FO Friday: First Socks of 2017

The Never Ending Socks have ended! This is my first FO of the new year and I’m so happy to share them with you!

Details:

I worked these two at a time, toe-up using the magic loop method. I used Plymouth Yarn’s Happy Feet in the Blue Oreo colorway, US 2 (2.75 mm) needles and roughly, kinda-sorta followed the pattern for the Go Your Own Way Socks (basically I followed the numbers through the feet, added ribbing to the top part of the foot and literally Went My Own Way for the legs of the socks, doing 2×2 rib all over and increasing for calf shaping).

Now, wanna see something silly?

It might be a little hard to see in this picture but see that little bit of grey yarn in the center with a slightly different twist than the rest? I ran out of yarn binding off the last few stitches of each sock! I wanted to use up as much yarn as possible and see how tall these babies could be with just a single skein and I definitely used up every last inch of yarn.

Things Learned:

  • my ankle is an inch bigger than the biggest part of my foot and I need to accommodate for this around the heel
  • my calves also require significant modification to most patterns
  • 384 yards of sock yarn goes farther than I thought it would
  • I don’t like the ladders that are on the sides of the toes – this will be the first weak spot to break I think. Perhaps going down a needle size or two will solve the problem?

So, all in all, I’m happy with these socks and they’ve already gotten a lot of wear! I don’t think I’ll be signing up to do the Box O’ Sox KAL (you knit 12 pairs of socks in a year!) but I will be adding a pair of socks to my regular rotation of knits.

What are you knitting right now? Have you finished anything yet this year?

New Pattern: Paintbox Cowl

My first pattern release of 2017! This is the Paintbox Cowl and I’m in love with it.

The sample was knit out of very special hand-dyed yarn by Erban Studio on Etsy (also, go follow her on Instagram, she’s got cute dogs and fun adventures). I held onto the yarn for a little while and waited for it to tell me how to best showcase it’s colors and softness. 

I knew that with a single 400 yard skein, I wanted an accessory to go around my neck that would use as much of the yarn as possible. I’d recently knit a similar cowl and wanted to apply everything I loved about it in a slightly different shape and with more interest while knitting.

This cowl starts off like a triangle shawl knit flat and joined in the round to finish off as a cowl. I’ve got another design in my Ravelry shop that has a similar construction and I just love these! They are so easy to wear and they don’t fall off like some of my shawls do.

It’s the perfect project for using up that special skein of hand-dyed, hand-spun or speckled yarn!

Rethinking Miranda

Another post about a past knit that doesn’t quite suit me and how I’ll figure out what to do with it!

I knit Miranda in the fall of 2013. I’d just moved back to Colorado from a short stint in Albuquerque and was starting work that I was super excited about. It’s knit out of Malabrigo Worsted and is one of the softest sweaters I own.

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Misgivings:

-the body of the sweater is a bit long for my torso which causes the kangaroo pocket and faux cable shaping to land in an area that I don’t want to make bigger

-there isn’t any waist or hip shaping so it doesn’t do my figure any favors

-the sleeves are a little short (well, one of them is….they aren’t the same length)

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I wish the whole sweater were over-sized – maybe the same length but more positive ease and longer, larger sleeves – or I wish the whole sweater were better fitting – shorter in the body and more flattering.

So the options I suppose are:

  1. Rip out the entire thing and re-use the yarn some other way
  2. Rip out the bottom half and re-knit with no kangaroo pocket and likely different texture shaping (ooh or maybe even make it a cropped sweater and avoid the lower abdomen area altogether?)

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What do you think is the best route? Give the sweater another chance or read the writing on the wall and rip out everything?

FO Friday: Fun with Faux

This is the first FO post of the new year and the last FO of last year!

This quick, simple beanie was a gift for my Team Lead and I mentioned it in my last WIP Wednesday post of 2016. It only took me 6 days to knit (and for at least 2 of those I didn’t pick up the needles at all) on size US 6 and 8 needles. I’ve written the basic formula for the hat in the notes on the project page, if you’re interested.img_4373_medium2

My favorite part of the hat is the adorable and super soft faux fur pom pom! This was my first experience with them after seeing them pop up on the knitting webs for the past few months and I can totally see where the obsession is coming from. I want my own little herd of pom poms following me around the house! I ordered mine from an Etsy seller and it arrived just when I needed it to – as I finished the hat and returned from my holiday travels. img_4372_medium2

Have you tried one of these poms yet? Where is your favorite place to buy them? If you haven’t tried them – do yourself a favor and get one!

Taking Back The Minetta

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was planning a new beginning for this project. That time has come and I’m on my way to having yarn to execute new ideas!

One thing I learned during the process is that I am a really thorough button sewer-on-er. Those pretty little silver buttons were worth saving but just removing them was a lesson in patience lest I ruin the yarn they were sewn into. And there were 11 of them.

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After carefully removing all of the beautiful buttons, I came to the part of the project where I needed to frog the knitting. The best way to do this? In my opinion, use my ball winder and turn the thing back into cakes, ready to be knit.

I probably won’t be reskeining and washing this yarn before use – I know a lot of knitters do and it’s a great way to get that noodle-y look out of it. Having knit with frogged yarn many times before, I know it won’t affect my gauge all that much and I’ll be working up a swatch, washing and blocking before I begin re-knitting anyway.

What do you do when you frog projects? Do you re-wash and de-kink the yarn? Or forge ahead into noodle knitting? (Also, what do you think of the video? I don’t do video often but want to play with it a little more so any feedback is appreciated!)

2017 Plans-ish

We all know that plans can go awry and that life throws unexpected things in your path. I’m going to try to sort out some plans for the year anyway because I like planning.

To Knit:

  • Aidez – I’ve been wanting to knit this sweater since it was published, oh…six years ago?  Just the other day I purchased some yarn from another Raveler’s Destash (you should check out her destash, she’s got some good stuff in there!) and I’ll use it for this sweater. It’s likely to be my first cast on of 2017.

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  • A stocking for Nick – this poor guy doesn’t have a stocking and spending Christmas with my family and all our handmade stockings made my mom and me sad (we don’t know how he feels about being handmade stocking-less but that’s beside the point). He’ll get a new stocking by the next Christmas. Which means that at the pace I’m knitting, I should start it in February.
  • A double hat for Nick – this one is a project he actually asked for – an inside out-ish hat that’s extra warm. If the guy asks, I should probably make it because knitting for men can be tricky but when they specifically ask for something that means they’re more inclined to love it.
  • Crosscountry – this will be a KAL with my momma. Having knit a similar sweater by Alicia Plummer before, I know what sorts of mods I want to make – namely placing that horizontal texture line higher up on the body to be more flattering for me. The yarn for these has been ordered and should be arriving any day!

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I also want to blog more and do some video blogs – there will be a little one on Wednesday so be sure to come back and check that out!

Do you have any plans for your knitting in 2017?

2016: Year in Review

According to Ravelry I finished a measly 15 projects this year and published 3 patterns – both fewer than last year! My favorite finished object is my Cascades pullover though. It’s quickly becoming my most-worn handknit sweater!

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I only lived in 1 house (that’s a record!) and started 1 new career/business. There’s a very good chance that starting that new career path prevented me from finishing more projects but I’m so happy with my choice to become a Real Estate Agent and I know it’s the right addition to my designing and Tech Editing. All of these are flexible and I’m my own boss.

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2016 saw some fun travels including a backpacking trip in Yellowstone, lots of rock climbing around Colorado along with camping and exploring the city. I started experimenting with watercolor, picked up a new cross-stitch project and wrote a bunch about beer.

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I hope 2017 brings even more love and laughter – along with more knitting, designing and adventures!

WIP Wednesday: Something Old, Something New, Something Sparkly & Something Blue

The never-ending socks are still on the needles. You’re not surprised, are you?

I’m making progress on them, I’ve increased 4 stitches per sock so far to help accommodate my calves but I know I’ll need a few more if they keep getting longer. I’ve got my next pair of socks picked out and the yarn waiting but: 1) I want to finish these first and 2) I want to try a different set of needles for the next one – go down a size to a US 1 and get a set that doesn’t have such a bumpy cable-needle join so the stitches slide easier.

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I also got yarn for a new project the other day and cast on immediately! This is Berroco Folio Luxe in Aries and I’m using it to knit up a basic ribbed beanie for one of my Team Leads. While at our holiday dinner the other day she pulled out a picture of a cute hat she liked and was going to buy when her husband, my other Team Lead, commented that she should buy it locally and not from a mass-producing factory. Insert Your Friendly Neighborhood Knitter, a flurry of internet shopping and not-so-patient waiting and you’ve got yourself the start of a beanie.img_4857_medium2

I’m still waiting on the finishing piece – a faux fur pom pom – to arrive but the hat needs to be knit before that can be attached anyway so I might as well get started, right? I’m making the pattern up for this as I go and full details will be on my Ravelry page.

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And isn’t that little fishy stitch marker the cutest?! I picked that up with April when we went on our yarny/coffee date the other week and it makes me so happy to see it on my knitting!

What are you working on this week? New stuff? Old Stuff? Sparkles? Blue?

Rethinking Minetta

If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while you might remember my Minetta saga. I began this sweater as a casual KAL with my momma and although she flew through hers, it took me 3 months to finish mine.

In my FO post I mentioned some of the fit issues I had with the sweater but thought I could live with them at the time (and I did, for a while). I wore it a number of times but hung it up in my closet and haven’t worn it at all this entire year!

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That’s a problem folks.

I want to have clothes (knits included) in my wardrobe that I actually wear and love. I actually wear a lot of my knitted garments! And I do want a grey cardigan. I like the idea of this one but not the actual finished piece.

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I think I’m going to rip it out and re-knit it into something that suits my body and lifestyle a bit more. Plus, I do still love those buttons.

Have you ever frogged a knit? How did you make that tough decision? Did you re-use the yarn or leave it in time out? Any suggestions for grey cardigans in sport weight yarn?