Tag Archive | test knitting

And then there were three

People, that is. The girl left yesterday to go back to college. With her here for a whole month, we’d gotten used to her being around again, so it was like pulling off a bandaid. But not as bad as the first time around, and it helps that she was happy to be going back. I’m glad she loves college; I just wish paying for it was simpler/easier/less stressful.

Anyway, we kept ourselves busy after she left by taking down the Christmas tree and having a movie night, and I of course had some knitting therapy, and now there are three…socks on my needles! I’ve still got the second Gossip sock to make, and I’ve been cruising along on my Show Me Yarn 80s sock. Just a foot left on that one!

2gha0fqaquytuebzoufy1w

Plus I cast on a third sock, this one a test knit for Under the Olive Tree Knits. It’s called Guildhall Yard and features a beautiful lace pattern down the front of the leg, but I’ve only gotten the cuff done so far. I’m hoping to reach the lace today.

fullsizeoutput_1f18

Her sample was done in a solid color, and when I went to my sock yarn stash to choose my yarn, I discovered that apparently I don’t really like solid color socks; my stash is full of striped and variegated yarns. But I had two balls of this KnitPicks Stroll in Razzleberry. I’d ordered it to have on hand for accent colors in heels and toes, but it will be lovely in this lace pattern. I need to have the first sock done by the end of the month, so it will take priority over the other socks for now.

We’re having unseasonably warm weather right now, so the pups and I might spend some time outside again today!

9tjlpuziqmqx+qnjfrepza

Happy Sunday, friends!

Paddington Station Socks

The sock pattern that I test knit is now live! They’re called the Paddington Station Socks, and the designer said they’re named for the novel 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie. I haven’t read it; I volunteered to test because I liked the texture of the pattern.

IMG_8019

It’s just knits and purls in a four-row repeat, so it’s simple but still engaging enough to not be boring. I knit the large size, and I actually like the slightly bigger leg for myself! The pattern continues onto the top of the foot nicely and makes for a nice squishy sock. It was a quick enough knit, and the only reason I haven’t finished the second one is because of gift knitting. But I’m getting close!

fullsizeoutput_1e64

Just a gusset and a foot left to go and then I can add another pair to my sock drawer! My yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted and I like it a lot. It’s soft but feels sturdy, and is a thick enough fingering to make a dense sock like I prefer.

Pattern: Paddington Station Socks by Ambrose Smith

Meet Me at the Station Shawl

I have a finished shawl to show you, and the best part is that the pattern is now live and you can knit one too! This is the Meet Me at the Station Shawl by Under the Olive Tree Knits, and I loved testing it.

img_8116It’s designed to be a one-skein shawl, but as you may remember, I had issues and ran out of yarn too soon. To be fair, I did not check gauge before I started knitting, so I accept full responsibility. And in any case, I’m glad it happened because the cream lace is perfect with the dark green body.

img_8097

The pattern is clear and well-written, and Jem provides plenty of photos and tutorials as well. My knitting experience was smooth and happy, and I’d love to knit this again, maybe in one color like I intended!

Pattern: Meet Me at the Station by Olive Tree Knits

Yarns: Araucania Huasco Multy Botany Lace in Hunter, Cascade Heritage in Snow

See my Ravelry project page here.

What would you do?

Okay, so I’m test knitting a shawl. I like the shawl; it’s a pretty pattern and it looks very nice in the yarn I chose.

 

 

BUT. I ran out of yarn. I still have two and a half repeats of the lace pattern and I’m down to 4 grams of yarn, just enough for the bind off. I thought about binding off early, so I put the stitches on waste yarn, and I don’t think it’s long enough. I don’t want to spend $25 buying another skein of the green, so what now? I have a few options:

  • Continue with a contrasting color or coordinating variegated
  • Frog and reknit with a different size needle (But what size?? My gauge is right!)
  • Reknit in a different yarn that I have more of
  • Throw it in the corner and forget it about it

So tell me, what would you do??

 

FO: Test Sock

I finished my test sock! There was a lazy part of me that wanted to switch to stockinette for the foot, but I was good and followed the pattern like I was supposed to, and it came out quite attractive.

IMG_8019

As I mentioned, this was a test knit so I have no pattern to share…YET. But I’ll definitely make sure to post it when it’s live.

IMG_8022

The yarn is KnitPicks Stroll Handpainted. It’s my first time using it and I really like it. It feels very soft and squishy, so I’m eager to see how they wash and wear. I’m guessing they’ll be nice and toasty!

Testing, Testing

I have my selfish knitting, my commissioned knitting, my review knitting, and now I have test knitting! It’s kind of cool how each type feels kind of different, and I enjoy each one for different reasons. But my selfish knitting has definitely fallen by the wayside thanks to all this knitting with deadlines. I’ve finished my commissions, I only have one review project in the works, and I have my two test projects. And one test is almost done!

This Paddington Station sock just needs a toe, which I should be able to finish tonight, and then I can pass on my notes and let the second sock wait until I have more selfish knitting time.

My other test knit is newer, a shawl for Under the Olive Tree Knits. I found Jem on Instagram and have been following her for ages, and her designs are gorgeous. Even though I wasn’t sure I had the time, I really wanted to test one of her shawls. I haven’t gotten to the really fun lace section yet, but I adore the top edge already with the slipped stitches and big yarnovers. As soon as the sock is done, this project moves to the top of the list.

The yarn for this one is Araucania Huasco in a divine dark green.

The only downside to all this knitting is that I’m pretty sure I won’t have much time for gift knitting this year. Sure hope my family isn’t expecting anything!

Disappearing Act

No, YOU ran off and disappeared for a month!!

Okay, yes, it was me. And while I realize most of you probably didn’t notice my lack of posting, I did. I missed writing; I just got caught up in the spring madness of band and choir contest, concerts, finals, junior prom, ACT/SAT, plus work and knitting and reading, oh my! I guess that’s my way of saying life got in the way, and today I’m pushing all that aside to make time for writing again.

Maybe it’s because that I’ve got a little seed of a story that’s trying to get out. I’ve been working on it here and there, and it’s new and exciting and that’s kind of all I’m going to say about it right now. But I think writing leads to more writing, you know? And every time I come back to it, I remember how much I love it. I went and saw Andrew McCarthy recently as he toured for his new YA novel, and he talked about how when he started writing, he had this little epiphany, “OH! There I am!” And that’s me, when I write. Lately I’ve been feeling sort of lost, because I didn’t have the wholly creative life I was living before I went back to work. I’ve been feeling like I’d let got of a big part of myself, and I want to try to get it back. I don’t regret going back to work, really: I love my co-workers and have found some wonderful new friends, and to be honest, the salary is very helpful given our old-house/almost-senior-year-kid life. But I want to try harder to find the balance, to bring back that creative energy that filled my days before. So! Long-winded way to say, I’m back!

First, I have to show off just one photo of my gorgeous girl from her junior prom. Like most prom experiences, the actual event didn’t quite live up to the expectations and there were a couple of hitches, but they looked stunning and had a good time, and that’s good enough, I think.

fullsizeoutput_b25

I’ve been gone too long to talk about everything I’ve knit in the past month, but my focus has been socks. Yes, I’ve become a sock knitter, I admit it. I have three completed pairs and have figured out how to make a sock that fits the way I like. I joined my first KAL, with Raveler FluffyK (from the blog The Corner of Knit & Tea). My goal is to complete two pairs of socks, and I’m pretty close to finishing the first.

fullsizeoutput_b65

This is my first foray into socks with a contrast heel/toe/cuff and I’m pretty much in love with it. My only problem is figuring out when to break for the heel to ensure good contrast, but that’ll come in time. And did I mention how much I adore self-striping yarn?? OMG that’s a reason to knit socks right there! It’s just so magical. I knit these at work during lunch, and non-knitters’ eyes get big when they see what the yarn is doing. “But how does it make the stripes??” Magic, my friends. Magic. This yarn is Aurora Fingering Weight from Tumbleweed Yarns and it’s a joy to knit with. Soft but not limp, great stitch definition, and super-saturated colors. Oh yeah, self-striping sock yarn is going to be my new obsession. For fall I’m totally going to make some fingerless gloves too. Anyway, this sock is ready for the heel, so I’ll get that all done this weekend so the foot will be ready for mindless lunch break knitting next week. This pattern is Vanilla Latte and it’s fantastic (assuming you enjoy ribbing).

Speaking of FluffyK, my other main WIP right now is a cowl pattern I’m test-knitting for her. I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say, but I will say I’m enjoying the knit and so far the lace pattern is turning out beautifully. The pattern calls for around 450-500 yards of DK, and I was so good that I shopped from my stash! I’m using Berroco Fiora in a gray color called Tybee, and I think this will be the perfect spring/fall lightweight cowl.

IMG_3544

I’ll keep you updated and show you the FO as soon as I can, and you can watch her Ravelry design page for release info. The pattern is called Wood Sorrel.

Okay, well, I didn’t really plan this out to be a FluffyK-themed post, but the other thing I wanted to show off is the new yarn I got in April. Yes, she spins yarn too, and because I begged pathetically she’s my friend, she spun a skein especially for me. It was the only skein of yarn I purchased in April, and it was totally worth it.

IMG_3415

Isn’t it stunning?? The colorway is named Sinister Foxy and it’s all wound and ready for me to cast on, as soon as I have the time! If you’re jealous, you can check out her Etsy shop here. She’s also a tech editor and prolific knitter, so she doesn’t have a ton, but it’s all OOAK and beautiful. And heck, while I’m at it: find her on Instagram as fluffykira. She posts lots of pretty things!

This was fun! Thanks for being patient with me, friends. I’ll be back soon, because I do want to share the progress on my Harvest cardigan. But for now, it’s a beautiful morning and I have much housework knitting to do. Happy Saturday!