Warmth, in this incredibly Warm Winter

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So after the large winter storm passed by here, it got warm.

Like really warm. There were some people wearing shorts. Winter, even around here, should not be that warm.

So its a fitting time to be knitting with wool, right?

In reality, both of these projects were conceived earlier in the month/last year.

Knowing that its supposed to be winter, I had decided that I needed a warm hat. I’m not a hat person, really, but I walked home (about 2 miles) one night when it was near freezing, and I only had a thin scarf and my “fall” coat (because its lighter than my winter coat, but still normally warm enough), and I’m pretty sure that I nearly died. It took me about 45 minutes to warm up enough to function like a human being, and then another hour past that to eat and drink enough hot stuff to warm up enough to fall asleep.

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The next day I started this hat. I had this orphan skein that I got on sale when I was looking for sock yarn. I couldn’t find any on-sale sock yarn, but even with my full-price sock yarn, this still fit into my hobby budget. It may have been 4 dollars, and I’ve got a couple of yards left.

So the pattern is Helios, free on Ravelry. It’s a pretty good pattern, though I stuck with the size 7 needles throughout, since I don’t have a slightly bigger needle. It makes it more of a globbular slouchy hat, instead of a beret/tam kind of slouchy hat. The one thing I’m afraid of is blocking it, since it’s a tad big, and I don’t want to stretch it out any. My other green knit hat was too small, so I gave it away to my cousin, so I guess I overcompensated with this one, and made it too big.

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Oops! Its still wearable, which is perfect. Because I was not going to admit defeat and try again.

And the second knit project is this pair of socks! This project can be described in three words:

Second Sock Syndrome.

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Yes, this time I fell prey to SSS hard. Really hard. There was a thought in the back of my head that I should somehow work both socks together, and my circular needle collection does not include a skinny enough needle with a long enough connection. So I planned it that once I got to the ankle of the first sock, I’d put it on stitch holders, and start the second. Which worked perfectly.

Yarn-wise this is an alpaca merino blend that I intended to use for socks for my dad… last year. Meaning 2014. Sorry dad. It’s also not machine washable, so perhaps its best that I made them for me, since I’ll be more likely to remember that…

The pattern is ish-designed by me. Meaning, I used this book I got, Socks a La Carte 2 Toes Up to plan it out, with a rotating rib leg, technically a double picot cuff that I’m too lazy to fold over and seam. But once I made the toes of the first sock, I realized that I would get super bored doing a simple stockinette for the foot, so I found this.

lace-diamond-knitting-motif-chartTo be honest, I’m not sure where I found it, but I think it was on a Russian stitch pattern website, and since this was before I started the sock, so I never anticipated needing to cite the source. If you know who’s this is, please let me know! Because its a beautiful lace pattern, and I’d definitely suggest it!

So after finishing both feet of the socks, I started in on the rotating rib of one of the socks, and I got a long way through when I realized that I should weigh out the yarn so I could maximize the height of the sock. Once I double checked that, I ribbed until I got to the cuff, made the double picot cuff, bound off, and then the socks sat there. For months. And months.

What I haven’t  told you yet, is that these socks were started over the summer. July or August.

Oh yes.

These took me about 6 months.

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When I went home for the holidays I brought these with me, and didn’t even make it a row. So once I got back I vowed that I would finish before the semester started. Which also didn’t happen. I made progress, but didn’t finish it.

It was during the first week of the semester, and I told myself that I couldn’t start any new projects until I finished these. Trust me. These got finished really quick after that. I even took them with me to the movie theater when I saw Star Wars the second time. I had the whole row to myself, so I didn’t even feel (too) self conscious about KIPing. There are some advantages to itsy bitsy theaters.

And then I started on the hat! So a happy ending finally. Plus, the hat got done in less than a week. All that pent up knitting energy I guess!

Got any SSS, or longtime knitting projects?

Stashbusting Kree!

So I may be on a bit of a Stargate kick, but who can say no to Teal’c? And don’t forget the apostrophe.

In other news, after my sock-high I was interested in doing some stashbusting. After all, those sock cost about twelve bucks, and the cowl an additional 6, which I’m totally not regretting, but there’s something about the subject of free that I love.

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Granted, free means I’ve had this yarn for so long that although I know exactly where I got it, there’s no way of knowing how much it cost. It may have ended up a birthday gift. I’m a picky gift-receiver, which my family knows well, so I tend to end up picking out gifts knowing I’ll receive them all trussed up for a “surprise” a few months later.

In this case, the deep blue yarn, Sirdar Snuggly Domino DK, was bought at a Superbowl Sunday sale about 6 years ago. Maybe even 7… I think I even deigned to watch 10 minutes of the game, before I gave up and ran downstairs to hide out until the snacks were served.

The Schachenmayr nomotta Baros, otherwise known as the aqua yarn, was bought in Germany on my second trip to visit family there. It was on sale, which was good because I had a limited number of euros to spend. Souvenir yarn is often too difficult to part with, so this was stashed for 5 years.

Definitely high time to make something. On both counts.

Both of these projects had basis in a one skein book, 101 Yarn Shop Favorites.

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My new hat is technically the Aran Tam. I say technically… I should have followed directions and knit the beginning on smaller straight needles, but I was confused, and it was my second go, having tried a bulky yarn first which would have made a monster sized hat. So I trudged ahead. Then I moved on, and managed to get some kind of counting wrong, resulting in a messed up pattern. You can’t tell with the surprisingly busy yarn, but I think I’ll have another go at some point. Also, the band is too wide, due to the aforementioned needle issue, so I’m considering threading some elastic through the ribbing. Still have another ball… Now what to make? Maybe some wristlets…

 

The wristband had basis in the Cabled Headband. I say had basis… I took the starting point and just knitted without increases or decreases wristuntil I made it tightly around my wrist. Sewed it up with my handy knitpicker, and I got a lovely wristband! Handy when my wrists decide they hate knitting. Or typing. Or cooking. Or moving. Darn that violin playing from an early age! Messing up my wrists forevermore.

The wristband yarn is soon to be finished in a yoke for a shirt capacity… I misplaced a piece, and once I locate it, you’ll hear about it!

 

Deep Forest Cowl

So I had a good amount of yarn left after my socks were completed. This wasn’t surprising, as I have rather tiny feet, but because it was the most expensive yarn I had ever purchased I wanted to use it for something special.

When I was abroad, I found myself wearing scarves all the time, all day long. I carried this with me when I returned stateside.

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But what is more handy for a full day of neck-covering goodness? A cowl… It doesn’t fall off your neck… Always a plus.

So I was looking through the Knitty archives looking for a hat pattern, but when I saw this cowl I just couldn’t resist. It was everything I wanted: lacy, pretty, a cowl, and not requiring oodles of yarn.

It is… the Eleanor cowl. The one, the only, the lovely.

It was a quicker knit than the socks, if only because it was less repetitive and therefore easier to get interested in working the pattern.

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I blocked it, my first successful blocking if we’re being honest, but it quickly snapped back a day later. No matter, it’s still comfy and will certainly serve its purpose well!

I still couldn’t find a yarn needle, though, so I ended up using this knitpicker thing to sew up the seam. An effective but time consuming method. Kinda like using a needle threader for every stitch.

Now if only cooler temperatures would appear, then I could get to wearing some of the stuff I’ve been making!

 

Socks in Four Parts

I finished just under the wire of my deadline! At 4PM I was the new proud owner of wool and silk socks!

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They’re so pretty and comfy and though it’s regularly in the 90s here, I’ve barely taken them off. I determined, though, that they weren’t suitable wear for going to the library… That involves going outside where it is quite hot, and I didn’t think my feet could handle it.

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But since then, I’ve continually worn them… They’re so comfy!

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But I should tell you, this isn’t my first foray into sock making, just the first time I ended up with two socks. Behold the tube sock of doom!!! It was made of a variety of worsted weight acrylic yarn, and it’s not comfy and doesn’t smell nice after a while. I think I made it in middle school or early high school, and I only wore it once, when I had this massive blister on my foot, and had to remove some of the callous on my heel and my entire foot felt odd.

Well that wraps up my sock escapade!

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Sock Progress – Part 3

Here it is, Monday.

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Didn’t check in yesterday, mostly because I slept in and forgot…

But I thought it fitting to give you a morning update, even though today it is an exercise in phone frustration. Darn multitasking.

I’m through the gauntlet, err the gusset. I’m about halfway down the foot.

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And since I don’t normally go to the library until five or so, I’ll still have all day to work on it… hopefully I won’t need it all…

Sock Progress – Part 2

It’s time for another update!

After three days of knitting, I have finally completed a sock!

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It’s warm, it’s comfy, and fits perfectly. I’ve been wearing it since I finished it. It’s odd to be wearing only one sock.

I did have to tweak the pattern due to the whole gauge sitch. But unlike my normal self, I took careful notes on row counts and configurations, so I can copy them directly into my left sock.

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Also learned that Kitchener stitch is not easily accomplished with dpns instead of a needle, but I managed. I know that I have some pink plastic needles lying around, because I definitely saw them when I was moving, but I haven’t managed to find them.

And I cast on for the second sock immediately, so I’ll be continuing that shortly! Talk to you in a few days!

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