Getting Back To It

Well, hello there, unintentional month-and-a-half blogging hiatus. February was rough, yo. I think I was sick for the last month and a half, which isn’t pleasant in the best of weather. But here north of Boston, we have many feet of snow, which has pulverized our public transportation system (aka how I get to work every day). Not feeling well + commuting for several hours a day on crowded trains with cranky fellow commuters has left me very tired at the end of the day, so much so that crafting hasn’t been my number one priority.

To be completely honest, most nights I watch Jeopardy and then go to bed.

I did spin a little, turning this delicious Malabrigo Nube braid into 324 sproingy yards of delicious sport-weight yarn.

Malabrigo Nube

Malabrigo Nube

The braid itself wasn’t the easiest spin. The fibers seemed very compacted, so it was difficult to pull apart and each piece needed to be fluffed a bit before spinning. I was going for a slightly thicker spin (than my usual super thin) and I’m very happy with the finished product.

Malabrigo Nube

But! It is now March! We’ve gotten through yet another February and Spring, the most wonderful season, approaches! Already the light is returning and days are noticeably longer. Now for temperatures to rise above freezing and the snow to melt (also, for the storm scheduled to dump more snow on us tonight to not dump as much snow as predicted).

And it being March means that the wedding of my dear friend S is a little over two months away, so I better bust a move on the HST Chuppah. Today, I sewed all the HSTs and started trimming.

Stack o' HSTs

Stack o' HSTs

I’d really like to finish this top by the end of the month, so for a bit of motivation, I’m making this my March ALOYF goal.

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Handspun Rye Socks

Here are my handspun Rye socks, finished on a day that looked like spring finally gave winter the ol’ boot. And then it snowed two inches this morning, because clearly we need more snow.

Handspun Rye Socks

Rye is a free pattern from The Simple Collection, and it made for a quick, easy knit.

Handspun Rye Socks

The yarn is Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino, spun 2-ply during my time in Oklahoma. I love seeing the colors transition and blend, and I am especially fond of that bright yellow stripe across one foot. When I spin, I dislike plying colors opposite each other on the color wheel (for example, plying green with purple) because it muddies the colors, but I really like the effect with complimentary colors.

Handspun Rye Socks

I did have an issue with pesky ladders on the first sock, but I mostly solved that by moving stitches between needles during the garter stitch section to break up where the break between needles happened. It was a little tedious at first, but I got into a rhythm by the second sock. This might be a pattern better suited to being knitted on one or two circular needles so that the breaks can happen in the stockinette section instead of the garter stitch section.

Handspun Rye Socks

Knitting notes (stitch counts, etc) can be found on my Ravelry page.

Green, Green Almondine

My green, green Almondine socks, begun last fall, are finished! Here’s how they looked as of yesterday morning.

Almondine Progress

Not bad. Sidenote: The color of these socks is a lot lighter than in the pic above; it was inside and darkish when I took that. At that point, only 1.5 repeats and a toe to knit, which I finished up last night!

Finished Green Almondine

After the size issues I had with the first sock, I knit the other at 70 stitches, and it is still plenty stretchy, and I had plenty of yarn to complete the second sock.

Finished Green Almondine

As always, Anne Hanson’s pattern is clear, well-written, and offers several sizes. The lace panel is a 10 stitch repeat that is pretty logical – I memorized it fairly quickly.

Finished Green Almondine

This leaves me with nothing on the needles a conundrum. What should I cast on next? I’ve gotten holes in a couple of my pairs of handknit socks recently (it’s been a long, cold winter, yo) so clearly I need more socks.

Do I CO Primavera in this orange handspun?

Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino Roving

Another pair of Sleepy Hollows in this gorgeous chartreuse (omg cashmere)?

Ball & Skein Sophia

Or something else entirely? What do you think?

Socks and Mitts

Last week, recuperating from the flu and melding with my couch, I went on a knitting tear. My poor husband has been waiting for me to finish his Man Mitts for Many Weeks and finally, they’re done. He’s been wearing them every day.

Man Mitts

The pattern is my own, based on knitting other mittens/gloves and sized to fit my nice husband.

Elated with that finish, I turned to my Almondine socks, lingering since last fall. These will be for my mom, and she likes her socks to be stretchy and easy to get on. Because of this, I increased the pattern stitch count to 80.

One Green Almondine

I finished, kitchener stitched up the toe, and tried them on. Perfect! Really stretchy! The foot is kind of too wide… Hmm. I weighed the remaining ball of yarn. 1.8 oz. Finished sock? 2.2 oz. Now, I’m pretty sure that I can’t stretch 1.8 oz of yarn to make a finished 2.2 oz sock.

Also: I’m sort of surprised that this is the first time this has happened to me in six years of sock knitting.

So I went up a needle size, CO 70 stitches for sock two and I’m at the heel turn. I think it is still plenty stretchy and I think I won’t run out of yarn.

Hopefully.

To Vermont

Two weekends ago, Husband and I went up to Vermont. The leaves were turning orange and the air was crisp.

Indian Head

We drove all over the state and he shared some of his favorite places with me – the Miss Lyndonville diner, the family plot at the old cemetery, the Spiderweb Farm. We sampled cheese and ice cream and cider, looked at antiques, cruised Lake Champlain, pet the B&B’s resident Westie, and got to spend the long, unbroken time with each other.

Mosaic
1. Miss Lyndonville Mug, 2. Lake Champlain, 3. Cabot Cheeses

On Sunday, we went to the Vermont Sheep & Wool. Really, this was the reason we went that weekend instead of in February for our anniversary (also, it is cold and snowy in Vermont in February). C does not yet know the trick of buying something now and putting it away for Christmas, so I had to show him how it was done. We also saw some prizewinning cashmere goats, met a genial alpaca, and C learned to knit. Wonder of all wonders!

Mosaic2
1. VT Sheep & Wool, 2. Alpaca friend, 3. VT Sheep & Wool Loot

It was a lovely trip. and I’m looking forward to spending more time in Vermont in years to come.

Boston Love and a 100th Post Giveaway!

Last weekend, my parents and I went down to the MFA to see both the “To Boston With Loveflag exhibit and the Samurai exhibit. I am so proud to be part of this outpouring of love to my favorite city.

To Boston with Love

To Boston with Love

The courtyard where the flags are hung is big, sparse, and modern. Normally, it is home to a cafe and a couple of modern sculptures, the cafe, and a lot of open space. I really think the flags add something, don’t you?

To Boston with Love

It took some looking, but I found my flag! It was hanging over the line to the courtyard’s cafe.

To Boston with Love

And of course, because my mom is a proud mother hen, she insisted on getting a shot of me with my flag. Also, this photo has inspired me to get a haircut – it is officially outta control.

Me and my flag at To Boston with Love

My summer is starting to shape up. My husband and I have made plans to take some long weekend trips next month: Berkshires, White Mountains, Cape Cod. I’m plotting out summer projects including two quilts using Kate Spain precuts and a pair of blue squid socks that has been languishing on the needles for months. And I’m starting to get my summer reading mojo on. I finished three books in the last week, although one of them was a graphic novel and I’m not sure if that is cheating or not. I love the anticipation of sweet things!

In other news, this is my 100th entry. One hundred! I’d like to have a little giveaway in celebration of this milestone. I’ve blogged before on different platforms and for different reasons, and I frankly wasn’t sure that this one would “stick.” But I’m enjoying sharing the things I make and think about and do in this space very much and will keep moving forward!

So, the giveaway! One reader will receive:

  • One skein of Island Yarns Sockish (hand dyed in Waltham, MA) in the bright and cheerful colorway Peony
  • One small octopus similar to the one below in the colors of your choice, knit by me!

mosaic2aab45108d478140b1db1e24f75e03f1d44d736e

To enter, leave a comment telling me what sweet things you are looking forward to during the next few months. International entries are welcome and make sure you leave me a way to contact you! I will draw an entry by random number generator on Saturday, June 15th.  Added June 15th: The giveaway is closed, thanks for entering!

Disclaimer: This giveaway isn’t sponsored by anybody, I just like these things a lot and want to share them with you. 

Stripey

Look! I finished a pair of plain, plain, simple socks! And they only took me seven months!

Stripey Socks

The yarn is String Theory Colorworks Continuum Self Striping, which is a mouthful. All the colorways of this yarn are named after science terms. One can knit projects with colors inspired by the Orion Nebula, Sombrero Galaxy, Beta-Alanine, and RuBisCo. The colorway of my yarn was Large Hadron Collider, which a nice person on Ravelry traded to me for a big bag of sock yarn scraps. Knitters are by and large lovely people.

Stripey Socks

Really, a pair of socks shouldn’t take me seven months. Admittedly, the time I spent watching Netflix and knitting has drastically decreased. And suddenly, there’s this fiancee in my life who sometimes doesn’t appreciate getting nudged in the side every few moments while we’re watching Arrested Development.

Stripey Socks

But they’re done and just in time for fall. Huzzah for crisp weather that encourages the wearing of warm socks!

Stats and info on Ravelry here