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. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Get it Started

I've been feeling a little blocked lately. Unable to express myself in writing, even though I had things to say. To be honest, I think I've been feeling a little burned out. Work and life have been so busy lately that I feel I am not myself. But last weekend was just as busy and it energized me instead of tiring me out. It was just what I needed.
So now I'm back and writing again. I hope you'll forgive the absence.
I had a skein of Knit Picks Hawthorne around. I had tried to knit it several times and I just wasn't happy with how it was knitting up. But I wanted to knit it so much! To really give the Hawthorne a try. So I finally decided to get it working as socks for a Christmas gift. That's right, the Christmas knitting has already begun!
I started these earlier in the year actually, as toe-up socks but they just weren't working. So last month I started again, this time from the top down. 
I actually finished them Saturday night at knit night. It was a bit of a yarn chicken situation. Here's the yarn that was left.
I'm hoping it's enough to to knit one hexipuff. But at least the knitting is going again and the first Christmas gift is ready to go! 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Passport Flip Through

Hi planner friends. I know it's Sunday and not Midori Monday but I moved into my passport size Midori to try it out for May and I did a quick flip through on Periscope. 
You can find me there under the name Kalkette and the broadcast will only be up for 24 hours.
If you watch it let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ashburton Beauty

As I've talked about before I had been working on spinning some Merino wool from Gritty Knits called Ashburton. I absolutely loved the colors which remind me of a rich, bold sunset so I handled the fiber in a way to keep those colors as they are, separate and beautiful. 
I spilt it the long way into smaller pieces then individually drafted each of them. I then spun them fine end to end. 
The roving split into pieces. 
On the bobbin.
This bobbin picture is when it was finished. It took a lot of spinning hours to spin it this way. I knew I wanted to chain ply it so I just kept going, spinning fine. 
I let it rest overnight and plied the next day. It's a good thing I was camping and had lots of spinning time because it took about 7 hours to ply!!
That is plied yarn going onto the bobbin! Doesn't it look great?! I love it.
The finished skein is a little overpriced, which is normal for me and I prefer that to under plied so I'm good with it.
I absolutely love the look of it though and the ply-twist did relax a bit in washing.
Here's a look at how fine it really is. 
These skeined pictures are from before washing, I wanted to show pictures of it washed as well but it was washed on Sunday morning and still isn't totally dry! The hazards of the spring rainy season, I guess. It's been so dark anyway that I don't know that I could get it to photograph well anyway. 
It really didn't change much in washing except the ply-twist softening a bit as I said and I'm very happy with the skein which is about 650 yards!! 
I can't wait to knit something amazing with it!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Knit Camp Recap

I'm sorry for the long silence blog-friends. I sort of flamed out on re-entry.
I was camping. Well, it was more like glam-ping. A knitting friend and I headed out to our third round of what we call Knit Camp. We rented a cabin at a Minnesota State Park. It's pretty comfortable actually with electricity and heat. You just have to walk to the bathroom. Which is a vault toilet. (Think mini biff in a solid little shed building.)
Here's a look at the outside of the cabin. We were in Maple at Lake Bemidji State Park. Even though it's a drive to get there we like the quiet atmosphere and being surrounded by the trees. So peaceful. 
Can you see George Fredrick IX there? 
He had a grand old time hanging out with the spider who lived on the porch, Milicent. 
William preferred to hang out with the drum carder though.
That's my friend's lovely Romney going onto the carder. Isn't it gorgeous? It has a lovely sort of shiny quality in real life. Since it was just the two of us this time we had plenty of space in the cabin so we both brought our spinning wheels and got so much done! It's lovely having no interruptions. 
I finally finished the singles of my Ashburton and even plied it but I will save those pictures for spinning Tuesday as it is still waiting for a soak and twack. 
We ate excellent food, relaxed and had a grand old time. We even slept really well thanks to the memory foam mattress pads we ordered and brought (the provided beds are a little hard for our taste).
We even had our Camp Knit-Til-U-Drop sign in our window. I'm not sure what the neighboring cabin thought!
Of course all too soon it was time to pack up and leave.
The cabin always looks sort of sad when it's cleaned up and we are leaving.
Despite all the relaxation and the great sleep, it was somehow still hard to come back to real life and get back into my usual routine. I was exhausted Monday, Tuesday was struggling with some anxiety which wore me out all over again and I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. 
I definitely recommend camping with knitting friend though. It was a blast as usual. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Midori Weekly Set up

Today is Midori Monday but I thought it would be fun to show off not only the completed page from last week but also a little look at how I set up the current week.
So first up, here's week 14 all complete.
At the end I went a little crazy with the stickers in the blank space since I was so excited about the drive-in opening and I bought a bunch of stickers for the movies we were going to see. 
Last week is over now and it's time to start setting up this week. I try to do this before Sunday night but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. So here is a look at the blank spread when I first turn to it.
It isn't quite blank. I did put a sticker on it when I scheduled my day off so I wouldn't forget and that will stay so we will just work around it.
I usually start by drawing my little square for the weather.
Then on the right side I create my time tracker. I start with the long vertical line.
Then add in the other details.
Of course I had to write the pm a little wonky but it's fine. At the very top I have the days of the week, the times down the left and then space below to write descriptions. Mostly I track my sleeping patterns here which helps me make sure I'm not having other issues. (Too much sleep and still tired can mean depression and not enough sleep usually means I end up getting sick.) 
To the right of the time tracker, at the top I put my weekly chart which will track any daily tasks and tasks I try to do multiple times in a week. So, I draw in the base.
I should also mention that for all of this I sometimes use a ruler but often just freehand which is what I did here. To some it would be super messy but it's fine for me. I really don't mind if the lines are a little wavy. Once the base of the chart is in, I start filling in details.
I color code almost everything in my own system so as I fill things in, it's the right color. As you can see I also added our work times on the left here. 
Next up is decoration. I will be totally honest. Sometimes a I do this first, sometimes last. It just depends on the mood I'm in and whether I have a specific plan for the week. This time I had my lovely stickers from Happie Scrappie that I wanted to use. Aren't they cute? They're the stationery theme so I got them all together and then chose a sheet of Planning Made Perfect stickers that was similar colors. I also picked a washi tape that I thought went with them and started decorating,
The biggest trick for me in decorating the midori is to be sure and leave room for my task lists. Under my weekly chart I also set up some goals for the week. I try to do between 3 and 5 goals depending on how busy the week is and how long each of the tasks will take. I don't always finish them. That's something I'm working on.
Once the goals are filled in then I added a note that the remaining space will be used for notes. 
Then I'm ready to start filling in the tasks for each day.
So that's a quick look at how I get my week set up in my midori. I hope you enjoyed it! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

All Done, Except for the Fit

Knitting has been a bit thin on the ground lately as Spring cleaning has begun in earnest on the homestead front. Honestly, right now it's so discouraging as so much of the house has been ripped up and looks worse than ever. To keep my sanity I decided to take a little time and knit each day though. Even if it's just 5 minutes before I collapse into bed, I try to squeeze a little knitting in.
To that end I finished a few things this month. First up some beautiful purple ribby socks out of Gritty Knits nom.
Honestly these had been on the needles for months and were the second pair of ribbed socks I had going at once, I'm not sure what the thought process was there. I didn't enjoy knitting ribbing that much! They're done now and while they're in need of a decent blocking, I wore them anyway today for the first time. They fit so well it almost makes me want to cast on more ribbed socks. Almost.
I also started a little colorwork hat out of some leftovers.
I started just making up the pattern and then grabbed a quickie chart from Ravelry called a Norwegian star. I really love how it turned out and the absolutely gorgeous alpaca silk yarn can't be beat. The trouble though? It doesn't fit. It's too small. I can sort of get it on but it's tight and doesn't look good all stretched out. I'm debating whether a complete rip and reknit is necessary (I already wove in the ends. Ugh!) or if a good blocking will help.
While I decide whether I should go to the trouble of undoing the whole blasted thing I decided to cast on something new. I've been pretty good lately on the finishing front so I felt OK with a cast on.
I've been wanting to place an order with Blue Moon Fiber Arts for some time but the lonely single skein I have from them has been languishing for literally years! It's lovely but has a bit too much of yellow and tan in it for me but I made a deal with myself a couple of years ago that the idea was to try out the yarn before I bought more so I should knit it up before I could place another order with them. Over the years I had tried several times to find the right pattern and they always came out 'weird' to me. It mainly has to do with my aversion to pooling and the dyeing of the yarn tends to create pooling in many patterns. I love the squishy yarn though so I just plunged in and cast on a plain, old sock. 
As you can see it striped decently down the leg but then the heel created big blocks of color. I'm resisting ripping it out. That part will be hidden by my shoe anyway. Besides, the idea here is to get it knit up so you don't feel guilty buying more. So just keep knitting right?