in progress: rainbow raglan

Do you remember my experiment with Easter egg dye? I'm loving how this is actually knitting up! I'm making my daughter a "rainbow raglan" using one of Ann Budd's gauge-based formula pattern books. I had a few false starts--the neckline instructions gave me some fits at first! First time it was user error--I didn't pay attention to see that there was "at the same time" neckline shaping. Second time, it was fit--the neckline was huuuuge! So I just measured a shirt, and used some quick math to come up with the right cast-on for a 13-inch circumference neckline. Perfect! This should be finished pretty quickly--gotta love bulky weight yarn!

testing: a quick finish

Sometimes you need something quick to finish after all that fingering weight sock yarn. And that's what this is--my antidote to the month 'o socks. This is also my first foray into pattern test knitting. Have you ever been a test knitter before? Generally, you get a free pattern in exchange for giving the designer feedback on how the pattern is written and catching errors before the pattern is released to the public. This was a fun one for me to start with--a simple, but gorgeous stitch pattern that works really well with the crazy variegation in this colorway. The only thing I'd change is adding another 1/4 to 1/2 an inch in length prior to starting the crown decreases to give just a little bit more ear coverage and slouchiness to the hat overall. But I still love it as is! I'm also filing this one away in my "manly hat" pattern file ... this would be perfect for the guys who need hats in your life. Some texture, not boring to knit, but definitely masculine.

Pattern: Hunting for Pine Cones Hat by Summer Crosson (not released yet)
Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha in the Archangel colorway (approximate 7/8 skein)
Needles: Size 9 Addi Turbo's (magic loop)
Mods: None, as I was test knitting the pattern as written.

month o' socks: finish #2

They are done! Loving the fraternal twin thing with the stripe sequence on these socks! It's nice to cross this pair off my list of skeletons in my closet, too!

Pattern: 8-stitches-per-inch Socks by Ann Budd
Needles: size 2.50 mm 40" Knit Picks circulars
Yarn: String Theory Colorworks Continuum in "Lantana" (used .66 of one skein)

dyeing yarn with easter egg dyes

Happy Easter! I don't know if this is going to become an Easter tradition for me, but I couldn't resist playing with the leftover Easter egg dye tablets we had lying around this weekend (just like last year!). What you see is my version of "rainbow" yarn for a crazy, bright sweater for my nearly five-year-old girl. I followed the classic color sequence of Roy G. Biv, plus a hot pink added to the mix. I used two boxes of PAAS "Neon" dye, plus the purple from good 'ol Kroger brand "neon" food coloring droplets (the same purple I used in my blue-purple mix last time), and two tablets of red dye from a traditional PAAS box. I learned last time that one dye tablet didn't go very far in dyeing a skein of sock yarn. So I honestly was a little nervous this time, as I needed to dye three skeins to have enough to make a sweater quantity! (this is Knit Picks Bare Superwash Merino in Bulky weight) So I followed my tutorial instructions, except I doubled up the dye tablets, taking the two boxes dye tablets and mixing two of each color together instead of separately. I used a tablespoon or so of vinegar to dissolve the two tablets, then added approximately 16 oz of water to the cup. Since I had eight colors for each rainbow skein, I was able to squeeze by and finish that third skein--but just barely! I am seriously loving how it is knitting up. Definitely neon! And definitely fun!

month o' socks: a frog, and a finish

Have you had this problem before? Really loose purl stitches coming right off a column of stockinette in your ribbing? This is the reason why this pair of socks languished in my abandoned WIP pile since Christmas last year ... I know I've made ribbed socks before without a problem, so I'm still a little perplexed about this. Any tips? Since I was frustrated, this sock was frogged. In the meantime, I cast on and completed a new, plain vanilla sock using the remainder of the skein. See that ball of yarn on the right below? That's the original frogged sock! So now I know, I can officially finish three single socks from one skein of String Theory Colorworks Continuum sock yarn, which is good to know. This is the Lanatum colorway, which reminds me of watermelons. And spring!

month 'o socks: finish #1

It's official: the mardi gras socks are done! I'm pretty excited, as I realized when looking at my Ravelry project page that these are the first pair I've completed in two years. Yes, you read that right: TWO YEARS. Yikes. I won't admit how many single socks have been cast on and subsequently abandoned during that time frame ... it's not that I haven't wanted to knit socks. I would start and then dislike using dpn's or get frustrated by not liking the final fit of the finished first sock. But watch out now ... I'm on a roll!

Pattern: Ann Budd's 8-stitches-per-inch sock (cast on: 60 stitches)
Needles: size 1.5 (2.50 mm) Knit Picks Harmony's, 40" cable (magic loop)
Yarn: Magic and Moonshine Fiddi Diddi Wow Wow in Amazonista

socks: a love-hate relationship

Are you also in a knitting funk right now? I'm not sure what it is--I should track it to see if this is an annual occurrence, but I suspect it is. January is exciting, as it is a fresh year, a fresh start on new crafting goals and resolutions. And the whole, "I just survived my last-minute holiday gift knitting--time to cast on for me!" excitement that drives my knitting activity that month. Then February brought my Olympics-related knitting marathon. So by March I just lost my mojo, I felt spent. So I'm slowly coming back. Spring has emerged here, the sun is shining, and that's helped. But what's really sparking things around here right now is my newfound excitement over sock knitting.

I've had a love-hate relationship with socks. Either I really enjoy making them, and then are disappointed by the fit and then swear off making something I'll never wear .... or I've started a pair to find that I hate the feel of the needles, and quit knitting after finishing one sock since it's just not enjoyable. It's been two years since I actually finished a pair of socks, so that shows how deep this divide goes. Part of the problem is I normally don't wear socks, and tend to go barefoot. And when I do wear socks, they are snug fitting anklet running socks. So when I knit up my socks, they just weren't snug enough and I wasn't used to feeling something slouchy on my calves. But something revolutionary (for me) has happened during this two-year sock void .... I learned magic loop! And the minute I did, I realized .... hey, I might not hate making socks anymore! So in the past few weeks I've been testing this theory by casting on for socks again. This time I'm making some key changes based on the recommendations of my master sock knitting Mom and Grandma: smaller size needles (previously I always used U.S. size 2s, which are humongous in the realm of sock knitting) and casting on less stitches. Most of my patterns called for a 64 or 70 cast on before. So I've switched to 1.5 (2.50 mm) needles and a 60 stitch cast on. Success! I love knitting with magic loop, and so far the fit when I've tried these on feels sooo much better. So this month I'm devoting to the sock. I plan on trying another pair with size 1 needles (2.25 mm) next to see what I like best. I'm not so sure I'm up to knitting socks on size 0s yet, although I know many expert sock knitters who swear by the smallest needles sizes!

Yarn: Magic and Moonshine Fiddi Widdi Wow Wow in Amazonista

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...