Knitspiration has returned

Over the last week, I’be been keeping busy by alternating between knitting, cross stitch, and reading when the weather is nice enough to enjoy my back yard. 

One of the projects I’ve been working on is a Mount Pleasant crop top. I LOVE this pattern and the simple lace detail it features along the bottom, but I’ve chosen to make it with two skeins of hand dyed yarn. The yarn is a local dyer called Lake Knit Yarns. Because my yarn is hand dyed, it means alternating the skeins, and knitting this project has become a bit of a slog. Nevertheless, I’ve already separated the front from the back, and it’s now a lot of stockinette until it’s finished.

I’ve also started a pair of socks for my sister – I’m glad she liked this yarn, another skein from Lake Knit, the colour way aptly named After the Storm. 

While this pandemic is helping me with my 2020 goal to knit down my stash, I took advantage of a promotion one of my LYSs is offering called ‘Quarenskein.’ You pick a price ($45, $65, or $95), and the shop picks out a package of yarn and notions for you. It was a lot of fun picking it up and being very happily surprised with two skies of Sweetgeorgia, two stitch markers, and a project bag from the shop. I THINK they yarn will be destined for a Waiting for Rain shawl, but I very well might change my mind by the time I’m ready to cast on.

As for cross stitch, my Fourth Doctor Scarf is coming along nicely, as is a small project I’ve started for my mum – more attention has been devoted to that pattern so to have it finished in tie for Mother’s Day. If I meet my goal, I’ll share a picture next week.

Stay well!

Sock Stories – April 2020

Another month gone, and I haven’t completed a single sock. Sure, I knit a sweater in just under two weeks. That’s pretty good, I guess… I am probably a few hours away from finishing a sock, however. 

It is a simple vanilla sock with afterthought heel, and I’ve already started the decreases. A few hours of work and it will be done. This is really the only sock that has gotten any of my attention this month as I haven’t really touched the other two pairs on my needles. If self-isolation keeps up like they say it’s supposed it, perhaps my post on the first Thursday of May will have a little more to write about.

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!

On my needles

Since finishing my latest cardigan, all my attention has been given to my Samwise Cowl. I get like that with lace patterns, where at first, it takes everything in me to get moving on it, but once I get used to the pattern and the repetitions, I cannot put the projects down, and this is indeed the case with Samwise.  The anticipation of the colour changes in the yarn certainly is helping as well, and I can certainly say that it is well and truly into the blue colour!

The pattern has three different charts to follow, and I’m at the point in the pattern where I have only one chart repetition to complete before edging garter stitches, but I still have quite a bit of this yarn left and am hoping to make it into the purple before I have to bind off.  I figure I have two options: work more repeats of this chart, or make the garter section super long.  I can’t even turn to other project examples on Ravelry because there is only one other person who has added this to their projects! I think my game plan will be to finish the chart repeat, add a lifeline, then repeat one more time.  If I don’t have enough yarn to do that final repeat, I can rip it all out knowing my stitches are held safely on the lifeline.  If all goes to plan, the cowl will be a little longer than the pattern itself calls for, but you should be able to see the beautiful fade this yarn is doing.

Sock Stories – February 2020

I got my pink socks finished this month! I have loved this yarn since I first laid eyes on it at the 2018 Great Toronto Yarn Hop, and they have become a pair of socks I simply adore!

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The yarn is very, um, busy, to say the least, so I am very happy I went with a solid cuff/heel/toe to try and calm the socks down.

Just look at that eyelet action:

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The pattern was Petunia Dursley’s Double Eyelet Socks by Erica Lueder, a great way to have added interest; any other pattern/texture would have likely gotten lost with the busy yarn.

I’ve also taken my self patterning Regia (and the like) remnants and have created a Frankenstein kind of skein (two small cakes, to be exact) to create another pair of scrappy socks. I’m tackling them from the toe up rather than my preferred cuff down, this way, I can get to the leg and knit until I think I can’t anymore, using up as much of this yarn as possible.

The other notable socks on my needles right now is Cozy Autumn Socks by This Handmade Life.  I’m using another skein I bought at the yarn hop, this time it’s Robosheep Yarns Sock’s Zombie Face colourway. I haven’t made it too much past the cuff because it’s lace, and my lace attention has been focused on my Samwise Cowl, but I did take them to work through the week and managed to complete a few rounds over my lunch hours, so they haven’t been ignored completely.

Happy knitting!