Monthly Archives: May 2014

The latest

The latest pair of Jaywalker socks came off my needles a week or so ago, filling a bit of the ‘neutrals’ gap in my sock drawer. This is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in ‘mineshaft’, which I’ve had in my stash for several years now and am glad to have in sock form now. They’re going to be great to add to next season’s sock refreshments.

May Jaywalkers

This is actually a pattern I have knitted so many times that I’ve lost track of how many Jaywalkers I’ve knitted. It’s certainly more than a dozen, but beyond that I’m not sure. At first my goal (a few years ago) was to have a week’s worth of them in my sock drawer, but of course after a while there is a certain amount of attrition and pairs need replacing. I might even be on my ‘third week’ of Jaywalkers by now, which is sort of amazing yet unfathomable.

It is pretty comforting to be able to go back to the same sock patterns over and over again, but when I stop and think about it…nothing else in my wardrobe has had anything near this level of repetition. I’ve knitted a couple of my own sweater designs twice, as well as a couple of scarves, but socks really seem like one of the few items you can repeat as many times as you want without any real concern, am I wrong?

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I do like the repetition, anyway. Socks are one of those things you just need to be able to slip on and know how they’re going to feel on your feet, so I’m definitely in favour of sticking with a good pattern & yarn combo once you know you’ve found one you like.

What’s your favourite sock pattern & yarn combination? Have you got multiple pairs of the same sock in your dresser drawer at home? If so then I know I’m in good company. Happy knitting this fine Thursday!

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Pattern: Jaywalkers (Ravelry link), pattern by Grumperina originally featured on Magknits, now free on Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in ‘mineshaft’

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Socks for springtime

So, it’s sock knitting season, am I right? It always does seem to hit me around this time of year, even before the warm weather starts to make tiny, smaller-lap-real-estate projects seem appealing. Partly because it’s nice to have less obtrusive projects to carry around but also I think coming to the end of a winter season draws the state of one’s sock drawer and all the wear and tear of the latest sock-wearing season into sharper relief.¬†Quick, knit a zillion more pairs before September comes around again. It’ll be like last winter¬†never happened.

Sock stash

Plus, sock yarn is just so darned cheerful and colourful.

STR ribbed socks

Since March I’ve been diligently keeping an active sock project in my handbag, to fit in a few rounds when there’s time. (Over the winter I’d been letting sweater sleeves take up that job). Helpfully, a couple of months ago when I was rifling around looking for empty project bags, I happened upon a small cache of unfinished sock projects – three, to be exact. All 3 only had part of the first sock knitted, needles still waiting. (So that’s where all my sets of 2.5mm double-pointed needles went.) I finished one of them, then cast on a new pair of Jaywalkers afterwards.

STR ribbed socks

When I finished those, before I immediately went to my sock yarn stash for a new pair, I decided to muster up some resilience and go back to one of the remaining unfinished pairs. Going back to resume unfinished projects is always a little harder, since they’re less new and exciting, but it’s also so worth it to make progress and get closer to freeing up a few more needles and project bags. Plus, it’s almost like having a project pre-started for you, when you’ve had time to forget that you were the one that started it in the first place.

Sock stash.

I’ve definitely got my eye on my sock yarn stash again, too. I’ve added to it over several years and I like the collection. I’d sure love to turn more of it into actual socks, though, so I’m going to ride the spring sock knitting momentum as long as I can.

Onwards – Sock knitting season ahoy!

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Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock (by me)
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, ‘Ms Larock’ colourway
Needles: 2.5mm double-pointed needles (plastic-coated metal, probably Unique brand from several years ago!).

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Pi Shawls R Us

We have probably most likely been experiencing spring over the past few weeks. This should be both a) unremarkable and b) more certainly stated, but winter just kicked the snot out of us this year and I’m pretty sure most people in southern Ontario still have one eye on the winter coat, just in case. (Constant vigilance.) It’s that in-between time when daytime temps are well above freezing and the daylight hours are longer, and it’s not quite warm enough for tee shirts and sandals but it’s probably too warm to get away with a wool sweater, so…that’s spring, right?

My commuter schedule has me dashing out of the house just after dawn, and returning in the evenings a little after most normal people have probably already eaten dinner, and those are the chilliest times of the day. And lo, I discovered this is the true destiny of my Pi Shawl.

Pi Shawl in action

I’ve had my Malabrigo Pi Shawl with me most days for the past few weeks, and it’s great. If you need more coverage on a chilly train you can drape it more widely around your shoulders, and for bustling around town it bundles up great around your neck. Breeze be gone! (And if I may say, having taken a few terrible selfies lately, that a good selfie is a lot harder than it looks. Dangit if the internet isn’t probably flooded with way too many of them, but maybe it’s because it takes stupid amounts of practice.)

Pi Shawl

It was only a matter of time, then, before I remembered the Pi Shawl that’s still on my needles, and has been since last September. It’s been such good company for movie theatre knitting, but I think it’s time it saw some real action on the final third of the knitting. There’s something to be said for the round-and-around knitting action – repetitive though it may be, it’s also reassuring in its own way. I’m still deciding what projects to move forward with in the next couple of months, so I might as well get a few more rounds in on this while I decide. The Pi Shawl is just darned helpful that way.

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Happy Wednesday!

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Pattern: Pi Shawl (July shawl), directions in Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, in ‘ivy’ (completed) and ‘eggplant’ (in progress)

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Neutrality

Recently I have been trying to spend more time paying attention to neutrals as part of my knitting colour palette. Although I very much enjoy wearing neutral colours – oatmeal grey, chocolate brown, demin blue, and cream white in particular – I much less frequently enjoy knitting with them. When I’m choosing yarn from a store or my stash I have a much easier time reaching for a colour – being particularly fond of reds, greens, and purples – than I do for a neutral. I know this is entirely because if I’m going to be spending sometimes several weeks (or even months) looking at a project, its going to be much more fun to look at a colour than a (relative) absence of colour.

Mineshaft Jaywalkers

I’m trying, though. Neutrals are super versatile in one’s wardrobe, and I actually think they feel very foundational and comforting to wear, so it probably makes no sense that the actual knitting of them makes me hesitate. So, yea verily, when I finished my last pair of Jaywalker socks last week and it was time to pluck another bit of yarn from the stash for the next one (my sock yarn stash is ample, that’s how I roll), I actively made myself pay attention to the neutral options. There are greens and reds waiting ever so nicely, but no no, not this time – this time we go with the greys and browns.

Mineshaft Jaywalkers

I won’t lie, it is less fun than looking at greens or reds, but I’m cranking out the rows gradually and I know that once I get these done they are going to be one of the busiest pairs of socks in my drawer. They’ll be great with jeans. Is this the real secret of product knitting vs. process knitting? I always figured it had to do with skill level and stitches or garment style but maybe it’s actually about the colour. Who knew.

Have an awesome weekend, knitter friends – and pet some nice grey yarn for me while you’re at it. Over and out!

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Pattern: Jaywalkers (Ravelry link), pattern by Grumperina originally featured on Magknits, now free on Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in ‘mineshaft’

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