Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sock KAL 2

Well, last week I had cast on the toes but hadn't decided what pattern I was planning to use *laughs* I'm happy to say that the pattern has been selected (sort of, I'll explain shortly!) and I have made a small amount of progress...

The yarn (Juno Fibre Arts Buffy Sock) is knitting up beautifully, I love the splashes of red and blue.

As for the pattern... Well, it is based on the Embellishing Hilda Sock pattern, but with some modifications. The pattern has 4 repeats of the diagonal lines, but I'm only doing 2. I am also considering reversing the direction of the diagonal once I get to the left side of the sock, to make a zig zag pattern instead - although then I'll have to decide what to do on the rear of the leg.

Oh, and I'm not reversing the pattern on the second sock - but that's not really a design decision, it's because I forgot *laughs*

I'll probably do a regular short row heel rather than the heel in the pattern, mainly because the pattern writing is slightly confusing and I'm too lazy to decipher it. Plus, I like short row heels.

Actually, talking of heels - usually I do the short row type over half of the stitches (my usual cast on is 64, so the heel goes across 32). On my Ice Cream Waffle socks, the heel is done over 29 stitches for some reason, and from trying on the first sock it seems to fit better than usual. So I might use these to experiment with a narrower heel. The design is flexible enough that it won't disrupt the pattern.

Click the picture below to head over to Sarah's blog and check out everyone else's links :)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tiny Progress Pile

It's funny how having too little time to craft also leaves me with too little material to post *laughs*

I tend to make a fair amount of my knitting progress at the weekends, but this weekend turned out to be very busy (I even did spring cleaning!) so I don't have a lot to show for the last week...

To be fair, that is sleeve 2 of 2 *laughs* And I have turned the heel on Ice Cream Waffle Sock 2, so it could be worse!

I am trying really hard to get these both done, because they are the second of their kind, which is always dull and repetitive. On the plus side, finishing the sleeve will mean I am almost done with my Berwick, and that is exciting because I really want to wear it *laughs*

Oh, I have also made some progress on my knitalong socks, but I'll post about them tomorrow!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sock KAL 1

So, today is the start of the Sock Knitalong, hosted by Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch.

I have selected the yarn I'll be using....

This gorgeous Juno Fiber Arts, Buffy Sock (which just so happens to have been a gift from the lovely Sarah *grins*)

I have cast on, however I still haven't quite finalised the pattern I plan to use *laughs* As I'm doing the socks 2 at a time, toe up, I have knit the toes and now I'm narrowing down my choices.

The yarn is so pretty, with splashes of red and blue, and I really want to make the most of it. I think I want to go for a pattern with something like slipped, winding or twisted stitches, pretty but not too bulky. There isn't too much variegation, so I can afford to make something with a bit of pattern as it won't get completely lost.

Currently my frontrunner is Charybdis... But you never know ;)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Hi there - it seems like a while since I posted, thanks to being ill lately :(

On the plus side, I wasn't too ill to knit, so I have made some decent progress on a couple of projects *laughs*

Check it out - Berwick is all finished in the body. I even did some of the finishing so that I don't have to do it all at the end. Also, seaming the shoulders meant I could try it on and check that I'm happy with the length *laughs*

I always seem to make garments too short. Sometimes through lack of yarn, sometimes as a choice and often because I get bored of the body part ;) This time, I have made it the right length, so I'm pretty pleased. Now all I have to do is knit the sleeves, pocket edgings and the giant neck, and it'll be done.

And I've already started on the first sleeve ;)

From the top picture you can also see that I have knitted most of the leg of my second Ice Cream Waffle Sock, a few rows left and I'll be turning the heel.

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and yarn along content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles*

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Ice Cream

This picture may look remarkably similar to last week's, but there is one important difference...

This is sock 2 *grins*

Do you ever get a project that just won't let you put it down? Because I don't think I have picked anything else up this week. Hence finishing the first sock relatively quickly. And being sensible and casting on for sock 2 right away.

I think part of it was the pattern - it was easy to get sucked into the "just one more repeat" mindset *laughs*

Based on the colours and pattern, these socks are hereby known as my Ice Cream Waffle Socks (ok, so the blue is a slight addition to the neopolitan ice cream look, but never mind!)

One thing about these, I cast on for the smallest size as I have small feet, but the pattern hasn't got much stretch. So I have made the leg a little shorter than normal, which means sock one only used 1/4 of the yarn. 2 pairs of socks from this one skein might be possible, which is awesome *grins*

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Musings on Labels

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see what I post about most often. So I changed the settings on the widget that shows all the labels I use for posting to also display how many posts are in each category (I then changed it back straight away because I found it a bit cluttered, but I kept a screenshot *smiles*)

From this I can see that I have accidentally got two labels for Ooops, one with 3 "o"s and one with 2 *laughs* The irony is not lost on me ;)

I can also see that I have clearly forgotten to label a few things - because I only have one post tagged as "handspun" despite completing more than one skein.

I'm quite amused that I have 41 posts tagged as "New Yarn" and only 16 as "Stashbusting" *laughs* Doesn't that show my priorities rather clearly?!

Unsurprisingly "Knitting", "FO" and "WIPW" are the top 3 tags - as this is a knitting blog that participates in WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays, I think that is pretty self explanatory!

I was slightly surprised that the next highest result is "Socks", though perhaps I shouldn't be. I never set out to write a sock knitting blog, but apparently I am on the way to having one anyway *laughs* Not a problem of course, I love sock knitting and my handknit socks are the items that get the most wear out of anything I have made.

This might be a feature of the tags I am using of course, "socks" seems to be the only project specific label I seem to use. Food for thought...

So, I have a question for you - do you ever look at the tags on blogs you read? Either on posts or on the sidebar? Do you click them, or use them to see what sort of thing the blog covers (garment knitting, sock knitting, crochet, cooking, etc) or ignore completely?

I'm trying to work out if I want to update tags on older posts, making them more useful, or if people aren't that fussed about them and I just shouldn't bother *laughs*

Monday, 14 January 2013

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn

I like yarn. You may have noticed this already *laughs* On Saturday I got 2 parcels with yarn in the post, which made for an exciting morning ;)

First one was a prize I won in my Nerd Wars team, I got to choose a skein from Nooch fiber, and I picked Merman:

It's slightly more greenish than this picture shows. I have no idea what I'm making with it, but isn't it pretty?

The second parcel was some undyed sock yarn, because it has been ages since I did any dyeing. I jumped in immediately, I'm no good at delayed gratification *laughs*

I did not learn from previous mistakes, so I ended up with seriously bright blue hands. I also forgot to re-tie the skein, so it got a bit tangled. Not looking forward to trying to wind it!

I started with a turquoise colour, then dunked parts of the yarn in darker blue, set that then dunked some more areas in a dark purple. It came out really cool, even though I didn't start with any sort of plan *laughs*

Next time though, I really must remember gloves!

I have also ordered some yarn from A Stash Addict, so I won't do a stash status update until that arrives ;)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Brown, Brown and More Brown

Fridays with no finished projects make me sad.

Which explains my excitement in discovering that I had a project that was finished ages ago but never got blogged about *laughs* It's not the most exciting one in the world, but it is finished and that counts ;)

My brown legwarmers. Yeah, exciting, I know *laughs*

I made up the pattern, if you can call it a pattern - ribbing, stocking stitch and more ribbing:

I'm actually pretty pleased with them, they look pretty dull (especially thanks to the yarn of overwhelming sameness) but they're cosy which is the whole point. And they used up my leftover Rowan Pure Wool Aran, which took up an absurd amount of space.

I made them of a length that I could either wear them ruched up, or unruched but with the top ribbing folded over.

I tried to take pictures, but the colour was all over the place and annoyed me, so here is the ruched look in black and white *laughs* Honestly, it's bad enough that the top two pictures don't have the same colour, I couldn't cope with a third variation!

Anyway, for no doubt more interesting and colourful Friday finishes, head over to Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sock KAL

I mentioned yesterday that I have cast on a new sock, to make up for the annoyance I am feeling at my Noro socks (hate the yarn, it tangles every few stitches. I'll finish them, but I won't like it!)

New sock - has another repeat since last night but I forgot to take a new picture!

Anyway, I had already decided to join in with the latest Knitalong (KAL) from Sarah at Crafts from the Cwtch. So, you may wonder why I have already cast on, if the KAL hasn't started yet (the official start date will be Thursday 24th January)

Well, as I am knitting these socks one at a time, I thought the community aspect of a knitalong would help me to try and overcome second sock syndrome - but if I want to have a hope of getting to the second sock in the appropriate timespan, I needed to start right away *laughs*

This is a fairly long-winded way of saying:

  • Sarah is having a sock KAL - check out her blog today for details
  • I am participating, because I love socks
  • I have already started, but that's ok because reasons

Anyway, although I don't consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I have knitted socks toe up, top down, one at a time, 2 at a time, on DPNs and using magic loop - so if anyone has any questions during the KAL, I'll do my best to help!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

First WIP Round-Up of the Year

Yay - first WIP Wednesday of the year (for me, who missed the actual first one, anyway *laughs*) And all projects are new and shiny, apart from one.

So, the project that is a cross over from last year - Noro Socks of Frustration (and Potential Disappointment)...

I actually haven't taken a new picture, because they are at a stage where it is really hard to get a good photo of them - halfway up the leg on 2 at a time socks makes for difficult photography! They're coming along, I don't like working on them and I don't know if I'll like wearing them, but the colours are nice *laughs*

To sate my sock cravings, last night I cast on for a new sock (only 1 at a time, this might be dangerous). I started it in the yarn Sarah gave me, and the pattern didn't show off the yarn to its best. But I wanted to knit this pattern, so I grabbed some sock yarn that has been waiting aaaaaages:

It's not easy to get a picture of the pattern at this stage, being that I have only done 2 repeats, but these are the V Junkie pattern from Socktopus.

Just before Christmas I started on Berwick, and now I'm just past the front pocket:

I love the brioche rib at the bottom of the pattern, it's so squishy. But I am slightly disappointed with my yarn - I can't seem to keep an even tension at all (as you can see from the picture). It's acrylic yarn - Caron Simply Soft - so I can't block it like normal. Hopefully a quick steam block will even it up a bit!

And last, but absolutely, most certainly not least - my How I Wonder shawl:

The pattern is Celestarium, and it is a circular shawl with beads depicting the constellations in the Northern Hemisphere (the designer is planning a Southern Hemisphere version too).

I am so in love with this shawl. I'm even starting to recognise constellations. Look, Cassiopeia

I have no idea how I would wear this (or even if I will wear it) once it is done, but I am knitting the night sky and it makes me seriously happy *laughs*

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and yarn along content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles*

Monday, 7 January 2013

The Expression of an Impression*

I forgot to mention one of the other Christmas presents I got when I posted last week. My lovely brother bought me some painting supplies. He remembered that I did an evening painting and drawing class and so he bought some canvas paper and a small canvas (which I am apparently to paint and give back to him so he can have something I've created, just in case I become famous *laughs*)

It was an excellent prompt to get me back to the brushes, as I haven't really picked them up since stopping the class. Yesterday I had a day to myself and filled it with painting and knitting and catching up on TV shows, and had a fabulous time *grins*

This first one is supposed to represent a nebula. I don't think it's quite what I was trying to achieve, it's a bit like a painting a kid might bring home from school. Ah well. The problem is that I'm not skilled enough to paint exactly what I want, but that just tells me that I need to practice more ;)

For reference, this is sort of what I wanted it to look like...

My second one was slightly more successful I think, well, it looks like what it is supposed to be anyway *laughs*

I'm more pleased with this one, though I think it needs a little more work. But I have a feeling that I will be someone that feels as though a painting is never finished and always needs a little more work - perhaps I should also practice letting go *laughs*

A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it? Ernst Hass

Friday, 4 January 2013

The Princess and The Unicorn

I finished my Princess Unicorn socks!!!

That may not seem like it warrants 3 exclamation marks, but as they have been on the needles for a year, I think a small punctuation celebration is in order *laughs*

Hmmm, strange contortionist picture there ;)

So, this yarn was a Christmas gift from boyfriend, last Christmas. And I finished the second sock thanks to some knitting time this Christmas *laughs* This is why I now knit socks 2 at a time!

To explain the name of these socks - the yarn colourway is called Unicorn. And you can see from this picture below that I have given these socks Princess Soles (click the link for more information on what that means):

This is the first time I have knitted princess soles for myself, and they really are wonderfully comfortable. My feet aren't that sensitive, so I probably won't make all my socks this way, but they are especially luxurious - especially when you factor in the alpaca yarn ;)

So, those are my princess unicorn socks. I posted an FO just before Christmas, but it wasn't on a Friday, so here is my Subtle Stripes Cardigan again, for anyone who didn't see it ;)

You know the Friday drill - head over to Tami's, Natural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder for some lovely FOs ;) 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy New Year :)

Hey everyone *grins and waves*

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year (or other holiday that you celebrate). I had a lovely time, even if I didn't get round to turning on the computer!

I got some lovely crafty presents, so I thought I would show them off ;)

First up - some books. My lovely brother bought me the Sock Knitting Masterclass, and I am keen to try out some of the new toes and heels that are in there. I bought myself Socktopus to accompany it, with some Christmas money from my Gran. And the Best In Show - Knit Your Own Dog was a silly present from mum *laughs* Although, I do have a couple of patterns in there that I am tempted to make!

Cunning boyfriend bought me the cutest project bag (that was apparently on my amazon wishlist, but as I had completely forgotten about it, it was a lovely surprise *laughs*)

Yay, robots :)

He also bought me some crystal resin that I have really been wanting to try out - because I need another hobby *laughs*

The most surprising gift came inside a parcel from the always fabulous Sarah. I had won her pre-Christmas giveaway of a couple of reindeer/stag blanks to customise...

Aren't they cool? I plan to steampunk them.

Anyway, along with the prize was a card, which mentioned a "little" gift...

Little?! I was so very, very excited. Isn't the yarn beautiful? I have wanted to try Juno Fibre Arts sock yarn for ages and ages, and now I have some of my very own *grins* I love the colour, purple with red and blue speckles. Thank you so, so much Sarah. Also, no one else had bought me yarn for Christmas (not complaining, I got wonderful gifts!).

I have already wound it into 2 balls and am trying to choose the perfect sock pattern for it now. Maybe one from my new sock books...

Anyway, I'm off to try and catch up with all the blogs I missed over the last few weeks!