Half Moon Oracle

Let’s have a wee story. Last year, on the eve of Maryland Sheep & Wool, I went to a pop-up shop at The Knot House. There, I met the lovely Carol, dyer behind Swift Yarns, and promptly fell in love with her yarn.

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I picked out a soft pink to make a single skein, lacy something, and a hot pink and a speckle for a two color shawl. As Carol took the picture above, she told me that she thought those three would look great together. Internally, I scoffed a bit. I knew these were destined for separate projects, that the three together just wouldn’t work for me.

And yet. That though of all three of them together stuck with me. I tried to follow my first instinct but nothing seemed to strike a chord. And then, the Half Moon Oracle was slated to be released. Beautiful and perfect for three colors with a bit of contrast. I had a hard time waiting for it though, and cast on something else in the meantime. But that didn’t stick either.

I kept coming back to these three colors in a Half Moon Oracle. And so I did it. I ripped back the first project, and cast the new one on, knit on it slowly, a section here and there until full on obsession hit about two weeks ago.

 

I finished it Friday and wove in the ends and blocked it on Saturday. It blocked out ginormous. I don’t often talk about blocking but what a magical step. From this:

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To this!

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I used blocking wires along the top and then pinned out the edge as suggested in the pattern. I was pretty aggressive with the lace, too. The shape could be a bit more circular on the edge, but I don’t think you can tell when it’s on. Oh my heavens. I don’t think it can be stood. I think this is the brightest and most fun shawl that I own. I was a little worried that the hot pink would be too much, but who am I kidding? That hot pink is everything.

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Pattern:  Half Moon Oracle by Kristen Lehrer

Yarn: Swift Yarns, Swift Simple – 100% Superwash Merino single ply

  • Color A – Tropical Vintage (speckle)
  • Color B – Marilyn (hot pink)
  • Color C – Princess Bride (soft pink)

I am absolutely smitten. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow. This was also my first foray into knitting with singles and I am looking forward to getting my hands on more! I can’t wait to wear this beauty out, it’s such a happy shawl!

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Spoiler alert, in a few weeks I’ll be visiting the pop-up shop again and plan to make another stop over at the Swift Yarn wall. I can’t wait to see what color combination I definitely won’t knit this year!

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Happy Making!

Socks, socks, and more socks.

Well, I have two finished objects for the first week of the new year. Both cast on and off in 2018, both are socks. I wish we were all a little more surprised, but who am I kidding?

You may recall that on New Year’s Day I cast on a new pair of socks. The first sock knit up so quickly I had whiplash:

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Honestly, I knit all but the toe on New Year’s day! The next day after work I finished the sock and Noah came to stay. He told me he had a request for a birthday gift–his birthday is in a few weeks. Of course, I couldn’t say no. He wanted a pair of yoga socks to help keep his ankles warm while he practices this winter. I dug out a pretty blue skein of yarn and cast it on.

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I started with 44 stitches, decided that looked too big. Pulled back and cast on 36. Way too small. Back to 44. Nope, definitely too big. 40. 40 was the way to go. From there on it was a lot of trial and error, as I was just making up things as I went. Once I got the first one done, though, the second flew:

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I used worsted weight yarn and a 3.5 mm (US 4) needle. I cast on 40 stitches but, as demonstrated, your mileage may vary. I wrote down notes about what exactly I did on my project page. The yarn is Fading Tardis by June Pryce Fiber Arts. I think they turned out pretty nicely, hopefully they keep his ankles nice and toasty.

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I also managed to put a little dent in my New Year’s Eve socks–but I’m in no rush on these pretties:

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Since I can’t seem to put the socks down, I’ve finished the New Year’s day socks. I just couldn’t seem to stop. I did think about stopping when I started the heel only to discover I had dropped a stitch right after the cuff and had to rip out the whole leg. I almost put them away. But I powered through and now I’ve got my first pair of the year done!

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So pretty. This pink and green with speckles is killer. The yarn is also my first mohair sock yarn and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing how these wear. The yarn is Pistachio Rose Frosting by Nox Yarn on her Flora Sock base.

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In other news, I don’t think I’ve really talked about it here but I joined the Knitterly Things Rainbow of the Month club last year. So each month, I received a super fun skein of rainbow, self-striping sock yarn. I haven’t knit any of them, but I think now might be the time. Once I got the final installment, I lined them all up to take a picture of them together:

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Oh my goodness. I was, admittedly, a little skeptical of how varied and interesting 12 skeins of rainbow stripes could be–but boy did Julia prove me wrong. They are all so different and beautiful. Seeing them all lined up got me thinking… what if I knit them up over the course of this year? I don’t know if I can really keep up 2 pairs of socks a month, but I can certainly try, right? I think I’ll cast on January tonight:

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This is “True Colors” and I think it’s a great way to kick off! If you’re curious, I got the club on the sparkle base. Can you even imagine 12 pairs of sparkly rainbow socks all in a row? I cannot. By the way, sign ups for 2018 are still going on. It’s definitely a lot of fun.

I’ll probably pick up something other than socks at some point soon. Probably. Maybe after I finish the cuff of the rainbow pair. Maybe.


Happy making!

Saturday.

I had a nice day today. I’m on a work trip to Denver, Colorado and while I had some work to do today, I also had a bit of time to myself.

I am terrible at adjusting to a different time zone, but sometimes that isn’t so bad. I woke up early this morning, went downstairs for some coffee. I came back to my room and watched the sky grow lighter while I sipped coffee and knit on my sock.

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I knit until I had turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches.

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After the sock heel, I felt like getting out a bit. One of the first things I do when I find out I have a work trip on the horizon is research local yarn shops and figure out if I’ll have time to visit them. As luck would have it, there is an amazing shop not to far from my hotel and I had the time to stop by. Today was nice and chilly so I got all bundled up and headed to Fancy Tiger Crafts.

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If you are ever in Denver, I highly recommend this shop. It’s like a wonderland.

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I only managed to get pictures of the yarn, but the opposite wall is filled with equally beautiful fabric and patterns. They had the cutest knit caterpillars:

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And even a whole giant stack of swatches of the yarns they carry:

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That pile makes me so happy. I could have spent a fortune at this shop. They had absolutely everything you could want. I settled on just a few things:

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I picked up two remnants of fabric. The green is chambray and the brown is a chambray-hemp blend. They are destined for a bit of secret make, more on that later. I purchased a set of Tulip Milliner’s needles. I’ve heard great things about those needles and since quilt binding is one of my favorite parts of quilting, I thought I could treat myself to nice needles. The chalk line pen came recommended from one of the staff members at the shop, I hope it helps in my pattern tracing–I’ve been struggling with that.

Now the yarn, oh the yarn. It took me ages to make a decision. I was looking for a couple of skeins of sport or DK weight, or maybe a pretty skein for a hat or something. I finally settled on two gorgeous skeins of Titus by baa ram ewe. I’ve never seen it in person before, but boy is it lovely. It’s a blend of 50% Wensleydale Longwool, 20% Bluefaced Leicester, and 30% UK Alpaca. The colorway is Bramley Baths. The color is a gorgeous watery, murky mint.

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I purchased this yarn to knit Canopy by Melody Hoffman. I’ve had my eye on that pattern for a while, but it’s hard to find the right blend of soft and rustic yarn that I had in mind for it. This fits the bill beautifully.

After I came back from my little shopping jaunt, I had a bit of time before work. I settled in for a bit of a knit and managed to finish the secret make that I brought with me.

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After I finished that project, it was time to head to the convention center. I didn’t take any pictures, but my booth is set up and ready for tomorrow. When I got back, I did take some fun shawl selfies, rocking my Whispering Pines.

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Now that the day is done, I’ve been curled up on the bed, knitting the gusset of my sock.

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It’s all done now, so I feel good about finishing it soon. I really want to cast on my Christmas socks. It would be so fun to finish two projects and cast on the other two while on my trip. I won’t have near the free time the next few days, though. It will be busy busy once the conference gets underway. I’ll definitely enjoy some knitting in the evenings though.

All in all, I’ve had a lovely Saturday.


YoM day 320-322: Sock knitting and secrets


Happy making!

Nothing to see here.

I am heading out today for a work trip. I’ll be gone until Tuesday–if you’re keeping score, that’s two days before Thanksgiving– and then we’ll leave Wednesday morning to go see family for the holiday.

So in the face of a six-day work trip followed by a five-day family road-trip, what did I do last night? Well, to be honest, a fair bit of laundry. But I also managed to stay up far too late making this:

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Gah, I just adore it. Let’s look at those animals a bit closer:

They are so cute. I can’t even stand it. Mom got me these two fat quarters when we went fabric shopping for my birthday. I had planned on making an autumny/wintery/holiday bag with them and I finally got around to it.

I used a kind of mash-up of Erica of Confessions of a Homeschooler‘s two project bag tutorials: the Squishy Project Bag and the Drawstring Bag. I resized it a bit, to make it more of a sock sized bag. I wish I had written down the dimensions, it’s perfect! But at 1:30 a.m. that would have been a stretch. A single skein fits perfectly:

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That yarn, by the way, is my future Christmas socks. It’s wound up and ready to go to Denver, just in case I finish the other sock I’m taking. The yarn is a one of a kind colorway from Baernewolle. She calls these colorways One Of a Baer.

I love that yarn more and more every time I look at it. But back to the bag. I think this is my favorite project bag I’ve made so far. I just love the style and fabric and size. I can’t wait to make more!

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In other news of very important work trip preparations, I cast on a second sock.. I finished the first last weekend and added this sweet little brown toe:

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Wee Chicakadee Woolery, main color: Lost Coast, contrast: Golden Oak

I always try to cast on the next sock and get through the ribbing right after finishing a sock. It helps me stay motivated since the ribbing is my least favorite part. Last night before bag fever struck me, I got fairly well down the leg.

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My little bag collection is all ready to be packed. I’m taking four projects on this trip. Two of them aren’t cast on yet, and I’d love to finish the two WIPs I’m taking while I’m gone. I’m getting a bit of a thrill out of productivity these days. Well, creative productivity. I don’t find much thrilling about all that laundry.


YoM day 314-318: Socks and secrets

YoM day 319: Sock knitting and sewing


Happy making!

A few new things.

With the recent finishing party that’s been happening around here, I had to cast on some new things. Absolutely had to.

First thing, I cast on for a new shawl. It’s the next in my wardrobe architect knitting list: the Boho Blush by Andrea Mowry. It looks so big and squishy and cozy and romantic, I absolutely cannot stand it. When I thought about knitting this shawl, I knew that I wanted it to be the cozy and soft feel I’m looking for and a sweet, romantic blush. Since it takes about 1000 or more yards of a single color, I had to find the perfect yarn.

The resultant search led me to The Wool Barn. It’s a new to me yarn, but I took the plunge and ordered some for the shawl. Plus a few extra skeins, because I was already paying for the shipping, right?

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To me, this color is the definition of a nearly neutral blush. This is the cashmere sock base, and it is oh. so. very. soft. I’ve gotten started on it, and I’m through section 3 of 11. It’s going to be a serious shawl. Ugh, I just love it.

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My second cast on, is actually a re-cast on. But first, let’s talk about the yarn. For my birthday this year, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a box of home. They gave me beer, a bluegrass cd, soap, and yarn, all from somewhere around the mountains of North Carolina. There is an alpaca farm in the town I lived in before I moved to Maryland and that is where they got the yarn. It’s a worsted weight, un-dyed yarn. The fleece came from an alpaca named Frosty, who is apparently an elegant grey fellow.

Judge and Crystal didn’t know if I could make much with it, but thought I would enjoy it. After I got home I started squishing it and it seemed to say to me that it would make my hands oh so warm. So a few weeks ago, I cast on some Raw Honey mitts, in the medium size. I got about half way through the first mitt and tried it on. Too big. Way too big. I have a bit of an issue with picking the larger size even though I’m a loose knitter. Anyway, I ripped them out and this week re-cast on in the small size–for reference my wrist measures 6.25″ around.

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I love how rustic they are and I think the simple pattern works really well with the yarn. Since I took this picture this morning, I’ve picked up and finished the thumb and I love this mitt! I’ve never knit myself anything for my hands before, so I’m really excited for the finished object. A knitter with cold hands is a very sad thing, after all.

My last cast on is a pair of socks. No one should be surprised, but I just need a pair going all the time. I don’t care when they get finished, but I also really wanted to get using my new bag from Rosebud and Penny. This yarn is Wee Chickadee Woolery smooshy sock in the Lost Cove colorway. Seriously, y’all. The speckle game with the ladies at Wee Chickadee is on point.

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Once I finish the mitts, I’m going to cast on a hat for myself. I’ve also got to fire up the serger! There is only a wee bit of holiday making going on, since we’re trying to keep that reasonable. We’ll see if it works. For now, it’s fun to have a few new projects to talk about.


YoM day 303-305: Knitting socks and mitts!


Happy making!

Quickly.

Sometimes, I become enamored. A particular skein of yarn, a swatch of fabric, even a pattern, sometimes I get the thing in my head. When that happens, other projects can fall by the wayside in my quest to make something with the object of my affection. My most recent love affair has been with this yarn:

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This is Underwater Princess on Merino DK by Suburban Stitcher. I purchased this yarn for a brioche project, but I love it so much that I didn’t want another yarn to compete with it.

I thought a hat would be a good project for it. You may recall, I had recently cast on the Fleesensee Hat by Verena Cohrs. I knit almost all of the rib and was looking through some of the project pages for the hat and noticed that a fair number of people were saying the hat knit up too small. I am generally a loose knitter but I have a big head, so I was curious. I pulled some waste yarn through the stitches and tried it on. Too small. Definitely too small.

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I was discouraged about having to rip out inches and inches of twisted rib but I did it. And then I tried to figure out what on earth to do with the yarn. I noticed that the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief only takes one skein of DK weight yarn to make a cute little shawlette. Sold! I had to order needles though, since I couldn’t wait until I finished my Marled Magic to free up my 6 mm needles.

The needles came last Friday night and I had had a really rough evening. To cheer myself up, I cast on the shawl. Since it’s DK and a fairly simple pattern, it started showing progress pretty quickly that night:

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The next morning I knit a few rows on it and then came back to it that Saturday night. I knit and knit, and then woke up and knit on it with my Sunday morning coffee and…

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I bound the thing off before I made lunch. It absolutely flew. I gave the shawl a bath and blocked it fairly aggressively and it came out beautifully.

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It’s a great size for a small shawl. Enough to put over your shoulders or throw around your neck, but not so small that it falls off all the time.

A quick FO like that can be so gratifying, not to mention a great way to satisfy that drive to work with a particular material. It is so fun to go from loving a yarn to wearing a finished piece knit with it.

I’m in a weird place of wanting to cast on a million things–still!–and getting completely addicted to my knits and wanting to finish things. A weekend knit like this shawlette was just the ticket.


YoM Day 286-288: Shawl and sock knitting

YoM Day 289-292: Cowl knitting


Happy making!

Making the making happen.

After all of this thought and consideration, I came to the realization that this is a ginormous project. It will certainly take me a long time to make an entire wardrobe, even though I’m not going to make things like jeans and shoes and purses. This will be multi-year at a minimum, but really since it’s also my hobby, I think it will be ongoing.

As a new sewist, I’m looking at sewing patterns that are on the easier end of the sewing spectrum. Things like simple dresses, skirts, and tops. I have a starter list of sewing patterns that fit the bill:

I’ve made the Moneta in a lovely dark grey, and purchased fabric for everything–except the Blackwood–in a neutral or nearly neutral from my palette:

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I’m hoping this will be a good start towards some basics in my wardrobe. I plan to make these 6 patterns several times, both for practice and to build up the wardrobe staples.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time on Ravelry thinking about what sort of knitted staples I envision. A lacy cowl, a couple of really cozy, big shawls, a cabled hat, an easy wearing triangle shawl. That’s just a start, of course. Knitting is my first love and I could pick out a million patterns. The top of my knitting queue is currently

Ugh, I want to knit all of them right now. I did make a few yarn purchases… Now, if you know me and my stash, you’ll know that solids are really not my M.O. We’re talking wardrobe staples though, so solids and tonals it is. I got in my very first yarn from Quince and Co. this week. This is for the Slipstream Cowl and the Windswept Shawl:

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I was so excited when this package arrived, Kevin came in to see what the yarn looked like. “It’s solid…” was his reaction. It’s definitely a big departure for me! I couldn’t wait to get started so I’ve already cast on a new thing!

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With all of that, I feel like I have a fairly rounded out slate of sewing and knitting. I think it will be a nice little start to the wardrobe once all of this is finished. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s little mini-series about my wardrobe architect project. This has been a fun way to start this journey of thoughtfully planning my making.


Happy making!

What about the yarn?

I have a yarn stash, it’s true. I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty serious stash. I love it and dig through it often. Sometimes looking for yarn for a particular project, sometimes sock yarn, sometimes just looking and petting. I also purchase yarn from time to time…

As I mentioned at the beginning of this little series, I’ve been a sucker for the shiny when it comes to yarn. I love a lot of dyers, I love color, and new and fun combinations always seduce me.  Once I narrowed down my color palette though, I wondered what that meant for the yarn.

I thought and thought.  I decided to pull out all of the yarn that fits the new color palate. It’s not that much, when compared to the whole.

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Once I separated all of that out, I had three categories for what was left:

  1. Yarn that just isn’t me anymore, for various reasons
  2. Sock yarn. This could be anything and everything, but all of it will wind up socks. Eventually.
  3. Yarn I like but doesn’t fit the color palette – there isn’t much of this

I put all of the yarn that just isn’t me for whatever reason up on Ravelry as de-stash. That was easy. The sock yarn was easy, too–it stays–I love to knit socks and will continue to wear any crazy pair.

The yarn I like but that doesn’t fit is more difficult. After a lot of thought, it’s going on Ravelry de-stash too. If someone else really wants it, they should have it. I may still knit with some of it if the mood strikes, that option will still be there.

One big realization for me in all of this is that I don’t intend to stop knitting fun and crazy color combinations. I enjoy those things and I think they can always squeeze into my wardrobe with the jeans and t-shirts, if nothing else. Knits like my Marled Magic or Love Ewe Baby, those are creative, process knits and I love them for reasons other than putting them into my curated wardrobe.

This has really helped with my yarn buying habits. As I mentioned, I feel a strong pull toward the “shiny!” This is evidenced in the overwhelming quantity of single skeins of sock yarn that I own. It’s really helped me think about what I want to purchase and why. I have tons of fun yarn to play with and knit with. But I don’t have very much that checks the boxes for my planned wardrobe.

One of the things I thought about when I was working on my core style, was where being a knitter and maker fits in. Part of that is pretty easy, I would prefer to sew the majority of my clothes. But as far as knitting, how does that fit in? I’ve thought a lot about that. I want to knit some feminine, cozy, simple, and/or classic items in my new found color palate. Tomorrow, we’ll explore how I’m working on making all of that making happen.


Happy making!

Motivation

Once again, I’ve been obsessed with quite dedicated to the secret project. So much so that I didn’t touch knitting all week. All week, that is, until I was faced with a waiting room.

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Like many knitters, I  almost love a waiting room. On Friday afternoon, I knew I’d be spending my afternoon in a waiting room and thus, with a sock. I managed to finish the cuff while sitting there. That evening, during our Friday night D&D game, I managed to drop and turn the heel and pick up for the gusset. I was rather pleased with myself.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had the crazy thought that if I finished this pair this weekend or early in the coming week, I could reasonably go ahead and start my birthday socks. Birthday socks? Oh yes, birthday socks. I’ve been thinking I’d cast on a new pair of socks or two, for my birthday. I had a couple of skeins that were calling my name, particularly birthday themed to me. And then…

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This came in the mail yesterday. It’s Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields, and it’s heavenly. And it reminded me of this…

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This skein of Sprinkles on Top by Wee Chickadee Woolery had come earlier in the week. I won this gorgeous yarn–and that amazing looking tea–in a giveaway over on Andi’s blog, My Sister’s Knitter. Her blog is just beautiful and incredibly inspiring. I love her knitting aesthetic. So with all of these sprinkle skeins in mind, I dug into the stash and…

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(l-r) Sprinkle by Peepaloo Fields, Sprinkles on Top by Wee Chickadeee Woolery, Birthday Cake by Baerenwolle, Cosmic Cake by Tilting Planet, and Courtney by Junkyarn

I pulled out all of my “birthday yarn” and became incredibly motivated to finish the green socks and get started on all of this loveliness. Now, I know that my best time is two pairs in a month, so 5 pairs in 5 weeks is not really what I’m aiming for. I’m going to at least knit two of these for my birthday month. Luckily, this kind of cake and sprinkles doesn’t spoil.

With all of that, I knit and knit and knit a little bit more yesterday. And, even with cooking three meals and not totally ignoring my family, I managed to finish the green socks.

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The yarn is a corriedale/nylon blend from Lamby Toes Yarn in the colorway Experiment 078. It has a lovely tough, yet squishy feel. I really like corriedale blends. These were supposed to be my St. Patrick’s Day socks, but we can see how well that went. I’m pleased to have them finished, the bright kelly green is a bit out of my usual color palate, but these are really pretty socks. They are pair 10 in my box o’ sox.

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Today, I’m casting on my first pair of birthday socks. I may do other things, but there’s a strong possibility that I’ll just knit these all afternoon.


YoM day 195-197: Sock knitting

YoM day 198-201: Secret making

YoM day 202-203: Sock knitting


Happy making!

Grainbow Revival Socks

Pair 2 of the sock revival is off the needles! I will admit, I was getting a bit weary of these by the end. I just kept eyeing my stash and thinking of what socks I was going to cast on next. But when I slipped these on to check fit and take a picture… Well, let’s let them have their day in the sun.

The yarn is by MarigoldJen in two colorways that I honestly can’t remember and can’t find the tags or names for. I reeeaaaalllly hate that, but I guess I’m going to need to accept it. The colors are beautifully variegated, a wonderful gloomy grey with the rainbow. I was a bit skeptical of my choice of yellow, but I think it complements the main yarn nicely.

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These socks feel and fit amazing. The yarn is her BFL/nylon, and the contrast is her merino/nylon. I think they work nicely together. The socks feel sturdy and squishy at the same time. I couldn’t be happier with the fit. Tried and true, the Kirbywirby method for cutting in heels comes through again!

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I was a bit of a cast-on addict last night, and started a new pair of socks. PS. If you haven’t tried Peepaloo Fields yet, I highly recommend her yarn. It is achingly pretty:

And finally, I started my Waterlily! I knit two more gauge swatches. The pattern calls for 4.0 mm/US 6 and that definitely didn’t work. I went down to 3.75 mm/US 5 and measured wrong, so I also knit a swatch on 3.5 mm/US 4. Bizarrely the 3.75 mm and the 3.5 mm swatch are remarkably similar. I went with the 3.75 mm and wound up my skeins.

I cast on and got halfway through the second row before I fell asleep. It’s not much to show, but I’m proud anyway.

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We are in serious birthday mode over here in our corner of Maryland. On Wednesday, it was dear boyfriend’s turn. I fixed steaks–truly my best go at steak to date–and made cake, and we had a little celebration, just the four of us. I think he had a great day. I’m currently up to 3 birthday cakes in the past 2 weeks, and I’ll bake 2 more before the next 2 weeks are out. Whew!


YoM day 156: Swatching!

YoM day 157: Swatching and socking

YoM day 158: Sock knitting

YoM day 159: Sock and Shawl knitting

YoM day 160: Sock knitting

YoM day 161: Sock and sweater knitting


Happy making!