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

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Knitting it UP!!

The stash! And the WIPs! And the WIP stash!!! I’m trying to stay away from spending money and knit some of the beautiful things I already have. My stash is gorgeously curated…from travels and impulses, I feel so inspired when I look at my cabinet! I’m trying to refrain from casting on though and just working through my WIPs…old and new!

In fact, I’ve been working pretty hard to finish things up. I know I’ve featured this cute little hat, the Aviatrix. But I actually technically finished it since I put the super cute button on!

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And I’m working on weaving in the ends on my awesome 3 Color Cashmere Cowl.

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SO MANY ENDS!!

And I’ve been tackling these Technicolor Socks…I’m about an inch away from starting the toe decreases and I’m excited to explore some toes in Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. That’s where I got the heel from. Shout out to the Love Your Library Challenge!!!

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I’m so loving the way the fabric looks…It’s some gorgeous Pagewood Farms Denali Sock Yarn in the Sky Blue Pink colorway.

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And of course, I’ve been working on the Turia Sweater. I’m loving it and I so want to wear the thing…we’ve had a couple of cooler days (55-66 degrees Fahrenheit) that would make wearing this linen blend sweater so cozy without being hot.

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I wandered out onto the front steps to take these photos in the fading daylight…so much better than trying to capture them inside where I can’t seem to get enough light!

Head on over the Snapdragon Crafts to see how everyone else’s Love Your Library Challenge is coming 🙂

Or to Nicole’s Keep Calm & Craft On 🙂

Until next time!

Jenna

Things I “Dislike”

I read this quote last week on a blog post by Karen on Pumpkin Sunrise. (You should definitely check out her site. Karen is someone to relate to and always seems to have the most thoughtful, beautiful posts.)

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.      -Lao Tzu

Talk about perfect timing! This came right after my post last week about happiness. It really made me think about how I do think about happiness. Couple this with all the kind, thoughtful comments from you guys and I was feeling incredibly encouraged. Such a fantastic reminder to “rejoice in the way things are.”

This helped me reflect on another aspect of happiness, “dislike.”

I was in bed last night and thinking about things. My brain was just buzzing and I couldn’t fall asleep until I thought a few things through. I pulled out my journal and jotted down this:

“Things I dislike? –retrain the brain/feelings to try new thinks”

Seems a little silly, but I thought I’d try. I think disliking most things is all about the way we think about them. What if, instead of completing a chore like sweeping and vacuuming with an attitude of dread, I undertook the chore as something good, productive, dare I say-fun? That will be my experiment for the coming month: retraining my brain to think about things I initially dislike and thinking about them in a new way or “new thinks.”

Your waiting for when this comes to knitting.

Well, you remember those socks I started a while ago, like a long while ago, the Technicolor Socks?

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They are still kicking around in my WIP pile, but they aren’t that far from being done. Why are they stalling? I don’t like knitting heels and picking up gusset stitches. You are thinking, “why didn’t you just throw in a ripcord and do an afterthought heel?” or “It’s not that bad” or “what in the world are you talking about?”

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I don’t love this part of the knitting and I think this would be a great way to try out my new way of thinking 🙂 I will keep you posted on how this goes.

I’ve also got these Bootstrap Socks (at least one) that is dangerously close to the heel here, but it’s going to be a different heel experience thanks to Lara Neel & Sock Architecture (some Love Your Library progress!).

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I’ll let you know if this changes the way I feel about heels too.

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I love that little blip of pink! So Spring-y 🙂

Linking up with:
Emily for Love Your Library
Nicole for Keep Calm & Craft On


Jenna

A Journey in Socks

Let me start by saying that I knit on more than just this sock over the course of last week while I was visiting my awesome friend, Brenna, in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was inspired by several posts I’ve seen lately where people post their sock progress on a plane or other trip. So here we go!

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I started my journey in Salt Lake’s airport.

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An hour later, I landed in Las Vegas for a 2 hour layover. I didn’t have the pattern with me and was “winging” it. I didn’t like the way the garter stitch sections were turning out so I ripped back to the ribbing before the next flight.

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I took this last photo about 20 minutes before we landed in St. Louis. I knew I wouldn’t be patient or aware enough to take one when we touched down.

I bought this yarn on my first day in Salt Lake at a cute little shop called Kamille’s in Gardner Village. I wish I had a taken a picture of the quaint cabin that housed some beautiful yarns, but if you click the name it will take you to their website.

I’m using some Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Springtime colorway on US 1s (2.25mm) and it’s the Bootstrap Sock pattern by Lara Neel from Sock Architecture! My project page.

Even though I have enough knitting to keep my busy for months, I just had to have some small amount brainless knitting 🙂 Who can resist socks in this super springy base??

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Running Behind

WIP Wednesday

Technically, I’m not really behind on anything except maybe housework and reading my blog roll. It’s funny how just taking a few weekend trips really racks up the backlog on those two things!

But I have made some progress on my Squishy Socks.

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They are coming right along. I’m knitting just the basic sock pattern from a Paton’s book using some Regia Adventure 6-ply on US size 2 needles. I have had a few little snags…like when I started my toe decreases too soon because I really want to wear them!! Just a little ripping back and I’m back to knitting the foot a little longer.

And my first Curl from Hunter Hammersen’s new book.

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It’s Caesious. I’m using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport. It’s 100% Merino in the Montrose colorway. I picked it up back in December when I was visiting Louisiana for my brother’s graduation. I love the colors, a grayish blue, almost cornflower blue, a light brown and a springy yellow. I love how it is growing so quickly and I don’t have to count! Yahoo!! And it means I’m Loving my Library 🙂

Last project getting some love is this Manly Scarf for my friend Sam.

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A moment of confession: You haven’t seen this yet, mostly because I’m a little embarrassed I bought yarn for this after the new year. Let me justify. After our fist trip to Memphis for my birthday, my husband’s friend Sam admired my husband’s Cozy Warm Man scarf I finished for him back in October. He was saying just how much he would love to have one so I had to make him one. I’m using some Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in a dark brown held with some Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Addiction in the River Bank Grass green colorway on US size 7. And technically I didn’t buy the yarn, my husband did 🙂

Linking up with some great people:
Emily for Love Your Library
Tammy for her Stitch Along Wednesday
Ginny for Yarn Along
Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On
iknead2knit’s Whatcha Workin’ On Wednesday

See you again soon!!

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Crazy Sock Knitting

WIP Wednesday

Since it’s Wednesday, I thought I’d share one of the things I’ve been diligently stitching on every day, my Squishy Socks. I’m using the Schachenmayr Regia Adventure Color 6 ply on some US 2 (3.00mm) Addi Sock Rockets. I’m working off of the Paton’s Basic Sock pattern from a booklet I bought a few years ago (loving my library). If you think back to maybe a few posts ago, they looked like this:

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They may have even looked a little longer. I posted some of their progress over on Instagram (@hardknitlife) and I really love how they are coming along and I love that I was working them two-at-a-time style.

Confession: While I have worked 4 of my 6 completed socks two-at-a-time, I have never done so ON THE SAME NEEDLES! Previously I have used either two sets of double-pointed needles or two sets of two circular needles.

Well this time, I braved sticking them on the same two circulars and everything was buzzing along just fine. I knit the leg. I knit the heel flap.

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I “turned” the heel. I even picked up my gusset stitches. Here is where the tricky part began. I fiddled a bit with the craziness of all those stitches on the two circulars, but I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to actually KNIT! So I wandered over to my bag-o-needles and pulled out some double points. Luck must have really been on my side because I found two sets!!

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Doing what any sensible knitter would do, I used them both and transferred each sock to it’s new needle home. I started knitting on the left one (using bamboo needles) and thought that they felt a little smaller than my Sock Rockets. I picked up the right sock (using metal needles) and thought the same thing. So I pulled out the packaging of all three and noticed while each set of needle is labeled as a US 2, the Sock Rockets are 3.00mm while both sets of my DPNs are 2.75mm.

Oh well. I guess that will make for a nice firm fabric in the heel!

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You may find yourself wondering where all those other planned WIPs are. Don’t worry, they are still floating around in their little bags, just waiting to be worked on. I have just been feeling the sock mojo lately and I was amused by my adventures using double points. Aren’t they just lovely?

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A contributing factor to wanting to work on socks? Knitting Sarah just finished up her year long KAL last week called Socks with Sarah. I didn’t come across the knit-along until maybe November, but I really love that it’s main goal is to promote daily sock knitting. How many socks could you knit in a year if you did a little each day? Even though the KAL is over, Sarah is still keeping the group open on her Ravelry group. I know I set forth some goals a few weeks ago and I’d like to add daily sock stitching to it. Maybe this is just the kick start I need to get my sock drawer into shape!

Linking up with some great people:
Emily for Love Your Library
Tammy for her Stitch Along Wednesday
Ginny for Yarn Along
Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On
iknead2knit’s Whatcha Workin’ On Wednesday

Until Friday 🙂

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna

Terribly Troublesome Tuesday

My day began pretty early for a day off. Our sectional we ordered the weekend after Thanksgiving was delivered this morning at 7:00AM. I got the call yesterday that they would be here between 7-10AM, and I figured we probably see them somewhere around 10 or 11. WRONG!! At 6:40 I got a call from the delivery guys saying they were 20 minutes away. My husband and I sprung into the action, moving our futon to another room so we would have space. I even vacuumed 🙂

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It looks fantastic!! Except…

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They couldn’t get the end-piece which is a chaise (sp?) up the stairs and around the corner 😦 So we are going to have to pay a “re-stocking” fee but they will at least exchange it for a different piece that will fit. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long to get that one in, but who knows since we wanted a custom fabric that would hold up to the cats.

On a happier note, I did celebrate my birthday on Sunday, January 11. I had a wonderful time in Memphis, spending it with my husband and some friends. And what’s a birthday without a little funfetti cake?

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I also wanted to give you guys a little update on the charity hats I knit. They needed buttons for the band. I found these cute little yellow flowers at Michael’s and sewed them on during the drive to Memphis.

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Last thought for today is about the Love Your Library challenge going on with Emily at Snapdragon Crafts. I’ve been gearing up to tackle Curls by Hunter Hammersen for this challenge. I was trying to wait until the 15th when the start of her KAL in the Violently Domestic group, then I checked in over there yesterday and it’s already started!! Ah well. Plus they are also doing an informal KAL in the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin group too! I wound the yarn, I’ve got the needles (I think) picked out and I just need to start!!

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Then, I was looking around on boards and going with the theme of a KAL and using my library, I found the First Quarter KAL over in the Laura Nelkin group. I was really excited about Laura’s designs after I took her class at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago this year. I bought her book, Knockout Knits and she signed it 🙂 So I’ll be starting the Prolix Mitts in some lovely Noro Silk Garden Lite I found in  my stash.

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Last but certainly not least going with the theme, once again 🙂 is to fit my Squishy Socks in with a heel from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. My husband got me this book for Christmas and every time I pick it up just to browse, I’m intrigued and inspired by all the great info Lara has in the book. I’m not sure which heel I will use yet, but I’m almost to that point so I guess I need to decide!! Plus this can count towards Operation Sock Drawer hosted by the Knitmore Girls & inspired by Susan B. Anderson’s sock drawer picture.

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Anyway, all in all, not a bad Tuesday, just one with some fun challenges at an early hour. The best part? There is plenty of room on this couch for me, the kitties and the knitting 🙂

If you’d like to learn more about the Love Your Library challenge, (<– click the link) head over to Snapdragon Crafts and read about what Emily has been up to 🙂

Until next time,

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v’s & bumps,

Jenna