Having finished my most recent pair of socks, that meant it was time to put in a bit more effort on my long-term project, the Beekeeper’s Quilt~! I loved this pattern from the moment I saw the pictures for it–and I know I am not alone. It has a pretty devoted following and seems to enchant additional knitters every day!
There are a lot of different ways to make this quilt. Some people stuff their hexipuffs. Some use fiberfill, others wool, and others yarn scraps… Some people leave them flat. Some make them single-sided. Some decorate them with embroidery or intarsia or stranded colourwork. Some buy mini-skeins dedicated for hexipuffs. Others use only scrap yarn. Some people trade mini-skeins to increase variety. Some follow the puff directions as written; others modify cast on, cast off, increases, or decreases. Some use sock yarn. Others use heavier- or lighter-weight yarn. There is no one “right” way to make this blanket.
I 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.
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~
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~! ♥
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.
Initially 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.
I 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.
It’s hard to show the fit and style of this hat from a flat picture of my completed project. It’s a cloche hat, from Boutique Knits. I bought that book a few years ago, but I still really like making the projects from it. I hadn’t made one in a while, so when I saw that there were a few options that matched well enough with the weight of yarn I was aiming to use, it seemed like a good opportunity~
However, I still have more of this same green yarn… so I’ll be continuing with other hats. (I contemplated making the same hat multiple times, but I think that would be too boring!)
When I finished the Aran sweater, I only had one ball of that Irish yarn left. After thinking about it for a bit, I knit it into a small cabled tea cozy for one of my 4-cup teapots.
After that, I finally got around to a baby hat that I had agreed to knit for someone back in January… (I do not do much knitting by request, because I don’t seem to actually enjoy it and therefore I procrastinate on it as much as humanly possible. That is exactly what happened here, and the hat only took me a few hours to complete. I always forget how quick some crochet projects are…)
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!
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.)
This Wednesday I finished up the doll wrap that I was working on~! ♥ The buttons that I ordered arrived during the day, and I spent the evening sewing them on and adjusting the length of the fringe. The only buttons that I had on hand in the correct size were either standard 4-hole black plastic circles or 2-hole circles of transparent plastic with pink or silver glitter. They were leftovers from other projects, and as much as I really think the glitter buttons are cute, they were too childish for the colour of the yarn and the style of the finished project.
I decided to order dark shell buttons, as I thought they would coordinate well with the colours of the yarn. The Opaline colourway is a really lovely rainbow with a dark brownish-gray over-dye. There’s something similar in the way that shell buttons reflect light with an iridescence. When the buttons arrived I was happy to find that they had exactly the look I was hoping for.
I took a break from socks before I jumped on the next pair. I didn’t start the sweater, however, and I didn’t buy any more yarn.
A little more than a year ago I knit a ear-covering headband for cold weather. My ears really can’t take it when it’s cold. Even well above freezing I generally still need to wear a hat or my ears get very red and painful. Sometimes I don’t really want an entire hat, and as much as I appreciate the functionality of earmuffs I’m always hoping for something cuter. I saw the pattern Portsmouth: a skating hat and thought it was a really cute look in the pictures. I had some leftover yarn from a skein purchased during the Madelinetosh Black Friday sale in 2011, so I used it. I wore the finished item maybe once or twice and then forgot about it until I found it at the bottom of our “cold weather accessories” bag in the closet, when trying to organize the scarves. As cute as it looked on the model, it just would not lay flat on my own head regardless of blocking.
When I discovered it again, I thought about how much yarn it probably contained, totally wasted in its current state, and unraveled it.
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~