You’ll Always Find Me Knitting

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself earlier this year, and while I have somehow managed to find myself in possession of 30 skeins of yarn that I didn’t own at the start of the year (all paid for, of course, but some were gifts!), I’ve already knit 11 of the skeins!

I’ve finished up six (SIX!) pairs of socks already, and of course have my Hue Shift Afghan, which will eat up another 15 skeins of  yarn at least.

It doesn’t matter what I’m working on, but I’m always knitting. Minnie Mouse’s little song at the start of this short pops into my head whenever I sit down to knit!

If you remember, last year I signed up for Tour de Sock 2017, a Tour de France style knitting contest in which contestants knit a pair of socks in each 10ish day stage. I didn’t make it very far last year. My first stage was a disaster and resulted in a pair of socks that don’t fit anyone, and my second stage missed the deadline. I still haven’t woven in the ends on that pair or taken finished object photos, but they are super gorgeous colorwork. Eventually I will weave in the ends so my husband can actually wear them.

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Sadly, I didn’t end up finishing any of the other stages either.

So, why did I sign up for this competition again this year? When, arguably, I’m having the busiest semester e.v.a.r. at work? Well, because I like knitting socks! And I love competitions! And it will be fun!

I am pleased to report that I am off to a fantastic start so far. I am joined by 1696 other racers for the Tour de Sock 2018. All proceeds from the race go to Doctors Without Borders, which is so cool. I finished my pair of socks for Stage 1 in 301st place and earned 6 points for my team! Woohoo!

I used one of the sponsor yarns, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Super Sparkle in Plumpy. This was also an exclusive Eat.Sleep.Knit colorway, so here’s some double dipping for their Exclusively Exclusive Q3 KAL!

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For the tour, we don’t know what the pattern will be until the stage starts, so they give us clues and some ideas for what kind of colorway to use. For this first one, they suggested using a crazy or variegated colorway, so I thought this one would be perfect. Here is my ravelry page for the socks. This pattern is Plan A by Adrienne Fong. Unfortunately, I’ve already managed to wear holes in both toes of these socks. I’m not sure what happened here — if it’s because the pattern on top of the foot wanted to twist or because the yarn doesn’t have any nylon or because I made them too short, or just because I wore them around the house in the evenings for several days. I guess it’s time to fix some of my socks, so I’m in the process of washing all of the ones that have holes so I can sit down and do some mending.

For stage two, we had a gorgeous cabled pattern by Suzanne Sjögren called Odensjön Socks. I’ve already finished these as well! I used Madelinetosh Twist Light (which has some nylon!) in Seaglass. This was originally a colorway chosen by my husband (technicooldad) for socks for him, and I had intended to make these for him, but the cables drew in a little more on the leg than I had anticipated, so I made a last minute switch and knitted them for my feet. They are just gorgeous! I guess that means I’ll need to buy another skein of yarn to replace his?

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Here’s my ravelry page for these. Both of these patterns used a new gusset that I’ve never used before called the riverbed gusset. I really like how this gusset hugs my heels, so I will definitely be using it in the future!

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I am eagerly awaiting Stage 3, which starts tomorrow at 9:00p. I’m not sure which yarn I’ll use for it yet — I think I’ll wait and see the pattern first, but we do know it has beads, so I’ll likely go with a solid or tonal yarn again.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to work on my Hue Shift KAL afghan and I’m swatching for some new sweaters to be knit from my stash! I’m a bit behind on the Hue Shift, but definitely planning to catch up soon.

All the KALs!

I’ve been pushing off writing this post since I wanted to finish up my February Hippo socks first. But…February 28 came and went, and I was about an hour and a toe short of finishing the socks, and I had resolved myself to just write the post without the socks, but…I finished them! I used Lolodidit’s Hippo for Valentine’s (2018) and Amazed colorways.

These are an original design, and I’ll be writing and publishing the pattern after a few modifications. These were my #HippoForHolidays2018KAL entry for February, but alas, I missed the deadline. I think they’ll fit in for March, but I’ll not have entered every month this year. Oh well, I’ve got a million things I want to knit!

 

I don’t think I shared the photos of these previously, but I also finished my January Hippo socks using the colorways Hippo for Hanakkuh and Elba Island.

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My entry for the Eat.Sleep.Knit Hue Shift Afghan KAL is going along swimmingly. Maybe too swimmingly. Jaina has taken a liking to my afghan, and I thought how cute it would be to make a matching blanket for her! Hers will be exactly the same as mine, except I’m starting the squares with fewer stitches, so it will just be smaller. Both are looking awesome! We made a trip to FL for my sister’s wedding, so I made great progress on my afghan.

ESK also recently hosted an FKAL (Flash Knit-along) for the Song of the Sea cowl, and I finished mine with four days to spare! Woohoo!

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In April, I’m planning to continue working on my Hue Shift Afghans and maybe get started on an afghan for my new niece and a hat for me. I had postponed knitting the hat since it was supposed to be warmer outside, but as my husband said (or read somewhere?), “Georgia’s free trial of spring has expired.” Also I need to finish his Droids socks! I’m also hoping to finish a pair of socks or two for ESK’s Q2 KAL: Summer of Socks!

Competition Pushes us Forward

Not just in business and innovation, but also in…you guessed it! KNITTING. Since July 15th, I’ve been participating in a community knit-along competition/fundraiser called Tour-de-Sock. Styled after the Tour de France, this competition sets teams of knitters in a speed sock-knitting race. There are six stages that are nine days each, and for each stage, you and the other racers knit one pair of socks. All entry fees for the race go to Doctors without Borders, and the group has raised $32k since it started a few years ago!

The first pair of socks didn’t go so well for me — I finished in the 366th spot (out of approx. 1700 knitters), and my socks ended up not fitting. This is most likely my fault — I decided to make these for my husband, so they are super long, and I even added extra room for the heel, but I ended up making the leg too tight in an effort to have a smaller number of stitches on the needle (so I could finish faster). So for the second sock, I made the smallest allowable measurements. So I’ve got one long and one short sock. *facepalm*

Anyway…for the next stage, which starts today, I’m hoping that the socks are knit top-down. Then I could throw a lifeline in just before the toe, and I could go back later and make them as long as I want.

I’m still waffling on color choices, but as I’ve learned from quilt making, it really doesn’t matter, since things end up looking pretty good in the end. Hopefully these turn out better than the last pair and I will actually feel confident enough to share a photo. I’m thinking I’ll use the Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Astrid Gray as the main color, and either Esoteric (the dark teal) and Hosta Blue (the light teal) with a splash of Pop Rocks (the pink) or the Astrid Gray with Ink (the dark blue) and Liquid Gold. I’ll go with the first option if it is a more feminine pattern and the second option if it’s a more masculine pattern.

In other news, I am diligently working on Joel’s Forest Moon of Endor socks. I showed him pictures of a bunch of different patterns, but for that pair, I included the name of the pattern. And of course he chose that one for me to make! I’m using Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock (an incredibly soft 80% merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere blend) in the colorway “Creeper.” (This is a Minecraft reference for those of you who don’t know.) I’ve used this yarn before and have even accidentally run the socks through the washing machine, and it has held up wonderfully and is soooooo soft! I’ve got one sock finished and have finished the leg on the second one. This is a super easy pattern, so it’s perfect for when I’m stuck in traffic and stopped at red lights.

I’m also starting a knit-along with my BFF (for 20+ years so far!), who is making her first pair of socks! We are making Please and Thank You Socks. I love the simple elegance of these socks, and I envision making several pairs of these! The pattern also comes with instructions for making them starting at the cuff AND for starting at the toe. My friend is using Nerd Girl Yarns Bounce & Stomp in the Blue Box Exploding colorway, and I am using Madelinetosh Twist Light in Tern. I am stepping out of my comfort zone with these and trying to knit using 9″ circulars. We’ll see how it goes! So far, so good. I’ll definitely have to get my hands used to working on such small needles.

Also, my daughter is almost walking. She has an elephant toy that she walks behind as she pushes it around the house. Knitting time has definitely decreased now that she is mobile. I can knit about three stitches before she gets to the fireplace and tries to open the glass panels (after she crawls over to it, turns around to look at me, shakes her head “no” with a big grin, then turns back to the fireplace). SHE IS SO FAST. And AMAZING. I marvel every day at how awesome she is. Also, she likes to help me knit. 😀