Dancing Stockings

Finished StockingsI’ve finished my socks~! ♥ I’m really satisfied with this project. The colour of this yarn is exactly what I like. The pinkish-brown really appeals to me. Overall the yarn dying style is somewhat subdued, but still has a visible level of variation.

I enjoyed knitting these socks–I didn’t feel like they were taking forever. The lace pattern was easy for me to memorize. It was also easy to count and measure repeats; I prefer that when possible, because it makes it easier for me to have both socks be the same length in legs and feet without using a row counter. If I wind up measuring with a tape measure, sometimes I’m off by a smidgen and it bothers me later.

Finished StockingsI’m not sure when I’m going to get a chance to wear these, but I am looking forward to it! I plan to buy some ribbon and tea-dye it to thread through the eyelets below the peaks of the lace edge. (I’m generally in favour of adding ribbons to things…) I think that will be an excellent finishing touch~ ♥

I’m always trying to have some variety in the projects I work on, but I’m tempted to knit this sock pattern again. 🌟

WIP Wednesday: Dancing Socks

Afternoon KnittingI really love knitting socks. They’re one of the first things I reach for when I’m looking for “relaxing” knitting. These socks are no exception. I’m recommitted to knitting through my stash. It increased a bit earlier in the year because I was lucky enough to be treated by my mother at a yarn store~ ♥ Definitely no regrets there, but I don’t want to make a habit of acquiring more yarn at this point in my life.

I love the Jane Austen Knits magazines, but I haven’t made as many projects from them as I’d like. To help fix that, I picked this sock pattern from the 2013 edition: Jane’s Dancing Stockings by Anne Podlesak.

What better yarn to use than the Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn I had leftover from my Afternoon Cream Tea shawl~!

Dancing Socks

So far I’ve been enjoying this pattern. It’s a really lovely bit of lace, but not so open that I feel like they wouldn’t be warm enough as actual socks. The little bit of lace trim at the top of the socks is one of my favourite parts. I think I’m going to tea-dye some narrow ribbon to thread through the eyelets, per the pattern suggestion. They’ll look so dainty! Maybe I’ll wear them while I wear my shawl, and be matching~

WIP Wednesday - Cream Socks

I’m one sock down so far, and my goal for the evening is to finish the heel flap on sock #2.

I hope everyone is enjoying a bit of knitting or crochet for WIP Wednesday~! ♥

WIP Wednesday: Striped Cranberry Socks

On my last yarn-purchasing excursion, I requested that my husband select a Zauberball or Crazy Zauberball from the shop’s selection. He’s always game for more socks, and I was really interested in working with a yarn that had the gentle colour changes that the aforementioned yarn is known for.

Zauberball SocksInitially I planned to knit a fingering-weight adaptation of the pattern Rye by Tin Can Knits. That’s what I had in mind when I cast on these socks and started with the ribbing. As the yarn started to transition into a darker colour, however, I didn’t feel at ease with my pattern choice. Even with the garter stitch section of the pattern (and I do adore garter stitch), I worried about being bored with the look of the socks. I browsed through a few patterns, specifically searching for those designed for or completed by people using Zauberball, and found the Magic Zauberball Stripe Socks by Tofutrulla. This pattern is not complicated or exacting, and the sock is stockinette, but the colour-changing stripes really appeal to me. I was just about finished with the ribbing on the sock I had begun, so there was no need to rip anything out, only to do something different going forward.

Magic Zauberball StripesI dragged out the scale, separated the yarn into two balls of equivalent size, and started striping…and I love it! I’m sure there will be an area where both stripes are almost the exact same colour, but hopefully that won’t really bother me. I feel like the stripes knit much faster than a plain sock; there’s something about being able to track the progress in terms of visual queues that helps avoid that sinking “endless project abyss” feeling that I dread. I’m curious to see how the pair looks when both socks are finished, since they won’t match in much more than spirit.

5KCBWDAY1 – A Day In The Life

Describe a day in the life of a project that you have made, or are in the process of making.

It is day twenty of the expedition to the Upper Sock Drawer to learn the secrets of the rare and elusive hand-knit sock. I have been fascinated with this mighty beast since childhood, and I am hopeful that this trip will finally allow me to face my dream of seeing the hand-knit sock in action. Equipped with our ground-breaking experimental scientific equipment, I believe our chances for success are significantly higher than those of expeditions before us. However, I am humbled by the sacrifices taken by those brave explorers from so many years ago, who paid the ultimate price to provide us with what currently forms the basis of our knowledge of this amazing monster.

The trip to the Upper Sock Drawer was relatively calm and easy, although I had to wait to begin for today’s attempt until I got home from work. If only I could devote my life solely to the call of science, but alas, my funding options are meager and I must toil to continue to finance these events.

To reach the Upper Sock Drawer, one must traverse the beige low-quality wall-to-wall carpet desert. This is an arduous journey, reminding one that one’s battle with the vacuum cleaner will be endless and never will the matted plastic fibers look as they did when the carpet was first installed. Then, the Great Closet Door must be opened. This requires far less effort than the earlier leg of the journey, as the knob turns easily from years of constant use. From there, mount the steep cliff face known as “White Particleboard Dresser from Childhood” until the uppermost region has been surmounted.

But soft! I catch a scent on the breeze…. yes, yes, it is wool. There may be hand-knit socks about! Quickly, gentlemen, take your positions to observe these creatures if they should appear!

I do catch a hint of artisan colourings, indicating that these hand-knit socks are not merely the offspring big-box store brand sock wool, but perhaps the progeny of indie dyers.

Wait. Something is wrong.

Sock Safari

These are not the hand-knit socks we seek, frolicking in their daily activities. These socks seem… listless. Potentially, lifeless. The fibers look exhausted. Several pairs, non-matching, collapsed together above the Upper Sock Drawer…. What’s that? The soles… have visible dirt.

Oh no!

These are the hand-knit sock community’s cast-out worn socks, awaiting resurrection. They dream of the blessed bath of wool wash and cool water; that eternal place of rejuvenation that all hand-knit socks believe in. It is a cornerstone of their mythology, almost as much as the tales of The Hand That Darns, able to heal a sock of any hole.

It pains my heart to see them this way. How long have they laid here, separated from their brethren as pariahs of the thriving sock drawer below?

I… I am a man of science, hardened by my trials in the heartless wilderness, but I cannot turn away from such suffering. Men, we will collect these weak hand-knit socks and bring them back to camp. We shall nurse them back to health, and eventually release them back into the wild to join the rest of the hand-knit socks of this region. Perhaps, someday, we can observe them happily walking about with the other socks, whole and beautiful.

What’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week?

Cabled Socks and Cabled Sweater and Cabled Hat

Finished Silver Socks I’ve been knitting away, but not necessarily with much visible progress lately. My socks are done~! ♥ In the end, I didn’t make the legs any longer than the pattern recommended–I was worried about running out of yarn, which was silly because I have tiny feet and there are always plenty of leftovers, but I worried anyway. I love-love-love the finished socks! The cables are gorgeous, the socks are not short enough to make me regret my decision, and the colour is beautiful~ I haven’t even worn them yet–I just hold them and sigh happily, haha!

As soon as I finished the socks, I started on an epic sweater. Why is it epic? Well, many years ago my stepfather lived and worked abroad in Ireland. When my mother visited him for a vacation, they brought back souvenirs for the family. I got yarn. (When I was given the yarn they told me that when looking for something for me they initially were going to get me a sweater, but the sweaters were expensive so they opted for the yarn…) I’ve held on the to yarn for a long time, but it was destined to be the last yarn in my stash for knitting…and with the socks done, that project’s hour was struck!

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Socks and Cables

My father really enjoys planning trips up to Wisconsin to see the American Players Theatre perform Shakespeare in their outdoor theatre in the woods. Spring Green is not terribly far from Chicago. It takes about 3 hours to drive there, pending traffic. However, my father prefers turning a trip to see the performance into a road trip, stopping at numerous towns along the way and sight-seeing in the area. Typically my only goal is to stop at the Mustard Museum and purchase more interesting condiments, but last year I tried to work another angle into our trip: yarn store.

It turns out there is a yarn store in Spring Green itself: Nina’s Department & Variety Store. “The Uplands of Southwest Wisconsin” includes this line in their publications about the store: “tucked into its own alcove at the back of the store is a complete yarn shop.” That really sums it up perfectly. The location for the entire store is not terribly large, but it is full of narrow aisles filled with everything from hardware to craft supplies. In the back there is an alcove. And it is definitely crammed with the stock of a small yarn shop. The shelves are veeeery close together, and none were anywhere close to being considered “empty” or “sparse.”

I decided that I wanted to buy sock yarn for myself, as at the time I had knit a few pair for my husband and only one pair for me–and I wasn’t really satisfied with the yarn knit up for the pair for me. A single skein of pale gray caught my eye (I really, really like gray~ ), and thus it came home with me. (I also bought the book Cast On, Bind Off, which has been one of the best purchases I’ve made as far as knitting books go. I use it constantly.)

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Sock Time All the Time

Hexipuffs So Far I like to use up extra sock yarn as soon as the socks are complete, rather than saving it for later. I get bored with hexipuffs if I am knitting too many of them one after the other, and I don’t like the “looming” feeling I have if I know there’s a lot of yarn waiting for me to knit it into something. Even my Beekeeper’s Quilt project entry on Ravelry is set to “hibernating,” so that it isn’t at the top of my project page–although I do work on it on a regular basis–in-between any socks (or other fingering yarn project). The last of the Game of Thrones-inspired yarn from the previous pair of socks for my husband was swiftly converted to cute little hexipuffs.

Right now my hexipuff bin is really bright and colourful~ I like peeking in there and seeing all of the colours from the various yarns I’ve used in other projects, now as tiny stuffed hexagons. Because the hexipuffs have such a small stitch count, even at their widest point, the colours tend to pool and stripe in ways they did not on the socks. I like seeing how they look when envisioned in a project different from the one I originally worked on~

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Winter Woodland Games Finish Line

Winter Is Here SocksOn Thursday night I completed my goal of finishing all cable repeats for the foot of the sock. Not only did I meet that goal, I met it relatively early in the evening. And then, drunk on success and stubbornness, I stayed up until much later than I ought to have stayed up to finish the toe and weave in the ends. The result? My socks for the Tiny Owl Knits Winter Woodland Games 2014 were finished Thursday evening! (Or… one might say… early Friday morning… ¬_¬)

This wrapped up my project for this event well in advance of the Monday deadline~! ★ So exciting! ◠▽◠ I was faaaaaaaar too overconfident at first, before the event began, but as we inched closer and closer to the deadline I knew I’d never manage to make two pairs of socks…and finishing the single pair I started seemed like it was in jeopardy!

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WIP Wednesday: Woodland Games

WIP Wednesday - At FirstWednesday was a few days ago, but I didn’t have time to write it up until today–there’s always going to be a delay for me. I do my knitting in the evenings after work, after all, and I really don’t stay up very late.

Overall, this has been a very productive week for my knitting–much better than last week, at least! Last week was busy for many reasons, and I honestly didn’t get very much knitting done. There were a few evenings where I didn’t knit even a little bit–like last Wednesday, hence no update for that day. Sometimes things just get in the way, after all. Normally this wouldn’t bother me at all; I love to knit, but I don’t want to feel controlled by any of my hobbies. I have enough sources of stress in my life–hobbies are supposed to be fun! ♫

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The Winter Woodland Games Begin

Twisted Rib Sock Cuff The Tiny Owl Knits Winter Woodland Games 2014 officially began on Friday, February 7th~ I managed to finish up all my works in progress prior to the event’s beginning–exactly what I had hoped to accomplish~ In fact, I was ready about a day in advance, making Thursday evening slooooooow and boring as I tried to figure out how to keep myself occupied without starting a new project. In the end, I wound the sock yarn for this project. I do not own either a ball winder or a swift, so it is a long and tedious process… but it did keep me busy! (And it was something I needed to do as prep work before the games officially began.)

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