What Is Your Sock Style?

The above headline on Craftsy’s Blog got me wondering do I have a sock style?

I took the quiz and the results were… ADVENTUROUS.

Just like your sock knitting, you are adventurous. You like to try knitting different types and colors of socks, just like you enjoy trying different foods and traveling to different places. You love anything that’s bold and stands out from the crowd.

So…What is your sock style? 

FO Friday: Afterthought Heels

Yeah I know I am putting this up on a Thursday, but I was too excited. Orange Socks are done! Woot! Woot!

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These socks are a basic stockinette with an afterthought heel. So many of you out there are using this technique I had to get in on the action. So what is this Afterthought Heel business? Basically you knit your entire sock without the heel section…aka make a big tube. Afterward you go back and knit the heel section. How do you do this you say? Well check out this great tutorial by The KnitGirllls. It is well paced and was very easy to follow. Not a video person? Well here is a written tutorial on the blog Knitting Up a Storm. Most times I prefer the written tutorial. For some reason with the afterthought heel I needed the video support as some aspects were a little difficult for me to wrap my brain around.

I casted on 30 stitches for each sock using Judy’s Magic Cast On and double magic looped them.  I worked the foot sections until ~2 inches from my heel. Next I knitted in the scrap yarn to mark where I would go back to begin my afterthought heels. Finally, I knitted another 6 rows of stockinette before making a 1×1 rib for the cuff. I kept the cuff on these socks short as I started to get bored with the ribbing. Now it was time for the good stuff. (Note: I completed the heels on each sock individually and not with the double magic loop method) I picked up all of my stitches along the top and bottom and pulled the scrap yarn out. I was a little nervous to do this. What if I didn’t get all the stitches picked up? Would I create a dropped stitch nightmare? Luckily, I coached myself to take it slow and be very careful and the process was smooth sailing. From there just imagine you are making a toe section. I decreased my heel to 16 stitches total and then used the Kitchener’s Stitch to bind off. I did it!

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So what are my thoughts about the Afterthought Heel?

Pros: They are quick to make and you do not have to turn a heel like when making a heel flap. There is also no short rows required. I think this type of heel is perfect for travel/commuting. You can make the whole sock uninterrupted and then you can go back to the tricky part (for me it is always the heel) when you want. No stitch holders required.

Cons: If you are not the best at picking up teeny tiny stitches then this method could be a little daunting. You will need to pick up at least 60 of them for an average sock. My only other issue is measuring. I am such an “eyeballer” when it comes to knitting. Especially when it comes to making things for myself. Without a heel socket it was hard to measure the length of my leg section (I was knitting toe up) by just trying it on. My advice: Take the time to measure all the sections of your foot with an actual measuring tool and not your body’s landmarks (haha).

 

So would I do this again? Sure. Will this be my go to method? I am on the fence. Part of it is that I am so comfortable with other methods that I am naturally inclined to just use them. However, I am glad I tried the Afterthought heel out and I will tuck this method in my arsenal.

Need help choosing a heel? Check out this post on Alpaca Direct. It gives you a quick and dirty guide to the most common heels and links to sites for more info.

WIP Wednesday

As I anxiously await some recently ordered yarn, here is what is on the needles:

My Orange Socks are working up nicely. I decided to use an afterthought heel. I have never made socks with this type of construction and am eager to see the finished result. 

I got a little bored with the socks so I pulled a skien of Vanna’s Choice in Dusty Purple out of my stash and started a hat. This is totally a process pattern. I just started knitting and let it take me places. What are you knitting today?


What Next?

So I am so conflicted as to what to make next. I am using my Orange Socks as a “keep my hands busy project” for the time being while I decide on my next big project. I did buy all the yarn needed for this beauty a couple of weeks ago, but for some reason I am not dead set on starting it.

I have been thinking a lot about shawls lately. I usually don’t make them, but for some reason I have really wanted to make one now. I am thinking the Seashell Shawl by Francoise Danoy. (Whit’s tip: Sign up on this designer’s website for the newsletter and get the pattern for free as well as the chance to peruse her other awesome patterns and tutorials) It is so my style. Simple with elegant touches. That lace…gets me every time 😊.

But then I remembered that I wanted to make this tank top for my summer vacation. Agh!

See my dilemma? Too many choices! And that isn’t even mentioning these socks or these socks.

What is a girl to do???

Knitting the Stress Away

I have been under a lot of stress lately. Not only from work (see last post), but from just feeling like I don’t have enough time in the day.Thankfully I have knitting. It is my go to. Whenever I am all frazzled, I find at least a few minutes to knit a couple of rows. I pick up my needles and get in the zone. I really like this excerpt from Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change, Stitch by Stitch by Betsy Greer (excerpt found on Daily OM). It perfectly explains the power of using your hands to eliminate the stress.

Perhaps one of its most unexpected effects is its ability to help me focus my thoughts and quiet my mind as I create. Somehow my daily tensions start washing away with the rhythmic movement—hopefully this is true for you too. I find that I am able to focus on the stitch, when at most other times in my life I find myself constantly distracted. When I’m knitting, I can focus my thoughts on something refreshingly simple: wool and wood. With my hands at work, my mind and creativity are free to roam and explore. I find this state is less about completely forgetting the world and more about letting all the annoyances and worries that rack up each day slink off and disappear as I make stitch after stitch after stitch

So this morning I am going to use my knitting as motivation to get all I need to get done completed. I set goals with my students all the time…why not with myself? My goal: Get all my paperwork done so I can have at least 15 minutes of Zen. Nothing like a little positive reinforcement to get you through the day. 😉


Why Can’t We Be a Team?

**Warning this post is a bit of a rant.**

I try to be a happy and positive person, especially at work. I work with a hard population. My students not only have difficulties with learning and language, but many of them also live below the poverty line. Often there are hurdles to overcome. Many of the kids’ families have difficulty with keeping food on the table or a roof over their heads. So working on a “r” sounds seems pretty low on the priority list. Yet, I keep trying with them. Despite what others think, kids are pretty resilient.

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Yet, yesterday I was about the throw in the towel. Was it the children? NO! It was the ADULTS. For several weeks now I have been dealing with a variety of situations in which adults have been disrespecting me. Yesterday was when I finally hit my breaking point. What does this disrespect look like? Being disorganized, waltzing into meetings with parents whenever they want, not communicating with me that meetings have been scheduled and/or cancelled,  and thinking that I will complete aspects of THEIR jobs. I have just had enough of people being inconsiderate and thinking as an “I” rather then a “we.” How will we accomplish all we need to when others are only thinking of themselves?

I am just so fed up. I get it we have 5 more weeks left of school. I understand teachers and staff are tired. But I cannot tolerate the impertinence and being treated like my time does not matter. Just because I don’t have a class full of children all day does not mean I am not just as busy as teachers. I come to work every day to try to do my best. I would expect that others would as well. However, after yesterday, I think I am asking too much…