We are four days into the new month and I’m making good progress on two new WIPs. I had to cast on a new sock of course, and I cast on for the Blogville Water shawl KAL. Last night I made it to the end of the first garter stitch section and I’m ready for the first short row section. Before I dive into that, though, I need to make sure I know how to do the special stitches. Hopefully I can get into that tonight!
But I also have new things on deck! With warmer temperatures arriving, I’m discovering that shortie socks are my favorites for spring, and I only have four pairs. That’s not nearly enough, so I dipped into my bag of leftovers for a couple of little balls and I’ll cast these on later today. The rainbow yarn is my happy mail from today and my first yarn from Desert Vista Dyeworks! It’s Rainbows Run the World with colors inspired by all the women we saw on Inauguration Day. Why do I have two skeins? I don’t know, I just loved it so much I wanted enough! I know one skein will be socks, maybe the other will become a cool cowl or something.
What’s your favorite non-sock thing to make with self-striping sock yarn?
Hooray hooray, it’s March today! That is happy because it means that spring is coming. We could very well still get another cold spell, possibly even some snow, but somehow it’s easier to endure in March than in February. Plus this is the girl’s birthday month and she will be coming home for a visit and that is also very happy. Another happy thing is that I did manage to finish that sock yesterday, adding one more FO to my February total. (No, I don’t know what the total is. More than two and less than 10, that’s all I got.) These are my Sorry Not Sorry socks from Hedgehog Fibres, with contrast yarn from Less Traveled Yarn.
The first thing you may notice is that one heel is solid pink. That’s the annoying thing about this sock. See, I had a 20g ball of that contrast yarn but once I got past the second cuff, I only had 5.5 grams left and I wasn’t convinced that was enough for a heel and a toe, and I wanted a contrast toe more, so I went the safe route. Of course then I got done and I’m pretty sure I could have done the heel too. Next time I do contrasts, I think I will weigh as I go so I know how much yarn each little contrast element takes.
Now it is March and I carried over only two WIPs, a lace cowl and the gradient shawl. That means I can cast on all the new things, right? I have to have a sock on the needles and I don’t think I can resist my newest yarn, from Kenyarn and inspired by the Ella Fitzgerald Barbie doll. But I am also ready and eager to cast on the Water shawl (Rav link) for the Blogville KAL that Alissa is running. My yarn isn’t very water-ish but it is the only two matching skeins of fingering in my stash and there’s no way I was buying new yarn for this, especially since this gorgeous yarn (from The Periwinkle Sheep) was waiting for a project.
I might also cast on for a hat for the husband, and maybe the cowl with the Woolfolk. I have all these project bags, I might as well put them to good use!
I’m starting to think ahead to March, when I’ll be casting on a Water shawl (Rav link) in a knit-along with Alissa and a few others here in Blogville. It’s a two-skein shawl that might have a trick or two up its sleeve, so to get it done by the end of March, I know I’ll need to focus on it quite a bit. Though I know I can’t finish all my WIPs before then, I decided I needed to at least finish the boy’s gray socks, which have been lingering for far too long. If I don’t finish them soon, I’m afraid they’ll get lost forever! After working on it most of the weekend, I got all the way past the heel turn.
That’s a very long leg, I’ll have you know! And the foot will be equally long, I believe, or very close. So this week I just need to watch some good TV and movies and zip through this foot. What about you, are you hoping to finish a WIP or two by the end of the month?
Oh, Monday. I was on a Zoom call this morning, one where I didn’t have much to contribute, so I had a little bit of sock knitting with me. I’d brought up the second gray sock for the boy and I did three or four rounds before pulling out the first sock to check the cuff length. This is what I found.
It might be hard to tell for sure, but no, those cuffs do not match. My typical cuff is 2×2 rib so apparently when I cast on, I did that without thinking. And without remembering that I’d done 1×1 rib on the first sock! I know what you’re thinking: would the boy care? Would he even notice? The answer to both is probably not, but I frogged and started over anyway. If I’d been further along, I might not have, but I like ribbing, so having to re-knit this isn’t a big hardship.
I do have a positive sock update to share, though. I finally finished the first Sorry Not Sorry sock late last week and cast on the second.
I’m not completely convinced I have enough of my contrast yarn for both a heel and a toe, but I’ll worry about that later. I still have about five inches of ribbing to think about that. I really want to cast on some new socks, though. There’s something about solid-color socks that bores me. I’m ready for some stripes or speckles or something more exciting…like this:
This is Doors of January by Mint Rain Yarns. It’s inspired by The 10,000 Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow and if you haven’t read it, definitely check it out! It was one of the recent books from my book group and it’s unusual and strange and I loved it so much. I ordered the black mini-skein to represent doorways at the heels/toes; it’s not a perfect match for the black in the main yarn but it’ll work. I’m telling myself I need to finish my pink sock before starting this one. I wonder if I’ll make it!
And Monday is socking it to me this week. It is cold and gray and rainy, and I found out some news at work that was a little disheartening and so I am wandering around my house in a hoodie with the hood pulled up because it is somehow mildly comforting. We all thought, Oh yay, 2021 will be better! Oh yay, the vaccine is coming! Oh yay this or that! Well, guess what. Things still mostly suck, except I have less dread every time I log into Twitter each morning.
I’ve had some time on conference calls where I’m not doing much, so my bright, fun sock is growing nicely. But mostly I’ve been working on my We Belong Together shawl and I think I will finish that in the next couple of days. Oh, and I took a short break last night for this little project.
Duncan went outside with the sweater on, and came inside without a sweater. I found it outside, damp and muddy, by the broken gate where they like to go in and out under the deck. It snagged on something, clearly. I have mended the hole and it is not pretty if you look up close but it is no longer a hole at least. I didn’t want to take a picture because my mending skills are less than stellar. Thankfully, the dogs won’t care at all.
Today is a day for a lot of lasts: last day of 2020 (HOORAY!), last blog post of the year, and today I’ll share my last Finished Object of the year. These are Vanilla Latte socks in the Tainted Love yarn, which I started almost two months ago. They even match (mostly)!
I hurried to finish these before tomorrow because I wanted to be balanced. Back in January, I decided I would try to manage my yarn stash. My goal was to use up more skeins from my stash than I added; I didn’t worry about yardage or weight, just the number of skeins. I am proud to report that even in this dumpster fire of a year, I came out even: 74 in, 74 out! Now, I do have one teensy little disclaimer: I didn’t count gift yarn in my incoming skeins. I was going to all along, but then Christmas came and I did my almost-final count and realized I needed a little win. Along with these socks I finished two hats for the kids.
The girl’s is the Hinterland Hat (Rav link) in Maraschino Island Yarns Blackwater, and the boy’s is a simple Boyfriend Beanie (Rav link) in Land Ho! from the Treasure Goddess. Getting all these projects done made me feel even better about my Christmas yarn acquisitions. Okay, no, I didn’t feel bad about them anyway. But I am going to to do my stash challenge again next year. If nothing else, it was kind of fun to get a sense of how much I actually use and buy.
I got plenty of other lovely gifts, some yarn-related, and it was a good Christmas. Not the best — I missed being with my mom and siblings on Christmas morning — but as good as it could be under the circumstances. I know I’ve been quiet on here lately but I’ve been reading and lurking and I’m grateful to have Blogville here when I need it.
The only thing that’s finished on this Friday is the work week. My shopping’s not done, my wrapping’s not done, and definitely none of my current knitting projects are done. But I’ve had fun working on them this week!
I’m telling you, I can’t stop working on that scrap blanket. These squares are all of my tiny 2-gram balls and now I’ll move on to the 3-gram. The squares are just so quick, and it’s satisfying to see the “blanket” grow. The sock is my Christmas Silly String yarn from BaH Yarns and it’s just about ready for a heel, whenever I can pull myself away from my blanket squares. I also took a quick trip to my LYS because they had these new pins and I was in the area, thanks to weekly testing at work. What else could I do but pop in and get a Santa and a Tree?? Okay and yes, I also got a skein of yarn (not pictured) because the boy said he’d take another hat.
Two of my long-lost packages have arrived, though the one from Etsy was slightly damaged because she didn’t pack it well enough. She wasn’t pleased with the review I left, but hey, I wasn’t pleased with the service so it all balances out. I’m still missing two Christmas gifts but I’m crossing my fingers that they get here in time.
Maybe I’ll have a finished sock to show you in time for Sock it To Me Monday!
Oh sure, why not cast on a new project in the middle of December? When I was digging through big of scrap sock yarn balls, I remembered that I wanted to knit one of those scrap memory blankets, the ones made with little squares of scrap sock yarn. Once I had that in my head, there was nothing to do but cast on. Sarah was the most recent one whose blanket I’d been admiring, so I found her project and downloaded the free pattern (Rav link) and cast on Sunday night.
Guys, those squares are TINY! I had no idea. One on the one hand, OMG it’s adorable, but on the other hand, OMG it’s going to take forever. And yet last night I added two more because right now this is potato chip knitting. Today I’m going to weigh some of the teeniest scrap balls I have, to make sure I use up those first. I need about two grams per square, so I’m delighted to have a use for all the bits that have no other good use but I can’t bear to throw away.
Have you made one of these blankets? How many years will it be before I have a blanket-sized object? This one doesn’t quite cover Duncan yet!
Let’s start the week off on a happy note, shall we? I got the most delightful gift box from my boss yesterday, since we can’t do a team holiday party. It had homemade cookies and two little deluxe chocolates and tea bags and a baby succulent and even little bottles of booze! I can make a pomegranate martini now! And it was in the best box with a cloth-covered lid and gold-tone handles. I’m not sure what will go in that box yet, but you know it will get used for something fun.
I also did some fun knitting yesterday, and started my new Christmas sock yarn. Originally I was going to do red cuffs/heels/toes, but I had no red sock yarn. (Sent it all to Sarah, oops!) Had no black. Had no white. Digging through my bin of sock yarn scraps gave me a fun idea though: multiple colors!
It kind of reminds me of multi-colored Christmas lights. I found six balls of solid includes, including one tiny ball of red, enough to use for one accent, so each accent section will be a different color. I’m pretty sure these will knit up fast!
I haven’t really been knitting lately. I’m making more bobble hats for my former boss, but the last one should get done today. I worked on a sock last weekend, the boy’s sock with the leg that is 10 1/2″ long. But mostly I’ve been doing LEGO sorting. The boy loved LEGO as a kid so we have a ton of sets, and all the pieces got jumbled together over the years. Now we are I am systematically going through each booklet and finding the right pieces for each set. It’s endless and boring and mind-numbing and very soothing and satisfying. There’s nothing like finding the last, right piece after searching through a plastic tub for ages. Anyway, that’s where my brain is right now. I don’t know what it means but I’m sure I’ll get back to fun knitting soon enough.
I am still appreciating pretty yarn, and I will show you my two “wins” first. The gray and black is Knit Picks Hawthorne that I ordered on a whim because I was ordering other yarn from them and needed to get free shipping (as one does, right?). The other is Christmas Silly String from BaH Yarns and I bought it on a whim when it popped up on my Instagram feed. I very much would like to knit it next, but first I must finish a bobble hat.
Now for the losses. I have two Christmas presents for the boy that are stuck somewhere in the ether, one coming from the UK and the tracking just says it’s on its way and check back for “regular updates”. Ha. One is from Etsy and there is no tracking number and the seller said “oh yes I’ll get you that tracking number tonight” and never did. I have a beautiful skein of yarn that I ordered from a small dyer whose yarn I love, and I ordered it November 2 and it has not been shipped, has not arrived, and I can get no answer from them through email or Instagram. I want to believe that there is something personal going on to explain the poor service, so I’m trying to sustain some empathy even though I have no evidence to support it. And then there’s this.
On the left is an Instagram photo of a special colorway preorder to support a domestic violence shelter. Good cause + purple = I ordered it. I knew it was a preorder so I waited. After four weeks, I’d heard nothing, so I sent a quick polite email just asking for an update. What do you know, it was ready to ship out that day! It came quickly at least. The right photo is the skein that arrived. One of these things is not like the other. I know colors can vary from one device to another, but I looked at her photo on multiple devices and they all showed purple. And mine … is gray, with flecks of blue and mustard and one big black splotch. Like it? It’s yours for the cost of shipping!
It’s for a good cause, so I don’t want a refund or anything like that. Someone told me I should give the dyer a heads up. If nothing else maybe she’d find it helpful to know that her photos don’t match her yarn? I don’t know. That’s awkward and I haven’t decided if I want to do that. But if I don’t, I know I’ll never order from her again. What do you think? Am I being too picky? Should I send an email or cut my losses and move on?