I’m coping

As if my knitting obligations weren’t stressful enough, I also have the added joy of trying to get through my multitude of classes. I have deadlines this week like no one’s business and I’m using knitting as my coping strategy. Work on my team paper, knit a few rounds, get some things put into my final presentation, knit a few rounds. It’s helping me to feel slightly sane in this insane week.

I’m just hoping I can get off of campus this weekend. Otherwise next weekend for sure. The only good thing about being at school right now is the internet speed.

I’m still knitting grey, but now I have a blue tube to add to the fray.

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To keep me from going totally insane while knitting the foot of the grey (which is almost to the toe), I cast this on. I’ve been alternating ten rounds on both. So far this guy is almost halfway done with the leg. I think it makes knitting just that little bit faster if it’s not dull as all get out.

Also I find this hemisphere’s lack of sunlight disturbing. I get done with class and it’s dark. I’m missing prime sunlight hours here. I’ll be glad when the solstice is here and gone and we can start moving back towards the light times.

But in good news, I organized my stash!

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I took about an hour and decluttered and rearranged my little balls of string. I arranged by weight primarily, but also by type. I put all the cotton together, all the acrylic together and the novelty yarn together. Then I put all my sock yarn in the same place, my natural fiber worsted, and my bulky yarns. With this kind of organization, I can tackle this week for sure. Wish me luck, anyways.

Binding off

Binding off and weaving in ends is like closure on a piece of knitting. You’re done, it’s over, and you can move on.

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I found this beautiful scarf while sorting through some things in my room the other day. It was still on needles, but the length was there. Even though it was just an acrylic scarf I took it gingerly out the bag and thought what a shame it was that it wasn’t bound off when it was so close to finished. I did a very simple bind off and took it off the needles. This was one of the last projects my grandma worked on before she passed away. It feels like taking care of unfinished business to help turn this last WIP into an FO. I feel like it connects me to her, that she did the work and I helped her to carry it out. We both have stitches on this pretty scarf.

Some things just don’t hold value to other people. They would see this thin, delicate piece of knitting and think “it’s not even wool”, but to other people things can be treasures. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it earlier, but it was shoved into a plastic zip lock. If my grandma is a knitter like I in any way, then at one point this scarf was “it”. It was a project that she liked well enough to take the time to cast on and knit five and a half feet on. It may just be a piece of acrylic, but to me it’s like a time capsule. It takes me back to a time when my grandma was alive and well, knitting happily away.

Don’t look at the knitter behind the curtain

I am going to distract you. So you don’t question where the socks are (mostly because I couldn’t stand taking another boring picture of a grey sock). But rest assured, the sock is safe and I continue to work on it. I’ve also cast on the first of the navy socks on the new DPN’s. I’m working ten rounds of foot on the grey, ten rounds of leg on the navy, alternating between the two. I figure this way when the first grey is done I’ll have a good chunk of the navy started and so it will be slightly less overwhelming.

So distraction!

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Yarn haul! I got only the tiniest bit carried away my LYS. I saw the yarn, and I panicked. I had to have it and before I knew what hit me, my card was on the table, and the skeins were on the swift.

I got 450 yards of Allegro Lace, a lace weight merino, up there in white. I want to make a pretty shawl for my boyfriend’s mom for mother’s day this year. It’ll be my first big lace project. I’ve been looking for a pattern and the charts scare me.

I got two more balls of the Berroco suede because they were on clearance and it’s a discontinued yarn, and…well I wanted it. I am going to make so many purses with all of the suede I have.

Also, some Cascade 220 Heathers in 9546, which is sadly discontinued as well.

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It’s so pretty though. I don’t know what I’m going to make out of it, but it’s going to be good. I love color so much. It looks like the sea (which if I had bothered to look before typing this up I would have realized the colorway is actually called “Deep Sea” Well, they were right on the money, then.)

I also got some lovely grey wool, it’s Shepherd’s Wool and it’s made here in Michigan actually. It’s so soft. I’m going to use it with this roving I got to make a pair of thrummed mittens

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This is a bunch of assorted roving that I got for $5 or so. It came as a set for “Needle felting or thrumming”. As far as I can tell it’s all wool, but I don’t think it’s all from the same kind of sheep. Some is softer than others, and that one in the middle has shiny bits in it. I figure I’ll thrum them from darkest to lightest.

This all makes me very very happy to continue knitting away at my Christmas list, because I know when I’m done I have some lovelies waiting for me.

Guess what I’m knitting

If you guessed socks still, you are correct. But I’m now doing different things! Not knitting miles and miles of leg.

Things like heel flaps

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And turning heels

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And even doing gusset decreases

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I mean, c’mon guys, this is exciting stuff here. Ok, so it’s still grey, and it’s still one sock, but I’m making progress.

Also, I finished shopping for yarn for everyone else this holiday today. So I am rejoicing. Now all the fiber I get will (probably) be for me and the stash and not in one needle and off the next so to speak. I can actually take my time, get to know the new additions (which there may be some tomorrow). It’s small business Saturday tomorrow, and I plan on visiting a nice little yarn shop the next town over. I’m hoping to get some roving, maybe some worsted and perhaps even some sock yarn. I can see the fiber at the end of this knitting tunnel, and it feels good. I’m going to treat myself to some reward yarn, that I can only start on when I finish ALL of my Christmas knitting.

The good news, however, is that I have been informed by a credible source that I can be done with the Endeavor. Finito. No more dishcloths for this lady, at least until I choose to make more. My current stock of 7 will work just fine for the holidays. This takes a load off.

I also got some pretty buttons today for one of my Christmas projects. I’ll showcase them when I finish the project. And another pair of 2.25mm DPN’s. I figure that way I can have the navy cast on and if I’m in a difficult part of either sock (that I can’t do while walking) I can switch over and get some sock done. Plus the change of color will be nice (even if it’s dark as all get out)

Another thing I’ve been doing this break is formulating a plan for a birthday surprise for a friend. I’ve already wishlisted the yarn. This project doesn’t have to be done until the end of February, and all will be revealed in the fullness of time because if I told you all my secrets in one post you’d have no reason to come back.

Also, am I the only one who loves the light show you get with eye of partridge heel flaps?

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Legs up to here

Well, I’ve at least finished knitting the giant tube of grey 3×3 rib. Now I can show you slightly more interesting things like a long grey heel flap, and a grey heel turn, and another tube of grey 3×3 rib with some stockinette thrown in. Then I get to do it all over again!

So here’s 7.5 inches of grey. 85 rounds. 6630 stitches. And it’s only the leg.

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I’ve had plenty of time to get some good knitting done today. Turkey day is a good day to be lazy and just knit.

Oh look, yarn!

As promised, I did say that I would show you pictures of the new sock yarn. I would have before, but artificial light just really doesn’t do it justice, so I had to wait until this morning.

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It’s gorgeous. Very dark, and it’ll probably be a pain to see for that reason, but, man, my boyfriend knows how to pick some pretty yarn.

A glamour shot.

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It looks like raven feathers. Dark blue, almost black, with hints of green.

And I even have a comparison shot so you can see the differences between the different colorways that I’m making socks out of for this Christmas.

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There’s a funny story that goes along with retrieving this yarn from the mailbox. First, I checked with my apartment office to make sure they didn’t have it before they closed at 8pm on Monday night. They kindly informed me that, yes, the package must have been small enough to fit in my mailbox because they didn’t have it. So I went to my mailbox, put my key in, and tug. tug tug. TUG TUG TUG. My mailbox was jammed shut. I was quite beside myself with this revelation. I thought it was broken, until my boyfriend felt along the bottom seam and noticed a nice little buildup of ice. We just got our first snow last Sunday, and there was enough moisture collected on the ledges of our mailboxes that it had effectively frozen them shut. But the ice should have known that nothing can stand between me and yarn. You can take that knowledge to the bank. I quickly tore through my car, took my trusty ice scraper out and tore up that ice. I think my neighbors passing by must have been wondering what the hell I was doing. After that it was easy peasy to open up my mailbox and extricate my lovelies. Mine, all mine.

And clearly this whole post is an effort to not  bore you with more pictures of imperceptible-to-all-but-me sock progress. I’m nearly finished with the first leg (haha pun intended) of the sock. I’ll post more pictures when I’m doing something more exciting than knitting a tube, like turning the heel.

Socks galore.

I’m still knitting on the first of six socks (three pairs). And I’ve made some progress since yesterday

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At this rate, I might be able to start on the second of this pair by the end of the holiday weekend.

It’s a very basic pattern, which is nice since I can zone and just knit, knit, knit. That being said, I am loving this colorway.

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I know it may just look like boring old grey, but it’s a lovely warm heathered grey. It has flecks of red spun in with the grey that pop up and just make the whole sock come alive. I love it. Not to mention it’s so soft. I am fairly new to fine fibers, only having started working nearly exclusively with natural fibers and natural fiber blends in the last year, but this sock yarn is so great. The fact that I got it for so little is just icing. It makes the prospect of knitting so many socks before the holiday just a little more bearable.

I also got another two balls of Knitpicks Stroll in the mail last night. No pictures today, because I didn’t have the time this morning to photograph it, and it needs the sunlight to really do it justice. That just about wraps up  my yarn buying for the holiday knitting list, which is nice.

I also was weak, and after seeing the price of the Knitpicks 40″ cable needles I was just like “Shut up and take my money”. So I have a US1 (2.25mm) cable needle coming in the mail too. I don’t expect to get it until after the break, but I’ll be able to learn magic loop for the third pair of socks and hopefully be able to get those done in a flash.

Also, as an aside, you really have to question your intelligence a bit when, whilst attempting to rub the sock progress on face because the yarn is so soft you manage to stab yourself in the corner of the eye with a 2.25mm DPN. I’m just sitting here thinking to myself, really? You didn’t see that as a possible hazard? Genius.