I finished the socks I really didn’t want to finish. Yay!
But I forgot about how shallow toe-up heels are compared to heel flaps.
So, fuck it. It’s time for Borg socks.
Well. A lot’s gone on since last we spoke.
I finished my year of socks project #7.
Pattern: just a plain old top-down ribbed sock, no particular pattern
Yarn: Mad Color Fiber Arts All American in an unlabeled colorway I picked up at NH Sheep & Wool a few years back
Needles: 2 mm/US 0 Karbonz DPNs
Gauge: Didn’t measure. The fabric came out pretty lovely but the socks themselves are a bit loose.
And then I finished my year of socks project #8 because why not. I don’t have a picture tho because these were a gift that was like a billion years overdue and I mailed them off before I got a picture.
At this point things were well past my October 1 deadline but I continued on with my year of socks and finished #9 for good measure.
Pattern: top down, just my usual numbers but with ankle socks this time
Yarn: Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Cold Mountain
Needles: 2 mm/US 0 Karbonz DPNs
Gauge: 8 sts & 10 rows and overall a bit loose
And continuing the ’15-’16:17 theme, we also have some progress on the socks I really didn’t want to finish!
Since the last 2 pairs were pretty much my standard everything but turned out oddly big, I decided I needed to do some rethinking and reworking of my standard sock plan. Lately I’ve been wearing my favorite old resurrected pink socks and another old pair that had their cast-off unravel years ago and I only just fixed them recently, both knit from the same yarn and the same pattern, and I’ve noticed they fit just fantastically. Now, it could be the yarn or the pattern or the gauge or who even knows what else. Since I’ve been knitting with some thinner yarns lately and don’t have a lot of sock needle options other than my 2 mms to test out the gauge variance hypothesis, I’m taking a cue from the pattern for my first attempt at figuring out my baggy sock deal. The pattern I used for these pairs was my go-to sock pattern for a long long time, but after a while I found I really prefer knitting cuff-down to toe-up and I haven’t really looked back too often. But toe-up does offer easier options for testing fit as you go, of course. (I know a lot of people say you CAN’T try on cuff-down socks, but you can! I swear! It’s just very poke-ish and harder to really tell if you’re matching the beginning of your knitting to the same place on your leg every time you check the fit, and neither of those things is an issue when you start with the toe. So, please just know that I fully support your “toe-up when you need to try it on” feelings, but please also know that trying on cuff-downs is an option, and I want you to have all the options in life, I honestly do.) And I was already feeling less than motivated to knit the mates for these 2 and thinking that knitting them in reverse might be my only chance. So, toe-up with my old standard pattern it is. Still using 2 mm needles and knitting exactly the size I always knit before, which matches the stitch count of my current standard top-down sock. I figure from there I can measure gauge and feet and ease and come up with a plan for the next pair. I will report back if there is anything interesting to tell.
After all this finished, I admit I got a little distracted and took a few yarn-buying detours. All of it was to buy yarn for specific projects we’ll talk about in a sec, except for this one:
Since stumbling across it when I was looking for yarn to knit Happy Street, I’ve been a little preoccupied with Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat. I can’t explain why, really, since I am not exactly a major Alice in Wonderland person. I haven’t even read it! But the yarn just kind of speaks to me. I’ve set a goal of collecting 1 skein of each color with the intent to knit…something…someday. I’ve got a good amount of Caterpillar and Dreamworld left from my shawl and I picked up this skein in Un birthday last time I was at my local-ish spot. It’ll take a while to collect as much as I want, but at least that gives me time to figure out what I’ll actually knit with it, I suppose.
And then there’s Loop.
Not part of the year of socks, not part of the allowable knitting project, just here to be pretty and succeeding at it.
When I was buying that Cheshire Cat for no immediate reason I thought it might be fun to buy something with the actual intent of knitting it. My last Stitch Fix box — which I haven’t blogged! I actually haven’t blogged 2 whole boxes! The blue room is not done and the pictures are just not happening, but I’ve gotten some excellent stuff! — had a perfect winter coat in like a cross between a navy and a slate blue. I am someone who always feels the need for at least 2 of hat/mittens/scarf to match each other at least a little and my coat at least a lot, but who almost never actually manages it. I spent enough on this coat and I love it enough though that I figured I should treat it right this time. So I got me some DiC Canyon in a leftover club colorway that’s this really lovely tonal gray.
First I knit a hat.
And then I knit some mittens.
And it was all over so fast I haven’t even made Ravelry pages for them yet. (I did wear them outside to shovel the driveway today tho.)
Patterns: Tin Can Knits Flax & The World’s Simplest Mittens — which showed up on Instagram the exact instant I needed to see them the other night (I know everyone on the planet but me is already on Instagram but here I go too: yarnandsass follow meeeeeeee!!!!!)
Yarn: Dream in Color Canyon, October 2015 club colorway maybe???, 70 g for the hat, 73 for the mittens
Needles: um…whatever the patterns called for
Gauge: um…it all turned out OK but the mittens are a bit big
Started & Finished: I knit the hat on 10/30 and I knit the mittens except for the thumbs on 12/3 & the thumbs were done on 12/4
Good lord, this is a lot of stuff. There’s just 1 more to get through, though, and it is pretty fantastic, I’m not gonna lie.
Pattern: Double Dutch by Katya Frankel
Yarn: madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Found Pottery & Neon Pink, just about 300 yds of each
Needles: 3.75 mm/US 5 bamboo circular
Gauge: pretty much exactly the 22 sts & 44 rows called for in the pattern
Oh lordy, folks, did I have fun with this. The mosaic pattern doesn’t show up quite as well as I was hoping, but there’s so much neon pink in this I can’t even care. I also got exact gauge, which never happens, and it shouldn’t really matter with a shawl, but I’m counting it anyway.
OK, I think that really is everything I have to show you. I’ve added a few squares to the blanket but nothing huge. (The blanket’s hungry, though, so hit me up if you wanna trade a bit.) I’ve barely gotten to the rest of the to-do list because I’ve been knitting up a bunch of stuff for the Etsy shop, and then not photographing or listing it. Sigh. Overall, though, I’d say the knitting’s going great and I can’t complain.
Hey, did you know my primary love language is Acts of Service? That’s a true story about me. Anyways, what do you do with the things you know you won’t use, or with the things you’ve been meaning to use forever but don’t want to admit that you probably won’t? What’s your threshold for declaring something in need of a good home, or at least in need of getting out of your sight permanently? For me, it has always largely depended on how much storage space I have. As a rule, if it’s not taking up room I desperately need for something I love/need/use more, then it stays where I put it. But lately, even with all the space I have these days, when I come across the things that don’t fall into the love/need/use categories I only feel a serious need to get them sorted out ASAP. They are not doing me a service and therefore don’t truly love me, and anything that doesn’t truly love me should go and seek a better life elsewhere. Or at least speak up and tell me what the hell I should knit with it already.
I spent a good amount of time last week in the yarn bins, looking for something it turns out we probably lost in the move last year.
At least it was a good opportunity to sort things better. I now have a bin of yarn for the Etsy shop; a bin of lace weight, sock yarn and other stuff for already planned projects; and a “sport and heavier” bin. In the process, I came across a bunch of stuff that brought up that “something needs to be done about this NOW” feeling. I’ve already shown you how I handled the problem of the old Noro-and-Patons blanket that was never gong to be finished. I’m pleased to report I also redid the body on Francis Revisited and got it to an acceptable length. Now I just need to figure out how I want to finish the sleeves, and I’ll have a nice warm squishy cowl-neck sweater in time for summer.
I feel like I have mostly knit with worsted or fingering weight for the bulk of my knitting career, but I do seem to have a weensy collection of neutral-ish sportweight scraps building up. Maybe these need to be a shawl? If I felt like I was likely to add to this group in the near-ish future, I’d probably start another scrap blanket, but I should probably go for the option that might see me actually finish a thing.
Some lovely soft aran weight with varying degrees of silk and cashmere just begging to become a cowl. The gray was a Sophie and the red was a pair of commissioned mitts and both were in my very first Etsy sale, but the Natural Silk Aran has been just sort of floating for like 6 years or something, until I happened to pull it out of the bin alongside the others. I am nearly ready to cast this on, actually. It’s calling to me.
This is a Very Tall Sock I knit way back in my earliest knitting days when I was first thinking about socks but not quite ready for the skinny yarn and skinny needles deal. I knit one, it didn’t fit right, I never knit another. I don’t have the inclination to unravel it — unraveling stripes is worse even than weaving in ends when it comes to knitting chores, in my opinion — nor the heart to throw it away. We already have Christmas stockings. I have no idea what to do with this besides just move it from bin to bin every few years as I come across it. I am showing it to you so its existence will at least be recognized for this one brief moment.
I liked these colors together and was playing around with a sort of color/texture block idea, but then I ran out of yarn and interest at the same time and I don’t even know what to tell you about that. I’m thinking about felting this and cutting it up into coasters. I need more coasters.
I’ve had this skein of laceweight wound double-stranded sitting around for years waiting to become legwarmers. I can’t quite envision what I want them to be like, I’ve never knit legwarmers, and every pattern I look at feels wrong. I’m open to suggestions for a good legwarmer pattern/what I should do with this instead. (It is most certainly staying doubled, though, whatever I do with it.)
Sometimes it’s kind of exciting to go through the bins like this and get new ideas about old yarn. Sometimes you just have to admit there are no new ideas to be had. I’ve got a few other things hanging around waiting for someone to love them. Maybe that someone is you? Sale or trade, some or all, whatever you like, hit me up. Value given in current average-ish (like, I looked through the first “will trade or sell” page to see what most folks are doing?) Ravelry prices. I’ve got basic sale/trade info and a bit of a wishlist here, though what I probably want more than anything right now is more minis for the blanket because I know we are not far off from it taking over my life again for a while. Let’s say a 100-gram skein of sock yarn goes for about $20, that makes your average 5-gram mini worth $1, right? So, we can use that as our unit of currency. I mean, all that being said, I’m pretty flexible on yarn trades. Make me an offer and we’ll see what we can do.
This is leftovers from a recent secret project that I finished a long time ago and am dreadfully late in delivering to its recipient and man what even is my problem with that? But anyways I have a bunch of Cascade 220 Superwash in pastel fruity colors and…I can’t imagine using these again. (The few darker colors peeking out are sport weight and there’s about 20 g each of raspberry, tangerine & whatever type of green they call 841, if anyone is interested.) (Also, I’ll wind it up neater before I send it.)
Value: looks like $8 per 100 g ball
One full (50 g) skein and 2 partials totalling 89 g of Knit Picks Shimmer in Galaxy. I can’t explain why I’m trading away purple yarn. I just know it needs to happen.
Value $5 per 50 g skein
One skein of KnitPicks Swish Bulky in Doe.
Value seems to vary wildly? Let’s say $7?
One skein of Cascade 220 in color 2415 Sunflower.
Value again, iffy, but how does $6 sound?
And finally a mostal of Cascade Eco + in 2452 Turtle. I also have a few little partials kicking around I believe.
Value $15 for a full 250 g skein, so, like, $12 for this?
Of course, if you have minis to swap, we can always do this the old-fashioned way too.
If you’ve swapped minis with me before, there’s a very high chance of repeats here, so keep that in mind, but I have added a few new yarns to the supply lately and I have more than enough to go around still.
I think that’s it for now. Leave me a comment or message me on Ravelry if you see something you like.
OTHER STUFF THAT’S GOING ON
I’ll have some exciting stuff to show you about this in hopefully my next post, but in the meantime you should really check out the soxcetera podcast my friend Shannon hosts and then head over to the Ravelry group and check out the colorwork knitalong. Everyone’s projects are so amazing and I’m knitting with two hands and I never thought it would be possible and I am having THE BEST TIME!
Oh, my friends! I have gotten a little behind on my previously scheduled knitting. But let me explain, because I promise you I have the most excellent reasons.
Meet Budderickton Woodpileford-Smythe, Viscount Basementshire. Buddy, as we are calling him even tho he is clearly a DISTINGUISHED and REFINED GENTLEMAN, I mean just LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE GLASSES STEMS ON HIS FACE, has been spending who knows exactly how long* living in the wood pile** behind our house. I only discovered this fact at the beginning of October, but once I did I immediately embarked on a campaign of laying wet food, tuna, and dried shrimp out in a strategic line across the yard and into a basement bedroom for just long enough that I could scoot behind him and close the basement door. I am not going to lie, it took most of the month with me putting out food and/or crouching in the other basement bedroom with the door cracked just enough that I could see if he had sneakled inside, but I GOT HIM! Now he is mine and I will call him Squishy*** and he will be my Squishy****.
Well, he will be all mine in like 3 more weeks. It’s going to be Thanksgiving weekend before all the various topical treatments and shots and such are done and we’re allowed to bring him fully into the fold. In the meantime, he lives mostly in that basement bedroom — tho with SO MANY visits for belly rubs and chicken treats every day — and we are trying to let him and Zoe see and sniff and maybe hiss a little at each other on a regular basis while we also give them both like way extra double triple love and scratches and fishy-smelling treat things.
In other distractions, I’ve had a commission and some photos I’ve been working on for the Etsy shop. I am plugging away at my every-3-weeks socks, but life and work have gotten a bit in the way.
I’m sure you understand.
I mean, what would you do if you had to choose between knitting and THIS FACE?
*The vet said he was a year and a half? He was clearly an indoor cat at some point because OH MY GOD YOU GUYS SO FRIENDLY, but.
**Why do we have a wood pile? We don’t have a fireplace or a woodstove. Life is a mystery.
***Budderickton Woodpileford-Smythe, Viscount Basementshire
I’ve just finished up 2 big gift projects. I have one more small-ish gift to knit that goes with the other two, but reaching the end of a few months of selfless knitting has me thinking about all the things I want for myself now. I’m going to knock out that last small gift soon, but mostly I’m taking the rest of the month to start, finish, or at least make progress on some stuff just for me.
It’s also been a bit of a sick September so far, so today I bring you pictures entirely from where I’ve been plunked on the couch for about 4 days straight.
I finished the skirt on the first Daughter of the Regiment sock! And I’m fairly sure I did most of it almost right! I feel like I’m very close to the end now but that’s probably because I haven’t read ahead in the pattern in a while. These were never meant to be a quick knit anyway.
I was tearing apart the yarn bins looking for a specific skein the other day. I didn’t find it (found a decent substitute, tho), but I did find this leftover Cascade Eco and the last bits of wool from my spinning days. I thought I’d permanently misplaced both, but now I’m thinking thrummed slippers.
I needed some emergency supplies from Jimmy Beans last month, so I grabbed some clearance yarn to bump me over the free shipping threshold. This is Schachenmayr Lumio Cotton on its way to being yet another Muriwai. I’m curious to see what I think of the reflective thread once this is done. Honestly, I didn’t notice it even had that when I ordered, since I was just thinking, “clearance, cotton, bulky, oh hey that looks like it meets my cost requirements nicely.” Life is an adventure.
And I started a new pair of socks. I liked the yarn in the ball, kind of autumn-y, kind of jewel tone-y, but knit up I think it’s ugly as sin. It could almost be a stained glass window but then it fails. Idunno, there’s just something I kind of hate about it. But. It’s Kroy and I love me some Kroy, so I figured if I make these into knee socks I can wear them with my rubber boots and make them part of my farming wardrobe and then I never really have to look at them.
And as you can see in the background I’m also working on the sock yarn blanket again. It’s starting to get cool here finally and I have been stuck shivering on the couch, so it seemed like a good time for something that would keep me warm but not require much thought. I’m almost out of fresh minis again, tho. Anybody up for a Sick, Selfish September sock yarn swap? It’s cool if you’re not feeling sick or selfish. I’m handling both of those well enough right now.
It’s usually the case, when things go quiet around here for a while, that I’m stuck right in the middle of another semester and making such slow progress on my knitting that there’s just not that much progress to show. Half of a sock cuff looks very much like three-quarters of a sock cuff, and I think you’ve all seen enough partial sock cuffs by now that I couldn’t possibly excite you with that level of progress. However. Things are a little different right now. While the semester stuff is totally true this time around, there’s nary a three-quarters sock cuff to be found around the place. I’ve actually been making a ton of progress on my knitting lately, it’s just that it wasn’t knitting I was ready to show you.
I can show you now, though, because the Yarn & Sass Etsy shop is totally officially open and ready for you to buy all the things!
Well, OK, not all the things. Like, seven things. But that’s still way more things than I’ve ever knit in the course of one semester, I think! I am fantastically pleased with this situation. And I’m expecting there to be a few more things popping up in there on a roughly weekly basis.
Do click through and check out the shop, but here’s a little preview of what you’ll find there just for funsies:
Because who wants to set up a table and put price stickers on things and stand outside getting fresh air all day? Not I! Go check it out.
I’ve got some knitting supplies, some yarn, some yoga stuff, even some jewelry in need of a good home. Some old things need to be cleared out to make way (and cash) for some new things.
Three straight weeks now I’ve been go-go-going. Go to the doctor, go pick up friends, go to a show, go to Dan’s parents’ for the night, go to Dan’s grandmother’s for Mother’s Day, go to work, go home sick with a migraine, go to the grocery store, go, go, go. Today, I am stopping. I think I’ll stop tomorrow too.
I will knit a sock and I will finish the baby sweater. I will work on the Thor hat pattern. Tomorrow I will make chicken soup and bread. I may look at Ray a few times if I feel like leaving the apartment, because I think he may just be trying to grow a little something on one of his branches and last night I dreamed about lemons. If I notice Something that Absolutely Must Be Done, I will ask Dan to do it, or I will convince myself it’s No Big Thing After All. I have queued the Up series on Netflix. I will figure out a way to make an amazing dinner out of two potatoes and a dried pepper. I will read another Spenser novel. I will clear my mind, work on my alternate-nostril breathing, and drink limoncello.
I don’t have any new pictures to show you. Soon, though, my darlings. I promise.
OK, I think this might be easy.
Actually, that should be a question. Am I? Is this a thing?