Lunch hour at the office. After I announce that I’m leaving the lunch room to knit at my desk, my dear co-worker asks me what I’m working on.
“Oh, just a pair of socks,” I inform her.
“How many pairs of socks do you need? Every time I ask, you’re always working on socks!” She replied.
A beat passes. I don’t know how to answer that question. How many pairs of socks does a person need?
Socks are the perfect transportable project. Throw the yarn, pattern notes and needles into a small bag and they are ideal for keeping in a purse, ready to be broken out and a few rounds worked at any time. Admittedly, my sock drawer is fuller now-a-days than it has ever been, brimming with sports socks and hand knit beauties. Do I really need another pair of hand knit, hand-dyed merino nylon socks? Well, maybe not. But do I want them? You know it.
I have read the Harry Potter series more times than I can count. I’m always at some point in the series as it’s a series I can pick up and return to at any point. There is something so comforting about a familiar book. Ultimately I know Harry will win, but I follow the heroes along, laugh with them and mourn with them.
Case in point, a few days ago, I finished Deathly Hallow and immediately started Philosopher’s Stone. Even having read PS countless times, and it is arguably the simplest book in the series, I will still notice little details that I may have skimmed past in previous readings, like this one:
“People stared more than ever on the train. Hagrid took up two seats and sat knitting what looked like a canary-yellow circus tent.”
Yes, Hagrid was a knitter. How this detail escaped me before, I’m not sure, but it jumped out at me this time!
This isn’t the only instance of knitting being mentioned through the series. Mrs Weasley was infamous for knitting the Weasley jumpers, sweaters gifted to the Weasley children, and Harry also, every Christmas, much to Ron’s chagrin. In Order of the Phoenix, Hermione was using magic to speed up her knitting of hats in an attempt to free the Hogwarts House Elves, and perhaps my favourite mention of knitting in the Harry Potter series was Dumbledore’s proclamation of his love for knitting patterns in Half-Blood Prince.
My love for this book series has understandably crept into my knitting. A few years ago, my co-worker commissioned two House scarfs, and I happy obliged.
I used the basic pattern structure of the Year 3-4 scarf to improvise my own Hogwarts House Hand Warmers. Yes, I’m Hufflepuff and Proud!
As well, I’ve long proclaimed my love for Erica Lueder’s Harry Potter inspired patterns on my blog. Her Hermione Every Day Socks are well known and often top the ‘Hot Right Now’ search on Ravelry, but I highly encourage you to check out her other patterns, most of which were inspired in one way or another by a Harry Potter character.
I have another Erica Lueder pattern on my needles right now, and I’m a few rounds plus the toe away from being finished the pair. I can’t wait to show pictures of the finished socks. The pattern was tedious to follow, but my goodness the finished fabric is beautiful. Totally worth it.
Also on my needles is the Time Turner Shawl by Elizabeth Saxton. Saxton describes the lace as being reminiscent of Hermione’s time turner from Prisoner of Azkaban, and when looking for a pattern to truly highlight my stunning Manos yarn, I knew this was the one.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Can you add any Harry Potter inspired patterns to this (working) list?
Last week, I wrote how I had a major case of start-itis – symptoms of which include being unable to stop casting on new projects, despite how many WIPs a person has on the go. This start-itis isn’t showing signs of being cured, having started three new projects last week. Seriously, I can’t stop finding new patterns and going through my stash to see what I can use.
The good thing about so many projects on the go is that I was able to finish three objects last week. The first were these Cableship socks. I started them in October as a knit-a-long by KnitPurl Hunter. The first sock was finished early November, but this second one was put into hibernation until after Christmas knitting was complete. In the week after Christmas, I struggled my way through Judy’s Magic Cast-on and a few weeks later, I was able to wear the newly finished pair of socks.
Also finished was a slouchy hat for my dad. Fun story -the wool is 100% Peruvian Alpaca, and we ventured to a local Alpaca farm to by the yarn. My goodness, alpacas must be some of the freaking cutest animals around. When we arrived at the farm, we were greeted by a herd (is that right, herd?) of Border Collies who were obviously working dogs, and we also got a peak at their pigs. They had to be the fattest pigs I’ve ever seen in my life. So that’s the story of they yarn for this hat. Dad received it yesterday. It fits and he’s happy.
Finally, on Friday, I bought yarn and cast on a Pussyhat. Have you heard of this? If not, I HIGHLY recommend heading over to their website and reading more about this movement. In a nutshell, there will be a women’s march on Washington on January 21, and marchers are encouraged to wear these knit hats, the name taken as both a play on on the word pussycat and as reference to how the US President-Elect brags about sexually assaulting women. As stated on their Ravelry page:
Provide the people of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.
Provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent them- selves and support women’s rights.
A Facebook friend of my sister’s asked for a hat to be made, and I happily obliged. It knit up VERY quickly; I cast on Friday evening and by Sunday I had it finished and ready for my sister to give to the recipient.
Please visit their website and read more about this initiative.
Happy New Year!! How is it possible that it’s 2017 already? My goodness! This year is going to be a busy one as my work is celebrating an anniversary, and as many of you know, I’m Canadian, and it’s a big year for us here, being the 150th anniversary of Confederation. It’s hard to think about the year and not associate it with this milestone. I’m sure 2017 will bring many good memories and celebrations.
Now that Christmas knitting is complete, my thoughts can turn selfish again and I can start thinking of what I’ve been itching to make. I’ve bought all the needed yarn and purchased the pattern, so I think the first selfish thing I’ll make is Madewell cardigan by Joji Locatelli. Call me crazy for wanting to make a cardi with fingering weight yarn, but I’ve been in love with this design since I first found it on Ravelry. The whimsical elbow patches just add to the love of this pattern, and the hard part will be deciding what colours to make them with!
I’ve also purchased the materials I need to complete KnitPurl Hunter’s Scoreboard Scarf. This project is planned in my head, I know for what team and what season I’ll be making, but in case this is read by its intended recipient, I won’t say much more than that for now…
In 2016, I completed 6 pairs of socks. Socks are such an ideal project for carrying around and picking up whenever I have a spare moment. I’m not going to set a goal for myself for how many pairs I’ll make this year, as I don’t want any self-inflicted pressure on my knitting habits, but I’m sure I’ll crank out a few pairs, and I’m sure one of which will be designed by Erica Lueder. I’m surprised that I haven’t written yet about how much I love her patterns, their designs and the thought that she puts into them. I’ve knit three and a half pairs of her socks, and I’m sure I’ll be adding to the collection.
Also kicking around my Ravelry queue for some time is another historic pattern, Godey’s Woolen Chemisette from 1857. I’d love to knit this pattern and write a corresponding blog post on the history of this article of clothing. There’s no time deadline for when this chemisette needs to be complete, but it’s been a while since I’ve muddled my way through a historic pattern, and I’d like to make at least one next year.
So between socks, fingering weight cardigans, and a pattern from the 1850s, I’ll have enough to keep me busy in the early part of 2017.
This is the current state of a ball of sock yarn. I’ll likely turn the heel before I get this mess sorted out!
Every knitter has a preference, centre pull or outer pull; I tend to prefer centre, that is until the above happens…
The yarn is Opal Classic, and once the mess is sorted out, the pattern I’ll follow is Harvest Festival Socks. They will eventually become a Christmas present, here’s hoping I can knit them fast enough!
I love my 9″ circular sock needles. I bought them over six months ago and haven’t looked back since.Because they aren’t a common tool for knitting, people tend to be curious about them and ask me questions. Commonly, people ask how on earth I knit with such tiny needles (you get used to them), and even more common, how do I knit the heel flap and turn the heel? To best answer this question, I took pictures as I knit my latest sock project
I use the circular needle to hold the instep stitches, and use DPNs to work the heel.
Perhaps people think there’s some magic I’m able to ONLY knit the socks on the circular. That is not the trick. The trick is being prepared and having enough tools to get the job done!