It’s Summer – Some Bits and Pieces – We Have a Winner & Socks & Swatching

The Winner!

We have a winner of the Knits From The Woodlot project bag! When Melissa from Oswego, New York, won the Knits From The Woodlot project bag she said, “A new project bag means I can start a new WIP, right? 😉”

Yes! Don’t projects always outnumber project bags? Certainly for me, but maybe not for those disciplined knitters whom I admire – buy yarn, make the project, buy yarn, make the project, buy yarn, make the project, repeat.

This little giveaway was fun; maybe I’ll give away some yarn next time – yarn from a project that didn’t quite make it on to the needles.

Swatching According to Designer Dana Gervais

Dana Gervais is a sock designer. But not just a sock designer. Be surprised by her creations at Dana Gervais Designs where “Not Socks” is the delightful, smallest category of her design collections. Here’s Dana’s charming mantra – “Inside every skein of sock yarn is a pair of socks begging to be set free.”

I am one of those knitters who made one sock and gave up the practice straightaway. Not that I didn’t enjoy the process; it was a great learning experience and quite intriguing. I think the idea of doing the same thing all over again did me in. That and dpns. Dropping them made me crazy! Two at a time on circular needles may be the answer. Or does Magic Loop work for 2 socks? I love Magic Loop. More to learn. Must check in with Dana for the best instructions.

Dana’s paternal grandmother taught her to knit and her latest pattern, named Neta, pays homage to that relationship.  Dana says, “She was a finesse knitter, and she and her knitting have inspired every stitch I’ve ever knit.” Check out the Neta photo up above. I love that swooping, top-of-the-foot action. Act fast, before the end of July 16th, and get 20% off the pattern price.

This is a long way around to talk about Dana’s latest blog post, on swatching. I am a committed swatcher (although I am guilty of making them too small in my eagerness to get with the project) but have never read such clear, beautifully written words on the topic. Take a look. We are so lucky to have generous creators sharing their knowledge online.

Even if you aren’t that much into socks, Dana’s website is well worth a visit. She offers everyone a free sock pattern on signing up and writes about lots of topics that we need more information about, like ladders. It’s going to be fun to see what my editor, the woodworker, handyman husband has to say about that!

Happy July!

4 Replies to “It’s Summer – Some Bits and Pieces – We Have a Winner & Socks & Swatching”

  1. Thanks again for the bag!

    I like to make socks, and it’s rare that I don’t have a sock in progress. (Why do I like to make socks? They’re small and easily transportable, they can be as simple or as complicated as you want, sock yarn makes a great souvenir purchase, there’s always room in someone’s sock drawer for a new pair, and people say oooooooh! when you tell them you’re making a sock.)

    My preferred method of sock knitting is cuff-down, one at a time, magic loop. I’ve tried toe-up, and will occasionally still work a toe-up pair if I’m using special yarn that I want to use every last bit of. But generally speaking, I find it more difficult to get a great fit working toe-up. I also strongly prefer a reinforced-flap-and-gusset heel, and for me, anyway, those are way futzier to work toe-up. I’ve tried knitting socks two at a time, both on two circs and magic loop, and found that for me, it’s more of a headache to keep two balls of yarn (or two ends of the same ball) from tangling. If I need to work two somethings at the same time, I prefer to just set up two sets of needles and work a round/row on one, then a round/row on the other, assuming I have the right needles to do so. And I like magic loop because there’s zero chance that I’ll drop a needle in the car/on the train/in the theater/to the sticky floor of the bar/somewhere else that it isn’t easily retrieved. I’ve done two circs, on occasion, but for me it’s more complicated because there are too many dangling needle ends and I have ladder issues if I don’t pay super-close attention. I have no objection to DPNs, but they’re not my favorite way to work.

    Isn’t it great that there are so many different kinds of knitters in the world?

  2. Thank you for the lovely words, Gayle! Sadly, I rarely have the opportunity to knit socks 2 at a time; I’m usually designing on the needles and use the 2nd sock to work out the design issues that arose while knitting the first sock. A lot of knitters in my Facebook group love to knit socks 2 at a time with magic loop or with 2 circs and I recommend that every knitter try every method to see what works for them.

  3. A most beautiful post — and what a passion for socks from this designer! I am eternally amazed by the technical capability (and necessity in the work) of knitters. It’s truly remarkable.

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