Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WIP Wednesday: It's All Under Control Edition

About two weeks ago, I posted a somewhat panicked picture on Instagram showing all of the projects I was working on:

From top left clockwise, they were Sam's Christmas socks in Schoppel Wolle flying saucer yarn, Sam's aunt's Christmas socks in Shepherdess Aussie Handmade sock yarn, Theme and Variation from The Book of Haps in Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Tweed, Ilga's Socks from Favorite Socks in Knitpicks Stroll, a Baable Hat in Heirloom Easy Care 5 ply and Sam's Anniversary Socks in Red Heart Sports Socks.

Understanding that a lot of people work on many projects at the same time and have a lot of WIPs and things on the go (which absolutely makes me feel better for my project prolificacy), I was literally working on every one of these projects every day, even if it was only a row here and a few stitches there. Working on so many different things at the same time meant that I was making no progress on any one thing, so I decided to change my strategy. I put the hap into hibernation, finished up three pairs of socks and a hat (details to come!) and now am focusing on just two socks at a time. 

First up, the socks I am giving my dad for Christmas. He's a mad Demons fan, so when I saw this yarn for sale in the Ozifarmer's market Etsy shop, I had to have it.

The colours are amazing. It's on Ozifarmer's Eman sock yarn base, which feels a bit like Wollmeise to knit - ie more like cotton that wool. It's really nice to knit with and I am really interested to see how it wears.

Of course, it seemed silly to pay shipping for just one skein of yarn, so I also bought a kettle-dyed semi-solid colourway on the Ozisock base. It reminds me of the smooshy Bendy sock yarn or a slightly thinner Jitterbug. 

Unsurprisingly, working on only two pairs of socks at a time means that I'm getting stuff done! Also, unsurprisingly, I am dreaming of starting new things. In particular, I was thinking of knitting a cardigan with the leftover wool from the circular shawl I just finished. Apparently I have just enough yarn to make a Belmont...

Photograph from the Belmont Ravelry page

The required needles for the cardy are in the mail. Help me...

Thursday, September 8, 2016

2016 FO# 6: Dry July Socks

This is yet another old project I am just writing about now months after finishing.

This year, I signed up for Dry July. I have written before why I do these kind of months - it makes me feel good, it breaks bad habits and it raises money for charity (I raised almost $300, which I thought was pretty darn impressive).

While I spent most of the month knitting on the Big White Baby Blanket, I still had a (surprisingly large) amount of time on my hands that I wanted to fill with knitting rather than sauvignon, so I cast on for a pair of commemorative Dry July socks out of blue and beige leftover sock yarn balls. 

I did them toe-up two-at-a-time so I could use all of the yarn I had and have them perfectly matched. These are pretty much like every other spiralled scrap yarn pair of socks I've made, with one exception. I did something I don't think I have done before - an afterthought calf.

It was pretty easy. Much like an afterthought heel, when I got to where I needed the heel to go I put in some waste yarn. However, instead of continuing to knit a tube, I knitted the heel and grafted it closed.

I then picked up the stitches on either side of the waste yarn ...

.. before very carefully removing the waste yarn ...

.. leaving live stitches on the needles.

I then started to knit the socks as usually, picking up an extra stitch at each side and K2TOG it in the following row so I wouldn't end up with a hole. 

That strategy didn't work too well and so I did end up using some of the ends to close holes there I picked up the stitches. I don't know that happens to me when I use the afterthought technique! I just bought Sock Architecture by Laura Neel this week, so I'm hoping that will help me fix the problem as I have heard only good things about it.

Overall, I am very happy with these socks. They fit well, are pretty cute and used up lots of bits and bobs of the monochrome sock yarn I had lying around that I don't want to use in my sock yarn blanket (at this stage, I'm only using yarns with more than one colour. This may change in the future though). 

A++, would Dry July and knit these socks again.