Friday, June 7, 2013

On the Needles & Etc - 6/7/13

I'm really excited to share the start of my next sock project with you all.  But first, I just HAVE to share with you the cutest gift EVER .........

Am I right?  You know I'm right!  These tiny pineapple ornaments are just the cutest things ever!!!  OMG!!!  I just love them!!!  They are a gift from my friend, Janet O, who blogs over at Rogue Quilter.  I'm sure most of you know Janet - she's such a sweetheart, isn't she!!!  She says my Rainbow Pineapples helped inspire her to start making these cute little pineapple ornaments that are only about 2-1/2" square - why are tiny things always so much cuter?  So she wanted to share a couple of them with me.  How sweet and thoughtful is that?  And of course she used batiks and bright colors - does this girl know me, or what?  I just cannot express how much I really love them Janet!!!  You know I will treasure them always!  =^..^=

So, now that we've taken care of the important, really cute stuff, let's get back to the mundane but fun world of socks, shall we?

I'm going to use this wonderful variegated red yarn which I was thinking would read more as a solid than a stripe when the socks are finished.  It is a Serenity Garden microfiber yarn, and the color is Hibiscus.  No one I follow uses microfiber yarn, so I have no idea how it will work up or if it will be comfortable to wear.  I just liked the color so I got it :*)  So far I have been purchasing my yarn at Joann's & Hobby Lobby rather than buying the expensive, nicer yarns online.  I figure these early socks are more experimental than anything anyway, right?

I used a gift certificate I received for Mother's Day along with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby to purchase a ball winder, and it made very short work of making these really cute, uniform balls of yarn.  There's something about having perfectly wound balls of yarn that makes me feel like a "real" knitter LOL!!!  But, man, those things are expensive!!!  No way I was buying one until I could cut that cost a good bit :*)

I thoroughly enjoyed the process of knitting my first pair of socks (you can see them HERE if you like), which were constructed using double-pointed needles (DPNs).  Once I finally got a handle on how to hold them and work with them comfortably, I was hooked!  But with this pair, I wanted to try using a circular needle and the Magic Loop method.  I also wanted to learn how to do two socks at the same time, since my first pair ended up with one of them just a smidge shorter than the other - imagine that!!!

This is the pattern I chose to use for these red socks.  It took quite a bit of practice and tearing out and restitching before I finally managed some success with the recommended cast on method - Judy's Magic Cast-On.  Then I had to tear it all out and figure out how to do it for two socks instead of one.  But I finally got this far along the first night .....

From small beginnings come great things..... right?  I'm sure hoping so!

My only issue right now is that I'm having a real problem with loose stitches on the ends that won't tighten up - can you see how loose they are on the inner end of the sock on the right?  I was nervous that was going to make holes in the toes, but since I've worked a little further it seems to be getting better....and no holes!

The two socks look like different colors but that is just because I started with a different part of the color strata on each one.  I think I'm really going to love the red :*)  However, it does look as though they are going to be striped rather than have a solid look, just bigger, wider stripes than the usual striping yarn.

It's been fun learning a new skill and playing with new tools while starting my second pair of socks, and I'm looking forward to another finished pair in my sock drawer :*)  My mom and my daughter are currently fighting over who gets the first pair; it will be very interesting to see who wins =^..^=  I'm linking this post up with On the Needles at Patchwork Times.

In other news, we had our first Hummingbird visitation yesterday morning!!!

The feeder was empty after sitting out for over a week - we hadn't refilled it because there were no hummingbirds. But there must have been some food still in the bottom because this little fellow stayed and sipped for quite some time.  It is good to have them back!

Our little bird house, which was a gift from my friend Corinne last year, finally has a little family in it!!!  

I tried to get a picture while the momma was around but she is terribly shy :*)  They are chickadees and, although I had hoped for some bluebirds, we are very pleased to have a family using it and enjoying it!

I managed to get some marigolds planted in the flower beds around the back of the house last week....

....... and my Oriental Lillys are in full bloom and GORGEOUS!!!  Every year I wait impatiently for them to bloom, and every year they take my breath away!  These are a deep rich blood red.....

And these are purply-pink with a sunshine yellow burst in the center....

Today, I'll be playing with more red - making Talkin' Turkey blocks with  my sewing buddies....

So what's going on in your world?
Happy Friday my friends!!!

Hugs & Blessings!


  1. Great looking start on a pair of socks. You are still ahead of me on the learning curve for this one, so I will enjoy watching your progress. Great little bitty pineapple blocks. What a sweet gift!

  2. I can't wait to see your finished socks.

    Wow, I thought I was doing tiny on my pineapple blocks - Janet's are teeny, tiny! (How sweet of her to gift you with a couple of them!) Speaking of my pineapple blocks, I'm away behind on my plan to get one done per week. ;-) You know you were my inspiration to make them, don't you? ;-)

    I would love to have a hummingbird feeder, but the only place I could put one where I could see it from inside would be out on our deck ... and our neighbors who tried that said that the hummingbirds are sloppy ... the spilled food creates a sweet, sticky mess that really attracts ants. :-(

  3. Your first socks are gorgeous! so are your flowers!! I'm a toe up 2 at a time knitter and those loose edge stitches manage to even out as you knit. The red is beautiful!!

  4. I love that hibiscus yarn! They will be gorgeous socks.

    Your flowers look soooo pretty. Don't you love the little hummers?

    The mini pineapples are darling.

  5. You are having too much fun, Teresa. I just smiled through all of the knitting, beautiful flowers (I used to grow lilies--wonder what happened to them?), hummingbird visit, and sewing strings with friends!
    Glad the pineapples have a loving home! : )

  6. Wow! Good job figuring out magic loop and 2 at a time. I've probably knit 40 pairs of socks, but still have never done 2 at a time.

  7. Your mini pineapple ornaments are just amazing. What a wonderful gift. I'm really impressed that you finished a pair of socks so quickly and now you are on to toe up, 2 at a time on circular needles. What a quick learner you are. I watched the video you liked us to and I was almost ready to try it....almost, then I remembered I don't have 2 circular needles!

    Your lilies are beautiful. Mine haven't bloomed yet. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love your socks and the ornaments are so cute.

  9. Lots of eye candy here. I love the little pineapples. What fun having a family in your birdhouse!

  10. wonderful inspiration for starting my day, thanks!!

  11. Love the yarn. Please post about how you like it. I have never used it. I just learned toe up socks last weekend with Judy's Magic Cast On. Never did figure it out, teacher cast on for me. Once I got going I liked it, except for kitchenering the heel. Does your method sew the heel shut?

  12. I am interested to see you like the yarn, also. I have that same color! I love the color, but was afraid it wouldn't be stretchy enough for socks.
    Love the pineapple ornaments, too. Very cute!


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