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. 🌟

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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~! ♥

6KCBWDAY1 – If You Were Yarn

If you were a type or brand of yarn, which would you be? Are you a classic pure wool? Is there extra tension but a bit of bounce in you because of your high twist? Would you be more like a high-maintenance, strictly hand-wash fluffy angora or a ‘bring it on’ acrylic, bravely heading into the world of possible baby-sick laundering disasters knowing that you will always come out bright and unharmed?

If I were a type of yarn, I would be… a delicate-looking light fingering-weight sock wool that seems far too wimpy to make a good pair of socks. The sort of thing that feels “safer” for a shawl, although you worry when it passes through your fingers if blocking it aggressively might make it snap and unravel. You might not use this yarn for a while, considering all that extra care it probably requires.

And then it knits up into a pair of iron-wearing socks that never need darning and have unfaded colours even when washed improperly. Socks you can rely on. (I feel like that matches up pretty well to a lot of my goals in life. “Be socks others can rely on.” XD)

If I were a brand of yarn, I would be… Lion Brand.

This one was pretty tricky. I’d love to be one of my favourite brands, like Madelinetosh, Lorna’s Laces, or Dream in Color. Something hand-dyed and gorgeous and soft and not “big box craft store.”

However, I think I’d be Lion Brand–not because I’m equating the type of yarn I’d be above with a yarn in their repertoire, but because my mom loves, loves, loves, loves Lion Brand yarn. She’s always loved lions–they’re her favourite animal, so that got them a point just on the name–and she mostly crochets innumerable afghans with Lion Brand Homespun. My mother, without a doubt, would be Lion Brand. She’d probably be Homespun. I think I’d be Lion Brand by association.

I also feel like I’m not exclusive enough or hard-to-find or unique to really be fancier yarn. Although I guess since I’m born and raised in Chicago I could be Lorna’s Laces. ♥

I had fun trying to decide which yarn(s) I am. :3

Current State of Knitting

Photo Jul 21, 9 47 05 PM (1) editWhen 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…)

Continue reading

5KCBWDAY3 – Experimental Photography

Refresh your skills at creating attention-grabbing pictures.

Palette Rainbow

I had a hard time with this challenge. “Attention-grabbing” is something that conceptually I struggle with. I’m never really sure what grabs my attention, and thus extracting what grabs the attention of other people is difficult.

I decided to focus on colour. Colour is one of the things that draws me to yarn and knitting, but I don’t often consciously think of colour when I take a picture. I tried to consider palettes and combinations when I was setting up a picture.

In the end, I carefully arranged skeins of Knit Picks Palette–freshly arrived as part of a group order–in a harmonious order. I adjusted several times until it seemed to come together as something rainbow-esque without being a literal rainbow.

What’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week?

30 Days of Knitting: Day 27

Day 27: How do you acquire most of yarn? Online retailers, local yarn shops, swaps, or large chain craft stores? What’s your favorite?

Most of my yarn is purchased from local yarn shops. Chicago (and the surrounding suburbs) has numerous yarn shops with all sorts of beautiful yarn. I also live very close to a Michaels, and my mother is not far from a Jo-Ann, so if I need specific yarns from a big-box style chain store (typically certain low-cost acrylics) I sometimes stop there. I don’t get as excited about that kind of yarn; I prefer the selection at my local yarn stores. I don’t often buy online. I enjoy looking at yarn in shops and being able to touch it or see the variations in hue or tone. However, if I need something my local stores don’t carry, I’ll buy online.

I’ve been trying lately not to buy yarn, but to use the yarn I already have. I inherited a sizeable stock of yarn from my grandmother when she passed away, in an assortment of craft store brands and local yarn shop brands. I don’t enjoy having a stash of yarn–I want to immediately use my yarn rather than save it for later. Continue reading

30 Days of Knitting: Day 14

Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?

I have a really terrible love/hate relationship with Berocco Vintage. I love how it looks in the skein. It comes in some great colours. It’s machine washable and can be machine dried.

Every time I buy some for a project, it’s like torture! It splits terribly when I work with it. The yarn keeps slipping around until the ball or cake is just a big knotted mess.

Other people seem to love it, but it just doesn’t work out for me! I need less stress in my knitting projects.

Despite that, I keep forgetting about how much it torments me until I’ve bought more of it for some other project. ;_;

30 Days of Knitting: Day 13

Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?

Thankfully, this is no longer true! However, for a long time I did have a yarn that fit this profile exactly.

Mink and Cashmere

50% mink and 50% cashmere = 1000% soft

When I attended Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago in 2012, I fell in love with a handspun mink and cashmere blend that a vendor in the marketplace was selling. It was expensive, but I didn’t care. I bought just under 400 yards of it…and then couldn’t figure out what the heck to do with it! It sat in my stash for months on end and I didn’t even have an idea of what to do.

I tried to knit a cowl with it, but I didn’t really have anything in mind…and I didn’t like what the project was turning out to be. (Not to mention that I don’t really wear cowls.) I wanted to use this yarn for something that I’d love! I loved the yarn, so it was really important to me that I also love the project.

Happily, I put my mind to this dilemma in late May, and finally converted this lovely yarn into several lovely knit items–a slouchy hat, wrist warmers, a hair accessory, and baby mittens! ♥

30 Days of Knitting: Day 12

Day 12: Where do you keep your stash? Post pictures!

Yarn and Accessory Storage

I’ve managed to keep all of my yarn and knitting supplies in these two portable bags.

My stash generally lives in what I refer to as “the knitting suitcase.” It’s a moderately sized gray suitcase with many, many pockets; for a long time it was my primary travel suitcase. I started storing my knitting supplies in this suitcase when I was in university. At the time, I no longer to use that suitcase for travel but I was not quite settled down in terms of where I lived. I wanted a way to tote all of my knitting supplies with me without misplacing or losing anything. It needed to be a portable storage solution, too, so that it could come with me when I moved from place to place.

This suitcase has two zippered outer pockets–one about as large as the entire front panel of the suitcase and the other much smaller. It has a zippered mesh pouch and a pocket with an elastic gathered opening on the inside of the top side. Inside the body of the suitcase there are two zippered pockets along the longer sides, and one zippered pocket at the bottom of the shorter edge where the cover hinges. It has two buckled straps to hold contents into the open area. Continue reading

30 Days of Knitting: Day 9

Day 9: What fiber or yarn do you love working with?

My favourite yarn, hands-down, is Madelinetosh.

My first experience with one of their yarns was in late 2010. I had just started knitting “for serious.” As a new member of Ravelry, I was curious about yarns and fibers beyond those available in craft stores. I decided I was going to knit a few Christmas presents for some of my relatives, and I wanted to make some of those presents with yarn I hadn’t used before.

Prior to this excursion, I was not a fan of yarn shops. My experiences had not been pleasant ones. My mother crochets, but she preferred the prices and large quantities of acrylics at craft stores. I had tagged along with my Nana to yarn shops before, but I at best my presence had been tolerated, not welcomed. I made a few attempts to visit yarn shops on my own in later years, but I always felt like I was being regarded with skepticism. It was like a club that I was not a part of. Continue reading