Tag: kal

Sooo Smooth! 13

Smooth Operator Socks FO 7 web

Woohooo!! I finished my Smooth Operator Socks this morning, and I love them!

I learned about the pattern from Alex, and because I’m a sucker for stripey socks and I absolutely cannot resist a good knit along, I joined in the Itty Bitty Knits Group KAL for these.

The main thing the pattern does is show you how to preserve the stripe pattern through the heel– something that brings me no end of happiness. That’s not all, though. It also has some super helpful tips about sock knitting in general. I’d have paid for the pattern seventeen times over just to read what Susan B. Anderson has to say about the Kitchener stitch. Pure knitting gold.

So I had fun knitting along with the group, got a cool pair of socks, learned a few things that will improve my sock knitting forever and ever, AAAAND I tried a new technique.

I knit these two at a time!

Smooth Operator Socks Progress web

Back when I knit socks one at a time exclusively on DPNs, I thought I’d never want to do it any other way. Then I became a two circs convert, and I kept knitting one sock at a time because I didn’t really see any reason not to. I don’t have second sock syndrome, and there is something I really like about the tidy little motions involved in knitting one sock.

If I were ever pinned in somewhere and couldn’t move my elbows or even my wrists, I could probably still manage to keep on knitting one sock pretty easily just by moving my fingers. You know, like if I were in a plane crash, and we were all crunched into a teensy ball of wreckage waiting for rescue, and no one could move anything but their fingers. You understand what I’m saying, right?

Well something about this project made me decide to throw caution to the wind and take up a little more space. So I knit these two at a time. And you know what? I LIKED it!

Smooth Operator Socks FO 5 web

For one thing it made it feel like the socks were finished in an instant. Surely, knitting these socks took the same amount of time it would have taken to knit two socks individually, but it didn’t feel like that. It felt like magic. Poof! Two socks!

The other thing I did with these was use magic loop. I usually find magic loop kind of fiddly, but something about having two socks on the needles actually made the two circulars feel awkward. I decided to give magic loop a try instead, and I got into a groove right away.

I think I may be hooked!

Smooth Operator Socks FO web

Rabbit Holes 16

Since things are feeling a bit insane around here workwise, I will make no mention of my own knitting projects today. Instead, I want to tell you about the explosion of blog serendipity that happened yesterday.

I was catching up on recent posts from my favorite blogs and intending to keep a tight rein on my habit of following links down rabbit holes, but darn it if Fiber and Sustenance didn’t draw me in with a picture of stripey socks and desert boots. I accidentally kept reading and was reminded that she and a friend were doing a hap KAL and that I’d wanted to check out said friend’s blog over at Rosalind Craft Supplies.

Well . . . Kate of Rosalind Craft Supplies posts lots of pictures of books and knitting against which, it just so happens, I am powerless. Ten or fifteen happy minutes later, I got ahold of myself but fortunately not before I’d discovered this awesome video that Kate shared in a post about her pick for the Top Nine Television Knitters.

I LOVE this guy. And it turns out he actually did finish the bow tie!

So anyway, determined to avoid future detours and stick to the essentials, I stopped by alexand knits. I had several posts worth of catching up to do, and wouldn’t you know it? There’s this post about how Alex’s friend Carol of knit equals joy gifted her a sock pattern. That led to my checking out both Carol’s terrific blog (awesome, awesome photos!) and the sock pattern, Susan B. Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks.

Well . . . it just so happens that there is a KAL starting for the Smooth Operator Socks in Susan B. Anderson’s Ravelry group, itty bitty knits. You know what that led to, right?

Moving on . . .

But not really. See, in the same post where Alex mentioned the Smooth Operator Socks, she talked about a Wolfberryknits post and said it was really worth checking out. Oh. My. Heavens. Check THIS POST out! It’s the best thing I’ve seen on a blog in ages. It’s about taking local fleece and dyeing it with dyes made from local plants, and spinning it, and knitting it into a glorious pair of 100% Australian socks. There are tons of pictures, and the socks are insane.

Should I mention that as I was reading the comments on the Wolfberryknits post (I told you it was bad) I came across this sentence: “I have always been attracted to shiny things. I am a life experience magpie who wants to know how things work and who collects processes like other people collect random paraphernalia.”  You know I had to find that person.

Turns out, that’s narf7, and her blog is Serendipity Revisited. And yes. It’s an extremely cool blog.

That’s it. Back to work. But first, the final stop on yesterday’s out-of-control coffee break: Woman Sentenced to Five Months of Knitting for Road Rage Punch. Yes–she did, and she was. Here’s the scene of the crime:

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 10.49.58 AM

(Picture: Cascade)

 

Ringing out the old . . . 2

Stripey Socks

Ringing out the old in handknit socks . . .

Here we are on New Year’s Eve. I can hardly believe it. I thought while I was winding down I’d sneak in one last post for 2015.

The Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar project is a wrap.

Scrap Yarn Socks 3 Scrap Yarn Socks 2

I’m so glad I did this! Besides enjoying the knit along, I absolutely love having a pair of socks that’s made up of yarn from so many other projects. Every time I look at a particular stripe, I think back to what I was doing when I knit with that yarn the first time around. There is even a section that uses yarn from the very first pair of socks I ever made! I’m talking serious handknit mojo right there.

And remember the Christmas washcloths I was knitting for my dad? I finished them just in time. They were actually the last present he opened on Christmas. I think he was starting to worry that I might not come through with the good stuff this year. He should know better.

2015 Dishcloths 4 2015 Dishcloths 7

My works in progress are all in a happy state of close-to-doneness. I have just a tiny bit of the border left to finish on my Travel Shawl. And I have the sleeves, ribbing, and collar and button band left to do on Gramps. I started a super easy loop-type scarf while I was in Texas, but I’m not in any hurry to make progress on that. I think it might live in my take-along bag for awhile.

What I’m really looking forward to is Blankie Mania 2016! It’s a blanket knit along in my favorite Ravelry group. Everyone will be working on something different, but we’ll all be doing blankets of some sort.

After considering a bunch of different things, I’ve decided I’m definitely going to do the Geek-A-Long blanket. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the brainchild of the ladies at Lattes and Llamas. Every Sunday, for 48 weeks, they post a pattern for a free, geek-themed double-knit/crochet square. In the past the squares have featured everything from a caffeine molecule to The Magic School Bus and Dr. Doom. The main purpose of the whole thing is to  raise awareness for Child’s Play Charity. If you’re not familiar with Child’s Play, follow the link and check it out. It’s very cool.

So here’s why I’ve decided to participate:

  • Lattes and Llamas’ design skills are crazy good. Check out their The Flash square. Who wouldn’t want to knit this kind of fun stuff??
  • I’ve been wanting to learn double knitting. Doing this blanket will give me all kinds of opportunities to learn and practice the technique.
  • One of my main knitting goals for 2016 is to finish a blanket. With the Geek-A-Long, you not only have the satisfaction of completing a blanket, you also have all the little moments of happiness that come with finishing each square. I think that will help me stick with it.
  • I absolutely love a good knit along. If it’s a mystery, that’s even better.
  • It’s for a great cause! Child’s Play Charity does a ton of good. I’m not going to be using the Louet GEMS yarn, a portion of whose sales benefit Child’s Play, but I will make a donation directly to Child’s Play.
There are probably other reasons I’m doing this too. I just can’t think of them right now. I’m distracted by wanting to dive into Extreme Double Knitting by Alasdair Post-Quinn. It came in the mail this afternoon. Woohooo!! I’ll report back!

Happy New Year, knitting people!!! I wish you lots and lots of happiness and tons of knitting time in 2016!!

Thursday 4

Hello, Knitting People!

I hope everyone is doing okay out there. I’m grading end-of-term papers and getting ready for my trip to Texas. On the knitting front, I’m making slow progress on the border of the Travel Shawl.

It was warm enough outside today to sit on the porch and knit for awhile.

Travel Shawl

I’ve also been keeping up with the Scrap Yarn Sock Advent Calendar knit along. Here’s where we are so far.

Dec 10 web

Dec 9 v2 web

The top bar of the second sock, the part that looks like it says “POOP,” is actually “Woof,” written out in runes. We got to pick our word, and I thought “Woof” seemed like a fun one because, you know . . . dogs. Anyhoo, after I finished I realized it looked like it spelled poop. Shoot.

I really love a fun knit along. I’ve mentioned the Lattes and Llamas Geek-A-Long before. Some of the squares on the 2014 and 2015 blankets were absolutely inspired. I also love the idea of doing a double-knit blanket which is what you end up with if you do the Geek-A-Long squares.

The theme for the 2016 Geek-A-Long was revealed today in the Ravelry group. It turns out it’s going to be video games, from classic to modern. This actually seems less interesting to me than the 2014 theme, Fandom, or the 2015 theme, Mad Scientists. But Dr Llama says it will be “the most visually dynamic blanket” they’ve done yet. If that’s true, it will be one awesome blanket. I’m so tempted!

I also got a card in the mail this week for the Rowan Martin Storey Knit Along for 2016. It’s starting on January 28 and runs through the end of May. I’ve seen some pics of the 2014 blanket, and it’s really gorgeous, something that seems like it would have been fun to knit and wonderful to keep and use and use and use.

It’s funny—I love blankets. Love having them, love using them, love thinking about them, love working on them… The only problem is that, so far, I’ve never actually finished one! I think one of my goals for 2016 will be to start and finish a blanket. We’ll see.

Other interesting knitting news . . .

Have you heard about Chanel? Two of their team apparently visited Fair Isle and spent time with a Scottish designer named Mati Ventrillon. They claimed to be interested in learning more about the Fair Isle tradition. A few months later, a sweater almost identical to Ventrillon’s showed up on the catwalk in Rome as one of Chanel’s new designs. Not cool. Chanel has apologized. Still…

Also, if you haven’t read Gregory Patrick’s “The Time I Was Questioned By Police for Knitting in a Starbucks,” be sure to check it out. It’s a great story, and as someone who used to be a police officer, I can say that it doesn’t surprise me one bit.

%d bloggers like this: