bitten by the sock bug | sock journal no. 1

I can’t believe I’m typing this… I’ve been bitten by the sock bug! If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, this should surprise you. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not happy with how I look in garments right now (ugh), the fact that I have too many hats (if that’s even a thing), or because I have a bunch of sock yarn… but I totally want to knit all. the. socks. this year! Even more, I want to learn all different techniques – heels, toes, two-at-a-time, toe-up, 9 inch circulars… I could go on. But I won’t for your sake. You’re welcome 🙂

I always keep notes of what I’m doing on Ravelry, but I’ll be journaling more detailed notes here.

I recently wrote about frogging a sock and I’ve already knit a vanilla sock using that Candy Skein yarn! Here are all the details:
Pattern: N/A.. “Vanilla Sock” – C/O 60 sts using twisted German cast-on on size 1 needles. 2×2 rib for 20 rounds. Stockinette til leg is 7″.
Yarn: Candy Skein Tempting Sock (discontinued) in Blue Shave Ice
Heel: Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist
Toe: Rounded toe from Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson. Decreased to 24, then k2tog around, then k1, k2tog around. Kitchener the remaining 8 stitches closed.
Thoughts: I really enjoy 2×2 rib more than 1×1 for socks. 60 stitches seems to be the perfect number for my feet. I liked the FLK heel a lot! I need to work on tightening up the last stitch, but it fits very well. I also ripped out the toe and reknit to add more length. I’m learning that it’s better to rip back and be happy with what you knit! I measured my foot and it is 8.5″ (size US 5), so knitting the foot to 6.75″ from back of heel and doing the rounded toe described above makes the perfect length sock! I learned so much with this one and I think it will make knitting future socks so much easier.

I just love those speckles! I’ll make the second sock soon, but I got a serious case of castonitis and started completely different one! #sorrynotsorry

This time I decided to follow the Smooth Operator Socks pattern.
Pattern: Smooth Operator Socks. Mods: C/O 60 sts, 2×2 rib for 20 rounds. Stockinette til leg is 7″.
Yarn: madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Hippity Hop; Contrast heel/toe/cuff: Plucky Knitter Feet in Before You Go Go
Heel: Smooth Operator (afterthought) heel – 20 stitches before kitchener
Toe: Rounded toe from pattern, except I forgot the last 2 rounds of decreases, so I decreased to 6 stitches before kitchenering them.
Special Techniques: Contrasting heel/toe/cuff
Thoughts: This isn’t my first afterthought heel and I’m never a big fan of the fit. This one is no exception, unfortunately. I’m going to try something different on the second sock to try to fix the fit. Any tips?! I wasn’t happy with the toe either, but I think forgetting those decreases is the problem – I will remember them next time! Loved doing the contrast heel/toe/cuff! The colorway is out of my comfort zone, but the socks are so fun!

The second sock is already cast on and I anticipate it will go even faster than the first! The skein above is my newest acquisition – Peach Pit on Gilded from Fiber for the People. Isn’t it dreamy?! I’m trying to pick a pattern, as I want it to be my next pair of socks. What pattern would you knit with this gorgeous skein?!

This will be my first year participating in the #boxosoxkal and I’m really excited! Socks have become by companion while waiting at the allergist and they seem to fly off my needles! The thought of 12 hand-knit pairs of socks is so appealing to me right now. Now if only I can avoid second sock syndrome!

finish or frog | round one

I posted at the beginning of the year about my goals for the year and one of them was to get all my WIPs under control by either completing them, or ripping them out – I’m calling this finish or frog!

One project I’ve decided to both finish and frog. Last March, I cast on a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks with a gorgeous cake of Candy Skein Tempting Sock (now discontinued) that I got in San Diego in 2016. I finished the sock, but was never really happy with it… it’s actually a bit too small, which is my fault, but I also don’t care for the pattern/colorway combination.

So I’ve decided to start a plain vanilla sock in the same yarn. I cast on 60 stitches, did 2×2 rib (which I usually don’t prefer, but I think it works well for socks) for 20 rounds, then just stockinette for 7 inches or so. I’m also going to try the Fish Lips Kiss Heel for the first time, which I’m excited about! I want to try different ways of knitting socks and am hoping this heel will be a good fit for my foot. And, as a bonus, this will also take care of my “Find out if I can be a sock knitter” resolution! It’s yet to be determined, but I have enjoyed having something mindless to knit while waiting before/after I get my allergy shots. Here’s a not-so-great photo of the beginning of my “shot room sock”!

I’m a little sad about this next project that I’m going to frog, my Yoga Shawl by Andrea Mowry. Andrea is one of my favorite designers and the pattern is wonderful! So this is nothing against her. The thing is, I bought this pattern back in September 2016 before I realized that I really don’t enjoy knitting stockinette flat – that is, I despise long purl rows! It took me starting another, very similarly constructed shawl (see below) to realize why I’m not motivated to knit them! I’m really proud of the progress I made, but after languishing for a year and a half, I think it’s time to frog this one and repurpose the beautiful madelinetosh 80/10/10 fingering (also discontinued). It will be hard to let go of all the work, but I think it will be worth it in the end. I have mulled over the idea of knitting this in the round and steeking someday, but for now… it’s time to say goodbye to this WIP!

The last thing I’m frogging right now is 2nd Avenue by Amy Miller. This is another shawl that I really love in theory, but I hate knitting those long purl rows! It’s the one mentioned above that now makes me think before I buy a pattern. Now, I always look at the construction – if it’s tons of purling, it’s not for me! The yarn I’m using, Plucky Feet is too nice to not knit with. Surprisingly, I’m actually considering making some socks with it once I rip it out!

So far, I haven’t finished any of my WIPs from last year, but frogging the ones I don’t love really helps me clear my head!

What have you finished or frogged lately?!

the one with the weaving & the knitting | january roundup

One of my New Year goals is to blog more! I thought it might be fun to write up a monthly roundup of what I’ve started and finished!

Honestly, there’s a lot I can’t share yet – tiny knits for new little ones are consuming my knitting life at the moment. But I’ve still managed to finish a few things between baby things!

First up is Boho Style Mosaic Shawl by Irene Lin. Have you all tried mosaic knitting? I swear it’s like magic. I tried some flat stranded colorwork last year and it’s just not for me. But mosaic knitting doesn’t involve any purling (when knitted flat) or holding two strands of yarn at a time – it’s amazing. So after a laid-back stockinette section with garter ridges, you work three fun mosaic charts, then bind off and add tassels! I enjoyed it so much, I knit it in under a month! Irene’s new cardigan design is also at the top of my knit list! I knit this for the Self Indulgent Knit Along hosted by the Yarniacs on Ravelry, which is such a fun and encouraging group! The trusty Cascade 220 made this project both beautiful and affordable.

Also this month I knit several Garter Ear Flap Hats by Purl Soho. In fact, I think I knit a total of five and had a request for a sixth! I don’t often knit the same thing more than once, let alone six times (I knit my first one last year), so I clearly love this little pattern! I haven’t tried any size except newborn, but as evidenced from a recipient, they seem to fit well! Yarn info can be found in my Ravelry projects!

 

Of the things I can share, that’s all I finished this month! It doesn’t seem like much, but hopefully I’ll make up for it in March when I can spill the beans on all the baby things!

In the meantime, I cast on a selfish hat with gorgeous Plucky yarns! The pattern is called Bean, a freebie from Plucky Knitter Design! It uses one strand of sport weight and one strand of fingering weight held together to knit the brim (shown here). Then you alternate the yarns, creating a stripe effect that can be subtle, like mine, or high-contrast and bold! I ordered a mystery kit and they sent a skein of Nifty (yummy merino/cashmere/nettle fingering) and Primo Sport (a nice, bouncy MCN blend). They rarely disappoint me with their mysteries, and these turquoise blues are no exception!

The other thing I started this month is a woven scarf using these beautiful skeins from Martin’s Lab! I’ve wanted to try this brand for awhile, and finally broke down and ordered 2 skeins of Bouncy Merino and a skein of Silky Mohair, both in the colorway Bilberry Stains. How gorgeous are these?! I love Martin’s story, too, so if you haven’t heard of the brand, you should check it out! The prices are reasonable, even including shipping from the UK, though it did take several weeks to arrive. I’m using my 10″ Cricket loom and can’t wait to finish it up!

By the way… do you weave? Or are you interested in posts about weaving? 

What projects have you been working on? After the holidays, does your crafting pick up, slow down, or stay the same? I’d love to hear! Happy knitting!

new year, new goals

One reason I like to blog is so I can look back at what I’ve done… and what I’ve said I was going to do. I basically laughed out loud reading my 2017 goals because many of my goals for this year are the same. That is, I didn’t achieve most of them. Oops.

So what goals did I achieve last year?
Well, I knit with intention more for sure. Most of my projects had a reason… even if the reason was “I really, really want to make this.” But I don’t feel like I knit a bunch of stuff I won’t wear. I completed around 40 projects, which is not bad considering the volume of my Etsy shop. Speaking of, I focused on my shop more, hit a personal goal of 100 sales online, and had two successful holiday markets! It was my best year yet where my side business is concerned and I couldn’t be more thrilled! And of course, I learned more which each new thing I knit!

Which goals did I not reach?
Knit from stash. Yeah, totally failed at this one. I think I bought more yarn this year than ever before. But I am renewing my resolution to knit from stash in 2018. I’m also going to participate in a Love Your Stash Challenge hosted by Naomi of Naomi Grace Designs with the intention of whittling my yarn down either by knitting or destashing!

 WIP it good. I’m not sure how many of those WIPs I completed, but I have more now than I did then! 2018’s motto: Finish or Frog!

Find out if I can be a sock knitter. Yep, didn’t do this one either. I knit one sock and wasn’t thrilled with the FO, though I didn’t mind the process. So it’s getting ripped and reworked into a vanilla sock. I’d also like to try toe up, two-at-a-time, and the fish lips kiss heel. Maybe this will be the year of socks? …Don’t hold your breath 😉

New goals!
#2018yearofthesweater – I recently posted about this here if you’d like to read, but basically I have a goal of knitting 8 sweaters this year!

All the baby knits – I’ll be renewing my title of “aunt” twice this year (eek!) so I have a ton of baby things on my knit-list. Think tiny hats, booties, maybe some jumpers… I can’t wait to meet my niece & [niece or nephew – it’ll be a surprise] and put them in all the itty bitty knits!

Be (at least kind of) monogamous – This will probably be the hardest one for me. Usually, if there’s a free needle, I find something to fill it. But this year I want to focus on actually finishing things and not just casting on with abandon!

That’s it! I mean… I think that’s enough 🙂 What are your 2018 knitting goals?!

#2018yearofthesweater

For my 2017 #sweatergoals, I resolved to make 5 sweaters. It turns out I only completed one of those and cast on another. Along the way, I got a bit distracted and knit 2 others, for a total of only 3 completed sweaters for 2017. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I knit the things I knit. I honestly think I’d get a lot more wear out of garments than I do out of most accessories. Although hats are my favorite thing to knit, I can’t wear them to work and have more than I need for the winter season. I won’t stop making hats anytime soon – I often need a “palate cleanser” and those fit the bill! But I want to focus more on wearable, everyday handknits. So I’m joining in the #2018yearofthesweater KAL, hosted by skeinyarn on Instagram, with a goal of 8 sweaters. Seven of those will be new cast-ons and one a current WIP. I have the yarn for almost all of them, so no excuses! I really want to expand my handknit wardrobe, learn more about sweater construction, and try new techniques!

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