Shocker, I know. Seems like that’s all the knitting that goes on around here, socks. These are my rainbow shortie socks made with the color Rainbows Run the World from Desert Vista Dyeworks. Much like Sarah over at Mildly Granola, I wish I’d done a contrast heel, but that also seems like a lot of bother for shortie socks. Instead I will take that knowledge with me when I knit a calf-length pair with this yarn. Also I did a garter stitch heel with these for the first time and they feel so squishy!
Someday I WILL have more to show you that is not socks because I’ve been working on my Kassiani shawl and loving every bit of it. Who knew that massive lace shawls would be happy knitting for me?
Hope you’re all staying cool, if you have the same hot hot hot weather we’re having. I do love summer but I have my limits!
In January of last year, I started keeping track of my yarn usage. Not super scientifically, just how many skeins in and out. I actually did surprisingly well last year, and it came out about even by the end of 2020. This year has not been so successful. I’ve been feeding the stash a little too generously. Like, the last time I went to put new yarn into my stash, I had to rearrange a little bit to make room because my shawl yarn and sock yarn shelves were so full.
At the same time, I read someone’s blog post about wanting to be more thoughtful about stash additions, and some friends were talking about being conscious of how long it takes you to use up yarn, say one skein of fingering. Unless it’s sock yarn, it usually takes a while.
It all came together and made me decide it was time for another yarn destash. I’ve been knitting for over nine years now, and my tastes have changed, but I still have yarn I bought back then. I still have tons of alpaca, because I love to knit with alpaca, but I can’t actually wear alpaca. So why keep it all? Why not clear out some space and send the yarn off to a new home?
I pulled out probably 75 skeins of yarn, all told. Some of it went to a couple of knitting buddies, but the lot in the chair has been listed on Facebook Marketplace and I’d love to find someone who wants to take it off my hands. The second photo is my reduced stash. Before, all but the bottom two shelves were full of yarn, and the top two shelves on the left side were literally full, to the top. It just didn’t feel good anymore. This new stash feels manageable to me, and lets me see the skeins I love, some of which were just getting buried under other things. Now here’s hoping I can keep this up and be more thoughtful about feeding the stash in the future!
I’m back down to three pairs of socks on my needles! Even though I cast on a new sock last week, I managed to finish a lingering WIP over the weekend. I was watching the French Open so I needed mindless knitting, and I thought it was the best opportunity to work on a sock I didn’t love knitting. Lo and behold, I managed to get it done during the women’s final! And that night, I finished sock one of my rainbow socks!
It’s funny how such little things can make a person feel so accomplished! And I love how the striped socks feel on my feet — they’re kind of squishy but the yarn also feels sturdy. They’ll be very good fall socks. And now I can zoom along on my second rainbow sock without any guilt. Have you finished anything that made you feel productive lately?
When I started my scrappy blanket, there was this whole idea of “oh I’ll knit a square every day!” HAHA. Yeah, that doesn’t happen. What happens is I do several squares over a few days, then put it back in hibernation until the urge comes back. It came back last week and I got eight new squares added on.
I also wove in those ends plus the ends from the last time I added squares and was too lazy to weave in ends. Just a couple more rows and it might almost cover Duncan!
I currently have three sock projects on my needles, all in various stages, and I really want to get two of them finished. I have one finished purple sock for the boy, and it’s pretty yarn and soft, but also solid dark colors are boring and plus it’s not for me. I have one teal/gray striped sock done, and made it to the heel of the second yesterday, and I like the color combination but I find I prefer self-striping yarn to doing the striping myself and also for some reason I’m just not excited about these socks anymore. I need to just power through these so I can move on to fun socks again.
That last little sock is a new shortie sock that I took with me to the symphony last night and it’s my one fun sock right now. I also learned that I like going to the symphony alone. I just knitted on my sock and enjoyed the music and it was kind of a nice evening!
Even as I noodle along with my simple socks and stockinette sweater, I’ve been itching to cast on a big lace shawl. I may not wear them very often, but I find them so gorgeous, and I realized I don’t have a big purple lace shawl. Yesterday was a shitty day and I needed the distraction, so I found a pattern, pulled yarn from the stash, and cast on for a shawl called Kassiani by Dee O’Keefe. (I can only find the Rav link so I’ll share a photo of it too. It was in my pattern library from a while back.)
Because I tend to buy yarn in single skeins (“It’s so pretty!!”) I didn’t have any matching skeins to pull, but I got pretty close. I had a dark tonal purple called Prince from LoloDidIt, and some time later I’d found a mystery skein in a destash that was the same colors but with a thread of stellina. I swear it could be the same colorway. I’m going to do the top portion of the shawl in Prince and then do the big swoopy lace section in the sparkly purple. I think it might be magical. Like my own personal superhero cape or something. To remind myself that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!
For a fingering weight hat, this went fast! I cast on Tuesday and finished it last night. It came out a tad bigger than I expected, with a hint of slouch, but I’m hoping that will be okay. They can grow into it, right? It’s superwash yarn so I’m going to send it through the washer and dryer before gifting it. The yarn is Lion Brand Mani-Pedi (I think that’s what it’s called) and I really like the colors. It’s maybe not as as soft as some more expensive yarns, but I’m guessing a wash will help with that too.
We capped off the girl’s visit with an outdoor summer band concert — live music! the girl playing her flute! — and dinner and game night on our deck. It was perfect for burgers and Scrabble. The only thing that could have made it better would be if I had won that game!
And now the girl is gone and we are back to three. Grace might be the saddest of all. She got to sleep with the girl while she was here and now she’s back to sleeping downstairs with the other dogs. That is sad for us too, since she gets lonely and doesn’t let us sleep as late!
By now, I think most of us are aware that June is Pride Month. What I didn’t realize before doing some reading today was that it originated as a way to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. I have many friends and loved ones who have come out as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and I’m guessing I have more who haven’t. I love them, I’m proud of their strength and courage, and I try my best to be an ally. I have someone in my life who very recently came out, and I decided they needed a rainbow beanie, so that’s my first Pride project this month.
It’s fingering weight on size 3 needles, and I think I cast on something like 128 stitches. It’ll be a simple project, but made with love.
When will I want to start knitting more complicated things again? It feels like all I’m doing is stockinette or ribbing, socks or sweater body. I’m not complaining, because this knitting is fun and soothing, but it is a little weird. I typically have at least one WIP that requires some brainpower. I guess technically I do, because I started a cabled scarf for the girl, but I have zero mojo for that at the moment. I’m starting to think about some other things I want to cast on. I want to knit another big lace shawl, and I want some sport-weight socks, and I have four skeins of DK that need to become a big cozy shawl. I’ve discovered I love wearing huge shawls; my massive Mermaid shawl is my favorite and I wear it around the house all the time. So I definitely need a huge purple shawl. But until I have the appropriate motivation to cast those things on, I will continue to knit socks. I finished some Rose City Rollers from leftovers, and I had to get creative.
Writers have a term, “pantsers”, that they use for people who write without a plan or an outline; they write by the seat of their pants. Apparently when it comes to knitting socks, I am a pantser because I just grabbed a good-sized ball of leftover sock yarn and cast on. In one sense, it didn’t work in my favor because obviously I ran out and had to supplement with the pink. But in another sense, um HELLO these socks are super fun! And I wrote down how much yarn they used so now I can weigh my ball to make sure I have enough next time.
It’s been a busy weekend. We started with the symphony on Friday night and that was magical. It was SO good to hear live music again in over a year. I knew I’d missed it but hadn’t realized exactly how much. Then we had a family birthday party on Saturday, and a family graduation dinner on Sunday, celebrating the three cousins who graduated high school this year. I loved seeing everyone and had a lovely time and now I’m exhausted and looking forward to a lazy day of watching tennis and knitting.
Along with socks, I’ve been plugging along on my Apogean sweater, the one with the Manos del Uruguay Locura Fluo. I’m sill in the thick of the long stockinette body, just going round and round. After my last post, I got some suggestions to try helical knitting to help with pooling and that’s been both fun and helpful. Though my first effort at googling helical knitting didn’t lead me down the right path, Kath set me straight and shared a great video about how to do helical knitting with two strands (which she also calls the jogless join) and guys, it’s so cool!
The last inch or so is with the helical knitting, and as you can see, I’m still getting some pooling so I’m not sure it’s made a huge difference, but I love the look so I’m just going to roll with it. I have also discovered the secret to happily knitting a lot of stockinette: really fun yarn. I can’t believe I’ve done this much already and am excited to do more!