Goodbye, Socktober

I finished the Monkeys I’ve been working on out of the Republic of Wool yarn in Artificial Light. monkeys-2I did these toe up and did a heel flap. You can see the crazy way the striping happened on the heel here: monkeys-3I finished these a couple of days ago and I’ve been plugging away at Z’s sweater as well.

monkeys-4NaKniSweMo is just around the corner! EEEK! I still haven’t really made a decision about what I’m making yet. Must brainstorm a bit more.

Eight years

I just remembered today is my 8th blogiversary. I’ve been knitting for a little over 10 years, and I guess I’ve been talking about it online for almost as long. As an extrovert, I love finding ways to communicate with others, especially about one of my greatest passions. Many of us define ourselves by our jobs, or our places in our families, but if I’m totally honest, for me Knitter is always going to be one of the first titles I mention to people. It’s been a lovely journey so far, this knitting experience and it’s only the beginning.

How about a peek at some socks? monkeysThese have mostly been set aside for the last week as I let myself obsess over Gathering Stripes (which now only requires sleeves). The socks are Monkey, a wildy popular pattern. The yarn is from Republic of Wool in the color Artificial Light. I don’t know if these will be finished by the end of the month for Socktober, because as soon as I’m finished with Z’s sweater I have another toddler sweater to pull full focus since it’s due at the end of the month. I’m not worried about the sock deadline. I just enjoy the ritual of beginning a pair of socks in October and knitting along with all of the rest of the crazy sock-loving knitters out there!

Thanks for being a blog reader! Though I don’t always get to respond to comments, I love reading them and I love your input and interactions.

October is for socks

It’s Socktober again. Yesterday, as soon as I cast off the Simple Skyp Socks I immediately wound the Rebublic of Wool yarn I got in the mail last Friday and started some toes!

monkeyI’m making Monkeys, though I’m going toe-up and doing them both at once.  This is my third time using this sock pattern. It’s lovely for variegated sock yarns.  It’s an 11 row repeat that’s easy to memorize and it gets a little addictive, making me want to finish just one more repeat, thus I’m already a few inches in.  I have some other pressing projects to finish, but these are off to a good start to finish this month. The yarn is the lovely Twist Fingering in the color Artificial Light by Republic of Wool.

Skyping into Socktober and a sock sale

skyps-4I finished up the Simple Skyp Socks I’ve had on the needles since mid July.  About time, huh?  They took a backseat to many other projects in the last few months. skypsThe yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegría in color A8855. I love how looks knitted.

skyps-2I did these toe up and added heel flaps. The pattern was simple (as stated in the name) and fun. It highlighted the color changes well without being overpowered by them. It’s good to have simple sock patterns that work well with highly variegated yarns in my knitting arsenal because I’m an addict for very colorful sock yarns. skyps-3This pattern and I will definitely meet again. And hey, it’s SOCKTOBER. I nearly forgot! I’m casting on some Monkeys today, and putting all of my sock patterns on sale for 25% off through next Monday! Use the coupon code SOCKTOBER to redeem the discount. Happy Socktober!

Seven years later.

It’s my 7 year blogiversary! Heck yes. I think this blog is getting better with age, or at least it gets increasingly more fun for me to write. How can we not improve at something we routinely practice? I really wish I was celebrating my blogiversary at Rhinebeck, but maybe I’ll get to do that next year. Hope all of you Rhinebeck goers are having a blast!

Here is one of the secret projects: sock trio-2I got to hand over the trio of socks to the parents at their son’s 1st birthday party yesterday. They indulged me and opened the gift before we had to leave.

sock trio

Classy as hell

They’re a colorful sight.

sock trio-3I hope they fit little Charles. I tried to measure his foot against my hand when we were over at their house for a play date last month. These, and a pair for Z have comprised my Socktober work thus far, but the month isn’t over! The pattern is my own: Kiddo Kicks. If you want details about the yarns, check the Ravelry project pages here, here, and here (left to right).

I was really hoping to release the cardigan pattern with my blogiversary, but it’s still in tech editing. I will definitely be done in time for NaKniSweMo and I plan on releasing it with a bit of a discount for the occasion. I’d like to be generous for my blogiversary, so I’ll gift 3 commenters (chosen at random) with one of my patterns of their choice gifted to them on Ravelry or through email. This can include the future men’s cardigan pattern, which I’ll be able to gift as soon as it’s released. I’ll pick the winners on Wednesday by 10 am. Please leave your Ravelry name in the comments, or make sure you use a working email when you leave a comment.

Thanks for reading! I’m so happy I’ve made it seven years so far!

Your purl side is showing

I lost it a little bit on Monday night when I realized that my biggest secret project (Ravelry members only link since the recipient isn’t a Raveler) looked too small. I swatched, and even blocked my swatch, but it was nagging at me. When I measured the center panel it was 9 inches, rather than the 11 the pattern said it should be. There’s no way that was going to block out that much wider without some serious yarn stretching. So…I ripped it all out. I had about 7 inches of the back done. It was painful. Nothing to do but cast on again with bigger needles. Sigh.

Toddler socks? Love them. I forget how quickly they go, and I didn’t have any stitch markers on hand at work on break when I got to the heels. Turns out that paperclips are great substitutes. Heel turns also happen in about 5 seconds on these. This is my pattern, using Madelinetosh sock in Turtle. I could never find the right adult-size stitch count socks to avoid massive pooling in this colorway, but they seem to be working well on the 1-3yr version here. I’m not sure whether I’ll use this yarn all the way up the cuff, or switch to some leftover Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Oliveturtle

I just finished the chapter in Clara Parkes’ book The Yarn Whisperer, called “Public/Private.” I love all of her metaphors for how elements of knitting apply to other parts of life. Her writing is incredibly clever. If you’re considering some non-fiction and you’re a knitter, this book will probably be dear to your heart. I know this is a book I will re-read many times over the years. In this particular chapter, she connects “right side” and “wrong side” of knitting to our public versus private selves. She discusses how we all possibly show much more of our private selves through self-revelation online. One of my favorite lines from this chapter is, “It’s getting hard to tell if we’re viewing someone’s smooth stockinette facade, a genuinely vulnerable bumpy backside, or a new kind of reverse-stockinette-stitch fabric that’s a highly edited, fictionalized version of our true selves.” It’s something to ponder. In most of the blogs I read regularly, the content is mostly about a specific topic: knitting, or food, or sewing, etc. People don’t get hugely personal that often, but there are always touches about their lives. Most balance this very well.

Occasionally I come across posts or reveals in my Facebook feed (much more often there) that are so passive aggressive or painful, seemingly aimed at someone that should just know who they are. I never know exactly how to respond, but I usually just ignore things like this and move on. These things seem to qualify as the “genuinely vulnerable bumpy backside,” but the communication is so indirect I don’t know how it can be effective. Sometimes we come across as completely polished and perfect, showing our reverse-stockinette selves that are highly honed. I think I’m guilty of this at times, not showing knitting until I can get the perfect picture for the blog or having to re-take pics because I don’t like the way I look. I’ve also deleted some old old posts on this blog that I felt were too highly personal (my purl side was definitely showing) or could be frowned upon professionally. Don’t worry, they weren’t knitting-related anyway. In a time when potential employers demand Facebook passwords, what we put online about ourselves deserves scrutiny. It’s hard to find this balance. I have to think about being myself, while also considering how future employers or clients might view me if they stumble across my blog. Our notions of privacy shrink daily as we highly customize our lives, but I’ll never try to go off the grid like Ron Swanson.

Long post! Phew! Last day of my 30% off sock sale using the code SOCKTOBER. Happy Socktober!

Kiddo Kicks!

My fever and ickiness is still creeping away more slowly than I would like, but I couldn’t resist getting these sock pics and the pattern ready to go. toddler socksHere are some of the kiddo socks I’ve been diligently working on for my Socktober project. There is still plenty of time in October, so the sock fun isn’t over, but I thought I’d show what I’ve done so far.

I also wrote up the pattern, since I make almost all of my socks toe up, and there wasn’t a pattern out there that had all of these elements. I put in some step by step pictures for the heel turn and gusset pick ups for working the socks two at a time.  If you’re new to working socks toe up or two at a time, a smaller foot size is a great way to learn. The pattern is called Kiddo Kicks and it’s included in my 30% off sock sale till the 16th. Use the code SOCKTOBER at checkout to apply discount.

toddler socks-2The pair shown above used Shibui Knits Sock in Teal for the foot and Wasabi for the cuff. These are all the 1-3 yr size. They used about 24 grams of fingering weight for the foot, and 13 grams for the cuff. I like to maximize the use of leftover sock yarn, so I thought I should make contrasting feet and cuffs.

toddler socks-3These were my first pair. I ran out of Shibui Knits Sock in Rapids right at the end of the heel flap, before the heel turn, so I switched to some Koigu KPPPM in P312 at that point to finish the sock. I kind of enjoy the oddity of the color change placement anyway.

toddler socks-4The final pair uses Colinette JItterbug in Ochre on the feet, and Jitterbug in Whirly Fig on the cuff. These are leftovers from two of Z’s sweaters from last year. All of these yarns are super soft and snuggly, and relatively easy care. I’ve found with any of my knitted socks that I’m comfortable with a delicate machine wash, but they don’t wear as quickly if I let them air dry. Now Z can have some warm feet for winter!

I have so many leftover sock yarns. I can’t wait to whip up more color combinations. If you want to pick up this pattern, you can . The 30% off sale continues until next Wednesday.