Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year of Projects 7: Week 27

So my Brigit Socks are done and aren't they lovely?! This is exactly the sort of sock pattern that I love - lots of ribbing for a nice snug fit with some added interest from cable sections.

I did modify the pattern somewhat - as I mentioned in an earlier post - to eliminate puffiness at transitions from cabled patterns to stockinette, and, to centre the pattern on the leg.

The yarn is unknown MCN from stash, although I'd guess it's either Wandering Cat yarn or Studio June yarn. Either way it's gorgeous. I find MCN is a little thicker and loftier than plain merino/nylon blends which works nicely with this pattern to avoid holes at the crossed stitches. Although it's beautiful to work with, these days I don't buy much MCN as I find it doesn't wear as well as plain merino/nylon. I've got a lot of very pilled socks in my sock drawer! They're still comfy but it'd be nicer to see the stitch pattern still :)

Back to the yarn... I only wish I had another half skein. To my way of thinking both the leg and the foot of this sock could use another repeat. Unfortunately, with my giant feet in mind, there's never enough yarn for that. I read somewhere that socks look best proportioned when the leg is at least as long as the foot, and I've found that to be true. For this sock I lengthened the foot by adding 12 rib rounds (similar to the cuff) as I didn't have the yarn for another full repeat. I'm happy enough with the socks but they're a bit small for me. They'll have to go on the gift pile.

A little more progress on my Mad Mix Socks but not enough to justify another photo. The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of travel knitting, which was better suited to a simple chart like Brigit than multiple charts like Mad Mix. Not to worry, now that Brigit socks are off the needles, I can turn my undivided attention to Mad Mix.

Er, did I say undivided attention? Well, that's not really true. I celebrated a birthday a couple of days ago and unwrapped some lovely yarns. From my brother I received some Ploome Fiber Arts DK Merino Single yarn. Mark met the yarnie, Anna Matthis, at the Boyce Christmas market in Fredericton and picked out a couple of lovely skeins for me. I couldn't help but wind one skein and cast on a hat just to see how it would knit up! The yarn colourway is quite busy so I decided on Violet Waffles hat -  a simple, straight forward hat. At the moment I'm about an inch away from starting crown decreases. If I'm not mistaken I'm going to have enough left for a matching scarf or cowl. Pretty, huh? It's a gorgeous base too - really nice hand with lots of sheep-y lanolin - an absolute pleasure to knit. Right now I'm picturing it with one of those big, fluffy faux rabbit fur pompoms; once it's done I'll see what I think on my next visit to Lens Mill Store.

Not shown is another skein of birthday yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock yarn in a bright and happy colourway called "Papaya". Mmmmm, Tanis + Cashmere!!!!! I'm spoiled and I know it!

On Ravelry I'm part of a "Canada Let's Swap" group. I don't participate in the swaps but I have signed up for a KAL: 2018 Paper bag Project Year Long KAL/CAL. You take 12 month-long type projects you’ve been meaning to knit/crochet, and put each in a bag you can’t see through. Each month, you pick a bag and get knitting (or crocheting)! My 12 projects are bagged - they'll all be socks and they're mostly from my YoP list above. So we'll see how that goes, but I think it'll be fun. If this sounds interesting to you, and if you're a Canadian 18 years or older, well then you're welcome to join us.

That's it for me for today. Have a great New Year everyone. Gavin and I will be toasting the new year at about 9:30pm and calling it an early night shortly thereafter. Gone are the days of staying up all hours!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Year of Projects 7: Week 25

Today finds me in that happy place where I've got a couple of pairs of socks on needles, and I'm loving both! First: Mad Mix Socks. These are not so much a pattern but a patchwork of other patterns, where you knit a couple of inches of one colour and one pattern, then switch to a second colour and a second pattern and so on. Switching patterns every couple of inches keeps the knitting interesting. And switching yarns every couple of inches is fun and great for using up those sock yarn leftovers! I've started sock one after selecting a range of purple semi-solid leftovers, but I'm still undecided whether to match that colour scheme on sock two or go in an entirely different direction.

Also on the needles are Brigit Socks. When I came across a full skein of unknown cocoa brown MCN it seemed the perfect choice for the pattern and for the December SolidSocks KAL on Ravelry. After reading through the helpful notes amongst the Ravelry projects for this pattern I've made a few modifications. Like other knitters I shifted the heel to centre the pattern across the instep. And instead of a plain stockinette heel, I decided to continue the ribbing down the heel flap. The pattern is written and not charted, but thankfully another Raveler created the missing chart and shared it - the designer has added a link right on the project page.

It's a sunny winter-y morning here, but the coffeemaker has given up - which constitutes an emergency around here - so we're headed out to pick up a new one, along with a few other errands. Happily the plow went through yesterday so we're no longer snowed in, but I think I'd better stock up on canned goods while I'm out shopping!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Year of Projects 7 - Week 24

Happily, I finished the knitting of Gavin's Scrappy Lengthwise Scarf on Wednesday. Unhappily, when I took it off the circular needle it was clearly too long. I had knit one many years ago on 400 sts and recalled that it was shorter than I'd hoped. So, I reckoned 500 sts might do the trick this go round.  NOPE. And the more I think on it, the more I think the first one on 400 sts was probably just right. But now what to do?!?! After sleeping on the matter it occurred to me that there was no good reason not to cut a steek (or two) to shorten it. I machine stitched to reinforce up and down through two adjacent columns of stitches and snipped off the excess. PERFECT. At the same time I conveniently snipped off all the ends awaiting finishing. BONUS. Gavin loves his new scarf and it suits him to a "T". Also, he's trying out this new beardliness - what do you think? 

Earlier this aft, I finished the latest pair of vanilla socks. The yarn - Sweet Skein O'Mine Sock - was souvenir yarn from New Brunswick from a local dyer. It's a very light fingering so I opted for an improvised pattern. Cast on 84 sts on smaller than usual needles, work K4P2 rib for a lengthy cuff, worked a decrease row by purling together those 2 adjacent purls, and then carried on for a vanilla sock on 70 sts. It all worked out fine, but there's quite a bit of yarn leftover which makes me wish I'd made the leg longer. Oh well, better leftover than short, right?

Poor Gschnitztal Socks ... still on the sidelines. I'd like to make some promises about getting back to them, but I'm just not feeling it. The light is poor and the pattern's finicky. Gah! I'd just rather knit something else. Maybe something like Mad Mix socks will fit the bill? I've cast on and we'll see where that goes. It's week 24 of this Year of Projects - nearly half way - so I'd better stop messing about and get to working at that list!