Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Finally! My First Socks are Finished!

Ahh...I can finally type again. I wrenched my arm something terrible while patting myself on the back. I finally finished my very first pair of socks!

These were done on 2-cirs using Opal yarn. Very soft & oh, so comfortable! I think that these will go perfect w/jeans. I used a very basic pattern that I found from the Internet and I adapted them for 2-Cirs, and I also used the Sock Wizard software that I had gotten for my B-day & Mother's Day. I also had lots & lots of help from my new found friends Joansie & Lizzie. Thanks so much! I also had lots of help from the various on-line knitting groups that I belong to. What did we knitters ever do before the Net?

OK, OK...I know...I've been duly warned: "Sock knitting is addictive!"

Did I listen? Did I heed the warnings???

The answer: NO! I've already started another sock! It's a cotton blend called On-Line & this color is called Summer Beach. I bought this yarn last week...when I knew that I was getting close to finishing my first pair of socks!

Knitting Software Reviews

This is very long winded, but I’m reviewing 3 different knitting software, so I wanted to be sure to give enough detail about all of them. So, grab a cup of coffee or ice tea & read if you wish.

As a combination B-day & Mother’s Day gifts, I received lots of knitting software; (please see previous blog entry: Birthdays and Mother’s Day) Knitting Math Wizard, Sweater Wizard 3.0, & Sock Wizard, and I’ve been asked to write a review. Now, these are just my personal opinions about these items.

The Knitting Math Wizard, this is the one that I have used the least so far. My DH asked me if I liked it & if I had any use it? Well, this software has so much stuff it that it makes my brain hurt. LOL! This software looks like it’s excellent for making garments such as sweaters & vests & such.

It has tab buttons for;

Increase evenly, either vertically or horizontally, decrease evenly with the various methods available, such as “k2tog”, ssk, “p2tog”, ‘slip1, knit 1, psso”.

Then, it has dec. vertically, dec. horiz. & dec. on the diagonal.

There are tab buttons for “button hole placement”, “yardage”, “pattern placement” & “gauge” and it also has a tab for working “flat knitting” or in the “round”.

As I get back into knitting garments, I’m sure that this software will come in handy. I must admit, that I’m usually not the adventurous type when it some to knitting. Yes, I like to try new patterns & new techniques, but I like finding patterns that are already written out & I hope for the best.

The Sweater Wizard is pretty simple & straight forward, in other words, it didn’t make my brain hurt. It offers several types & styles of sweaters such as, on straight needles, in the round, from the top down & from side-to-side. It has different types of styles such as, “drop shoulder”, “modified drop”, “set-in”, “raglan”, “vest”, “shell”, “tuxedo vest”. I have used the Sweater Wizard to convert a pullover sweater to a cardigan. I liked the pattern of a pullover sweater; however, I wanted to make a cardigan.

The Sock Wizard is pretty slick. I’m a beginner when it comes to socks. The Sock Wizard offers wizards for socks on “4 DPN”, “5 DPN” & “2 Cirs”, “Cuff to Toe”, “Cuff to Toe”. Sock Wizard Patterns are available for infants, children, women, men & holiday stockings. Plug in you shoe size & it produces a pattern which can easily be exported into a Word document so that it can be edited. It also has tabs for designing different heels & toes & different ways of finishing the sock.

Now, a word to the wise, you need to check your gauge or you will not be able to use any of these softwares. The gauge is always required in order to proceed. I always made blankets, dishcloths, & scarves or other non-garment things, because I had such an aversion to figuring out my gauge.

All in all, I like all of my software and as I result, I finally knitting socks. The wizard makes it pretty easy to follow the pattern. There are some, but not a lot of photos as examples. I was disappointed that it did not include instructions for casting on socks on 2-Cirs, which is my preferred method, and it did not have instructions for the Magic Loop method, but it did have tutorials for DPN’s.

All the software programs have links that direct you to various free knitting groups that you can join & really get assistance if you should need it.

My Fair Isle Hat (Selbu Modern)