Yarn challenge complete. This year was fun! In case you missed what I’m talking about, one of my Local Yarn Stores hosts a yarn challenge every late-winter. The owner chooses a yarn and colour palette, and she makes kits for participants to purchase. From there, each person makes a piece, and upon return to the LYS, she puts the pieces in her front window and people can vote for their favourites. This year’s yarn was Briggs and Little Sport, and with it, I made this:
The pattern is Raspberry Field by Jana Markova. The overall structure was easy to follow. The confusion started with the lace. I really wanted to include the lace because it added a certain something to the project, but the designer didn’t design the lace chart to account for the increases at the beginning (RS) and end (WS) of each row, and it didn’t account for the decreases happening along the spine. I had to think really hard about how to proceed with this section. Basically, for the first row, I went for it, started the lace where it should have started as per the chart, and I figured where to start each subsequent lace repeat by counting.
Despite the challenges in making the lace, I’m very happy with the final product. It’s woolly and warm, admittedly a little scratchy (because it is VERY woolly), but so cozy.
On the first Thursday of the month, a number of sock-knitting bloggers share their progress with the theme “Once Upon a Sock,” an awesome initiative co-ordinated by Paula @ Spin A Yarn! It’s well worth checking out the other posts because it’s always interesting to see what other people are looking at; it’s like sock yarn eye candy!
My knitting this month, admittedly, has been dominated by the Soper Creek 2019 Yarn Challenge project. It’s still super secret until later this month, but I am SO PLEASED with how it’s progressing so far. I have a number of rows to finish and giving it a good bath before I turn my submission into the LYS. Can’t wait to post pictures.
But, anyways, in between the super-secret-project, I’ve been working on socks! Last month, I mentioned how my two sock projects on the go were simple vanilla socks. After finishing the purple socks and wanting something new to work on, I wound this beautiful skein Leo and Roxy Yarn Co. 80/20 Sock and started a simple lace sock.
I ACTUALLY started a different texture for the sock, a simple 1×1 cable, but the texture was getting lost in the variegation. So, after 15 or so rows, I ripped back to the ribbing and started with the lace. It’s a lovely, simple design, allowing the yarn to showcase the colours and speckles, and this pattern was one I’ve improvised, inspired by a historical pattern. (Is it fair to say something this simple is something I’ve ‘created’? I’m sure others before and after will undertake this simple lace… just a musing, I guess.)
See, really simple. I’m working away at the foot and am VERY happy with how it’s progressing. The lace adds interest but is not taking anything away from the yarn, which is doing its own magical thing! If I was to make this pattern again (and, I very well might), I would swap row 4 and 8 of the pattern – the way it’s currently working is that the first instep stitch after turning the heel and picking up for the gusset, is a yarn over, and the first stitch of the heel (when looked at from the RS) was a yarn over as well. By swapping these two rows, the yarn over would always be in the middle of the pattern, not the first stitch somewhere. Things to keep in mind next time. For now, I’m going to keep working away and am looking forward to seeing this pair progress!
You know how I love shawl style cowls, right? If not, you must be a new reader. Thanks for stopping by! Well, I love bandana style cowls that look like you’re wearing a shawl, but it doesn’t have the fiddly ends to adjust perpetually though the day. I’m constantly scouring Ravelry for different patterns of this style of cowl, and in early January, I bought the Lace Eyelet Cowl pattern. Super cute, with three distinct sections to the cowl. I got through section one in bits at a time, a great put-down, pick-up project. I got to section two and was VERY sorry to realize that this section, which is a little more intricate with the lace, Is. Not. Charted. I repeat. Not. Charted.
I’m dragging my feet to keep working on this right now. I got so far as to play around with Stitch Fiddle to try and chart these directions. Stitch Fiddle is a website that can be used to chart knitting patterns, and I’ll be honest, while playing around on my iPad, I’m not 100% convinced I knew what I was doing, and didn’t have the gumption to leave my blanket and space heater to get my laptop. It’s been cold here in southern Ontario. Really cold. Like, currently -15C (or close to 0F) cold. Blanket and space heaters are necessary.
So rather than knit using these written instructions, I’m whining on my blog about how much I hate written patterns. I’m sure, in the end, it’ll be worth it and this cowl will be lovely. However, next time, I’ll pay better attention before I click ‘Pay.’
I found a new favourite pattern. It has a silly-ish name, but it’s well written and works up quickly: Balls Up ! by General Hogbuffer. I’m always on the mission to use up those left over bits and bobs of yarn; a few endevours have been my sock yarn memory blanket, the Ex-Boyfriends shawl, and socks that I’ve lovingly referred to as my ‘ugly’ socks, an inappropriate moniker because they are one of my favourite pairs to wear. Why ugly socks?
There are four different remnants of Opal sock yarn being used in these socks, all joined together with the Russian join method. It’s a little bit of a colour cacophony, but I kinda love them.
With the holiday season in full force, I wanted to expand on my knitted ornament collection, which is where I found the ‘Balls Up!’ pattern, and my goodness is addictive! It’s especially satisfying when using self striping yarn, because you get the pattern without any effort. Also, when I say it’s a quick knit, boy is it ever! I can get one knit throughout an evening. It is a wee bit finicky, specifically the beginning when you’re knitting in the round with only eight stitches, and it’s awkward knitting at the end after you’ve inserted your ball form.
Last week I wrote about hats that were seemingly flying off my needles, one of which was the start of the Pathways hat, inspired by a hat worn on Once Upon a Time. Well, that hat certainly flew and I was able to cast off and even wove in the cast off tail. What a mistake. As soon as I was done weaving, I tried it on and it fit rather small. I’m a tight knitter, and other people on Ravelry found that the pattern as written ended up a little small. We all know how much I like frogging my projects *insert the largest eye roll here*
If this is a project you’re hoping to undertake (and I would ultimately recommend it because the finished hat is super cute and made with worsted weight makes it cozy), what worked for me was making the ribbed brim with 4.5mm needles, and the body was made with 5.5mm. The hat was simple, with sections of cables, stockinette and seed stitch, and once I adjusted the needles I used, it made a really cute hat.
It’s now going into the pile of finished gifts, put aside for the end of December.