Previously on …

So I’ve been having a wild and crazy month, and after enjoying/squandering my day watching the new Arrested Development I feel the need to do a bit of a recap on my life for you folks.

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L to R: Sudden Valley, Rita, Hey Brother, Caged Wisdom

So after learning about Nancy passing away I went on a bit of a yarn binge and bought a whole bunch of the Arrested Development themed sock yarn from Cakewalk Yarns.  She was having a sale and I was having a rough day and I ended up placing an order.

I also placed an order with Tanis (of Tanis Fiber Arts) and got more yarn. And the May club shipment showed up as well, but Carla and I did a swap so that each of us could make a large shawl out of the club skeins.

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But I did finish a pair of socks, this pair is from the TFA Year in Colour Club shipment.  The color and the pattern were named Patina.  The color is exclusive to the club but the pattern will go on sale sometime next year.

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Meet my new wheel, Claudia. She is named for Lady Bird Johnson, who was actually named Claudia and founded the Wildflower Center in Austin where I worked and does amazing work. She was a neat lady and it seemed a good a name as any.

I also have a new addition to the family.  I had a Monday off a couple of weeks ago and I made the drive to Gemini Fibres to try out different wheels and figure out which one I wanted.  Instead of waiting, I decided to take home my new wheel, a Schacht Ladybug.  I strongly considered the Lendrum Double Treadle wheel, but the Ladybug really was the best fit.

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We are already making beautiful yarn together.

 

I’ve also cast on for a new pair of socks, but my knitting mojo is totally bleh right now.  Which is very unfortunate because I have some serious knitting to get done.

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I’m looking forward to knitting and wearing these socks, the pattern is Harvest Dew by Rose Hiver and the yarn is Muskoka Sunset from Blueberry Pie Studio.

On top of that knitting I have a wedding shawl to knit for my sister and a shawl for me to wear at her wedding.  I had cast on several weeks ago with the beautiful gold yarn she had ordered from Sweet Georgia Yarns, but I couldn’t make myself knit it.  However, my reticence was a good thing, because after some serious wedding planning with Carla and our mom last weekend we realized that it would be better for me to knit a pi shawl out of a cream colored yarn to be used as a veil rather than a shawl. The pattern I’m using is Heliotaxis Pi Shawl by Renata Brenner and the yarn is an undyed silk from Handmaiden Yarns that Carla bought on her trip down east last summer. I ordered a second skein so that it will be a full sized pi that can be used for future big events, like babies.

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Another big thing going on is that I’m now a proud owner of two boat shuttles, because I’m borrowing one of the Trillium Handspinners and Weavers Guild Dorothy table looms for a workshop with Jette Vandermeiden in June.  The guild had the  loom but not shuttles, but now I’m worried I’m going to enjoy multi-shaft weaving a bit too much and want a table or floor loom.  Also, the guild has a brand spanking new website, www.trilliumguild.com, which I created.  It’s still a work in progress, but this is a big step forward.

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The biggest thing going on, and a likely cause for my lack of crafting mojo, is that I’m moving on June 1st.  I found an apartment in Downtown Bracebridge, within walking distance of work with a balcony that faces the Muskoka River.  I’m currently in the process of packing all my things and getting ready to go.  But living in the mess I’ve created is really impacting my mental health.  The new spot is amazing.  It doesn’t have nearly as fancy floors but it has closets and cupboards that close and I can store my yarn in a far more useful and attractive way. I can’t wait to get moved into my new place and get my life back to normal again.

So, today was a great day of packing, Arrested Development and an impromptu visit from Carla and Jim (which included lunch at the Old Station, a peek at my new office and a trip to the Muskoka Brewery’s new location). I’m hoping this week goes quickly because I wanna get moved and get out of the mess I’ve made for myself in my apartment.

 

 

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Two weeks, three pairs

After not finishing a pair of socks for me since last August (during the Ravellenic Games) I finished up two pairs of socks for me and a pair for my sister Carla.

I love making socks, but it took a little kick in the pants to finally get back into the swing of things. I find them the perfect project.  They are small projects (meaning they are quick to finish when I actually work on them), but they can be intricately detailed (but they are knit in the round so all knits), and they eventually wear out which means you can keep making more.  I’m finding I’m reaching critical mass of scarves, shawls and stoles, they spend far too much time in a chest by the door and I forget to wear them.

So I’ve already cast on for my next two pairs, because I really need to alway have a pair on the go.

My latest pair of socks, Patina Socks from the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club.

My latest pair of socks, Patina Socks from the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club.

It’s still wool season here …

Happy First Day of Spring from Muskoka

Spring in Muskoka

Considering the lack of spring like weather I will have to console myself with more winter sock knitting, (Business Casual by Tanis Lavallee and the yarn is one of her OOAK yarns in Blue Label).

Business Casual Socks

And colorful new yarn from a new-ish Canadian indie dyer, Blueberry Pie Studio in Toronto.  The colorway is called Muskoka Sunset, and while I’m usually wary of multis the name and vibrancy of this colorway made it a mid-winter pick-me-up.

Muskoka Sunset

Hopefully soon we will be getting some actual Muskoka sunsets, on days like today its hard to remember what summer looks like, but summer will come back and we will get those sunsets that inspired the vibrant colorway.

Just Another Saturday

Eggs, spinach, tea, socks and Instagram, breakfast of champions.

This week has been a big one for me, I’ve been working on my first real attempt to lose weight and increase my fitness/health level in many years.  However, that has meant I haven’t had a whole lot of time for fiber crafting this week. Today, however I decided to make knitting (and getting caught up on my dishes) the priority today.

I’ve had the Felici Sport socks that you see in the top photo on the needle since the beginning of October and they are starting to annoy me.  By lunchtime I had turned both short-row heels and now I’m working my way up the legs. I’m hoping to have them done before the end of the weekend.

I’m really quite excited to get these socks done.  Mostly because I want to wear them, but also because there is no way I’m going to make my goal of 15 pairs of socks this year if I don’t finish a pair soon.  I haven’t finished a pair yet this year, and working on the pair today I’m wondering why.  I LOVE knitting socks, I get real satisfaction from knitting socks and living in Ontario there is rarely a time when you can’t wear socks (even in July and August you might need to wear socks to bed).  Also, they wear out and get lost, which means that you can keep making them forever (and even if you have too many of them, they really don’t take up much space in your drawer).

So, overall it’s been a delightful Saturday and I still have a few more hours of knitting, and watching old episodes of Psych, ahead of me yet.

FO: Quiltatomus Socks

Pomatomus Socks

So back in the spring I acquired some fabric, with the noble intetion of learning to quilt, however as time passed (and I got my loom) it came clear that I was probably not going to quilt it.  Carla on the other hand had bought some sock yarn for socks and she was also convinced she was never going to actually make socks.  So, we swapped, I gave her two quilts worth of fabric and she gave me two skeins of sock yarns and we set deadlines, the simple quilt and these socks in October and the second set for Christmas. We made the first deadline but holiday commitments have us from finishing the other.

This pair also was a milestone, it was my 12th pair of socks for the year, meeting my Year of Socks goal for 2012.

– Details –

Project Name: Quiltatomus

Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A in Knitty, Winter 2005.

Recipient: Carla

Yarn: Sweet Georgia Yarns in Tough Love Sock in Big Blue Wave (an exclusive club colorway)

Modifications: Shortened the leg by a repeat, similar to the pair I made in January.

New Skills: Nope, but I do love this pattern.

Feedback: I like the stitch pattern, and Tough Love Sock is a great sock yarn.

Re-Knit?: Nope, twice is my limit, but I have a pair of mitts in my queue that utilizes the stitch pattern from these socks, which is really quite fun to knit.

FO: Tower Hill Birthday Socks

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So, I love my mom.  And after last year’s disastrous pair of socks (which didn’t fit right and hurt her feet) I wanted to make it up for her.

So I made her a pair of stripey socks, because everyone needs stripey socks, no matter how old, or young they are.

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But, not only that, they were custom made for her.  I’m trying to design the perfect sock pattern for me, so this was a chance to try out the pattern I have been designing in Felici Sport as seen in my Kingpurse and Sunny Being a Kid socks.

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So, turns out I was able to solve all the problem, the bottoms are comfy, the legs are long enough and they are a fun, stripey pattern.

Happy Birthday Mom (back on October 12th), I might have been 7 days late out of the womb, and this post might be 2 months late, but I got your socks made in time this year!

– Details –

Project Name: Tower Hill Birthday Socks

Pattern: Mine!

Recipient: MummyAnne – my superawesome Mom

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici in Botany

Modifications:

  • Pattern is still in development, that way they are design features not mods.

New Skills:

  • Stockinette Short-Row Heel

Feedback:

  • Yarn: Felici is nice, but it is probably more of a light fingering than a standard fingering. I find myself preferring Felici Sport to Felici Fingering.
  • Pattern: It’s still not perfect. but I’m getting close to my perfect plain sock pattern.

Re-Knit?: Yes, becuase I will get my perfect plain sock, and Felici is my preferred plain sock yarn so I will be knitting these again, and again, and again.

WIP Wednesday: October 31st

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Sorry about the poor quality of WIP Wednesday photos, it is really dark here in the morning.

Last week, I had a few more projects on the needles, but I finished the Pomatomus socks and I decided to hibernate my crocheted stole in preparation for KAL Chaos.

This leaves (from left to right):

  •  Thyme – I have made it through the main body and first lace repeat, just three more and a knitted on edge
  • Hello Sweetie – This is going to be my purse project for the next little while, these should be quick but they just haven’t been at the top of the to do list.
  • Too Cool for My Socks – Finally got the toes knit on these, but they are going into hibernation until I finish my TFA KAL socks and Hello Sweetie.  I would like to have them finished by the end of the year.
  • Rockberry Triangle – Through the 3 charts, but really only one section (stitch pattern). As a worsted weight shawl, it really shouldn’t be that much longer. I’m not hibernating it, but maybe lowering it down the list.

So, tomorrow I will be casting on for the TFA KAL projects and then not long after I will be starting the other KAL projects.

 

FO: Kingpurse Sock

Editors Note: Here we go again, I have another batch of FOs to share, these ones start in mid-August and run through mid-October.  I went on a bit of a knitting hiatus in mid-September for some unknown reason, but I am back with a vengeance.

So Kingpurse, has to be the best fitting, most comfortable pair of frankensocks I have made yet. Rather than frankensocks I need to think of them as superband socks, putting together all my favorite sock elements into a single sock. The toe, which uses an shallower toe by spacing the increases differently, the y-shaped garter stitch heel that takes up 60% of the body of the sock, the 3×1 ribbed leg that fits so nicely.

Also, I LOVE the way the stripes worked up on this pair.  Rather than my usual plan of just starting the socks and letting them stripe differently, I tried to make this pair match, however I didn’t notice that the stripes were uneven and the orange ones appeared at a different interval, so when I started knitting all was well and when I got to the first stripe they were the same width by different colors, and I just went with it.  I love the way they are the same but different, kind of like me!

The only thing I don’t like about this sock is the bind-off, I tried a doubled bind off (where you knit one, slip back, then K2tog tbl, and repeat).  It turned out much to sloppy and loose, so I will be going back to Jenny’s Super Stretchy Bind Off.

I think with this I have perfected the sock recipe, I need to put it to further test. I tried it on fingering weight yarn, but I found that with the looser gauge the heel looked funny, so I may just release it as a sport weight pattern, or try to get the gauge on Felici fingering down to what I use for Felici sport.

– Details –

Project Name: Kingpurse Socks

Pattern: My own design

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici Sport

Modifications:

  • Did my “doubled” short row heel, that increases the amount of space in the heel without loosening the ankle
  • I didn’t do Jeny’s Super Stretchy Bind Off, and I regretted it, I will be going back to that for the next pair.

New Skills:

  • I’m still refining the design, so I’m still learning about designing.

Feedback:

  • Really getting things going on this yarn and design, but I’m still not done yet.

Re-Knit?: Already have my next pair on the go.