The Knitter’s Handshake

You all know what I’m talking about, right? That moment when you spot someone wearing a handknit? And maybe she sees yours? You make eye contact and smile, and invariably someone ends up whipping off a shawl to show it off, or asking to feel the yarn. You share pattern and yarn information, maybe talk about your favorite designers. When you go on your merry way, you have a new warm feeling in your soul. Well, this happened to me a couple of days ago at a Starbucks. I was wearing my Miller’s Daughter and she was wearing a lovely tonal blue asymmetrical shawl (she couldn’t remember what pattern it was). We admired each others’ work and chatted for a minute about the beauty of mixing garter stripes and lace.

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My Miller’s Daughter

I find interactions like these to be truly lovely. It helps me feel connected to the knitting world and its own special culture. I also love getting inspiration from other people’s projects. It’s one thing to see pictures of things on ravelry, but seeing real handknits in the “wild” is something else entirely. That was one of the best things I took away from Rhinebeck last month: seeing so many beautiful handknits, and so many people wearing them with pride.

So, speaking of Rhinebeck…it was amazing! The weather was beautiful, the house we rented was awesome, the leaves were perfect, and the yarn! So much yarn! I actually didn’t buy a single thing. There were too many options to choose from! I did love getting the chance to see and feel beautiful yarns that I’ve only come across online. As you might imagine, there were tons of gradients and gradient mini skein packs, as well as speckled yarns galore. There were also a number of sellers who had lovely breed-specific wools (beyond the great but ubiquitous merino). I liked seeing the different wools and looking at all the knitted samples on display. It’s all food for thought that I’ve filed away for the next time I need to buy some yarn, ha ha.

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Beautiful weather at Rhinebeck!

On Saturday evening of Rhinebeck weekend, my mom and I went to an open studio event at Jill Draper Makes Stuff. It was packed! Stephen West was there doing a book signing as well as Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting. And, of course, tons of beautiful yarns in breathtaking colors. We considered not going as we were both very tired from a long day of yarn gazing and toddler wrangling, but we decided to push through. I’m so glad we did!

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The kidlet taking a break after looking at lots (and lots) of yarn.

A major highlight of that weekend was meeting up in person with some wonderful friends on ravelry. I got to meet Carol (cehermanator) of knit equals joy, as well as her friends Jen (jenb69) and Meg (stamura). They were just as lovely in person as they are online. I am so glad I got to see them!

Things have been quite busy lately, but I am managing to squeeze in some knitting time. I’m working on knocking out a bunch of commissions currently and am looking forward to having time to do some of my own knitting soon. I have two of three Christmas stockings nearly done:

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And I’m about to bind off a purple alpaca Easy Folded Poncho:

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I recently finished sewing together two sweaters, and I have a third that I’m starting on today. All are finishing jobs I picked up at my LYS.

I have so much more I could share, but I’ll save it for another post. In the meantime, my blog was mentioned on the ravelry front page yesterday! Thanks to FogKnits for letting me know. I will leave you with some more photos from our weekend in Rhinebeck. These were all taken by the wifey and are copyright Callandra S. Cook.

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Lunch on the deck!

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Taking a walk with Baby Jade

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Still Kicking!

If only just barely. I won’t do the whole lapsed-blogger-excuse thing–I suspect most of us have been there at one point or another, so I’m guessing you mostly understand. What I will say is that I really, really miss blogging regularly and am holding out hope that I’ll be able to get back into the groove soon. I often find myself starting to write blog posts in my head, so I know I still have stuff to talk about!

Today, I mostly want to talk about one thing: Rhinebeck. The sheep and wool so ballsy and ubiquitous its url doesn’t even mention what state it’s in (NY). I’ve been to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival a couple of times, but I haven’t been to Rhinebeck. I wasn’t really even aware it was a thing for a long time, somehow, but after last year’s festival I got the bug. So many people talked about how amazing it was, so many blog posts showed pics of happy knitters wandering around in the snow flurries wearing everything they’d ever made, that I decided I wanted to try to go. Partly by chance and partly by design, I ended up with a whole week off work around the festival dates, so my mom and I started talking plans. I invited the wife and kid, rented a cottage, and now we’re almost ready to go!

I’m horribly behind on reading blog posts, but I do manage to stop by Mason-Dixon Knitting now and again (they have a brand spankin’ new website that I highly recommend). I happened to stumble across a post about an open studio being held by Jill Draper on Saturday evening post-fest. Now, I’ve never met any of Jill’s yarns in person, but they look lovely on ravelry. Plus, Ann and Kay of MDK rave about it, so it must be good. Tickets are free but you have to register beforehand. Looking at her etsy site, linked above, it seems like there might still be tickets left. Also, it says that not only will Ann and Kay be there, but Stephen West will too. It sounds like it will be a good time.

So, moral of the story is that I’m going. I’m not taking any classes or anything. I just want to soak up the ambience and squish lots and lots of yarn. And see lots and lots of knitting.

I have been finding time to knit even though I haven’t blogged about it much. Right now I’m pretty much just doing commission stuff (by sheer chance). I just got Christmas stocking #1 of 3 off the needles last night. It needs to be sewn still, and a couple of duplicate stitch details need to be added:

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Oh, and a few ends need to be woven in:

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Aaaagggghhhhh!

More details later, but I’m happy with how it’s worked up so far. Lots of intarsia, a few sections of stranded knitting, and some interesting (read: downright strange) construction. The “leg” is worked flat and stitches on either side of the center panel are put on holders. The first part of the instep is then worked flat. Those two bunches of stitches on holders are then used to shape the heel. Then, you join the two sections and work the rest of the foot and toe in the round. I know this is a pretty common way to do stockings. I just think it’s bizarre.

Someday I’ll tell you all how I tracked down this 40+ year old pattern. Until then, happy knitting! And if you see me at Rhinebeck, feel free to say hi! I’ll be the one wearing a handknit shawl. Snort.

So Behind! And an FO Spotlight!

Oh blog, I’ve missed you! It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve been stretched a little thin. I went back to work (after nearly a year on leave) and whew! It’s been challenging, and it hasn’t left me with a lot of free emotional energy for blogging. I am hoping that as I adjust to being back, things will settle and I’ll get into more of a routine, and that there will be space in that routine for regular blogging again.

As you might expect, my knitting time has been affected as well. I have been able to get some things done, though! I ended up with two projects entered into the Ravellenic Games, one WIP and one baby blanket (which I finished with mere minutes to spare). I have yet to get prettified photos of either, so I will wait to share them for a bit.

Earlier this month, Ambah O’Brien posted a testing call for a new cowl pattern.
You might remember I tested her Merinda Shawl pattern a while back:

Well, I love that shawl. It was a lovely pattern and a joy to knit, and I admire many of her other patterns (someday I’ll make a Lilli Pilli). She’s posted a number of testing calls since then, but they’ve mostly been shawls and I just haven’t had the time to squeeze any in. Since this one was a cowl, I just couldn’t resist. I ended up racing a little to get it done, but I did it! It was blocked, dried and photographed by the due date. So, I give you my Mendia Cowl!

The rundown

Pattern: Mendia Cowl by Ambah O’Brien. Not published yet.

Yarn: 308 yards of Noro Silk Garden Lite. I had this in my stash. I have no memory of where it came from!

Size made: One. Finished dimensions are about 29″ in circumference by 13″ tall.

Needles: US6s.

Techniques used: Longtail cast on and a modified stretchy cast off that Ambah developed.

Modifications: None.

Difficulty: I think this pattern is intermediate. The stitch pattern is a little complicated at first blush, but it makes sense once you get into it. The tricky part is making sure you can read your knitting very well as fixing mistakes is challenging.

Ravelled: here.

The Pretty

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I ran into a few knots in the yarn (as seems to happen a lot with Noro). I chose to just carry on with whatever color was there and not worry about keeping the color sequence uninterrupted. I like the slightly more random outcome that gave me. As I was knitting, I kept thinking the colors looked like a southwestern sunset.

Since the yarn I chose is a loosely spun single with some variability in its thickness, the stitch definition isn’t very high. So, the chevron pattern doesn’t pop as much as it could. Other than that, I really like this yarn for the pattern. I like the color gradations, the drape and the texture. Here are some closer pics:

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It ended up with an unexpected rainbow pattern! That’s fine, though–I can rock some rainbows:

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Enjoy this rare sighting of me.

I couldn’t get any better pics because, even in the air conditioning, I couldn’t stand to have it on more than a few seconds! It has been very hot here this month. I am looking forward to fall, and to bringing out my wraps and shawls again!

In all, this ended up being a quick knit, even with lots of twisted stitches and a somewhat fiddly stitch pattern. I think it would look great in a variety of different yarns. In a high-twist merino semisolid, it would have great depth of color and a lot more drape. In this more rustic single, it has a lot of structure which helps it sit well. I’m very happy with it! I have almost two skeins of yarn left, so I might make a hat or mitts to match. I foresee this getting a lot of use this winter!

Happy knitting!

Quickie

Just a quick post here to say that I might not be online/blogging/on rav as much as usual over the next week or two. There’s lots going on chez moi and the unfortunate result is that I won’t have much time to knit, much less talk about knitting. The long and short of it is that I am going back to work, starting tomorrow.This is both good and bad, but I’m hoping the net result will be good.

My performance in the Ravellenic Games might suffer as a result. I got off to a crazy good start and had my baby blanket about a third of the way done in just a couple of days. I’m still making progress, but it has slowed a little. Here’s my latest progress pic:

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In the two days since I took this photo, I have finished the second section and gotten about halfway through the third. I am seriously loving the pattern and how mine is turning out, and could easily see making another one in the future.

I got the opportunity to sign up to test for Ambah O’Brien, and just couldn’t resist. So, on my next day off, I will dig out some yarn and start swatching for a really interesting cowl. More on that sometime later.

I don’t have a new sock project picked out yet, so I will sit tomorrow’s Thursday Sock-Along out. By next week I will hopefully have something new to share!

So, I’m not gone–just lurking a bit. Keep on knitting and I will check in soon.

Happy knitting!

Thursday Sock-Along: WTF, Stripes? Done!

I am pleased as punch (where did that saying come from?) to report that my WTF, Stripes? socks are officially done! They were such a rewarding project because of both the amount I learned and the awesome finished product. I’m going to do this a little differently than my usual FO spotlight format as this project has a rather complicated timeline.

The Beginning

For this pair of socks, I wanted to continue with my overall sock knitting goals: learn new techniques and sock constructions and get closer to finding a sock pattern that fits me well. This pattern was given to me by Carol at just the right time: I was done with my last pair and needed something new, and it incorporated new-to-me techniques. Plus, it just looked really cool! So I picked out my yarn, Regia 4-fädig Mini Ringel Color, and got started. Because the pattern was a gift and I used yarn from my freecycle score, this project cost me only my time.

The pattern, Susan B. Anderson‘s Smooth Operator Socks, is designed to make cuff-down socks with self-striping yarn. The pattern incorporates a modified afterthought heel which allows the stripe sequence to continue uninterrupted through the ankle and instep. The heel modifications allow for a better fit as apparently afterthought heels are often too shallow. I had already decided I wanted my next pair to be toe-up. However, this pattern was easily modified so that didn’t present any problems. I also wanted to do them TAAT. When I do them one at a time, I tend to knit the second sock much tighter. Doing them at the same time would help me keep my gauge more consistent.

I learned from my last pair of socks that I don’t always get 8 sts/” on US1s. For this pair, I went up to US2s and checked my gauge early on. I got around 8.5 sts/”, which was fine. I chose to knit the 72 st size. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On for the toes and got going. Since I was using a pattern specifically designed to show off stripes, I figured I’d try to make my socks match. I started each at (what I thought was) the exact same spot in the color sequence. I actually kind of prefer fraternal twin socks, but I wanted to learn new things!

The Process

Since I was doing toe-up instead of cuff-down, I needed to choose an increase to use for the toes. I initially did left and right raised increases, but I didn’t like the way they looked. I ripped them out and restarted, using m1r and m1l instead. I liked that much better. I wasn’t sure how long to knit the foot before adding waste yarn for the heel. I estimated two inches less than my foot length. After knitting about an inch past the waste yarn, I went back and did the heels…then tried the socks on. And, they were just too big…by about an inch!

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Note the extra length at both the toe and the heel. And the Ms. Potato Head in the background.

I deliberated for a bit, but ultimately ripped out the inch or so of leg, the heels, and an inch and a half of the foot. I re-added my waste yarn and kept going. This time, after I did the heels, the fit was perfect! So, I learned that leaving about 3.5″ for the afterthought heel works well for me.

I made a couple of modifications to the heels the second time around. I started the decreases one round sooner and didn’t decrease as much. I only decreased to 40 sts instead of 28. I decided on this just by trying the sock on every few rows. I guess my heel isn’t as pointy as most! After those modifications, I was much happier with the fit.

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Better, right?

Another thing I did differently on the heels the second time around has to do with how I picked up stitches on the corners of the heel openings. It’s a long story but, suffice it to say, I got much smaller/nonexistent holes. What little gap remained I was able to close up while weaving in the ends.

If you look closely at the two pics above, you’ll notice that they are not identical twins. Even though I started at identical spots in the yarn’s stripe sequence, they didn’t stay identical for long! They each started out with two stripes each of orange, yellow, red and pink. Then, things got a little random. So much for planning! In any case, I just carried on knitting the leg and cuff. I kept going as long as I could in an attempt to use up as much yarn as possible. Interestingly enough, the stripes started matching up again at the top! So they start and end with two stripes each of orange, yellow, red and pink. The only difference at the end was the very last stripe, which made an appearance halfway through each bind off. One was yellow and the other orange. I actually ran out of yarn while binding off one of the socks, so I russian joined some yarn on. I didn’t want to pull a row out and redo it! I like having the extra pop of color on the bind off and, since I used JSSBO, it would have been really irritating to undo.

The End

All told, I used 395 yards of yarn. The legs/cuffs are about 8.5″ long. I like the yarn a lot–the stripes and colors are awesome, and it’s not too coarse for sock yarn. I will give them a wash and a soak and they will probably soften up a bit. I cast on with US1s for a neater toe and switched to US2s on the second or third round. I used Addi Sock Rockets with 40″ cables and knitted them on magic loop.

As for the pattern? I would highly recommend it for first time sock knitters and 100th time sock knitters. There are a number of little tips and tricks included that really make the socks turn out smooth and streamlined, including a modified Kitchener stitch and sleek decreases. Susan posted on her rav group recently that she’s actually come up with some more tricks to make the pattern even better, and she’ll be releasing them sometime next week. The pattern has many clear and detailed pictures and includes links to video tutorials for more information. In particular, there’s a neat trick for picking up gusset corner stitches that I will probably use any time I need to pick up heel or gusset stitches. If you’re at all on the fence, the pattern is still discounted and her KAL is still going on.

Last, but not least:

The Pretty

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Sorry (not sorry) for the giant pics. I couldn’t help myself.

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Afterthought heels look funny! They’re really just extra toes.

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Look, Ma! No holes!

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Pretty, pretty toes!

Get ready for even more pic spam!!!

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Image copyright Callandra S. Cook

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Image copyright Callandra S. Cook

Clearly, I love pretty much everything about these socks!

Are you doing any sock knitting? Feel free to post about it on Thursdays and link up with the group! Also, you can share your projects on Instagram with the tag #thursdaysockalong. Check out my fellow Thursday sock knitters here:

Pre-Gaming

The Ravellenic Games start in just a couple of days. This doesn’t mesh up very well with my knitting timetable. I don’t want to cast on for a big project because I’d have to put it aside shortly. I don’t really want to cast on for little projects, because I could just wait and do them during the Games. But, since I have to knit, I went ahead and did it anyway.

My potholder is about halfway done. I haven’t decided yet what color to make the other side, but I’ve narrowed it down to three choices:

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I think I’m leaning toward the yellow, but I’m not sure yet. Thoughts? Opinions?

Another quick project I started is Belle’s Spa Cloth, another test knit for Carol. This has been something of a comedy of errors. I would have started sooner but I needed help winding the skein into a ball. I drafted someone at my knitting group last night to help me*. While sitting at my LYS today, I looked around for my needles so I could cast on. Nope, couldn’t find them. I grabbed an extra pair of US4s lying around and got started. Before I left, I transferred it onto a spare circ I had in my bag. I got home, found the right needles, and started to knit. Well, I knit the next row with the US4s, but forgot to put the extra circ down. I knit several rows alternating between the 4s and the extra, which was US2. I eventually realized it when I looked down and noticed I was still holding both needles. Whoops! It made the tension really weird, so I pulled it out and started over. Now, I think I’m good to go. It doesn’t look like much yet, but here’s what I have so far:

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I think those two projects will tide me over until Friday. If I finish them both and need something else, I’ll just start another potholder. Or some socks. There’s always socks!

Happy knitting!

*Last time, I asked the wifey to help me. She did, but she complained the whole time 🙂 So, I figured I’d lean on a fellow knitter instead!

Learning is Fun

Now that my WTF, Stripes? socks are done (more on that on Thursday), I needed a new project. I’ve got a few things brewing, but nothing quite ready to cast on yet. So I grabbed the kitchen cotton I got at the thrift store the other day and got ready to knit a potholder.

Several years back, I made a number of potholders using the beginning of knitty’s Kureyon Kozy pattern. They were double layered circles, knit in the round from the inside out, joined with a three needle bind off. Here are pictures of the only one I still have. Clearly, it’s been loved!

The color in the second pic is off–it’s really more of a light blue. Since it’s clearly on its last legs, I figured I’d make a couple more. I dug out the Kureyon Kozy pattern and cast on. I knit a handful of rows and decided it just wasn’t working for me. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get the cast on tight enough, and I didn’t like the way the increases (kfb) looked. I went back to the drawing board–ravelry. I searched for round patterns and stumbled across this Sunny Side Up placemat (free download on KnitPicks). That pattern calls for a circular cast on. I read through the directions but they made exactly zero sense to me. So, my good friend google came to the rescue. I searched for circular cast ons and found a handful of different ones, mostly variations on each other. I settled on the disappearing loop cast on and used this video to do it.

I got going. It took several tries, but I eventually came up with something I like a lot. The trick for me was to cast on and knit the first row or two on needles much smaller than I’m using for the rest of the project. Maybe that wouldn’t be necessary with a more slippery yarn, which would make it easier to pull the circle tight. But, with kitchen cotton, I couldn’t get it to snug up enough. So, I cast on with US2s and switched to US5s on the third round. It worked great!

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I love that I’m always learning new knitting tricks!

Thrifty Knitting

I love yarn and I love shopping, but seeing as I’m not working at the moment, I’m on a serious budget. I also might already have a decent amount of yarn. But every once in a while, the thrill of the hunt hits, and I just can’t help myself! A few days ago we took a quick trip to the GWBTP*. I haven’t gone in a while because it involves a lot of bending and reaching, and those have been difficult for me for a while now. But, the wifey agreed to be my “arms” so we did a short trip.

It’s hit or miss there usually. This time was more hit than miss, and before we knew it we had two carts full of stuff (don’t worry, Mom, we pared it down to less than one–and it was cheap). I don’t often find yarn there and, when I do, it’s almost always cheaper stuff that I don’t feel the need to bring home. This time I found a Ziploc bag with some yarn in it, but only one ball made it into the cart. There was a pair of short US10 Brittany wooden needles that came along for the ride, too. I also picked up a pair of unused makeup bags that I thought would make nice project bags. It wasn’t till I got them home that I realized the yarn and bags coordinated:

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I’ve been wanting a couple of new dishcloths lately, so I’ll use that kitchen cotton to start whipping some up!

I keep hearing good things about Cat Bordhi’s book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

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So, we stopped by the library the other day and I checked to see if they had it. They didn’t, and neither did any other libraries in the state of Maryland (at least on that network). I arranged for it to be ordered on interlibrary loan, and it’s on its way! If it ends up being the solid resource I’m expecting it to be, I’ll pick up a used copy on amazon. They did have a copy of New Directions in Sock Knitting by Ann Budd, so I checked that out:

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The last time my mom was in town, we took a quick weekend trip to my home town. On the way back, we popped into a few different thrift stores, just for fun. We didn’t find much that day, but I did stop to snap a picture of these plates I saw:

There were a few of each design. I thought it was interesting that there were a bunch of plates with spinning wheels on them. I hope a spinner found them and bought them!

I actually bought yarn for a project the other day. Remember I posted about going to my LYS’s “yarn tasting” happy hour recently? Well, all the yarns they had available for “tasting” were 10% off. Our friend (and our daughter’s nanny) has a new niece who hasn’t had an easy road of it, health-wise. I wanted to knit something for her and her mom chose a small blanket. I looked for a while for the right yarn for it, but had a hard time finding something just right that was also reasonably priced. I wanted it to be machine washable and dryable, but not to be 100% synthetic. I looked through a ton of different options online but wasn’t quite sold on any of them. Well, my LYS had some Kraemer Tatamy Tweed DK up for tasting and I gave it a try. It’s a 45% cotton/55% acrylic blend that’s completely washable. It feels soft and has a little shine to it, but it also has just the right amount of subtle tweedy texture. I bought four skeins for a total of about 1000 yards. It should be enough to make this free blanket pattern on ravelry:

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It’s the Baby Shane Blanket pattern by Tanis Lavallee (image taken from the ravelry pattern page). I have two skeins of neutral grey and one each of pink and lavender, so I’ll do two grey/pink triangles and two grey/lavender triangles. I think it will look really nice!

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While I would love nothing more than to buy some squishy soft madelinetosh or malabrigo superwash and make a beautiful blanket out of that, it’s just not in the cards right now. So, I’m doing the best with what I’ve got, and am very happy with how it’s working out. I might add this project to my Ravellenic Games plan. Think I can knit a thousand yards of blanket in a couple of weeks?

How’s your knitting going, thrifty or otherwise? Made any splurges lately?

*Goodwill by the pound, or Goodwill Outlet for those not in the know. It’s a thrift store where everything is priced by the pound instead of individually. There’s a ton of great stuff to be found but you’ve got to be willing to dig through bins of stuff to find it.

Thursday Sock-Along: “Yarn Ramen” Edition

I’ve had some serious sock drama over the past week, let me tell you! The background info, in case you’re just tuning in, is I’m knitting Susan B. Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks. There’s a KAL for this pattern happening now in her ravelry group, and the pattern is currently discounted. If you’re at all interested, it’s worth checking out: you don’t even have to finish your socks to qualify for prizes! Just get them on the needles. Also, there’s some great sock eye candy showing up.

So. My socks. I was cruising along, going toe-up, TAAT. Since the pattern is written cuff-down, I had to guess at how long to knit the foot before adding waste yarn for the afterthought heel. Based on what I saw in other patterns and the advice I got on rav, I went with 2″ less than my foot length. I put the waste yarn in at 8.5″, knitted about another 1.5″ of the leg, then went back to do the heels.

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Aaaaaughhhh! Giant foot!!!

Note the extra length at the heel and toe. All told, they were a full inch longer than my feet! I thought for a bit that I could just pull them up higher, so that the heel hit the back of my ankle, but quickly realized that wouldn’t work. They would end up in the back of my sock drawer, never to be worn. Okay, maybe I’d layer them over other socks in the extreme dead of winter, but probably not. Plus, who wants to put so much work into socks with awesome stripes in awesome colors, just to wear them once a year? Not this guy.

So, I frogged. I pulled out the couple of inches of leg. I pulled out the finished and Kitchenered heels. I ripped the foot back to about 7″ long. It hurt me, knitters. It really hurt me.

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Waaaaaaahhhh!

And I got going again. I re-added the waste yarn for the heels, and carried on with the leg. It’s about time now to tackle the heels again. I will probably graft them a little bit earlier than I did the last time.

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Despite all the challenges these socks have given me, I really love them. Interestingly enough, I got the same comment about them from two different people the other day: They look like Harry Potter socks. Works for me! If only I could rig up some magic knitting needles like Molly Weasley, maybe I could finally Knit All The Things!

Are you doing any sock knitting? Feel free to post about it on Thursdays and link up with the group! Also, you can share your projects on Instagram with the tag #thursdaysockalong. Check out my fellow Thursday sock knitters here:

Happy sock knitting!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Knit!

Get ready for a doozy of a sock post tomorrow–lots to tell on that front! Otherwise, I’ve been working on my third spa cloth test knit for Carol at knit equals joy. Here’s a teaser pic:

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This one doesn’t have a name yet. It’s cast off now, but needs a bit of blocking before I can get better pics. I love pretty much anything that includes knitted mesh lace! So easy and it looks awesome. What’s not to love? Also, in case you missed it, Carol has published The Queen’s Spa Cloth and Cinderella’s Spa Cloth. They’re both on sale for a significant discount (and they are very reasonably priced to begin with) so check them out if you are interested!

I’ve been itching to cast on for something big–a giant shawl, perhaps? But I don’t know when I’m going to get to it. I have sweater pieces to block and sew together (for a friend at my LYS) and a couple of other projects that need wrapping up. Also, I’m contemplating participating in the 2016 Ravellenic Games. For that, the idea is to knit along while the Olympics are happening. For projects to qualify for prizes, they need to be started and finshed during the 2016 Summer Olympics, so August 8 through August 21. I’m trying to think of projects that are on the small to medium size so that I could conceivably get them done in that window.

One of the projects I’m considering is this Mesh Lace Slouchy Hat by Jaime Sande, free on ravelry. I’ve posted about this one before, so I won’t go into a ton of detail. I have a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca that should be perfect for it.

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Another is this Neon Ski Bonnet by Lacey Volk. This one’s also a free ravelry download.

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I matched this pattern a while back with a skein of Cascade 220 in a rather fantastic shade of coral.

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If I don’t run out of Cascade Ultra Pima Fine from testing spa cloths, I will whip out a Castle Beach Spa Cloth, also by Carol.

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Also, there’s one more cloth to test, so I could do that too! I’m sure I can find something appropriate in my stash for one of them. Maybe I’ll do the Castle cloth in stripes so I can use up the last of the purple and blue.

Nothing else that’s currently in my queue is in the small to medium range (except a pair of Purl Soho legwarmers that I’m not sure I’m going to make), but those are likely to keep me busy for a while. If I knock all of those out, then maybe I’ll finally make that pair of Metolius River Mitts I’ve been promising myself for months now!

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Are you joining in the friendly knitting competition? What projects are you planning on doing? Anyone crazy enough to be doing a sweater or another large project?

All pattern photos are from the ravelry pattern pages. Copyrights are to each designer.