I have been sock blocked by my own stupidity. As in blocked from actually making the socks I was working on using my lovely new Socks that Rock yarn. I am so used to churning out my standard vanilla socks that I never bother to swatch. I completed the first sock using my standard 64 stitch pattern, and once finished I realised – gasp – that it’s too baggy round the toe! Now this has never happened to me before – maybe I have had good sock karma up until now, I don’t know – but I was pretty miffed. But rather than ripping back, I thought I would just move on to the second sock and reduce it down to 60 stitches. 6 inches of cuff later, I decided to try it on – I can only just squeeze the cuff over my heel!! Bugger. I realised that I stupidly picked up 2.25mm needles rather than the 2.5mm that the first sock was done on. So basically, I reduced the stitch count AND the needle size, by mistake and now have two socks to rip back. Which I am clearly not going to do right now as I am so annoyed I am going to put it away and move onto something else.
AND as luck would have it, Shannon at Very Shannon has announced the dates for the Summer Sweater KAL! I participated in this last year and made a gorgeous Cape Cod, by Thea Colman. I’m definitely going to participate again this year. I’m trying to decide whether to do my own design, or one of the many that I have favourited on Ravelry over the past year…there are just so many to choose from!
I finished my shawl! It is currently drying in the sunshine after it’s bath this morning, so I will share photos later. This is a really lovely yarn, it looks like a soft, muted heathery purple but when you look closely at individual fibres there are some surprising colours… such as a bright bright blue, an intense white… magic!
I set myself the goal yesterday of getting this project finished this weekend as I was definitely feeling the need to Achieve Something. So pleased I did, but my hands are killing me today! Walking a fine line between my passion for knitting and RSI, as my sister warned me.
Other projects on my needles are my second Pi shawl, and a pair of vanilla socks in Socks That Rock Lightweight. SO ridiculously excited to be trying out this yarn. A lot of the bloggers and podcasters I follow are from North America where it seems everyone knits with Socks That Rock sock yarn, which is generally not stocked here in the UK. Imagine my joy when, on a recent trip to Loop Knitting in London, I found some! I think it took me a good half an hour to decide on which colours to choose. I went with Watermelon Tourmaline and what I think is called Olive Garden, but it appears I have lost the label so not 100% sure. The first are destined to be some plain vanilla socks for me, the second will be another pair of knee-highs for my sister.
Earlier this year (much, much earlier) I cast on my second pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I used Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in the Sunshine colourway for these as I had some left over from last year’s fingerless mitts design.
I finished the first sock relatively early on but then put it away and promptly forgot about it. Fast forward a couple of months and the second sock became my commuting project – many a trip between Oxford and London was spent working on this! I didn’t know how I would feel about the yarn as a sock yarn – for some reason it feels very garment-y and not very sock-y to me, but it’s actually lovely. I will definitely use it again for socks.
Wow, WordPress has just informed me that I have been blogging here for two years! Whaaaaaat? Surely it can’t be that long! Actually I have technically been blogging a hit longer than that as I used Blogger for about a year or so before jumping ship to WordPress but still, wow!
I am normally not someone who celebrates anniversaries but on this occasion… Happy (blogging) birthday to me :-) I am glad to be part of the crafting/knitting/blogging community!
I’m just going to admit my epic blogging fail and move on.
So! How are you? How have you been? Enjoying the spring? Oh wait, it’s now summer! :-) Despite my lack of posts, I have actually been getting back to some proper knitting. In fact, I have completed my socks of gold, my Strokkur (LOVE IT!!), a new t-shirt design and have been spinning up a storm. I just haven’t had the time to blog about it. Partly I’ve been waiting to be able to have enough time to take photos and post them but rather than wait, I’m just jumping back in and will post photos as soon as I can make the time.
So what’s on the needles and the wheel right now? I am working on a rather fetching pure alpaca shawl that I picked up as a kit from my LYS. It’s in a beautifully soft heathered purple alpaca yarn and if it comes out anything like the sample, should be a long shallow triangle shawl. The reason I sound a little doubtful is because the picture on the front of the kit looks absolutely nothing like the sample… I honestly wouldn’t say they were from the same pattern. But we’ll see.
Heathered shawl in progress
The other thing I’m working on is another Pi shawl. I loved the Pi shawl I knitted last year and used it all winter. I found that it was very versatile to either use as a shawl or to kind of bunch up and use as a scarf. And as an added challenge I decided that I was going to spin the yarn rather than use a commercial yarn. I chose a lovely sparkly blended fibre from Hilltopcloud (can’t link to it as it’s not showing in the shop!!) and spun 200g of 2-ply light fingering weight – I think around 800 yards or so. I’ll probably need to spin some more, but it’s much more affordable than the Rowan yarn I used for the last Pi. This time, rather than just doing concentric circles, I’m going to add a lace pattern to the outer ring.
And apparently I have start-itis because I also decided to spin and knit a Tubularity! This is my fun project for taking on the train. I discovered a spinning and weaving studio near my new workplace. They sell lots of fibre, and have a great selection of dyed merino top that is sold in little 8g nuggets. So I chose colours as close as I could to the Tubularity sample in the pattern and plan to spin and knit my way through this over the next couple of months, ready for autumn. I’ve spun the first colour, have cast on, and am now about to start spinning the second colour… hot pink!
Pink merino spinning fibre
What are you working on?
Looking back at my blog from last year makes me happy! I was lucky enough to take a good few months off work, and enjoy the spring and summer months largely messing around outside in the garden. I probably knitted more in terms of volume of projects, and size, than I ever have before. I miss those days! I am lucky enough now to have a good job, and one that I hope makes a positive difference to people’s lives…. But man, I miss my knitting!
To be fair, I have had some time to knit, and even to spin… More on that in a later blog post!…. But nothing like I had become accustomed to. And of course, this blog has suffered.
Now, I am two months in to the job, and it is definitely time to claim back some of my time to knit, spin, and blog more. I don’t keep a personal diary, so I enjoy reading about my knitting adventures from last year, seeing which blogs I was reading/commenting on, and who was inspiring me creatively. I would like to be able to do the same next year!
I think my mojo has returned! Not that it went away completely, it was just a bit squashed underneath all the pressures of adjusting to a new job, new commute and effectively a new lifestyle.
I know my mojo is back because instead of working every hour I am awake and travelling, I am back to my knitting and spinning. Yesterday morning I actually knitted on the train into London … First time! I always used to knit on the bus to work but knitting on the train feels a little different somehow. Like I am making more of a statement. My project of choice is the second of my Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I started this project back at the beginning of the year and lost enthusiasm for it (i. e. was distracted by something new and shiny). Now it feels like the perfect antidote to gloomy grey commutes. Look how the gold just glows!!
The other patch of brightness is a new shawl. I cast on the Brandywine Shawl by Romi Hill this week. I am using the brilliantly blue Artesano Definition Sock that I picked up on a recent trip to London. This is a great project to unwind with at the end of the day, because lace is really not my strong point, which means I have to focus and concentrate on not losing my place, and forget about the day’s work in the process.
And finally… I am SO excited about casting this project on, even though technically I suppose I should be looking for summer projects. In another fit of Returning Mojo, I took the plunge and splashed out on some new yarn for Strokkur. I am following Ysolda’s colour palette exactly, but have been admiring all the lovely choices fellow knitters have made, on Ravelry. And I bought this on the train into work, surrounded by the tap-tap-tapping of people around me desperately finishing up emails before we arrived at the station. Me – 1. Commute – 0.
I ordered from Meadow Yarns, a new-to-me online shop. Thank you, Anj, for the incredibly swift delivery (and complimentary tea bag!), which meant I was able to up the week safe in the knowledge that today I could cast on my shiny new project!