Hue Shifting

This Hue Shifting Afghan pattern is great.  I was nervous about it as I had never made a mitered square before.  The pattern when first printed out was daunting looking, but after slowing down and doing a little reading on Ravelry and a video on YouTube I was ready to give it a go.  I jumped in and it was a success!!

So I’ve currently got 3 active projects on the needles: The Hue Shift Afghan, The Moderne Log Cabin Blanket and a pair of vanilla ribbed socks that I’m attempting without any real pattern.  A bit nervous about the last one, but I’m familiar enough with sock construction to be able to work out a simple sock that way.  Everything else is on hold for now.

I’m also back to working with my spinning wheel.  I’ve mastered spindling but the wheel has always eluded me.  I’ve signed up for two separate Craftsy classes for spinning and drafting.  That’s going to take up a lot of my crafting time for awhile.  I want to be able to spin the yarn that I want for projects.  Lord knows I have more than enough fiber to double my stash. LOL

Swatch Question

I’m kind of obsessed with the thought of 12 pair of socks in 12 months idea.  I’ve been stalking the sock pages in the pattern section of Ravelry. I’ve been fingering all my sock yarn.  I’ve gotten out almost every sock book I have.

This obsession brings me to my question. When it comes to swatching for socks, I have been experimenting with the gauge of a stockinette square vs a circular swatch. I find, for me at least, that the difference is so small as to be negligible.  I was wondering if that’s true for a lot of people, or am I just deluding myself into thinking it’s true…the measurements don’t lie, though, right?

Another sock knitting question.  When you are getting ready to knit a pair of socks do you choose the yarn first and let it lead you to the right pattern or vice versa? I tend to pick the yarn first, but am working on picking the pattern and then the yarn.  I’m curious about what others do.

The Cure for Knitting ADD….I hope…

I think/hope I found the secret to help abate my rampant knitting ADD; YOU are that secret, blogosphere.  Yup, it’s that simple.  If I tell you what I’m knitting and putting on the needles etc then I feel like if I tear it out because I’m bored, or something else catches my eye (which happens an awful lot), I’m obligated to explain to you, the reader, why. And bored, something new, “wrong yarn” are not viable excuses.

This is the year of the sock for me.  I’m bound and determined to finish 12 pairs of socks this year. By the end of 2016 I want to have enough socks knit to get rid of commercial socks altogether.

So in the spirit of both of these things…I cast on a pair of Jaywalkers by Grumperina. I’m knitting in Claudia Handpainted Fingering (which is apparently called Addiction now) in the Circus Dancer colorway.  And yes, it’s the “clown barf” that it sounds like. I cast on last night without gauge swatch; I’m going to start the cuff in pattern and measure the gauge based on that. If I’m off it’s not too much to rip out and if I’m right, I’m already into the project.  Oh, and I’m working on a “new skill” – double pointed needles.  I’ve always knit socks M.L. or 2 Circs. This is a challenge, but one I’m ready to meet.

I’m off to work on the first sock of the project. I think I’m spending most of the day in bed, anyway. This horrible respiratory thing that’s going around seems to have found a way past my defenses. I think I’m getting the flu….argh.

Total Change of Plans…

Just as I was settling in to the knitting and purling of the Gansey Sock pattern, I get the uncontrollable and completely ridiculous urge to knit for Christmas. Lmao. I am a glutton for punishment. 
Here’s the new list of wips (pictures of yarn, progress etc. to follow):
The Bubble Haze Shawl I’d almost finished. That will be done in time, no problem.
Pinstripe Shawl : Found this gem on Ravelry tonight. Was looking through the color combinations, saw the black w/ pink striping and I knew it had to be knit, inmediately.
Maddy ‘ s Hat: Quick baby sized knit. This will be my first attempt at faire isle.  I’m feeling ambitious.
Brad ‘ s Socks: I have to frog and redo sock #2. The heel went wonky somehow. The problem is that I started these almost three years ago. I want them done and gone, but I dread working on them. I will finish them though.
I need two more relatively quick and easy knits still.  I’m thinking hats and/or fingerless mitts for gaming. Any suggestions for either of these for boys/men would be appreciated.
I also discovered a shawl called Tattered which I will talk about next time. 

Diamond Gansey begins….

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Swatched the Shibui Sock yarn for the Diamond Gansey Socks and (wonders never cease) got guage with the suggested needle size. I really like this yarn. I love the very soft tone on tone variegation and I love how, tightly twisted it seems but with so much bounce and squishyness.
To be honest, when I bought the yarn I didn’t care for it too very much.  I was very into variegated yarns and bright colors at the time, so this seemed tame and boring in comparison. I boug by it to make a pair of socks for my mother and I just never found the right pattern for them. I decided to make Mom something a little more luxurious,  a blend with some cashmere or alpaca…something fuzzy and oh so soft. Here I am, though, a few years later and I’ve fallen for the yarn completely.  I’m so ready to cast on but I committed myself to at least one repeat of the Bubble Haze Shawl (formerly WendyKnits MKAL) before anything else. I have 8 repeats to go and then I’m done with it. Time to crank out a little shawl knitting so that I can get the Gansey ‘ s cast-on.

Almost Done and Almost Started

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Here is the MKAL….I’ve started calling it the bubblegum shawl and have no idea why, lol. I’m just starting the 9th repeat of an 18 repeat section and then other than a light blocking it’s ready to be wrapped up for Christmas and put up.  One gift down…actually the only knitted gift unless I get REALLY motivated between now and then.

As I’ve said, I’m on a quest for knowledge. I want to learn (and understand the mechanics of) techniques I use without understanding them as well as completely new techniques. In that spirit I’ve chosen a gansey sock pattern. It’s something I’ve never done, it’s a beautiful pattern that will show off the yarn I’ve chosen (Shibui Knits Sock). The pattern is Diamond Gansey Socks from Socks From the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson.  I’m planning to photo document my progress on this project, so here is the first pic of Ancient Coal Ganseys…

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Knitting Epiphanies

I’ve had a knitting epiphany.  I have always been the kind of knitter that follows a pattern exactly as written and never strays from it for design purposes.   Frankly, I think I had/have little to no confidence in my ability to step away from the pattern and try to use what I’ve learned over the years.

That stops now, though.  I was looking for a sock pattern that caught my eye for a particular yarn (Acid and Weed sock) and in the process started looking at the different sock books I have.  Many of which I haven’t looked at since I first bought them, long before I was even ready to knit socks. So I’m reading through the different books and their advice, instruction and explanations for parts of sock knitting and it was like it finally hit me.  I actually UNDERSTOOD parts of the construction and can see a
ETA: I obviously sent before I meant to. The main point though, is that I’m going to spend a lot less time mindlessly saying “ooh…pretty…” and more learning the reason that knitting works like it does. I don’t know that I’ll ever design anything fabulous, or anything at all, but I will understand how design works.