Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Knit In Progress: Fireside Pullover

One of the dangers of having a substantial stash is that sometimes you feel guilty for wanting to buy new yarn for a project rather than use the yarn that you already have in your house. Sometimes it's not that I don't want to use the lovelies that I have, it's just that a good portion of my stash is already designated to a specific pattern or project category (re: I refuse to break up sweater quantities if I only need a single skein). Most of the time I have the perfect colour(s) but not the correct weight, and vice versa. More often than not I have right colour and weight but not enough yardage, and it's not really a design that you want to stripe or somehow incorporate another colour in, and you really don't want to either try to track down a few more skeins or wait weeks for the yarn to arrive (cause I want to cast on now, dang it!!). And then there are the times that I just want to feel that gratification of buying new yarn and casting on with it immediately thereafter. You know? 

All these issues came up when I decided late last year that I wanted to cast on Jane Richmond's Fireside Pullover. A quick peek at my Ravelry stash page showed that I had the yarn called for in the pattern (Cascade Eco Wool) but I didn't have the colour that I really wanted. Well, I did...but I had made a note that I had started using one of the hanks (out of two) for a project that I had begun way back in the day when I first started knitting. Several years later I frogged the project after finally coming to the conclusion that the pattern and I just weren't meant for each other and yeah, I had fallen out of love with the design. 

That's fine. It happens. Now I can use the yarn for something that I do love. The downside: I now have several little balls of yarn and I think I had snipped off a huge portion from the start of that frogged project and simply chucked it. Why? If only I knew. So what does that mean now? Well, for someone who despises weaving in ends I would now have way more ends than there needs to be regardless of what the project is AND I don't have a full two hanks worth of yarn to worth with. Do you see where I'm going with this?

I've been trying really hard to knit from stash these past few years. I mean, after all, what's the point in buying and stashing yarn if you don't actually use it? But it just didn't seem like I had enough in my stash to fulfil the yarn requirements. At the time I was wanting to cast on the Fireside Pullover my LYS was super low on their stock of Cascade Eco Wool and all they had were various greens and browns, sorry, I'm looking for a medium to darkish grey. I was too impatient to order yarn and for a split second there I contemplated on just settling for a colour that I had enough yarn in just so that I could start knitting. But would I actually wear the pullover then? Back to the stash I went. 

Now I know what you might be thinking, why don't I just get more Eco Wool and alternate skeins? This is where the vicious cycle comes in, where I buy the extra yarn just to find out that I only needed barely a quarter of it which makes me want to or straight up just buy another hank to supplement...which will most likely won't be enough for the next project so I'll have to buy another hank...and so on and so on.

So what's a knitter to do? Well, I put out a call on Facebook and found out that one of my knitting friends just so happens to have a small ball, maybe half a hank, of the exact colourway I was wanting to use leftover from one of her projects! I think this could be enough? I can use it for the hem and cuffs! Alright. Game on.

Before the month of October was over I had cast on the pullover and was well on my way to whipping up the yoke section. Then all Fireside knitting stopped. It was time for gift knitting for the holidays and my hands were feeling a little testy. The pullover was completely forgotten about...until now. Over the weekend I picked it back up, joined all that ribbing for the yoke and worked up the body. All I have left to do is the 3-inch ribbed hem and the sleeves. I have about half of my second hank still and I have yet to touch the ball that my friend gave me. I'm crossing my fingers so hard, words cannot express just how much I hope I'll have enough yarn to finish this. My goal is to finish the pullover before the week is over. I can do this!

Keep me in your thoughts as I try to win this battle of yarn chicken!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Fresh Off The Needles: Oracle Space Socks

I think I had confessed to this a few posts ago, but I'll confess it again, just in case. I had actually finished these awesome socks before my carpal tunnel release surgery but ran out of time before surgery day to take any photos, and I didn't anticipate on not being able to hold my camera immediately after. Oh well. At least I'm even blogging about them...unlike the huge pile of FOs that I negligently left (still) on the very back end of my dresser that dates back to, oh...2015?


But we're not here to talk about those! We're here for the socks! This is the Speckled Space Socks pattern by Amanda Stephens (it's a freebie pattern!) and I really can't stop preaching about the gorgeousness of this design. I absolutely love how my socks came out, so much so that I re-queued the pattern. It definitely needs to be knitted up again! Maybe even with another skein of Hedgehog Fibres? Or maybe with some House of A La Mode...if I can ever get my hands on a skein (the currency exchange right now is scary. I can't justify adding an extra $10 per skein on top of the shipping!!). The yarn I used for this pair is Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the Oracle colourway. I had fallen in love with it the second I saw it and I continued falling for it with each and every stitch I had knit with it. Especially those highlighter yellow bits. So, so gorgeous!

As for the knitting, I thought this pattern was highly addictive (just one more round...just one more round...) and undoubtedly a fantastic one for those who want to knit a sock that was a little more interesting than plain vanilla but wasn't overly complicated. Yes, there's a chart involved but once you get past the first pattern repeat and can establish and read the stitch pattern, it's easy to see what needs to come next. I did have to refer to the pattern a few times when it came to joining the points of the chevron on the sides of the leg just to see which way the two-stitch cable should cross, but I was still able to run errands, pick up and put down and work on the socks easily. Although, with all that said, if you're not that great at multi-tasking or are still quite new to sock knitting, maybe this pattern will be too involved for you. I still highly recommend the pattern though.

The only mods I did were more about personal preferences than design changes. Such as casting on twelve stitches (twenty-four in total) for the toes since I have a pointier toe (I find sixteen stitches or even fourteen is just too boxy looking and leaves a "tab" of fabric above my smaller toes that can be quite annoying), and increasing the toe box my usual way. I also changed the way I did the increases on the gusset to use my favourite increases (M1R/M1L) instead of the ones used in the pattern. Otherwise, why mess with a beautiful design when I don't need to?

I used my usual needle size for socks as the fit is supposed to be similar to that of a plain vanilla, maybe a stitch tighter (pun intended!!) since the two-stitch cable doesn't have much give to it. I found the fit of my pair just fine, however, I do recommend trying on the sock after the first pattern repeat to make sure you like how the design stretches over the widest part of your foot, and again after you knit the stitch pattern around the ankle area.

I contemplated making the leg longer solely for the purpose to use up more of this luscious yarn but then decided not too because the stitch pattern would stretch out and distort the design too much for my liking, and I'm too lazy to try to figure out and do the math that's most inevitably involved to accommodate the extra stitches to make the design look nice around my meaty calves. Besides, the leftover yarn would look awesome in a pair of frankensocks...if when I get around to knitting a pair up, that is. 

Just because I can't get enough of these socks, here are some close-up detail shots:

They're so, so, SO pretty!! Hedgehog Fibres, you make pretty yarn! Now I can see what all the hype is about! I want to say that I really can't wait for my LYS to get their shipment of Hedgehog Fibres, but do I honestly need that temptation?? I've already caved a few times and bought a few skeins of Mudpunch (what can I say, she was having an anniversary sale and I like supporting my friends!), and just last night I bought a skein of Gauge Dye Works (formerly known as Caterpillargreen Yarns). In my defense, I've been wanting the Weekend colourway since it made its debut at Knit City.

I know, I know...excuses, excuses. 

Meh. I've been needing some cheering up lately and yarn definitely cheers me up! But if it helps, I vow to do better with the cold sheeping and the using of stash yarn before buying more yarn for the rest of the year. I swear!!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Speckled Space Socks by Amanda Stephens

Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock
Colour: Oracle
Needles: Hiya Hiya Sharps Fixed Circulars in 2.25mm (US 1)


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It Happens

Do you ever go through those awesome periods of time in which the knitty universe seems to smile down upon you and every single knit you touch just effortlessly and somewhat miraculously comes off the needles absolutely perfect? Or maybe the complete opposite, where everything goes frustratingly wrong? From the skein taking hours to wind due to either an unruly winder (or swift) or because the skein was wound improperly and it all resulted in a tangled rat's nest of a mess, to having to rip out three rows for every row you knit. Where every choice you've made was the wrong one, even though you made the same choice several times before with no problems, but now it's just wrong, wrong, wrong? 

Yeah...I seem to be in that latter group right now. It all started a few weeks ago when I decided to frog my almost finished Kveta shawl because I didn't like how thick and dense the fabric was. Using a needle that was a few sizes larger, I cast on the shawl again and was back on track. While I was making really good progress on the shawl, I also worked on the sock WIP that I had in my purse because my hand therapist encouraged me to knit more to help with my hand flexibility, mobility, and strength. 

All was going well...until I had to do this:

I went to my first knit night in months and was so engrossed in the conversation that I didn't realize until the next day that I had knit not only an extra inch of foot length but also the entire gusset of the sock. I had to rip back three inches worth of knitting!! Good thing this yarn is lovely to knit with and fun to look at! I was so excited too as I thought I was going to be able to turn the heel and be at the halfway point of the first sock.

Boo urns. Not yet.

But I did make it easy on myself by taking another pair of circular sock needles and picked up the stitches on the round that I should have been at to start the gusset increases. It definitely makes ripping out all that work much easier to do! I wish I could say that I was able to whip up the sock back to the start of the heel turn over the weekend but sadly I didn't. Aside from constantly forgetting to do gusset increases here and there (and then having to rip back again and again), I ran into another problem with my Kveta shawl...

That there above, is photographic evidence of me losing a game of yarn chicken. Should I laugh? Should I cry? Should I throw all my yarn and needles across the room and vow to never knit again? Ok, that was overly dramatic. Of course I'll knit again!! I'm not that crazy!

But dang!! How can such a simple project be so hard on me? I know that garter is quite the yarn eater, but I don't know how I could have run out of yarn - and so early in the game - when I had increased the shawl until the first skein of yarn ran out. The only explaination I can think of is that this second skein is underweight. The lesson to learn here? Weigh all your skeins before you start knitting when the pattern requires you to knit and increase your stitch count until you run out of yarn, and then need to decrease with the next skein.

Le sigh.

I haven't touched this project since this happened. I was on the fence as to whether I should go get another skein to finish the shawl, or to rip back to the start of the second skein and then frogged a few rows/increases and start decreasing immediately, resulting in a slightly smaller shawl. I'll most likely just rip back (which is a good thing because as I was staring at the photo above, I realized that I made another mistake in that I made a random decrease on the wrong side of the shawl...can you see it?). I would like to wear this shawl at least once before the weather warms up around here!!

I'm scared to touch any other knitting...or to start a new project. What if I lost my knitting mojo?? They say that stuff usually happens in threes. Well, the Kveta had two issues and the sock had one. So that's three. Technically I should be good to go, right? Once I rip back the shawl and get knitting again, I'll let you know. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Back On It

Hey, Friends!! How's it going?

Guess what? I've got some awesome news. I'm knitting again!! Yes!! Oh man, it feels so, so good! It has been a little over a month since my carpal tunnel release surgery and my hand feels really good. The past few weeks I've been working to build back up my hand flexibility and strength. It's still slow going because according to my surgeon I need "to be more aggressive" with both my scar massage therapy (I'm such a wuss with the discomfort and pain that comes with this!!) and hand usage. Apparently, I still have a tendency to protect my hand. I need to remember that there's no longer a risk of ripping open stitches or the incision, which is fully closed and healed (albeit quite fresh scars can be). Hopefully PT and therapy will help sort that out!

In the meantime, I'm overly ecstatic to report that I can knit comfortably again with my left hand and for longer periods of time (insert mega happy face here) than the few minutes here and there that I had mentioned in my last post. It almost feels like how I used to be pre-surgery! However, sock knitting is still a little touchy due to the tightness in my pinky and ring fingers, but hey, at least I can knit a few rounds on socks now! And my breaks are longer between knit sessions than they were pre-surgery, as I don't want to over do it and sadly, the carpal tunnel in my right hand has flared up a little here and there as a result of relying on it more when the left was healing. Le sigh.

I'm not going to dwell too much on my right hand and the imminent surgery it will need in the very near future. Instead, how about I talk about the fact that I'm currently working away on two WIPs? The main one, shown in the photo above, is a shawl that I'm knitting for my son's school's annual year-end fundraiser. The pattern, Water by Sylvia McFadden, has been a fantastic knit so far and I find myself not wanting to put it down! Which is probably a good thing since the deadline for handing in any fundraiser items is coming up pretty soon. I'm using deep, deep stash yarn for this. We're talking six years deep. It's Dream In Color Starry and has bits of silver metallic fibre spun into the yarn. My camera can't pick up the fact that this is actually a variegated yarn and that there's different colours, like purple, green, and brown within the tonal shades of blue (I did take a stash photo back in the day that picked up on some of the colours, take a look here on my Flickr, if you're interested). Nor can the camera pick up the sparkliness of the metallic fibres without it looking like pieces of lint or the like. I can't wait to see how this shawl will look once it's done and blocked. I'm a little concerned that it's a little on the small side, as I just started the last section before the border and picot lace bind-off, and I just joined the second skein of yarn. I guess I'll find out in a few days... 

The second project, I was thisclose to finishing. That is until I decided to frog the whole thing and start all over with a bigger needle size. I hate it when I'm knitting away on a project and I get that little feeling in my gut that tells me that not only is the fabric a little too dense for my liking but the project is coming out smaller than it should be. And not in the sense of small according to my tastes but much smaller than the dimensions given in the pattern. I know, I know...that's what a gauge swatch is for. Meh. This shawl is knitting up faster this time around than it did in the first. And the colours are so gorgeous that I truly don't mind having to knit this again. This shawl is the Kveta shawl from the Berroco Millefiori booklet (#377) and I'm using the recommended yarn, Berroco Millefiori in the Viola colourway.

The pattern is super simple and the yarn is oh so silky, but I do find that I have to pay attention to how I'm inserting my needle into the stitches. My needles are so pointy that sometimes I catch myself splitting this single ply yarn by a hair, but it's enough to make the stitches look wonky. I'm sure if I just switched to needles that have a more blunt tip I'd be fine. But I don't own any blunt tipped needles. I like them super pointy and stabby!

I'm hoping to get this off the needles pretty soon too. I would like to wear it before the weather warms up around here. I think it'll look awesome paired with a denim jacket over the black Moneta dress that I plan on making some time this spring.'s good to be knitting, creating, and planning again!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Released & On The Up and Up

I have been super quiet here on the blog and straight across the social media board. Well, ok...maybe I've chirped here and there on Twitter. But you know what I mean. So what's up? Why the radio static? Well, exactly two weeks ago I underwent carpal tunnel release surgery on my left hand. I kept pretty mum about it leading up to the surgery because I was already breathing into a paper bag I was so beyond full of anxiety about the idea of having to cut into my hand that I really couldn't handle hearing any more about either the surgery itself or who has gone through it or what friend of a friend has and how life turned out for them afterwards. My overactive imagination just couldn't handle creating more worse-case scenarios. I was psyching myself up so much that my nerves almost made me vomit in the hours before the surgery.

I really had no idea what to expect and am ever so thankful that I: 
          a) didn't have to watch the procedure being done (much to the Mister's disappointment)
          b) that my surgeon freakin' rocks. She's seriously SO amazing. 
          c) that the whole procedure was insanely fast. Like, I was in and out of that operating room within ten minutes!!

I contemplated about whether or not to say anything in regards to the surgery but I know a fair amount of knitters have been following my CTS journey and that a number of people have also been looking into or will soon be undergoing carpal tunnel release too, and it would be helpful to give another perspective of what to expect. Or should I say, a realistic, I'm-going-through-this-right-now aspect of what to expect. Because to be quite honest, I thought I would bounce back and be back in the saddle within days. Yes, yes, everyone heals differently and at different rates but I've had a few knitters tell me that they were able to knit hours after their surgery. Hours. And I've had people comment about how the whole surgery was a breeze for them and that they were able to return to their regular life the very next day with no problems. That's not what happened to me. Yes, the surgery itself was a breeze and I was even able to wiggle my fingers, move my arm, and carry on somewhat normally (as normally as one could whilst being down a hand) for the rest of the day, albeit with a box of fancy donuts! But man...oh man...when the local anesthesia finally wore off...that's when things got real. I can't tell you if I was in pain or not because my discomfort levels were seriously through the roof!! My sleep that first week (and especially that first night!) was intermittent and incredibly uncomfortable. Then there's the things that I didn't expect: the major reduction of hand strength, the limited range of motion, the soreness (oh, the soreness!!), and the extensive bruising.

I don't know why I thought I would waltz out of the operating room with my hand all hunky-dory and roaring to go. I constantly have to remind myself (and so does the Mister) that my hand was operated on. It was sliced open and a ligament was cut. That's no small potatoes!! So imagine my surprise when I couldn't properly pull up my pants (yay for pyjamas pants and sweats!!), put on socks, hold a coffee cup, use a can opener, or even squeeze hand lotion from a tube. I felt useless cause I couldn't do dishes or even peel a carrot, and the Mister had to open my meds and painkiller bottles. Putting my hair into a ponytail caused great discomfort and washing my face just felt weird - one side of my face felt normal but the other felt like I was using a mannequin's hand! Sounds weird, doesn't it? My hand strength is still weak, so no opening cans for me, but at least I can grip certain things now. I've been keeping up with the gentle range-of-motion exercises that I was told to do by my surgeon and can proudly say that I can now make a small fist.

While I was incredibly sore, there surprisingly wasn't much in terms of pain from the incision area. If anything, the soreness and intense discomfort came from the massive bruises that cover my entire palm, inner wrist, and extended halfway up to my elbow. I still have the soreness but it's not that bad anymore, I still have the bruises (watching them change from blurple to grellow to a weird jaundice baby-poop colour has been interesting), I still have the discomfort but it's mainly at night or when I get overly ambitious as to what I can actually physically do, and I still hold my hand close to my upper chest/shoulder area because it seems to prevent unnecessary soreness. Within the last week, I've been experiencing tightness around the incision area (which is normal, as the incision is trying to fuse back together and heal) and itching (which is also a sign of healing). For a while there the tightness felt so bad that I was extremely worried that my stitches to rip open if I were to stretch my hand open. I'm happy to report that that did not happen. 

I'm also happy to report that yesterday I got my stitches removed! It's been a while since I've had to have stitches removed and I have to say, I do not do well when it comes to such medical procedures!! I won't get into it but let's just say that my stomach is not as strong as I thought it was. So overall, aside from the major discomfort that's ebbing, I think my recovery has been going well. Although, that doesn't mean I'm looking forward to when I have to get my other hand, my dominant hand, done. Yes, I've had bouts of depression/boredom from not being able to knit or craft, but I've been spending my recovery time reading (Clara Parkes' Knitlandia and a whole lotta baking books), binge watching Riverdale (I'm obsessed!!) and Big Little Lies (also obsessed!), and attempting to play Minecraft with the Kiddo (hint: I suck at it. I just don't get Minecraft). 

I can't wait until I'm able to start doing "normal" things again, like washing dishes without taking five minutes to wash one mug, type on a keyboard with both hands (this post has taken me, seriously, all day to type out - hence the lack of being online much), and most importantly I can't wait until I can knit again!! I've made a couple of attempts but my hand just isn't ready for it yet. With that said, I've had people come out of the woodwork telling me to take it easy and to not do anything for at least a month, lest I want to cause irreparable damage. Uh, say what? Yeah, I've been told horror stories of hands that didn't heal properly due to not letting time and your body do its magic, a few friends and even a family member have come forward to disclose what happened to them/a loved one when they tried to carry on as per usual that involved the busting open of stitches (gag!), torn muscles, and a permanently destroyed transverse carpal ligament.


Trust me, I'll take it easy! 

So that's what's been going on around here. Please bare with me if it gets overly quiet. I was hoping to blog about a bunch of FOs that I haven't gotten around to posting about - like a few shawls, a hoodie, and even the Oracle Space Socks that I managed to finish a few days before my surgery! But alas, resting the palm of my hand on a keyboard currently isn't the best feeling in the world and my hand tires out far too quickly when it comes to holding a DSLR camera (if you can call it holding). But I'm feeling hopeful! 😀

Thank you all for your patience and for sticking around!! ❤️

Friday, February 17, 2017

Randomly on a Friday

I've been sort of MIA this week. I have no explanations or excuses, other than the fact that I've been really exhausted (due to a lot of super late nights which is of no one's fault but my own...kind of...insomnia will do that to you). I've been trying to force myself to take breaks from knitting, which is kind of hard when you're soooo close to finishing a project, but both hands really need it. Because of my high levels of tiredness blogging had to be put on the back burner too until I could properly form sentences that actually made sense when read together in a paragraph. Lucky for me, the past few nights my entire being finally had had enough and I was rewarded with three nights of good sleep!

Buuut that doesn't I'm able to sit here and write all the blog posts I want. I have volunteered to read to my kiddo's class this afternoon and I can't back out now. Not when your kid is extremely excited that you're going to read about the crazy adventures of a loyal but highly flatulent dog and its loving human family to his class. I can't disappoint him now!

So, with my date with a farting dog looming in less than an hour, I give you some randomness that's been floating around in my head these days, on this last day of the work week:

⤷ I recently went through my queue on Ravlery and managed to slim down the list from 14 pages to a mere 12. I'm sure there were a whole lot more patterns that I could have deleted from the list, as a lot of them were there solely to remind me that they existed and to serve as possible inspiration (re: patterns I'd love to knit but the style isn't me, so maybe possible gift knits). But then this past week SO many awesome patterns were released, causing my queue to swell up to 13 pages. Oops!

 While I queued a lot of these new patterns, I'm really forcing myself to figuratively sit on my hands as I know that I should be finishing projects and get a few WIPs off the needles, not on. As I've mentioned in a previous post, not too long ago I had opened up my knitting needle case and discovered just how empty it was - a sign that I definitely have too many WIPs on the go!! A little over a dozen, to be exact...

⤷ But once I get at least two projects off the needles (and I'm talking bigger projects, like the shawls or garments) I'm totally planning on casting on either a Radiate pullover (by Joji Locatelli), a Fast Forward pullover (by Veera Välimäki), or a Flyway Twist shawl (also by Veera) - these are just three of the twelve patterns in the fourth installment of the Interpretations collection co-designed by Joji and Veera. This fourth volume is truly such a beautiful collection!

⤷ As much as I absolutely want to cast on something from Interpretations, I quite honestly think the next selfish knit will be Camaro by Tanis Lavallee. Those stripes! The endless colour combinations! I want to knit several of these! I'm totally envisioning a slim fit black and white, monochromed version; a hip length version in a single colour gradient set on a background of grey; a cropped pink, black, and grey version (surprised?); or even in one of Tanis's handpicked palettes (I love them all but have my eye on the Prism palette), just to name a few of my possibilities.

⤷ Another collection that came out this past week is Heart on My Sleeve by Tin Can Knits. This book of sweaters is actually a collaboration between the ladies of Tin Can Knits and some of their favourite knitwear designers, such as Ysolda Teague, Bristol Ivy, Victoria's own Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook, and the previously mentioned Joji Locatelli and Tanis Lavallee. All of the proceeds (after Ravelry and PayPal fees, that is) are going to the Against Malaria Fund.  

⤷ Most, if not all, of the future projects that I've been thinking about, and even all of the sweaters in the Heart on My Sleeve collection, just so happen to all be knit in DK weight yarn. stash is sorely lacking in DK weight. I'm either going to have to knit like the wind so that I can justify purchasing some, or I'm going to have to destash something in my stash order to obtain the room. Problem is, I love everything that's in my stash! How am I suppose to pick what to get rid of?

 I don't know why I'm thinking so much about selfish knitting when I'm thinking about doing some charity knitting. Once again my son's school will be holding their annual fundraising auction at the end of the year, and once again I'm thinking of knitting something to donate to the cause. I got such a great response and thoroughly enjoyed knitting Sylvia McFadden's Waiting For Rain last year, that I'm thinking of knitting another one of her patterns from her book, Shawl Joy, or her newest pattern, Water. I just have to find something suitable in my stash to knit with AND something I wouldn't mind parting with once it has been knit up!

 Whilst I ponder what I'm going to knit next and with what yarn, I'm trying my hardest to stay healthy. Hence the need to give in to sleep, even when it interferes with my knitting! The first day of Spring is only 31 days away and so far I've managed to stay sick-free all winter long!! Both the Mister and Kiddo had succumbed to sickness a few times but I've survived all the bugs and germs. To me, this is a huge feat!! It's probably all psychological, but I attribute my daily mug of hot water, lemon, ginger, and honey, as well as the abundance of lemon water throughout the day, as the reason why I've endured the season of sick unscathed! Now to make it through the next 31 days...

⤷ Oh! I finished a thing. It's nothing major, but it's still a finished object! A few days before Valentine's Day I felt compelled to knit myself a ring. Using some leftover Harrisville Designs Shetland wool (I seriously used only a few yards!!) and a length of hot pink Patons Classic Wool that I found in a scraps bag, I made myself a Heartfelt Ring (designed by Tiny Owl Knits). My first attempt, I had knit according to the pattern, turned out too long. But since it literally took me 10 minutes to knit AND felt the ring, I quickly whipped up a second. Only this time I made the ring smaller and shorter. Perfecto!!

20 minutes ending in two super cute rings made from yarn scraps? I can totally get down with that! I'm definitely going to keep this pattern in mind for when I need something incredibly fast and cute. I'm thinking these would be great for last minute gifts, party favours, fundraising...

:: Ring Details ::
Pattern: Heartfelt Rings by Tiny Owl Knits

Yarns: Harrisville Designs Shetland and Patons Classic Wool
Colours: Pearl (#45) and That's Pink
Needles: Knit Picks Caspian Interchangeables in 4.5mm (US 7)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Heart.Felt

♥ Happy weekend!! ♥

PS: It would also help if I actually clicked "Publish" on this post...!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fresh Off The Needles: August Socks

Knitters and friends, I am happy to announce that my first pair of socks of the year are officially off the needles!! Wow...I honestly thought this pair would be forever stuck in the confines of my handbag. Who knew dedicating a night to working on them would kick start a sock knitting craze? Nevertheless, I'm happy that I was able to knit up a skein of yarn the same year that I had purchased it. I feel like I've been not only attending knitting events and buying all the yarns but just buying all the yarns in general. Neither of these are true, by the way. But the feelings of going crazy with major yarn consumption has been weighing heavily on my mind. I guess a good majority of fibre lovers out there feel this way. Especially when SABLE status has been thoroughly met and greatly surpassed.

Anyhoo, let's just say that I'm just happy that this gorgeous skein of Caterpillargreen Yarn has been knitted up and isn't hiding in the darkness that is my yarn closet. As you can see, I've knit this pair up in a plain vanilla style. Toe up, of course. I used my usual stitch counts and numbers - such as casting on 12 stitches for the toe (I like a pointier toe because my big toe and second toe are longer than the others and I feel a 16 stitch toe is just too...flat and boxy looking), increasing up to 64 stitches total, knitting the leg for 6 inches and went with a 2 inch 2x2 ribbing just so that I could use up more of the stunning yarn. 

I originally tried to knit a gusset heel but halfway through the heel on the first sock I decided that I really didn't like how the striping and colour transition was playing out. So I ripped out the heel and went with the trusty Fish Lips Kiss heel. I think it now looks so much better and the colours aren't so "choppy" looking from the front of the foot.  

Also, after finishing the first sock, I decided to not make this pair identical. The first sock I had knit started with the reds and oranges at the toe and worked up to the green. I was quite sad that I couldn't optimize the green and make that section longer. But alas, my short legs would not allow for a sock any longer than it already was without turning them into knee socks. Since I couldn't get over the rich gorgeousness of the greens, I decided to start the next sock with it and have the colours go in reverse direction. I really like how that turned out!

Caterpillargreen Yarns made it SUPER easy to accomplish either an identical pair of socks or a pair similar to mine by dyeing the yarn so that the middle of the skein is green with the outer skein starting (ending?) with the red/orange sequencing into the yellows before hitting the green. I probably made absolutely no sense there. But you can see what I mean in this Instagram photo that I posted last month.

The only issue that I had was that I didn't wind off any extra green yarn before starting the toe of the second sock. Instead I had cast on that second sock immediately and it wasn't until I was close to the heel that I realized that I still had way too much green to knit up before I would hit the yellows. So I cut my working yarn and had wound up about a golf-ball size amount of the green before re-joining the yarn. I was pretty surprised to see that the socks turned out somewhat "even" in terms of colour distribution! So this is what happens when I don't overthink things!! 

I can't get over how awesome these socks turned out and they only confirm my complete need to get a skein of Caterpillargreen's Weekend colourway. But I told myself that I'm not allowed to buy a skein until I knit up at least three more pairs of socks. A goal this year is to knit up more yarn than I've acquired (since last year was such an epic bust!!) and I know that denying myself entirely from yarn buying would only result in a binge of sorts. So this is the compromise. 

So...excuse me. I've gots some socks to knit up!!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: My usual plain vanilla sock recipe and numbers with FLK heel
Yarn: Caterpillargreen Yarns MCN Fingering
Colour: Fibrations 2016 Limited Edition
Needles: Hiya Hiya Sharps Fixed Circulars in 2.25mm (US 1)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits August Socks 

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