Nothing like 80 degree weather to make a girl feel like knitting again… I hadn’t really felt like knitting since finishing my sweater back in March but last week I felt the call of the needles again. I’m working on editing my Daisy Socks pattern, the first socks I designed almost two years ago now. I’ve learned so much about construction and pattern writing since then that I figured it couldn’t hurt to update the pattern a little bit. I’ve already changed the toe construction and I figured I would give an afterthought heel a try.
Turning heels is actually one of my favorite things about knitting socks. There’s something endlessly satisfying about how a handful of short rows can completely change the shape of something. It always feels a bit like mathematical witchcraft to me. But one of the things that’s kept me interested in knitting all these years is that there’s always more techniques to learn, and afterthought heels seem to make a lot of sense with colorwork socks. When I got to my foot length I knit in my waste yarn and then kept on zipping along through the leg. I spent most of last night knitting away and if I do the same tonight I’ll probably finish the leg. This way seems like there’s a lot less counting stitches and making sure my pattern is lined up properly, and saving the best part for last is certainly motivating.
Well it’s been a month in the making, but my latest pattern has finally gone up on Ravelry. My test knitters are finishing up (a blog post for a different time…) and the pattern went live yesterday morning (my computer ran out of battery before I could blog about it and I got into the celebratory vodka…).
Anyway, my Marka Mittens can be found here if anyone is interested. Lots of people worked hard for all of this to come together and I’m always humbled and amazed that literal strangers take an interest in what I make.
This weekend turned into quite a hibernation. Friday we accidentally slept twice as long as we had intended and ended up waking up around 10 pm. So going out to dinner or socializing at all was off the table. Saturday I woke up in so much pain I considered going to the ER. I couldn’t move my neck without pain shooting down my spine and arm. After I spent some time laying on the floor crying K dug out the ice packs from when he had back problems last year. Cold seemed to make things a little worse and the three blankets I was swaddled in weren’t helping so I switched to heat packs. Thankfully those helped enough that I got some movement back. (The three whiskey’s I had sure loosened things up…) We ended up just ordering take-out and spent another night on the couch. I’m feeling much better today, just some stiffness leftover.
I started working on a shawl today. I’ll probably end up gifting it to my mom since it’s pinkish and I’m not a huge shawl wearer anyways. It’s In the Pines by Kristina Kephart who’s I believe is a new designer. It’s got a lovely texture created by slipped stitches and the pattern is easy enough to memorize that I don’t need to look at the pattern until I get to the decreases. After spending a few hours on it I’m already noticing my wrists hurting again, but I need something to keep my hands busy before I go crazy.
I’m also currently looking for test knitters for my Marka Mittens (featured at the top of the post) if anyone is inclined. Feel free to comment here for more details or drop by my group to join in.
It’s been so cold the last week or so that K and I have barely left the house to run errands. We’ve stayed snuggled up under blankets switching between Netflix and video games. Since we’ve been couch dwelling, I’ve managed to make a lot of progress on my shawl. I’ve got about 5 more pattern repeats to go before I have to cut the steek and figure out what kind of edging I want to add. I was considering doing more colorwork as and edging but I would have to work each side of the triangle back and fourth separately instead of in the round since it’ll be too large for my needles to handle. I’m thinking a basic icord edge or a rolled hem might be simple enough since the shawl body is already quite a lot. We shall see.
Another perk of freezing temperatures and not leaving the house is spending more time baking. I made a loaf of bread and some homemade butter in my kitchenaid mixer. I remember making butter in a baby food jar when I was a girl scout. Making it in the mixer is a lot messier but much easier. I’m honestly surprised at how different it tastes, it might just be worth the extra effort. I need to find a better way to remove all the water from the finished butter, but buying a butter press seems a little extravagant at this point. I have enough cream to make another batch, so I think maybe some honey butter or herbed butter (or both) is in order. I also saved the buttermilk to make waffles one of these days.
The biggest and most exciting thing this week was getting a washing machine! Our house is fairly small and does not have laundry hook ups, but we really hate going to the laundromat every week (okay, when neither of us have clean underwear left). We found a portable washing machine online and decided that instead of big gifts for christmas we would buy one. It arrived this afternoon and it’s already occupying most of the bathroom. So far, I’m super impressed with it. It’s a lot smaller than a normal machine, but I was able to get a few loads done before I ran out of room on the drying rack. It might have to live in the kitchen from now on since there’s barely enough room in the bathroom to close the door, but this thing is going to get a lot of use.
Knitting Blog Challenge Day 6
What is your favorite piece that you’ve knit?
If anyone has followed any of my other social medias you’ll know that these mittens are my absolute favorite thing I’ve ever knit, and possibly ever made. I worked at developing this pattern for like three years. I tried a bunch of different yarns and cuffs and thumb shapes. I think I made five different mittens until I landed on these. I am so so so proud of them and I love wearing them.
I finished knitting them right before Valentine’s Day last year. K took me to the Wisconsin Dells for a little getaway that weekend and IT WASN’T EVEN COLD ENOUGH TO WEAR THEM. We went on a hike around Devil’s Lake that weekend, there were people all over the ice fishing and hanging out, but it was warm enough for actual living mutant mosquitos to be swarming around. It was a great weekend, but I digress.. I wore these guys on the hike anyways so I could have him take some photos for me since it’s pretty hard to take photos using your own hands as models.
Not only is this my favorite pattern, but it seems to be everyone else’s favorite of all the patterns I’ve published. If you’re interested in make a pair for yourself (or your mother-sister-daughter-grandma-girlfriend-bestfriend because the holidays are eminent) my Russian Flower Mittens pattern is available on Ravelry and theres also a matching hat pattern!
Day 2: What is currently on your needles?
I’ve actually got three projects cast on right now. I almost never have more than one knitting project in my basket (on the table, on the floor, on the couch for K and or the cat to sit on), but by some weird turn of events I’ve got three.
Project 1: Sunstone Shawl
This is kind of my never ending forever project at this point. It’s one of those projects that I can pick up when I don’t know what else to knit but knowing it’s going to take me forever to finish it makes me not want to work on it. For some reason I decided to use US 0.5 needles and super fine yarn to make a very large shawl. I mean this thing is going to be stupid beautiful whenever it gets done- but it’s not going to be finished anytime soon.
Project 2: Snowflake Socks
I was super excited about this when I started them. I was going to have a few different pairs and release a set of patterns right around now. I ran our of yarn halfway through the first heel. It took a few days to make it to the store to get another skein and by then I decided that I needed to knit a sweater for myself. So on that trip to the store for one little skein of yarn I ended up being seven other skeins for a sweater.. The yarn I needed is still at the bottom of the shopping bag and the socks are still on my desk in my studio where I left them.
Project 3: The Sweater
After a few days of searching for a sweater pattern I decided on an old classic. I’ve already knit this sweater for my sister several years ago and I’m not sure if the pattern has been updated or I’ve just learned a whole bunch about knitting in the last few years but this pattern kind of sucks. First of all, it’s seamed. I hate purling, like a lot. I’m also not a huge fan of seaming. Knitting in the round is the way to go – no rowing out, less purling, no seams. I also really hate dropped sleeves. I looked at a lot of project pages for this sweater and I read a lot of other peoples notes. The consensus was that the sleeves are way too big and create a bat wing effect. I’m planning on doing some raglan decreases instead which also means I don’t have to pick up any stitches for the sleeves and extra bonus I won’t look like a child in my grandfathers sweater. It’s knitting up pretty fast by I forgot how much my hands ache when I knit with large yarn and needles. My fingers are actually swollen and my tendons are kinda twitchy but I, of course, won’t take a break from knitting, so…
Anyways, I’d love to hear what you guys are working on! Check out my previous post to see Day 1 of this challenge and for the full list if you want to follow along this challenge with me.