Tag Archive | handknits

Sock It To Me Monday

I’m wearing new socks today, freshly finished socks! I love that first wearing of new socks, don’t you? These are my Jimmy the Model socks from LolaBean Yarn Co.

I totally meant to use the purple/pink on the heel too, but I forgot on the first sock and I wanted them to match. I’m hoping I can eke out a pair of shortie socks with purple toes.

I was able to get some medicine for Jack this morning, thank goodness. He’s still in the cone and not too happy, but at least he’s not fighting it. I’m grateful for my vet for not making me drag him in again! Tonight, I have to try to get him in the bathtub for a bath. Have I mentioned he’s 85 pounds? Should be interesting!

Also, we’re getting our first snow of the season and I’m strangely happy about it! Maybe it’s because I know I don’t have to drive to work in it, and maybe because I’m eager for the Christmas season.

Happy Monday, friends.

FO: Sailing

I’m doing pretty well with my Finish-itis and got my Sailing shawl done and blocked. It’s a little smaller than I expected but still very wearable.

I bought the pattern on Lovecrafts and it was good mindless knitting, lots of soothing garter stitch. And I love the yarn! It’s a merino fingering weight from Orange Jellyfish Dream in a OOAK purple/gray color.

With that done, I’ve turned my attention to the other purple/gray shawl on my needles, although I did cast on for my Christmas socks too. And I’m getting some good knitting time today too. Jack got a hot spot last night (an itchy spot on the skin that dogs then lick/scratch obsessively so it can get infected if it’s not treated quickly), so he’s in the cone of shame today and very unhappy about it. He seems to be happier next to me, so we’re just chilling in the living room. And Duncan is lending his moral support, since he remembers how miserable the cone is.

With any luck, the vet will be able to get us some meds without me having to take him in yet again. He hates the vet so much, and we’ve been having skin issues already lately, so this isn’t a new problem. With any luck, it will heal quickly and we can free him from his miserable cone!

FO Friday: Manos Alegria Grande

I’m excited to share my latest FO with you today! I got a chance to review some Manos del Uruguay Alegria Grande and I’m always up for that challenge. It’s a yarn I’ve used before, but they’ve released some new semi-solid and space-dyed colorways. I selected one of the resist-dyed colors called Gleam, which is black with purple specks. (Shocker, I know.)

Okay, first of all, what the heck do ‘space-dyed’ and ‘resist-dyed’ mean? I had no idea. The internet tells me that space dyeing is when multiple colors are applied along the length of the yarn which may or may not repeat after a fixed interval. Resist-dyeing is when a substance that is impervious to the dye blocks its access to certain areas of the fabric, while other parts are free to take up the color of the dye. Hm, okay, that sounds fun, and it sure makes some cool yarn. And that cool yarn can make a really cool shawl — look at how the speckles change direction between each section!

For my two skeins, I chose a pattern from Manos called the Serenità Shawl. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and was designed for two skeins of Alegria Grande. I did the pattern as written and ended up with just a few yards left over. It’s a fun pattern that switches from stockinette to garter to lace.

Knitting with the Grande was a delight, as Manos always is. The Grande is a smooth, thick, squishy yarn. But here’s what I never realized before: it’s machine washable! It’s 75% merino wool and 25% polyamide, which means you could make awesome sweaters in gorgeous colors that are easy to care for! This has opened up a lot of new opportunities for me to use the Alegria yarns in my knitting.

For shawls, I’ll still hand wash, though. This one is a small shawl so I blocked it as aggressively as I could, and wow, the lace opened up beautifully. It’s got a great drape and I’m happy to wear it next to my skin, which occasionally has some wool sensitivities.

I did come across two frayed spots, one in each skein, where the yarn had thinned. I didn’t want to risk it breaking unexpectedly so I did break the yarn to skip those spots. I ended up with a couple of extra ends to weave in but I feel like those two spots are totally within reason. There are so many good reasons to knit with Manos (pretty! soft! colors!) but don’t forget the cool stuff like supporting the skilled women in Uruguay who produce the yarn, or that Manos is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. It’s just a company I feel good supporting, and you can learn more here.

Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me two skeins of Alegria Grande (retail value: $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

How about a hat

Nope, nothing finished here! Instead I cast on a new hat! One of my favorite work friends has a birthday soon and I decided I needed to knit him a hat. And for some reason I decided it needed to be cabled.

I’ve got the brim done, now it’s on to the 8-row pattern repeat. Surely I can finish a worsted-weight cabled hat in five days?

WIP Wednesday

As I keep reminding myself because days mean very little anymore, today is Wednesday, so I will share my brand-new WIP! Finishing my Sonny & Tubbs socks left me with zero socks on my needles, and that is never acceptable. I had to cast on pronto, and I was excited to finally be able to pull out my LolaBean Jimmy the Model set! (If you’re not familiar with Jimmy the Model, look for him and/or LolaBean Yarn Co. on Instagram. Jimmy is her husband. They are delightful together and on their own!)

My son says he keeps glancing over and seeing Jimmy’s face, and it catches him off guard every time. For me, I like to catch a glimpse of a smiling face! The bag was a collaboration with Mrs. Brown’s Bags and it’s fantastic: roomy and very well-made.

I did work on my Sea Swell shawl last night as I watched the shit storm that was supposed to be a presidential debate. I’ll just say I had to refill my wine glass twice, and it took me a while to unwind to go to bed! Here’s hoping any future debates go more smoothly.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Stupid socks

I got too confident, that’s what happened. I was knitting socks with my fabulous Sonny & Tubbs yarn from Show Me Yarn and when I started the second sock, the stripes were lining up perfectly. I was so happy. But then I hit the heel and all hell broke loose, though I didn’t realize it at the time. Two days ago, I was working the foot and wanted to see how close to the toe I was. Well, that was a disappointment because I discovered I’d made the legs different lengths, but it wasn’t a big deal.

But wait, the heel turns were different colors too? Oh yep, I started the heel flap too soon on the second sock. Fine, I didn’t need matching stripes on my socks.

Last night I finished the socks. As I always do, I line them up against each other to see how closely they match. One foot was significantly bigger than the other. WHAT the heck. Friends, it’s a good thing I don’t need matching socks.

Yes, that’s right: on the second sock, I carried the ribbing down the foot, instead of doing a stockinette foot like the first sock. ARGH.

At least they fit. And besides, Sonny and Tubbs didn’t match either!

What was I thinking?

My other shawl got done sooner than I anticipated, and was blocking by late Saturday morning. Did I then wind my Rasta? Nope. Did I start my LEGO set? Nope. I was good and heeded the hint of finish-itis that’s starting to bloom, and I picked up my Mermaid Shawl. I’ve been working on it all weekend and today I faded in the last color. But good grief, this shawl is killing me.

It’s endless. I have two more short-row wedges left to knit, then an I-cord bind off. So the next time I think I want to make a big five-skein shawl, just slap me, okay? Or at least tell me to use purples and pinks! The silver lining is that the last color is the best, the deep blue-purple meant to represent the deepest part of the ocean. And darn it, I do love an I-cord bind off once it’s done.

I also managed to bake peanut butter chocolate chip bread and start the new Jodi Picoult book this weekend. If only we could squeeze in one more day before Monday!

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!

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!

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!