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Showing posts from 2016

May Day, May Day: Lifelines and Socks

I had hoped to show progress on a shawl I’m knitting using Knit Circus Opulence Yarn in Turquoise Pool.  

But a dropped stitch meant I had to rip back an entire lace repeat.  Quite frustrating, but I did learn a new skill – putting in a lifeline.  I could have ripped back a lot more if it hadn’t been for that trick.  Moving forward, I’m going to use lifelines for remaining lace. 
Since my last post, I’ve also ventured outside the sock realm.  I signed up for a sweater class at my LYS.  I’ve selected Purl Soho’sSweater Sweatshirt for my project.  I must say after the first class, I was a little discouraged.  I assumed that sweater knitting would be the same as socks or shawls: as long as I got gauge, I would be good to go.  But no.  Because my gauge is different than the pattern, I will need to make the smallest size, and the cast on number as well as the decreases will also be adjusted.  The instructor says it takes two or three classes before you understand how to modify patterns for …

Spring Cleaning – Whipping Out Shawl WIPs

I decided it was time for a little spring cleaning.  I had two shawls in different states of finishing: my Drops of Honey Shawl not started and Claire Randall Fraser one-quarter knit. The Drops of Honey shawl is the first installment of Indie Untangled’s Where We Knit Club, and since I knew the next installment was shipping May 1, I was motivated to cast on-cast off.

This is my first time using merino-silk yarn.It was quite the treat!The golden-honey hue is not one I would pick for my blue-grey-turquoise loving self, but I couldn’t be happier with the finished product.It’s a great neutral and can be paired with anything.My son, who was fascinated with this project, compared the shawl to honeycomb.Sounds like something an aspiring knitter would say.

Besides the merino-silk fiber, this is also my first time knitting a Janina Kallio pattern.But it won’t be my last.In the meantime, I’m woefully behind on my Among Friend’s Outlander Club knitting.We’re in year two of the club, and I’m working…

Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You

Happy Star Wars Day!

There’s been an abundance of Star Wars themed yarn this year, and I have fallen for many of them.  After completing my Brandy Milk Punch socks, I cast on a new pair using Two SistersYarn Company’s These Are Not The Droids You're Looking For.  

I stumbled across this skein in February on Etsy.  It was the only one left, and it's dyed on their Canyon Creek MCN Base, which is 80% superwash merino wool, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon.  The striping sequence is five rows R2-D2 blue followed by Storm Troopers white, Millennium Falcon grey, Chewbacca brown, BB-8 orange, and the First Order black.  I have completed two repeats, and I'm loving the color combinations.
And speaking of droids, Must Stash Yarns is having a Star Wars KAL.  To determine my allegiance – Empire or Rebels – I took a quiz.  And it looks like I’m going to knit for the Dark Side.  My skein of Rey arrived in the mail this week, but I’m going to cast on using R2D2. 

And in other non-socking knittin…

NoLA Knitting with French Market Fibers

I was in New Orleans last week.  The city inspired me to cast on a new pair of socks using French Market Fibers, a New Orleans-based indie dyer.  This fingering weight yarn is a blend of merino and cashmere, and it’s the creamiest thing I have ever knit with, much like the cocktail for which it’s named. 
I had never heard of Brandy Milk Punch, but I saw it listed on the drinks menu at dinner one night.  So I tried it.  It won’t become my signature drink, but Brandy Milk Punch yarn could possibly become my signature color. 


I always thought knitting with neutrals would be boring, but not so with this yarn.  The color has so much depth and dimension.  And the yarn mirrors the drink perfectly!
I used the Parade pattern, which kept my interest but did not require a lot of concentration.Better yet, I was able to get a cable effect without a cable needle.


I really love how he these turned out, but I’m going to consider these my “reserve” socks.  Without nylon, their "drawer life" is…

A Side of Desert: Rustic Succulent

Back in January, I joined another yarn club – self striping of course.  The thing I like about the club is that the inspiration pictures are posted ahead of time, so you have some idea of what’s coming.  While it’s fun to be surprised, too often I’ve been left with yarn I know I will not knit, and while destashing is always an option, you rarely break even. 
For the past two years, I’ve been loving all things mint.  It’s such a pretty pastel, and it mixes with everything.  So when I saw the teasers for Rustic Succulent, I knew I would join the club.
Now with January’s yarn gone, I need to get going on February, March, and April.  Must. Knit.Faster.


Here Comes the Sun: TFA Saffron Socks

Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring, but the weather in the mid-Atlantic has been blustery and cold.  I thought I would bring the sunshine indoors by knitting Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Saffron.  I purchased this yarn two years ago during the Boxing Day update.  


I had never shopped TFA, and wasn’t prepared to be cartjacked.  This skein was the only one I purchased, and it’s been hanging out in my stash, not quite sure what it wanted to be.  When I came across the Wheatley pattern, I knew Saffron had found its match.  Et voila.


Despite being fingering weight, the yarn is a little thicker than I’m used to, so my 64-stitch cast on is not as snug as I would like.  But I think these will be a great companion with my rain boots – socked full of sunshine on damp, soggy days.

Knit Lit – Where the Wild Things Are Socks

The only thing better than knitting or reading a book is knitting with yarn inspired by a book.  And so it went with my March socks.  The yarn is Canon Hand Dyes’s Let the Wild Rumpus Start on Charles Self Striping. 

As the colorway suggests, the yarn was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. 

I cast these on in the middle of the month, but I enjoyed the six striping colorway so much that these were knit in about a week. 
This yarn was a destash purchase and it came with a mini skein of black for the heels and toes.  But I chose to use a silver mini for less contrast.  I feel like I say this all the time but I LOVE THESE SOCKS! 
The turquoise, blue-greens, browns, and greys are colors I wear often.  So this pair will be sock drawer staple. 

March Madness

Today is Selection Sunday when the NCAA will announce the teams that will compete in the Championship Tournament, otherwise known as March Madness. 
I was late deciding what socks to knit up this month.  I finally decided on this colorway – Let the Wild Rumpus Start.  I also picked up a mini skein from Canon Hand Dyes' last update for the heels and toes.  Having knit the leg of the first sock, the silver H/T is a perfect match.  
Usually, I’m a monogamous sock knitter, but after February, I needed a pop of color and a pattern.I cast on Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Saffron.I’ve started the second sock and hope to post a FO pic soon.  Until next week, bon tricot!


Socked Out On Knitting

February began with such promise.  I cast on my Isle of Skye socks.  Week one: first sock complete.  Then a nasty case of second sock syndrome struck.  I couldn’t get past the cuff.  I’m not sure how, but I managed to finish the second sock this weekend.  But with ten more pairs to knit, I question my resolve to complete the KAL.
To stave off SSS, my March socks will not have stripes, nor will they be stockinette.I’m scouring my stash for a speckled skein or a sturdy semi-solid.
I’m also casting on a non-sock project.  Before the holidays, I signed up for Indie Untangled’s Where We Knit yarn club.  The first shipment, Drops of Honey, arrived in my mail box.  It. Is. Stunning!  

I’ve not knit many shawls, but the golden honey hue is versatile, and the pattern seems to satisfy my “set and forget” knitting style.Concentration need not apply.So between now and next weekend, I hope to luxuriate in this silky merino confection.

Fastnachts and New Socks: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

I can’t believe tomorrow’s Fat Tuesday!  Growing up in Pennsylvania, we celebrated with fastnachts.  The public schools feted Doughnut Day.  Every school lunch included a powdered doughnut. 
I know times have changed.  The emphasis is on fruit and healthy snacks.  But some traditions, including the Pennsylvania Dutch fastnacht, are worth continuing. 
Our family recipe requires a full day of mixing, kneading, rising, punching, rolling, cutting, (more) rising, and finally, frying.  It’s a true labor of love, and the results are gluttonous.  This year’s yield: 99 doughnuts!

The only thing that could make baking with my family even better is knitting.So while we waited for the dough to rise, I dug out this skein from my stash.

Since acquiring this yarn, my plan has been to knit Mardi Gras socks, but each year, I fail to cast on.Not this year.I have one cuff knit.While they won’t be finished tomorrow, I’m a monogamous knitter so I know they’ll be complete by month’s end.I look forward to we…

GoT Yarn?

I was never the cool kid growing up – a jenny-come-lately.  So it’s no surprise that my DVR list is a bit light.  No "it" shows are in the queue.  Downton Abby?  Nope.  Breaking Bad?  Missed it.  House of Cards?  Natch.   Walking Dead.  Nada. 
And Game of Thrones?  It shares the same fate as the character, Jon Snow.  But even though I’m not watching hit shows, I knit with yarn inspired by them…that should count for something, right?    And so it goes with these bad boys:
These are being gifted to my mom for a belated birthday gift.

Until next week, bon tricot!

A Flurry of FOs

There’s nothing I love more than when I have two FOs.  This week it’s a pair of socks and a book.  My new stripeys are January’s entry for the KAL I’m participating in.
I also cast on my mom’s belated birthday socks.With the Blizzard of 2016, I’ve had plenty of time to knit, so I’m hopeful I’ll have another FO to post next weekend.
Besides knitting, it’s been a DIY-kind-of week.  We tried a new cookie recipe from a new-to-me-blog.  Not only are they simple to make, but they are delicious.  We will definitely keep this recipe in our cookie-making rotation.
I also experimented with personalizing some ceramic coffee cups and cork journals.Stay tuned for future pics.
I destashed five skeins of yarn this week, but also added another stripey.  I love the juxtaposition of these colors: terracotta, dark grey, and soft teal.
I was tempted to add a few more STCW creations to the stash – I’m looking at you Lagoon Nebula and Atmosphere. But if I’m being honest with myself, both these colorways exist in…

The Club Craze: Self Striping Yarn Club

I have fallen off the fingering weight wagon...again.  Despite my self-imposed kibosh on all self-striping sock yarn, I joined a three-month sock yarn club this week.  I am choosing to characterize my slip up as stash enhancement because Quaere is one of my favorite indie dyers, and I stalk her Etsy store daily. 
Unlike other clubs I have participated in, where there is a blind reveal, she has opted to share inspiration photos.  Check these out.


Needless to say, I loved them ALL.  
I’ve found that yarn clubs can be a mixed bag.While I do enjoy the surprise and anticipation around club selections, I appreciate my need for control even more.It’s the reason I cannot knit fraternal socks or the polar opposite colorways that seem to be so popular.  My socks must match – from cuff to heel to toe.And knowing the colors that may inspire a club yarn makes the lump sum purchase easier to make since I know that I will love and use each selection.  No destash sales here.
So back on the wagon I go.  …

Back to Basics

The first week back after a long holiday is always the hardest.  I also find it’s where I tend to lose focus of my goals…and so it went this week for journaling and the yarn diet.  While I managed to journal four nights in a row, I missed three by week’s end. 
I also fell off the destash wagon visiting a charming LYS seven minutes from a conference I was attending for work.  I don’t feel as badly about that relapse since I bought a non-fingering weight yarn in a 100% marled alpaca.  They also had some knitting notions that I’ve only seen online – bamboo chunky circs and a Knit Kit.

But how to explain the sock yarn purchase?FOMA (fear of missing out).One of my favorite dyers posted a 24-hour- only skein to celebrate her 6,000th sale on Etsy.Those exclusive speckles did me in.

This week has shown me that it’s easy to get off track, so before I go too far off the rails, I thought I would try something new to keep me organized – a weekly check in.

Hope you’re having a better week keeping you…

KAL-Lite

My last FO of 2015 was a pair of socks in the colorway Shades of Portland that I purchased from another Raveler’s stash.  They knit up in less than a week, and how I love the pastel hues, especially that mint green strip.
But three days into the new year and I’ve broken my resolution to go KAL-free.As I set about tidying the house, I felt shamed by all the yarn staring back at me.If I could just make one basket disappear….
So in reading through a few message boards I found a KAL that requires one pair of socks per month.That seems more manageable than last year’s 15 in 15, plus I can still work on expanding the knitting repertoire.  Instead of 2016 being KAL-free, I’ve decided, in the name of stash-busting, to go KAL-lite.Here’s my January skein in the colorway Horse of a Different Color.