Once Upon A Sock – February 2019

For months now, I’ve noticed a few bloggers I follow posting ‘Once Upon A Sock,’ appearing on the first Thursday of every month, coordinated by Paula @ Spin A Yarn!  I’m a day late, but I’m hoping to jump in on this theme! It’s always interesting to see what other people are looking at, it’s like sock yarn eye candy!

I love knitting socks, and I’ve professed my love for socking knitting before. I always have at least one pair of socks on the go because they are the perfect purse project.  My sock drawer may be brimming with socks, but really, one can never have too many socks to keep your feet warm, especially with the winter we’ve been having here in southern Ontario.

So, with that said, what do I have on my needles right now sock wise? This may sounds super boring, but I have two pairs of plain ol’ vanilla socks on the go. The first I’ve been working on intermittently since October; they started as conference socks, something to knit in between taking notes.  I hate to say this as well, but I find these socks a little boring. I love the yarn, Knitting Fever Painted Desert, with its gradual tonal changes, but I think I’d feel differently if these were made a little more exciting with lace, cables, SOMETHING. I needed conference knitting, and this yarn was in the stash. I’m really excited that all I have to do is kitchener the two and get them blocked.

Sock number two of vanilla socks is more exciting because of the yarn.  Who doesn’t like a good self patterning yarn! This is a ball of Opal doing its magic, and I’m at the point with these socks where the foot needs simple knitting. The heel is turned and the gusset shaped. These are currently on hold, because they will make amazing movie knitting.

I’m hoping to join in on the Once Upon a Sock blog party once a month, but I also know myself and my blogging habits, so I may not be quite as diligent at hitting these targets. For now, this has been fun to do!

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Charted.. Always Charted

Next time, I pay better attention on Ravelry.

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.’

Staying Cozy in the Cold

This was one of those weekends where Candian stereotypes held up – it was cold, it was snowy. My car termperature this morning was reading -20C. Very cold indeed.

Needless today, besides shovelling my sidewalk, I did very little this weekend.  Books were read, Netflix was binged (I’ve watched too much Schitt’s Creek), and knitting happened. A lot of knitting.  Selfishly, I’m happily working on two cowls: Lace Eyelet Cowl by Stefanie Canich, and I started Anguli Cowl by Hilary Smith Callis. Unsurprisingly, these are two cowls that look like shawls when worn.  I’m also fixing a pair of socks I initially made for my co-worker’s daughter.  I THOUGHT I made it to the measurements she gave, but either I messed up (which could happen) or her daughter’s feet grew (which does happen), so I’ve been trying to fix the mistakes.  One sock down, one to go. 

The pattern is the lovely Hermione sock, but because the yarn is self striping, I’ve made it with an afterthought heel, a technique I hate.  I was bemoaning about this a few months ago at a knitting group when one of the women said something that has changed my outlook. 

To make an afterthought heel, you knit the leg to the length you want, then knit half of the stitches with waste yarn , then continue knitting the same stitches with the working yarn. The idea is, you remove the waste yarn and have the right amount of live stitches with which you can work the heel, leaving the self striping yarn’s pattern uninterrupted.  Simple enough concept, but removing that waste yarn and putting the stitches on needles is a process that usually leaves me using lots of creative curse words. Then Vickie said: you should knit more than one row with the waste yarn. Lightbulb went off. Really, the waste yarn is just keeping the heel stitches live for later. It doesn’t matter how many rows with the waste yarn you knit. By knitting MORE THAN ONE ROW, you are making it easier to pick up those stitches and remove the yarn.  There’s very little room when only one row is knit, but the angles are easier to work with when there’s, say, three rows of waste yarn used.

Sorry it’s a little blurry – but as you can (maybe) see, there’s three rows of white waste yarn used which are holding the heel stitches for an afterthought heel.

I tried her advice with the Hermione sock, take two. It was so much easier than any other time I’ve tried this technique. Seriously. If you haven’t been doing this for afterthought heels, try it. Mind blown. 

Happy knitting, and if anyone is living through these temperatures or anything close, stay warm!

Sock Yarn Memory Blanket – An update

Is there a knitter out there that doesn’t have some sort of scrap yarn/left over yarn memory blanket forever on the go? It is something that gets picked up and put down so very frequently, where you only work on a square or two at a time, with perhaps many weeks in between. It’s a comfort, knowing you’ll always have something familiar to turn to, and yet perhaps a test of patience knowing that it is a long term friend who may stay a UFO for quite some time.

I started mine in May 2016, and It will only have one square made from each skein of sock yarn I use, because a girl’s gotta have some rules! The squares get added after the project the yarn was initially used for or is complete, and, because of my Type A personality, I try to save the tag that came with the skein and a small sample of the yarn in a binder, where I might write some notes about the yarn, where I bought it, what it was used for, truly making it a memory blanket, attaching these memories to the pages.

I first blogged about this blanket in late May 2016, and uploaded this picture.

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I provided a blanket update in August 2017:

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And I’m really excited to compare that picture with this one:

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For a project that feels forever going, seeing the progress is really a happy thing.

All The Hats

I’ve been radio silent here on this blog for the past few weeks, completely unintentionally. Life, as does happen, got busy, and while the knitting hasn’t stopped, writing about it did.

We’re only a few weeks away from Christmas, and I’m certainly feeling the pressure to keep knitting, but like I’ve written about in my last few posts, hats have been the flavour of the month(s?).  Such a simple, quick and satisfying project!

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I may have a slight addiction to the Barley Light pattern by tincanknits. I’ve knit five of these hats in the last six months! What isn’t there to love? It’s knit in fingering (although a worsted version is available too), it’s so simple yet the garter panel adds interest, and it’s super chic.  Written with lots of size options, these have made excellent baby gifts which can come together rather quickly – one of the five I was able to knit during a Sunday afternoon.

I’m also working on a super fun, slouchy hat for my friend’s daughter; she’s a super trendy little girl, and a slouchy bulky hat will fit her personality, in my humble opinion.  AI’m hoping to make a hat for her brother as well, but am waiting on inspiration to strike for that.  I started a different hat for friend’s daughter – I had some fun pink and white Cascade 220 in the stash that I thought would be good to knit down, but then, common sense kicked in and I realized MAYBE an 8 year old needs a hat made with something super wash… Just a hunch.

As the countdown to the holidays continues (or maybe is coming to an end for those who celebrate Hanukkah), I am hoping the odds are ever in your favour for finishing those projects you just need to get done!