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!

Knitting here and there

Hello lovely people, I hope you are having a relaxing Easter holiday. For me Easter mainly means a long weekend, which I’ve been trying to use as relaxation time. I also figured it was a good opportunity to take stock of my knitting. For some reason I feel like it’s been ages since my last FO, when in fact it’s only been 1 month. One obvious reason though is how spread out my knitting currently is.

Last week, seemingly out of nowhere, I got bitten by the hexipuffs bug again. I started the Beekeeper’s quilt in 2014 (oh my..) and don’t have all that much to show for it, with only occasional bursts of hexipuff knitting. In the meantime I’ve hoarded up a semi impressive stash of left-over sock yarn and I was feeling the urge to start knitting scrap yarn socks. It didn’t feel quite fair though, knowing this quilt was hopelessly waiting to be finished. So in just a couple of days I managed to add 18 new hexipuffs to the collection.

This brings the total amount to a not so super impressive 54.. Which doesn’t sound all THAT bad, but put together it would barely fit my two cats comfortably (granted, they are a bit on the larger side..). So I’m still nowhere near finishing this project, but at least I already feel good that it’s not completely neglected anymore.

I’ve also been working on the Paint the Town scarf, which I think is now getting decently scarf sized. Plus, I finally decided on my third colour! Initially I was going for a lovely purple, but I don’t think it would really work with colour nr. 1 at all. So this greenish/turquoise is a much better fit (and happens to be one of my favourite colours). Still a couple of more cm’s of the white with yellow speckles to go though before I can start striping in the green.

Aaaand that’s not all! I’ve also finally started working on my Wheatly socks again. The first sock was finished super fast, but then had to be lonely for a while. Now sock number two is finally under construction. I’m ready to start the heel flap and this pair should be finished in no time.

How is your knitting going currently? Are you super focused or also a little all over the place?