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

Working towards the Future that is Calling my Name

Hey Everyone!

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.

Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Personal Projects, Quarantine, Socks, Wool

Quarantine Socks!

Hey Everyone!

In the past two weeks (Weeks four and six of quarantine) I have finished up two pairs of socks. Both of these pairs were completely knit up during the six weeks I have been off from work due to the pandemic.

The first pair that I finished, back on the 18th, was the grey pair with purple flecks I shared in my last post.

This pair I knit up was knit out of bounce sock yarn from Long Dog Yarn, in the colorway “Freshwater Pearl”.

The second pair, I just finished up this morning.

For this pair I used the “Healer” colorway (Outlander Inspired), on the Fortitude yarn base from Forbidden Fiber Company. This pair was a little on the rough side to get knit up, but it’s done, and I am glad for that.

I found out last week that my furlough has been extended at least until May 15th, though it will likely last longer than that, as I don’t see my state reopening non essential businesses any time soon, and lifting the stay at home order.

I have fully prepared myself for the long haul, and not going back to work for a bit, as well as that even when I do go back to work, that there could be another peak, and then be off again for a while.

I have plenty of yarn, and books, so, should I be off for a while, I have plenty to do and work on while I am off. Knitting is one if the few things I can do, since there is no place to go and nothing to do besides stay at home and go for walks.

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

Corona Virus Knitting

Hey Everyone!

I had ordered one more hank of sock yarn from Forbidden Fiber Company.

I ordered “healer” from the Outlander Collection, on the Fortitude yarn base.

I’m hoping we don’t have to go into quarantine or have a shelter-in-place go into effect. I still need to go to work.

Going to work, going grocery shopping once a week, and going for walks are about all I do anyway.

This last week feels like a year had passed. When I saw my coworkers this morning, it felt I hadn’t seen them in forever.

Should I have to stay home more than I already am, at least I will be able to stay busy, and I have plenty of sock yarn to work on. Ya’ll would be seeing a lot more posts should that happen.

I have been making progress on the socks I have been working on, and they will be done soon. These are the second socks of their respective pairs.

KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Local Yarn Shop, Winter, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store

Another LYS is Closing

Hey Everyone!

I found out this afternoon that another Portland yarn store that has been one of the main yarn stores for years will be closing its brick and mortar store in a couple months. That will make the fourth yarn store (that I know of) to close its physical store in about 5 years. While the reasons given, typically are personal in nature (family illness, time to move on etc), I can’t help but wonder if the rising rent / lease prices in the shop front spaces and the growing move of consumers to online retailers is also part of what is driving this shift in Portland’s (and thus Oregon’s) LYS scene.

I also kind of feel like the crafting (knitters and crocheters) community here isn’t what it once was. Then again Portland isn’t what it was 10 – 15 years ago. The demographics of the area has been changing a lot since many of these yarn stores opened.

We do have a handful of local / indie dyers here in the area (only one that I can name off the top of my head), and the closest fiber festivals are 15 – 18 hours away, in SoCal.

I know I order a lot of my yarn online, and while I have definitely ordered a fair amount of yarn from KnitPicks, and will likely order from there again, most, of not all the sock yarn I have ordered in the last year has been from small, indie dyers from back east.

I would definitely love to see things change out here, since this part of the country is home. At the same time I definitely want to attend a few fiber festivals, meet my favorite dyers, and see some more of the country.

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

The Campfire Socks!

Hey Everyone!

I finally was able get my Campfire socks done today!

The Christmas yarn and the Gluttony Mini Skein of the Campfire yarn I had ordered showed up this past Friday, and I got it wound that evening. The two colors of Christmas yarn I had ordered from this year’s collection are: “o, little town of Bethlehem” (the darker one) and “Let it snow” (the lighter one).

I have been working on getting the Campfire socks done since the mini skein arrived, and I finally got the second sock finished today.

Working in any sort of knitting has been slow going since September, when work started getting busy. Work is finally starting to slow down, and we are finally starting to get caught up on freight. We had gotten behind when the truck that was supposed to come the day before Thanksgiving (November 28th) didn’t come until the following Monday (December 2nd) and we still got our normal Thursday truck on the 5th. We finally turned the corner on getting the large truck loads. Over the next three to four months we only have two “big sets”, one is coming up really soon, which is our post Christmas set, and then our outdoor (summer) set which we will set sometime in March or April, neither of which compare to our holiday freight loads.

That being said, I will be able to be spending way more time knitting in the near future, which I am super excited about. I have plenty of sock yarn to be knitting up, and I am so ready to get back to a normal sleep schedule so I have more energy, so I will want to spend my free time knitting!

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

I haven’t been this excited for yarn in ages!

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, after I had finished up the second Tea Rose sock, I cast on the first sock of my next pair, using KnitPicks Stroll tonal Fingering yarn, in thunderhead tonal. I have been anxiously awaiting getting the Tea Rose pair done so I could cast on this pair.

This yarn is so soft and pretty. Not to mention it is knitting up amazingly too. I was a little concerned at first that it might knit up like a super wash yarn, which is the Bain of my existence. All the super wash sock yarn I have used has been a royal pain in the butt. This yarn cast on and knit off the first row beautifully.

Grey has become my second favorite, yet most sought after color to knit with. I have been getting my hands on all the grey sock yarn I can find.

I more than surpassed my goal for today on what I wanted to get knit up today, I wanted to finish up the cuff and get at least 25 rows of the leg knit up. I did all that and knit up 33 rows of the leg. I wanted to get as much done before I work again Thursday and Friday.

With so many projects in the works and more lined up as I get each one done, and I have way more yarn for pairs of socks to knit up, that I am trying to make full use of my days off, and get as much knitting as I can done.

As the weather gets nicer, come spring, I will be wanting to get out more and do more hiking, so I am trying to make use of this winter. As it is, I have two pairs of socks done that I need to wash and block on a nicer, warmer day.

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

Can’t Seem to get enough Stuff to do

Hey Everyone!

The past three weeks or so have been pretty busy, and I am finally getting back to working on my knitting projects.

I currently have seven projects in the works, like I can’t get enough stuff to do, I keep adding knitting projects to what I have going. I have three shawls in the works as well as a wrap, two socks for two different pairs, and a dishcloth. I kind of like it that way. I like having different things to pick up and work on.

In addition to the seven projects I already have the yarn for my next twelve pairs of socks picked out from my stash. I have more than enough sock yarn to choose from.

I have four different colors of Stroll Tweed yarn for four different pairs of socks as well as one color of regular Stroll yarn left that I am wanting to get knit up. I also picked out seven different colors of Palette yarn to knit up. I am at the point where I am not buying anymore yarn and trying to work up the yarn I have before I buy more, since I am running out of space to store my yarn.

At some point I am going to need to buy more Wool Wash and containers to store my finished projects. Before all that I need to get projects knit up.

I am wanting to get more socks knit up, washed and blocked this summer so I have more choices, especially going into Autumn, and the weather cools off making it more comfortable to go Hiking.

Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Reviews

Quick Start on a new pair of Socks

Hey Everyone!

This evening I ripped off the sock I had been working on for the past week, because I didn’t like how the sock was knitting up on the needles. That yarn didn’t have much give and was creating holes where there shouldn’t be. I have had this happen with a different yarn of a similar weight and texture. I can honestly say I not a fan of thinner sock yarn.

With that being said, at around 8:30 this evening I started a new pair of socks with a different yarn. I have had good luck knitting socks with KnitPicks yarn up until this point. Granted I have only knit up socks using the Palette yarn so far. The new pair I cast on, I am knitting up from the Hawthorne Fingering yarn (that yarn I ripped off was of a different brand).

I am amazed at how quickly this yarn is knitting up. In the matter of a couple hours, I am already a quarter of the way done with the cuff of this sock. The colorway I am using of the Hawthorne Fingering is Laurelhurst.

When I was looking at the Hawthorne Fingering Yarn online, I quickly realized that all the color names are of the different neighborhoods here in Portland (the city I grew up in). Not only is that cool, but Hawthorne is the name of one of the major Boulevards here in Southeast Portland, as well as the business district / neighborhood that Hawthorne Blvd runs through, as well as the bridge that carries Hawthorne Blvd across the river to the west side of the city. Here on the east side Hawthorne and Madison are two different streets (and for a ways they are one way streets with Hawthorne carrying the west bound traffic and Madison the east bound. On the West side of the river Madison is the street that the feeds onto the Hawthorne Bridge.

While KnitPicks is an international brand with a corporate headquarters across the other river in Vancouver, Washington. I love the fact that they have yarn named after places I know.

So far (I am only 10 rows in) the only down side I am finding with the Hawthorne Fingering yarn is that is seems to be rather stiff. I am hoping the stiffness/ scratchiness issues are due to the waxes and stuff used in the spinning process and to help it to knit up easier. I am hoping that this issue will be taken care of once the final project is washed the first time.

Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Knitting Needles, Patterns, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

Fall is Here

Hey Everyone!

It is looking and feeling like fall is here!

I am waiting for a couple of orders to come in, for fall knitting projects.

Today I picked up a couple more knitting related items at Joann’s for upcoming knitting projects. I picked up a pair of size 5 bamboo circular needles, to make sure I have the right length of circular needles for one of the projects I want to knit this fall. I am just waiting on the yarn to get here. I don’t want to talk too much about it until the yarn gets here. I also picked up another row counter so I now I have 3, so now I can work on multiple projects that need a row counter to keep track of rows for the pattern I am working on.

I am definitely stoked for my KnitPicks packages to arrive. The yarn for a new pattern I want to try is in one of the packages.

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.