Archive | April 2020

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday was a sunny, lazy day and it called for a new sock. I pulled out my Two Sisters self-striping and cast on a Rose City Roller. I’m thinking that if I make one pair of Rollers, I’ll have enough left for a pair of full-size socks with contrasting heels/cuffs/toes. And having the shortie socks knit up first will help me pick the contrasting color. Plus I will actually be able to wear the short socks now, unlike the full socks which would be set aside for fall.

img_7619I love this yarn so much. I would wear a sweater in this yarn. I just don’t know how well it works to make a sweater in self-striping sock yarn!

I also spent some time with my sewing machine yesterday. In all my mask-making recently, I hadn’t made any for myself or my family. And with so much uncertainty around the virus and when we’ll go out in the world again and what restrictions will be required when we do, I thought it would be best to be prepared.

img_7616They are all reversible with the same fabrics but I used different ties for each one so we’d know whose is whose. They’re also not perfect but it was still fun and satisfying, even if my eyes were so tired by the time I was done. I don’t think sewing will ever be my favorite craft, but I am tempted to try to make something fun, like a small project bag. What’s your favorite simple pattern for beginner sewing?

One more Happy Mail day

Yesterday I got happy mail, a package with yarn from MollyGirl Yarn that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. It was a lovely treat and I appreciated it more as I knew it would likely be my last happy mail for a while. I found out last week that I’m being furloughed from work, so I’ll be refraining from yarn-ish purchases for a while. We’ll be okay: my husband’s job is secure and I can apply for unemployment, so apart from the whole emotional struggle of feeling non-essential, we’ll cut back on a few things and we should be fine. It sucks, but I understand why it happened and I’m luckier than many. I’m doing my best to think of this as a nice vacation to enjoy doing whatever I want, and some days that even works. So, want to see my pretty new yarn?

It’s hard to see, but the multi-color skein on the left has a sparkly stellina thread in it! It is sock yarn but I haven’t decided if it will be socks. The middle is worsted weight and I think it will become another River Deep, Mountain High cowl, also by MollyGirl Yarn. This is my favorite cowl ever and even though I have probably five of them, I’m always happy to make more. Then I have a gorgeous new set of minis. You can’t see them very well, but there’s a purple and a bright green in there too. And she even included a little gift of a few handmade stitch markers and a teabag, which made me smile. I do love stitch markers!

Yesterday I cleaned the house, at least as much as I could handle, so today will be knitting. I’m motivated to finish my Dowland shawl soon but I’m also itching to cast on something new and colorful. Maybe with my new minis? Tell me: what’s your favorite pattern for minis?

Mad World

Do you know that song? I’m sure you do. It was originally by Tears for Fears, I think, but I discovered it through Adam Lambert’s cover and it’s running through my head today. This really is a mad world right now. I’m constantly up and down and okay and not okay and angry and grateful and more than anything else, exhausted. I’m loving the time I have with my family; we’re still doing family LEGO projects and having a blast. I know I’ll miss that when the restrictions ease up, but then I’ll get to see my extended family, and that will be a treat.

Knitting has been slow lately but I did finish the other worsted weight sock for the boy. I’m glad to be done with brown socks!

img_7581I still have a sock on my needles but I’m tempted to cast on a new pair, with one of my recent colorful acquisitions. I’m also feeling the itch to get back to my more complicated projects. I did a few rows on my Dowland shawl yesterday and I’m hoping to get back to it this weekend. Since it’s full-on lace and currently over 300 stitches on the needle, I save it for when I can give it my full attention.

Also in my weekend plans are baking more pumpkin muffins and finally vacuuming these disgusting floors. I still hate housework but sometimes it has to be done, I guess. Happy-ish Thursday, friends.

FO Friday: Socks!

I have new socks to wear for spring! I finished my scrappy shortie socks last night and they’re the same size and used up two little leftover balls of yarn. They’re a pattern from my head but I’m pretty sure it started with the Rose City Rollers and I just modified the leg to add a short cuff.img_7550

My yarn friends at work are going to do a worsted-weight sock knit-along through work, so that will motivate me to do the second sock for the boy. I’m kind of…leading it, I think?? Which is so weird to me but whatever, I have made a lot of socks so I’m pretty skilled at basic sock skills, I guess? Anyway, it’ll be fun and give us a good excuse to meet virtually and show off socks. And maybe I can get someone else addicted to sock knitting because it’s the best.

My apparently never-ending supply of happy mail continued today with this fun collection of goodies from the Treasure Goddess:ea25de0f-c7d8-4475-b1ba-c0cde6023f8eThe sock yarn will actually become socks, and the two little pirate sheep in the middle are temporary tattoos, how fun is that? And that sticker in the upper left corner? LOVE with the yarn ball? I think that would make an amazing real tattoo! Only if I did it, of course the yarn would be purple. We’ll see if I still want it once we’re allowed to go out into the world again.

I don’t expect any happy mail tomorrow but who knows, something could show up! Happy Friday, friends!

 

More Masks

I wish I could show you some fun knitting, but I have none to share. The nurse friend I’ve been making masks for said her team was required to wear masks now and they loved the ones she had, and I’d offered to make more, so she wondered if I’d still be willing. I definitely was, especially since I had supplies on hand. I used up the last of my dish-cotton yarn and the last of the cotton shirt I’d cut up to make six more masks.

I think this is a total of 16 I’ve made, and I might be done now. It felt good to do something to help people in healthcare, and my friend said her boss, a senior VP and CIO of a major hospital system, liked it enough to ask for one herself. That made me feel pretty cool! If you’re interested, I used this pattern and added a two-layer cotton lining. I used the sewing machine to sew the two pieces of lining together, then hand-stitched the lining in place. I ran out of ribbon so I slip-stitched yarn into place on the corners and just chained for 18″ to make the ties. I tried to make them as sturdy as possible to withstand many washes in hot water.

Besides masks, I had a short interlude for another puzzle. The girl is now sheltering in place with us, which is really comforting for this mom’s heart, and she’s my puzzle buddy. (She’s also my showtunes/musical buddy and my chick flick buddy.) Good news: I have someone to help me. Bad news: the puzzles go much faster!

img_7540I was spreading the ModPodge on this one last night and the husband walks by and says with dismay, “You’re gluing that one together too?” LOL! I guess he’s not a big fan of finished puzzles either! This is the last one to get glued, I think, so he’ll be fine. But I like the idea of hanging this one in our sitting room, which is where we have our record player and piano, and where the kids used to practice their instruments.

Now, I’m gratefully back to sock knitting, which is good because I have a VERY GOOD supply of sock yarn thanks to pandemic stress-shopping! (Somehow, I am still in the black for the year: I have used more yarn from stash than I’ve added! NO IDEA how that’s still true and no idea how long it will last.) The latest is my first skein from Mint Rain Yarns, a self-striping in a color called Make Me Smile.

img_7541And it does! The hardest part might be deciding which awesome sock yarn to knit next!

Okay, it’s 8 am which means it’s time to get to work for the day. Happy Thursday, friends. Hang in there.

Review: Manos del Uruguay Alpaca Heather

A couple of months ago, Stitchcraft Marketing offered me the chance to review a new yarn from Manos del Uruguay and of course I said Absolutely! Alpaca Heather is a sport weight that’s 70% wool, 30% alpaca. It comes in 12 colors: 3 undyed colors, and 9 more overdyed with their kettle-dyed semi-solid colors. I chose Kohl, a dark gray, and Goji Berry, a dark dusty rose.

There are also six free patterns for this yarn, and I chose the Oleada Cowl. I wear cowls a lot, and chevrons and stripes are some of my favorite things to knit. The pattern was well-written and quick to knit. I memorized the pattern sequence easily and this was one of my favorite projects to knit while it was on my needles. I’d love to make it again in other colors! It sits up enough that I can burrow my chin into it, which just makes me feel extra cozy.

img_8779img_8785I love the rich colors. I love the stitch definition. It’s a dense, supple yarn. I loved how it slid across my needles, catching just enough to not be slippery. It blocked beautifully, with no bleeding of either color. I wore it around the house for a while, and it’s warm for sure. I like the drape — it has enough structure that it actually stands up enough to keep my whole neck and chin warm. I enjoyed knitting with it, but it’s the tiniest bit itchy to wear. However, I know the skin on my neck and face is sensitive, so your mileage may vary. Alpaca, in my experience at least, makes for a slightly hairier yarn than merino, giving it a fuzzy look and feel. I kept thinking I had single dog hairs trapped in the cowl, but I’m pretty sure it was (usually) the yarn. I think I’m just learning that I prefer smoother yarns, like Alma or Alegria.

img_8784I could see this being a great, warm yarn for outerwear like hats and mittens, or beautiful cabled sweaters. I might not wear it on my neck, but I’d test-drive some thick boot socks. And I love Manos for the good work they do: they’re a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, the yarns are produced by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and every skein helps a woman in Uruguay support her family. I’ll continue to happily buy their yarns!

img_8795

Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me two skeins of Alpaca Heather (retail value: $43) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Rainy Day Knitting

This has been a cloudy, gloomy Sunday, but it’s been a pretty satisfactory day for me! I took some masks to my friend, who gave me homemade bread and cinnamon rolls in exchange, and then I spent the afternoon knitting. I sat down with my three (THREE!) sock WIPs and here’s what I learned…

img_7530The socks only grow if you actually sit down and knit on them!

img_7531Those are all first socks but at least I’ve now got two completed first socks, and that feels good! Plus these are both quick socks, with one being a shortie and one being worsted weight, so second socks shouldn’t be too far behind.

I’ve also been binge-watching Little Fires Everywhere. At first I was skeptical — I wasn’t sure about the casting and there was so much that wasn’t in the book — but now I’m a little obsessed! Anyone else watching?

Happy Saturday!

It’s the weirdest thing, guys: I avoided the news and social media a lot today, and played showtunes and sang along loudly, and puttered around the house doing fun little things, and it’s been a good day!

I’ve done almost no knitting today, though I hope to tonight. So far I got five masks ready for my nurse friend, and spent a couple of hours in my craft room, rearranging and putting out some knickknacks that had been packed away. Plus I got several things hung, including my new puzzle!

On the other wall, only the big movie poster is a new addition. I’d forgotten about it and was really happy when I found it!

Not much room to hang more puzzles, unfortunately, but I’m quite tickled with how it all looks. And now I can sit down with a glass of wine and my knitting and enjoy a quiet Saturday night!

Friday, bah

Today is Friday and it is a good thing it’s Friday, but I’m not in a very Friday-ish mood. I’ve got some frustrating work stuff going on that’s not helping my mindset. I might have ended up browsing for yarn online this morning! I also decided I needed a fun new project.

49a7f868-cad3-40a9-b58c-313a8b831072These will be shortie socks using leftovers from other projects. I’ve only got three pairs of shorties and have been enjoying them as spring has sprung. I’m pretty sure the pink is Hedgehog Fibres and the black mix is Madtosh. The colors don’t exactly match but eh. Whatever. I’m even tempted to use some of my smaller balls to make single socks and just mix and match. Great way to use up some sock yarn! Happy Friday, friends.

WIP Wednesday

What did I do after finishing that pair of worsted weight socks? Immediately cast on another, of course! This one’s for the boy to wear with his Doc Martens. I didn’t have enough of the Mountain Meadow Tweed left, so I pulled some Cascade Eco Cloud from deep stash. It’s not superwash so they’ll definitely need to be handwashed but it’s fine, I’ll just throw them in when I wash my handknit socks. I am using the Mountain Meadow leftovers for accents though.

img_7496The toes will also be the darker brown. He says they’re “vibey”, which is apparently a good thing. However, now I am tired of brown so I need to switch back to something lighter and brighter! Also my new puzzles came today so I have something besides knitting to keep me occupied.

d853989f-3f37-4a9c-821c-4177ae1c3e35Hope you’re all coping well today. I’m currently in the “this is never gonna end” state of mind, which hopefully will pass quickly. If not, there’s wine. Well, honestly, there’s wine either way.