Sunday, 30 December 2012

Socktopus

For my birthday (in July), I bought myself the book Socktopus. I had a good nosey on ravelry and loved the patterns, had a flick through and liked the look of it, and got some birthday money for just such a purchase (I think the tagline was something along the lines of, 'buy something for yourself - though I know you have too much yarn!).

As is the way with these things, they tend to sit in the back of my head and then emerge months later, fully-formed ideas and projects I can imagine casting on tomorrow. This is what has happened over the past month or so. I now have four projects lined up from this book (and that's before I've let the yarn from Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show rest in my head for a while. I know that, alongside these patterns, my brain will sort something out before too long!)

The problem with these fits of inspiration is that it makes me want to cast on all of them. Right now. I can hold back the tide a little, but the problem is that as soon as I get stuck on one thing, I throw up my hands and just cast on something else. And as my maths lecturer would phrase it, these patterns are non-trivial. So now we seem to have two pairs on the needles and another than I am definitely NOT casting on today, if only because the needles I need are in another project.


First, I started 2luvcrew for my soon-to-be bridesmaid's birthday ion March. I saw the yarn on The Yarn Yard website in May, and knew it had to be used for her. The ideas fermented a little and voila! - yarn and pattern matched. It's a lacework pattern of hearts, in case you can't tell.


This pattern has five different lace charts, and I've got this far and got stuck. I'm meant to be working the Heel Transition Chart over some stitches and the Heart Pattern Chart over the rest, but I can't get the numbers to add up. One for a day when I have a lot of brainpower - fortunately I have plenty of chances.

So I decided to cast on something that needed a little less concentration. My mum's birthday is at the end of January and she does love socks so I cast on Caretta Caretta for her, in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply bought from John Lewis in Aberdeen. I've had my doubts about the lacework pattern - is it just me, or is there something slightly dodgy-looking about it? - but finished one sock regardless.


I've not done the beads which I think would lessen the dodginess, and I think the effect is also much reduced when done over the entire sock... or maybe I'm just hopeful!


Next on the list is Hundred Acre Wood, which is covered in little leaves (or are they trees?), so this colour of Yarn Yard Yarn seemed entirely appropriate - this time bought from The Yarn Cake, Glasgow, in earlly November. Wound and ready to rock for a while now, but planning to cast on as soon as I finish one of the others.


And then possibly one of my (weather-)geekiest projects to date - Vorticity Socks in this yarn: Storm by Wharfedale Woolworks (which the lovely Steph had dyed for me). In a nutshell: vorticity is a property that storms have by the bucketload. I am very much looking forward to using this yarn - it has a good lot of bounce.


So despite my knitting a LOT of socks in 2012, it looks like my 'sock thing' is going to continue well into 2013.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

FO: Long Way Round

Hope you all had happy Christmases and that you got to spend quality time with those you love. Here it has been business as usual: another week, another finished pair of socks. According to Ravelry, I did finish these two weeks ago but have been waiting for the thin winter light to flesh out a little. Of course, this being the UK, it didn't happen and I eventually gave up waiting and deployed a daylight bulb.


I'm pretty chuffed; they are so comfy and work brilliantly as bedsocks. The casting on and binding off were difficult, but inbetween these were easy as pie. It does take a moment to get your head around the fact that you're knitting socks flat and sideways but it's totally worth it; I love the way the pattern shows off the yarn. I might make them again using the Zauberball used for the pattern, as that looks great too. I'd make them longer in the leg, though. As the top has ended up a little uneven, I might use a little of the remaining yarn to knit a cuff. Sometime....


Pattern: Longitudinal from Knitty First Fall 2012 [rav link]
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic Degrede, bought in Vienna Apr 2012
Mods: None, although I would make them longer in the legs (by casting on more stitches). Possible future addition of cuff by picking up stitches from top edge.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Harrogate Knitting and Stitching 2012

I know, I said I wasn't going to go this year; I have work to do, after all. Plus I've been for the last 3 years on the trot and by last year, I'd felt the shine had begun to wear off. However, then I got my hospital appointment through (before you ask, it's nothing major, fear not!) and it was the Friday morning of the show and frankly, I tend to feel a bit sorry for myself after these things and not be productive so I thought what the hell. Let's do it.

And of course, purchasing yarn did make the teeny tiny owie from a blood test go away.....

Sparkleduck Socka (80% merino, 20% nylon) in Double Trouble

Colinette Jitterbug in Adonis Blue

Skein Queen Entwine in Beauty Berry

My whole must not buy single skeins of sock yarn went out of the window FAST. I had no plan, no idea what jumpers I want to knit next year - or indeed what I should knit next year at all - but I do enjoy sock knitting and am certain there will be some of that in there somewhere. I did get a couple of other bits and bobs but as they're mostly involved in Christmas presents I'll have to keep schtum for a little bit longer.

It was a good day all told, and it did feel like it had the shine back on it, though I'm not certain I'll go next year as I have a lot of other plans. More on that story later ;)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond

Just a quick post to share some of the better photos from my holiday to near the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, where we rented a cottage for a week for some much needed rest and relaxation. Though it was mostly grey, as soon as the weather turned beautiful we were up and at the Loch as early as we could manage. It was a beautiful, still day, and the fog was still clearing away.


We did an 8-mile bike ride to the next town up the loch, where we got a slightly different view of Ben Lomond (the mountain). Cycling is something we both did in our youth and so I haven't ridden that far in about 10 years, and OH had never ridden thar far (or indeed on public roads at all!), so it was an experience and we enjoyed it, though we did wind up with pretty sore bums and would have liked it if less of the path was near a major road (talking was difficult with the noise).


All in all a beautiful day!

Seriously though, the rest of the week was so grim weather-wise that the photographs don't really sell Scotland as the excellent country it is, and quite often I didn't take any as the light was so grey. This did mean we spent a lot of time curled up with the telly and films in our cottage, so I got quite a bit of knitting done.