FO: Sleep Tech Dressy

Sleep Tech 2

I had been holding this post back in hopes of getting better pictures of the socks, but now I’m back in Bracebridge and the socks have already been worn several times, so we go forward with the pictures I was able to take in my dark apartment.

For me knitting fits well into the old adage “if I like you, I’ll do it for free and if I don’t, not for all the money in the world”.  So giving Jim, Carla’s boyfriend of about 6ish months, a pair of socks for Christmas shows that I’m happy he is dating my sister.

This was another project I completed during the November TFA KAL along with the Winter Bloom and Moonset shawls. And these make 13th pair of socks for the year, which is quite impressive if I say so myself.

Christmas Miracle Yarn

Now, these socks were half of a “Gift of the Magi” like scenario.  I gave these socks to Jim made from an exclusive OOAK Tanis club color way and Jim got me a skein of TFA Blue Label in Cranberry.  If you are a TFA fan and wondering why you aren’t familiar with Cranberry, thats because it was the November 2011 club skein.  I used it this spring to make Staked, however, after many months I had to admit I had made them way too small and gave them to Carla.

Staked Socks

 But I loved the skein and wished I could get another, but I know they are few and far between and I didn’t want to make the effort to hunt down a skein.  However, Jim (and Carla by proxy) was able to get a skein from Tanis.  I’m not sure where she conjured it up from, but she helped make for a very special Christmas surprise for me.

I know Jim likes his socks and I hope that it is the first of many pairs I make for him, as he seems to be a really great guy and he seems to make my sister happy, which in turn makes me happy.

– Details –

Project Name: Sleep Tech Dressy

Pattern: Business Casual Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Recipient: Jim

Yarn: TFA Blue Label in Truffle (January 2012 Year in Colour Club)

Modifications:

  • One less leg repeat, which is good because I would have run out of yarn

New Skills:

  • None, I’m really starting to get a handle on sock knitting

Feedback:

  • Yarn – Blue Label is fast becoming my favorite sock yarn, and was perfect for this pattern and recipient.
  • Pattern – Clean and simple.  I am getting to a point with socks where I use the designers pattern as a jumping off point that I can tinker with to make them fit well.

Re-Knit?: Just maybe, because the choices for man socks are few and far between and this is a nice pair.

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FO: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Isn’t it amazing when a pattern and yarn comes together in a perfect storm of knitting perfection.  For me the combination of a sock designed with a vampire slayer in mind and a yarn that is delightfully bloody in color (if not in name) was just perfect.

It does seem fitting that I use one of the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Color club yarns with a Glenna C. pattern to make socks, as it was the March 2011 shipment of the club that inspired me to finally make socks.  When the Marching On Socks, which paired Glenna C.’s fun bobble-y sock pattern with TFA Purple Label in a color that is perfectly named Clover arrived I realized that socks weren’t lame (and so ridiculous as SmartWool socks were the best thing going), but rather totally awesome little canvasses to try out amazing stitch patterns and to wear art every day.  I remember reading Glenna’s blog post over a year ago where she talked about how her sock drawer was filled with handknit socks and how happy it made her, and I thought, how silly why would anyone want handknit socks when you could have a drawer full of SmartWool socks.

Now I know why.  And I look forward to wearing my handknit socks every week, and at the rate I am going I will be replacing a good number of my SmartWools with handknit socks, which is very exciting.

– Details –

Project Name: Cranberry Juice Does a Slayer Good

Pattern: Staked by Glenna C. for the Indigodragonfly: Smart-Ass Knitters/World Domination 1 Skein Club

Recipient: Me

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Cranberry (YIC November 2011)

Modifications:

  • Shortened the leg, my calves are really quite large and I would rather err on the side of too short rather than too tall (and not able to stay up)

New Skills:

  • One at a time Socks – And I need to get a second set of needles so I can at least work on them in parallel, getting one done and then having to start the second so didn’t work for me.
  • Cable without cable needle – Not the first time for this skill but this one really solidified the skill for me.  My fave tutorial is Glenna’s which you can check out here.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As always TFA Blue Label is TFA Blue Label, a good yarn in a great color.  No pooling and a touch of attractive striping that doesn’t distract from the knitting.
  • Pattern: A great pattern, there is a bit of a hiccup in the size L left foot chart but if you follow your gut (decreasing on the inside and increasing on the outside) everything works out exactly as it did for the right foot. I understand there are new charts in the works, so don’t be discouraged, just patient.  I appreciated that Glenna had done a proper set of charts for each size (rather than greying out stitches to knit or not depending on size) and the full page of stitch info (including on how to cable without a cable needle).  The file was quite a few pages but they all seemed useful.  Also she made it for both Magic Loop/2 Circ knitters as well as DPN knitter, the best of both worlds.

Re-Knit?:  Probably not, so many socks so little time.  When they wear out and I have gone through my queue they may pop up again.

FO: Shadow Buttons Cowl

While both my sister and I are knitters, rarely do our queued projects. However, we both fell in love with the Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavallee (yes the Tanis of TFA) and thanks to having very different aesthtics we came out with very different looking cowls.  I don’t think she has managed to get any pictures of her’s yet, but it is a fantastic pink (Royal Flush) with black leather-y buttons, and totally full of win!

While her’s is full of energy and drama, mine is more calm and serene.  Shadow is an amazing color, and looks beautiful with all the activity (cables and bobbles) in the pattern.

I do have to give a shout out to my mom, who put the buttons on the cowl for me.  I am not much of a seamstress (which to me is a different skill than just sewing) and when I asked for the tools to put the buttons on she offered to do it for me, and I was happy to accept.

– Details –

Project Name: Shadow Buttons Cowl

Pattern: Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavallee for Tanis Fiber Arts

Recipient: Me

Yarn: TFA Green Label in Shadow

Modifications:  None – done as is, and I even used the yarn the pattern called for, which may be a first!

New Skills:

  • Button Holes – Technically I have done buttonholes before, but it has been a while and I think I have a better hang of it this time.
  • Bobbles – While I have done nupps a few times now this is my first time with bobbles.  I must say the extra row of stitches (and the fact you aren’t doing p7tog) make bobbles more fun than nupps.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As I said with the earband, Tanis has amazing colors, but the Green Label isn’t my favorite, it is just a bit too twisty and hard, but those attributes made it the right yarn for this pattern.
  • Pattern:  A great finished product but I did find the pattern a touch confusing, my interpretation T2L/T2R twisted stitch resulted in some trouble until I found a Knitting Daily link.  Also the explanation of the button location seemed needlessly complex.  I think just a bit of tech editing would make a world of difference as of the three members of the guild who have made it this month, all three of us had troubles on the T2L/T2R stitches and two of us has some troubles on the buttonhole placement.

Re-Knit?: Nope, too many cowls not enough time!  But I would recommend it to others as a great single skein project.

On TFA and KAL

Top L to Bottom R - Olive, Shadow, Aquarium and Frost

So way back on December 1st (hey, it feels like a long time ago) Julie (knittedblissJC) announced a knitalong (henceforth known as a KAL) starting on January 1st using Tanis Fiber Arts yarns.  I have stashed away a year’s worth of the Year in Colour club and a skein of Green Label in Shadow I picked up at Stix and Stones in North Bay and the leftovers from the mittens I made my Dad for Christmas.  I also have some Red Label that Carla got me for my birthday, but I am saving that till after the KAL so I can savor the experience.

So, starting yesterday morning I will be working on nothing but projects in TFA yarns till the Feb 1 cast off deadline. They are as follows …

  1. Tabata Ear Band by Anne Hanson of Knitspot in the leftover Green Label Olive for my Dad
  2. Buttons Cowl by Tanis Lavalle of Tanis Fiber Arts in the Green Label Shadow
  3. Itasca Shawl by Tanis Gray for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Frost (the club yarn)
  4. Aquarium Socks by Patti Waters for the Year in Colour Club in Blue Label Aquarium (the club yarn)

I have no idea if I will get this all done, but the two green label projects are quickies and all of them will fit in my purse so there is hope!

FO: Second Try Mittens

So, I have tried this mitten pattern before, it didn’t work so well.  However, I found a new pattern for the yarn, and figured out why that yarn didn’t work, so I decided it was time to work the right pattern in the right yarn.

The pattern was a great break after working on fingering weight yarn and tiny needles.  The knitting went really quickly, and I managed to knit the thumbs during a conference call.

I am excited to wear these this fall, they are a bit too loose of a gauge to work in the dead of an Ontario winter, but they will be warm and wooly (thanks to the alpaca, non-felty) through the fall.

Project Name: Second Try Mittens

Pattern: Shelburne by Lee Juvan from Knitty, Winter 2011

Recipient: Me!

Yarn:  Rowan Felted Tweed Chunky in Seaweed

Modifications:

  • Knit two at a time, cuff down.

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback: The pattern works much better when you think about the type of yarn.  Like most Knitty patterns it is a good pattern, however it is annoying to have to transcribe the patterns into a word processor to be able to get it on a minimal number of pages.

Re-Knit?: Probably not, unless my mom actually steals them, as she has been threatening.

FO: Double Helix Socks

So after the rollicking and stripey success of my first pair of socks, I decided I needed a second pair. I went through a few options but the gauge I was getting from the KnitPicks Stroll Tonal I had on hand the Helix Socks were just right on sizing.

These ones did take me the better part of the month, mostly because I didn’t get along very well the cable pattern, and while I did persevere, my sister, the brilliant Carla Bee, reminded me that knitting is supposed to be fun, and since the socks were tall enough I should just be finished with them.

 

Project Name: Double Helix Socks

Pattern: Helix by Melissa Morgan-Oakes from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks.

Recipient: Me, I love my socks!

Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Gypsy.

Modifications:

  • Shortened the cuff, because the cable pattern was making me crazy.

New Skills:

  • Picot Edging – Not a huge fan, mostly because it sticks out twice as wide as the rest of the sock.

Feedback: Solid pattern, the writing for all the “Two-at-a-Time” patterns work great, this one is no exception.

Re-Knit?: Nope, I didn’t like knitting the stitch pattern, however I will probably make at least one more pair out of the book.