FO Friday: If Hermione was in Ravenclaw

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Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Sock

Yarn: Regia 4-fädig, colour 05395 blau-weiß color, custom dyed to be Ravenclaw blue and grey.

Heel: The dreaded ‘Afterthought’

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Seeking Ravenclaw

I just couldn’t find the right yarn, so I dyed my own. My co-worker asked me to make a pair of socks for her daughter for Christmas, made in the colours of her Hogwarts House, Ravenclaw.  I was heading to Toronto last week and thought, since I’m on Queen Street, I’ll take a trip to Romni. Surely, they should have some self-striping yarn in blue and grey/silver. Romni has rows upon rows of yarn, but I couldn’t find the right yarn.  I found something close, though:

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This is Regia 4-fädig, and I think it was part of a sports-team/college colours line, but it was a blue (check) self striping (check) sock yarn (check). It just wasn’t grey.  Halfway between buying it and walking to my car, I thought it could be fun to try and dye it, making the white grey and hopefully making the blue a little deeper.  If it works, awesome! If not, it was an experiment and I’d have a blue and something self-striping yarn that could become socks sometime down the line.

Unfortunately, grey is a really challenging colour to achieve with food dyes as most grey/black colours are comprised of many different colours to look black.  Example, when I dyed yarn for my Captain America shawl, they grey looks great in the slow cooker, but when it dried, it became obvious the colours broke, giving a variegated purple/green look.

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It was pretty, and it looks great in the finished shawl, but this certainly wasn’t what I was trying to achieve.

As the Regia soaked, I experimented with a few colour combos. Ultimately, I was happiest with the look of Americolor Soft Gel Paste in ‘Slate.’  You can test your dye by dipping paper towels into what you’ve prepared.  All the Wilton tests were giving off too much green, but this one looked like it would be a muted grey with a hint of green/blue halo. I held my breath, added the dye to the slow cooker, and walked away, lest I compulsively checked the crock pot every three minutes or so.

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To prepare the dye, I used 1 cup of water, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and about 1/4 tsp of the Americolor gel (fun fact, I had to type ‘color’ about four times to spell it the American way). Ultimately, I prepared the dye twice, so it had about 1/2 tsp of the colour added.

The finished skein?

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I am rather pleased! There’s only the hint of a green hue, but overall, it’s grey and blue and oh-so-Ravenclaw!

Knit All The Socks.

This is an actual text I sent my sister:

Yes, I had a moment where I feared I had too many socks. No, I can’t believe it either. Now, that thought didn’t stay with me long, and I laughed to myself and proceeded knit round after round of a sock in progress.

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Socks are my go-to project.  I always have at least one pair on the go, and often more during holiday-knitting season.

Socks can generally be knit with one skein of 100g yarn. One skein, one completed project. It’s great.  I have no problem buying skeins upon skeins of sock yarn because I know it can be used for something without fear of running out!

Socks are also fabulously transportable. My purse is never complete without a pair of socks tucked inside.

Socks can be as simple or complex as you want. There’s a lot of freedom with a pair of socks.  There are certain constants: the cuff, leg, heel, foot, and toe, but how will you do the cuff, what pattern will feature on the leg and instep, heel flap or afterthought? So many ways to make a sock your own.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have socks to knit, and a sock drawer to organize.

Where did you go, Autumn?

Okay Mother Nature, make up your mind.

Last weekend was glorious in southern Ontario. We seemingly saw the arrival of autumn, which was a welcome change after a few unbearable days of heat and humidity.  We basically went from heat advisories to wind chills. Through all the hot days, I bore down, knowing that these days wouldn’t be lasting much longer for 2018. Last weekend, I happily broke out my cardigans and shawls, wrapping myself up in their warmth. I was wearing gloves! Gloves!

And then this weekend came along. More heat. More humidity. Less wonderful woollen wears. My lovely cardigans have taken their place back in my closet, waiting for the Mercury to fall again. Part of me is stubborn, and all I want to do is start wearing my cowls again, heat be damned! But the reasonable part of me realizes I don’t have A/C, and she laughed and laughed at the stubborn fool.  Needless to say, my favourite accessory stayed put.

This is Canada. The heat warnings will eventually come to an end. Until they do, I’ll be by my fan, knitting away, waiting to wear knits once again.

Long weekends are for knitting

It’s hard to believe September is already one-third over! The long weekend came, and so did the the falling leaves decor and pumpkin spice everything.  This past weekend was exceptionally busy for me at work, as one of our biggest vents, that I’m responsible for co-ordinating, took place.  This meant that I took full advantage of the Labour Day weekend, spending my time knitting, reading, cooking, and very little else.

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Just before the long weekend, I finished a pair of fingerless gloves.  The pattern is Cross My Palm by Kate Atherley; it’s a paid pattern, was very fun and fast to make, and would certainly recommend spending the $5 on it!  I received the pattern as part of my Great Toronto Yarn Hop registration, and the yarn, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) was another Yarn Hop acquisition. I loved the colours of this skein and am waiting for the weather to get just a touch cooler before getting good use out of these mittens.

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Over the long weekend, I also started a hat, one which I’ve been itching to make for months.  The pattern is Grandifolia Head by Vickie Hartog, part of her Grandifolia series of shawls, cowls, and other accessories. I’ve put it off in the past, largely because it has an i-cord cast on, and being frank, I just didn’t have the attention span to work almost 150 rows of an i-cord; over the long weekend I had nothing but time, so cast on I did.  The yarn I’m using is Stitch Please Amethyst Label in their Men in Tights colourway, a vivid and beautiful shade of emerald green. The yarn was bought at the 2016 Knitters Frolic and has sat patiently while I gathered my patience to start.

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The picture doesn’t do justice to the colour.

With the days creeping along, as they inevitably do, I will need to switch gears and start thinking of holiday knitting.