Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Evergreen Socks, Gift Knits and Christmas!


I did TRY to have my Evergreen Socks (designed by Madeline Gannon) done for the Advent-along in This Old Knit's Ravelry group....but then gift knitting got in the way!  I did some crazy December knitting that involved tight gauges and a million Barley Hats.  I don't know WHAT I was thinking, aha!  Anyway, all of this meant my socks were finished on the first of January! 

The Evergreen sock pattern was super easy and delightful.  I used Marigoldjen Yarn in the Chip colorway on the BFL Extra Long Sock base.  I LOVE that base!!  I actually DID whip through the leg portion of each sock super fast and had those complete before any of the gift-knitting began.  I am not honestly a huge fan of knitting the Eye of Partridge heel.  I think it is pretty, but I'm too lazy, generally speaking.  I did put forth the effort this time, but I'm such a weirdo in that I like to count the rows of my heel flap, rather than the slipped stitches  - in order to get my heel flaps to match, etc.  It is more work to count the rows, because you don't have one column of straight knit stitches to count. 

I discovered something crazy when I knit these socks, though:  I have been using a size 00 needle for sock knitting lately, because I am able to tighten my tension when I wrap the yarn around a finger.  However, apparently, that isn't tight enough for this lace pattern.  I did cast on 64 stitches, per the pattern instructions, so, maybe 60 would have been better (and I used 60 in the last pair or two I've knit).  So, after SADLY discovering this mistake, I had to rip out, from completed gusset decreases all the way through the gusset pick-up.  I picked up maybe 21 or 22 stitches (because, again, I am a LOOSE knitter, but when I have to move down so far in needle sizes, my ROW gauge tightens up like nobody's business), which is more than most people would do, I believe.  I tried to not be too sad, though, LOL, and I finished the first sock up pretty fast.  I did knit the toe three times, though, because I was making an effort to knit a toe that was more specific to my foot.  I decreased quicker on the left side of the left foot and sort of did some nonsense on the other side.  I then did the same thing...almost...with the right sock, and as always, with the right sock, I added four stitches, to accommodate for my bunion.

So, they're cute, and they fit pretty well!!

As for my gift knitting, I knit a total of six Barley hats, using all scraps from my stash.  I also knit two pairs of Stars and Stripes mittens.  In the end, it was a bunch of dense knitting, which really pains my upper right back, especially.  Ah, well.  They are done and cute!  I do NOT have a photo of the mittens, but I'm hoping my sister comes through with a photo!  As for the hats, I don't have a photo of a green version, but the others are pictured below.  I also have a duplicate of the pink, which is Dashing Dachs Stallion Organic Merino yarn I was given years ago, here at home to give Camden's Seattle cousin.  I am also working on a seventh Barley hat and a pair of baby mittens connected with an i-cord, aha!  SOOOO much knitting!  I love, though, that it uses up remnants/scraps/whatever, and I get to see tiny things all over again!

Lastly, I knit up a Bonbon Bunny, designed by Susan Claudino, for Camden's Seattle cousin.  It is SO cute!  I may have slightly overstuffed it, but whatevs!  I did stuff it with yarn scraps, which was good!  And I used eyes I thankfully had from 6060 Eyes.  I actually want to order some more, as I recently purchased a couple more of Susan's patterns!!!  I again used stash yarn - a fingering weight blend which included bamboo.  So, it's cute and tiny, like Camden's Bonbon.  I have a couple photos of the wee thing.

As for our fun holidays, the kids had fun, I think, and we did the usual exchanging of letters with Santa, which is always a good time.  The fairies had it out for him again this year, but they reached a silent agreement one evening, just so Santa could deliver gifts before we headed up to visit Matt's parents for Christmas.  We also saw a fun tap-dancing musical version of Cinderella, at the Northwest Children's Theater.  I love our little tradition of seeing a show the day after Christmas!  Matt also worked hard on finishing up projects around the house....we now have baseboard trim and a fully framed and trimmed window in our room, but there is a LOT of painting ahead of me....yikes.

As for the new year, I get to see a concert this month, and we will still be working on house projects!  I hope to fit in more reading.  I just re-read the Hunger Games trilogy, but I need to be better about reading NEW books way more often.  I used to be such a reader, but I can only do so many things at once, and knitting usually wins ;)

Replacing the front door!

Hoof prints?!

Oh, this silly Santa

Working on bath bombs
We have an island of belongings in our room right now

Aha....finally getting this window done
Grandma made Camden and Tiberius pajama pants!

I'd call these a success!!!  LOLOL

Friday, November 17, 2017

Outlander Socks, Mittens and More Mittens!

So....it would work out that Camden has the first pair of Outlander socks, right???  That's a darn shame - something I will need to rectify at some point (maybe in a couple years, aha!).

I don't know WHY I had to make them for her, but it worked out that way - something about not liking the pooling on size 00 needles with 60 or 64 stitches...or maybe I'd tried 000 needles and hadn't like the pooling.  I can't recall at ALL, as I knit them between August and September, but I LOVE them, even though Camden is the one to enjoy them on her feet!

I just knit a vanilla sock, 56 stitches and size 00 needles, using lovely Voolenvine yarn (dyed by Kristin of the Yarngasm podcast!) on the Lush base, which she no longer carries, as she has a new version of MCN, not as high-twist.  The color is her signature Outlander colorway, and it really is so pretty, though the photos don't do it justice, of course.

I am still trying to decide how to fine-tune my sock knitting.  I have gone up from using 000 needles at this point, which is fine, but my row gauge is still pretty tight, though I love the fabric I am getting.  You can see above, also, that I did knit ribbing at the lower cuff/behind the ankle, as I like how it cinches in a bit.  I knit my heel flaps pretty long, but it is a SQUEEZE to get them up over Camden's instep.  Her last three pairs have been this way, and I don't think knitting a mile-long heel flap is the permanent answer, LOL.  They fit great, when on, so, who knows.  She wears a size 1.5 shoe at this point, and she can still squeeze into her awesome green Hue Loco socks and her pink Cyborg's Craft Room socks, though I think we're retiring the pink socks...for the first time, I accidentally machine-washed a sock (because SOME children I know leave their socks all over their beds), and it did shrink up a tiny bit, so, I need to machine-wash the other so they are the same - then squirrel them away.

As for my next two projects, they are just wee pairs of mittens for Camden and Tiberius!  I made sure to use stash scraps or whatnot.  Pictured below is what the purple yarn was used for the first time (and which is now stored away in a bag somewhere, aha).  And below that is Tiberius's Bad Bunny (I didn't use actual Gnome Acres Bad Bunny yarn, but this was close enough, and I again realize I never took any great photos of the poor bunny, as with a certain book report dress).  Anyway, I use the Stars or Stripes mitten pattern, and it has worked well for me so far!  I tend to like cuffs super long, as they are then tucked nicely away under coats and shirts, keeping their wrists warm!  I will say that because of how densely I knit them, Tiberius's pair came out with non-ideal pooling, so, I really should have sized up a needle.  I used 1.5s and 2.5s on his pair - and maybe Camden's, too.  I have a feeling I'll have to re-knit mittens for Tiberius before this winter is out.  At least they're quick!

And...days in the life!
Someone doesn't want to bring a hat or shawl, so, he steals my things...


Jotting down the 12 uses of dragon's blood.  Of course.