Just Because

   
   I love it when I get an idea for something and I have no idea where the inspiration came from.  The elements of this project came together organically, and I just went with it, not overthinking it.  Knitting doesn’t always have to play by the rules!  I wanted a project where I could improvise, be free to play and experiment.  Black, white, and neon all over seemed like a good idea.  And mixing up the heels, cuffs and toes?  Well, that just felt whimsical and sometimes that’s just the thing.

These socks were my purse and on-the-go knitting for the past couple of months.  They came together bit by bit in cars, restaurants, shops, and at home when anything else seemed like too much trouble.  Stitch by stitch, row by row they grew without me really even trying.  The yarn was just such a pleasure to work with, and I was so amused with thinking about what color to use next.

Both of these yarns are from Knitted Wit, a dyer whose color sense is rich, multifaceted, and a bit whimsical.  You can get more details over on my Ravelry page.

That’s two pairs of socks this year!  I’m tempted to cast on another pair to have as my portable knitting. What are your go-to simple sock patterns?

I’m Free!

Free at last from the tug of a long-languishing unfinished object.

  • Pattern: Haleakala Socks by Cookie A. from the 2011 Sock Club
  • Yarn: String Theory Caper Sock in Solas
  • Mods: One sock is inadvertently 1/2 an inch longer than the other.  Ravelry notes here.

These were fun to knit and the yarn was glorious. As usual, I wonder what took me so long.  I suspect the culprit was the set-up at the gusset/instep; it tripped me up each time, and both socks took a long time out.

And now the question I always ponder in those last couple inches of a project: what to knit next?

I also just finished The Wierd Sisters last night, which means it’s game on for Catching Fire!  The end and beginning of some projects are just so sweet, aren’t they?

Finished!

Blocking in the sun

In addition to working and playing in the garden, I’ve also been lounging around in the garden.  In newly finished wool socks!

Okay, so I couldn’t leave these socks on my feet very long in the July heat, but it felt nice while it lasted!  And aren’t the colors perfectly cheerful?  That’s probably what led me to choose this yarn back in February when I started them.  It’s always so nice to have something colorful on the needles in the dead of winter, don’t you think?

  • Pattern: Thuja, Ravelled here
  • Yarn: Reggia Design Line, Kaffe Fassett, color 04451, 2 balls with leftovers
  • Needles: US 1, 2.25mm
  • Mods: None.

It was nice having something like this as my go anywhere pattern.  As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to self-impose limits or deadlines onto my knitting; not so with this pattern.  The pattern was simple and easy to memorize, perfect for picking up and putting down.  I knit a little bit here and there as time and toddlers allowed, not worrying about when they would be finished.  So it took a few months, no big deal.  In keeping with this low-pressure knitting, I have already cast on another pair of around town socks.

What’s your low-key, take anywhere knitting?

FO: Socktoberfest Prolonged

You’ve heard of Christmas in July, right? How about Socktoberfest in April?

  • Pattern: TTL Mystery Sock 2010 by Kirsten Kapur, Ravelled here
  • Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Semisolids in Mango, 1 skein
  • Needles: US size 1 / 2.5mm
  • Mods: I knit the size Large, using a size Medium heel flap

This was my first time participating in a mystery knit along, and it had its pros and cons to be sure.  The main asset of this type of knitting is the anticipation and excitement, particularly when knitting along in a group.  As each clue was released, a flurry of knitting and chatter would erupt on Ravelry, and it really kept me motivated to push on through knitting that week’s clue on both socks.  The clues were released roughly as the pictures flow below:

Then, once all the clues were released and I was left with two half-knit socks, I felt discouraged.  I was tired from all the excitement, and the now-garish orange yarn was irritating to look at.  Naturally, they got set aside for new projects and would get worked on in fits and starts for the next several months.

It’s funny how finishing up a long-lingering project can feel so great!  My creative workload has been lightened a bit, and any ill feelings I had toward these socks have vanished.  Instead, I feel excited that I have these new, vibrant orange socks to wear as the weather warms and colors outside brighten.  Taking six months to knit a pair of socks also has me feeling (in a misplaced way) that they were very little work.  Strange, that.

In any case, I get to cast on a new pair of socks now!  Hopefully they will get knit up at a slightly quicker pace. Or maybe I should pull out that shawl I started in a knit along last July…

It’s That Time of Year Again

Socktoberfest is here!


I’ll be playing along with the Through The Loops Mystery Sock KAL. This is my first time doing a mystery pattern, and it honestly makes me feel a little bit nervous.  But for the past two years I’ve seen these sock patterns come out and loved them, so I feel confident this will be an ace pattern.  If you’d like to play, check out Kirsten Kapur’s blog where she will be releasing a new pattern clue each Friday this month.

I’m going to do my best to keep up, and will try to post the week’s progress each Friday.  I can’t make any promises that I will finish these during the month of October, or that I won’t get distracted by other projects.  But from where I’m standing now, this is a pretty exciting challenge and I feel up to the task!

Will you be knitting socks this month? What patterns and yarn have your fancy?

Step Into the Light

Neighbor #1: Hey, I saw some new people just moved in across the street.  Have you met them yet?

Neighbor #2: No, but I saw one of them doing something a little strange today.

Neighbor #1: Ooh, do tell!

Neighbor #2:  Well, I saw a woman walking around in the yard, taking pictures of…her feet.

Neighbor #1: …

I finished my socks!  And I have days to knit up my fiber festival hat (3 to be exact), so I am a happy knitter today.  I did have to walk around outside this morning, it was too dark in the house for photos!  It’s going to be a bit of a bumpy road finding the light in my new place.  We have some nice windows, but when it’s grey outside, there’s only so much light inside.  We do have a cool light tube, which helps brighten up a particularly dark corner of the living room, but doesn’t do much for lighting my knits.

Anyway, back to the socks.

  • Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C. (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in color 1702, about 3/4 of the skein (I had 30 grams leftover)
  • Needles: US 1 1/2 or 2.5 mm
  • Mods: I cast on 68 stitches and did a rapidly decreasing toe, mostly because I wasn’t paying attention and knit the 1st sock too long.

Just like the pattern name promises, these are a pair of nice ribbed socks.  The simple ribbing created enough texture to show off this wild rainbow of yarn and was just enough action to keep me engaged.  How about that yarn, eh?  I just love the colors, and they are blended together so nicely.  It reminds me of the skein of Noro Sock yarn I knit with previously, but in my experience the CZ was so much nicer to knit with.  It is soft and spun more consistently than the Noro, staying at a pretty even fingering weight throughout the skein.   There also weren’t any twigs or other vegetation spun into it.  The CZ was a bit splitty on occasion (I was also knitting with Addi Lace needles–super pointy), but not so often that it became a thing.  Mostly I just sat back and knit, happily watching the colors change.  Overall I would say this was a great yarn and pattern match up and would recommend either one very highly.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to cast on this hat and think about which yarn to choose to knit these socks!

Good Cheer

It’s been a busy and challenging few days around here.  It looks and feels like a tornado blew through our house: boxes, boxes, everywhere!  And the change that has blown through is tremendous.  My mind feels nearly as cluttered with debris as the house as I sort through feelings of excitement, anxiety, enthusiasm and uncertainty.  So to combat the stress and ennui of moving, I decided to cast on something unabashedly cheerful.  Socks for Sweetie:

Crazy Zauberball, A Nice Ribbed Sock

In looking at my Ravelry projects page recently, I noticed that I have knit 4 pairs of socks this year.  The balance is clearly off as I knit 3 of those pairs for myself and just one for Sweetie.  She picked this yarn out on a recent trip to Seed Stitch in Salem, MA.  Incidentally, I have been dying to knit up my own CZ socks since the fall when I bought this:

Similar color scheme, but mine should have more of a rainbow hue to it, whereas Sweetie’s socks seem to have an orange hue throughout the skein.  So far, anyway.  Who knows what surprises lurk inside that charming ball of yarn!

Textured Tweed

I haven’t been blogging or knitting much lately.  Or maybe I’ve been knitting more than I realized, plodding along slowly yet steadily on a couple of projects this April.  My third pair of socks for the year began just as the pair before them ended.  I literally cast on sometime within 24 hours of finishing these, and the first sock flew off the needles.  Then I got distracted with a baby knit, something that started off quickly and then rapidly fell into the bottom of my knitting priority list when stitch holders ans waste yarn got involved.  So I picked the second sock back up, and eventually ended up with these for my Sweetie:

My new Dansko clogs sort of steal the show here, don’t they?

  • Pattern: Harris Tweed Socks, free here and Ravelled here
  • Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock – Mediumweight in River Rocked, about 300 yards
  • Needles: US size 2/ 2.75mm
  • Mods: For the toe I decreased to 20 stitches, then grafted them closed.  I can’t remember if this was a modification or not, and I’m feeling too tired/lazy (possibly both) to check.  It’s just what I did.

This was a simple yet satisfying knit.  I found that the texture really brought out the different colors of this yarn, and the bumpiness of it plays well with the name of the colorway, River Rocked.  This yarn was from one of my Rockin’ Sock Club shipments last year; I seem to be on a trend of knitting up that yarn into non-club patterns, a move I am really happy with for now. Its thick twist made for a plush, well-cushioned sock that Sweetie has raved about.

I seem to be on somewhat of a sock-knitting jag right now.  Perhaps it’s the warm weather or my limited knitting time lately, but these small, portable projects are at the front of my mind.  And lucky for me I have a sizeable sock yarn stash to shop from and be inspired by.  My question for you is this: what sock patterns are looking good right now?  I know there’s been a slew of new patterns released this spring, and I’m slowly making my way around to many of them.  Is there anything I should knit right away?

Thanks for your suggestions, and have a great weekend!

Zesty

My main goal over the weekend was to finish my Tootie Fruity Monkey Socks.  Imagine my delight when I was grafting the toe closed by Saturday afternoon!  That meant I got to wind up some new yarn and get started on another pair of socks right away.  Apparently I’m in a sock mood these days, and I’ve decided to run with it.

This yarn was from the summer shipment of the 2009 Rockin’ Sock Club.  I instantly loved the colors, but wasn’t so sure about the pattern.  So I let it sit.  As soon as the calendar turned to March I found myself wanting to knit with bright, fresh colors, and this skein immediately came to mind.

Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A. (Ravelled here)

Yarn: BMFA Socks that Rock Lightweight in Garden Daze

Needles: US size 1/2.5 mm

Mods: none.

I was expecting these vibrant shades of pink, yellow, and green to pool or get flashy when knit up, but instead they played together and made stripes.  The darker shades stuck together, and the lighter shades did too.  This created dramatic stripes that made the colorway look entirely different than it had in the skein.  I like this consistency in color repeats, yet the way the colors worked together made the whole sock look like a different colorway to me.

That said, I’m very happy with how they turned out: zesty, zany, and fun.  Just how I like my spring socks!

Comfort

It’s a chilly, rainy day and I am wearing hand-knit socks. Such a comfort and a pleasure on a day like this.

I did notice that when I went to the sock drawer to make my selection for the day that the pile seemed a little…sad. None of my hand-knit socks are worn out necessarily, but they have seen better days. And I haven’t knit myself a pair since February.

I think my sock mojo called. I saw it on the caller ID and decided not to answer, but I may have to call her back soon.

Have a great weekend!