Knitting

More Swatches!

Hey Everyone! 

Yesterday I got industrious and started making color swatches for the KnitPicks Palette yarn that I have. I decided to pull out the yarn I have used so far to make socks, which amounts to six colors and started making color swatches. 

I also started a personal KnitPicks Palette Yarn inventory of what colors I have, what colors I want that I don’t have, how many full balls I have in my stash, how many partial balls, do I have scrapes left over that would be just enough for stripes, how many pairs of each color I have, how many pairs I have using the partial balls and combined colors etc. I also added a column to note which colors I have and do not have color swatches for. 

Yes, the spreadsheet and knitting up swatches has taken a lot of work. I started about 3 pm yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, and now at 4 pm Wednesday afternoon, the six color swatches plus two gauge swatches of Cascade Eco+ Yarn are drying while pinned to a blocking board. 

I should also note that I was also up until 2 this morning working on swatches. So I am kind of dragging today. 

The plan is, going forward, with the KnitPicks Palette yarn is to knit the color swatches each time I start a pair of socks using a new color that I don’t have a swatch for yet. That way I will for sure have a swatch for said color. It will also alleviate the pressure to knit so many swatches at once. It will also make it easier if colors are similar, each color will have a swatch knit up, washed, blocked and labeled before I move on to another color. 

But Erica, why are you wanting all these swatches? That’s a good question. I want to make some sort of swatch board or swatch cards of the KnitPicks Palette yarn, because it is so far my favorite wool sock yarn, and swatches are a lot smaller and easier to deal with if I am wanting to decide on a color combination for a new pair of socks, or if I want to figure out what color a certain pair of socks is. That is why I am kind of leaning toward the swatch cards so it will be easier to move around and put colors next to each other. Then I am not trying to dig out my leftover yarn tubs and making a huge mess to find the yarn I want to use, and mix everything up. 

Being able to know what I have in my stash and how much, is why I did the spread sheet. I like being able to see pretty much what I have and how much I have and have that at my fingertips. I am a person who is about being as organized as possible. 

I am not a huge fan of wearing socks when I am around the house and such. I am working on so many pairs of socks, because the ones I make are a better quality and thick enough to be good boot socks without being too thick. Beings that I love knitting and love hiking, I figured I could teach myself how to knit my own boot socks, for when I go hiking. That is part of why I went with the Palette yarn in the first place, because it is 100% wool, yet is lightweight. It keeps your feet warm without being super bulky. 

Knitting, Socks

Tweaking the Pattern

Hey Everyone!

My journey to finding the perfect basic sock pattern is still evolving. I have it pretty well pegged down, though every so often I try something a little different to see if I like it any better than the previous version. 

This time I tweaked my go to pattern ever so slightly. This time around I added 7 rows to what I had been putting between the cuff and heel flap of the sock, bringing the total to 10 rows. I have to say that I actually am liking the 10 rows between the cuff and the start of the heel flap over just 3 rows. 

I am hoping this is the last tweak for a while. 

With 3 rows between the cuff and heel flap:


With 10 rows between the cuff and heel flap:


I think it looks a little more like a sock should this way. 

Community, goals, Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Knitting, interviews and Life

Hey Everyone!

In what free time I have had the past few days, which hasn’t seemed like all that much, I have made some progress on my second pair of KnitPicks Palette yarn in Victorian socks. I am currently working on the heel of the first sock. 

Today I had an interview with a local small yarn producer and Shop. I am not going to say which one, for privacy sake. I have to wait a few more days until I find out whether I move on on the hiring process. This job would totally be #jobgoals for someone like me.

That is one of the things I love about living here in Portland; There are so many locally owned yarn stores. 

KnitPicks, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Personal Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Socks, swatches and notes

Hey Everyone!

The last few days have been busy! 

I finished up the first sock of the first pair of socks that I am knitting up using KnitPicks Palette Yarn in Victorian. I have enough to make 3 full pairs, but I am going to be knitting up two solid pairs of Victorian, as well as a pair of Victorian & Hazelnut and a pair of Victorian and Larch Heather. I still have some Hazelnut and Larch Heather Palette Yarn left from the pairs of socks I made from them and they go well with the Victorian. 


I have also been working on some swatches, because I really want to do swatch boards for the different yarns I make gauge swatches of, when I am able to have a place of my own and have a craft area. I am also wanting to do boards of all the different Palette yarns I have (and will use for socks, for color references. 

Yesterday, I started a list of the pairs of socks I have made for myself, including what size needles I used for each pair, as well as notes about stitches to cast on, lengths for the cuff, heel and foot, for future reference. I know there will come a time when I am not knitting socks for a while, and I want to have all the information I have now, that I figured out that works well for me, to be able to come back to, as well as information about tension and gauge that I used for different brands and types of yarns. Once I get done with the sock yarn I have, and then don’t knit any socks for 5 (or more years), then want more socks or to replace the pairs that have worn out, I can then just come back to my notebook and not have to try to remember (because, let’s face it, I won’t), or refigure out (which is what I would ultimately have to do), what I did. That is way more hassle than simply making notes now, while I am in the middle of knitting up a lot of socks and the details are still fresh in my head. 


As it is, all but one of my pairs of socks is sock weight / fingering weight Yarn, which is pretty simple to go with, I use either the 2.25mm size 1 needles or the 2.50mm size 1 needles, and always cast on 72 stitches, and I can go by rows to get the cuff and heels to turn out right. If I were to use a thicker yarn like a sport weight or a dk weight I would have to figure out the information again for that yarn (ie number of stitches to cast on, how many rows for the cuff and heel), as well as size of needle to get the right tension for that weight of yarn I am working with.  If and when I use a different weight of yarn and figure all that out, I would make notes if that so I could refer back to that in the future. 

Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Drying Washed Knits Outside

Hey Everyone!

Now that the warm weather is upon us, whenever I get a pair of socks done, I wait until there is going to be a sunny day with a high temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and preferably below 30% humidity, to wash and dry them. I like to pin my just washed socks to sock blockers and hang them outside on the clothes line to dry. It’s not as easy and takes longer to dry them in the winter, and I have to find an alternative way to hang them to dry. I have yet to really wash a lot of socks in the colder months, though I have a few ideas of how to dry them during that period of time, which if I resort to, I will have to write about and post pictures of. Beings that the weather is more ideal for hanging washed socks outside to dry, I am able to do so.

IMG_1757

I love being able to hang my socks out side to dry on hot summer days, because they dry a lot faster, and there is something about hanging outside that helps decrease the amount of wool wash scent that is left in the socks when I bring them in. While I love the scent of Eucalan Wrapture Woolwash, but sometimes it can still be very strong and over powering. I have noticed that when I am able to let whatever I have washed with it, dry outside, the scent that is left behind is not as strong as tends to be when I have to let it dry indoors.

While I personally detest the heat, and am currently camping out in a nice cool, air conditioned house (because it is 95 degrees outside), it has been a perfect day to wash and then hang socks out to dry. While I would typically say I would rather be at the beach, the beach is as bad as it is here in the valley, which is weird. It shouldn’t be 95 degrees on the Oregon Coast, 75 maybe, but 95 is just down right nuts. It’s crazy when the coast is hotter than Eastern Oregon, which was the case in some places today.

Knitting

Summer is only good for….

Hey Everyone!

As of writing this, it is barely noon and already 81 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it is a perfect day for drying socks outside. That, and growing fruit are the only things this weather is good for.

Right now I am glad I have socks to work on, so I don’t have something bulky and warm like a sweater or my wrap (once it gets longer), sitting on my lap heating me up even more than I already am. While I know 81 isn’t hot for most people, for me it feels like an oven, especially since the humidity is sitting at 51%.

Friday and a bit of Saturday I did make some progress on my wrap, as well as the socks I am making out of the Turquoise Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn that I have. I am currently working on the heel flap of the second sock.

I decided to go ahead and wash the pair of socks I had knit up using regal KnitPicks Palette Yarn. Every time I wash a pair of socks for the first time, I am always amazed at how much excess dye is in the yarn. It has made me wonder if they rinse the yarn after they dye it, or if they pull the yarn out of the dye, dry it and then wind it up without rinsing the excess dye out. But that is part of why I always wash what I knit before I wear/use it. I don’t want the excess dye or the waxes and other chemicals they use in the dying and processing to come off on my food clothes, or in my boots. Washing whatever I knit up also helps to soften up what I have made and make it so it is not stiff or not as stiff as it was before I washed it (again getting all the waxes and stuff out that makes it stiff).

One thing I have noticed about wool and other natural fibers (like cotton), is that they tend to soften up once they are washed. While you can get a bit of an idea of how the yarn will feel in the store, you don’t get a true idea until you have knit it up and washed, blocked and dried it.

So I am trying to make the best use of summer, and work on knitting up as many pairs of socks as I can. I still have a lot of sock yarn waiting to be knit up into socks.

Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Personal Project Friday, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn, Yarn Store

Wraps and Catalogues

Hey Everyone! 

Today I have been making progress on a couple of my WIP’s. I got the cuff of the second sock that I am knitting up using Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn half way done. 

Once I got the cuff half way done, I switched to working on the wrap I have in progress. The wrap I am working on, I am using Cascade Eco+ Yarn. I am using a K3P1 pattern.


It is a really pretty dark sea blue, it is heathered navy blue and forest green. While working at the studio we had a lace weight Todd and Duncan cashmere yarn that was a similar color. 

The Cascade Eco+ Yarn is an Aran weight yarn. It is a bulkier yarn. I am using size 9 bamboo circular needles. With this combination it is warm, thick and cozy,  yet not super bulky. 

Today, I also got a new KnitPicks catalogue in the mail. I love looking through the catalogues, and getting ideas for what I want to knit, in the future. I have a long wish list of yarns and knitting books.