Friday, January 30, 2015

Stash Match: Sock Yarn

Last year I set out to match my stash yarn to patterns so it wouldn't languish indecisively forever more. I managed to allocate my 4-ply "Too Pretty For Socks" yarn, and I'm well on my way to using it for its intended purpose. (By which I mean, I've completed two projects and started a third. I'll get there.)

Today I'm finally getting around to my next category: Sock Yarn (aka "Pretty enough for socks," I guess.) The yarns in this category are no less pretty than my un-sock yarn, but probably/hopefully more durable.

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Top to Bottom:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock: I've been holding on to this for a long time, since people keep telling me it is the ultimate sock yarn. I might have put it on a pedestal, just a little, so I've found it difficult to commit to a pattern. Also, it is heavily variegated - fortunately (or unfortunately) there are loads of interesting patterns out there especially for this kind of yarn. After much internal debate, I've settled on Mad Color Weave by Tina Lorin. I'll re-evaluate if it pools strangely when I start, though.

Yarn Yard Cairn: I have had this yarn almost as long as I've lived in Edinburgh. (4ish years). It is time that I knitted it up! It's quite dark, so choosing a pattern that would show through was difficult. I've settled on Torrent by Tin Can Knits, since I think the lace will show up even in the dark colour.

Hand-dyed red: I believe this is 75/25% wool/nylon. Dyed with Wilton's icing gel colours, it initially turned out the colours of canned salmon. Eeeeh not really what I was going for. Then I dumped most of the rest of the red dye into the pot and there was much rejoicing. I think it will look awesome as Blueberry Bubbles by Thayer Preece Parker. Or perhaps strawberry bubbles, in my case. I'm looking forward to a sock with a lot of stockinette but a goodly portion of detail as well.

Hand-dyed tea/brown:
Probably 75/25 wool/nylon. I dyed it using a shedload of teabags a few years ago, and it has been waiting for a project ever since. I actually started knitting Hedgerow with this yarn, but I just wasn't enjoying it, so I frogged and thought some more. The winner came upon me suddenly - not from my favourites or queue, but from the new Knitty: Tauriel. ALL THE CABLES. This is certainly not television knitting, but I'm enjoying it so far.

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What are your favourite sock patterns?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Luna Viridis

For the first time in a long time, I have a new exciting WIP on a Wednesday!

I have the beginnings of a delightful cowlette on the needles right now.

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Luna Viridis, by Hilary Smith Callis is fun so far. I've never made a cowlette - a cowl that mimics the shape of a shawlette wrapped around the neck. It seems like it will be very wearable, but we'll have to see when I'm finished.

The yarn is Sweet Georgia Cashluxe Fine, which is Merino/Cashmere/Nylon and possibly the softest thing I've ever knit with. This is my fourth project using my stash match yarn, and so far I think it was the right choice. It's more of a gently-variegated than a semi-solid colourway, if that makes any sense, but I think it'll work. I've only just started on the textured portion, but slipped stitches and tonal variation are usually friends.

Linking up to Stitch Along Wednesday this week.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2014: The Knitting Year in Review

OH HAI blogosphere. Before it mysteriously becomes February, I wanted to do the customary summary of the last year's knitting. I really fell behind on documenting this stuff, and to be honest I probably won't catch up. So this will have to do and I'll try to do better this year!

In 2014, I had 11 FOs.

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(All links to my ravelry projects)

Top Row: Tiny Owl by Anna Hrachovec, Rye / Ruista Ranteeseen mitts by Hanne Katajamäki, Catkin Hat by Kate Davies, Grassroots by Melissa Schaschwary.

Middle Row: Wethersfield by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Dragonflies by Joji Locatelli, Song of the Sea by Louise Zass-Bangham.

Bottom Row: Mini Manu by Kate Davies, Crystalline socks by Cailyn Meyer, Earlybird socks by Cassandra Dominick.

I also made my dad a hat, but I don't have a picture of it yet. I will do a separate post about it when I get a photo, since I'm super happy about this hat!

Thinking back to my knitting goals for 2014, I fulfilled most of them, but not all:

Knit at least two sweaters for myself (check!)
Knit something for my dad (check! For some reason I didn't put this in my original post last year, but it was still a goal).
Knit 14 FOs in 2014 (FAIL.)

What I have learned from this is that goals for sweaters contradict goals for project quantity. I am slow at sweater knitting, and if I want to make sweaters I'll have to sacrifice other output. This is fair. I know it is quality over quantity that counts, but I put in the "14 in 2014" goal because I managed to knit 12 in 2013 and it felt so close!

Bearing this in mind, I have no aim to knit 15 in 2015. I had a hard time coming up with any knitting-specific goals at all, to be honest. However, I have decided that this is the year I need to stash down, so I'm going to focus on that.

2015 goals
1. Stash down, with a few exceptions.

Exception 1: I will buy yarn to make a Pomegranate sweater.

Exception 2: I will buy yarn at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and/or the yarn crawl, should anything unmissable jump out at me. But I will show restraint!

Exception 3: I will buy yarn to make gifts if I don't have anything appropriate in my stash.

2. Finish allocating yarn to patterns in my Stash Match project, including my sweater-quantities.

So. Here we go!