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!
As I mentioned before one of the reason I loved the Socktopus Sock Club so much was the “interesting” construction of each of the socks. So when I saw a pattern with the most amazing heel, climbing up the ranks of the most popular pattern ranks on ravelry, I had to knit it!
As soon as I finished my Rumpled sock (photos to come), I cast on Skew! I normally don’t care too much about gauge on socks – but I read on ravelry it is extremely important in this sock – and I am glad I read that as I needed to go up a needle size to get the right tension.
In effect it is really just a stocking stitch sock with clever increases and decreases so it knits up pretty quickly, but I love the unusual construction – I keep stopping to try the sock on to see how it fits and get an idea of what part I am currently knitting!
Once I got to the heel – I was completely amazed – it is extremely clever the way to all fits together! One this I would add is before casting on this sock save the yard of yarn for the grafting stage, I didn’t and had to temporarily use another yarn which I will unpick and re-graft once I have finished knitting.
So I finally finished all 6 socks in the Sock(topus) Club from last year. I was hoping to finish them all within the 365 day period but according to my project pages on Ravelry it was 336 days 🙁
For me this sock club wasn’t just 6 lovely yarns and patterns by 5 talented designers, it was a jounrey into different constructions of socks. I considered myself an beginner to intermediate sock knitter, I have knitted numerous pairs of sock – but I tended to pick patterns that were similar. Cuff down, with a heel flap, decreased gusset and toes. Each of the six socks in the club were constructed differently.
Short row toes and heel.
Kihnu Vits and corrugated rib.
Over the Garden
Toe-up (with a square toe cast on),
Reverse heel flap
With added vine and pod details.
Heart & Sole
Bias shaping for the arch
Reverse heel flap
With a lacy cuff.
Toe-up (with the pattern included in the increases)
Gusset increases on the sole of the foot (again in pattern)
Reverse heel flap
Cable needle-less cables
Hundreds of twisted stitches.
Dancing socktopods around the leg
Decorated heel flap.
Mince Pie Mayhem
Heel expansion in pattern
Toe decreases in wedges (more like the crown of a hat).
My favourite pattern varies almost daily, when the new shiny silver package arrive, it contained my new favourite pattern, as a knitted the sock my love for that pattern grew, then I would rediscover a previous pair of socks in my draw and fall in love with that pattern again, another day I might see the yarn and be reminded of my love and again my favourite would change!
I have already cast on, the first sock from the Knit Love Club – and again I am loving the pattern – I am having issues with the yarn but only becuase it’s colour is out of my comfort zone (I will post more about that later).
Whilst I sit here still hoping the postman is going to deliver my Knit Love Sock club parcel, I thought it was the perfect time to post the details about the final package from last years Sock club.
The parcel actually arrived before Christmas (hence the pattern name), but I didn’t get a chance to cast them on until this year. The yarn is my favourite to date – a special cashmere blend from Nimu in the most amazing purple/blue colour! The pattern – Mince Pie Mayhem was designed by Alice, and the “extras” were some Soak and amazing labels to attch to your handmade goodies.
I was hoping to have these socks finished by today, but have only made it to the toe on the first sock. 🙁 It seems a little silly knitting Mince Pie socks well after Christmas, so I have renamed they the blueberry pie socks as the yarn reminds me more of this!
After all the grief with the drunken wave on the first sock, it took only a few days to knit it’s partner. Finally, I was able to join the masses and have a pair of wollmeise socks.
I have also been knitting away on a pair of socks that are a secret present – as part of the SoSeSaSwa. I realised I haven’t done any swaps this year so to make up for it I have signed up for three Christmas swaps, a sock kit, knitting a sock and a mini tree decoration.
Sock knitters all know October means Socktoberfest! This year is no different, my aim this year is to try and finish all the socks I have on the needles and take part in the TTL Mystery Sock. Not too big a task, I was working on August’s Sock Club, and just had to make a partner for my p/hop sock. However, I forgot that the next instalment of the Sock Club was due (I will post about that soon – it is truly an amazing package), so of course I had to cast that on!
Then I hit a snag with the Scadenza, one of the joys of this pattern is the continuity of the pattern, the waves are carried from the toe to cuff, then new waves are started on the base of the foot carried over the heel and onto the leg. When I joined the back and front instead of pretty waves, I ended up with some lovely waves and one rough. Jason actually named it the drunk wave!
So I frogged the pattern, started again, then I notice I have dropped a stitch whilst frogging, so had to rip it back again. Third attempt, the drunk line once again appeared!
So this time I sat down with a pen and paper and drew the pattern as I saw it should be, realising I had no idea what I was doing, I scanned the chart and got to work in Photoshop linking the charts from the front and back. After about a week of this I discovered the pattern was meant to look like this, with the drunk wave.
Of course I was not content with this idea, when back to photoshop and eventually re-drew the chart on graph paper to insure I had all sober waves. So my sixth attempt at the pattern with the help of photoshop, pen and paper and had one completely lovely sock.
Before going away on holiday I popped into Socktopus to see a few of my favourite knitters. It was also the day Alice was getting the sock club parcels ready so it gave me a chance to pick up my yarn and goodies (there were two lots of bells and whistles to make up for last months parcel).
Your eye’s do not deceive you that is some lovely skein of Wollmeise, on an exclusive colourway. Now I have to be honest I hadn’t yet cottoned on to the whole wollmeise craze, I seem to always miss the shop updates, I have not yet had a chance to fondle this yarn or seen it knitted up… so this was a real treat for me. After a bit of knitting I have to say I get it, smell and all!
Also included was an amazing Zigzag Stitches knitting bag, this is a tiny version perfect for carrying around sock knitting. I adore her stuff, I have added a few bags and a sock and go needle case to my birthday wish list. Finally, there are the lovely mini Russian doll stitch markers by Atomic Knitting.
Whilst I was there Kat was knitting an amazing cardigan in lace-weight so when I was fondeling the yarn I saw this cashmere yarn, I knew it was screaming to be turned into a lovely cardigan.