2022: Wk of 2/20-27; Progress on Socks and “Gifted” Yarn

SOCK UPDATE

This week seems pretty boring. I basically just worked on socks. I need to get a pair done by end of tomorrow to meet my goal of at least one pair per month. I know I can get the Fixation (“walking”) socks done. Fingers crossed I can also get the Starry Night socks done. I think I may have made the foot too long. If so I’ll gift them to my daughter who has slightly bigger feet. 🙂 Guess I better just cast on one pair for March. 😉

“GIFTED YARN”

I’m starting to cringe when some says they have yarn to gift me. We had some new friends over for dinner and the wife confessed to be a former knitter. They brought over a 2’x2’x2′ box stuffed with yarn since she no longer knits in good ole hot SW Florida. Most of the yarn was of reasonable quality but goodness I can’t image why I’d ever buy 12 skeins of the same color yarn (coral)!! Apparently she went thru a “knit with ribbon” phase as she has 16 skeins of OnLine 87 ribbon ( 8 each of 2 colors). I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I found a few project pages made with the ribbon but the items were pretty god awful in my opinion. She does have some Rowan cotton/silk yarn that I’ll use to make a top although mustard yellow would not have been my first choice of color. She has a lot of dark grey “baby cashmerino” that hubby said he’d love to have a sweater made of so I’ll keep all that. Plus with my new granddaughter, I’ll be knitting baby/children sweaters the next few years.

2 MONTH REVIEW

I’m happy with how my goals are going although these “gifts” of yarn are killing my goal of having more yarn go out than come in. So I’m modifying that goal slightly. I will only count “gift yarn” as coming in if I actually use it or seriously plan to use it. So far, that’s not the case with any of my “gifted” yarn. The point of my goal was to discourage buying yarn that I might never actually knit so that goal is still in tact. I am pleased that I’m meeting my goal for 1800+ stitches per day although I know spring is when I find it hard to knit that much. Gardening work cuts into my knitting time.

FINE DINING

This was a week of celebrating. Hubby and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary on the 22nd and we took oldest son and his wife out for dinner last night to celebrate his 51st birthday. We were reminded both times why we rarely eat out. Tom’s salmon was overcooked and my grouper lacked any seasoning Tuesday night. Our son’s broccoli was overcooked last night and the rice dish was tasteless. Throw in both restaurants were extremely noisy making conversation difficult. But on the plus side, I didn’t have to clean up the kitchen after my husband’s cooking which is the #1 reason we go out to dinner on our anniversary.

My hometown soccer team started off with a crushing 0-5 loss last night. It’s going to be a very long season. Glad I don’t have season tickets this year. Hope you had a great crafting week and are looking forward to the week to come.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022 YOP: Wk of Feb 13-19; Stephen West Shawl FO and Accepting Change

Spiraling Cables Shawl Finished

This shawl is indeed luscious. I sure hope I get some cool weather in Ohio in April so that I can enjoy wearing it. (We are breaking records for heat here in Florida). I did use the contrast color for the border and I held it double (just for the border). Then I did an i-cord bindoff instead of the bindoff called for in the pattern. Can’t see it well in the picture – it’s at the top. My knitting friends did not like the pattern bindoff. Since the rest of the edges are i-cord it makes sense to me that the border edge is i-cord.

Baby Blanket

The baby blanket actually got a little love this past week as I needed some “brain dead” knitting for my “social” knitting sessions. I saved my “brain dead” socks to take on the ferry. The blanket should get a lot more attention this coming week since my shawl is done. Sadly at 200 stitches per row it’s going to take a long time to complete this blanket. Unlike the mismatch of yarn weights I used for the Stephen West shawl, the mismatched weight of yarns for the blanket (the white stripes are thinner yarn than the colored stripes) seems to add to the puckering. Since it’s acrylic I don’t expect it to block out. Oh well, it’s a baby blanket.

Starry Night Socks

The Starry Night socks did get a lot of knitting on them during the ferry ride to and from Key West Friday. I’m still on the foot so there really isn’t much point to taking a new picture. I am doing 2×2 ribbing on the sole side for the final 2″ before starting the heel so the sock will fit tightly across the arch of my foot. I hope to have them finished by next week’s update. I need to get them done to keep up my goal of a pair of socks per month. The Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Sea was amazingly calm so the ferry ride to and from Key West as smooth as silk. Thank goodness since I get motion sickness easily. We enjoyed walking through the downtown shops, visiting Ernest Hemingway’s home and writing studio and having a wonderful lunch along the beach.

“To Everything There Is A Season”

Sadly one of my Cincinnati knitting friends called to discuss the state of our weekly knitting group. We were only a group of 5 knitters but we have struggled to meet even after Covid restrictions were lifted. I knew the day would come but I am still saddened. I really enjoyed the company of these women. Lives have changed and weekly Saturday sessions are no longer working. I have contributed to the problem by snowbirding for 4 months. Even our bigger group of knitters that would meet monthly is no longer working well as jobs have changed. So the weekly small group is likely to disband and we will try a weekend day for the larger group in the hope we can get together at least once a month. My monthly “knit at a brewery” group has also struggled to restart post Covid. Less reasons to stay living in Ohio?? I’ll be checking out knit nights at some of the area yarn shops. I am thankful that my nearest LYS hosts “knit nights” although I’m still waiting until I can attend without wearing a mask.

I WON!!

In my search for knitting podcasts to watch, I recently found MC Knitting Adventures. They were celebrating reaching 1K subscribers and had a giveaway. Well, I entered…….. and I won!! A super cute project bag with a matching circular needle holder (I love this style) and some fun stitch markers. I can’t believe how lucky I am!! You can tell they are Canadian. They actually pronounced my last name correctly which NEVER happens in the US. (It’s French. You don’t pronounce the s’s!!! Blame my husband. I’m actually of Irish descent – hence the name Maureen. I actually kept my maiden name, Higgins, until I had kids. I still use Higgins for dinner reservations. 🙂 )

KAL Help Please

OK, I could use some advice on a) finding KALs, and b) tracking what KALs you are participating in. I’ve started adding the names of KALs to a section of my monthly knitting planner to help me remember what KALs are going on that month. (I need a much bigger computer screen so I can see ALL the stuff on my monthly knitting planner and still be able to read it!!!) I can carryover the KAL to the next month if it lasts longer than a month. KALs are still a work in progress for me as I’m much more interested in completing my planned projects for the year than I am knitting a KAL project. Hence KALs that require a specific yarn or pattern are unlikely to work for me. I do better with a theme like knit socks, or use stash yarns, etc.

That’s it for this week. Hope you had a great week too.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Feb 6-13; Monogamous (Semi) Knitting

I am realizing that I’m a pretty monogamous knitter. That may sound untrue since I have 5 WIPs. I am realizing that I don’t enjoy having that many projects on needles. I really do like only having 2 projects going at one time – a “small” sock project and a “big” project like a sweater, shawl, or blanket. I think that makes me a “project” knitter instead of a “process” knitter.

I haven’t touched my hubby’s sweater since I cast-on and knit the collar. I just don’t have the brain power to keep track of German short rows on his sweater while keeping track of cables on the the Stephen West shawl. My neice’s baby blanket hasn’t been touched in months. I don’t want to have projects that sit around in project bags for months or years. I started the baby blanket because I wanted to show my daughter-in-law that I was using the yarn she gave me last Christmas. Plus the baby is due in March.

It’s turning out that the Stephen West Shawl is what is getting all the knitting attention. It has been the “shiny object” that has disrupted my knitting plans. It came about when my daughter gave me some soft alpaca yarn for Christmas, my snowbird knitting group was knitting the shawl, and a podcast I like was having a New Year’s Day cast-on. So the baby blanket knitting got postponed for the much more fun shawl.

I really should not have cast-on my hubby’s sweater once I completed my daughter-in-law’s tank top, but I was feeling guilty for how long it has taken me to start this promised sweater. Now I’m going to accept it was a mistake to start it and put it in hibernation until the shawl and baby blanket are completed. I am going to focus and complete the shawl first since it’s halfway done. Also it will be nice to be able to show my daughter the completed project with her yarn gift on the return drive back north come April. The baby blanket will stay in hibernation until the shawl is completed. Hubby’s sweater won’t get restarted until the baby blanket is completed – probably April.

Having 2 pairs of socks on needles isn’t as stressful to me since they are small projects. One pair is my vanilla DK “walking” socks for practicing knitting without looking while taking my daily walk. The second is fingering weight yarn which gives me a chance to change up my knitting with a small needle. This will be a good project to take with me Friday when we take the 4 hr (each way) ferry for a day trip to Key West.

So while I have 5 WIPs, only 3 will be worked on. Once the shawl is completed, a hibernating project will be restarted. Another pair of socks will not be cast-on until the current ones are completed.

SPIRALING CABLES SHAWL

Speaking of the Stephen West shawl, I have now started the trellis half. I’m low on yarn so I did make it a little smaller than the pattern calls for, about a 10% reduction. I had counted the stitches needed for the shawl so I knew that when I started the second ball, I needed to start the trellis section. I think his shawls are big and at my size (or lack thereof), I need my shawls smaller. I knit one less “stripe” before starting the trellis section. My Florida knitting friends found they needed to use contrast color for the border as they ran out of main color. I’m pretty sure I’ll need to do that too and I actually like it better. I love the shawl it but I doubt it will get much wear. It really is a cold weather shawl. I may end up gifting it.

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

I couldn’t resist this nearly historic event of the Bengals being in the Super Bowl. I actually ordered myself an official NFL football “jersey” (t-shirt) to wear to watch the game. Here I am decked out in my newly knitted “super bowl” socks and my jersey. Since Joe Burrow is from Ohio as am I, I got his jersey number. Looking forward to having a big bowl of Cincinnati chili during the game. (Nothing like typical Tex-Mex chili. It’s an acquired taste.)

Go Bengals!!

Hope you have a great week of crafting. I’m looking forward to focusing and getting some FOs sooner rather than later.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Jan 30 – Feb 6; FO and Sock Cast-ons

ANOTHER SOCK FO

I did indeed finish my “walking socks”. Good timing as they have a bit of orange in them so I’m calling them my Super Bowl Socks. My hometown team is in the Super Bowl after not even winning a playoff game for over 30 years. To say Cincinnati is beside itself is an understatement. I even bought a football jersey to wear for watching the game!

SUPER BOWL SOCKS – GO BENGALS!!!

I cast-on a new pair of “walking socks” from my recently purchased stash. Nice summery, Florida colors I think.

STARRY NIGHT SOCKS

I wanted this sock yarn from Deep Dyed Yarn for years and finally bought it at the wool festival back in September. It is just as beautiful as I had hope. I paired it with a goldish mini I had from Coates&Co yarn. I just adore these socks and can’t wait till they are finished. I am struggling with using a pattern or just knit a vanilla sock. I welcome your opinions. I liked the basic K1P1/Knit all/P1K1/Knit all pattern that was part of my “rainbow sock” I finished last week but I’m not liking it with this yarn (center picture). So I tried the simpler Swirl E pattern (right picture). Still not sure that I like it any better than just a plain vanilla (left picture). So I’ll be ripping back at least one sock and maybe both as I decide whether to have a pattern or not. This will force me to work on my hubby’s sweater as these socks sit in time out as I gather opinions from various folks and I decide what pattern to use. I did a little striping at the toe to match the striping I’ll do for the cuff.

WIP UPDATES

I did work on my Stephen West Spiraling Cables Shawl this week but not enough to take I new picture. I’ll wait until I’m into the second half where the pattern changes. I also didn’t work my husband’s sweater. Sadly when I have to do something new I tend to put it off. I don’t really have any excuses today so I’m going to try making the foldover collar and getting on with the yoke.

NEW PODCAST

I recently found the podcast, Knitting Together With Kim and Jonna. They just started in November so not a lot of episodes to catching up on. Similar to Grocery Girls, the episodes are mainly 2 friends talking about their knitting and interests. They also do weekly “minisodes” that are more educational such as one on sock knitting or one specifically on the MANY Ranuculus sweaters they have knitted. I personally enjoy the more mindless watching of knitters talking about knitting versus learning a technique. Or maybe I like them because they knit socks and sweaters like I do. I do occasionally enjoy Fruity Knitting but I’ll never knit anything that Andrea does nor the patterns of her featured artists. Wish I could find a podcast that focused on warm weather knits.

That’s it for me this week. Hope you have a great crafting week.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.