Sunday, November 4, 2018

Year of Project 8: Week 19

I've had lots to say about how little I'm enjoying knitting Feny Socks...

... I don't love working a long provisional cast on
... I don't love knitting flat
... I don't love reading charts back and forth rather than in the round
... I don't love that much purling
... I don't love long stretches of colour work
... I don't love grafting long seams
... I don't love picking up stitches from patterned side edges
... I don't love knitting on circular needles
... I don't love cutting yarn and restarting at a different spot over and over again
... I don't love investing that much time and effort without being able to test the fit of the sock

BUT THE SOCK FITS AND IT'S GORGEOUS!

So I will finish both socks, as painful as that may be. Admittedly I procrastinated throughout sock one but now I'm re-energized and hope to get the pair done in the next couple of weeks.

I had originally planned to knit the first sock with brown as the MC and blue as the CC, then knit sock two with the colours reversed. That way, I reasoned, I have the same amount of each colour left over to do Double Heelix Socks. Instead Gavin is laying claim to these socks, and he does NOT want opposite socks, so matching socks they will be. I'll just have to see if I have anything else in stash that will work for Double Heelix.

Last week I also cast on Bill Huggins Socks, but after working one repeat of the woven pattern at the top of the leg I decided that I wasn't loving the pattern so that's been ripped out  and the pattern removed from my list.

This morning I opened another paper bag to reveal my November Paper Bag Project - it's Songbird Yarn & Fibres Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird for Diamondback Socks. I won't cast on at least until I've finished my Feny Socks. I still have to finish my Nain socks too but there's no deadline for those!


2018 Paper Bag Project - November and December

      Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
      Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Full Skeins from stash

      Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
      Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
      Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
      Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
      Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

    Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

          Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
          Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
          Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
          Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
          Bill Huggins - in various scraps
          Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
          Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
          Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
          Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
          Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours


    Sunday, October 28, 2018

    Year of Projects 8: Week 18

    My focus lately has been my Feny Socks for my October 2018 Paper Bag Project, but nothing about this has been easy.

    First it was the needles. The sock is knitted flat from the top of the leg to the end of the instep, working around the leg. My sock needles are not nearly long enough for that many stitches (107) so I definitely needed the recommended circular needle.

    I balked at ordering the needle online - I didn't want to pay for shipping and I wanted to see and feel the needles before I shelled out for them. I checked Lens Mill Store in Port Dover but the quality of the needles put me off - I don't love knitting on circs, and I absolutely a with abhor blunt needles with clumsy joins. I struck out for the same reasons at Wal-Mart. I had high hopes at Michael's Arts and Crafts but the clerk explained that they were in the process of switching suppliers and had no sock sizes available and no sign of that changing any time soon.

    After a couple of weeks wasting time on a hunt for needles I gave in and bought Addi Turbo Sock Rockets at the lys - the Needle Emporium. They were waaaaay more money than I was hoping to spend, but at least knitting with this circ is as pleasant as can be. So imagine my reaction when I reached the pattern instructions that directed me to divide the stitches, placing a number on a second circ with further instructions for the third circ. NO. Just. NO. Even if I have to use waste yarn to hold stitches here and there, I just will not shell out for 2 more circular needles. I guess I should have read the materials list more carefully. GAH!

    All in all it's been a tough slog with this sock... I don't love knitting flat... I don't love reading charts back and forth rather than in the round... I don't love long stretches of colour work... and I don't love knitting on circular needles. All the while the construction of this sock makes it a complete mystery as to whether these socks will even fit.

    As of this morning I'm 1/3rd of the way into the final repeat of the chart after which I graft the leg together into a tube and pick up stitches for the heel and the bottom of the foot. Which is to say, I should know soon whether the sock will fit or not. Obviously I'm hoping that the fit is perfect and that it's enough to re-energize me to complete the first sock and work the second sock. Geez, I hope so, otherwise I'm not quite sure what I'll do!

    In the meantime I did finish my Christmas Monster socks using the Stash Buster Spiral Socks pattern. The Instagram KAL wraps up October 31st, so that's my final entry for #monstersockkal2018. The socks are very fun and were a great way to finish up a bunch of sock yarn scraps. You know, I think I might like scrap socks more than anything else!

    And yep, Nain has still been ignored!

    2018 Paper Bag Project - November and December

          Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
          Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

    Full Skeins from stash

          Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
          Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
          Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
          Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
          Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

      Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

            Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
            Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
            Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
            Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
            Bill Huggins - in various scraps
            Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
            Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
            Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
            Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
            Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours




      Sunday, October 7, 2018

      Year of Projects 8: Week 15

      This past Monday I pulled a paper bag from the diminishing pile to find the yarn for Feny Socks as my October 2018 Paper Bag Project. These socks promise to be interesting - the legs and insteps are worked flat in Mosaic colourwork starting from provisional cast ons, grafted into tubes and then joined with cuffs, heels and toes worked in the round.

      I'm eager to get started however I don't have the needles I need! My shorty sock DPNS won't cut it for this. I checked Amazon however I am loathe to pay as much as the needles are worth in shipping. Instead I'm trying to give some thought to when a purchasing opportunity may coincide with my schedule next week. There's a Lens Mill Store in Port Dover - that might be do-able as the KIA needs an oil change at the dealership in Port Dover. Also there's a Wal-Mart in Simcoe that I drive past on my drive to and from the cat rescue, so that's my back-up idea.

      After knitting scraps for the last several weeks I'm also excited about casting on this gorgeous Jawoll sock yarn. I just love both these colours and I hope I love them just as much in combination. In general I have to guard against overly conservative matchy-matchy colour choices, so here I've tried to make sure I have lots of contrast.

      Inspired by @danaraeknits' Christmas themed Monster Socks in greens and reds, I've pulled red, green and white yarn scraps and cast on. I'm using the pattern Stash Buster Spiral Socks, and WOW is this brilliant for using scraps! You carry three different yarns throughout the leg and instep, but each yarn is knit across a needle (or two) until you meet the next yarn - no stranding, no fuss, no bother. The result is these perfect stripes in three colours. How festive is that! I had been considering buying some Christmas themed sock yarn but these socks have entirely satisfied that urge. Who knew that such a festive pair of socks was hiding amongst my scraps?

      I'm using Russian joins to connect one scrap to another so there won't be a dreadful amount of finishing at the end. I expect to squeak out a pair before running short of white and red, so these festive socks won't be repeated. After knitting the section around the heel I decided to eliminate that red yarn from the remainder of these socks... it's somewhat thicker than the other sock yarns and as a result is overwhelming the white and green that its knit with. I'm leaving it as knit - these are, after all, Monster Socks and que sera, sera.

      We're headed to my sister's place later today for a Thanksgiving dinner, so I hope to complete the first sock and start the second on the car ride back and forth. I expect to be knitting these monogamously, at least until I find needles for Feny. The KAL continues until October 31st. Just pick your scraps or minis and post with the hashtag #monstersockkal2018

      Poor Nain! Still ignored!

      2018 Paper Bag Project - November and December

            Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
            Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

      Full Skeins from stash

            Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
            Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
            Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
            Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
            Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

        Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

              Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
              Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
              Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
              Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
              Bill Huggins - in various scraps
              Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
              Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
              Stash Buster Spiral Socks - using various scraps in green?
              Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
              Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
              Nain - using large scraps of Stretch Bamboo in light blue
              Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours


        Sunday, September 30, 2018

        Year of Projects 8: Week 14



        Last week I finished my Test Knit Socks, and now the pattern has been published... introducing Crossbuck Socks!

        This week I finished my Autumn themed Monster Socks for the Instagram KAL #monstersockkal2018. When I started with these socks I wasn't really sure about the colours individually or in combination, but adding bright contrasting stripes has done the trick so I'm happy with them now that they're done. There's something so satisfying about using up scraps. Most of the yarns used came from scraps that were 50 grams or less. And at least three of the yarns were entirely used up with these socks. I love that!

        As I mentioned last week, I was inspired by @danaraeknits' Christmas themed Monster Socks in greens and reds so I've dug through my scraps and pulled out some likely looking yarns. If you are thinking Wow, that's a lot of yarn... way more than needed for one pair of scrappy socks, you are entirely right. By weight there's enough there for about a half dozen socks, but I'm not much of one for repeating the same pattern so let's just plan on one pair for now. For these socks I'm going to use the pattern Stash Buster Spiral Socks. My plan is to cast on today and hopefully get through the cuff and into the leg patterning. 
        The KAL continues until October 31st.  Just pick your scraps or minis and post with the hashtag #monstersockkal2018. That's all there is to it!

        My Nain remain ignored for now. Tomorrow morning I'll be selecting and opening another bag for my 2018 Paper Bag Project. That and the Christmas Monster socks will share priority for the next couple of weeks. Poor Nain!

        2018 Paper Bag Project - September, October, November and December

              Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
              Feny Socks - using Lang Jawoll Superwash in turquoise and chocolate
              Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

        Full Skeins from stash

              Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
              Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
              Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
              Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
              Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

          Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

                Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
                Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
                Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                Bill Huggins - in various scraps
                Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
                Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
                Stash Buster Spiral Socks - using various scraps in green?
                Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
                Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
                Nain - using large scraps of Stretch Bamboo in light blue
                Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours





          Sunday, September 23, 2018

          Year of Projects 8: Week 13


          My top priority for last week was to finish my Test Knit Socks, and happily they were finished a few days before the testing period ended. I expect that the pattern will be updated and published later this week; I'll provide a link once it's "live". In the meantime I can share my finished photos. There is an interesting leg chart with slipped stitch cables in two colours and then the rest is a waffle stitch rib which makes for a very nicely fitting sock.  I'm quite happy with how they turned out, although the variegated red is a bit loud!

          My second priority - my Instagram KAL #monstersockkal2018. - also saw some progress. My first sock is done and I'm approaching the heel section on the second sock. Completing this pair will be my main focus for the coming week. Fortunately most of the colour changes were effected using Russian joins so there aren't many ends to weave in.

          While scrolling through projects from other participants on Instagram, I came across a "Christmas" pair in greens and reds from @danaraeknits. I love this idea, so I might just make a Christmas pair of my own after this "Autumn" pair are done. If you're on instagram you're welcome to join up. The KAL continues until October 31st.  Just pick your scraps or minis and post with the hashtag #monstersockkal2018. That's all there is to it!

          My Nain socks have once again been completely ignored. I'm starting to feel guilty so I hope to pay some attention to them in the coming week as well. We've shifted abruptly into fall weather so knitting wool socks rather than bamboo now holds more appeal. The Nain socks are definitely summer socks and not fall socks. Never mind though, they're pretty and they need to be finished!

          And I can hardly believe that we're nearly to the end of September! Where does the time go? Come October 1st I'll be opening another bag for my 2018 Paper Bag Project. Any of the remaining three projects is more complicated than vanilla socks, so I'm looking forward to something a bit challenging.

          2018 Paper Bag Project - September, October, November and December

                Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
                Feny Socks - using Lang Jawoll Superwash in turquoise and chocolate
                Test Knit Socks - using unknown variegated red yarn
                Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

          Full Skeins from stash

                Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
                Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
                Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
                Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
                Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

            Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

                  Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
                  Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
                  Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                  Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                  Bill Huggins - in various scraps
                  Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
                  Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
                  Stash Buster Spiral Socks - using various scraps in green?
                  Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
                  Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
                  Nain - using large scraps of Stretch Bamboo in light blue
                  Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours



            Sunday, September 16, 2018

            Year of Project 8: Week 12

            Last weekend we returned from a few days in New Hampshire, but rather than posting I spent my time on Saturday and Sunday tidying, doing laundry and catching up on work. Things have been busy   and hot to the detriment of my knitting progress.

            Although I split the driving with Gavin, and I was required to pay attention to road signs and directions while in the passenger seat, I did get make some headway with the test knit socks. The first (left) sock is done and the second (right) sock is mostly done... I just need to finish the foot and work the toe. The patterning is subtly different from right sock to left sock so the designer has asked that both be knit at least past the heel turn before the end of the testing period on September 21st. I'm further than that already so my plan is to complete the pair and provide modelled photos before the end of the test period. That will be my focus over the next few days.

            There's some progress too on my Instagram KAL #monstersockkal2018. Although I wasn't loving the sock when I was randomly mixing browns and bits of orange into mainly yellows, after adding a series of brighter stripes I'm happier with it now. The FLK heel has been completed and now I'm onto the leg of the first sock. This will take over as my main focus once the test knit socks are complete. If you're on instagram you're welcome to join up. Just pick your scraps or minis and post with the hashtag #monstersockkal2018. That's all there is to it!

            My Nain socks have been completely ignored. They're going to remain on the back burner until the other socks are done and off the needles, after which I can give them my undivided attention.

            New Hampshire was beautiful as evidenced by this drone photo Gavin took of a sunrise at the ocean. Of course he's used HDR setting and tweaked the vibrance, but lovely still. We spent most of our time in the ocean or in the pool to escape from the crazy heat. Cell coverage was sparse to non-existent and the motel's wifi was very poor, so the vacation was restful and unplugged. Unfortunately we timed things poorly and Gavin didn't get much surfing in... the storms and hurricanes were making their way up the coast after we left.

            When I returned from New Hampshire I started volunteering one morning a week at a local cat shelter. It sounds more fun than it is - in my four hours a week I spend about three hours and 58 minutes scooping out cat litter boxes... sweeping, washing and disinfecting kennels... washing out and refilling food and water bowls... there's always more that needs doing, so just a scant few minutes a week are actually spent playing with cats. Still, I feel good about doing it and it's nice to get out and meet some new people, so it's well worth the time and effort as far as I'm concerned. At any given time there appear to be about 60 cats and kittens at the shelter and many more in foster care. And so far it looks like about 10 cats a week are adopted and another 10 or more are rescued or surrendered. If only more people would spay or neuter their cats!


            2018 Paper Bag Project - September, October, November and December

                  Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
                  Feny Socks - using Lang Jawoll Superwash in turquoise and chocolate
                  Test Knit Socks - using unknown variegated red yarn
                  Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

            Full Skeins from stash

                  Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
                  Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
                  Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
                  Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
                  Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

              Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

                    Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
                    Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
                    Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                    Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                    Bill Huggins - in various scraps
                    Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
                    Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
                    Stash Buster Spiral Socks - using various scraps in green?
                    Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
                    Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
                    Nain - using large scraps of Stretch Bamboo in light blue
                    Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours


              Sunday, September 2, 2018

              Year of Projects 8 - Week 10


              As planned on the first of September I pulled a paper bag for my 2018 Paper Bag Project and tore it open to find a caked skein of variegated red yarn - no surprise there.

              Without delay I cast on a test knit for a designer through The Testing Pool group on Ravelry. I've knit the cuff, the colour work/cable section that tops the leg and made a start on the waffle rib that comprises the balance of the sock. I had worried that the red would be too busy for the pattern, but I think it looks fine. The waffle rib is very simple making these socks ideal travel knitting for our road trip to New Hampshire next week. With any luck I'll have them completed by the end of next week. 10 hours there and 10 hours back in the car should give me plenty of knitting time. And nowadays the GPS takes care of the directions; I don't have to watch road signs and follow along with the map book.

              On the spur of the moment I also signed up for an Instagram KAL #monstersockkal2018. I've cast on and made a start using a bunch of yellow/beige/brown/orange scraps from stash but I'm finding the combination very meh. So much for my vision of a subtle shifting autumn colour feel! Now I'm trying to decide what to do about it. This morning I pulled out some really bright orange, bright red and light natural scraps from stash with the idea that they will brighten it all up and break up the same-same yellowy-brown-ness. I'll knit another inch to introduce the new colours and then make a decision after that. If I still hate it then I'll rip it out and go with brightly coloured stripes instead. The KAL runs until Halloween (October 31st) so there's no rush.

              If you're on instagram you're welcome to join up. Just pick your scraps or minis and post with the hashtag #monstersockkal2018. That's all there is to it!

              My Nain socks weren't completely ignored either. I hope to finish sock one before we leave for our road trip on Tuesday morning. With a forecast of unending rain punctuated by the occasional thunderstorm I expect that lots of knitting will get done through the rest of this long weekend. Whatever happens Nain won't be coming along on the trip - it requires constant attention to the chart, and with all those yarn overs and twisted stitches I don't think it'd be very forgiving of any dropped stitches or errors from inattention. I'd better just leave that in my knitting basket until I get back!


              2018 Paper Bag Project - September, October, November and December


                    Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue
                    Feny Socks - using Lang Jawoll Superwash in turquoise and chocolate
                    Test Knit Socks - using unknown variegated red yarn
                    Diamondback Socks - using Songbird Fibers Sock in Ruby Throated Hummingbird

              Full Skeins from stash

                    Somewhere Socks - using Mountain Colour mini set
                    Pairfect Socks - using Regia Pairfect
                    Mood - using unknown variegated blue yarn
                    Kazak - using unknown tonal purple yarn
                    Harris Tweed Socks - using Wollemeise self-striping green/gold/red yarn

                Large (more than 50 grams) and Small (less than 50 grams) scraps from stash

                      Salor - in various tan, orange and brown small scraps
                      Vanilla Bean Striped Socks - in various colourful small scraps
                      Squircle Socks  -  in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                      Escape Reality Socks - in various colourful scraps plus something neutral from large scraps
                      Bill Huggins - in various scraps
                      Mosaic Marbles socks - using Langwoll Magic Dégradé scraps with black (or white)
                      Checkbox Socks - using large scraps
                      Stash Buster Spiral Socks - using various scraps in green?
                      Hearty Stripey Socks - using various scraps
                      Double Heelix Socks - using leftovers from Feny Socks
                      Nain - using large scraps of Stretch Bamboo in light blue
                      Jelly Rolls - using all the leftover Stretch Bamboo in various colours