moving along

Finally, pink socks are done!

So now we say goodbye to April as well as the now-familiar sight of my perfectly-heeled, pink, striped socks. Sigh of relief.

Spring always holds endless possibilities; I'm looking forward to big plans and crazy ideas for the immediate future.

Thank you to everyone who reads this, and especially all the ladies who attend Kniterary Club, you guys are fantastic. See you Sunday! (Don't forget your homework...)


is...that...a ziploc bag? can i have it?

This is what my knitting workspace looked like BEFORE I organized everything into miracle Ziplocs.

I mean, because really...without Post-It notes and Ziploc bags, I would not be able to function as a knitter. I would also be forced to class up and organize my knitting system, and we know that that just can't happen. Clearly.

But more importantly: KNITERARY CLUB HOMEWORK. At Annie's request, I have an activity planned. Plus this week we'll have a guest of honor, so everybody will have to be on their best behavior! Your homework is this: bring some needles and a couple colors of scrap yarn. You won't need very much. Also, if anybody has colored pencils, crayons, markers, or the like- please bring those as well.


i see the strings that control the system

Spring finally feels like it's really, really here. I have my window open- and will leave it open- all night for the first time yet this year. With the arrival of spring, I have sprung into about a dozen half-thought-out, new projects. One of these will feature the above yarn: this traveled to me from Ireland (a previous post featured genuine Irish aran yarn, this is from the same trip). It's Colinette Point 5, a hand-dyed chunky wool. The colors are stunning, this picture doesn't do them justice...since there's a relatively small amount of yardage per skein, I will be combining it with the yarn shown below:

This is another hand-dyed yarn, Louisa Harding's Grace. It's half silk and half wool, I've had my eye on this color ever since our first Kniterary Club meeting (the yarn itself I have loved dearly since it debuted). It was such a strange color that I was at a loss to find an appropriate project...besides, variegated yarns always pose more of a challenge by nature. The combination of these two yarns will be epic- either an epic failure (and expensive, and sad) or an epic success.

Springtime + coffee = higher likelihood of ridiculous knitting projects. Isn't it great???


this has never happened to me

A few things are taken for granted in my life. One is that I can usually find a way to appreciate any yarn. I mean this, too...for me, there is a purpose for all yarn (even Red Heart, yes, Red Heart). Sock yarn, especially- I mean, how can you go wrong with a pair of socks? Socks are usually the outlet for my crazy-colored-yarn fetish- it is less realistic to knit an entire sweater out of loud, self-striping yarn than it is to knit a pair of bright socks to warm up your feet in January winters.

That said: this yarn is ugly.

I just can't get over it, so I'm going to set them aside for a while. I have pink socks to work on anyway...plus, I'm falling into my rut of knitting socks instead of coming up with my own ideas or finishing larger projects that I have on the needles. It's a problem. Thoughts? Maybe I'm overreacting.


operation OCD

Recently, a coworker asked if I could finish an aran sweater she'd had sitting around for months. Of course I said yes...and here it is, partially assembled. The sweater is a little unusual because it has saddle shoulders, but I figured it out pretty easily. After all, it is my job! Now I'm well into the collar knitting and then the rest of it should go pretty fast (just side seams and tacking down the collar...oh, and all those ends). As the owner of 5 partially finished sweaters, I completely sympathize with the "let somebody else finish this" mentality. Sometimes you just can't look at them anymore. (Especially if the project was arduous and/or annoying, the last bit of work can be torture.)

I'm keeping track of the time it takes me to get this done, so far sewing the shoulders and knitting the collar (halfway) has taken just over an hour and a half. The bad part is that I get far more anxious about working on other people's knitting projects than I do my own. I normally have a pretty cavalier attitude towards my knitting (a post regarding this to follow), but when it belongs to somebody else I get very afraid that something will go wrong. Unlike many things in my life, I am absolutely convinced that I am capable when it comes to knitting; however, finishing work catapults me into an entirely different level of OCD and I want it all to be perfect. Thus I spend lots and lots of time examining all my work to make sure it looks right. Wish me luck- so far, so good.


innovative solutions only get you so far

I'm back to socks. Whenever I'm at a creative loss, I fall back on socks because knitted socks are just so amazing. Well, this pattern intrigued me and it was free on the Interweave sock page. (William Street Socks.) Plus I seemed to remember having two skeins of this Arucania Atacama in my closet. So...I fished a skein out and set off on socks. A few posts ago I was all pleased with myself because I had started from the toe up (and I remain as such)...but now, I am faced with several problems.

For starters, two skeins was never going to be enough to complete two full socks. I realized this pretty early on and was okay with the fact that the pattern would require further modification. Well then I get up to the ankle and realize there is NOT another skein!!!! This was very frustrating. I set the sock aside (punishment, you see) and came back to it several days later...then I added an i-cord bind off and the sock became a slipper!

Still, I'm very pleased with my adaptation. Lots of comments regarding this sock were concerned with the fact that the cabling on top is so bulky...I totally agree. These are definitely meant to be house socks.

This still does not remedy the fact that I have one sock and no materials with which to complete another. Hmm.


i'm such a heel

This photo is SO EXCITING. I have been striving to achieve the perfect sock heel for as long as I've been knitting socks and this is the closest I've come yet!!! It's a short-row heel, which means there's no heel flap/picking up stitches to contend with. Unlike other short row heels I've tried, this doesn't leave holes from where you've turned the work. It's a snug fit as far as heels go, but since the sock is for me it'll work. I could easily modify it to accomodate a larger foot. AND this is great because it would be really easy to have a contrast heel that is aesthetically pleasing (meaning a nice wedge shape). With this design, it will also be much easier to replace the heel if it were ever to wear out. Oh, I am just so happy!
The heel featured above is from a free pattern that you can download here. Look for William Street Socks. Although the socks in the pattern are worked from the toe upwards, the heel is totally reversible and can be inserted into a sock regardless of the direction of knitting. A. Mazing.


springtime randomness and inability to focus

I began knitting another sock...I know, I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. Unlike the ill-fated yellow socks and purple cabled socks, these show great promise and not once have I been tempted to rip them out. Admire the colors? Yes. They're so cool I almost regret spring's arrival...no, that's not true. Not even knitting could top my enthusiasm when you swap this:
For this (first dandelions of the year!!!):

So then I made a pie, mostly because I could. And since it took away time that I should and/or could have spent knitting, I've decided to include it. (FYI, for what it lacks in beauty it made up for in deliciousness. Kind of like squirrels. Although those of you who know me know I wouldn't eat squirrels anyway, no matter what the cuteness vs. deliciousness ratio would be.)


my hobby: artistic photos of knitting

Here's the insert for the front of my sweater-vest! The colors worked out really well. Not much else to say knitting-wise today, I've set this project aside for a few days to knit socks so progress has been slow. Kniterary Club on Sunday was a lot of fun, we'll take a break for Easter next week but will return for knitting and mischief in general on April 19th! (For Easter, I plan on eating about a pound of jelly beans. And a chocolate bunny.)


this post sponsored by the letters O, M, and G

Okay so I don't normally do this. But I found a new yarn that I love (I love it!) and I just can't keep it quiet anymore. It's Berroco's new yarn, Mica, which is a blend of silk, cotton, linen, and rayon. It gleams a little in the light, knits up nice and smooth, and is priced just right (only $8). Go out and buy some! Seriously! Or I will beat you to it.

I only have one partial skein because I bought it as an element for my waterfall vest. Since then I have been fantasizing about every possible application for more of it. Berroco offers some lovely pattern advice (some free) right here. I'm going to move on and stop gushing.....now.

But quickly...another funny comment about knitting goods. I usually knit in the round on Addi Turbo circulars, but I sprang for some Lantern Moon rosewood sock needles last year. They are very nice, smooth to knit with, etc etc, everything you'd expect from rosewood. Except they smell funny! It's kind of gross. Just FYI.

Anyway, it's a nice rainy day here in Michigan and this fosters great knitting/nesting instincts.


happy april 1st!

It's been a frustrating week for knitting. I think that largely this is self-doubt or lack of confidence in my current projects, but this has definitely been a week of ripping everything apart. Starting with my newest acquisition: this super-bright sock yarn. Like all knitters, I am susceptible to buying random skeins of pretty sock yarn. You can always validate it by saying "oh, it's just one skein and it'll make a whole pair of socks!" while completely ignoring the reality of the situation: you will NEVER knit all the skeins you have stashed away. Never.

Anyway, I began knitting my new socks immediately. I had no business doing this, I just wanted something different to knit. Then I didn't like the pattern I was using. I didn't like anything about it. So I ripped it out and am back to the drawing board! In fact, I have exiled the ball of yarn to my closet for a while in an attempt to be reasonable and knit only what I have started already.

Well that worked for about five minutes. (Apparently I'm chronically dissatisfied AND suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, no offense intended towards anybody. I blame coffee. Coffee? Where?) I began yet another pair of socks! This time I followed a pattern (available for free at Interweave Knits' website, look for William Street Socks) because I just needed somebody to tell me what to do. My mind clearly wasn't working on its own. Now I'm wondering if I screwed up the cables or if they're supposed to look like that, so I'm forcing myself to keep knitting and to stop being a perfectionist/doubting. However, I am feeling quite smug that I learned how to start a sock from the toe up. It's pretty freaking sweet.

Yarns shown: yellow is ONline Supersocke 100, purple is Arucania Atacama...which was a huge flop retail-wise but which I still really love. I don't know what that says about my taste...haha.