Thursday, December 23, 2010

10 Sock Knitting Tips

10 Tips for Longer-Lasting Socks

Owning Simply Socks Yarn Company, a store that specializes in sock yarn, is a very particular niche. Over the past six years, the most common questions I get from my customers involve making hand knit socks last a long time. So I've compiled "10 Tips for Longer Lasting Socks."

1. Don't wind your yarn into a cake until you're ready to knit. Winding a skein into a cake pulls fibers taught and over months the yarn could lose its ability to spring back into shape.

2. Choose the right yarn for the project; 100% cotton yarn isn't necessarily appropriate for socks because they will quickly bag and lose their shape when worn. Wool and wool/nylon blends are popular for socks because of their innate elasticity.

3. Choose high-quality sock yarn—inexpensive sock yarn tends have short fibers, which pill and wear out more quickly than longer fibers. If your budget is tight, you can find great deals in sale sections.

4. Go down one needle size (or more) when knitting the feet. If a label calls for a US 2 needle, knit the foot of the sock on a US 1, or even a US 0 so you get a dense fabric that holds up to wear.

5. Knit the right size socks. Too-big socks slip around more on the foot and cause more wear as they move around in your shoes.

6. Rinse socks separately before washing with other items. While dye shouldn't run, super-saturated colors might and you don't want your other socks to be affected.

7. Turn socks inside-out when washing. That way the inside of the sock gets a fuzzy halo over time, and not the outside.

8. Consider washing your finished socks in a small mesh bag in the machine so they don't catch on zippers.

9. Don't wash socks in hot water. Even socks labeled "superwash" could felt or shrink a bit.

10. Lay socks flat to dry. Over time, machine drying will lessen stitch definition and make socks look worn. The intense heat of drying might also break down fibers.

—Allison Van Zandt, Simply Socks Yarn Company

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Knit for Charity

Got extra yarn? Consider making needed items for global and local charities.

Warm Up America is accepting knitted infant hats for third world countries. If interested, click here for cap directions. Nancy A. will be collecting these caps at the December & January meetings and will mail the caps to NYC for shipment abroad.

The Interfaith Sewing & Knitting Service Group of Willimantic is looking for knitted children's hat & mittens for needed families as well as adult caps for the homeless. Yarn and patterns can be provided. Ask Sue Schmerl for details.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stitches EAST Hartford

Six Knitsies attended Stiches EAST on October 31st to be inspired by designs and fabulous yarns.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fair Winners

Adult Sweater
1st - Liz
2nd - Faith

1st - Leslie
2nd - Mary

Felted Item
2nd - Mary

Congratulations to ALL!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Isabel Afghan

(directions/afghan pictured by Faith Kenton,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Prayer Shawl Cards

Many of us are knitting prayer shawls for family or friends in need. Lion Brand has free downloadable cards that can be included with the shawl. Check out this link. The site includes 'sample messages' that can be printed on the inside of the card.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Helpful Hint - from Susan Meisler

How to keep your place when using a complicated knitting pattern. It's better than sliding a paperclip!

Write each line of instructions on a separate 3 x 5 index card. Punch a whole in the cards (after numbering them.) Use a metal binder ring to keep them together, then turn the card as you complete every row. You can talk and knit...without losing your place!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sock Sense

Liz came up with an ingenious idea for keeping balls of yarn from unraveling and tangling. She places each ball of yarn in a sock. The sock protects the outside of the yarn and gives the yarn ball stability as it is used. Just one more use for those orphan socks that appear in the dryer.

The Mopeen

At last night's knitting group, Berry brought up Rachel Ray's choice for kitchen clean-up, the mopeen. For those of Italian heritage, the mopeen was grandma's 'go to' article for cleaning up spills in the kitchen. If you like using a dishcloth, try knitting one on your own. It uses inexpensive kitchen cotton, available in Walmart or Joann's and knits up in no time. There are many patterns available. Search for 'knitted dishcloth.' Here's the pattern that I use.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Knitted Garter Stitch Infant Hoodie

Nancy A. finished an off-white garter stitch hoodie with brown teddy bear buttons.

Free Knitting Pattern
Lion Brand® Lion Organic Cotton
Tied Hoodie
Pattern Number: 60456A
The purity of natural fiber in an easy-to-knit sweater.
Free Knitting Pattern from Lion Brand Yarn
Lion Brand® Lion Organic Cotton
Tied Hoodie
Pattern Number: 60456A
SIZE: 3-6 mos, 12 mos, 24 months (2 yrs), Child 4
6 (12, 24-36, 48) months
Finished Chest 19¼ (20¾, 22½, 25½) in. [49 (52.5, 57, 65) cm]
Finished Length 9½ (10, 11, 12) in. [24 (25.5, 28, 30.5) cm]
Note: Pattern is written for smallest size with changes for larger sizes in parentheses. When only one number is given, it
applies to all sizes. To follow pattern more easily, circle all numbers pertaining to your size before beginning.
• 680-001 Lion Brand Organic Cotton: Vanilla
5 (6,6,7) Balls
• Lion Brand Knitting Needles- Size 5 [3.75 mm]
• Lion Brand Stitch Holders
• Large-Eye Blunt Needles (Set of 6)
• Lion Brand Crochet Hook - Size H-8
• Additional Materials
1. 2 buttons ½ in. [1.25 cm] diameter
2. Sewing needle and matching thread
3. 3 in. (7.5 cm) piece of cardboard
20 sts + 40 rows = 4 in. [10 cm] in Garter st (k every row). BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE.
Cast on 96 (104, 112, 128) sts. Work in Garter st (k every row) until piece measures 4½ (5, 5 1/2, 6) in. [11.5 (12.5,
14, 15) cm] from beg, end with a RS row.
Divide for Fronts and Back
Next Row (WS): K 25 (27, 29, 33) sts and sl these sts to a holder for Left Front, k 46 (50, 54, 62) sts and sl these sts
to a holder for Back, k remaining 25 (27, 29, 33) sts for Right Front.
Wrap yarn around cardboard 20 times. Cut a piece of yarn 20” (51 cm) long and thread onto large-eyed blunt needle.
Insert needle under all strands at upper edge of cardboard. Pull tightly and knot securely near strands. With crochet hook,
chain remaining length of tied strand for about 4” (10 cm). Fasten off. Thread chain to inside of Hood and knot to secure.
Cut yarn loops at lower edge of cardboard. Trim Tassel ends evenly.
Continue in Garter st on Right Front sts only for 3 (3, 3½, 4) in. [7.5 (7.5, 9, 10) cm], end with a WS row.
Next Row (Buttonhole Row): Sl 1, k 2, yarn over, k2 together, k to end of row.
Work even for 9 rows, then repeat Buttonhole Row. Work one WS row.
Neck Shaping
Next Row (RS): Bind off 13 (16, 17, 19) sts, k to end of row. Work even for 2 rows. Bind off.
Transfer sts for Back from holder to needle. Join yarn and work even until Back measures 9½ (10, 11, 12) in. [24 (25.5,
28, 30.5) cm] from beg. Bind off.
Transfer sts for Left Front from holder to needle. Join yarn and work as for Right Front, reversing shaping and omitting
SLEEVES (make 2)
Cast on 23 (23, 28, 29) sts. Work in Garter st for 4 (4, 6, 6) rows. Inc
1 st each end of next row. Rep last 5 (5, 7, 7) rows 11 (11, 11, 13)
times - 47 (47, 52, 57) sts, then work even until Sleeve measures 6
(7, 8, 10) in. [15 (18, 20.5, 25.5) cm] from beg. Bind off.
Cast on 75 (80, 85, 90) sts. Work in Garter st until piece measures 6
(6½, 7, 8) in. [15 (16.5, 18, 20.5) cm] from beg. Bind off.
Sew shoulder seams. Sew in Sleeves. Sew Sleeve seams. Fold Hood in
half and seam bound-off edge for back of Hood. Sew Hood to neck
edge. Sew buttons to Left Front, opposite buttonholes. Weave in ends.
Click for explanation and illustration
beg = begin(s)(ning) inc = increas(e)(s)(ing)
k = knit rep = repeat(s)(ing)
RS = right side sl = slip
st(s) = stitch(es) WS = wrong side
Learn to knit instructions:
Every effort has been made to have the knitting and crochet instructions accurate and complete. We cannot be responsible for variance of
individual knitters and crocheters, human errors, or typographical mistakes.
*Lion Organic Cotton (Article #680) is an all-natural, undyed worsted-weight cotton yarn that is offered in four naturallyoccuring
shades. It is free from herbicides, pesticides and other agro-chemicals. It is packaged in 1.75 oz./50 g (82
yd/75 m) hanks.
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