Archive | September 2020

Sock It To Me Monday

For my knitting date yesterday, I packed three projects, because of course I would need that many for maybe six-ish hours of knitting, right? I had a sock in progress, sock yarn to cast on, and a garter stitch shawl WIP. I bet you knitters out there can guess how many I worked on. Yep, the socks in progress and that’s it. And it wasn’t even six-ish hours of knitting because a couple of those hours were spent hiking! Still, Sonny & Tubbs are looking pretty good.

And the stripes are even matching up, how about that?? I don’t get that very often, and I don’t really care, but when it does happen without much effort on my part, I find it rather magical. I also find new yarn magical, especially new birthday yarn that is purple and pink and named after a fantastic 80s song!

This is Tainted Love from Rock and String Creations and it might have to be my next pair of socks, as soon as I’m done with Tubbs up there. I’m pretty lucky to have good friends in my life!

A Perfect Day

Today I told Covid to eff off and had the most wonderful day. Sarah from Mildly Granola only lives about three hours from me, so today we made plans to meet mostly in the middle for an outdoor socially-distanced knitting date and it was SO MUCH FUN. We met at a rest stop, which was actually next to a park, and it worked out so well because we could set up our chairs in the grassy picnic area for knitting and snacking, and we were within walking distance of a clean indoor bathroom. Then we walked across the street to the park and had a fantastic four-mile hike.

For all our grand plans of knitting all day, we actually spent longer hiking than we did knitting. The weather was gorgeous: sunny and lower 70s. We saw a hawk and a deer and a lake and a lagoon and just walked by ourselves for ages, with almost no other people around. It’s so nice to spend time with someone you can let down your guard with and share all your worries with. Okay, maybe not all, but some. I just feel relaxed and calm and almost peaceful, which is weird and unusual for right now but I like it. It was very restorative, which is why we’re definitely going to do it again before winter comes! Happy Sunday, friends.

Color Quiz

I’m late to the Color Quiz party from Nothing But Knit  but I thought it would be fun to play along anyway!

  • What is your favorite color? How is this color reflected in your crafting?
    Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t know it’s purple? The bulk of my projects are purple, my blog has a purple background, many of my craft accessories are purple…
  • Do you prefer bright colors or more subdued shades?
    Bright colors for sure! Purple, pink, turquoise.
  • Does your color mood shift with the seasons? Do you carry one color all year and just change the accent color?
    I think there is a bit of shifting, with bright, vivid colors for spring/summer and jewel tones for cooler weather, but there’s always some shade of purple in there.
  • Is there a color you avoid? Or maybe it’s underrepresented in your crafting?
    I don’t like yellow at all. I don’t buy yellow yarn unless it’s for a specific project. I’ve used it in a couple of Wonder Woman-themed projects but not on its own for me. And since I dyed my hair purple, I don’t wear red, so I don’t knit with it much.
  • When you pick out your crafting supplies how important is color to you? Is it the first thing you consider or is it a bit further down the list?
    Color is the number one factor, followed by feel. Even if it’s purple, it has to be soft!
  • Do you ever consciously choose a different color palette just for the change?
    Nope. The few times I’ve made things in less-than-favorite colors, the projects drag and I don’t enjoy it as much, so I just embrace the purpleness!

FO Friday: Socks

My recent shawl-knitting obsession fell by the wayside the last week or so. I couldn’t resist casting on a new sock with some of my birthday yarn, and this sock practically flew off my needles! I mean, this is obviously a progress shot, but it’s done now. The yarn is Bootheel sock from Show Me Yarn in the color Sonny & Tubbs.

Once I finished the first one, I decided I needed to be good and finish a lingering pair of gift socks. I was partway through the leg of the second sock so I knew it wouldn’t take too long. But here’s the problem with making gift socks: they’re not as addictive if they’re not for me! Especially if I’m doing colors that don’t speak to me. So it’s possible that sock-knitting is primarily a selfish thing for me. Anyway, I finished the second sock and now have a pair ready to mail.

The eagle-eyed among you might notice the socks don’t match exactly. The main yarn is from a 50g skein of Happy Feet. I had two skeins but weighed the first after making the first sock and thought I’d have enough for the second. Well, not quite. I ran out with about 3/4″ left of the foot to knit. That wasn’t enough to make me want to add in the second skein and two more ends to weave in, so I just started the green early. The recipient won’t care a bit, I don’t think. It’s funny how I’m so much a perfectionist in every other area of my life, but in my knitting, it’s all just “Eh, that works!” Maybe that’s just one more benefit that knitting brings to my life!

Happy Friday, friends.

WIP Wednesday

Hello. It me. I’m the work in progress today. And every day, actually. I don’t know know why the blogging hasn’t been happening the last several days. I’ve been knitting, I’ve had time. Just no motivation, I suppose. I’ll ease back into it by sharing my birthday goodies from last weekend!

My work team sent me a box to open during a Zoom meeting, which was fun. There was a Wonder Woman theme, which is perfect. My boss even made the cupcakes (and they were delish)!

Saturday was my actual birthday and I made out a like a bandit. The husband picked out five gorgeous skeins of yarn, plus a couple of enamel pins and a wrist ruler. And dog shoes! The boy bought me a LEGO set, which was a fun reversal after us buying him LEGOs for so many years.

But Saturday was also National Local Yarn Store Day! Of course I HAD to visit my favorite LYS, right? I went out to Yarn Social first thing in the morning, all masked up, and had the store to myself for most of the time. Though I didn’t go around petting all the yarn like I used to do, it was still so nice to be back in a comforting, familiar environment, and I came home with more treasures than I’d planned to.

I also got to have a nice phone call with the girl, who’s back at school, and a small socially-distant family party. The weather was beautiful, I had plenty of time to relax and knit, and I couldn’t have asked for much more. Now if only every weekend could be like that!

WIP Thursday

I missed WIP Wednesday, so you’ll get the WIP without the alliteration today. Late last week, or maybe last Saturday, I cast on for a new shawl with my new yarn. This is the Hope and Feathers shawl with my Lolodidit Halloween yarn. I really did think this was going to be sock yarn when I ordered it but boy was I wrong, because it’s PERFECT in this pattern.

My zigzags don’t seem as prominent as the ones in the original, but I’m sure that’s just because there’s not as much contrast in my yarns and I still think it looks awesome. And this pattern is seriously addictive. I worked on it all of Saturday and Sunday, until I got distracted by my other projects on Monday. I’m eager to get back to it!

I also got a little bit of happy mail earlier this week, a skein of yarn that I ordered from Bumblebee Acres Farm back in August. It came with a set of mini minis, and I find them adorable but am not quite sure what to do with them.

Any suggestions?

WIP Time

No, no, I know it’s not Wednesday, but today I’m talking about my WIPs. Yesterday I had the urge to spread my knitting love to some of my neglected projects. Really, I wanted to knit a little bit on each one, but then I remembered I have like eight WIPs right now and the day was not infinite. I started with a DK-weight cowl and did 14 rows of lace. That’s not very much in DK so it’s not photo-worthy. I knit on a sock, but that was plain ribbing and maybe two inches, and that was fun but I’ll just wait and show you the sock when it’s done. After that, I had the urge to revisit my Mermaid shawl.

I’m using Stephen West’s Sea Swell Shawl pattern, and it’s a lot of garter stitch (yay!) but also a lot of short rows (sigh), so it’s not really mindless knitting. It’s also getting kind of huge and each row takes forever now.

I’m on color four of five, and have five wedges left to knit. It’s equally encouraging and discouraging: I’ve come so far but it still feels like a lot left to go. Now that the weather is starting to cool off, though, I’m getting more eager to wear it, so maybe that will be my motivation to keep knitting. But then I get new sock yarn in the mail, like this new yarn from HaldeCraft, and I get distracted. The mug is hers too; I love her stuff!

Happy Tuesday that feels like Monday!

Sock It To Me Monday

This could have been a Friday post just as easily, because today I’m sharing a finished pair of socks. I started these quite a few weeks ago, as soon as the yarn arrived, to be honest. But then they were lace socks and I got distracted by other yarns, so it wasn’t until last week that I really focused on them. Once I did, they knit up pretty quickly.

Here’s what I know now: lace socks are stretchy! I normally cast on 64 stitches for my socks. This pattern offered 60 or 72 stitches, and looking at other projects, it sounded like 60 would be too small, but I knew 72 would be too big. So I thought I’d be clever and just add one lace repeat, and cast on 66. It worked fine for the lace, but the heel flap gave me issues. The first time I did my usual 32, but that messed up the lace pattern plus things got weird at the toe when it was time to decrease and kitchener. So the second time I did 30, with made the lace behave nicely, and would have worked fine at the end if I’d moved the right stitches from one needle to the other.

I was trying to have equal amounts on the top and the bottom, you see, but my brain misbehaved and I ended up decreasing the first three times in the wrong place. I fixed it then and it’s not really noticeable when I wear them. But what is noticeable is that they’re loose — I should have done 60 stitches after all. So now you know: if you want to knit all lace socks, be sure to make the appropriate adjustments for size!

Or just do what I’ll do next time and keep the lace on the leg only! Pattern is Mercury Socks and the Ravelry link is here. The yarn is Show Me Yarn Bootheel in Stained Glass Menagerie, a special edition that came with a matching project bag. It’s no longer available but they have other pretty yarns on their Etsy site.

Oh and today is Duncan’s Gotcha Day! We’ve had him for three years now.

Today is a holiday in the States so I’ll be spending the rest of the day knitting and puttering around. Hope the rest of my US friends have a good holiday as well!

FO Friday: Hundred Acre Wood

Today I will share the pretty photos of my latest shawl, the Hundred Acre Wood shawl. I am very glad this shawl is done. This is one of those projects where you look at it and think, “Well, at least the yarn is gorgeous.”

So let’s start with that: the yarn is from Molly Girl Yarn and is a set of Bass Line Minis in Jazz. I love these colors. LOVE them.

And honestly, the pattern was good too! I mean, after the first lace section, I looked at and it was clearly wonky and I thought, huh, I have NO idea what I did wrong. After the second one, I realized I was doing my yarnovers wrong, and on the next row they were sliding to the wrong place and I was knitting them in the wrong order. But I didn’t figure it out until late in the second lace row and by then I just shrugged. Whatever. Little eyelets, nobody around me will know what they’re supposed to look like.

Like I mentioned before, the pattern was nicely marked to show where you should have used certain percentages, so it was easy for me to mark each 20% section for each mini skein. The problem came when I had more yarn than each section called for, and I tried to get creative to use as much as possible. It went fine until the last section, and I tried to use up the pink, and … well, math is not my strongest subject. I added a few simple eyelet rows, all along weighing to make sure I saved enough (5%) for the picot bindoff. It didn’t seem like much but that’s what the pattern said, right?

Wrong. The pattern said 5% of your total yarn, not 5% of that one mini skein. Unfortunately, that light bulb didn’t go on until I had already started the picot bindoff and it was very clear I wouldn’t have enough yarn. ARGH. Of course that’s how this project would end. I unbound my cute little picots and did a normal, plain bind-off, and realized I should have just done a couple of garter rows at the end instead of eyelet rows because now the edge wants to curl even after a good blocking.

Sigh. It’s fine, though, really. Because look that that up there. It’s pretty. No one else will see any of my errors. But just in case you want to see what it’s really supposed to look like, or maybe you want to make your own correct version, here’s the Ravelry pattern link. This is the small size, which does work quite well for mini skeins, if you do it right, that is.

I’ll be casting on a new shawl this weekend; here’s hoping it goes better! Happy Friday, friends!

Oops a new shawl

Okay, first things first: this is my first time trying the new WordPress editor and it’s weird. I mean, it’s fine, but it’s different and I’m a little slow trying to figure it all out. Hopefully we’ll get it all done right in the end.

Right, then, shawl? Yes, shawl. Yesterday afternoon my SIL texted me a photo of a shawl pattern she’d found that she was thinking of using with some of her amazing thrift-store yarn. And honestly, my first thought was that it would be perfect for the yarn I just got yesterday!

This is from Lyrical Knits and It’s done with slipped stitches, which I can totally manage, and it’s even free if you sign up for her newsletter. Since I’m trying to find new places to get patterns, I was more than happy to sign up for the newsletter. Follow this link to find links to the pattern on Rav or Payhip or instructions on getting the pattern for free.

Just what I needed, another project to add to my large pile of WIPs!