Autumn, Fall, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Personal Projects, Quarantine, Socks, Spring, Summer, Winter, Wool, Yarn

Highland Heather Socks

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Tuesday night, June 30th, I finished up the fourth pair of socks I had finished up in June. I hadn’t finished any socks in May, and a couple of the pairs were carryovers from socks I had worked on in May.

The last pair I finished up, on Tuesday, was the Highland Heather socks. Highland Heather is the colorway, I got this colorway on the Coquette yarn base from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm.

I am definitely trying to utilize and maximize the time I have while on Furlough. My furlough has been extended quite a few times already, and was extended again today. At this point I am off at least until the end of the month.

At this point, I am trying to get the autumn and Christmas sock yarn knit up into socks. I am saving most of the spring and summer colors I have for winter, when it is cold, wet and in when I need some vibrant colors to work with. It would also be nice to have my autumn and christmas colored socks to wear this coming autumn and Christmas season.

Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Quarantine, Socks, Wool, World Vision Knit for Kids, Yarn

Lavender Field Heather

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I got the pair of Lavender Field Heather Socks that I have been working on for a bit, finished up this morning.

Lavender Heather is the colorway, and it’s on the stroll tweed fingering weight yarn from KnitPicks.

It was one of the few spring colored yarns that caught my eye.

It’s crazy to me how fast the last three months have gone. In the earlier weeks of my furlough, I spent some of my time going and looking for toilet paper, and as the weather started getting better, I have been going for walks. Now, that it’s really to hot to be going for walks at a normal hour, I am definitely trying to spend more time working on knitting. I am trying to get as much done before I go back to work, and the holiday season is upon us again.

goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Quarantine, Skills, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Safe Harbor

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I was finally able to finish up the pair of Safe Harbor socks I have been needing to finish for a while, since I ran out of yarn. I got the extra yarn I had ordered wound up.

I had ordered Safe Harbor on the Coquette Sock Yarn base, from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm. Safe Harbor was part of of the Outlander Inspired Collection. This colorway is no longer available.

Now that ai have this pair of socks done, I finally feel like I am making progress on the socks I have been working on.

Yesterday, I had made another blueberry crumble, which has become one of my favorite recipes.

I got this recipe from the Salmon Sisters cookbook. Knowing me, it’s not surprising that one of my favorite recipes is out of an Alaskan cookbook. I have wanted to live someplace like SE Alaska or Scotland for over a decade now. That is also part of why I am knitting up a lot of warm and cozy items, because I want to live somewhere with a cooler climate, and spend more time outdoors.

Beings that I was furloughed three months ago, and it has been extended every two weeks after the month long extension that happened during April, I am trying to make the most of my time off and spent at home. I am definitely trying to get as much done before the holiday season begins.

goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn

Working towards the Future that is Calling my Name

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It’s crazy to me that I have only finished (from start to finish) three pairs of socks since I was furloughed from my job like twelve and a half weeks ago. I had a couple pairs that I had finished up early on, that had been started while I was still working during the early part of the pandemic, and I have one pair of socks that I am so close to being done with the second sock on, that I just need to wind the yarn I had to order to finish it up. I also have two other socks in the works that are the second socks of their respective pairs. Once I get yarn wound up, which I will hopefully do this week, I will be finishing up three pairs of socks in the very near future. I am waiting on the last two hanks that I ordered to arrive, so I can wind all the hanks I have in one go while I have my swift out. Once I can get these three pairs done, I will have knit up six pairs of socks while on furlough.

I am trying to make the best of this furlough, because I would rather have work to go to. Having this time off work, has given me time to think and really evaluate and reevaluate what I want to be doing as far as work is concerned. I have been doing what I have had to, to have work, though I feel at times that I have forgotten what I love doing.

Since I have been off, I have really been trying to work on knitting up the yarn I have, and that I have ordered, as well as doing some baking and going for walks. I live near an older / more established part of town, where the streets are tree lined, and these trees, once they get leaves each year, provide much needed shade. With that, on nice days the smell of the trees reminds me a bit of being at summer camp (way away from the city). No matter the weather, the smells also remind me of going hiking in the woods. So for brief moments, my mind wanders and takes me away from the grind of the city life.

I definitely want to get away from the city life, and live a life where going outside means dirt trails, fewer neighbors, more elbow room, more of a need for my hand knit wears through many months of the year. I definitely want to do more hiking (hello hand knit boot sock collection) and in general living life outdoors, even in the colder months, where I can put the hats, scarves and wraps I have made / am making to use. I am really not a big city person, so other than my walks, a lot of my “out and about” time is spent 1) in the car, 2) going briefly from the car to the building and 3) in another building. I am trying to change that, and have the accessories and such that I need to allow me to live the kind of life I feel led to live.

I am not saying that I want to spend all of my time outdoors, just more of it. I still enjoy cooking, baking, homemaking stuff (decorating for different seasons, and making where I live feel like home), and of course, knitting.

I have definitely found that evenings are where I am most productive when it comes to knitting. During the day, I am definitely busier with things like going for walks, making food, household chores, writing blog posts, running any errands I need to run, all that kind of stuff. Evenings are the time of day when I settle in, and have a larger chunk of time to focus on knitting and projects, so that’s when a lot of my knitting gets done.

Autumn, Fall, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Racing against Time and the arrival of Warm Weather

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I finally finished up the “make it pink, make it blue” socks on Sunday. At this point I am still leaning towards selling this pair eventually, but I want to wait a bit, and see if there are any more pairs I knit up that I decide to sell as well.

I am still have the second “let it snow” sock on the needles, but I went ahead and cast one one of the Bumble Bee Acres Farm yarns I had ordered last autumn. I chose the campfire s’mores colorway to cast on. I had gotten this colorway on the Coquette yarn base. As this is an autumn colorway, it is no longer available in their shop.

This is just the progress I had made by about 4:30 this afternoon. As of writing this post (at 11:00 at night), I have made a bit more progress on the leg.

Last week, I want to say it was on Thursday, that I was surprised that the latest Bumblebee Bee Acres Farm order “shipped”, and actually shipped on Friday. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that they process and get orders ready throughout the week, but actually ship and take to the post office on Friday’s, or at least that has been the case with my last two orders (I honestly don’t remember the first). Now that I feel like I understand their system a little better, my opinion of them isn’t quite as low, and has gotten a bit better. That being said, I am still trying to buy from people / small businesses that have a bit better turn around and align with my values a bit more, or are at least able to stay neutral as far as their business is concerned when it comes to polarizing issues.

This last order from bumblebee acres arrived yesterday, and here are the three Hanks that I ordered:

The colorways are from the Outlander Collection. From left to right they are: Safe Harbor, The MacKenzie, and Murtagh. All three of these colorways are on the coquette yarn base. As of writing this post (February 4th, 2020), they are still likely in the shop should you choose to order them.

One of the things I have learned about indie dyers is that some of them only do a limited run of certain colors, and when it’s gone, it’s gone while others keep particular colors in stock on certain bases, and when their stock on hand is low, they dye up more while others keep particular colors in their shop and dye to order (and are up front about that and about turnaround time). So, if I am shopping a new shop that I haven’t dealt with before, I know that I need to snap it up if I really want it, just in case it sells out. There are others, that I know keep an inventory of certain colors, or if it in in the shop, it is dye to order, so if I like it, it can wait until payday to order.

Now that work has slowed down, and I have a lot of sock yarn that I have ordered the past few months, I am trying to get as many pairs of socks knit up as I can, while it is still too cold and wet to hang them outside to dry. I love line drying / blocking socks. Since all of my socks are at least part wool, the idea of putting them in the tumble dryer is definitely a no-no. I would just as soon wait several months for warm weather to dry them outside then tumble dry them. This is for my newly knitted socks, I have other hand knit socks, that if I wear them, I will wash them, and hang them out (even if it is cold and wet) to air out the smell of the wool wash, then bring them in to finish drying. I would eventually love to live in a house with a wood burning stove (among other things) and be able to set up a collapsible clothes dryer at a safe distance away, and put my socks over that to dry near the fire. By the time I have worn my socks, and they have already been blocked and shaped so I wouldn’t need to really block them in the way I need to block the new ones, to get the feet shaped right. I would and will likely set the new ones aside for warm weather to allow them to hang up on the blockers on the clothes line once I wash them for the first time.

I also use a different wool wash for the first time I wash my socks, than I do for subsequent washes. I prefer using the laundress wool and cashmere shampoo for the first wash, I feel like it helps get all the excess dyes, waxed, and anything still there from the processing and anything left behind. Once I have done that and I am washing them after having been worn, I use either Kookaburra Brand or Outback Gold wool wash. Both have tea tree oil which not only is a deodorizer, but also has anti microbial properties. Both claim to be biodegradable, which is nice. Though I am leaning a bit more toward the Australian Gold, as it is made in the USA and the smell isn’t as strong, but we will see in the long run which one I stick with.

goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Winter, Wool, Yarn

Getting ready to Knit Through Winter!

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Over the weekend, after I had finished up the Victoria’s Memory Socks, I cast on the first sock I am knitting up out of the Plum Bustle colorway yarn.

Today, the first order of more sock yarn that I had ordered arrived. It is the first of two I had ordered from Forbidden Fiber Company. I realized that I hadn’t had a hank of Gluttony Sock Yarn in my order, so I ordered an additional autumn colored yarn on the gluttony base.

This is the last Steampunk Collection yarn I plan on ordering;

The colorway is: Aquatic Sprite

The yarn base is: Fortitude

These two are from the neutrals Collection:

The colorway of the yarn on the left is: Earl Grey

The colorway of the yarn on the right is: London Fog

Both of these colors I ordered on the Babel yarn base.

The autumn colors that came in this order includes (from L to R): Heirloom Pumpkin, Reclaimed Wood, Scarecrow, Cozy Evening and Autumn is Coming.

Heirloom Pumpkin, Reclaimed Wood, and Cozy Evening are all on the Fortitude Base. Autumn is Coming is on the Pride Base.

Lastly, I had ordered two Hanks of Christmas Sock Yarn. Both Hanks are of the Pride yarn base, and the two colorways are: Joy to the World and Silent Night.

At some point this week, I am going to have to get them wound up into cakes? (If that is the right terminology), I always just call them balls.

This is the bulk of the sock yarn I have ordered. The rest will be arriving in the near enough future. I also ordered a little bit of yarn for hats.

It all started because I only have one pair each of Christmas and Halloween socks. While all the yarn is an up front investment. I figured now would be a great time, while I could. I am also looking towards the future, and where I see myself in five and ten years, is somewhere, where quality hand knit socks are more than just cute accessories, and will be all to functional and practical.

blog, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store

Leather Waistcoat Socks!!!

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Last night, I finally finished up the Leather Waistcoat colored socks I have been working on for almost a month. These socks definitely took me longer than I expected to finish up.

The yarn I used is from Forbidden Fiber Company. The yarn base is their Fortitude base, and the colorway is Leather Waistcoat.

I definitely have to say that Forbidden Fiber Company is definitely my current place to get my sock yarn. There are so many amazing colorways to choose from, I do love the yarn, the owner is awesome.

I had so much more written here, but I am choosing to share them publicly, as I have purposefully set out to keep my blog as neutral as possible, as far as trying to be a positive force in the knitting community. I have really only tried to share what projects I have been working on, what I have finished, the Yarns I like, the Yarns I am not a fan of, as well as the shops that I love buying from (those with a great product AND fantastic customer service), the shops I am a bit more indifferent towards (ie: the yarn I purchased was decent quality, shipped in a timely manner, and the bare minimum to meet my basic expectations) and the shops where I won’t be ordering from again in the future based on customer service and the quality of the yarn.

Like I have previously mentioned, my current favorite small yarn shop is Forbidden Fiber Company. It is woman owned. The owner is fairly active on both Instagram and Facebook with updates and such. Her shop doesn’t seem to sell out often (ie the stock she has posted on her website is typically something she keeps stocked, or dyes to order, and if it is something that is sold out, it tells you right then and there and can’t be added to your cart). It’s definitely helpful for those like me who are on a budget and have to wait a paycheck or two before we can order. I was quite impressed with how quick she shipped, the yarn was always beautifully wrapped before she boxed it up to ship, my packing slips always have had a handwritten note to thank me for my order, and that she hoped I like the yarn kind of thing. I have definitely enjoyed working with the yarn I have ordered. I will definitely be ordering from her more.

Places I am neutral / indifferent to include sites like KnitPicks and We Are Knitters, they are the staples and pretty much the big box stores of online yarn shops.

There have been a few shops I have been less than thrilled with, that I have mentioned, when I have blogged about the finished product(s) I made from their yarn(s). While I won’t name them here, you will know I about the ones I don’t like when I do post. I try to be conservative about the feedback I would give and why I didn’t care for them. I am one of those people who doesn’t want to malign someone, just give an honest review about my experience, realizing that someone else will likely have the exact opposite experience with them than I did.

Last night, I cast on the first sock in my next pair. I starting in on my second pair of the Steampunk Collection Yarns I have. I am currently using the Victoria’s Memory yarn, on the Babel yarn base which has 10% Yak wool in it. I was super excited to finally find a color I like that was available on the Babel base, since I have never worked with anything containing Yak hair before. I like trying different yarn based. The Fortitude base has definitely become a favorite of mine, as it knits up well and makes a sturdy boot sock. I still need to try the Gluttony Sock and Pride bases, which I am planning on doing in the near future, when I order the autumn Yarns I am eyeing.

goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Scarves, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Evaluating My Yarn Stash

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I am definitely addicted to Sock Yarn, and ordering way more than I need. I have come the conclusion that the order I put in this morning, really needs to be the last order I put in for a very long time. I have so much sock yarn (and yarn in general) sitting around that I need to be doing some major stash busting, and knit up what I have so that I can actually put it to use!

I picked up a set of two more containers for storing my finished socks today while I was out, as the one container I was using was overflowing with socks, and I still have so much yarn to knit up.

I have seriously been considering and praying about moving, and where to move, since the economy where I am is still tough and finding a job where I can make ends meet isn’t happening here, while the cost of living is continuing to sky rocket.

I would also like to live somewhere where there is actually snow each winter, and gets cold each winter. I am wanting to put the cold weather accessories I have knit up, and am planning on knitting up to good use, on a regular basis. It doesn’t get cold enough often enough here for me to use a lot of what I have made.

This morning, before I decided to enforce a moratorium on sock yarn ordering, I put in what will be my last order of sock yarn for a very long time. I ordered two more Hanks of sock yarn from Forbidden Fiber Company. I order two more of the Steampunk Collection Yarns, that have more pink in them, even though they are more subtle than straight up pink.

I must say that Forbidden Fiber Company has become my favorite smaller / independent yarn company. Their website is really well designed and set up. I also love following the company’s Instagram account. The owner has great customer service and goes the extra mile in the presentation and packing of the yarn when shipped. All the yarn I have ordered from her has been very nicely wrapped with a branded sticker to keep it closed. Each of the packing slips that have come with my ordered, have had a handwritten personalized note thanking me for my order. I usually try to put in my online orders before 9:00 am Pacific time (Noon Eastern). That being said, all my orders from Forbidden Fiber Company have been shipped within two business days. All of this has left a positive and favorable impression of this yarn company. Not to mention I also just love their yarn. I have definitely had less than favorable experiences dealing with other yarn companies, which is why when I have a good experience with a company that also has some pretty and soft yarn that knits up really well (I will post more once I have washed and worn the socks I have knit up), I have to share my experience with y’all.

If you have been following me for any length of time, you will know that I give honest reviews of the yarn and yarn companies that I have purchased yarn from and have used. If I am not a fan of a particular yarn, I will say so, if I have crappy customer service, I will share my less than stellar customer experience, While try to be constructive about it.

goals, Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Projects for Myself, Socks, Whats on My Needles, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

When Work Slows Down

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I have gotten a lot of knitting done this past month. I still can’t believe I let a month lapse between posts.

So much has happened in the past month, that isn’t work related. Work totally slowed down after the holidays.

Since my last post, I completely finished up the pair of socks I started using KnitPicks Stroll hand painted yarn in Koi Pond.

This pair is currently out on the line drying with the Thunderhead Tonal pair of socks as the first pair of Hawthorne Fingering socks in Tie Dye Speckle, beings that it turned out to be a beautiful spring day. It has been a sunny to partially cloudy day, where it is currently 56 degrees outside (13 Celsius).

I just cast on the second sock of the pair, for the second pair of Hawthorne Fingering yarn tie dye speckle socks. I had to order another hank of the tie dye speckle yarn, to finish up the first pair, which I had talked about back in January. I went ahead and ordered two Hanks of the tie dye speckle yarn to make a second pair of socks with the yarn once I finished up the first pair of socks. I had finished up the first sock of the second pair, this morning.

A couple days ago, once I finished the Koi Pond socks, I cast on another first sock for a pair of socks, using KnitPicks Stroll Tonal Fingering yarn in Frozen. It literally looks like the colors from the blue Elsa Dress.

I have also been working on the Tuckamore Wrap that I am working on.

I finally got the second repeat done yesterday.

In the past month, I have also fit in a trip to IKEA as well as a couple of adventures, one of which included going out into the Columbia River Gorge. The other was just out to Estacada, and by the Pioneer Church at the baker cabin.

It was to icy to go much further:

The Pioneer church:

IKEA:

I should also mention that I stocked up on my favorite tea, and found some new shows to watch while I work on my knitting.

Two weeks ago I also submitted my passport renewal application, so I can hopefully be doing some traveling in the near enough future. I would love to go to a fiber / fibre festival in the UK among other things.

Even though work is super slow and I am not getting many hours, I have been able to get a lot of other things done.

Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Patterns, Personal Projects, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

That Wednesday Afternoon Work Session

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Wednesday afternoon and evening was very productive. I had a knitting work session all afternoon, working through figuring out a new pattern and how it was going to work.

I have started working on the Tuckamore Wrap out of the Crossings pattern book, which was just recently published, as in the copyright is 2019, and it’s now only February 1st.

Wednesday I worked through some of the issues I had encountered early on, and made some notes. I also ripped out my first attempt. I used the size needles recommended, and it was just way too tight. That is saying something since I knit with a looser gauge. I had started out with the size 6 and 7 needles, and that wasn’t working. I have bumped it up to size 8 and 9 needles. One thing to remember with knitting cables, they always come out tighter than straight knitting and knit/purl. Whoever thought that size 6 needles with worsted weight yarn was a good idea, I have no idea what how that worked for them. Let alone size 7 needles with cables and worsted weight yarn is a nightmare, and just way too tight. I can’t imagine having a tighter knitting gauge and trying to do that with the smaller needles. I was questioning it before I even started, figuring maybe since I knit looser anyway it might work, yeah no. I should also mention that I am using Wool of the Andes Tweed yarn for this project.

Since I recast it on, and got it going on the larger needles, I also have added an extra RS and WS to the set up rows before I dive into starting the pattern. I like having a little extra room in between the border and when the pattern starts, to help the border stay flat and not get warped with the pattern being too close to the edge.

I knew going it to it, that this project was going to be one that I would have to devote my full attention to while working on it, and I cannot work on it while also trying to pay attention to a show or video of some sort.