Tag Archives: leyburn

Socks on the Dock

It’s been nice and Autumn-y in NH these days, which has put me in a mood to walk around outside with my hand knits on, which led to me and Dan heading downtown for hot chocolate and pictures by the river this afternoon. Which in turn means that over the next few days I’ll have some photos to show you of finished projects you haven’t seen yet and some proper modeled shots of finished projects you have already seen.

Let’s start with the one of my recently finished projects which is the oldest and had the most false starts. I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, At Long Last Leyburns!

Pattern: Leyburn Socks by MintyFresh
Yarn: Mad Color Fiber Arts Sock Options Good Harbor, color After Dinner Mint
Needles: 2.25 mm dpn’s
Started: June 2011
Finished: September 20, 2011
Knit top down with heel flap and…regular?…top-down sock toe instead of toe up with short-row heel and toe. (But seriously, there must be a name for that kind of regular old toe and I just don’t know it, right?)

Dan and I figured, since this yarn is part seaweed, these socks would be most at home by the water, so we made our way down to the public dock and I took off my pants rolled up my jeans to show them off in all their glory.

My first brush with Leyburnness came in July 2010 when I started a pair in DIC Smooshy. I knit the whole thing as written (well, OK, I changed the toe and heel then, too) and lordy was it huge. I wasn’t in a math mood at the time, so I threw the sock across the room and moved on to something else. That first Leyburn is still in a bag around here someplace with the rest of the skein it came from. I should hunt it down and rip it out and give it a new life soon. It was really delicious yarn.

In addition to a false start with the pattern, I had a false start with the yarn (story here) and gave it a little time to think about what it had done. Eventually we all – yarn, pattern, and needle size – learned to get along, but after all we’d been through together, today we just needed some time to relax and enjoy the view.

See, I told you I didn’t take off my pants.

Coming soon: a properly modeled Baktus, a properly modeled Aidez, a finished Flip Your Lid, and the sock yarn blanket hanging out in the bushes.


Finish 1, Start 3

That’s some good math right there, I tell ya. It pretty much ensures I’ll never get bored. Except that the more projects I have in progress the more quickly I get bored. But you didn’t hear that from me.

So, I finished Jim Baktus and started contemplating my other lingering unfinished projects. I wanted to finish them all. I finished the Leyburns.

They’re not done in this picture, but they’re done in real life. This is not a picture of real life.

Then I started contemplating the lingering unstarted projects. I wanted to start all of them. I started another Muriwai, this time for the kitchen.

I started a new commissioned piece. Watch this space for Thor’s helmet.

I started Winding Path, but my gauge was like ugh so that got set aside.

I also wound the yarn (KP Bare and Malabrigo Sock in Abril) to start Flip Your Lid.

I guess that’s enough starting for now. Next I’ll try to finish something.

P. S. I also started some vanilla extract.

Wait right there. This’ll only take, like, 2 months.

New Beautiful

I’m calling them At Long Last Leyburns.

Last July, I cast on for my standard toe-up sock in this yarn, Sock Options Good Harbor from Mad Color Fiber Arts, on my standard 2mm needles. This yarn on those needles gave me a very stiff fabric and pooled something awful – there was a green side and a brown side and I wanted to see green and brown together. Also, having just finished a pair of Jaywalkers, I was feeling more in the mood for a real pattern, so to speak, one with a little texture. I just wasn’t sure what texture would work for this yarn, and there was the stiffness issue, so I changed direction and headed for some Leyburns in DIC Smooshy.

I finished the first Leyburn quickly, and it was beautiful. Beautiful and HUGE. Loose enough around my foot, and then the increases for the leg made it plain unwearable. I moved on to the August socks and the Leyburns, along with this yarn, were forgotten for a time.

My recent needle woes got me thinking about the plumper sock yarns I’ve knit with and how I really do prefer those that give me a more substantial-feeling (but not stiff) fabric. Then I thought about how I learned from knitting Crusoe that a slip-x-wyif pattern is great for a 2-color yarn that really wants to pool. Then it was just a matter of poking around Ravelry until I found someone else who had sized Leyburn down and been kind enough to put a stitch number in their notes, and the 54-stitch Leyburns were born.

The first one is almost to the toe, but I will – I WILL! – put it down this weekend to knit the cowl on Francis Revisited.

In food news, it’s week 2 of the CSA program I joined. Last week’s take became 1 jar of quick-pickled bok choy (enjoyed alongside barbecued chicken, mashed turnips and homemade bread); 1 lunch of sauteed bok choy; 3 heads of sliced, blanched, frozen bok choy for use in future stir-fries; roasted radishes and turnips; kale and kidney bean soup; pasta with swiss chard and spring garlic; and a green salad every night. I also chopped and blanched the kale stems and froze them for soup. This is definitely enough food to feed us both but not so much that I’m scrambling to cook/preserve it all before the week is out. This week I received 3 baby bok choy; 1 bunch each of kale and swiss chard; 2 small heads of broccoli; arugula; 1 bunch each of beets and turnips (both with greens on that still look quite yummy); and kohlrabi, which I’ve never eaten before so I’m having fun hunting down recipes. I was too worn out last night to stage a proper photo shoot, but I can give you a little peek at some of the new stuff this week:

A Bit of Progress

Here in the Randipants corner of the living room, we have some progress, finally.

I have finished the body for Francis Revisited. I was very happy to find out it fit after having knit it all on a 16″ circ with really no idea if I was on the right track at all. I vow to knit the cowl this weekend, but right now I’m seriously distracted by some awfully pretty green and brown wool-Seacell blend sock yarn from Mad Color Fiber Arts and a stitch count that makes a pair of Leyburns a viable option for me at last.

Sadly, we also have some regress. In my quest to find teensy tiny needles that won’t bend before I can knit a whole pair of socks with them, I bought some Brittany 2.25 mm dpn’s. My gauge tends to be pretty loose, but I thought I could squeeze by with just an extra quarter millimeter. I cast on with the Crazy Zauberball and it looked so pretty I quickly knit a whole cuff and started the leg.

The whole thing was just too flimsy, though. These socks would not have lasted.

(That's the Asscat Can behind the sock. It's full of bottle caps and I shake it at Zoe when she tries to get on my end table and launch herself onto my yarn drawers. Those are my yarn drawers behind the Asscat Can.)

I really should have known ahead of time, as the Zauberball feels a little thinner and more loosely plied than the plumper and/or twistier yarns I prefer, like CTH Supersock Select. Perhaps I did know and let the siren song of marled, stripey socks lure me astray. Yes. That’s it. I blame the sirens. Also, these needles are already bending but I probably can’t blame the sirens for that.

I’m using the Brittany needles for the Leyburns as I know that this particular yarn knits up a little too tight even for my liking on 2 mm needles (I think it’s the Seacell – the yarn doesn’t have much bounce to it, but oh, is it gorgeous). After the Leyburns I think I’ll just have to invest in some more KP Harmonies. Yes, they break after a few years, but at least they last a few years before they break.

State Of The Projects

    • Giant-Size Man-Sweater: Still in need of slip-stitch crochet to hide the gap in the seam. My wrist starts to hurt when I think about crochet, so this is still languishing.
    • Baktus, 2 hats, headband for a friend, Anhinga, Toasty, Laminaria: Totally still working on these. I swear.
    • Life-Long Blanket: All sock minis and leftovers collected in one place but no more squares added. Trying not to work on this until some other stuff is cleared out, since this doesn’t have a deadline and plenty of other stuff does.
    • September Socks: Damned handsome. Not sure they’ll be done by the end of the month, but since my August socks were really my mid-August to mid-September socks, I figure I have an extra few weeks and might just have to make some ankle socks or slippers later in the year to make my quota.  This first sock really should be done by now, though. I’m about to knit the toe for the third time. I’ve made enough pairs of socks for myself at this point that I have my basic sock measurements & techniques settled, mostly cobbled together from several different patterns. On this particular sock, though, my standard foot measurement before starting the toe just didn’t cut it. My first toe, checked just before kitchenering, wouldn’t have stretched enough to accommodate my real toes, so I ripped back to the first decrease. I planned to do 2 plain rounds between decreases, but after 4 decreases it was still nowhere near as long as it should be. So, the toe came out completely and I’m putting in another half-inch or so before decreasing this time. I think the yarn is the reason the foot was too short. This is Mad Science Titanium. I don’t know if it’s that it’s an 8-ply yarn (don’t think I’ve used an 8-ply sock yarn before) but it’s definitely thicker than the sock yarns I usually use. Using my 2 mm needles over 56 stitches, like just about every other sock I’ve made for myself, I’m getting a much denser fabric. (Which I love, by the way. This yarn is so squishy and makes such a, well, damned handsome sock that I’m already dreaming of a cardigan made from this stuff.) So, I’m thinking maybe it doesn’t stretch as much as my other socks have, because the yarn is thicker or the fabric is tighter. Does that make sense? Anyway, I’m assuming it’s the yarn that’s making my stand-by sock pattern not quite work this time since I did everything else the same. Once I get this damn toe figured out, though, I’m pretty sure I’ll have my new favorite socks.


  • Drop-Stitch Scarf: A few rows when I can get to it. Not a deadline project, so it’s just something pretty I can pull out when I need cheering up.
  • Baby Cardigan & Mary-Janes: Past the yoke on the stripey baby cardigan. A few inches into the body. Lots of stockinette in 2-row stripes to get through. Thinking of finishing with ties instead of a button. Not sure yet. Started a pair mary-janes to go with last night. I’m the last person on the planet to find anything baby-related charming, but I still think these might be the cutest damn socks ever invented.
  • Baby Jean Jacket & Converse: Haven’t started the shoes yet. Back is finished up to putting the neck stitches on holders. Left front just about done.
  • July Socks: Best not discussed. I’ll get around to them eventually.
  • Shawl: Another project to pick up for a few rows here and there. No rush. The giant skein of Oceania ended up on my paper towel holder, which was the only thing in the house I could find big enough to hold it and stay in one place while I knit.
  • Cowl: Just cast on for this the other night. I cast on for Scrunchable, did the first 8 rounds in garter stitch, then tried those 8*8 cables. And decided after 2 that they were not happening. They look awfully pretty in the finished object, but I don’t think I have the patience for them right now. I took out that row, kept the garter band at the beginning, and am improvising a sort of widening garter stitch pattern, putting one more knit round before each purl ridge until I’m in the middle, then one fewer knit round between the ridges, then I’ll finish with 8 rounds of garter and hope it fits. Made to match the pretty cabley hat, which is done (except for weaving in & blocking, but that doesn’t really count).

Knotty Hat

Pattern: Knotty but Nice
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Grey Mix
Needles: Plastic 16″ 4 mm circular. Went down a size from what the pattern called for to make a smaller size for me.
Changes made: Unintentional, I assure you. I miscrossed every cable in the row that lets the 5 individual cables finally cross over into each other. So, they’re not all as nice and entwined-like as they should be. I didn’t notice this until I was doing the crown decreases, however, so they shall stay the way they are.

And that is everything Ravelry tells me I still have in progress. Hardly seems like enough.

Lots To Get Done

A state-of-the-projects update:

The July socks have stalled. I won’t see the friend they’re for for a while anyway, so I’m just picking away at them when I get the chance. The August socks haven’t begun, because they’re being made for a trade on Ravelry & I haven’t received the supplies to make them yet. They’ll be stripey Jaywalkers & I’m getting sock minis in trade for the Life-Long Blanket! The September socks are calling my name but I must. not. start them.

The Life-Long Blanket – have I told you about this one? Mitered squares of sock yarn following Shelly Kang’s pattern. It started here…

Big Bad Blankie

…and is now 11 squares wide. I think I’ll go for 20 squares wide. I like my blankets big, so this will take a while, but it’s so easy to get on a roll with those little squares. I’ll sit down for a few minutes & do at least 2 easily.

The drop-stitch scarf has not progressed much but is still so damn beautiful I’m going to show it to you again.

It's like seashells and beaches and waves.

It’s like seashells and beaches and waves.

I really need to work on this some more.

There is a new project on the needles: a stripey baby sweater (the Scrappy Socky Stripey Cardi).

Little Sweater

2 of my work friends are due to give birth in the next few months. I’m glad baby stuff is quick to knit & can be made out of sock yarn. More leftovers for the blanket!

The Giant-Size Man-Sweater is going to fit! I’m partway into the shoulder shaping, just far enough that Dan could try it on the other day. It looks like it’s going to be perfect. I’m so relieved.

The Anhinga sleeve/gauge swatch has been sitting in the basket about 2 rows in for months. And then I got all that Noro Kureyon to make the Hacky Sack Hoodie, which seems way easier, and…we’ll see when the next sweater for me happens.

As for all the stuff I was working on in my last post, I’m still working on it. I’ve added “trying not to get stressed out by not doing these things when I think I should” to the end of the list as well. Tonight, for example, I skipped yoga class & came home because I wanted to give myself a chance to just be by myself, puttering around, doing nothing if I didn’t feel like it. Sort of a moving meditation, I guess. No one to talk to (OK, I talk to the cat sometimes), just settling into my own head & trying to be comfortable there for a few hours. And it’s not so bad so far.

Sundays Are For Self-Medicating

I have been out of commission all week. No progress was made on the Giant-Size Man-Sweater this past Sunday, as I woke up at 3 with a screaming horror of a migraine. It kept going away, turning around & coming right back until Monday night. It took a total of about 3 Imitrex, 6 or 8 Aleve, & a Zyrtec to finally beat it back far enough that I could sit up for a whole day. Consequently, knitting was slow the first half of the week. A few rows on a garter stitch scarf were about all I managed.

I’ve made up for it a bit since & finished the first of my July socks.

Why so big, Leyburn? Why?

That’s a Leyburn in some DIC Smooshy in Spring Tickle. This is absolutely the softest, squishiest skein of Smooshy I’ve worked with yet, & the colors are perfect – just varied enough to add interest, but not so different from each other that they distract from the pattern. The slipped-stitch pattern is easy to memorize, & I’m completely in love with this sock. There’s just the tiny little problem with it being way too big for me. I think I trust my math to size down, but it’s already halfway through the month, & do I really want to start all over? No, I really don’t. I have a friend they’ll fit, & if they don’t I’m sure I have another friend they will.