Mushroom Socks

I had planned to be back in the pottery months ago. For some reason my head is just not there. I struggle to stay focused, to find the energy to get in there and create. I have loads of ideas, I have sketched things out.. planned on how to bring these ideas to life and yet I just can’t seem to do it.

So I have found that knitting has been my happy place. Where it used to be that I struggled with my knitting… held the needles tightly, stressing over every stitch, hyper focused on the pattern. Now I relax (sometimes too much). I am able to read, or watch a movie without looking down at the stitches I am making. This is both good and bad. It has given me a safe place to land while my brain takes a break and can work through whatever it needs to and yet it is a bit too comfortable for me to stay cozy and knit all day. (or is it really?)

I have my first finish of 2023, Mushroom socks. These were so fun for me to make although they are not without their issues. The main color yarn I used did not offer much for the mushrooms and stems to contrast against so they blend in a bit more than I would like. Also I made them a size bigger than normal (I have no idea why, more of that mental fog going on right now) so they are very roomy. Bit annoying but would be great if I have to double up socks for extra warmth, then they would be perfect!

I still need to weave in the ends and block them. Maybe that will shrink them down a bit. Does anyone else issues with a noticeable line when using magic loop? I used to not be a fan of dpns BUT now that I keep getting this line I am beginning to lean more that way than magic loop. What are your thoughts?

Happy Wednesday friends. What projects are you working on?

Knitting magic loop vs double pointed needles

So I am still a beginner with knitting. I starting knitting while I was pregnant with our twins so about 6ish years ago. Since I started I have done only a handful of colorwork projects that worked with two different colors, like a striped hat with red and white.

This project was my reward for finishing the boys’ cardigans in time for Christmas. The first ones I ever knitted for them were pullovers and they took me forever to knit. They were my first attempt at knitting sweaters and I was going at a snails pace. So by the time I was done…. the boys had grown so much that their heads did not fit through. (Trust me I tried desperately to make them fit hahahah) I kept them for nostalgia but had to begin again. This time I made them button front, went a few sizes up and tried to knit as fast as I could. It was a good exercise and I was beyond thrilled that I finished even if I was sewing the buttons on into the wee hours of Christmas morning.

Cardigan pattern by

With those done and that goal accomplished I had set this mitt pattern aside for me. I wanted to give it a go and see how I faired with working a color work project like this.. before I dove back into knitting another double project for the boys. Twins = I knit double everything.

For my celebratory knitting project for myself I chose the Briar Mitt pattern by

The pattern is so easy to follow. I have tried so many knit patterns.. many a times I end up frustrated because I am not grasping what I am supposed to do. This pattern is a breeze and so fun. I was excited to read my first color chart and again her instructions make this knit super easy and fun.

Now the crux. Double pointed needles and I do not get along. I have an issue with keeping the tension between the needles then throwing in colorwork on top of it was not a good mix. I knitted this first mitt as my swatch, to get a feel for the pattern and how my tension was with the double pointed needles.

I extended the cuff by 5 rounds to make it longer… personal preference. The tension was a bit too tight which I figured would be the case. Not too sure what happened and made that wobble appear on the thumb… oops.

I was beyond thrilled to have it finished and how easy I found following a color chart to be. It was great practice but keeping the tension with double pointed needles and working with multiple colors… I found it maddening. So this second go round I went up one needle size and decided to pitch the double pointed needles and go with magic loop instead. What a difference and I am only just on the cuff…

I did an extra row after casting on and then started on the colorwork. So far I can feel a huge difference with the size. The tension feels even and I am able to work it up quick while keeping the tension even across the piece. I am excited to get to the flowers and see how differently it works up on magic loop.

I should have known to start out with magic loop vs double pointed needles. Even when working sleeves I will opt for working on circular needles or magic loop, anything to stay away from those dreadful dpns… but I wanted to give the pattern a try in it’s original form before I went off and made adjustments for my style of knitting.

Anyway… there is my two cents. This pattern is amazing. I cannot wait to finish these mitts up and start on the cowl. Beautiful pieces easy to follow patterns. If you are new to colorwork this is a good challenge starter.

I would love to hear about your experiences with double pointed needles, knitting, colorwork…. do you have any knitting quarks/tricks that make it easier for you?