Engineering Christmas Knee Highs

Christmas is approaching and I have a sock snake waiting for me in my stash. I had the Hippo For Christmas color from lolodidit yarns just chilling in my stash. I thought this snake would be a good way to earn points for the Pigskin Party KAL and get a pair of knee highs into my sock drawer.

This is one half of my sock snake tube. I’ve got live stitches on end. My next step is to rip back and re-knit a toe on the end with the live stitches. I know that my generous calves will NOT fit into the other end of the tube. This means also ripping back the other side and knitting in some increases and/or ribbing. I just haven’t done the measuring or math to figure out how far that means.

But I think I would benefit from adding the afterthought heel in-between finishing the toe and starting the ribbing. I feel like I will better know to to engineer the sock to make the best fitting knee high.

Happy Knitting!!

Boxing Day

I fell down a bit on Boxing Day. Now I live in the United States and it’s really not a thing here. But you know where it is a thing? The UK where the wonder dyer from the The Corner of Craft podcast Chromatic Yarns lives. And she had an unprecedented 20% off sale. And I was flush with Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket..

All of her yarns are Dungeons and Dragons themed. I have never played and know next to nothing about it. But what I do know is that I LOVE this purple speckle madness. I picked up three skeins of her Sturdy DK in the Eldritch Blast color.

And Hannah tucked in a small package of tea from Bird and Blend Tea Co. It was Dozy Girl, a chamomile bedtime blend and it was AMAZING.

As for the yarn it is going into my stash. I’m feeling like I want to track down a solid contrast color in DK and make striped sweater or shawl/blanket thing. For now I’m content to admire and pet the pretty skeins while feeling glad I supported an independent dyer who busts her butt to make a quality product.

Just curious, did anyone else score any kind of Boxing Day deals?

FO Friday: Modified Barley

As promised I snagged some better FO photos off of my parents front deck. They still have a ton of green foliage that isn’t long for this world but it sure made a pretty backdrop! This is my finished (and still not blocked) Modified Barley.

Pattern: (Heavily Modified) Barley by Tin Can Knits

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Hand Dyed in the Lipstick colorway

Needles: US 6 and US 8

Modification: A TON! I took the stitch count for the adult medium and knit the hat without the garter panel. And for length I knit until it looked good enough and just started decreasing.

I am pretty happy with the finished size because it will surely grow with blocking as superwash yarn is want to do. I can wear the hat slouchy or fold the brim up and have a more traditional beanie fit. I only used about 172 yards or 79 grams of yarn to make this hat. I have a decent sized ball left, maybe enough for a pom pom?

This is definitely going into the gift bin for Christmas. It was such a quick knit that it makes me wonder why I don’t knit in worsted weight yarn all the time! And I highly recommend the Tin Can Knits patterns for excellent size inclusive and schematics for sizing.

Happy Knitting!

Cast On: Modified Barley

I recently attended an annual conference for one of the professional organizations I belong to. It was two solid days hanging out in ballrooms listening to speakers. I have been knitting a lot on large sweaters lately and didn’t have a ton of “grab and go” knitting available to me. I had to do some stash diving and get something going just for “travel” knitting.

The night before the conference I hand wound a skein of worsted weight yarn and grabbed a set of interchangeable needles. This was a recent purchase of Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash in the Lipstick colorway. I managed to establish the ribbing before walking into the first day of lectures. And then I quietly knit in my lap or under the table and this was my progress at the end of two days! I used the basic stitch count and sizing of the Barley hat from Tin Can Knits and just omitted the garter section.

It’s kind of hard to see squished up under the conference table but that is two inches of ribbing and about five inches of hat. I had a new-ish coworker with me and she was duly impressed. I think just a few more evening of knitting time and I will have a hat for my gift stash!

I also attended Schmancy cocktail event on the first night. I couldn’t help but snag a photo of the most grown up thing I have done in a dozen fortnights. I got to enjoy a good glass of red coupled with tasty hor’dourves in a proper bar. And no one wiped their cocktail sauce on me or threw asparagus chunks at me. It was non-mom heaven!!

Happy Knitting!!

More Radiate Options

I have this sweater I can’t get out of my head. I think I talked about the pattern when I was stash diving awhile back. It’s Radiate by Joji Locatelli. After letting my options marinate for awhile I decided that none of them really made my heart sing. So I swung by my LYS the other day and they had a few skeins of Merino DK left from Hedgehog Fibers.

I ended up gravitating towards a variagated speckle kind of color. Its called Deep End but the jewel tones just CALLED to me. And I thought they served as a nice pop with a black background.

And it passed the contrast test in a black and white photo. Yay!!

I of course didn’t know how much I would need of the contrast color because I haven’t swatched to know my gauge. So therefore I bought both skeins they had of this color. Only logical right? I mean extra Hedgehog yarn can’t be a bad thing?

I have a few things I need to clear off the needles and then this sweater might jump my arbitrary and only in my mind knitting queue!!

Happy knitting!!

Kindness Continued

My zen knitting default is definitely garter stitch…..back and forth….over and over  and over again. My Kindness KAL 2019 shawl has been my go to project lately with my congested head and brain fog. I’m in section 8 of the pattern already!

I have three full skeins of the Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK, two in the blue and one in the speckled grey. Based on how fast the yarn is disappearing I don’t think I’m going to hit my goal of using up all the yarn. The pattern does have some minimal instruction on how to add to the shawl if you have yarn left. So I’ll see how the shawl looks and how much yarn I have left when I get there. I may have to improvise.

I really want a big squishy shawl for next winter and I’m the boss of my knitting! Now I’m off to down some coffee and take my runny nose to daycare drop and work. Maybe my Rudolph nose will keep people at bay??

Happy Knitting!!

Potato Chip Knitting At Its Finest

I literally can’t put my mothers day cast on down! Between the luxurious Hedgehog Fibers yarn and the comforting garter stitch, I’ve already made it to section three!!

The speckles in the grey contrast color have me stopping quite frequently to pet and admire the stitches. The pattern is the Kindness KAL 2019 shawl from Jaala Spiro. It’s a free pattern and absolutely wonderful.

I used the needles recommended in the pattern (US 7) and I am finding that gauge is not tight but not very drapey. I probably could have stood to have gone up a needle size. But it’s a shawl and who cares. It will just mean its extra warm for winter!

Happy Knitting!!

FO Friday: Helping Hippos Vanilla Socks

My Helping Hippo Vanilla Socks have reached FO status just as I was literally racing a waking baby PB. They are speckled and tall and glorious! And this is my first FO in like….awhile. It feels nice.

Two toe up vanilla socks worked with 68 stitches with a gusset heel. I used just under 81 grams of yarn which leaves just the right amount of yarn left for repairs and putting some scraps in my blanket. I used US 1.5 needles so my fabric isn’t the densest ever. But I think it should hold up just fine.

One side has a little more “grey area” or blank areas without speckles. But come on, this is hand dyed yarn and that’s just pretty darn awesome. The fit is also pretty good. Admittedly they are VERY snug up around my lower calves. But as hand knit socks are want to do….they will stretch with wear and maybe this pair will then be able to stand up all day long!?

I did notice one small problem. In my haste to beat the clock also known as baby nap time…I was just eyeballing sock two against sock one and I shorted the second sock by like 1/3 of a inch. See above, sigh. But you know what? You can’t tell when they are on my feet and if anyone really gets that close to my feet to investigate….well they just might get a little nudge from said foot. I have a finished pair of socks to keep my footsies toasty in the Kansas winter. That’s a win in my book!

Happy Knitting!!

A Helping Hippo HO

My first Helping Hippo Vanilla sock is done!

The hubby and I got some rare baby sitting coverage over the holidays and managed to sneak out to a movie. We got to see Bumblebee. Not a franchise I am super invested in but I found the film delightful. I liked the strong female lead. And the icing on the cake was I managed to work my last set of increases and the cuff ribbing in the dark. I only dropped a stitch once.

 

 

I added a total of 8 stitches to the leg total as I went up. I just worked them kind of willy nilly but as evenly as I could eyeball. It does help the fit but as you can see I still have a TON of negative ease in my leg. I mean the sock fits but it’s stretched pretty darn tight. Now I like negative ease so that my socks don’t fall down but this might be borderline.

I’m happy enough with the sock to make the second one match. But I may have to amend my vanilla sock recipe at least in the leg to reflect my post baby #2 calves. Maybe on my next pair?

For now it’s NYE and almost everyone in our house has a cold. So I think we are going to have soup for dinner and have a countdown at 7 pm and just go the heck to bed. Happy New Year to you all!!

Speedy Speckles

I need to catch you up on my Helping Hippos Vanilla sock progress! Thanks to some conference calls at work (PB is now full time daycare so I’m not juggling her at work anymore) and some road hours to visit the grandparents my socks have seen some decent progress!

The first sock I started now has a completed toe up gusset heel and is ready to zoom up the leg. The second sock has gained 3 inches of foot. You can seen my progress keeper and corresponding progress.

This three inches is the equivalent of both my children napping in the car for two hours on the way to the grandparents. So you know…basically finding a unicorn or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

I’m very pleased with the first sock as the speckles really distributed themselves nicely both through the foot and throughout the gusset heel. With speckled yarn you really can never tell how it’s going to end up. But this batch appears to make a fairly uniform fabric and I’m pleased.

Happy Knitting!!