FO: Pixel Socks

PixelSocks5 Summer weather has found its way to the Netherlands, so that’s the perfect time for finishing a pair of hand knit socks right? 😉 Can you believe this is my first FO since February? And it’s only my second FO of 2016?? Holy cow, I had no idea my knitting mojo was missing for so long!

Pattern: Vanilla socks
Yarn: Digipix by Regia

PixelSocks

As odd as it sounds, maybe a simple pair of socks is all you need to get the creativity flowing again. A little reminder that I love creating things, and not every project has to be a intricate lace shawl to enjoy the craft. I felt perfectly blissful mindlessly stitching away at these.

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Fun yarn always helps doesn’t it? I picked this sock yarn up two summers ago in Switzerland. I’ve been stash diving and found some more skeins that told me they want to be vanilla socks. Time to cast on :)

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Patterns for knitting speck-tacular socks!

Speck-tacular sock knitting

There’s no denying it, the speckled yarn hype has taken over the knitting world and most of us have succumbed to some serious stash enhancement with these speckled beauties. Not only are they a pleasure to behold when skeined up, knitted up they give us out of this world projects. Socks are no exception to this of course, but most of the speckled socks I’ve come across are vanilla socks or Hermione’s every day socks. NOTHING wrong with this of course, it’s a great way of letting the yarn do its magic. However, there are plenty of patterns out there that are made for speckles! To give you an idea of the possibilities of those skeins that surely are patiently awaiting in your stash, here are some of my favourite sock patterns for speckled yarns.

Flying North Socks by Maria Montzka

What makes this pattern so suitable for a wild speckled yarn is that there’s so much stockinette to give the yarn a chance to shine. It’s like a vanilla sock, but with just that little extra to make it more special. Many knitters have mixed this pattern with their speckled sock yarn, my favourite pair so far is this one by Teresa (Quiet-Zone on Ravelry).

FlyingNorth-by-QuietZone
Fine and Dandy socks by The Sweater Co.

This pattern has speckled yarn written all over it. Those slipped stitches will look like little flowers or fireworks when paired with the right yarn. My favourite speckled pair so far are these beauties by Kelly (Downhomepurl on Ravelry).

Fine&Dandy_byDownHomepurl
Prairie Spring by devonshire Knots

Ok so I’m obviously a little biased about these ever since I knit them up myself. I still think it was a perfect pattern-yarn match and I can see them work in so many different colours. This is the pair I made over a year ago and still wear whenever the weather permits it (it feels like I have a small party on my feet).

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Celtic Rainbow socks by Lea Lacoste

This pattern works so wonderfully well with speckled yarn because there’s the whole front of the sock to go wild, while the bold cable on the back is strong enough to not drown in a sea of colour. Here’s the version made by the designer herself.

CelticRainbowSocks

Tulsi Socks by Verena Cohrs

This pattern is still hot off the press and I cannot wait to cast it on! This version that Regina (Regy on Ravelry) is working on shows exactly why it works so well with speckles, again a great use of slipped stitches that’ll pop out in unexpected colours.

Tulsi_Socks
And if you think that speckles might be too much to go together with a lace pattern then here’s a stunning pair of modified Frost Flower socks made by Domini (Dominiknitsalot on Ravelry) to prove you wrong!

FrostFlower_byDomini
These are of course only some options of the many many possibilities out there. Is it just me or did your hands also start itching to grab a speckled skein and cast on?

Yarns feautured in this post: Spun Right RoundCat Sandwich Fibers, Eaden Yarns Prism and Herbstblatt Regina.

On the needles

Hello dear readers, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m glad to say I finally moved into my new apartment, but the hectic move plus stress at work caused me to completely lose my knitting mojo. I found it back though, I think I have the wonderful online knitting community to thank for. I guess you can only look at beautiful knitting projects by others for so long before your hands start to itch again.

SockWIPs

One thing that never fails me are socks of course. Here’s a display of the pairs of socks I have in various stages of being finished. The Evening Stockings for a Young Lady socks haven’t progressed since I last blogged about them.

SpringFern

The Spring Fern socks on the other hand are a little closer to completion. The second sock is patiently awaiting a heel. This Snail Yarn is really knitting up like a dream.

Pixel Socks
Just last week I was feeling a bit stressed one evening and decided to cast on a vanilla sock, something I rarely do. In fact, there’s only 1 finished pair of vanilla socks in my collection, after learning to knit socks I soon lost interest. It’s a pity though, these are so quick to knit and it’s fun to watch a pattern emerge. It’s the yarn that is doing the hard work instead of me, and I kind of like it. The yarn is called Digipix (by Regia) so I decided to call these socks my Pixel Socks.

PAC2 PAC1

The Petit Arc en Ciel baby cardigan I was working on in April remains unfinished, even though it was on a deadline for a baby shower gift. At least I am very close to having it done now, only having the pocket and finishing up left to do. Let’s hope the baby still fits in it by the time it is gifted! Good thing I cast on the 3-6 months old size..

Bunny
I also started working on a knitted toy, to gift to the very same newborn. I picked a pattern from the Little Cotton Rabbits collection, they are so freaking adorable. So far only the head is finished and I’m having some second thoughts about the yarn. The ears look a little limp and won’t both stay up. Either I a) accept that as it is, b) maybe knit the ears with the yarn held double? or c) decide on a different yarn. To be decided..

Stash

Oh, and if you are wondering if I also lost my appetite for yarn purchasing while I took a little break from knitting; of course not. These 4 skeins entered my stash in the last 2 months, 3 of them purchased at the Wolspektakel event in May, and the Hedgehog Fibres is a beautiful memory of a day spend in Amsterdam with friends, which finally gave me a chance to visit the Stephen + Penelope store (thanks to my friends for patiently waiting around while I browsed the store).

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Manos Del Uruguay Alegria, I’ve never had the pleasure to work with this yarn before. It’s so soft! Surely this should be a shawl right? In colourway Macachines.

Wolbeest

From the Dutch dyer Het Wolbeest, this colourway is called Herfstbladeren (Fall Leaves). DWC

Another skein from a Dutch dyer, this time The Dutch Cottage, Iva particularly appreciated the smell of this skein. She wouldn’t stop sniffing it while I tried to snap a shot.

HFSock

An out of this world colour palette, Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in the Genie colourway. I have no clue yet what this skein wants to become, but I already know there’s no way it’ll be disappointing or boring.

So this became quite the post to catch up! Anyone else who loses their knitting mojo sometimes?

In any case I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, here’s a little picture of Iva who couldn’t resist striking a pose when I got the camera out.

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A week of extremes

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Two events I knew were coming up, one deeply dreaded, one happily anticipated, happened last week.

My dear dog Duke was getting old (nearly 13 must be like 100 in German Shepherd years) and his legs were slowly giving up on him. We were still trying to make his life comfortable, trying all sorts of pain medication, but the decision that it simply was enough seemed so subjective, we were living in a grey area. When is it really enough, when do you decide he would be better off gone, is he in pain, is he still happy? Questions continuously on my mind for months. There seemed no right or wrong answer, but I did set one clear cut-off; if he cannot walk anymore it would be too much stress for him to have a joyful life. And then last week Thursday night while wandering through the house, his hind legs give up and he couldn’t get up again. On Friday there were no improvements, at his age surgery would seem a folly. So I decided the dreaded moment had come, I wish I would never have to do this but I had to say my goodbyes. 5 of his 13 years he spend with my boyfriend and me, adopted at the age of 8 as a dog that was deemed by many as better put down. Not socialised, horribly insecure, constant tail-chasing (and chewing even) and growling at everything he did not know. Well, never underestimate the ability of dogs to bounce back, to still gain trust. With a little love and patience he turned into the most wonderful, loving, sweetest and cuddly dog, accompanying me on so many walks through fields and forest (and as it turned out addicted to eating apples). Thanks for all those wonderful memories Duke, you will be dearly dearly missed.

And then exactly one week after saying goodbye I got the keys to my new apartment, the first one I ever really own. And we move on, busy with painting, packing, and demolishing. Even though it seems like such a cruel coming together of events, I’m thankful for the distraction. The idea of an association free new home is appealing, not expecting your dog to appear out of certain rooms, simply because he has never been there. Not expecting the noise of his feet approaching, because he never walked on those floors. Making a clean start, making new memories, but never forgetting the wonderful times we had.

Baby knits

Arc_en_ciel3 Thanks to everyone for the very helpful yarn suggestions for baby knits! My urgency of casting something on just became a little bigger, because apparently my friends baby shower is in less than 2 weeks, so my needles had to start clicking.

Arc_en_ciel One pattern that stood out for me while browsing Ravelry was the Petit Arc-en-Ciel cardigan, because I have the perfect yarn for the rainbow! You might remember the skeinbow I also used for my Rainbow Wanderer socks, and there’s still plenty left for making this pretty little yoke. I found a fingering weight yarn that is supposedly machine washable (Lana Grossa Cool Wool Baby) so I’m hoping this cardi will be a hit for the mom to be. In any case knitting this is making me HAPPY! Combined with the budging spring weather it’s difficult not to get cheerful from this project. And reallly, there’s no going wrong with a knitted rainbow is there?


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And since I’m optimistic about my knitting speed I also decided to make one additional gift. I’ve been adoring the Little Cotton Rabbits patterns for ages and always told myself I’d make one once I’d needed a baby gift. So I’m going to make the Bunny Girl in a Dotty Dress with this Drops Saffran. Drops_safran

Now I’m going to have to continue knit knit knitting to finish all of this on time, happy Sunday everyone!