Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yarn Review - KnitPicks Stroll Sock Yarn offers a lot of very reasonably priced yarns. Among them is their sock yarn, known as Stroll. Their solid color, multicolor, and glimmer (silver sparkle spun into the fiber) yarns come in balls of 231 yards each, so you'll need at least 2 for a pair of socks. Their Tonal and Hand Painted versions of this yarn come in 462 yard hanks, so you'd only need one of those for one pair. The price range on this yarn is between $3.50 and $11.00. Compared to most other brands that cost somewhere within the $15.00 to $20.00, that is a very competitive price! They're 75% wool and 25% nylon, and they're machine washable!

The color selection for this particular yarn is very good, with the only really limited color selection coming from the multicolor and glimmer versions. There is something for nearly every color preference out there in this yarn! They also offer a version that you can dye yourself to any color you please.

Now, how does it measure up?

I'm notorious for being very hard on footwear. And when I knit socks, I knit them to wear them, not to hang around in my sock drawer and look pretty. So, I've knit up a few pairs of socks in this yarn and have put them through the same punishment anything that goes on my feet endures. The results actually kind of surprised me.

After a full 8-9 hour day at work they had little to no felting. They went through the wash just fine and didn't seem to lose much of their dye in the process of washing. Several more wearings and washings later, they're still not showing much for felting or general deterioration. The color is still bright, the fiber is still soft, and there has been only a slight amount of felting along the back of the heel where my heels rub on the backs of my shoes, as well as a little under the foot. Those very slightly felted areas feel a little stiffer than the rest of the sock, but it has not made the sock uncomfortable or in any way fit poorly.

If you haven't tried KnitPicks Stroll sock yarn, then I encourage you to give it a shot. With a wide selection of colors, you're sure to find something you like. Their sock yarn has received a rating of 4 out of 5 stars by members of Ravelry, but I personally give it a solid 5 out of 5.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Attempting to lay claim to what is already mine

I did take down my two crochet patterns some time ago. I have gotten a lot of requests to either return them to the site or to send digital copies upon request. By what seems to be popular demand, I restored one of the patterns and will restore the other one later.

What upset me through this process, however, is that people were making some comments that suggested I was misleading people. Not that these patterns cost money in any way, and I have never attempted to deceive anybody in any way on purpose. One comment that struck me, though I know the commenter had not meant true harm or ill will in what was said, is that, because my 8-pointed round ripple pattern was available in Ravelry's database, yet it brought people to a dead link, I was being misleading. I feel a need to clarify something.

I didn't create the entry of my pattern into Ravelry's database. I AM a member of the site (username is CatnipTrinket there), but I didn't submit my pattern to them. Someone else did. As a result, the best I could ever do was be a "volunteer editor" for the pattern. At first, that apparently didn't give me any freedom to make necessary changes if they needed to be made, such as the removal of the pattern from Ravelry, or anything else. It wasn't until recently, as a "volunteer editor" that I apparently have any control over what you see there. And I did, in fact, go in and make some changes as soon as I had the authority to do so.

The pattern is still not linked to my own account on the site, and I don't have full freedoms over it. I have sent a message to someone on the site's staff in hopes of taking full control of my pattern, so that if anything ever changes in the future, I can make sure it gets changed there. And, also, if I were to want to link up any other patterns of mine to their database, I could actually do that. I've yet to hear back.

So, if you were wondering why the pattern was still available on Ravelry, but I had deleted it here, that was why. I just had no control over it at all to now. I'm sorry that there was any confusion.

8-Pointed Round Ripple

Back by popular demand. I didn't realize people liked this pattern so much...

8-pointed Round Ripple Afghan

There isn't much that's different from one round ripple to another except for how the center is created. This pattern's center creates 8 points, which was something I had not seen anywhere at the time this pattern was created.

Materials needed:
Worsted weight 4-ply yarn in any brand (Red Heart Super Saver and Caron One Pound - also known as Perfect Match - were used for my example)
Size H 5.0 hook (or size you prefer for best results)


Ch5, slip stitch into beginning chain to form a ring

Row 1: Ch2, 12 hdc into ring, slip stitch to top of first ch2 to join

Row 3: Ch3, dc into same stitch, 2dc into next stitch and each stitch around, slip stitch to first ch3 to join a ring - 24 dc

Row 3: Ch5, skip next 2 dc, sc into next dc, ch5, skip next 2 dc, ch5 round to first ch5, slip stitch to first chain of ch5 to join - 8 ch5 spaces

Row 4: Slip stitch into first ch5 space, ch3, 2dc into space, ch2, 3dc into same space, (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch5 space repeating around to first ch3, slip stitch to join - 8 (3dc, ch2, 3dc) points

Row 5: Slip stitch into next dc, ch3, dc next dc, (3dc, ch 2, 3dc) into first ch2 space, dc into next 2 dc, skip next 2 dc, dc into next 2 dc, (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space repeating around, slip stitch to top of first ch3 to join

Row 6: Slip stitch into next dc, ch3, dc into next 3 dc, (2 dc, ch2, 2dc) into next ch2 space, dc into next 3 dc, skip next 2 dc, dc into next 3 dc, (2dc, ch2, 2dc) into next ch2 space repeating around, slip stitch into top of first ch3

Continue on with the pattern in this way until it's as large as you want it. Make sure that once you've slip stitched to join the rows that you then slip stitch into the next stitch. As you go, be sure to alternate the number of double crochets in your "shells" (the "shells" are the series of stitches places into the chain 2 spaces on the points). The pattern begins with 3dc, ch2, 3dc, then switches to 2dc, ch2, 2dc, and then should switch back to 3dc, ch2, 3dc on the next row, and so on. This will ensure that you don't get any an uneven puckering effect in your blanket.

If you find that your work is not laying flat, I recommend going up a hook size or two. This will generally correct that issue.

This is a FREE pattern for your personal use ONLY. It is not to be sold in any way. Appropriate actions will be taken against anyone found to be selling this free pattern in any form.