Monday, May 22, 2023

Saltwater Mittens

For my birthday two years ago, my friend Jane gifted me with the book Saltwater Mittens by Christine LeGrow and Shirley A. Scott. To go along with that, my brother sent me 2 skeins each of Turquoise, Yellow and Black in Briggs & Little Regal 2 ply. "Is it enough for a pair of mittens?" he asked. As it turns out, it was enough for 8 pairs of adult mittens and a child's pair. 

After knitting socks, it was fun to knit a heavier weight yarn on much bigger needles. These mitts work up quickly! A pair takes less than a week when knitting during the evening while binge-watching TV. 

Although the book includes instructions for trigger mitts and gloves, I'm not so keen on weaving in ends, so I stuck with mittens. Besides, they're warmer, right? That's a consideration as I'm planning to donate them to charity.

What's next? Socks and more socks. At least a half dozen more pairs until I've worked all the way through my remaining sock yarn. I met up with a local woman who cranks socks - she was happy to accept a couple of bags of sock yarn scraps from me. Aaaah, it feels great knowing that they'll be put to good use.

And then? Who knows ... maybe a sweater?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Year of Projects 12: Week 8


That's the first sock done; the second sock is underway. What a lovely sock! Did I mention how much I'm enjoying this pattern? I just adore that column of stitches - it's cleverly made by pulling stitches over each other so there's no cabling and it's very quick and easy to work.

Someone familiar with the pattern might detect the mistake I made. The tile pattern is meant to start and finish with a contrast colour round. I guess I was in such a hurry to dive into the colour work that I wasn't paying close enough attention. I only realized at the end of the tile pattern when the pattern called for a round knitted in contrast colour, but once I was that far, I decided to leave it as is and omit that contrast colour round at both top and bottom of the tile pattern. And you know, it might have been even nicer with those contrast colour rows to frame the colourwork, but it's water under the bridge now.

I'm sure you've realized that I'm generally in favour of lengthening sock legs until they are at least as long as the foot, if not a touch longer. I just think the sock looks better proportioned that way. But in this case I didn't want to do anything to move that tile pattern up the leg. It's not stretchy enough to move up onto the wider part of my calf. I settled for making the ribbed cuff about 25% longer than directed. I think it balances nicely with the length of the colourwork below.

It looks like I will have time to finish this pair before the Musselburgh KAL gets underway on September 1st. Happy crafting everyone! If you'd like to join our Year of Projects group, look for us here on Ravelry.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Year of Projects 12: Week 7

Nothing better than having a finished object to post! These Kroy Turquoise Stripes Socks are done and I'm quite pleased with them. 

Although all that vanilla sock knitting was pretty dull, self-striping yarn like this usually fights with fancy stitch patterns, so vanilla it would be. I like the colours and the stripes, but it does frustrate me that Kroy yardage is so skimpy. I'd have been happier to complete the socks entirely in the Kroy Stripes rather than having to add bands of black to lengthen the leg. 

Oh well, never mind all that. They're done, the ends are sewn in, they fit perfectly and I like them more than I thought I would. That's a win. And finishing without leftovers is very satisfying.

For the last few days I've been continuing with my Palace Volturi socks, and really enjoying the pattern. Thanks to Knit Companion I was able to pick up where I left off without missing a beat (or a row) after more than a year. The stitch patterns are interesting but not so complicated that I can't binge watch The Sandman at the same time. I can hardly wait to get to the colourwork "tile" pattern towards the top of the leg. It's making me think that I should have another look through Rachel Coopey's patterns to see if I should add a few more to my Year of Projects.

Have a great week! See you again next Sunday for my next Year of Projects 12 update. Year of Projects is a group on Ravelry - you're very welcome to join us if you are interested.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Year of Projects 12: Week 6


My Kroy Turquoise Stripes Socks aren't done yet.  Almost, but not quite, done. I'm about half way through the ribbing on the leg of the second sock and expect to finish them in the next day or two. And then on to Volturi Palace Socks as my focus for the remainder of August.

I've got an exact time frame in mind, because I've signed up for the Monster Musselburgh KAL on Instagram (#MonsterMusselburghKAL). Two knitters that I follow - @circletoes and @smcarn - are hosting the KAL. Every year they run a Monster Sock KAL, but this year they're doing a hat rather than socks. The pattern is Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague. The KAL runs from September 1 to October 15. Participants must use scrap yarn and/or mini sets. 

The Musselburgh pattern is written for your choice of 9 gauges, from light fingering to DK, to make a reversible double-layered hat in your choice of 6 sizes, from baby to adult extra-large. That should work with ALL my scraps. And I suspect these will make good Christmas gifts!

In anticipation of the September 1st cast on, I've organized three collections of sock yarn scraps as shown in my photo. At the top are blues and greys, at the right are greens, browns and neutrals and on the left are pinks and purples. The tough part is choosing where to start. As I was sorting the scraps I thought that I'd be starting with the blues and greys, but seeing them in collections like this I'm now leaning towards the greens, browns and neutrals. Hmmmm. What do you think?

In other news, I had a slight stumble in my Austere August plans. At a garage sale on Saturday morning, I picked up two 50g balls of Regia 6-fâdig sock yarn in a tweedy charcoal grey and one 100g ball of SRK On Your Toes Sock with Aloe Vera yarn in a tweedy brown - for $2 each and a grand total of $6. That was too much of a bargain to pass up! The garage sale had bins and bins of crafty goods - quilting fabrics, embroidery kits, needle felting supplies, beading supplies and tools, sewing patterns, and yarn - so I really think I controlled myself pretty well in the face of a great deal of temptation!

Have a great week everyone. To find out more about the Year of Projects, have a look here on Ravelry!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Year of Projects 12: Week 5


I'm ready to turn the heel on my second sock in Kroy Turquoise Stripes, but never mind that! I found my Volturi Palace Socks project, hiding in plain sight of course, exactly where it was supposed to be. Not sure how I missed it on the first few searches. It's a relief to stop wondering whether I left it behind somewhere.

The Volturi Palace pattern by Rachel Coopey is one that's been on my favourites list for a long time. It combines a little bit of colourwork with patterned columns up the foot and leg. It's a really stretchy pattern too, so it's going to be a really well-fitted pair of socks. Those familiar with the Twilight Series will recognize the designer's inspiration for the sock pattern, but it means nothing to me. It's just a fun and attractive pattern as far as I'm concerned.

The yarn is 80/20 Sock from Shelridge Yarns in Aubergine and Natural White. It's one of my favourite sock yarns of all time. The Aubergine is especially beautiful  - it's mostly solid with little flecks of darker, lighter and golden tones. I bought it a few years ago in a little shop in Lakefield when we were cottaging on Stoney Lake, expressly with this pattern in mind.

So the plan now is to finish the Kroy Socks this week, then move on to the Volturi Palace socks. Thankfully I was tracking my rows in Knit Companion so I should be able to pick up exactly where I left off. If you're not familiar with Knit Companion, it's a very handy iPad app that makes it super easy to keep track of progress through knitted charts. I've been using it for years and won't go back to printing out patterns and marking them.

Over at Wandering Cat Studio, Valerie has announced her plan for "Austere August". I can get behind that. I'll admit that I was engaging in some magical thinking - along the lines of ordering solid colour sock yarns to combine with my sock yarn scraps. But honestly, I DO have solid colour yarns on hand to use up, so I should really start there!

Have a great week everyone, and I hope to 'see' you again next Sunday for my next Year of Projects 12 update. Year of Projects is a group on Ravelry - you're very welcome to join us if you are interested.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Year of Projects 12: Week 4


The first sock is done. See how little yarn is left from that first ball of Kroy? I'm glad I added black; this would be a very short sock without the added stripes!

Most of the sock was knit with 64 st rounds, but as I lengthened the leg I increased 8 sts total to add some ease to the calf. And then to finish I used this stretchy bind off. It's stretchy enough without loose stitches or a ruffled edge.

My priority should be Sock #2, but instead I'm thinking about what to knit next. I'd really like to find that missing pair of Volturi Palace socks! It's a quiet rainy Sunday so perhaps I'll take some time to tidy and reorganize my craft drawers in search of the missing project.

If I don't find the missing socks then my next project might be Solace by Anne Fletcher with a variegated purple sock yarn. It looks like good TV knitting! Another option involves a ball of Opal Glitter Mit Silbereffectkt in their "Flash" colourway. I wonder what it would look like in alternating rows with a solid colour yarn? And I wonder if I have any solid colour leftovers in my stash that would work. At this point I'm really tempted to buy a few skeins of natural colour sock yarn for combining with multicolour leftovers. Hmmm, let me think on that.

But, of course, Sock #2 in Kroy Turquoise Stripes will be next. If I don't do it now, who knows when it will get done. Happy crafting everyone. If you'd like to join our Year of Project group, look for us here on Ravelry!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Year of Projects 12: Week 3

Sorry for missing last week. I was crazy busy with work and other obligations, leaving me with no chance to knit, or blog, or anything else for that matter. But I think I'm through the worst of it, and in the last few days I've had a chance to return to these socks.

These are my Kroy Turquoise Stripes Socks. I've used the recipe for a flap-and-gusset heel from Modern Knitting found here. I'm a big fan of German Short Rows with their very tidy double stitches. It makes a really nice heel with no holes.

I was thinking that I'd make a smaller pair of socks for a friend, but I tend to mindlessly knit socks to my exact size. My feet are long and narrow, and everyone else's feet seem improbably small when I'm eyeballing where to start gusset increases. Oh well, I'll get good use of them. Sorry friend, you're out of luck again!

Although my original intention was knit until the yarn was gone, anyone who has used Kroy before knows that the yardage is scant for large socks. Rather than settling for a short leg, I'm adding some stripes of leftover black yarn. I think it's not too discordant with the original stripes. And yes, I switched to k2p2 rib to make for a really comfortable sock. 

I hope to finish sock one in the next few days and get a start on sock two. Back in the day I'd have the pair finished by the end of the week, but that's not likely to happen  these days. Earlier in the year, I'd been taking part in daily and weekly art challenges and I'm hoping to get back into routine sketching as well as knitting.

Have a great week everyone. If you're interested in joining the group of us doing a Year of Projects, you can find us on Ravelry here