feet flirtin’ | sock journal no. 2

It’s hard to believe that it’s June. It’s also hard to believe that I’m still knitting socks!

At the time that I published sock journal no. 1, I had only knit two socks. Not two pairs, just two, not matching, socks. I have since knit five (!!!) pairs and am halfway through my sixth, keeping me on track for the Box O Sox 2018 KAL! I’ve tried new techniques and explored different yarns and I’m still excited to delve deeper into sock knitting!

You might remember my January Shot Room Socks knit with a yummy hank of Candy Skein I got in San Diego. I’m so pleased that I ditched the textured pattern and went with plain ol’ vanilla for this gorgeous yarn!

I’ve also discovered that a Fish Lips Kiss Heel is just my favorite. It is my preference to knit but it also fits really well on my feet. I ended up getting three socks out of one skein and still have quite a bit left! I’ll probably frog the textured sock and incorporate it into something scrappy.

I’ve already shared my Hippity Hop Socks, but here’s another link and photo. I did an afterthought heel on these and am not a fan of the fit, so I probably won’t be doing that regularly.

March’s socks were the Old Fashioned Sugar Frost Socks. This dreamy skein was a gift from my friend Christine and I absolutely love these socks!

Pattern: Sugar Frost Socks by Marianne Heikkinen; Mods: C/O 60 sts, 2×2 rib for 15 rounds. 7″ leg.
Yarn: The Fox and The Fawn’s Doe in Old Fashioned
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss
Toe: Rounded toe, decrease to 24 sts, k2tog around, (k1, k2tog) around, then kitchener the 8 remaining stitches.
Special Techniques: N/A
Thoughts: I did a 60-stitch sock on size 1 needles, but have since learned that 64 stitches fit me better on that size needle, so these are a little snug. This yarn is so luxurious! These are my favorites so far.

April socks: Peach Waffle Socks

Pattern:  Bluberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner; Mods: C/O 60 sts, 2×2 rib for 20 rounds. 5″ leg
Yarn: Fiber for the People Gilded in Peach Pit
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss
Toe: Same as above
Special Techniques: N/A
Thoughts: 60 stitches wasn’t as snug because the leg is shorter. I enjoy this length, but like 7″ a bit better. I’ve definitely found the way I like to knit socks – cuff down, 2×2 rib, FLK heel, rounded toe – so I’m not branching out as much as I’d hoped. On the other hand, I’m glad to have found my vanilla sock 😉 This was my first yarn with gold stellina and I really enjoy it!

Finally, my May socks… the fun and interesting IfThen socks! I was intrigued by this pattern the first time I saw it. The idea is to use a self-striping yarn and if the color changes, then you do a certain stitch pattern; thus, IfThen! I think it’s a super interesting concept and I really, really love how these turned out!

Pattern:  IfThen by Shanel Wu
Yarn: KnitPicks Felici in Spaceman; madelinetosh 80/10/10 in Shadowplay for contrast heel/toe/cuff
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss
Toe: Same as above
Special Techniques: Toe-up!! Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off
Thoughts: I finally tried toe-up socks and I must say, I really enjoyed it! Between that and the stripes, these flew off the needles (well, at least the first one did… hah). The bind-off turned out a little wavy, but I don’t mind 1×1 rib as much with toe-up because the bind off is stretchier than most cast-ons. I love the fit of the toe-up and think I’ll definitely knit more in the future! Also, Felici is sooo soft!

Don’t you think taking pictures of your own feet is so awkward?! I always feel like I’m “feet fliriting” with the camera! 😉

new pattern | holston shawl

I’m so excited to announce an exciting collaboration with Brim Collections! Brim Collections is the brainchild of Alyssa Latuchie and Amor Esperanza Valdez, two knitter-friends. I have followed Alyssa on Instagram for a long time and adore everything she knits! So when she and Amor launched Brim Collections, I just knew I would love it… and I was right! Their first pattern collection coincided with the launch of their beautiful yarn, called Breakfast (which totally gives me waffles/Parks & Rec/Galentine’s Day vibes)!

I am completely honored to be part of their second collection with my shawl, HolstonThe Holston River flows from my home of East Tennessee to Knoxville, where its confluence with the French Broad River marks the beginning of the Tennessee River. I grew up visiting the river’s dams and reservoirs, among them Boone Lake and Fort Patrick Henry Lake, where the sample photos were taken.

Holston evokes strength, peace, and comfort. The shawl comprises alternating sections of squishy garter, stockinette, and a textured diagonal stitch pattern. Contrasting crochet detail and luscious fringe add a casual and carefree vibe to the shawl – just like a day on the river!

 I’m so thrilled and grateful that Brim and I teamed up to design this piece!

Oh, let’s talk about that yarn! Using Brim Collections’ Breakfast Sport weight, I chose the Earl Grey colorway, which turned out to be the perfect dove grey that I envisioned. It was also important to me to not waste yarn, so this shawl uses nearly exactly two skeins. The fringe and crochet detail were added using the Creme Fraiche colorway. I just love the pop of contrast and drama it adds to the shawl! The 100% Merino wool is bouncy and has great stitch definition. It was truly a dream to work with and I’d love to try more from the line!

Thank you to Alyssa and Amor, who were an absolute pleasure through this process! And a big thanks to my friend Katy Sergent for taking these photos for me last fall!

I hope you all love Holston as much as I do! It is the piece I’m most proud of. Keep an eye out for the rest of Brim Collection’s new patterns, which will be releasing over the next couple of months!

To purchase the pattern, check it out on Ravelry here.
You can find kits in some incredible color combos here! That Sun Baked colorway is calling my name!

Also look out for a pattern giveaway coming soon over on my Instagram page!

xoxo,

Andrea

the one with the best chocolate chip cookies (oh, and some knitting) | may roundup

One very important thing happened in May. I found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Ever. Honestly, it’s not like I’ve tried many. And I have nothing against the one on the back of the chocolate chip bag. But I was really jonesing for some cookies and came across this recipe on my Pinterest board. An hour later, I had seriously perfect chocolate chip cookies. I don’t think I’ll ever even flip that yellow bag over again, these are that good.
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the one where I finished something other than socks | april roundup

I did it! I finished something that isn’t a sock (or a baby knit)! This is Skinner by Melissa LaBarre, knit with madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering in Shadowplay.


Photo courtesy of Katy Sergent

I’m really pleased with this FO, though I wish it was a little longer. It doesn’t quite go over my ears while maintaining that slouchy look. Another repeat would’ve done the trick, but I still really like it! Blocking it on a foam head allowed the lace to open up and also made it big enough to fit around my head (it was a bit small straight off the needles). I knit this as part of the Wool, Needles, Hands Year of Hats KAL.

I also managed to finish two pairs of socks (January & April for Box’o’Sox KAL), so I’m officially caught up for May!

Shot Room Socks


Peach Waffle Socks

I also faded into the 4th of 5 colors on my Find Your Fade! I’m actually quite a bit past this now – on the lace section, but it’s on the backburner while I work on my TTTKAL project!

If you’ve never participated in Shannon Cook’s Tees, Tops & Tanks KAL, you’re missing out! (Pre-KAL chat is live here). It’s basically the most supportive group of knitters, cheering each other on and knitting any garment without full-length sleeves. So fun! I cast on Tegna over the weekend with Miss Babs Tarte, which is a lovely wool/nylon/tencel blend! I gave myself a little head start because this will be my first fingering weight garment!

Lastly, I started my May socks! I’m already past the heel and am really enjoying toe-up! It may be my new favorite!

Other than casting on, frogging, waiting for yarn, starting over, and frogging again (I’m talking about you, Lovella…) that does it for April!

Oh, and my sister had her baby… my adorable niece!! It was so exciting to find out that she’s a girl, and we got to meet her 5 days early! It was a great month!


Here she is in her Garter Ear Flap Hat!! 🙂

What did you start, finish, or frog in April?? I’d love to know!

the one with more baby things & some socks | march roundup

March… in like a lion, out like a lamb. The month started with rain, we had a decent snow, more rain, and Thursday it reached the upper 70s… March is a roller coaster here in Tennessee! I can’t believe I’m talking about weather… who am I??

Anyway… March was busy but overall good. I feel like I hardly finished anything knitting-wise. I tried casting on a few things that didn’t work out, which left me in a bit of a rut. Two things that I had to finish were the Garter Chevron Blanket and Rocket Pop Baby Mitts for my niece Kamryn born this month!

The blanket, pattern by Catherine Anderson, turned out super cute, albeit a bit small. I enjoyed the rhythmic garter stitch pattern during the first ball of Caron Cakes, but by the second I was over it. Not to mention that the dye lots were different, which is my fault for not noticing, but still frustrated me. I didn’t want it to make it much longer since it was only about 24″ wide, so I did only 2.5 “stripes” using the second ball and bound off with the same color I cast on with. I think this had a really cute effect! I also think that, while it isn’t fit for a crib, it’s a nice size for a newborn to snuggle up with! And my sister in law really seemed to like it!

You can see the change in color, but it’s still really cute! And this yarn is super soft and nice for a little baby. I wet blocked it, pinning out the chevron points, but otherwise didn’t stretch it too much.

I also finished Kamryn’s mitts, pattern by Andrea Mowry, using Buckalooview Worsted III, which is a wonderful single ply yarn naturally dyed with Cochineal for the perfect pink! I modified the pattern a bit to match the Garter Ear Flap Hat I knit her last month. I used the needles suggested, but instead of stockinette and color changes, I just did garter for 8 ridges (16 rounds), then decreased as written, keeping the garter intact. I haven’t heard whether they fit her little hands, but I think the set is adorable! (Other mitt pictured over on Instagram!)

My sister in law put the hat on her right after she was born, which totally melted my heart! She’s so cute and I’m glad she has a few things handknit by her auntie! 🙂

The only other things I’ve finished this month are socks! I’m one sleeve away from finishing The Easy Bulky One, but it got a bit warm to knit on a bulky weight sweater! I’ve also melted into the 3rd color of my fade, which I enjoy working on. So here are the two pairs of socks I’ve finished!

Hippity Hop Socks, named after the madelinetosh colorway I used. I actually used the Smooth Operator Socks pattern by Susan B. Anderson and I just don’t like the afterthought heel! Maybe I’m doing something wrong? I’m not sure. But I’ll save that for a sock journal. I think they turned out so cute and they fit pretty well! These are my February socks for my first Box o’ Sox KAL!

Finally, I finished my Old Fashioned Sugar Frost Socks, using the Sugar Frost Socks pattern by Marianne Heikkinen and The Fawn and the Fox yarn. This was my first skein of Lara’s yarn and it won’t be my last! It was simply dreamy. My friend Christine (christine.knits) and I did a swap and she sent me this gorgeous yarn – the Doe base in the colorway Old Fashioned. I enjoyed every stitch! These are my March socks. I have to go back and knit my January sock’s mate, then I’ll be all caught up on my Box o’ Sox!

 

I just bought another 2.25mm needle so I can have two different socks going at once. I’ve already cast on my first April sock! Also I have so much leftover (each pair only uses about 60g for my small feet), so I’m thinking I may whip up several shortie socks. Or scrappy socks! What’s your favorite for leftovers?

OH, and those adorable sock blockers are from AlexWorkshopDesign on Etsy and he did a fabulous job custom making them to accommodate my tiny feet! Shipping was a little slow from the Ukraine, but they are totally worth it!

April will be an exciting month with another baby due! I have some more things to finish up for my sister’s little one, so that should keep me busy for most of the month. Eek! Happy knitting!