Apple Socks

I've never found too many patterns I like at MagKnits. However, I have recently been on a sock kick, and when I saw someone link this pattern for basic "tech socks" with a chart for an Apple logo, my knitting fingers began to twitch. Suddenly, an image of over-the-knee socks (or even thigh-highs) with an Apple logo popped into my mind. How scandalous it would be to wear a short skirt with tall Apple socks to my current place of employment—their direct competitors. BWAHAHAH!

Alas, first I must finish up the various belated Christmas and birthday and holiday-less spoilage gifts for the manflesh's mother. Then I have to finish that other pair of socks I'm a quarter way through—a pair that I listed on my 2007 knitting resolutions (the embroidered ones). Oh, and I'm sure there's a ton of other half-finished projects I really should get to before these socks. Waiting until all of those are complete might be asking for too much, though. After all, I really don't want to be wearing thigh-high merino socks in the summer, do I?

Knitting With a Dash of Crochet

My personal preference has always leaned towards the fabrics that knit and purl stitches create, rather than the thicker and knottier stitches of crochet. Now that I have learned basic crochet and have spent time experimenting with the types of stitches (and fabrics) available to the form, I feel comfortable in saying that my personal preference still leans towards the fabrics that knitting creates.

However, that's not to say that I don't see the potential crochet stitches offer. Amigurimi (stuffed animals) being just one of the many things crochet excels in above knitting. And lately, I've been toying with the idea of using crochet motifs and flowers mixed with basic knit stitches for scarves. Crochet offers the ease of building out motifs and shapes by the simple fact that you can shape whatever and wherever you want—just insert the crochet hook and make a stitch. To create wildly complex shapes in knitting is a much more complicated task, and often lacks the streamlined finished product of a crocheted motif.

I'll save the extensive critique of crotchet versus knitting for another time. Today, I wanted to share some particularly awesome and free patterns for crocheted flowers I stumbled across:

I currently have no plans for using the Picot Flower, though it's so lovely that I would love to build a project around it. I am, however, currently in the (slow) process of using Bam Boo, to make the Crochet Flowers. I plan on using these to embellish a scarf knitted in the very lovely Byzanz, in violet.

By the way, I highly recommend both Bam Boo and Byzanz. Aside from it's incredible softness and luster, the eco-friendly nature of Bam Boo has secured it's place as one of my favorite yarns. Byzanz, on the other hand, makes a wonderful splurge yarn for an easy project. The yarn is flat and thick, with a cord of metallic thread running through the middle. It knits quickly and seems to shine more with very basic stitches. But because it requires US size 15 needles, I'm reluctant to recommend it for a beginner's scarf—I always recommend size 8 for those just learning.

Mt. Bear Scarf and Mittens

For some reason, I really wanted a furry scarf. I think the seed for the idea had been planted in my head after watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, although it was a furry jacket that the female character wore—and I had seen the movie awhile before actually deciding I needed a furry scarf. When I went to the yarn store to make my furry scarf, I knew I didn't want fun fur, and if you don't know why, read my website more. But the Big Wool Tuft yarn from Rowan, now that was something! Furry and cheesy in all the right ways, and none of the wrong ways of fun fur faux pas. The mittens came later, as a custom order request from someone who had bought my scarf's twin.


Pattern Notes:
Both projects are beginners-friendly. The materials listed above make both the scarf and the mittens. You need at least 1.5 skeins of Big Wool Tuft for the scarf, and less than 0.5 skein for the mittens (if making both, make the mittens first and then use the remainder of the yarn for the scarf). You need the Cotton Sitra for both, also, though you should not be close to running out when finished. You only need the Encore for the mittens.

Mitten Gauge:
Using Encore yarn, doubled and 10.5 knitting needles. # stitches and # rows = #" x #". (Gauge for the scarf doesn't matter).

Mt. Bear Scarf

Directions for Scarf:

Mittens for Minerva

Directions for Mittens:

Work other mitten as above, reversing thumb gusset.

Fug Friday: Balaclava for the Whole Family

These hideous knitted facial monstrosities known as "balaclavas" freak me out to the point of nightmarish fits of sleep. But then, I suppose Halloween is just around the corner. There's still plenty of time to download the patterns and knit one of these "bad boys" up.