Sunday, February 8, 2015

Year of Projects 4: Stalagmite 05

KNIT. SOCK. LOVE. : BFF • Clandestine • Cusp • German Stockings • Gothic Spire • Hedera • In and Out • Lissajous • Marilinda • Mona • Monkey • Pointelle • Rhombus • Sake • Stalagmite • Stricken • Thelonious • Twisted Flower • Wedge

After finishing my first Stalagmite sock I put this WIP aside in favour of a bunch of other things. With any luck I can stop saying that before next week's update. I've been motivated to finish up a bunch of WIPs that have been hanging around to clear the decks for the first Cookie A sock club shipment expected mid- to late-February.

First I finished a pair of EndPaper Mitts. It's the second pair I've knit, and it'll be the last pair. Although the result is beautiful, the knitting is extremely tedious! For this pair I purposely opted for low contrast between the two yarns. I thought it'd be interesting to see the pattern as a subtle effect. I'm a bit undecided as to whether I like the results, perhaps in part because I really dislike that blue yarn. It's Elann Superwash Wool with Nylon but it's really nasty to knit with - very split and not very soft. Never mind, they're done, they look fine and the recipient loves them. And she's very pleased to have a pair that are machine washable!

Second I cast on and knit a Balaclava for Alexandra. The weather's been pretty cold, windy and snowy this month, and it's been pretty cold waiting outside work for the bus, so an emergency knitted garment was in order. She already has a pair of Susie Rogers' Reading Mitts that I knit for her before Christmas in this Jaeger Luxury Spun DK, so a matching Balaclava was in order. The pattern is super easy and I was able to knit this up in a couple of days. If you're wondering, she wears the fingerless mitts over a pair of gloves on the very cold days. Alexandra was very pleased with her Balaclava, particularly as it nicely covers her forehead. Now, in my opinion, it looks a bit ridiculous without a hat to top it, so I've cast on a Golden Autumn Hat in the same yarn to complete the set. That's another knit I hope to finish in the next couple of days. And as Alexandra remarked, matching clothing is a sign of really being an adult :)

Also on the needles at the moment is my final sock for The Canadian Crazy Train. I received a sock knit by Sandy in BC in the mail on Tuesday and now I have to knit its mate. I'm trying my best to finish this up today or tomorrow so I will have finished pictures of the final pair of socks next week.

When I signed up for the race I thought it might be fun and interesting. I did enjoy "meeting" my team members and competitors online. It was fun to be exposed to exclusive patterns from local Canadian designers. It was also nice to try out yarn from some Canadian dyers I hadn't had experience with - Yarn Indulgences, Sweet Georgia Yarn and Biscotte & Cie. And admittedly, it is nice to be finished after knitting one sock... no second sock syndrome!

But I doubt I'd sign up for this again for a couple of reasons. Of the seven patterns offered only one or two are designs I would ever choose to knit for myself. And being barred from modifying the patterns for the competition irks me (a lot) - at least one of the patterns could have been made to fit much better with modification, and given my druthers I'd have replaced all the round and star toes with wedge toes. And then all that shipping cost - between ordering sponsor yarn, shipping a sock with yarn to British Columbia, and shipping another sock with yarn to another city in Ontario, I'd estimate that Canada Post benefited by $35-40. That's a lot of money with nothing to show for it!

You never know until you try though. Right?


8 comments:

Lucy Bowen said...

Some brilliant finishes (or half finishes). I love the balaclava!! I can see what you mean about the crazy train - sounds like a great idea and I'm sure it suits some people, but at least you can say you did it.

Charne aka Meisie said...

Beautiful projects! Those mittens are soooo pretty, but I can see they would be tedious. Bet they will be loved though. Sorry about the sock train being a bit of a disappointment. Such a cool idea, but yeah....mailing stuff in Canada is quite crazy...sigh...

Gracey is not my name.... said...

I like the low contrast of the mitts...and you are a great friend to see a need and then knit her up something...she is obviously knit-worthy....

Wanderingcatstudio said...

You've been busy!

I think I prefer End Paper with more contrast - it seems like a lot of work not to have the pattern show much!

I think after all this - you deserve to do a little selfish knitting!

Renee Anne said...

My, you have been busy!

mysparemoments.com said...

Lots of finishing going on. I like the mittens but then I'm on a mitten kick at the moment. Love the balaclava and I totally get you on the crazy train but good to give it a go, nothing ventured nothing gained even if this time it's to discover that crazy trains are not for you.

Kepanie said...

That balaclava showed me the severity of your weather. It looks great on her. The mitts are lighthearted, like going to tea with the Mad Hatter and Alice. The train KAL is super creative.

Leyla Alieva said...

Your mitts are really beautiful!