Friday, June 26, 2015

FO Friday: June 26, 2015

As I've talked about before, Tour de Sock started June 1st. It took me awhile to finish stage one, well past the deadline. That was, in part, because I had a test knit I needed to finish and then I had to find the motivation for the socks again.

Stage One of Tour de Sock 
  • Start Date: June 1, 2015
  • Finish Date: June 21, 2015
  • Pattern: Virrat
  • Needle: 2.75mm
  • Yarn: Invictus Yarns SportMaster
  • Made For: Me!
  • Project Page

Stage One was the first time I ever made sport weight socks. For not being used to working with that weight, they came out really well. I think the next time I make them, I might use fingering instead.

Stage Three was released the day I finished these. I like them well enough to make a pair but I'm not in a hurry because I have other patterns I need to be working on, like my pair of knee high socks for a cosplay I need done before November. The last time I knit a pair of knee highs, it took me about a year but a lot of that wasn't spent actively working on them.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WIP Wednesday: June 17, 2015

Last week I was working on two pairs of socks, a test knit and stage one of TDS. I haven't been able to finish stage one yet but I was able to finish the test knit. I only needed to get one sock of the two done. It turned out really well. I'll make the second sock at some point but I'm not going to just yet. 

I've also started a new project. Its yet another sock (do you notice a trend here?) but this one is one that I'm designing myself. I'd been thinking about the design for awhile and I've finally been able to find one that I'm happy with. The chart needs some editing since I can follow it knowing how it works out but anyone else who looks at would think that the chart is off. I'm going to try and have it written up by the end of July if anyone would be willing to test the pattern for me.

As far as stage one of TDS goes, I'm finally on the second sock. I don't have an updated picture or I'd include that. I would like to get it done by Friday for Friday's post but I'm not sure it'll happen. It might, if I go to my LYS' knitting group that they just started. It's on Thursday nights and I can get there if I leave work a little early. I should go, it will be fun to meet other knitters in the area.

Friday, June 12, 2015

FO Friday: June 12, 2015

I've been inspired lately to try and keep up with blogging about my knitting projects. I'm going to include a bit more about them than I used to. I used to only talk about the project a little but seeing the specs of a project is fun.
  • Start date: June 1, 2015
  • Finish date: June 5, 2015
  • Pattern: Loki Amigurumi 
  • Hook: 2mm
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Corriander, Camel, Brindle, Bark and Custard
  • Made for: Amanda
  • Ravelry Project page

For Amanda's birthday I thought about who I could make her an amigurumi of and Cole was the immediate answer. He is "the original cinnamon roll" from Dragon Age: Inquisition. It didn't take me long make him. The hardest part about him was his hat, which I knew she loved. It turned out really well I think. I gave him to her last weekend when we went to see Mad Max together and she really loved him. <3 It makes me so happy when a handknitted gift is well received.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WIP Wednesday: June 10, 2015

For awhile I was feeling like I wasn't making any progress on any of my projects. It was also a super stressful late May/early June but things are starting to turn around for me. June 1st was the beginning of TdS and I was able to get a bunch done but at this point I won't finish stage one before stage two starts tomorrow. I think, instead of putting down stage one for stage two, I'll finish it before starting the next stage.

Made a bunch of progress on a sock I'm test knitting. Just have to finish the one sock.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tour de Sock 2015

Monday is June 1st, which is the beginning of Tour de Sock. Each year I get really excited and then I never finish the socks. Sometimes I even end up frogging the ones that I do. Maybe after the tour I'll go back and knit the ones I like most from the previous year. I've been meaning to do that but haven't yet. This year will mark my fourth one. Each year, possibly each pattern, I learn something new. Stage one of last year taught me a new heel that I haven't yet gone back to. I need to. I'm not sure if there is a beading stage each year but I know there is one this year and there was one last year. I've bought plenty of beads, enough colors for any yarn I might decide to use. The only thing I'm a little worried about though is if the beaded sock is stage three. We've been given what days each stage is released. Stage three is the one that will travel with me when I go visit Jackie in MA. I can knit a lot of things on the go but I think beads are one of the things that makes it really hard to do. Every time I've done a beaded project (not a lot) I've stayed at home when knitting it because I didn't want to run the risk of losing all my beads. I always drop some.

Other than hoping that the beaded stage isn't stage three and having other socks to knit if it is, I'm excited. Stage one is the sport weight sock. There was no way I wasn't going to need to buy yarn for the tour. I don't buy sport weight often. I went a little overboard I think. It just means I'll have other sport weight socks I'll be able to make. At first I was only buying one skeins but they're listed as 100g. The details for the sock of stage one say 150g so I went back and bought more. Part of my trip this summer is redoing my stash. Although with the projects I want to buy yarn for I might not get to buy yarn just for buying yarn but we'll see. Even if I can't, as I work through some of the yarn I don't know what to do with I want to start buying some of the weights I don't work with much like Sport and DK. I'll only buy yarn for Bulky and Super Bulky when I have a project that needs it. I'm giving away most of my acrylic stash because I honestly don't use it and would be much happier with a mostly wool stash.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Catching Up

I've noticed a trend in when I don't have a lot of time to knit, I stop blogging. For awhile there wasn't much to talk about in the way of knitting and not a lot has been going on in my life outside of that. It took me awhile but I finally finished Stacie's baby blanket and was able to give it to her before she had her daughter. Who is super adorable. Aside from the blanket, I've been working on WIPs to try and get some done before I go on my trip to see Jackie and go to WEBs. Because I will be bringing home yarn.

There was a period of time after I finished the blanket where I kept starting things. The first thing I started was a Torchic amigurumi for my Etsy store. And then not long after that, Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro. Neither are done yet and I'm pretty sure I haven't even finished the first piece on both. Totoro looks like it is going to be bigger than I want it to be but we'll see, since the pattern claims it will be 9" tall. Amigurumi are always hard to take pictures of when they're in progress because they don't really look like much of anything until you start putting them together. And the ones I'm working on currently have a ways to go before that point.

In April I decided, possibly against my better judgement, to test knit a sock pattern for someone. The sock was actually pretty easy but I just kept not working on it or being too tired that it took me longer than I wanted it to. What it also did was inspire me to start designing socks again. I have the first one charted but I don't know that I'll get to knitting it this month. I did finally finish the pair of socks for the test knit. The test only required the first sock. I was going to start my design sample after that but Tour de Sock is coming up and I want as few socks on my needles as possible before it started. I still have two socks on my needles, one of which has no chance of getting finished before June.

But I did start something. It, however, is more a bunch of small things instead of one finished things. As I have now listed my small amigurumi of Loki and Thor on etsy I wanted to restart my Avengers set and finish them this time. Two things got me inspired to do it. The first thing that got me inspired was Saint Seiya. I won't go into it too much because it is my current obsession. But, they're releasing a new series for it, 13 episodes long, called Soul of Gold and it brings back some of my favorite characters. When I saw the character designs for all of the Gold Saints, I immediately wanted amigurumi of them. Sadly, I don't have enough of the colors to really finish any of them. I thought about doing the Avengers again but wasn't sure I wanted to. And then I saw Rae's ami of Bucky and fell in love with him. I am very much a fan of Bucky so I knew who I would start the Avengers set with, as I was reinspired to do them, with Saint Seiya on the list to do when I can afford to buy more of the yarn I like to use for the amis.

Okay so, Tour de Sock. If you don't know what that is, each summer during the time frame of Tour de France, there are two competitions that happen on Ravelry - Tour de Sock and Tour de Fleece. Tour de Sock is sock knitting and Tour de Fleece is spinning. I don't know as much about Tour de Fleece even though I'm going to try and participate this year, just that it starts after I get back from my trip. Tour de Sock starts June 1st. There are 6 stages and it depends on how complex the socks are for how the stage is. I think 2 weeks was the longest I've seen it. I've done TdS for several years now, although I have very few of the socks actually knitted. You don't have to do the strict competition. You can either do a relaxed knitting or just cheer on the teams. At first I was just going to cheer others on and knit as I could, but decided I did want a team.

There are several yarn shops, like Alina Shea Creations, that puts up yarn for TdS and has a coupon code that puts the yarn on sale. I didn't go crazy buying yarn like I could have - I have to save that for WEBs. But I did get a few skeins. I'm super excited for the Tour this year. The supply list requires beads for one sock so I found a bead shop online ( and ordered enough to get free shipping. Until now I've not really had a bead supply for knitting so I'm happy that I was able to. One day, when it isn't time for TdS I will go back and knit the socks from previous years. I am sad though, I didn't think that I had lost the patterns for last year's TdS so didn't download them before they were taken off the website. Now I can't find them and I think they were lost when the harddrive on my desktop died. I still have a couple of them, I think.

In the time between now and when TdS starts, I'm focusing on trying to finish WIPs and get a few of the Avengers amigurumi done. Iron Man is half done now. I picked up my Tardis socks again, which will be listed on etsy when I am done with them. I may be able to get the first sock done tonight. This weekend is going to be a busy one for me because my friend is graduating college on Saturday so I need to drive out to Mom's so I can go see her graduate.

I hope everyone has a lovely rest of their week and happy knitting!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shawl Club, Part I

For a long time I would hear about knitters being part of yarn clubs and until this year, I didn't feel like I could really afford it. There is a designer who has a sock club that I want to do one day. Not all that long ago, I finally realized that yes, I do have enough spare money that I could support my friend Shayla who dyes yarn. So I joined her yarn club. Two actually. One was her normal yarn club and the second is yarn dyed using Marvel characters as inspiration. As I am planning on visiting my best friend for my birthday in June, I've let the 3 months at a time run out for the Marvel club and will be buying them each month. For the normal club, when it runs out again, I'll wait until after my trip before restarting it. Or that's what I thought until I heard about the shawl club.

One of my absolute favorite designers that lives in Scotland has started her very first club. I would have been excited for it had it just been a yarn club. But it is more than that. It is a shawl club. For a year I will get a shawl pattern and the yarn to make it every other month. There was a way to pay for it in installments so I selected that option. February is the first month that a shawl comes out. The pattern came out last week and I have been very good. I kept myself from looking at both the yarn spoiler thread and the pattern until I got my yarn tonight. It's a very pretty brown yarn and the shawl pattern is perfect for it.

When I first started knitting shawls, the first shawl I did was a Damson shawl by Ysolda. This is her shawl club. I have knit far less Ysolda than I have wanted to and I am going to work on changing that. In addition to her shawl club, she has a KAL going on for the second year in a row. This year's shawl KAL is Follow Your Arrow 2, the first Follow Your Arrow shawl being from last year's KAL. I didn't knit last years but I am knitting this year's. And once I'm done with the Arrow shawl, I will cast on the shawl from the club.

I'm so excited. I can't wait to start the new shawl.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

WIP Wednesday: 9 to 5 Socks

At the beginning of the year I had planned to make the set of musketeer socks. I was making good progress on the first until I was mostly done and tried on the sock. The cast on for the cuff was too tight. I would be able to wear it but not comfortably. I have always had trouble off and on with the cuff cast on or the cuff bind off, depending on how the sock is started. I tried to just restart Athos. It turned out that I had lost all desire to work on any of the set. So instead I spent some time looking at sock patterns.

I wanted something toe up but nothing I saw caught my eye. I even looked through my books on toe up socks. The hardest part was picking something that wasn't too easy but also that wasn't overly complicated. I eventually found a couple pairs. Ironically despite wanting toe up, the socks I picked are cuff down. I am making them in the first purple I've seen knit picks release since their royalty tonal.

On Tumblr there is a tag called #operationsockdrawer and the idea behind it is to have a sock drawer full of hand knit socks. It's a fun idea so I'm going to tag my socks with that. I've been making socks for a couple years but I don't have that many yet. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Follow Your Arrow 2

Last year one of my favorite designers did a mystery knit-along called Follow Your Arrow. This year she is doing another one. I am sad I didn't make the first one when everyone else did but I am making the second one while the KAL is running. The first part of the pattern came out on Monday. The best part about the Arrow shawls is that they aren't just one or two shawls. You can pick a path and go with it to the end or pick and choose from the clues. Which means there are tons of options for how the shawl will come out.

I am using two different yarns for mine. One is Knit Picks Chroma in Galapagos and the other is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Canopy. The Chroma yarn is a gradient and I could use it for the full shawl. However I want to use it for knitting the original Follow Your Arrow as well. If I use a second yarn I will have enough. Since the gradient is blue and green, I picked a blue yarn to use as the second color for FYA and a green for the second color of FYA2.

If you are knitting the KAL I would love to see what options and colors you are using. Happy knitting! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Year Ahead

Every year right before the year ends I begin thinking about my crafting goals for the new year. There is a group on Ravelry where you set of goal of items you want to complete that year. It can be anything from crafts to housework. It started at 111 items but you don't have to do that many. This year the goal is 115. I've always tried for the large number. I think the closest I got was 90 last year. I think, for how much I had going on last year that I did pretty well. To try and help myself with the large goal I set smaller goals:
  • 12 socks 
  • 12 fingerless mitts/gloves 
  • 12 hats 
  • 24 amigurumi 
  • 12 books
  • 12 scarves 
  • 12 designs 
  • 6 shawls 
  • 3 sweaters
  • 1 vest

Just reaching the smaller goals gives me 106 items completed if I don't count a new design as the design and the item it is. Which I am not planning on doing. All of the goals should be fairly easy to reach. It doesn't have to be 12 new scarves for example. If I finish one of the scarves from last year that is still a WIP it still counts towards my numbers. I am planning on doing Tour de Sock again this year. That means at least four socks will get made for that. I would like to finally do all 6 pairs this year. I usually manage to get about 3 done on any given year with one pair or more left as a WIP. Sometimes I finish them but other times I frog the project.

I have already started on my weaving and sock knitting for the year. The scarf I've started weaving is one I've wanted as soon as I saw the yarn. The yarn was dyed by my friend Shayla for one of her yarn clubs. I missed out on most of the yarn club and this yarn was the last of the Celestial yarn club, Milky Way.

I'm working on stashing down yarn this year in addition to stocking my etsy with more things. Weaving is wonderful for that. I can use up about 400 yards in less than a week and sometimes I'll list the scarf on etsy. An example of this is the Gryffindor scarf I made last year. I don't have it listed yet because my store is on hiatus until I can rebuild stock a little bit more.

The socks I've started are part of the Three Musketeers set. I'm going to do all of them. They were designed with men in mind but I should be able to modify them enough for my smaller feet. The pair I started with is Athos. The picture doesn't show the yarn as well as I would like. It is a bit darker than shown.

As far as my etsy goes, my main focus is going to be getting the Harry Potter items made. This means I need to get the hats back in stock and make all of the scarves (once my current scarf is done) before I can come back from hiatus. Harry Potter is what brings the most traffic to my store and I know that no matter what time of year it is, it will sell. Spring and Summer are always my hardest times of year because a lot of what I sell is made to wear during the cooler months. But I'm also going to be making plushies so hopefully some of those will sell too.

I hope everyone had a wonderful new year and I can't wait to see what everyone is making this year!