Monday, June 13, 2016

Year of Projects 5: Week 50

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

VANILLA SOCKS FOR CHARITY: July • August • September • October • November • December • January  February • March • April • May • June

No action on Cookie A socks - I'm still obsessed with Op-Art Socks by Stephanie van der Linden! Restless Needles sent me some gorgeous ArtFil Belle Sock Yarn in a beautiful watery blue which I've been saving for just the perfect pattern. And when I saw Crest the decision was made.  It's a fussy, slow-going pattern but the result is just beautiful! Frieda did warn me that there wasn't huge yardage in the skein so I've made good use of the kitchen scale to watch the usage as I knit. No question I would have run short, so after completing the gusset decreases I alternated with a similar yarn from Red Sock Blue Sock until the toe. That should get me through and the difference in the yarns is nearly invisible. Sock one is done and I'm well into the leg of Sock two.

Of course a fussy chart-intensive pattern isn't the best travel knitting, so I've cast on Necker as well in this lovely "Plumberry" colourway from Black Sheep Dyeworks. This yarn was amongst the sock yarn scraps given to me from another Raveller -  and I have two whole skeins! This is a very simple pattern of knits and purls but the effect when worn is quite strikingly architectural. The pattern is knitting up quickly so don't be surprised if these are off the needles by the next update.

And then there's this - the cover pattern from Op-Art Socks is Yaacov which is knit as stranded colourwork from two skeins of a long gradient yarn. You start each ball at a different colour, shifting the gradations of the two balls by working one from the outside and the other from the inside - that way the same colour never comes up at the same time. Ingenious! It's not often I'm shopping for the loudest yarn I can find, but this time I did. I happened across these two balls of Jawoll Magic Dégradé at Yarns Untangled in Kensington Market and snapped them up without hesitation. This should be fun!

Looks like I'm going to busy for the next few weeks!

There are just two weeks left in year 5 of A Year of Projects. We're a group of knitters and crocheters on Ravelry who work towards our yearly goals by making a list and updating our progress weekly on our blogs. It's a friendly group and you're very welcome to join us.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Year of Projects 5: Week 49

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

VANILLA SOCKS FOR CHARITY: July • August • September • October • November • December • January  February • March • April • May • June

Good Grief! Is it really 10 weeks since I posted last? I guess that shows how busy things have been! Looks like the next couple of weeks are going to be catch up posts. Although there was no blogging happening, there was still knitting happening and as a result I've got some finishes to show!

I finished the Spring Fair Isle socks in March. The original plan was to complete the heel and foot in solid dark green, but there wasn't enough yarn to do it, so the last several rounds of the foot and the entire toe section were knit in a contrasting light green. That's the thing about knitting with scraps - you just have to make it all work with the yardage you have. And I think the light coloured toes are kinda fun!

Seems I was still in a spring mood after finishing the Fair Isle socks so I pulled out the rest of the green leftovers from the yarn I was given by another Raveller and cast on a pair of Vanilla socks. Don't the greens look nice together! The sandy coloured yarn was a good foil for the greens but it was unpleasant to work with. To put a nice spin on it, that yarn is likely very warm and sturdy. These will be donated to The Warm Hands Network and count as my February socks for my list. (February? Oh my! I really am behind!!)

Next I wanted to do something with 115gr of mustardy yellow yarn that was amongst the donated yarn scraps. With enough yardage to do an entire pair of socks I decided on the pattern Anni from Op-Art Socks. The pattern was inspired by a design called "Yellow Meander" by textile artist Anni Albers so yellow was the perfect choice. It's a really simple pattern of knits and purls but it's really striking when worn. And all those columns and rows make for a very stretchy and comfy sock! I have to admit as well that although I wasn't enthusiastic about this yarn colour it has knit up as a very nice pair of socks and the colour is just fine on my feet! These will also be donated to The Warm Hands Network and count as my March socks for my list.

Also amongst the donated yarn scraps was an entire skein of Tough Love Sock from Sweet Georgia Yarns in a colour way called Sugar Shack. The yarn had been caked and it looked as if something had been started and frogged. The yarn was a short-repeat variegated colourway ranging from undyed natural yarn through purple-reds to brown/blacks and entirely defied every pattern I tried. I tried a vanilla pattern. I tried a slip-stitch pattern. I tried a short row pattern. I tried a combination of slipped stitches and short rows. No luck - the colourway was too busy and too contrasty to suit anything I tried. I considered throwing the yarn in the garbage but couldn't bring myself to do it. Finally I overdyed the yarn with burgundy food colouring to darken the lightest parts of the colourway and reduce the contrast in the variegation, and that worked! I cast on a pair of vanilla-ish 5x1 ribbed socks and knit alternate rounds with other semi-solid berry colours from the yarn scrap bag to break up the pooling. I'm left with enough yarn for a second pair but I really like the first pair so that's not a problem. And these will be donated to The Warm Hands Network too and count as my April socks for my list. (Look at me catching up!!)

You may have noticed  that I haven't spent a minute on any Cookie A patterns from my list in the last two weeks. And I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm much more interested in knitting vanillas socks and patterns from Op-Art Socks these days. In fact I have two pairs of socks on needles now and both are from Op-Art Socks (but more about those next week), so I'm definitely not finishing my YOP list this year. The remaining Knit. Sock. Love. patterns will shift to next year's list and we'll see how that goes. For the balance of next year's list I'm considering a different approach - maybe one pattern from a different independent designer each month and one vanilla pattern for charity? That feels less restrictive to me, and perhaps more do-able!