Saturday, November 12, 2016

When The Yarn Calls You

Sometimes, when you have an awesome mom like I do you think of her when you're doing something. Even something like yarn shopping. This summer when I was at the Zombie Knitpocalypse I found a skein of yarn that I just couldn't seem to leave alone. I just kept going back to it over and over again. It was like it was calling to me; "Sarah, come knit me."
I'm not usually one for really speckled yarn but I just loved it. The gray with the pops of brighter colors, it just sang. But since I already had a similar one I also wanted to purchase, I was trying to justify buying this one too. That's when the idea came to me to use this lovely skein, with its pops of pink to knit something for my mom for Christmas. Her favorite color is pink and I thought this with its subtler pink and lots of other colors would be so fun. So, the skein ended up coming home with me. 
I showed it to my mom and asked her what she wanted it to be. She's a crocheter but doesn't know too much about things involving fingering weight yarn so I made a few suggestions. This skein is Superwash Corriedale and nylon, which isn't a fiber you see a whole lot, so I was excited to try it and I knew it would make some great options, socks, mittens, a cowl. There are a lot of things this skein could become.
She chose mittens. I wound up the yarn right away of course, intending to get started immediately but as usual, time slipped away from me until I was looking around for something to start this month for HPKCHC and I found this skein. 
I'm so glad I did because I am loving the way it's knitting up!
I've got a few more ideas for Christmas gifts but if I want any of them to come to fruition, I had better get a move on!
In the meantime, back to the needles.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Time Just Keeps on Slipping

Wow, somehow an entire month got away from me there.
I guess I've just be struggling with focusing on what I want to say and getting it out there.
I've been knitting away though and participating in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (HPKCHC) again this term. This is the third month of term so next month is break month.
That means I am trying to focus on whether I will do any crafts for Christmas gifts this year. I have one project done and ready and another on the needles but I really think I will keep it minimal again this year. It just gets to be too much pressure.
So I'm still here and hope to keep on blogging. Hopefully more regularly.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Friday Shenanigans

I swear I am so glad this week is done that I could cry. It was filled with some fun times but also a great deal of being so tired I could barely function and it was capped off with today. Let me give you a little example of how my day has gone so far.
8:00 am Half an hour before I am normally going to leave for work I frantically rush to the bathroom to semi tidy my hair since I need to leave immediately to handle a "work emergency" there is a spider. I am not a big fan of spiders. They have too many legs and move too fast. Normally we have one or two daddy long legs style spiders in the bathroom and I leave them alone. I figure they are pest control. This one though, this one looks like an Aragog wannabe (Harry Potter giant spider in case you don't get the reference and if you don't I'm not sure why you're reading this blog). It is on the corner where the ceiling meets the wall. Since I'm rushing out the door I decide to leave it. I run off to deal with a stressful day at work.

2:00 pm The husband is home and I briefly think that perhaps I should locate the Aragog spider so he can squish it (or remove it humanely, I don't really care. I just want it gone!) before he leaves for the weekend. It is nowhere in the bathroom. I decide I have more pressing things to deal with (like getting the husband to actually finish packing and get out the door!) so I decide it can wait.

6:20 pm Finally get the energy together to start doing the dishes. Go to the kitchen to start sorting things. Plates, bowls, etc. There's a few days worth since I've been so busy (no judging, I don't have a dishwasher and it's not my favorite chore) as I'm scooping the last of the silverware out what do I see? Freaking Aragog! Thankfully he appears to be dead. Wash him down the drain with scalding hot water and go knit instead.

Yup, glad this week is over. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Freyja Start

Tuesdays are for spinning and thankfully the Tour de Fleece reminded me how much I love spinning and made me decide to make a point of taking the time to actually spin more often!
I was a little disappointed with how much I got done this year but with no set goals and then a back injury, that's to be expected. 
Once I had finished with the few things I had set aside, hoping I would get them spun, I was pretty wide open though. I didn't have anything specific planned. Well, a little stash diving always solves that problem so that's what I did. And I came up with something heartbreakingly beautiful.
This is Freyja from Cloudlover on (brace yourself for this) 60% Superwash Merino/20% Cashmere/20% Silk. It is amazing! It feels so soft and fluffy but with amazing shine. I've really been wanting to try spinning this fiber so I was extremely happy to find this in her booth at Shepherd's Harvest this year. 
It had been a special custom blend she ordered and I don't know that she regularly carries it anymore. 
But I loved it so much that I went scouring people's stashes on Ravelry and scored a braid of the same fiber in one of my all-time favorite colorways of hers as well. (Poison Arrow if you're wondering. You can check my stash page if you'd like to see it.) 
Since I'm not really sure what I would like to do with the finished yarn and this is more of a spinning experiment than anything else, I decided to go for a chain-plied yarn so I didn't split the braid the long way at all. I simply pulled off a piece of the roving and drafted it into a fine, soft little strand. 
It looks like this when its ready to spin. Then I just started spinning it up.
I love how fine it is, although I'm not too sure I like how the white is blending right now (leading me to consider splitting the roving lengthwise now in the hopes of changing that a bit).
I'm guessing this is going to be a pretty long-term project but one I'm really enjoying. 
So for today you just get to see the start but what a start. Right? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Sock Conundrum

Summer is a great time to knit socks. They don't sit heavily on your lap, overheating you. They will be very useful when the cold weather in fall and winter comes and many sock patterns are easy to memorize. 
All that has led me to my current conundrum. 
Three pairs of socks in various states. This is just the active ones. I'm sure there's at least a couple of pairs tucked away somewhere. So, let's examine them.
First there's these lovely socks. Knitterly Things Vesper sock yarn in Twitterpated. On her 100% Superwash Merino base being knit into plain old top-down vanilla socks. These are my "purse socks" so they get shoved into my purse and worked on whenever I have a quick minute. They really aren't a priority since they don't have a deadline and they're just for fun. Plus I'm knitting this super fine yarn on US 0s so progress is pretty slow even when I do work on them. Honestly this one is about ready for its heel flap though so I should get through that so it can be mindless knitting again.
Next up there's these beauties.
Knitterly Things Vesper again but on her Superwash Merino and Nylon base. The colorway is Sesame Cha Cha and I actually purchased it from a seconds sale about a month ago. One strand of the yarn didn't take the dye the same as the others so it has a sort of swirled effect. It's still gorgeous and I am loving the semi-solid look of each color. These are being knit into the Skew pattern and are now at the heel gusset increases. If you've ever knit this pattern (or even read through the many pages of it) you know that it's pretty simple but you do have to pay attention and keep looking at the pattern. Honestly these socks fit my feet so well that the attention-paying is worth it though! This is my first time knitting the Superwash Merino with Nylon into this pattern so I'm excited to see how it wears. 
Lastly there's these socks.
These are plain old toe-up socks on Knit Picks Felici in Baker Street. They will have an afterthought heel when they're done. I really have no excuse for not working on these more except maybe that they're boring. I think the colors of the stripes are too similar in real life. And the dark blue is right next to the light blue and all the grays are together and look pretty much exactly the same. Yawn.
I don't really like this method of knitting a sock but I thought since it's in 2 balls that it would allow me to use most of the yarn with the least effort. As you can see I already wound the remains of the first ball into a hand-wound ball. Partly because it was getting tangled and partly so I could estimate the amount for the heel and the ribbing so I could figure out how far to knit the leg. I know they'll be nice socks when they're done, it's just a matter of getting to that point.
So there it is. The summer sock conundrum. Three pairs of socks all waiting to be finished. (Did anyone notice they're all striped too?) 
I've been working on nothing else lately too so they should be getting much more progress. Here's hoping that our car trip this weekend will allow for some knitting time which will mean some things can get done! (More about the car trip later)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Oh hello.
Here I am once again, back after an absence. This time I really don't know what happened. I've been doing quite a bit of knitting (and spinning as it was the Tour de Fleece), not to even mention my paper crafting and planning lately but I seemed to have been stuck in my writing. Maybe partly it was the realization that if I posted something it would be my 500th post to this blog (yes, it's true!) and I wanted something special and fun but I couldn't come up with anything great. A giveaway could be fun but it doesn't need to be a giveaway, or something else. I just didn't know what that something else should be.
Plus, I've just been feeling a little overwhelmed with life in general lately. It's a combination of the busyness of summer with graduation parties, weddings, family reunions and the fact that I'm not always doing the right things when it comes to taking care of myself. I'm not talking just eating right and exercising (although that has fallen to the wayside a bit too) but doing the things I know are useful for my mental health like having some quiet time, allowing daydreaming and reading silly books just for fun.
I'm starting to realize that I need all those things though and starting to work them back into my routine without making them something I stress over (meaning something on my to do list that MUST get done).
And since I'm starting to do those things again, it's making me come back into my own brain and realize that the way out of this block I've been in is to just get it out.
Just keep writing.
Even if it's silly gibberish.
So, here I am, trying to get motivated again.
I know sometimes I get held back by the belief that  no one wants to see a post with no great photos. Or maybe no photos at all. But is a written post better than no post at all? Probably.
So I'm going to let it go. I'm going to write when I feel like writing, whatever it may be about and sometimes it will include crafts and wool and sometimes it might not. Hopefully.
But ultimately it will probably be a peek into my very crazy brain.
Welcome to the ride.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A Tale of Two Socks

Sometimes you can try something and it just doesn't work out. I think as a knitter you have to be okay with that to a point. Sometimes, even if you gauge swatch, it isn't going to come out right.
This is a tale that does not involve gauge swatching though. This is a tale of two socks.
Once upon a time there was a knitter who loved to knit socks. She especially loved self-striping sock yarn and the way you could knit and knit and it would do the work with the colors. Her all-time favorite self-striping sock yarn was Vesper. It was heart-breakingly beautiful and came in so many colors! Plus, it softened so wonderfully once it was washed. After she tried it she started hoarding the yarn like a dragon. Although, she did often knit with it and soon had a lovely collection of socks knit from this magical yarn. Since the socks were so beautiful and comfortable she continued to knit with the yarn even though it was very fine. So fine in fact that she thought perhaps rather than her usual 1s to knit these socks, she should try to go down to 0s to make a firmer fabric that would hold up to wear. This was after her first pair of these socks developed a sad hole. They had, of course, been in service for over 2 years and were worn often as they were some of the knitter's favorites. 
She decided that since she was going down in needle size she should also go up in stitch count so rather than knitting the socks at her usual 72 stitches she went up to 80 stitches. She cast on and happily knit her first sock. Soon after she cast on her second sock, remembering that she was knitting on size 0 needles she somehow got caught up in the yarn fumes and forgot the larger stitch count. Where did she realize her mistake? 
Turning the heel. A whole foot knit incorrectly. On size 0 needles. Now, if it fit properly and seemed to work the knitter would probably have just kept going but with striped yarn, it makes an odd sort of sock if they don't line up stripe-wise. The knitter specifically didn't start on the same color but rather the next so they would line up just right in a little different way. Off just one stripe, that plan was now foiled. That means; it's time to frog. So now the two socks in this tale are down to one. 
In other news, since the knitter will not be working on these socks for a bit since they're so frustrating, take a look at the shawl that's being knit instead. 
It began as this gorgeous ball of yarn purchased at the Zombie Knitpocalypse it's from Penguin Soup. (It doesn't look like her shop is complete yet. Keep an eye on it if you're interested though.) I just purchased it on Saturday and it's already becoming
This. Isn't it the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Well, it is to me at least. The pattern is Castra and its part of a Yarn Love knit along. We only started on Tuesday so there's still time to join if you're interested, check out the Yarn Love group on Ravelry for more details.