Autumn WIPs

I am LOVING the rainy & windy weather right now, and am indulging in all of the knitting. So far my amount of WIPs is still somewhat under control, but I’m also aware of the great effort I’m putting into not casting on 10 more projects.

I’m still happily working on my Ondawa sweater, wanting to finish it before winter truly arrives. By now I have finished the front panel and have cast on for the back. When I started this sweater I worried a bit about the many different cable charts involved and that this would be incredibly time consuming. But by the end of this panel I practically memorised the cable pattern, so it is a very relaxing project.

In an effort to knit more from all the knitting magazines I’ve been hoarding, I’ve cast on a pair of Elske socks from issue 12 of Pom Pom Quartely. It’s been years since I last knit a colourwork sock, and it’s taking me a little time to get used to it again. I’m using Onion nettle sock yarn, which is new to me, but so far I’m loving the colours and softness of the yarn.

Last week I received a delicious sock blank in the mail from the mermaid yarnery and couldn’t resist an immediate cast on. Aren’t the colours dreamy?

Lastly, another pair of socks (of course) that is also from a magazine. This is the Blomst pattern that was featured in issue 2 of Laine magazine. The yarn is a skein I picked up in Vienna earlier this year (I believe it was a handdyed skein from the Wollewien store), which is knitting up a bit more stripey than I was expecting. Still love it together with the pattern though!

How is your autumn knitting going? Did you go mad with new cast ons or did you manage to restrain yourself?

FO: Dreamweaver socks

It feels like these socks flew off my needles, and with a ‘construction time’ of less than 2 weeks, for me this is indeed pretty fast.

Pattern: Dreamweaver socks by Ana Campos
Yarn: Stranded Dyeworks Oasis in the Balloon colourway

This pattern was so easy to remember, but requires some computational power, so I enjoyed knitting this a great deal. The heel is definitely different than anything I’ve done before, but to my surprise gives a great fit. However, once again I’ve knit a rather tight sock (the same issue I ran into with my mash potato socks). I think the issue lies partly in that these specific patterns aren’t particularly stretchy, and partly in that I am in the want of knitting my socks on a smaller needle size (I like the stitch definition and the fabric better) and am still finetuning what I need exactly to make this result in a nicely fitting sock. I’ve always knit my socks on 2.5mm and am now switching more and more to 2.25mm. On 2.5mm I can knit a great pair of socks blindly, on 2.25mm I’m still finding my way. Nonetheless, the socks do fit, even if they need a little bit of encouragement to fit over my heel.

Stranded Dyeworks might sound familiar, as it’s already my second time using it for socks this year. At the beginning of the year I knit the Home Grown socks out of the same yarn. I think there’s something about subtle variegated yarn that is really speaking to my soul at the moment. And I just happen to find all of the patterns that will match fantastically with it, so who am I to fight this urge.

Sweater weather

Ok ok, I am aware of the fact that it is the middle of August, and it couldn’t be possible further from actual sweater weather. However, two weeks ago I was struck by an idea of pure genius (I swear), and sometimes immediate cast-ons are necessary.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one in this, but when I first started knitting I wanted to knit all the things, and with it came buying all the yarn to knit all the things. Actually, not much has changed in that respect, but the learning curve when you start knitting is incredibly steep. This means that I outgrew many of those projects within no time. This has left me with odd quantities of yarn, some of dubious quality.

One of these projects was a pair of leg warmers in a simple spiral rib pattern, that I grew bored with even before finishing the first leg warmer. The yarn I was using was a dark grey Cascade yarn 220, and I had precisely two skeins. What to do with two skeins of dark grey yarn? The leg warmers were frogged, and the yarn was forgotten.

Lately I’ve been feeling the urge however to dig up these forgotten about yarns and try to use them. The genius idea for me was the moment that I realised that I could increase the amount of skeins. Really, this is a perfectly fine yarn for a nice and durable sweater, why not make one? Plus, I had just come across the most perfect pattern for it. I purchased a couple of additional skeins, which doesn’t even count as stash enhancement, because it’s using up my very old stash (right???).

And from this the beginning of the Ondawa sweater was born. I think what I used to see as bland and boring grey is actually perfect for such a busy cable pattern. Also, for some reason I had forgotten about these adorable stitch markers, so despite it being August I am immensely enjoying this project. And who knows, maybe it’s done once the cold weather arrives.

And of course I always have a pair of socks on the needles, in fact I already finished half of a new pair! This pair is made from Stranded Dyeworks Oasis in a new colourway (balloon) and the pattern I’m using is Dreamweaver. This is the perfect pair project to the sweater, which is knit over 6 separate cable charts, because the sock pattern is super easy to memorise.

And as a bonus to this weeks post I wanted to share some pictures of why all of my knitting always has an extra insulation layer of cat hair. Actually, everything in my house is covered in a layer of cat hair.. But despite that, whenever I get the camera out for knitting pics, Iva comes running and will try to sit on my knitting. One day I’ll publish a photo book that is just pictures of Iva photo-bombing all my knitting photography..

Double FO post! Mash Potato & Pineapple socks

Somehow this year I’m not being particularly productive when it comes to my knitting, but whenever I do finish things it comes in batches. Currently I seem to have the perfect balance between monogamous and non-monogamous (do we call that polygamous?) knitting; I have around three WIPs at the same time, but I do not start new projects until all three are actually finished. Last week I finished my Powdersnow shawl, and this week the sock front is strongly represented once again.

Pattern: Mash Potato socks by Verena Cohrs
Yarn: Spectrum Fibre sock yarn in the Club Tropicana colourway

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to make some changes to the pattern to get this sock to fit. According to the pattern you’re supposed to knit the twisted stitches all round the leg, but for me this meant a sock that I couldn’t get passed my heel. I considered several solutions (going up a needles size for the leg or going up a pattern size altogether), but in the end opted for making the back of the leg in stockinette. I still think this is the solution that works best for me, although I can understand if someone else might prefer to have the pattern worked all around the leg. In any case, these are fitting socks now, although there is still some tension on the instep (as you can see in the pictures the middle stitches get a bit stretched). Luckily it’s not to an extent that it affects the fit of the sock, so I can live with this.

This is already the second time this year I’ve made a pair of socks out of Spectrum Fibre yarn (you might remember my Flying North socks), which in itself is probably enough testimony of how much I like the yarn. The colours are SO vibrant and happy, I’ll certainly be ordering from this dyer again. Plus I have relatively small feet, so I actually have substantial leftovers from both of these pairs, I’m certain I’ll find something fun to do with those.

Pattern: Plain vanilla socks with a fish lips kiss heel
Yarn: Pineapple sockblank by Joyance fibrearts

This was my first ever time knitting from a sock blank, and it was loads of fun! I definitely understand the exciting part about not completely knowing what your socks will look like, and it is highly addictive to keep on knitting to watch the colours unfold. One thing though that I beforehand was already a bit hesitant about still irks me; the crinkly-ness of the yarn is not super nice. I knew this beforehand, and it did not bother me as much as I thought it would, but I still prefer my yarn nice and straight. I’ve seen some people online that go through the trouble of undoing their sockblank completely and first giving it a wash, then reskeining them. I would never go that far though, and despite this minor complaint I will be knitting from sockblanks again! Especially if they have pineapples on them of course!

These socks are pairs #9 and #10 of 2017. Audry already suggested on one of my previous posts to put all socks together in one picture at some point, which I’ll certainly be doing! Maybe 17 pairs of socks in 2017 will be my new goal, the idea pleases my inner perfectionist. In the meantime I have cast on two new projects, but more on that next week 🙂

 

FO: Powdersnow shawl

Pattern: Powdersnow by Lisa Hannes
Yarn: Zazu yarns in Morocon Mint colourway

Hurrah, my powdersnow shawl is all done! This turned out to be a very light (both texture and colour-wise) shawl that I think is perfect for Dutch summer (or as other countries would call it: autumn), but will also transition fantastically into colder weather.

Although the cable section obviously stands out the most, I think my favourite section of the shawl is actually the first textured part. It makes for such a bouncy and squishy fabric, I could’ve easily made an entire shawl this way (except that it would’ve been a tad boring to knit). Any eagle-eyed knitters might notice that I made one tiny mod to the pattern. As I was knitting I noticed I would end up using a lot less yarn than the pattern calls for, so I added 1 repeat of the cable pattern to lengthen that section a bit.

Despite that mod, I actually still have enough of this yarn left for a short pair of socks. Which I don’t mind at all! I have such a weak spot for mint green, which is why I have a mint green coloured wall in my bedroom.

Overall happiness with the project is pretty high, although I’m a bit bugged with how wonky my cable knitting is currently. Guess I’ll have to practice a bit more regularly. Also, this shawl got me into a shawl knitting mood.. Only I have no other shawl patterns in my queue at the moment (say whaaat!!). So, does anyone have any brilliant suggestions?