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WIP Wed- err, Saturday- socks edition

I now have a truely ridiculous number of socks on the go now- 5 pairs. Aren’t I sensible??? (Don’t answer that). Rather than cover them all separately, I thought I’d dump them in as one entity on the blog. So, in no particular order:

1)Project bird socks. I’ve since finished the first one. I found a fairly annoying mistake in the pattern (note to self: always look up the errata on books before you start…), which will be corrected in the next sock. (These socks don’t even see the outside of the house until they’re done…no travelling)

2) Tiptoe through the tulips. These really haven’t progressed that much since you last saw them- they live at work so I work on them for precisely one lunch break a week (and of course I also eat my lunch in that hour so…) I also haven’t been working on them over the Easter break so…*shrugs* They’ll get done eventually. (These socks don’t travel). These *might* get swapped with the other waffle stitch socks I have started, I don’t think I want to do the heels at work…

 

3)Easy with-a-pattern socks. These weren’t really introduced properly- I got this yarn as a Christmas present from an ex-housemate. We meet up twice a year to buy Christmas/house birthday gifts for each other. I suggested sock yarn so I could make ‘tea socks’. We’re both incredibly British and so drink lots of tea. The pattern is called ‘Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.’, so it’s incredibly apt. I’m changing elements, but these are basically my 2017 Christmas socks. Hopefully they’ll be done by the end of May, when the housemate comes to visit for the house birthday gifts! (These socks travel)

4) Easy no pattern socks. More waffle stitch goodness, for when I’m travelling but don’t want a pattern. Lovely travelling socks 🙂 I should’ve remembered to put a spare ball of yarn in the bag for the afterthought heel, but I made do with the other end of the ball of yarn. Hopefully I’ll see the scrap yarn alright when it comes to take it out…

5) Socks for a friend. These are going to be sinple 4 rows 2 rows alternating colours. I had to get this yarn speciailly- she’s a vegan and therefore I had to get some acrylic yarn. It’s fun using this- it feels quite a lot like cotton, but has more stretchiness. My gauge doesn’t appear to have changed, whch is always a bonus! The plan for this yarn (because I could only get 50g of two different colours…) is to do 4-2 stripes, with the toe, heel and cuffs in the smaller colour. It doesn’t look all that appealing at the moment, but I’m hoping it’ll come together better when I’ve knitted more (pic done just after I started striping, so it doesn’t look the same now :P)

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Update of all the things!

Naturally, the only thing to do upon finishing two things is immediately start more things! Three to be precise.

 

Firstly: more socks. See, I didn’t have a portable project, since my mother’s socks require two balls of yarn and a book for the charts. Therefore, I needed a new pair of socks, preferably ones with a basic or non-existent pattern. These socks fitted the bill, and I had a great time starting them (I’ve modified the pattern somewhat):

Secondly: my handspun stripy colourwork scarf. I decided it was time to start. And now I’ve done a bit, I need to start over, I want 27 stitches (25 for the colourwork patterns, 1 stitch either end), and I’m also thinking that I don’t want to pair the blue with the yellow… I’m also thinking that my handspun is wayyyyyy too overspun/plied, but I can’t exactly frog and respin yarn…

Thirdly (and most impressively): new cross stitch. After I finished the wolf, naturally I had to make a start on the next cross stitch on my to-do list. This currently has…not an insignificant number of hours in it. I’m currently in the ‘ooh, new start, fun’ mentality of it, and it’s lovely to stitch whilst ‘watching’ the commonwealth games, so it’s getting a lot of attention at the moment.

This new start will eventually become this:

 

As well as all this, I also finish-finished the wolf cross stitch. After two failed hunts, I found the perfect frame in TK Maxx! So yay me!

FO Friday- double edition

Yes, that’s right everyone, two new shiny finished things to show off 🙂 I am clearly very productive over holidays!

Firstly: the pillowcase. Technically this isn’t yet finish-finished, but eh. The knitting is all done, so I’m unilaterally deciding it counts.

Now it’s done, I’m going to take a break from scrappy knitting (at least, knitting with my sock scraps. I’m still working on the other scrappy project, because that’s not really scrappy.) I need to build up my scrap collection again before I do myself a pillowcase. In mitred squares. But in a while. 🙂

And my second finish: the wolf!!!!!!

I am soooooooo glad this is finally finished! In the end, I raced to the end- there is a lot of backstitching in the bottom left corner, and I did a ‘will I finish or throw it accross the room and ignore it for three months’. Luckily, I finished first. I’m completely ignoring the mistake I made with the wolf whiskers- they’re supposed to be done in a different colour, but I can’t tell the difference between thin blue and thick blue lines, and I’m not fixing it now. Now to find a frame for it- it’s 6 by 8 inches so I should be able to find a suitable photo frame for it. Now, onto the next cross stitch project 😀

WIP Wednesday- blanket edition

So I wasn’t going to write about this blanket again for a while, but I kinda sorta accidentally (not really) finished the two things I did think I could talk about, so this blanket it is 🙂

According to ravelry I started this in November, which is slightly problematic since the yarn was (supposed to be) an advent calender to myself…oops. Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter since I haven’t yet finished the yarn I got (but have ordered quite a bit more ot carry on, since I have nearly finished it).

Isn’t it pretty???? I would say that I dislike following the crowd, and this blanet is no exception. Most people do mitred squares sock yarn blankets, my first one was hexagons. The second (the pillowcase) and third (this one) are using the ‘traditional’ mitred squares, but with different construction (corner out for the pillowcase, and middle out for this one). I also stick the decreases on the wrong side rows beause I dislike the ridge they form. The other side looks so much prettier in my mind 🙂 This is the back of it:

Well, that’s all from me for now. New post on Friday, since I have shiny finished things to show off 😀

SO Sunday- double edition

Two things to talk about today! Aren’t you all lucky 😉

 

Firstly: new socks! This weekend is 4 days due to all the bank holidays we have floating around! And how better to spend it than b starting a pair of green Spring socks? (Other than working, but I couldn’t do that thanks to my building being shut 😦 ). So, new socks! I am particularly impressed with how the ribbing ended up being framed in the way it was- I was willing to do a complete new colour in order to do it, but it turned out that two colours being framed like this results in 1 inch perfectly 😀

And the pattern is just flying off the needles. The thing I am most excited about project bird socks is pushing me so far out of my comfort zone. I’ve borrowed a number of sock books from someone in my spinning group, and I chose patterns as best I could based on what traits in the yarn I wanted to display (so Spring colours for this green), without looking at how the sock is constructed. I’m looking forward(ish) to doing new things I haven’t done before (or maybe only done once or twice, and then ignored). Here’s to learning new things!

 

The second thing is also about learning new things, or at least experimenting. For my OLAS cardigan (the big cabled thing), I want to put in pockets, but not afterthought ones. Which got me thinking about what has been written about knitted pockets (not much), and what is possible. So now I’m experimenting with different pockets, and will discuss each of them on the blog. (As mentioned in the last blog post, where I mention my monthly goals). And how better to try new things than by killing two birds with one stone, and knitting it left-handed??? (I want to learn proper left-handed, which is different to knitting backwards to avoid purling so I can teach a lefty properly 🙂 More on this at a later date). So here I am knitting essentially a gauge swatch, but will have a trick up its sleeve later, feeling a lot like a beginner again!

FO Friday- March goals edition

Another month gone…where are they going??? So, before I get inot the goals, firstly I want to show off my new finished things.

Socks! Who doesn’t love socks? This pic is of them drying after they’ve been worn for the first time, because I had to wear them straight away!

This pair have afterthought heels, which I really dislike because of the kitchener stitch…

And secondly, another sewn card! (Note: I say another…it’s been quite a while since the last one I did. These are done by punching holes in the card with a large stabby needle, then sewing them in a set pattern with a smaller needle and metallic thread. The companies which produce the cards are form-a-lines (for the A6 size) and…I thought there was a sister company for square cards but I can’t find them again so maybe I imagined it or something…)

This is for a couple I know who are getting married in April. I had to change the pattern slightly so that both hands are holding top hats- in the original design the hand on the right had a handkercheif. I’m very pleased how this came out in the end.

Finally: a bird! This is a generic one done to see how large they are when finished- I think it might be a smidge too large for the planned use, so I’ll have to go down to embroidary thread and *very* small knitting needles (1mm I’m thinking)

So, the March goals I had:

1) Finish my mother’s first pair of socks. Done! The ends are even woven in, that’s how done they are:)

2) Carry on the wolf cross stitch. Done! I hit 75% at the weekend, so go me!

3) Sew the wedding card. Done! See above 🙂

 

4) Get gauge on cockatoo brae. Done! Sleeves are half(ish) done! More up to date picture of sleeves so far:

5) Stick all my sock yarn (not the stuff for project bird socks) on ravelry and find projects for them. Done! See my ravelry account. (Link opens to my stash page filtered to only include yarn with projects associate with it in a new tab). Obviously, this isn’t all my stash, but it’s all my sock yarn here in Bristol. Bonus: I actually also added all my yarn here in Bristol (including my handspun, although I’m not convinced I’ve done that bit correctly…), and found patterns for almost all of it (including my mothers bird socks). This brings me to a total of 28 projects in my queue, of which 26 are socks…

So, next months goals..

  1. Finish the sleeves on cockatoo brae
  2. Carry on with the wolf cross stitch (I’d like to finish but think it unlikely given that this final quarter is more complicated than the last and I only just hit 75%)
  3. Knit up and write a blog post about afterthought pockets. (I want to in the end do a series on different pockets, and I figure that an afterthought one is probably the easiest to start with…)
  4. Knit another pair of the bird socks (or at least get the first one done. I’m planning on doing the socks in their pairs, so this next pair will be cardamon main colour and bluetit cuffs, heels and toes).
  5. Bonus: start knitting something with my handspun… This one is slightly terrifying, because it’s my handspun…But I also know that knitting it will allow me to see what’s going on with the yarn a lot more clearly than just eyeballing it! Bring it on! (I reserve the right to not talk about how bad it is if it’s truely awful…)

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday- 4 ply edition

I have been…rather busy, and I have a lot to tell you about in my end of the month post, which I will attach to a FO Friday post. Which means that I’m going to be talking about other things today, and in particular I will be focussing on 4 ply yarn (aka sock yarn).

But not socks. Well, there is a pair of socks but they’re at work and I’m not, so…

Instead, two things. Thing the first: an update on Kita’s pillowcase. Apparently I haven’t talked about this recently on here, so this has come along quite a lot since the last time you all saw it! In fact, it’s nearly finished!!! In fact, the little bit on the top left takes it as high as it needs to go (I think!) I will check when that’s done, but I think it’s just these last two and a bit rows and then sew it together. Very exciting!!!

And the second thing: the sleeves on cockatoo brae. Much less exciting! I have done 11 of the planned 18 increases (I reserve the right to do more if necessary!) *lesigh* The solution to these is to put something on my laptop to watch and just mindlessly knit (with the odd increase round added in!)

Right, that’s all from me for now. Bigger post to come on Friday!

WIP Wednesday- Christmas stockings

As mentioned a while ago, I might end up doing one of my new cross stitch tree decorations as an instant gratification thing in the middle of all my long term projects (socks get worked on so intermittently at the moment they’re long term projects, as weird as that sounds).

So I decided to pull out the stockings and start working on them (conveniently forgetting that cross stitch is slowwwwwwww). One has been finished, and the other has been started (excepting the back stitching, which I’ll do at the end because that uses different numbers of threads and I can’t be bothered to deal with that 😀 )

It’s been a bit of a learning curve, dealing with prepunched holes in specific places, and keeping track of whether a stitch can go in particular places or not. I’m not sure that this is my favourite medium to cross stitch (ok, I’m fairly certain it’s not), but once in a while it’s fun to do 🙂

Ok, I guess that playtime is over and I should go back to the big projects 😀

Spinning- level up!

So one of the ideas I play around with fairly frequently is that when I reach goals I ‘level’ up in a particular skill (a throw back to my D&D days). And I’m pretty sure that I just levelled up in spinning. Of course, in the beginning it is easy to level up and provides many perks, later on it’s harder and the perks are less noticeable.

Anyway, last spinning session I naturally moved from park and draft (where you stop the spindle every time you want to draft (that’s pull the figre out into the thickness you want it in the end)) to drafting while the spindle is still spinning. This makes spinning much faster (no pauses and excuses to stop, ), but also really necessites standing up (if possible). The standing up means that you have to stop much less to wind the new yarn onto the spindle, as you can have more yarn before the spindle reaches the ground if you’re standing.

The other effect of spinning like this is that I’m a lot more consistant. No more suddenly thin bits, which has the (slightly awkward) effect of reducing my yardage…which makes perfect sense but I hadn’t really thought of it before. At the moment I’m not that fussed, except for the possibility of left-over yarn and the fact that I really want to be consistant for the colourwork scarf I have planned. But I am also going to borrow the mittens and hat pattern first, so that might use up all my beginner attempts. We shall see 😀

Now, onto a discussion of the new yarn. While spinning it, it felt like it was spun a lot tighter than previously (which is a good thing given how loosely spun my first attempts were. Looking at it post-bath (and I still can’t photograph new yarn well- any tips???) I really like how tightly it’s spun and plied- it could maybe do with being slightly thinner, but really only a touch thinner, I really almost like it’s current weight.

Spinning- what I’ve learnt so far

Spinning has been rather an interesting thing to learn again second time around. Using a drop spindle, along with the park and draft method, has definitely helped. It also probably helped that I have a planned use for the yarn I make. Actually, I have two plans; I’ll talk about them later.

Firstly, I made the white yarn. Then the bright blue, and now I’m working on the darker blue. The light blue is (I think) rather underspun, so I’m concentrating on spinning and plying the darker blue a lot more, and I think it is making a difference 🙂 Any tips (including telling me I’m doing it wildly wrong) will be gratefully appreciated (and then probably researched because I’m like that!) (Unfortunately no close ups of my yarn because my phone is refusing to focus close up and I can’t find my camera, which may or may not be capable of such a feat. IRL the light blue is greener than portrayed, and the dark blue is…well…dark blue rather than black)

Since I don’t have a niddy noddy I’ve been skeining it up on my arm, which is a grand total of 30 inches around (very nice and round for working out total yardage!). Just count the number of loops(IDK the right term???), multiple by 30 inches then divide by 36 to get yardage (or just multiply by 5/6). The important thing to note here is that the yardage I’ll get is less than the number of loops. Which I didn’t realise at the time, so the yardage I had previous announced as spinning is rather inaccurate…*whistles innocently*. So, trying this again:

-White yarn. 34 loops(wraps maybe???)=28.33 yards

-Light blue yarn. 35+29=64 wraps= 53.33 yards

-Dark blue yarn. 27 wraps=22.5 yards

*lesigh* Much worse than I had thought. Oh well, I’ll have fun knitting with it :). Just to flarify- this isn’t wildly different yardage for the same weight of fluff. The white is 18g of*something*, the light blue is 25g of merino and the dark blue is about 12.5g of merino. I bought a mix bag of merino from world of wool. Lovely stuff, must acquire some more 😀 (On a side note, this is why my spinning yardage has suddenly dropped if anyone is actually reading that 😉 )

So, onto my plans for the yarn! Originally I planned to make a stripy colourwork scarf, so bands of colourwork in different pairs of colours and different patterns. But then I remembered that I was originally going to buy the Peerie Flooers pattern and make that (probably two- one for me and one for my mum). Decisions decisions…I mean, I guess there’s no reason why I can’t do both (other than the speed at which I spin…) The scarf I’m thinking of will look something like this:

just in double knitting rather than in the round because yardage…I’m thinking that the hat first- it should give me an idea as to how far my handspun will stretch, or whether I’ll need more than 25g of each colour (I mean, probably, even if 25g of two colours can do a complete band on the scarf!)

 

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