FO: The April 2015 Socks are Done!

What a weekend I had! I spent all day Saturday hanging out at the Interweave Yarn Fest in Loveland, Colorado (only a 90 minute drive for me, so of course I went!) with some of my best knitting/spinning buddies. Wow! What a great time that was, but I have so much to talk about I think it needs to be its own post. Exhausted, I arrived at my younger son’s apartment for dinner and ended up spending the night there (OK, I fell asleep clutching some of the unbelievable yarn that I scored…). Yesterday we hung out, made lasagna, and I watched him play the video game of the month (it is still Destiny!). Last night I came home to my house and the cats, crawled dizzy and still exhausted into bed (with my bag of goodies from Yarn Fest) and remembered that I do have a chronic condition as the cats feel asleep on top of my aching legs.¬†Whatever, it was totally a great weekend. ūüôā

This morning I discovered that the Pulitzer Prizes winners had been announced. Wow! All the Light We Cannot See won the prize for fiction. I loved this book! I was consumed by the story and thought about it for days after finishing it. I finally wrote a post about it. I am so happy that it won!!

I was a happy knitter as I settled in to finish the April 2015 socks. Some mistakes were made (OK, I forgot to change to smaller needles when I made the second sock’s toe. This is a mistake that I can live with. If it wears out too soon I’ll cut the toe off and knit a new one with the correct needles. Fearless knitting goes a long way!), but I’m happy with how they look. Here they are.

Socks
Look at the fun garter stitch detail on the heel and the way the decreases make that grey line down the side of the feet. Fun, huh! Oh yeah: see how one toe is bigger than the other? That was the needle change mistake.
Socks
Here they are from the front. The pink yarn still pooled, but things were controlled a little by the grey yarn. It’s kind of interesting how the pooling changed in the part of the sock where I was knitting the gusset (top of foot in the picture).
Sock pattern and yarns.
Here’s the yarn that I used and the pattern. This is the Spot Check Sock pattern from the book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski. Here is the project page on Ravelry for the socks if you want more details.

Tomorrow I am going to starting winding all of my new yarn and it will be time to cast on for the next project. Woohoo! Knitting paradise here I come!

Sockapalooza: Finding the April 2015 Sock

I have been completely focused on knitting shawls for the last couple of weeks. Suddenly April arrived yesterday and I remembered that I need to locate the yarn and pattern for my April sock (hey, I’m taking this New Year’s resolution seriously!) so I could get started knitting on it¬†during breaks from the shawls.

Sock knitting books
Here is my lifetime collection of sock books.

Well, I do have some sock books to look through. I counted them a couple of years ago, and I had 22 books that were just about socks. That is just embarrassing, but I’m still buying collecting books when they have a couple of patterns that I really like. I spent the morning going through the books, putting in slips of paper to mark the sock patterns¬†that I liked, and basically developed a headache and made no decisions. It was pretty darn overwhelming, frankly.

Sock yarns
Sock yarns that I found when I went stash diving. What happy colors!

My yarn stash is stored in plastic drawers and bins in the walk-in closet of my spare bedroom. OK, I actually bought the house because of this closet attached to the small bedroom/craft room. When I go stash diving I have the fun of tossing the yarns that I like back out the door of the closet onto the floor of the craft room. (Please don’t visualize a dog burying a bone. It’s not that bad. Really.) Wow! There were sock yarns in there that I loved when I bought collected them years ago and I had completely forgotten about them. I gathered all the yarn up and carried it down to the family room with the books.

Yarn
The pink in this skein is blazing neon-pink color. This is going to be a challenge.

One of the yarns that really jumped out at me was a wild pink¬†Frolicking Feet handpainted skein. Oh, boy, This baby will need to be tamed when knitted into a sock. Because of the way it is handpainted I’m pretty sure that pooling will be a problem, too. I turned to one of my books, Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski, for help. This book is one that I like as the patterns indicate what types of handpainted yarns can be used (from “nearly solid” yarns to ones that are called “wild multi”). My hot pink problem child is what I would call “wild multi” for sure!

Sock pattern and yarns.
This is the Spot Check Sock pattern. Perfect! I found a nice grey to use along with the wild pink yarn to tone it down. The yarn key with the pattern says it is good for “wild multi” yarn. Check!

Bingo! Exactly what I need. Say hello to the April 2015 sock. I am ready to go.

Except for this. A funny thing happened while I was sitting there with the book and the bin of yarns. Suddenly the exact right yarn for several of the patterns in this one book jumped out at me. I now have made three more matches and am ready to knit through the spring and into the summer. Here they are:

Yarn and sock pattern
This is the Copper Penny sock pattern. This purple/brown/gold yarn will be perfect in the lace sock pattern by Nancy Bush.
Sock yarn
This Madelinetosh sock yarn in the colorway Grenadine will be perfect in the sweet lace sock (it has a little ruffle on the cuff!) called Switcheroo Socks later this spring.
Sock yarn.
This hank of color fabulousness¬†is Purple Dragon! This fantastic yarn (by MJ Yarns) will be perfect in the Potpourri Sock by Deb Barnhill, which is another pattern that can handle “wild multi” yarns.¬†

Hey, that was easy! It so pays off to go stashing diving sometimes. I am really fired up to get started on the April socks now, and I have so many projects waiting that it may be hard to not knit more than one sock this month.

I still have all those marked socks in the books I went through¬†this morning. It’s looking like this will be the year of socks.¬†Midnight knitting at its best!

FO: January Socks are Done!

There is a whole week of January to go, and I have the first 2015 Resolution sock done. Isn’t this a sock that will make the most dreary of days seem happier and brighter? As usual, it has been approved by my cat MacKenzie who loves all things wool.

Finished Socks
The pattern on the bottom of this sock makes it pull in against the arch of my foot which is a detail that I like. The heel seems a little large, but it works on my foot, so it’s a win!
Socks on feet.
The tile pattern kind of fades in and out because of the hand-painted yarn, but I can see enough to make me happy.

I’ve already decided on the pattern for the February sock, but when I dug through the stash I found that I didn’t have worsted-weight yarn¬†in the colors that I wanted. Actually, I hardly have any worsted weight yarn at all. I do have some¬†white wool that my DIL brought back to me from her trip to Ireland.¬†I don’t want to give anything away, but¬†are you all up for some yarn dyeing?

Woohoo! Indigo and raspberry wool dyes, here we come!! Really, it will be fun.

Sock Information: Riot of Color from Around the World in Knitted Socks by Stephanie van der Linden. The yarn is Baah! Yarn La Jolla (the darker color) and Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet (lighter color)