I'm about to turn the second heel of these Stranded Show-Off socks in a Zauberball. It's hard to put it down now that I see how lovely these colors look in this pattern. The Regia Hand-Dye Effect really did the pattern an injustice to me. When the yarn's a dream, the whole sock knitting experience is a dream as well.
I also finished Hannah Thissen's Slow Knitting. I like what ideas and values that this book fosters. As a long-time lurker of knitting blogs over the years it was exciting to see the profiles of names I recognised (like Bare Naked Wools, Brooklyn Tweed, Jill Draper Makes Stuff, etc). It was a little difficult reading this book in the format that I did (I'm talking about on a Kindle app, on an Ipad), but it's a recommended read if you're interested in source-conscious, sustainable wool and the mindset of slow knitting.
The book wasn't enough to completely assuage my knitting-related impatience--I look at my stash feeling anxious excitement about seeing what they'll look like knit up. Sometimes I stay up late knitting something just because I want to make some arbitrary knitting 'checkpoint' so it can be further along. The concepts resonated with me, though. After some digestion (and a few completed projects) I might be a Slower Knitter in due time.
What are you reading right now? What are you excited about knitting?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
This trip was sorely needed. Nick knows to take me to a very tall forest if I need to remember who I am. Thanks for being here for me.
Less talking, more knitting, right? A wip post, at long last.
On the circular needle was (was! finished it recently and haven't taken it off yet!) an improvised beanie using the Brooklyn Tweed loft yarn Nick bought me at Knit Purl..back when we braved unsalted Portland roads last winter for some yarn tourism.
The yarn is lofty and fluffy. The crunchy bits of dry grass between the plies add a touch of..authenticity I guess. I would consider shelling out for a sweater quantity someday, when I think I'm worth it.
I've had the yarn for this Hue Shift Afghan project for almost a year now. It's nice to finally cast-on and see what the fuss was about. This is my first mitred square project and I'm happy to know that I had little reason to feel as intimidated by the method as I was all this time.
My concern currently? Mostly, running out of yarn before I make it all the way through this blanket. A lot of knitters on Ravelry have complained that knitpicks cut it a little too close to the yardage for comfort. I'm doing what I can by avoiding breaking the yarn as much as possible but we'll see.
This has been finished for quite some time, but I hadn't photographed it until very recently--after some attempts to make it a part of my wardrobe this year I decided this belonged to one of my more fashionable friends for Christmas this year.
I don't really remember what my experience was like knitting it. I didn't encounter any glaring difficulties in the pattern itself, but I did get a little careless at one point and worked to many repeats of a few of the sections. It gave me a larger, prettier fabric but wasn't faithful to the intent of the original design.
While it's not lacework, I'm happy to say that I've made something that I didn't think I would--a shawl. Thankfully this doesn't need the intense sort of blocking a super lacy, feminine shawl would have needed, I probably wouldn't have made it in the first place if that were the case.
I hope the recipient likes this gift! She and I agree on wardrobe color palettes for the most part, and I look forward to how she makes this a part of her already nice wardrobe.
The second LYS I visited was the
on E. Windmill Ln. From the look of it, this shop has been around for quite some time. I think I recall being told that until Mirage Fiber Arts opened its doors it was the only one in Vegas for a while.
I had the immediate feeling that the people relaxing and knitting were all good friends, and was greeted as if I was a part of that circle too.
I can't tell you how at home I felt here! I said I was looking for some sock yarn, and everyone there sounded off with great suggestions of what was in stock! It may have been for that reason that I wasn't even entirely sure who was the owner of Sin City Knits, it was like everyone was at home, I was a guest, and there happened to be a ton of yarn around. The atmosphere is too charming here.
Thanks for such an enjoyable visit, Sin City Knit Shop! If anyone's in the area and are looking for workshops, classes, events and the like, or simply a place to knit, chat and find squishy skeins to adopt, the Sin City Knit Shop is a great bet.
Second sock syndrome successfully prevented. I think I made a good call on knitting these one-at-a-time. It helps me better focus on each sock's different pattern. It still feels like a bit of a waste to have just one sock being worked on a long circular needle, so, in spite of my renewed fear of snapping another thin needle while on the go...
..so I moved these onto dpns, and...
..casted on my second pair of scrap ankle socks. Scrankle socks. These are made using Brittney Elbertson's Go to Shortie Socks pattern. She originally wrote these for a small diameter circular needle (which is a fantastic idea! Someday.) But I wanted these both knit at once for some semi-identical socks. It feels like the way to make the best look out of a random and usually horrific color scheme you often get with yarn scraps.
It thankfully took only a few minutes to learn how to start cuff-down socks with a magic loop, as the method turned out to be super simple. Definitely an easy addition to any knitter's arsenal of skills.
Brittney's pattern is very well laid out and simple to follow. She took care to make these socks easy to adapt to your favorite sock knitting method. It all is coming out to be a quick and portable knit. I plan to use these (and all of my scrap ankle socks) for exercise. Scrap socks sit in the perfect place on the spectrum between specially hand-knit, but also un-precious enough to absolutely beat up on the daily run.
While on my thanksgiving weekend trip to Las Vegas with Nick, I took advantage again of Ravelry's fantastic LYS finder resource and found two shops to visit.
The first was Mirage Fiber Arts on S. Buffalo drive. The moment I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the ladies knitting on those adorable rocking chairs.
Their full walls suggested a generous and well curated selection of squishy yarns. I spent most of my time there handing skeins of alpaca or mohair to Nick and insisting that he squeeze and appreciate them.
While convincable, I was mostly on the hunt for something more local than the usual staples of Malabrigo or Berocco, and found what I was looking for.
A skein of Nerd Girl Yarns Swagger in "I Ain't Nobody's Bitch", and Ethereal Fibers' Dark Matter Sock, a 70/20/10 Merino/Yak/Nylon yarn, which is unfortunately not the most well catalogued yarn on Ravelry.
I'm learning, however, that the wonderful thing about picking up a yarn without an existing and well-documented record of projects online is that my project will definitely be a nice little surprise to see all knit up. I'm not entirely sure now the Swagger Yarn will turn out, so I'm probably going to let it have its say on a vanilla sock or something. (Or maybe give the Stranded Show-Off pattern another try?) I'll share my second LYS experience with you very soon! For now, I've got an Ease sweater to finish weaving in and blocking.
GD is 53" wide and about 57" long now! I'm getting so impatient about finishing this blanket that I'm closing up the bottom edge and single crocheting the sides to feel like more 'finishing' is getting done I found a few skeins in an old plastic bag in a closet, so it's not time to bind off just yet.
After toiling on my NaKniSweMo project, I figured it was safe to actually try this thing on to see how the project was coming.
My first response seeing myself in a mirror in this thing was 'ugh, I look like a bag of sausages under a knit tarp'. Alright, I don't exactly have stellar self esteem here, but really--how big and comfy is too big and comfy for a sweater?
This is a really really comfortable garment to wear and all, but with these wizard sleeves and the waist-decreases that didn't seem to amount to very much at all on my figure, I'm beginning to think there's more to sweater sizing than, idk, carelessly matching the bust measurement in the pattern and just going for it.
Expecting some positive-ease to my sweater, I thought it was safe to do just that and get enough yarn for the Large size. 45" can work well with my 42" bust, but the waist on this thing is 37" (I'm something like a 32), explaining clearly why my sweater feels like a blanket with sleeves.
So where can I comfortably sit on the scale between snuggly and actually flattering? I can opt for a noble path of (UGH) unraveling this entire thing and casting on a medium size (39" but..I guess I can mod it)?
Or just finish this project that I'm itching to see done, wear comfortably (even if it's not a thousand percent form-fitting and flattering), and enjoy a size down on my next sweater project?
I'm pretty sure I can pull off a cute oversized-sweater + leggings sort of get-up anyway, but I also have this pressing feeling that the Good-Knitter-And-Someday-Maybe-Designer thing to do is to stop whining and just tink and redo the whole thing. Just to learn some weird important lesson about achieving "perfect results" in knitting, buddhist sand mandala style.
There's still a tiny bit of time left before my self-imposed deadline arrives. I think we all already know what the answer's gonna be.
I haven't posted about GD in a little while, and it's mostly been because I work on it extremely infrequently. I'm extremely grateful to the two kind ravelers who sent me their scraps, because therapy-knitting them these last few weeks (last week especially) had been a simple process. GD has grown to be 53in(~135cm) thanks to all your yarn scraps! That's about underarm height for 5'9" me, so I've still got a ways to go before it reaches a good enough length.
I'm only a tiny bit anxious to see this bound off, but it's for three little reasons here:
it's getting cold, and a trusty blanket we already use has had to be retired because it's disintegrating
I think I might be a product knitter
If it doesn't happen for another while, I won't sweat it. It's entirely gratifying to see how little stash I have to my name now (not counting planned-and-spoken-for stash). I've been unravelling the less relevant Bapsicrafts items (remember Ipod sleeves?!) to free up that kind of room. Also, needless to say, I broke my No Cotton rule eons ago, so this thing is gonna be interesting to see out of the dryer.
Updates of my other WIPs: (I know, I'm a bad non-monogamous knitter right now)
My scrap pair #1's done and has been bound off! I didn't weave in those ends yet, because one of the socks needs to be re-bound with something a little more stretchy. This is my remaining fingering-weight yarn (minus the 78 yards of my eggplant Regia), which will transform into my next scrap pair once the WIP-count's gone down a bit.
That last photo of my NaKniSweMo project here was completely frogged! I thought I would luck-out without swatching but I absolutely didn't. When I tried that WIP on over my shoulders to gauge how far I'd gone, the sweater fell through to the floor--it was absolutely massive. So after frogging the thing, I swatched like a good knitter, and sized down to a 5mm needle. Today marks finally reaching un-crinkly, brand new yarn, so it might be smooth sailing from here on out.
The Slide socks have unfortunately been ignored. I reached the heel flap on the first sock, and might not really attend to it until I'm on-schedule again with this sweater project.
With the holidays around the corner, I might consider going for a hand-knit round of gifts for my loved ones. An example: my Cocoon hat knit in time for Canada turned out to be too thick for comfortable on-ear headphone use for me, but will definitely be perfect for a friend of mine who lives somewhere cold (and prefers in-ears!)
I'll have to see how I'll handle other gifts, but I'm looking forward to joining the rest of the knitting community in a rush for midnight Christmas.
The Slide socks by Cookie A are a dream to knit up. I had seen a lot of her designs around ravelry and on various blogs and have wondered why her work has been so popular (besides the gorgeous designs, that is). If this pattern is enough to go by, she's got a way of making simple knitting stitches and conventions into impressive designs, and of explaining them clearly and flawlessly for even an uncertain beginner to comfortably follow along. I might have to queue up those ever-popular Monkey Socks sometime soon.
As for the Zen Garden yarn--it's easily the softest sock yarn I've had the privilege of working with to date, but I think the colorway shifts too aggressively for the purpose of this design. I'll likely keep knitting it, but another go at this project with a softly solid MadelineTosh might be in order in the future.
I'm participating in NaKniSweMo for a second year! This year's choice is Ease, a gorgeous pattern that has been sitting in my queue for a long time. I chose Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes Superwash in Mineral Heather, which looks even better in person.
|The colors are faaar more accurate in this photo than in the previous.|
pattern : my own
needle : US 1 [2.25mm]
size : 10"
Another sock down! I'm excited for this project to finally be done. I'm also taking this opportunity here to feature the new wooden sock blockers by The Loopy Ewe!
I've wanted a pair of wooden sock blockers for a while and the little cut-out sheep design won me over instantly when I saw them. It also helps me share FO news, because it's no longer a requirement to model these things and take awkward selfies to make blog posts happen.
I had the bright idea to not only go for a 3-to-1 rib leg, but also to try to knit until all of the yarn ran out. This thing bored me to death. My slide socks currently in progress are doing great work of keeping my interest as a contrast.
Unrelated but very exciting-- I've committed to two big knitting things for myself beginning this fall/winter. Last week, I ordered not only a sweater quantity of yarn for my NaKniSweMo project (more info on this next time), but I've also purchased my kit for a Hue Shift Afghan, which is gonna be a lot of fun to sink my teeth into! I've never knit a mitered square before, so I expect to really level up in knitting those things by the time that blanket's finished.
Do you have any challenging/exciting fibercraft things going on this season? Big NaKniSwemo plans? Stashbusting projects?
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.
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!
First stop was Yarns Untangled. This small shop is gorgeously lit and incredibly well curated, I wanted to bring every one of their skeins home.
My choice of yarn is Zen Garden Serenity 20, in a OOAK colorway. (Photos of these stash-quisitions were taken at R2, with a fantastic Spanish Latte).
My next stop was Romni Wools, which was an overwhelming experience. The first floor was absolutely brimming with yarn of all weights and colors!
I chose a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Sequoia colorway, entirely for sentimental reasons--for Nick and my first year, we visited the Sequoia National Park and had a fantastic and unforgettable experience. This was the perfect yarn to commemorate that experience and I had to get it, even if it betrayed my personal mission to grab local yarns while 'abroad'. Photos from that trip are coming soon for sure.
This skein's perfect and accurate hue is going to become a pair of How Come That Blood socks. With the gorgeous tree-knot like motif, making this match was a no-brainer. I also grabbed a circular needle, so I could get started on this pair on the flight back home, as well as to be able to have two magic loop projects going on at the same time. I'm glad I made that choice.
I also paid Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs a visit, and met its kind and quirky owner! His store was currently in the middle of a move about 6 doors west of the original location, with big plans to become a knit café! I refrained from taking any photos yet because of the hard work underway, but am entirely excited to drop by when I next come to Toronto. The world needs more knit cafe's. If you're in the area, do let me know how it turns out!