Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Socks that are kinda ok

Several years ago I knit a pair of socks from STR Mediumweight but I swore off the yarn forever b/c

  1. I hated the way the yarn pooled
  2. The colors faded significantly after a short time
  3. The socks felted quickly and didn't wear well

I bought a few skeins at Rhinebeck to use for woven scarves, but I decided to give socks another try with a skein of STR lightweight.

Socks that Rock

Pattern: My own with the Fork in the Road heel thrown in
Needles: #0 (2.0mm) 32" addi sock rockets
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in Marisol's Flue
Started: February 13, Finished: February 18

Socks that Rock

To try to combat some of the issues I faced last time, I knit at a very tight gauge (9st/in) on 64 stitches. I divided the skein into two balls and alternated every two rows. For one sock I knit the yarn sequence in the same direction for both yarn balls (ABCD/ABCD) and for the other I knit the sequence in opposing directions (ABCD/DCBA). The end result was actually quite similar in appearance so I don't think it really matters which way you stripe. Thankfully alternating skeins did break up the pooling so for future STR socks I would definitely use the technique again.

I tried out a new to me afterthought heel. I might use it again but it would need some tweaking. Because I've only recently switched to knitting my socks on size 0s, I'm still getting used to the adjusted row gauge and I'm not quite sure where the correct heel placement is yet. On these socks I knit the foot just a smidge too long. Also STR lightweight is a thicker fingering weight yarn so I probably should've used 60 stitches instead of 64. As a result this pair of socks is slightly oversized in both foot width and length.

These are very thick, dense socks but for winter I like them that way. I don't know yet if fading will still be an issue but I will report back if it is. I'm not going to run out and splurge on a ton of STR now but I'm not super opposed to using the yarn for socks again at this point.

These are my 5th finished pair of 2015.

Friday, February 27, 2015

#stylinghandmade 02.27.15

#stylinghandmade 02.27.15

Sometimes I'm a big lazy bum. I finished knitting Caesious at the end of January but only got around to blocking it this past weekend. After casting off, I just wasn't that excited about it b/c I couldn't figure out how to wear it. I ended up draping it in a bandana cowl-y kind of way but the shape is different enough that I don't know now if I'll make any of the other shawls from the book.

#stylinghandmade 02.27.15

Nicke's Hat | Pattern
Caesious | Pattern
Blazer | Petite Sophisticate*
Tee | Old Navy
Belt | Loft
Bubbles Mittens | Pattern
Jeans | Old Navy
Fitzwell Boots | similar

*You're not allowed to make fun of me for currently owning something from Petite Sophisticate. Check out how the sleeves aren't too long. I miss that store.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2 new spins

Maybe it's because January was an unprecedented level of spinning activity but this month I feel like I didn't accomplish much. I have some fiber on the wheel but I'm unlikely to finish before the end of the month so I'm pretty sure this is it for February.

Jeweled Rainbow Targhee

This is the Abstract Fibers targhee that I spun for the #rainbowalong held by Suburban Stitcher. The skein is 345yds/110g of a heavy sport weight (15 WPI). I split the braid in half vertically and spun worsted-style for a 2ply, then I lined up the colors while plying. I love how the colors just glow. This yarn has already sold.

Hello Yarn Finn

I also finally finished the Hello Yarn Finn that I started in January. It's been awhile since I spun a 3ply fingering weight and I had forgotten how long it takes. This skein is 600yds/114g light fingering weight (21 WPI). I divided the braid vertically into 8 pieces, spun each nest from end to end and then chain-plied to make a self-striping yarn. I will be keeping this yarn in my stash because it's not up to my usual standards. I had taken so long to spin the yarn that I got impatient to be done with it and didn't rest the singles for as long as I should have. Chain-plying was a very twisty affair and the yarn isn't as nice as I'd like it to be. But I'm sure Spicy will be happy--these will be knit into socks for him someday.

February's final spinning report: 8 oz spun up this month and 945 yds, which brings the yearly total to 53 oz (3.3 lbs) and 3920 yds. Hopefully March will be more productive.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kindness

Sock yarn Blanket

I've been working on my blanket pretty steadily in between other projects. My squares are about 4" x 4" and each one takes about an hour for me to knit. It's not that I'm running low on sock scraps or anything but I am a little disappointed in the variety I have available. I don't want to pull from full skeins so I limited myself to scraps only. Most of my socks are either for Spicy, who only likes boring man colors, or for me, who tends to choose loud bright clown barf colors (probably as a reaction to knitting with so many boring man shades). so it makes for kind of a weird combo, honestly.

Miniskeins

Enter my super awesome knitting friend, Crystal of Sonnet of the Moon. She very generously offered to share her scraps with me and she sent me this overwhelming amount of sock yarn. I'm super stoked that her sock scrap collection has very different colors from mine, so I'm on a renewed blanket kick and busy adding new colorful squares every day.

I keep waiting for the day that I get sick of this project but it hasn't happened yet.

Friday, February 20, 2015

#stylinghandmade 02.20.15

Brrrrr.

#stylinghandmade 02.20.15

I finished Zuzu's Petals out of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Stargazer. It was an interesting construction but very easy to complete. After binding off I feared that it wouldn't go over my head but blocking took care of it nicely. I just love Pashmina even if every skein I've used so far has bled like crazy.

#stylinghandmade 02.20.15

Zuzu's Petals | Pattern
Blazer | Banana Republic
Tee | Old Old Navy
Leather Gloves | jcrew
Jeans | Old Navy
UGG Classic Mini | Zappos
Earrings | Pearlalicious

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bags

I've been sewing a bit more recently. I'm a little jealous of everyone's cute project bags. I have a couple that I've made but not enough to hold all my projects. I have quite the accumulation of novelty fabrics so I put a few of them to work.

New knitting bag @soveryshannon box tote

I've had my eye on this box tote since I saw Anna from Noodlehead's. I didn't have enough fabric for the pockets so I skipped them. The exterior is a Michael Miller hedgehog fabric and the interior is Cotton + Steel.

Funny story: As I was cutting this out, I was talking to Spicy and not focused 100% on what I was doing. I pulled out what I thought was fusible fleece to interface my bag but discovered after I'd finished cutting the pieces that it was actually Insulbrite. I didn't want to toss such large pieces so I just went ahead and used it. I guess in a pinch if I can't find any potholders, I'll know what to grab.

OK it's confirmed. I'm definitely on a bag making kick @sotakhandmade

I have these hair clips that had been sitting in my bathroom in the plastic bag they originally came in. Every day they would spill out and make a mess and every day I would tell myself to make a little drawstring bag to hold them. and now I finally did it. I used Sotak handmade's tutorial, some Bento Box fabric for the exterior, a strip of Laurie Wisbrun fabric for the top (the collection with the polar bears), and a red ta-dot for the interior. I skipped interfacing and labels since this will just live in my bathroom. I recycled the twill tape that comes with FQ bundles for the ties. I knew I had a reason for keeping them.

Awesome mail day

I have 2 other bags on my list still to make but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I had purchased this fabric from Jacey's destash, but there wasn't quite enough of it to make a knitting bag. I searched etsy for sushi fabric bags and this set popped up. I bought it from Chicken Soup Designs because her bags were so cute and very reasonably priced for the entire set. I'm really happy with the purchase--the bags are nicely made and I'm already using the notions pouch on my current projects.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Socks Galore

I've been on quite the sock kick this month.

Through the Loops Mystery KAL 2015

I finished my TTL Mystery KAL socks. I knit the largest size with my knottygnome dwarf sock, naturally dyed with logwood and brazilwood. I used #0 addi sock rockets and knit both socks simultaneously using magic loop. The only changes I made to the pattern were to knit at a tighter gauge and to carry the twisted rib down the entire toe.

Just to keep it real, I didn't enjoy working on these socks very much. I think I am getting old and set in my ways. I prefer to knit one sock at a time and on this pair I knit both. I also strongly prefer toe-up socks to cuff-down, and I'm aiming more towards plain socks or very simple stitch patterns rather than complex designs. I was relieved when I kitchenered the second toe and could move onto something else. The finished socks are very pretty though.

It's funny how things circle around because early in my knitting days I was drawn to lovely variegated yarns but slowly switched to semi-solids and patterned socks. and now i'm back to multicolored and self-striping again.

Personal Sock Club 2015: February socks

These are my Personal Sock Club February socks. They are knit with a sportweight Zitron Unisono on #1.5 knitters pride wooden circs. I didn't enjoy these either. I just wasn't really into the yarn. It has very long color repeats so I striped them every two rows from the inside and outside of the yarn cake, which is a pain to manage. I think I used 56 stitches, toe up with a rounded toe, FLK heel with integrated heel stitch, 1x1 rib for 1.5".

If I decide to do the personal sock club next year, I might rethink my yarn choices. I wanted to pick some yarns that I'd be super excited to knit and also include skeins that I fell out of love with, just to force me to knit them and get those yarns out of the stash. but after 2 straight months of disappointment, I really hope I pick a fun skein for March.

Heel-less sock #knitstagram #operationsockdrawer #socksthatrock

Because I still had over half the month left and my plan this year is to knit 26 pairs of socks, I cast-on another sock. This is Socks that Rock Lightweight, which I had once sworn off forever, but I'll save that story for when the socks are finished. These are my normal sock except for substituting an afterthought heel, just to mix it up.

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