On Adventures and Socks

Many apologies for my long radio silence, my life has been filled up with new adventures and activities for the past month, and I have had time for crafting or blogging and I decided that crafting was more fun.

As I am embarking on new adventures in my personal life, I thought it might be time to take some adventures in my crafting life, including taking on a challenge I have stated publicly I would not do.

I am making socks.

I said I would never make socks.

It is all Glenna C and Tanis’s fault.

Okay, not really their fault, but they are somewhat responsible.

Background:  As a means of controlling my yarn stash, which was one of my goals for the year, I decided to join a yarn club.  The Year in Colour from Tanis Fiber Arts was just to yummy to pass up on.  Six parcels (over 12 months) of beautiful hand-dyed sock yarns (her Blue and Purple Labels) and six projects for the yarn by fantastic designers.

So my march parcel shows up with this yarn,

Photo from Tanis Fiber Arts

and this sock pattern from Glenna C,

Photo from Tanis Fiber Arts and Glenna C

and I was smitten, however, before I tore back the fantastic Purple Label yarn (MCN – Merino Cashmere Nylon) trying to make these socks, I needed to do a test run and make sure I had this sock thing down before I used the magic yarn.

I am not one to not use nice yarn, I love using beautiful and special yarn for beautiful and special projects, like Dream in Color Starry for Clapotis or tosh DK for my Hawthorne Shawl or Honey Cowl or Snapdragon Tam. But I didn’t want to resent the yarn when I couldn’t get gauge or when I couldn’t turn the heel.

Around the time this parcel showed up, I was working on my Oak Ridges Moraine Tote and deciding that I needed to order another ball of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes to finish up the bag.  At the same time the 2011 Felici colors were released.  For those who are not familiar, KnitPicks does a limited run of self-striping sock yarns (Fingering and Sport).  These yarns come out in spring and are not repeated, although the Rainbow that was released in 2010 was such a hit that there was something similar, but not identical in 2011.

So in order to fill up my KnitPicks cart with something other than a $1.99 ball of white Peruvian wool (which is fantastic for felting/fulling) I tossed in a couple of balls of Felici Sport in Groovy.

Photo from KnitPicks

My first introduction to Felici (and KnitPicks) was from my friend the Knitting Ninja and her Timey-Wimey Socks made from the Jaywalker Sock Pattern by Grumperina and in the Time Traveller colorway of Felici Fingering.

So I embark on a new adventure in my knitting, trying something new and scary.

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FO: Endpaper Mitts

There are quite a few knitting patterns out there, like the February Lady Sweater, Clapotis, Monkey  & Jaywalker Socks that have been made by so many Ravelers, that they feel like a must-knit. The Endpaper Mitts were for me one of those uber-popular patterns that I needed to try myself. I have found myself with a terrifyingly large stash of KnitPicks Palette yarn, a fingering weight two-ply peruvian wool yarn that comes in 100 colors. As it comes in many colors and is not the softest wool ever milled (as I learned from my Chevalier Mitts, it wears well and felts like a champ) it is ideal for colorwork.   To me, and the 762 other people who have done the same, Palette seemed the ideal yarn for the project.

So I started swatching, and swatching and swatching.  So either I am the tightest knitter than ever lived or something was different about my swatch, because I ended up using US 6 (4mm) needles for the body and US 2 .5 (3mm) needles for the ribbing.  That is a full millimeter difference between my needles and recommended needles.  Either way, it means I will never have to buy needles of the multiple 0 varieties (ie. 00, 000, 0000).

Project Name: Endpaper Mitts

Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in Merlot Heather and Cream

Modifications:

  • Used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-On and Bind-Off instead of the Italian Tubular method.

New Skills:

  • This was only my second go at stranded colorwork, so it still feels like a new skill.

Feedback: This is such a classic pattern, and I know that it is on an archived website, but for something that is so popular it would be easier to read.

Re-Knit?: Probably, as I have lots of Palette, but I will use one of the other charts that have been designed for the pattern.

FO: Dishcloths for Grannie

Six of the Ten Cloths

I was over at my grandparent’s house back in January and while my grandparents and parents played bridge I did the dishes.  I found the dishcloths to be in a sorry state (faded and stretched out). In order to start repaying all the kindness (and meals) my grandparents have given me, I decided to make them more dishcloths.

I got Bernat cotton from Wally-World, a big ball o’ cotton yarn, and managed to get 10 full cloths out of the 340g ball. Well, there was about 5 yards of yarn left.

Project Name: Dishcloths for Grannie

Pattern: Traditional, first knitting pattern I learned

Recipient: Grannie

Yarn: Bernat Handicrafters Cotton Naturals (340g) in Earth Ombre

Modifications:

  • Made each of them 50 stitches at the widest point
  • Added a crocheted loop made out of tail yarn

New Skills:

  • Not a one, this pattern was the first one I ever made, and the only thing I knit for the first year or so.

Feedback: Solid pattern, and the yarn pooled really nicely

Re-Knit?: Probably, it is a great project to just have on the go and to do when doing trail pass checks.

On Cake and Birthdays

My latest finished object is not fiber related, but rather a birthday cake for my sister the fantastic Carla Bee (of Carla Bee Creations, check out her blog, it is awesome).

Happy Birthday Carla

It was a Coconut Lime Curd Cake, and it was awesome.  While my 7-minute frosting was a bit more spackel than frosting, but a little extra lime juice and water (and a good spatula) made everything better and spreadable. The lime curd is totally awesome, I really just wanted to eat it with a spoon.

The recipe is from the Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl, our go to book for fancy desserts.  As with all the cakes in the books is very hands-on and time consuming, but very, very tasty (and uses a ridiculous number of sugar, eggs and butter).

So, happy birthday little sister, I love you.

P.S. Sorry about the pictures, it was quite the overcast day and everyone wanted to eat the cake.