In Progress: Hermione's Everyday Socks


On October 1st, I was finally able to cast on my Hermione's Everyday Socks for the first main challenge of the Oh Loops Harry Potter KAL!

So far, so good. This is my first pair of "fancier" socks than plain vanilla, though it's really not that fancy; the pattern is much easier than the final product might have you believe, which makes me a happy camper.

I've altered the original pattern just enough to do a Fish Lips Kiss heel, my new go-to heel for sock knitting. Again, that pattern looks more intimidating than it is. Now that I'm used to the technique, the mere thought of needing to pick up heel stitches and decrease for the gusset makes me cringe, so I'm loving having options. Since this photo was taken, I've finished the heel of my first sock and moved on to the foot. Not bad progress for less than a week when I've had other projects and events going on.

Oh, and I'm using this to double-dip into a PINK-along KAL for the Knit and Pearl podcast, where the only requirement is your project is pink. Easy enough, especially considering the type of colors I keep in my stash :)

The yarn I'm using is Knit Picks Stroll Hand-painted in Summer Blooms Tonal and I'm knitting with five size US1 DPNs (and learning that I much prefer magic loop).

In the meantime, I'm...

Knitting: Anne's SweaterJust Another Vanilla Sock
Reading: A Clockwork Orange
Listening: Wild Flag - Romance

Finished: Pop Fizzle

And it's done! I finished up my Pop Fizzle hat by Lesley Anne Robinson of Knit Graffiti Designs fame the other night and I'm more than thrilled with the final object.

It's not without imperfections, that's for sure. At one point, I managed to miss an increase or something and wound up with only half a "leaf". I also dropped a yarn-over on one of the increases and had to sew up a rather big hole in a black brioche stem. But in the end, I didn't mind either mistake, and I'm probably the only one who will notice them. I'd overall say this project was a success.

The yarn I used was Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Black and Lollipop. Because the pattern called for DK weight, I went down two needle sizes (to a US4), which worked well for a perfectly-fitting, warm beanie. If this winter is anything like the last, I have a feeling it'll be worn a lot when talking Fritzy on long walks or chiseling my car out.

As mentioned in a previous post, I wouldn't make this your first brioche project, but you don't have to be a brioche knitting expert to make it work. This was only my second, with my Exploration Station being my introduction. Otherwise, you just need to know basic increases and decreases - no cabling required!

If you're interested, make sure to buy the pattern over on Ravelry for $6 USD.

Think this project is right for you, but don't know where to start with the stitch? Learn brioche knitting in Craftsy's on-demand online class: Brioche Knitting Made Easy, where you'll learn the basics of this gorgeous-but-intimidating technique while making three practical projects: a hat, fingerless mitts, and a cowl.

Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, added because I love the product and think you - my valued reader and knitting friend - might benefit!

Finished: Vanilla Latte Socks the Second

Here's the finished version of my second pair of Vanilla Latte Socks, completed for Detention in the Harry Potter KAL.

This time around, I used Knit Picks Felici in the Countess colorway, a 1x1 twisted rib (which pleasantly made the cuff tighter to prevent unwanted slouch), a standard slip-stitch heel (as opposed to the Eye of Partridge heel in my last pair), and a round toe. Overall, I'm pretty happy with them and have added them to my burgeoning hand-knit sock drawer.

10 points for Gryffindor : )

In the meantime, I'm:

Knitting: Anne's Sweater, Pop Fizzle, Just Another Vanilla Sock
Reading: A Clockwork Orange (yup, still reading this and not getting any deeper)
Listening: My Morning Jacket - Big Decisions

Review: Yarn Crush Subscription Unboxing

It's never a bad day when someone messages you on Twitter and asks if you want to get yarn on your doorstep.

That's right: imagine my glee when the good folks at Yarn Crush contacted me early last month to ask if I wouldn't mind taking a look at their next subscription box and giving you all my honest opinion. So here goes:

What I Got:

The Yarn: True North Strong Sock from Violette Yarn Co. Dyed exclusively for Yarn Crush, this yarn is a blend of 80% Bluefaced Leicester and 20% nylon, which I think will make for a nice, sturdy sock.

The Pattern: Inspired by the gorgeous peacock, the Tail Feathers pattern coordinates beautifully with this month's yarn.

The Goodies:

Soak: I've heard nothing but good things about Soak. In fact, I think I have a sample from a swap I participated in several years ago (which has been lost to the magical elves that steal things in my pigsty of a craft room). In any event, Soak is what the pros use to wash their hand-knits because it's super gentle. It also smells really good.

Heel: By the makers of Soak, Heel is a foot cream that will make our toes worthy to wear our new Tail Feathers!

Self-Measuring Tape: Maybe my favorite non-yarn item in the box. This tape measure is format to fit around round surfaces and lock so you don't need to fight with those flimsy fashion tapes anymore.

Pocket Mirror: The latest adorable accessory to be added to the black hole that is my purse, this adorable pocket mirror states the obvious: "All you need is love and lots of yarn".

My Rating:

Two thumbs up! This is a semi-surprise package I'd love receiving every month, and the price ($32.99) for what's included can hardly be beat by similar subscription boxes. And if you have too much yarn (as if that's a real thing) or need to save some cash, there's a bi-monthly subscription option for only $2 more.

I particularly like that the retail prices are listed individually so you know how much the items are outside of a subscription box. The September box I received has a retail value of $48.97, but you'd only pay $32.99 - that's a savings of over $15, guys! For high-quality, exclusive yarn that'll make all your friends jealous.

Full disclosure: Yarn Crush sent me this box to review, but I have otherwise received no compensation for my opinion. I really did love this box and think you will, too!

In Progress: Pop Fizzle


I first learned to hate brioche knitting when I made my Exploration Station a couple months ago. It's not that it's hard, but if you drop a stitch, you're - for lack of a better word - screwed.

So for some reason, I decided to punish myself further by buying and knitting Pop Fizzle, a hat made entirely out of brioche in the round. It looked so pretty that I just had to have it. Plus, I had a coupon code, so at least I got tedious torture at a steal.

The good news is: it's not that bad. Once you get the pattern going, it's fairly intuitive. I mean, it's probably best if you already have experience with brioche knitting so you understand how the stitches are formed. You'll play a lot with increasing and decreasing in this pattern, so if you don't "get" brioche, then you won't like making this.

I'm using Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in the Black and Lollipop colorways. To be honest, I probably should have chosen a different yarn, or something that wasn't a fuzzy single ply, because getting my needles through the stitches at first was slightly painful. It's going well now, but the start was rough. I even had to rip out at one point after a false start (ie: I misread and increase as a decrease), which didn't work well since the fibers had felted together at that point.

I managed to learn the German Twisted Cast-On, though; it may become my default cast-on method going forward. I love me a good long-tail cast-on, and this seems incredibly sturdy and neat while creating a really nice-looking border.

PS: I'm knitting these on my new Knitter's Pride Marblz, acrylic interchangeable needles that are almost too pretty to use. I'll have a review in a later post, but if you feel like living on the edge, you can buy them sans review by using my KnitCrate referral link to receive 10% off your first store purchase ;)

Make amazing holiday gifts while expanding your knowledge! Learn brioche knitting in Craftsy's on-demand online class: Brioche Knitting Made Easy, where you'll learn the basics of this gorgeous-but-intimidating technique while making three practical projects: a hat, fingerless mitts, and a cowl.

Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, added because I love the product and think you - my valued reader and knitting friend - might benefit!