Knitables · Stashbust 2014

Start and Finish

Here’s where we start a lot of things on top of finishing a lot of things.

Started thing 1: A pair of boot socks for Boyfriend. 

Shepherd’s Wool in Christmas Red and Garnet. Have I mentioned how much I hate that red never photographs well? I also took this picture while waiting for the worlds longest and slowest train ever. Boyfriend didn’t approve, but my car was in PARK and I finished three rows in the time it took for the train to finally pass through. I viewed it as a win. 

I started these socks on the 4th while hanging out with boyfriends’ family and got this far by the time lunch and such were done. It’s a 60-stitch sock on size 2 needles. The yarn is a little light, but I’m hopeful that it’ll bloom nicely when washed. I have to finish these by the time we leave for LaCrosse for another family event where we’ll be camping all weekend. Boot socks are necessary for a healthy foot. He only has one pair of socks and will definitely need another pair for the weekend.

Thing Finished 1: Line Break shawl. 

Shelridge Farms SoftTouch Heather Fingering weight in colorway Sand. This is from the Cone and I haven’t weighed it yet for total yardage used.

I cannot wait for the weather to cool off enough for me to wear this shawl. It is so beautiful it hurts a little and it blocked amazingly. I even used blocking wires for this one! It’s so light and airy and it’ll be perfect for the wedding we’re attending in August.  Did I mention that I was so obsessed with this that I finished it in 8 days?

Thing Continued 1: Not-So-Color-Tipped-Scarf

I don’t have an image of this but I was working on it for a while on Friday night. It’s slowly coming along and I’m about 2/3 done with the second skein of Tahki Donegal Tweed I got for my birthday. I’ll get partially through the third skein before finishing it off.

Thing finished 2: The Puerperium Cardigan

Yarn is Handspun Fairy Yarn Mother in colorway BlueBell. It bled like a MOFO when I washed it. Buttons TBD.

I finished this guy on Thursday and he laid in the living room for a good long while to block properly. He’s now sitting on the button box waiting for buttons. I haven’t decided on the color of the buttons yet.

Thing started 2: The Baleshare cardigan

Yarn: Fishermen’s Wool. Size 9 needles.

We got a new KnitScene at the store this past week and I instantly purchased it because there were about 6 sweaters I wanted to knit and will definitely BE knitting these this season. This one struck me immediately and I started figuring out how much yardage I’d need. Boyfriend took my measurements and I fell between the second-to-largest and the largest, so I went with the largest in the thoughts that a bit of ease would make it really cushy and comfy so I set to finding an economical way to get 2500 yards of yarn in my possession.

A trip to Joann Fabrics on Sunday morning and I had five skeins of Fishermen’s Wool and I figured out my gauge. Size 9 needles and I was set. I cast on and started the ribbing pattern and by bedtime, I was half a row away from finishing the ribbing pattern. From now on it’s just the stockinette until it measures a bajillion inches.

I’m short by about 75 yards per the pattern, but I have a great skein of handspun I inherited from Lynn at  knit-night in a deep chocolate brown (just slightly darker than what I’m working with) so I’ll be able to add that to the sleeves and it’ll look intentional. I hope to have this sweater done by the time the season changes and it cools down enough to wear it immediately when it’s done!

Thing continued 2: The Sincere cowl

Sincere Sheep in Vitamin C and Deepest Desire. Size 4 needles. Knits in orange. Purls in purple.

This has been languishing in my stash for I don’t even know how long. I purchased the yarn back in 2012 in Seattle, started the cowl in march or something and have been very slowly working on it since then. Keywords being VERY and SLOWLY.

The skeins are 330 yards each and I’m doing it in the dumbest way possible. GARTERSTITCH. Really? What was I thinking?

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Nothing much else to report other than I guess it’s time to start looking for a new contract job. My current one is ending soon, sadly. Such is the life of a contractor!

 

Knitables · Randomly on a...

My feet Are Cold

I’m kind of to the point where the winter sun makes me want to smack someone. I love the snow, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like dying whenever the sun comes out.

Last night I went to buy a new tea kettle. I needed to replace my adorable red kettle when the enamel started burning off in really ugly holes. I love drinking cocoa and hot cider and tea when Wisconsin gets super cold, so I needed to replace it. I had spent weeks… and I mean WEEKS… searching for a new kettle but I never loved any of them. Finally, when I knew I really wanted to make tea that night, I decided to make a decision.

Sur la Table had a cute, TARDIS blue tea kettle for $40 which is more than I wanted to spend, but it was available and I liked it and I could pick it up day-of. So I had them hold it for me. I seriously thought traffic wouldn’t  be terrible going west but it took twice as long as planned to get to Bayshore.

20 cents in the meter and I was in and out 10 minutes later with two burlap bags as well as the tea kettle.

I then stopped at CrossFit to get dinner at the Urban Caveman Food Truck. Finally I was able to go home. Needless to say, my feet were freezing from toddling around in boots and thin socks that were sweat through.

So I got home, realized my feet were gross, took off my socks and snuggled up on the couch with Boyfriend. When he touched my feet he realized they were freezing. I went upstairs to get my one and only pair of socks only to realize I felt the need to knit more. These were made when my feet were bigger so, when I lost the weight and my feet shrank, I find it hard now to walk in these socks as they’re not very tight and have a tendency to shift around a bit. Not comfy.

I have sock yarn, but I don’t want to knit something that’ll take forever. I want socks now. It’s cold now. If I made socks with sock yarn, I’ll be done in a month. I’m also listening to The Knitmore Girls Podcast and Jasmin has been talking about #operationsockdrawer for the longest time and it’s making me want to join her.

So I grabbed some sport weight yarn from a Christmas present years ago and two size 2 needles. My hope is to start them this weekend on my one and only day off this month. That’s only after I’ve finished cleaning the entire apartment and finishing this commission knitting.

Oh. Right. The Commission. I’m knitting two Gaptastic seed stitch cowls and one self-ruffling scarf for a woman who bought it all for her mother who no longer can knit. It’s cementing in my mind how boring seed stitch is, but it’s so easy to finish that it’s been about 5 hours and I’m half-done with the first one. I dropped a few stitches this morning but manged to pick them up with no issue so at least I’m good at some things.

I am really looking forward to having all of Saturday and half of Sunday off work, but I feel like it’s all going to go too quickly and I won’t get everything done. I’ll let you know how it goes.

CrossFit Games Knitalong · Knitables · Patterns

In Preparation

I started knitting a pair of gorgeous socks about six months ago.

The plan was that they’d be for me. I bought size 1 needles from knitpicks, had the yarn (ToshSock in Lapis, for anyone who cares) ready and cast on the toe and knit merrily along until I reached the heel, which was going to be an afterthought. I knit in the contrasting color and finished the rest of the sock’s body. I picked up the stitches for the heel and knit that. I kitchenered the heel together. I put the sock on.

It was too big.

And not an “it’ll shrink to fit” kind of too big but a too big that prompts boyfriend to slip it on his foot and not want to take it off because it fits him perfectly.

I was pissed. I knit these socks for ME! This yarn was expensive and I vowed to not knit socks for Boyfriend. Especially since these socks were made before the 1-year mark and thusly, would enact the curse I knew wouldn’t affect him because he loved me more than my neuroses over knitting, but still. I had standards to uphold.

The sock and its yarn went into the stash to be on time out until about a week ago when I dragged the gorgeous skein from the bin and decided I would finish the socks because why not? I couldn’t let Second Sock Syndrome take its affect for so long. That and I wanted to cast on a pair for myself so I had to make sure there was enough yarn for two pairs in this stash of 1.5 skeins.

So I had boyfriend try the sock on only to realize that it’s probably a bit too short. I ripped back the ribbing and knit in more stockinette before starting the ribbing, which I made twice as long as I usually make it and I even did a 2×2 ribbing, which I only reserve for my hats.

It took three days of knitting on-and-off during the nights to finish the sock. I took a picture and sent it to boyfriend.

His first words? “There’s a hole. Right in the middle.”

He was joking of course, because he knew the hole was for the heel and I hadn’t woven in the ends. But I still called him a jerk.

I started knitting the second sock so as to avoid a perpetual Second Sock Syndrome and I have gotten through two increases on the toe. My hope is that tomorrow I’ll be well on my way to a finished toe and/or body of the sock. I want these babies done before fall so he can have super-warm socks to wear when we go to a football game this winter.

Remember when I wasn’t a sock knitter?

I’m also working on an intarsia sweater… the one from Fall’s Interweave Knits, the Plowman Cardigan. Although I’m not totally sure I can actually call it the same thing because I’ve changed so much.

For one, I’m not knitting it in pieces. I think sweaters knit in pieces are stupid, so I don’t like to do it that way.

Two, I’m knitting it on size 6 needles and the stitch count is different. I had already cast on a cobblestone and been merrily knitting away with that when I petered out and decided I didn’t want to knit it anymore and put it away. I ripped back to the beginning of the stockinette and picked up all the stitches before doing a lot of calculating to make sure I could do it all correctly and I started knitting.

It’s been on hold for a while now as I can’t knit it at work because it’s not all yarn from work, and the intarsia means I have four balls of blue lying around the two skeins of grey I’m holding together. In other words, it’s a mess every time I knit.  I’m hoping to have it done by the time it really gets cold out, but you never know. It could be the sweater that never dies.

Finally, I ripped out the CF Games knitalong cowl. I realized I’d never wear it, so I tore it out and will do another project in the same timeframe in the near future. Probably only one color, though.

I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend and Labor Day. I’ll be working the whole weekend other than Monday where I will likely either be playing DnD with friends or knitting. I knit during DnD so I guess that shouldn’t be an “or” statement. Have a great weekend!

Knitables

Socks

I feel I should explain myself for the hypocrisy as of late.

Even though I live in Wisconsin and it’s usually pretty temperate for most of the year, summer seems to hit us extremely hard as of the last few years, what with global warming and all that. This creates quite the conundrum; I can either sweat and be extremely uncomfortable under the heat of a fully woolen wrap (ahem, Clapotis), or I can knit up something simple and lightweight that doesn’t touch my lap as I sit in front of the television doing my knitting.

Thus I decided to knit socks this summer.

The sock knitting began last year when I made the attempt to knit a sock with Louet Gems and size 3 needles. I went out, bought the needles and started working and it seemed easy enough as I went along, only to find that I could feel every purl when I walked on it. Needless to say the sock wallowed on my nightstand, ends not woven in, and it was used as a dustrag and promptly thrown away. I told myself I had knit a sock, realized I didn’t like it, and moved on with my knitting life.

I have no need for knitted socks, but the need for a light piece of knitting that is mindless and vanilla and easy to do during the sweltering summer months seemed to feed my ambition more than my constant need to tell people I don’t knit socks because I find them useless. Why knit something beautiful when it just gets shoved in a pair of boots and sweat in and ruined quicker than commercial socks?

So I talked to the ladies at Knit Night and they told me I should go down a needle size and start again.

So here’s the thing: I go to my LYS in search of pretty yarn and I find it almost all the time. The only problem is this very pretty yarn is always sock yarn. I caved one afternoon when the shop was having a massive sale and bought two skeins of JoJoLand Melody sock yarn in a gorgeous blue/purple gradient colorway and then two sets of size 2 circular needles since I don’t like knitting with DPNs and size 2 needles are small enough as is, so I didn’t want to be sitting around futzing with five needles.

I cast on the socks (after looking on YouTube for how to do Judy’s Magic Cast-On… a godsend, I tell you!) and started knitting the sock from the toe up. Within a few days I was done with the sock and had promptly cast on the second one to avoid Second Sock Syndrome.

I don’t wear socks with cuffs– I’m an ankle sock person to the core so I decided to stop at the ankle and I (accidentally) did the super stretchy bind off the wrong way so the cuff would be inelastic enough to stay up on my foot.

I then went to a massive sale at the LYS this past summer and picked up some ChiaGoo size 1 needles because they were dirt cheap. I decided I’d have a use for them eventually. I also picked up some Berrocco Ultra Fine Alpaca in a moss green tone that required size 1 needles. How convenient! I bought an Addi Turbo Circular size 1 (stupid me, there are two size 1 needles, so one side is smaller than the other… I didn’t seem to care much) and cast on the green socks to use as emergency knitting. The sock wallowed its time away in the backseat of my car and it didn’t get knit on much.

I’m sad to say that the JoJoLand socks still haven’t been finished. They’re sitting on the floor next to the Circular Needle holder I’m knitting which also hasn’t been worked on. Every night I look down and see the little guy crying on the floor, begging to be finished. I know I only have to turn the heel, knit another 15 rows and I’m done, but something about that concept has me ignoring it. The green sock has been getting a lot more attention due to its accessibility. It sits in my purse now because  other projects have gotten too large to carry with me, so I’ve gotten up to the heel in a matter of a couple days when the sock barely had a toe the last time I knit on it. There’s something about that second sock that has me stalled and I can’t quite figure out what it is.

Oh hey, remember the WendyKnits knitalong? Yup, that’s sock yarn and nope it will not become a shawl. I’m planning on ripping it out to try knitting lace another day. I lost all steam with the bugger when I had to rip back four times, put in a lifeline twice and have to salvage what wasn’t ever going to be a pretty shawl. I think I’ll make socks out of them.

One good thing I learned from sock knitting? Sock yarn doesn’t count toward your stash.

I’m sure now that I’ve posted this ditty I’ll go home and immediately finish the second JoJoLand sock. Very strategic of me, eh?