Sometimes it really does happen

In one of her books on knitting, the Yarn Harlot writes about the various knitting afflictions that can happen from time to time – Second Sock Syndrome, for one. Start-itis is probably the most common, and I know I certainly suffer from that a couple of times a year pretty reliably. (Notably: as soon as the first whiff of fall hits the air, suddenly seven new sweater projects seems completely reasonable.)

Cannon St. Pullover

I never really expect to get hit with the rare yet related ‘Finish-it-up-itis’ that Stephanie refers to, but you know I think I might have a touch of it. On Friday evening I cast off the collar on this stockinette pullover, a basic bottom-up-my-style-of-basic-sweater pattern I’d been working on last summer and then neglected. I tried it on right away, it fit perfectly (always a bit of a concern when so much time passes between cast on and cast off), and immediately I wanted to finish something else.

Pi Shawl - so close

My nearest target (i.e. quickest) is probably the current pair of socks on my needles that are about 40% done, but what I really have my sights on now is this Pi Shawl that’s been my intermittent knitting companion since the fall. I’m just ready to start the garter stitch knitted-on border that will seal the deal (since knitted-on borders are really just long exaggerated cast-offs)…although it is a knitted-on border for around 600 sts, so. Not exactly short work.

Nonetheless, i will persevere. I leave next Tuesday for a week’s vacation in San Francisco & environs, and in my imagination (which is always so productive), this Pi Shawl will join the cast-off projects list before then. All a girl can do is try!
Finish-it-up-itis, maybe you can stick around for a bit and we’ll get some stuff done.

Happy Wednesday!

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Pattern: Personal pullover pattern, completion/release TBD
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, ‘berry pie mix’

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

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Can’t stop won’t stop

I have reached some unexpected plane of knitterly existence where the idea of simply knitting up sock yarn from my stash has become eminently pleasing to me. I don’t expect it to last forever, and I must admit this isn’t a frequent sort of experience for me (I do so often lust after new projects that I haven’t purchased yarn for yet), but while I’m here I’m going to embrace it.

Ms Larock Ribbed Sock

These ribbed socks, picked up from a partially-complete (meaning: barely started and then forgotten) project from a while ago, came off the needles a week ago and are now happily resting in the sock drawer waiting for fall. They lasted long enough as a handbag project to come along with me to at least a couple of flicks – I think that little ‘oopsie’ row there happened during X-Men. (I like it when my mistakes provide a historical record of my movie-going habits. I can tell you exactly which socks I was knitting during ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Hobbit, Part 1 of 10 Zillion’, good times.)

Ribbed Sock Ms LaRock

I let no dust gather on my 2.5mm needles and reached for the last set of Lorna’s Laces sock that I’ve had stashed since the 2009 Sock Summit. I bought a lot of yarn at that marketplace, but have always had a soft spot for the special release of Lorna’s Laces colours that I purchased there. The vampire tea party socks met their completion earlier this spring so it was time to complete the set and reach for the lovely ‘ghoul’s gala’ green colourway I bought alongside it. It has not disappointed.

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It’s so green and lovely and spring-like, and actually quite a subtle vareigated colourway for all the different shades of green it gets in there. Apparently this one was brought back from limited release land and is now a regular colourway in their line, called ‘ascot’. Green jaywalkers for all, I say!

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Of course, because I am me, I am also taking the opportunity of knitting on the 4th pair of from-stash socks in a row to think “hey, maybe I need to replenish some of that. I should buy more sock yarn to make up for the deficit, right?” (spoiler alert, if anyone were to accuse me of not having enough sock yarn left in the stash, um, I might also have a bridge to sell you.) So that’s probably a sign that my from-stash sock knitting jag is probably coming to a swift end. Better knit quickly.

Logic, what logic? I’m going to go browse sock yarn colours online.

Have an awesome weekend knitter friends!

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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!).

Pattern: Jaywalkers (Ravelry link), pattern by Grumperina originally featured on Magknits, now free on Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in ‘ghoul’s gala’ colourway, now re-released as ‘ascot

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This time last week

This time last week I was in the middle of the longest day ever stuck at Dulles airport with a flight that was cancelled, rescheduled, delayed and then more delated. Which (surprise!) is pretty much the worst way ever to start out your week. But, the weekend trip that preceded the airport crud-fest was the nicest, and pretty much involved as much friendly knitter hangout time as possible.

(My trip on the way there was actually just fine and I even did a bit of on the spot spit-splicing whilst knitting away on my sweater sleeve. Good times.)

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I stayed with knitter pal Gwen, whose dog is pretty much the nicest guy on four legs.

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We chatted and knitted, and took a bit of time out on Saturday to visit her rec centre pool which was so nice I momentarily considered moving to Maryland.

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I had a full day of touristy wanderings on Friday and checked out a bit of DC, and the weather was several degrees warmer and sunnier than it has yet been here in southern Ontario, and it was pretty cool remembering what summer is going to feel like when we finally get it here. (Spoiler alert: it’s going to be great.)

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And on Saturday evening the knitters gathered, and ate guacamole and had margaritas, and chatted about books, and caught a show of ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ at the movies, and lo, it was good.

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And I also finished a pair of socks. Bonus! So basically I have my summer to-do list all prepped as a result: more knitting, more books, and more margaritas. Am I missing anything? Summerrrrrr, bring it on.

I hope your week ahead is a good one and has some sunshine in it!

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The system works

I’ve been merrily knitting along on my portable sock projects lately (so merrily that I took my ‘handbag’ sock project out of the handbag yesterday to knit on them at home, and then forgot about them and had no commuter knitting this morning, whoops), not entirely to the exclusion of other projects but pretty significantly. I’ve got some shawl projects on the go (the always-on-the-needles Pi shawl for one, a triangular shawl design I’ve been pondering, for a second), but only sock projects otherwise.

Future pullover

I started to realize that I have actually been missing the sweaters a little bit. Not exactly the same sweaters I hit the pause button on in April (they are both seamless, and at 90% done they are weighty in the lap and less amenable for spring…at least until the air conditioning goes up full throttle), but something with a little more oomph to keep in the rotation. And since I’ve been on a returning to unfinished projects run lately, I remembered that I did start a sweater pattern last summer, eventually put on hold once my commuter schedule took over (as well as, let’s face it, a pretty awesomely time consuming 2-sweater design that I’m really glad to have done).

It’s a pullover of my own devising, pretty basic since I wanted to do up a basic sweater pattern in my own knitting style (in pieces to be seamed, from the bottom-up, set-in sleeves), ideally with both a pullover and a cardigan version for versatility. And you know, I’d still like to do that – both for my own wearing and as a pattern.

Future pullover

I’d forgotten how far I’d gotten on it by last August, and it turns out it was pretty danged far. Front and back completed and part of a sleeve – on a pullover project that’s practically a finished project. (well, not really, but it’s still pretty close.)

I set out the finished pieces for blocking and picked up the sleeve in progress for some active work in the evenings. This is actually turning out to be more fun than I thought, going back to unfinished projects. I think next time I set aside a partially-finished projects I’ll just have to remind myself that it’s not so much unfinished as it is an almost-finished project for the future.

Also, it turns out I just can’t fully abandon sweaters for too long at a time. It’ll be sweater season again eventually, after all. Happy knitting this Monday, knitter friends!

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Pattern: Personal pullover pattern, completion/release TBD
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, ‘berry pie mix’

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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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