Another pair done.

Hmm. I don’t have very much to say today, except that I’m still plugging away at the stuff on the needles, and seem to add little things here and there along the way(a child’s pair of mittens for one thing, but super quick to knit up, and a swatch for the boot socks that have been waiting to be knit for a looong time).
But, progress is being made.
Here is a finished pair of socks 🙂 Cherry Tree Hill Glitz in Gypsy Rose, in a faux cable pattern, both from my Sockret Pal, Brooke.
The yarn is discontinued now, but you can still buy it in some places. It knits up quickly, and the colours remind me of Christmas, rather than gypsies or roses – that berry red, holly green and that deep royal purple. The pattern isn’t all that distinguishable in this yarn (although it is best seen flat than on the foot, hence the photo), but it does break up the way the colours stripe round the sock. The sparkly thread that runs through the yarn can be felt when you knit the yarn or touch it, but when you wear the socks, you don’t feel a thing 🙂 All in all I’m happy.
I don’t think I’ll show you Laila’s socks 50% finished just yet though. I’ll save that for when they are finished so that I can comment on my mistakes… 😉
In other news, I’ve become obsessed with finding the right skirt. I want it for work to dress up or down however I feel (working with fashion and textile students means you feel more self conscious about your clothing!), to be wearable autumn to spring, and to last, kind of a classic look with a twist so I can hold on to it for quite a long time. I’m leaning towards a couple from Boden (especially as I can get a discount until the end of this month), but there are so few nice wearable skirts right now 🙁 They are all dressy or too casual. Any other suggestions? The one I really like at Boden has box pleats in a tweed material, with a blue grey on the main panels, a soft brown inside the pleats, and a mustardy greenish shade in velvet at the bottom. It is dry clean only, but I think it might be safe for a quick dip in Soak or something like that sometimes. They also have some gorgeous inspirational knitwear… Oh, and I’m waiting for a skirt from Made with Love by Hannah to arrive as she posted it last week 🙂 So that’s one already in the wardrobe effectively. More on that when it arrives 😉

Ooooh baby…

Yet another week where I have been busy outside of work and haven’t been able to knit (not even at lunchtime! Not even a bit!) until Friday night 🙁 Which naturally means I don’t have any progress to speak of at all. Well, I do, but I’m not showing 😉
So why am I posting? Because I got a parcel in the post on Friday 😀 I was worried it might not show up – the nearest sorting office was on a wildcat strike until Weds night, something I didn’t realise when I went shopping online and sent off several late birthday presents (one of which has a confirmed arrival thank goodness. I have a sneaky feeling the flat present won’t arrive now but fingers crossed). Once I found that out, I had a terrible feeling that my parcel wouldn’t arrive this week when I actually felt the need for it, or that something would happen to it like the wrapping would be all ripped and things missing and so on and so forth paranoia paranoia can you do the fandango etc etc.
Yet, when I got home from work, I had the best parcel ever (till the next one ;D). I ordered some Dream in Color Smooshy and some rosewood 3.25mm sock needles from Socktopus. Socktopus rock big time. They put BIG socktopus stickers on everything, and have their own tissue paper 😀 LOOK!
It is so pretty! Alice sent a little message and put free things inside the parcel 😀 Like rinse free wool wash (and you all know how much I like to be lazy and not rinse my handknits, and how there isn’t much available here) and little different flavoured gums. Not just any old gums, but grape and wine flavoured shaped in big hearts 😀 I need to find them in real shopping life… And then of course, the yarn. The yarn.
Tasty stuff eh? And it IS smooshy and squishy and sproingy. And there is lots of it. I would guess that there would be enough for a fancy pair (i.e. lots of stitch pattern and cabling and stuff) and for a simpler shorter legged pair. 450 yds is a lot of sock yarn. I suspect the mojo will come back the moment I wind this skein into a couple of cakes. I best wait till some stuff is off the needles though so that I keep my inspiration low and finish things off and that should make sure I enjoy this yarn to the full. Nevertheless, I’m still thinking about what to knit in it. Bayerische will be too fine a gauge I think, so one of the fancier Cookie A patterns. Or Marina Piccola. And some charades too…

Out of hiding

Ok, so I wasn’t really hiding, but I’ve not had motivation or time to post anything the past couple of weeks. I figured I’d hold back and wait until I actually had something to show you. Thanks for the input on blanket sizes by the way! It hasn’t moved on very much, although some ends have been woven in (which is a big deal, let me tell you).
So what have I been up to the past two weeks? Well, last weekend was spent at an Oktoberfest beer festival. We only planned to go for an hour, and ended up stopping out for 6 hours (including the inevitable post drinking meal). We had the chance to taste all kinds of perries and ciders, but the weakest ones had sold out so it was strooooong stuff, so we moved on to the beers yum yum. I’ve also been out shopping in Manchester, looking for that elusive autumn to winter work clothing (freezing at the bus stop in the morning, hot in the office, lovely temperature when I leave work – how on earth do I prepare for such variance apart from layers, layers, layers?).
And I’ve been knitting socks. I’ve mentioned it before, but on Ravelry there is a big sock knitters group, and they are currently having a sock kal, with each month dedicated to particular techniques or pattern designers. This month is cables or Nancy Bush, and I’m working on Laila’s Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia. The secret stranded knitting prepared me quite well for this and built up my confidence, and it is a fantastic beginners pattern because much of it is stripes and there is only a relatively small amount of stranding in comparison to other stuff 😀 I’m loving this pattern, and it is zipping along in spite of things keeping me busy enough to not knit. Looksie here:
The pink isn’t quite as pink as I was hoping (although the camera and winter light has bleached the pink for this photo. I’ve doctored it in PSP to add the warmth a bit more, but can’t make it pinker) – against the brown it is a little dirty instead of the rose shade it has when you look at it alone. It has kind of turned into a strawberry filled chocolate, a little bit sickly if I look too much. BUT, I’m pleased with the way it defines the pattern against the dark brown, and there will be plenty of yarn left over for other socks. Just to confirm, I’m using Opal Uni on this.
I seem to have lost my mojo a bit recently though. Inspiration has left me. I see patterns in my queue which are beautiful, look fab on other people, and yet I have no desire to start them at all 🙁 Maybe it is because I’m on a yarn diet – I’ve restricted what yarn is coming in, and so my brain subconsciously wants me to restrict what I’m using 😉 Or maybe it is because, even though I’m at the end of the list of things to make for everyone else, I’m still busy dealing with their requirements and so my own list is purely the socks. I don’t know. I’m sure it will come back though – my passion for yarn hasn’t decreased, and the love of the stash is still there. I think I’ve just lost direction. It will return 🙂
[edited to add] Ok, yarn diet over – I just succumbed to Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose and some 3.25mm rosewood dpns… A minor blip?

Moving on.

I’ve had to re-write this post slightly, as when I typed it up, I thought I was a couple of days from finishing the stranded knitting, but now it is done! Hoorah! If you want a look, go look me up on Ravelry (it is the only stranded knitting in my projects so you can’t miss it) 😉 I don’t think I’m all that good at it, but I do think that I improved as I went along, and I want to develop my skills and make more stuff like this. So, thanks to the Sockdown on Ravelry, I’m going to start one of the many Nancy Bush patterns I have hanging around the house, and what better one to work on than the wonderful Laila’s Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia? Not many people have posted finished projects of these socks, but those who do have done fantastic work – work that I could never compare my pair-to-be to right now. Remember that rose and chocolate coloured Opal? I’m still deciding which to name main colour, and which contrast. Most people seem to have made them with the paler shade as the contrast colour, so I’ll probably stick with that for now. Cast on is imminent i.e. now from eagerness and excitement 🙂
As is the cast on for Juliet! I’m still trying to work out whether I can justify casting on for it yet – should I start another project for myself or should I start work on the last of the projects I need to make for others? I’ve been drawn towards a Drops pattern too, but there is plenty of yarn for both, and Juliet will be quicker. The not-so-secret baby knitting is slowly moving on too. Is it really possible that I have so few projects physically on the needles right now? How did I manage that? Through much hair pulling and wrenching of clothes, and a very strict no cast on policy. Still so much to do though. There will be two 0% items on that sidebar for some time yet 🙁 Said not-so-secret baby knitting is a blanket in a method which is very zen but not very exciting. I want it finished as it is loooong overdue and I have that cardi to start for my friend at work too, which will NOT be zen or stupidly easy… Any ideas what kind of size a baby blanket should be?!
Pippa is still waiting to be sewn up. The Tapestry didn’t felt as much as the Kid Classic and might fray, but another wash would be too much. The instructions do say you need to stitch round the edges of the shapes cut out before you sew them to the bag and that is what is slowing me down – it isn’t worth setting up the sewing machine to do this bit, and I can’t remember how to blanket stitch. I have looked it up on the web though, so hopefully it will get done sooooooon.
Wow. Only 2 projects actually on the needles. Best enjoy it while I can – won’t be long before it expands again… 😉