Post-Christmas Rest

In the crazy haze was that Christmas knitting, I received my YarnBox and didn’t report on it. I know, you’re all totally disappointed and fully missed my careless rambling of all thing yarn related. But this month was hectic! Between furiously knitting for relatives and friends, our weather was up and down. It was stressful. But thankfully, that’s over and we can get back to our regularly scheduled rambling.

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Please ignore the lack of ironing. It’s fashion.

This month’s yarn box was fairly unique. Instead of a single skein from a seller, we received three 50g mini-skeins (that coincide with the striped sock pattern) in Louet’s GEMS line in varying shades of coolness. Four palettes of soothing, complimentary colors were sent out for December along with some extra goodies. We received a small sample pack of Crows Nest Wool’s stitch markers which are pretty cute.

While I tried to branch out more on my usual color schemes, I’m not too sure it worked out in my favor. I changed my preferred color to yellow (I know, totally out of the box), with my least preferred still being pink. I’m not entirely sure if YarnBox took that into account this time around as I got the second pinkest option available, with there being a chartreuse color that would’ve fit into my yellow-esque preference. I would say this is probably my lest favorite YarnBox delivery, but only for the pink and cyan. That teal is gorgeous and just as deep in real life. I’ll probably regift the other two or make socks for a relative instead. It’s up in the air, really.

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Photo credit to Tilson on Ravelry.

As for the sock pattern, we received Jessica K. Larson’s Tilson which perfectly show off the mini-skeins with awesome striping effects. I will probably make these, actually, as they’re so cute. Plus, I really need to liven up my vanilla socks.

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Broken Seed Stitch Socks without altering yarns.

Speaking of livening up my socks! I present to you all: my first exciting socks! (Well, that you all know about at least…) They’re a bit big, so I might end up ripping back and starting over, but I think I’m gonna knit the heel first to see how the fit is. (A real heel flap one and everything! Look at me growing!) We’ll see how this turns out and I’ll be getting to posting some of the Christmas presents I made! Woohoo!

Post-Christmas Rest

Socks Again?

After struggling with annoyingly irksome browser issues and a reformatted Add Post box, I am back! Sorta. Tada! We’ll see. I’ve finished exactly zero Christmas projects, but at least I’ve actually started one! Worsted weight socks go quickly, thankfully. That’s something to be proud of right? Anyway, while I’m “patiently” (read: super impatiently) awaiting my Yarnbox delivery, I actually managed to finish a pair of socks! First time in months, really. And still not even my Halloween themed ones… Don’t judge me for taking so long. I blame everyone else.

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Remember when it was high 80’s in November? 

Regardless, I have an awesome finished project to share! Now, if all of you remember way back when, when I lamented about not knowing what to do with my leftover sock yarn. I tried one of the potential solutions: Stashbuster Spirals. These had been suggested to me about a month or two ago, and I finally went for it! Experimentally, of course. I dug out some genetic sock yarn and cast it on! On my new needles even (which I will reveal eventually. I need to make sure I use them fully before I review them).

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Left to right: FX Cascade Colors / FX Cadet Colors / Ragg Shades – Blue, Brown, Marl.

I had these three lonely skeins of Kroy Socks just taking up space in my bookshelf. They were all generally similar in color, so I figured “why not!” If you’ve ever knit socks out of this brand you’ll know that one skein isn’t quite enough for a pair of socks – poor marketing, I know. So, instead, I decided to try the helix method as explained in the pattern. I don’t hate it! It’s a bit tricky to get the tension right at the color switches (especially for me: a tight knitter). But after some practice with it, I think it could really produce some awesome socks as seen in the Monstersock Group on Ravelry (which was my inspiration)! I have a bit more information on my Ravelry projects page including yardage used and stuff like that in case you want to make a matching pair with me! I think I would’ve rather used three of the FX ones instead of the self-striping one, but I’m not too perturbed over it.

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Business casual.

While they came out a bit thicker than I anticipated, I consider them a success! Since they’re washable wool, I want to throw then in the wash to see if that helps even out the stitches. I am torn between casting on another pair of these spirally monsters or working through my stash! Only time will tell! (Probably the latter…)

Socks Again?

An Ever-Growing Stash…

After what feels like a ten-year hiatus, I have returned from the unknown! Despite my previous pseudo seasonal-induced panic, I … still haven’t started any Christmas gifts nor have I completed my Halloween socks. I know! I’m the worst. But at least I have an excuse this time! I’ve been working a lot, I was commissioned to knit a blanket, and I still managed a yarn haul out of the whole ordeal. I actually meant to type this up a few days ago, but I’ve been in a mad dash to finish that pesky blanket, so I’m a bit late. Whoopsie! But the stars have aligned (appreciate this pun later), and I have come to a mini-haul post! Let us begin!

The abundance of floral fabric I own is astounding.

First, I received my latest Yarnbox, and what a treat it was! This month was an homage to the constellations with a shout out to the Plieades. Seven Sisters Arts crafted these gorgeously colored hanks on their Meridian base. The colorway I received was Damselfly, and isn’t it purely amazing? The explosions of colors in the deep, sultry colors fuel such inspiration for the socks that are sure to come out of this yarn. It’s beautiful, and, once again, Yarnbox delivers an great month’s worth of yarn!

Image credit: Cables Party (AKA the most beautifully intricate pattern ever, probably) by Trelly Hernández

This month, Yarnbox has paired up with Trelly Hernández who has produced some superiorly stunning knitting patterns! Her lovely cable work is the center of attention in this month’s sock pattern: Cables Party. Those intricate cables seem so intimidating but paired with that yarn… it’s tempting me to try my hand at it. Especially since my skein looks so similar! Albeit, I’ll have to attempt them after the other two pairs of socks are finished, since I have no self control, it seems.

But seriously, there’s no such thing as too many socks, right?

For the other side of my yarn haul, I took the old-fashion route. I took a trip to my LYS! I had been meaning to go there for months now (as it’s about half an hour away), I finally found some free time. After suffering through some super fun (read: stressful) traffic, I found the store! It was a quaint little boutique, tucked away in a tiny shopping center right under a large overpass. The view from outside didn’t allude to an overly fancy store, and the inside was cozy. It has a surprisingly nice variety of yarn! I spent about an hour or so headfirst in the sock yarn selection and came back with those three beauties!

In order I picked up: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the colorway Cosmos. It’s rich; it’s deep; it’s out of this world. Bad joke? Definitely. But I love it. So gorgeous. The next is Plymouth Yarn’s Happy Feet 100 Splash in a mislabeled hank. The tag says it’s 0104 Autumn, but it’s 100% 0103 Blue Oreo. This yarn is so soft and pretty! I love the coloring of it. And I can’t wait to see what it knits up into! Finally, the last skein is Opal’s Daydream Socks which are just on this side of Christmas colors that I slipped into the holiday mindset and snagged them up. Plus, I wanted another hand at self-striping!

All in all, I had another successful yarn haul! I can’t wait to get my needles back to whipping out socks like nobody’s business!

An Ever-Growing Stash…

A New Hobby!

In a strange twist of events, I’ve set aside my knitting for a while. I know, I know. The one time where I should be experiencing panic-induced crafting, I’ve put it down in favor of other hobby-related adventures. If it’s any consolation, I did print out the chart I needed for the Halloween socks I’m working on (after what was probably an infinity of dead ends). So, what better way to procrastinate holiday gifting than by picking up a new hobby? Indeed, I’ve decided it’s time to work on my spinning! And why not! Maybe I’ll make something wonderful by…next Christmas!

And, again, what better way to start out my spinning career by having absolutely none of the materials necessary! Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I actually had a bag of assorted wool I purchased a while back just storing away in my closet. It was an impulse buy when I decided I wanted to learn to spin. It sat unused, but it’s time to change that! But… I was lacking in the other essential-item department. I needed a spindle. After scouring the likes of YouTube, I decided I’d rather learn from a top-whorl spindle as they seemed easier to manage. After scouring the likes of Etsy, I decided I was too impatient to wait for one to arrive. So, after a few days of trial-and-error, intensive plotting, and digging through some old childhood storage crates, I think I found a workable solution!

I’ve spun enough yarn for a granny square, probably. Everyone’s getting a potholder for Christmas!

Behold, the DIY starter spindle! It works nicely, and it was so, so easy to make! Here we go. For the whorl and dowel, I used some old Tinkertoys from my childhood. They’re evenly weighted and the dowel is just the right length! For the hook… this one was a bit trickier. I used a fish hook, which with the eye on the end, allowed it to wedge in the slit perfectly. And it stays wedged! To avoid snagging any fibers or cutting my pristine fingers, I used a pair of pliers with a cutting section to snip the end of the hook off. And voila: a homemade spindle that actually works! It’s not professional by any means, but I think it has character! It’s cute, easily made, and totally done for $0. My kind of project. To break it in, I grabbed some of my wool and started spinning!

It’s like a tiny, star-filled nebula when in spinning motion.

The reason for my impromptu decision to start spinning was this beauty. In an awesome turn of events, I was surprised with a homemade wheel! Well, it’s more of a spindle wheel than a traditional spinning wheel but just as cool! It must’ve been a year (or more) ago when I showed online posts of the nifty little wheel to my best friend, Gabie, who took it upon herself to make and gift me the Dodec Wheel for Christmas! The Dodec is a more portable, affordable (don’t burn me at the stake for the rhyming) version of a wheel. The plans are available for free online, and you can decorate it however you like! I don’t wanna brag, but I think it’s safe to say mine is the most flashy, cutest one out there. That’s glitter paint! And while my first few batches of yarn might be sparkle-filled, they’ll be just as fulfilling!

So, while my half-knit sock stares at me from my project bag, my spindle is humming away while I learn to spin some yarn! After an ample amount of practice, I’ll give the wheel a spin and see how long it takes me until I get good enough to spin some of my own sock yarn! Ah, the possibilities! I get excited just imagining them!

A New Hobby!

A Knitter’s Delight.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the month again – a yarn delivery! This time, though, it’s twice the amount of yarn (and thrice the skeins)! I had a slip up while discovering Ravelry’s destashing sales and accidentally snagged one up. Everybody makes mistakes, right? No one judge me, okay! Really, we’re lucky it was only one skein. Now, this month was good to me in terms of the yarns I received. After stalking down many sellers and not messaging them combined with filling a whole shopping cart on yarn.com and not checking out, I think I’ve proven my unwavering strength to fall victim to spending money. That coupled with the fact that I’ve got enough sock yarn to make at least ten more pairs before I start running low…

This photo is singlehandedly better than any selfie I’ve ever taken.

The first of this mini-haul is my YarnBox delivery. I have been anticipating this one since last month’s card proclaiming this month to be a special edition. While we didn’t receive blood-soaked yarn (come on, that would’ve been an especially Halloween-themed box!), we were surprised with a brand new yarn line! That’s right, Rachel Coopey of CoopKnits has debuted a new yarn line appropriately called Socks Yeah! These skeins are 231 yards each and are a heathered, light and squishy delight. They’re 75% fine, superwash merino wool and 25% nylon which will make them warm and still stretchy at the same time. Her colorways are beautiful and make me want to splurge. I received Chryso (with my setting to: prefer teal / do not prefer pink), though Malachite, Danburite, and Iolite are all calling my name. Let’s hope (for my wallet’s sake) that I can resist. I am in love with the colorway I received as well as pretty much all the others! Along with these amazingly glorious skeins we again received a custom pattern designed by Rachel.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from YarnBox’s Ravelry group and CoopKnit’s pattern.

This month’s included pattern is called Tavia is an amazing plethora of zigzags and eye-crossing beauty. Cables in the ribbing? Who would even think to do that?! A genius, that’s who. These socks are intricate as well as delicate. The eyelets give it a lacy feel while still retaining its elegance. It would be a great Christmas present if I had patience and more self confidence! One of these days I’ll tackle cables!

I managed to catch the one day of sunlight we had in a week! Perfect timing!

My second lovely addition is from a Ravelry sale. It’s Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Crazy in the blue/green/aqua colorway. All I really know about this is that it’s German and really fun looking. I kinda got sucked into the craze and debated buying a few, but I held back to see if I liked it. It’s 460 yards of wool/polyamide insanity, and I can’t wait to see the socks that it turns out. I’m debating pairing it up with a silver for stripes, but I’m not too set in stone for anything. Either way, I’m loving it and not even that upset that I’m still feeding into my green/blue addiction! I can’t wait to cast these on…eventually! Maybe they’ll even become mittens.

All in all, I’m further impressed with YarnBox’s content. Their devotion to detail and their customers have me continuing my subscription and eagerly awaiting the beginnings of every month! I haven’t been disappointed with a box yet and have no regrets with treating myself every month with them. I can’t wait to see what comes next month, and, hopefully, this has quelled my yarn hunger for a little while longer!

A Knitter’s Delight.

One Can Never Have Enough Socks.

After trudging excruciatingly slowly through this pair of socks, I can finally say that I am done with them. And I think I’m done with ribbed socks for a while. I just hate doing ribbing. They fit better, but it seems never-ending. I suppose it’s a trade off of sorts: they take longer, but seem to fit tighter on the leg. We’ll see, I’ll probably end up doing a hundred more just because I enjoy the fit of them. However, with the last two taking centuries longer than my other projects, my next ones will be simple…ish! Anyway, onwards to the socks!

It’s a little less blue in real time. The sun and iPhone camera was against me today. Curse all that Vitamin C.

The yarn I used was from my very first YarnBox delivery – Oink Pigments’ Dragon Scales & Frog Legs colorway. I am in love with the end results. They fit so snugly, and the yarn so soft. While the ribbing took ages, I am glad that I did it. The coloring is so gorgeous, and there doesn’t seem to be any pooling in any particular areas. The strips of dark coloring really add depth to the socks. If anything, I wish I had made the heel just a bit deeper, but I can’t complain. I’m trying to avoid their website so I don’t end up buying more. Their colorways are seriously so gorgeous.

Much better in terms of coloring. iPhone quality good to me again.

Again, I just did an altered version of the 7 Stitches per Inch Sock with an altered 2×2 ribbing with an After-Thought Heel (maybe one day I’ll branch out, but who knows, really). I’m content with repetition, it seems. I really need to start on my Christmas gift list, but maybe the crunch time will speed me up once November rolls around…

For my next socks, though, I’ll be trying out a Halloween theme in honor of it being October. I’m going to be experimenting with this Malabrigo Sock in Stonechat that I picked up on sale about a year ago. I am planning something akin to these Spider Socks – just a little bit altered, of course. We’ll see if I can manage patterned socks or not! It’ll be difficult since I usually devote October to marathoning horror movies whenever I can!

If only I had room for another needle with the entirety of my leftovers! I’ll have to come up with another good storage option for them…

I was going back and forth for my Halloween themed socks before settling on the spider idea. At first, I thought about doing this Frankenstein-esque idea where I use all my old sock scraps into these Stashbuster Spirals instead of just using them as decoration to my DVD shelf as seen above (I stuck a long knitting needle through each skein and wedged it between the hangings). I have about ten balls of leftovers that I could use up. A third are self-striping and the rest are all variegated. I don’t believe I have any solids that have been used (the gold in the photo above hasn’t been used yet – so it’s not technically a leftover), so it would be interesting to see what socks I could create with those leftovers. I think it’s safe to say that none would match in the slightest – all the more fun, I believe! I’m still tossing the Scrapyarn Blanket idea around, too. So many possibilities!

I ended up ordering a new set of interchangeable needles, which I’m still waiting for. I’ll keep it a secret for now, but expect a full review once I receive them! The anticipation is killing me slowly! Now, I need to go wind up this Malabrigo yarn and obsessively stalk through the depths of Ravelry! (I just discovered the destash pages and…someone stop me!)

One Can Never Have Enough Socks.

My Knitting Journal!

The title should really end with “is a mess” but that’s a whole other matter. This is a supposed to be a happy post! After a ridiculously busy Friday night, I have decided to properly organize it all up – well, for the most part. I like to keep physical notes on my adventures in the knitting world due to my computer’s old age and increasingly shaky reliability. With that, I’ve decided to put together a more organized crafter’s journal.

Sewing through 200 sheets and a cover is harder than you’d think.

Now, this journal is rather basic, but I do love it. It started to come into fruition about a year ago when I tagged along on some back-to-school shopping and grabbed two composition notebooks for under a dollar. Score! The second part came to me a few months later. At the end of winter, I found myself buying a large collection of clearance thrift store sweaters to recycle for yarn (there’ll be a post on this later, no worries!). While unraveling one of the sweaters (a pretty, cream-colored turtleneck), I ran into a portion of seared hemming which resulted in, like, a million yard-long piece of a light-worsted weight yarn. Being the innovator that I (like to think I) am, I couldn’t allow them to go to waste. I decided that one journal just wouldn’t be enough. I wanted to combined them and create the ultimate sized journal. I went to work to create the perfect home for all my knitting needs.

A zip-less sandwich bag really made a perfect storage space for my YarnBox cards! Shout out to my mother for letting me snag some cute scrapbooking paper!

To start, I found the middles of both notebooks and set to cutting the thread binding them together. Once they were unbound, I aligned the two sets of sheets and the outer cover and sewed it all back together with the yard-long pieces of yarn. It wasn’t as hard I as I predicted as I used the same line up as the old binding. After a few small stabs to my fingers and a bit of frustration, the knitting journal came into existence. My only complain is that it’s a tiny bit too big to lug around in day-to-day life. I would’ve preferred something a little more travel friendly, but it suits my needs nicely still!

Casual clutter is the new trend, I’m fairly positive.

It’s fairly sparse right now, but it does hold some nice nuggets of information. I have a page devoted to my favorite yarns, the ones I can’t stand, and the ones I’d use as gifts. So far, my most in depth page is the one above: my sock knitting. I keep all my yarn labels, mostly descriptive notes, and thoughts I had on the yarn while working with it. That’s about 8 labels in the photo above, and I’ve pretty much run out of room on those pages. So, I shall be starting a new collage of labels as I continue along! I haven’t really documented my excursions into the realm of blankets, as much as I have documented the sock brands I encounter (shocking, I know.). But I definitely plan on getting around to including everything – especially the Stashbuster Spirals and Scrap Yarn Blanket I wanna make!

My Knitting Journal!