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 🙂

 

It’s not all socks

I want to start this post by pointing out that, contrary to popular belief, I do not only knit socks. Do I hardly knit anything besides socks at the moment? Pretty much, but sometimes I do! And now I’m proving it by showing actual progress on my powder snow shawl. It is a lovely shawl and all, but not a fast knit. At the moment I am somewhere around 450+ stitches and a single cable row takes me approximately 30 minutes to get through. The end is in sight though, I’ll only do 2 more cable pattern repeats (8 rows each) before I’ll start knitting the ribbed border.

I did not exactly envision this year to be the year of socks (I had high hopes for mountains of sweaters), but alas, the other WIPs on my needles are socks. I won an instagram giveaway hosted by brand new sock blank dyer Joyance Fibre arts (check out her Etsy shop here!), and as soon as the PINEAPPLE(!!!) sock blank arrived I had to cast on. Seriously, how cute is this?? I’ve actually never knit a sock blank before, but I’m definitely seeing what makes it so much fun. I’m foreseeing much more of this in the future.


I’ve also reknit my Mash Potato sock, and although by now it looks considerably less fun, it fits. I put in a fish lips kiss heel, most importantly because at the moment I know the pattern by heart so I’m putting it in all my socks out of laziness. Then I worked the back of the leg in stockinette and voila, a perfectly fitting sock. I’m still madly in love with the fun Spectrum Fibre yarn, so cheerful (especially given the very autumnal weather we are experiencing at the moment).

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!

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: 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!