goals, Inspiration, Knitting, Personal Projects, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

New Year and New Knitting Goals

Hey Everyone!

Today, as I am finally coming out of the fog that is my brain while sick, I was like “It’s a new year, a clean slate, and it’s time to set some knitting and life goals for 2018”. 2017 felt like a bust on many fronts. While this year is getting off on a rocky start (with having a cold to start things off), I am excited to see what 2018 holds, and to see what I can accomplish.

My biggest goals for this year is to knit though as much of the KnitPicks palette and stroll tweed sock yarn I have, as well as knit up the KnitPicks Wool of The Andes, Wool of the Andes Tweed, and the Simply Wool yarns that I have in my stash.

This year I really want to work on Stash busting as much of the yarn I have for personal projects as possible. In 2017 I bought a fair amount of yarn, now I just need to knit it up. That is my goal for this year, is to work on knitting as much of it up as I possibly can.

This morning, I got in my last KnitPicks order for a while. This Christmas and New Years season saw a lot of yarn and knitting accessories purchasing. Now I want to put all of it to good use. I am getting kind of tired having bags of yarn that don’t fit in my current stock of plastic containers sitting around. I want to at least get what is sitting out and sitting in bags knit up, or at least be able to consolidate it into a container if I want to use a color that is currently in a container. The only reason I want to buy new plastic containers for anything knitting related is for completed projects, if I run out of storage space.

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As I have spent time knitting, I have found that I prefer knitting with wooden needles, so as I have the money, and projects I want to work on I am slowly adding to my stash of wooden needles. After I had gotten the bulky Simply Wool yarn, I went searching through my needles to see what I had in the way of needles that were in line with the needle recommendation on the back of the label. I only found some plastic needles, which I really don’t care for, I went ahead and had ordered some US size 10.5 (6.50mm) straight wooden needles to use with the bulky simply wool yarn. I also had ordered another set of US size 7 (4.50mm) needles. Size 7 needles are a standard size for me, especially since I tend to have a looser tension than some other knitters. I had also gotten some of the Wool of the Andes Tweed in Autumn Heather and the Wool of the Andes in Marina.

Beings that I have the yarn (between what I have already cast on and am currently using as well as why I have tucked away in bags) for seven shawls and more than 20 pairs of socks, I will be bust this year.

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KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

Finishing a Project on the last Day of the Year

Hey Everyone!

Today is the last of the year, it has been a great day to finish up the pair of socks I have been working for the past three weeks.

This pair of socks is knit out of KnitPicks Chroma Fingering Yarn in Fog Bank. I used one of my pairs of 2.50mm size 1 needles to knit these up. Casting these socks on and knitting off the first row was a bear because the yarn is single ply, so it acts more like roving, which I hate working with. As I was working with it, the yarn would keep splitting which made the socks slow going to knit up.

In the end they turned out to be a nice looking and soft pair of socks. I will have to see how they wear. Hopefully they wear pretty well and they don’t wear out really fast. That would be sad at the price I paid ($9.99) for the yarn and the time and effort I put into knitting them up.

While I am glad I tried this yarn, I know I won’t be purchasing anymore of it in the future.

Fortunately there are other Fingering weight yarns out there that make better socks than the Chroma does.

KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

Knitters Talk; Ordering knitting supplies online

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, my latest order of Sock Yarn from KnitPicks arrived!

I had ordered some more Palette yarn. So far the Palette yarn is turning out to be my favorite sock yarn. It knits up so nicely and evenly. I also have not had a problem with casting it on (I will write more about that here in a bit), and the heels felt nicely once worn. I have noticed that the heels of my socks always kind of look awkward until I wear the the first time, then they felt a little and look like normal sock heels should.

Tuesday evening I got the first sock of the pair I am knitting up out of the Chroma Fingering Yarn finished and the second one cast on. Very quickly I came to the conclusion that I don’t like the Chroma yarn. For me it is a pain in the rear end to cast on. The first sock was a 3 or 4 attempt to get cast on and knit off, and the second was a 7 attempt to cast on and successfully knit off. If you have ever worked with Roving, you can relate. This yarn, the fibers liked to pull apart on themselves, and it isn’t helpful when the strand pulls apart while you are casting it on or knitting off the first row. I finally got the second sock cast on and knit off. While knitting up the socks I have been having to be careful as the fibers like to split on the stitches, slowing me down. So this pair of socks has been frustrating. They will be a nice pair of socks once they are knit up, but I will not be ordering more of the Chroma yarn.

I still have a 100 gram ball of the Stroll Fingering yarn and many 50 gram balls of the Stroll Tweed sock yarn to try. I like the feel of these balls better than I do of the Chroma. I am hoping that the Stroll Yarns will knit up more like the Palette and Hawthorne Fingering yarns have for me. I had mentioned that the Hawthorne Fingering yarn felt rough as I was knitting it up. I had the opportunity to wash that pair of sock here recently. The stiffness and roughness went away with washing, which meant that my assumption that the stiffness and roughness was caused by the waxes and stuff used to treat the yarn to make it easier to spin and knit with, was correct.

Last week I started a new triangle shawl using my Wool of the Andes Tweed worsted yarn in Marine Heather.

My goal has been to see how far I can get with the first ball of yarn, to get an idea of how much one ball of the Wool of the Andes Tweed can make. While I know that as I get more done, each subsequent ball will make fewer rows, as the shawl gets wider and there will be more stitches per row, I am impressed with how far this one ball has gotten me and I still have some of it left.

I am still waiting on my second set of lace blocking wires to arrive. They have been stuck in Sumner Washington since the 13th, and they were shipped on the 4th. This is the second time this month I have had issues with DHL and packages being held up by them. Yes I have contacted them twice so far for this package. I am fully aware that this is the busy shipping season, and it is almost Christmas, but really, they were shipped on the 4th, and have been sitting in Sumner (near Tacoma) for the past week. I am like “really people, you had plenty of time to get my package to Portland before the train derailment that closed I-5 southbound, and it’s not like you really need that section of I-5 southbound anyway, since Sumner is closer to the detour route around it anyway.” It is just frustrating that my package hasn’t arrived yet, and the other package from that order (that was shipped a different carrier) as well as the two orders I have ordered from KnitPicks since this item shipped have all arrived (again, these two orders after the order of blocking wires were shipped with FedEx). While I have occasionally had an issue with UPS losing a package (the last one they lost of mine was a year or two ago), I, and others I know (the yarn studio I worked at 3 years ago) have had nothing trouble with DHL. At this rate I am expecting the items I ordered from Amazon this morning to arrive before the blocking wires do. I will get off my soap box now and get back to work on my projects.

KnitPicks, Knitting, Scarves, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

More Shawl Yarn

Hey Everyone!

The knitpicks order of worsted and bulky weight yarns I had ordered for shawls arrived today!

I got four hanks of simply wool worsted yarn in Wordsworth, as well as six hanks of the simply wool bulky yarn in Wanda.

The worsted weight is the brown and the bulky yarn is the off white:

This winter, between working on knitting up socks, and other projects I am hoping to get two more shawls knit up before next summer.

As someone who loves making my own socks and cold weather wear and accessories, I love trying and using different yarns and seeing how projects turn out.

I am definitely more of a diy kind of girl, especially when it comes to hats, scarves, shawls and socks. I do wear store bought socks for day to day still (especially socks that are made to wear with athletic shoes as well as shoes like Toms and Vans), I do love my hand knit socks for when I wear boots. With the exception of hiking in the summer, mid autumn – early spring is typically boots and wool socks weather around here.

Knitting, Socks, Wool, Wraps/shawls

Wool of the Andes

Hey Everyone!

My order of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Marine Heather and my two 50g skeins of the stroll tweed fingering yarn in Thirst arrived yesterday (Tuesday). I was super excited when it arrived. I love when my yarn orders arrive.

I bought the Wool of the Andes because it was a fairly inexpensive (by KnitPicks standards) 100% Wool Aran weight yarn. Though it’s not so inexpensive when you purchase enough to make an adult size shawl.

I have been obsessed with the variations of what KnitPicks calls Marine Heather. I have the Marine Heather in the Wool of the Andes, the Palette Fingering yarn, as well as a similar color in the Alpaca cloud lace as well as a similar color of the Cascade Eco+ yarn. I really like the dark bluish green yarn.

I started the shawl I bought the Wool of the Andes yarn for. I am Knitting up a simple triangle shawl with it.

Knitting, Socks, Wool

Washing Socks in Winter

Hey Everyone!

Beings that today is about as nice as it is going to be for a while, I decided to wash the two pairs of socks I had in my to be washed bucket. These are socks I had finished Knitting since summer ended, and the weather cooled off, and the rain set in.

While it is only 45 degrees Fahrenheit / 7 degrees Celsius, as well as windy (the East Wind picked up yesterday), it has been sunny and dry the past few days. This time of year, the East Wind is strong and cold.

Why did I decide to wash socks in the winter anyway?

Well, beings that it has been dry and sunny for the past few days, the air isn’t quite as saturated with moisture, as well as having the strong East Wind, and it being above freezing; It will at least help air the wet sheep smell as well as the wool wash smell out of the socks before I bring them inside later this evening to really work on drying.

I prefer my socks to get fresh air when they are just washed to keep the wet sheep smell to a minimum in the house and to help the socks. I love the way laundry and stuff smells when it is allowed to hang out on the line even for a bit.

I do realize this time of year, my socks won’t really get dry outside, on days like today, they won’t get any wetter, and the wind may help start getting them dry. I also love the way they smell when they come in from outside, as well as reducing the wet animal smell inside the house.

If it was pouring rain, or the temperatures were near or below freezing, I wouldn’t have bothered washing socks. I just wanted to get another couple pairs washed while I had a small window to do so. By the time spring rolls around with a nice sunny dry day that is warm enough to completely dry socks outside, I am likely to have more pairs than I have sock blockers for.

KnitPicks, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

Some Yarns are Horrible to work with

Hey Everyone!

If you are unfamiliar with this pair of socks:

I highly suggest you go back to my posts about these socks from this part March & April (2017), that I wrote while I was working with the Viking of Norway Nordlys sock yarn. At the time I thought this specific yarn was the yarn from hell, turns out that it’s not the only one.

I have come to find out that for me, superwash Wool is the type of yarn I absolutely cannot stand.

The current superwash wool I am working with at present is just as bad as the Nordlys yarn.

I am currently working with the Chroma Fingering yarn from KnitPicks. I hadn’t put two and two together until I had gone to cast on the pair of socks I just started a couple nights ago, and was running into the exact same issues as I had run into with the Nordlys yarn. Turns out the Nordlys yarn was 75% superwash merino / 25% Nylon and the Chroma Fingering is 70% superwash merino / 30% Nylon. So you get the picture, they are very similar in content, and both are not wanting to knit up as well as they should.

The end product is always nice, soft and warm, but the knitting up the yarn part is the nightmare. I will not be purchasing Chroma Fingering yarn again in the future.