Today is a day for a lot of lasts: last day of 2020 (HOORAY!), last blog post of the year, and today I’ll share my last Finished Object of the year. These are Vanilla Latte socks in the Tainted Love yarn, which I started almost two months ago. They even match (mostly)!
I hurried to finish these before tomorrow because I wanted to be balanced. Back in January, I decided I would try to manage my yarn stash. My goal was to use up more skeins from my stash than I added; I didn’t worry about yardage or weight, just the number of skeins. I am proud to report that even in this dumpster fire of a year, I came out even: 74 in, 74 out! Now, I do have one teensy little disclaimer: I didn’t count gift yarn in my incoming skeins. I was going to all along, but then Christmas came and I did my almost-final count and realized I needed a little win. Along with these socks I finished two hats for the kids.
The girl’s is the Hinterland Hat (Rav link) in Maraschino Island Yarns Blackwater, and the boy’s is a simple Boyfriend Beanie (Rav link) in Land Ho! from the Treasure Goddess. Getting all these projects done made me feel even better about my Christmas yarn acquisitions. Okay, no, I didn’t feel bad about them anyway. But I am going to to do my stash challenge again next year. If nothing else, it was kind of fun to get a sense of how much I actually use and buy.
I got plenty of other lovely gifts, some yarn-related, and it was a good Christmas. Not the best — I missed being with my mom and siblings on Christmas morning — but as good as it could be under the circumstances. I know I’ve been quiet on here lately but I’ve been reading and lurking and I’m grateful to have Blogville here when I need it.
The only thing that’s finished on this Friday is the work week. My shopping’s not done, my wrapping’s not done, and definitely none of my current knitting projects are done. But I’ve had fun working on them this week!
I’m telling you, I can’t stop working on that scrap blanket. These squares are all of my tiny 2-gram balls and now I’ll move on to the 3-gram. The squares are just so quick, and it’s satisfying to see the “blanket” grow. The sock is my Christmas Silly String yarn from BaH Yarns and it’s just about ready for a heel, whenever I can pull myself away from my blanket squares. I also took a quick trip to my LYS because they had these new pins and I was in the area, thanks to weekly testing at work. What else could I do but pop in and get a Santa and a Tree?? Okay and yes, I also got a skein of yarn (not pictured) because the boy said he’d take another hat.
Two of my long-lost packages have arrived, though the one from Etsy was slightly damaged because she didn’t pack it well enough. She wasn’t pleased with the review I left, but hey, I wasn’t pleased with the service so it all balances out. I’m still missing two Christmas gifts but I’m crossing my fingers that they get here in time.
Maybe I’ll have a finished sock to show you in time for Sock it To Me Monday!
Oh sure, why not cast on a new project in the middle of December? When I was digging through big of scrap sock yarn balls, I remembered that I wanted to knit one of those scrap memory blankets, the ones made with little squares of scrap sock yarn. Once I had that in my head, there was nothing to do but cast on. Sarah was the most recent one whose blanket I’d been admiring, so I found her project and downloaded the free pattern (Rav link) and cast on Sunday night.
Guys, those squares are TINY! I had no idea. One on the one hand, OMG it’s adorable, but on the other hand, OMG it’s going to take forever. And yet last night I added two more because right now this is potato chip knitting. Today I’m going to weigh some of the teeniest scrap balls I have, to make sure I use up those first. I need about two grams per square, so I’m delighted to have a use for all the bits that have no other good use but I can’t bear to throw away.
Have you made one of these blankets? How many years will it be before I have a blanket-sized object? This one doesn’t quite cover Duncan yet!
Let’s start the week off on a happy note, shall we? I got the most delightful gift box from my boss yesterday, since we can’t do a team holiday party. It had homemade cookies and two little deluxe chocolates and tea bags and a baby succulent and even little bottles of booze! I can make a pomegranate martini now! And it was in the best box with a cloth-covered lid and gold-tone handles. I’m not sure what will go in that box yet, but you know it will get used for something fun.
I also did some fun knitting yesterday, and started my new Christmas sock yarn. Originally I was going to do red cuffs/heels/toes, but I had no red sock yarn. (Sent it all to Sarah, oops!) Had no black. Had no white. Digging through my bin of sock yarn scraps gave me a fun idea though: multiple colors!
It kind of reminds me of multi-colored Christmas lights. I found six balls of solid includes, including one tiny ball of red, enough to use for one accent, so each accent section will be a different color. I’m pretty sure these will knit up fast!
Okay I did the things! I sent a stern email to the big company whose shipper lost my package. I sent a (hopefully) polite and kind email to the yarn dyer whose yarn looked nothing like it was advertised. And I sent another email to the Etsy seller who hasn’t sent me a tracking number yet. The other missing yarn, well, we’ll just chalk that up to something going on with the seller and not worry about it.
I also finished the last bobble hat last night, thank goodness! Now they can go to their new owners and I can move on to more fun knitting.
The best news of the weekend: there is a new season of The Repair Shop on Netflix!!!!!!!! Season three is up now and I am going to try to ration it as much as I can, though I was so excited that I watched three episodes last night. It just made me so happy to watch it again. Felt like I was seeing good friends again! If you haven’t seen it and like heartwarming TV, please watch it. It’s so good for my soul.
I haven’t really been knitting lately. I’m making more bobble hats for my former boss, but the last one should get done today. I worked on a sock last weekend, the boy’s sock with the leg that is 10 1/2″ long. But mostly I’ve been doing LEGO sorting. The boy loved LEGO as a kid so we have a ton of sets, and all the pieces got jumbled together over the years. Now we are I am systematically going through each booklet and finding the right pieces for each set. It’s endless and boring and mind-numbing and very soothing and satisfying. There’s nothing like finding the last, right piece after searching through a plastic tub for ages. Anyway, that’s where my brain is right now. I don’t know what it means but I’m sure I’ll get back to fun knitting soon enough.
I am still appreciating pretty yarn, and I will show you my two “wins” first. The gray and black is Knit Picks Hawthorne that I ordered on a whim because I was ordering other yarn from them and needed to get free shipping (as one does, right?). The other is Christmas Silly String from BaH Yarns and I bought it on a whim when it popped up on my Instagram feed. I very much would like to knit it next, but first I must finish a bobble hat.
Now for the losses. I have two Christmas presents for the boy that are stuck somewhere in the ether, one coming from the UK and the tracking just says it’s on its way and check back for “regular updates”. Ha. One is from Etsy and there is no tracking number and the seller said “oh yes I’ll get you that tracking number tonight” and never did. I have a beautiful skein of yarn that I ordered from a small dyer whose yarn I love, and I ordered it November 2 and it has not been shipped, has not arrived, and I can get no answer from them through email or Instagram. I want to believe that there is something personal going on to explain the poor service, so I’m trying to sustain some empathy even though I have no evidence to support it. And then there’s this.
On the left is an Instagram photo of a special colorway preorder to support a domestic violence shelter. Good cause + purple = I ordered it. I knew it was a preorder so I waited. After four weeks, I’d heard nothing, so I sent a quick polite email just asking for an update. What do you know, it was ready to ship out that day! It came quickly at least. The right photo is the skein that arrived. One of these things is not like the other. I know colors can vary from one device to another, but I looked at her photo on multiple devices and they all showed purple. And mine … is gray, with flecks of blue and mustard and one big black splotch. Like it? It’s yours for the cost of shipping!
It’s for a good cause, so I don’t want a refund or anything like that. Someone told me I should give the dyer a heads up. If nothing else maybe she’d find it helpful to know that her photos don’t match her yarn? I don’t know. That’s awkward and I haven’t decided if I want to do that. But if I don’t, I know I’ll never order from her again. What do you think? Am I being too picky? Should I send an email or cut my losses and move on?
There has not been a lot of knitting in my world the last week or so. I’m overdue for an eye exam and eye strain hit me fast and hard. Looking at screens and reading for work gives me a headache and makes my eyeballs tired, so by the end of the day, I just want to chill with my eyes closed. Still, I have managed to finish my second Christmas sock.
These are the Uneek sock kit, with two “matching” cakes of yarn. I’d call them mostly matching; the second one started at a slightly different spot but I managed to make them match pretty well. The yarn is a little bit splitty, but not annoyingly so, and the socks are soft and thick and squishy. Now I’ve moved on to the gray socks for the boy. My Oxbow will probably wait until I have my new glasses. I go this afternoon so hopefully within a week or so I’ll be good to go.
Okay, so you know how my last post was about how I finally got to cast on for my Oxbow sweater and I’d made good progress on the sleeve? Ha. Just kidding! Turns out I was reading the pattern wrong and had done the entire sleeve in the wrong stitch pattern. There was no salvaging it; leaving it would have made it look completely different than the rest of the sweater. The next day, I frogged down to the cuff and started over. Thankfully it’s a quick knit and I’ve already got two sleeves done.
I might not have been the best at making sure the increases were at the exact same rate, but they’re the same length and I’ve tried them on and they fit, hooray! I like sweaters that are this fast. Today I’m binging Twilight movies and starting on the body.
I hope my US friends had a good Thanksgiving. The three of us celebrated with a full spread. We ate too much and still have plenty of leftovers, which will mean some yummy homemade turkey noodle soup soon. We got to FaceTime with the girl, and dropped some pie off at the mother’s house on Friday, so at least we got to be a little social. Honestly, I didn’t mind the quiet, lazy holiday, and now we can move on to Christmas! Happy Sunday, friends.
Finally, I got to cast on for my Oxbow cardigan! My fourth swatch, which was exactly like my first swatch, indicated that I did indeed get gauge with the recommended needle size, so it was off to the races!
Except. Heck. It starts with the sleeves and I’m really not a fan of how it’s written. It’s a two-row pattern, and each row has repeats of a 4-stitch pattern, but then you also have to increase every five rows, which gives you extra stitches, and the designer didn’t explain how to deal with those new, extra stitches except to say “continue in est pattern”. I resorted to going to Ravelry and searching through the project pages, and found a few that explained what I was meant to be doing. It took a little while to get in the groove, but I think I’m there now.
The yarn is Cascade Eco and I’m using size 11 needles, so it’s growing quickly. With any luck, that means this sweater won’t take me six months to knit. I’m getting some looseness between each DPN, but I tried doing magic loop and that was even more fiddly for me. Instead I’ll just be grateful that the pattern obscures any laddering.
I have completed my holiday baking: the pumpkin bread for tomorrow’s breakfast. Unfortunately, Grace’s reach is farther than I thought, and she stole about a quarter of each loaf before we discovered it. Naughty thing! But we have plenty left for the three of us. Now the boys are in the kitchen working on pies while I get to sit and knit!
To my American friends, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Saturday morning, I told my husband I wasn’t doing any chores over the weekend, except for the usual ordering of groceries and one load of my own laundry. He agreed and even picked up the grocery order for me. I did end up bathing Jack, but otherwise it meant that I had a lot of good knitting time, and now I have two new socks on the needles.
The red and green is the Uneek sock kit. The picture on the box shows a knee-length sock but I’m not about that life, so I just made them a little taller than my usual, about mid-calf. I’m also kind of trying something new: since they’re going to hit a fuller part of my calf, I cast on a few extra stitches, and then decreased once I was past the cuff. I probably should have put it on waste yarn to try on before I started the heel but oh well, I’ll do that before I finish them at least.
The gray sock is for the boy, with some tweedy gray superwash from KnitPicks. He also wants tall socks so I did the same cast on for him, and I’ll make sure to have him try it on soon, because for him, the leg will be like 10 1/2 inches. EEK. This will be a slow knit, but thankfully he doesn’t mind.
AND! I *might* have figured out the cause of Jack’s itchy skin issues! Back when we were trying to figure out what was wrong with him and they did the bloodwork etc, I started mixing in a bit of canned dog food with the kibble to try to entice him to eat. He loved most of them, so that was great. Last week I cut out the canned food to see if we could just do kibble. He’d give me a sad look but usually ate it. Then Friday, I added the wet food to both meals, and Saturday morning there was a wet spot on by his tail, where a previous hot spot had been. AHA! So he got a Benadryl and a bath and now he is fluffy and clean and happy. And I am happy too.