Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Shawls and Socks and Knitting Bags

It's always fun to have a flurry of finishes because that means I get to cast-on new things. Of course in a few weeks I'll be tired of these too but for now they are new and fresh.

I can't stop #knitting this shawl. It's so addictive! #madelinetosh

It's been awhile since I've designed a knitted shawl. I wanted to incorporate a bunch of elements that I love: stripes, garter stitch, speckled yarns, madelinetosh, and more. I can't wait to get to the "more" but for now I'm enjoying garter purgatory.

Flying North socks #operationsockdrawer #knittersofinstagram

Knitting a pair of socks every 2 weeks is kind of exhausting. I cast-off a pair and weave in the ends and then it's time to start the next pair. I'm a little behind on my personal sock club. This is April's bag of Wollmeise Twin. I'm using the stitch pattern from the Flying North socks. I like it because it's mostly stockinette while still fulfilling my weird "no vanilla solid socks" rule.

A handful of project clutches ready for the shop update on Friday.

Finally, I'm switching to an update model for my shop so that I don't have to keep blathering on about knitting bags every week. The plan is to update the shop once a month. May's update will be this Friday at 10:00 AM EDT. Previews will go up Thursday afternoon/evening. I will have both project clutches and sock drawstring bags available. Please check it out if you get a chance!

Monday, May 04, 2015

One Finish, a Leftover Leftovers Blanket, & a Mini-Review

Poste Yarn Socks

My 9th pair of socks in 2015 is done. Toe-up, #0 40" Karbonz, TAAT, 60 sts inc to 64 at the cuff, afterthought heel, ladies' size 6. I used Poste Yarn in the Danxia Landform colorway. When I divided the skein into two balls I decided to try something new, so I made my socks match. They aren't exact but pretty close. I remain "meh" about matching socks but it does make it easier when figuring out the heel placement.

I use about 6g of yarn for each square on my mitered square blanket. I've been trading a lot of 10g skeins, so I end up with a small but substantial amount of leftovers. Because I'm completely nuts I decided to use the teeniest bits in another blanket. This one is a simple granny hexagon using join as you go. I wanted it to look distinct from my other blanket even though I'm using the same yarns so I am edging each hexagon with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Dove Heather. I'm enjoying this project apart from having to weave in the ends but I like the other one a little bit more.

Leftover Leftovers blanket

I've been using the same ol' Susan Bates/Boye metal hooks for years but I wanted to branch out and try some other hooks because I do get wrist pain when crocheting. I bought two size C hooks, a Clover Amour and a Tulip Etimo. I made a couple of motifs with each hook and quickly discovered that I very much prefer the Clover hook for a couple of reasons.

  1. The Knit Picks Stroll Tweed yarn isn't very tightly plied and it's fairly easy to split. Although the shape of the hooks don't appear to be that different, the Tulip hook split the yarn much more than the Clover.
  2. I hold my hook with a knife grip. The Tulip hook has an indentation where your thumb is supposed to rest. My grip is naturally closer to the hook end which makes this indentation uncomfortable for me. The Clover hook is flat without an indentation.
  3. This is fairly minor, but the Clover hook has a rubberized grip which feels nice in the hand, while the Tulip hook is simple plastic.
  4. I bought these with the intention of trying them out and eventually getting a set. The Clover set is color-coded, which makes it easy to find the size you need. The Tulip set has all the same colors and you'd need to rely on the printed sticker for the size.

Both hooks are superior to the metal ones I'm used to but I really like the Clover Amours. I plan to destash the Tulip hook and buy a set of the Clovers as soon as it's convenient.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Fantastic Quilt Voyage, Part II

This was so fun to sew. It was hard to stop! @quirkygranolagirl #fantasticquiltvoyage

For this round I had Melinda's quilt. She asked for a strip quilt with inserted blocks in a sunset-y color scheme. I found this one to be so fun that I had a hard time stopping myself from adding on more and more pieces. I haven't made an improvised strip quilt for myself and I really should. I absolutely love her quilt. The only problem I have with this type of quilt is that I end up making a huge mess!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Spinning Report and Summer of Stash

Well I made it through the entire first quarter of the year spinning at least 15 minutes a day, but I've definitely dropped off in April. I've had too many other things going on and I'm experiencing a little spinning fatigue.

Neon Invasion

This month I only finished one skein which has already sold. April's spinning totals are 410yds and 4oz, for a yearly total of 5330yds and 73oz (about 4.5 lbs).

20150412_130721

Next I'm spinning this beautiful light grey cormo cross roving that has been in my stash for years. I'm hoping to spin for a vest.

Summer of Stash

In other news, I've been stashing a lot of yarn lately. I'm embarrassed to admit that the mosaic above is only a small sample. As stupid as this sounds, I think it's because I want more yarns that I can add to my sock yarn blanket. I am aware that I need to first use these yarns in a project before I can add them as mitered squares but that hasn't seemed to stop me. I've decided to cut myself off from buying yarn and fiber from now until the end of August, which will be my Summer of Stash. An additional goal is that I'd like to knit or crochet through 10,000 yards and spin 2 pounds. As always, there are a handful of exceptions:

  1. Any yarn or fiber that has already been paid for isn't going to be sent back. This includes fiber clubs and a handful of orders I'm waiting on. Also if I happen to win any giveaways I don't have to turn it down. This is unlikely to happen but you never know.
  2. I will continue to be in the Hello Yarn fiber club and I'd like to join the Nest club when it opens sometime this summer. But no more fiber purchases beyond these 2.
  3. If I come up with a design idea that I'm ready to work on RIGHT NOW and I don't have appropriate yarn in my stash, I can purchase some. I'm going to try really hard to avoid this though.

I think the Summer of Stash will be a fun and achievable challenge. The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival is in September so it will make a nice reward. I'm looking forward to actually using some of these beautiful yarns and fibers in the coming months.

ETA: Ok, I just remembered that my birthday is in July. That will definitely be a very challenging time. But I will try to stick to it anyway. We'll see.

Monday, April 27, 2015

All the Knitting

Taking a blogging break last week was nice, but now I'm behind again on documenting my projects.

Hermione's Socks

I finished Spicy's March Personal Sock Club socks in April. They took forever because I knit them on #00 needles. One was toe-up and the other cuff-down. I used Hermione's Everyday Sock stitch pattern and my own hand-dyed MCN yarn. These were pair #8 for the year.

Poste Yarn socks

I'm trying to finish up pair #9 before the end of April but I don't know that I'll make it. These are simple self-striping socks with an afterthought heel knit with Poste Yarn.

GoT mitts

I knit Spicy a new pair of fingerless gloves with some yarn I bought at Rhinebeck. We just subscribed to HBO Now and started watching Game of Thrones. This colorway is called Hand of the King and I had no clue what that meant when I bought it, but now I do. I knit these on Friday evening and am regretting it because my left wrist has been hurting ever since.

Sock Yarn Blanket

Finally, I finished another row on my sock yarn blanket. I'm not sure what I will do when I run out of unique sock yarn leftovers, which is actually a real possibility now. I've been participating in some trades so I can get in a few more rows and columns before I have to make a decision.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shawl Season

Springtime always puts me in the mood to knit shawls. There are so many fun shawl patterns out there and I want to make them all.

Shawl is at the stage where it fits on the needles perfectly #stitchedinsweden #knittersofinstagram

Right now I'm doing a test-knit for Maria of the Stitched in Sweden podcast. It's a very pretty garter lace shawl. I initially chose different yarn but then I pulled this malabrigo sock in natural from my stash and thought the shetland-style lace would be the perfect match for the undyed yarn. I could really use a plain white shawl in my wardrobe. I'm always attracted to bright and colorful but sometimes it's good to have neutrals too.

Never have I ever used #brooklyntweed loft #junkyarn500 @wraybot

I'm also doing Ysolda's Follow Your Arrow 2 which was a generous gift from my friend Crystal of Sonnet of the Moon. We're doing a two-month knitalong together which will be fun. I am using Brooklyn Tweed Loft for mine in a lovely medium gray (again with the neutrals). I had to put this aside for a little while to work on the test-knit but I'm looking forward to getting back to it soon.

2015-04-15_04-20-15

The list of shawls that I want to knit by the end of summer is too long to spell out, but I'm pretty sure my next project after I finish these is a Brickless in this Yowza skein in Perfectly Wreckless. I'm sure by the time my neutral shawls are done I'll be ready to return to my regularly scheduled clown barf.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

scrap blankets make me happy

#sockyarnblanket #knitstagram

I couldn't resist anymore so I got my sock yarn blanket back out. It's getting quite heavy and from now on I will need to think of an alternative picture set-up. Since my last post I've added some mini-skeins of my own handspun which bring me such happiness. I've swapped yarns with a couple of people so now i'm armed with lots of new-to-me yarns for more squares.

Spicy said it looks like a knitted patchwork quilt which is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. I'm thinking now it'd be a perfect cozy winter throw for the couch. i'm so crazy about this one that i'm even thinking of starting another sock yarn blanket out of the leftovers from my mini-skeins. a companion granny square blanket might be nice.

Psst: I've added another batch of zippered clutches to the shop. Just sayin'.

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