It’s been a while since I have written on my blog. Although this post is primarily about what I have knitted recently. It’s also a bit of an update on what has happened in my life lately. What I have been doing and why I have so much time to knit!
I had some health issues at the end of October, before my birthday. Nothing major but I have been taking easy and trying to relax more! As I result I haven’t had the chance to keep up with my normal geeky activities. Instead, I have spent my time relaxing, binge-watching Netflix and knitting!
As we had such nice weather in London over the summer. It seems I missed out on a ton of television shows airing on Netflix. So this time relaxing (and the colder weather), became the perfect time for me to catch up on all those shows! Luke Cage, The Dragon Prince and Orange is the New Black. But I also got to watch all those shows on my list like Anne with an E.
Marie Curie Sock Quest
Like last year, Sarah from Sherlock Knits is running her Marie Curie Sock Quest. Once again, her “slightly bonkers idea” is to give hand-knitted socks to all her patients, spending Christmas in the Marie Curie centres. You can read all about the quest on the Flower Power Fund‘s Instagram page.
This year, I brought four balls of the West Yorkshire Spinners yarn, in the limited edition colour ‘Marie Curie.’ The colourway designed especially for the quest, incorporating the colours from the Marie Curie logo. So I had my own slightly bonkers idea to knit four pairs of sock. However, each ball has enough yarn for three socks! So, in the end, I made six pairs of socks!
In the past, I loved to knit socks. However, haven’t knitted a pair for me in years. I took this opportunity to re-knit some of the knitting patterns I have loved in the past. And some patterns that were slightly more challenging. You can see all six pairs of socks in my Ravelry notebook.
One of my goals this year was to read more and I’m always looking for inspiration for new books to read. As much as I love my kindle, I have always loved to potter in a book store and read the blurbs on the back of books, but more recently I have been using social media for ideas on what to read next. As a result my latest obsession has been looking at book photos on Instagram; I literally am judging a book by its cover.
Bookstagram has become a huge phenomenon in recent years, we live in an age where we all know that if a celebrity been seen wearing an item of clothing will cause that item to sell out in the shops and even expect celebrity endorsements on consumer goods. I recently read an article from the USA Today showing how books have become the latest trend on celebrities Instagram feeds, which is something that I love!
It might seem easier to search Goodread or Amazon from recommendations, but searching Instagram for #currentlyreading or #bookstagram, brings up thousands of photos, and can give you can insight into what’s hot at the moment. I have added several books to my “to read” shelf from Red Queen, Nowhere But Here and Rebel of the Sands.
The bibliophiles on Instagram carefully choreograph some amazing photos to show off what they are currently reading using themed candles, mugs, bookmarks or other props. As I mentioned I love my kindle, I don’t have a lot of physical books, or bookshelves filled with books, but I adore seeing other peoples – maybe when I get that larger dream home, I can have a library filled with books and a cozy reading nook.
Until then, I’ll spend my free time curled up in my bed with my kindle and attempt to post boring #socksunday photos showcasing some hand knitted socks and my plain kindle.
What are you reading at the moment? Where do you get inspiration for you next read from? Do you have a favourite bookstagram account I should be following?
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At the moment, it seems all my knitting project at the moment seem to be using the same yarn, Sokkusu Original. I have been fortunate enough to be able to pop along to the Socktopus Studios a few times and each time, I am tempted by the wonderful colourways and end up coming home with a mini stash of yarn.
I was particularly taken with the Hunger Games colours, I adored Haymitch and was really keen to cast on a new project. Around the same time Ruth announced her Mystery Sock KAL, so I thought this would be a perfect combination.
I cast on and happily knitted the leg (week two) – when I suddenly thought this yarn is too pretty to be hidden away as socks, but I continued on to the heel flap, and then it dawned to me – this sock pattern is actually perfect for a guy!
I have yet to find many exciting sock patterns to knit for year – a lot of “male” patterns, I just end up knitting in a smaller size in a girly colour. When it comes to knitting socks for Jason, I have two defaults, a vanilla sock or 2×2 rib! What is worse I also have two yarn options, Regia/Opal self-stripping in grey or a solid yarn (occasionally I might pick something interesting) in Black or Navy! Is there anything worse than knitting 72 stitches of stocking stitch in black?
So I figured Ruth’s sock pattern might just work – and what is more than that, I have a great Socktopus yarn – District 12 (a semi solid dark grey)! This of course meant ripping back the sock 🙁 But fear not, a quick hunt to Ravelry and I found another interesting pattern Afternoon Tea.
Back in May, I mentioned that I had been working on a super secret project for Alice. Well I can now reveal that I did in fact knit the Vorticity Sock from page 84 in the book. Last week, before Alice flew off to pastures new, I popped by the Socktopus studio for a catch up and Alice presented me with a signed copy of the finished book.
Obviously Alice is know as the Queen on Socks in London, first offering us an online store to buy our lovely sock yarn, then the bricks and mortar shop (that also became our knitting haven) and now also as indie dyer extraordinaire. Not to mentioned the amazing Knit Love Club (which is about to enter it’s fifth year).
This collection offers 17 different sock patterns, from a simple Vanilla Sock to the wonderfully lacy 2LuvCrew to the masculine Farmer McGregor sock. The first half of the book focuses on Sock Yarn, describing the different types of fiber (complete with some amazing artwork), piles and twists. Whereas the second half is the patterns.
I didn’t have time to scan the book to show you the lovely photos shoots included in the book (instead you have to put up with my photos of the projects). Brighton (I think) provides the perfect backdrop of carousels, eclectic stores, and the beach to showcase the socks in an environment that seems to tone with the yarn (like the green socks on the cover next to the green door).
Each pattern features a cute drawing to explain the gauge of the sock (both the circumference and leg length) and a box explaining techniques that are used in the pattern, where the technique is complicated a wonderful photo tutorial is included.
This book isn’t really aimed for a beginner (even though it includes a plain sock), some of the techniques like the snipping used in Spring Shoot can be a little daunting to a beginner, If you have knitted several pairs of socks and are looking to advance your skills this book is perfect.
Congratulations Alice on a fabulous first book – can’t wait to get knitting!
We have all heard of Facebook Envy, I am thinking I have Ravelry Envy, I subscribed to my friends activities, now whenever I see a project I like I have to queue it, or else I am coveting a new yarn. The problem is, I am picking patterns that I don’t have the yarn for when I should be trying to get rid of the yarn I have.
Last night, was meant to be the first of the Chiswick Ravelry Meet-Ups but it ended up falling to bits. So I spent the night finishing off some projects, I am actually really pleased with myself – I cast off two projects last night, the birthday scarf is blocking on the ironing board and my Baudelaire are on a wire-hanger-blocker.
I made a promise to myself this morning that I am going to have this many projects on the go at once, has made me so unorganized, I have forgotten the repeats of lace and ended up having to frog the sock more than once, I also don’t really have the place to store this many projects (my flower basket shawl is currently in a tesco’s carrier bag).
Going away at the beginning of the year means I have been completely out of the loop in so many things in blogland. I knew it would be almost impossible to participate in Secret Pal this session as I will be away in March as well – and that was cool.
But now I have found out I miss the deadline for Sockapalooza – which I think is a good thing, as I am not that confident about my sock knitting capabilities, and I am not sure anyone would want sock I made. The obvious way to resolve this would be to sign up to something like Count Your Socks, but I think I might be too late – we shall see.
And then there is the wonderful concept of the Knitting Olympics – what an amazing idea – the only problem is I am having so many problems completing projects at the moment and I really should finish my mum’s twin set – but the thought of finishing a small project in 16 days really appeals. It will encourage me to have a FO in my gallery for 2006 – I even have a project planned the Crafter’s Circular Shrug – but I think I have to thing about this – maybe train a little first.
Then finally in Blogland found a no-pressure project. Lolly’s Project Spectrum, it is simple create something from a set colour each month – be it a sweater, scrapbooking page or bracelet – Lolly has explained it best on her blog – but is sounds perfect for me – now I can start scrap-booking rather then just buying supplies from eBay.
I nicked this from Woolly Warbler
What new knitting techniques did I learn this year?
Thanks to Tracy (she sent me a sock starter kit as part of SP5), it has to be socks and knitting with DPN’s.
Which completed project from the last 12 months are you most proud of?
I think that would have to be Lucky – she became a labour of love, or the beaded bolero I made for my sister.
What was your biggest knitting disaster of the year?
Not sure really – I guess it would have to be Florence that I started knitting realised I was never going to wear it and also I think the pattern was a bit too much for me, I am useless at intarsia.
What knit craze grabbed you this year?
Without a doubt it would have to KSH – I love it, so far all I have used it for is scarves – but I think I may have to knit a Butterfly or Cami in the New Year.
And New Year Resolutions?
At the moment none – but it is an excuse to make a list 😉
Happy New Year!