Thursday, April 28, 2016

How I knit Socks | #1 Casting on and Toe increases

I'm not going to lie. I'm surprised that I turned out to be a sock knitter...

My first project, I bit off more than I could chew (okay I could chew it but turns out I didn't want to) when I knit a knee high silk stocking for my first sock project. There is one finished about second sock syndrome. I don't think I'll ever spend the 100+ hours to do the other. Oh well.

After that, I decided that I should only ever knit socks 2 at a time so I went for 2 socks, toe up on a circular needle. Success! Those socks don't fit that well but I did finish them. Hooray!!

Then, my husband (then boyfriend) asked for a pair. Coming off of the sock high from my previous finished paid I said YES!! That was 2007. For Christmas of 2014, I got a bee in my bonnet to finish them and give him quite a surprise. You see, it had been a joke for sooooo many years that he was convinced that I would never finish them. But I did! Holes and all...

That project is actually what got me out of a years long knitting lull and for that I couldn't be more grateful. Life comes in seasons and I am glad that I am back in a making one. is how I now knit my socks!

Casting On

This is ALWAYS tricky...but it is doable with patience and practice. It's finicky but gives a really lovely seamless toe. I use this video to help when I need a refresher. Apologies for the's the best I can do with my lens and filming on on own.

A word on the number of stitches to cast on - it doesn't matter and is totally your preference or at the discretion of your pattern. 10 is MY arbitrary number. The key is that you need to have the same number on both needles.

 Increasing for your Toes

Go slow with this because it's easy to drop those knit into the front and backs at the beginning and end of each row and I think it's hard to fix it when I drop them so I usually just start over. Again, I use this video when I need help!

Two (of many) toe shaping options:

 #1 Increase every row

This gives you a very short toe section, so it's good if you have short toes and if they kinda look like this shape. That being said, I don't have short toes and I kinda like the way that it fits. I tend to play around with both of these and not really care which I end up doing. I know. Helpful.

#2 Increase every other row
This gives you a longer, more elegant toe shape. Again, kinda base it off of your foot. I've made about half of my socks this way and I like the way it looks.

Another option is to kinda mix the two and do the first few rows every row and then switch to every other...the choice is yours!! It's your custom fit socks :)

So you will work on the toe increases until you have as many stitches as you need for your foot. This number is also a little arbitrary, but you will get an idea if you knit a gauge swatch. I tend to get 8 st. per inch and knit either 56 or 64 (or anywhere in between) socks for myself. The only way to know is to experiment. At least you can try these on your foot as you go and make adjustments if needed!

For my sock-along sock, I cast on 20 stitches (10 each needle as shown in the video). Then, I increased every round until I reached 64 stitches (32 on each needle) before starting my texture pattern for the sock body (more on that in the next post).

I really hope you find this helpful and that you knit socks along with me! I'm always knitting socks, and would be happy to help and to see your tag me on Instagram @antiquariabailey and use #calligraknittersockkal ;)


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Calligra-knitter Podcast Episode One

Y' a crazy person, I filmed myself talking to myself. I have been a lover of Video Podcasts for a long time. Working at home can be a lonely place and having a friendly voice and face is infinitely helpful, I think!

Anyway, yesterday on Instagram (I'm @antiquariabailey) I posted a video of me knitting. And realized just how many other calligraphers are knitters or making enthusiasts. I gave me the final nudge to film myself and see if I could possibly tie all of my scattered interests together. I'm not sure that I succeeded at all but hey, at least I tried ;)

I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to comment or email or ping me on IG with questions for the show or things that you'd like to see. bailey(at)shopantiquaria(dot)com

Show notes:

Ravelry - I am amondesignlab

My stationery business is Antiquaria

I learned calligraphy, here.
I learned to knit, here.


-Home & Away by Hannah Fettig -Lesley in Quince and Co. Osprey (Clay) and Sycamore Vest in Quince and Co. Chickadee (Gingerbread)

-Videos I use to knit my socks (using Paton Kroy, color way Cadet Colors)
-Hypatia (by Dawn Catanzaro) in Quince and Co. Owl (Berent's Sea)

-Bailey's Recipe Sweater. Based on this sweater. This and this are others that I've made previously.


Currently studying with Master Penman Harvest Crittenden of Acorn Arts

Spencerian Examples can be found at
California Workshop with James Fazz Farrell
My collaboration friend Schin Loong (aka Open Ink Stand) is AMAZING and has a wonderful website full of calligraphy tips and videos. @openinkstand on IG

-Peerless Oblique
-Nikko G Nib
-Moon Palace Sumi Ink
-Rhodia Paper
-Printer/scanner is an old Brother MFC-6490CW (has a large flatbed and I LOVE IT)
-Digitize in Adobe Illustrator

Making/Growing ALL THE THINGS...

Raglan Top from Purl Soho
Stowe Bag by Grainline Studios and Fringe Supply Co
Scout Tee by Grainline Studios
Merchant and Mills Top #64
Darling Ranges Dress by Megan Nielsen

Fancy Tiger Crafts-local yarn/fabric shop. A MUST SEE if in Denver

In the Kitchen:

Orange Ginger Vodka
-zest from ~7 oranges (I used Cara Cara and Blood Oranges)
-Slivers of ginger to taste
-Titos Vodka

Mix everything in a jar until it's flavored and yummy! TBD b/c I've not made this before ;)

Meyer Lemon Jam with Kelly (@lovers.and.dreamers on IG)

Garden Journal

IG penpals:

Happy Knitting, Lettering, and Making ALL THE THINGS!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Garden Snapshot: Gopher Control Accomplished!

An overall shot! After 2 full days of work I finally have the "little garden" gopher-resitstant!!

I added in another raised bed...this time with aviary wire underneath so that the gophers can't invade. There is a smattering of herbs, along with strawberries and cucumbers in the middle!

I also added the same aviary wire on top of the entire middle section. In lieu of planting in the ground, I added these terra cotta planter and cocoa shell mulch over the wire.

I still haven't finished this back the gophers can still attack. Some have gotten in the back raised bed. Yikes! I decided to leave it for now and cross my finger that they don't get to my tomatoes and peas!!

New Alpine strawberries. I harvested this little guy and he was delicious!

 I can't help but love my nasturtiums. I no longer have any left in the ground...they are obviously a gophers favorite treat. They are now relinquished to pots.

They have been off to a bit of a rocky start...but the green beans have started climbing!

My new blackberry plant came with fruit! Now I just have to wait patiently to harvest the juicy berries.

Is this an orchid? is a geranium! 
I am head over heels with geraniums/pelargoniums and can't get enough. This one smell like mint (acutally kind of like Vicks Vapor Rub).

I'm exhausted and a bit sore from the garden overhaul this weekend...but I'm glad that it's done. My parents are in town and helped out tons in helping me get it all finished. I'm so glad that they are here to share the results with me. It's so lovely and peaceful in the garden now.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Before the Storm

 This evening after a lovely & sunny day, the thunder started rolling in over the mountains. The lighting outside was unreal and I decided to pop out and take some shots of the flowers (that are still left) in the garden.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Garden Muse

When asked to write about my garden mentor or muse...I was a bit stumped at first. Of course, I have some advisors that I can turn to in a pinch but I didn't really grow up learning about how to care for plants or a garden.

This lady changed it all.

Her name is Alys Fowler and her brilliant show "The Edible Garden" had me captivated. Have you seen it??

This is one of 6 episodes. I devoured them all. Back to back. It really made me excited to get out and put my hands in the dirt.

Since then (Jan. or Feb. of this past year), I have been striving to create a garden space of my own. 

Alys sparked the fire but Pinterest has helped fill my imagination. In the past few months, I've trolled and trolled for lovely images of other folks gardens, courtyards and patios. 

It's funny, when you don't really have any gardening experience or any specific person to turn's really hard to know where to start. For this, I turned to the awesome BBC series, "How to be a Gardener" with Alan Titchmarsh.

Now that I am having to re-invision my space (because of those pesky gophers), I'm leaning on Pinterest for ideas of how to create a beautiful space that will work for me, without being destined for ruin.

First of all, instead of mainly dirt, I will need to switch to mainly gravel and/or a bark mulch. Before I was planning much more of an English Garden feel.

I love how this is lush and mainly in raised beds. There is gravel covering all of the exposed areas. I also love the large decorative urns.

I am still determined to grow I will need to plant them in gopher baskets or pots.

On Pinterest? Follow me or my gardening board for more inspiration.

I also heavily rely on the blog-o-sphere for tutorials and advice. In the beginning of my research, I devoured back articles on You Grow Girl, Mr. Brown Thumb and Gardenista.

Apparently, it takes an online village to mentor & inspire a gardener. Without knowing any of them, they have meant more to me than they'll ever know.

This post was written in response to the prompt "Write about your garden mentor or muse", part of the Grow Write Guild on You Grow Girl.  It is the fourth prompt in the series.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Carnage & Starting Over

These past few weeks have been trying. Very trying.
The gophers (it has been confirmed) are attacking with a vengeance. They've pulled down into their holes almost every single gorgeous, blooming nasturtium that I planted. My beloved nasturtiums.

This area used to house my blooming nasturtiums. After taking these pictures...even more of the plants are gone.

In an effort to deter the gophers, I dug a trench and laid hardware cloth against the fence where they were entering. Did it work?

I am now re-drawing and re-planning the garden. I basically have to pull everything out...replant what isn't damaged in gopher baskets. I may add some additional raised beds as well, so long as they have hardware cloth underneath them. 

In better news, my near dying passionfruit vine has blooms! I've realized that the vine was probably munched by gophers. It's wasn't my fault!
I still will probably need to sacrifice her, but for now, I will enjoy the gorgeous blooms.

My gardening ideas have drastically changed over the past few weeks as my dreams of my "little garden" have crashed. I have been knocked down but am getting up and learning from this experience. I am re-focusing my attention and re-invisioning my dreams of this space.
I will report back soon!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Garden Snapshot | 4.22.2013

It's been warm & sunny here in Pasadena, CA now for months. I started gardening the first week of January. It's the first time that I've had my own garden and I've already learned a ton.

I've been documenting my progress since February and it's is so fun to see the progression & changes in the garden over the past few months.

My first garden snapshot was bleak compared to what the space looks like now but all I can see is the huge amount work still left to do.

Standing here, under one of the huge trees that shades the lawn, I can see my entire "little garden." It's in the space behind our garage and I've been cultivating it as a place to grow all of the flowers and vegetables that need lots of glorious sunshine (it's the sunniest spot on our property).

A lovely image...yes? But I see war. I'm currently battling gophers (or moles) that have been creating dirt mounds and holes. That have been eating and killing the vines along the fence that I've been trying to grow for privacy. I love critters...but geez guys, give me a break! Don't you know I'm new at this.

I see lots of questions. Should I be trimming off all of the runners on my strawberry plants? or do I want to keep some so that I can have new baby plants? Will they ever flower or just keep shooting off new runners? Why did the snap peas not sprout? Where should I plant all of these tomatoes?

I see worry. Will the gophers ruin everything? Am I pruning these tomatoes correctly? Am I watering enough?

 The nasturtiums are still my beloved. They've started blooming and are getting big! I can't believe how easy they were to plant and how well they're growing despite my ignorance. And the colors. Gorgeous reds, corals, oranges and yellows. 

My other claim to gardening success so far has been my cut & come again lettuce. It looks a bit shabby here...but it was just harvested last Friday (the second harvest). With any luck, we'll get another harvest very soon. 

Speaking of harvests...I look forward to harvesting these bad boys soon. I know that I should have pinched off the blooms to encourage growth but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Oh well. I plan on thoroughly enjoying my 5 homegrown blueberries.

This past weekend, we made a trip to the local ikea, and to OSH to transform our patio into a lounge. Ever since moving our outdoor dining table to the garden, this space has been sad & bare. 

No more! We spent all weekend hanging out, reading, chatting & having these cocktails around the fire pit. Pure weekend bliss.

And finally, my herb garden (rosemary, pineapple mint, spearmint, lavender, peppermint, thyme) is filling out nicely...although I think it may need some basil. You can never have too much...right?

This post was written in response to the prompt "Describe your garden right now", part of the Grow Write Guild onYou Grow Girl. It is the third prompt in the series.