting a pair with k3p1 ribbing all the way to the toes. It does make the socks fit better than just knitting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 10:33 pm on September 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, I do think that the 1×3 ribbing for socks is my new go-to for just plain sock knitting.

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 10:07 pm on September 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Even though I don’t knit socks, I appreciate your persistence and thoughtful comments?

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:27 am on June 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Socks again 

    At Yarn Con recently I purchased this yarn from Lorna’s Laces:

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    Lorna’s Laces has traditionally been a solid go-to yarn.  It is soft and squishy, and wears well.  In past years, I have purchased yarns that were seconds at their loft studio.  The colors in this yarn really spoke to me.  When I knit it up, the colors pooled, but did not muddy out.

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    I do wish that the repeats were a bit shorter to have the colors more like ended up on the heel portion.

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    In spite of the pooling, the socks came out really well and were so soft and wonderful to the touch.  These were gifted to my DIL for her birthday.  She loved the yarn when I brought it home from YarnCon.  Hopefully she likes the socks equally well.

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    And, she had asked for some fingerless mitts, so these were knit with some variegated Koigu, and remnant sock yarn.

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  • knitting1105 10:55 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bumblebee acres, variegated sock yarn,   

    Variegated Yarns and Socks 

    I love the look of variegated sock yarns.  So much so that I am constantly attracted to them when at sales, such as the recent YarnCon.  This yarn was purchased at YarnCon from Bumblebee Acres, I loved the colors.

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    It was described as having red stripes, with the rainbows between the stripes, and periods black dots (which are not overly prominent on the skein).  Unfortunately, the vendor had nothing knit up with any of these yarns.  The yarn wound up beautifully into the cake.

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    Then, I started knitting it up…

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    I knew that there were black spots interspersed, although I was not sure why.  The dots were very prominent on the first sock, and then got less as the sock was knit up.  I opted to make a short pair of socks with this, both because I was less than pleased with the color repeat, and because I think that these may make nicer fingerless mitts.  I did love how the heel knit up, and this fell in line with the description given to me by the vendor.

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    You can clearly see a distinction between sock #1 and sock #2.  Not my favorite, but they are cute short socks.  We will see how the yarn knits up into fingerless mitts.

     

     
    • Deborah 11:01 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I think the socks are pretty, but this yarn should make beautiful mitts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 11:28 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like them very much, but I have always struggled with yarns like this – I think my feet are wider than they plan for when they make the stripes – so I get socks like yours, when I want them striped like the heels. I figure if my socks were 58 or 60 stitches around, it would work right. So maybe in the mitts, it will work just fine!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:12 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I consider these an average size, using size 1 needles and 64 sts/round. I just wish that I had seen a knitted version. Perhaps that is why they didn’t have one!

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 2:13 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          I use 64 stitches also, and don’t get the pretty stripes everyone else seems to.

          Maybe it is why they didn’t; have a samples, who knows? I usually like their yarns and colors, though.

          On Loose Threads group in ravelry, there is a thread about clown barf. You might want to go there and check it out. You will find your socks aren’t so bad at all. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:37 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It took me a bit ot find the thread about clown barf – Loose Ends. Man that made me feel better, there are some seriously ugly variegated projects. But the dyers keep reeling us in with those beautiful color combinations. Thanks for the good laugh of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 5:57 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          Glad I could help! There are some really ugly ones there, but there also were some great ideas and options. I liked the entrelac pattern, kept the colors from mixing too much. 😉

          Like

    • Elaine 2:05 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      What a shame that the finished result isn’t what you were expecting or hoped for. The heels are far nicer looking than the body of the socks and much more what I would expect from a variegated yarn. The stripes on the body aren’t wide enough for me and make the finished socks look far too busy for my liking but they are bright and colourful. I hope the colourway of the remaining yarn works better in your mitts and leaves you feeling less disgruntled 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:38 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I think lesson learned, trust the dyers that I really love and know… Perhaps the mitts will come out better. Not wanting to try them right now though.

        Like

        • Elaine 2:45 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          I can understand you not wanting to try the mitts right now – hopefully some of your other yarns will yield happier results for you. It’s a shame that giving a new dyer a chance has had such a negative outcome 😦

          Liked by 1 person

    • Gracey 1:43 pm on June 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Was it marketed as self-stripe or variegated? I like both of the fabrics, heel and sock….and my Hubs loves “clown barf” yarn, so I have lots of it! I have the opposite…I have very skinny feet, but also very prominent bunions…ugly feet….

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:16 pm on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It was marketed as self striping. How they described it is how the heel looked. I am hoping that the fingerless mitts work better.

        Like

  • knitting1105 8:54 pm on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: meijers, neapolitan ice cream, purple cow   

    Neapolitan 

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    Growing up, ice cream was always a treat.  Wonderful homemade ice cream that my mother cooked on a stovetop with eggs and cream, which then me and my siblings would take turns hand churning on the patio.  After the ice cream was finished and taken inside, we had timed contests to see who could stand the longest barefoot in the icy cold water of the ice cream freezer. That was the best ice cream that I have ever had, ever will.

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    My Paternal Grandfather was a big gentle giant (to the grandkids at least).  Every Sunday, he would drive over in the pickup truck with my diminutive, sweetest woman ever, Grandmother.  We would run out to greet Grandpa, and there were a lot of us, to jump up in his arms, and reach in his shirt pocket for the pack of Juicy Fruit gum that he always came with.  Growing up in a large family, 10 children, on a farm and limited resources, the treats were few and far between.  But, I think that if you ever ask any one of my siblings, we consider our childhood to be full of riches.  And, we had our own baseball team in the side yard!  Every Sunday, Grandpa also brought a gallon of Vanilla ice cream to have after dinner.  Perhaps one of my siblings can remember the brand name of the ice cream, it escapes me now.

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    So, other ice cream flavors were always a treat.  When the large Meijer Thrifty Acres opened in Lansing 20+ miles away, my parents would trek there each week to load up on provisions (this was also where my mother bought my first yarn for projects for me).  Two children at a time were allowed to come along, a younger one and an older one to watch them.  How we waited for our turn to go shopping, as it meant penny horse rides,

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    and most importantly, as our parents were checking out, money to go and get a single scoop of ice cream at the Meijer’s ice cream parlor, the only one many of us went to for years.  The Purple Cow poem hung above the large selection of flavors to choose from, and this poem still frequently pops in my head.  This was a huge treat for us.  I remember loving the gumball flavor as I was attracted to the swirl of colors, but it was always a tough choice.

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    At home, the ice cream luxury, when something other than vanilla was proffered, was Neapolitan.  Putting that ice cream scoop into the box and getting a swirl of flavors was magical (although admittedly, I always tried to maximize my chocolate portions).

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    So, when I saw this yarn, which has been in my stash for a very long time, memories immediately came flooding back.

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    This is a self striping yarn, that was all the rage a few years back.  At one point I even tried to sell it.  I believe that it was purchased at a yarn store closing event, years ago.   In my effort to knit from stash, this was pulled out, and I knew what it needed to become!:

    This is now my favorite cheating treat:

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    • Diane F Hamilton 10:02 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Very special and loving memories. I do remember Mom occasionally taking more than 2 kids (maybe it was at Christmas time). I have always said we were much richer than others who had money. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 10:34 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Stash Busting 1 

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    I have a desire to reduce my stash significantly.  My purchases the past few years have been minimal, and I am trying to knit a couple of things from stash before purchasing anything new.  This sock yarn was bought years ago at a store closing event.  I have since decided that i do not like the self patterning sock yarns (Faux Isle), and had this and one other skein sitting.  When I knit this up however, I was pleasantly surprised that the pattern was not overpowering, the ones trying to mimic fair isle are not for me.

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    When these yarns first came out they were all the rage.  I succumbed to some of the enthusiasm of others, but really prefer to make my own fair isle socks, of just use a really cool hand dyed sock yarn.

    IMG_2422A contrasting heel and toe (with reinforcing thread) make these fun socks.  They were gifted to my husband the other day, who wore them right away and came home from a trip telling me how much he loved them.  I love him!

     

     
    • Gracey 8:21 pm on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t stash bust…Those are great socks…I love self striping socks…but I do have some Carlos and Arne that I am not in love with….

      Like

  • knitting1105 3:22 pm on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Pussy socks, Women's March on DC, YinYang Kitty Ankle Socks   

    Pussyfooting Along 

    Last weekend when Sofia and Dan went to the Women’s March in DC, I sent along these socks for Sofia.

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    I love how they came out although the brown cat face on the pink cat seems to read better.

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    I really want to make a pair of these for myself.  Easy knit, what surprised me was how tedious the duplicate stitch was on these.  I knit them with my favorite sock yarn JaWoll (which also has a spool of reinforcing thread inside each skein), on size 1 needles.  This is a free pattern, YinYang Kitty Ankle Socks.

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  • knitting1105 3:46 pm on October 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Rainbow colors, , Variegated Yarn   

    Coming up for Air 

    This has been a rough 6 weeks.  2 weddings at our house, house guests during that time, school started with huge new responsibilities for me, and 2 other weddings to attend.   I have been exhausted.  Knitting, and blogging have taken a real back seat.

    The easiest thing to knit during these times is socks, as the pattern is ingrained in my head, and they are easy to pick up at any time, and very portable (for those out-of-town weddings).  These socks are knit with some rainbow yarn that I purchased a couple of years ago at Lorna’s Laces mill ends sale.  I really love the colors.

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    As is often the case with variegated yarns, I like the skein better than the knitted project.  The larger blocks of color appeal to me, and they tend not to get as muddied out.  That said, this skein knit up better than most, in my opinion.  There was some pooling of 2 colors on the rounds that tended to swirl around the leg of the sock.

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    When I got to the heel and the toe, that swirling ceased.  It is this part of the sock that I like the best.  The colors really jump out, and it feels much more like the skein looked.

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    And, in all it’s entirety…  Waiting to decide where the new home will be.

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    • Handmade by C. Anne 5:47 pm on October 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Pretty colors in the yarn. Nice socks!

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 9:44 pm on October 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      So interesting on how socks turn out from what the skein looks like. Enjoyed both of your weddings and spending time with you. Hope things slow down soon.

      Like

    • salpal1 9:47 am on October 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have the same trouble with that kind of yarn – it never looks like I think it will(or wish it would) but I keep trying because the skeins are just so lovely! However, I think that your socks look great, because those colors look good no matter how they play out.

      Like

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