Sock Stories – May 2020

Let’s be honest, my sock round up had been pretty sad in March & April, but this month, I actually have stories to tell because I’ve actually been knitting socks!

First, I got a simple vanilla pair finished!

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The yarn is Timber Yarns in Platform 9 3/4 – if you notice, the stripes are all the colours of the Hogwarts Houses. I bought this vibrant yarn last year at the Prince Edward County Fibre Festival

*excuse me for a minute while I reflect back on an amazing Saturday with friends and grieving the fact that there have been no in-person fibre festivals*

Okay, I’m back. Yes, socks. Bright, fun, self-striping socks.

I’ve also (finally) made some headway on a pair using the pattern Cozy Autumn Socks by This Handmade Life. No idea why getting going on this was a slog, but, I think I’m coming to a realization. I love lace and cables, I really do, but getting used to a pattern and what is expected takes time to get used to, so I drag my feet when making these patterns.  The Half Blood Prince Socks felt the same way.

Finally, I started a pair of socks this weekend for my sister. I got through about 25 rounds of an eyelet pattern before realizing how much I disliked how it was shaping up. A quick visit to the frog pond, a new pattern, and two webinars later, and the socks are just over 20 rounds finished, so basically back to where I was. This pattern is Let It Shine Socks by Sarah Youde, and it’s living up to the name. The yarn really does shine with this pattern, and the lace panel adds the right amount of interest.

Happy sock knitting!

WIP Wednesday – Lined Mittens

Earlier this winter, my best friend asked me to make her warm mittens.  She gave no other guidelines but warm. My favourite go-to warm mittens are thrummed, because yay fleecy goodness, but having made two pairs already this winter, I wanted to try something different, so I was left with the option of lined mittens.

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Michele’s Mittens by Sarah H Arnold is a pattern using fingering yarn for the outer shell and worsted for the inner liner, and they have been fun to work on.  I dyed the sock yarn myself, which in and of itself was a fun process. One chair was at one end of my tiny house while another chair was at the other which is how I achieved the self striping yarn.  Half was dyed a semi-solid blue and the other was speckled with blues, teals, and purples.

While the two outer liners worked up fast, the inner liner threw me for a curve. There were two options: knit the shell and liner separately then crochet together, or knit the shell and pick up stitches to work the liner as one piece.  I went ahead with option 2 and got stymied.  I picked up the cast on edge to knit the inner liner, and my start of round was at the same place as start of round for the outer mitten. BUT, this resulted in the thumb gussets being slightly skewed and not matching up properly.

I had to frog my liner gusset back and restart, making sure the gussets lined up and not start of rounds. I think this is what the pattern was intending, but my interpretation of the instructions was obviously not what the designer intended.  Really, it was only 25 rounds or so that got frogged, so the damage could have been much worse.

Hopefully the two liners will work up quickly so I can get these mittens to my friend! Even though it’s almost March, this is Canada and it’s cold. Warm mittens are always a welcome addition to any wardrobe!

WIP Wednesday

I can’t believe how quickly my Le Pouf Cardi is coming along.  For a project that’s been stressing me out, the stress is subsiding as the project progresses.

Just look at it!

I’ve been weighing the yarn as I’ve been knitting along which has helped with the stress.  Basically, I’m super concerned that I won’t have enough to get the job done, but as I’ve been working on the first sleeve, the concern wasn’t warranted.  I’ve been burned before, not having enough yarn to get the job done, and I really didn’t want to frog any progress I’ve made.

I’ve knit a few more rows of my Samwise Cowl, the lace simple enough to be interesting while not completely consuming all brain power. The yarn is ombré, and the colours are going to change soon! It’s the little things in life, right?

All the while, I’ve managed to use up left over Berocco Ultra Alpaca from the stash! Yay stash down! I overdyed white and grey to purple, and I made up my own cowl for it. Inspired by the two textured Casu Cowl, the dark purple was a simple YO, K2Tog pattern while the lighter purple was seed stitch.

It’s Wednesday. The weekend is around the corner! Happy knitting!

Sock Stories – January 2020

Wow, so strange to type that year! Quite a while ago, Paula @ Spin A Yarn! started a blogging series called Once Upon a Sock, where on the first Thursday of the Month, sock knitters were encouraged to write about their sock updates through the month. I followed the trend all through 2019, at the end of which, Paula decided to put Once Upon a Sock on pause.  I’ve really enjoyed the prompt, challenging me to write at least once a month (when some months it can be really challenging to get writing), so I’ve decided to keep in that habit, calling these monthly updates my ‘Sock Stories.’

December was a busy month for me sock wise! My plain movie socks, started at the end of November when seeing the Cats stage show, got finished at the end of the month! I saw a few movies through December so they got a bit of action!

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Up next for simple movie knitting will be a pair made with yarn purchased from the Prince Edward County Fibre Fest I went to with friends in June.  The yarn is a sock set from Timber Yarns, called 9 3/4 – the stripes are all the Hogwarts house colours repeating throughout.  The first cuff is done and waiting to be mindlessly worked on.

In mid-December, I started a pair of socks (pattern: Petunia Dursley’s Double Eyelet Socks by Erica Lueder) with Manos yarn purchased at the 2018 TTC Yarn Hop. The pink is almost violently vibrant, so I needed a simple pattern, otherwise anything else would get lost in the yarn patterning. I’m very happy I paired it with pink Cascade Heritage from the sock yarn stash as the co-ordinating cuff, heel, and toe.  I’m less than 20 rounds from getting to the toe and am really pleased with it.

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Happy New Year and Happy Knitting!

Am I Becoming a Sweater Knitter?

With Weekender off my needles, I couldn’t wait to start something new, and what did I cast on? Another sweater. This time around, the pattern is Le Pouf by Beata Jezek, a great way to use up all that sock yarn I’ve been buying at frolics and fairs through the years. With the yarn held double, I needed six skeins of fingering to make this cardigan, and these ones just look so good together.

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The yarns are Northern Bay Fibres Luxury (Speckled Slate), Urth Monokrom Fingering, Lake Knit Yarns Loch Sock BFL (Lucky Stone), All Dyed Up! Fibres (Ivy, the darker green & Sir Ulrich with the lilac tones), and Stitch Please Amethyst Label (Men in Tights).

The Stitch Please has been in my stash since 2016 while the Urth I purchased a few weeks ago, the sixth skein needed to finish the sweater.

This pattern is free from Hedgehog fibres, but not long after casting on, I faced a dilemma: I like a LOT of directions.  This pattern gives guidelines on how to fade and go between the colours, but it does not give exact rows on when to do it, and this stresses me out, more than I expected.  Even though the sweater is coming along quickly (sock weight held double will do that), it’s not getting the attention it should because I’m the one who has to decide when to fade and that it just simply too much pressure.

Instead, I searched Ravelry and found a different pattern to start! Once again, I’m using up yarn that has been in my stash for what feels like forever. The pattern is A Cropped Sweater for Winter by Andi Satterlund, again a free pattern.

How many sweaters does one have to have in progress to be considered a sweater knitter? Asking for a friend…