Tag Archive | crafting

Back to socks

After a brief affair with super bulky yarn, I went back to my sock yarn over the holiday. And wonder of wonders, I finally finished the second Paddington Station sock! (The Ott light I got for Christmas made a huge difference in the knitting experience, I have to admit.)

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I need to remember that I don’t like knitting with plain dark yarn. I liked the pattern and I liked the yarn, but I never wanted to knit on these. So I’m delighted they’re done and the boy stole them before I could get a better photo. Now I can move on to my new sock yarn!!

img_2663I got three skeins of sock yarn from Show Me Yarn from the husband and I’m totally going to cast on that self-striping 80s colorway first (the neon pink/blue/green, called Hit Me With Your Best Shot). BUT. I’m going to be good and try to finish the socks on my needles first, the hot pink Hedgehog Fibres Gossip socks. I’m zipping along now that I’ve got the black socks done.

IMG_2580I’m not doing the #MakeNine challenge that’s so popular right now. It’s overwhelming for me to think of that many ambitious projects at once. Instead, I’m challenging myself to start a knitting journal this year to plan/make notes/dream etc. It can be whatever I need it to be, and right now, I need it to be a list of ideas for my next super bulky project!

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I hope you all had a peaceful and fun holiday and have fun new yarny things to play with!

 

 

New yarn from Manos!

Manos del Uruguay is one of my favorite brands, has been for a while now. I’ve used the Maxima and Alegria with great success. Their colors are gorgeous, the yarn is soft and wears well, and it’s all certified Fair Trade. Plus the yarns are made by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and each skein is signed, so you know who made your yarn and which village it came from. That makes it so much more personal for me, and I feel like I’m doing a good deed just by buying yarn.

So, when given the opportunity to review a new yarn from Manos, of course I jumped at the chance. Feliz is 70% superwash merino, 30% modal. Modal is a man-made fiber from vegetal pulp, and I was familiar with it from my past life in retail: I knew it was smooth and had fantastic drape. I could only imagine it would be equally delightful in yarn. It’s available in several of the gorgeous Manos hand-dyed colorways; I chose Wildflowers.

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Doesn’t it make you swoon? Yum, it does me! I cast on almost as soon as they sent it to me! It’s listed as DK on Ravelry, and has about 350 yards per 100g skein. Fairmount Fibers, their North American distributor, was generous enough to send me two skeins. I selected a pattern called Late Harvest, which was written for a different sport weight Manos yarn. It has a really unusual slip stitch pattern.

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Guys, I love this yarn. It felt like premium merino, all bouncy and supple, but even smoother, almost silky. There’s almost a hint of a sheen to the yarn. I didn’t have any issues with splitting, and it tinked back nicely when I made the inevitable mistake.

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It was a happy yarn for me, a happy knit. It felt soft and comforting in my hands, it slid smoothly on the needles, and the colors were perfect for the pattern. I keep coming back to the smoothness, because honestly, I prefer that to the fuzziness you get with some yarns. I can’t wait to see how it wears long-term, because if it doesn’t fuzz and pill as much as all-merino yarns, it will make some truly fantastic sweaters! Plus, I’m sensitive to some wools against my skin, and this feels like a yarn I might be able to wear without a layer underneath.

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Even though it’s mostly superwash merino, it does say to hand wash, which I did. It blocked out beautifully without much work, and the water was still clear after the soak, so the dyes didn’t bleed. I didn’t even pin it, just laid it out and nudged the edges into the shape I wanted, and now I’ve got a big, gorgeous shawl that will go with so many things. You can see my Ravelry project page here.

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You can see Feliz in all the pretty colors on their website, including their special 50th anniversary color, Cincuenta. It looks like Feliz sells for around $26 a skein, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. I’m happy to pay that for yarn that looks good, feels good, and helps women support their families!

Many thanks to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, who generously sent me two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Feliz (retail value $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

So Much Super Bulky

You may remember my Star Stuff super bulky cowl from the other day, the one made from that gorgeous LB Art Yarn yarn? After that, I became obsessed with super bulky yarn. I immediately pulled out some Berroco Brio from a cowl I’d frogged a couple of months ago. After nearly an hour on Ravelry, I’d settled on…the same pattern I’d used the first time around. But this time I used smaller needles and cast on fewer stitches and ended up with a cowl I like much better.

That wasn’t the end of my love affair with super bulky. I was forced to go back to Yarn Social on Wednesday, and what fell into my hands but a beautiful skein of Malabrigo Rasta and a purple fur pompom? They said they needed to become a hat, ASAP. I obliged.

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But now, though the bulky continues to call to me, I must return my focus to previously scheduled knitting, as I do have some deadlines to meet. I did enjoy my super bulky interlude, though!

 

Two-Hour Cowl

Yes, you read that right: two hours. I’m home sick with strep throat (thanks to the brother whom I saw at a birthday party on Saturday) so I spent the morning watching West Side Story and knitting a simple cowl with my new LB Art Yarn. I tried a pattern with a dropped-stitch pattern but it was making me irritated and I wanted to just enjoy this yarn, so a plain stockinette cowl was what I needed.

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I cast on 56 on size 15 needles, did 4 rows of 2×2 rib, and knit until it felt right. Somehow I guessed perfectly because I ended up with less than a yard left over! And I love my new cowl…but now I need more of this yarn! It’s LB Art Yarn on Etsy and this color is called Star Stuff. She doesn’t have any of that color right now, but I’m hoping for more in the future. What’s your favorite sick-day project?

More new projects?

Well, clearly I don’t respect my own limits. Or maybe subconsciously I do and they’re not as low as I thought they were. Despite my whining about feeling overwhelmed by WIPs the other day, I have added more to my queue. One is a sock but that’s totally justifiable: I needed a simple travel project for car/concert knitting. And I had beautiful new sock yarn calling my name.

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This is Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the color Gossip. Love it! After the boy’s band concert, I have a good two inches of leg past the cuff, but it got too dark to take another photo.

Okay, the sock is understandable. But apparently I have also agreed to make two cowls…before Christmas…as gifts…for a friend to give. But hear me out: I like this person a lot, and I like to help my friends, and I like it when people like my knitting enough to ask me to make things for them. Plus, I like it when they’re willing to pay me to make said things!! So, two cowls are on the list. They’re bulky weight and it’s baby alpaca which means they’ll be fast, fun knits for me. Right? Right. Thank goodness it’s Friday so I can get to knitting ASAP! Anyone else taking on last-minute gift knitting?

What’s that yarn??

I’ve had a lot of questions about the new project I shared in an earlier post. I wasn’t thinking clearly, or else I would have included the details of course! Both yarns are from Manos del Uruguay, and they’re my newest review project.

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The solid is Fino in the color Peacock Plume, and it’s an extrafine merino/silk blend. I’ve used it once before and it’s heavenly. It’s paired with Cabrito, a laceweight kid mohair blend, in the color Locura Fluo. Now imagine merino, silk, and mohair all in one project, and you know why I’m obsessed with this project right now!

The Cabrito is 230 yards and Fino is 490, but I really wanted to knit them together for maximum coziness. I decided the two held together could be close to a DK, so I chose a simple shawl pattern called Orbit. I’ve made one before and wear it all the time, so I knew it was a good pattern choice. I’ve been tired in the evenings so I’m not getting a ton of knitting done but here’s where I am so far.

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This one’s not going to linger on my needles, I can tell already!

Too much knitting?

Is that a thing?? I’m afraid it is–I have something like six WIPs and there are at least three more floating around in my head and I feel like there are some I’m forgetting that I’m supposed to make and AAAAHHH! Knitting is supposed to be my therapy, not my stressor! I don’t really even understand why I feel like this, because I can sit down and plan out my projects, the timeline of gifts and review projects, and it’s fine. I’m doing fine. But for whatever reason, my head feels full and it’s like I’m not staying on top of my knitting.

I don’t like associating that feeling with knitting. But I’m not sure how to fix it. One thing that seems to help is finishing projects, so I probably should focus on that before casting on anything else. Yesterday I finished a sock, one of a pair I started about three months ago, and that’s a long time for a sock for me.

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They’re fraternal twins and the feet aren’t the same length but I love the colors and they fit and feel good on my feet today so that’s a win. Now to finish the other sock project that’s been lingering for months!