Short but Sweet

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend! I went dress shopping with half my bridesmaids this weekend. I’m taking the other half next weekend, and I hope we have just as much success as the first group. All my girls are going to wear different dresses in the same green. This is basically an exercise in ‘find a dress you like’ and ‘order it in green’. Lets hope everyone finds something they like next weekend as well!

I’ve been a busy little dyeing bee. I managed to dye the rest of my sock yarn! I got some beautiful colours and experimented with the colouring process.

I ordered more of the sock yarn with some different colour dyes. I realized I didn’t have any purple, which should really be a crime. I am anxiously awaiting my deliveries!

I also cast on a pair of socks from the blue I dyed last time! I am not very far on them, but they are working up nicely! I can’t wait for another pair of hand dyed socks!

There really hasn’t been much more than that to report, so I will keep knitting in hopes of featuring a finished object soon!

Inner Reflections

Today we will be talking about my stress levels and knitting… More specifically how my knitting reflects my stress levels.

I didn't really have a relevant photo to go with this post, so this is an old one of Sass. She looks rather stressed... it applies.

I didn’t really have a relevant photo to go with this post, so this is an old one of Sass.
She looks rather stressed… it applies.


I have been listening to quite a few pod-casts lately and I heard something interesting on one, ‘I’m too stressed to work on anything complicated’. This got me thinking about “Yea, I know that feeling.” But really, if I am stressed out, I can’t work on anything really complicated. I just don’t have the motivation! If I have a hard day, I don’t exactly want to sit down with a complicated lace chart, because that isn’t relaxing to me. I enjoy sitting down with something really mind-less.

Perfect projects for this mood are: the body of a sweater, socks, anything with long stretches of stockinet stitch, or ribbing. These projects are things I can either space right out on, or ruminate on solutions to problems. Lately, I find I’ve been knitting a lot of socks, this may be the theme of 2014. Perhaps I won’t be able to knit anything more complicated until after the wedding.
 I am thinking about using these as my 'Save the Dates'

I am thinking about using these as my ‘Save the Dates’

Speaking of wedding, I have been pretty busy with planning. I’ve decided to do a couple things DIY because it is much MUCH cheaper. Paul and I have also been researching Stag and Doe venues. We originally weren’t sure we were going to have one, but we went to a friend’s recently and it was a pretty good time. I know there are a few people who are recently married reading. Any stag and doe tips?

Dear Dyery

I am happy to announce, I’ve dyed my first skein of yarn… at home… with my own tools… you know what I mean.

It was so much fun! I was a bit apprehensive about messing things up since I’ve never mixed dyestock myself, but it went okay. I would call it a success; I really love the colour I ended up with.
After some consulting with my own personal chemist, we’ve managed to tweak the process a bit in order to simplify the process. I think it will work in our favour.
I’ve been going over my notes from Chicago and New York, trying to remember what I managed to learn. It’s a good thing I took so many notes, or I would be totally lost. That being said, sometimes I stopped in the middle of a thought or made vague points along a separate train of thought.
I am resolute to be more specific in my dyeing notes this time. I bought a notebook that I have labeled my ‘dyery’, that way, I will be able to remember exactly what I did.
I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day. Mine was really good, Paul surprised me with a charm for my Pandora bracelet, and had flowers delivered to me at work. It was a really nice surprise, especially since we agreed to give each other a wedding for all holidays and events.
I did not manage to get a photo of the beautiful flowers that were sent to me, and now they’re starting to look a little… relaxed. You’ll just have to trust me that they were vibrant, colourful, and lovely.
My parents were down this weekend for my Dad’s birthday, he actually liked the socks I made for him; the colour and the socks themselves. I believe the sum total of words said were ‘I actually don’t mind this colour’ and ‘these are actually pretty comfortable’. Which, if you knew my Dad, is pretty much gushing praise for him. I am still working on Paul’s version, I am not completely sure I will have enough yarn, a trip to the LYS may be in my future to complete these bad boys…

Sensational Stockings

You will all gasp in surprise when I tell you I have another FO for you! Are you ready?

They are the socks for my Dad’s Birthday. That’s not until next weekend, but I feel better for completing it now. It has been a bad couple of weeks for headaches and brain damage in general. I kept messing up the pattern on these vanilla socks, if that doesn’t tell you how bad it is…
Since Paul was my size tester as I knit these socks, I am going to make him a pair of his own. I’ve got leftover yarn from my Dad’s socks, so they can be matching! Luckily, Paul and my father live so far apart; they will probably never wear them on the same day. I also assume wearing the same thing to an event isn’t as big a deal for guys as it is for women… right?
They knit up so quickly it feels like cheating. Hopefully I’ll finish Paul’s pair in short order and be able to move onto other UFO’s… or dyeing. I ordered some dye and yarn; I just got the dye in the mail. The yarn should be here next week. I’ll update as soon as it is in!!

Sock Strategy

I’ve finished the socks that were knit from the yarn I dyed myself. Not exactly clean lines, but I like the colours. Socks don’t have to be perfect, just warm.

Since I’ve been making so many socks I thought I should research the best possible cast on for the cuff of a sock. Usually you have to be very careful when casting on because if it is too tight, your sock is not going to fit over your heel when you put it on. 
I’ve heard of a lot of different techniques and tricks to make sure you have a stretchy cuff. Some use two needles held together, and cast on around them both. This does work, but the cast on line can look messy or loose. 
Another way is to cast on twice as many stitches as you need and decrease in the first round. I, personally, have never done this technique and think it would be way too much work. Others are simply very careful with their tension while casting on.

I am usually very careful with my tension while using the long-tailed cast on. It’s not perfect, and sometimes I forget that I am supposed to be careful and my cast on ends up being too tight. I’ve ripped out quite a few socks because I didn’t like the cast on.

Through my research I found the German twisted cast on. I’d heard of this technique before, but haven’t tested it out. It’s close to a long-tailed cast on, a similar principle, and not a huge amount of work for a sub par cuff.

I have finished one of Dad’s socks with this cast on and I really like it. You cannot feel the cast on line at all. It’s one of my personal pet peeves when you put on a newly knit sock and you can feel the cast on line around your calf. I am definitely going to be doing this from now on.

I am hoping to have them done soon, so I can keep working on all my WIP’s!