Sunday, January 8, 2017

Year of Projects 6: Week 28


We're in a bitter cold snap right now - perfect weather to stay inside and knit, in my opinion. And lots of knitting has been happening around here. My Thornfield socks are finally done, thanks in no small part to last minute efforts to finish them in time for Christmas gift giving. Sadly they weren't done on time but at least one was done so that the recipient could try it on and await the second sock of the pair... the gift of best intentions rather than a finished pair of socks!

The pattern is actually quite lovely with intertwining lattices of travelling stitches but it is almost entirely overwhelmed by the busyness of this yarn. If I make them again I'll stick with a light solid coloured yarn to show of the pattern. As a result of the travelling stitches the sock knits up quite small. I had originally planned these for myself, with the idea of wearing them to Rhinebeck, but when the trip fell through and when the first leg was so obviously tiny, I decided on a change of course. Rather than rip the leg and restart, I earmarked this pair for a friend.

The yarn is Sock Talky by the Dye Guy. I picked it up when my friend and I went to a "HandMade Market" at a Niagara region winery and stopped in the little village of Jordan Ontario for lunch and a poke around. The yarn feels gorgeous! Very soft. But it's on the thick side for fingering weight sock yarns so these are definitely going to be WARM socks.

In my last post I mentioned that I had signed up for a couple of KALs in the Solid Socks Group on Ravelry. I've made a bit of progress on each of the KALs.

The mystery KAL is a pair of toe-up socks designed by Sarah Ronchetti. I don't mean to imply anything negative about the pattern, but my participation is reminding me why I don't usually like MKALs. The pattern is not really my cup of tea. In general I prefer to knit cuff down rather than toe up for my socks. I find that heel flap and gusset construction allows me to tailor the fit of the sock better than a short-row sock. As well the sock pattern as written features a very blunt squarish toe box - that won't work for my pointy toes at all, so I've already altered that. And the pattern section on the instep is centred between wide purled panels. I don't much like that either.

The yarn came from a destash by a fellow Raveller. And the fact that I hate the colour isn't helping. You could call it a warm shell pink. It just makes me think of hot flashes. In the skein it appeared pretty solid, maybe slightly tweedy but it's knitting up faintly stripey, and I'm not loving that either.

I considered using twisted stitches to tighten up the transition from knit to purl, but decided against that. To qualify for prizes in this group you must knit the pattern as written. Looking back on it now, I'd rethink that decision. Having altered the toe, and with the yarn inclined to stripeyness, I'm pretty sure I've already disqualified myself. The transitions look a bit crappy now, but I think blocking and wear will help. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

Clue one is done. Clue two dropped last night so I'll get to that some time next week.

For the second KAL I picked my own pattern based on the January theme "Botany". Once again the yarn came from a fellow Raveller's destash -  an unlabelled cake of green yarn. For my pattern I chose "Vallisneria" which is meant to be reminiscent of sea grasses. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this green. Not too dark to present any difficulty seeing the stitches on the needles or in the knitted fabric. Not even remotely pastel or wishy-washy. And not a hint of pink! Ahhh, bliss. This KAL is meant to finish at the end of January... I'm not sure I can manage that, but we'll see. Gavin wants his grey socks sooner than later so I might have to switch gears and re-cast them on instead of working on anything else.

And finally, some of you showed interest in my paintings, so here's a collage of my favourite six from 2016. I start painting workshops in about ten days so it will be interesting to see where it goes from here!






12 comments:

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

Love that green!!! Yeah...I am not doing any KAL/CAL, mystery or not this year...I have too many I joined that I never finished...not even that Knit from Stash sock thing...didn't knit a single pair last year...but I have all the patterns...hope your going to try for Rhinebeck again this year...it would be great to meet...

Frieda said...

I don't like MKALs either , unless I absolutely love a designers work and / or have knit one of their patterns then I might take part . I have a pretty abysmal record with KALs in general , I am always gung-ho at the beginning than fade part way through . I am thinking about Yarngasms box o socks year long KAL as a way to destash my sock yarns . I am not a fan of toe up socks especially when I knit for other people , I prefer cuff down socks . I intend to try a a couple of new heel methods this year . I purchased the smooth operator socks pattern and am looking forward to knitting it .

Your green socks will be gorgeous , that is a beautiful pattern . Kudos on your artwork , all nicely done but my favourite is the city scene . You seem to always be up for a challenge . Enjoy you workshops ! Happy New Year , all the best ....

Breathing Life said...

I haven't done a MKAL for some time - but I usually enjoyed them....Maybe I will look into one for 2017.
You have done well with other's destashing efforts. Well done.

Stefanie Ng said...

You got mad painting skillz. Your paintings are great. I love seeing your socks. The first one is good; it's kind of like a looming castle covered in lichen and vines peering through the dark night. How fun to participate in a mystery sock KAL. And what fun you and your siblings must have had with Monopoly. I bet it got intense at times.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Your painting are very, very, very good!

I'm not fond of MKALs either... knitting it too much work to end up with something you don't like in the end.

Dee said...

I always have great ideas about joining KALs, but then I never enjoy the pressure I put on myself to get things done.

In spite of that, your socks look GREAT! I love that green yarn on the bottom. That will make you think of spring while winter has it's way with the weather.

Sam I Am...... said...

OMG! You are a REAL artist! Those paintings are awesome! I should have known based on your perfect sock knitting. I just can't get over those paintings.....I'm speechless really....you are truly, truly talented although I am not in a league to judge anyone's talent for sure but suffice it to say I am very impressed! You are so talented! What other talents do you have that you aren't telling us about? I think you could be teaching the art class not taking it! LOL! I love all the socks but I can see why the yarn is a bit busy for the design in the first one. I love all of them of course....you will always remain my "sock mentor"! Happy New Year to you guys!

sharon said...

I love the socks, I dont do kal, but take part in Cal, and I find that the mystery ones quite frustrating and usually dont finish, or finish months later. Your paintings are lovely, you are very talented.

Marsha said...

Your paintings........awesome!!!! Sock KAL? No thank you. I am not a fast sock knitter and like MY heels and MY toes and always prefer cuff down. So I woukd never had made it in the one you are doing. I really like the green yarn. So bright and reminds me of a grassy field.

Lucy Bowen said...

I so miss looking at your socks! They are all lovely, as always. I love your paintings though as well and I look forward to seeing the next ones.

Becki said...

I'm so glad you shared some of your paintings! And you do one of those in a week?!? I'm impressed and I think you've surely got some serious natural painting talent. I've done one mystery CAL and while I ended up liking the final product (or liked it enough anyway), I found waiting for the weekly reveals stressful. Of course, mine changed colors every week and that was a big part of the "stress", but still... I guess I'm glad I did it, but I don't envision myself doing another one anytime soon.

kathy b said...

LOVE love love your sock talk. I too have trouble with thick sock yarns. They end up seeming like slippers to me. I think a fine gauge can be just as warm! Im going to try to knit 17 in 2017. I was going to try toe up this afternoon, but I may not like it.....I think i'll go read some pros and cons before I cast on.