Weekly WIP #6

I know I showed you some very fun projects on Monday…the Turia Sweater  and my Foggy Sunset Shawl as well as a Harvest Cardigan in the planning stages, but I’ve really been trying to get over the heel bump of these socks!

They are from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture (knit your library!!) and are the Strie Socks, Toe Up. I’m using some Zitron Trekking in this fantastic Tobago colorway.

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First off, let me tell you this is my first pair of toe-up socks. I thought that if anyone could teach me something new in sock knitting, it would Lara Neel and her amazing book. This book is awesome! There are so many different combinations of heels and toes…she talks about how to get the best fitting sock known to mankind…she even throws in some history about where certain heel techniques originated. The book is a great read through, but on to the bonus time! There are patterns and most of them are written for both toe-up cuff-down construction.

Anyway, I started these bad boys a while ago. The Magic Cast-On went alright. The toe increases were easy. I knit a foot! Yahoo! Then came time for the gusset increases. I did them. Or at least I thought I did. I attempted to turn a heel. It was coming out wonky, but I persevered and had one finished…that took 2 tries…then I started on the second one. I got to the place where I was starting to knit the heel flap and noticed that the smallest part of the little turn was not centered on the foot…I ripped back, tried again…couldn’t get it right. I ripped back again. So I did what any reasonable knitter would do.

I put them in timeout! I’d been spending about 2 days worth of my knitting time wrestling with these heels and I couldn’t figure out why the second one was even more challenging to get right than the first. I thought that things got easier as you practiced! Then I had another reasonable knitter moment.

I counted. The second sock was about 8 stitches short…meaning I didn’t work the gusset increases long enough…I held up the first sock with a heel and had a lightbulb moment…this heel was off center too…probably because I didn’t have enough stitches to start the dang thing…

Here begins the mild swearing and unraveling of yarn…I ended up pulling out the gusset increases I originally did because I did one side in the wrong spot…

Needless to say this time I’m counting my rows. Like any reasonable knitter would do. Here’s hoping I get these finished soon! My friend Korey is working on a mitered square sock yarn blanket and is dying for my scrap!!

Linking up with these lovelies:
Knit Your Library with Emily at Snapdragon Crafts
Yarn Along with Ginny at Small Things
Keep Calm & Craft On with Nicole at Frontier Dreams


Jenna

Promised Pictures

I told you I’d be back with the pictures I promised:)

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So I have been actually working on my Turia Sweater…I attached the sleeves and have a little bit more knitting for the yoke before I decrease any. I am loving the way it looks and even though the needle squenching isn’t totally flattering, it is a fantastic piece. I can’t wait to wear it!!

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On to the needle-squenched project number two…its my Foggy Sunset shawl. It’s truly the Daybreak pattern by Stephen West and I’m using some lovely leftover Vice Yarn Paradigm in the Wet Concrete color from my 3 Color (Sorta) Cashmere Cowl and some Crystal Palace Mini Mochi. I’ve got one more gray stripe before the border in all Mini Mochi all the time!

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And then there’s this…this is yarn, Knit One Crochet Too’s Ty-Dy Cotton I’ve reclaimed from a scarf and cowl gone bad plus the leftover gray Berroco Weekend from Leigh’s Chevron Baby Blanket. This wants to be a Harvest Cardigan for my niece Nora…I’m thinking of using the rainbow color for the button band/collar and to stripe the sleeves with it and the gray for the body of the cardigan. Now I just need to cast on. I know she would love it…the rainbow colors are so her! And I think I have just the right amount…

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And this is the cutest project bag ever that my friend Korey gave me a week or two ago…it’s so perfect and it’s so true! And it’s my slogan here on the blog (and in my life!). Just a reminder of how much friends are truly a blessing…and so is yarn!

Ah…it feels good to stretch my legs again here and catch up! I’m on point with my blog roll too right now! Looks like everyone has been busy:) I’ll try to get up to speed here with  my finishes from the last month like the Hammrhavn Test Sock, the Chevron Baby Blanket, The Antler Toque, my Autumn Shawl…All in due time!

Can’t wait to cruise around and see what you’re working on! Drop me a hint in the comments…or even better, drop in a link:)


Jenna

I Knit Because…

I love it! It’s simple really. I love making with my hands. That’s what knitting is to me, creating with my hands…I know, there are sticks and string and a few “fancy” movements, but its something I make. With my hands.

Got it?

I would hope so. So that brings me to the blog. I enjoy writing here because I like sharing what I’m working on. I like connecting with other knitters. This is a nice, clean place. I don’t share the hard things going on in life, just what I make with my hands.

So I’ve been away. Life is hard. It’s hard to balance the things I want to do, the things I need to do, the things I’m doing…Relatively speaking, my life is wonderful. I am happy, I have the most wonderful partner, all the people I love are healthy…life is just hard in the way of making choices and prioritizing for the future. This should be read as, “this girl has to spend time working on job applications, cover letters, resumes, philosophies of teaching, laundry, general cleaning, working, etc. when she’d like to be knitting.”

I know the future will hold time for knitting, but I’m trying to sneak in as much as I can while I do other things. So my space here has been quiet. And I’m probably 1000 entries behind on my blog roll…I don’t think I’ll have the time, eye sight, or brain space to go all the way back.

Not to fret or worry. Just knit.

Just thought I’d say hello and I will be back. With pictures:)

Until then…


Jenna

 

#MarshmallowFluffKAL

What is better on a super cold day than all the woolly goodness you can manage snuggled up around your neck??

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Shame to say that as a knitter, I have plenty of cozy neck wear…however, nothing that I would count as “Marshmallow Fluff-like Clouds” of wool. This had to be remedied immediately!

Enter Bonny at bonnyknits.com…with the wonderful idea to do a Mini Knit-Along:)

Here’s her post about it: Bulky Cowl Knit-Along

We’ve decided on the Marshmallow Fluff pattern by Sarah Kraly. It’s a super cute free pattern on Ravelry. It’s cast on using a provisional cast-on, knit flat, then seamed using a 3-needle bind off. Sounds like a great way to practice some useful skills I don’t use as often as I would like…plus I think I’d like to Kitchener the piece together…I’m imagining it as one giant toe of the sock!

I’m trying to decided between 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rasta I picked up at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago in 2013…that was a crazy, 1-day adventure that included riding the Mega-Bus at all hours of the night and day, trekking through Chicago from Union Station to Millennium Park and back…stopping to buy yarn & take a class…Deep Dish Pizza at Giordano’s and finally another trip and daylight savings time to arrive back in Louisville, Kentucky at maybe 4:00am???? Truly a 24 hour adventure that my wonderful husband accompanied me on…and with a fantastic haul of yarny treasures.

Back to the Rasta…I’ve got a skein of Natural…

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And a skein of Leguna Negra…

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What do you think? Maybe a little of both??

Anyway…I do hope you’ll join in the fun! You can keep up with our progress right here on the blog or at Bonny’s blog (here) or on our Instagram accounts (@hardknitlife & @bonnyknitsforyou)…if you’d like to play along, be sure to tag your post with #MarshmallowKAL or #MarshmallowFluffKAL


Jenna

Weekly WIP #5

I’ve been clicking away on the Antler Toque in the Inca Gold…the stitch definition is amazing! I’m loving it!

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I’ve also been reading The Little Black Book for the Lenten season. I listen to the readings for the day on my way to work on the Laudate app and then find time over lunch to read and reflect in the Little Black Book. The Little Black Book is put out by the Saginaw Michigan Archdiocese and can be found here.

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along, Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On and Beth at iknead2knit for Whatcha’ Workin’ On Wednesday.


Jenna

No Socks!

What is a girl to do when her hand knit sock drawer is empty?? And it’s 25 degrees Fahrenheit? And her toes are cold?

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Well, she has to wash her socks! I only have 4 pairs, and 3 pairs are every day pairs…one is  a pair of house socks.

In a 2 bedroom, one bathroom flat, sometimes the sink is not the best place for these things…so I use a mixing bowl. I fill it with some Eucalan and warm water.

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I throw in the pair of socks, one by one…first up are my Squishy Socks out of some Regia 6 ply followed by my Technicolor Socks in Pagewood Farms Denali Sock.

And my ???? socks I can’t find that I made a project page on Rav…I don’t even know what the yarn is…they were the first real pair of socks I made after my House Socks made from Jarbo Yarns Raggi.

Next up I just need to roll them out and lay flat to dry…only 24 hours between me and toasty toes!!

How do you block/wash your knits?


Jenna

Days of Doubt

Let me start first with a little knitting…

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The blanket is passing the halfway point…I’m not sure how many more stripes I’ll put on.

And I started an Antler Toque for a friend’s dad who was recently diagnosed with Lymph node cancer and has started chemo. He’s nervous to lose his hair and I though a hat made out of some soft Inca Gold would be a cozy gift.

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The cables are fun…just crossing 2 stitches by 2 stitches and great practice for cabling without a cable needle…I used this tutorial on Ysolda’s blog. Easier with pointy needles for sure:)

When I knit, my brain seems to slip into a meditative state…rolling thoughts over, good or bad and here is where I’ve landed lately.

Funny how these days of doubt come in waves. I’ve wrestled a bit with actually writing about something beyond just knitting. And this is the internet. Do I really want to go there?

Maybe I’ll just dip my toe a bit. Doubt. Something I think everyone wrestles with. I think it’s part of being human. Lives ebb and flow as does happiness, productivity, and doubt. I like to think of these things all as different colored liquids in a big jar…being sloshed around and as one rises the others may fall a bit. For instance when happiness and productivity wane, doubt has a tendency to bubble up to the top.

When it bubbles too high and the thoughts reach the conscious part of my brain and leak from my lips, it’s devastating. No one wants to hear that little mean voice I hear about how I can’t do one thing or I’m not good enough to do another. Part of the process of pushing the doubt back to the bottom is acknowledging it. Then I have to form a plan of action to really sink it back down. Remind myself that I can do something when I put the work in…tackling the task.

At least that’s what I tell myself. I think in the last couple of years, even when I make a plan and start to work the plan, I lose the oomph to finish and the doubt returns more quickly and with even more of a punch…”see, you can’t do this.”

So here is where I rest. On the cusp of formulating a plan to tackle a thought of “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t do this” and “I’m not supposed to be this.” The plan is going to involve some accountability and effort…and not just half way. That’s scary. Putting all of it into it and what if…what if it doesn’t work out? Then here we are again with a little more of a sting…

I think this is part of being human. Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think, how you deal…


Jenna