Triple FO post!

This is a unique post indeed, as I’m showing off not 1, not 2, but 3 finished objects! I’ve come back from my holiday, and as expected I brought far too much projects with me and didn’t exactly get home with a bag full of sweaters and shawls and socks. But still, 3 finished pairs of socks (even though two were already in progress when I left) is a very good score indeed. So without further ado and in order of finishing, here they are!

Pattern: Show-off Stranded by Anne Campbell
Yarn: Cosmic Strings Sock in the Zest colourway

Show-off stranded if one of those easy to remember free patterns that will work well in whatever yarn you throw at it. The particular skein I used had me puzzled a bit as to how it would knit up, so I decided to play it safe. Even though the yarn knits up decidedly less wild than I thought it would, and thus could’ve handled a busier pattern as well, I do like the match a lot. The only mods I made to the pattern is that I only patterned half of the leg, and put in a fish lip kiss heel instead of a heel flap. I absolutely adore the colour of these, it’s even better than I expected actually. The combination of beige, pale yellow, pale neon yellow and full on neon flecked with black works SO well.

Pattern: Girl on Fire by Cookie A
Yarn: Uschitita the Twist in Purrrfect purple and contrasting mini skein in Corn

You might remember these from a previous post, there’s a chance I might’ve been rattling on about loving the contrast between the purple and the yellow. Rightfully so I might add, this is a brilliant pair together. I should add contrasting cuffs, heels and toes to all of my socks (I shouldn’t though, there’s a time and place for everything..). I’ve knit a couple of Cookie A lace patterns so far and they never really disappoint. I think the only thing I could’ve changed is go down a needle size. Even though the lace works out just fine as it is, it could pop a bit more.

Pattern: Simple vanilla socks
Yarn: Twisted Limone self striping sock yarn in Lavender Mint

So this ball of self striping yarn was delivered by the post man the day before I left on my trip. I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of Twisted Limone’s self striping yarn for a bit now, but it seemed like every shop update sold out within the hour and I was always too slow. This time I was sitting ready for the shop update though, and within the blink of an eye I popped a skein into my check out basket. The stripes are so much fun, not only the mint-lavender combination, but also the fact that the mint is speckled. I even made an effort to make them oppositely striped, and I usually don’t bother with these sort of things. These definitely brighten up my day.

Now as this is already a very long post indeed, I’ll leave the details of my trip for another post!

The art of travel knitting

Tomorrow I’m leaving on a holiday to Denmark and I am EXCITED! It’s been years since the last time I went on holiday by car, which is a shame. I love road trips, and I hate packing for trips by plane. So for this trip I basically have unlimited luggage, and obviously I’m most excited about packing all my knitting.

Jus to give you an idea; I’m going to a summer house by the sea for 1,5 weeks and my plan is to simply be relaxed. Which leads to the question of how much knitting I’ll need to bring. This is everything I have got packed right now (minus the cat tail in the upper right, as much as she’d like to Iva cannot join unfortunately): 2 sock WIPs, a jumper WIP, a to be cast on shawl and two completely non existent socks. Remember, this is for 1,5 weeks. Surely this is enough? There’s just no way I’d come pack from this trip with a finished jumper, a finished shawl and 4 pairs of socks. I mean.. 1,5 weeks right?

Still.. You just don’t know.. What if I run out of yarn and I find myself in a summer house by the sea without knitting?! I guess I’d have to find a yarn shop then. Hmm.. maybe this isn’t all that bad after all.

And in case you are wondering, I’m bringing 6 books (I usually finish around 10 books a year).

……

*runs back to the yarn stash to pack more yarn*

Oh sweet sock yarn

We all have our little coping strategies, and shopping therapy is by no means a rarity. I also like to indulge myself when I’m feeling stressed, and hand dyed sock yarn is my guiltiest of pleasures. I think it’s fair to say that the final stages of a PhD is a stressful period, which might be somewhat reflected in the quantity of new yarns that have been entering my life.

Just to speak in my defence; it helps. It sounds absolutely silly, and many non-knitters will not understand buying yarn that you surely won’t be able to use up in the near future, but this makes me SO excited. When a pretty new skein comes in I squish it, I sniff it, I admire it, I dream about its possibilities. It makes me so happy!

This modest yarn mountain (let’s call it a small hill) is what has been added to my stash in the last 2 months or so. I’m completely driven by bright colours and pastels at the moment. Most of these will be socks (duh), but some of them are reserved for shawls or will even be incorporated in garments.

I’m also happy that these yarns are a lovely representation of what European indie dyers have to offer. On the top left we have a skein from Spectrum Fibre based in the UK (the neon might look familiar as I made a pair of socks from the same dyer earlier this year). Top right is a skein by Craftfulness, a dyer located in the North of the Netherlands. The two stunning skeins in the middle are from Baerenwolle from Germany, which is a yarn I’ve been dying to try for ages but I kept missing the shop updates. Bottom left is a skein I picked up when visiting Sticks and Cups in Utrecht and it’s one of the shops own dyed sock yarn. The YELLOW skein on the bottom right is by Cosmic Strings, and if that sounds familiar it might be because I knit a fantastic pair of socks out of their yarn last Summer. And then the two lovely minty green skeins are by another Dutch dyer called Zazu yarns.

 

To somewhat justify all of this I have been knitting a lot lately too! I cast on a Your Victory Jumper and am already working on the back panel. I do sense that I am in a very lazy knitting mood, which means I’m kind of half-reading the pattern/half improvising my way through this. It’s the first time I’m knitting a vintage pattern, which is only written for size 34. Instead of making calculations etc. I’m just doing things that kind of look like it will fit me. It’s such an odd way of making a garment but it doesn’t seem to bother me at all right now. Even if it wouldn’t fit in the end I don’t think I’d be devastated. For now I’m simply enjoying the process.

In addition I am of course working on another pair of socks. Yellow and purple is a combination that has a special place in my heart, so the contrasting in this sock is magical to me. The yarn is actually a really deep purple, but somehow wants to portray itself a bit more blueish on camera, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. The pattern is Girl on Fire by Cookie A.

So that is what I am up to at the moment. Is there anyone else out there that uses sock yarn to cope with stress?

FO: Paint the Town scarf

Two FO posts in a row, am I on a roll or what?! My Paint the Town scarf came off the needles, got a wash, a block and is ready to be pranced around.

Pattern: Paint the Town by JumperCables
Yarn: Hedgehog fibres sock in Canal House and Seed, and Undercover Otter Squirm Sock in Blackheath Woods

The most appropriate summary of this project is stockinette for days.. nay, actually, it’s stockinette for months. I started this scarf due to a massive craving for a simple, no brainer project that would still result in something I’d love to have. I would say the project fulfilled all of these requirements, but mostly has cured me out of my stockinette craving. Seriously, hand me some lace or cables right now!

But I really do not want to complain, because gosh there is a lot to love about this project. Obviously the yarn. Oh the yarn!! Both the hedgehog fibres and the undercover otter yarn are exactly what I was looking for and they go fantastically well together. The subtle semi-solidness and light speckles are super pretty and the resulting fabric is so light and drapey.

Which brings me to another thing I love about this, I feel like I can wear this in a million different ways. It’s really hard to judge from the pics, but this thing is massive. MASSIVE I tell you. I don’t have exact measurements, but it’s way taller than myself, so I’m guestimating it to be well over 2 meters. This means I can either wrap it around my neck as a normal scarf or go full blown coccoon and wrap up my entire body in it. Which is brilliant and practical.

Anyway, like I said, stockinette cravings are gone, new projects have been cast on, but more on that next time (there might also be a pile of new yarn..).

FO: Wheatly socks

Hurray, my weathly socks are done! Granted, they look more autumnal than spring-like, but to be fair that is exactly what the weather is doing as well. So ACTUALLY, they are super seasonal and this was obviously very intentional.

Pattern: Wheatly socks by Kerri Blumer
Yarn: Spun Right Round sock yarn in the Bug Jar colourway

Each of these socks were actually knit up super fast individually, for some reason there was just some massive gap between making them. But, if you are looking for a textured sock pattern that is interesting to make, while still having a super simple to memorise repeat, then these are definitely the socks for you. It would take me a couple of repeats to remember the pattern and then I’d basically go through the sock in no time.

This is already the third pair of socks I’ve made with Spun Right Round yarn (previous pairs include the super fabulous Prairie Spring and Vinnland socks) and it just never disappoints. There’s always a perfect balance between colours, and each skein I got almost literally spoke to me. This might make me sound mad, but these skeins knew exactly what sort of socks they wanted to become, and I was just following their command. The yarn is really soft, but I can tell you from my previous socks that they stand the test of time fantastically (both when it comes to colour and wear).

And now I am about to cast on some crazy colourful summer socks, because surely the weather will get inspired by that and follow suit!