Sock-adventures

I have this thing where I absolutely love sock yarn, and yet I very, very rarely knit socks. I have two pairs: one pink with tiny cables and one plain with self patterning yarn. I love wearing handknit socks, especially when it’s winter and I’m too much of a cheapskate to turn the heating above 18 degrees celsius. They keep my toes warm and toasty.

Why yes, I did almost write toe-sty, but that pun was too terrible to live. Al though now you’ve been attacked by it anyway.

Muahahahaha. Mine is an evil laugh.

Anyways, I did actually start knitting socks for a change. These babies (Or should I say baby? Half a baby? No wait, that’s just disturbing). Socks. Lets go with socks. So these socks are according to a pattern in “Simply Breien”. I like them. They’re my blingy pirate socks, or will be as soon as they’re finished. If the one in the picture (which is actually done now, I just kitchenered that sucker into closure) doesn’t become a single-sock orphan.

I love the yarn I picked (Regia 4 fach haltbar Hand-dye Effect). It’s a bit fuzzy and not very tightly spun, but the colours, oh man, the colours. It’s got a very long run of one colour that slowly changes into the other. It goes from deep, rich burgundy to a kind of yellowed brown and the golden beads stand out so nicely.

Well, time to wrap this rambling post up and get to casting on for the second sock.

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Faberge, mysteries and all the good stuff

It all started with casting on 445 stitches. That is, for the record, a lot of stitches. A lot of stitches which the pattern recommended I cast on long tail. I don’t particularly like longtail cast ons for more than a handful of stitches. There have been a few too many times that I came up short and with 432 stitches done? That gets really old really fast. So nope. Nopenopenope.

All the nope

Not doing that again. For the record, I finished one 445 stitch long cast on, but then decided that I didn’t like the yarn for this project (the brown one in the swatches pictured here) and yanked it all out to switch the brown for the green and use the lovely, rich teal colour above.

I want to call it turquoise, I’ve been told the English term is teal.

Anyway, it all turned out for the better because that colour combo is fantastic and now I get to use the brown yarn I discarded for Faberge for the new Westknits mystery knit along Color Craving. I’m probably going to combine it with a lovely burgundy red and a cheerful yellow for the accent colour.

Maybe even try if I can stick a few of the beads I used for my faberge into the knit along. I still have a couple of thousands of beads left.

Yeah. I had no idea that a kilo of seedbeads meant quite that many beads.

I have learned my lesson.

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I finished ‘r!

So last Friday I finally completed my Suki shawl. I’ve doubted myself all throughout this project. Did I buy enough yarn? Shouldn’t I switch to smaller needles to get better gauge? Will my colour swapping work out? Do these colours work well together? Do I have the right amount of stitches on my needle? To the last question, the answer was sometimes a resounding ‘nope’, which of course resulted in in creative cursing, tinking (I can never frog part, If I start frogging, I might as well go all the way because that will happen anyway).

I may have also put the shawl down once or twice because I starting thinking too much about the bazillion stitches I would have to cast off.

In the end, however, it all worked out. I think the colour swap worked out wonderfully for the lace edge. I simply cannot bring myself to knit lace in a multi-coloured yarn like Flying Marigolds. To me, it detracts from both the beauty in the colours and the carefully constructed lace and becomes too busy for my tastes.

That is, of course, only my taste and if someone does like their lace in loads of different colours, more power to ‘m. Just not my thing, you know?

And with Suki cast of, blocked and being all prettiful, I had to move on to my next project.

Take a knit-break? What do you mean knit-break? Knitting is my break!

Anyway, the next project on my needles is the lovely Fabergé. Supplies, as you can see, are already in the house. I have, in fact, also knitted up two swatches to see how I want the colours placed. They are blocking up. I seem to have obtained that mystical beast known as gauge as well.

So far, so good. Now I just have to wait for the swatches to dry so I can take them along for second opinions.

EDIT: I finished the swatches and blocked and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out, figure out which one I like better. The colours aren’t quite that bright in real life. Guess I’ll take them with me to my parents and let them help me with deciding.

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Fell of the horse

But climbing back on! There’s been a bit of a knitting dry spell, in no small part due to events in the non-digital, non-yarn world with which I shall not bore you. Well, and a tiny new hobby that is baking.  It’s a good thing that I know people who like sweets or my whole ‘get in shape and stay in shape’ plan would be ruined.

And I’ve been doing so well in that respect.

Right, not boring you with that stuff.

I did finish one knitting project but that’s all very hush hush and top secret and for a certain swap. It’s been drying for almost a week now. Oh, for the joys of sudden high air humidity.

This is a progress shot that I can show you, however. My beekeeper’s quilt is making good progress. I’ve just begun with the fourth skein. I think I might end up buying a few more skeins to make a nicely sized hexagonal  quilt.

Because it has to be a hexagon.

Bees.

And pretty hexagons. And stuff.

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I did not forget my blog

I have just had very little to write about. Most of my knitting has been hexipuf related (though I am gathering supplies for a supersekrit project for a swap partner) and as charmed as I still am with the little puffs, I can’t imagine that it’s very exciting to read about them every time I update.

I’m kind of faffing about on the suki shawl I’m making because it’s time to switch colours and suddenly I’m beset by doubts about my choices.

And this despite the fact that I can always, oh, I dunno, frog it if it turns out poorly.

Still, this weekend come hell or high water (and the way it’s been raining high water is a possibility), I will sit my butt down and go on with Suki. Because the shawl and the yarn deserve it and I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS.

Or I might throw a tantrum and sulk. I’m good at sulking.

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Finally! Pictures once more!

Lest anyone start to believe that this isn’t so much a knit blog as a ‘vaguely worded opinions about knitting’ blog, we hereby return to our usual schedule. As long as my photo camera behaves. I’m tentatively looking into getting one with a bit more power, but until then my Finepix is just fine.

I have been slowly but steadily working on my Suki shawl. This was kind of hampered by the fact that I am absolutely horrible at paying attention during long stretches of tricot knitting and constantly managed to get the wrong stitch count.

Once, fine, but three times? I was starting to think there was something foul at play. Maybe I was cursed? Maybe the yarn was cursed? Maybe the pattern? Something had to have gone wonky.

But, as I seem to have inherited at least some stubbornness from my father, I kept going and, miraculously enough, things started going well the minute I put the little owl stitchmarker in rather than the plastic ones I’ve been using. So thank you, OwlPrintPanda, for breaking my curse!

In the meanwhile, the beekeeper’s quilt has been steadily progressing, not quite as fast as it started out as, but still going. I anything, I aim to have it finished by the time the next ice age comes around. Didn’t scientists say one was scheduled somewhere between 2030 and 2040?

Oh well, I should have it done by then.

I think.

I hope.

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Preconceptions

In case anyone missed it: I knit in public. A lot. Unrepentantly. If I have to wait somewhere, odds are that I will whip out my needles and yarn and get some stitches on. There are some places where I won’t, like waiting for a job interview or at work, but waiting for the bus or waiting for class or on the bus? Fine by me.

This, however, gets you attention. And I’m fine with the giggling or whispered comments. Que sera, sera or however that’s said and/or written. I’m also fine with people asking me what I’m doing or what I’m making.

There are things, however, about which I am rather… conflicted, shall we say?

Like the way people will turn to each other and go ‘it’s really a great craft, but I’d never have time for something like that’. It just carries the vibe that knitting is a luxury and people who knit have too much free time. That there are more useful things that could be done. I am probably reading too much into it. However, people make time for their hobbies because they’re relaxing. Knitting is my hobby and I make time for it. I’d rather knit for five minutes then spend five minutes staring at the clock waiting for class to start.

There is also some notion that when I knit in public, I do it for attention. What the… really, now? Really? Are people who read in public doing that for attention? People who play games on their phone? I can’t help it that not a lot of people feel comfortable knitting in public, but I’m not the one pointing out what I’m doing. I’m not the one angling their phone so that they can have a shot of of it. I’m just doing something I like!

The preconceptions people seem to have that knitting is ‘quirky’, ‘old-fashioned’, or that I ‘must be knitting for the kids’ are all annoying in their own right. Like they have one idea about knitting and that anything else just isn’t possible.  It’s not just annoying, however, it keeps people from just taking their knitting around. I’ve literally had someone come up to me to tell me that she thought it was so brave what I was doing and that she’d never have the courage to knit in public.

I mean… just… c’mon people. It’s just knitting. It’s not as if you’re caught in a questionable position with a sheep (though the way I sometimes pet my yarn…). What’s so different from all the other stuff people do to keep them occupied in public?

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Oh my old enemy

I am absolutely horrible about keeping things organised and uncluttered at home. People would weep at the state of my desk. Or freak out. Or maybe give me a shoulderpat out of recognition.

Either way. I am cluttered.

But it’s the kind of cluttered where I know where my stuff is and it’s not as if I have a decomposing kiwi hiding behind my computer screen or a half-drunk, four months old milkshake in my desk drawer. I don’t have a desk drawer, that might have have contributed to the later.

I’m far more organised at work, though. Sometimes it feels like it’s a whole secret identity thing going on.

Today, however, today I have crossed the critical clutter failure threshold.

I hold, hold on to your seats, could not find a knitting project.

Yes, imagine my horror. So, coming Friday I shall be de-cluttering like mad. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

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I am a horrible person

For I am cheating. Cheating on my beekeeper’s quilt with another, well, beekeeper’s quilt. Now, in my defence I haven’t given up on the main quilt. It’s still going strong. Slow and steady. I just… have fingering weight yarn. Little bits of left overs or skeins that never got used and they’re looking at me.  Pleading. Wondering what they did wrong to be cast aside and, well, the little blue puff happened.

But then the blue puff was feeling lonely, so the green one happened. After that, i was curious how a mystery self striping yarn would add up and then I remembered the one single sock I knitted and then abandoned because the yarn turned out far pinker and less yellow than I imagined.

So now I’ve got four puffs, already sown together. They’re much smaller than my ‘official’ hexipuffs, but just so adorable.

At the same time, I finally cast on for my Suki with my Flying Marigolds Diva Star Sock yarn (woah capitals!). The yarn is absolutely lovely and I adore it after a rough start. And no, I am not talking about it other than that I didn’t realize that the two ends had been tied together in the yarn.

I still twitch at the memory of the tangles my search for an end created.

I’ve done a garter stitch tab cast on thingy for the first time. It was interesting. I rather like it though it was confusing at first.

The baby dress is now officially finished. All blocked and pretty and oh my god so soft. I might have taken it around with me to shove in people’s faces. I blocked it during the week, oh the joys of having a spare bed and bought buttons for it yesterday. I sewed them on this morning after I came back from the gym. There is just something charming about the wooden buttons against the green fabric. They’re nice and flat too, so that should be okay with being on the back.

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Sweet succes

I am, generally speaking, one of those knitters. Maybe you’ve heard of the type? The ones that flit from project to project and never seem to finish anything. I have two socks without a matching other. I have one and a half mittens and I recently frogged a shawl in progress because I felt bad for leaving the yarn there. It’s good yarn, for the most part, but the project was never going to get finished.

So yeah. One of those knitters.

Except I finished something today!

See that sweet little baby dress to the side here? Oh yeah. Finished it. My fingers have turned blue (“Although we double wash all our yarns, you may find there is some dye residue left” my not so inconsiderable behind!) and three washes later there is still a distinct blue tint to them, but the dress is finished. And will be washed until the water runs clear.

No smurf babies on my watch!

I always find the cast off the most tedious in projects. So close and yet so far! I’ve just knitted round and round and round of the same, and yet that final round, that one cast-off is the part that goes the slowest for me. It’s a case of ‘so near and yet so far’.

And possibly the fact that I was getting really, really tired of the shade my fingers kept turning into.

And now, because I’ve been a good girl, a good little knitter and finished the baby dress while said infant was still in that age category, I get to start a new project. With this nommy yarn. And an equally nommy pattern.

I just have to unwind the skein.

And I don’t have a ballwinder. Might have to look into getting one. So spendy, though, and my hands work fine, except the frustrated tangle that always seems to happen at the end.

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