socks

fo : slide socks

Slide was a treat to knit. The non-identical but symmetrical pattern was knit using dpns, which offered a nice change of pace from my usual TAAT magic loop method. The easy flow from section to section in Cookie A’s pattern kept second sock syndrome at bay.

pattern : Slide by Cookie A
yarn : Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in an OOAK colorway
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]

size : M, 10”

These long lines were what drew me in. I was curious about what made Cookie A such a popular knitwear designer, especially for socks. The pattern was concise, with a clear and lovely layout. As a very visual person, layout is most of a pattern PDF’s value.

Little things like the inclusion of special stitch descriptions in the pattern were much appreciated for moments where I needed to remember how the hell to pull off a m1pR. Thanks to cookie’s conscientious design, I suffered no confusion or discomfort…except of course for that time that my needle just snapped in half and i had to move projects…but that’s not her fault!

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I enjoyed using the zen garden yarn, it’s an impossibly soft wool nylon blend. The subtle variegation of this yarn challenged this sock’s long lines but without bossing them around too much. It felt like an even push-pull of visual busy-ness.

If only this wasn’t so plushy and soft! I would wear these around much more often if I wasn’t so sure that these would just felt after just a dozen wears and washes.

fo : seahawk and rogue nilla socks

This pair of socks took a year to get off the needles because I was eyeballs deep in my projects at work. I still put the couple hundred odd stitches here and there to decompress when things were especially stressful, but it definitely did not progress as quickly as I had wanted.

pattern : Improvised
yarn : Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Fondo del Mar
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 10"

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pattern : Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes
yarn : SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Rogue
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 10"

My rogue nillas marched at a much faster pace but I was still pretty impatient about it. I cast these on while moving across the rogue river valley. I just had to start something, sitting shotgun on a road trip would otherwise have felt like a waste of valuable knitting time.

Recalling the experience of knitting these two pairs is almost embarrassing. It’s like I’ve become this results driven careerist about something that was initially supposed to be an ongoing process to feed my soul. When did my yarn stash and project queue become such a to-do list?

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While caring for and photographing these projects, I got to take in details I didn’t really notice as much when I was in the process of rushing to the finish line.

I had a chance to appreciate the little lightning bolts that took shape against the blue and lime green backdrop, like some storm on a little alien landscape.

The army-green and gem-violet spiraling up from toe to cuff remind me of sedimentary rock, taking ages to fall in line but always seeming to know the right place to sit—just like each one of these little colored stitches.

The simple texture of these knitting patterns allowed the variegated yarns to take center stage. Plain socks and multicolored yarns go together like milk and honey. No matter what you do, it pays off—it’s beautiful as a hank, and the result when knit up is inimitable.

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I also was very giddy about finishing with a rounded toe tin the Magic Loop style. Anyone close to me while I was wrapping up the toe became a captive audience to my lecture about how I’m basically knitting two little hats for my toes with this method. Sorry, friends. I owe you something for that.

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What if I honored these details while in the process of crafting them?
It probably wouldn’t have hurt to observe more while making them instead of rushing to mark something as done. I guess I knew that at one point in the process of crafting and documenting, I’d have that nudge again to be a little more present while turning fiber into wearables.

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A little bit of yarn is left over from these socks, and instead of being an angry completionist about it (I should have made the cuffs longer!) I might store them for a scrap blanket project of some kind to be able to cherish this lesson of mindfulness one more time.
That blanket project idea is a little further off in the future since I’ll need some more sock yarn in my stash to begin, but I’m open to learning about some pattern favorites. For now, Severien’s beautiful work in progress definitely comes to mind.

new home!

I’ve recently made the move here from blogspot. Pardon the dust while I correct any broken image links on previous posts!

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A quick update on the knitting front while I’m here—my Rogue Latte socks are progressing, and I just might have these done before the month is over. Just in time for the weather to get a little colder. This is being knit with SweetGeorgia Yarns’ Tough Love Sock, which seems nicely sturdy while still being soft on the hands while I work. It looks like I’ll have plenty left over after this pair is finished.

See you all next time!

wip: seahawk nillas, garter squish blanket

Here's what I find are hands-down needs for me as a knitter, at least for right now anyway.

  1. I absolutely need a pair of socks in progress at any given time.

  2. I need a mindless scrap-eating blanket knit going on in the background.

These are two such WIPs I've got going on to preserve the natural and right order of life in this apartment:

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This would be a pair of plain stockinette socks made from my first-ever purchased skein of Manos Del Uruguay yarn that I bought a year ago in my new favorite LYS, The Nifty Knitter. It's in Issaquah, WA which is decidedly not local for my Los Angeles-based self but the pleasant, inclusive spirit of that shop is enough for me to hold off on certain purchases until I make the flight/drive up there. I LOVE the place.

The hank of Alegria used

was full of surprises. I initially bought it as sort of a joke. In Seattle, I show myself up as an Angeleno in a lot of ways, like calling it The 405 instead of I-405, or sporting the accidental tan that one gets just from working so close to Venice Beach.

My plan was to make a Seahawks cowl or hat or something with this squishy yarn to help camoflauge me a little more effectively while in this city. I liked the concept for this fun little knitting project but wasn't really in love with this yarn at first--it looked cute as a hank but...as a sock or hat? I...dunno.

But then I had it wound into a skein. and then I casted on.

As someone who's a bigger fan of more muted looks, even for things like socks, I might have to eat my mean words about yarns like these. Variegation and stockinette go together here like --this project is gonna be really cute, and when done and worn, I might pass as a Seattleite from 100 or so yards away in them (but not much closer than that).

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This guy over here is a Garter Squish Blanket in progress, right now being made with a combination of gifted red heart worsted, and some other big-box craft store yarn. It feels really hypocritical to cast on such a thing after reading something like Slow Knitting, but I don't know! They're gifted! I'm filled with knitter's guilt, and they need to be something!

On top of that it just feels good to have something mindless to work on while watching something in the living room. This blanket will probably need to have the crap kicked out of it in a dryer before it's amenable to touch, but I respect and value its role in the WIP rotation. The mindless trash blanket will probably be here to stay.

fo : clarke, rhubarb show-offs

2017 has been a year focused on a lot of other things, like the surprising turn my career took, the first apartment I moved to (with a partner I never thought I would meet and grow with). I lost a lot of good knitting time this year being swept up with a lot of that but still managed to get a few things off the needles.

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The problem (?) with taking so long to blog about something you've knit is that it's likely that you've already spent some time incorporating them into your life and putting them into use.

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pattern : Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

yarn : Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Cobblestone Heather and Garnet Heather

needle : US 6, 7 [4-4.5mm]

size : 40

My Clarke sweater's already a little rough around the edges. I haven't really felt the push to block the garment to make this look as attractive as possible for the blog, I hardly even wove the ends in! As soon as it was bound off I wore it and continued to whenever the weather deemed it appropriate to. It can't be that heretical to admit that, right? I don't block that often at all!

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The first pullover I knit was a Jane Richmond pattern. It was such a simple and enjoyable process that I sank my teeth into the Clarke pattern expecting the same straightforward, highly customisable design. I was not disappointed and might make another sometime in the future. So far the Swish Worsted has been soft and very comfortable--no scratchiness at all. One issue I see is that it pills quite a bit. The pilling makes me wonder whether this batch of skeins I bought from knitpicks would suffer the same unfortunate fulling effect post-wash that I read complaints about on ravelry. It would suck to see such a fate from a sweater I love this much.

pattern : Show-Off Stranded Socks by Anne Campbell

yarn : Regia Hand-Dye Effect in Rhubarb

needle : US 1 [2.5mm]

size : medium, 10"

This whole sock project was a nightmare, and it was entirely because of the yarn. I had this in the time-out pile since 2014 and didn't pick it back up until 2016. I was determined to finish it. Ignoring the general convention of knitting both socks with the same types of needle to ensure gauge is the same, I just picked some aluminum dpns and sped through the last sock.

With the frustration of the yarn behind me, I can enjoy these gorgeous colors and how the Anne Campbell's pattern has let them shine. To give the pattern a good faith effort once more with less annoying yarn, I casted on once more with a Zauberball skein instead. Anne Campbell kicked ass with this design.

wip: slide & perfect fit short socks

After completing the Garden TAATs, I made it my mission this Socktober to cast-on two projects: an ankle sock scrapbusting project series, and a more involved sock project from my queue.

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I've made it an idle goal for a long time to own only hand made socks a long time ago (with the exception of Muji's adorable recycled yarn ones), but it hurt my soul to go running or working out with precious merino cabled ones. The solution presented itself the moment I took a detailed inventory of my Ravelry stash. Working on these toe-ups with the help of ArtDesign1's pattern, I intend to find a straightforward and fun method that will comfortably fit. I've enjoyed the nostalgia of knitting up yarns from past projects, and am excited to see how they clash together (though my current one looks pretty deliberate in color scheme).

As for the second list item, I went for Slide by Cookie A. Those socks look absolutely gorgeous and will definitely give this product knitter something to chew on and learn some patience. With these cooling(?!) southern California months, I've really been chomping on the bit for more wool and more FOs, so here's to slowing down and taking it one stitch at a time.

This post is part of Ginny Sheller's Yarn-Along. Click on the image above and share what you're working on!

wip : garden TAATS + teamlab

My garden TAAT socks are moving very slowly as usual! I cast on in May on our way to Silicon Valley, with the grand expectation of completion before our return to Los Angeles 4 days later. When there's a lot to see up there, sitting down long enough to knit a pair of socks is too tall an order to complete, no matter how long you're expecting to be in transit.

Lesson learned (and due to be re-learned).

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Now, I'd be thrilled if these socks were finished in time for a brand new Socktober project. As of this moment, I'm past the heel turn and on the cuff, so with a good book and a heat pack for hand soreness, I just might make it.

Speaking of the quick trip to the bay area, here's a tiny sample of what all was photographed there. The experience at the Teamlab exhibit was absolutely magical.

See you next time, and let me know what your plans are for Soctober and NaKniSweMo.

places : solvang, santa barbara

Nick and I decided to celebrate our 6-month weekend by making a two-hour drive over to Solvang, CA. I took on navigating and shotgun-knitting responsibilities for the ride. An absolute burden, I know.

Coming along with me were my Two-at-a-time Toe-Ups on the magic loop bought while on my stop in Ashland, Oregon. (I regret not properly documenting that awesome little LYS adventure!) It's awesome to not have to worry about a tiny DPN falling right out of my project and falling into the crumb-filled crevice between the seats! Seriously people, if you are a victim of stopping mid-project to fish through crap for your lost DPNs, learn magic loop. It just might change your life.

I've only been to Solvang once in the last decade or so, but distinctly remembering getting to feed ostriches. So when I saw this big obnoxious OSTRICHLAND! sign, we had to stop to feed those god awfully ugly yet fascinating living dinosaurs. The feeding bowl + dust pan combination is a little high-tech for my tastes, but I did my best to grasp that we were living in an advanced age.

Anyway. Solvang! Big beautiful horses! Delicious food! Walking!

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And, wait, did I just hear you say there were yarn shops here? Fuck all else, let's go there.


Village Spinning and Weaving would be number one of two that I knew of in Solvang. The moment I smelled that wool I knew I was home.

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Despite the cosy space of this particular shop, there was quite a nice selection of yarns at Village Spinning and Weaving. I was most impressed by the gorgeously cushy skeins of local undyed alpaca offered by the shop itself. Next time I come around here it's in my plan to get at least a sweater quantity's worth of the stuff. Those colors are what I'm all about for garments.

Because of my recent interest in my very own Operation: Sock Drawer, I had only an interest this trip to acquire nice fingering weight stuff.

Wildfoote is a very new line to me, so I opted for a pair of skeins in each of these two lovely muted colors here. I promised Nick that I would make one of these into a pair of socks for him, but I haven't decided which color to reserve for myself (or, let's be honest, whether or not these both will just end up as selfish knits).

I also learned about the wealth of locally sourced alpaca available here. Here was a gorgeous palette of undyed sweater quantities just calling my name. Some even had the name of the animal sheared for the skein. These I will have to come back for when I make the room in my stash bin.

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The next shop that I insisted we visit was Rasmussens, which on the first floor features gifts and toys, but offered fabrics and crafts supplies upstairs.

The modest space was put to good use--everywhere I turned there were gorgeous linens and colorful yarns, as well as many vintage pattern books and magazines.

I was dead-set on whatever sock yarns there were on offer, and came across a little basket right in the center of a glass display labelled SALE. I think two out of these three were discontinued. They're gonna make great additions to my future collection of self striping/scrap ankle socks.

After those two yarn-shops were checked off my list of must-see places, we just strolled around until we were tired. The day ended with lounging on a beach in Santa Barbara to watch the sun set.

fo : zwerger nillas

FO Zwerger Nillas This has been a long-overdue post but here are my Zwerger Nillas all finished. I mostly worked through this pair while on the holiday road-trip to Washington with Nick and it's been a relaxing, if at times boring project to have had at hand.

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pattern : Zwerger Nillas by Susan B. Anderson
yarn : Zwerger Garn Opal Ladies & Gentlemen in Significant
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 9.5

I revisited Susan B. Anderson's very trusty (and free!) cuff-down sock pattern for this one. I think I'll memorise the pattern after just one more future sock project. As always it is an absolute pleasure to allow a self-striping yarn express itself in such a minimal sock pattern. I believe in hand-knit socks relating to each other as siblings rather than twins, and the look of this sock yarn all knit up holds up really well as evidence for my conviction.

The yarn is Zwerger's Opal (hence the very creative name), an unfortunately discontinued yarn I bought as a souvenir from the cozy Ippikin in Much Wenlock. Holding these socks take me back to my walk in the rain to that little shop and how much warmth was felt through their lively conversation and helpfulness. Thanks again, Lesley for being such a fantastic host!

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To finally have these finished is to be able to fully commit to seeing these naughty Rhubarb socks see their end on my needles. Expect a post soon announcing their long-awaited status as an FO.

wip: rhubarb + another stash acquisition

GD is a joy to see progress and all, but it's past the point of being really hot and cumbersome now, so I've been gravitating hard toward this nice and portable kindle-friendly sock project.

The Rhubarb socks are slowly growing, I'm pretty sure I'll hit the 75% mark by the end of this coming week. I'm aching to get these off the needles and on my feet already. Metal or plastic needles might help lower the frustration level of this project, but I have this entirely irrational need to finish these socks with the same needles with which they were stared. That way it'll know who's the boss, right?

Oh, and about that new Regia skein! A good knitter friend and I were driving over to a café for some sketching and she reminded me that A Major Knitwork was just a block up from where we were that very second. We just had to check it out. I saw that particular skein in those particular colors, and just needed to see those become a part of my sock drawer. Me and this yarn? We're meant to be. That's all to really say on the matter.

rhubarb socks, take II

This regia hand-dyed sock wip has been in the time-out pile (as its only resident) for over a year and a half. Now that I've finished my last sock project, this might be the time to give this one another chance and see it through to finish. I have some frustration to look forward too with this stupid yarn, but the final result is guaranteed to be absolutely beautiful. So here goes.

fo: lassie

 
So Lassie is finally finished! It was actually finished months ago, but I took my sweet time to get around to posting about it. This pair needed some time to be off the needles, but it turned out alright.

pattern : Lassie by Jennifer Beever
yarn : Patons North America Kroy Socks in Flax
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 9.5


Solids were definitely the right choice for a project with a pattern that's this busy. I'm glad I went for the Kroy SockFX in Flax. 
It took a sock project to be a little more certain of it but, yeah. I'm probably not a lace knitter. Cables though? That's a kind of work that feels like it really pays off in the end, and with notably less fuss when it comes to blocking (I'm not even speaking as someone who had to deal with something like a wedding shawl either, just a mostly-stockinette sock)!

A NaKniSweMo project is underway currently, I'll post a little about it soon.

wips: lassie and GD + stash addition


The Lass socks are still happening. I thiiink I might not be much of a lace person right now, as I'm a little too nonchalant to make sure the pattern's made as intended. It's just too comforting a think to know that the sock will still be perfectly wearable, even if a yarn-over is off by a couple stitches, or some diamonds don't line up perfectly.

Blanket update! GD's been growing quite a bit! They're at 30cm now (about 12in). I've run out of worsted yarn, so the smaller quantities of fingering weight have been held double for some of the more recent stripes. I've been making a lot of works for shop for the sole purpose of using the leftover yarn in the blanket, so many things are in stock and ready to ship when ordered!

If you have any yarn scraps (anywhere between 1-25m) sitting around your home that you want to get rid of, don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d be happy to repay the cost of postage to you as thanks. At the rate I’m knitting regular projects with my tiny stash, this blanket might not be done for another...decade, so I’d love to help take care of your yarn stash too! Acrylics are preferred but I won’t say no to animal fibers or wool-blends. GD’s already a healthy mix of both so I won’t mind at all. Just no cotton please!
Speaking of stash yarn, I went out and bought a pair of skeins for my first shawl pattern. I’ve been thinking a lot about which yarn to use for a shawl I intend to wear often, and while the fine wools at our LYS’s would be a joy to knit, dryer-ability would have to be the key for me. Heartland seemed like the best bet for now. I’m planning to use the Stingray pattern by Evan Plevinski. This pattern's been sitting in my queue for months now and am excited to start on this once Lassie’s finished (let’s just disregard the existence of my Regia Handpainted sock for now…I'm still trying to forgive its frustrating splitty yarn after all this time).
So this concludes my personal knitting update for now. It has really been one hell of a stashbusting month for me. I’ve been piling up some charity knits from the more obnoxious looking yarns people have been donating to me over time, expect a update about those once I’ve successfully eliminated that stash.

fo: bapsi's first pullover

This has been such an indecisive project for me toward the end. Picking the pattern and yarn was a breeze. getting the knitting done? that hardly took a month to (mostly-will explain later) complete. But photographing it? Declaring it truly done? That’s been a completely different story.


pattern : Ladies Classic Raglan Pullover
yarn : Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in Nature’s Brown
needle : US 7, 8 [4.5 mm, 5.0 mm]
size : 44"
I finished this sweater in late 2013. Yep. Twenty. THIRTEEN. In November. I hadn’t taken any FO photos, so Jason and I decided to just have a small forest hike/photoshoot while I was over in England. We did hike, yes. We saw miles of forest. We were just a 20 minute walk (if that) away from the woods on any given day. I stayed there for 6 whole months. Still no photoshoot, still no post about this being finished.
The reason for that is tiny, but a nagging one—

I couldn’t decide how long I really wanted these sleeves, so I left that bit of yarn hanging..just in case. Over a year and about 12,000 miles of travel later, I decided to just relax and finally make the decision. The sleeves are absolutely fine, and I’ll just let them be.
World, Bapsi’s first pullover. Bapsi’s first pullover, world.

BFP was a joy to knit if I remember it well. I felt very proud to have such a large WIP in my lap for those three or so weeks. I did have to redo the very beginning bit several times before getting it just right, but it was to be expected since I’d never made a sweater before. The rest was absolutely simple—just one big stockinette tube after another, with very gentle shaping around the waist and sleeves.

It lead me to learn about just how not-a-big-deal sweaters and larger garments really are at their core. It’s the same concept we do with hats and socks and the like. You increase sometimes, you decrease sometimes, you pick up stitches every now and then. The only difference between this and a hat is that you’re working with a much larger stitch count. And maybe you’re seaming a lot more than you might be used to (this particular pullover was seamless—thanks Jane Richmond!), but the core of it's really simple.
If you’ve never knit anything like this before, I highly recommend Jane Richmond’s pullover pattern. The way she’s handled sizing is super approachable and easy to read. I even printed copies of the worksheet well in advance because I’m confident I will knit from this pattern again and again in the future.

As for the Lassie sock, it's practically knitting itself! There are some parts that I completely ruin the pretty lace pattern but I'm just gonna accept those little mess-ups and move on. It's amazing enough for me to see a sock happening in my hands. I can't wait to see these done and in action. Already thinking about which yarn to knit with next.

fo: jason's domino socks


yarn : Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in Domino
needle : US 1[2.25 mm] 
size : 10
I've got just one word to sum up this project--FINALLY.
The gradation is just beautiful. I hope these fit him. For the time I spent frogging and re-doing, I really really hope these fit him considering the distance this pair of socks will have to travel to get to him.


Have I mentioned the gradation is just gorgeous? I'm glad I didn't fuss over making sure they match for identical socks. These socks individuall work great as brothers, rather than not-quite-perfect twins.This second picture offers colors that are a little bit more true-to-life.


I also made another addition to the personal stash. This is Patons Kroy Socks in the Flax colorway. I knew they were my shade the moment I saw them. I'm thinking of something with a simple and reliable look, like the Mr. Pitt's Socks by Kaitlyn Wong. I may have been down due to the nerve injury, but I'm certainly not out. I'm going to get my full drawer of hand-knit socks sooner or later.

What about you? Got any goals for sock-knitting? Knitting in general?